Pascack Period plays host to several speakers and events

Wednesday’s Pascack Period included three special presentations for students


Photo by Michael Sherman

A video call with screenplay writer Dan Fogelman was one of three separate Pascack Period events on Wednesday.

Rebecca Silverman, CJ Guevarra, and Rachel Powell

On Wednesday, Pascack Valley held several independent events during the Pascack Period, including a video call with a famous alumnus, an Islamic speaker, and a presentation on teen sleep habits.

Dan Fogelman Video Call:

Students and teachers asking Dan Fogelman questions about his work in television and film.

In the lecture hall, students had the opportunity to video chat with Dan Fogelman, a PV alumnus who has traveled from River Vale to Hollywood. Students from Video production, Film and Literature, and History through Film classes were invited to hear about Fogelman’s life experiences firsthand and listen to the advice he had to offer. Starting his career with a background in English and writing, Fogelman never anticipated having anything to do with the film industry. However, he eventually became a screenplay writer. His first screenplay was about his Bar Mitzvah but he soon was working on hits like “Cars”, “Tangled”, and “Crazy, Stupid Love”. Fogelman is currently working on the new NBC show “This is Us” and will begin directing a film in New York City. He explained to the students that although his life may sound crazy, he is still a “normal guy”. His best friends are still from his hometown and he would rather spend time with his family than any famous person.

Alicia Braine on Sleep Habits:

Curstine Guevarra
Alicia Braine talks about “Teen Sleep Crisis,” different sleeping disorders, and how to improve sleeping during Pascack Period.

Students from Ramapo College/PV Honors Psychology classes hosted Alicia Braine in the auditorium Wednesday. Braine is a woman who studies sleep habits and runs a sleep clinic to talk about the effects of not getting enough sleep. She explained different sleeping disorders such as apnea and insomnia and discussed ways to improve someone’s sleeping habits, including exercising, having a consistent sleeping schedule, and reading a physical book.

Islamic Speakers Seham Abdala and Haania Ahmad:

Alysa Mehl
Students hear from Seham Abdala and Haania Ahmad about Islam.

Speakers from the New Jersey Islamic Networks Group explained the history and practice of Islam from the perspective of Muslim Americans. The speakers, Seham Abdala and Haania Ahmad, described the basic beliefs of Islam and the way their religion impacts their own lives. They also pointed out the similarities between Islam and other religions, specifically Christianity and Judaism, and showed how the message to “treat others how you would like to be treated” is a common value that these religions all share. When addressing the common misconceptions about Islam, Abdala and Ahmad discussed the diversity among the Muslim population around the world and the peaceful message of their sacred religious text, the Quran. Abdala quoted the Quran and stated the Islamic belief that “…whoever kills a soul… it is as if he had slain mankind entirely.” She explained that all religions have radical groups, and ISIS does not at all represent Muslims as a whole just as the KKK does not represent all Christians. Towards the end of the period, a handful of students asked questions. The focus of these questions ranged from the life of the Prophet Muhammad to Abdala and Ahmad’s personal reasons for wearing a headscarf.