THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2013
‘Twas the Week Before Winter Break by Olivia Cannell ‘15
‘Twas the week before break, when all through the school Not a boarder was white glove cleaning, despite the school rule. Clothes were flung in suitcases without care With hopes that Friday would soon be there. The students were studying, some in their beds While fears of bad grades loomed in their heads. And Ms. Wilson with her spreadsheet, hunkered down at her desk Worked tirelessly to make sense of the travel plan mess. When out on the quad there arose such a clatter The MOD sprang from the faculty room to see what was the matter. Over the speed bumps drove Mr. Li like a flash Foot on the pedal, sure he wouldn’t crash. The moon on the Santa Barbara channel below Seemed to shout out: only a few days to go! When, what to my study wearied eyes should I spy But Mr. Fox, making Beef Tamale Pie. With a large sack of money A group of students drew near I knew in a moment It was Holiday Cheer. At Christmas convocation, Chorale sang loud With voices so beautiful, It made Mrs. Block proud. The seasonal lights warmed the chapel railing And teachers hoped that nobody would be failing. At dawn the next day, the students would leave Giving the faculty a two-week reprieve. In a boxy old Yukon, so tippy and thick I knew right away the ride wouldn’t be quick. More rapid than eagles the students they came, Threw in their bags and said, “get to the plane!” Now Amtrak! Now Airbus! Now United and Southwest! On, 101, LAX, SBA and Burbank! To Korea, San Francisco, Texas, and New York! (Don’t tell Mr. Mack, but I stole a fork!) I heard Ben Williams exclaim As we drove out of sight “A great break to you all, and to you all a good night!”
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Features.......................................................1-5 Opinion......................................................6-8 Entertainment............................................9-10 Sports........................................................11
A Holiday Note From the El Bat Elves by Rachel Pak, Michael Revord and Chloe King ‘14
Every year, around this time, a breathe of crisp winter air blows through Santa Barbara. But this year, we were blessed with an extra helping of winter cold as the campus prepares for its holiday festivities. With only three weeks between breaks, a hint of holiday spirit permeates the mood on campus. Lights and decorations are peppered throughout the mesa as we trudge through the final school days before break. The seniors in particular are in high-stress mode as we eagerly await to hear from colleges and struggle to keep our heads above water with schoolwork. However, the spirit of the holidays is enough to keep us going and motivated. With the conclusion of the last song in the Winter by Candelight convocation, so comes the conclusion of a stressful couple of weeks. So kick back, unwind by the fireplace or on a plane to a different continent, and read the latest holiday news. Whether you’re a new student or a well-seasoned senior, you’ll feel the holiday spirit when the lights go on across the Mesa and traditions begin to unfold all over campus (see page 8). Have you ever wondered about the history of popular holiday music? (see page 3). Looking for a good holiday joke to tell to brighten the spirit of the sommber-looking passenger sitting next to you on the plane? (see page 2). Want to spark a conversation with your grandparents about gay rights and the Winter Olympics? (see page 10). Actually, maybe save that conversation for a different time. Holidays are fun with family, but arguing the whole time while a very tempting, very throwable pie sits on the table is not. This holiday issue is not short of holiday cheer, and we hope you enjoy this issue. Have a fantastic holiday break!
by Kiana Beckmen ‘15 An exploration of traditions--how they differ for different people, are assimilated, and can add to our lives in positive ways. Demonstrated by my hippie family and their multi-culturedness. With the holidays come traditions, new and old. Those can originate from religion, from family and friends, or from the well-trusted Internet. Traditions are integrated, adopted and experimented with, and if your family is anything like mine, new ones are added every year. We like to call ourselves “fake Jews.” We wildly celebrate Passover, eat apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah, often remember Hanukkah, and are willing to fly out to New Jersey for a cousin’s B’hat Mitzvah, yet we rarely keep to the Jewish faith in other respects. Instead, we have adopted various Buddhist, Christian, Native American, and Texan beliefs and holidays into our lives. Yes, we have a Christmas tree each year, and yes, there is a buddhist monk, carved and clothed by my artist mother, which has replaced an angel on top of our tree. Buddhas, both of the Thai and Chinese variety, litter our house, while Tibetan prayer flags fly outside. Native American practices are also common. “What’s that smell?” friends would ask. “Oh, it’s just sage,” I would answer. “My parents like to purify the house every so often.” They were also highly confused when I asked, “Would you like to sauna with me? It’s in the backyard.” Some people don’t take off their shoes in the house to keep the floor clean, so then my parents would have to spread sage smoke around--again--with an owl feather to keep the energy pure.
Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays in my family. The Augusts, my mother’s side, many of whom can be considered “real Jews,” journey from all over the world and the United States to stay at “The Edge”--our ranch. About fifteen people, give or take a few, come to stay in my small house, and we cook, laugh, and yell at each other in French, Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. One of our “experiment traditions” was a Thanksgiving made of traditional Mexican food. The turkey was bathed in chili sauce, and we ate empanadas along with our cornbread stuffing. This tradition has migrated, and now homemade Mexican food has become a permanent staple of our Christmas dinners. The Jewish calendar runs differently than ours, and this year, the second night of Hanukkah landed on Thanksgiving. We coined it “Thanksgivingakkah.” Contrary to popular belief, Hanukkah is not a very important Jewish holiday, but because of its proximity to Christmas, it is more widely recognized. In fact, its significance is similar to that of Purim, which most nonJews have never heard of (Just know that it’s basically a birthday party for the earth, and you make a small house out of plants and branches)l. Hanukkah is, in its most basic form, a celebration of miracles and freedom. continued on page 9
Holiday Season Movies! by Suzie Park ‘14
the best films of the year!
We’re nearing the Christmas season, and this means that it’s time for an influx of movies at the box office. Christmas is the prime release frame for moviesm, and here are some that you should watch over the Holidays.
There are also other movies that a lot of us have been waiting for. The Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is an upcoming American comedy film that is the sequel to the 2004 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, which will help you spend one jolly Christmas filled with laughter. Moreover, The Wolf of Wall Street will bring back DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese in a true story of the world of finance and wrongdoing. The making of Disney’s famous film, Mary Poppins, and its history will be portrayed through Saving Mr. Banks, allowing us to consider one of our favorite Disney films in a new light. Lastly, don’t forget about Netflix. At the beginning of every month, Netflix adds new movies and shows to its collection. Here’s a list of movies that you might want to watch while cuddling next to your fireplace during break:
This year, there are four films, all of which are overtly holiday themed, that are hitting the theatres: Frozen, A Madea Christmas, Black Nativity, and The Christmas Candle. These Christmas films, especially Frozen by Disney, will help you reminisce about your childhood, as you watch one of the few Disney movies about sisterhood and a world that is frozen--just frozen. The long-awaited The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (the second film of Peter Jackson’s trilogy) will land in theatres on December 13th. Orlando Bloom is finally back as Legolas, and the film focuses on the dwarves and Smaug. Who wouldn’t be excited about these elements?
