Page 1

varsity boys tennis rally over season predictions Parental Control

Praising Potter


The in’s and out’s of Carl’s SEE PAGE 3



Volume XIX, Issue 5


The Falcon Flier

March 2011

[Fredericksburg Academy]



History Department Coordinator Heidi Wilbrandt teaches a middle school history class. Program and staff enhancements have necessitated a tuition hike.



he tuition prices for the 2011-2012 school year have been released. A $1,050 increase for Middle and Upper School raised tuition to $17,100 per student for the coming year (a 6.5 percent increase). Head of School Karen Moschetto held a budget meeting for parents to help them understand the need for increased tuition dollars. She pointed out that an increase is not unusual or unnecessary for the sustainability of independent schools. “Every year there’s been an increase. Last year’s increase was 3 ½ percent, in 20092010 it was a 5 ½ percent increase, in 2008-2009 it was a 6 ½ percent, in 2007-2008 it was 7 percent, and 2006-2007 it was 8 ½ percent,” Moschetto explained. “The last two years

with the economy the way it was, the school tried to be mindful of that, and tried to increase tuition cautiously. But, what happens is, you’ve got to cover your expenses and make sure you have the money to run programs.” Over the last three years, teachers have only received a one percent raise. Now, the teachers who have suffered cutbacks in previous years are receiving a 1.5 percent raise and the school is partially restoring contributions to their retirement plan. Teachers are not the only ones receiving benefits from the raise. The money is also circulating back to the students. “We are re-doing the computer lab in the lower school. Also the college counselor is going back to being a separate person other than [Head of Upper School] Mr. Durso,” said Moschetto. Moschetto realizes this increase is a burden for some families but is working to help

the families in other areas to make up for the tuition increase. “We’re trying to be mindful of people’s expenses so one of the things were doing is working with the textbook company so people can rent them instead of purchasing outright. Students will be allowed to bring their own laptop. They won’t have to purchase one through the school,” Moschetto said. The Board of Trustees Finance Committee budgeted for 430 students next year, the same number they budgeted for this year. The Board also is focusing on marketing the school to new families and retaining current students. “Just getting them here once isn’t necessarily enough. We love what goes on here, but it’s not enough. It takes follow up touches by administration, students, anything we can do to encourage and keep FA in their mind,” Moschetto said. It takes the admission office seven inquiries to result in one

enrolled student, as opposed to the national average of five inquiries, according to Director of Admission Lori Adams. “Last year, 80 percent of the students who were offered enrollment contracts enrolled. That is better than the national trend,” said Adams. Even with the new tuition price and increase in student enrollment, the chances of receiving financial aid remain the same. 75 percent of next year’s budget is planned for salaries, benefits, and financial aid. Moschetto explained that the financial packages are still accessible for the families that want to be here. She stressed the importance of committed parents and teachers to the school’s success. “Most of our teachers already choose to be here, and their parents believe in education so that we have that partnering going on,” said Moschetto.

Tuition increase percentages Below are the percentage increases for tuition over the past five years


2007 +8.5 %


2007 +7.0 %


2009 +6.5 %


2009 +5.5 %



+3.5 %

Senior McDermott’s campaign 18 for 18 kicks off with benefit concert by LIZ BENAVIDES

the falcon flier

Although it seems like the trip to Kenya would be McDermott’s entire senior project, it turned out to be just her learning activity. The Kenyan students inspired her to help in any way she could. “After I got back I thought, throughout this project I’ve learned a lot about myself, but I haven’t given back to the kids that taught me so much,” McDermott said. She decided that personally sponsoring the children she had met would be the best way to give back, which gave her the idea for her 18 for 18 campaign. McDermott has met her goal of raising $14,000, but still hopes for more donations. To reach her goal, she hosted a fundraiser Feb. 20, where she spoke to 60 people about the work she had been doing. Also, a benefit concert was held on Friday, March 18 at the Presbyterian Church of Fredericksburg. Former FA student Will Hamilton organized a set of local bands including Windowseat, Fashionbath, Jaguar Shark, and The Bassic Needs. Proceeds from concert admission were put toward E3 Kids International in addition to any purchases made by the hand-crafted Kenyan merchandise. Throughout her project, McDermott realized that charity is in her future, and will want to continue helping children in impoverished nations obtain an education. “To me, making a difference in these kids’ lives and helping out however possible is more successful than building a lifestyle where I can have anything I want,” McDermott wrote.

The Bassic Needs performed at the benefit concert E3Kids’ International Communication Director Joe ElLen Lesher accompanied McDermott to Kenya

E3Kids’ International jewelry was sold at the benefit Fashionbath added to the band lineup at the benefit


around town Take a drive to D.C. to see the Cherry Blossom Festival in full bloom Where: Washington D.C. When: March 26-April 10

TOP 4 fa events to Albums out tomorrow look forward to Britney Spears Femme Fatale 1. Prom 2. “Rumors” 3. Perch 4. Falcon Fest

Snoop Dogg Radiohead

Doggumentary The King of Limbs

Calendar countdown 68 days until graduation... (Hang in there, seniors!)



The Falcon Flier march 2011

“Rumors” con�irmed: the spring play is back PLAY ENTICES NEW ACTORS TO FA STAGE, VOLUME IN FEMALE TRYOUTS

Cast List KEN............................................Ty Steve CHRIS.......................................EA Geyer LENNY.......................Andrew Murphy CLAIRE...............................Imani Jones

the falcon flier


he deputy mayor will be shot, his wife will be missing, and a series of couples will enter the scene. “Rumors,” by playwright Neil Simon, FA’s spring drama production, will be performed May 20-22. Play director Todd Pristas is looking forward to the production. “[Rumors has been] a personal favorite of mine ever since I performed it in college. It’s the most amusing show I’ve ever done,” said Pristas. The return of a spring play is something that Pristas would like to see become a tradition in the FA community. “It gives kids an opportunity to do something besides the singing and dancing,” said Pristas. Casting “Rumors,” which centers around four couples, proved to be a challenge with a larger turnout than expected. Pristas even joked that too many girls auditioned for the four leading female roles. Of the 24 high school students who auditioned, 18 were girls. When it came down to casting, Pristas had difficulty selecting parts for the leading roles.


The FA Drama Department presents...


