Vol. LXXXIX, No. 5
deerfield academy, deerfield, ma
Deerfield takes on new-age drug issue
// BROOKE HOROWITCH
Associate Editor On October 14, The Boston Herald’s Bob McGovern described Deerfield as a “posh private school grappling with a new-age pot problem.” Indeed, in early October, the Academy’s Disciplinary Committee confronted seven students who allegedly possessed a novel form of marijuana. Their story exploded on campus, inciting rumors and
Ted x at DA I think TedX talks will “connect our community by initiating curiosity in each other’s passions and discoveries.
- Megan Retana ‘15 Read the article at Deerfield.edu/Scroll
controversy. Dean of Students Amie Creagh chronicled the actual events: “The story began with chatter that implicated a female student selling drugs on campus. My concern grew as conversations and a room search [solidified the accusation]. I then contacted our school lawyer and asked if I could look into her phone. He confirmed this was legal, because I had reasonable suspicion of
dealing.” Maggie Kidder ‘16 responded: “As a private school I understand that the administration has rights over the students, but they definitely created mistrust, making the school a more uncomfortable environment for students.” Although many others questioned this potential violation of privacy, the phone messages verified that the student, who later withdrew from the Academy, had provided marijuana to several fellow students. As a result, “[The Disciplinary Committee] looked into seven users and buyers, placing six on probation with varying degrees of suspension,” Creagh recalled. “One received a warning for off-campus use.” Creagh also dispelled several rampant myths, insisting that she “accepted committee recommendations” for each student. She added that no parent or trustee influenced the proceedings, the school never violated its sanctuary policy, and “we did not force students to name any others involved.” The gossip among students did not cease, however, as police dogs soon arrived on campus to search another purported dealer’s room. Creagh justified this seemingly harsh action in an email to parents: “We have solicited help from our local police, with whom we share a good personal and professional relationship. Through them, we have access to a drug-sniffing
12 november 2014
dog. The dog can walk down a dormitory hallway and point out which rooms may have drugs in them and which rooms are clear. This then allows us far greater precision in our work, and, most importantly, it spares students who previously might have been subjected to the fully random room search, an uncomfortable and invasive process. (Please note that involving our local police in the process does not require us to include them or MA state law in our response.)” According to Creagh, the perils and challenges of marijuana in vaporizers, “pot pens,” and oil form demanded the meticulous searches. The drug has a formidable presence nationwide, and many high-schoolers have taken advantage of these new consumption trends, which increase its potency and do not release pot’s distinguishable odor. Despite the administration’s actions, drugs continued to threaten campus safety. As a result, Deerfield implemented an amnesty policy. During a specified interval, students could place contraband substances in boxes to “get stuff out and go drug free without negative consequences,” Creagh explained, adding, “We hoped to encourage good decisions after students brought drugs onto campus in the first place. I want kids to feel like we value good decisions, no matter when they are made.” Many took advantage of the opportunity, placing vaporizers, electronic cigarettes,
prescription pills, alcohol bottles, and chewing tobacco tins, along with liquid marijuana and nicotine, in to the bins. Soon after, however, faculty members discovered additional vaporizers, vodka, and homemade bongs concealed in dormitory ceiling panels. This indicates Deerfield has made strides in eliminating drug use but must continue to address what Dr. Margarita Curtis, Head of School, referred to as a “challenge and dilemma, but not a crisis” when speaking to parents. Some students, however, have questioned whether the school is violating their privacy. “I don’t think dogs are a bad thing, but I think the school makes it pretty clear that anything we own is subject to search: cellphones, rooms, anything,” Walter Chrysler ‘16 said. It is not a good or bad thing, just a fact: there is no privacy at Deerfield.” In an attempt to allow students to “own the issue,” as Curtis put it, the Academy will initiate several partnerships and programs to encourage supportive discussion among community members. In addition, former Boston Celtic Chris Herren will speak about his drug abuse and rehabilitation later this month. Creagh maintained, “Conversations about drugs will not overtake our campus. Most of our students are drug free and don’t feel tempted. Nonetheless, I think lessons about drugs, information about their effects, and strategies for avoiding them are important for all at this age.
OTHER HEADLINES Frontier High School Shooting Threat
CONTROVERSY OVER LOCAL PIPELINE
No Midterm Grades for Freshman
Physical Plant’s Green Efforts
“On October 23, 2014, nearby Frontier Regional High School was the target of a social media threat issued by Nicholas R. Schauer, age 19.” //Liam Morris ‘15
“The Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project outlines the construction of a 177-mile high-pressure gas pipeline planned to cross Deerfield property. It will cross through Deerfield in the North Meadows, north of the small loop.” //Julia Dixon ‘16
“Recently, the Deerfield Academic Committee proposed a rubricbased grade for all incoming freshmen, meaning the Class of 2018 did not receive a numerical midterm grade this fall.” //Maddie Moon ‘16
“Deerfield Academy is a campus that not only bleeds green at sporting events, in our art studios and on the stage, but also in our attempts to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly as a community.” //Maddie Nelson ‘15
people feel that as soon as you become sick, your name gets out there as being infected. It’s almost like a scarlet letter. When people know you have the illness [they] could make fun of you or avoid you for fear of getting sick as well.” Other students were not deterred by fears of catching the highly contagious disease. Countless dance-goers still participated in mosh pits and danced in sweaty costumes in close proximity with other potentially infected people. As Liam Gong ’17 stated, “Having fun with my friends, celebrating Halloween and going to one of the four Sadie’s Dances I will have in my life is something that I will risk getting sick for.” On October 22, on the Daily Bulletin, Dr. Hagamen posted, “Managing Ebola Risk at Deerfield”. In this report he added new perspective, while assuring the community that the risk of infection is extremely low. He again advised all students, staff, and faculty to receive a flu shot
and take special care of personal hygiene. Also, he asked that all visitors who have traveled to Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea within the past 21 days contact the Health Center immediately. Dr. Hagamen concluded, “I will continue to carefully monitor these issues and will let you know should anything change. Despite the current anxiety over Ebola, it is my hope and expectation that we will experience a healthy and successful school year. Please feel free to call or email with any concerns.”
Read these articles online at Deerfield.edu/Scroll.
A plan to prevent outbreaks //LUCY BINSWANGER Staff Writer
The recent Ebola epidemic has created widespread panic across the globe, the virus having already infected an estimated 13,450 in West Africa and nine in the United States. Drastic precautions have been taken in order to control the transmission of the deadly virus. Although not nearly to the same extreme, Deerfield is going through an outbreak of its own: Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD). Both students and parents received emails about the highly contagious disease; however, this is not the only nor the most dangerous epidemic that has occurred at DA. In the spring of 2009, there was an outbreak that warranted much more concern at Deerfield:
swine flu. “It was unclear about how institutions could handle a major threat like that,” said Dr. Hagamen, Director of Medical Services. “New strains of flu could have a high infection and death rate. It was feared that that the flu epidemic might be similar to the last swine flu epidemic in 1918, when boarding schools had people die.” Early into the span of the epidemic that spring, Parents Weekend was canceled in order to prevent any further spreading of the disease. Dr. Hagamen went on to explain that it was soon clear that swine flu posed no major threat at Deerfield. But, in order to control a major disease outbreak such as swine flu, the correct planning and execution was required. It included the notion that if any students were to be infected and lived within three hours of the school, they were to be sent home. There was also room in the Health Center for students who contracted the illness, which was full for about two weeks due to
the high infection rate. Compared to an influenza outbreak, HFMD seems quite mild as only an estimated 20 to 30 students have been infected. After the first email from Dr. Hagamen was sent out, which included details on the virus’s appearance at Deerfield, panic ensued within the student body. To avoid contracting the illness, many decided not to attend the long-awaited Sadie’s dance. “People are concerned, because everybody here is in such close proximity,” explained Chase Swinerton ’15. “We all go to the same locker rooms, the same dining hall, and we touch all the same surfaces. Because of that, boarding schools are a breeding ground for disease. We’re packed in here like sardines.” But students are not simply worried about missing class, sports, or other social obligations when it comes to contracting an illness. There is another specter. “In my opinion those actions are mostly socially driven,” Science Department Chair Dr. Dennis Cullinane stated. “I think
The Health Center posted Ebola warning signs across campus.
