The Campitor: Issue 2, 2019-2020

Page 1

Advice: prom shopping, final stretch study tips, and more Page 2


Opinion: Our fast-paced society is encouraging political division Page 7

News: Remember these moments to cure your senioritis Page 8

Comics: chicken tenders, quad sports Page 7



Cafe offers student business opportunities

The long-anticipated venture opens upon return to school. Mary Esposito Class of 2021

With the beginning of a new decade, Cary Academy welcomes the launch of the long awaited café, a welcoming space committed to fostering collaboration, creativity and productivity. Located in the library, it will serve as a learning lab for teaching entrepreneurship to students. Within the café, there are many tables for collaborative group work. However, the centerpiece of the setup is definitely the long wooden table that catches your eye as you walk into the library. Immediately you notice the

gorgeously carved wood and the sleekness of its build, equipped to fit at least 10 customers comfortably. Fashioned by a local Durham woodworker, Stephen Peters, using reclaimed wood from an old Person county schoolhouse (circa 1700s), the long table represents Cary Academy’s dedication to bringing together all kinds of people in the community to work, socialize and collaborate together. The steel frame fabricated by Mr. Peters aligns perfectly with Cary Academy’s neoclassical architecture, and the size and length of this table reinforces the school’s principle that everyone has a seat at the table. The café isn’t just food and drink,

See Cafe, page 4

engage more as members of

Photo via Vidigami The new space features a state-of-the-art coffee bar, which will serve a signature coffee blend as well as specialty drinks, and the recently moved Charger Corner. A corner of the store will be dedicated to student entrepreneurs.

‘Gravitas and history’: Students take trips of a lifetime

Photo courtesy of Kailey Wrege

Fourteen members of the Campus Conservatives club stand in front of the Capital Building in Washington, D.C.,where they traveled on a club trip.

Learning left the classroom in Switzerland, D.C. and more. Cate Pitterle

Class of 2020 From Zug, Switzerland to Washington, D.C. to Kansas

City, Missouri, students have been everywhere this trimester, highlighting their academic work with unforgettable experiential learning—and some students even got to hear Chief Justice John Marshall say “ok, boomer.” Loren Troan (’20) was one of fourteen students travelling to

Washington, D.C. as part of the Campus Conservatives club. He said of entering the Supreme Court before oral arguments to Babb v. Wilkie, “Just entering the courtroom gave me such a sense of gravitas and history. I didn’t even to be told to be quiet, my voice started hushing on its own.” The club met personally with Justice Clarence Thomas before finishing with a visit to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative lobbying group. Coming into that visit, Troan said, “my perception [of lobbying] was of dark, smoky rooms in the middle of the night, but the room we were in was bright, had a view of the capital, and seemed more transparent than I had initially envisioned.” Kailey Wrege (’20), who organized the trip, wrote on her blog of the experience that “I have sto-

ries and experiences that I’ll be sharing with my grandchildren.” The dialogue continued with a trip to Zug, Switzerland, for an “international conference inspired by the gathering of Global Shapers at the World Economic Forum in Davos,” Mr. Palmer Seeley explained. Allie Chandler (‘22) said the conference “covered a broad range of topics including artificial intelligence, mental health, sustainability, and the power of youth.” She added, “The School of Zug and Luzern had a huge aquaponics system they made by themselves using their greenhouse and we hope to help create our own hydroponics (or maybe even aquaponics) system using our greenhouse in the CMS.” The yearbook staff took a trip of their own, visiting Kansas City to

tour Walsworth’s printing factory, seeing how books are put together in real time. “We saw how they made all the different colors and we saw the rolls of foil, and it was really colorful and fun,” said Christina Mangelsdorf (’20). “My favorite thing was watching the printing presses go through and just print off hundreds of thousands of pages.” They also visited the Walsworth office, where they learned how the marketing and design skills used in yearbook could apply to jobs, looked through dozens of yearbooks for inspiration, and formulated new recruiting strategies for next year. “Seeing the actual printing of the book made the entire project come full circle and made the book and our work come alive,” said yearbook advisor Ms. Bonnie Dodwell.

