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2012-2014 PortFolio

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Featured in the month of

St. Paul Academy & Summit School

1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN

October 2012. Vol XXXX. Issue II.

October

Bookfest News

3

Parent Association plans Stories through Song

Jim Walsh talks books and music Feature

GEt ORGANIZED

Around Town

Are you scared yet? Students for Social Justice and Gay Straight Alliance host Vote No Speakers

Student Activities Committee wants your input for the Halloween Dance News 4

Upper School Council takes action to reduce student stress

Peer Helpers focus on student mind-body wellness

Feature 17

Special Section

12

News 2

? 2 1 0 2 ng in

i t o v s ’ o h W I

13 This was my

Local Haunts

16

Special Section Pull Out

BACON

9-12

Food & Nutrition

8

first story and mini-editorial published in The Rubicon. I wrote for both Opinions and News.


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A new mission for Upper School Council Gita Raman

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Need to let off some steam? The Upper School Council is working on reducing stress in the Upper School. USC has scheduled the opinion board, has created open gym time after lunch and is working on a student tutors program. On Oct. 12, senior President Hagop Toghramadjian announced that the gym will be open for student use during 4th and 6th periods, as well as some Wednesday X-periods. “So far, our proudest accomplishment has been ensuring that the gym is open for students to use every day,” he said. The gym project has been in progress since last spring, finally com-

ing to fruition after faculty members agreed to supervise the gym during lunch periods. “We worked really hard to solve a lot of liability issues,” senior Treasurer Ellen Swenson said. Student tutors is another USC project underway. To meet the goal of reducing stress in the Upper School, USC formatted an optional program for students to help struggling students in the grades below them. “It’s really important [for] SPA which is oftentimes a very stressful environment to provide a system of support for students to learn how to deal with that stress,” Swenson said. Together with student groups, USC worked out a schedule for them to put formal posts on the

opinion board in weeklong segments. Over the course of the year, each Thursday group will have the chance to present issues they have been discussing, around dates significant to them. For example, People for Environmental Protection will post during the week of Earth Day. The group posts will only take up a segment of the board. Other groups and individuals are still encouraged to post their own opinions during those times. USC is also busy planning this year’s speaker day, with the theme “Bridging Barriers and Overcoming Obstacles.” This year, the event will span the entire school day, as students listen to speakers who have overcome significant adversity

during their lives, or have helped others succeed in difficult circumstances. Through collaboration with US Librarian Kate Brooks, USC has successfully converted the library classroom to a quiet study area. The room is now available all day for students who want to focus on their work during free periods, except for times when student and faculty groups meet in the space. “It’s nice to have another place to study,” senior Ben Oppenheimer said. Stress reduction will not be limited to just tutoring programs and study sessions. Expect USC to find more creative ways of helping the Upper School relax. “Last year since finals we’ve seen a lot of stress and so we’re brainstorm-

ing ideas to reduce stress during those times. A lot of colleges have a day where they bring in puppies during finals week, for example. We won’t quite do that, but we really want to take peoples’ minds off of stressful things,” Swenson said. Maybe puppies won’t make an appearance during midterms, but rest assured, USC will find a way make exam season a little brighter. There will be open gym everyday during the week from 11:3012:45 p.m. Clean athletic, non-marking shoes are required. No exceptions. There will also be open gym Wednesdays during X-period except Oct 24, Nov 7, 14, 28, and Dec 12.

Wolf hunting jumps the gun Gita Raman

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“Stop DNR torture.” The words appear on billboards cropping up across Minnesota. The torture? Wolf hunts. The Minnesota DNR decided this year to start wolf

hunting once again after the species’ long stay on the endangered species list. In 2001, Minnesota policy makers stated that once gray wolves were off of the endangered species list there would be a 5 year moratori-

um before wolf hunting could recommence. This year, officials said that the 5 year break was not necessary. The DNR is issuing 6,000 wolf licenses, for which more than 23,000 people have already applied. About 2,600 wolves currently

live in Minnesota. The DNR wants to kill a quota of 400 wolves. According to the Department of Natural Resources the wolf population in Minnesota is stable and thriving currently. 6,000 licenses to kill four hundred wolves is

excessive, to say the least. While hunting wolves is undoubtedly necessary, due to the wolves’ predatory nature, the DNR should take care not to let 16 years of preservation go to waste.


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St. Paul Academy & Summit School 1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN November 2012. Vol XXXX. Issue III.

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Family food businesses in the SPA Community (Center- 8&9)

Videogame Craze Sweeps the Halls (Feature 6)

Student Album Review (A&E 14)

SPA Pops Concert Approaching! (News 3)

This was my one of my favorite stories published in The Rubicon. I wrote for Feature.


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Maggie Vliestra mixes classic fashion and vintage style Gita Raman

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For freshman Maggie Vlietstra, there are three rules to a perfect outfit. One: Dress for yourself and not others, enjoy what you're wearing, dress with confidence. Own it. Two: Have fun, follow your own rules. Three: Make sure that everything goes together. Be cohesive. Ever since the beginning of the year, people have noticed Vlietstra’s fashionable dresses, skirts and accessories.

Whether it is a bedazzled headband and a jean jacket with a scarf or a plain shirt and her pleated peach skirt, Vlietstra’s fashion style causes a buzz in conversation. Vlietstra buys most of her clothes from Urban Outfitters, Viva, Rewind Vintage and Blacklist Vintage. Some of her consorts in vintage shopping are freshmen Miriam and Alice Tibbetts. “We like to go look at fancy stuff and window shop,” Miriam Tibbetts said. “A vintage shop is like a treasure hunt; you have

to dig until you find it [the right item],” Vlietstra said. She usually buys skirts, dresses, and jewelry, but her tastes move with current fads. “I especially like the cozy sweater trend and wearing lots of fun prints,” Vlietstra said. Vlietstra gets plenty of information from a variety of fashion blogs. Some of her favorite blogs are Fashionologie, Clothes Horse and Style Bubble. Fashionologie is an up-to-date blog about fashion and who is bestdressed - it already features 2013 spring fashion

collections. Clothes Horse is a monthly blog written by Amelia Alvarez, a writer and actress in Los Angeles. Style Bubble is another popular blog written by London-based writer and editor Susanne Lau. These websites have played a huge role in making Vlietstra more fashion-conscious. “I’ve always been interested in fashion, but last year I started spending a lot of my time reading blogs, reading books, collaging and things like that. And I still do,” Vlietstra said. One of Vlietstra’s

most frequented websites is ModCloth, an online vintage shop. Vlietstra said her greatest fashion role model is actress Emma Watson. “She has a good sense of style and self,” Vlietstra said. Although she is but a freshman, Vlietstra has high hopes for a future which may include work in the fashion industry. “I would love to work in the fashion industry!” Vlietstra said. “It would be really cool to work as a fashion editor or a stylist at a magazine.”


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St. Paul Academy & Summit School 1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN December 2012. Vol XXXX. Issue IV.

What’s on YOUR list?

(Cover Story)

SPA’s Zombie Zamboni (Sports 12)

Directing the One Acts (A&E 10)

This a really fun story to write in The Rubicon. I wrote for Cover Story.


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Sophmore Mattie Daub drinks peppermint coffee

Gita Raman

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Sophomore Mattie Daub used to want things that any typical sevenyear-old would wish for: an Easy Bake oven, dif-

ferent kinds of lollipops, and Sea-Monkeys. Daub celebrates Christmas with her family and believed in Santa until she was seven. She used to put out milk and cookies for him and carrots for Santa’s reindeer.

Today, her wish list has become more practical. Now that she is 15 years old, she would like peppermint coffee and fuzzy socks. She focuses more on giving than receiving, too. As her preferences

change, her traditions of celebrating Christmas have changed, too. As a child she and her family would get a Christmas tree and drink creamy hot chocolate. Now, she still celebrates with a Christmas tree, but instead of

hot chocolate she drinks peppermint coffee. “Coffee is a good source of caffeine for the holidays,” Daub said.

Sophmore Evan Leduc changed his belief in Santa

Gita Raman

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Some traditions sophomore Evan Leduc celebrates include having

an advent calendar with small little chocolates leading up to Christmas day and setting up Christmas trees. “I like the general good mood in everyone during the holidays,”

Leduc said. Leduc believed in Santa until the age of 10. Now he believes in Santa in a different way, “mostly to humor parents and [my] sister,” Leduc said.

Leduc’s other traditions have not changed from being a child. Still, as years pass Leduc’s tastes have changed; now he would like video games, gift cards and books in-

stead of legos, model airplanes, and Pokémon trading cards.

Junior Charlotte Hughes wished for American Girl Dolls Gita Raman

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When junior Charlotte Hughes was younger there were many things

she wanted, including American Girl Dolls, Candy Canes, and a variety of windup toys. Some traditions she had when she was younger was that she would wake up re-

ally early and eat a large breakfast. Throughout the day she would be with her family and open presents by the fire. The night before Christmas, she would set out cookies

and milk for Santa. Now as her craze for American Girl dolls has ended, she would like clothes, chocolate, cool sunglasses and money to fund her trip to France in the spring.

Now Hughes sleeps in and watches Christmas movies all day. As some traditions change, others don’t: she still eats a large breakfast and sets up a real Christmas tree.


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One-Act performers compete at state festival FEATURE 12

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St. Paul Academy & Summit School

1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN

January/February 2013. Vol XXXX. Issue V.

DANCE : What does it take?

“

This was my first time writing reviews in the The Rubicon. I wrote for A&E.

COVER STORY P. 8-9

New Upper School Schedule -- NEWS 3

A&E SPECIAL EDITION PULLOUT

Boys Varsity Hockey Season --SPORTS


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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel charms with mirth

Gita Raman

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The colors, noise and life of an Indian city drew me to watch the British- comedy drama movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It gave me a lot of laughs, joy and a slight feeling of remorse. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a sweet comedy about a group of British retirees who are looking for a different

type of retirement home for less money. They end up staying in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful. The group struggles at first to cope in the fast moving city, “Initially you’re overwhelmed. But gradually you realize it’s like a wave. Resist, and you’ll be knocked over. Dive into it, and you’ll swim out the other side,”noted recently widowed Evelyn (Judi

Dench). As the group of seven strangers redefine themselves in the new country they form bonds with one another that cannot be separated easily between Dashwood, Greenslade and Ainslie. The film is directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love). Most of the actors in this film did well including Tom Wilkinson, Smith and Dench. Wilkinson portrayed his

character, Graham Dashwood, with love and passion; he was never being haughty about being the leader of the group. Maggie Smith’s character, Muriel Donnelly, changed throughout the movie. She started out as a sour and hateful woman, but when someone won her heart she became more kind and approachable. Smith and Dench were both nominated for best actress in a motion pic-

ture in a comedy or musical. The movie as a whole was nominated for Best Motion Picture in a Comedy or Musical. The characters of the film rubbed off on me throughout the play. The ending of the movie was portrayed very well. All of the characters were happy and content with themselves, Douglas even found a new love.