//lucy baldwin Staff Writer
n early October, a group of six Deerfield students boarded a plane for Amman, Jordan. Accompanied by English teacher Anna Steim, Global Studies Director David Miller and Chief Financial Officer Keith Finan, the student delegates—Serena Ainsle ’16, Arianne Evans ’16, Hannah Casey ’15, Ally Edwards ’17, Quentin Jeyaretnam ’16 and Jeffrey Sun ’17—were headed to the King’s Academy in Jordan to represent Deerfield at the 2014 International Round Square Conference. Round Square is a global association consisting of more than 100 member schools, hailing from over 80 countries, which all share a common philosophy and goal. These member schools seek to instill in their students a dedication to personal development and responsibility through service and experiential learning. This development is achieved by supporting the six pillars— or IDEALS— of Round Square: internationalism, democracy, environmental stewardship, adventure, leadership and service. In the words of Nahla Achi ’15, a Round Square conference alum and current committee member, “The goal of Round Square is to bring together students from around the world and shape them to become future leaders.” Once the Deerfield group arrived in Jordan, before meeting the delegates from the other attending schools, they began the trip with a two-day cultural experience. This “pre-conference” was designed by Ms. Steim, who taught at King’s Academy for two years. The intention of this experience was to allow the students some time to process and adjust before the conference started. They visited various important cultural and historical sites in Jordan and undertook reading to familiarize themselves with the region. During this immersion experience, Mr. Miller, usually one of the leaders of the Round Square trips, reported, “The students were participating in seminar discussions just like you would around a Harkness table at Deerfield, except we happened to be in a marketplace in Jordan talking about how what we were seeing related to our understandings and misperceptions of the Middle East.” This idea of misperceptions was related to the conference’s central theme, which was Al Salamu Alaikum, Arabic for “Peace be with you.” Every year the conference changes its location and theme, which usually serves as a means to focus the conversation on a specific issue or topic. According to Mr. Miller, the topic was the biggest difference between this year’s conference in Jordan and last year’s conference in Florida. He compared the two, saying, “The topic of this [year’s] conference was much more urgent and relevant, thinking about peace and thinking about stereotypes in the Middle East.” Mr. Miller noted the powerful impact that the location of the conference, during such a critical time in international events, had on the discussions and the conference as a whole. Jeffrey Sun ’17 also commented on the impact of the location: “The fact that the conference was situated in Jordan, surrounded by many major ongoing conflicts, added magnitude to it. It provided a sense of urgency, an overwhelming feeling of responsibility that you can’t just simply push away.” Sun added, “During the week of conference, Pakistan began its first round of airstrikes on Syrian ISIS
targets, the UN proposed a reconstruction project in Gaza, and 47 civilians were killed in a bombing incident in Yemen.” With these conflicts occurring in close proximity to Jordan in the weeks leading up to the conference, safety became a major concern for a lot of the member schools, including Deerfield. “In the end there were 10 schools that decided not to go this year,” Mr. Miller said. “My primary job [as the Director of Global Studies] is to advise the school on assessing the risks of travel.” In researching the situation, Deerfield was extremely careful. The Global Studies Department spoke with contacts in the U.S. State Department and people in Jordan, and even ran the entire itinerary through a team of security analysts. Mr. Miller added, “The challenge is the geography; the Middle East is very small, so Syria and Iraq have borders with Jordan; and the violence going on in the West Bank was in locations where, if you took binoculars from some of the locations we went, you might be able to see [it].” However, Mr. Miller wanted to emphasize, both to the students and to the parents, that in going to Jordan they would not be entering a war zone: “At the time that we were going, the risk of things happening in New York City or New Jersey was more elevated than they were in Amman, Jordan.” Nonetheless, the prospect of the trip was worrisome to many parents, including Mr. Miller’s, so the school remained open to canceling the trip, no matter the cost to the school, up until the moment the group boarded the plane. After moving past the logistics and the safety concerns, the group became fully immersed in all the activities of the conference. Through lively barazza discussions, keynote speakers, adventure trips to surrounding cultural sites, and service projects, the students and faculty of the 60 different schools in attendance were able to interact and create meaningful relationships. Quentin Jeyaretnam ’16 said, “The primary objective of these discussions, and of this conference, was to create understanding and connections between some of our generation’s shakers and movers.” Sun added, “The essence of the conference lies within the intellectual discussions between the student delegates.” And Hannah Casey ’15 said, “I really felt like we were building a small international community.” A large part of Mr. Miller’s focus on the trip was concentrated on developing Deerfield’s relationships with other member schools. “A lot of time,” he said, “was spent trying to make partnerships that would create more opportunities for students from other locations and also from Deerfield, to get a more robust global education.” Arriving back on campus, Arianne Evans ’16 declared, “Round Square is a unique opportunity,” different from any other Deerfield trip, “because it allows students to learn about global issues from the perspective of peers our own age.” Ally Edwards ’17 agreed: “Round Square is different from other global studies trips because it gives you the opportunity to meet students from all over the world as well as hear their opinions and learn about their cultures.” Now, in an effort to promote the IDEALS and share the experiences of both the 2013 and 2014 conferences, the committee is trying to determine the role of Round Square on the Deerfield campus. Maddie Nelson ’15 said, “With many clubs, the new center [name this] and other extracurriculars on campus that pertain to all of Round Square’s ideals, it has been difficult for Round Square to find its niche.” While in the process of determining its own role, the committee has also developed a few ideas that it is considering for the future of Round Square at Deerfield. One is to hold a small conference at Deerfield and invite a few local schools to explore the Round Square IDEALS and discuss the issues that the program currently faces. The committee is also looking to expand the ideal of adventure on campus, possibly by implementing an adventure experience over Long Winter Weekend. According to Mr. Miller, “Figuring out where the direction of Round Square is going was a big focus of our time at this conference; and as the organization grows, they are evaluating what they want to be as an organization and we are evaluating how we can take advantage of those opportunities.”
The Deerfield Scroll
12 November 2014
Takes JORDAN Internationalism Democracy Environment Adventure Leadership Service
Serena Ainslie ‘16 socializes with a local bagpiper.
This young man felt so blessed upon his acceptance to King’s Academy, and treasures each day here in a way that reminded me to appreciate each of my days at Deerfield. He also encouraged me to look at situations with greater optimism.
