Vol. LXXXVII, No. 3.5 DEERFIELD ACADEMY, DEERFIELD, MA 01342
September 23, 2012
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins to speak at opening Academy Event A day + with Billy Collins: more chances to interact By EMILY NG Editorial Associate U.S. Poet Laureate (20012003) Billy Collins will be our guest for a night of recited poetry on October 4. Opportunities to interact with Mr. Collins are available through a poetry contest and an informal Q&A session. While the Thursday night Academy Event is the highlight of his visit, Mr. Collins will be available to students on many other occasions. English teacher Heather Liske, who is in charge of organizing the visit, has worked to insure that as many students as possible can meet Mr. Collins in an informal setting. Mr. Collins will hold a poetry workshop with eight students.
To be selected, students have been invited to submit an original poem and explanatory statement to Ms. Liske. This prized opportunity to have a poem reviewed by Mr. Collins will take place during faculty break on Thursday, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., followed by a luncheon with students. In the early evening, faculty members will have an opportunity to dine with Mr. Collins in the Caswell Library before the Academy event. At 7:00 PM, Stefani Kuo ’13 and Ben Turner ’13, co-editors of the literary magazine Albany Road, will introduce Billy Collins to the whole school assembled in the large auditorium. Mr. Collins will begin the academy event, and although there will be a poetry
reading, the rest is a mystery. Immediately following the event, Mr. Collins will be signing books and broadsides in the living room of Ephraim Williams. His books will be available there for purchase, including his latest publication, Horoscopes for the Dead. As the final event on Friday morning, there will be a continental breakfast and informal Q&A session with Mr. Collins in the Hilson Gallery. This setting provides a much more informal ambiance, Ms. Liske said, so students will be able to hear even more of Mr. Collins’ personality and wisdom. Students are encouraged to ask first period teachers if it is possible to take advantage of the special opportunity.
Landing a Poet Laureate: choosing, designing the event Last year, the Academy was fortunate enough to host W.S. Merwin, the current U.S. Poet Laureate, and after much effort and planning, has the opportunity to welcome Billy Collins this fall. “We landed on Collins because he’s engaging and warm, and we knew that he’d hit it out of the park. Also, he shares an agent with previous guest, W.S.
Merwin, making arrangements much easier,” English teacher Heather Liske said. Head of School Margarita Curtis said Mr. Collins’s visit will launch the year in a thoughtful and reflective tone. “Poetry is a good antidote to the life we live here, which is very task and goal oriented,” she said. “Poetry is a balancing element;
it’s almost like a deep breath.” Madeline Moon ’16 said, “It’s a great honor to have him on campus, and during the Q&A session, students will be able to take advantage and ask questions about him and writing as a career. Many will see writing in a different way and start to appreciate it a way they’ve never have before.”
Fallen DA students: Johnson brothers ’37 memorialized on street signs Monday
By KRISTY HONG editor-in-chief
Allan Joel and Thomas Wells Johnson ’37, World War II pilots and brothers whose names are etched in the granite base around the flagpole near the Memorial Building, were killed five days apart in an aerial raid over Germany. “That means the mother received one notification letter, and five days later she received another letter,” said John Cycz, co-chairman of the Deerfield Veterans Street Sign Committee. “You just have to imagine what it was like to be that parent.” The Deerfield Veterans Street Sign Committee will honor the brothers this Monday at 9 a.m. at the intersection of Routes 5 and 10 and the north end of Old Main Street. They will read biographies of the soldiers and unveil two blue, 36 by 9 inch
signs. The signs will rest on top of a street sign to memorialize the brothers. “We wanted to find another way to recognize them besides putting their names on a monument,” Chairman Doug Tierney said. “We came across something in the eastern part of the state, which was to develop signs and put them on top of street signs in proximity to where the men lived.”
“We have not been able to reach any Johnson family. We see the Academy as the Johnson family.”
The Johnson brothers are among the 23 Deerfield soldiers who lost their lives in war. Seven of them graduated from the Academy. With the help of private donations, a project to
have all soldiers memorialized over street signs is underway. “Usually a family member will say a few words and pull off the veil [covering the sign] at the end of the ceremony,” Mr. Tierney said. “We have not been able to reach any Johnson family. We see the Academy as the Johnson family.” The Committee hopes to have a senior, junior, sophomore and freshman at the unveiling and as many members of the community as possible. “We think it’s important that DA participates since it has a rich, strong history about character, values and service,” Mr. Tierney said. “We think it’s equally important that today’s students of the 21st century get to understand 19th and 20th century graduates who helped shape this country.” Continued on the back page
Steven Kovich Billy Collins will be on campus from Thursday, Oct. 4 to Friday, Oct.5.