Skype statuses are explosion of pop culture, humor “What’s Happening Today?” is a young intellectual’s soapbox. Sydney Nguyen & Will Aarons

Class of 2020 In a world occupied by social media behemoths, Skype for Business, a corporation-focused communication tool, can seem overshadowed by leviathans like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. But necessity is the mother of invention, and Cary Academy Upper Schoolers, looking for a convenient platform for self-expression, have exploited Skype for Business’s unique interface to create a microculture ex-nihilo. But what can


this humble messaging platform offer to the teen whose gleaming screens are oft illuminated by scintillating notifications from Mark Zuckerberg’s Silicon Valley darlings? Perhaps it’s Skype for Business’ privacy that makes it such a gripping platform. While other internet media are convenient modes of mass-broadcasting, Skype for Business (hereafter referred to as “SfB”, or, simply, “Skype”) is, at its core, an intimate communicative channel. First, SfB is constitutively a direct messaging application. You only get notified when someone intends to contact you – not their thousands of followers (shoutout Vmoney), but you. Second, contact lists are

individually curated, and invisible to the public eye. You can’t see another person’s status unless you’ve both added each other, in a breathtaking égalité rarely seen in social media. It’s a tradeoff between breadth and depth – while our platforms are narrower, our voices are louder. On SfB, we speak our truths under the safety of surreptitiousness. Amidst Cary Academy’s hollow pillars, students have subverted the platform’s original mission. While Bill Gates and his corporate hacks likely designed this innocuous “business” app to fortify Western capitalism through instantaneous communication (collusion?), young intellectuals at CA have exploited its functions to unite the student body

one message at a time, subverting the oligarchical and individualistic mindset undergirding the broader educational-industrial complex. How ironic that the ruling class has unwittingly sown the seeds of its own demise! In pursuit of grassroots ventures, Cary Academy students use SfB to instant message friends and foes (both in and out of class), voice call, manipulate their activity status from “Available” to “Away” and back again, and participate in video calls that are either lovers’ trysts for a modern era or war conferences to arm oneself before an ill-timed exam. Most of these functions are relatively discreet: your messages are only visible to you and your confabulator, and a tell-tale

red dot beside your profile picture is the only sign that you may be in kahoots with another user, though the identity of that parleyer remains unknown to your contact list. The status, on the other hand, is the only public expression that SfB allows, packaged enticingly in a familiar speech bubble that floats above the otherwise rigid interface. The azure box possesses the bewildering pulchritude of a cooling oasis – once you lap at its limpid shores, your thirst for self-expression is unquenchable. It is truly a trough for the masses: though not all drink, all are intoxicated.

See Skype, page 7




Advice column: course selection, sleep, prom McKay Lucas walks you through a few common problems. McKay Lucas Class of 2021

As the trimester comes to an end, we look forward to a much needed trimester break before the final trimester ramps back up. Although you may feel like you have everything figured out by now, we know there are still unexpected struggles that can come up! Read on for advice on some of the traditional end of trimester struggles. What should if I’m not sure what courses to take next year? With the wide variety of classes available, it is often difficult to balance your interests, what will adequately show that you are taking a challenge, and figuring out what the predicted homework load will look like. You have many resources at your disposal in order to make an informed decision. Firstly, be sure to carefully read the course catalog. Just because a course title peaks your interest doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you. Secondly, remember how many teachers, advisors, and administrators who are available to help. College Counselor Leya Jones says, “The


key is finding the best balance for YOU: balancing an appropriate and reasonable level of challenge with ability to succeed, and balancing total academic work load with non-academic commitments (activities, hobbies, friends/family, sleep!). When deciding on a particular Advanced course or other course, think about why you’re interested: does the subject matter excite you? Will it be worth the extra time you will need to invest?” Don’t compare your course load to friends, nobody’s lives are equally comparable between school, extracurriculars, and social activities. What if I have a test after lunch but can’t eat in the library or CMS to study? If you have free periods before the test, use those to get in some last minute studying and this may prevent you from having to use your lunch. If you feel that you need the extra time, but still want to go to the lunchroom, you always have the option to quickly eat with friends for ten minutes and then head to a quiet spot. If you can focus in crowded areas, another option is to print out a study guide or flash cards, and study while you eat. Friends in the lunch room can even help quiz you! Don’t skip on lunch;

Photo by Dan Smith

With a little planning from X-Factor, students relax by dropping off ther backpacks, playing games on the quad, and eating lunch on the grass.

this won’t fuel your brain to last through the test. I’m exhausted but I can’t fall asleep when I finally go to bed at night… First, it is important to figure out what it is that’s keeping you up. If it’s the nagging thought that you have remaining school work, it often is best to check your to-do list one more time, even if it means opening your tablet. This gets rid of any worries that you forgot to finish an assignment.

Secondly, writing, reading, or listening to music (anything that doesn’t involve a screen) are great ways to distract your brain into going to sleep. Here are some professionally recommended ways to fall asleep from Healthline: nutrition/ways-to-fall-asleep#section1 Quick Fixes: My backpack is too heavy! Only bring the folders and binders you need for double block

days, just remember to reload everything back to your backpack on Thursday nights. I’m sick but I don’t want to miss class. Stay home! Teachers will understand and work with you as long as you communicate effectively with them. I don’t have time for prom dress shopping. Order a few online that you think you may like, then try them on to find the style and size that works best for you.

