All posts by Nick Viennas

Unscripted Podcast: Senior Year Musings


In this episode of Unscripted, Seniors Bailey Toth and Nick Viennas team with Junior John Snyder to talk about college, senior year, senior project, and being recruited by college athletics. They intersperse this with jovial conversation about things going on in their lives, including their love of Dunkin Donuts.

Disclaimer:  The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the participants only and do not reflect any official position of Mount Saint Joseph High School or the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools.  The discussions within the podcast are intended for entertainment and educational purposes only, and neither Mount Saint Joseph nor the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools accept any responsibility for information presented as fact or opinion in the podcast.


Senior Project Journal: Teaching Biology & Anatomy

For his Senior Project, Nick Viennas chose to shadow and teach alongside Mrs. Pat Abrahms. Nick also decided to journal each of his days to give us insight into his Senior Project. This is his first entry, detailing his first week teaching Biology and Anatomy.

Day 1

May 1, the first day of senior project. I arrived at school around 7:20 trying to be early, but as soon as I walked into the room I was bombarded by students waiting for help with their DNA labs. Before 8 AM I had already helped about five students. The first day of classes I spent most of the time shadowing Mrs. Abrahms. When I was not observing, I was busy grading Mrs. Abrahms’ freshman biology homework or running off labs. As school came to a close I was left with a feeling of excitement, I could not wait to become more hands on in the classroom.

Nick Viennas helping students in Mrs. Abrahms Anatomy class.

Day 2

The second day of Senior project there was a little less to do. A few late assignments came trickling in that were due yesterday, but that only took me a few minutes to grade. When grading these late assignments I had to take off 10 points, so they start off with a 90. It was very interesting being the one to grade the assignments. A part of me wanted to grant mercy to the students, but the other part of me knew that they did not put much effort into it. Most of the day was spent studying the Cardiovascular system PowerPoint and finding videos for my lesson starting on Thursday. As the day progressed a few biology students would ask me to either answer a few questions they had on a in class assignment or they asked me to tutor them. Tomorrow I will really start to get hands on. I will be helping Mrs. Abrahms lead the online frog dissection with her Freshman classes, and I will also finish my prep for next weeks fetal pig dissection.

Day 3

The third day was a very relaxed day. St. Joe had a half-day, due to the Freshman presentation of their Solutions Showcase projects. With only 25 minute periods I spent most of the day working with the biology class.  In the biology classes I assisted Mrs. Abrahms with the online frog dissection and checking their homework assignments. With the anatomy classes I usually spent the time looking over the Cardiovascular systems PowerPoint for tomorrows class, just making sure that I was ready. When I was not doing that, the class was watching a Crash Course video to summarize their lesson. Tomorrow I will start my lecture, I am very anxious to start getting hands on.

Day 4

Today is the day that I begin teaching. First period is anatomy, so I can get started right away. The first anatomy period was a little shakier than I wanted it to be. I was not confident with what I was teaching, trying to be perfect and trying to teach like Mrs. Abrahms. Mrs. Abrhams took some pressure off of me once she filled in all of the areas of the Cardiovascular system that I missed. As the day progressed I began to get a hang of teaching and was less reliant on Mrs. Abrahms helping me in the class.

Students dissecting fetal pigs in Mrs. Abrahms class.

Day 5

Today was a very slow day, my lecturing only lasted a few minutes. The rest of the time the students were doing their homework assignments or asking questions about blood flow in the heart. Mrs. Abrahms’ biology classes had tests. During the free periods we had, Mrs. Abrahms taught me how to run the tests through the scantron machine and put the grades in the grade books. Monday we will begin the fun part, the fetal pig dissection.

Day 6

Today was the beginning of the fetal pig dissection. I have been waiting for this day since I found out that is what I was going to be leading. First period today was the H period anatomy class, so I was able to begin right away. All the anatomy students had to do today was to begin examining the oral cavity of the fetal pig. I was very impressed with all of the class’s willingness to examine the pig; usually there is some hesitance in the beginning. For the biology classes, they began their lesson on evolution and Darwin’s theory of evolution. I am very excited for tomorrow with the anatomy class to proceed with the dissection.

Day 7

Senior Nick Viennas helping students examine the fetal pig.

Today was my favorite day of the Senior Project so far. The fetal pig dissection progressed dramatically; the students got the opportunity to examine the pig’s thoracic and abdominal cavities. The students removed the liver from their pigs and proceeded to examine the small and large intestines, gull bladder, spleen, and pancreas. After they examined these organs Mrs. Abrahms and I instructed the students to dissect out the heart and identify the four chambers, aorta, pulmonary artery, and pulmonary veins. The biology class’s day was pretty easy, Mrs. Abrahms had the class watch a video about Darwin’s five year expedition where he started to developed his theory of evolution.

Day 8

Senior Nick Viennas looking over the dissection manual.

Today the anatomy class’s finished up the fetal pig dissection. There was nothing left to technically dissect, but they had to examine their pig’s urogenital system. This meant that; depending its gender. They had to identify the genitalia of the pig. After each group did this, they had to throw away the pigs and start to finish their labs. For the biology class’, Mrs. Abrahms moved away from the Darwin video to continue her lecture on evolution.

Day 9

Today Mrs. Abrahms had a doctor’s appointment which kept her from coming in today. She told me yesterday that I would not be needed for the day. I spent this day making sure that I was prepared for my presentation tomorrow and finishing up a few things. It is crazy to think how quickly senior project and this year flew bye.

Day 10

Today is the final day of senior project, and I have mixed emotions. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to St. Joe after four years, but I am extremely excited for my new chapter at Mt. St. Mary’s. The anatomy classes took a test today, so I actually spent most of the day with the freshman. At the beginning of each class I spoke to the biology students. I tried to give them words of wisdom, and let them know that they need to start taking school seriously. The rest of the day I spent working on my presentation with Mrs. Abrahms.