ERNIE.........................Adam Abilmona COOKIE............................Maya Brown GLENN.....................................AJ Topps CASSIE..................Courtney Hoffman

Written by

Neil Simon Director

Stage Manager

Todd Pristas

Anna Iglesias

OFFICER WELSH....Marshall Steven OFFICER PUDNEY............Rory Dunn


“When it came to the ladies, there was a lot of talent, but I wanted to give the juniors and seniors more of an opportunity,” said Pristas. Pristas also explained that he had to consider what would look best visually. “Since they are going to be couples, I had to think of visually finding someone and not having it look too awkward.” Besides having the play be visually believable, the acting has to be as well. When casting “Rumors,” Pristas looked at varying criteria. “I looked for confidence on stage, clear diction, and the willingness to take chances and risks. That’s what theater is about, stepping outside the box.” Of the casted students, Pristas is looking forward to working with some different faces. “I’m glad to see [seniors]

Ty Steve and Maya Brown who I have worked with in the past. [Junior] Courtney Hoffman has been in acting assemble but I’ve never seen her perform, and [sophomore] Adam Ablimona,” said Pristas. Steve is also excited to become involved on stage for the first time. He has held previous experience behind the curtain, however, “Rumors” will be his first main stage debut. “Senior Exhibit was over so I didn’t have that stress and I had gotten into college so my only things I would have would be the play. I was questioning it at first but they needed more guys, so I decided to do it,” said Steve. Though it is Steve’s first time on stage, he is only nervous about getting his lines memorized and who will be spotlighting him. “I’m the school’s best spot

lighter, and I am one of the best backstage managers, only second to [junior] Daniel Conway. I’m nervous about whoever is taking over my spotlight because I may not be lit up on stage,” said Steve. Pristas also expressed concerns of the technology aspect of the production. “[Tech week] is stressful because usually everything that can go wrong will go wrong. We hope for the best during tech week,” said Pristas. Though some aspects of the play may cause stress and difficulties, Steve realizes the greater reward at the end. “I’m excited about getting my candy bouquets at the end. And playing Ken and being married to Elizabeth Anne [Geyer],” said Steve.

Brobots have high hopes for upcoming competition by AUSTEN DUNN the falcon flier

With the FIRST Robotics regional competition approaching, all the FA Brobots have left to do is wait. The competition, held April 7-9 at the VCU Siegel Center in Richmond, requires each team to come with a robot prepared to place inflated tubes on horizontal posts extending from a wall at the end of the competition ring. Brobots, named after the popular slang word for “people that support each other,” spent 42 days working on the listed objective and requirements for this year’s competition, finally finishing their robot Feb. 22. Sophomores Alex Hatch, Matt Kirchner and Alex Kangas, and freshman Wyatt Henke worked with Brobots captain, senior Kahlil Gedin, to finish the robot on time. According to Gedin, each member was vital to the completion of the robot. To prepare for the competition, Brobots has met every day after school from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to Gedin, the team is also working on simply “getting [their] name out there.” So far, Brobots have given a preview of the robot at the annual Lock-In and have prepared community meeting announcements with progress reports. Also, seniors Tony Washington and Gedin, junior Daniel Conway, and Henke have been working to make a website for Brobots. They hope to display research


The Brobots’ completed robot awaits competition weekend.

from other robotics websites, online programming tools, and information about the team. “Hopefully, people who are interested in robotics can look at our website. Also, sponsors, scientists or engineers who want to find out more about the team or what they can do to help can use the website as a resource,” Gedin said. So far, Brobots has received help from Hunter Defense Technology (HDT) and Astro Machine Works. The Brobots team went to the HDT headquarters to go over the ideas for their robot. They were given advice on how to fix problems or how to enhance their model,

Varipapa to medical school

and HDT donated free parts. Astro Machine Works built Brobots a $1000 frame for the robot for free. These donations helped reduce the financial burden of paying for the construction of the robot to an estimated $200 for FA. Gedin anticipates that the team will earn one of the top three places in the competition. “I actually think it is pretty feasible that we do well in the competition. My only worry is that our robot won’t pass inspection,” Gedin said. In last year’s competition, the “kicker” on FA’s robot did not pass inspection and had to be removed. As a result, the robot could not complete the competition’s objective

and could only move back and forth, reducing its competitiveness. Even if the FA robot passes inspection, Brobots did not complete a mini-bot. For the second part of the competition, each team’s mini-bot races up a 10-foot pole. Luckily, Brobots will be paired with a different team in each round. “Even though we didn’t finish a mini-bot, we have a robot with a strong arm. So, if we team up with a group that has a good mini-bot, we will be unstoppable,” Gedin said. The competition will include a range of six to seven rounds with 12 to 14 team pairings. According to Gedin, this aspect of the competition encourages teamwork and cooperation. FIRST, standing for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” lists teamwork as a part of its mission as well, according to FIRST founder, Dean Kamen. “Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership,” wrote Kamen on FIRST’s website, USFIRST. org. “[We hope] to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”

the falcon flier

This is the last year for Robert Varipapa, the young chemistry and physics teacher who has captured FA hearts for two years, as he will be attending medical school. “I was always going to go to school after teaching. It’s not the students or anything. Coming out of college I knew that I wanted to go back to school. After two years, this is the best time. I had a great time teaching here, a wonderful time here,” said Varipapa. Varipapa knew from a young age that he wanted to go in to medicine, but at the end of his junior year at Washington and Lee University he began to consider teaching. “I took the M-CAT at the end of last year, [April or] middle of May, then I sent my first application at the end of June or the beginning of July. Then you get secondary applications. I sent them in at the end of August, September, into October, November, and now I’m in the process of doing interviews.” Varipapa is ready to start in a new place once again, just as he did two years ago here at FA. “I think it’ll be really difficult, challenging. It’ll be nice to be back on the other end of things”, he said with a laugh. “It’ll be harder than college, but I’ll enjoy it.”

China trip anticipation by RACHEL FRIED

the falcon flier

Students traveling to China this April highlight what they are most excited about. “[The] Great wall of China. I really want to just experience the culture and landmarks,” said sophomore Justin Safarik. Freshman Kendra Nedell had a different perspective. “I want to shop in Beijing because everything is really inexpensive!” said Nedell. Cuisine is most exciting for freshman Marshall Steven. “I am looking forward to tasting the food and sit seeing. I was for Hong Kong because I want to see new sites and Hong Kong is a big city…I really want to try dog, ‘cause I’m evil,” said Steven.

Diversity conference by MATT KIRCHNER

the falcon flier

Upper school students came back from a conference with ideas to solve one of FA’s toughest and touchiest issues: diversity. This diversity conference held in Washington D.C. at All Souls Unitarian Church. Eastern Education Resource Collaborative (EastEd) sponsors both a middle school and high school conference annually. EastEd is an organization whose mission is to support diversity, multicultural education, social equality, and justice. Six upper school students, along with history teacher Jeff Eckerson, made the trip to D.C. on Feb. 27. According to Eckerson, FA’s diversity committee wanted students to go because they are thinking of creating a diversity club next year. “What I took away from the trip is that everyone has something that makes them unique, and it’s that uniqueness that makes us interesting as people,” said junior Asia Alsgaard. Eckerson also said that is was good to talk to other private school teachers about diversity because they all have to face similar situations. He said that the teachers looked at different situations and talked about what the best way to handle that situation would be. “I learned that [diversity] is something that is a priority at other schools and that creating an inclusive environment is crucial for student success,” said Eckerson.


Fredericksburg Emergency Medical Alliance

THE Emergency Doctors at: Mary Washington Hospital Stafford Hospital Freestanding ED at Lee’s Hill

feature Custard Crave by RACHEL FRIED

The Falcon Flier March 2011


the falcon flier

You’ve been to Carl’s.

