Sharing “My Storybook” at Coffee House


Matthew Dimaandal

CREATIVITY AT ITS CORE: Senior Kate Hudson mixes three pieces—River by Leon Bridges, Twilight by Elliot Smith and The Greatest by Cat Power—to express her emotions of graduating and starting a new life.

Ashley Lee, A&E Editor

Northwood students celebrated the value of creativity through the form of spoken word, music and speeches in the annual Coffee House on May 27 at 6 p.m. 

Hosted by seniors Sofia Partridge and Abby Petrilla from Advanced Drama, the event consisted of a total of 11 selections (including two unannounced performances), as servers took orders for complimentary drinks and snacks along with $3 milk tea. Here were some of the highlights of the night that interpreted the theme “My Storybook” most creatively: 

“Neverland” by Zaira Ulmer (9th) – Music

Describing her memories with her friends in Ohio before moving to California, Ulmer begins the song with the simple request of “Can we just dance in the shower?” because all she wants is to live within the moment with her friends. Later, she assures her friends of the endless possibilities of going “where we want.” Audience members are taken to Neverland or, as Ulmer says, “an imaginary place where you never get old, a place where we can be free [where] we only have each other.”

“Lovely Sights” by Isaac Lee (11th) – Music

Lee describes the purpose of his song as “loving yourself” instead of “looking for validation from others.” The thoughtful lyrics coupled with the calming chords of the acoustic guitar illustrated the journey of realizing one’s value. As Lee questions why no one told him about the beauty of the sunsets and admits that he fixated on the city lights, he realizes that it was himself that he was waiting for all along, comforting students that it is never too late to love one’s self. 

“Feminism- from the perspective of four human beings” by Jane Wang, Nikki Mila de la Roca Suarez, Giuliana Lane, Julie Heniger (9th) – Speech

Four freshmen tear apart the perfect image of masculinity associated with leadership, hoping to empower others while celebrating gender expression. With specific experiences reflected through monologues and powerful call to actions where all performers spoke together with joint hands, the urgency of the issue was evident by the final line. 

“I personally really enjoyed the part where they said we shouldn’t sexualize people who are considered LGBTQ,” sophomore Melissa Lam said. “But at school, not a lot of people talk about it. I see a lot of schools with culture day, but our school doesn’t represent minorities not just racially but gender-equality wise as well.” 

“For Good” from Wicked by Aditi Sreenivas (Executive Director – 12th) and Catie Jamieson (Creative Director – 11th) – Music

Announced as a surprise performance, this piece touched upon the role that the performers played in each other’s lives, highlighting how each moment or person in one’s life are part of one’s final narrative. Asking for forgiveness and considering how much they have changed in the course of their lives, Jamieson (Glinda) and Sreenivas (Elphaba) bid farewell to each other and the audience, applicable to the end of the year. 

With crayons and a sheet of paper for each table, by the end of the night, students and parents left responses that ranged from encouraging messages to sketches of performers, prompting audience members to realize that change can begin with a microphone to amplify ideas and listeners willing to grow.