New baking policy leavens GRHS Choir classes


Photo Credit: Sondra Nieradka

Breaking bread: choir students now share the responsibility of cooking on Fridays.

by Kelly Streaser, Editor-in-Chief

A long standing practice in choir classes at Glen Rock High School has been freshman baking for the class every Friday. This is colloquially known as “Freshmen Bake Friday,” but there have been some changes in the past few weeks to reconfigure this tradition and make it a more positive experience.

There are close to 40 weeks in our school year and, in the past, freshman choir students have supplied baked goods at the end of each week. Unfortunately, some classes have only a few freshmen, meaning that the same students would end up baking for their class almost every week. Not only is this time consuming, but the costs of all the baking supplies can add up.

In order to keep the tradition alive, but make it more manageable, the choir classes have brainstormed an idea to replace “Freshmen Bake Friday” with a new system, that has not been officially named yet.  Rather than relying on only freshmen to bake for the class, all choir students will now help to provide food on Fridays. Some call it, off-hand, “Fun Bake Friday” while others opted for the more musical “Fermata Bake Friday,” referencing a musical symbol that indicates holding a note. Whatever the name, this move toward universality has brought around a much needed change.

Each student’s name is placed into a box (if they agree to participate), and at the beginning of each week four students’ names are drawn. Those students are then responsible for providing enough baked food for about a quarter of the class.

Once a name has been drawn, it will not go back into the box until all the names have been picked. This divides the responsibility and costs among all choir students, making it equitable for all students within a single year.

This has been one of the many changes we have seen in school this year that have taken old traditions, that can be seen as somewhat unfair or disrespectful, and re-purposed it into a positive event for all those involved.

Senior student Janice Leibman has been taking choir since her freshman year. Despite shouldering an unforeseen responsibility this year, she said that the new system “sort of removes the hostility… there used to be this view that the freshmen had to bake every week and that if they didn’t, there was this stigma.”

Rather than complain about the change of tradition, the choir students have embraced the new system and had the first successful Friday last week on November 15th.

This year, a precedent has been set for future generations of choir students to follow. Although initially planned to alleviate a burden solely on Freshman, this move has had an unexpected positive influence on the class.  As Janice explained, “Having a different person every week from different grades makes it so there is less pressure on the freshmen — and more of a sense of unity.”