You’ve savored at least one of their signature creamy custard flavors. You’ve also had to wait out the winter months after a summer and fall of ice cream for a taste of their treats again. Between the Sunday before Thanksgiving and the Friday of President’s Day Weekend, complaints can be heard when residents of Fredericksburg can’t get their Carl’s fix. However, the infamous ice cream shoppe in downtown Fredericksburg has a reason for closing in the winter months. Carl E. Sponseller, the late creator and namesake of Carl’s, originally closed the store for hunting season. “After that, he went to Florida for January when business would be [the] slowest anyway. He thought opening on a holiday would be best, and he chose President’s Day weekend,” said Danny Sponseller, the nephew of Carl Sponseller and father of freshman Danielle Sponseller. The current owners continue the tradition (despite the fact that none of them hunt) because business is slower in the cold winter months. “Closing gives us a chance to work on the old machinery. Finally, the tradition usually gives us a lot of fanfare when we reopen. It contributes to the hype of Carl’s being cool and is self advertising,” said Sponseller. Carl’s has been open for 64 years, and has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places. “[Before], the building was actually a little smaller. The back part of the building was not there and the walk in refrigerator was actually outside. Walls were built around the refrigerator with a little extra space for supplies,” said Sponseller. However, Carl’s hasn’t changed much in its practice since 1947, besides moving the often-quite-long line to the front of the restaurant for safety. The store continues to accept only cash, have no drivethru, and sells only three flavors: strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla. Sponseller explained that it is partly for tradition, but mostly for efficiency that Carl’s is kept “oldfashioned.” Carl’s doesn’t have a website but has a large web presence thanks to its many fans. “Internet is great. I hope more people find us on the internet and provide their comments,” said Sponseller. With 50 plus reviews spanning multiple websites, Carl’s is on Facebook and tripadvisor. It is listed as number12 of 90 restaurants in Fredericksburg, through fans of their ice cream. On these websites, their ice cream (actually frozen custard) is well reviewed. “There is plenty of egg in it, which helps give it that rich taste. Also, there is no corn syrup in it. Our custard has natural sugar for a sweetener,” said Sponseller. As for the large, silver whirring machines you see behind the servers, slowly pushing out frozen custard, they are called Electro-Freeze machines. They are the same machines bought by Carl Sponseller almost 70 years ago when he created the shop, and they are responsible for the soft creaminess of Carl’s frozen custard. “Today’s ‘soft-serve’ ice cream machines that you find in many stores freeze the ice cream inside the machine with a paddle constantly whipping it, keeping it soft until it is ‘drawn’ out of the machine. Problem with this whipping is that the ice cream gets fluffy,” said Sponseller. “Our machines are called ‘batch’ machines. The ice cream freezes in them quickly while running straight through the machine. The ice cream never gets ‘fluffed’. These machines give it that heavy, creamy texture. Our ice cream is ‘soft’ only because we always make it fresh and sell it right away before it hardens in a freezer.” PHOTO BY LINDSAY DAWSON



The Falcon Flier March 2011


upon a


ast prom-goers evaluate their prom experiences, rating them one to “fairytale,” based on everything from dates to dinner plates. Use their advice to craft your own fairytale at this year’s prom, “Step in to the Stars.” Dance and dinner will be held at the Fredericksburg Country Club and after prom at Paragon Gymnastics.






L by



& ier ERG NB n fl









Emily Torrey, junior

Justin Safarik, sophomore Out of school/in school date? No date.

Out of school/in school date: Ben Weise, Out of school.

What grade were you in? Freshman

What grade were you in? Sophomore

Did prom live up to all your expectations? Live up to expectations? Yes, definitely.

How was it in relation to past proms? It was better because it was on a boat, and we didn’t have to eat chicken. How long did it take you to get ready? Approximately an hour, maybe an hour and a half. Well, it’s an interesting story because I was going to get this one [dress] but they wouldn’t have it ready because it was like a week before prom, so I ended up getting another one. I guess it took about a week because of the mix up with the other dress. I did [my hair] myself. I don’t wear makeup. It took me about 45 minutes to do my hair because I have to blow dry it. Did you ask someone? I asked someone. I texted them. How was the food? On a scale of 1 to 10…. 11. It was just good; it was fajita steak and there was macaroni and cheese. The year before it was like cold chicken with unseasoned vegetables. Rate it one to fairytale 8, like shrek.

Matt O’Donnell, junior

How long did it take you to get ready? Probably like an hour. It was mainly just getting my suit ready because cause my dad is big suit connoisseur, so I had to look perfect. Did you want to ask someone? I just wanted to go solo. Rate the food. Yeah, the food was good. What was your favorite memory? I would have to say after dinner when they put on the music it was just really great. Dinner was ok but the dancing and music, and maybe going on top of the boat [were the best]. How was the after prom? After prom? I don’t remember. It wasn’t good, we got like a bagel and orange juice. Rate it one to fairytale 8, because the prom part was pretty good, but the after prom was pretty horrible.

Elizabeth Anne Geyer, senior

Out of school/in school date: In school date, Senior Jordan Banez

Did you go with a group/date? Andrew Murphy. Yes, we went with a group of about ten.

What grade were you in? Sophomore

What grade were you in? Junior

How was it in relation to past proms? Better… I liked the prom part of it a lot better pecause it was on a boat. I didn’t like after prom though, it wasn’t really an after prom. How long did it take you to get ready? I took like six showers. Well, it wasn’t six, but I woke up like normal and took a shower, then I made sure I wasn’t dirty in the middle of the day and took another shower, and then I took one right before I went. I didn’t do my hair or anything, I just got my tux on. So, approximately 57 minutes. Did you ask someone? How? I asked Jordan in the middle of New York City in Times Square… it was kind of lame. I was supposed to get a cupcake that said it [prom?] on it, but I didn’t because I couldn’t find a cupcake… so I just asked her. It was kind of awkward. Rate the food. I’ll give it a 7.2 It was comfortable food, but it wasn’t exquisite Rate it one to fairytale 7.7

How was it in relation to previous proms? I liked the actual dance last year better, but the after prom sophomore year was awesome. How long did it take you to get ready? Probably like an hour to an hour and a half. Did someone ask you? How? He asked me. We were passing on the stairs and he was like, “Hey! Want to go to prom?” And I was like, “Yeah!” Rate the food. I guess it was like a 5 or 6…I can’t remember much of it. What was your favorite memory? Just like being on the boat and going up to the deck on top. Rate it one to fairytale If ten is a fairytale, then 8. PHOTOS BY LINDSAY DAWSON AND MARY GRAY JOHNSON

A trip down memory lane 2007 2008 2010 2009 Theme: “Double-0 Seven”

Theme: New York, New York

Theme: Sail Away


Location: Seacobeck Hall

Location: Seacobeck Hall

Location: Seacobeck Hall

Location: Spirit of Washington

After-prom Location: Paragon Gymnastics

After-prom Location: Paragon Gymnastics

After-prom Location: FA Gymnasium

After-prom FA Commons Location:

King and Mike Scott and Queen: Caroline Hazel

King and Joe Martin and Queen: Nyemah Scott

King and Raleigh Hazel and Queen: Emily Goose

“On A Boat”

King and Brian Hong and Lucy Hazel Queen:


The Falcon Flier March 2011



the falcon flier


“To fill a line up you have to have five or six players, but the goal is to have seven or eight players in order to have subs. I think we’re going to have five or six new additions, including two or more eighth graders. Last year, we had a strong team. I don’t think that the conference got much harder, but one team that I know got stronger is Middleburg Academy. I think we’ll have a good turnout this year,” said sophomore Fitzhugh Johnson.