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St. Paul Academy & Summit School 1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN March 2013. Vol XXXX. Issue VI.

How do you preserve your culture in a new country?

“ This was my first large opinions story published in The Rubicon. I wrote for Opinions.

Cover Story 8-9

COMING TO

AMERICA


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Take charge of illness by staying home Gita Raman

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Your head aches. Your throat is sore. You barely slept. But the test in Math, lab in Science, and Harkness Discussion in history just can’t be missed. For many students, being sick and coming to school is the norm. We come to school with runny noses, annoying coughs, and painful headaches, and sometimes fluctating temperatures.

This is not good. Students who are sick should most probably be at home. Not only because it would be better for you, but according to a study published at CNN.com, if one person gets sick in a large group environment, eventually most everyone in that group will get sick. At St. Paul Academy and summit School, this is particularly hard because of the four to five different types of homework for every day of class missed. This can be

hard on students because all the homework piles on, and considering all of the missed class lessons, it may be difficult to understand the homework. Many students cannot afford to miss a day of school with all of these factors at hand, so they persist and come to school while being sick. But viral illness is contagious. In fact, this winter Minnesota has had the largest flu outbreak in history according to Minnesota Health Department. The flu was

widespread in Minnesota, along with most of Midwest. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. Should students really share this with classmates at school? Germs spread constantly, through the sharing of common objects including pencils and pens. We share these things constantly at SPA -- which means we share

our viruses, too. There are several ways to prevent colds; if you feel the symptoms of a cold, keep yourself hydrated with water and juice. Staying home and getting rest, allows the body to heal and develop immunity to future illness. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you stay at home for twenty-four hours if you have flu symptoms.


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St. Paul Academy & Summit School 1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN April 2013. Vol XXXX. Issue VII.

“ This was my first sports story published in The Rubicon and it was a lot of fun. I wrote for Sports.

A&E-12

sports-14

Girl Talk

The Spartan Trap Shooters


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United Lacrosse sparks new frienships and teamwork Gita Raman

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One of the hopes of Girls Lacrosse Head Coach Beth Seibel-Hunt is, “that we get to start, I’m ready to start, and I’m eager to continue to improve our playing record.” There is not much time to get on the field; the snow on the ground has made it difficult to get outside. Instead, the team has been practicing in the Visitation gymnasium. During one of the practices Seibel-Hunt told the girls, “We have to push ourselves since we are not on the field, put in your best effort.”

Despite the snowy weather outside, the team is eager to begin with their new players. “We are very strong in the midfield and have an experienced goalie,” said Seibel-Hunt. This year the Girls JV and Girls Varsity lacrosse teams have about 19 players in total. Five of those players are on Varsity lacrosse, there are four freshmen and one sophomore. “We return with six experienced players and we have nine new players on the team,” said Seibel-Hunt. One of those returning players is freshman Bridget Hoffmann. Hoffmann started playing lacrosse last year as a “bubble” player,

meaning that she would switch from JV to Varsity at anytime. This year there are five varsity girls from SPA playing on the team. Hoffmann has said that playing with the Visitation girls is nice, since she knew some of them from her hockey team. When asked about the best thing about playing lacrosse she said, “It’s fun being with the team, they’re great to be with and play with.” “Lacrosse is a fun sport and it is really easy to pick up. A lot of the girls that tried out made the team this year.” Bridget Hoffmann’s sister, 7th grader Hayley Hoffmann who was one of the girls that made it to the Varsity team, said.

This is Hayley Hoffmann’s first year playing lacrosse. With all of the other spring sports Hayley had one key purpose: to meet new people and to have a new experience. Hayley has had similar experience playing hockey. Hayley chose to play this sport mainly because it seemed “almost like playing hockey, except not on the ice.” Hayley’s main goals are to improve her game and learn more about the sport. Seibel-Hunt has been playing lacrosse ever since she was a freshman in high school. The highlight of her career came during her sophomore year in college, when she was a US National Representative for New

England in her regional tournaments. As she increased in the ranking teams, she was then invited for tryouts for the US National Team. Seibel-Hunt was among the top 50 players, but was placed in the lower group and was not able to play for the national team. Seibel-Hunt noted that “it was my best year ever.” Not giving up Seibel-Hunt continued to play for clubs and sports teams. “The best part is sharing your passion with the team, no question,” said Sibel-Hunt.


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Seniors share their favorite shows from the past 4 years (A&E - 13)

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St. Paul Academy & Summit School 1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN May 2013. Vol XXXX. Issue VIII.

ULTRA CLUTCH

This piece was a collection of quotes published in The Rubicon. I wrote for Feature.

You can’t stop the beat! Hairspray - A&E 12

Dig in to Gardening

Cabin Fever

Are you ready for Prom?

(IN DEPTH 7)

(COVER STORY 8-9)

(FEATURE 11)


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Retirees in Middle and Lower school leave impressions, memories Gita Raman

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With tea parties in the Lower School living room and going away receptions in Davern Commons, and special recognition at the Faculty Dinner on May 28, St. Paul Academy and Summit School bids farewell to teachers some students have known since their days in red and blue uniforms on the Goodrich campus.

Maurine Hatting Administrative Assistant

“I’ll miss the people here.”

George Hower MS Math and Science

“I liked working with the SPA children, colleagues, and enjoyed the block schedule.”

Four teachers will be retiring from the Lower School this year:

Tom Lundholm LS 5A Teacher Jane Zeddies Kindergarten Jayne Nelson Kindergarten Deb Waddell LS 1/2 Teacher

One staff member is job searching after her department restructured:

Judy Mason Registrar

“I’ve been here 33 years and have seen so many changes.”


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Students react to the new schedule.

-- Cover Story, 8-9

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St. Paul Academy & Summit School 1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN September 2013. Volume XXXXI. Issue I.

the world

CHANGE

Shape the

minds

Shape the

hearts

New mission statement -- Feature, 7 -- Opinions, 4

“

This was a fun sports story to publish in The Rubicon. I wrote for Sports.


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Young Girls Soccer team excited about huge potential Gita Raman

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The names of each of the players are called and each of them do their personal good luck handshake with their teammates and then turn their attention to the other team and extend a friendly handshake. Each of the girls wears a serious look on her face. The National Anthem rings through the stands and the players

head to the field for a long, tough game. This is the tone of a home game as the Spartans takes the field. The Girls Varsity Soccer team is looking forward to time to rebuild after eight seniors graduated last year. Senior goalkeeper Danielle Socha has high hopes for the Spartans: “We have a ton of very talented players on the team, including a lot of talented younger girls,

so the team has a huge amount of potential for this season and seasons after,” Socha said. This year the majority of the players are younger, including one member who is in 8th grade. Junior center defense Julia Lagos is very excited to rebuild the team. “We are all willing to work our hardest all the time, which is definitely an asset,” Lagos said. Freshman striker Kate Bond, “I’m excited to

play on a whole new team and playing with people that better than me.” The team Bond feels, “aren’t as much of a high scoring team but we have a really good back line and goalie.” Ben Bollinger Danielson, the Spartan Girl’s Varsity Soccer coach has to cope with the younger players by, “trying to be patient,” Bollinger Danielson said. Bollinger Danielson expects the same amount of hard

work and effort by the senior players and the younger players. After a series of wins early in the season, the girls came back from a series of losses with a 2-0 win against Providence Academy on Sept. 11. At press time, the team’s record was 4-4-0. Their next home game is Sept. 26 against Minnehaha Academy.


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St. Paul Academy & Summit School

1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN

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October 2013. Volume XXXXI. Issue II.

This was a sports story published in The Rubicon.

treme Students dare to turn up the risk factor with extreme sports. COVER 8-9

Volleyball team raises money to fight breast cancer. SPORTS 15

Senior Dylan White and band release new album. A&E 12

Community works to update cell phone policy NEWS 2


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Playing for a cure Gita Raman

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The navy and gold that usually adorns St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s Briggs Gymnasium was overruled by a color with a cause on Oct. 8. Banners, balloons and ribbons in many shades of pink paraded the walls and bleachers. Fans poured into the gym wearing their pink-hued outfits. “We had so many more people wearing pink [compared to last year],” varsity head coach Rebecca Zenefski said.

The SPA Volleyball program’s second annual Dig Pink night was met with much enthusiasm and energy from players and supporters alike. Players sold sparkly headbands during lunch periods the week prior to the gamehe week prior to the game and had a box for donations outside the gym door on game night. The money raised went to the SideOut Foundation, a foundation started by Virginian volleyball coach Rick Dunetz, which was created to reach out to athletes and cancer patients.

Between games, the team honored members of the audience who had either had cancer or currently battling against it. This included eighth grade volleyball coach Pam Bersie, who is a survivor of breast cancer and is now cancer free. With an original goal of raising $500, the team well surpassed and accomplished their goal by raising almost triple of their original goal with a total of $1230.08. “I think Dig was a huge success this year. We raised over $1200. Whereas last year, our first year doing it we raised about $170. It

was a nice way to see it financially improve,” varsity volleyball coach Rebecca Zenefski said. “Dig Pink Night made us more energetic,” senior defensive specialist Alex Miller said. The team’s great energy lead to their 3-0 victory over Providence Academy. “It made it all the sweeter, because we had a good three set win against a team we had won the previous year with five sets,” Zenefski said. “We played really well, I think we played well together as a team,” Miller said. Although

the crowd was not very large, “everyone wore pink and was respectful when we needed them to be,” Miller said. Support of the team was shown when one of the audience members decided to pump the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd by doing the Spartan Beat. Zenefski said that the program plans to continue Dig Pink night and fundraising next year, when they will hopefully raise even more money and awareness for the cause.


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St. Paul Academy & Summit School

1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN

November 2013. Volume XXXXI. Issue III.

What’s your ride? Students share stories of their routes to and from school

COVER p. 8-9

A&E p. 14

SPORTS p. 13

IN DEPTH p. 10

Drake gallery hosts guest photographer Sylvia Horwitz.

Fitness for Life welcomes new instructor Kaitlyn Frenchick.

Senior Sela Patterson explores vegan options.

This was my a great News story published in The Rubicon.


