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October 2009 Volume XVIII, Issue 1



Fredericksburg Academy

10800 Academy Drive

Fredericksburg, VA 22408



The value of an education

Don’t forget to head on over to the Fall Carnival for games, food, and more! WHEN: October 24 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Weighing the pros and cons of a private school education


by MARY GRAY JOHNSON the falcon flier

TOP 3: Bad habits to break NOW

1. Watching TV while doing homework (I know that what Blair Waldorf is doing is far more interesting than your history text book, but knowing what scheme she’s up to doesn’t exactly get your work done.)

2. Making up lame excuses for not doing work

(Teachers have heard every excuse in the book. Next time plan ahead and get it done, before you dig yourself into a hole.)

3. Sitting there confused instead of getting help

(Sure you could daydream and shrug it off of, but get help before it’s too late.)

around town Get in the Halloween spirit by joining UMW’s Historic Preservation Club for a haunted ghost walk in downtown Fredericksburg.



Where: Market Square, 907 Princess Anne St, Fredericksburg


Sick of the Swine? See what FA is doing to keep you prepared



Top 7 don’ts of this day and age SEE PAGE 4

Books Get the scoop on Maggie Stiefvater’s werewolf thriller, Shiver SEE PAGE 3

Sports Falcons soar in homecoming games SEE PAGE 5


Under Armour uniforms for all varsity athletics bring new spirit to FA sports teams

Time: Saturday, October 24, 5-10 p.m. Cost: $6 adults, $4 children 6-13, Ages 5 & under free


by MARY GRAY JOHNSON FA rung in the 2009-10 school year with new Under Armour athletic uniforms for all varsity sports. New Athletic Director Alex Fisher hopes they bring a sense of unity and teamwork that FA athletics have lacked in previous years. Varsity field hockey coach Karen Moschetto had only positive things to say about the new uniforms, seeing that the team won states last year in jerseys that were, in many cases, too small and skirts that looked out of shape. An overall positive attitude has been expressed toward this year’s change by students. “The fact they’re Under Armour makes them really nice,” junior Megan Sullivan said. Not only has the Under Armour name been a source of excitement, but the quality also hasn’t gone unnoticed. “[They are] a lot better to keep you cool while you’re running,” said senior cross country runner, Mackenzie Jackson. According to Fisher, donors and a large portion of the sports budget contributed to the uniforms. The new system will ensure that each varsity team gets new uniforms every three years on a seasonal cycle. For example, next year, fall varsity sports will get new uniforms, the old ones shifting down to JV. The following year, winter sports will get new uniforms, etc. “Any time you feel good when you go out to play it’s a good thing,” said Moschetto, whose team hadn’t had new uniforms in four years. “This has upped our spirits. Because we’re dressed better, we want to play better,” sophomore tennis player Anne Goforth said. Until last year, the varsity tennis team wore skirts that had had extra fabric sewn on to the bottom by former coach Kim Kepcke. “This year’s tennis uniforms are so much better. They look great and they actually fit,” said Goforth. Varsity cross country went to states last year in mostly three-year old uniforms, with a few mismatching ones. “It screamed out to me we need something that will make everyone proud,” Fisher said thinking back to the uniforms he saw on his visit to FA last year. FA athletes have continually expressed positive feedback and excitement for the new uniforms. “I feel like a professional soccer player,” said junior soccer player Sergio Bataller.

FA students help shed light on memory of former classmate FA students and supporters will rally together on October 24 for Fredericksburg’s Light the Night Walk, in honor of former classmate Connie O’Connell, who lost the battle against cancer in 1999 by SIMONE WICKER the falcon flier

When does cancer become a significant word to us? Maybe it’s when we learn that an estimated 1,479,350 people will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year and an expected 526,340 will lose the battle against it, according to the American Cancer Society. For millions of Americans, cancer is, or will become a part of their lives. Because many types of cancers are unpreventable, many people are willing to donate a little of their time and money to research and fundraising. During the months of September (Leukemia and Lym-

phoma Awareness Month) and October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month), organizations like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure hold fundraising races and walks all around the country. On October 24, many Fredericksburg locals will participate in the Light the Night walk held at Cannon Ridge Golf Course. The Light the Night Walk raises money every year for Americans battling leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. For many in the FA community, this means remembering late FA student Connie O’ Connell, an Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia patient, who

marked a place in the heart of FA when she passed away in November 1999 during her first grade year. Junior Sofie Wachtmeister, who is captain of Team Connie in the Light the Night walk, has been significantly affected by cancer. “I decided to organize the team because I hate cancer. I’ve lost two people who were really close, Connie and my aunt. This is a good way to honor them, and to show that we care,” she explained. Wachtmeister spent the month of September recruiting people to the team and asking for donations for the cause. continued on page 2


In honor of leukemia, lymphoma, and breast cancer awareness month, get in the know with these quick facts * On average there are 4,000 new cases in the US each year * Every 4 minutes one person is diagnosed with a blood cancer *139,860 people are estimated to be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma in 2009 * Every ten minutes, someone dies from a blood cancer * Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children and young adults under the age of 20 According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website

FA parent Walter Hoffman attended an established independent school called Nichols School in Buffalo, New York. Why did his parents, more than thirty years ago, and other parents today spend thousands of dollars each year to send their children to independent schools? “We knew college was our direction,” said Hoffman, who now enrolls all three of his children to FA. He attributes his choice to send his children to independent schools to the focus on academics, positive interaction with teachers, and limited negative distractions an independent school can provide. Why people pay Like most independent schools, FA’s $15,500 upper school tuition does not cover the actual cost of educating each student. The tuition covers approximately 77 percent, the rest of which the school must raise through fundraising. The remaining $3,500 per FA student not covered by tuition is made up through donations from the Annual Fund, Auction, annual Phonea-thon, and other events. Director of Development Linda Catullo said that these fundraising efforts are integral to the school’s operating budget. “If Fredericksburg Academy charged the actual cost, we would out price ourselves for this area,” she said. The National Association of Independent Schools recently conducted a poll that showed that the number one reason parents pay to send their children to independent schools is safety. This includes not only safety from bodily harm, but security provided by smaller classes and a sense of community. FA compared to others FA, along with most independent schools, is in no way subsidized by the government or organizations. For this reason, parents pay what may seem like a high tuition, and often donate to the school through the Annual Fund and other fundraisers. Unlike public schools, FA does not receive funding from the government. All money for the school’s operating budget must be raised privately. Parents who send their children to private schools that receive some sort of subsidy often pay a lower tuition. For example, schools with religious affiliations are often subsidized by churches. Fredericksburg Christian School, whose upper school tuition is $7,646, is one of FA’s top competitors. continued on page 2

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The Falcon Flier October 2009

Pledge allegiance to the flag? by Ben Harris the falcon flier

One of the most noticeable and potentially controversial actions that the FA student government has enacted this year is having the student body recite the Pledge of Allegiance every Monday morning. The idea was presented to the student government by SOFA Chair Samantha Edwards. The idea was met enthusiastically by both the student government and the Administration and was passed with little resistance. The student government was overall pleased with the idea. “Sam started off the idea but we were all really gung ho with it,” said Student Ambassador Chair Chelsea Edwards. The idea did not pass without having any concerns addressed, however. The government decided that reciting the Pledge every day was too much of a change for the student body to accept in one go, a sentiment shared by the administration.

photo by beth hunley

Students and teachers stand each Monday morning with left hands over their hearts to salute the flag of the United States of America.