“I honestly don’t think it’s looking good. We’ve lost a lot of strong players and don’t really know how the new players will be. It’ll be a challenging season. Doubles is going to be the hardest thing. We have to make up our minds about the doubles or have two line ups and try to split it up,” said sophomore Jonathan Kepcke.

Student balances school and travel sports teams LOOKING AHEAD, STRESSFUL ‘BLACKWOLF’ LAX DOESN’T KEEP PLAYER FROM JOINING by MATT KIRCHNER the falcon flier

Freshman Jase Davis participates on FA’s soccer, swimming, and lacrosse teams every year. But this is not enough for him. Last year, he made the travel lacrosse team Blackwolf Lacrosse, based in Northern Virginia. The team plays throughout the whole year, but like most travel teams, they mainly play in the summer. Practices are generally held on weekends, and the team participates in an average of five lacrosse tournaments. So far this year, Blackwolf completed two fall tournaments, remaining undefeated. In the second tournament, Blackwolf outscored their opponents 37-4. Although Blackwolf is an invitation-only team, players still have to try out once they have been invited. When Davis made the team, there were 40 players competing for 25 positions on the roster, with over 75 players on the waiting list to even get their chance to try out. Despite the odds, Davis had no problem making the team. “After the first day of tryouts the coach came up to me and told me that I was on the team. I ran off the field immediately and told my dad and called my mom. They were ecstatic to hear that I had made it,” said Davis. “I was the

one who found the team and pushed to get on the team, but they were with me every step of the way. They mostly helped me by supporting the rigorous travel schedule and all the practice times.” Even though Davis is often busy throughout the year, his decision to play lacrosse outside of school was not a tough one to make. “I started off playing just for the love of the game. It was something that I really wanted to expand upon and continue doing in my free time,” said Davis. While there is a large competition gap between the two teams, Davis plans to treat both Blackwolf and the FA team with the an equal sense of importance. “I see [playing for FA] as the time to represent my school, play good lacrosse, and have fun with my friends. I see the Blackwolf season as much more high pressure and stressful since there is so much to do with recruitment for college,” said Davis. Davis does plan on continuing his lacrosse career into college, and says that Blackwolf has greatly improved his chances of being able to do so. “In the last three years, Blackwolf has sent about 60 kids to play for Division 1 schools, said Davis. “I am hoping that I will be able to stay on Blackwolf and add to that number.”


Winter season results

by ISABEL STEVEN the falcon flier

VISAA State swim meet in Christiansburg, February 17-19 State Team: Mary Rose Hazel, Maya Schattgen, Graham Schattgen, Mary Gray Johnson, Noland Butler, Kirstie Harry, Matt O’Donnell, Jase Davis, Charlie Garbutt, Alex Kangas, Daniel Conway Girls 12th in 200 Free Relay: Time:1.49.09; Noland, Maya, Mary Rose, Kirstie 14th in 400 Relay: Time: 4.12.55; Maya, Mary Gray, Mary Rose, Kirstie 13th in 100 Free: Noland; Time-57.13 Boys 24th out of 35 in 200 Medley Relay: Time-2.00.33; Matt, Charlie, Jase, Graham Varsity Basketball DAC Championship at Highland, February 26 Girls played against Randolph Macon Academy: Lost Awarded 2nd place Season Stats: 12 wins, 8 losses Boys played against Tandem Friends: Lost Awarded 2nd place Season Stats: 9 wins, 7 losses


Winter sports awards

Varsity Boys Basketball

Varsity Swimming

MS Swimming

MVP - AJ Topps

MVP - Matt O’Donnell Kirstie Harry

C’s - Charlie Garbutt Maya Schattgen

C’s - Nate McDermott MI - Ryan Hudson

C’s - Jase Davis Mary Gray Johnson

MS Boys Basketball

MI - Daniel Conway Samantha King

MVP - Ross Rudzinsky C’s - Phillip Schuller

MI - Ryan Reeb Allison Hansen


MI - Noah Burks

Varsity Girls Basketball MVP - Courtney Hoffman C’s - Paige McDermott C’s - Maya Brown

MS Girls Basketball MVP - Sara D’Addio C’s - Kate Smith MI - Ravyn Galimore

MVP= Most Valuable Player C’s = Coach’s Award MI = Most Improved


Basketball :


The girls varsity and JV basketball teams pose Feb. 24, the day of the DAC semi-final game against Wakefield Country Day.

All Conference AJ Topps, Ryan Hudson, Courtney Hoffman (player of the year), Anne Douglas Goforth, and Paige McDermott

Swimming : Graham Schattgen, Kirstie Harry, Mary Gray Johnson, and Noland Butler Dance : Erika Holshoe and Mary Fried



The Falcon Flier March 2011

Checking in with varsity lacrosse players by Mary Gray Johnson

the falcon flier

John Hazel

Greer Stewart

Freshman John Hazel hopes to fill gaps left in the boys varsity lacrosse team’s offense and bring a fresh, positive attitude for a strong season. Hazel spent part of the summer honing in on lax skills at Duke Lacrosse Camp, and hopes to put them to good use in the upcoming season.

Look out for sophomore Greer Stewart as the varsity girls lacrosse season commences. Stewart may not be the team’s high scorer, but she’s a dedicated player and brings five years of experience to the team. Stewart hopes to improve from high standards the team set last year.

Position:  Midfield, typically center.

Position:  Offense 

Describe your first lacrosse memory. Raleigh was in seventh grade playing for FA and I was in second when he gave me a spare stick and gloves. I remember him and his friends taking me out into the back yard so I could learn how to cradle and pass. It was a pretty long and inconsistent process.

Describe a defining part of the season last year. Last year was definitely a hard season. One thing that really made me excited, though, was that we were a young team: a whole lot of fresh, and some very skilled players. However we did have a hard time due to our lack of size. It gives me hope in us having plenty of players in the years to come. Also, varsity coaching and morale were a large problem for many of us due to the previous varsity coach’s style and attitude.

How will this season be different? This season I have a feeling will be much better attitude wise. We have a few very eager and experienced freshmen coming up like myself and I think we will all add to the team. Also, we have a new coaching staff which is a great change and I am very eager to see what they have in store for us. We may be young and all have to work hard, but I think we will have a great time.

