The Circle Voice

The Traditions We Left Behind

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When thinking of Groton, the traditions that come to mind include  Roll Call, Parlor, Chapel, and surprise holiday. These are the constants in our Groton careers – but what were the traditions before our time? How have Groton traditions changed over the decades?

 

For one, there were chapel talks given from animal perspectives. Latin teacher Preston Bannard ‘01 fondly recalled annual chapel talks by former Chaplain Jack Smith from the point of view of the dogs who lived on campus. He says, “It was usually one of the funniest talks of the year.”

 

Another old tradition is the fives program. Fives is a sport similar to squash or racquetball, except it is played with one’s hand instead of a racquet. Mr. Bannard and alumni from the Class of 1984 recall Groton’s fives team with nostalgia, in particular the especially competitive annual match against St. Mark’s. While Groton maintains no fives team today and many of the courts are used for storage, a Faculty-Sponsored Activity (FSA) was undertaken by then-fourth-formers Aidan Reilly, Andrew Rasetti, and Sam Girian ‘18 to clean out a court and begin to play.

 

These alumni reflected further on their favorite traditions – some we still have today, but many of which remain unknown to current students. They recalled Brooks House versus Hundred House snowball fights (which have sporadically occurred in recent years) and pep rallies with wagons and effigies – not only for St. Mark’s games, but also for games against St. Paul’s. Additionally, athletic teas followed all sports games. Lucian Snow ‘84 describes that they were “hosted by each team at a teacher’s house…and were a bonding opportunity.”

 

Others look back on black marks, the predecessor of demerits. Lucian Snow ‘84 said, “I miss black marks. Doing the dishwashing to work them off. Dishwashing crew has to be one of the greats. Gone and lost forever.” Although students still serve work crews for demerits given, dishwashing has not been in use as a punishment in recent years.

 

When asked about their favorite traditions, many alumni thought first of ones that we know well. Popular memories included: Prize Day handshaking, Surprise Holiday’s infamous green jacket, Blue Bottles, Lessons and Carols, feeds, roofball, milk and cookies at conference, and, of course, St. Mark’s Day. Although some traditions have been forgotten, many others have lasted for decades and will continue after we graduate.

 

Edits with Ms. Friedman done

 

Traditions- Girian and Wilcox

When thinking of Groton, the traditions that come to mind include Roll Call, Parlor, Chapel, and surprise holiday. These are the constants in our Groton careers – but what were the traditions before our time? How have Groton traditions changed over the decades?

For one, there were chapel talks given from animal perspectives. Latin teacher Preston Bannard ‘01 fondly recalled annual chapel talks by former Chaplain Jack Smith from the point of view of the dogs who lived on campus. He says, “It was usually one of the funniest talks of the year.”

Another old tradition is the fives program. Fives is a sport similar to squash or racquetball, except it is played with one’s hand instead of a racquet. Mr. Bannard and alumni from the Class of 1984 recall Groton’s fives team with nostalgia, in particular the especially competitive annual match against St. Mark’s. While Groton maintains no fives team today and many of the courts are used for storage, a Faculty-Sponsored Activity (FSA) was undertaken by then-fourth-formers Aidan Reilly, Andrew Rasetti, and Sam Girian ‘18 to clean out a court and begin to play.

The Class of 1984 reflected further on their favorite traditions in its Facebook group – some we still have today, but many of which remain unknown to current students. They recalled Brooks House versus Hundred House snowball fights (which have occurred only sporadically in recent years) and pep rallies with wagons and effigies – not only for St. Mark’s games, but also for games against St. Paul’s. Additionally, athletic teas followed all sports games. Lucian Snow ’84, uncle of Caroline Wilcox ’20, describes that they were “hosted by each team at a teacher’s house…and were a bonding opportunity.”

Others look back on black marks, the predecessor of demerits. Mr. Snow said, “I miss black marks. Doing the dishwashing to work them off. Dishwashing crew has to be one of the greats. Gone and lost forever.” Although students still serve work crews for demerits given, dishwashing has not been in use as a punishment in recent years.

When asked about their favorite traditions, many alumni thought first of ones that we know well. Popular memories included: Prize Day handshaking, Surprise Holiday’s infamous green jacket, Blue Bottles, Lessons and Carols, feeds, roofball, milk and cookies at conference, and, of course, St. Mark’s Day. Although some traditions have been forgotten, many others have lasted for decades and will continue after we graduate.

 

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