Head of Upper School Tony Durso said that there was a concern that junior

Sergio Bataller, a foreign exchange student from Barcelona, Spain, might take issue

They get by with a little help from friends by Ben Harris the falcon flier

New SOFA Chair Samantha Edwards has implemented a multitude of new volunteering opportunities for FA students, one of which is the chance to visit the Thurman Brisben Center every Monday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.. The Center is a homeless shelter located near the industrial park that provides shelter for families while they search for new jobs. It accepts homeless families and individuals from the City of Fredericksburg as well as Caroline, Spotsylvania, King George and Stafford Counties and provides a shelter for 90 days so that those who need their help can get a new job and, with the Center’s help, a new home for the families. Edwards has organized

a chance for FA students to help the Center by spending time with the displaced children who are there with their parents. Volunteers do various activities with the students, including reading stories and eating dinner with them. Junior Jess Hoover says

sure forms. The group originally visited on Wednesdays, but another volunteer group visits on that day so Edwards made the decision to switch the day to Mondays. The Thurman Brisben Center has multiple other groups come in to volunteer, including a group of college students. Volunteering can be varied from g r o u n d s ke e ping during the summer to organizing Christmas for the families and their children. Other ways students can help the homeless are through donations of items from the Center’s “Wish List,” which can be found at its site, or by helping out at the Micah Hospitality Center on Princess Anne St. downtown. The Center cautions that panhandlers – people who beg for money on the street – are usually not homeless and don’t spend the money for their specified need.

[She] begged me to read with her...she was crying because I had to leave. that the children at the Center were extremely excited to have the volunteer group visit. “This one little girl who I was playing tag with begged me to read with her and then she like fell asleep on my lap. And then she was crying because I had to leave,” she said. Students interested and available for volunteering can contact Edwards in order to get the required nondisclo-

with the recitation. Durso said that he made sure to ask Bataller if he would have

any concerns with the recitation and worked out a compromise. There wasn’t any

Continued from page 1 FCS is subsidized by several evangelical churches in the area that support its mission of preparing Christian leaders. This subsidy gives the school a guaranteed income per year that independent schools similar to FA cannot depend on. Holy Cross Academy, a local Catholic school that is a

competitor of FA, offers a large discount for parishioners. The school’s association with the church, while changing the type of education being provided, gives it the ability to offer a more affordable tuition. In comparison to independent schools in the Richmond area, FA’s tuition is usually $2000 to $3000 less. Com-

significant objection, a view reflected by the overall student body despite the controversial nature of elements of the Pledge, namely the phrase “Under God”. Durso said that he hasn’t had anyone come to him with any problems. In regards to a potential protest or disruption of the Pledge, Durso says that he trusts the students to come talk to him before they express their views in a potentially unsettling way. He stresses that any student having a problem can come to talk to him in order to reach an acceptable agreement. On a national scale, the use of the phrase “Under God” and the fact that the Pledge was only written in 1892 has raised questions about its legitimacy as a national oath and its perceived conflict with the First Amendment to the Constitution. The phrase “Under God” has only been a part of the Pledge of Allegiance since 1954, one of the many anti-Soviet changes created during the Red Scare.

Experience versus cost

pared to independent schools in the D.C. area, FA is typically $10,000 to $20,000 less. The question remains: does a variation in tuition have an effect on the education being provided? “Charging less doesn’t directly affect FA; we’re still able to fulfill the school’s mission,” said Headmaster Bob Graves.

Cancer awareness encompasses FA

Continued from page 1 Connie’s sister, Liz O’Connell, also a former FA student, was more than excited about the team. “I honestly think it is just incredible that the FA community is incorporating my sister into their involvement in cancer awareness efforts! Connie had such a huge impact on FA when she was a student, and everyone was so nice to her and helpful to our family. It just makes my heart so warm to know that people haven’t forgotten about that cheery little girl,” said O’Connell, a sophomore at James Monroe University. O’Connell created The Cancer Effect (TCE) at JMU in memory of her sister and to support the national SuperSibs! Organization. The group intends is to bring people together who support SuperSibs’s mission and have experienced cancer in their lives. “For me, having a sister with cancer was a lifestyle. It’s not something I chose, but I’m going to make the best out of it. If creating TCE and joining people together like me will help people, than that’s my way of keeping Connie’s spirit alive,” O’Connell said. Sophomore Natalie Ducharme-Barth is another student who believes it is important that we have awareness months for cancer. She explained that if not only just to make people aware, but also so that people have a motive to get checked, or stop habits that may cause cancer. Ducharme-Barth also thinks that getting people involved in walks is a way to “get connected with people on a different level, to all come together for a cause”.

A sensation that’s sweeping the nation by Tyler Lubore the falcon flier

The recent outbreak of the H1N1 virus, commonly referred to as the Swine Flu, has caused fervor over the possibility of a full out pandemic. But measures are being taken to ensure that the disease is kept under control. “The state has already contacted us and we are offering free vaccinations to all students,” said Head of School Bob Graves. Schools throughout the country are being constantly updated with information on the availability of vaccinations, as well as emergency steps to be taken in case of an outbreak. “Our plan is to keep the school open,” said Graves. “The key isn’t student illness, but faculty illness.” Graves wants to keep the school open as much as possible, and will not close school unless there is a shortage of teachers. School nurse Cathy Chamberlain wants students to take steps to ensure that the

more serious dealings with deal with the Chinese governillness isn’t spread in the FA have to be sent home.” the disease. Juniors Ty Steve ment’s recent crack-down on Fortunately for Fried, community. “Just wash your and Margeaux Ducoing were the disease. the epidemic went away afhands and cough into your el“Any hotel you go into you bow,” said Chamberlain. “It’s ter the first week. However, in China over the summer pretty much the same as the there were others who had on a tour group and had to got your temperature taken,” regular flu. There were a couple of students who have already had experiences with Swine Flu. A camp attended by Symptoms of the two are similar, so keep a look out for suspicious signs! freshman Mary Some symptoms of the H1N1 virus below: Some symptoms of the common cold: Fried had to deal -fever -fever with an outbreak -sore throat -sore or scratchy throat this summer. -(dry) cough -cough “I had an episode at camp -runny or stuffy nose -nasal stuffiness or drainage and it got bad,” -body aches -achyness said Fried. There -headaches -headaches was an outbreak -fatugue (extreme) -tiredness of the virus in the first week, -chills -sneezing and many of the -vomiting -hoarseness girls in Fried’s -diarrhea -around three to ten days cabin got sick. -around two weeks “We were put on quarantine for a week and we had In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are to take medicine. more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. We were afraid Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations (CDC). we’d get sick and