What are your greatest individual strengths on the team—what do you contribute most? I am not the best player on the team How long have you played? but I do know that I am always prepared Since sixth grade, so this will be my and ready to get out on the field. I don’t fifth year. ever like skip out on practices—I’m always there. Describe your first lacrosse memory.  I remember in seventh grade we What will be yours and the team’s greatest were winning to this team by a lot and challenge this year? we were just doing a really good job as Seeing how far we can go... Last year a team. Also at this game I scored three we set the standards pretty high and we What will be yours and the team’s greatest  points, and that’s the most I have ever are challenged to do better than that. scored in a game. I just remember this challenge this year? The greatest challenge for both me game because both the team and I did and the entire team this year will be our well. I also remember things like away   numbers. There are only 16 of us, to my games and the bus rides were always fun.  knowledge, and it takes 10 men to field a team. This means everybody is going to Describe a defining part of the season last year. W h a t  No one really knew that we were other players   be working very hard in every game and ranked that well. So when we were told are saying: every practice. that we were eighth in the state, I had Senior Colno clue that we had done that well in leen Hughes: What other players are saying: our season. I think this pushed us a little “We have a Senior Kahlil Gedin: “John is a hard more because we knew that we were goyoung team this worker in that he’s there to play—he’s not there to fool around. He’s always doing ing to have to push ourselves to play the year and I’m really exthings for the team before himself. For harder teams that we were going to go up cited for the younger classmen to step example, [in the fall] John played midfield against.     up and be a big for the soccer team and he had lots of part of the team opportunities to take the ball one-on-one, How will this season be different?  I think that we have lost a lot of good this year. She but instead of risking losing the ball, he players but we have also gained some new improved a lot often passed to a teammate. His team oriones. I think the new players are going to this year, and ented mindset and his work ethic will add a lot to the [lacrosse] team this year.”ate, have a good impact on our team and we we’re lucky to are excited to see what we are going to do have her on attends UVA). this year. We also have two new coaches the team.” that are going to push us and help a lot with conditioning. illustration by simone wicker  

What are your greatest individual strengths on the team—what do you contribute most? My greatest individual strength will be sound fundamentals and what I hope to be a strong offensive player. I think I will be able to contribute experience after learning a few tricks to the trade at a Duke Lacrosse Camp this past summer. We lost some major players on the offensive side last year and I’m hoping that I will be able to somewhat fill that gap.

Attitude change: optimism in another rebuilding year photo by matt o’donnell


by Matt Kirchner

the falcon flier

his being my third year on the boys varsity lacrosse team, it’s not hard to tell that the team’s attitude is much different from past years. A brand new coaching staff and enthusiastic players are the main factors of the rise in morale. Last season was certainly a tough one. We had just lost seniors Raleigh Hazel, Nicholas Ducharme-Barth, and Walker Steven, which led our team into a rebuilding year. This year, we are without players Brian Hong, Trent Butterworth, and Derrick Holladay. But nobody seems to care that we are in another rebuilding year. We have new, young coaches in Winston Graves and Robert Varipapa, who have really revitalized the program. The last pair of coaches were used to coaching state championship caliber teams, which led them to become more and more frustrated with every missed pass. Having first year coaches usually leads to problems, but this year appears to be the exception. The practices are very up-beat and productive this season. The coaches allow us to have fun and try new things, which, in turn, are making us a better lacrosse team. In fact, it appears that most of the players actually look forward to practice. Even when practice is coming to an end and Coach Varipapa informs us that it’s time to do our conditioning drills, we feel like there is a reason to be putting in the hard work. We know that we are a small team and that we will have to be in the best shape possible. We also have strong leadership among the players. Our current captains are freshmen Jase Davis and Jon Hazel, along with junior Will Harrison and senior Kahlil Gedin. This is a good mix of captains, because while Harrison and Gedin provide the experience and strategy, the freshmen captains bring up the teams’ energy and morale. That being said, I’m not sure that our team will do well record-wise. We are certainly capable of winning a few games, especially if seniors Kahlil Gedin and Eric Boggs step up their game. But we are mostly a team of the future. I am confident that when the current sophomores are seniors and the current freshmen become upperclassmen, we will have the talent and experience to put us in the running for, at least, the DAC championship.



The Falcon Flier March 2011

Daniel Radcliffe takes to Broadway stage, showcasing versatility and talent COMEDY, DANCE AND SONG MAKE “HOW TO SUCCEED “ A MEMORABLE PERFORMANCE for the j-team by Liz Benavides the falcon flier

How to succeed in business without really trying: STEP 1: Find a company. STEP 2: Get hired by telling everyone that you know the boss, when really you just bumped into him in the lobby.

STEP 3: Join the mailroom and climb the corporate

ladder by knocking as many people off as necessary. But make sure everyone thinks you have good intentions and morals.


as an actor. Also starring was fivetime Emmy award winner John Larroquette, playing J.B. Biggley, boss of the World Wide Wicket Company with a secret hobby of knitting and a strong attachment to his alma mater. Larroquette brought humor to the part in unusual places. He bordered on over-acting at some points, but his enthusiasm definitely paid off. This play had romance, humor, and plenty of huge musical numbers, but underneath it all was a satirical look at big business, a theme that’s perfect for today’s society. Because of the weak economy, many people today look at big businesses as corrupt and evil, and this play puts a humorous spin on the idea. This show is good for everyone, whether or not they are up to date with

current events involving the stock market or economy. The students on the 2011 journalism trip to New York City found it incredibly funny and engaging. It’s not a play for adults only, but it’s not just for teenagers either. While some people might not understand the business terms, they’ll be able to keep up. If I could see this show again, I definitely would. The cast was brilliant, the plot was hilarious, and the songs were fun. The acting was amazing, even though this was just a preview performance, which means that nothing about the cast or set is finalized and things are constantly changing. To have that quality of acting while making changes every day is a huge job, and the cast of “How to Succeed in Business” definitely pulled it off.

He took dance lessons three hours on his days off from “Potter” filming and nine hours a week in between filming.

When practicing his American accent, Radcliffe said that ‘r’s’ were the hardest.


Fans fill the sidewalks awaiting Radcliffe after the musical for autographs and pictures.






F www .howtosuccee


Daniel Radcliffe debuted on Broadway in Equus in 2008.