//Serena Ainslie ‘16
Jamshid told me about his background and why he chose to study at King’s. He said that his father works as a driver and his mother stays at home. His seven brothers all received public education in Afghanistan, and were planning to join the army or the police force as soon as they graduated from high school. But Jamshid has a different plan.
Select members of Round Square enjoy an exotic dinner of mixed grill.
//Jeffrey Sun ’17
We ended up talking for close to an hour, discussing ISIS, the Hong Kong protests, the Occupy movement, and, surprisingly, co-curriculars offered at Deerfield. This kind of discussion, where we could be honest with our opinions and spark actual debate, was where the ideals of Round Square really shone through. Through open discussion with people from all sorts of different backgrounds, cultures and privileges, we can strive for peace and understanding.
//Quentin Jeyaretnam ‘16 Deerfield Flickr
Jeffrey Sun ‘17 scans the vast city of Amman.
When I first learned I would be going to Jordan, I immediately thought of a desert plateau built up with small houses of Jordanians and many refugee camps with people coming from Palestine and Syria. In the first five minutes of our bus ride to Jerash, I could see that Jordan was nothing but hills. The hills did not have much green on them, but they produced incredible valleys and inspired a sense of awe. As we climbed to look at the famous ruin of the Artemis Temple, a cry let out that could be heard from miles away. This cry turned into a song that was being used as a Call to Prayer. This mesmerizing and enchanting song was heard by everyone living in the boundaries of the city, which I think brought a sense of community I have never experienced before.
//Ally Edwards ‘17
The Round Square crew poses in front of Petra, the world-famous temple.
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 5
12 november 2014 editor-in-chief HENRY COBBS
managing editor MARGARET CHAPPELL
online editor CHARLIE UGHETTA
front page KATHERINE CHEN
online associate WILLIAM UGHETTA
opinion & editorial GARAM NOH
graphics associate RACHEL YAO
features GORDON XIANG
layout associates WILLIAM HODGES WILLIAM VON WEISE
arts & entertainment MICHELLE KELLY
associate editors DAVID DARLING JULIA DIXON MARGO DOWNES CAROLINE FETT BROOKE HOROWITCH BELLA HUTCHINS RYAN KOLA MADDIE MOON FELIX schliemann ELIZABETH TIEMANN
sports COLE FAULKNER video EMILY YUE ANNIE BLASBERG distribution manager YONG-HUN KIM
senior writers LUCY BALDWIN layout & graphics CAROLINE COPPINGER CHLOE SO OLIVIA DAVIS Dorie Magowan photography EMILY MAHAN JISOO RYU LIAM MORRIS advisors JULIANNE 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. Opinion articles with contributors’ names attached represent the views of the respective writers. Opinion articles without names represent the consensus views of the editorial staff.
fewer grades, more REFLECTION? Due to the extreme stress that students experience from grades, Deerfield has decided that teachers will not show grades to freshmen students until the end of the term. While sophomores, juniors and seniors will still receive marks on assessments and midterm grades, the freshman class will not. They are encouraged to focus more on teachers’ comments, and move away from the attention that Deerfield students passionately apply to grades. We here at The Scroll believe that Deerfield’s decision to give qualitative reports emphasizing different skill sets, rather than number grades, for freshmen fall midterms will enhance the learning experience of the student body in upcoming years. The change enables freshmen to focus more on the process of learning than on a number that may inaccurately reflect a student’s efforts. Especially during the first half of a student’s first term at Deerfield, it is difficult for all aspects of a student’s efforts and progress to be encompassed by a single number. Our mode of academic evaluation for freshmen is rightly starting to emphasize that the learning experience is a two-way discussion with room for mistakes, reflection and improvement, not a one-way handing down of judgment. Can preventing knowledge of one’s grade cause stress for a student? Perhaps, but the Scroll Board encourages freshmen to embrace this more liberal style of evaluation, at least for their first term at school. We believe this is Deerfield’s attempt to establish a healthy attitude towards academics in freshmen early on in their Deerfield careers—an attitude that focuses on improving skills, rather than raising numbers. We here at The Scroll have learned through many years of experience that though it may seem otherwise at times during one’s career at Deerfield, the true value of a good education ultimately lies in the means, not the ends.
respect for all Recently there have been some incidents that have drawn the attention of students to the need for mutual respect and protection of privacy between teachers and students on campus. We at The Scroll believe that strong ties between students and teachers are essential to the Deerfield community. Transparency in these relationships is key. However, lately it seems that while the administration addresses student infractions of the respect policy in a transparent, disciplinary fashion, faculty aren’t always held to the same standard. Student actions often become quickly public to the community while the faculty does not seem to run the same risk. We see Deerfield as our home, a place where we will grow up, make mistakes and learn from them. It seems unfair that the respect policy is not applied equally to students and faculty, specifically that the privacy of students is not regarded as valuable compared to the privacy of faculty. While direct communication between community members does continue to be one of the most valued practices of Deerfield, the recent inconsistency in the degree of openness of communication, depending upon whether the offender of a school value is a student or a teacher, has left students feeling as if they are not regarded as equal members of the community. We at The Scroll understand there is a difference in expectations and responsibilities between adolescents and adults in many cases. But in the case of respect, the expectations and responsibilities should be the same. In order for students to trust adults on campus and vice versa, the administration must respond to infractions of the respect policy in a consistent manner, whether the offender is a student or a teacher. Complete transparency and equality of treatment in response to infractions of the respect policy are essential steps towards making this campus feel equally safe for all its members.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Reader, This past Thursday, I quickly scrolled the length of the page one last time, held my breath, then clicked. My Early Decision application was submitted. If I later spot a glaring typo or have a sudden epiphany, it is too late. My fate is sealed. I felt a profound sense of satisfaction . . . and fear. But I also feel sadness and disbelief. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was sitting at home over Thanksgiving Break, filling out prep school applications. And now, I have officially completed the first final step in the process of finding a new home. Though I
toured nearly a dozen colleges this summer and lost sleep over preparing for college admission tests, the end game all seemed so far off. I have been in denial. I cannot avoid the fact that we are at the beginning of the end. And though any good graduation speaker will tell you that leaving high school is just the “end of beginning,” I have to disagree. Our grade has only just begun to shed the self-consciousness that sometimes inhibited us from building meaningful relationships and from making decisions that would truly have made us happy during the first few years. The places, people, and
tasks that seemed so daunting when we first began are now non-events. We finally feel comfortable in our own skin and with the roles we have grown into at the Academy. And yet now our time is running out. Are we ready to leave? This “forever” that I imagined while filling out my boarding school applications didn’t include graduation. Have we accomplished everything that we set out to accomplish? Before it’s too late, let’s strive to make a few more friends, mend fences and set in place lifetime soul mates. In just a short time we’ll be out the door. All the best, Henry Cobbs
Apologies to Cameron Thrasher ’17 for misspelling his last name and for leaving out Beatriz Labadan ’16, Nicolas Labadan ’18 and Gozzy Nwogbo ’18 in the New Student Map last issue.
