Grade representatives compete in Poetry Out Loud 2014

After a few weeks of inter-grade competition, the day was finally here. One representative from each grade stood on the Academy stage, waiting for their turn to prove that they were the best in the school at reciting poetry. At the annual Poetry Out Loud competition held within Academy, the nerves of each girl were almost tangible. The entire school sat in the audience, eagerly awaiting their classmate’s turn on stage, so they could display their unwavering support. Dressed in scrubs and suits, hard hats and aprons, the school was bubbling with the spirit of Catholic School’s Week. As the freshman representative Elizabeth Dolan, took to the microphone, the competition officially begun. Who would come out on top?

But first, flashback a couple of weeks ago, where each Academy student recited a poem of her choice during her English class. Although many renditions of Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice were heard, most of the school’s actresses stood out from the crowd. Through the judgement of her peers and teachers, a small group of about five semi-finalists per grade were chosen to better slim down the choices. Each semi-finalist had to recite her poem in front of a panel of Academy judges, mostly consisting of the English teachers. Once each girl had recited, they left the room and continued their day as the judges conferred, judging on the accuracy and total delivery of the poems. Though it was a close competition, one girl per grade was chosen- freshman Elizabeth Dolan, sophomore Rebecca Parrillo, junior Ashlyn Bradshaw, and senior Emily Rodriguez.

Previously winning the school competition her sophomore year, Emily Rodriguez seemed like the winning pick to many people, but not necessarily to her.

“I was pretty freaked out before I recited because I may or may not have greatly procrastinated on my memorization,” she shared. “I was more nervous [this year] than other years because I procrastinated.”

Despite the nerves, Emily felt pretty confident with her performance, telling us, “I think I did well! I paused a few times in my second poem, but they passed as dramatic effect.”

The senior chuckled, “Like, I just like reciting poetry. It’s not important if I win, but blanking in front of an audience is just an unpleasant experience.”

Always optimistic, Emily had only good things to say about her underclassmen competitors.

“I think the others did wonderfully! They chose a lot of really nice poetry and I really enjoyed hearing them. I just like reading poetry- we were all great and it was cool!”

When the results came out just minutes after all the poems were recited, everyone cheered. With Emily coming in first, she had once again taken the (metaphorical) trophy, followed by Elizabeth, Ashlyn and then Becca.

“I was surprised when I won! Elizabeth read super, super well, plus everybody else was amazing!”

What is the next step in the competition for Emily? State competition in Tallahassee.

“I am looking forward to Tallahassee! My experience sophomore year was really great (although I blanked on a poem and couldn’t understand the prompter so that was hilarious). But seriously I look forward to it again. It’s surprisingly low-pressure and everybody there is generally in the same boat, so it’s super nice.”

We wish the best of luck to Emily and congratulate all of the competitors on a job well done!