December 19, 2012 Volume XLVIII, Issue 3
Students honored in nationwide YoungArts competition Rachel Diebner News Editor
Catherine Leffert Staff Writer
Photo by Mary Lo
Photo courtesy of Sophia Haid
Photo courtesy of Jeffry Valadez
Photo courtesy of Margot Masinter
SNAPSHOTS HEARD AROUND THE WORLD: Top: Junior Sophia Haid (left) and seniors Jeffry Valadez (center) and Margot Masinter (right) are honored for their photography by YoungArts. Bottom: submissions by Sophia (left), Jeffry (center), and Margot (right) are part of their 30 to 35-piece portfolios.
Also in this issue... News Grading Active Latin classes take a cue from the Physics department by switching to a standards-based grading system. Assistant Editors Christian Holmes and Varun Gupta report. page 3
Features Everything’s Oak An alum is behind award-winning restaurant Oak. Assistant Editor Sofia Shirley and Staff Writer Christina Zhu provide delicious details on all things foodie. page 5
Double Truck Financial Aid Content Editor Samantha Carp investigates the mechanics of financial aid. Current recipients weigh in. pages 8-9
Arts 3D Printer
Three Upper-School students were recently recognized for their photography submissions to the distinguished national YoungArts competition. These students—seniors Margot Masinter and Jeffry Valadez, and junior Sophia Haid—all rank within the top five percent of high-school artists in the nation. The competition encompasses a variety of artistic fields, including dance, writing, theater, and music. Frank Lopez, Upper School photography teacher, terms it “the most prestigious national competition [for students] in the fine arts.” Jeffry ranked in the top fifth percentile and earned a Merit Award, while Margot, who placed in the top fourth percentile, won Honorable Mention and a $250 award. The differences between percentiles are slim. Margot only missed third percentile by about 10 people. Sophia, who did rank in the top third percentile, will proceed to the final stage of the competition: YoungArts Week, held Jan. 6-12 in Miami. Each year, up to 150 artists are chosen out of approximately 7,000 applicants across the nation to attend YoungArts Week, all expenses paid. Sophia is one of five selected for her skill in photography. “This is really the biggest honor I could attain as a student artist,” Sophia said. At YoungArts Week, Sophia and the other National Finalists will come together for workshops, performances, exhibitions, classes with prominent artists, and other activities. The photos Sophia shoots throughout the week will be critiqued by the YoungArts National Panel. This panel will then select which of six award levels Sophia receives, with a minimum corresponding monetary award of $1,000. The 20 to 40 winners of the top two award levels, Gold ($10,000) and Silver ($5,000), will move on to a second YoungArts Week held in New York City in late spring. “Three awards from YoungArts within one photo department is pretty incredible. It just doesn’t happen that often,” Jeffry said. “And we’re all great friends, so it’s really cool to see each other succeed.” cont’d on p.11
Alum teaches computer coding to next generation Joseph Middleman Asst. Features Editor
Francesca Riddick Staff Writer
Alum Zach Galant ’08 and his business partner Jeremy Keeshin founded CodeHS, a company that teaches highschool students computer coding, the language used to create everything from websites to movies to iPhone applications. The two met at Stanford University as undergraduates in computer science. “Most of America is experiencing a job crisis, but the tech industry is booming. There are 100,000 jobs for people with computer-science knowledge being created each year,” Zach said. Coding is a vital job skill in this industry. Despite the value of coding in today’s society, most high-school curricula lack advanced computer-science courses, according to Zach. “We saw that there was a lot of buzz around learning how to code and saw a huge need for more coders. We knew the current online sites that were trying to teach computer science were not good enough, mainly because they all lacked human support,” Zach said. Thus Zach started his own business, something he had aspired to do since childhood. His mission is to make computer science an easy and enjoyable experience for students. Through CodeHS and an after-school program called College Track, Zach and Jeremy teach 200 students from San Francisco-area high schools. They hope to raise this number to 1,000 students within the next six months.
Photo courtesy of Shelley Galant
TAKING CHARGE: Zach Galant ‘08 (top right) led a computer-savvy day camp, Tera Byte. Now, he and a fellow Stanford graduate run their own computer codeteaching business based in San Francisco.
Zach understands firsthand the difficulties facing students who are interested in learning how to code. Zach’s interest in coding stemmed from a desire to create a science-fiction video game map in fourth grade. Since there were no courses available to him in middle or high school, Zach taught himself how to use different coding programs, such as Maya Flash Actionscript, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, and C++. cont’d on p.4
Assistant News Editor Sera Tuz investigates Fine Arts’ new three-dimensional printer. page 12
Sports Festive Running Get in shape during and after the holidays with festive, themed runs in the Dallas area. Managing Editor Greer Goss reports. page 14
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The Evergreen Wednesday [12.19.12]
VIEWS Rants & Raves
A MENTAL SURVEY
A RANT to improper carpool etiquette. As students, we understand the desire to get home quickly. However, we also hope that drivers understand our desire not to get run over when crossing the street. Let’s keep playing Frogger on the Nintendo, and not on Hornet road.
A RAVE to the recent increase in holiday sweaters on campus. The reindeer patterns and red and green bobbles are getting us in the holiday mood. With all this spirit, no Greenhillian will be getting spooked by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, Future. Looking at you, Mr. Gibson!
A RANT to the spotty Internet connection. Students need to Sparknote books before class and find out whether they got into their top college (ahem—we mean do research). When it comes to finding facts quick, there is no need to be frugal with Google.
A RAVE to Color Wars this year. The announcements with shirtless flag bearers for each grade were the highlight of C-days. The riot of red, bevy of blue, bounty of black, and wipeout of white showed our spirit. The freshmen came out with the most color (or lack thereof). We hope to continue with this vibrant attitude.
A RANT to the student negligence of microwaves in the cafeteria. The microwaves are a communal privilege, so we ought to take care of them. We aren’t asking you to hold hands and sing Kumbaya— just clean off the microwave when your lasagna explodes.
A RAVE to the recent participation in BFS. The “Bigger, Faster, Stronger” program is growing bigger, faster and stronger. Not only does it have strength in numbers, they have strength in muscles. Cue Kanye’s “Stronger.”
Staff Editorial: Expectations need elucidating Greenhill students enroll in a wide range of courses offered in various departments. We write English papers, give inclass presentations, and take math tests and Document Based Question (DBQ) assessments. Every teacher has his or her own style of teaching and grading and every student has his or her own style of writing and presenting. Problems arise when students aren’t aware of their teachers’ expectations either because the student didn’t take the time to find them out or because the teacher didn’t articulate them clearly. This applies more to the humanities, where assessments are inherently more subjective. Remember that time you spent eight hours on a paper honing in your imagery, but didn’t realize your teacher really only cared about grammar; or that C you got on your creative project that didn’t follow guidelines? It takes responsibility and effort for all parties involved, but we think taking the time to understand each other is worth it.
We respect and understand that every teacher has different expectations and a different style. This forces students to be versatile in their learning and essay writing. But, teachers, when you have a new class, take some time to make sure your class understands what you expect of them. If you assign a presentation, talk about what a quality presentation means to you. If you assign a paper, tell students what is most important to include or address. Some teachers have creative ways of showcasing expectations before major assignments. David Lowen, Upper School history teacher, assigns a “mock” letter grade to the first essay in his AX10 class, but actually only grades it for completion. This gives students a chance to internalize and use his feedback for future assessments. The History and English departments use different forms of citation (MLA versus Chicago style) and discuss those before research papers. Unfortunately, many times, teachers don’t
Evergreen staff Serving Greenhill
editor in chief
Errata from Issue 11/14/12
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assistant views editor
assistant news editors
Ashley Goldschmid Greer Goss
content editor Samantha Carp
Christian Holmes Sera Tuz
assistant features editors
Lizzy D’Apice Alex Weinberg
take the appropriate steps to inform their students of their expectations for the actual writing of the paper. Students, you aren’t off the hook here. Take the initiative to ask for help before turning in assignments. Don’t just work off a vague understanding of the assignment guidelines posted on the Portal. Schedule an in-person meeting and take the time to talk about the assignment with your teacher if you’re foggy. Strive to make the most of your meetings by bringing drafts and asking thoughtful questions. Ask other students who have had your teacher in the past for help or advice. Teachers who grade and teach differently within the same department are a valuable asset to your education. Adaptability is going to be crucial later in our lives. It would be boring if every teacher taught the same, and unreasonable to demand that all teachers grade the same. Instead, teachers and students need to take the time to understand each other and clearly define expectations.
Joseph Middleman Sofia Shirley
staff photographers Miles Andres Mary Lo
assistant arts editors
Sanah Hasan Tierney Riordan
Sam Grimsley Richa Sinkre
Andrew Fields Lindsey Mahomes Taylor Miller Danielle Stoler Isabet Tranchin
business assistant Blake Lieberman
p. 11 The photo used was of Upper School history teacher David Lowen, not Upper School Chinese teacher David Lui.
Have a response? Opinion?
online advisor Pamela Kripke
assistant sports editors Varun Gupta Ben Krakow
Madison Goodrich Catherine Leffert Francesca Riddick Christina Zhu
p.2 The football game cited as being against Cistercian Preparatory School was against St. John’s school.
Feel free to submit a letter to the editor.
Eve Hill-Agnus Emily Wilson
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The Evergreen Wednesday [12.19.12]
Graphic by Rachel Diebner
A NEW TYPE OF REPORT CARD: Through a new grading system, students are evaluated on mastery of specific concepts, such as “Identify and Find Linear Trends” or “Calculating Average Velocity,” on a scale of 0.0 - 2.0. Students can track their current standings through an online “ActiveGrade” account, similar to the representation above.