a secret life at deerfield // MARGARET MCGRAW Contributing Writer My experience at Deerfield can be summed up into four years of failing math and French tests—and crying in every building on campus (yes, even Johnson-Doubleday). Life at Deerfield is difficult. Once I received my acceptance letter to DA, I was pulled into a different world. I was the star at middle school, acing every test and working the hardest. But the second I unlocked my room on Mather II in 2011, I was no longer the best. I had to repeat Algebra I freshman year, something that remained a constant reminder for the rest of the year that I wasn’t as smart as I’d thought I was. I started using makeup my freshman year. I was forced into a culture in which I couldn’t be the real me. I felt inferior to the people I passed on the sidewalk every single day. I wasn’t the prettiest, the coolest or the smartest. I was just me. Thoughts of leaving school have drifted in and out of my mind as I navigate the challenges that weigh down my shoulders every day. I have been obsessed with my appearance, my grades, whether a boy liked me, and who my friends are. There is a culture here that demands that we always act like we all have everything together. As Deerfield students, we’re not allowed to have flaws. Every time I break down,
shame swells inside of me. People will tell me that I’m not alone, but it’s hard to believe when you don’t see it anywhere else. I don’t know if everyone else is stronger than me or if I’m just overly sensitive. It takes merely a prick for tears to rush down my face and my breath to shorten. Each time this happens, I feel lonely, even though words of support echo in my ears. I don’t have anything together, and last year showed me that I had allowed external forces at this school to tear me apart. This school has made me feel ashamed of who I am and the amount of times that I have fallen apart. Trust me, it sucks when you start crying in the middle of a math test and everyone just stares at you like you’re crazy. Deerfield has this ability to confine one to a corner if one doesn’t adhere to its image of an ideal student, the kid who has everything together—Cum Laude, community service hours, proctor, peer counselor, DC member, captain, etc. And if you fit that mold, you are expected to be on top of your game and to never show emotions—sadness, anger, jealousy, and the rest. If you tell someone how you feel, you are ostracized, and the blame is placed upon you for feeling that way. There is no room for openness. Sometimes it feels almost like the school motto is not “Be worthy of your heritage,” but “Don’t tell me how
you really feel.” Although there are the select few members of the community who will take the time to hear you out, expressing your emotions is like a cardinal sin . . . not allowed. It’s looked down upon to say that you’re going to meet with Dr. Bicknell or Dr. Fritz because people think that you’re dealing with way too many issues, or that you’re weaker than everyone else. You’re seen as a basket case or a drama queen. Nobody thinks for a second that, maybe, you just needed someone to really listen to you without judgment. I like to be open. Crying in every building on campus is something of an accomplishment, and I know, in the end, I must not be the only one who feels so lonely here sometimes. Rather than hiding behind a cloak of emotional invisibility, we here at Deerfield need to start telling people how we really feel. At moments, I have allowed my frustrations to come to a point of eruption, and when it gets to that point, those emotions are hard to deal with. The community should be accepting of every member; it shouldn’t force students to hide their true selves. Everyone should feel like they can express how they feel without being considered weak. Being unafraid to admit when you need help, when you’re having a hard time, is not cowardice. Sometimes, it’s even the braver thing to do.
CHOATE DAY, 1950
The Deerfield Scroll
Caroline Fett tells all // CAROLINE FETT Associate Editor
It’s no secret what happened a few weeks ago on campus. Between the one student who withdrew from Deerfield facing disciplinary action and the seven students who faced the DC, most members of our community are acquainted with someone involved in what has been widely referred to as “the drug bust.” I was one of the seven. And one of my good friends was the one. Despite the fact that I was as close to the situation as one could be, I still don’t know what to think. I continue to ask myself hard questions. Is it fair that seven students had to go before the DC, while every student who wasn’t implicated by the confiscated phone received amnesty? Is it right that some of the worst drug offenders on campus simply had to put their “stashes” in a cardboard box, while seven of their peers, some of whom had violated the drug and alcohol policy just one time, were suspended? I don’t know the answers to these questions. It makes sense that the administration took action against the students for whom they had incriminating evidence, but why did they stop where they did? Why didn’t they confiscate everyone’s phone? There has been a lot of discussion on campus regarding the privacy aspect of this case. Many members of our community are pondering the following: Why was the administration allowed to confiscate a student’s phone and computer? What gave the deans the power to search through the private property of a student and use it as evidence in a disciplinary hearing? Is that fair? Is that even legal? After a discussion with Dean of Students Amie Creagh, I found the answers to some of these questions. Yes, the school has the right to search through a student’s private property if there is “reasonable suspicion” of misconduct. However, Ms. Creagh stressed that the administration only ever does this in exceptional circumstances. The two examples offered were drug dealing and compromising photos, both of which are punishable by law. At this point, you might be
// EILEEN RUSSELL Contributing Writer
My fourth-period class had been let out early, so I found myself sitting in the nearly empty Dining Hall lobby. A handful of other students were sitting quietly and working on their computers or reading. In order to take advantage of my few minutes of extra time, I pulled out my phone and began to sort through the e-mails I had received since first period. Right then, Ms. Creagh walked into the lobby and raised an eyebrow at me. I apologized, put my phone away, and pulled out my iPad to finish going through my e-mails. This instance illustrates the flaws in our cell phone policy, particularly with regard to cell phone use in the Dining Hall. The cell phone policy, which restricts cell phone use to specific areas on campus with the intention of creating a community in which everyone is engaged, has become obsolete since cell phones, iPads and
outraged. You might be thinking to yourself: “The school should not have the right to my private property. This is not what I thought I signed up for when I came to Deerfield.” Or you might be neutral: “What do I care if the school can go through my phone? I have nothing to hide.” You might even be relieved that the school is equipped with the tools to combat drug use and other illicit activities on campus. Wherever you are on this spectrum, take a moment, and realize what could have happened. Worst-case scenario: if Deerfield were a public school, the first thing the administration would have had to do if they were forced to confront a case of drug-dealing on campus is call the police. Instead of going home to finish out the remainder of the year, the member of our community who withdrew could be in a juvenile detention center, and have a criminal record to contend with for the rest of her life. Instead Of making s t at e m e n t s to read in front of fellow classmates and teachers on the DC, the seven students implicated on the phone could have had to make statements to the police. Even some of our peer schools have to involve their local police each time there is a drug offense on campus. And not just for cases of dealing; if any student is caught using drugs, some prep schools, like Exeter, for example, are required to contact the police. With this information in mind, it’s worth considering that Deerfield might actually be protecting us from a harsh reality that many of us have never even considered. Unfortunately, as is true for many high schools, drug use is widespread at Deerfield– widespread to the point that people who are caught consider themselves unlucky, rather than wrong. We as a community need to address the why of the issue. Not the who, what, where, when, or how. We cannot hope
to solve this problem unless we understand why kids are using. Are there addicts on campus? Are kids bored? Are they stressed? Is it a result of this generation of teenagers feeling like they are invincible? Or are some kids using to cope with personal issues that they’re struggling with? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then the drugs are not the issue. It’s the feelings, thoughts and pressures that drive people to use. The stark truth is that the majority of people using drugs are only worried about getting caught and having to explain the dreaded three-day suspension to colleges—not with the moral issues involved. And yes, many kids who face a drug-andalcohol DC will never use these substances on campus again. But off campus? You can be fairly certain