Tatum McInerney and Tara Murty
Teachers and students take on Collins By CHARLOTTE ALLEN Editorial Associate The first time Stefani Kuo ’13 encountered Billy Collins was in a four-line poem in his poetry collection Ballistics. Titled “Divorce,” the poem described two spoons that turn into hostile forks, hiring knives to settle the papers. “The entire poem is like a pictograph,” Kuo said. “The visuals are so basic and common. People assume poetry is obscure and deep and profound. The moment you read something that simple and almost childlike in its direct description, you’re surprised by how poetic that is.” Kuo read the book from cover to cover one Wednesday afternoon. “After the first poem, I started laughing aloud to myself and kept reading,” she said. “It just got funnier and funnier. His writing is direct, relatable and lightheartedly funny without being dense, morbid or undecipherable.” Kuo, the rest of the student body, faculty and staff, received a copy of Collins’ Sailing Alone Around the Room at the beginning of the school year. In preparation for the second Academy Event featuring a U.S. poet laureate, English teachers are required to spend at least four days looking at poems from the book. Teachers
have taken different approaches to the assignment. English teacher Mark Scandling holds “Poetry Fridays,” during which students read poems aloud and “enjoy Collins’ wit and wisdom,” he said. Michael Schloat is showing videos of Collins reading his work and having his students read poems in class, while Heather Liske’s class is on “a steady diet of Billy Collins,” she said. “I am definitely excited about his visit, because it is a much more powerful experience to hear him in person, when the words live in a way they can’t when you are just reading his poems alone in your room,” Ms. Liske continued. Like the faculty, students said they are eagerly awaiting Collins’ arrival. Nina Sola ’13 said, “I have enjoyed the poems so far and cannot wait to hear him speak in person,” while Izzy Tang ’14 said, “After all the hype leading up to the event, I am excited to hear what he has to say.” Though the style of the Academy Event will be similar to W.S. Merwin’s visit last year, English Department Chair Mark Ott said Collins is a different kind of poet than Merwin. “Merwin is a poet of mystery,” he said. “Billy Collins is mysterious, too, but he is also more a poet of pleasure. His work is both serious and funny, thoughtful and whimsical.”
2 The Deerfield Scroll
VOL. LXXXVII, NO. 3.5
September 23, 2012
Matthew Fox brings a different way of acting to classes, school meeting
SEPTEMBER 23, 2012
Editor-in-Chief KRISTY HONG Front Page CASEY BUTLER
Photography ASHLEY SO
Opinion/Editorial SAMMY HIRSHLAND
Graphics TATUM MCINERNEY
Arts & Entertainment MIRANDA MCEVOY
Online JOHN LEE
Features CAROLINE KJORLIEN
Online Associate DAVE KIM
Sports SARAH SUTPHIN
Editorial Associates CHARLOTTE ALLEN COLE HORTON TARA MURTY EMILY NG JON VICTOR
Advisors JULIE SCHLOAT & ADA FAN
The Deerfield Scroll, established in 1925, is the official student newspaper of Deerfield Academy. The Scroll encourages informed discussion of pertinent issues that concern the Academy and the world. Signed letters to the editor that express legitimate opinions are welcomed. We hold the right to edit for brevity. The Scroll is published eight times yearly. Advertising rates provided upon request.
Continued from front page
The heart and soul of the project, Mr. Tierney said, is Researcher Betty Hollingsworth, who spent up to 18 hours a day researching birth dates, death dates and events leading to soldiers’ deaths for the biographies. Ms. Hollingsworth had to validate the data in three different ways. She said the hardest part was the research, since technology and immediate access to information didn’t exist in the Spanish American War, WWI, and WWII. “Except now I have more information on our Spanish American War than I do on anyone else,” she said. Ms. Hollingsworth used town reports, military sources, gravestones, newspaper articles, and anyone with personal information about the fallen soldiers. An experience that motivates her, she said, comes from when she was 12 years old. “I had twin brothers, and they
Matthew Fox plays Dr. Jack Shepard on the set of “Lost” in Oahu, Hawaii. Matthew Fox, Deerfield Class of ’85 and actor best known for his role on “Lost,” will speak at school meeting and lead acting and photography classes this week. Front page editor and “Lost” devotee Casey Butler interviewed Mr. Fox. Scroll: Why did you come to Deerfield for your PG year, and how involved were you on campus? Fox: Actually, it was my father’s idea. I was going to high school in Wyoming and I hadn’t really made plans for the future. My father had gone to St. Georges in the East and he recommended I go to the east coast and have a year as a PG. I did that, applied to a bunch of schools and chose Deerfield. I played football and ran track at Deerfield. and it was a fantastic year for me. It was very daunting and I was very nervous at first. I wasn’t sure I could handle being away from home for that long a period of time. I wasn’t sure I could handle the school academically, so I was very nervous. But I made some fantastic friends and when I look back I think it was a very pivotal year of my life. I think it opened up my eyes to many new things and I think that’s what a school like Deerfield is supposed to do. It opens your mind to all the possibilities life has to offer. Scroll: Did anyone here have a particularly big impact on you? A teacher or a coach who helped steer you? Fox: The football coach James Smith was a legend at the school, at the time. He had been coaching for many years. In general, the
“We’re doing the right thing for the right reason for the right people.” -Doug Tierney were both in service in Europe. I was a young girl and I was home all alone. In those days, when a person was killed in action, they sent a service person to the door and delivered the message in person. I saw this uniformed service man walk up to the door. I screamed, ‘I will not accept!’ because I thought he had a telegram telling me my brother was killed. But as a young girl, that uniform coming to your doorstep meant that you lost a person. And I was affected by it,” she said. “It is emotional, and it is personal,” Mr. Tierney said of the project. “We’re doing the right thing for the right reason for the right people. We think other communities might want to hear about this and perhaps we can serve as an impetus. Our effort is about service to country, not about campaign or politics. We’re here to honor and service men and women who lost their lives.” Ms. Hollingsworth added, “You feel a strong association with the veterans. While working with them, every day you get a chance to see lives interrupted, departures and homecomings. Some of them are more joyful than others, but that’s the nature of the service.”
