Blackout Bars Induction Ceremony
By DANIEL CHOE
Jericho High School’s world language honor societies were in for a surprise on the night of their induction ceremony. After waiting until 8 p.m. to be inducted, the students of the Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, and Chinese Honor Societies were forced to return home in the pouring rain after the electricity suddenly went out.
Curriculum Associate of World Languages Dr. Margarita explained what a shock it was to lose power. “When I signaled Maintenance to turn on the music, all the lights went out instead. I thought it must’ve just been a mistake. But he just shrugged his shoulders and said we’re out of power,” she said.
A phone call to PSE&G confirmed that a car on Route 107 hit a utility pole, taking down a power line and leaving much of the surrounding area without power. At the time, the utility company warned that power may not come back on for another two hours. Therefore, Dr. Margarita, High School Principal Ms. Rosenberg, and Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs Victor Manuel reluctantly decided to cancel the ceremony.
“We looked at the situation and realized there were no lights at all in the auditorium. We decided that it’s probably not safe to risk someone getting hurt. So I went back onto the stage and said ‘I’m sorry but we’re going to have to cancel’. I had a little bit of a lump in my throat. I was a little emotional because I was so disappointed,” said Dr. Margarita.
Students and faculty shared Dr. Margarita’s feelings of disappointment. “At first, I was a little confused,” said Spanish Honor Society advisor Ms. Berkovsky. “I thought it was part of the program, perhaps special effects. When Mrs. Rosenberg and Dr. Margarita started running around and all of the lights went out except those in the central offices, I knew there was something wrong. Of course, it was very disappointing to all of us because of all the hard work and preparation that went into the evening,” she added.
The induction ceremony was rescheduled as an after school event and therefore the program had to be modified and shortened so as not to interfere with students’ other after school activities. Senior Harrison C. said, “I was definitely annoyed when I realized that the ceremony would have to be rescheduled.” Senior Kristy L. agreed and said, “It’s disappointing that I couldn’t see the skits.” Dr. Margarita also lamented losing the performances in the rescheduled event and said, “Some students had a piano recital, chamber choir, Cirque du Soleil-style performance.” However they kept the poetry reading and the oath since, according to Dr. Margarita, “those are the most important.”
Dr. Margarita believes the incident was a time for students, parents, and faculty to bond and show the warm, sympathetic side of Jericho. On Monday, Nov. 14, the honor societies enjoyed a successful after school ceremony with no interruptions.
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