to be made. The way our community thinks about drugs needs to be altered. Restorative measures need to supplement punitive ones. We need more conversations and fewer DCs. What many people don’t know, however, is that we have already started down that path. I think it is important that the school community be aware about what course of action the school is taking to address the drug problem on campus before it judges the administration for its decisions. It is clear that the administration, as well as other leaders in our community, are working to combat the drug problem with measures that surpass the merely punitive. And while we have a long way to go, we are taking the right first steps. The administration has spoken on its plans for the next few months: • M s . C re a g h ’ s comments at school meeting encouraged students to get help from the Health Center. She hopes she made it clear that she understands adolescent mistakes, as she made a lot of them. More than anything, her hope is for Deerfield students to be healthy and grow healthy habits when they’re here. •The administration offered an amnesty/”reset” so that kids could begin TIA JONSSON to remove drugs and alcohol from their lives freely. Doing right after that some users will go home wrong is a big point of emphasis for break and indulge over the for those in the Deans’ Office because it shows growth. duration of their “freedom.” •The administration held a Why does the student body react to a drug-and-alcohol DC faculty meeting just after these differently than a DC dealing drug events to help colleagues with the school’s honor code? support students who may Why is smoking a joint different be struggling with drugs and from cheating on a test? Or alcohol. The hope was to raise both awareness and support. telling a lie? •The administration is going I think it’s because we, as Deerfield students, consider to meet with proctors and peer lying and cheating immoral. Drug counselors about drug and use, on the other hand, is widely alcohol use on campus so they viewed as acceptable. We’re can refer students to the Health teenagers, and rebelling comes Center for help. •A group of students on naturally to us. The percentage of kids who experiment with campus who’ve been involved drugs before graduating from with drugs and/or alcohol will high school is huge—so, do we meet with younger students and consider using drugs to be health classes to talk about the immoral? No, because it’s so very stressors I articulate in this article. Ideally, this impacts a often seen as typical. This is why a change needs full “generation” of DA kids, who
russell calls for reason computers now serve nearly the same purposes. I receive text messages on my iPad, I call my parents with Skype on my computer, and I read the news on my phone. While talking on the phone in a public place is a different matter, using a phone otherwise is hardly any different from using a laptop or reading a book. Consider the Dining Hall example above. With my head over my phone, I was only as disengaged as those with their heads in textbooks and computers, and I doubt any of us felt excluded in any way. If the true goal of the cell phone policy is to maintain a constantly engaged community, not only cell phones, but all forms of disengagement should be prohibited in the Dining Hall and other public spaces, including laptops, books and headphones. Not that I am calling for more drastic measures—such an extension of the cell phone policy would take away cherished study spots and alter the character of
the dining hall. Sunday brunches at which homework was not allowed or breakfasts during which you could not review for a first-period test would make the Dining Hall feel almost like the Greer, turning it from an all-inclusive space where it is sometimes okay to be alone to a purely social environment. This runs counter to what the Dining Hall represents—and as a community, Deerfield ought to allow it to be the great space it already is. If this requires the allowance of cell phone use— excluding making phone calls— in the Dining Hall, the cell phone policy should be relaxed. If we modified the cell phone policy to allow texting and listening to music around campus, we would not immediately turn into disengaged zombies. I am confident that the Deerfield community would continue being cordially social because we recognize that small gestures like saying “hi” to someone on Albany Road cumulatively have a profound
impact on the character of our school. I would like to think that we could be trusted to be engaged individuals not because of a rule, but because that is the kind of students Deerfield kids are. Furthermore, with a less strict cell phone policy, students would have new opportunities to relax. Even a five-minute walk to co-curriculars during which you are not expected to be “on” could help to reduce stress and slow the pace of life. At the core of the problem with the current cell phone policy is the misguided expectation that every student and faculty member be engaged at all times. As we continue to examine the issue of the pace of life at Deerfield, we should consider the possibility that disengaging necessary and healthy, whether you choose to disengage by putting on headphones in the Dining Hall or by texting a friend from home while walking on Albany Road.
12 November 2014 then move on to handle stress and boredom, for example, without harming themselves with drugs and alcohol. •Ms. Loftus is tapping into a similar pool of students to work with the Circle of Trust / Gordie Foundation. •The Deerfield Magazine plans to write an article about use on campus that highlights these very leadership moments for former users, sharing their positive stories so that others might then learn most effectively from their mistakes. •Ms. Creagh has emailed all parents in an effort to partner with them in these important conversations about use, reasons for it and ways to deter it. If our conversations here at school are mirrored and echoed at home, the message might resonate more loudly with students. •Ms. Creagh met with the Student Life Committee of the Board of Trustees last weekend to talk about ways they might get involved and help. •The administration rearranged the full academic schedule on November 13 to accommodate Chris Herren and Project Purple. http:// espn.go.com/espn/espnfilms/ story/_/id/6961212/unguarded. We hope to show this ESPN 30 for 30 prior to Chris’s visit. •On January 28, Dr. Mark Stonkus will be our School Meeting speaker. (One of Deerfield’s former users has worked closely with him already.) Dr. Stonkus runs FitOut, a group that focuses on peer pressure and some of the other reasons kids may choose to use drugs. Before his visit, this current student/former user will distribute a survey of the student body so we can begin to gather data on use. We’ll use this data to measure our progress in addressing the problem. After the FitOut presentation, students will be asked to participate in studentled, “grassroots” monthly meetings, each of which focuses on a different cause of use. •Ms. Creagh has reached out to two recent graduates who were involved with drugs and/ or alcohol to see if they might come back to talk with seniors in the spring. It would augment our meeting about the 16-day rule in ways that would probably be more impactful.
Students deserve every opportunity they can get to slow down, and a relaxed cell phone policy would help create moments to do so, without preventing us from upholding our core values as a community.
FEATURES Dear Margo, Rita & Curtis, Is it too early to ask someone to Semi? Signed, Ready to dance ‘til I drop Dear Dance ‘til I drop, You don’t have a date to Semi yet? I got mine over the summer when my date parachuted chocolates from an airplane onto my lawn spelling out “SEMI?” Naturally, I said yes. Don’t fret, though, not everyone can be as lucky as I am. A general rule of thumb is that it is never too early to ask someone to Semi. In fact, I recommend booking your sophomore, junior, and senior dates now, because we all know that going to Semi with someone is only a small step away from being engaged. However, keep in mind that if you haven’t had classical training in swing dancing from the time you could walk, don’t even bother asking someone. You are an undesirable date and a potential hazard on the dance floor. If you‘ve passed the first prerequisite of dance training, you may advance to thinking about how to ask your date. First rule of asking: When in doubt, do it in public. This may seem counterintuitive— you may ask yourself, “Why would I want to be rejected in public in front of the entire student body?” But that’s the point!!! If it’s in public, your potential date literally cannot say no to you or else he or she risks looking like a terrible person in front of the whole school. This method is basically a fool-proof way of forcing someone to attend Semi with you. If you are more confident in yourself, I recommend thinking big when trying to figure out how to ask. For example, release a pair of doves into the Dining Hall that land on your target’s shoulder and drop a love poem into his or her lap. And you might think that’s enough, but you’d be wrong—now it’s time to cue the orchestra. After he or she has been serenaded, the ceiling panels open, and you glide on a wire down to your soonto-be date with at least a dozen roses in hand. If he or she says no then, that’s social suicide—no one is ever going to top that ask. No one is going to top it, that is, unless they set off fireworks or enlist Brad Pitt, at which point you’ve been one-upped. You can also always subscribe to the KISS mentality: Keep It Simple Stupid. Although not as grand as releasing live doves into the Dining Hall, it works 70% of the time, which isn’t quite the slam-dunk that asking over the microphone at sitdown is, but pretty close. The simple yet slightly awkward “Will you go to Semi?” has always worked with me. Peace and Love, Margo, Rita & Curtis
Guess the Tweet “My little sister and I took the SAT on the same day and she got a higher score than me. She’s in 10th grade... I’m a 5 year senior.” A) Will Crass ‘15 @crassanator6 B) Bobby Law ‘15 @bobbylaw53 C) Brett Stewart ‘15 @brettystew D) Matt Polsinello ‘15 @mattpolsinello Check our cover photo at Facebook.com/DeerfieldScroll for the answer!
