Ann Czecha ’10
Sitting in a cold chair, my mother to my right, holding her breath, awaiting what is about to happen nervously. As the gun is cleaned, loaded and raised closer and closer to my head, I count my heart beats and take three deep breaths. As the woman who looks like this may hurt her more than me raises the gun and says, “okay are you ready?” I have to quickly remind myself that this is something I wanted. One, two, three. she takes the piercing gun through my cartilage as a diamond stud is placed, and I feel the cold stud in my warm skin. I have joined the masses in a time old tradition of self expression.
There are numerous ways to express yourself without saying words. This epidemic has spread through all ages, countries and peoples. It may stand for tribal ranking, a memorable experience, or just something you thought was interesting. It is performed in many different ways and shapes; it is the art of piercing.
After taking a look around, it is noticeable that our Bishop McNamara society is not excluded from this expression of self through this trend. The McNamara administration is known throughout the student body for being strict on, what and how all students present themselves through clothing on a day to day basis. But the student body has found a hole in the system (pun intended). Most girls (and quite a few boys) have their ears pierced, sometimes multiple times. Each part of the ear has a different name, such as cartilage (the upper ear), the rook (which is the outer fold of the ear) or the daith (the inner fold of the ear).
From teachers to students alike, each piercing has its own unique story. Christine Stubbs ’11 has a total of six piercings and stands out with her loud personality and personal expression. Three of them she has done herself. Her piercings started with a first hole in her lower lobe, which is typical for many girls to get as babies. Christine has pierced her own naval and cartilage. “I used a safety pin, don’t do that!” she recommended. Christine is very happy with all of her piercings, and there is no doubt she plans on getting more. This seems to be a common theme, many people say it is like an addiction.
Every piercing has a story. After interviewing different students, it was evident that some times the piercing was not only an act of expression but an act of rebellion. Randi Ayala ’11 believes, “Piercings let you express yourself and make you look attractive.” In Nov. 2008, she had badly wanted to get her belly button pierced, but her mother strongly disagreed. Randi then had her boyfriend’s mother take her to Mystics in Crofton, and sign as her guardian to get the piercing done. Her mother made Randi remove the piercing, but Randi says she fully intends on getting it redone when she is 18.
Max Allegro ’10 is one of many boys who have taken to the ear piercing trend that has become popularized during our generation. “People seem to like it,” said Max. “I got it done last spring at a pharmacy in Spain with Allison Baden and Allie Baumgartner as my chaperons.” When Max returned home, his mother was not upset but was pleased to hear when Max confirmed that it was just a way to remember Spain, and that no other piercings are in his future.
Faculty members are no exception to the craze. Few know that even principal Marco Clark wanted his ear pierced at one time. “I was at beach week my senior week of high school in Ocean City. I sat down to get my ear pierced, and at the last minute, wimped out.” Mr. Clark wants students to know that body jewelery can be a good way of expression and may look cute when you’re young, but teenagers should think about their future image too and what marks the piercings may leave.
Kari Bergman, Spanish teacher, has her cartilage pierced as well. She said she got it during her mid twenty’s in her left ear. Ms. Bergman was in Paris, France with her cousin and a friend, both who planned on getting their noses pierced. After paying, one girl chickened out. Instead of wasting the money, Ms. Bergman decided why not! “I could hardly understand the man that was piercing me! I just kept saying left ear? Yes? Cartilage? Hoping he would know what I was talking about,” she said jokingly.
Teachers Gretchen Harrison, Jenny Klimzack and Matthew Buckley also revealed that they had (or have!) naval or ear lobe piercings, but there was one teacher that stood out the most. Angela De Leonibus, chemistry teacher, has a total of seven piercings covering both her ears. Ms. D started getting them when she was a baby and as she got older saw it as a way to express herself, “you could say I’m a rebel..not really…but really,” laughed Ms. DeLeonibus. Teacher Laura Keller would love to add a piercing to her nose, maybe even eyebrow. The main thing stopping her? “Are teachers here even allowed to do that?” As the rules here and in society get stricter, teenagers and adults alike are trying to find new and creative ways to express their beliefs and who they are under the uniform.