Family Traditions

Photo submitted by Sophie Vincent

Wellesley Women

Junior Sophie Vincent is no stranger to family legacies; at least one woman from nearly every generation in her family has attended Wellesley College, a private women’s liberal arts college in Massachusetts. However,  Vincent said her family’s legacy has actually encouraged her to not attend Wellesley.

“I talk to my (older) sister a lot about it because I’m a junior and looking into more schools, and she says that she absolutely loves going to the small school up on the East Coast because it gives her a lot of community. She loves being up there, and I love being up there too, in the Boston area,” Vincent said. “(But) I don’t plan on going to Wellesley. I would like to do something else because my sister currently goes there, and I want to be able to do my own thing and not be compared to her while going there. But I do want to look at similar schools that are like Wellesley, just not Wellesley.”

For Vincent, this does not mean she is not upholding her family’s tradition. Vincent said, for her, the family tradition extends beyond attending a specific college.

“I knew while growing up that my family came from a long line of women who came from prestigious schools and got very good  high education and worked hard for their careers. And I guess the only way that really affected me was making sure I was working hard to uphold family tradition and not let anyone down,” Vincent said.

In addition, Vincent said she believes attending Wellesley is not as vital for her education as it may have been for her predecessors.

“Back when the Ivy Leagues wouldn’t let women into their colleges, seven schools got together and they created the seven sister schools, which were all (for) females. And basically they were the same level as Ivy Leagues, but nowadays a lot of the seven sister schools have opened up to coed, and now the Ivy Leagues allow women, I want to say it’s less significant. The fact that it was a sister school—it’s less important now,” Vincent said.

Vincent said her choice to not attend Wellesley will not cause any trouble within the family, as she will be able to apply the real tradition, a good work ethic, to any college she attends.

“My family is really respectful about what I want to do with my life. And if I chose not to go to Wellesley or another school like that, they would completely respect it,” Vincent said. “Growing up with a family who comes from that long line, it did kind of influence me and help me to realize how important (hard work) is and how it helps me to grow in the future.”


Marching to the Beat

Photo by Apurva Manas

Ever since she was little, sophomore Emilie Prill has heard about marching band from her family. Prill, whose mother, uncle and older brother all participated in their respective band programs, has continued the tradition by participating in both marching band and concert band at CHS. Without her family’s interest in band, Prill said, this probably would not have happened.

“There’s no way (I would have joined band); I had no real interest in it. I just saw that my older brother and my mom enjoyed it a lot, and I thought, ‘Hm, that looks like fun,’” Prill said. “ (Band has) just been a part of my life. I’ve been expected to do it, it’s been around me for as long as I can remember, and it’s been a very long time.”

Prill said her family’s tradition of participating in band has instilled a love-hate relationship with music in her; while she often tires of hearing about music from her family, she has come to develop an appreciation for it.

“If they’re all three in a room, my uncle, my mom and my brother, it’s all they’ll talk about. And that can go on for hours,” Prill said. “It’s actually made me not like music that much, personally, just because of the expectation to like all this classical music. But I also do have an extreme appreciation for it, because I know how much work goes into it. And it’s changed my perspective on a lot of things.”

Amy Prill, Emilie’s mother, said she is glad her children have carried on the tradition, not because she wants to see her legacy carried on, but because she believes they can learn valuable skills from the program.

“I enjoy that my children have done something that I loved when I was their age, and I enjoy that we have something in common to talk about. However, the importance to me is not that a tradition was carried on, (but) rather that they experience teamwork, hard work, excellence, dedication and leadership in one way or another,” Mrs. Prill said. “I am excited that Emilie is a part of something that will increase her leadership skills and teach her the importance of teamwork.”

Mrs. Prill also said she has observed marching band shows become more and more complex over the years, but the skills her children are learning today are the same ones she learned when she first joined marching band in the late 1970s.

“I think that marching band has become more artistic in nature and is less militarized in some aspects,” Mrs. Prill said. “When I was in marching band, the style, uniforms, marching and color guard seemed to have much more of a military theme. The program, though, and the things that we learned as young adults seem to persist nowadays. (This includes) striving towards a common goal, teamwork, hard work, perfecting your skill set, dedication (and) leadership.”


Republican Rationale

Like the past three generations of her family, sophomore Kate Perry is a Republican. Perry said this is probably because it is all she has ever known; even as a child, she accepted her family’s political viewpoints without question.

“A lot of people in my family vote Republican and have a lot against the Democrats and people who vote Democratic in elections,” Perry said. “I always just assumed they were right, and I was like, ‘well when I can vote, I’m probably going to vote Republican so that I can fit in with what they do.’ I’ve never really made my own decision on it. I just kind of go by what they want to keep them happy, and also because it (being Republican) doesn’t bother me.”

However, Perry said her family’s viewpoints and experiences have changed from what they once were due to the current political climate.

“Specifically for this election, I think a lot of the viewpoints have changed, which actually made my parents and grandparents more for Republican. They were a lot less politically correct this year, and more determined. But a lot of people, especially at Carmel High School, don’t really agree with your viewpoints, and instead of just accepting what you do, they have to yell at you about it. So I guess there’s not as many people at this school who agree with that viewpoint (anymore),” Perry said.

Alex Perry, Kate’s older sister and senior, agreed and said Republicans have a different reputation nowadays as opposed to two generations ago.

“Now, (being Republican) has a connotation of being opposed to change and modernization. It also has connotations of racism, sexism, etc. (But) I feel entirely indifferent (to what others think) because I agree with more of the policies supported by the Republican Party. I think family influence was involved,” Alex said.

As for the continuity of this tradition, Alex said she does not care whether or not future generations continue to be Republican, as she believes it is impossible to be completely Republican or Democratic regardless.

“(Continuing the tradition) is not of the slightest importance to me. The categorization of the population based on widening and increasingly less middle-of-the-way values is a ploy to divide people, but any who have the slightest empathy or clarity of thought can see that they are terminally meaningless,” Alex said.

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Alanna Wu