Important differences to look for

Swine Flu vs. The Common Cold

said Steve. Ducoing was even quarantined after suspicions that she had the disease. “When we first arrived in Beijing, we had to pass through a gate with thermal detectors,” said Ducoing. “They just randomly picked people to check for Swine Flu. I was one of those people.” According to Ducoing, there was no rhyme or reason as to who was being picked for the screenings. “That was what was odd about it. We were nowhere near the booth,” said Ducoing. After the recent outbreaks, there are means of acquiring the vaccination. And Chamberlain recommends it. “I’m definitely going to receive it,” she said. Graves wants to keep the school updated on when the vaccination is available. “I can’t mandate vaccinations. The earliest they’ll be available is October 8, but whether that’s FA October 8, I don’t know.”

feature by Austen Dunn the falcon flier

The parking lot was packed. Chatter and music could be heard from inside our car and Buster’s Place certainly seemed to be a big hit on a Friday night, not the least bit a bust. We had arrived smack dab in the middle of a local rush hour, the early birds paying the bill and those looking for a drink or free access to a TV just settling in at the bar. Even though this seafood restaurant was more than full, and it was only a few months since Buster’s Place’s grand opening in Port Royal, the bugs and kinks appeared to be worked out. Service was running smoothly and I was seated promptly overlooking the Rappahannock River around 7 p.m. Along with our speedy seating, the complimentary appetizers of homemade Old Bay chips were served and our drink orders taken without much delay. The chips themselves were a little disappointing, the old bay not distributed evenly causing some chips to be so seasoned they produced a sneeze, but the idea was there: an inventive appetizer that goes with

the fishing theme, instead of the suspected and unoriginal yeast roll. The waitress left us to contemplate our menu and survey our surroundings: the view, the paintings and other such decorations. Everything was seafood or ocean based; everything went with the theme. The numerous fishing hats were a little over the top and created a juvenile feel that might make a lower school student happy, but just looked like space fillers to everyone else. Next to these hats were stuffed lobsters and crabs hung in fishing nets. While the nets added a dynamic angle above the windows, the stuffed sea creatures, again, were overkill and instead took away from the atmosphere. Luckily, paintings from the local artists took attention away from the foolish cotton lobsters. Michelle R. Phillips was the latest featured artist making her debut with hand drawn bass, lobster claws dipped in butter, all with delicate precision. Displaying local art for a local restaurant was a great idea to provide something the customers can relate to. Phillip’s paintings were pleasant and added much to the decor, but the view through the rear windows stole the show entirely. Customers of the restaurant can dine while overlooking the Caroline County end of the Rappahannock River. At 7

The Falcon Flier October 2009

Buster’s charms with good food and view

p.m., the sun was just setting and a faint orange glow settled across the water, simply beautiful. Also, a dock with a single lantern allows people to travel by boat to the restaurant, an attraction for local fishermen. Buster’s Place is now in the building where the old Bait and Tackle Shop stood for six years. Bruce Lee, the former owner and manager of R.C. Lee’s Carpentry, bought the lot on the river six years ago and rented it to the Bait and Tackle Shop. However the shop was having trouble paying the rent, so Lee put it back up for sale. Few people were interested, but the same advice kept being given: turn the building into a waterfront restaurant. One of the most eyecatching aspects of Port Royal’s newest addition is the

name and slogan. It definitely engrossed me and my family. Buster is the name of Lee’s miniature Schnauzer that was given to his wife for a birthday to replace their Golden Retriever that had died. “I wanted to name it River Rat but my wife said ‘No, we’re naming it Buster’s’,” said Lee. The slogan that goes along with the cartoon image of Buster wearing a sailor’s hat, “bad to the bone food,” is cute, catchy and everything a slogan should be. It made me want to purchase my very own Buster’s Place shirt sold at the bar. A local bluegrass band, Summer Crossing, plucked a rendition of “Amazing Grace” with Southern twang by the bar of the restaurant. Live music and various karaoke nights are scheduled at Buster’s Place, just another

by Zach Sullivan the falcon flier

Beyond the veil of generic pop music that floods the modern music industry, there are actually some artists that don’t suck. These illustrious few actually choose to write meaningful lyrics rather than simply list things like modern rapper Gucci Mane. If you don’t know the work of Mr. Mane, here are some lyrics from one of his songs to put it in perspective, “I go hard ball/ Sponge bob/Flip flop/Paint job/Louie V flip flops/L V tank top/Top drop/Off chop/Pork chop/Paint job/ Boss mane/Day job/Night job/Go hard.” And so on. Arjen Anthony Lucassen, a multi-instrumentalist from the Netherlands, is one of these artists who has something to say. Since 1995, he has worked on his Ayreon project, which has released seven albums to date. The real interest in these albums comes from their rock opera structure and sound. Lucassen doesn’t simply have a band where he sings all the songs himself, for every album he assembles an army of progressive rock and metal singers to play parts in his musical epics. These artists range from virtually unknown vocalists to legends such as Bruce Dickinson and James LaBrie (of Iron Maiden and

bonus and appealing dimension to Buster’s repertoire. We ordered our meals and in a mere 10 minutes, my broiled scallops with potato salad and a garden salad were served. I could smell the scallops before they even reached my wooden booth. They were bathed in butter and broiled to perfection, slightly tinged with brown. Pieces peeled away from each other and they were just about as smooth as the butter that coated them. The potato salad was cool and the iceberg lettuce crunched in my mouth with satisfaction. Only the presentation lacked. My salad was taken out of a fridge in the room for customers to see, Saran-wrapped and pre-made. It tasted fine, but it is always nice to have the illusion that everything is made fresh to order.

