TODAY’S A-TEAM MORNIN’ PLAYLIST (Mr. B)
- “Funky Fanfare” – Keith Mansfield
- “9 to 5” – Dolly Parton
- “Don’t Wanna” – HAIM
- “Bad Luck” – Neko Case
- “Angel of the Morning” – Juice Newton
Today is the last day of WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH, during which we here at North have been celebrating the achievements of countless women and the wide-ranging contributions they’ve each made to both our nation and world on these days and dates.
For example, on this, the final day of WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH:
- Back in 1776 – Abigail Adams famously wrote to her husband, John, while he and the other men in the Continental Congress were framing the Declaration of Independence to caution him about women’s rights, using these now immortal words:
“I desire you would remember the ladies, John, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”
Talk about a woman ahead of her time. And ya know what the greatest irony of that letter is? It took nearly 150 years after Abigail Adams wrote it for the U.S. House of Representatives to finally pass the 19th Amendment in 1926, which gives women the right to vote.
Now granted, one might be inclined to look back upon these and other facts we shared over this past month with a jaded eye, and say: “Yeah yeah, we get it … these are famous ladies who broke barriers, made history, so of course they deserve recognition. But that was then, this the 21st century, the playing field is far more level now than it was back then … right?”
Well, it’s a fair question, but the truth is, no … cuz in spite of all those amazing achievements, progress for women in this country and the world-over remains riddled with many obstacles ….
For example, according to UNICEF, 130 million girls ages 6 thru 12 will not go to school because of barriers placed in their way – barriers that range from poverty to outright discrimination to violence in their countries.
In terms of money? According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, here and now in America, the average working woman still earn 80 cents to a man’s dollar. For black and Hispanic women, that number is even lower. Not only is that over half a century after the United States passed the Equal Pay Act, but the Institute for Women’s Policy Research actually estimates that equal pay for women will not truly be reached until 2059.
As for actual jobs … heck, the UN Secretary General, just two years ago, said that here and now in the 21st century, there is literally nowhere on earth where women have the same opportunities as men.
And yet time and time again, throughout world history, we have seen the women we’ve acknowledged here daily in our announcements prove their worth above and beyond, both failing and prevailing, in gestures both big and small, and ways we too often forget and take for granted.
For example, the cumulative history of multiple Native American tribes – all indigenous to the American Southwest before they are all but driven to the brink of extinction – might be forgotten if it hadn’t been for Native American teachers like Muriel Wright, who was not only born today, but became an historian and keeper of their legacy for others to learn about and remember.
It’s little things like that, the little facts about women that get overlooked.
Francis Scott Key may have written words to The Star Spangled Banner, but we wouldn’t have that song if Mary Young Pickersgill hadn’t hand-stitched the flag that flew over Fort McHenry and inspired him to write it.
And, yes, Steve Jobs may have invented iTunes and iPhones … but none of those things would work too well these days if a movie actress named Hedy Lamarr – a woman who was objectified most of her life as a sex symbol – hadn’t invented “frequency hopping” … which we now know as WiFi.
Bill Gates may be the king of software, co-founded Microsoft but he might not have become a better man through philanthropy if he hadn’t met a math teacher named Melinda French who inspired him to do so.
Which begs the question … do the achievements of these ladies deserve just one month on the calendar to celebrate their worth? I think if Abigail Adams were alive today, she might have something to say about that.
So remember the ladies, indeed, people. More than that, remember those making who stand in your presence – those who write and read you, show up and lead you, bag lunches and feed you, the ones who sweep the floors, who guard the doors, who teach you how to cook and do your chores … they are all in their own way as remarkable as the ladies we talked about.
Wanna take it one step further? Look around the room and around your Zoom, you might just be sitting in the presence of a young lady who will herself one day make history like the ones we acknowledged this month.
And we can only hope we’ve each improved enough to make the world a place where each of them one day gets their due, equally and rightfully so.
Anyway, until then, do as Abby Adams said to John … remember the ladies, folks … and not just because the calendar says so.
Thank you for paying attention throughout this Women’s History Month.
Speaking of future history makers of the female persuasion, Girl Up, folks – GIRL UP … will be hosting their annual North’s Got Talent Show virtually on May 7th. If you are interested in submitting an act, please check your student email for details. Individual and Group acts are acceptable. Email your video act submissions to senior leader Emelin Gustafsson and advisor Senora Kush for approval before April 16th. Winners will be voted on and prizes will be awarded. Virtual ticket sales will begin after spring break and will be 5$, which includes your opportunity to cast 1 vote for your favorite act. Money raised will support local charities.
Speaking of great ladies in our midst, North’s own Girl Up organization is hosting a vital supplies drive for Family Promise Homeless Shelter in Flemington starting Monday, April 12th and concluding on Friday, April 30th.
The intent behind the drive is to gather goods for homeless children in Hunterdon County. After spring break, boxes will be stationed at the main entrance of the high school and also in Room 209 to collect donations.
Girl Up is looking for any of the following, all of which would be appropriate and appreciated:
- New pillows
- New blankets (twin size)
- Full-size toiletries, including: shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, hair conditioner
- Feminine products (all types and sizes)
- Toilet paper
- Laundry detergent
So if you can find a little time, and you have some extra stuff you can share with a worthy cause, donate and help the homeless youth of Hunterdon.
Relay for Life is back this year at North Hunterdon High School and is out raise more money than ever for the American Cancer Society – the main event is scheduled for Thursday, May 20th from 6:00-9:00 PM, with a rain date of May 21st! Any COVID-19 restrictions in place in New Jersey at the time of the event will be followed. You can find more info about this upcoming event on its fundraising website and at the above links as well as on the NHHS website. So, sign up your team, make a donation, or dedicate a luminaria in honor of a loved one.
Also, from our always creative Cafeteria Staff …
FREE MEALS are now being given out to any student who wants one. So, want a meal, grab a “Go Bag” on your way out the door at dismissal. Each “Go Bag” includes a breakfast and a “ready to heat” frozen lunch with milk and fruit. The meals are being handed out daily at the Main Entrance and outside the Theatre. They are to be brought home and prepared at home.
Please, kids, take advantage of these goodies – these ladies work for hours, bagging meals so you can enjoy a little sustenance. That aside, cafeteria is closed to all sales, as in … NO FOOD OR DRINK IN THE CLASSROOMS.