Standards-based grading Physics and Latin classes assess students on individual concept mastery
Christian Holmes Asst. News Editor
Asst. Sports Editor
School. The word instills images of sharpened pencils, sleepless nights, and copious amounts of red ink. Although schools differ in that they offer different electives, schedules, and sports, the one element that unifies most classrooms worldwide is the traditional grading system, characterized by the letter grades of A, B, C, D, and F. With standards-based grading, however, students are urged to focus more on mastery of a concept rather than individual grades. Nicholas Park and Jeff Funkhouser, Upper School physics teachers, have implemented the new form of grading for all physics classes. “It came from a lot of research and my own frustrations [about] single-scored assessments,” Mr. Park said. About 10 years ago, Mr. Park read Transforming Classroom Grading by Dr. Robert Marzano and became interested in the grading system he proposed. Mr. Park outlined his goals: to receive accurate feedback on his students’ levels of understanding, to facilitate their learning of a wide range of scientific concepts, and to prepare them to apply this knowledge outside the classroom. In the new grading system, teachers create specific objectives for each unit of material. An assessment can represent one of three types of objectives: Core-Level (C) objectives Building-Level (B) objectives Advanced-level (A) objectives Instead of receiving a single, holistic letter grade on quizzes and assessments, students receive individual grades for each objective tested by that assessment. “A single percentage on a test [in the traditional grading system] does not carry as much useful information as it should,” Mr. Park said. The new grading system uses a rubric with three levels of mastery:
Zero: No mastery One: Developing mastery, missing part of a concept Two: Complete mastery An important feature of the new grading system is the reassessment process, which allows students to retake any number of objectives until they reach mastery (Level Two). “If you get a zero on a first quiz, but later you get a two, then your grade changes,” Mr. Park said. Senior Lauren Truitt, who took Honors Physics last year, is grateful for standards-based grading because the system encourages self-improvement and learning at one’s own pace. “Mr. Park was really good about giving you the experiences and you re-learned the material through reassessing,” Lauren said. However, according to Mr. Park, students should keep in mind that there is a risk to reassessment as well. If multiple quizzes test the same objectives, a student’s score can decrease from one quiz to the next. If a student gets a two on the first quiz but later scores a zero on that same objective, their score decreases for that objective. At the end of the trimester, a student receives a traditional letter grade with the number of zeros, ones, and twos factored in. “It took us four years to transition to this new system of grading with our students and their parents before we really felt comfortable,” Mr. Park said. He encourages students to focus on mastery. “If by the end you have learned it, that’s what matters,” Mr. Park said. Berkeley Gillentine, Upper School Latin teacher, adapted standards-based grading from the science department and started using the system this school year. “Standards-based grading requires my students to constantly review every part of their material to ensure complete understanding,” she said. All three teachers use a website called ActiveGrade that allows students to see their scores on all objectives. “While [standards-based grading] is a transition from
traditional grading and requires three hours of preparation [for me] each cycle, it also allows me to track what a student’s skills are and pace them appropriately,” Mrs. Gillentine said. A central aim of standards-based grading is to have students’ grades at the end of the trimester represent their understanding of the central concepts. “This new system intends to redirect the focus from a grade towards mastery of concepts,” Mrs. Gillentine said. As a part of this shift in focus, homework does not count for any part of a student’s grade, and there are no repercussions for not completing homework. Often, teachers will not give students nightly assignments: students are simply expected to dedicate time each night to individual practice and learning. The goal is to foster intrinsic motivation. Natalia Hernandez, Director of Curricular Programs, fully supports the implementation of the standards-based grading system. “The shift [from] focusing on a grade to [the] learning that is attained is a huge part of standards-based grading. It’s important to give kids feedback about what they are learning and get a sense of whether or not they have a clear understanding,” Mrs. Hernandez said. According to Mrs. Hernandez, the grading system also requires that students retain information rather than succeeding once and moving on to another subject. “The shift [from] traditional to standards-based grading is a great step towards the future,” Mrs. Hernandez said. In 2011, 67 percent of high-school students chose to attend some kind of post-secondary school after graduation, according to data from the Institute of Education sciences; but fewer than 60 percent of these students will graduate from those institutions. The study links the drop-off to students’ desire for good grades rather than lasting learning. Junior Mattie Willard, who takes Physics and Latin, appreciates the goal of the standards-based grading system, with its focus on learning from mistakes and improving. “The active grade system is really helpful; it rewards you with the progress that you make,” she said.
Alum creates online coding course cont’d from page 1
“I had essentially been trying to learn to code since I was in fourth grade, but I never really learned until my freshman year of college,” Zach explains on his website zachgalant.com. “I’m making CodeHS for me eight years ago.” After Zach and Jeremy learned coding at Stanford, they quickly advanced through the coding classes available to them. As undergraduates, they became section leaders and head teaching assistants. “I learned the most [by] teaching others how to code,” Zach said. “Learning by teaching is incredibly valuable.” Zach has been teaching coding for nine years. “Coding can be a very foreign skill to many people and one of the main challenges of teaching is that it is difficult to remember what it is like to not know how to code,” Zach said. An important lesson he learned was the power of human interaction, even in a discipline that is technology-centered.
Photo courtesy of Zach Galant
PROGRAMMING PRODIGY: Alum Zach Galant ‘08 (above) developed CodeHS, a business that offers virtual lessons in computer coding for high-school students.
“Through our experience of teaching at Stanford we knew the importance of the teacher, so we set out to create a website that connects online learners with real people who will answer their questions and give them feedback,” Zach said. They designed their teaching program accordingly: The program is taught online using a short instructional video and two to three exercises (“challenges”) per concept. Tutors offer help and feedback on the challenges the students submit. Zach says he enjoys running his own business because he can arrange his own schedule and have a sense of ownership. Additionally, he loves the variety of responsibilities, from programming and teaching to pitching ideas and Anybody can doing sales. learn it. You “This helps me stay out of a routine absolutely don’t need a that could bore me or get old,” he writes background in on his website. “There are always new it, nor do you things that come up, and I get to change have to be a what I focus on all the time.” Zach and Jeremy are currently ‘math person.’ working to partner with Dallas Independent School District (DISD) high schools, as they have with schools in the Bay Area. Although many people interested in computer science skip college and jump straight into the business, Zach emphasizes the value of his college experience. “I really think people interested in coding should go to college for two main reasons. One, college is really fun and you don’t want to miss out on that. You have the rest of your life to work and only four years of college. And two, college gives you the opportunity to meet other incredible, intelligent people and learn from them,” he said. Zach insists that the only thing one needs to learn coding is curiosity and a love of learning. “Anybody can learn it. You absolutely don’t need a background in it, nor do you have to be a ‘math person,’” he said. “I guarantee that if you try out CodeHS, you’ll learn. You just have to try.”
wednesday, december 19, 2012
Morning playground time focuses students for class Amna Kaiser Views Editor
The Lower School administration put into effect a new rule this year allowing Lower School students to play on the playground when they get to school before 7:45 a.m. instead of waiting on the front porch or in the Extended Day room. “It gives them time to have conversations, play, and get the energy from breakfast out,” said Kim Barnes, Head of Early Childhood. According to Mrs. Barnes, the results of the change have all been positive: students come into the hallway quieter are more ready to concentrate in class, and get to school earlier than before. There are also social benefits to the new playground hours. “My favorite part is watching the different grade levels play together,” she said. “I feel like they’re benefiting from being out there together.” For Mrs. Barnes, the change was almost a necessity. “I was getting a little frustrated with having to say ‘You can’t throw a ball’ or ‘You can’t run around’ on the front porch too frequently,” she said. “They need to get that energy out. They need a time to run and play.” The new rule has been well-received by both parents and students. “Our daughter has adjusted well to recess in the mornings,” said Marisa Bertocchi, Greenhill parent. “Greenhill did a good job with the kids.” Mrs. Barnes started looking into the possibility of a change when a teacher alerted her to other schools’ practices. She began talking to principals and discovered a commonality: most of the schools she visited incorporated physical activity either before school or to open the school day. Once she decided to implement a similar system, Mrs. Barnes said the change “was fairly easy to put into play.” “I feel like it’s been a good move for us, because I think the kids have enjoyed it,” she said. “This has done what we needed it to do.”
The Evergreen Wednesday [12.19.12]
Alum’s Oak takes root in Dallas Sofia Shirley
Asst. Features Editor
Christina Zhu Staff Writer
The first thing we noticed when we walked through Oak’s doors was the image of a tree, projected on the restaurant wall. Instead of a traditional painting, the moving image appeared to blow in the wind. Like this unconventional image, Oak brings a new twist to Dallas dining. Within a year of opening its doors last December, it recently won the title of Best New Restaurant in D Magazine. The classy music, friendly waiters, and the impeccable layout seem effortless, but there is thought and work in this establishment. Behind Oak and its success are Richard Ellman ‘89 and his wife Tiffanee. The pair opened Oak based on a shared love of food. “It has been a passion of both of ours before we even met. We started talking about this concept. I’m typically a person that when I get an idea I follow through, and I think Tiffanee didn’t realize how dead serious I was,” Mr. Ellman said. Previously, Mr. Ellman owned the Sunset Lounge with fellow Greenhill alums. While there, he met Tommy DeAlano, who is now the third owner of Oak. For their new restaurant venture, the Ellmans wanted to create their own niche in the competitive Dallas scene. “Dallas is very centered on Southern cooking and steakhouses. We wanted to bring a new take on food to Dallas,” Tiffanee Ellman said. To secure chefs who could realize that objective, they conducted a slew of interviews and then held a
Top-Chef style showdown. “We gave them the direction we wanted the food to go in: global and elegant, but simple and clean. And then we saw what menus they came up with and did the challenge in a commercial kitchen,” Mr. Ellman said. The three owners formed a judges’ panel to taste the chefs’ dishes and ultimately chose Jason Maddy as Oak’s executive chef. Sous chefs Brian Zenner and Sarah Green round out Oaks’ chef trio. Both Jason Maddy and Brian Zenner worked at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, and Sarah Green crafted the pastries at the Second Floor in the Galleria. Location was another important consideration for the restaurant. The Ellmans ultimately decided on the Design District, which is close in proximity to downtown, but separated enough to let the restaurant shine on its own. “This area is not fragmented like some other places, where there’s a lot of different things going on,” Mr. Ellman said. “They don’t want big national brands here, and this place is growing like crazy. There are lots of new residential buildings, and people work near here. We saw it as an untapped gem in Dallas.” But even with the best planning, opening a restaurant is an expensive and risky project. Some friends and family members voiced their doubts prior to the opening. “I got some two-page e-mails from certain friends about things they thought would go wrong. To open a restaurant you have to be really confident, but of course sometimes in the back of your head you’re worried that they’re right,” Mr. Ellman said. Mrs. Ellman worked with Dallas
Photos courtesy of Lindsey Miller and Assoc.