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Book Fest hosts an amalgam of fiction authors Gita Raman

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“I like [reading fiction] when I feel an emotional connection with the characters,” sophomore Claudia Rosario said. “I know it is a good book when I’m sorry that the story is over.” Rosario’s sentiment about fiction reflects this year’s Book Fest theme, “Fiction, Fantasy, and Folly.” The annual event focuses on fiction after a series of years that celebrated other genres. “It was our intent to highlight fiction this year, since the past two years the Keynote authors were both non-fiction writers,” Peggy Hansen, Book Fest co-Chair, said. Keynote Speaker John Coy opened the Book Fest week with a Middle/Upper School Assembly on Nov. 18. Coy writes sports fiction, and his young adult titles include Crackback and Box Out. Crackback was a finalist in the 2010 Nutmeg Awards and was selected for the 2007

Young Adults’ Choices list of the International Reading Association. Coy also has a new novel called Independent Living. “[Independent Living] is about a high school senior whose parents will pay for college if he studies what they want him to. He has to decide if he is willing to accept their terms,” Coy said. Coy’s favorite part about writing fiction “is hearing from people who connect strongly with the story and characters. Even after fifteen books, I am still amazed that my job is to imagine a world, make up a story that can become a book, and then hear from students what they think about it. I love that exchange and am grateful that I get to write fiction.” In his time as a writer, Coy has traveled to all 50 states and over 30 countries around the world. “This school year I am going to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, India, and Guatemala,” Coy said. Kathleen Vellenga will be signing books on Nov. 19 in the Summit Center. Her novel, Strangers in Our Midst, tells a

Thanksgiving story that, according to the story’s overview, “re-imagines a critical moment in our continent’s history.” Her story shows the relationship between a European woman and a young Wampanoag woman. They discover differences between themselves and form a friendship despite the struggles and rules enforced by their separate societies. Vellenga is also a former Minnesota Legislator. While in legislation she won numerous awards from organizations for her efforts to support the needs of children and their families. Historical fiction is like a time machine to many readers of this genre. “It’s interesting… You get to pretend that you are in that time period,” sophomore Isabelle Saul-Hughes said. Karen Kelly asks the reader to “look ahead,” which is the Latin translation of her novel’s title, Prospice. Her novel follows a woman who loses her husband in World War II. Upon her return to her childhood home, she rekindles love with

a former college sweetheart. The two families join, and there is an “uncontainable attraction” between their children. The newest book featured at Book Fest is Charlie Quimby’s Monument Road, which has already received advanced praise and was named a Big Indie Book for Fall 2013 by Publisher’s Weekly. Monument Road was published Nov. 12 and is Quimby’s first fiction novel. The novel is about a man’s promise to his deceased wife and the challenge that Quimby describes as, “Encounters on a route that intertwines old wounds and new insights that make him question whether his life is over after all.” “I started [writing fiction] because I have been a writer all my life and when I was retiring I figured that writing a long fiction novel would be my last goal as a writer,” Quimby said. The inspiration for Quimby’s novel comes from his childhood. “I grew up in Western Colorado and have lived in Minnesota for a number of years. In the last six or seven years I have been

going back to the landscape where I grew up. It’s called the Colorado Plateau—it’s the edge of the mountains and desert, and that’s where the story is based,” Quimby said. For Quimby the landscape provides an important contrast, “between the religious inspiration and where people feel small and go to end their lives is really important in Monument Road,” Quimby said. Fantasy authors Andy Hueller and William Alexander will also be on campus during the week. National Book Award winner Alexander will sign copies of Goblin Secrets Nov. 22. Hueller is author to two fantasy novels: Dizzy Fantastic and her Flying Bicycle, Skipping Stones to the Center of the Earth and a Middle and Upper School English teacher. The annual Book Fest is hosted by the MS/US Parent Association. It serves to celebrate what students like Rosario already love about fiction: “The fact that it [a book] can actually be about anything, and that it can put you into a new world.”


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St. Paul Academy & Summit School

1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN

December 2013. Volume XXXXI. Issue IV.

Why I want to be liked es

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Social Media

Students share passion for the world of figure skating

The Student Tutors program needs improvements

A&E p.13

Sports p.14

Opinions p.5

Cover p.8-9

Theater program shares unique and fun traditions

This was an indepth Opinions story The Rubicon.


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Cheating undermines long term learning Gita Raman

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Feature Editor

The word “cheating” is associated with images of answer keys, clandestine signals, or students looking over each other’s shoulders. However, cheating takes many different forms-some less obvious than others. What causes this urge to take credit for something that isn’t yours or giving away your work? Cheating becomes a constant necessity in order to get better grades and succeed.

“I don’t think it is all wrong; sometimes getting answers from a another person can help. There are other times when it is completely wrong though,” sophomore David Nicholson said. Cheating removes a small amount of stress off a student for a short period of time. “Cheating is an outlet for students to achieve more without stress placed upon them,” Nicholson said. Senior Helen Derechin differs from Nicholson, “We shouldn’t do it because it is not really

displaying our full potential it; [it] cheats ourselves and other people as [well].” Sophomore Madeeha Rizvi agrees with Nicholson that cheating is largely motivated by stress.“Students usually cheat if they feel if they want to do better on their grade or if maybe they are pressured by other people to get good grades.” Students place their priorities with cheating because of the pressure of getting good grades, compared to the need for education. Good grades

means students will succeed, get a good GPA, and eventually get into a good college. Cheating over the years has changed from just trying to get by in high school, to where there is a need to receive the “A” grade, according to ETS. The pressure just increases in order to get the high grades which the students need. Cheating is easier in some subjects compared to others. “[In] any writing class, it is easy to copy and paste something, and claim it is your own,” Derechin

said. According to statistics from plagiarism. org, “One out of three high school students admitted that they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment.” Cheating becomes a natural action once, a student has cheated and received a good grade on a homework or test, the natural action is to cheat again. This causes problems, for the longterm process of learning because the student does not learn how to learn and study, just how to cheat.


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January/February 2014. Volume XLI. Issue V.

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This a Feature story published in The Rubicon. home sweet home

Students share stories about their homes, families, and pets Cover Story p.10-11

News p.4

A&E p.14

Sports p.18

World Religions speaker series adds depth to religious and cultural class conversations.

Competition One Act, Metamorphosis, presents challenges for actors and audience.

Rivalries and competition intensify as seasons progress and teams look ahead.


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Seniors prepare and search for May Projects Gita Raman

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Feature Editor

The final submit buttons for college applications are clicked and the reality of leaving begins to dawn on seniors as well as the preparation for Senior Project. Senior Project occurs during the month of May. However there are many steps which the seniors need to do before they leave. Seniors need to submit a proposal for their Senior Projects which gets reviewed by the Senior Project committee, composed of both faculty and students. “Part of the process of putting together a Senior Project Proposal

might help you prepare for college. You have to interview your mentor and at least another professional for the career awareness interview requirement,” said Senior Project Committee member Anne Marie Shimkus. “It was a good learning experience into how to get an internship and communicate with people in the work world,” alumna Maulika Kohli, class of 2012, said. For her 27 hourper-week requirement, senior Kaia Findlay “would like to get outdoors.” “I want to do something hands on. Maybe something with the Department of Natural Resources or Friends of

the Boundary Waters,” Findlay said. Senior Aidan Arnold is focusing on engineering as his mentorship, which is 16 hours per week. “3M could be a possibility. 3M would be awesome, I think it would be a great experience,” he said. St. Paul Academy and Summit School offers resources for students to use, “We solicit internships from people who have done it in the past, from current SPA parents and alums, and we prepare a packet where the internship is presented to the seniors,” Dean of Students Judy Cummins said. Arnold has chosen to pursue his passion of cooking for his extra ac-

tivities in order to complete the 27 hours. “The project is centered on internships, but there is stuff you do on the side. I’ve always been interested in cooking, so I thought it would be a great opportunity,” Arnold said. After completing senior project, the reaction varies. “They will say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know it was so hard to get a hold of someone. I didn’t realize that it was so difficult to narrow something down. That field that I was really interested in, I don’t think I am any more,’” Cummins said. Kohli had an interest in psychology, so she shadowed with a psychologist.

“I’m majoring in psychology now. I also went back there last summer and worked with a neuropsychologist. and now I might get a part time job there with the same lady, so it worked out really well for me.” In all, “They come away with a lot of learning and any learning prepares you for college,” Cummins said. Whether going to intern with an engineer or volunteer with a museum, “[The senior project] a great opportunity to go outside of your comfort zone,” Arnold said.


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1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN

March 2014. Volume XLI. Issue VI.

Student belief systems reflect a mosaic of religious backgrounds.

Cover p. 8-9

C 0 E X IST Find the

Answers

in this month’s issue:

1

President Obama spoke in St. Paul. What did he talk about? (NEWS p. 3)

2

4

What songs should be on everyone’s playlists this spring? (A&E p. 13)

5

Are you ready for college courses in high school? (FEATURE p. 7)

How does your school spirit rank? Are you a loyal Spartan? (SPORTS p. 15)

3

What books are students and teachers recommending? (IN-DEPTH p. 10-11)

6

The Girls United Hockey team advanced to the state tournament. What place did they finish in? (BACK COVER p. 16)

This was my first photo story published in The Rubicon. I wrote for Cover Story.


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Religion influences students’ lives & choices Gita Raman

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Feature Editor

The Jewish community is not a very big one. It is kind of a close knit community so everyone kind of knows each other so I know that if I do something that will really affect me, then they will all kind of know about it. So I make as smart decisions as I can.

s o p h om or e E m i l e e S k a d r on

I think that in general [Islam] does affect a lot of things like my attitude and the way I work with people. I don’t really notice it at school.

s e n i or Yu s r a Mu r a d Junior Dozie Nwaneri wears a necklace with a cross and rendering of Jesus on it.

[I try] to be respectful and nice and loving one another... I pray before [my] sports [games] to help me win the game. And sometimes before tests to help me do well.

ju n i or D o z i e Nw a n e r i


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1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN April 2014. Volume XLI. Issue VII.

The SpARTan of self EXPRESSION

Students use their bodies as canvases Cover Story p. 8-9

Illustration Credit: Ava Gallagher

Feature p. 7

Planned Parenthood teens talk sexual health education

In Depth p.10-11

Community expresses and challenges gender issues

Sports p.14-16

Spring sports teams sprint into action on court and field

“

This was my first story for InDepth published in The Rubicon.