As we were paying the bill an old couple that had been sitting behind us came up and offered, “I hope yours was as good as mine, everything was delicious,” as parting words. I had to agree. My meal was delectable, temperature was right for each side, and when the waitress asked if I needed a box, I didn’t hesitate to answer yes. “We hope [Buster’s Place] is going to grow, we hope to be a destination where people come for good food, we hope to draw people from Bowling Green and Tappahannock,” said Lee. Well Mr. Lee, I am not a dedicated seafood aficionado, and I probably couldn’t tell you what makes butterfly shrimp, butterfly. However, with such a view, and great, simple seafood, Buster’s Place will surely be successful.

FA mother juggles life with writing

More music you have never heard of: Ayreon’s The Human Equation Dream Theater, respectively). The only real problem I see with this man’s music is the massive amount of pretentiousness that pervades nearly all of his albums. Lucassen is a stalwart environmentalist, and by listening to some of his music, you get the impression that he fancies himself as a savior of humankind. For this reason, I’ll be focusing on his least pretentious album, 2004’s The Human Equation. The Human Equation follows the story of a man (Me, played by James LaBrie) who crashes into a tree in broad daylight. He subsequently enters a 20-day coma, where he must come to grips with emotions and demons of his past. Though classified as progressive metal, this album is really beautiful and operatic in its execution. Every emotion in Me’s head is portrayed by a different singer. Add in characters like his wife, best friend, father, and the mysterious “Forever,” and you have a vocal cast of 12 different people. Each song on the album is an individual day of the character’s coma and each day deals with a different issue in his life. These issues include things such as his relationship with his father (Day Sixteen: Loser), how he met his wife (Day Eleven: Love), and why he crashed into a tree for seemingly no reason (Day Seventeen: Accident?). Though Me is the supposed star of this rock opera,

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by Rachel Fried the falcon flier

the emotions really take center stage. Each one has their own unique voice that sets them apart and fits their role. Rage (Devin Townsend) is a powerful voice and manages to emulate “screamo” style growling without sounding like a dog with rabies. Rage’s best moment comes in “Day Three: Pain,” which is predominantly sung by the emotions Rage and Agony (Devon Graves of Dead Soul Tribe). The verse sounds very bleak with pessimistic vocals from Agony but then goes into an angry, yet somehow uplifting chorus with Rage. The three female vocalists are also excellent, portraying their roles very well. Both Love (Heather Findlay of Mostly Autumn) and Wife (Marcela Bovio of Elfonía) have beautiful voices that uplift both the listener and Me. The other is the voice of Passion (Irene Jansen), who has an attitude that’s difficult to describe anyway but passionate. This isn’t the loving kind of passion though, this is an almost violent passion for life and doing things in a heat of the moment kind of way. “Day Eleven: Love” gives all of these roles a chance to shine. Love and Wife both take Me back to the day the two first met. Love and the

Wife describe the feelings that Wife felt as Me nervously tried to approach her. The song is very ballad-like, but then Passion and Pride (Magnus Ekwall of The Quill) take over for an overbearing chorus urging Me to step up and take control of situation. Reason (Eric Clayton of Saviour(sic) Machine) is another one of my favorite roles. His voice seems heavily rooted in opera. He sings very deeply and makes gratuitous use of vibrato. His best moment is in “Day 2: Isolation” when he explains to Me what is going on in his head. Me and Reason speak back and forth with the lines overlapping in a beautiful way. It is at this time one of my favorite lines comes. When asked who he is, Reason replies, “I am you and you are all of us.” Overall, the album exhibits greatness in sounds and instrumentation. The multiple vocal roles fulfill each emotion and the character they convey. I don’t think it would be possible to achieve something on this scale with just one or two singers. The story is also very great, showing thought and creativity high above modern music standards. The whole package comes together fantastically. To me, this album is a five.

Here at FA we have two lower schoolers with a very special mom. Maggie Stiefvater has two children here, a four-year-old Kindergartner and a five-year-old Pre-Kindergartner. She is the author of the new best-selling novel, Shiver. There were 100,000 copies of Shiver in print three weeks ago. The book came out August 1. “I’m working on tight deadlines,” said Stiefvater. She’s referring to the third novel in the series “The Wolves of Mercy Falls,” Forever. The second novel, Linger, will be coming out in the fall of 2010. Stiefvater is also writing a second series, “The Books of Faerie,” which include Lament and Ballad, which debuted on October 1. Stiefvater is a very busy woman but still somehow manages to answer every email she gets. Her life includes; “the several thousand emails I get each month, travel for my books, family life with Thing 1 and Thing 2 [her sons], polar bear takeovers, writing the next book, [and] snarfing sweet tea and cookie dough in order to be able to endure [these things].” Shiver has been in the chapter books section of the New York Times bestseller list for nine weeks now and is number seven on the list as of October 7. Shiver is now being written in script form to create a movie, owned by Unique Features in association with Warner Brothers. “It’s actually only in competition with itself…it’s not definite. The film rights have been optioned, which means the producers have eigh-

teen months to assemble a director, and screenwriter to squash a 400-page novel into movie form, a cast, and funding. If they don’t succeed, they can either renew the option, which costs them more money, or let the rights revert, in which case other producers can option the film rights. Some books get optioned over and over again, and some go smoothly and effortlessly to film. Usually it takes a lot longer for the rights to get optioned and we did have an auction between multiple producers, so I’m hoping that means there’s enough interest to get it to the next level,” said Stiefvater. As of now, Stiefvater is not involved in any aspects of the movie making process. “I think I prefer it that way. I would rather have total control of a project or no control. If I had just a small voice and things didn’t go the way I liked it, I can imagine it would get really frustrating! I do know that if I made it, I’d try and make it slow and beautiful, like . . . the Illusionist, maybe, rather than fast and actioney, say, like Underworld,” said Stiefvater. Stiefvater is naturally anxious about how the movie will go but she is still just excited that so many people like her book. “I am…cautiously optimistic…it would be very, very cool…But at the same time, I’m a book person, so what really excites me is the idea that there are 24 foreign editions of Shiver appearing in the next year and a half. Other people are crazy excited. There are hundreds of comments on my movie news on my blog and Facebook and I have gotten a ton of emails,” said Stiefvater.


The Falcon Flier October 2009



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by AUSTEN DUNN the falcon flier

11:00 p.m. “I dream about passing physics at night,” said senior Ian Thompson-Heinz

6:00 p.m and a.m. “I sing in the car and in the shower along to songs. And I sing when I’m doing things like: ‘I don’t understand my homework’,” said sophomore Natalie Ducharme-Barth

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1:00 pm “I eat a lot. I eat during unscheduled, while working, all the time,” said freshman Seth Rapkins

9:00 p.m. “I play guitar to get rid of the stress I get from school,” said sophomore Chris Hess




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4:00 p.m. “I ride my bike, shoot my bow and play around outside every day after school,” said sophomore Devin Holladay

“tick tock

7 Don’ts of this day And age

7 Don’t of this day and aGE

1) Use Facebook Status to record your life.


by MARY GRAY JOHNSON the falcon flier

“Sally is...brushing her hair, then going to the gym, then going out to Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner!!!!” Sally, save this for the people who need to know. All 467 of your Facebook friends? It’s a little unnecessary. 2) Send Mass E-mails, or Reply-all when it is unnecessary. Not only does this clog up your friends’ inboxes, but it makes them resent you for it. Spare all of us, and reply only to those your e-mail really pertains to. This especially includes chain letters circa 2004. 3) Form a relationship over AIM, texting, Facebook/Myspace chat, etc.