STURDY AS OAK: A dish of Gianduja chocolate panna cotta, prepared by pastry chef Sarah Green (top). Oak lights up the Design District (left). Owners Richard Ellman ‘89, Tiffanee Ellman, and Tommy DeAlano are Oak’s executive decisions (right). design firm Plan B on the interior of the restaurant. From the modern art to the furniture and muted color palette, her goal is for people to walk in and sense Oak’s contemporary vibe. As for the floor plan itself, the Ellmans wanted to create a single dining space with both the private room and bar leading directly to the main dining area. “It’s supposed to feel like you are in a chef ’s living room having a dinner party,” Mr. Ellman said. (On the D magazine blog, Nancy Nichols even said that the interior looks like a “modern living room.”) Despite the air of elegance, both the design and food had to stay affordable. “She’s the price Nazi,” Mr. Ellman joked about his wife, whose background is in retail. She defended herself as wanting the restaurant to have a place in the current economy. “We wanted to have a value restaurant with an amazing experience for not a lot of money,” Mrs. Ellman said. As owners, the Ellmans are in charge of the overall vision for the restaurant and all major decisions. “In the restaurant business there are always things that you have to deal with. We consistently have to strive to improve and change things. [It might be] some modifications to the patio or looking into floral changes, but pretty much not a week goes by that we don’t change something,” Mr. Ellman said. The Ellmans give their chefs free rein over most of the menu, though they “like to be involved with directional changes in the menu,” Mr. Ellman said. “However, we don’t want to over-control what the chefs do. So we give them a specific
vision and we trust their skill set to create within our guidelines,” Mrs. Ellman added. The chefs at Oak have lived and worked in different parts of the world and incorporate that into their dishes to achieve a global feel. Chef Jason Maddy cooked in Austria over a year, so he created an authentic veal schnitzel appetizer that is one of his prized dishes. “We really wanted the menu [to be] very global, so it draws on elements and styles from different parts of the world,” Mr. Ellman said. The menu changes seasonally with the exception of a few dishes; such as the Moroccan Octopus and Pork Jowl and the Ligurian Caesar. “One of the reasons the Caesar is so special is that our pastry chef hand-bakes the bread, so there are hand-torn, daily-baked croutons, and the dressing is house-made and a very special, unique dressing,” Mr. Ellman said. This adventurous approach to food was obvious as the Ellman’s infant son Greyson sat with us during the interview. Greyson, who “came into the world simultaneously with the opening of Oak,” sat happily eating a side of spaetzle with caramelized onions, Gruyere, and nutmeg. “We don’t serve mac ‘n cheese,” Mrs. Ellman laughed. “Last week, Greyson was in here eating our goat gnocchi.” Oak prides itself on the tiny details. Before dinner, the waiter brought a tray with limes, oranges, cucumber, and lemons to place in our water. “It’s really important for every element of the meal to be perfect, from start to finish. So when the guests arrive, we pay a lot of attention
to water service. When they leave, they should be having a great cup of coffee and a spectacular dessert,” Mr. Ellman said. Mrs. Ellman, who worked for Neiman Marcus Corporate for six years, places high value on customer service. “All my prior expertise has been in retailing, which is very similar to hospitality, as the two are focused on the consumer,” Mrs. Ellman said. Mr. Ellman’s background provides business experience. He attended UT-Plan II, UT Law School, and then SMU’s Business School. According to Mr. Ellman, the first time he really felt Oak’s success was with the February four-star review from the Dallas Morning News. (Only six restaurants in Dallas received a four-star review in 2011.) “All of these compliments that we had gotten were finally in writing, in front of us, in a serious review. That was our first big review,” Mr. Ellman said. Now reviews are pouring in. Along with being the Best New Restaurant in D Magazine, Oak also won the Best of Big D: The Best Dessert for its Gianduja chocolate panna cotta. Reviews describe the service as “efficient” and the staff extremely “well-mannered.” This was definitely our experience at Oak. Walking out of the restaurant after the interview, someone from the valet service asked how the interview went. We were surprised that someone even knew we had an interview. The service and the Ellmans themselves were courteous, warm, and welcoming. We’re all Greenhill family.
wednesday, december 19, 2012
With Winter break just around the corner, one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is by creating a gingerbread house Assistant Arts editor Sanah Hasan joined the squealing girls at the American Girl Doll store, spent quality time with “Gingy” at the Gaylord Texan Hotel, and learned from the cookingschool pros at Central Market. Her tips, gleaned from three gingerbread house-making classes, will help you create the best gingerbread house and throw the most hip gingerbread housemaking party. If kits incluede prebuilt houses, buy them. Do not be arrogant like I was. It’s not easy to stick pieces of cookie together. Trust me. It’s a pain to hold the house while it’s setting (a grueling 15 minutes), and most of the time it doesn’t set properly. Prebuilt houses look a lot more professional and save time. Buy your own candy. The candies that usually come with the kit look awful and taste even worse. It’s best to get a variety of sizes and types. You might want large candy to cover the roof and smaller candy to add detail to doors and window frames. Your favorite candies make your house more attractive, also, they won’t taste like dust. Ask friends to bring their favorites too, so everyone has a big selection to choose from. Don’t skimp on royal icing. The packs may provide a kit that are usually not enough to sufficiently cover the house. Especially if you are throwing a party, buy five to seven tubs of icing. Tailor your tools. Empty half of the icing into piping bags (or use ziplock baggies with a small hole cut from the bottom), and keep the other half in the tubs. To cover large surfaces slather icing straight from the tub with a butter knife. Use the icing in the piping bag for small details. If you try piping something large like the roof, your hands will be very sore. You will break a sweat trying to squeeze out every last drop.
Graphic by Sanah Hasan
Add festive drinks, snacks, and music. Hot cocoa fits with gingerbread houses, but set out salty and nutritious snacks too. By the time you finish your gingerbread house the only thing you will taste is sugar, sugar, and more sugar. Savory, healthy snacks are a welcome contrast.
Story by Sanah Hasan
wednesday, december 19, 2012
Thrifty is Nifty for the Holiday Season Sick of giving a banal gift every holiday season? Sick of your loved-ones trying to hide a disappointed expression when they open your gift? This year, turn your gift-receiver’s “Oh…thanks” into an “OH! Thanks!”
Lula B’s Lula B’s, in downtown Dallas, is a store after my own heart: disorganized, full of color, and unsure exactly what its purpose is. The store is so big it could be mistaken for a warehouse, but a warehouse with haphazardly-placed antique furniture everywhere. As soon as you walk in the door, you know this won’t be a quick, in-and-out trip. This will be a quest. A quest through shelves of lamps and vintage technology, some working and some completely useless, but all adorably retro. There are rows upon rows of dusty vinyl records, itching to be gifted to an unsuspecting hipster.
We Are 1976 We Are 1976 is a mix between an art gallery and a collection of all the things I’ve seen and wanted to buy on Etsy. Its brick walls are covered with unique prints available for purchase. Tables scattered under the exposed pipe ceiling are covered with all manner of artsy items. Decorative teapots and one-of-akind clocks sit next to colorful cooking utensils and kitschy novelty gifts. It’s Anthropologie without an Anthropologie price tag, making it the quintessential shopping spot for cutesy knick-knacks for a quirky friend.
Pandemonium Ltd. Pandemonium is eclectic, with products ranging from sparkling sombrero hats to shimmering ball gowns. The store itself is
more hectic than my room, which, according to my mother, should earn it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Scarves and hats are strewn about on tables, and bags are falling from the furniture and hanging from the ceiling. There is one light with a crown on it. Overall, the store is a medley of mayhem, a concoction of chaos, and a patchwork of pandemonium, making its name quite appropriate. Pandemonium is a sensory overload, but one worth yielding to. It could prove fruitful for a present for any sibling going through a bohemian phase, in search of that perfect tie-dye scarf.
OLDIES BUT GOODIES: Thrift shops Lula B’s West (left) and Pandemonium (center) are great places to find holiday gifts. The interior of Lula B’s (below) is filled with a variety of surprising finds. Photos by Tierney Riordan
Dolly Python Dolly Python is truly vintage and knows it. “Vintage” is a word that often gets confused with “used.” This makes it hard to sort out the vintage stores from the Goodwills. However, Dolly Python’s merchandise seems solidly aged, with most pieces from the ’40s to the ’80s. Sadly, Dolly Python knows their merchandise’s place in the world, and the prices are slightly steeper. This store also sells to a different crowd than most vintage stores, legitimate or otherwise, attracting people in search of “tougher” products. Contrary to what its name suggests, Dolly Python sells items ranging from cowboy boots to antique medical equipment, making it a great place to shop for that elusive father present.
Curiosities Curiosities looks like a garage sale that happens to be taking place in a store, with
furniture spilling out onto the front patio. While it may not look like much from the outside, this store is a hidden treasure for anyone with an affinity for interesting art. With products such as an early African fertility sculpture and a vintage South-American santos figure, this store is a perfect spot for an art-loving friend or family member. While the art is great, the price is sometimes just as good, with many pieces falling in the moderate $30-$50 range. Story by Tierney Riordan
Debate coach travels internationally
Asst. Features Editor
Aaron Timmons, Director of Debate, will travel to Qatar to present at the 4th International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, Debate, and the Pedagogy of Empowerment, held Jan 11-13. Although Mr. Timmons has presented at many conferences throughout the United States, this will be his first international debate conference. He initially planned on attending the conference to glean worldwide perspectives on debate, but other coaches persuaded him to speak at the conference as well. He will discuss the professionalization of debate coaching. “In the United States, we have a system where there are people like me who do debate for a living [in] both college and high school. The problem internationally is that there’s not that same kind of model,” Mr. Timmons said. Internationally, college students often coach high-school teams, but move on after two or three years, forcing the high school team to continually start over. “As a 19-year-old, or even a 20-year-old student, you don’t know enough about how to get students prepared in the way that an adult who has been trained in the art of rhetoric and argumentation would. And there’s no institutional memory in a world of constant change in coaching,” he said. The conference is 8,000 miles from Texas, but only 280 miles from Mr. Timmons’ other debate-related destination this month. Just last week, Mr. Timmons flew to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates to pursue research on the connection between debate and college admissions. “Some students across the country are getting the idea that debate does not help prepare them for college. The research and history seems to disprove that thesis. I’m working on getting some recent data together [to prove that] claim,” Mr. Timmons said.