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Day of Silence seeks to combat sexual discrimination Gita Raman

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Feature Editor

On National Day of Silence, light is shed on the LGBTQPIA community and the emotions which people who are bullied for their sexual orientation feel. “Day of Silence is about recognizing differences, being accepting towards others, and showing how uncomfortable it is when [bullied people] do not feel accepted,” Vice President of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance Maggie Clark said. “The silence is symbolic of people who are bullied. They feel that they can’t speak out

about it,” junior GSA member Amber Skarjune said. Every year, the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) organizes Day of Silence nationally and GSAs around the country promote it at their middle and high schools. However, this year Day of Silence fell on April 11, when there was no school. Many GSA students took time out of their day to remember Day of Silence Clark participated during school before the actual Day of Silence. “I thought it would be more impactful to be silent at school,” she said. On the formal Day of Silence, Clark took a

moment to recognize it. Skarjune acted similarly saying, “I did spend some time to remember it and internalize it.” “Your voice is really powerful,” Clark said. Having your voice taken away means that you are unable to convey your feelings about your experiences. Hoewever, Day of Silence allows one to feel new experiences. “Being silent is kind of like going into their shoes about not being able to talk about yourself and everything,” Skarjune said. Junior GSA member Evan Leduc hopes that Day of Silence increased awareness saying, “I’d like everyone

to be aware of those who are silenced, and I want people to know how that may or may not affect people in our larger community.” Leduc knows multiple people, outside of the SPA community, who have experienced the feeling of being silenced literally and figuratively. He feels that Day of Silence accurately shows the emotions that someone who is bullied experiences. The silencing effect can happen to anyone, and it does happen in SPA classrooms. “If anyone thinks there are issues with gender and sexuality at SPA, than there clearly are,” junior Jonah Mische said.

When people are too shy or express contradictory ideas about their experiences with gender and identity in and out of school, they are often shut out of the discussion or labeled over-sensitive. “It [Day of Silence] can really apply to anyone and it does not matter who you are. It’s about being silenced because of a certain way that you identify,” Skarjune said. Day of Silence is an eye-opening way for people to learn and understand what it feels like to be bullied and silenced.


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May 2014. Volume XLI. Issue VIII.

“

Summer provides opportunities for work, service, and relaxation

This a mini-editorial published in The Rubicon. I wrote for Opinions.

Cover Story p. 8-9

Seniors p. 2, 16

Photo Submitted by: Ami Berger

Seniors finish year with Senior Project and Commencement

A&E p. 12

Submitted Photo : Jack Romans

Students try-out for summer professional theater shows

Sports p.15

Photo Submitted by: Sandhya Ramachandran

Students perfect skills and learn new ones in club sports


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Lack of Cinco de Mayo knowledge is disappointing Gita Raman

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Feature Editor

Cinco de Mayo is not a celebration of Mexican Independence Day. However, it does have ties to Mexican history. This holiday was creat-

ed to commemorate the victory of the Mexican army over the French army in 1862. The real question is why this Mexican holiday is so popular in the United States, even though it represents a seemingly ambiguous

event. In American culture, Cinco de Mayo is another excuse to have a parade, try out some “authentic� Mexican food, or throw a party rather, than to learn the true meaning of this day. On this holiday, far and wide, there is no

remembrance of the soldiers in the armed forces, no moment of silence, and no speech given. Cinco de Mayo has become an American excuse to celebrate, regardless of its significance to those people who are more aware

of and connected to its meaning. We must remove the veil of ignorance from our eyes by educating ourselves, so that the true meaning of Cinco de Mayo can be known to everyone.


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10 F E AT U R E

May 2013. Vol XXXX. Issue VIII.

Classrooms and colleagues bid farewell to Lucy Li

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Online Editor in Chief Managing Editor

As the seniors’ experience at St. Paul Academy and Summit School wraps up at the end of this month, several staff and faculty members will also say their goodbyes. Here are the voices and faces of Upper School faculty and staff that SPA will miss:

Vanegas values mentorship as she moves on

Photo Credit: Lucy Li Upper School science teacher Carmen Vanegas, will pursue teaching with her bicultural background at another school. “I think I’m going to be able to take what I’ve learned here and it’s going to inform me in my practice as a teacher as I move forward,“ Vanegas said.

When Upper School science teacher Carmen Vanegas came to St. Paul Academy and Summit School, she was impressed by the resources in biology and chemistry classes.

“The school I was at before was a charter school, and we didn’t have a lab, so I’ve been really lucky to be mentored by Ms. Barsky and Ms. Seibel-Hunt,” Vanegas said. At SPA, Vanegas learned “to guide student inquiry, how much to help students, how much to push them to do on their own, and how to scaffold that for different people,” she said. “I think the most memorable thing for me is watching students grow through doing the chemistry projects,” Vanegas said. She also guided multiple student groups, including Intercultural Club, Gay Straight Alliance, and World Savvy.

“I’ve built some really good relationships here that of course I’m going to miss as I move on,” she said. Next year, Vanegas will be teaching in the Minneapolis Public schools, working with students who are immigrants and refugees. She hopes that her training as a bilingual and bicultural teacher will help her in this new path in her life. For Vanegas, an issue she hopes to work on with her new job is increasing diversity in science. “I feel like when you have more diversity, people bring different perspectives and different background knowledge from their life before they went through

school,” Vanegas said. Although Vanegas is excited about the future, she enjoyed her time at SPA. “This has been a really wonderful experience,” she said. “I think I’m going to be able to take what I’ve learned here and it’s going to inform me in my practice as a teacher as I move forward.”

Keimig appreciates experience as he returns home St. Paul Academy and Summit School taught Upper School English teacher Chris Keimig how to approach teaching in a different fashion than before. “Before teaching here I had taught high school students, but only in the context of a college classroom,” Keimig said. At the University of Minnesota, PSEO (Post-Secondary Enrollment Options) students from different high schools attended his undergraduate classes. “I think that people who are not high school teachers don’t always have a clear sense of what high school teachers do every

day, and so that sort of scope and breadth of the job was something that was new to me and that I enjoyed,” Keimig said. For example, high school teachers regularly encourage more communication and accountability between themselves and students than college instructors do with their students. At the beginning of the summer, Keimig will move to New York City to teach at a private school there. “I’m from the East Coast, so it’s kind of returning home in a sense,” he said. Overall, Keimig has enjoyed his time here at SPA. “I love that being a superstar on the debate team

or the school newspaper is just as a big a deal as anything that takes place on the athletic field [at SPA]. My high school experience was very different from that, and it’s really special to be surrounded by students and colleagues who put such a high value on intellectual achievement,” he said. For Keimig, teaching and learning between students and teachers is reciprocal. In his classroom, he said to students, “I look forward to seeing your names on book jackets, bylines, and campaign signs years from now.”

Photo Credit: Ava Gallagher Upper School English teacher, Chris Keimig will be moving back to the East Coast to teach. “My high school experience was very different from that, and it’s really special to be surrounded by students and colleagues who put such a high value on intellectual achievement, “ Keimig said.

Shopping for a taste of home

Ethnic markets provide cultural connection Netta Kaplan

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Staff Writer/Copy Editor

Walking through the aisles of United Noodles Oriental Groceries is an experience in itself; a mix of the unidentifiable and delicious. Established in 1972, the store has grown to include foods from over 15 countries, including China, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, and India, as well as having a number of Hawaiian products. With labels in a variety of languages and plenty of out-of-the-ordinary products, the store can initially be confusing and overwhelming. However, it’s easy to fall into the general rhythm of the market. Even on a Sunday afternoon, the store is buzzing with mothers picking up last minute groceries, kids shopping for candy, and plenty of people chatting at the deli/restaurant in the middle of the store. Freshman Willa Grinsfelder is a frequent visitor to United Noodles. “Everything is in Japanese, so

it’s really fun to try to read things. There’s a lot more variety of people too, so it’s cool to see them go by,” she said. Like the people, there’s a huge variety of products, from whole Taro root to jugs of rice vinegar and quarter pound packs of seaweed to Hello Kitty flavored soda (a mix of cherry and bubble gum). In the frozen food section, more discoveries await: aisles of jars of kimchi (a Korean dish of fermented radish or cabbage), bags of steamed buns and dumplings, piles of boxes filled with tofu, and, for only $2.29, 30-pound durians, fruits so odiferous they’re banned from hotels and public transportation in parts of Southeast Asia. While United Noodles is far from the only ethnic food stop in the Twin Cities, it is one of the largest. Throughout St. Paul and Minneapolis, and especially on University Avenue, there is a plethora of authentic cultural restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets from a wide range of cultures,

including Somali, Hmong, Moroccan, Mexican, and Filipino. Food isn’t the only way cultural diversity in the area is shown--there are specialty services catering to emerging needs, including temporary employment centers and boutiques. Shuang Hur Supermarket on University Avenue is another multicultural store that caters to people looking to cook traditional or culturally significant food, offering an assortment of products from around the world. The store sells Hispanic spices and flavorings, many varieties of rice from all over the world, and plenty of other Asian food and merchandise. While the majority of customers have an ethnic attachment to the cuisine, plenty of shoppers visit the store just to find snacks and food rarely stocked in generic grocery markets. For many, food is a way to link back to a home culture. Upper School Chinese Teacher Tian Wang frequently visits the Shuang Hur Supermarket for ingredients

Photos Credit: Netta Kaplan Ethnic markets offer a variety of foods from around the world. Shuang Hur Supermarket offers an assortment of cultural and traditional food. “It’s a way for me to connect to the real Chinese Life in a different country,“ said Upper School Chinese teacher Tian Wang.

to prepare traditional food. “It’s a way for me to connect to the real Chinese life in a different country. If I feel really homesick, I can just go there and enjoy some good food,” she said. “For my students,” Tian added, “it’s a great way for them to learn a part of the culture because food is an important part of culture, especially Asian culture. I want them to be exposed to different food; a different way of cooking and communicating.”

Shuang Hur Supermarket sells a variety of spices and products from around the world to patrons interested in cooking culturally significant food.


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F E AT U R E 11

May 2013. Vol XXXX. Issue VIII.

faculty and staff as they move on

Retirees in Middle and Lower school leave impressions, memories

Apple looks back, looks ahead After eighteen years at St. Paul Academy and Summit School, Associate Director of College Counseling Jill Apple has made the decision to search for a new career adventure. "Making an announcement a couple months before the end of the school year gives me the time to actually do a search, and it allows me to be more open about searching for a new position," she said. Apple came to love college counseling while she worked in college admissions at Butler University before coming to SPA. "The longer I worked at the college, the more involved I got with working directly with the students," she said. Of coming to SPA, Apple said "It was a very purposeful shift from working on the admission

side to working with high school students." Her children both attended SPA. Her son started in Kindergarten, so Apple has also connected with students in the Lower and Middle Schools. "Watching kids grow up through the school for me has been really, really special," Apple said. Apple’s departure comes from her own personal wishes to seek other opportunities. "My hope is to stay within some aspect of the college and higher education counseling profession," she said. "I love SPA [and] I appreciate my colleagues, the faculty, and staff," Apple said, “and have enjoyed working with SPA kids and families over the years." Although she does not yet know exactly where she is heading, she is excited for what a new

Gita Raman

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With tea parties in the Lower School living room and going away receptions in Davern Commons, and special recognition at the Faculty Dinner on May 28, St. Paul Academy and Summit School bids farewell to teachers some students have known since their days in red and blue uniforms on the Goodrich campus.