Don’ts of this day And age

Avoid having you and your crush’s main contact be over the internet or phone; things can get sticky as the fling progresses. After-all, you can’t have a virtual “first-kiss,” now can you? 4) Upload something to the internet that you don’t want someone to see Videos, pictures, and posts that are in any way private should be kept far from the internet, because chances are someone will find it. Be it your first boss, best friend, or mom or dad, said juicy content is likely to leak to the masses. 5) Make fake Facebook names. We all know your parents didn’t really name you “Lookingsoflyy,” so delete it already. (Exception: Brandon ‘Batkins’ Atkins. This name will take you places.) 6) Make rude, degrading comments on Youtube videos, blog posts, etc. Calling someone a “stupid idiot” in response to their comment on the latest Miley video certainly isn’t helping your case. Refrain from the useless banter; it merely decreases your online credibility. 7) Be a stalker!!! Stalking includes: commenting on ten or more pictures in one online album, writing someone persistently without getting a response, or messaging someone constantly that you wouldn’t talk to in real life.

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The Falcon Flier October 2009

Changes tread on progress for cross country



the falcon flier


Sophomore Graham Schattgen competes for the ball while junior Eric Boggs watches.


FA boys support the varsity field hockey by painting up, a school tradition.

L 0-3

Varsity Girls Tennis

W 5-0

Varsity Boys Soccer

THE HOMECOMING 2009 GAME STATS: FA vs Wakefield Varsity Field Hockey

The FA boys cross country team did not cheer at the end of their first DAC competition. They earned a second place, but were used to being big winners. The cross country team had come in first place for three years in a row. “At the Foxcroft meet, we were very close. We took second place for the overall performance,” said team manager Margeaux Ducoing. There are several new factors which may have caused second place. The position is being blamed upon the loss of those graduated. Five of the seniors who left have been replaced but contributed to the multiple wins last year by earning the best times: Raleigh Hazel and Nicholas Ducharme-Barth. Sophomore Will Hamilton is missed as well. The good news is that the old team has only been decreased by four runners to 16 total, since new runners have joined. Another big change for the team is the addition of Robert Varipapa and Christine Gathers, the two new coaches. “The new coaches are great at practice. They still give out old practice routines like the coaches before, such as the harder hill workouts, and easy 30 to 40 minute runs before meets. Yet, [they] give helpful tips on our running position, like loose arms and shoulders, breathing…and help with our endurance,” said Ducoing. “They seem to like the new coaching methods. They make comments about past years. We are more structured now, our tempo, we mix it up. It’s not just simply [running] distances,” said Gathers. The new Athletic Director, Alex Fisher, has also changed an aspect of the cross country team. He has outfitted them with new Under Armour uniforms. “They’re not gross and they’re up to date. I can feel a difference in them. We had [the old ones] for a really long time”, said senior Trent Butterworth. The team easily beat their times of the first DAC meet when senior Brian Hong came in first and the team won the meet hosted at Fredericksburg Christian School. Also, the girls were able to compete in a DAC meet for the first time. Sophomore Erika Boggs joined the cross country team this year, as with four girls they were able to compete. They did not stay long enough to see their scores. “I believe that the cross country team still can win as all of the runners, whether newcomers or ‘veterans’, have the same goal of winning – all have confidence, strength, and power,” said Ducoing.

Junior Kahlil Gedin preps to pass the ball while fending off Wakefield opponents.

W 6-1



The varsity girls field hockey is using loss as its biggest motivation.


Senior Lucy Hazel cuts for a pass from junior Colleen Hughes.

After winning the state championship last year, the 2-3 loss to Covenant School Friday September 11 came as a shock, but it served as a learning experience for the varsity field hockey team. “Well of course it was really hard on us to lose that game, because we were on a 21 game winning streak. We just didn’t come ready enough to play, and Covenant [School] took advantage of that,” said junior Megan Sullivan. Covenant School, a Christian elementary and high school in Charlottesville, VA, defeated Tandem Friends School 6-1 later on September 19, scoring four goals in the first half and two in the second. This continued their winning streak. The FA varsity field hockey team won 40 and 5-0 when playing Covenant School last fall. The falcons play Covenant School again October 20, but this time on their home turf. “It has made us really ex-

cited to play Covenant again, because we are going to come ready to get revenge. We’re just going to bring it,” said Sullivan. Students like senior Emily Schulz still have faith in their fellow falcons knowing that “they tried their hardest” but the team is ready to accept the loss and learn from their mistakes. “It definitely has [changed our perspective]. Not every season is going to be an undefeated state championship, and we’ve been able to accept that this season,” said Sullivan. Sophomore Courtney Hoffman, a defender for the team, agrees with Sullivan and immediately recognized some of her mistakes from the game and noted the absence of some graduated players from last year. “I know that I went into [the game] a little more cocky than usual, and we lost some good players like Emily Zigman and Jamie West, so I was anxious to see if those shoes could be filled,” said Hoffman. “It was my first FA var-

sity field hockey loss. We were all a little upset at first, but we realized we just needed that kind of motivation to make it not happen again.” Efforts are being made to simply better the team’s game, to not “focus on one loss as a loss,” but realize what they could improve on. “Well, our entire team has these little quirks that our coaches, [Karen] Moschetto and [Debra] Garcia, are focusing on having us fix like: sticks always down and not turning away from goals. I think that we all need to focus on those instead of thinking they will fix on their own,” said Hoffman. Junior Paige McDermott, a varsity field hockey player since freshman year, just wants the team to realize and appreciate the positive moments and not let one bad game get them down. “[Field] hockey lost a game, so what? We played a bad game, we lost, we’ve moved on and are focusing on the positive parts of our season that we have had since,” said McDermott.

GIRLS VARSITY TENNIS TEAM: UNDEFEATED Wins: 7 Losses: 0 Coaches: Kelly Johnson and Johnny Goforth Co-Coaches: Missy Norair and Rob Light Captains: Juniors Emily White and Sofie Wachtmeister Current Ranking: #2 in state


The girls varsity tennis team is undefeated 7-0 and is preparing for the state competition this fall.