• The TV version (five episodes) of Turbo, a film from this summer, will be in your Netflix library on Christmas Eve. • You could always revisit Family Guy or American Horror Story: Asylum. • The Guilt Trip, The Iron lady, and As I Lay Dying will be on Netflix for you to enjoy before you start making your New Year’s Resolution about cutting down on the many movies and TV shows on Netflix.
Also, Jennifer Lawrence, our favorite actress of 2013, will be back in theaters with her new movie, American Hustle, with Christian Bale, Amy Adams, AND Bradley Cooper. The director of Silver Linings Playbook has returned with this irresistible black comedy that is loosely based on a true story from the 1970s about con artists, the FBI, and corrupt politicians. The film is already named one of
Christmas Jokes Galore!
Let Us Relieve Your Stress
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The Holiday Season has arrived, folks, and with it, an array of jokes, puns, and comics that will make any Scrooge smile!
Almost there. We are almost there. Some call the two-and-a-half week stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas a breeze. It’s only seventeen days, they say, and how utterly miserable can seventeen days be? But seniors know that this seemingly benign period of time is actually the peak of a hectic, stressful, and sleepless task known as writing college applications. And trust me, the restlessness of these unpleasant seventeen days wedged in between two cheerful breaks is a universal feeling among most students and teachers. Wiping the cranberry sauce of that delicious Thanksgiving dinner off the corners of our mouths and eagerly awaiting the presents underneath the Christmas tree, homework can become quite a big obstacle and source of stress.
by Gabi Limón ’16
Q: What’s the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary alphabet? A: The Christmas alphabet has NOEL! Q: Where does a snowman keep his money? A: In a snow bank! Q: Why are Christmas trees such bad knitters? A: They are always dropping their needles! Q: What did the Gingerbread Man put on his bed? A: A cookie sheet! Q: Why was Santa’s helper depressed? A: He had low ELF-esteem! Q: What do snowmen eat for breakfast? A: Frosted Flakes! Q: Why does Santa have three gardens? A: So he can go HOE HOE HOE! Q: What do you get when you deep-fry Santa Claus? A: Crisp Kringle! Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman and a vampire? A: Frostbite! Q: What do you call Santa when he stops moving? A: Santa Pause! Q: If Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus had a child, what would he be called? A: A subordinate clause. Q: What did Adam say on the day before Christmas? A: It’s Christmas, Eve!
by Monica Wang ‘14
El Bat understands. On the bright side, though, things will only become merrier from here—just the fact that you are now holding a copy of the newspaper means that Christmas is really not that far off. But for now, try this stress reliever test and hum some Christmas carols in the shower, and before you know it, winter break will be here.
Merry Christmas, and we will see you again next year!
Butter Christmas Cookies by Charlotte Monke ‘16
If you are looking for a tasty treat to bake over winter vacation, try these delicious butter cookies. Cut the dough into fun holiday shapes and add some colored frosting. Enjoy!
Can you spot the differences? by Anna Satterfield ‘15
Butter Cookies 2 c (1 lb) butter- softened 1 1/2 c sugar (Bakers Sugar) 4 egg yolks 2 tsp vanilla 4 1/2 c unbl. flour 1/2 tsp salt Oven 350º. Cream butter and sugar (I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer), add egg yolks (save whites for royal icing) and vanilla, and mix well. Mix flour and salt together then slowly beat into the butter mixture. Flour counter generously, roll out dough to 1/4-1/2” thick, and cut into shapes. Bake 9-10 minutes. I use a silpat baking mat on top of my cookie sheet. Cool for a few minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to wax paper or cooling rack. Royal Icing 1 lb powdered (confectioners) sugar 3 egg whites 1/2 tsp cream of tartar Sift sugar into large bowl, add egg whites and cream of tartar and mix with a wooden spoon. Beat until firm. Separate into however many different colors you want, add food coloring, and decorate! If you want to save some for later, cover with a moist towel and put in fridge.
Christmas Music Fun Facts! by Eunbie Coe ‘16
Every year on Christmas Eve, many families gather around the piano and sing carols. If this is not your tradition, then you’re still probably listening to some Christmas music (maybe by Bublé or Carrie?) on your iTunes or Spotify. Some of these little ditties date back centuries, and the stories behind them are fascinating. Here are some fun facts about a couple of your favorite Christmas songs! • History lesson: “Do You Hear What I Hear?” was inspired by the Cuban Missile Crisis during the Cold War. • Australians have their own version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” in which all of the animals are replaced by wildlife from Down Under. • The original phrase for “Silver Bells” was actually “Tinkle Bells,” inspired by a tiny bell on the desk of composers Livingston and Evans. • Gemini 7 astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell asked to have “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” played for them while they were in orbit in 1965. • The word “carol” is a derivative of the ancient Greek word choros, which means dancing in a circle, and the old French word carole, which means a song to accompany dancing. • The delightful themes of many traditional Christmas carols were once banned, along with Christmas itself, in England by the staunch Protestant Oliver Cromwell. Many of the very old Christmas carols and songs were subsequently lost. Someone save them!
• The first instrument on which the carol “Silent Night” was played was a guitar. • The popular Christmas song “Jingle Bells” was composed in 1857 by James Pierpont. It was originally called “One-Horse Open Sleigh” and actually written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. • The best-selling single of all time, with more than 100 million copies sold worldwide, isn’t sung by The Beatles, Michael Jackson, or even Justin Bieber, but by Bing Crosby—the song (drumroll)… “White Christmas”! • In the song “Twelve Days of Christmas,” the recipient of the gifts gets a total of 364 gifts by the end of the song! • The melody for “Deck the Halls” dates back to the sixteenth century. The original Welsh lyrics were about celebrating New Year’s Eve, not Christmas. • If you sang the complete lyrics of “Joy to the World” instead of just the second half of Isaac Watts’ famous carol, you’d know that the song suited Easter better because it is more about Christ’s resurrection than his birth. • There is a sequel to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” titled “Grandpa’s Gonna Sue the Pants Offa Santa.”
