The student news site of Seven Lakes High School

The Torch

Student news website
of Seven Lakes High School
The student news site of Seven Lakes High School

The Torch

The student news site of Seven Lakes High School

The Torch

An Ode to Loved Ones

An Ode to Loved Ones
Joshin Duplenne

The exact definition of St. Valentine’s Day may vary from person to person; however, in pop culture it is commonly depicted as a romantic day—a day to spend time with one’s significant other.

“I’ll probably do the traditional stuff: get my wife some flowers or some type of gift,” Algebra I teacher and basketball coach Nicholas Flora said. “We don’t do gifts too often, but I might stop [by] the store—get some flowers at the very least—[and then] we’ll go out to dinner and just enjoy each other’s company.”

However, for some, the idea of celebrating love on Valentine’s Day may seem a little superficial.

“I do think the holiday is mostly commercialized and I don’t feel like Valentine’s Day should be the only day you show appreciation for your loved ones,” junior Sophia Spivey said. “But I do love the idea of a day celebrating it.”

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The origin of St. Valentine’s Day and when it took a romantic turn is very vague. For many teenagers and adults, this special day is often celebrated with their partners; but younger children might not care too much about the romanticized aspect and instead spread their love for their friends.

“I remember back when I was in elementary school the tradition was that everybody would take a shoe box, decorate it, cut a hole in the top, and everybody would put a Valentine’s card or candy into that shoe box,” Coach Flora said. “Whether you knew the people in your class had a girlfriend or a boyfriend or whatever, I think it was just spreading the love to everybody in your class.”

Nonetheless, sometimes people are afraid to express their love lest it be interpreted as a romantic confession.

“It’s just a good time to remind yourself to love the people that are in your lives, whether it’s your wife, girlfriend, or family member,” Coach Flora said. “I think it’s [also] a good reminder to make sure you’re letting those people know that you love them.”

In other words, Valentine’s Day is not limited to celebrating love in a romantic way. Furthermore, it helps expand people’s ideas of love and express their genuine appreciation for their close ones.

“Sometimes, we forget to tell our mom and dad that we love them, we forget to tell our grandparents we love them, our friends that we love them,” Coach Flora said. “And then one day, those people are gone and you’re like, man, I wish I had one more day—I wish I got to say I love you one more time. So just take advantage of those moments.”

Instead of the traditional roses and going out to dinner or hanging out with friends, students have the opportunity to buy the choir’s traditional Singing Valentines. When students purchase a Singing Valentine for their partner or their friend, some choir students—depending on the song chosen—would go to that person’s class during the day and make them sit on a chair in front of them whilst they perform the song. Senior Anthony Laya is in his fourth year with choir and was excited to perform a Singing Valentine for the first time.

“I didn’t want to perform [for] the last three years because I didn’t have anyone to sing with and I felt like performing with your friends is the best way to go around this,” Laya said. “I’m glad [this year] I get to perform songs with my two friends Malachi and Ozan from Sensations. I care about [both of them] so much and consider [them] my brothers.”

However, for many students, receiving a Singing Valentine is not their cup of tea.

“I think if kids are worried about being embarrassed, I say just lean into it, have fun with it, learn to laugh at yourself a little bit,” Coach Flora said. “And again, just be thankful that there’s someone out there willing to send you a Singing Valentine and willing to celebrate their love for you.”

Singing Valentines might be intimidating for the person who receives it, but it’s an overall lighthearted and fun distraction for other students to watch and enjoy the choir students’ performance during one of their lessons.

“I remember last year in dance class there were eight [Singing Valentines] for one girl, [and she] had to sit in a chair for like 20 minutes [while] a bunch of people came and sang,” junior Laura Behringer said. “I think it builds better friendships between the people in classes and I think that’s really good.”

In other words, Valentine’s Day serves as a reminder to love the meaningful people in one’s life—whether romantic, platonic, or kin.

“I think I value my friendships—like my best friend Signe and Anna—just as much as I value my relationship with my girlfriend,” Behringer said. “I would say make sure you appreciate your friends and your family and everyone in your circle and not just your significant other.”

About the Contributor
Joshin Duplenne
Joshin Duplenne, Staff Writer
Joshin is in 11th grade and first year with the newspaper staff. Outside of school, Joshin is passionate about anything creative, musical, or sports-related; you might find him writing short stories or random ideas, playing guitar or piano and listening to music, or daydreaming about hurdles.