SPORTS Girls varsity swimmers win State Champs

Boys finish second in another strong showing at NCISAAs. Erin Singleton Class of 2020

Since their starts, the Varsity Girls and Boys Swimming teams have been among the most dominant programs in CA sports history. That streak continued this year, as the Varsity Girls took their fourth consecutive NCISAA state title and the boys, after falling just 23 points short of Charlotte Latin’s score, took runners-up. The State Championships, at the Greensboro Aquatic Center on February 10th, saw the Charger swim team qualify 47 out of its 56 team members. Forty-seven is an impressive number; competitor Ravenscroft only managed to quality 25 swimmers out of its 96-person team. The team also dominated the

Photo via Vidigami

Senior Finn Kerns leads the full team in a cheer at the NCISAA state meet. The team qualified 47 swimmers of the 56-person team for the event.

TISAC conference, cementing its place as the school to beat with the Boys earning their eleventh straight title—a record longer than any other CA sports team— and the Girls earning an impressive sixth straight title. At the NCISAA meet, Nisma Said (’21), Anna Newman (’21), Sydney Martin (’24) and Helen Chen (’20) won the 200 Medley Relay, and Nisma Said (’21),

Anna Newman (’21), Isabella Barnette (‘20) and Helen Chen (’20) won 400 Medley Relay. As for the Varsity Boys, Jack Todd (’20) won the 500-yard Freestyle. For TISACs, the Girls All-Conference Team included Nisma Said (’21), Anna Newman (’21), Sydney Martin (’24), Izzy Barnette (’20), Jordan Smith (’21), Helen Chen (’20) and Elena Zayas (’21). The Boys All-Con

ference Team included Jack Todd (’20), Adam Farris (’22), Quinn Vaughan (’21), Cy Reading (’22) and Nate Alexander (’20). Being a co-ed 56-person team filled with individuals from both middle school and high school can be challenging, but the team’s spirit forms tight-knit bonds that defy the program’s large numbers. As Athletic Director Kevin Jones said, “The team’s junior

and senior leadership helps lead the way.” Senior swimmers have worked to increase team spirit and build mentorships between middle schoolers and high schoolers, he added. The team will lose many key seniors next year, including Izzy Barnette, Anna Cheng, Becca Segal, Nate Alexander, Finn Kerns and Teo Feliu. Seniors Helen Chen and Jack Todd will continue their swimming careers into college. Helen Chen will swim at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while Jack Todd will attend University of Chicago. Competitors on the CA swim team are not only talented athletes, but also top scholars. We look forward to seeing Helen and Jack take their swimming careers to next level, and we can’t wait to see what the Charger Swim team can accomplish next season. With a large team expected again next year, the winning streak might well keep going.

Underclassman wrestlers step up as seniors leave legacy Multiple wrestlers place at the NCISAA State Champs. Cate Pitterle Class of 2020

Grant Scotto (‘20) got off the mat after winning his last-ever high school match and cried. “I hugged all my teammates,” he said. “They were tears of joy. It was a good six years.” The State Tournament went well for the team, with Dane Fekete (‘20), Kyler Chen (‘22), and Arran Swift (‘23) placing fourth in their divisions, and Scotto, who also won the TISAC Conference’s Wrestler of the Year Award, placing fifth. About two-thirds of the team


was comprised of freshmen or middle schoolers, including fourth-place finisher Swift. With so many underclassmen wrestlers, the team could sometimes be hard to handle. Scotto even compared it to “herding cats,” adding that getting everyone’s heads in the match could sometimes be difficult. Despite that, “It was fun, it was so fun. I felt like a coach,” he said. “Even though I didn’t always perform my best, I left more behind for the kids, and that was my legacy rather than just how well I wrestled.” The underclassmen will have to step up even more next season, with Fekete and Scotto as departing seniors. Based on this season, though, they look more than ready for the challenge.

Photo by Eric Moore

Sophomore Kyler Chen tackle an opposing wrestler during a home meet in February. Chen placed 4th in his division at NCISAAs.




Delta adapts to life after Beta and Key Service’s new structure lets students find volunteer passions. Sara Martin Class of 2022

Snowflakes hung from the ceiling as colorful lights brightened the dark room. Students and attendees whirled across the floor in semi-formal dresses, but this Snowflake Ball was different from last year’s, at least in terms of who organized it: that was the newly created Delta Club, which replaced both Key Club and Beta Club this year and now runs the school’s outside service events. The Snowflake ball “is really important because it helps all the

individuals in our community who don’t have the opportunity to attend a typical school dance,” said club leader Emma Brown (‘20). Though the transition to the new club could be confusing, even chaotic, for students, Delta hopes to do what its forerunners did, but with several significant changes. The Key and Beta Clubs were two of the most popular clubs at school, but club leader Lara Crochik (‘20) views the new change as necessary. “With Beta and Key, there were many issues with the intentionality of our service. Most kids did not know what impact their volunteering was making, how it was helping others, and/or weren’t motivated by the right choices,” said Crochik.

