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You Can Find Us in the Club

Every year, enterprising Upper School students establish new clubs that reflect the various interests and passions of Dana Hall’s students. The 2020-21 additions represent both the diversity of students’ pursuits and the commonality of their experience during an ongoing the global pandemic.

R. Sharma ’23 started the Baking Club when she realized many of her classmates had begun baking during the pandemic as a way to combat boredom. All meetings take place on Zoom with everyone baking in their own kitchens. “Even though there is no previous baking experience required, it is more of a challenge to help someone who is struggling over Zoom instead of in person,” said Sharma, “However, we will still make it work, and I hope that by the end of the year we will be able to bake in the Dining Hall kitchen all together!” Club members recently baked pumpkin crumble muffins.

The HOPE (Health & Happiness, Optimism, Psychology and Encouragement) Club is a collaboration between two student leaders who had separate ideas for a club and realized that they could combine them effectively. A. Bonang ’21 wanted to create a space for people to discuss mental health and learn techniques for taking care of their well-being, and S. Zhang ’23 wanted to create a club to talk about psychology. They are in the process of planning a movie night and inviting guest speakers to join their meetings. With members spread across time zones, the HOPE Club has two meeting times that they alternate between.  “In addition to alternating times, we try to post our resources and email our members frequently, so they feel included even if they missed a meeting,” said Bonang. “I do wish we could all be in person together because I think that would make conversations and activities more fun and personal, but I think this has been working out pretty well!”

The 16 members of the new Film Club are also alternating the times of their screenings and meetings to accommodate the distance between them. Club leader S. Khalid ’21 loves everything about films — watching films, reading film criticism and essays, exploring all genres. “Films are a deeper reflection of so many things around us and make us see things in a different way,” Khalid said. She laments that current safety protocols have taken away the communal experience of watching a movie in a theater with other people. The club meets once a week to watch a section of a film, together on Zoom, followed by a discussion. They recently examined the plot and score of director Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, and also selected some horror movies and classic thrillers to coincide with Halloween. With a goal to create cultural understanding of film, the group has plans to explore many genres, including French new wave, silent films and international productions.

The String Society organically formed during Dana Hall’s COVID-19 remote learning last March and became an official club this year. The group’s founders shared an instructor (Viktoria Tchertchian) at the School of Music, and reached out to one another in search of a way to continue making music together, despite their physical separation. Since then, their membership has grown, with student musicians who play the violin, viola and cello. They use the Acapella app to record their separate performances and then mix them together. “It still sounds beautiful even though we’re not together, said V. Ramaswamy ’23, the club’s co-leader. “We’re not physically together, but we’re together through our music.” In addition to playing pieces, which include pop and modern selections, the group researches composers. “You don’t have to a musical genius to be in the String Society,” added co-leader S. Sahni ’23, noting it is a great way to get feedback from their faculty advisor. The group hopes to represent Dana Hall by sharing their recordings on social media and community events.

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Members of the String Society

Members of the String Society