6 six


The Falcon Flier October 2009

Could America’s rapidly aging baby boomer population destroy our economy?

Reflecting on the economy’s future in the face of a Social Security nightmare tirees from the Baby Boomer generation has already started to need care from either the government or their family members. “Today, an estimated 120 million adult Americans (57 percent) are either providing unpaid care to an adult family member or friend or have provided this care in the past” ( Many people in America might soon have to take care of a loved one and/or pay to support people they know. With the tax rate already sky high from paying off our parents’ debt; the members of Generations X and Y have a lot being put on their shoulders.

those we are indebted to for as long. Since we are currently governed by a Democratic administration, we are using the solutions for this kind of problem based off of Democratic ideologies. The government has risen the age of retirement. This by Rachel Fried is called cutting government the falcon flier expenditures. I foresee that Obama may next lower the Although America’s stock amount of Social Security or market is rebounding after Medicare benefits as well. By plummeting on March 9, and cutting the money we spend the recession is likely over, on other branches and dethis does not fix all the probpartments of the governlems in our country. Far from ment Obama is doing a smart it. One question that affects thing, but some things should all of us in the near future is not be cut, namely the retirethis: what will happen when ment sector. all the “Baby Boomers” go If the Republicans, on the Number (In Millions) Population of various generations in the United States Numbers from US Census Bureau

Post-Millenial 43.8 Generation Y


Generation X 49.1

Baby Boomers 76.7


into retirement? The Baby Boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964; this includes many of our parents and teachers. Generation X is a term less used, but it usually signifies the people who are born from around the end of the Baby Boomers generation to now. Some definitions of Generation X only include those born up to the 1980s, and the generation from then on is called Generation Y. This is only one small topic of discussion but it’s the one that needs to be addressed first. The first flood of re-

To pay off trillions of dollars, an almost unimaginable amount of money, we have a limited amount of choices. We can accept this and pay our tax increases or we can pay a lower tax rate and repay our debt over a longer time period. The problem with the second option is that we are borrowing from China and other places and we wouldn’t be paying it off as soon as possible. Interest rates are going to raise the amount of money we must repay either way but at least with the first, and better choice, we will not be under the control of


other hand, had their way we would be using the theory of supply side economics which may or may not help our retirees but which I have my own doubts about. I love those who may need help from me in the future so I believe we should reset the age of retirements and not cut back on benefits, as well as pay the higher taxes. So one part of the problem solved, but what about Social Security and retirement ages? Social Security is paid for by two different payroll taxes; the pay-as-you-go-tax which is withheld, a tax that em-

ployers must withhold from their employee’s pay, and taxes which your employer must pay from their own funds that could be a fixed amount for all workers or just connected to the pay of the employee proportionately. This sounds like a good idea, everyone working for the money to support themselves, right? We don’t have to pay for it; you have to pay your own way. The problem is that with the new taxes we have to pay, the Social Security rates are going up for a lot of people. According to the Financial Services Authority, which is in charge of Social Security in America, and their online pension calculator, the rates will raise for about 31 percent of us in 2009. This means that all of us will have to save more of our money to support ourselves in the future. We’ll have to work more and eventually, work longer. Retirement age has been changed to 67 for those born in 1960 or later. You cannot get your full Social Security pension now until you are 67. This is when a person has worked for about 35 years or much more. After working that long who wouldn’t want a break? But we don’t get one because the life expectancy has risen and we are expected to work yet later, maybe to an even older age. So we have come full circle, the higher taxes seem good because we get them over with faster but they are causing our Social Security rates to rise as well. With all the Baby Boomers going into retirement this could be a big problem. The government should cut some of its other expenditures and concentrate on the people of America’s lives after they have worked to better our economy for years.

Teachers and students might just be getting too close for comfort

One of FA’s biggest upsides is the close relationship between faculty and students, but where should the line be drawn?

by Lindsay Dawson the falcon flier

Student teacher relationships have always walked a fine line, but through the past decade the line has become more blurred. New technologies have made it easier for students and teachers to openly communicate, but how much communication is crossing the line? While FA certainly encourages its faculty to keep a close relationship with the students, some forms of communication and interaction with students are unprofessional. While communication is one thread on the line of student teacher relationships, the bulk of the issue is made from personal relationships or friendships. It appears that the days of decorum have slipped away from our “Secret Life”-obsessed

youth, along with the need to address teachers by their actual names. The words Sir, Mr., and Mrs. have flown by the wayside to last names and creative acronyms in order to seem “cool.” The use of nicknames is just one more example that teachers aren’t viewed as much of an authority figure as they used to be. Along with that comes the slender line that is bound to be crossed at some point. With the increase of younger faculty members among us, the confusion only gets worse. When certain faculty members are young enough to be my only slightly older brother or sister, it creates a whole new whirlpool of right and wrong. Teachers should remain teachers always. Yes, teachers do have lives, they are not hermits, however even outside of school the same level of respect, and that same boundary line, should remain in place; especially involving more casual situations, outside of the work environment. “When teachers hang out with students in general over

the weekend, it’s just creepy. The teachers should hang out with people their own age, and I don’t hear many cases of 15-year-olds dating 25year-olds,” said sophomore Ty Steve. It may be hard as students to notice when you’re crossing the line, but it poses an even bigger problem for the younger faculty. “Where the line is drawn, especially as a young teacher it is difficult to confuse those boundaries. As a teacher at FA, where they encourage close personal relationships, it’s hard. Regardless of the situation, so long as the fact remains we are still student teachers, there is no limit,” said drama teacher Tiffany Toner. It’s perfectly fine for a student and a teacher to get along well, but when it involves something more that could potentially risk the job of the teacher, and the wellbeing of the student, that is crossing the line. “Sometimes in order to have a friendship you need to be on the same level, at least

to some extent, but it’s virtually impossible to be friends with a teacher. There’s a confusion of relationships,” said Toner. Not only is friendship an issue in a school setting, but deeper relationships as well. It is inevitable that at some point in your years at school, suspicion between students and teachers having close personal relationships will arise. Whether or not they are all factual may not be proven. However, in a 2004 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, seven percent of kindergarten to high school students reported being a target of sexual exploitation by someone who works at their school. In this instance the line was not crossed, but it was leapt over and shredded to pieces without a second thought. According to a twelfth grade student, sex is crossing the line. Whatever the view may be, students and teachers should remain just that; students and teachers. The line is hoisted up there for a reason, and as such should remain there.