Photo Credit: Lucy Li Associate Director of College Counseling Jill Apple, is looking for a new adventure in another career. “My hope is to really stay within some aspect of the college and higher ed counseling profession,” she said.

Maurine Hatting Administrative Assistant “I’ll miss the people here.”

setting could bring. "I really hope to stay in touch with what is happening here because all of it is very exciting to me," she said.

George Hower MS Math and Science Read an exclusive interview with Administrative Assistant, Maureen Hatting, at The Rubicon Online

Voltmer returns to college, continues coaching

Photo Credit: Lucy Li Upper School Fitness for Life teacher, Anna Voltmer, will coach college basketball at St. Cloud State University. “I’ve had classes that worked hard in the weight room, but they danced around and did fun things like that,” Voltmer said.

Prom preparations under way It’s the time for dynamic dresses, surprising asks, and dancing all night Junior Sarah Coleman (left, holding bat) accepts her prom ask from junior Frank Nahurski in front of a crowd of onlookers on May 9. ”No, I didn’t expect him to ask me in public; I figured we would just go pleasantly to prom.” The Prom takes place on June 5 at the Calhoun Beach Club. Photo Credit: Lucy Li

Some Upper School students may know Anna Voltmer as the past Girls Varsity Basketball coach and the Girls Swimming and Diving coach. Others know her as the Fitness for Life teacher, a position she has held since Jan. 2011. “I learned how a great a class this is. I think that every high school should have a class just like Fitness for Life,” Voltmer said. She appreciates students’ efforts in the class and was surprised at how willingly they strived to improve.

Feature Editor

“I do a pretest and a posttest and a lot of times at the end of the semester, kids are really surprised at how much better they got. So it was motivating for them and fun for me too see,” she said. “I’ve had classes that worked hard in the weight room, but they danced around and did fun things like that.” Other good memories that Voltmer has include trips with her basketball and swimming teams to games and meets. Voltmer will leave at the end

of this school year to continue her education and take a position at St. Cloud State University, where she will be the Graduate Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach. She plans on getting her masters in Educational Leadership there. “I think SPA is a wonderful place to work and go to school,” Voltmer said. “I really love how close knit everyone is... I just really think people leave SPA with the confidence to go out into the world.”

Dhara Singh Laura Slade

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In Depth Editor A&E Editor

The junior class hosts prom June 5 at the Calhoun Beach Club, and all juniors and seniors are invited to attend. Underclassmen may attend if an older student invites them. Invitations were sent to each junior and senior with an RSVP card the week of May 6. The final deadline for RSVP was May 24. Senior Chloe Hite will be attending prom this year with her boyfriend. “My dress is determining the color scheme,” Hite said. Traditionally, picking the colors a couple will wear -- from bow tie to flowers -- has been done this way, but despite that, Hite said, “I feel like efforts can be made by both [members of a couple] on the planning side.” Junior Philip Swanson agrees with Hite, “I’m excited,” he said. “And I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to wear.” Junior Sarah Coleman walked into school on May 9 to discover a very public ask to prom from her boyfriend, junior Frank Nahurski.

“I liked working with the SPA children, colleagues, and enjoyed the block schedule.” Four teachers will be retiring from the Lower School this year:

Tom Lundholm LS 5A Teacher Jane Zeddies Kindergarten Jayne Nelson Kindergarten Deb Waddell LS 1/2 Teacher

One staff member is job searching after her department restructured:

Judy Mason Registrar

“I’ve been here 33 years and have seen so many changes.” “No, I didn’t expect him to ask me in public; I figured we would just go pleasantly to prom,” she said. Of course she said yes by breaking open the pinata, with a little help from Nahurski. Another memorable, public prom ask came from junior Michael Sullivan who decorated the tennis court with balloons that spelled out “PROM” for junior Anna Carlson. Some students choose not to attend prom, including senior William Brower. “School dances in general are performances of gender and heterosexuality,” Brower said. “Every facet of school dances reinforces these roles that I don’t fit into, making it very clear that I don’t have any valid place in them.” Several juniors and seniors do have plans to attend in groups. Prom is planned by the Junior Class Leadership Council. JCLC takes care of all the technical aspects, like picking the location and caterer. Junior Christian Koch helped plan the event and look at venues. He said that JCLC chose the Calhoun Beach Club because “it just felt right.” Prom is one of the celebrations that take place in the week leading up to Graduation.


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6 Fe atu re

September 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue I.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Junior Zeeshawn Abid meets regularly with freshmen Emilio Alvaro and Wyatt Bliss, attending extracurriculars and helping them navigate Upper School. “I love being [a mentor]…Freshmen this year have such a great opportunity that none of us had,” Abid said. Photo Credit: Thomas Toghramadjian

Mentors, tutors build community ties Thomas Toghramadjian

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Opinions Editor

“He came to the beginning of my soccer game too,” freshman Emilio Alvarado said of his mentor, junior Zeeshawn Abid. Outside of spontaneous sports spectatorship, the pair met at the Aug. 26 freshman orientation, and again during the scheduled tutorial period meeting times. “He also gave us a quick tour of places you don’t really know about,” Alvarado said. “The things we’ve done so far are pretty fun.” The 2012-13 St. Paul Academy and Summit School Upper School Council drew up plans for mentoring and tutoring programs

over the course of second semester last year, hoping to implement them the following fall. Thanks to high numbers of applicants and some planning over the summer, both programs have come to the Upper School in a very visible fashion. Senior co-presidents Nick Cohen and Hannah Johnson, Dean Cummins, and USC advisor Jim McVeety led a workshop for mentors on Aug. 26. While senior mentor Marcus Alburez found the content of the presentation somewhat general, it reaffirmed his faith in the depth of commitment his fellow upperclassmen feel toward the program. “People who signed up to be mentors didn’t just do it be-

cause they felt like doing something during their free time. They joined because they knew high school isn’t the easiest of times for some people and their way of giving back is through this program. They’re the ones who are taking it seriously at this point,” Alburez said. Senior Jessica Wen signed up as a tutor out of a similar desire to give back to the community at large. “Some of my friends came to me for help, and it was really rewarding when I could help other people understand something they struggled with,” she said. While all freshmen will meet with their mentors once a week until the end of September, then

again before midterm exams, there are no mandatory times for tutoring. USC will create a schedule ensuring that at least one tutor for each subject will be present in the lunch room during any given tutorial period. However, the mentoring and tutoring programs are developing a degree of autonomy from the council. “The [mentoring and tutoring] programs depended more on USC in the beginning because we handpicked matches and organized times… but after this it’s really up to the students to utilize it or not,” Wen, also a USC member, said. Indeed, whether or not the freshmen choose to continue seeing their mentors after the manda-

tory meeting expire could determine the eventual impact of the program. Alvarado plans to continue meeting with Abid after the mandatory meetings expire, “probably once every two weeks.” “I love being [a mentor]… Freshmen this year have such a great opportunity that none of us had,” Abid said. Alburez has high hopes for the mentoring program. “Initially, many of [the freshmen] may be hesitant to approach and be open with us… but I’m sure as we begin to meet on a more regular basis and get to know each other better they’ll begin to appreciate the program even more,” he said.

Three new faculty welcomed to Upper School class Eva Perez-Greene

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Photo Credit: Eva Perez-Greene

US English teacher Philip de Sa e Silva has extensive experience as a writing coach and enjoys conferencing with students. The discussion academic model at SPA was “completely irresistible” to him as he searched for a teaching position after graduation from Harvard. Students hope he will bring some of his glee-club and stand-up comedy experience into the classroom: “I enjoy making people laugh when I am able to,” he said.

In-Depth Editor

In a year where change feels like a clear theme, one change students look forward to is meeting new faculty. “Everyone here is always smiling, which is great because I am super smiley too!” new Upper School Biology teacher Ned Heckman said about the students and faculty at St. Paul Academy and Summit School. Heckman’s “smileyness” reflects his comfort with and enthusiasm for the art that is teaching. “I’ve been teaching since I was sixteen in various capacities,” he said. From the East Coast originally, Heckman taught Marine Biology and Ecology at the St. Paul School in Concord, New Hampshire. He now directs the school’s Advanced Studies program and will fly to New Hampshire over the summer to pursue his passion for teaching.

In addition to his work with the St. Paul School, Heckman tutored and taught college level Nutrition courses through the TORCH (Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes) program in Northfield Minnesota while studying at Carleton College. “I’m just very connected to education,” he said. New Upper School history teacher Amy Weisgram has a similar spirit for teaching. “There is nothing more exciting for me than seeing a student feel success!” she said. Weisgram has always been deeply interested in school and social studies; however, she did not pursue a career in education until later on in her life. Having earned a BA in Economics at St. Olaf College, Weisgram felt the natural step to take was to move into the corporate world. After years of working as a corporate supervisor, she realized where her true passions lay and obtained her MA in Education at St. Thomas University. In the


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Coming back home

Fe atu re 7

September 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue I.

Truman returns from year in Spain Lucy Li

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Managing Editor Online Editor in Chief Senior Nate Truman had barely recovered from 36 hours of traveling from Minnesota to Spain when his host sister left him alone at a metro station without any clue as to what was going on. “So what happened was my Spanish was really terrible,” he said. Turns out, Truman had mistaken the Spanish words for club, discoteca, for the Spanish word for library, biblioteca. So when he thought his host sister was inviting him to study at the library, she really meant that he could go out clubbing while she studied by herself. At 2:00 a.m. and after spending several hours partying, Truman finally got a hold of his host sister to pick him up. That night was only the beginning of Truman’s nine months in Spain.

The early stages The summer of Truman’s sophomore year, he and his family had been driving up north for vacation when the idea to study abroad came up. “Hey Nate, if you like Spanish so much, you might really like going for a semester or a year in Spain,” his father had said. After a weekend of consideration, Truman announced his decision on the car ride back home. Upper School Spanish teacher Rolando Castellanos supported Truman throughout the experience. “I thought that that would be amazing to have someone like him who in my opinion enjoys learning language to actually do

that,” he said. “Señor Castellanos really fostered a real passion for the Spanish language [and] the Spanish culture that was really, really powerful for me,” Truman said. Truman has been at St. Paul Academy and Summit School since first grade and wished to meet new people in a new setting. He was initially nervous about his lack of experience with the Spanish language. In the School Year Abroad program that Truman was with, a majority of the students had taken Spanish for six or seven years, while Truman only had two years. “In English… it doesn’t require active thought just to understand what’s going on around you and when it does, it’s incredibly exhausting,” he said. Establishing new friendships was also a challenge. “Diving into a new place where you know no one is very intimidating because you’re dealing with people who you have no history with,” Truman said, “which is very uncommon here at SPA.” “It was both the thing I was seeking and the thing I was worried about,” he said.