He contacted John Sexton, the president of New York University (NYU) and a former debate coach, who in turn put Mr. Timmons in touch with the admissions director for NYU. The university soon approached him to visit the NYU Abu Dhabi campus and pursue his research there on an NYU-funded trip. While at NYU Abu Dhabi, Mr. Timmons both participated in applicant interviews and talked with admissions officers. He was able to see student profiles and observe how admissions officers view debate. His ultimate goal is to gather findings that will help college counselors, admissions officers, and highschool students understand the merit of debate and why it makes them stronger candidates and students for college. “[This project] helps Greenhill students directly, because I am then able to bring that information back and start telling students who are applying to college how debate helps and how to package themselves in a way that is more attracctive to college admission offices. But [the scope] is also nationwide, because I don’t think there is anything like debate that helps prepare people to be inquisitive thinkers and really good writers,” Mr. Timmons said. Before his approximately 31,984-mile journey this winter, Mr. Timmons had never been out of the country. However, he knows coaches who travel so much that they are rarely at school. “I don’t ever want to be away from home that much, especially given all the travel I do with the team during the year, but I do think that these two trips will be very interesting . The first will directly give me information that will help provide hard information and data points to frame their college admissions[materials]. The second, I think, will be good from a professional-growth perspective to listen to some of the best coaches from around the world and also share my ideas across the world and see what people think. It will be exciting.” Additional Reporting by Sam Grimsley
Anatomy of F
We k n o w t h a t G r e e n h i l l o f f e r s f u n d i n much do we know about the mech The Application Process
Greenhill is need-blind, meaning that students are admitted without the school’s knowledge of their financial status. Once a student is accepted to Greenhill, the financial-aid application process can begin. Based on demonstrated need, Greenhill awards families tuition grants, money the family can use for that year’s tuition that they do not have to repay. Greenhill does not award merit or athletic scholarships; The Evergreen covered this subject in the May 2012 issue. Students do not have to meet a certain GPA to continue to receive funding. “We expect all students to work hard to achieve academic success, therefore we have the same expectation for the students on financial aid,” said Amy deBorst, Director of Financial Aid. With the student’s application, the family must submit the Financial Aid Application Request Form. A committee consisting of Ms. deBorst, Angela Woodson, Director of Admission, and Melissa Orth, Chief Financial Officer, determines the financial award for each student. Head of School Scott Griggs has access to the information discussed at the committee meetings, but does not participate in the decision-making process. To determine a student’s financial need, the committee looks at the family’s combined income, business cash flow, and assets. They also consider the cost of the family’s other children attending private schools. While in the past, a financial aid award might cover the entirety of tuition, now all families contribute a minimum of $100. That said, Greenhill meets 100 percent of demonstrated need and awards more than $3 million in financial aid every year. The percentage of students receiving financial aid has increased in the past decade. In the 2000-2001 school year, 11 percent of students received financial aid. This year, that number is 16 percent. Families receiving financial aid reapply every year. They are revaluated, and if nothing changes, their financial award remains the same or is increased to cover additional need incurred by an increase in tuition. If something changes in the family’s financial status, the committee reevaluates their award. The majority of students who qualify for financial aid are students new to Greenhill; however there are cases when current students who have not qualified in the past suddenly meet financial-aid criteria. This is often the result of a family member’s job loss, an increase in tuition, or the acceptance of another sibling to the school. The financial-aid process is primarily funded through the operating budget and supplemented by funds from the endowment. Ms. deBorst said the goal is for all financial aid to be funded through the endowment. During the financial crisis of 2009, the Board of Trustees adjusted other items in the budget in order to help fund financial aid.
The financial aid program started the year Greenhill was founded, when one student’s tuition was waived. That first year, some teachers did not even accept their salary, in part because they wanted to ensure that students who could not afford it, could still attend. “It has definitely been ingrained in Greenhill from the beginning,” Ms. deBorst said. According to Ms. deBorst, the financial aid program reflects the core values behind Greenhill’s mission statement. “We want to have a diverse campus, and diversity includes socioeconomic diversity. We want to provide opportunities for families who wouldn’t otherwise have them,” Ms. deBorst said. “This was always important to Greenhill and part of [Bernard] and [Helen Fulton’s] mission.”
Supplemental Support In addition to tuition, some families qualify for supplemental support, which constitutes ten percent of Greenhill’s annual budget, around $400,000. Supplemental support covers required items not included in tuition, such as books, athletic equipment, advisory and team meals, and technology. “We are constantly reviewing and making sure that we are able to cover those items that enable students to fully experience Greenhill,” Ms. deBorst said. “But that doesn’t mean that we cover everything.” Supplemental support has always included a desktop computer for families that do not own one. However, for the first time last year, Greenhill started to offer Netbooks for students in grades seven through twelve. Not all families that receive financial aid qualify for supplemental support. If a family does not, supplemental funds are considered when their need for tuition is determined. For example, if the family’s contribution is set at $12,000 total, Greenhill may ask them to put $10,00 towards tuition and set aside $2,000 for the extra expenses. Supplemental support does include funds to cover tutors, subject to the approval of Honelynn Parker, Upper School Learning Specialist. Additionally, if a student’s college counselor feels he or she would benefit from standardized test prep, Greenhill can help cover the cost. While the Financial Aid Committee intends students to fully experience Greenhill, the school cannot provide everything. “We can’t equalize everything,” said Ms. deBorst. “In their transition to college, it is not going to necessarily be as personal of a process; colleges may not give the same level of support we provide.” Art Hall, Director of Equity and Inclusion, emphasizes that receiving financial aid helps students become aware of socioeconomic realities. “It will prepare you for a much better financial life,” Mr. Hall said. “It truly does explain to you the value of a dollar. For example, when buying a textbook, you are forced to think, do I really need the new text book or can I go with the used one?” In order to regulate supplemental costs for families, a clearinghouse committee meets every spring. Anybody on campus who intends to ask families to purchase something outside of tuition must submit a proposal to the committee.
Family Income & Cash Flow 2012-2013 Below is this year’s breakdown of financial aid awarded to families based on their income.
Family Income $ 0 - 50, 000 $50,000 -100,000 $100,001-150,000 Over $150,000
# of Awards/ Total Grant Requests Dollars Awarded 20/20 $436,250 78/79 $1,474,400 622/65 $796,300 36/68 $299,850
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ng for students who need it, but how h a n i c s — a n d t h e h e a r t — b e h i n d i t ? Payment Plan Program
Gr ap hi cs
by Re be cc aK im
Because tuition increases yearly, the financial aid office keeps middle-income families in mind. “There are families that are right on the cusp of being able to afford Greenhill, but potentially may need help in the future, due to tuition increases, as salaries or incomes may not be increasing at the same level,” Ms. deBorst said. Greenhill does not necessarily grant these families money towards tuition, but they do offer a payment plan. The plan offers families the choice of either paying tuition up front or through installments over 10 to 12 months.
Communication Ms. deBorst tells families who are applying to Greenhill upfront what the commitment will be like. “If you are driving from McKinney, you need to be prepared for increased gas expenses. These are items that we try, through the admissions process, to talk about so it is not a surprise when they get here,” Ms. deBorst said. Once a family is approved to receive financial aid, Ms. deBorst begins to communicate with them over the summer. “I try and build a relationship with the parents so they feel comfortable coming to me if there is something they are asked to pay for and they need to know whether it is covered or not,” Ms. deBorst said. For Lower School students, Ms. deBorst primarily communicates with the parents. A closer relationship with the students begins in Middle School and by the time they are in Upper School, Ms. deBorst emails them directly. Emails might involve picking up meal money, a graduation item, or a class ring. The financial aid office does not inform teachers or advisors that a student is receiving aid. “Certainly, if a family wants to share with their advisors or teacher that they are receiving aid, that is fine. But we leave it up to the family to decide to share.”