Horoscopes for December 2013 by Eunbie Coe ’16
Aries: March 21 – April 19 Yay, it’s almost Christmas! Being the awesome Aries you are, you definitely have too many people to see and too much stuff to do and therefore too much hectic craziness! That is, if you don’t plan. Hopefully you budgeted and scheduled all the gifts you ordered to be here before break, and if you didn’t, well… I guess Aries Airheads are called that for a reason. So my most important advice to you this month is to be proactive and not to give up on anything, especially that last part, because in these short two and a half weeks between the holiday breaks, slacking can cause major setbacks that will curse you all the way to finals. Happy Holidays! Taurus: April 20 – May 20 Taurus. From my knowledge, I get that you are a very serious moneysaver. Maybe some of you are extremes even. You are a saver and hoarder, and you love deals. But this month, I advise you to be extrastrict because with all the holiday cheer, you might be too happy-drunk to care. There is a high possibility that you might binge majorly soon, or maybe you already have. So if you can’t control yourself, at least prepare yourself for failure right before the time for resolutions on New Year’s Day. Cheers! Gemini: May 21 – June 21 This month will be very strange, Gemini, and in a bad way, I’m sorry to say. In the beginning of the month, you probably saw little things change and you passed them off as nothing unusual. But you should have caught these little things and been suspicious of them. My one word of knowledge for Geminis this month is: caution. Or else, get ready for a bad month. This is rough news, but if it helps, New Year’s Day is always a new start. Cancer: June 22 – July 22 As far as I know, Cancer, the Thanksgiving belly hit you harder than the other horoscopes. But don’t worry. If you want to start being healthy and normal again to get rid of your seahorse-like food baby, now is the time. Don’t wait until the New Year for your resolution – that’s way too late. Start now, or be prepared to accept your food baby and bloated fate. Leo: July 23 – August 22 Leo! So, I know you can be quite an introvert sometimes, even when you don’t think so. You spend all day with friends, maybe, but then later prefer surfing the Internet in your room by yourself. Anyway, every year you pretend that Christmas isn’t that big of a deal, but trust me, I know you actually are in love with Christmas. And this is the year. Well, get excited, because right now is the best time to explode in holiday cheer and happiness. Get pumped. Virgo: August 23 – September 22 All right Virgo, everyone knows that out of all the party people, you are the party animal. New Year’s craziness, Christmas bashes, Hanukkah parties… You name it, and you can always be seen at one of them every year. But this year, you should feel a little homesick. You miss your siblings, cousins, grandparents, and parents. So stick with these fellows and spend Christmas at home this break. Who knows? Home
Alone could happen to you too. Libra: September 23 – October 22 I’m not going to sugarcoat this, Libra. These past few months for you really sucked. It’s like the universe was giving you karma for things that you didn’t even do… yet. Who knows what the universe was doing? Anyway, it’s about time for your luck to turn, and turn it has! Do every possible crazy thing that sounds fun this break with your good old Sagittarius friend. Awesomeness is encouraged--at least two doses a day. Scorpio: October 23 – November 21 Scorpio, your past few months haven’t been very awesome moneywise. If you’re not completely broke already, then you’re really close to it. Start working, Scorpio–no playing around this time. You tend to be a splurge, and just a New Year’s resolution won’t fix it. Start spending smart now, and keep your Christmas gifts minimal and low-budget this year. Heck, go ask Aries, your friend. They don’t even need to save right now but they always have good tips. Sagittarius: November 22 – December 21 Well if it isn’t our Sagittarius, who is probably feeling pretty awesome right now. Although I would like to punch you because you’re way too happy for an Aquarius’s taste, you happen to be the lucky star sign this month. I have no idea where this is from, but maybe you had some good karma a few months back. So you have no excuse to be unhappy this holiday season, Sagittarius. NONE. Capricorn: December 22 – January 19 Capricorn, once again you are thinking a lot and planning for the year ahead like the goody-two-shoes you are. Luckily for you, December is once again an OK month to daydream, and it’s actually good for you this time. Your New Year’s resolutions seldom keep, so spend a lot of time to come up with ones that you can actually realize. Think a lot. Don’t overestimate yourself. Aquarius: January 20 – February 18 My fellow Aquarius, you are so ready to freak out and dance right now. Wait for the parties, though. We tend to embarrass ourselves when we get excited, so let’s keep that under control until we get home. Contrary to what I have said to Virgo earlier, you are usually a family person until this year! You’re ready to jump into holiday bashes, and I’d say awesomeness is encouraged. Pisces: February 19 – March 20 Pisces, right now is not only an awesome holiday break time but also a good time to expand on your hobbies. Composing, drawing, painting, sculpting, or whatever creative passion you have – work on it. It’s also a good idea to form a resolution based on your new interest.
DIY (Do It Yourself) Gifts by Sandra Silva ‘15
With Christmas just around the corner, many of us are beginning to shop for friends and family members. Buying presents for your loved ones doesn’t have to leave your wallet empty or be very time consuming. A popular option for many during these hard economic times is to go the DIY route. Handmade presents can be especially thoughtful, inexpensive, and useful. Here are some ideas to get you started: *The ideas for these presents were taken from BuzzFjmeed. Links to all of the instructions can be found next to each craft. 1) Glitter Bottle Necklaces (link: http://www.lexylevin.com/2012/07/diyfairy-dust-necklaces/) Brief overview of materials: Small glass vial Glitter Eye hook Necklace chain Jump ring (if necessary) This whimsical accessory is creative and simple to make. It makes a nice present for those who like collecting and wearing unique necklaces.