It’s no secret that volunteer work looks great on college applications. Many students focused more on getting the necessary hours, rather than the impact of their service, according to Brown. The leadership “wanted students to be more aware of the groups that they were affecting, and have more of an opportunity to reflect on past events,” she said. While shifting the focus from requirements towards purpose is a noble goal, it sounds a bit abstract and difficult to implement. Luckily, the Delta leaders had a solid plan on how to make it happen. One of the more significant differences between Beta/Key and Delta is the introduction of smaller committees focused on specific topics. At the beginning

of the year, students were able to select from a range of committees, including Elderly, Environment, Animals, Disabilities, and more. The distinction allows for students to make a more purposeful choice about what they are trying to support, and also helps the club to put club time to good use. Instead of huge, club-wide meetings, individual committees meet and discuss topics relevant to their respective causes. Some even do service during that time, such as making plastic yarn, dog toys, or blankets for Project Linus. While every student might not have gotten their first choice for their committee, there is still a push to be involved with events

unrelated to one’s committee. According to Brown, “there is an hours and committee event requirement,” so “students are required to volunteer with groups outside of their own committee—ensuring that they can still volunteer with other groups!” While the changes from last year to this year have been immense, club members can be on the lookout for some additional tweaks implemented next year. “One thing that will change is that we will have less committees and that we will go back to having positions in the Executive Committee, like President and Vice President,” said Crochik. Hopefully, Delta will continue to bring about positive change both in the club and the community.

Cafe: coffee complements entrepreneurship initiative Continued from Page 1 although much of the excitement does stem from the variety of food and drink options available on campus. A group of community members have worked with Port City java, a coffee roaster out of Wilmington, NC, to create a signature blend of coffee to serve in the café. This blend will be the foundation of espresso drinks, frozen drinks and also a simple cup of coffee. But not only are there drinks, but also healthy food options. The Cary Academy café will serve as a place to grab a breakfast treat, mid day snack, protein boost or supplement to lunch. Options include sandwiches, wraps and salads, as well as packaged snacks and healthy beverages such as infused teas.

An Evening

Cate Pitterle for The Campitor The cafe places merch next to the coffee bar, which features a state-of-the-art espresso maker, a drink stand, and other brand-new appliances.

What’s better than an exciting productive space for students? An exciting productive space that encourages these students to engage more as members of the Cary Academy community!

of Jazz

Not only is the café a hotspot for food, drinks and seating, but it also is an opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to showcase their talent. A corner of the café is dedicated to Cary Academy

MS and US Jazz Performance April 8 in the Theater

merchandise and other products available for purchase. Students who make art or other hand crafted products can apply to have their work featured in this corner and can gain actual

Charger Derby 5K Run

May 2

Photo via Xiangyuan Che on Vidigami


business experience by selling through the school store. Students can even take their drive for business a step further than selling and become leaders in the café business model. Aiming to be student driven, the café will provide students the opportunity to make executive business decisions, such as scheduling and training staff. By taking advantage of these wonderful resources, students will gain real world business experience that will encourage and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. An amazing opportunity for students, the Cary Academy café is the new hub for innovation and collaboration. It’s perfect for students to explore the ways in which they can own their learning.

Stadium Field Register at

OPINION Tillis looks increasingly vulnerable in NC Senate race

Democrat Cal Cunningham strong as GOP tactics get ugly. Loren Troan Class of 2020

Another important Super Tuesday primary just occurred — the NC Senate primary. The incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis is up for reelection this cycle, and he is looking particularly vulnerable. His net approval ratings are underwater, and in general election polls, he’s trailing behind lesser-known Democratic primary winner Cal Cunningham. In fact, Morning Consult polls find that he has the lowest approval rating of any sitting Senator regardless

of party. To put things bluntly, his outlook is bleak. Thankfully for Tillis, some conservative supporters seem to lack qualms in choosing their methods. The Faith and Power PAC — which receives all of its funding from the Senate Leadership Fund — put out millions of dollars in ads for the Democratic primary. They appear to have marked their own candidate down as a lost cause, and instead are focusing on disrupting Democrats and pulling the Democratic frontrunner — Cunningham himself — to the left. The Fund defended itself in a statement released the 21st of February, declaring the tactic “an unqualified success” and pointing a finger at Democrats for suppos-

edly pioneering their methods. While it is true some Democratic candidates have advertised against Republican primary candidates in the past, all of the provided examples show Democrats attacking — not feigning support — for a specific candidate. Additionally, their defense holds little weight; the saying is supposed to be “when you go low we go high,” not “when you go low we go lower.” Lastly, the primary candidate who was supported by this advertising, one Erica Smith, went so far as to disavow the ads and to repudiate what it her campaign called Republican interference. The general election face-off between Cunningham and Tillis will clearly not be a clean fight.