Student Experiences As Director of Curriculum and Equity and former Dean of Students, Mr. Hall is often surprised about how open many students receiving aid are about their financial status. “I think within their circle of friends, kids are very comfortable with disclosing that they are on financial aid,” Mr. Hall said. “A couple of people have asked [about financial aid,] and I feel comfortable answering,” said junior Giovanni Arana, who has been receiving financial aid since he first came to Greenhill. Junior Jalen Sharp, on the other hand, said “We never really talk about it. It never comes up between me and my friends.” Within friend groups, sensitivity and communication are key. “I try to save up money in case my friends do plan something,” Gio said. “Sometimes my friends chip in money, which is helpful, and with time I will pay them back. It’s not awkward or anything.” Junior John Rivera does not have a problem talking about financial aid with his friends. “I am pretty open about it; I do not think it is something to be ashamed of,” John said. Freshman Andrea Mora, however, does feel hindered from many social experiences due to her financial status. “Girls would always invite each other to go out to eat, to the mall, to the movies. But I would always say ‘No’ because I don’t have the time and money to go and do that stuff,” she said. John’s own awareness of financial status has grown throughout his time at Greenhill. “When I first came to Greenhill, I didn’t notice it, but later, I became more aware of the socioeconomic differences between my friends and me,” John said. “As you get older, you become more aware of your surroundings. You see how lifestyles differ from that of your friends. When I entered Middle School, my parents told me I was on a scholarship,” John said. “At first, I was hesitant to invite friends over because I was very embarrassed of the size of my house. But as I grew, I became more proud of where I came from, and I started to accept it and overcome it,” John said. Andrea’s relationships have also changed as she got older. “In first grade, everyone was clueless. My friends weren’t always asking me about it; we would just play. It didn’t really matter back then whether you were rich or poor: you were just friends,” she said. “But in Middle School, that’s when it all started. People started focusing on what you wore, how you acted, and how you presented yourself to the world.” Andrea recalls learning this the hard way. “If you didn’t look like the perfect Greenhill person with clean-brushed hair, nice clothes, and print jeans, then people would start asking,” she said. “They would ask, ‘Where is your family from? Are you poor?’ It hurt. At that moment, I started realizing I was one of the few people on financial aid, but I was proud of that.” John appreciates the socioeconomic diversity at Greenhill. “I have friends who are really wealthy and friends who are not as fortunate. Greenhill definitely has a mesh of these different social classes,” he said. However, socioeconomic diversity is not always a positive. “You could also consider it a hardship, because that mesh does put a toll on the lower-class people, because you have to find ways to assimilate,” John said. While within friend groups, students are very sensitive to those receiving financial aid, sensitivity in the greater community is not always as prevalent. “Especially hearing a lot about people who take several trips or talk about what their parents do. Stuff like that does take a toll,” John said. “Because the last time I took a family trip was when I was in kindergarten.” John emphasizes that sometimes you have to make tough decisions to fit in. “I often have to choose between the wants and needs of life, for example going out to dinner with friends or buying a new pair of shoes,” John said. Sometimes, John’s consciousness of his socioeconomic status changes the way he approaches academics. “I don’t argue with teachers, or try to push any buttons; that’s the mindset I have been brought up with, because I am very grateful to be here,” John said. For Jalen, learning how to approach academics at Greenhill has been a process. “At first, when I came here I felt jealous, but then I realized we all make the same mistakes. You’re not smarter if you have more money,” Jalen said. “Now I feel perfectly fine. I really don’t think about it at all.” Receiving financial support pushes Andrea to try her hardest academically. “I realize I could have a much worse education than I have here, so it really motivates me to have better grades and keep up my work,” she said. “I hear about the Class of 2013 getting into all of these great colleges, and it makes me think that I am going to be the first one in my family to graduate from high school, and the first to go to a good university.” John also appreciates all the help Greenhill has given him. “There is a fine line between essential and not essential, need versus want. As a student, I think they give you the necessities to succeed at Greenhill,” John said. “My mom always told me, poor is a state of mind, not a social class. If you want to have a class, you create your own class, so that is something I live my life by.” Story by Samantha Carp Reporting by Madison Goodrich and Ben Krakow
The Evergreen Wednesday [12.19.12]
Singing in the Ch-Oros
Ashley Goldschmid Managing Editor
Walking through Northpark Mall on the weekend after Thanksgiving, Greenhill community members might have been surprised to see Jack Oros, Dean of Students, singing with 150 other members of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, who were trumpeting a teaser for their upcoming Christmas show at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. While a lifelong passion, Mr. Oros’ singing talent is completely separate from his everyday roles on campus. “I have a need to sing,” Mr. Oros said. “It is a creative outlet I have
outside of my job at Greenhill. It’s nice to do something different.” This desire to sing emerged early on. “My younger sister and I were the only ones who sang growing up. At Christmas, my grandparents made the kids sing carols before we got presents. My older brothers and sister and cousins always pushed me to the front of the group,” Mr. Oros said. “I didn’t have any problem being in the spotlight.” He participated in his local church choir through high school and joined the Glee Club chorus at Purdue University. “I toured all over the country and world with them, from
Hawaii to Europe and down to Mexico,” he said. His opportunities to travel continued when he joined the Dallas Symphony Chorus in 1993. With the group, he sang in New York’s Carnegie Hall several times and toured Israel and Europe. The chorus participates whenever the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs a piece with a choral component, which usually occurs around five times in a year. They also hold 12 Christmas performances each year. Although everyone in the choir is a volunteer, there is an audition process. “I had to sing a piece in English and a foreign piece, sightread, and pass a musical theory test. I have always been horrible at sightreading,” Mr. Oros said, referring to the challenge of singing, on sight, a score one has never studied before. His only non-volunteer singing opportunity was when he worked during the summer at Six Flags Over Texas. As part of that job, he got to travel to Brazil to sing for the inauguration of American Airlines service to Brazil. “Everywhere I have gone, the singing groups were well received,” he said. Trips have been his most notable experiences. “Not only did I see other parts of the world, I got to do it with friends,” he said. These friends are other volunteers he has been singing with for over 20 years in the Dallas Symphony Chorus. The chorus includes teachers, lawyers, doctors and other professionals who dedicate part of their time to singing for others in the Dallas area. “There used to be other
Cellist alum plays concert with DSO Yu Anton
Capping off a fruitful year of performances and competitions, cellist Russell Houston ‘12 will return to Dallas to perform as a soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) at Meyerson Symphony Hall on Jan. 4. Russell earned this opportunity, and a $3,500 scholarship, as winner of the 11th Annual Lynn Photo courtesy of Russell Houston Harrell Concerto ALWAYS IN TUNE: Russell Hous- Competition last ton ’12’s Jan. 4 performance April. He is the first with the DSO will air on NPR. cellist ever to win the competition. Russell’s Jan. 4 performance will be taped as part of a live recording of NPR’s From the Top radio program, which will be available online in early February. Russell will perform the same concerto, Schelomo (Solomon) by Ernest Bloch, with which he won the competition in April.
“I’ve never been more excited for a performance in my life,” Russell said. “I’ve played concertos with several orchestras before, but never with an orchestra as fantastic as the DSO. It’s also particularly exciting for me because after spending my first semester at college, I get to come home and play with my hometown orchestra.” Russell was also honored as a 2012 National YoungArts award winner earlier this year, recognized for his achievement in Music Instrumental. Recently, Russell also won first place in the string division at the 53rd Sorantin Competition, a regionallevel competition held on Nov. 17 in San Angelo, Texas. “I really lucked out that I even got accepted to that competition—I actually didn’t even get accepted the past two years,” Russell said. “This year I was the only undergraduate string player. All the other string players in the competition were at least 24 or 25.” Russell, who started playing the cello at age 10, is currently studying music at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He practices over 28 hours each week, and takes weekly cello lessons with Professor Hans Jørgen Jensen, whom Russell would fly up to take monthly lessons from throughout his junior and senior years at Greenhill. “I’m not exactly sure what I want to be doing yet in terms of whether I want to try to pursue a solo career, orchestra career, teaching career, or some combination, but I know I want to be playing a lot of great music and doing a lot of chamber music,” Russell said.
Photos courtesy of Jack Oros
SING ALONG: Mr. Oros performs at the Saloon Show at Six Flags Over Texas (above, first from left) and sings with his Purdue Varsity Glee Club in Germany (left).
Greenhill teachers in the choir, but that was by coincidence,” Mr. Oros said. “I like that I have my friends there that I hang out with as a group, and then have my life and friends here at Greenhill.” Since Mr. Oros has been singing all of his life, nerves do not take over in his performances. “Singing and being in a group come second nature to me,” he said. Time management has been an important factor as he balances his singing life along with being Dean of Students at Greenhill. “I have been able to juggle the craziness that is my life. It gets tough this time of year, though. I have 10 Christmas concerts between Dec. 7 and Dec. 23,” he said. Singing has given Mr. Oros the
opportunity to do something outside of teaching that he also loves. “Singing has taught me discipline. It has given me the chance to give back; I probably give back about 150 hours a year to the community through my singing,” he said. And he is not planning on stopping anytime soon. “I am going to continue singing for the choir until they stop letting me back,” he said. To hear Mr. Oros sing, tune in to the one-hour special, “NorthPark Center Presents Christmas Celebration: It’s a Wonderful Life,” featuring the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. The show airs on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. on WFAA Channel 8.
wednesday, december 19, 2012
cont’d from page 1 To apply in the photography division, students must submit a primary five-photo concentration accompanied by an artist statement, five images of breadth to demonstrate range, and a contact sheet with 2025 images from their entire highschool career—a total of 30-35 photos in all. Margot, Jeffry, and Sophia’s work ranges from traditional film and digital work to more unusual pieces, such as ambrotypes and photograms. argot’s concentration presents street life.
“There’s some sort of innate connection that we have as humans which is very evident through street culture,” Margot said. “I observed different hindrances to that connection like technology and other distractions.”
Besides the five pieces from her concentration, Margot also has five pieces that demonstrate her use of different chemicals to alter images. “I definitely want to continue [photography] in some way,” Margot said. “There’s something very artistic that I know will be a recurring theme of my life.” Margot has been involved in photography throughout her high school career and her YoungArts submission photos are taken in different places, from Florence, Italy to Tanzania. “The first time I started doing photo I was living in Florence for the summer. I spent a lot of time in the dark room and producing imagery. Then the next summer I spent a month in Tanzania teaching English and that’s where a lot of culture exploration happened for me,” Margot said.