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Alum Inspires Sustainability // RYAN KOLA
Associate Editor Deerfield Academy will be welcoming Tiffany Franke ’02 on December 3 to talk about her work to educate people about how their actions affect the world around them. Ms. Franke has developed a diverse business career focusing on how companies can have a positive impact on the environments and communities they serve. With a master’s degree in Sustainability Leadership, Ms. Franke wants to help people connect the dots between the systems they live in and their ability to bring about change. “We live in a time,” Ms. Franke explained, “where many of the systems we operate
O’Ds Reflect // TESSA MILLS Staff Writer
Most students receive their acceptances to Deerfield Academy in the mail. Julian O’Donnell, currently a freshman, found out “in a hut in Nepal at 10,000 feet.” After their yearlong sabbatical trip, Philosophy and Religion teacher Michael O’Donnell, English teacher Sonja O’Donnell and their son Julian ’18, are full of stories and lessons learned. From Oxford, England, to Melbourne, to Kathmandu, they covered 17 countries during their circumnavigation of the globe, which Mrs. O’Donnell said “was a year on the study of contrasts.” Oxford University was their first stop. Mr. O’Donnell reminisces, “One of the things I liked the most was that we got to take classes at Oxford, and it was fun to be there for 10 weeks, to absorb the culture, and also to study the philosophy of physics. Which is something I don’t do here, in no way do I specialize in it. But it gave me the chance to study something I like, to be a student again.” The reason behind their thrill-seeking exploration of the world was “to break the cycle,” Mrs. O’Donnell explained. “It was time to step out of the relentless pattern
in have become so vast and complex that our own ability to understand them has become obscured.” In 2012, Ms. Franke travelled around the world to capture the stories of traditional artisans in an effort to help consumers better understand how their purchasing behavior impacted remote communities. She grew to love international travel during her time at Deerfield, when she went on trips to Cambridge (England) and Paris. She even attended the Round Square conference in Alice Springs, Australia, an experience that inspired her love of community service and cultural learning. While at Deerfield, she found the guidance of many faculty, including history teacher Tom Heise and former Director of College advising Martha Lyman, deeply influenced her world view. According to Ms. Franke, she “came
of age at Deerfield, and in many ways it has helped to shape the person who I’m still becoming.” Currently, Ms. Franke is working with a tech startup that hosts online forums to allow people to discuss a sustainable future. “I chose the position because I admire and respect the people involved,” explained Ms. Franke. “I love building things and inserting creative energy, and because I really believe in the importance of what we’re doing.” When asked to give advice for students, Ms. Franke said, “Be thoughtful of how your life and decisions affect the people and world around you. Live your values with humility and integrity. Be yourself and be kind to yourself. And don’t forget to enjoy the ride!“
of existence.” After 15 years at Deerfield, the O’Donnells wanted to trade their predictable daily routine for the chance to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. Escaping from the boarding school schedule was “invigorating,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “The eight months we spent on the road felt like years in ‘Deerfield time’—and now it’s almost Thanksgiving, but it feels like I’ve been here 10 minutes, whereas, weirdly, that year felt very stretched out in a good way. It was great to have that time for the three of us to spend together.” While on sabbatical, they trekked to Mount Everest’s base camp, a feat that Julian O’Donnell is the youngest person to have ever accomplished. Mrs. O’Donnell said of that climb, “That was a great physical, spiritual, but also mental challenge.” Another adventure was helping the impoverished people of Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, which “taught us empathy and what it is to walk in another’s shoes,” said Mrs. O’Donnell. “The facts learned on the trip were really important, but what really is valuable to me as a teacher is having practiced mindfulness for an entire year,” she said. Although away from Deerfield, the O’Donnells kept in touch with the school. Mr. O’Donnell explained, “We connected with alumni, parents and former faculty
in 10 or 11 countries. So it was kind of fun to be connected to Deerfield throughout the entire trip.” Julian O’Donnell did some of his schoolwork over Skype with a tutor. Now at Deerfield, O’Donnell can fall into the typical student routine, but he is able to apply lessons he learned while away. On the impact the year had on him, he said, “I definitely think about things more. Every day was different on the trip, and every day I would experience something new and awesome. I learned to appreciate the connections I’ve made with people, to be present and experience everything.” Regarding how her own teaching style has changed since her adventure, Mrs. O’Donnell said, “I feel calmer and more patient. I’m more possessed of my skills, and what I think students need. What I want to do is all that I saw in my head. A sense of mindfulness is what I’m trying to bring to my teaching. Be prepared to lose your sense of normalcy because the world is a wild, crazy, amazing, vast place.” After such a momentous year of traveling, the O’Donnells concluded, “We are deeply grateful to Deerfield, the administration and Mr. Jacobs for allowing us to share this enriching experience.” For more details on their journey: check out their blog: http://theother3corners. org.
Mumbai, India Mikaela Wellner
For the full article, visit Deerfield.edu/ Scroll
The Deerfield Scroll
12 November 2014
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Meet The Mellow-D’s //MAGGIE YIN Staff Writer
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED? Will Darling: Be happy with yourself and don’t define your life on someone else’s terms. It took me a while to realize that. But when I did, my life got so much easier because I could focus on what really made me happy. Liam: It’s good to be foolish; it’s good to try things and always stay hungry and never be satisfied, and to keep on pursuing your dreams.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL REHEARSAL.
Tarek: We start, we do warmups, and then 15 minutes later, Tomas shows up. After that, Will gives a little lecture about not being late. Then we start singing, but everyone is singing whatever they want. Juan starts busting out Beyoncé, and we have to calm Juan down. Then we
YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING A MELLOW-D? Michael: Probably wearing my penguin suit. Henry: Singing without instruments makes me listen more to everyone, instead of just focusing on what I’m doing. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON AN ISLAND, WHAT THREE THINGS WOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU? Taro: A pot, a Nutrigrain bar and a water bottle. Tomas: A piano, a very attractive woman and a boat. Liam: Starbucks coffee, Los Angeles and a spaceship. HOW DID YOU GET INTO SINGING? Ken: Throughout middle school I was really jealous of my brother, so I started singing. Will Darling: I started singing at a very young age, I think, simply, because I liked to perform. Actually no, that’s a lie; I actually
Provided by Mellow-D’s
The Mellow-DS strike a pose after a Parents Weekend performance. started singing to meet girls . . . But over time that grew into a love of music, of the emotions that can be conveyed through it.