Also, remember to make everything as funny and outrageous as possible. “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” is a revival of the 1960s Broadway classic, featuring Daniel Radcliffe as J. Pierrepont Finch, an ambitious window washer who acquires a book telling him exactly how to rise in the ranks of the business world. No, you didn’t misread that. Daniel Radcliffe, famous for his role of Harry Potter, starred in this play. He sang, danced, and perfected an American accent. Going in, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to separate him from his most famous character, but it was surprisingly easy to do so. Radcliffe is actually a very good singer, and halfway through I had forgotten all about his wizarding days. This play proved his versatility

Radcliffe through the years

Longstreet’s is a letdown despite appearance

student enjoys flavor of restaurant atmoshpere more than food AND SERVICE by Simone Wicker the falcon flier

Peering through the closed black blinds, the dark, uninviting exterior of Longstreet’s led me to believe downtown Fredericksburg’s new restaurant was closed on a Sunday afternoon. This should have been the first warning sign. However inside, the restaurant’s atmosphere inside was refreshing and contrasted greatly from University Café and Las Palmas, the building’s

previous eateries. Longstreet’s offers a variety of entertainment including arcade games, billiards, shuffleboard, and a television for sport games. I was seated right away on a Sunday afternoon as I scanned the menu, which impressively offers a variety of food. My father and I ordered buffalo wings for an appetizer, which were delayed. We didn’t receive them until we had finished our meals. The wait was not

worth the bland chicken covered in a hint of honey habanero flavoring. The service could have been better. The waitress came to our table every 10 minutes saying that the buffalo wings were going to be a little longer. Frankly, I had given up on them after we received our soups. We ordered the lobster bisque and the chili of the day: “black and red” for the black beans and red peppers. The chili’s appearance

was deceiving because it looked a lot better than it tasted. It was cold, with sweet and spicy taste with a little too much of what seemed to be sugar, complimented by black beans, which I had mistaken for some type of nut as I crunched through the uncooked beans. When I finally got tired of my crunchy, cold chili, I had a spoonful of the lobster bisque, which more aptly should have been called lobster pudding. I could

see the lumps of flour in my father’s bowl of gelatinous paste, which he claims was “devoid of any detectable lobster meat”. Following the soups, I had hoped that the beef quesadilla and quarter pounder burger we ordered would redeem the meal so far. Unfortunately the food continued to disappoint. The burger was a standard char grilled burger that was ordered medium but was cooked medium well to well

done, alongside fries with a semi-burnt flavor. My beef quesadilla was not a bad dish, just slightly too greasy with some inedible onion skins, which I washed down with a watery iced-tea. I’d definitely give Longstreet’s some time to settle in and perfect their dishes before I return there. It has potential to be a cool hang-out spot in Fredericksburg due to its large capacity and fun games, but the food could use a little work.



The Falcon Flier March 2011

Parking lot accident publicized, adds insult to injury


by Austen Dunn the falcon flier

t only took a split second to hit the light pole. In that second, I crushed the front passenger side of my Subaru. In that second, I knocked the front right wheel off its axis. Likewise, it only took seconds for pictures of my crashed car to circulate and Facebook statuses to appear. Thanks to technology, my mistake had been broadcasted before the night was out, before the curtain call for the middle school play (I crashed in the FA parking lot on Friday, opening night of “Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.”). I had been planning on going to see “Blue Valentine” with friends and was just leaving a newspaper deadline night. Obviously, I had to call my friends to cancel the Muvico plans. My dad picked me up, 30 minutes after hitting the light pole, and drove me

home. We had to abandon my damaged Subaru against the pole. Because the wheel wasn’t aligned, the car wasn’t drivable. When I got home, one of my friends who had been planning to watch Ryan Gosling on the big screen with me, sent me a picture of a Facebook status addressed to the FA Community about my car. By this time, I had been through the shock stage, the anger stage, and was moving steadily toward the sobbing stage. Seeing the post brought me back to frustration. I was mad people were talking about what happened publically, without investigating it first. I worked on prepping myself for school Monday. I was sure that there would be comments and questions thrown at me all day, asking for explanations of the accident. Monday came and I was rarely approached about the incident. However, it was easy to assume that everyone knew. I have always been an advocate for our technologically-savvy generation. I am a firm believer that our problem-solving skills are enhanced from our ac-

cess to technology. This incident, however, made me wish texting was still unheard of and Mark Zuckerberg was still in his dorm at Harvard, far away from founding his billiondollar social network, Facebook. To be honest, it was just embarrassing to see everything online without having put it there myself. I am more comfortable having control of any situation, and my lack of control was one of the scariest aspects of the accident. I didn’t have control of my car during the accident, but now I didn’t have control of the aftermath either. For the first day, this was hard for me to accept. I didn’t like that people who I rarely spoke to were passing pictures and judgments. However, I do think it has helped me move on from the accident. I took the situation seriously, but was forced to move on and be able to laugh at myself. It was a moment, a second, of stupidity, and I had to just accept that half of the school had seen my car up against the pole in the parking lot, and the other half had seen it online.

photos courtesy of stock.xchg

The music-finding tool of the future Student finds new way to keep up to date on the latest Music



ir att K

M o by Phot

rite o v a ’s F logs y n To sic B m Mu c i s is

by Tony Washington

ng m isso h t o . h w .com ww rhip a a j t s n ni w.5 usic m ww m e h c t i . s w dis ww isvi h t . w ww

Guest reporter

A while back, I used to get music from various, but scarce, sourc-

es like the TV and radio. Those types of media kept me informed on what was new in the music world. I like that I kept up on the music, but I somehow thought that something was missing. Was it the songs? Could I be over playing them? Was the quantity or quality of music downgrading my experience? Anyone of those could possibly be the answer. That all stopped when I discovered music blogs on the internet. After randomly

Emily White and Tony Washington are tweflthgrade World Literature students. Their editorials were selected by the Falcon Flier staff to be featured in the March issue.

searching the web, I came across the first music blog: The Music Ninja “Discover new music everyday”. This site was like a breath of fresh air from the norm. It offered an entirely different music scene that the average person doesn’t get to see every day. I did find that it was updated every day, meaning there was new music all the time. This was far better than hearing something on the radio or TV. Where I was used to mainly hip-hop and 80’s songs, this helped widen my genre tolerance. I now listen to just about everything, as long as it sounds good to my ears. The Music Ninja was only the beginning. I came in contact with the other music blogs by surfing on The Music Ninja. After searching both of these, I came to a conclusion: music blogs have become my new favorite thing. These music blogs

help me satisfy my taste for new and good music. I check them every other day. It has also introduced me to recently developed music genres like dubstep, which can basically be described as “tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals.” Since its discovery it has become a large part of my music library and has shown me artists I otherwise wouldn’t have known. One of the main purposes of a music blog is to inform its readers about songs and artists that aren’t popularized by today’s media. In my opinion, this is a good thing. It gives no-name artists, as well as popular notarized artists, a chance to get out there. All of the blogs I frequent do just that. Music blogs help informs the average music connoisseur about new and great music.