Photos courtesy of Sophia Haid
Photo courtesy of Jeffry Valadez
With almost three hours of Margot’s day devoted to photography, it has been a defining part of her Greenhill experience. “It’s definitely grounded me here. Having the Fine Arts department and Mr. Lopez has provided me with Photo courtesy of Margot Masinter some sort of place in the community. It’s defined my PICTURE PERFECT: Junior Sophia Haid and seniors Margot Masinter and Jeffry Vatime at Greenhill.” ladez have all been recognized by YoungArts for their photography. effry’s primary On a deeper level, Sophia 17, 2011). concentration is “The two worlds are really centered on expression and said she appreciates the city’s blend of Christian, Spanish, and colliding together. That culture its subtleties. bleeds into our world,” Sophia “Because emotions are tribal influences. “I try to go to every church I said. “As the Hispanic community universal, they cross any cultural or pass by,” she said. “They’re just so becomes a bigger part of our lives economic boundaries,” he said. Two of the five photos are overwhelmingly beautiful— nothing here, it’s not something we can ignore or hide from.” images of his parents, taken like the churches here.” Mexico hosts a variety of ethnic Sophia knew none of her digitally. The other three, shots of Greenhill students and faculty, are groups, such as indigenous tribes, subjects. As she explored the city, ambrotypes, positives created on Europeans, and Americans. Sophia she would zero in on a person she glass. These were the most time- attempts to capture that richness in found interesting and follow them her photography. for a few minutes, camera poised. consuming photos. “One of her strengths is her “I had to be kind of sneaky “When you’re doing a shoot with ambrotypes, you spend a ability to to take her own culture about it,” she said. “I like the fact period prepping, an hour shooting, and expound upon that culture that I could catch something about and then you have to clean up, so and expound upon her religion them without them being aware of I would say two hours for a shoot and indigenous peoples,” Mr. the photograph.” This type of street photography where you may get one image,” Jeffry Lopez said. Her photography hits a more gives Sophia a sense of exhilaration said. “And the entire submission was personal level as well. and a taste of adventure. 35 pictures.” “My concentration was a study “Like how runners get this Jeffry started photography his sophomore year, and due to of the people of Mexico but also high, you get this high from being so his talent, was able to advance to a study of myself, because I see so engrossed in the moment and always Honors photography by the start of much of myself in my subjects and paying attention to everything the people that I’ve encountered around you,” she said. “It takes a lot his junior year. “Those were the times when there,” Sophia said. “It’s a lot about of energy from you, but at the same I literally had no life,” Jeffry said. understanding yourself. It’s looking time it’s really rewarding.” Currently, Sophia is working “I spent my breaks, before school, at other people and connecting with on a concentration of self-portraits, after school, during lunch—I think them at the same time.” Sophia never had a quinceañera which she will bring with her I was spending three hours a day in photography. And I just wanted to and does not practice Catholicism to Young Arts Week in Miami. devoutly, yet she still values According to Mr. Lopez, the work to get better.” reach this point has been rigorous, He even built a darkroom in her heritage. Her submission includes and it will only increase in rigor. his bathroom, blocking out all the light and screwing in red lightbulbs several photographs in Mexico City During YoungArts Week, Sophia to create the proper environment to churches: a man sitting in the pews and her peers will shoot a new with his eyes closed in silent reverie, concentration of photos in Little produce his ambrotypes. For Jeffry, art is inarguably a a young boy standing next to a Havana, a Miami neighborhood. part of his future. He is considering large mural inside a church, various They will later present these in a combination of art schools and statues and portraits of saints, a a critique. Mr. Lopez said that Greenhill art programs within universities simple black-and-white shot of has a reputation for great work. to foster his dream of being an a cross. “I’m still fascinated by it, Among Greenhill’s recent YoungArts art curator. “It is a tremendous amount of although that tradition doesn’t apply finalists are David Molay ’10 (photography) and Bronsin Ablon work,” Jeffry said. “We’re not just to me,” she said. In addition, Sophia aims to ’12 (3D Art). submitting average images; we have However, for Mr. Lopez, the to be proud of everything we send. shed light on the Mexican culture awards aren’t the goal. He is more The fact that a lot of us were able to for an American audience. “Mexico is so close to us, yet interested in helping students complete that in itself is something it is so misunderstood. People just express themselves. we should all be proud of.” “I want my students to have ophia’s concentration have this idea of it that is really consisted of pieces from flawed,” she said. “I want to show a a voice through the work they are a street photography different side of the Mexican people producing,” he said. For amateur photographers, series she shot over the summer in that they are just people. They while visiting family in Mexico have the same kinds of emotions Sophia offers insight into how to City, where her mother grew up. and experiences that all people have. find that voice. “Take the time to just observe,” Sophia said that, being half- A whole different culture, yes, but she said. “Take a second to take a Mexican, she is captivated by Mexico people just like us.” Her mission is especially look around you and appreciate City’s ambience. “I love the vibe and energy relevant in Texas, where the Hispanic something in a way that you haven’t of the city,” she said. “There’s population is the fastest-growing before. It takes a lot of introspection so much life on the street. population in the state, according and refreshing the way you see to the New York Times (Feb. the world.” It’s everywhere.”
wednesday, december 19, 2012
Fine Arts department gets 3-D printer Sera Tuz
Asst. News Editor
You print out your science labs, research papers, syllabi, and English essays. Now, printing has a new dimension. Using Greenhill’s new MakerBot Replicator™ 3-D printer, you can print a miniature, three-dimensional Taj Mahal, Sydney Opera House, or Santa Claus. Tony Schraufnagel, Middle and Upper School visual arts teacher, requested the Replicator™ in August through the technology budget. The printer was purchased in October and is already being used by Mr. Schraufnagel’s Architectural Design classes. It also triggered the creation of a new Middle School Rendering and Design class, which will be offered beginning in the spring, also taught by Mr. Schraufnagel. “I knew that having [the printer] as a tool for 3-D design was an absolute goldmine of opportunity and creativity. It releases so many exciting possibilities,” Mr. Schraufnagel said. The Replicator™ uses the same hard plastic used in LEGOs™ bricks. The process starts with a design created on a computer, usually using Google SketchUp or a more advanced design software, Maya. Plastic, coiled in the back of the printer like a spool of thread, feeds out onto the base, where it layers strings of plastic on top of each other until the three-dimensional object is built. Depending on the size of the object, the process takes an average of three hours. Mr. Schraufnagel has plastic in black and white, but it is available in a large range of of colors. “I think we would be remiss to not make [students] familiar with [the printer] going forward, because if it is accessible to us at high school, then it can be used in any college program and even beyond,” Mr. Schraufnagel said. So far, the printer has been used to create a diverse array of objects, including a base for an eighth grade student’s balloon-car project, a stamp for a senior, and a lighthouse for a sophomore’s art sculpture. Though these objects can be made by hand, the user-friendly Replicator™ offers an interesting alternative. “What’s exciting to me is when [students] are in another class or they are considering a solution for something, they might find the tool handy—just like a hot glue gun, but a little more sophisticated, of course,” Mr. Schraufnagel said. The Upper School Architectural Design class is currently
Photos by Sera Tuz
THING OF THE FUTURE: The MakerBot Replicator™, one of the Fine Arts Department’s most recent purchases, allows teachers and students to bring their digital designs to life.
rendering floor plans using Google SketchUp. “We haven’t printed models [yet],” Mr. Schraufnagel said. “In the past, they would construct their models out of wood, and now we are printing them. And with printing the models there is a component where pieces can be taken off [for multilevel floor plans].” Currently, the Architectural Design class has been working with the printer in basic ways. Using a website called Thingiverse, Mr. Schraufnagel and his students are able to download the “blueprint” files for objects other users have designed and posted on the site. According to Mr. Schraufnagel, once students become more comfortable with the technology, they will begin designing models themselves. “I don’t want to keep just pulling stuff off of the web. We want people with a good handle on different [design programs] that can contribute more than consume,” Mr. Schraufnagel said. The new Middle School Rendering and Design class, which will be offered starting third trimester, is focusing on finding handy solutions to everyday problems. Mr. Schraufnagel hopes this class will also teach students how to use the design software so they can create designs of their own. Mr. Schraufnagel sees this as a further extension of his former Google SketchUp Club, which was offered after school for seventh and eighth graders from 2007 until last year. Mr. Schraufnagel has also been offering a camp through Summer on the Hill for the last two years. “We had the Google SketchUp Club, but the seventh and eighth grade class will be trying to find certain solutions and applications for problems,” Mr. Schraufnagel said. Mr. Schraufnagel has also challenged his fifth and sixth grade students: If they can create an original design, he will print it for them. “It’s a tool like anything else that we would want to have in the shop,” Mr. Schraufnagel said. “And it is definitely here to stay. [It comes with] the implications of rapid prototyping and solving problems with a device.” Mr. Schraufnagel found out about the printer after seeing the creator of the Replicator™, Bre Pettis, on the TV show The Colbert Report. “Steven Colbert had Bre Pettis on the show, and they scanned his head and then printed it,” Mr. Schraufnagel said. “That got me excited, because it sounded like they had a bigger vision for the application of [the 3-D printer]. It seemed to have a more tangible quality.” Though the technology was created in the ’80s, the general public was not able to purchase the 3-D printer until very recently. “A former student’s dad sent me a link about three or four years ago to a [3-D] printer. This thing was coming at under two grand, and I thought, ‘Wow, we can do that,’” Mr. Schraufnagel said. MakerBot, the company that produces the Replicator™, is rapidly evolving, and has recently introduced the Replicator 2™. “That gives you a sense of the speed,” Mr. Schraufnagel said. In the future, Mr. Schraufnagel said he hopes to have an entire station of 3-D printers available at school. “It’s all weighted upon whether or not it is valuable moving forward, and all indications are that it is popping up in programs at peer schools and has real potential,” Mr. Schraufnagel said. “I envision a suite of printers, some printing certain colors, and others in different colors. That is the ultimate goal.”
sports The Evergreen Wednesday [12.19.12]
Experience builds confidence for girls’ soccer Ben Weinberg Sports Editor
After a third-place finish in the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) North Zone last season, the girls’ soccer team has set their sights on vaulting into the top spot. Anchored by a strong, improved core with 15 returning players and buoyed by a fast start to the season, the girls are making it apparent that they could achieve their lofty goal. As of Dec. 14, the girls are 5-0, having won their games by a cumulative goal differential of 14-1. Offensive explosions of six goals against Trinity Valley on Dec. 7 and four against Prince of Peace on Dec. 11 are major highlights thus far. This marks a significant change from the more defensive-minded squad of last season. The girls played to ties in their regular-season games against Hockaday, the Episcopal School of Dallas, and Fort Worth Country Day, their three most competitive North Zone opponents. The offensive tilt they’ve displayed so far has been completely intentional. A shift in strategy has resulted in changes on the field that, although subtle, have made an impact. Most prominently, Head Coach Paige Ashley tweaked the squad’s formation at the beginning of the season. She removed one person from the four-person back of last season’s formation to add a third player to the two up top, in the hopes of creating and developing the attack. “Having only two people play up top, sometimes we had trouble generating the kind of offense we needed,” Coach Ashley said. A surge in scoring early in the season indicates that the strategy has
Photo courtesy of Patrick Green
ON THE ATTACK: Sophomore Camille Andrews takes on a Fort Worth Country Day defender. Camille, a defender, is among nine sophomores whose development has helped the team to a 5-0 start to the season, as of Dec. 14.
come to fruition. Players, including senior captain Margot Masinter, said they have noticed results on the field already. “It makes forming plays a lot easier,” Margot said. “We have more options to move the ball forward.” Furthermore, early statistics indicate that the defense remains strong. As of Dec. 14, the girls had given up one lone goal. Their 4-0 win against Prince of Peace on Dec. 11 was their third shutout thus far this season. The squad that held their own
last season against the North Zone’s top teams is, for the most part, intact. Only three seniors—Blake Pruitt, Katie Sheinfield, and Jessica Garcia graduated. Coincidentally, varsity has also added three new freshmen—Alanna Jaffee, Abby Shosid, and Lily Pigott. Last year, the team had nine freshmen on the roster. “One of the reasons we changed [to a 4-4-2] last year was because we were so young,” Coach Ashley said. “We wanted to err on the side of caution.”