Associated Press

Cal Cunningham, left, won the Democratic primary for Tillis’s Senate seat on Super Tuesday.

Nevada debate signals fast-paced world is creating division Our generation needs to value diverse perspectives. Claire Ferris Class of 2021

Wild insults. Flaming accusations. Backhanded compliments. The occasional praise. These were some of the many factors that contributed to the fascinating spectacle of the 9th Democratic Debate on February 19 in Paradise, Nevada, an event that captured my attention, as well as the attention of about 33 million viewers around the country.

I have to admit, the debates are fun to watch; though I enjoy seeing what each candidate has to offer in terms of policy, I’m honestly there to see them throw shade at each other and tiptoe around the topic of age when it comes to presidential candidates. Influenced largely by the emphasis on spectacle, the push for unilateral support for a democratic candidate makes the process move so quickly that a candidate can do incredibly well in one debate and decide to drop out of the race altogether the next morning. As I began to think about the speed at which such an important task is approached,

I realized it’s not really out of place considering the fast-paced society in which we live. In today’s world, it seems like humans are pressured to do more much earlier than previously attempted. This endeavor can prove extremely successful in quickly-evolving fields driven by innovation, but our society’s ever-changing mindset can also cause young people to feel enormous amounts of stress and pressure to grow up quickly. In some cases, growing up has been necessary; with political stagnation on pressing matters such as gun control, youth groups have needed to make vocal efforts in order

to push our government into action. But often, the abundance of media coverage on political action can pressure students into making hasty decisions on their political views to feel like they fit into a category or group. Often, the purpose of encouraging youth education and engagement in political issues is to effectively train the next generation to become the world’s leaders. If this is our goal, we must first ask: what do we want the next generation of leaders to act like? The divisive rhetoric that is present in many American political debates signifies difficulty respecting multiple

Quad Sports by Sam Dietrich (‘20)

See Debate, page 7


Bringing Back Your Favorites by Mr. Follet

viewpoints and (at least to some extent) separating politics from the person; instead, candidates resort to attack strategies and demonization of opposing viewpoints to make theirs come out “on top.” In this process, the potential leaders of our country teach America’s youth a dangerous message: there’s only one correct viewpoint, and all others can and should be dismissed in order to win. With a large inheritance of complex issues that point to increasingly less obvious solutions, our generation’s leaders are going




What The Good Place can really teach us about life The profound comedy asks what we owe to each other. Claire Ferris Class of 2021

Widely welcomed as a reprieve from the arduous adventures that school brings, trimester break provides each upper school student with their own definition of relaxation (that is, in theory). For me, besides a few college visits, break was primarily defined by binging Leslie Knope’s optimism, Captain Holt’s selflessness, and Jessica Day’s crafting skills. After exhausting my endurance for these particular sitcoms (they’re ubiquitous and well-loved in my home), I turned to an unfamiliar one. Reluctantly, at the persistent suggestion of two friends, I turned on my television, opened Netflix, and headed straight for The Good Place. The show itself centers around four humans — Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason — who, in the first episode, learn that they’ve just died and are now in the after-

life. They also learn that, based on the virtue of their actions on Earth, they earned a spot in the good place, where they can live in eternal comfort. There are many twists and turns within the story — including season one’s big reveal that they’ve actually been existing in a neighborhood of the bad place designed to look like the good place, and that their neighborhood’s architect, Michael, is actually a demon. I was initially hesitant to watch The Good Place primarily because I’ve always had my reservations about shows that are set in the afterlife — who wants to watch a show about death, after all? I’d also heard my friends describe it as philosophical — a term that I worried would impede my ability to understand the more lighthearted aspects of the show, or even its plot. Fortunately, my notions proved drastically incorrect. In fact, the show’s basis in philosophical ideas ended up being the reason it enthralled me. The characters all believe they don’t deserve to be in the Good Place in the beginning, largely because of the deep flaws they see

within themselves. As they learn more about the afterlife, though, the characters start to come together to understand the flaws with a system that judges humans based on how “good” they were on Earth, and then immediately and eternally sends them to a place where they’re either tortured for eternity or comfortable for eternity. Their mission becomes simple: to design a system that allows humans not only to be fairly judged before they die, but also to improve themselves and their morals after their death. Important philosophical questions develop from this mission as the characters examine what it means to be human and the different versions of moral codes that humans can follow. When Eleanor realizes she doesn’t belong in the Good Place, she asks Chidi — a moral philosophy professor — to teach her how to be a good person. After a few lessons, he gives her What We Owe to Each Other — a book by T.M. Scanlon — hoping it will serve as helpful study material. The book centers on a philosophical concept of contractualism,