Art opportunities not utilized in ‘Arts and Sciences’ building

by Emily White Guest reporter

Math, History, English, Science: these are most of the topics that exist in the upper school. But where is Art? There are no Studio Art classes held anywhere in the upper school building. It is called the Arts and Science building for one thing, but there seems to be a lack of truth in this name. I can see why we don’t include art classes in this building— there is simply

no space, but with adjustments to the classroom schedule there should really be no problem with space. The old physics room is empty, and room 104 is most of the time too. The biggest thing that strikes me is that there is a whole upstairs wing dedicated to the arts— rooms 227 and 228 have specialized art cabinets and sinks built in for a reason, so why shouldn’t they be used? Just like the science rooms were built for science with special sinks and gas hoses, the art rooms were built for painting, drawing and sculpting. Art classes used to be held in those same rooms. There is also a kiln which no one knows about, that is randomly

placed upstairs next to room 220. It is there for a reason—for the art classes to use, which are located right next to it. The kiln is really expensive, and it’s a shame that none of the upper school art students have ever used it before. I see it as a privilege because most schools don’t even have this nice type of equipment for students. All of this was provided for artists, but they get no use out of it. It seems kind of pointless building certain classrooms the way they did, as well as a waste of money. If the classrooms were used for art purposes, it would open doors for artists at our school. We would be able to have more specialized art classes—maybe a ceramics

Photo illustration by Matt Kirchner

A kiln and other art utilities in the Arts and Sciences building are unused by art students.

class where the kiln was involved. I look at studio art to be just as important as say an English or Math class, so this subject should not be overlooked. In the 2011 senior class, there are five of us who

went through the process of creating a portfolio for college. FA is a college prep school, right? So why shouldn’t they be trying to prep us as much as they can for every subject, including art. While giving tours

around FA, people often ask why rooms 220, 227, and 228 have a plaque stating that they are studio art rooms when they clearly are not. I find it kind of embarrassing not being able to answer such a logical question.


The Falcon Flier March 2011


Controversies arise over newest MTV shows

by LIZ BENAVIDES the falcon flier

Am I the only one that feels sorry for MTV? The network that was once praised for changing television for teenagers by broadcasting music videos has come under fire for shows that some parents feel may lead their children down the “wrong path.” First was “16 and Pregnant,” a show about just that: 16-year-olds getting pregnant. Then came its spinoff, “Teen Mom,” which followed the same girls through their first years of motherhood. Finally there was “Skins,” which is a TV drama based on a British TV series and showcases the drug-andalcohol-filled lifestyle of a

group of teens. Sure, all of these shows are about teenagers making bad decisions. But they don’t glamorize their lives. They don’t tell viewers that it’s good to have children at 16, or that underage drinking is the cool thing to do. In fact, they show the exact opposite. Half the footage of “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” shows the girls crying over their decisions, or fighting with their parents over the choices they’ve made. Many of them have little money, or boyfriends who don’t care for them or the baby. One of the “teen moms,” Amber, went to prison for neglect of her child and abuse of her boyfriend. How many teens can honestly say they want her life? Even for a chance to be on TV, I don’t think anyone would want to leave the comforts of home to take on the responsibilities that come with motherhood. And for those viewers who don’t know how hard it

would be to be a teenage parent, this show definitely teaches them. Although I’m an avid watcher of both the British and American versions of “Skins,” I’m not going to try and emulate their lives. While the parties look fun, the trainwreck-size consequences don’t. I hope that my generation wouldn’t be dumb enough to imitate anything they watch on TV, but according to the Parents Television Council, we’re not. “The graphic sexuality on the show is grossly inappropriate for the young demographic the show targets,” says their review on “Skins.” According to their own press release posted on their website, they’ve asked the federal government to investigate the show and its alleged “child abuse.” Because most of the actors are under 18, these parents think that the scenes and characters they are portraying are “pornographic” and “illegal.”

They’ve gone as far as persuading advertisers to pull their commercials from the show. This is unnecessary, and will most likely cause these organizations to lose a lot of money by not broadcasting to the fan base that avidly watches these shows. If their children are imitating these shows, it is not MTV’s fault. Yes, they are broadcasting to young teens and should keep that in mind. But they are also broadcasting to young adults who make their own decisions and are mature enough for “adult themes.” They need to keep that in mind too. This isn’t Nickelodeon or Disney. MTV has always been made for young adults, rather than 13 year olds. Personally, I think the Parents Television Council is overreacting. If a parent thinks that their child is not mature enough to be watching such adult themes, they should block the show. They’re the parents, not MTV.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Rock and roll”: a history of mtv 1991: MTV starts to focus on alternative rock thanks to Nirvana.

August 1, 1981: MTV launched at 12:01 in the morning with the words “ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll.”

1983: MTV is heavily criticized for devaluing the importance of music. MTV also partners with Michael Jackson and airs his music video “Billie Jean” for the first time.

2008: Only three hours of music videos are shown per day on MTV compared to 24 hours per day when it began.

1997: MTV starts to incorporate electronica acts into its music rotation. Also, enter Green Day and the Spice Girls.

skins 1. teen mom 2.

16 and pregnant


2010: MTV’s legendary logo changed. SOURCE: MTV.COM


The Staff’s Stand

the falcon flier

Standardized test preparatory courses needed for junior class



Austen Dunn editor

Mary Gray Johnson associate editor

Lindsay Dawson managing editor

Rachel Fried

Simone Wicker copy editor

advertising manager

 Liz Benavides, Lauren Falkenberg, Courtney Hoffman, Matt Kirchner, Isabel Steven reporters

Beth Hunley adviser

Gas-weary Americans lose sight of big picture


The application: the transcript, the extra-curriculars, the essay, the recommendations and the standardized testing scores. It’s no secret that numbers matter when applying to college. As a college preparatory school, FA should be preparing us for those numbers that count. Introduce, SAT and ACT prep courses. According to Head of Upper School Tony Durso, this year about 15 parents have contacted the administration about incorporating standardized test prep courses as part of FA’s curriculum. The administration has been in contact with Kaplan, a test prep organization, to investigate options for a course for next year. Kaplan offered three options: sending a Kaplan teacher to FA, offering live video lessons in the theater through a program called LiveStream or training one of FA’s faculty members to lead the course. According to Durso, the administration is leaning toward the live online class held in the theater. If 30 juniors signed up for the LiveStream session, it would cost around $200 per student for the course. The course would only be offered to the junior class during second semester to better prepare them for the standardized tests in early spring. The cost of the class would be an extra expense for juniors, but not an unreasonable one. It is important for FA, especially as a college preparatory school, to offer courses that will best prepare students for applying to college. To maximize the effects of a test prep course, it is important that the course be taught in person, face-to-face. There is a danger with holding classes online in the theater of students being able to, frankly, goof

off in class. Even if there was a faculty surpervisor, this distraction would detract from the intensity and the overall goal of the class. With the course leader present, asking questions and creating an interactive experience, students will be forced to participate. However, we would like to encourage research for prep course teachers outside of Kaplan. We would hope that a standardized prep course teacher that was not related to a large company would be available to offer private tutoring outside of school as well. This would be an option for the junior students that needed or preferred more individual attention. If this was offered, students wouldn’t have to look outside of FA for a prep class, group or private. The results of an upper school poll show that 46 percent of the 92 students polled would prefer to take a prep course at FA. 25 percent of students had already looked for prep classes outside of FA. Only 2 percent said that they wouldn’t want to take the class if it was offered. For the course to be most effective, the entire junior class should be required to take the class twice a week. We realize that this would require some work with the schedule. However, we have seen that the schedule can be modified (i.e. the lunch break added for all students this year and the incorporation of an entirely new schedule with the 10-day cycle). We feel that this class will better prepare FA’s students for college application, making it one that warrants the time and effort to reorganize the schedule and knead out the kinks.

thehomepage The Falcon Flier


The Falcon Flier March 2011

The social networks: students find ways to connect online

edit my profile

Members (10)

Closed Group




Events Notifications Poke Video


1 billion pageviews per month 2 million posts per day 15,000 new Tumblr users per day 500 Terabytes served 82 servers working According to TechCrunchies


Try it on: a week without Facebook Day 1 Saturday morning rolled around. I woke up, went downstairs, ate some breakfast and went on my computer. I pulled down the browser bar about to begin my typical routine, and then it hit me; I can’t get on Facebook. How was I supposed to start my day without Facebook? If this is any indication of the days to come, I’m headed for a rough five days. I didn’t do much to prepare for my Facebook detox. No, if I was going to kick this habit I was going to do it cold turkey.