WHAT IS YOUR HAPPY PLACE? Will Blauvelt: On a medium-sized sailboat going top speed and skimming the water with my hand. Michael: I’m happiest playing music, whether it’s on stage or in a practice room. WHAT IS ONE DREAM YOU HAVE FOR THE FUTURE? Juan: I want to be a singer. Taro: To keep dancing as long as I can.
//KATHERINE HEANEY Staff Writer This October, Emily Yue ’16 captured the attention of hundreds in Times Square, New York City, winning the Best Rising Female Star film award. AMC Theaters hosted their second annual All-American High School Film Festival, where Yue made her claim to fame in the film realm. Yue went from filming on her first Flip video camera in middle school to being selected as one out of 200 high school students from around the globe to have their film featured in the Big Apple. In order to make the top 200, teens sent in their videos to celebrity film judges who selected the top films that they believed told each teen’s story best. For Emily, this process was nothing new because she was also a finalist last year for her short film, “Life.” Yue was selected again this year for her newest short film, “To Infinity.” Her five-minute clip features a boy and a girl who want to run away from their structured civilized lives. She explores unconventional possibilities for teens’ lives, reflecting on societal
norms while adding her own twist. Yue was also nominated for Best Editing for “To Infinity.” Seeing her film on the big screen in front of 1,000 people was an indescribable feeling for Yue. She noted, “I have only ever shown my films to family and friends, so seeing other people reacting to my film was amazing.” Yue had a weekend filled with red carpets, celebrities and interviews from MTV about her filmmaking. Alysia Reiner, actress from Orange is the New Black and How to Get Away with Murder, awarded the trophy to her on center stage. She loved getting the chance to meet other videographers her age from around the world with the same passions and interests. Overall, this weekend was an eye-opening experience for Yue, and she hopes to attend more festivals in the future. Yue’s goals are to continue to make videos at Deerfield for The Scroll and to improve her videographic skills. Using her experience from the AllAmerican High School Film Festival, she hopes to make another hit film.
Provided by Emily Yue
Emily Yue at press conference at the All-American High School Film Festival in New York City.
WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL? Michael: A dog. I generally get excited easily when I see something cool. Matt: A puppy, really friendly and outgoing and energetic.
SENIORS, WHAT WILL YOU MISS MOST ABOUT DEERFIELD? Matt: There’s just something nice about the community here, like walking down Albany Road and saying “hi” to people; I’m going to miss that. Will Darling: I can’t choose! Every
person on campus, the land, the River-but I’m gonna miss the Mellow-D’s a lot. It wasn’t until the Mellow-D’s performed at Revisit Day that I thought, “I have to come here and be a part of that.” It’s been more than just fun, it has helped me grow as a person, and I’m gonna miss the guys and the singing and the music and the happiness that we try to bring to the community.
SUPERLATIVES: 1.Most likely to be late to every rehearsal: Tomas. 2. Most likely to flirt with one of the Rhapso-D’s: Ken. 3. Most likely to break out into song in the Greer: Juan. 4. Most likely to be in the practice rooms on a Friday night: Michael.
WHAT IS A UNIQUE/WEIRD FACT ABOUT YOURSELF? Adam: I was born with six fingers on one hand. [The sixth] was removed. The doctor, when he removed it, asked my mom if she wanted to save it. Vishawn: I am sort of obsessed with Beyoncé and I can probably finish a whole tray of vegan brownies all by myself.
Lin strikes gold
conclusion that the student body is “as precious as gold. It [the piece] comes from the depth of my heart. Your education is to ‘forge gold!’” Lin’s creative process and actual construction of the piece were inspired by, and aimed to be reflective of, the process of the formative journey of a Deerfield student–arduous and lengthy, concluding fruitfully. Lin took almost a year to “pick a clear vision from thousands of possibilities.” She read documents, scrutinized visuals and mulled over the amalgamation of the two. Some
the piece also features threedimensional objects protruding from it. These parts are also The next time you walk by the entirely coated in gold silk Black Box in the freshly revamped thread, which was meticulously Hess Center, you might just see positioned using adhesive by the an image of yourself embroidered 20 assistants. and buried amid an aggregation Lin is aware that the piece of gold. is bound to evoke a range of Immense in size and responses. She hopes that exceedingly intricate, spanning observers will “keep an open seven feet, Lin Tianmiao’s opus mind. [People] should respond currently sits in the Hilson differently to my piece.” Art Gallery. “The Golden Age” A common initial observation was created specifically with from the student body is the Deerfield in mind, to echo the color combination of gold memorable aspects of the and blue, which are perhaps Academy’s history and culture. coincidentally the school With a son, colors of the Academy’s Shaun Wang ‘15, long-standing rival, at DA, Lin is no Choate . stranger to the Juan Cabrera ’16 Academy. provided a creative Head of School response to this Margarita Curtis questioning: “Perhaps gave a succinct the piece is blue and portrayal of Lin, yellow because those saying, “As Shaun colors make green, and indicates in his that in turn means that recent book on two parts Choate equal Beijing artists, one part DA. And that his mother is Provided by Shaun Wang they will never be as one of the first great as us.” female artists to Lin Tianmiao, P’15 presents her sculpture, “The Golden When prompted for gain international Age,” Dr. Curtis. any words of advice recognition, and for the piece’s viewers, one of the most accomplished and prolific artists currently of the images she contemplated especially those interested in working in Beijing and New York. were embroidered into the two- the arts, Lin concluded, “Art has Her works can be found in major dimensional background of the no boundary, it has unlimited possibility.” museums such as MoMA, ICP, piece. Once the creative process “The Golden Age” is on the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Singapore Art came to an end, the challenge of permanent display in the Hilson Museum and the National Gallery the actual technical construction Art Gallery and is definitely worth ensued. Production was visiting and contemplating of Australia.” Dr. Curtis concluded, “We Possibly the most initially painstaking, an intricate process, striking aspect of the piece is which Lin summed up: “[When] I are deeply grateful for the art its medium–gold silk thread finally came to the production piece that Ms. Lin Tianmiao which is sourced from the same stage, it took another year with P’15, recently donated to the supplier serving the royal Thai 20 assistants, working daily Academy, a piece that took family. Lin chose to compose her without rest . . . around 800 close to two years to design piece out of this material as the working hours. I took it apart and and execute. I hope all members culmination of her observations then reconstructed it, again and of the community will take the time to observe and delight in and experiences with the again.” In addition to the embroidered this compelling new piece of our Academy over the years. background, permanent art collection.” Lin has come to the two-dimensional
The Deerfield Scroll - 12 November 2014
SPORTS deerfield takes a tumble
has SPORTS SUFFERed SETBACKS? // DAVID DARLING
// JOSH TEBEAU
Chloe So This fall, Northfield Mount Hermon dropped its football program, citing a decrease in interest due to potential injury concerns, especially concussions. All this comes against the backdrop of the recent revelations that these “brain bruises” lead to later life dementia and other mental illness. Deerfield has also been investigating concussions. With the recent use of IMPACT testing and more rigorous analysis of recently injured students, the school aims to support its concussed athletes as much as possible. Robert Graves, head athletic trainer, has been observing and treating brain trauma in Deerfield athletes. “Concussions are pretty regular at Deerfield,” Mr. Graves said. “Depending on the season, we get, on average, at least 10 per athletic season. They don’t only affect students’ ability to play a particular sport, but also every area of their life. Some may feel all right, but upon cognitive exertion the student begins experiencing a headache, or sensitivity to light and noise, or fogginess.” Many students, fearful of the potential consequences of missing class time and endangering future cognitive function, have grown fearful of playing contact sports such as football or ice hockey. Courtney Morgan ’16 dropped football this year after playing varsity last year. Morgan said, “My parents and I are worried about injuries, especially to my brain, and they don’t want me risking my head to play football.” Fisher Louis ’16 recently left on medical leave after being diagnosed with his ninth concussion. At one point he even sustained three especially bad ones in a four-week span. “Since January,” Louis reported, “I’ve been having terrible headaches, which make it really hard for