which suggests that morality is actually a contract between the individuals of a society, and that to be “moral” is to be regarded as moral by those around you. The concept’s emphasis on doing good for the sake of a society manifests itself within The Good Place. At a turning point in Eleanor’s moral journey when she feels completely lost and hopeless, she asks Michael — acting as her bartender — what she owes him; Michael reminds her of this concept, telling her “the real question, Eleanor, is what do we owe to each other?” (Ep: 2.12 “Somewhere Else”). This scene and a scene in the finale — which I won’t specify for the sake of spoilers — were arguably the most poignant of the series, and they got me thinking: what do CA students owe to each other? I don’t pose this question in an academic, athletic, or even social matter, but rather in a moral way; so much of our time is spent thinking about how we’re going to be individually successful, but will this success truly mean anything if it doesn’t include concern for others? CA students

are inherently empathetic and genuinely want to make positive change in the world, supportive friendships are ubiquitous around campus, and it is never difficult to find a group that will let you rant about that ~frustrating~ grade you got on your math test. Even though there are so many examples of moral support around campus, it seems as though when times get difficult, we can lose sight of the bigger picture and what we owe to each other as devoted members of a community, instead focusing on our own short-term success. It is not an easy feat to keep this concept in mind and act upon it, but we can start by asking ourselves: what do I, personally, owe to the wonderful, deserving people at Cary Academy? Your answer could identify you as having a similar role to Eleanor‘s or Tahani’s or even Janet’s (objectively, the best character), but chances are, it will be unique — frankly, that’s the best way to be. After all, unique ideas and unique, complex characters are what make The Good Place such a powerful, touching series.

Review: Cult classic Mean Girls has no limit at DPAC


The stage at DPAC was minimalisitc, utilizing technology to smoothly transition from scene to scene, which aided in the musical’s enjoyability.

The musical could get cringey but was always enjoyable. Kaela Curtis Class of 2020

In 2004, Tina Fey took the world by storm with her teen comedy turned cult-classic entitled Mean Girls. Since then the movie has become a pop culture


phenomenon. Even those who haven’t seen the movie know the references. October 3rd has been dubbed “Mean Girls Day” and of course on Wednesdays we wear pink. I spent years going against the tide, refusing to watch it, but eventually like most my age I relented. It’s not my favorite movie, but I respect and acknowledge the cultural impact it has had. I now have a better grasp on references and begrudgingly

understand why it’s so popular. I thought that was it. But then, a musical was announced, making its Broadway debut nearly two years ago. I first had the privilege of seeing Mean Girls on Broadway with the Original Broadway Cast back in the Fall of 2018 for my sister’s birthday (which just so happens to be on October 3rd; no I’m not kidding), and then yet again at the Durham Performing Arts

Center on February 16th of this year. I thought it was fitting as we approach the 16th anniversary of the movie, to reflect upon how one of the most iconic teen films of the 21st century translates onto the Great White Way. Movie-to-musical adaptations certainly aren’t new. In fact, many fan-favorite musicals were previously movies (or movie-musicals). Broadway and Box Office hits like Mary Poppins, Mamma Mia!, Aladdin, Hairspray and The Lion King have all made the transition from the silver screen to the shining stage. But not all adaptations are made equal, and Mean Girls was no exception. I must admit, I am hardpressed to find a musical I don’t like. And both times I have seen the stage adaptation of Mean Girls I have truly enjoyed it. As a sucker for set design, I love how Mean Girls utilizes technology and limited set pieces to transform its set from scene to scene quickly and seamlessly. I laughed at most of the jokes and, all in all, had a good time. The costumes were simple but efficient and the actors looked like actual teenag-

ers and not overgrown college students. However... it’s time for me to be honest. It was indeed cringey at times. Some lines were a bit heavy-handed and some songs over-the-top or cliché. The vocals on the cast album are excellent (as are both the Broadway and Touring live performance vocals), but the songs? Not so much. Despite these issues, it’s Mean Girls! The name recognition and cultural impact alone makes it a hard show to hate. And while it might not be my favorite (or anywhere near that tier), it was fun and funny, ncolorful and creative. All the aforementioned qualities make Mean Girls a decent and worthwhile piece of theatre even as it falls just short of finding the perfect formula for a smooth transition to the stage. So I would say, go see it for yourself! It makes for the great afternoon or evening of theatre, laughter, and music. And while I don’t hold my tongue when it comes to criticism, the next time the tour is in town I will likely go see it yet again. After all, the limit does not exist.