school had such an incredible spirit of learning and for the first time in my life, I really got excited about learning. I had been an underachiever in high school and really hadn’t spent a lot of time focusing on my studies. For the first time, I was in a school where I had to study hard and get good marks in classes. I enjoyed all of the classes I took that year.
“I hope I encourage everyone to delay making choices in life too early on, and to keep their minds open to all the possibilities, the infinite possibilities of what they might be doing in their lives.” -Matthew Fox Scroll: Do you have a best Deerfield memory? Fox: I have many, many Deerfield memories. It was an amazing year. The first half, I felt like I was treading water a little bit as the farm kid from Wyoming. In the second half of the year, I felt like I had really made friends and felt part of the school. You know, as a PG at any school, you’ve basically just started junior or senior year, and you’re in a class with people who mostly have been together for three or four years. It was easy to feel slightly alienated at the beginning of the year, but by the end, I really felt part of the school. Scroll: Did you act here at all? Fox: I didn’t start acting until I had graduated from Columbia. I didn’t study theatre until I graduated. I got my degree in economics at Columbia, and then I decided to take some acting classes. It was intriguing to me.
I was curious about it, and that’s how I started in New York Scroll: What was your first big acting job? Fox: “Party Of Five” was the first big job. I had done some small things. I was in an episode of a show called “Wings” and a small part in a film. But “Party Of Five” turned out to be a sixyear chapter of my life working on that show. I had a degree in economics and here I was on a show trying to learn how to be an actor. Scroll: Do you have a favorite character that you have played? Fox: No. They are all very different and have different challenges. They all need different things from you and you learn by trying to figure them out. I’ve enjoyed every one of the projects I’ve been a part of and working as hard as I can to try to bring myself to the telling of a story in the best way I can. Scroll: About “Lost”—It was on for six years, so was it hard to let go of the show, or were you ready to start something new? Fox: Well, a little bit of both. It was an incredible experience, and there were so many people involved in the making of it that I knew I would miss and I probably wouldn’t see again. There was a part of it that was melancholy at saying goodbye to that, but there was also a big part of me that was excited to what was next. That’s why I’m enjoying where I am right now, being home and doing some plays. Q&A continued on Scroll online: visit scroll.deerfield.edu
What it takes to plan an Academy Event
The people and process behind the scenes By EMILY NG Editorial Associate
Ashley So and Cole Horton
Jade Moon ’13 decided to ask Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica, the software her multivariable calculus class used, and iPhone’s Siri, to visit campus last spring. “We were in such awe of him that we decided to email him on a whim, and he responded saying he was happy to come to campus free of charge,” she said. “His visit was important because our math class was based off of his work, and we were able to bring a math speaker for once.” Moon is one of the many
students to propose ideas to the Academy Events Committee, a group of faculty members who organize two events per year so that students will experience a diverse range of topics. Though Mr. Wolfram’s visit was not an Academy Event, many students came to hear him speak. “We try to bring something interesting, and also something to get students thinking in new ways, whether it be a global or local issue,” said Committee Member and College Advisor Dean Elizabeth Bishop. Along with Ms. Bishop, Dean of Students Amie Creagh and Theater Director Catriona Hynds, among others, sit in the committee. Ms. Hynds said she uses past
experience as a managing director of a performing arts center to play the role of “negotiator” for the Committee. She coordinates contracts and debates the fees, legal specification, publicity, and technical needs with visitors’ agents. One of the year’s academy events is dedicated to theater, music or dance according to a three-year rotation. The other event is generally a speaker of any topic. Each Academy Event night has a special schedule. While one event is a co-curricular night, the other is a no-homework night. “We are very fortunate and privileged to get speakers of this caliber on this campus and be able to work directly with the students,” Ms. Hynds said.