3) Camera Strap (link: http://www.designlovefest.com/2012/03/makeit-8/ ) List of materials: • 2 yds cotton webbing • masking tape • acrylic craft paint • 2 swivel hooks (found in the jewelry or purse handle section of most craft stores) • fabric glue • needle and thread • metallic leather or vinyl (optional)
2) Alien Abduction Lamp (link: http://dollarstorecrafts.com/2009/03/ alien-lamp/) Materials: Large-lipped bowl Smaller bowl Acrylic drinking glass Touch light Package of farm animals 3 Aliens This is a wonderful gift for children or science fiction fans. Also, it is very inexpensive to make and serves as an inventive room decoration.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Should Cate Offer Condoms? by Rachel Pak ‘14
I was lucky that my mother eventually took what I would call, retrospectively, a healthy approach to the topic of human sexuality. One day, on our way back home from school, my brother and I were giggling about the awkward sex education class that took place in class that day. She, attentive to our backseat conversations, chimed in. “Listen,” she said. “I want you guys to know that sex is a natural thing. So, please, just be safe.” Today, sex is pervasive—in the media, in music, and in health education classes. It is packaged and sold in nearly every context. It is hard to ignore. However, after coming to Cate, where I learned in Freshman Seminar and Sophomore Seminar about sex and contraceptives, I began to understand it better. Today, I want to make the case that Cate should offer condoms to students. Here are some starting points -- beliefs that I will assume are mostly true. The first is that my parents have similar values to those of many adults, at Cate and throughout American society. The second is that, at a school as small and close as Cate, where gossip passes as easily as students from class to class, it would be no surprise to anyone if we found out that someone had had sex over the weekend (even though it is against school rules). What would be shocking, however, would be if someone got pregnant and had to leave Cate, or if someone contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and had to be hospitalized. Bridging the mental gap between having sex and facing the risks involved is easy, but students don’t often make that connection in the heat of the moment. A third assumption is that sex is a taboo topic at Cate because, while it is written in our school rules that we are not supposed to have sex, students “do it” nonetheless. With raging hormones and the inability to think before we act, I think it is natural for teenagers to want to explore the human body. However, the consequences can be dramatic; according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, even though teenage pregnancy rates are falling (75 per 1,000, which is down from a 1990 peak of 117 per 1,000, according to the Guttmacher Institute), rates of the contraction of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia have been on the rise over the past decade. Cate has definitely done well in educating its students about sex, the School’s rules, and how to be safe. Our school nurse, Patti Judson, is
authorized to dispense prescribed contraceptives to sexually active girls. However, though teens are more educated about sex, there is still a lack of awareness with respect to STDs. This is where the condom comes in. Just like pregnancy, STDs are easily prevented by condom use. Dr. Rebecca O’ Brien, the lead author for a policy statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics, told Reuters Health that the condom is particularly important to protect against herpes and HIV. Doctors all around the world agree with Dr. O’ Brien that the United States’ STD epidemic is largely fueled by teens. One would postulate that if American teenagers used condoms, the rate of the contraction of STDs would decrease. However, teens will only use condoms if it isn’t too difficult to get them. What is Cate’s role in this? Should Cate provide condoms for students? And if Cate does decide to provide condoms, is that an invitation for students to have sex? Will that action discourage students from following school rules? In my opinion, even though, theoretically, students should not be having sex in the first place, Cate should provide condoms to students through the Health Center. In the end, it’s about preserving a student’s health and well-being. To address one of the main concerns of worried parents, condom distribution does not increase sexual activity, according to Advocates for Youth (an organization advocating for a more positive, realistic approach to adolescent sexual health). In a study of European and Canadian schools where convenient, confidential access to condoms is more common, the rates of adolescent sexual intercourse were no higher than in the United States. A study of a New York City school’s availability program found a significant increase in condom use among sexually active students but no increase in sexual activity. Making condoms hard to obtain by forcing students to buy them at a store like CVS or ask a nurse for condoms creates a needless obstacle. As with most things, frequent exposure to condoms will make them feel like familiar and normal objects. The subject of asking for, and using, condoms should not be taboo. If sex and condoms weren’t as stigmatized as they are, students would be much more likely to practice safe sex. Rather than perpetuating the stigma, let us embrace the idea of being smart in school, in sex, and in life.
The Class of 2017: Are They Missing Out? by Annie Ahn ‘15 “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.” A Tale of Two Cities remains one of the most riveting books I’ve ever read, and Charles Dickens is still one of the most influential authors I’ve ever encountered. Looking back on this book’s first line, I realize how perfect a summary it is for the first year at Cate, at least for some of us. As bewildered freshmen, we always arrived five minutes early to class: standing outside of BCB1, eating our last bit of toast with Nutella, talking amongst ourselves about this morning’s kitchen crew. It didn’t matter if it was a cold Monday morning in mid December; we waited patiently until Mr. Robins arrived in his green tie and matching green sweater to swarm into the classroom, only to be told that college isn’t for everyone and to realize that half of us left our books in our dorm rooms. For most of us, humanities was more than just combining two courses, dividing the classroom in half, or fulfilling another requirement. The first weeks of school, writing personal essays in humanities, is what I remember most about my first year at Cate: pretending to be asleep and staying up past lights out to make endless changes, reading the same paragraph over and over again to convince my roommate it made sense, bickering over word choice during a peer review, and looking nonchalant, as if I didn’t know who the author was while Mr. Robins read one of my pieces aloud to the class. Creative essays provided excitement and anxiety that we wouldn’t have gotten from an analytical piece, and the fact that they were required for ninth graders was especially crucial. Not only did it get people who had and hadn’t experienced personal writing on the same page, but it also gave the class a chance to build relationships. Teachers made it clear that it was our choice what we decided to share with the class. However, no matter how personal or profound the narrative was, it was an opportunity for us to get to know each other. Whether we learned of someone’s strange bathroom experience of profound family stories, it was something more than: “Hi, I’m Jane Doe. I’m from Santa Barbara,” And that’s exactly what we needed.
Personally, in the beginning of the writing period, I was more focused on making my pieces sound ‘nice’ than on searching for my own style. As long as I was trying to please others, I was unable to encounter who I was as a writer. I spent hours and hours trying to satisfy the probable readers. I’d annoyingly ask my roommate to reread my story as many times as she could before turning it in; reading each other’s papers first thing in the morning became our routine. Although I still believe getting feedback from others is one of the most important parts of writing, I learned in humanities that finding my voice is equally important. Once I established my style, I was able to please not only the readers but also myself. Something about the tone made me feel like it was my writing. I learned how to be content with the words I chose, the sentences I carefully laid out, and the paragraphs I put together. And once I was honest with myself, my classmates acknowledged that as well. By the end of our freshman year, we were able to guess the author of the piece without checking the far right corner of the essay. It was as simple as that. We knew just by the style. So when I first heard about the English department’s intention to make some changes to the course this year, I was skeptical. And when I discovered that they had gotten rid of the initial creative writing period for this year’s freshman class, I was fully disheartened. Curious to explore this controversy, I asked as many people as I could about their creative writing experience before and during humanities. Every one of the responses was different: some had prior opportunities before Cate, some didn’t have any; some enjoyed it, some didn’t care. However, they unanimously agreed on the importance of the creative writing period. It’s true that eliminating personal essays from the course gives more time for academic ones that might prepare us for more subjects, but there’s no doubt that creative writing is necessary for freshmen to find their voices, to grow as a writers, and to relate to each other. College might not be for everyone, but creative writing is.