Skype: Students use platform for self-expression Continued from Page 1 The dizzying lingua franca of cabals of SfB friends (either “Favorite”-d or “Other”-ed into two castes of contacts) creates an argot born within the CA community, a linguistic island of witticisms, grievances, fragments, and preambles that could only be deciphered within the coteries of our SfB accounts. This shared language forms a bridge between students who focus on only their own successes on the academic battlefield. In a world rife with misunderstandings, SfB provides the clarity of the freest form of expression. We scroll raptly through our contact lists, perusing the sum total of our peers’ experiences. The scrutiny is almost freeing – like in the Panopticon, we are prisoners who are given the power to surveil each other, while being eyed by a central, higher power. It’s an electrifying sense of imminence – everything on Skype is True, even if only for a minute. This precious veracity raises a conundrum that has no answer: Which is my true body, and which is my avatar? Can I, in my real life, ever express myself with the delicate rampancy that is uncorked by the Skype? In forging my statuses, I (Will) crave a form of fugitivity. Rather than conveying, I obfuscate. Maybe the two friends sitting next to me understand what I write. Maybe no one does. I encode myself with skillful artifice and then revel in my own individuality. On Skype for Business, I can create something of my

own and instantly flaunt how different I am from the pack. I perform daily my struggle to recognize myself, to construct a binary opposition between my Self and the world. It’s an ongoing game of “Where’s Waldo?” in which I simultaneously seek and am sought by myself. But as much as my statuses represent a personal, identarian pursuit, I also relish the attention that they yield. When I plaster something cryptic up there, I pray that someone, anyone, will message me, begging to know what it means. Little do they know, I seldom have the answer either. Ars longa, vita brevis (art is long, life is short) – but if the SfB status is a unique form of art, perhaps their fleeting moments on our screens stretch the meaning clustered within our short lives. I (Sydney) often say that when my mind is in turmoil, so too are my Skype statuses, changing rapidly with every passing mood or event. Like temporary milestones along the Daedalian road of life, these statuses mark brief moments of clarity, moments where I stop, amidst the madness, to shout into the void. With the amplifying power of the status, even instances of normalcy are crowned watersheds of their own right, while instances of disquietude are put into grand perspective. Seeing my expressions of anxiety reduced to an ambivalent Calibri and listed among my contemporaries’ statuses lends my own statuses and burdens a calming uniformity – the even-handed ness by which our quotations are

Photo from Will Aarons

Students’ Skype pages are often filled with statuses. They “act as small pieces that represent a bigger community,” said Erin Singleton (‘20).

published is a surefire remedy for the solipsism that other social media only stokes. For others, the Skype status isn’t a monolithic cultural element – it is a living, breathing modem that transmutes by the trimester. As Erin Singleton (‘20) explains, “[Skype statuses] are like pop culture for the CA community. They act as small pieces that represent a bigger community, and a lot of key events and things are expressed.” The status is whimsical. It welcomes explanation yet requires none. Students often post their “hot takes” on Skype, trying to get the biggest rise out of their contacts list. Others go a more personal route. Users might tout their achievements of getting

a “breadstick double bagel,” or 100%, on a recent Chemistry test and soon after “mourn the loss of [their] deceased AirPods.” On the surface, though, Skype statuses seem “not that deep.” Eric Xing (‘20) “button [mashes] until [he gets] something that [looks] cool.” But no matter how cryptic, chaotic, or random, every combination of 510 Unicode characters discloses a fractal of the self. During our four years of high school, we scrounge for our purpose, our future, and our personhood. On Skype for Business, we chronicle that journey, not on curated Facebook timelines, but with discrete and discreet droplets in the rivers of our experience. And although we other

wise search for neat and static ways to package our lives (to friends, to colleges, to ourselves), our switching statuses quietly remind us that we are always in flux. SfB empowers us to vacillate, experiment, redefine. Its functionalities restrict us from reminiscing about defunct statuses or fixating on the past, but in doing so, they free us from living up to anything except our own spontaneity. In a culture infatuated with material progress (in which we constantly reflect on the past, constantly evaluate ourselves against our histories, and constantly premeditate our trajectories), Skype for Business ensures that we appreciate the fleeting beauty of “What’s happening today.”

Debate: Flaming rhetoric shows need for change

Mario Tama/Getty Images Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Michael Bloomberg gesture for attention at the ninth democratic debate in Nevada.

