Cults of OHS: A Cultural Perspective

RACHEL FINKELSTEIN & NAYA GHIRDARRY

Oceanside High School is known for its three main “cults:” World Interest Club ( WIC), Marching Band, and Thespians. For some students, encountering these groups can be intimidating, but now we have the inside scoop on what it’s really like to be an esteemed member of these clubs.

image2-2The most notoriously known cult of OHS has to be WIC. Some people perceive WIC as being exclusive and full of inconceivably smart students. However those on the inside claim there is more than meets the eye. Josena Joseph, a member of WIC, describes how the club is not only academic, but about understanding global issues in attempt to better the world. She says, “…you put yourself in other people’s shoes, other countries’ shoes, what other politicians feel, and you…analyze why they feel that way…I feel…as high school students it is so important to…dive past your area of comfort.” She even went on to elaborate about the importance saying “it’s our job, it’s our responsibility to not just worry about how we feel all the time.” Furthermore, the people in this club work hard and towards self-improvement, as club advisor Ms. Block discusses. But like all clubs, she describes the close-knit relationship between the members who share these common interests. Joseph adds, “…[People] don’t realize that we are not there because it just looks good on our applications. We’re not there because we enjoy doing the extra work. We’re there because things like this actually matter to us.”

image1-2Now you may only recognize the marching band from the football games. However, they too consider themselves a community. Megan Bernowich, a member of the marching band, believes the band acts as a “unit, being one with everyone and cooperating.” Mr. Vetter, the advisor, preaches “pride, class, and dignity” to the group. He says he “[gets to] teach them something that is a lifelong lesson. Many of the people that are in marching band take it with them all the way until they graduate and through their life, they’re still friends.” Although the marching band may be viewed as people who just play instruments, the band and color guard are instilled with values that they bond over and will carry throughout the rest of their lives.  

The actors: we view them as the lively and dynamic cult. However, Thespian Julia   Feldis  explains  how even she was intimidated by the group’s close friendships at first. She defies this preconceived notion image1-1by stating, “…you are more than welcome to join our family.”  This family bonds over their love for the theatre. The advisor of the Thespians, Mrs. Gallo, says, “They all have their own unique spark, and all unique talents, and I get to figure out ways to bring those talents out and let them show them to the world.” The Thespians do more than just sing and dance, and they are able to incorporate their interests into their productions.

 

Clearly these groups are all very different, but they have one thing in common: a place they can be themselves. Daniel Stark, Thespian and member of the marching band, and Andrew Carlins, Thespian and member of WIC, describe their groups as supporting communities who embrace their different talents. Student Jui Patel agrees with “Persons appear to us according to the light we throw upon them from our own minds.” (Wilder) by saying that it takes courage to show pride in your interests even though some people won’t agree with them. But we must accept and not discriminate based on how people may seem at the first glance.  In fact we should appreciate that these groups all exist and thrive here at OHS. These clubs provide a place for displaying these talents that others can connect over. They are not cults, they are homes.

Thank you to Mrs. Block, Mr. Vetter, Mrs. Gallo, Josena Joseph, Megan Bernowich, Julia Feldis, Daniel Stark, Andrew Carlins, and Jui Patel for their contributions to this article.

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