Cartoonby Zachary Zullivan

We are Juniors,

hear us

by Colleen Hughes guest reporter

How many times have you been told to be unique or to be different than everyone else? The idea to strive to be special is a main goal in America being taught to children from day one. “Dare to be different” and “show your true colors” are messages heard by us from a young age. Most people want to add something new to the world, and they believe that being unique is very important in doing so. Yes, this is true. We are all different, and that is great, but even if it’s not always noticed, people have similar qualities. This holds true for FA’s own class of 2011. Although the junior class is different on the surface, we are all a part of the FA community, and have similar aspirations to do well. As juniors, we find similar things important such as worrying about our school work, overall college stress, as well as moving up as upperclassmen and taking on new leadership positions. However, some juniors enjoy horseback riding, as one junior did lessons two times a week for two years, while others have piano lessons, Tae Kwon Do or soccer practice. These differences make up each person uniquely, but the ideas that are sometimes forgotten are the comparable characteristics. We all enjoy our own hobbies outside of school, and we all have something at which we excel. The junior’s personalities and values are shaped by family and friends. We look up to family in multiple ways, and they’re a main part of our decisions. For example, most of our own names

roar come from our ancestors. Some classmates have experienced siblings leaving for college, and how that changed their household, as it ended up being lonesome without them around. One person aspires to follow in his father’s footsteps into the military. Although we all have different family traditions, we still all hold onto the importance of family. In addition, the places that we have traveled have been significant as well. For example, some people have traditions of going on beach vacations to the South, while others have gone to Canada, or summer camps. Some have been to foreign countries such as traveling to France, or even living in Japan or Scotland. Although we haven’t all been to the same places, we all have experiences that have affected us. Therefore, we all share the love of going to new places, and trying new things. The similarities found between each other ultimately affect what types of relationships have been built, as we all have similar values and inspirations. Being at FA, we all share a common opportunity of being able to shape our future into whatever we want it to be. We are juniors now, but soon enough we will all be sitting on stage, waiting to receive not only our high school diploma, but the chance to move on to uncover our goals in the future. Looking across the class of 2011, it may be easy to point out the differences between our peers, but the real challenge comes in picking out the similarities that really matter in making up this junior class.


The Falcon Flier October 2009


by BEN HARRIS the falcon flier

Recently, two of the most horrific affronts to civilized, American discourse rocked our nation. They served as a rallying cry for the just and sophisticated to assemble against the degenerative culture in which our fathers, selves and sons have been raised in. I speak, of course, of the despicable outburst of Joe Wilson and the interruption of Taylor Swift’s VMA acceptance speech by Kanye West, A.K.A. Phishsticklovr808. These being two examples of the grungy environment Americans are raised in today. This environment provides a stark contrast to that of our founding fathers, a regal society in which the greatest of Americans held appropriate and reasonable debate with none of the partisanship or vitriol spewed forth by today’s uncultured rabble. Except America was never like that. In this same Congress, the home of the most

intelligent individuals America has ever seen, a senator was beaten with a cane because he’d insulted someone’s uncle during a speech in the 1800’s. Politics have become so shallow and homogenous that a simple shout of “You lie” can cause an upheaval of the delicate balance of the political spectrum. I’m not saying Joe Wilson is in any way intelligent, but how can anyone possibly think he even cares what is or isn’t true? The entire political system in America is a joke. The President is openly discussing popular culture and we still have the gall to assume that politicians are role models or in some way better than the rest of us. Not only that, but Kanye West is suddenly one of the most hated individuals in America because of what he did at the VMAs. It can hardly be denied that what he did was rude, but how is this any different from what we’ve seen before? He blamed the failure of multiple levels of government in response to Hurricane Katrina on the belief that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”. This outrage might have a little bit of merit to it, if it weren’t for the fact that this is the VMAs. I mean, honestly, this is the same awards

show in which Britney Spears flopped around onstage like a doped up turtle and we think it deserves the same sort of respect as the Grammys. The controversies surrounding both Kanye West’s and Senator Wilson’s interruptions are stemming from a reluctance to upset a certain balance, an order. In the case of Obama’s speech, there really is no reason for the President to be able to say what he wants unopposed, only for an opposition leader to read a speech against it and wait for the President’s reply. By removing the President from the pedestal we’ve placed him on and disrupting the order we seem to want to uphold, we’ll finally be able to actually dissect the abilities of the leader of our country and make our own decisions. On Kanye, I do agree that an acceptance speech is really no place to make a statement, but to think of West as anything less than who he was is purely an act of ignorance, because he had basically done it before. If you really, truly feel strongly about it, you’re basically complaining about someone tracking mud into a barn. The VMAs are for entertainment, not actual measurement of an artist’s talent. Just sit back and enjoy the show.

Falcon Flier WANTS YOU!



7 seven

The Staff’s Stand

There’s a line between

Learning and Chaos

We all have them. The hard days, the days where we wake up and just can’t stand the thought of going to school. The days that seem as though they’ll never end, where students have to struggle to carve out lunch times. And then there are the easy days, where we have so much free time that the prospect of, “proper time management” fails to even motivate us to write a paper much less read a homework assignment. The collegiate schedule has proven to be an important aspect of the FA student’s life, and the organization of our days hinge on this schedule. Our time here at FA is defined by this collegiate schedule. But as great a new addition to our lives this schedule has proven to be, the system is still flawed. The thought behind this schedule is that the balance of free time and classes will teach students how to better manage their time and prepare them for the rigors of college scheduling. By learning how best to work in the context of the schedule, students are more prepared for managing their time in college. Having rough days teaches students to have their work prepared beforehand, and having easy days causes the students to develop their own calendars to complete their work. It seems like a good system on the surface. If you have a difficult day, you’re forced to

Falcon Flier STAFF


Tyler Lubore

Feel free to send letters to the editor, comments and concerns to the following email address:


Austen Dunn


associate editor

use your time wisely at home and during the days leading up to this difficult day so you can be prepared for the academic rigors that will be tossed your way. If you have an easy day, you’ll have so much time that you can finish all of you work, open up your schedule for more extracurricular activities, and have time to talk to your teachers and seek help. While the collegiate schedule offers an easier means of organizing our days, it also is still incredibly unbalanced. Rather than an even spread of classes throughout a day with every day taking a shape around a largely similar foundation, some days could have multiple free periods in a row, while another could have contain no free periods until the end of the day. This eliminates student’s opportunities to lighten their work load, and in some cases, eat lunch. While the thought behind rough days is that you’ll complete your work beforehand, this proves not to be the case, as the work from these classes can pile up to such a great degree that the student doesn’t pass through the day without some much as breaking a sweat, but trudge reluctantly from class to class until their so exhausted that the thought of another day is almost unbearable. Students need to eat. Students need to get in a lunch

period so that they can not only have a break, but also recharge their batteries after a tough day. A high concentration of classes makes this impossible, and while students are encouraged to eat their lunch in class (with the consent of their teacher), they no longer simply eat it but scarf down quick and unhealthy meal options to power through their day on a mix of adrenaline, caffeine, and sugar. A high concentration of free time doesn’t cause students to necessarily use their time more wisely. Free periods merely make students procrastinate more, and in some cases, shirk their work entirely due to a prevailing opinion that, “I can finish it later.” As high school students, we are more prone to procrastination and not utilizing our time wisely. And giving us more free time isn’t going to force us to use it, it will merely prompt us to put off our work more and more until we no longer have the time to finish it. The collegiate schedule is supposed to teach us about a college schedule and prepare us for our work load when we graduate. But are we really prepared to learn these lessons when freshmen, sophomores, even juniors in high school? Should these lessons come this early at the expense of our academic well-being?