How To Build The Parthenon and Raise Goldfish: The Role of Arts At Cate by Anna Lueck ‘14
There is nothing I hate more than cynical people at art museums. It is incredibly difficult to appreciate an Impressionist painting with someone complaining the painter “used too many dots”; there’s nothing more tiresome than wandering through the modernist section with someone who “just doesn’t get how this is art” and wonders aloud “how people actually get paid for this.” Confession time: I actually like modern art. In a museum, when presented with a blank white canvas, I’m the one scrutinizing the texture of the canvas and trying to say something about how it catches the light. I might not want this painting in my room. But I’m fascinated with what it says about the artist who painted it (or, in this case, didn’t). To me, art, from the simplest square of color to the most intricate of carvings, is a way to understand and empathize with people of all backgrounds. Art has been proven to increase empathy and broaden worldviews, as well as being integral to understanding different cultures and time periods. So why does the stereotype of “starving artist” persist? Why are we so quick to criticize artists and their work? And, most importantly, how does Cate treat its artists? A few weeks ago, I stopped in at a meeting of the Arts Department to get their opinions on how our community treats art and artists. All of them immediately agreed that when art is presented to the school, whether in the art gallery’s visual pieces or in theatrical or musical performances, it is at the very least enjoyed. This enjoyment may be superficial— a comment that a painting is “pretty,” a play “fun”—but at least some facet of the art is being appreciated. No one here would dare turn in a blank canvas, so the works we walk past in the art gallery or witness on the stage receive infinitely more admiration than condemnation. Every art student is given equal opportunity to have their work displayed, resulting in exposure to a wide variety of style and subject matter. Even less artistically inclined students are required to take a minimum number of arts courses, a graduation requirement many other high schools have done away with. Though an arts requirement is more difficult to justify than, say, one for math or English, especially as most colleges place little value on high school arts courses, Cate has managed to ensure its students are all exposed to art in some manner. However, the school still struggles with granting artists enough time to refine their craft. Especially for upperclassmen, heavy course loads and the often-inconvenient timing of arts blocks means these courses are usually the first to be dropped. The school has made efforts to change this—making theater a sport, counting dance as a varsity requirement, adding more music blocks to S-weeks. But, the truth is, the responsibility of making time for art still falls overwhelmingly on the artist. Advanced art students regularly devote half their weekend to a single project; actors and techies give up their evenings for months preceding the spring play. Sure, the artists are commended for the final product. But rarely are they praised for the hours they put in or given more time for their projects. When it comes to art, we simply aren’t devoted to making time. As Mr. Collins noted, “The norm right now is based on decisions of what is important,” and we have decided, as a school and a society, that academics and, often, athletics take precedence over art. This decision could have wider repercussions than we realize. Art is much more than the final product, and the process of imagining,
creating, and revising is valuable even for those who don’t pursue art. A recent article in The New York Times entitled “Art Makes You Smart” cited a study showing that one visit to an art museum can significantly improve a student’s critical thinking skills; another titled “Music Is The Key To Success” observed that a huge number of high-achieving members of society—Condoleezza Rice, Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft), Larry Page (co-founder of Google)—have dedicated significant chunks of their lives to music. This isn’t to say being an artist automatically leads to later success. But none of these people were just born good at playing saxophone or violin; they worked and worked and worked at it, purposefully practicing breath control and tone the way a soccer player practices shooting and a calculus student practices differentiating equations. Artistic mastery, like any other way of thinking, requires time and work and deliberateness. The ability to stick with something as fickle and thankless as being an artist translates well into an ability to persist and succeed in other areas of life as well. Force students to cut down on their artistic practice time, and their dedication in other subjects suffers as well. Some students learn how to work hard in sports and some in art; however, those who learn it from art find it difficult to convince others of how much art gives them, how much more there is to the process than pencils and paper. Too many people still think art is nothing more than a hobby. To me, art is infinitely more than a vehicle for self-expression. It has been both a source of comfort and delight throughout the years, and I’ve always been encouraged by teachers and relatives to make time for it. As a child, nearly all the gifts I remember receiving from relatives were art-related—an easel from my grandmother, boxes of colored pencils from my parents, tubes of acrylic paint and sketchbooks big enough to fit my whole body on from my grandfather. My hometown has more art galleries than grocery stores, restaurants, and banks combined; as a former teacher so vividly put it, on Vashon, “You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an artist.” Art infused every aspect of my childhood. In school, art class was a twice-weekly occurrence up until sixth grade; even after that, it was offered as a twice-weekly elective. And though art never received as much time as academic subjects, it found its way in somehow. Whether in illustrated study guides or hand-sketched presentations, my teachers were always looking for ways to marry the creative process with academic subjects. Thinking differently by analyzing and expressing ourselves creatively was highly encouraged, giving us a connection to and understanding of the course material we wouldn’t have gotten from classroom discussions or fiveparagraph essays. Though few of us have seriously pursued art since, this way of thinking continues to be valuable in any discipline. At the end of a department meeting, Mr. Anderson expressed his desire for a place where, “people could gather and share their skills and ideas, whatever they’re interested in, whether that be teacups or raising goldfish or building the Parthenon.” While that might be a bit ambitious for the moment, integrating art into other subjects, carving out more dedicated practice times like art relay, and, most importantly, appreciating the artist for his unique way of thinking, would benefit us all. We might not build the Parthenon. But we’ll learn to see the world in an entirely new way.
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Why Do We Play Sports?
On Athletics, Competition, and the Meaning of Life. by Nick Burns ‘14
