Here are Today’s Student Announcers
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“Young Lo Lo” and “The Real J FaBreezy.” Name a more iconic duo.
Seniors William Lohier and Julianna Fabrizio stepped up to become the 2018 Fall term student announcers when their debate coach, Julie Sheinman, asked the team captains of Speech and Debate for volunteers. “[My decision] was kind of on a whim,” revealed Fabrizio, who is the captain of Policy. Lohier, who is the captain of Speech, was ready to dive in headfirst. Usually, becoming a student announcer entails a more formal process in which a series of candidates read a script on the intercom, but Lohier and Fabrizio felt they were up to the task.
Lohier and Fabrizio started the next day and quickly began to adopt their own style. Toward the beginning of October, they told their first joke. “I don’t remember why we decided to tell the first joke,” Fabrizio admitted. “It was a Halloween-themed pun, which was turning the word “gulag” into “ghoul-ag.”
“It wasn’t a conscious thing,” she said.
“We just did it,” Lohier added. “And we just kept doing it.”
They brainstorm their jokes during their shared first and second periods. Sometimes, they plan them out ahead of time, listing them out on a sheet of paper. Other times, they have to think of their jokes on the spot.
While Lohier has third period free to do the announcements, Fabrizio has to sacrifice a few minutes of her AP Psychology class. When Fabrizio has exams in Psychology, Lohier must recite the announcements himself. His jokes, it follows, are also performed solo. “Hey Will, you wanna hear a bad joke?” he says. “I don’t know, Will, do I?”
Fabrizio and Lohier often receive complaints about their crackups. Though they initially did not plan to make jokes as a daily part of their routine, they were “egged on” by the number of people who told them to step up their game. “At a certain point, we would just kind of accept it. We were like, ‘You know what, we’re going to try and go for the record of most complaints,’” Fabrizio conceded.
“We’ve gotten so many,” Lohier agreed. “I think we’re up to 20.”
While Fabrizio receives many groans and grimaces from her current teachers, she still garners appreciation from the school’s staff. “[Secretaries] Bonnie and Donna are always cackling with us,” Lohier said. “They’re the nicest people. They’re always, like, a-ki-ki-ing with us.”
“Mr. Moran laughs sometimes,” Fabrizio commented. “Mr. Wisotsky loves them. Ms. Weissman loves them.” And so do biology teacher Marianne Prabhu, social studies teacher Ellen Siegel, and computer science teacher Samuel Konstantinovich.
In Fabrizio’s opinion, the best joke of the year has been one of the Thanksgiving specials. “Why does a turkey lay an egg?” she asked. “Because if it dropped it, it would break!”
Lohier also has a personal favorite. “I was so proud of myself for coming up with a joke about chili beans,” he expressed. “Why are beans in the North Pole so spicy? Because they’re chilly beans!”
Jokes aside, Lohier and Fabrizio have made some other changes to the morning announcers’ repertoire. “A lot of people have commented on how instead of saying, ‘Please rise for the Pledge of Allegiance,’ we say, ‘Please rise if you wish to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.’ It wasn’t a conscious decision. It was something that just happened. I didn’t remember what to say once,” Lohier admitted. The Student Union sent him an e-mail encouraging him to maintain this wording.
Lohier and Fabrizio look up to previous Student Announcers Rishika Jikaria and Sam Schneiderman (’15), who began the tradition of personalizing the announcements. Jikaria had a memorable way of signing off the mic. She was a role model for Lohier and Fabrizio in other ways, too, being Lohier’s team captain for Speech and Fabrizio’s Big Sib.
As for advice for future announcers, Fabrizio conjectured, “Be yourself. Don’t let the haters get to you.”
“In fact, let the haters spur you on to be even worse than you already are,” Lohier concluded.