Wilmington comes to Dallas

Courtesy of Melinda Smith

Courtesy of Melinda Smith

Journalism I, Period 4

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Those seven girls walking the halls in a different plaid last week were guests from our sister school in Wilmington, Delaware. Arriving in Dallas April 19, girls stayed with host families and attended class with host students as well as taking in traditional city attractions such as the Sixth Floor Museum, the DMA, and the Bush library.

Another event which has become somewhat of a tradition is the press conference/interview with our guests and UA journalism students. Since the majority of our sister schools are outside of the United States, journalists wondered how they would alter their questions to fit a U.S. school. Once the event began, however, the interchange flowed freely.

“Everything is just so big here, from the school to the number of girls in your grade, to the city itself,” said Ellen Schlecht. Classmate Bella Cerasoli agreed and confessed that one of the main things they were looking forward to in visiting Dallas was hearing some real Texas accents.

“You know that Woody figure in “Toy Story” when he said, ‘There’s a snake in my boot.’ We thought all you Texans were going to talk like that,” Caroline Taylor said.

Delaware girls spoke of traditions at their school which include St. Angela Day, the senior skit and the junior ring ceremony. Assistant principal Ann Valerio, who chaperoned the group along with math teacher, Andrew Schneider, told that each of their juniors receiving a ring must walk through a huge cut out of the ring itself, a tradition which Ursuline Dallas embraced until about 20 years ago.

Fascinating to our Dallas population was the Delaware slang first introduced at the groups April 21 presentation. Translations such as “beat” meaning boring; “bopped,” meaning in trouble and “in my bag,” meaning sad pepper the group’s conversation throughout their 8 a.m-2:45 p.m. school day.

When not in school, Ellen spoke of visiting New York City on week-ends where she recently saw the Broadway hit, “Hamilton.” Wilmington, unlike Dallas, is close to the beach and also to Philadelphia, another popular destination.

Girls also talked about the differences in our schools. One example is that they have no assigned parking spaces. “We park on the street by the school,” Molly Casey said. She also added that they have six daily classes running for 55 minutes each on a seven day, rotating schedule.

While the school is co-ed grades pre-K through fifth, grades six-12 are only for females. Lauren Cool and others pointed out that the school does have a brother school, and that girls can travel there to take a first period class and vice-versa. Abigail Poole said that their grades were much smaller than ours. “There are 40-60 kids per grade,” she said.

One thing which most girls certainly agreed on was food choices. The Delaware contingent sang the praises of Tex-Mex, brisket, El Fenix, Whataburger and In-N-Out. Along with comparing favorite foods, the group got into conversations about school and traditions.

“We graduate wearing short white dresses under our white cap and gown,” Cleo Troy said. Dallas girls were quick to point out that they, too, wore gowns, only they were red and worn for Junior Ring presentation.
The interviews closed with the traditional group picture taken outside the journalism room. Amid exchange of good byes and wishes of good luck, students from both schools prepared to end the day.

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