Lindsay Dawson

Beth Hunley

graphic design editor

Rachel Fried Mary Gray Johnson Ben Harris Zach Sullivan Simone Wicker reporters


The Falcon Flier is produced by the journalism class of Fredericksburg Academy. Its target audience is middle and upper school students.

Govenor’s school: Experiences may vary


by RACHEL BENAVIDES Guest reporter

When I was seven years old, I was scared to death of learning how to dive. The prospect of throwing myself headfirst into something and not knowing if I would ever land safely was frightening. You see, until then, I had always played it safe. Feet first—so, of course, I could see where I was going. Similarly, until this summer at Governor’s School at Christopher Newport, where I studied humanities, I always played it safe. Summer camps were interesting and productive ways to spend one or two weeks during the summer and usually, I encountered people I already knew. I haven’t switched schools since the third grade, so prior to this summer I hadn’t ever faced interacting for an extended period of time with a group of complete strangers. So

you can imagine how I felt on July 5th, pulling up to an unfamiliar dorm on an unfamiliar campus that for four weeks I would have to call home. Actually, funny enough, I wasn’t necessarily nervous. Anxious, I guess you could say. I was diving headfirst into a setting in which nobody knew my name and, hopefully, I would be able to find someone or something to make my landing comfortable by the time the month was over. But I had no control over the situation, except for the friendly reminder of the possibility of a belly flop. But you know how after you take one dive, just one, you suddenly have the urge to do it over and over again? After I learned that walking up to people and introducing myself cheerfully wasn’t the hardest thing to do, I started taking more risks. I took workshops on subjects I had never encountered, I spoke up more in my classes, I volunteered for random opportunities. I became close to some of the most intelligent, open-minded students I have ever met. I relished the unbelievable conversations


I could have with every one of them about music, politics, film, The Office…any and every subject. I watched something I wrote come to life on a big screen, with the help of a team of thoughtful editors, actors, and designers who I now respect more than I could ever say. I’m not sure how my summer would have gone had I not taken that dive, but I am certain that this experience at Governor’s School made me who I am now. When I left Christopher Newport University on August 5th, I was leaving another home, filled with people who felt like family, who I had shared inside jokes and deep conversations with. I truly hope other people seize opportunities like this. Live on your own, find yourself, be the person you want to be without worrying about preconceived notions. If you’re scared, it’s okay. Part of the thrill is the fact that you never know what will happen once you dive in. Perhaps it won’t play out in the same way for you as it did for me, but I think that every person has something to learn from the experience.

by TYLER LUBORE the falcon flier

You’d expect me to gush. I’m sure that you’d expect me to spend in excess of three hours giddily describing the joyous occasion that was my arrival at Governor’s School. I’d highlight the lasting friendships, the glorious academic experiences, the wonderfully close connections that I had with my teachers, who respected me as an individual and sought to make me a better me. Well, you’d be wrong. I’m going to tell you something that may surprise you: at Governor’s School, I was a jock. I played football, I played Ultimate Frisbee. During lectures, I was the student who was getting bored and almost falling asleep. I’d never ask questions, I was always embarrassed by how my peers knew the material better than I did. One Sunday we woke


up at 5:30 a.m. to do laundry and play Diplomacy. And we got in trouble for being loud. My friends and I hung out and stayed up until minutes before lights out listening to DMX and Gucci Mane. I know, this sounds out of character. I’m not proud of my time at Governor’s School. I went in thinking that I would befriend my fellow Latiners, that I would find deep intellectual stimulation from my teachers. This turned out not to be the case. My peers were rude and simply concerned with getting an awesome grade. They viewed the college application process as a bloodthirsty sport to go to a school where name recognition matters more than an actual love of the school community. Frequently, “Ivy League” became synonymous with, “world class education” and English universities were the Mecca of academic achievement. Anything short of Princeton was not to be accepted. With this atmosphere of academic brutality, I had no footing to develop my own meager understanding of the Latin language. Rather than

be offered the opportunity to learn and develop, my peers spent the majority of their time commiserating about their near perfect test scores and their desire for nothing more than to look down on the world from the balcony of their intellectual superiority and laugh at our beleaguered attempt to scrape out some semblance of an intelligent existence. My experience is not emblematic of everyone’s experience. I know that the time I spent at Governor’s School was unique to me, and that should you decide to go, you may have an incredible time. But my warning to you is this: go because you have a genuine desire, and only join a program that is focused on a subject you want to study. I made the mistake of entering a program that I already had mixed feelings about. Make sure that you want to study the material that you will be studying at the academy of your choice. Because it is up to you on whether or not you get anything out of the experience.

the Back page

The Falcon Flier October 2009


The students are raving... Five-stars, without doubt... “Super-Duper.”


-Jess Hoover, Junior Class

-Emily Schulz, Senior Class

“Crazy, awesome... Amazing.” -Sergio Bataller, Junior Class

“Pretty bomb.”

-Sebastian Wicker, Senior Class

“Genuinely impressive.” -Tony Durso, Head of Upper School



and the nominees are... Sophomores


The Incredibles

Toy Story

Monsters Inc.

The best float award goes to.... The seniors with Finding Nemo 2009 Spirit Week Poll Winners PAJAMA DAY

2009 Spirit Week Points Winners

















EMILY TORREY The senior class, with top priority to choose the theme of ‘Finding Nemo,’ won the float competition with pride at the Homecoming Parade.

Freshman Simone Roberts shows the Upper school her moves at the dance.

there’s no place like ... homecoming



From Left: Homecoming princess Jess Hoover, Homecoming prince Kahlil Gedin, Homecoming king Fred Daniel, and Homecoming queen Lucy Hazel.

The Falcon Flier- October 2009  
The Falcon Flier- October 2009  

The October 2009 issue of Fredericksburg Academy's student newspaper. Fredericksburg Academy is an independent PK-12 school in Fredericksbur...