The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

More Clubs Than You Ever Knew

Community+United+for+Renewable+Energy+%28CURE%29+holds+meetings+in+A211%2C+and+works+to+improve+enviornmental+sustanability+in+the+T.C.+community.+Pictured+to+the+left+are+Ashley+Sanchez+and+Bridgette+Adu-Wadier.
Community United for Renewable Energy (CURE) holds meetings in A211, and works to improve enviornmental sustanability in the T.C. community. Pictured to the left are Ashley Sanchez and Bridgette Adu-Wadier.

Mongolian Throat Singing Club: More Than Just a Meme

Bobby Sweeney and Ben Vastola

A new club is storming the TC hallways. Every first and third Thursday of the month, room B310 hosts a club dedicated to a lost art: Mongolian throat singing. 

“This is not your typical modern music but it has a rich history,” said club president and T.C. junior Anna Dugan. “Mongolian Throat singing has been around since written language so in a way, it is one of the ancient forms of music and art that the world has.” 

Dugan started the club due to her love for Mongolian music. 

Dugan introduces the styles of Mongolian Throat singing at the first club meeting.

“My introduction to Mongolian throat singing actually happened in my AP human geography class two years ago when someone just started playing it right before the AP exam as everyone was super tense,” she said.

Months later, Dugan began practicing on her own through YouTube videos. She learned different styles of throat singing like khöömei, syget, and kargyraa. Then, she started to take interest in creating a club. 

“I got a couple of friends that were willing to come,” said Dugan. ”None of them knew [about] throat singing but I am very happy to teach them how. So I got a couple of them, we banded together, and started putting posters and flyers up.”

While many may believe this lost form of music damages one’s voice due to its use of growling noises that come from the singer’s throat, Dugan explains otherwise. 

“Some people say it can lower your voice a bit but I have been doing it for 10 months and have not seen much of a change in my voice,” said Dugan. “If you are doing it wrong it can damage your vocal chords.” 

As the club members work diligently on their practice of “humme”, Dugan is working on introducing some of the more advanced forms of throat-singing. 

The club has only had a few meetings but they have already begun learning a few styles of throat singing. 

“So far we have only gone through three styles,” said Dugan. “Khöömei, which is the easiest one, syget, which is more piercing, and the third style is kargyraa. That is all we have gone over so far but I know two other types on top of that.”

Mongolian singing isn’t the only thing you’ll find at the club; traditional Mongolian biscuits (boortsog) and milk tea is served, as well as instrument accompaniment. Some of the instruments include the dombra, a tall, thin stringed instrument that resembles a single-stringed cello or guitar.  

The club will welcome Narantsetseg Tseveendulam, a Mongolian Lecturer from the University of Pennsylvania on Thursday, November 7.  She will bring Mongolian dumplings to the celebration and teach Mongolian to the members. 

“The goal is that hopefully I am going to learn some Mongolian throat singing, meet some other people who are interested in Mongolian culture, and build friendships with other people who are interested in that area,” said club officer Emma Lally.

Girl Up: Advocating for Gender Equality

Eliza Coast and Katharine Mathews

Girl Up is a United Nations Foundation organization and movement that empowers young women to stand up for gender equality worldwide. Girl Up was founded in 2010 by the UN Foundation and there are more than 3,300 clubs registered in the U.S. States and territories and in 118 countries. Girl Up’s main focus countries are Guatemala, Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, Uganda, and India. 

Girl Up became a club at T.C. Williams last year, and currently has around 50 members. The club meets every other Wednesday in room A230, and everyone is welcome to join.

The Girl Up club booth set up at the club fair on October 17. Photo by Ginny Seidenberg.

Club president Reesey duPont said, “Girl Up has been a club at T.C. for just one year, but we are excited for what’s to come these next few years!” 

Last year, Girl Up had two human trafficking lawyers come to talk to club members about the lack of education around human trafficking and domestic abuse. The club also raised over $500 in a fundraiser for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The money raised was used to send Ugandan girls to school. 

“These girls are undeniably passionate about the world, and about their education, but are left with few opportunities to follow their dreams and go to school,” said duPont.

The Girl Up Club’s largest accomplishment came from working with an organization just outside Liberia’s capital city for their spring fundraiser last year. The club raised over $5,000 for Liberian girls.

“Many of the barriers that [Liberian girls] face aren’t even a question for many girls here in the United States, like access to menstrual care, clean water, textbooks and reading material, and the funding for public education,” duPont said.

This year, the Girl Up club will focus on helping Liberian girls once again. duPont said, “Even though our club is focusing on Liberia this school year, we will still try and be active in community events, and even partner with other clubs.”

One club Girl Up is working on collaborating with is called “Period” at T.C. The Period club was started by Girl Up member Samantha Sorto and will be collaborating with the Girl Up Club. It focuses on providing access to menstrual products for girls across the country and is working to abolish the tampon tax in the United States. 

“This year we really want to create a community of girls who have a variety of perspectives, and who are passionate about promoting gender equality around the world.” said duPont.

Marine Conservation Club: Saving Marine Life

Anna Harrington

Marine Conservation Club (MCC) is a haven for those interested in conserving the oceans and protecting aquatic life.  During the interest meeting,  the club discussed general goals for the upcoming year and ways to implement these goals. The club also goes over topics affecting marine life locally, and on a global level. 

Senior President and co-founder of MCC, Sophie Moniz, said, “The goal of the club is to eliminate single-use plastic in Alexandria. We started it last year with the hopes of getting local restaurants to get rid of plastic straws; we currently have ten restaurant partners who have agreed to not offer plastic straws.”

Marine Conservation Club leaders Sophie Moniz and Abigail St. Jean raise awareness for their club at the club fair.

One of the current projects the club is working on is creating reusable grocery bags made out of old t-shirts for Alexandria citizens to use. The club will come together to make the bags out of donated t-shirts, and will then sell them to anyone in search of a way to save plastic while shopping. 

The club is working on several other goals. One of which is trying to get ACPS and local businesses to refrain from using single-use plastics. Another goal is to limit the amount of fossil fuels used in Alexandria. The marine conservation club has lots more in store and is working to create a positive impact on Alexandria and the marine life that lives with the city. Marine conservation club meets twice every month with Ms. Christopher in room A118.

Fishing Club: You’ll Be Hooked

Lilla Gleeson and Lauren Thiell

One of the lesser-known clubs at T.C. is the fishing club. Co-Presidents Will Rosenfeld and Marjorie Burke are bringing back the Fishing Club tradition. Rosenfeld and Burke are both interested in fishing.

Will Rosenfeld fishing in Lake George in New York this summer.

“I wanted to join a club…but nothing sparked my interest until Will talked to me about starting [fishing] club,” said Burke. 

“No one really goes fishing anymore, so we wanted to start something that will allow students to interact with wildlife and the outdoors,” said Rosenfeld. 

Almost everything planned by the fishing club is interactive and provides a unique outdoor experience and a chance to explore the Potomac. The club is planning to take many weekend field trips to the Potomac River to fish and clean up trash. Meetings are on the last Wednesday of every month. 

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More Clubs Than You Ever Knew