me to work, and sometimes read. I’ve visited several doctors to try to figure the problem out; I haven’t fully recovered because of stress from school and other reasons that the doctors aren’t sure about. One possibility is that my brain has gotten fragile, kind of like a bone that’s been broken a lot, and that now it’s really easy for me to sustain another concussion.” Louis expects to return to Deerfield before the end of Fall Term, but will not return to playing contact sports, at the minimum, until next winter. Cases like this and research on the potential long-term effects of brain bruises have raised several questions. Namely, at what point should students stop playing contact sports? Former Harvard football player and WWE wrestler; Chris Nowinski, now executive director of Sports Legacy Institute, which aims to solve “the concussion crisis by advancing the study, treatment, and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and other at-risk groups,” offered his opinion while speaking at Deerfield on November 4, saying “It should be a health concern. There is a fine line between playing sports competitively and lifelong damage. You have to weigh your options.” According to Mr. Graves, “It is up to the discretion of the families. Doctors make suggestions, but generally when a sport begins to endanger a student’s future, then the athlete needs to consider switching sports.” With a heightened awareness of the symptoms and outcomes of concussions must come a change at the very root of the problem—the playing fields. Mr. Nowinski stressed the importance of alerting medical technicians to the most common symptoms of concussion sustainment, including dizziness, imbalance and head pains. Even Mr. Nowinski, while fulfilling his various professional athletic roles, fell prey to the detrimental athlete culture of minimizing a knock, which results in overlooked diagnoses. He recounted that after sustaining a head injury that, even “though [my] head was throbbing, [I] lied and said [I] was okay because [I] thought that was the only acceptable answer an athlete could give.” An increase in data and analysis programs, as well as increasing awareness among students and school administrations, is sure to lead to a push for greater safety and a reassessment of programs.
Have Deerfield sports declined over the past 20 or 30 years? “Yes,” said J.J Briones ’82, assistant director of admissions since 1996. “If you look at the win-loss record,” said Nick Albertson, history teacher and assistant varsity football and varsity golf coach since 1978, “we are not as successful as we used to be.” Many people, like English teacher Mark Scandling, coach of varsity boys and girls water polo as well as varsity wrestling, argue that the success of sports should not only be measured in victories. “For me,” Scandling said, “it has always been about participation, sportsmanship and competition. That is how I measure success.” Scandling, who first arrived at DA in 1987, feels that even when defining success in terms of participation, Deerfield may be on the decline. He explained, “The main decline is in participation. The number of students who play two or three sports is very small, and although a good majority play two, there is a significant amount who only play one sport.” English teacher Frank Henry ’67, who began teaching at Deerfield in 1982, agrees with Mr. Scandling. According to Mr. Henry, “The raw truth is that far fewer students play as many competitive sports as they did when I was a student. There are so many new programs that compete with the student-athlete, most notably exemptions of one sort or another.” Another possibility for the decline is the ever-increasing “specialization” culture, in which many varsity athletes will concentrate only on their primary sport during their off seasons, rather than play a different sport. Mr. Albertson confirmed that athletics as a whole are being hurt by specialization: “Specialization works against our competitive ideals. There
used to be athletes whose goal was to play football at a collegiate level but [who] also played a winter and spring sport. Now that is very rare.” While these down sides may be true, many people still argue that specialization is necessary to prepare the next generation of athletes. Mr. Henry stated, “The world of college has asked us to prepare athletes for collegiate level athletics.” Some believe the answer to our problems lies with the Admissions Office. R.J. Shamberger ‘16 asserted, “Our admission directors need to acknowledge that we need more players to compete within our intense league. When our historically great JV football team has nine players, there is an obvious problem.” Many students fear that a continual lack of performance will deter students from choosing Deerfield. Nonetheless, Deerfield teams are still performing at very high levels. In recent years boys and girls crew, boys lacrosse, boys and girls water polo, and girls cross -country, among others, have enjoyed high success. The development of the arts program —and the need to maintain it with the completion of the Hess Center for the Arts—has brought an influx of talented dancers, musicians, and other artists. This change could explain a slightly decreased emphasis on athletics in the Admissions Office. As noted by many, balancing success in various sports, academics and the arts is always going to be a difficult proposition for a community as small as Deerfield. Mr. Scandling would like to remind the community, “If decline is measured in terms of wins or losses or even participation, there is no question that the success of sports, in recent years, has declined. But has the experience of being on a team declined? No. In the end, that is what is most important.”
wonder woman claire collins // CAMILLE MOECKEL Staff Writer
Over the past three years, the Deerfield girls crew team has looked to Claire Collins ’15 to drop seconds off their race times. After receiving encouragement from both her older sister and former DA coach Wayne Berger, Collins started rowing for Deerfield during her freshman spring in 2012, and she quickly won a spot on the girls first boat. Impressively, only three years later, Collins has recently committed to rowing at Princeton University next fall. Coach Eve Goldenberg described Collins as “one of the most gifted athletes I have ever coached.” According to Ms. Goldenberg, “Not only is she physiologically gifted in terms of her strength, muscular and cardiovascular endurance, and awareness of how her body moves through space, she is also extremely coachable. She has the psychological and physical fitness to make important technical changes and is patient with herself in the process.” During the summer before her sophomore year–months after having
started the sport–Collins earned a seat on the Junior National Team’s 8+ boat. After winning silver at the Junior World Championships in Bulgaria in 2012, she returned to place fifth in the 8+ category in Lithuania in 2013. This year, Claire won silver in Hamburg with the 4crew, the priority boat in sweep rowing on the Junior National Team. Ms. Goldenberg attributed Collins’s success to her hunger to improve, “aligned with a strong work ethic and passion for the movement of the sport itself.” Of this experience on the Junior National team Collins said, “It was a lot of hard work, but I love being with my teammates, and I have made some of my best friends through the team. It is such a privilege to train at a high level and represent the United States.” Collins also observed, “I’ve definitely become a more confident and content Provided by Claire Collins person. I’ve been inspired by my teammates and the opportunities Collins after capturing silver at the 2014 Junior I’ve been given. I’ve learned a lot World Rowing Championships in Hamburg, about how to prepare mentally and Germany.
physically to be successful.” Collins has brought her summer experience to her Deerfield team and has inspired all the girls, as captain of the team, to tap into their potential and improve. Teammate Garam Noh ’15 remarked, “Claire is an amazing teammate. She is a natural born leader. She never has to grasp for her chances to be a leader—people automatically look to her for advice because in every practice, at every race, she herself embodies all the best values a rower could have.” This past spring, Collins helped lead the first boat to gold at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Regatta and then again led the boat to gold at Nationals. She is excited to work with other Deerfield rowers to achieve the same success as last year.