Continued from Page 5 to need to be willing to com

promise and understand many different viewpoints and sides to arguments. Encouraging political

engagement in high school is extremely important to ensuring that our generation grows up to be informed and prepared to vote and make decisions, but I don’t think enough time is devoted to education on all facets of political issues, so students feel like there are multiple valid perceptions they could possess. Cary Academy has already made strides toward increased acceptance of multiple viewpoints, including the introduction of new ideological clubs on campus, though honest, peaceful political debate seems sparse. Perhaps the most important aspect of teaching a collaborative approach, then, is to reduce the

element of competition in our school. Whether acknowledged or not, from grades to leadership positions, winning seems to heavily influence students’ actions. But what if we altered our school’s definition of winning, thus altering its definition of competition? What if winning could be seen as creating long-lasting connections and collaborative initiatives between disparate groups? New initiatives to encourage diverse thought and inclusion on campus are certainly a step in the right direction, but the challenge to these initiatives will be ensuring we don’t oversimplify ideas and reduce our peers to certain

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aspects of their core values. High school students, including CA students, have the right to be sassy on political matters, but hopefully placing an overall emphasis on collaboration and understanding will allow the upcoming leaders to change our most frustrating and divisive period in history. Now is the time for reform and advancement in political dialogue. We must approach our obligation to step up with urgency and incredible care, for it is with great opportunity for learning, gravitas, and potential that our generation could come to power peacefully and willing to take on the complex issues of the twenty-first century.





Senior Szn

To Cure Your Senioritis, Remember These 20 Micro-Graduations Graduation isn’t a one-off event. Two seniors explain the steps.

Attending your senior night makes you think back to all the commitments and sacrifices you’ve made to a sport, even if it was your very first year.

Sydney Nguyen & Will Aarons

it’s always surprising seeing their own ever-approaching college graduation dates emblazoned in their bios, when it feels like just yesterday that they also traipsed the halls of the Academy.

Class of 2020

Photo via Vidigami

People think of “graduation” as a oneoff event, as a change that precipitates with the turn of a tassel. We, however, prefer to look back at its Latin root, grad, which means step – graduation is something that takes place (painstakingly) slowly. Graduation is a staircase, and the course of our Upper School careers brings us step by step to the summit in a process that means far more than a walk across a stage. Here are some of our favorites:

6. Last holidays at home Feels bad not being able to leech off my parents at home anymore :// ©Ocean Drive Resort

16. Arriving at Myrtle Beach A real “we made it bois” moment when that bus pulls up to Ocean Drive Beach and Golf Resort

Photo via Vidigami

11. Moving up to higher parking lots Skrrt past those sophomores as they sprint to A Block from the tennis courts at 7:59 lolol

Photo via Vidigami

5. First seniors first The only “seniors first” that underclassmen respect.

CFA Harrison on Facebook


20. Getting through Junior AP week Getting through the CollegeBoard’s corporate gauntlet really makes a self-important junior feel old and mature! We’ve all been there.

15. Unlocking more and more senior privileges As we earn more and more privileges, we spend less and less time on campus, even though our time on campus overall is slipping away :(

Photo via Vidigami Photo via Vidigami

10. Last snow day This year’s late snow day was a great surprise after resigning ourselves to the thought that last year’s snow day may be our very last.

4. Getting your license Missing getting to sleep/complete homework during morning commutes but not missing having to arrive to school at 7:35 every day

Photo via Vidigami Cate Pitterle

19. Returning to the re-opened library Makes you feel nostalgic/like an infant again returning to that place after a long hiatus. But you also feel WAY too old for all the technogarb they have for kids these days.


18. Losing all motivation It’s a milestone when you look at Blackbaud one day and find yourself feeling completely numb. No angst. Like not even a hint.

14. The last first day of school and shaking everyone’s hand in the handshake ceremony When you have a few too many awkward interactions with 6th graders and realize you only have a year left to develop social skills :0

©Disney Channel

13. Commencement as a junior After playing in the commencement orchestra since middle school, realizing that this commencement would be the last I played in was a shock.

Photo via Vidigami

9. Last GSD, semi, and prom No more weird moshpits in the cafeteria, awko-taco Discovery Studio claustrophobia, or prom melodrama!

Photo via Outlook

8. Ordering graduation gowns Actually I forgot to order my gown and had to email Mr. Seeley my height and exact weight but it still hit different

Photo via Vidigami

3. Passing by the college flags on the board for the first time Finally knowing who is responsible for which flag :o

Photo via Common App

2. Submitting your first college app Warning: # of college applications submitted is inversely proportional to the care you put into them

©Blackbaud ©Getty Varsity Boys Basketball; photo via Vidigami

17. Senior nights


12. Seeing graduated friends’ life updates When visiting their Instagram profiles,

7. Last days of trimesters as a senior This has been the longest year of my life, for better or for worse, but trimesters still fly by I guess!


1. When it turns your graduation year The “CA ‘20” in your bio finally turns real.

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