Boys’ soccer finds promise in season start Laura Arnold Features Editor
After jumping to a 1-0 lead against one of the most competitive teams in the Southwest Prepratory Conference (SPC) on Nov. 27, the boys’ soccer team saw a sign of hope for their season. The goal was quickly followed by a penalty-kick save from senior goalkeeper Weston Shosid. Though the Episcopal School of Dallas (ESD) would score a goal of their own, when the whistle blew for halftime, the 1-1 score reflected a close game. ESD was the first seed in last year’s Division-I tournament. Despite ultimately losing the game 2-4, Greenhill’s performance signaled an improving team. “I walked away from that game feeling extremely encouraged about our season,” said boys’ soccer Head Coach Gregory Krauss. Junior captain Brent Rubin also left with a positive attitude. “Yes, we didn’t win the [ESD] game, but we definitely did compete and challenge them, and that was a
great sign of satisfaction knowing Krauss said. that we could hang in there with In addition to a large number of them. It was a good chance to experienced players, Greenhill has measure ourselves,” Brent said. also added fresh talent. With a 3-5-1 record to start off “There are three freshmen this the season, the team knows that there year that we are excited about,” are improvements to Brent said. “They will make make, but the level of immediate impacts on the We stress play is promising. team.” more than “Our practices Whether it is from ever this these past few weeks an experienced player or year that have started off someone new, the team’s everyone has much better than overall goal continues to be a role, and that the past few years. to compete for an SPC title. role must be We are much more “We stress more than understood concentrated and ever this year that everyone and fulfilled. willing to compete,” has a role, and that role must Brent said. be understood and fulfilled,” With eight seniors Coach Krauss said. this year and only three players lost On Nov. 30, the team won to graduation, several experienced their first home game after beating players will have to step into new Fort Worth Country Day 2-1. Brent roles on the team. stressed the importance of this win. “We try to provide as much “Now that all of us are part of leadership as possible from the the program as a team, we want staff side, but ultimately the players to build from the last two years,” need to take ownership of the team. Brent said. The years the program By far the leadership from within has been dominant they have really is the strongest this year out of the taken to heart winning on their four years I’ve been here,” Coach home field.”
With time and practice, the sophomore players returning for their second season have made individual improvements that allow the team to shift to a more aggressive approach. Coaches and veteran players alike have noticed significant development in this group of nine sophomores. “You can already see the difference a year’s worth of experience can make,” Coach Ashley said. According to the coaches, the essential difference is largely due
to the squad’s collective increase in confidence. With few players lost, a few gained, and several improved, the girls’ soccer program has remained mostly the same. With 20 players on the varsity squad and several others making up a junior varsity or reserve team, the program this season has the largest numbers in several years. “We’re as deep as we have been in a really long time,” Coach Ashley said. That kind of depth and expansion does not come at the expense of the team’s close-knit nature. The girls have retained the level of camaraderie and chemistry that carried them last season, according to the team’s returning veteran leadership. “There’s some sort of innate team strength that we have,” Margot said. “We play really well together.” Players and coaches alike hope that “really well” is enough to take them the extra step in their quest for an SPC title. Although last year’s sixth-place finish in the Division-I Tournament was disappointing to several players, its arbitrariness gives them confidence for this season (the team only lost in penalty kicks after tying in regulation). “Two kicks could have made the difference,” Coach Ashley said. Margot shared the same sentiment. “There’s a lot of promise going forward,” she said. The girls are being careful not to get ahead of themselves. Thanks to their early-season success, though, including a victory over defending SPC champions Fort Worth Country Day, there is already a collective sense around the team of high expectations and high confidence.
wednesday, december 19, 2012
Zombies, Neon, and 5Ks If your New Year’s resolution involves getting in shape, these “fun runs” around DFW will help you work out, relieve stress, and feel guiltless about those holiday indulgences. The Color Run
Jingle Bell Run
April 6 The bright white apparel you wore at the starting line of this 5K race will be unrecognizable by the end. Those working the race bombard runners with colors that correspond with each kilometer, five in total. According to the website, the color is 100 percent natural and safe (you can even eat the stuff, if you really want). Enjoy food, festivities, and even more color post-race. To register, learn more, or check out those dyed from previous races, visit thecolorrun.com. Benefits support the American Heart Association. $40 before Jan. 1, with fees varying afterwards.
Dec. 19 Get your Santa hat out! Benefitting the Mavericks Foundation and the Trinity Strand Trail, the Jingle Bell Run is ideal for families, even the dogs. With a 1-mile Fun Run and a 5K race, the festivities are perfect for all athletic levels. Dressing up as Santa or his faithful reindeer is highly encouraged for those who want to make a cameo on the website’s photo gallery. Post-race, celebrate your athletic success at a party with entertainment and refreshments. To register or learn more, visit: www.dallasjinglebellrun.com. The 1-mile run costs $25; the 5K is $30.
Run For Your Lives
Electric Run Jan. 19 Light up the night in this unusual 5K. Participants are given packages containing various bright lights, including LED necklaces. But you don’t have to stop there. You can go all out in dressing up for this event: use glow sticks, glowin-the-dark paint, wear all your neon athletic gear. This run takes place at night, and trees, arches, fountains and other landmarks are decked out it neon lights that coordinate with music blasted throughout the run. From VAVI Sport and Social and the founders of Ragnar Relay, visit the run’s website at www.electricrun.com to learn more and register. Regristration by Dec. 20 costs $55, with prices varying by registration date.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Stock
A SPLASH OF COLOR: Junior Matthew and 8th grader Lauren Stock pose after the Color Run in Houston on Nov. 11.
March 16 Get scared all the way to the finish line in this selfdescribed “zombie-infested 5K obstacle course race.” The race is part capture-the-flag, part The Walking Dead. Make it all the way to the finish with at least one health flag, and you’ve survived the Zombie Apocalypse. Lost them all to the undead? Out of luck, my friend; you’re a dead man crossing the finish line. This run is perfect for horror-movie lovers, or for those who need a little extra motivation. An “Apocalypse Party” postrace includes food, beverages and musical entertainment. The event’s charitable partner is the American Red Cross. $87 story by Greer Goss
Eighth grade student showcases soccer skills on Greenhill and club teams Richa Sinkre MS Writer
Eighth grader Christian Quintero was recently selected to train with the Olympic Development Program in the North Texas region, which brings together the top under-17 soccer players in North Texas. According to the website, the program’s mission is “to identify players of the highest caliber on a continuing and consistent basis, which will lead to increased success for the U.S. National Teams in the international arena.”
By the numbers
Players are chosen through open tryouts and evaluated on technique, tactics, fitness, athletic ability, and attitude. Christian began participating in competitive soccer when he was seven. Since then, he has competed on two major Texas teams, FC Dallas and The Dallas Texans. Christian plays for the Dallas Texans on the ’99 Boys Red Dallas team. Recently, Christian’s team beat the Chicago Magic 1-0 to win the 2012 Disney Junior Showcase tournament in Orlando, Florida. They are currently ranked as the top team in North Texas as well as in Region 3. “Before my games, I always listen to my secret soundtrack.
Combined goals scored by senior Andrew and sophomore Daniel Spomer in the boys’ soccer 6-2 win against Regents School of Austin on Dec. 7.
Periods of overtime required for boys’ basketball to defeat Fort Worth Eastern Hills in a 67-66 thriller on Nov. 27 .
The songs on that track never change, because I don’t want my game to change,” Christian said. Christian plays to represent his country of heritage, Colombia, as well as his family. “[Soccer] runs in my blood,” Christian said. But his time-consuming practices leave only Tuesdays and Thursdays free. “Juggling school, homework, and soccer is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my entire life,” he said. Despite an expected increase in workload, Christian plans on playing for Greenhill’s varsity team next year. additional reporting by Ben Krakow Points scored by sophomore Auston Evans in boys’ basketball’s tripleovertime game. Auston led the team in scoring.
Goals allowed by girls’ soccer through their first five games of the season. Through five games, the girls have a positive goal differential of 13. compiled by Ben Weinberg
wednesday, december 19, 2012
Finding myself by overcoming judgments
I have been accused over the years of staring people down or giving them a “look.” I promise it is completely unintentional. Unfortunately, when I space out or when I think about something intensely, my facial expression gives off negative vibes to others. If you have ever witnessed this and taken it
personally, I sincerely apologize. As a freshman, if I received a look like this I would cringe and contemplate what I did to deserve such a glare. When students go through their day, they have to succumb to a multitude of judgments by their peers. What car they drive, how they dress, the C-day announcement they made, or even something as simple as the type of backpack they have: all are things people pass judgment on throughout a day, many times unknowingly. It even goes farther than that to a person’s deeper values and priorities. Differing religious and political viewpoints can lead to preconceived perceptions of a person’s character. All those little insignificant judgments were overwhelming to me my freshman self. I took those judgments to heart and believed that it was better to be “normal” than be
myself. I believed I would be accepted that way. For the first two years of high school, I fell in to this trap. My parents were much stricter than basically everyone else’s in the school (an exaggeration, I know, but it was exactly how I felt at the time). I attempted to hide this embarrassing fact at all costs. Whenever my friends were doing something, I would lie to my parents so I could do the things other people clearly thought were cool. I was so worried about how others would judge and perceive me. But the next day I would be grounded and would ask myself what was the point? Was it really worth it? No, it was definitely not. I spent the majority of my freshman year grounded, unable to do the things I actually wanted to. I was too worried about what the “right” thing
to do was in the eyes of my peers. When I’m upset or hear bad news about something, I tend to clam up and become really awkward, or keep to myself rather than ask for advice from others. One of my best friends handles things completely differently. Is one of us correct? The answer is obviously no, because there is no right answer to how to act. Looking back, this all seems ridiculous. There is no right way to be or act. But I had to go through those insecure times to get to the point where I was confident in myself. Although probably not as extreme as mine, your experience will include the weight of these judgments at some point in high school. But whenever you do encounter them, please try and not let them become so significant that it makes you lose track of who you are.