This sports season, I found I’d gotten a quite unexpected raise. Having been the stalwart keeper on Cate’s playful, fun-loving, and decidedly noncompetitive Thirds Soccer team (affectionately known as “the Trey”), and never having really seriously desired more, I realized this year that, due to a slew of concussions, other injuries, and defections to other sports, I was almost literally the only man for the job of boys’ JV soccer goalkeeper. Scoff all you like, but this meant my first real venture into a team that means business. Sort of. (It is Denison and Swain, after all.) So far, I’ve gotten some insight into a part of Cate that I haven’t seen a whole lot of during my time here, and it’s raised some questions about what the value of team athletics really is, and whether Cate—and the United States as a whole—puts the right emphasis on sports. As if in answer to my thoughts, an article recently ran in The Atlantic entitled “The Case Against High School Sports.” The author points out that America’s obsession with high school athletics is unique in the world, and goes on to present examples of high schools around the country where the athletic budget competed with or even outstripped the academic: at Premont High in Texas, football cost $1300 per player, but math only $618 per student. Another school in the Pacific Northwest paid $1348 per cheerleader, but only $328 per math student. The author then cites the money and focus siphoned away by athletics as a possible factor in explaining why American high school students lag so woefully behind those of many other developed countries in math and science, and advocates cutting sports teams to fund academics. Sounds sensible for most of the country, but at Cate we’re no slouches when it comes to math and science. My thirteen-year-old sister, on the other hand, is a walking testimony to the benefits of team athletics. She’s been on a softball team for the past five years, and has recently switched to volleyball. Despite all the slogging to various California suburbs for tournament after agonizing tournament, she says it’s given her drive, helped her make friends, and taught her how to work as a part of a team. And I’m tempted to agree. Despite all appearances (and my 0 varsity letters), Cate has taught me how to love sports. I’d never played an organized sport before my freshman year, and since then I’ve been a four-year veteran of the awesome Fall Outdoors program, as well as—like I said—a stolid Treyman until this year. There’s a lot to be said about doing something satisfyingly mindless after a day of classes; there’s a rightness about kicking a soccer ball or catching a wave in a surf kayak, a primal catharsis that you can’t get in a classroom or anywhere else. And there’s a certain unity and triumph about sports, too. About that: what’s kept me personally coming back to the Trey for these past three years, even when I wasn’t obliged to, was exactly what my sister was talking about. The Trey practices on the baseball field (literally ‘way out in left field’), where you’re so totally removed from the athletic spotlight that it’s silly to think of doing what you do to compete against someone else, and any pressure to perform is alleviated. This lets you focus on what I think is what team athletics is all about: a chance to unite with teammates around a common goal (no pun
intended), and also to work to improve your own performance. That latter isn’t something to strive towards just in athletics, but also in life. As Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” And that’s what happens on the Trey maybe more than on any other team: self-improvement. Maybe because we’re the worst to begin with, but hey, whatever. That’s what gives you the lingering feeling of accomplishment, and that’s the reason we play: we’re striving to get better at blocking shots, or scoring, or passing. And we’re striving to do these things better as a team, too. Individual skill doesn’t matter if you can’t integrate with others. Likewise, I’ve come to think of life as somewhat of a juggling contest between the individual and the communal. It’s about being detachable: being both self-sufficient and strong as an individual, but also a functioning cog in something grander than yourself. And that’s the goal of a sports team, too. You’re all working towards the same thing, and there’s a unity in this battle to improve, and to improve together, that truly satisfies. So where have we gone wrong? I say in competition. Ask any number of athletes on varsity teams at Cate, and they’ll tell you that their top priority is winning. I say otherwise. Staking your satisfaction on something as fickle as victory is dangerous. For those of you who attended Mr. Williams’ speech this past Family Weekend and heard the story of his college rowing team’s heartbreaking loss at the Henley Regatta, you saw firsthand the arresting impact that a loss can have if one stakes it all on winning. But, as a born-and-bred third-class athlete, I say, for what it’s worth, that competition is just a trick to make us work. We act like we’re working to beat the other guy, but really, that’s just something we tell ourselves for motivation’s sake. What we’re really striving towards, and what burns on and lights our lives when any petty victory has faded, is the improvement we make in ourselves and the unity we forge with our teammates. Just think—does anything else place so much ridiculous emphasis on winning? Do artists paint to win? Do poets write poems to win? No, and if they do their work is as good as worthless. They paint to paint, or write to write. So don’t play to win. Play to play, and play hard. While competitive pressure can make us work hard and achieve, winning is only a subplot to the big end goal: being better, and being better together. So, returning to my original theme of whether we put the right focus on athletics at Cate, I’d say we do a lot of things right; we just shouldn’t care so much about winning. From all I’ve heard about the girls’ volleyball team, that team has given a lot of people the chance to experience the personal improvement and feeling of unity that life’s all about. And if they didn’t win in playoffs, so what? We got a free day out of it, anyway! That’s the attitude I’m taking into my season as a goalie aboard the spiffy junior varsity squad. Wish me luck in the big, scary world of (semi-)serious athletics. Not necessarily to win, but at least not to make a fool of myself, and to improve as a soccer player, a team member, and a human being along the way.
FEATURES 9 continued from front page The abridged version of the story is that the Judah Macabee and his followers were fighting against the oppressive and murderous Antiochus, successor of Alexander the Great. After a small victory, they regained control of their destroyed temple. According to Jewish culture, the temple must be lit at all times, but the Macabees had only enough oilto last them one day. They lit it anyways, and it burned for eight days, the time needed to replenish the oil supply. Hanukkah has eight nights to celebrate the miraculous eight days the oil lasted and the victory over their oppressor Antiochus. So this Thanksgiving, potatoes were shredded for latkas, apples were peeled and boiled for applesauce, presents were bought; and after stuffing ourselves with turkey, all twenty people gathered around the menorah and sang the prayers loud, proud, out of tune, and with different melodies. While our traditions may not be altogether traditional, they are ours, and we practice them with fervor and an open mind. Maybe try a new holiday with friends and family this year. Have a picnic on Bastille Day, celebrate Kwanzaa, make Greek food for Christmas dinner, pick a period each week to have coffee with a friend, or organize a white elephant gift exchange. Find ways to spend time together, to bring back old memories and make new ones. Your traditions don’t have to last more than one practice; what matters is that you might find a fun way to spend time together through a tradition that will ignite happy memories each time it rolls around.
presented by the Student Alumni Assosiation
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an alumnus/a as someone who was a student at a particular school, college, or university. Cate takes that a little farther, defining a Cate alumnus/a as someone who attended Cate for at least one full year. Once we leave Cate, we join a group of over 3,000 alumni who stay connected to the School through service projects, receptions, reunions, and mentorships with current students. Joshua Han ’09 is currently a Political Science major at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. At Cate, Joshua was the President of his class and a member of the football team. Joshua is from Seoul and helped start the Cate Korean Alumni Association. Through this association, he helps gather Cate alumni in Korea for events. Joshua answers some questions from the Student Alumni Association below: What was Presidency like? Did you have a lot of power/influence? Did you do anything that changed the school? Ah… the presidency… I don’t think I had a lot of power or influence just because I was the president, but rather because I was vocal about many issues. A few Disciplinary Committee meetings come to mind where I had a good amount of influence. I don’t think I did anything that really drastically changed the school. I was more about the small changes that helped make everyday life on the Mesa a little better for students. What was the craziest thing you ever did at Cate? In college? Next question. Do you have any tips for the seniors going to college? Don’t Panic. You will be fine. Do you have any tips for current students for their next few years at Cate? Don’t be an idiot. Grasp all the amazing opportunities that Cate has to offer. You are surrounded by a group of the most caring people in the world. You will never get that after you graduate from Cate. Take advantage of all the opportunities that you are given, and make the best out of your Cate experience. I know this is cliché, but ask any alumni, they will say the same thing. What did you find the most challenging to adjust to going to college from Cate? Girlfriend problems. Never had that in high school. What was the best part about leaving Cate? (We know there are sad things that come with kissing the Mesa good-bye, but are there any silver linings?) I actually think I was the only one in my class who did not shed a tear at graduation. But I really can’t think of any. The four years at Cate were the best of my life. I have been stuck on this question for 15 minutes now, and I really can’t think of one thing that was good about leaving Cate. It was a lot of fun and such a rewarding experience. Who was your favorite teacher and why? I do not have a single favorite teacher. Bonning is the best advisor a student can ask for. Patti and Mr. Arango were a great help to me when I was struggling. Mr. Newsome is an amazing teacher. Coach Soto is