Unscripted Podcast Episode 1: Reaction to the Trump Presidency

In our first installment of the Unscripted Podcast we discuss the first month of the Trump Presidency. Ms. Sarah Slingluff provides the Unscripted crew (G Bailey Toth, John Snyder, Nick Viennas, Nick Crabbs) with a high school history teacher’s perspective on the past, present and future actions of the Trump Administration.

Disclaimer:  The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the participants only and do not reflect any official position of Mount Saint Joseph High School or the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools.  The discussions within the podcast are intended for entertainment and educational purposes only, and neither Mount Saint Joseph nor the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools accept any responsibility for information presented as fact or opinion in the podcast.

Beauty and the Beast Review

c3v2m59w8aikwmsIt’s that time of the year again, Mount de Sales and Mount Saint Joe unite on the stage to  dazzle us all with their portrayals of some of the most iconic Disney characters.

Emma Romeo as Belle and Joe Pereira as Maurice in Mount de Sales’ production of Beauty and the Beast.

At the beginning of the first act the curtains open up to the first number in the center of the town. Belle; who is played by Emma Romeo. Right away wows us with her powerful yet gentle vocals. The townspeople joining in create a perfect opening to this classic. Not too much later we meet Gaston; who is played by Michael Stromberg. Michael in the first act, did a great job of encapsulating Gaston’s macho, but not so humble persona. While Gaston may not have wooed Belle, he might just impress the crowd instead. Cogsworth, who is played by Stephen Kirby, and Lumiere, who is played by Connor Hurley, created my favorite part of the first act. Stephen and Connor bounce off of each other well, and incorporate the humor and sarcasm that make us love these characters. Now the Beast, played by Alexander Scott, while on the stage, draws the interest of the crowd with his ferocious voice and stalking presence.

The second act is where everything begins to pick up, we get to see the Beast perform his first number, it played a bit flat at first but Alex is able to bring it back home to kick off Act II. Once again in Act II, Kirby and Hurley’s humor brought airiness to an act which craves it. The cast as a whole brought the house down when they performed their rendition of the popular Disney song “Be Our Guest”

The joint Mount Saint Joseph and Mount de Sales Pit Band led by Mr. Jeff Hosier.

Overall the entire cast was wonderful, Emma Romeo, who portrayed Belle, looked very comfortable in her very first MDSA-MSJ lead role. Alexander Scott who was the Beast was the perfect counter to Emma’s Belle. With the delicateness of Belle’s character to the stomping and roaring of the Beast, it created a nice production. The pit band was outstanding, bringing  to life these iconic songs. Mr. Jeffrey Hosier did a fantastic job ensuring the band was able to transport us to the world of Disney. I highly recommend everyone to go see this play, everyone involved worked endlessly to put out a great show and it absolutely shows on stage.

“Beauty and the Beast” will be presented on Friday, February 3 at 7:00pm; Saturday, February 4, at 2:00pm & 7:00pm; Sunday, February 5, at 2:00pm in the Mount Saint Joseph Fine Arts Auditorium. Tickets are $10 at the Box Office. Remember to follow @MDSDrama on Twitter for more information.

St. Joe Halloween Favorites

Halloween is on Monday, and The Quill set out to hear from the St. Joe community to find out what is their favorite thing about Halloween. Favorite scary movie? Favorite Halloween treats? We had a variety of answers, from Ms. Coyne’s extravagant Halloween decorations to Mr. Felts’ “smarty pants” costume. We hope that the St. Joe community has a happy and safe Halloween.

Quill Contributors G. Bailey Toth, Nick Crabbs, Joe Carrigan, and Jake Howell

A Look at the Season Ahead: Varsity Soccer

Varsity Soccer gathers pre-game. Photo Credit: Varsity Views

Last season, the Gaels Varsity Soccer team finished 11-10 on the season, finishing 24 points behind first place McDonogh and coming in 5th place. This season, the Gaels will be looking to build off of last seasons triumphs and learn from their mistakes.

Goalie Nick DeShong ’17 took some time to talk about the learning process: “We learned a lot as a team from last season to this season. A key to our team is our chemistry and it has built up since last season. Our leaders are more mature and we honestly are coming together and I know we have a shot at the championship. Our expectations are high like always, but we are focused one game at a time and only one game. I know for a fact that we can’t get ahead of  ourselves, we have to stay together and take this season game by game and team.”

Mount Saint Joe goes on the offensive against McDonogh. Photo Credit: Varsity Views (

I also had the opportunity to interview coach St. Martin to get his view on his team this season. He told me that the advantage this team has coming into the season is that the majority of the players on the team has at least one to two years on the Varsity squad. Experience is on their side and it has shown in their first two games this season, beating Loyola in the first game and a few close calls away from defeating McDonogh, the defending MIAA Champion. This preseason, the Baltimore Sun ranked the St. Joe team 4th, but for coach St. Martin while it is nice for his team to receive the recognition, it is all about taking it game by game.

Mount Saint Joe Varsity Soccer in action against McDonogh. Photo Credit: Varsity Views (

As I already mentioned, the season is already underway for the Gaels winning their first game of the MIAA season 3-0 over Loyola; goals from Jordan Ehart, Brett St. Martin, and Jake Mazzei.The Gaels second MIAA game ended with a tough 2-1 loss versus McDonogh; the lone goal from Mazzei. The team had their game against Spalding postponed due to heat on Friday, September 9. Their next game is Wednesday, September 14, at home against Archbishop Curley. They also play Friday, away, at Gilman.