Eliminating the Facebook shouting match
This year has been filled with disagreement, from the presidential election to the current escalation of the Israel-Palestine conflict. I am fortunate to attend a school that prides itself on diversity, a school where we are taught to celebrate our differences. I have friends who are Republicans and Democrats, friends who support Israel and friends who support Palestine. Naturally, this microcosm of the real world lends itself to conflict, and I believe we should be able to debate our stances on various issues, not limited to those
mentioned above. However, I think there are appropriate and inappropriate settings to do so. Personally, I believe Facebook and other social media websites are inappropriate settings to discuss these kinds of divisive issues, though many often turn to social media when it comes to discussing them. In my experience, when someone posts a political rant or other related post on Facebook or other social media websites, it only attracts negative attention. I read countless posts consisting of heated online quarrels between Greenhill students leading up to the election this fall. Many posts roughly said, “candidate X is an idiot,” or “candidate Y is ruining our country.” I think conversations regarding these types of issues are productive and should be celebrated. It makes people think. It is a part of our education. But I think cyberspace is not the proper place to do it. (Nor is the above probably the best choice of words. We should rethink that, too). A Facebook post has never changed my mind about where I stand politically. Such
Learning outside the box
In recent years, we have watched our students’ rankings fall in math, science, and other fields. Educators and politicians are putting their heads together to find new innovative methods in education. From No Child Left Behind to Race to the Top, the federal government has implemented various programs to push American education to higher standards. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go. One problem is that we aren’t thinking
posts only lead to an online shouting match. It or bagel break debate. So organize such becomes about who can yell louder, or rather, a debate, or bring up important issues type faster. with your friends at lunch or at The Mock Presidential another impromptu moment. These Debate we had earlier this It is a lot easier discussions do not have to be formal. year made me think more to recognize that It is a lot easier to recognize that than any social media people are more people are more than their beliefs in post ever has. I attribute than their beliefs person than it is when their profile this to the live, human in person than picture is the closest you get to quality I could sense. Init is when their seeing their face. The conversation person discussions, such profile picture is will be a lot more productive when as the debate, flow. They the closest you it flows naturally, rather than when a allow people to both get to seeing political rant becomes so fragmented defend and rethink their their face.” with diverging conversations and stances. We should not extensive time periods between limit ourselves to 140 posts that the original point becomes characters (or however unrecognizable. many it is today) in our efforts to change So let’s celebrate our differences and learn peoples’ minds. from one another, but let’s do so in the best, Social media is great for a lot of things: most productive environment possible, with posting pictures, reconnecting with friends people talking and listening to their peers, and and family, and posting funny links. But it having an overall healthier and appropriately lacks the emotion and human connection that challenging conversation. would be present in a lunchtime conversation
radically enough. The way the majority of American students learn today isn’t too different from years ago. We, like children of the 1880s, still sit in a classroom with a teacher. While the world around us has changed dramatically with cell phones, satellites, and television, the basic way in which our kids learn hasn’t. Getting stuck in this old paradigm is causing us to miss a golden opportunity. We are turning a blind eye to one of the greatest innovations in the past 50 years: the Internet. With the onset of email, Skype and social media our society is becoming even more interconnected. In order to teach American students to keep up in the fast-paced world we live in, we must expose them to viewpoints and cultures of countries around the globe. The Internet can help us do that. As a Greenhill student, I have had the opportunity to experience online education through Global Online Academy, which offers high-school courses taught by international
faculty to an international student body all connected virtually. This year I am taking a course called “Declaring Our Humanity,” a class that blends philosophy and Human Rights. This online class has covered a wide range of material I would never have been exposed to in the classroom. I also have the opportunity of learning from a teacher who lives in Jordan and interacting with classmates from across the country and globe. Through discussion boards, peer-review Skype sessions, and oneon-one Skype time with my teacher, I am getting a highly interactive experience. While online education has its limitations, traditional classroom education also has many drawbacks. Students are limited by the courses offered at their schools and never have a chance to interact with peers who don’t attend the same institution. The technology revolution has touched almost every aspect of our lives with one key exception: education. We have already
used the latest innovations in technology to revolutionize how we live. Why not how we learn? We are just scratching the surface of using technology to enhance education. Already, there are incredible resources to access knowledge online. Ted Talk, for example, is an organization that features short lectures by speakers on their field of expertise. Coursera makes free online courses available from topnotch universities with professors that teach high-level courses. This explosion of free mass education, referred to as Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), has just begun to change how we learn. As someone who has tried an online class, I can see the advantages. Online education provides a wider range of classes, is resourceefficient, and has the power to connect people across the world. It’s time to stop obsessing over Smart Boards and projectors and start thinking outside the box.
that’s a problem. As the years have passed by, I’ve slowly become less like Alice (in Wonderland) and more like the rabbit she pursues, always checking my watch for the next meeting or assignment to Reading can fit in. Time is no be fun, and it’s longer abundant important we and frivolous, don’t forget and so finding that.” time to read has become increasingly significant and meaningful. Like watching cartoons, reading has become a casualty of age, relegated to the holiday break, a period with a timeless quality. And that’s sad. As I mentioned in my column last May, I almost always had my nose in a book during
my first year at Greenhill, sixth grade. Back then, and throughout elementary and middle school, reading wasn’t just encouraged; it was required. We had book reports, book projects, and, in Mrs. Hagood’s sixth grade class, book cards (essentially book reports). We had class periods and even whole days dedicated just to reading, and nary a week went by without a trip or two to the school library. Often, I would go to our local public library as well. Then, something changed, and so drastically that I don’t even remember when exactly it happened. Now, I rarely go to any library (I never was much of a book purchaser), and over the past four years the idea of reading a book for pleasure has become almost foreign to me. Sure, it happens occasionally through the school year, but nowhere near the fiftysome or more book cards I wrote back in sixth grade. Why it happened is easier to identify, because I recognize this change isn’t unique to me. With all the reading we do for homework,
the last thing we want to do sometimes—on the off chance we do have time—is read more. And as the books and texts we read in class increase in length and difficulty, sometimes the few encounters we have with reading become arduous and discouraging. Simply put, reading can become work, not fun. But reading can be fun, and it’s important we don’t forget that. I was talking to senior Nina Punyamurthy, a member of the summer reading committee, who said she reads for pleasure for 30 minutes each night. When, surprised, I asked her how she found the time, she responded: “I make time.” As I’ve grown older, this reading time has become more precious, because it is something I have to consciously make room for. Like the ornaments I pull out every year, and the animated Scrooges I love (Daffy Duck may be my favorite), it’s a reminder of time passing—and of the few things I want to keep constant.
The holidays are a time of nostalgia, of returning back in time and doing all the things I loved doing as a kid: watching holiday cartoons (countless animated versions of A Christmas Carol included), wrapping lights around the Christmas tree, and opening the beautifully wrapped presents underneath. This year, I have something else to add to that list: reading. Since entering the Upper School, I haven’t read for pleasure very often, and in my mind,
wednesday, december 19, 2012
If the world ends, we will miss many things: Kyle Matthew’s next movie, improv’s lunch shows, and crazy homecoming dress-up dayss. But more importantly are the incredible inventions coming up in the new year. The Evergreen has rounded up a few of the most impressive gadgets of the future to keep up your hopes during these dire days.
People with 20/20 vision will wear glasses. No, hipster glasses will not come back in style. Instead, Google Glass will enable hands-free, voice-activated web-browsing lenses you can wear like glasses. According to The New York Times, the prototype features a camera, speaker, microphone, Bluetooth, and WiFi antennas, allowing Google Glass to act like a fully functioning laptop on-the-go. The prototype has already been met with success and was recognized by Time magazine as a Best Invention of 2012. The current prototype cost is $1,500, but Google plans to lower the price and simplify the design before its commercial release in early 2014.
An aerial cruise ship, the SkyPalace, will redefine vacation. We have planes, ships, and cars: the SkyPalace will be a mix of all three. A cousin to The SkyPalace is a flying metal disc called The SkyLifter, a machine that will be able to vertically lift the weight of a blue whale. This flying saucer-like technology will revolutionize the hauling of cargo and oversized equipment. Acting like an aerial crane, but able to lift 150 rather than only 20 metric tons, the SkyLifter will be more efficient. It will also run on biodiesel fuel and solar power, making it environmentally friendly. Both The SkyLifter and The SkyPalace are predicted to have a working prototype by late 2013.
There will appear to be one million times more stars in the sky. At least when you look through the Eye of Gaia, a billion-pixel camera consisting of 106 separate electronic detectors that will pick up on even the faintest stars. The hyper-sensitive digital camera will be used on the upcoming European Space Agency mission, whose objective is to create the largest, most precise 3-D chart of the Milky Way. The Gaia mission will last five years. The astrophysical information collected will help precisely quantify the chemical and mechanical process of star formation and evolution of our galaxy.
To find out more about your future (while having fun in the present), take a trip to the monthly Dallas Psychic Fair. According to the Dallas Psychic Fair website, the event features a comprehensive network of specialized psychic professionals, all dedicated to “spiritual growth through mind, body, and soul connections.” At the fair, booths offer psychic consultations, spiritual healing, massage therapy, and items ranging from jewelry and art to organic healing products. The next fair will be held on Sunday, Jan. 6 at the Double Tree Hotel Dallas near the Galleria. Tickets are $7.
story and graphic by Gabrielle Das