simply the greatest person I have ever met. Mr. Mack is a great friend and a decent teacher. Mr. Ransom cared about my health more than my parents ever did. Mr. Swain--I will add him to this list, but I refuse to compliment him. Ms. Griffin was there for all my panic attacks regarding college admissions. I still try to make speeches like Mr. Williams. TSmith is one of the most sincere and caring people I have ever met. I wish Mr. Mason was at Cate starting my freshman year; he arrived my last year. One year with him was too short. The members of the Admission Office... the list goes on and on. Do you find that your bonds with your Cate friends are still strong? Yes, most definitely. Kevin Chu, Issei Suzuki, Jiselle Ooi, Isaac Thompson, Riley Roche, and Geoffrey Mak visited me in Korea during the past few years. I was in New York in October for Fall Break and met Taylor Casey for the first time since graduation. The time gap felt like nothing; we talked for hours. I spent Thanksgiving at Kevin Chu’s place last year, and I will spend the holiday at Isaac Thompson’s this year. I still keep in touch with numerous Cate students like Geoffrey Mak, Kyle McCarty, Jay Park, Albert Cho, Clara Kang, Randy Person, Dave Soto, and Chris Cusack. Even those alumni that I was not really close to on the Mesa--when I see them now, we are able to talk for hours. Was there any class at Cate that significantly changed your opinion about a certain subject? Yes. I entered Cate thinking I was going to focus on math. However, Mr. Newsome really opened my eyes to the humanities, and Mr. Masker’s AP Comparative Government class was so interesting that it led me to major in Political Science. Do you think Cate has sufficiently prepared you for the “real world”? Well, I am still not really in the “real world” considering I am a junior in college after my two years of military service in Korea. However, from my experience during internships with Metaology, Mirae Asset Securities, Business Connect China and Hey Korean, I can confidently say that I was prepared for the “working world”and much thanks is owed to Cate for that. If you could change anything about Cate, what would you change? A number of things come to mind, but if the thoughts in my mind were to be applied to Cate, that wouldn’t be the Cate I remember and adore so much. So I will keep this one to myself. If you have any fun story(ies) to share, please feel free to add them! I recall I went to class wearing my blue bath robe and holding a mug full of coffee. I forgot whose class it was, but I remember that it was pretty funny. Looking back, I have no idea why I did that and why it was funny… Based on the definition above, circle only those below who are Cate alumni: A: Wesley Greason B: Nico Franklin C: David Soto D: Paul Denison E: Sam Kinney
Coming Up: The Sochi Winter Olympics and Gay Rights by Elli Park ‘15
The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics is scheduled to kick off in less than two months, with the opening ceremony taking place on February 7th, 2014. And the public says, with good reason, that this international sports event just might be the most expensive and the most controversial in Olympic history. Sochi is currently facing potential protests from Olympic fans and athletes, since Russia, in June 2013, passed what is viewed by some as the “anti-gay bill,” completely banning public promotion of “nontraditional sexual relations” to minors. A number of organizations, athletes, and celebrities have voiced their intentions of demonstrating support for gay rights on the Olympic sporting grounds -- others have even called for a boycott of the 2014 Games in Russia. However, Rule 50 of the Olympic charter states that: “no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted.” The International Olympics Committee, or the IOC, has made its stance clear: there will be absolutely no tolerance for pro-gay protests during the Games. “Athletes who choose to display pro-gay propaganda will be appropriately, and if necessary, severely penalized,” the Committee said.
The Sochi Olympics is also feared to be the most expensive in history; according to Bloomberg, Russia will likely spend close to $50 billion, more than four times the initial $12 billion estimate. President Putin has coerced large business owners in the country to fund the Games. The cause of this sudden increase in the Olympic budget is still not clear. Whatever may have precipitated this $50 billion cost is a mystery; however, critics are skeptical about the amount of money invested in the Sochi Olympics. Also, the question as to whether or not Russia’s economy will suffer great, detrimental losses after the Games is up in the frigid air. Nobody can really know the effects of the Games on Russia until after all is said and done. But maybe 2014 Sochi will not be so much about gay rights and the laws that ban them. With the effort of the international community, the fantastic athletes, and Russia’s leader, the Olympics could be another international celebration of sports – the only, true goal of the Olympic Games. May the odds be ever in your favor, Sochi.
How Does Cate Celebrate Christmas? Typical festivities on campus and what to look for this year by Lydia Stevens ‘15
The holiday season is always one of excitement and merry spirits, no matter what your faith is (if any!) and what holiday you celebrate. Although Cate celebrates many cultures’ holidays, such as Kwanzaa and Hanukah, Christmas is something that most of us get excited about. Because of this, evidence of Christmas can be seen all around campus. Maybe even in your own dorm room. (Mini Christmas trees!) A key part of the Christmas presence at Cate are the lights strung up along the trees lining the walkways. Now that it gets dark so early, the lights illuminate the path from, say, your dorm to the dining hall while you’re going to dinner. B&G began the project of stringing the lights right before Thanksgiving break, as some of you saw, and the hard-working crew finished it while we were gone. By the time we returned, the lights were all ready for enjoying! If you see B&G members around, be sure to thank them for helping bring some extra holiday cheer to Cate. Additionally, I’m sure we all were surprised to see the beauti-
ful decorations in the dining hall when we came back from break. With garlands wrapped around the chandeliers and wreaths along the walls, it’s impossible not to feel festive every time you step into the dining hall. Even if it’s just to grab an apple during flex, the festive decorations are all around. However, the thing many people most definitely enjoyed last year about Christmas at Cate was the massive decorated tree on Schoolhouse lawn where Santa (aka Wade) made himself available for picture taking and wish telling. Faculty children and students alike sat on “Santa’s” knee and told him exactly what they wanted to see under their own Christmas tree. What a surprise to be walking to class and see Santa sitting on a bench on the lawn! It was certainly a way to bring some classic traditions to Cate, which were greatly appreciated by many. The real question is “Will Santa be making a return appearance this year?” Well. We’ll just have to see. Enjoy the beautiful lights and general happiness, and get excited for all the festivities to come!
Want to submit an art piece for the next issue? Email the editors!