Nine months away from home

Truman stayed with a lower-middle class Cuban family of three in Zaragoza, Spain. His host sister was his age and went to a local school. “You’re dealing with a socioeconomic group that is completely different from that people who are here [at SPA].” he said. “[It] gave me an entirely different perspective on how people live, on how people think, how people value family, [and] how people value money.” He discovered that

money didn’t affect happiness, and “it was sort of an eyeopening experience.” Truman attended an American school with students from all over the United States. The students had to speak Spanish at all times, except in English and math classes, which were taught in English. The city where Truman lived, Zaragoza, is approximately the same size as the Twin Cities and located in northeastern Spain. The lack of tourists allowed the students to avoid English-speaking environments that were abundant in larger cities like Barcelona and Madrid. When Truman first arrived, he felt “overwhelmed,” he said, a feeling that would persist for over a month. Luckily, Truman’s Spanish skills improved dramatically over the course of the year. “As the year went on, I grew more and more comfortable with the language,” he said. Soon, he could hold a conversation as well as his classmates. When SPA students went on the exchange trip to Spain last March, Truman met up with them. He also stayed in contact with Castellanos through Skype. “It was great to see him become a very confident young man with a very impressive command of the language and having grown and matured to be a very well balanced individual,” Castellanos said. One aspect of Spanish life that Truman noticed was the approach people had to working. “They take a much more relaxed standpoint,” he said. “You work, but you do it slowly over the course of the day. You punctuate it with a lot of breaks.” He also witnessed

Photo submitted by: Nate Truman Senior Nate Truman sits in Alquézar a municipality inside of the Sierra de Guara National Park. Alquézar is built on a limestone out crop and west of the Rio Vero. “It [Spain] was both the thing I was seeking and the thing I was worried about,“ Truman said.

how Spanish culture was very socially and family oriented.

Coming back Returning to Minnesota juxtaposed the two worlds to allow for some reflection. “There is maturity, open mindedness, [and] a wider perspective that I have now that I didn’t have when I left the U.S,” Truman said. The first few weeks at SPA felt strange, if not difficult, for Truman. “You go out the bubble that is SPA, and you have to come back into it,” he said. “I responded to the question ‘How was Spain?’ probably fifty times last week,” he said, referring to the first week of school. Part of the challenge of coming back included figuring out

new dynamics with his friends, his teachers, and the school community in general. “[For] most of seniors here, their big adventure coming up is going to college,” Truman said. “I’ve already been away from home, [and] I’ve already done a lot of the things that hold that excitement that people are looking forward to.” Still, Truman values his experience abroad and looks forward to the future. Traveling by himself and living in an environment where he couldn’t regularly speak English has allowed him to “come out the other side stronger and better,” he said. Castellanos agreed. “He impresses as an individual who embraces challenge and opportunity,” he said.

rooms and hallways as another school year begins

The sense of community that I hoped for is absolutely here. Up p e r S c h o o l Hi s tor y Te a c h e r A my We i s g r a m past ten years, she has taught US History, AP US Government, AP Macroeconomics, and Western Civilization at Benilde St. Margaret’s. Weisgram kept SPA on her radar since she began her teaching career and jumped at an opening in the history department. She

now teaches World History I and American History in addition to advising eleventh graders. “Everybody is really generous and really helpful. The sense of community that I had hoped for is absolutely here!” Weisgram said about her experience at SPA thus far. Also among the new teachers at SPA is Upper School English teacher Philip de Sa e Silva. de Sa e Silva earned his BA in English with honors at Harvard University and obtained his teaching license through Harvard’s teacher training program. de Sa e Silva pursued his interest in the English language and writing as a tutor for Harvard’s Extension School Writing Center and later became a teaching intern in Boston’s public school system. de Sa e Silva also served as the vice president of Harvard University’s Glee club and continues to experiment with stand-up comedy, a hobby he discovered in

college. “I enjoy making people laugh when I am able to,” he said. While de Sa e Silva’s interest in stand up comedy has taken a seat since moving to the Midwest, his passion for teaching followed him on his journey from Massachusetts via his home state Washington to Minnesota. He was drawn to SPA’s English department and academic model, describing a job in which discussion based classes are the norm as “completely irresistible.” “There were so many conditions that encourage learning and thinking at SPA, and that is something you cannot find everywhere,” he said. de Sa e Silva now teaches American Literature and British Literature I and will teach Seminar in Visual Narrative in the Spring. His expectations seem to have lived up to reality as he said on his second day of teaching that, “It’s been a really enjoyable start so far. My students have been so thoughtful and engaged.”

Photos Credit: Eva Perez-Greene [Above] US Math teacher Ned Heckman writes out upcoming assignments for a freshman class. Heckman, a recent graduate of Carleton College, is a first year teacher, but “I’ve been teaching since I was 16 in various capacities,” he said. [Left] “Everybody is really generous and really helpful. The sense of community that I had hoped for is absolutely here!” teacher Amy Weisgram said of her welcome to the US History department. She joins the faculty after 10 years at Benilde St. Margaret’s.


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October 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue II.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

One for One brings TOMS® to Madagascar

Leiter helps trace feet, make memories for new students John Wilhelm

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News Editor

“W

e thought ‘we’re just gonna get a couple hundred pairs of these shoes,’” former Upper School math teacher George Leiter recounted. “They sent us a container of—I think it said— 12,000.” While Leiter’s teaching area hasn’t changed much in the last few years, his geographical area has. He currently teaches math at the American School in Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar. Leiter was recently invited to help with a Saturday program that takes care of impoverished Malagasy children. “Basically, it’s a little program for the street kids,” Leiter said. “They work for an hour, then they get to play for an hour, then they all line up and get a snack, a bottle of water, a piece of food.” The work that the children do varies; in this case, they helped clean up a school. In recent weeks, though, the Saturday program received an extra gift to give away to Malagasy children—a massive shipment of TOMS ® shoes. “We got these clipboards with paper on them. You’d trace around the kid’s foot.” Leiter continued, “We’d write down their names, ages, and match them up with some shoes.” One for one is both the tag line and business model of TOMS ® (short for “tomorrow”) shoes. For every pair purchased, TOMS® sends a pair to a child in need in countries including Argentina, Ethiopia, Haiti, Guatemala, South

These kids are resilient little guys, but the poverty here—I think it’s the poorest country on earth. for m e r Up p e r S c h o o l m at h te a c h e r G e or g e L e i te r Africa, and Madagascar. Similar to many for-profit companies with philanthropic components, their website is plastered with pictures of smiling children holding up shoes. But lines of geography, finance, and culture divide the two worlds of the St. Paul Academy and Summit School student who buys shoes, and the Malagasy one who receives them. Because of those lines, knowing where shoe money is going can be difficult. “I’d heard of TOMS ® shoes before,” Leiter said, noting that he was familiar with the one for one program. “But it’d be easy to say ‘we give away shoes,’ and never actually get around to it. It’s nice to know they’re really giving shoes away.” SPA has the unique opportunity to watch both sides of the TOMS®-shoe-wearing world. Here in the U.S., TOMS® are more than in vogue, and watching

feet for a while will reveal just how prevalent they are. “They’re quick and easy to put on, comfy, and they’re still pretty cheap,” senior Sarah Coleman said. “They go with anything. Sending other pairs [to kids in need] is an added bonus.” Thousands of miles away, Malagasy children feel the same way. “The kids are definitely excited,” Leiter said. But living in a developed nation, it’s easy to forget just how important something as simple as a pair of shoes is. “I’ve been [helping out with the program] for a while now,” Leiter continued. “It’s fascinating, both sad and happy at the same time. These kids are resilient little guys, but the poverty here—I think it’s the poorest country on earth.” Estimates vary widely, but with a GDP per capita of around $450, the poverty in Madagascar is unquestionable. For comparison, the GDP per capita in the US is just under $50,000. With such a massive economic disparity, international relations, especially by a private enterprise like TOMS®, can be difficult. “There’s a lot more to the logistics of an intercultural program like this than meets the eye,” Leiter said. At least momentarily, though, TOMS® seems to have figured out those logistics, and TOMS®-wearers at SPA can enjoy being on one end of that intercultural exchange. “I think TOMS® are awesome,” senior Frank Nahurski said. “It’s nice to know there’s kids somewhere else looking stylish.”

Photos submitted by: George Leiter Former Upper School math teacher George Leiter measures a group of Malagasy children for new TOMS© shoes on Sept. 26. “I’d heard of TOMS ® shoes before,” Leiter said. “But it’d be easy to say ‘we give away shoes,’ and never actually get around to it. It’s nice to know they’re really giving shoes away.”

Children in Madagascar pose with their new TOMS® shoes, courtesy of the One for One program. “I think TOMS® are awesome. It’s nice to know there’s kids somewhere else looking stylish,” senior Frank Nahurski said.

“It’s both fun and frustrating” -- Leiter talks Mad(agascar)ness

I Map from Google Maps Former Upper School math teacher George Leiter lives in Antananarivo (marked red).

Mad(agascar) Facts Madagascar has a population of 17 million. The capital Antananarivo has a population of 1.7 million

The island itself is 226,000 square miles, which is equivalent to roughly 17 United States. Average life expectancy is 55 years; in America it is 79 years. Literacy rates: 65% (Madagascar) 99% (U.S.) Internet usage: 1.45% (Madagascar) 78% (U.S.) Prevalence of obesity in adults: 1.6% (Madagascar) 33% (U.S.)

Statistics retrieved from findthedata.org and National Geographic

t’s been just under two months since former US math teacher George Leiter arrived in Madagascar Aug. 19, making this his fourth month on the island. The first two months were a visit last December and January. The cultural differences between Madagascar and the US are varied, but foremost is the language barrier. “English is not widely spoken here, so I’m very determined to learn Malagasy. It’s frustrating to want to talk to people on the street, and to not be able to.” Malagasy takes its roots from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines—a quality that makes it distinct from many other African languages, which tend to be either Afroasiatic or Niger-Congo. “It’s both fun and frustrating,” Leiter added. Second only to the difficulty of learning a language, driving in Antananarivo is also quite difficult. “This is a relatively large city, and it’s just chaotic. We have a car, and I’ve driven it a few times,” Leiter said, “but oh my god, it just scares the bejeebers out of me.”

It’s intense at times, but it’s cool. G e or g e L e i te r Not only are there no yield signs in Antananarivo, there are no traffic lights either. “But people are very considerate of each other,” Leiter noted. “At an intersection, there’s six cars trying to get to different places, and everyone just takes turns. No one is screaming, and I’ve never seen anyone yell at anybody,”—a different mentality from American intersections, where road rage can take over even with traffic lights, at times.