Lindsay Dawson


Photo Memories SE Reception

Day 2 I never realized how much Facebook affects my personal life, but it does. Damn you Zuckerberg for ever creating this online addiction. The worst part of the day was when I turned on my Blackberry only to see the lovely blue and white Facebook logo notifying me that someone on Facebook has something to say, but I cannot reply. The blinking red dot has become a constant reminder of the self restraint I must endure for three more days. Day 3 I feel out of the loop, left to discover information on my own. I just want that connection back. To fill this void a few friends suggested a website called Stumleupon where I could spend countless hours exploring the web far away from Facebook. Still, there’s this whole other world going on right now. I chose to disconnect myself in an age where it’s nearly impossible to turn the corner without seeing some sort of technology. However, I have two more days and I’m not caving in now. Day 4 There are 46 notifications on my phone…this is getting ridiculous. I heard someone say “mupload that” earlier today; it was a bit of a slap in the face. Everywhere I look there is some reference to Facebook. I can’t escape. This whole experiment has become less about Facebook itself, but more of the restraint of which I have been placed under, but I realized I actually feel better. It may sound weird to say that weaning yourself off a website has medical benefits, but it’s true. I’m not obsessing over what someone posted or who wrote what on someone’s wall; I’m starting not to care. My mind feels less cluttered, I’m using my time better and I’m becoming less stressed out. Day 5 I made it. 120 hours later and I made it. I’m still breathing; my vital signs look good and no mental breakdowns have occurred. I am clearly capable of functioning without it (with some kicking and screaming I’ll admit) so why is it that I constantly feel the need to know what’s going on? This has been a much needed cleansing from polluted technology and information overload. I’m going to start limiting myself to logging on every other day. But now if you’ll excuse me, I have a familiar blue and white face that has been calling me and 48 notifications to check. Comment - Like - Subscribe

by Dara Dawson NOSB Competition

by Blue Crab Bowl Dr. Wicker Observation

by AP Biology Grandparents Day Performances

Lauren Falkenberg Addicted to Tumblr by Upper School Band

more than106 million Twitter accounts 300,000 new members per day 3 billion requests per day 18 million visitors 55 million tweets per day 640 tweets per second According to Nick Burcher



400 million users 3 billion photos uploaded per month 60 million status updates per day the average user sends 8 friend requests per month and spends more than 55 minutes on Facebook per day 70% of Facebook’s users are outside the US According to theDigitalBuzz



Try StumbleUpon: the discovery engine with recommendations for you. Comment - Like

While most students find Facebook to be the number one procrastination enabler, a new website is breaking ground to be the first URL a student types into their address bar once they get home from school: What is “tumblr” exactly? “A blogging site that is there to express your personality and how you feel without any judgment,” said recent Tumblr addict, sophomore Simone Roberts. A combination of Facebook and Twitter is also a common description of the raging site, which, according to the website, has over 3 trillion posts as of March 10. “You can post quotes, pictures, music- whatever you want. It’s like a photo blog,” Roberts said. She also added that Tumblr has the option, and expectation, for you to follow people’s blogs that interest you. “Facebook has a lot of drama,”said Roberts. “Tumblr is just tumblr. Facebook is more for networking, talking to people and things like that. Tumblr is telling random people about yourself without really saying anything.” While Roberts continues to frequently log onto Facebook, Tumblr creates something powerful that draws them, and millions of other users, in. “It’s really addicting. Especially when you get the hang of it,” said Roberts. “Normally when people learn how to do something for the first time if they get it then they constantly want to do it again and again. Well that’s how tumblr is.” Comment - Like - Subscribe

Mary Gray Johnson Twitter can be a useful social tool I remember laughing with my friends in ninth grade when my English teacher’s “tweet deck” obnoxiously intruded her screen during an Intro to Genres lesson. Who tweets, and why in the world would one want a less cool version of the Facebook-status interrupting their screen all day? Needless to say, Twitter didn’t particularly spark my interest. This experience, and a few other lame Twitter run-ins, caused me to dismiss it as nothing more than a social medium for the overzealous tech-wiz (No offense, Mrs. Carter Morgan). Kahlil Gedin After a few years, I have fallen victim to the phenomenon. It wasn’t an interest in Charlie Sheen’s Kahlil: Hey hey hey latest “winnings,” rather a Sunday packed with The FF: Hey Kahlil, tell me about your Twitter homework, or procrastination that started my account. Twitter career. Typically Facebook devours my time, Kahlil: Well, Twitter is for people to have but this Sunday I couldn’t quite satiate my thirst for conversations and meet new people who want mindless forms of social media. Enter, Twitter. to have similar conversations. For example, if Many of my friends still scoffed (and continue someone is passionate about turtles, they would to scoff ) at the self-absorbed nature of Twitter as tweet something about a turtle. Then, another a social tool. The concept of a website devoted person who is passionate about turtles may to constantly proclaiming one’s activities, where read the tweet and respond to it. And from their abouts and useless insight to the internet seems conversations, they can create a turtle club. egocentric and unnecessary. To some extent, I agree. The FF: What clubs have you formed via Twitter? But in mediation, and with the right balance Kahlil: For me, I have used Twitter to have of personal and external subjects for tweeting, conversations about companies and things I a happy medium is found. Twitter becomes not enjoy such as HTC phones and Google. So, I have only a reporter of the latest pop culture, but a tweeted about them. The cool thing is, they collaborative tool and place to update your closest respond. Also, I have used Twitter to stay in touch friends. Comment - Like - Subscribe

by Upper School Chorus

Events April 1-2: Modern Cultures camping trip April 2: Calculus Competition April 8-10: GEx Leading the Way training trip to Colorado April 12-24: US trip to China April 18-25: Spring Break April 30: “Step Into the Stars” Prom May 2-13: AP Exams May 7: Falcon Fest May 9: Spring Band, Chorus and Orchestra Concert May 14: FA Fine Arts Festival May 16: Perch May 20-22: “Rumors” US production May 30: Memorial Day (No School)

with artist and music blogs I enjoy.


The Falcon Flier March 2011  
The Falcon Flier March 2011  

The March 2011 issue of Fredericksburg Academy's student newspaper, The Falcon Flier