The Sports Gene
Does the elusive sports gene really exist? by Erika Noble ‘14 Wintertime on the Mesa is always so—anticlimactic. No snowstorms, no sledding, no class time spent staring out on a wintry Senior Lawn. Instead we have games outside on the soccer pitch and water polo matches down at the Aquatic Center, courtesy of balmy California. Thankfully, there are plenty other places in the world where snow is a natural, and welcome, addition to the landscape. And a different climate opens a whole new world of sports—ice hockey, snowboarding, skiing. What if we had all these sports at Cate? What would a different climate and entirely new skill set mean for Cate athletes, so accustomed to playing soccer or rock climbing outdoors? Are athletes limited to excel at only a small group of sports because they’ve practiced them for years, because perhaps they’ve never been exposed to something different? On the other hand, would some of our athletes be better at these new sports despite never having played them before? Essentially, are we at an advantage, or disadvantage, and if so, why? Senior writer of Sports Illustrated, David Epstein, explored a similar phenomenon in his recent book, The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performances. Epstein took a new approach to the age-old Nature vs. Nurture conundrum, seeking out exceptional athletes and attempting to identify what part the environment, training, and genetics play in their success. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a gene that would indicate what sports you would be good at? A gene for basketball, a gene for swimming, a gene for lacrosse? As capable, intellectual Cate students, we know this isn’t the case. Right? Eero Mäntyranta is a famous Finnish cross-country skier who won seven Olympic medals and numerous World Championships in his long career. According to the National Geographic, Mäntyranta was gifted from the beginning, winning his first Olympic Gold at the age of twenty-two in the 1960 Olympic Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California. A natural. And he was definitely naturally gifted. Scientists discovered that Mäntyranta was at a genetic advantage. He has a single nucleotide mutation in the gene that codes for the Eryth-
ropoietin (EPO) hormone. Researchers at Rice University say that the EPO hormone plays an important role in red blood cell production inside bone marrow. Due to his mutation, Mäntyranta’s body does not produce a necessary chemical to regulate the EPO hormone, so his red blood cell production is off the charts. He has nearly 65% more red blood cells than the average human. Many of his relatives display the same trait and also excel at cross-country skiing. So what would you say? Do genes play a bigger role in athletic performance than training, than hard work and determination? Are some of us just destined to be better at sports than others? I wouldn’t say so. If you want the long answer behind it come sit in on a discussion with Denison in genetics class. The short of it has to do with multifactorial traits. Some human behaviors and abilities are the product of the combination of several genes and the environment. Just as there is no one gene that codes for intellect or musical ability, there is not one gene that codes for Athletic/not-athletic. Training has a part in athletic performance. Most Improved Athlete, anyone? Never thought you’d make Varsity? You worked hard enough and snagged a spot on the team. That’s not to say that genetics don’t contribute to athletic ability. They do, whether it’s as a dramatic as increased red blood cell production, or the ability to process more oxygen than some other poor endurance athlete. Sadly, there is no definite answer. It would be interesting to sequence all our genomes, to identify areas that are associated with certain athletic characteristics. But to say there is one Sports Gene— well, sorry. In his book, David Epstein doesn’t cite the existence of one “Sports Gene.” He, “…didn’t try to simplify it so much as to make the conclusions inaccurate.” Like any good author he was trying to hook his reader. Trying to grab the attention of a passer-by in Barnes & Noble, or the tired eyes of someone simply browsing through the packed shelves.
El Bat takes a look at the post-season results of this fall’s cross country and volleyball teams by Maddie Becker ‘15
Cross Country: This season proved to be a successful one for the whole cross country program. On the boys’ side, the team saw vast improvement over the course of the season, finding themselves to be a serious competitor even in the post-season. Placing second in the Condor League finals at Thacher, the team continued on to compete at Mt. Sac on November 16th for a place in the State tournament. The team, led by senior captains Andrew Robbins and Andrew Sinclair, placed 11th overall out of 16 teams at the meet. Although perhaps hoping for a better finish, the team was pleased overall with the season’s turnout. In this race Andrew Sinclair took first for the Rams and 33rd overall with 11:28, Robbins took second with 17:28 (53rd), Rei Imada took 3rd with 17:56 (61st), Jack Pruitt took 4th with 18:08 (67th), Dylan Ell took 5th with 18:19 (77th), Edward Zhu took 6th with 18:38 (91st), and Humza Kurshid took 7th with 19:06 (103rd).
As well as the Andrews, the boys cross country team will also lose great leadership from seniors Bryant Perez and Edward Zhu. Although these boys will leave a big gap for the team to fill, coach Tim Smith hopes that with hard work over the next year and with leadership from now juniors Patrick Thomas and Humza Khurshid, the team will have yet another successful season. On the girls’ side, the team was able to make it to the CIF playoffs with a fabulous 2nd place finish at their final meet of the regular season at Thacher. On November 16th, the team traveled with the boys to Mt. Sac for the first round of CIFs; unfortunately, the girls just barely missed the cut-off of 8th place to advance to the second round, placing 9th out of 15 teams in their heat. Looking at numbers, the girls took 13th, 27th, 67th, 70th, 76th, and 82nd over, with sophomore Charlotte Monke six seconds away from qualifying for an individual time that would have brought her to the second round. However, the girls’ team had a very successful season overall, similarly improving considerably throughout the fall through valuable individual improvements.
As a senior-heavy team, though, next year’s girls will find themselves with a lot of work to do. Graduating senior captains Jasmine Paz and Luisa Ilvento, as well as Emily Duong, Lacy Douglas, and Caroline Montgomery, the girls’ team also has a gap to fill; however, with hard work and increased interest in the program next year, there is no doubt the team will continue to succeed.
Volleyball: This year, the girls’ varsity volleyball team ended their season (or so they thought) at the semi-finals of the CIF Southern Section tournament in late November. The Rams played Pacifica Christian in order to compete in the finals, but lost in a grueling 5-set match: 13-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21, 11-15. However, midway into Thanksgiving break the team learned that their season’s overall record was good enough to guarantee them a spot at the CIF Division IV State Tournament. As the 8th seed, the team competed and lost to number one seed Francis Parker on Tuesday, November 26th in San Diego. The final score was 12-25, 17-25, 11-25. Although a tough loss for the Rams, the team finished their season still feeling successful. Next year, the volleyball program will be sad to be withoutcaptains Ellen Lempres and Cydney Pierce, as well as seniors Tamsyn Walker, Sophie Wright, and Brenna Geiger. All were great leaders and role models on the team, as well as valuable assets, and will leave yet another big gap to fill. However, this is not the end for many of the volleyball program’s players. Players on both varsity and JV plan on continuing to play outside of Cate in the winter and spring seasons for local club teams. As California represents a very popular and competitive area for volleyball, there are many existing clubs that give players the opportunities to continue volleyball in the off-season. This, combined with the fact that many of Cate’s volleyball players are day students who can accommodate off-campus travel, may be the reason that this year five Cate students, day and boarder, plan to continue the sport, a number much greater than the school has seen in years.
Writers: Anna Satterfield Chloe King Annie Ahn Rachel Pak Charlotte Monke Michael Revord Cole Waldron Elli Park Layout Editor: Eunbie Coe Jean Shen Gabi Limon Grace MacArthur Section Heads: Kiana Beckmen Features/News: Christi Choi Leighton Brillo-SonSports: Erika Noble Editorials/ Opinion: Anna Lueck nino Lily Xu Entertainment: Monica Wang Lydia Stevens Maddie Becker Nick Burns Olivia Cannell Sandra Silva Sumner Matthews Suzie Park
Photo Editor: Brendan Lokre Photographers: Eliza Wheeler Evan Kate Oetgen Megan Mettler Miriam Weiss Faculty Advisor: Jeff Barton
HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY BREAK!