The American School of Antananarivo, where Mr. Leiter teaches, was founded in September 1969. The total enrollment is roughly 220, and the school is K-12. “The parents send their kids here because they want an American education,” Leiter said. But for such a small student body, the school exhibits a surprising level of diversity, with students representing more than 30 nationalities. “It’s a really cool mix of cultures,” Leiter continued, “A good part of the kids are Malagasy by birth, but their parents come from other parts of the world. Primarily India, China, Korea.” Many of the children know four or more languages, including English, Malagasy, their native language spoken at home, and the language they learn at school. “To all the schools having trouble with the diversity question, just have a school in Madagascar!” Leiter said. Aside from teaching and learning the language, Leiter also plays in a band of expatriates. Leiter noted how playing at

different venues allowed him to see the many sides of Malagasy culture. “On the same Saturday from working on the street, helping kids measure their feet for shoes, we went to a house where the door was answered by a butler in a tailcoat. It was a party by this guy’s pool, in a giant mansion,” Leiter said, “I just thought ‘there’s a little contrast!’” Despite all the contrast between America and Madagascar, Leiter maintains that the weather is nicer. Since Madagascar is in the Eastern hemisphere, its summer starts around October, right as Minnesota begins its dark descent into winter. “I’m telling a lot of people who I Skype with that they can expect some spitebased weather reports,” Leiter laughed. “Pretty much every day here is 75 and sunny.” Ultimately, though, Leiter has enjoyed being in Madagascar thus far. “It’s intense at times, but it’s cool,” Leiter said. “I bear my tidings to everyone.”


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October 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue II.

For the love of the rhythm Students create music to their own beat

Photo Credit: Ava Gallagher Senior Jared Mosher poses as he prepares to drop a beat. Mosher enjoys splitting off whatever comes to his mind around friends. “I like freestyling around new people and getting their opinions,” Mosher said.

Ava Gallagher

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Chief Visual Editor

On the bus ride to the Class of 2014’s junior retreat, multiple students in the back of the bus revealed some hidden talents. One of these students was senior Sam Carlson, who looks back on the experience of sharing his talent at the junior retreat quite fondly. “When I am in front of people I like to stick to the basic beat that I have developed, but when I am feeling really good I try putting other ideas together,” Carlson said. Carlson’s interest in beatboxing is purely a hobby, but he enjoys the art quite a bit. “I think of beatboxing more as a hobby than a skill. I like to listen to rap songs and hear the different elements

that are in the instrumentals.” Carlson said. Carlson’s talent for beatboxing comes from his natural ability to replicate sounds with just his mouth. “I like to copy those sounds with my mouth as best as I can and see if I can make a beat out it,” Carlson said. “I also like how simple beats can be just as cool as fast paced beats when they are done well. As for the other side of homemade hip hop, freestyling is also popular specifically in the senior class. Freestyle rapping is a style of rap where words and rhymes are improvised on the spot, with or without instrumentals. Senior Jared Mosher enjoys spitting off whatever comes to his mind around friends, and pretty much anyone else. “I like freestyling around new people and

I like freestyling around new people and getting their opinions. s e n i or Ja r e d Mo s h e r getting their opinions,” Mosher said. In Mosher’s opinion, as far as other people are concerned, the more the merrier. “It’s fun to do it in a group where everyone is rapping because you can build off what other people say,” Mosher said. “It’s something that I have

put time into to improve on. I would consider myself a good rapper, but I’m not the best,” Mosher said. As for improving and moving forward with their skills, both Carlson and Mosher only consider their skills as fun hobbies, whether because of stage fright or

slight lack of confidence in real talent. “I like to show it off on various occasions but I keep it to myself mostly because I get embarrassed sometimes,” Carlson said. Mosher feels a bit more at ease with sharing his skill, despite the fact that both are highly praised in the grade for their performances on certain occasions. “I like freestyling more than rapping because since it’s off the dome, people don’t care if you mess up. I usually only freestyle around friends so I don’t get nervous,” Mosher said. “If I had the real skill to, I would totally produce beats. But in actuality, I have a greater chance of becoming a rocket scientist,” Carlson said.

Innovation, creativity fuel Designing Change class Netta Kaplan

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Copy Editor

“Does the school have a saw?” is not a question you often hear in class. But this isn’t a regular class. Students in Designing Change are working to solve real problems at St. Paul Academy and Summit School. When the class was first proposed to rising freshman and sophomores by Upper School English teacher John Wensman and US physics teacher Steve Heilig last spring, it was clear it was something out of the ordinary. To introduce the class, Wensman and Heilig performed a rap, and possibilities for a new kind of learning drew many students to sign up for the new class. “It sounded like there was going to be a lot of room for creativity and new thinking, and learning about a new way to create ideas,” sophomore Claire Walsh said. The class studies the process of solving an issue, starting with the basics. After breaking up into groups of four, each group chose a project to work on, such as creating a better doorstop or finding a better way to erase whiteboards

and chalkboards. Students then researched who would use the end result, interviewing people who are affected by their problem and creating an empathy chart. Using that as a building block, groups began to develop ideas to solve those problems, then make those ideas real. “This class is different because... we’re making stuff. It’s not like theory; it’s not all just talk about what you think about it -- you create it yourself,” sophomore Tommy Monserud said. The supplies students have to work with are notable as well; pillars in the classroom are painted with dry erase whiteboard paint, giving more surfaces potential for creativity and creating an innovative atmosphere. Perhaps most impressive is the 3D printer, which students use to create parts for their projects and for other activities. “The fact that we have the ability and the opportunity to use it is really exciting,” sophomore Peter Baker said. “I think it’s a really interesting tool,” sophomore Lexi Bottern added. And yes, the school does have a saw.

Students in Designing Change work on their next project, redesigning tutorial. The class, new this semester, focuses on strategies for solving issues, as well as the physical creation of those solutions. “This class is different because... we’re making stuff. It’s not like theory; it’s not all just talk about what you think about it — you create it yourself,” sophomore Tommy Monserud said. Students work with unusual materials like a 3D printer and wet-erase markers.

Photo Credit: Gita Raman

COURSE DESCRIPTION EXCERPT We will combine creative and analytical approaches, we will improve through failure, and we will use your knowledge and skills in communication, science, social studies, and technology. Do you want to change the world? Start here.


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6 Fe atu re

November 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue III.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Battle of the Beans Photo Illustration: Gita Raman

Local coffee shops provide a regular hangout... and coffee, chocolate, and chai

You’re tired. It’s another Monday. You had to wake up way too early and can barely keep your eyes open. You are seriously craving a latte to get you through your day. What do you do?

It’s mid-day on a Wednesday. The students in your advisory are complaining that they are starving. You desperately need a smoothie and some banana bread to help combat your mid-week blues. Where do you go? Photo Illustration: Gita Raman

It’s a Thursday and your tutor wants to meet with you after school so you can study for a big test. What do you do? Photo Illustration: Gita Raman

Clare Tipler

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Staff Writer

For St. Paul Academy and Summit School students, the answer to these questions comes down to a fairly simple choice: take a short walk to either Caribou Coffee or Espresso Royale. Both have locations less than a block away from the Upper School. However, all coffee shops are not created equal and brand and location matter—even if the locations are less than 200 feet apart. Caribou Coffee is a large chain with 417 locations nationwide—including 229 in Minneso-

ta - and is known for its reliable coffees, teas, smoothies, pastries, and other snacks. To most people, Caribou feels familiar with its recognizable logo, decorated chalkboards covering the walls, and comfortable seating next to huge windows. Caribou is “rarely a let-down in terms of a delicious snack,” freshman Muneil Rizvi said. But since Caribou is such a household name, it can be crowded, busy and impersonal. “Anybody can go to Caribou and find something they like,” senior Zoe Matticks said. “This can make the line annoyingly long and can fill up all of the chairs.”

In contrast, Espresso Royale is a relatively small coffee chain with only 23 locations in the United States, and just three locations in Minnesota. Espresso Royale has a cozier atmosphere with minimal crowds and plenty of open seating options as well as a more laid back and relaxed serving staff. “Espresso Royale is quieter and the people there are regulars,” Matticks said. Just like Caribou, Espresso Royale serves snacks and drinks, but also has a wide variety of meal items like sandwiches. Some, like Matticks, would even argue that the coffee at Espresso Royale tastes better. However, despite a

more varied menu and arguably better tasting coffee, the SPA student preference for Caribou over Espresso Royale comes down to two very simple things. First, location. To get to Espresso Royale, students must cross both Randolph Avenue and Fairview Avenue instead of just Randolph to get to Caribou. “It makes a pretty big difference when I’m choosing a coffee place. It’s a hassle to cross [Fairview],” sophomore Andrea Olson said. Second, brand. In addition to the extra street crossing, it appears that a national brand really does matter to SPA students. “I don’t know why I’ve never been

By The NumBers Caribou or Espresso Royale? Hot or iced, students have opinions about local shops Data compiled from surveys administered to students grades 9-12 on students’ habits concerning two local coffee shops, Caribou Coffee and Espresso Royale.

Infographic Credit: Netta Kaplan

to Espresso Royale. It seems like a cool place. But everybody just goes to Caribou. It’s what we do as a whole. I’m sure the coffees taste almost identical,” freshman Macy Blanchard said. Matticks agrees, concluding that “I usually see more SPA kids at Caribou.” “Espresso Royale? Hmm. Never been. I don’t know why, I just know Caribou is there, so I just go. Everyone does,” freshman Emerson Egly said. As Rizvi puts it, “Caribou is the SPA crib.”

Where do we go? Espresso Royale Caribou Coffee

What do we drink?

33%

hot chocolate

28% mocha

18% tea

Why do we go?

20%

12% 9% smoothie

latte

When do we go? after school

59%

26%

before school

24%

do homework

15%

with advisory

12%

after-school snack

13%

free periods

6%

tutoring/mentoring

2%

just for drinks

43%

socialize

80% What do we eat?

Photo Illustration: Wordle.com


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November 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue III.

Bakers aim to make days delicious Javier Whitaker-Castaneda has food at all of their meetings,

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Staff Writer

Food is a basic part of human survival, but instead of treating it like a chore, humans have embraced the art of eating food and found ways to make it more fun and appetizing. As some St. Paul Academy and Summit School students have found, baking is a great way to move away from eating out of necessity and instead make eating fun. Many SPA students and faculty have baked as a hobby for a long time and also enjoy sharing their craft with their peers. Baking is these students’ bread and butter, but without being able to share their creations, it just wouldn’t be as sweet. Sophomore George Stiffman has become a well-known face at SPA due to his successful cookie business. He started the business Stiffman Cookie Co. to raise money for a trip with his soccer team last year and his love of baking has evolved from there. Though Stiffman started baking solely at school events his business became more popular as he followed his newfound love of baking. Stiffman started promoting his business by holding tasting events and creating special menu items. “Chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodle cookies were the best sellers,” Stiffman said. Despite the popularity of these original cookies, Stiffman would invent new special cookies for holidays. Senior Charlie Rosenblum also has a special reason to bake. He is part of the student group Intercultural Club and occasionally bakes for their meetings. “I think food is a central part of many different cultures,” Rosenblum said. For this reason, Intercultural Club

even if it is store bought. “Food gets people to sit down together and talk,” Rosenblum said. When Rosenblum bakes for his interest it helps the group sit together and talk proving that baking brings people together. Once a year, Upper School math teacher Mickey Scott brings her students delicious pies to eat. “Everyone is thrilled to get a pie,” Scott said. Luckily for her students, they get a special treat on March 14 most years. The date March 14 is representative of the special number pi because the number starts with the digits 3.14. This is why “pi day” is celebrated during the third month of the year, on the fourteenth day. “Pi day is a fun excuse to treat my classes to pie,” Scott said. Some bakers bake for specific purposes at SPA but most just bake for fun. Freshman Neeti Kulkarni bakes during her free time and sometimes, to the delight of her peers, brings what she bakes to school. “I really like the simple things that I bake,” Kulkarni said. She often bakes cookies and cupcakes but she has recently started making varieties of breads more frequently, especially zucchini. Similar to Kulkarni, junior Mattie Daub also bakes for fun and tries to find every opportunity to share with others. She bakes for Wednesday’s advisory snack and often for her fellow actors at play practice. “I baked for the People for Environmental Protection rain garden fundraiser,” Daub said.“I’m not even in PEP!” Stiffman and Rosenblum often bake for school and special events but others have their earliest memories of baking with their families. “My mom and grandma would get together and we’d make Christmas cookies,” Up-

Screen capture: Stiffman Cookie Co.

I’ve put in more work [for Stiffman Cookie Co.] than I’ve put in for most other things. s o p h om or e G e or g e St i f f m a n

I really like the simple things that I bake. f r e s h m a n Ne e t i Ku l k a r n i per School English teacher Eric Severson said. He often bakes macaroons and ginger snaps for his cast in school plays or for his English classes. Daub also thinks back to her early childhood for memories of baking, “I was home sick from school and my mom was making cookies. I dumped a lot of Tylenol in the batter so it was obviously not for serving.” Daub continued to want to help with her mom’s cooking and so her mother taught her to bake pies, cookies and cakes.

Kulkarni was still motivated to bake by her parents but not quite in the same way. “When someone else from my family would cook they kind of burned everything. I wanted to make something without burning it,” Kulkarni said. Though it is becoming more popular, baking is not a piece of cake. Baking takes a fair amount of time and effort. You can’t just throw things into an oven; there are plenty of do’s and donut’s. “I’ve put in more work [for Stiffman Cookie Co.] than I’ve put in for most other things,” Stiffman said. He had to stop inventing new cookie varieties and having tasting events due to the amount of time it was taking up in his schedule. “I’ll still bake people cookies if they order them,” Stiffman said, that is, if you pay him the dough. Baking requires focus and technique. This may be tasking on some but others embrace the challenge and love to bake even more for it. “Baking is a stress release for me,” Severson said. There are two important factors that keep these bakers baking. The first is a love of food. “I just love tasting food,” Stiffman said.

“I would travel places, try something new [and] then I’d try to recreate it.” Severson said. Loving food is important but perhaps even more important is a love of feeding others. These bakers love to taste their own creations but at the same time they feel the knead to share with others. “In my mind, the food that I bake tastes really good, but I enjoy watching people’s reactions to confirm that they really enjoy it,” Severson said. Kulkarni showed similar feelings when she said, “When I make something good and people try it, their satisfied faces leave me with a really good feeling.” In fact the idea of giving treats to others seems to be what keeps the food coming. “I like sharing food with people,” Daub said. The hobby of baking is really heating up at SPA. With advisory snack on Wednesdays and the new long class schedule there are numerous opportunities for bakers to give out treats. Bakers at SPA take advantage of these opportunities and gain satisfaction from baking and sharing their food. After all, if it makes a fellow student’s day better, it’s the yeast they can do.

re s: Cookie or cream, students can’t get enough Boraan Abdulkarim

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Cover Story Editor

“Milk’s Favorite Cookie” is, apparently, St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s, too. The wildly popular Oreo sandwich cookie is an SPA tradition. It’s easy accessibility, relatively cheap price, and the large variety of flavors all make it the ideal snack to bring in for advisory or student group meetings. “It’s rare you find a passionate hate for Oreos,” junior Sonja Mischke said. With 56 calories and four grams of sugar per cookie, according to the package’s nutrition label, Oreos are sure to please an energy-drained student, at least in the short term.

“They taste good, and they are sugary,” sophomore Alena Porter said. For those who don’t appreciate chocolate, or the previously lard-based plain creme filling, plenty of different flavor options are available. Vanilla, or “golden” cookies can replace traditional chocolate. Colorful sprinkles grace the center of “Birthday Cake” flavored Oreos, and orange centers are featured in “Candy Corn” Oreos. As for the easy access, Oreos are available in any drugstore or supermarket. “They’re just so widely spread that anywhere you go, you can pick up a pack of Oreos,” Porter said. When a student who is assigned snack one week forgets, they can “go to the store,

pick up some Oreos, and are out of there in two minutes,” according to Porter. Oreos’ cheapness make them superior, for some people, to another popular SPA snack: Bruegger’s Bagels. While most people are indifferent to Oreos, finding the same blue box of cookies in the middle of the Harkness table for advisory makes some feel like they’re “the most overdone snack,” according to senior Michael Wilkens. “They’re okay,” he said. Having the same sugary confection over and over again is bound to wear out the appeal of it. “I’ll get sick of Oreos really quick,” Porter said.

Photo Illustration: Boraan Abdulkarim Sophomores Navodhya Samarakoon, Lexi Bottern, Lukas Kelsey-Friedemann, and Brendan McGlincey enjoy a box of Oreos. Many students enjoy Oreos; however, the snack causes some students disappointment because Oreos are brought to often to student meetings. “I’ll get sick of Oreos really quick,” sophomore Alena Porter said.


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December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Selecting the Perfect Christmas

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How lovely are your branches! In beauty green will always grow Through summer sun and winter snow. O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, How lovely are your branches!

Tree Photos Credit: Catherine Braman

Fair Use Image from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Charles Schulz

Photo submitted by: Victoria Guest Senior Victoria Guest (far right) poses with younger siblings Cameron Guest (center) and Olivia Campbell (left) in front of their 2013 Christmas tree. “We decorate with silver and frosted glass balls and glittery snowflakes that are purple, pink, turquoise, and green,” Guest said.

Getty Images: Stephen Lovekin Rockefeller Center lit up for the annual tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 5.

Catherine Braman

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Sports Editor

The well-known German Christmas carol “O Tannenbaum” pays tribute to the decoration that is often the symbol and the centerpiece of the home during the holiday season. According to Statisticbrain. com, 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year and 9.5 million artificial trees are bought annually. For those who celebrate the holidays with a tree in their home which is better? A real tree or an artificial tree? According to sophomore Quinn Smith, his family has already purchased a real tree for this Christmas at Gerten’s in Inver Grove Heights. “It’s a tradition to put it in the same place every year, in the living room,” he said. Smith’s family decorates the tree with many ornaments that they have received as gifts over the years from family and friends. “At the top of the tree, we put a star,” he added. Senior Victoria Guest’s family tree is also topped with a star, but the tree is artificial. Her family purchased the tree when she was three and living in Arizona, where real trees are considered a fire hazard. Part of their tradition includes sorting and arranging the branches and stringing the lights.

Official White House photo: Lawrence Jackson

Photo submitted by: Vanessa Miller Sophomore Vanessa Miller poses with her artificial Christmas tree in 2010. “Artificial trees require assembly, but don’t have much maintenance,” Miller said. Artificial Christmas trees often resemble real Christmas tree, minus the familiar scent and needles of a fir or pine tree.

“We decorate with silver and frosted glass balls and glittery, snowflakes that are purple, pink, turquoise, and green,” Guest said. Christmas tree owners can select from a variety of real and artificial options, ranging in color, style and price... decorations extra.

Get the Real Tree For sophomore Lucas Johnson, the ritual of getting their tree is important. “We buy our tree from the same place every year, a tree lot at the Highland Golf Course,” Johnson said. All members of the Johnson family participate in picking out the tree which gets everyone into the holiday spirit. Real trees bring a natural fragrance to the home

Fair Use Image from “It’s a Wonderful Life” dir. Frank Capra (USA) In the 1946 iconic film, George Bailey (center) played by Jimmy Stewart, revels in his newfound knowledge of what his life means. In this closing scene, he is surrounded by Bedford Falls community members and friends around the Christmas tree.

According to a 2013 article in Investor’s Business Daily, the Obamas have 24 decorated Christmas trees at the White House.

during the holiday season. According to Deb Krueger who owns and manages Krueger Christmas Tree Farm with her husband Neil in Lake Elmo, “the Fraser fir is the most popular and the best selling.” Environmental stewardship is important to Krueger’s Tree Farm. “One acre or one thousand trees gives off enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe... this is the reason that is important to support the growing of real trees and the planting of trees around the world,” she said, adding that “the average six foot tree takes about 10 years to grow.” They also encourage their customers to bring their trees back to the farm after Christmas to be recycled into wood chips.

have had both types of trees in our house.” Last year the Miller family had a real tree that Vanessa named Henry the Bird. “Real trees are expensive,” Miller said. Miller mentioned that real trees do look nicer but need to be watered frequently. On the other hand, “artificial trees require assembly, but don’t have much maintenance,” Miller said. Artificial trees closely resemble the real ones which is one reason a lot of artificial tree owners like this option. Also, artificial trees, a onetime investment, last longer, and can even have the inviting aroma of a real tree, with potpourri and scenting products available. There are even pre-lit artificial trees for sale.

Reuse the Fake

Famous Tannenbaums

For sophomore Vanessa Miller, her family will set up an artificial tree this year. The tree has sentimental value for her family. Although she mentioned “we

There are a few Christmas trees prominent in American culture. Every year the tree displayed and decorated at Rockefeller Center in New York City

is an iconic symbol of the holiday season. The White House in Washington D.C. proudly displays the national Christmas tree. In the famous Peanuts special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, Charlie Brown makes a big deal of selecting the perfect tree to be part of the Christmas pageant that the Peanuts gang performs. He chooses a scrawny twig that gets transformed into a beautiful masterpiece. At the end of the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, actor Jimmy Stewart’s character George Bailey and his daughter, Zuzu, stand by the Christmas tree to celebrate an angel who earned his wings. These well-known images are vivid and memorable for many during the holiday season. The bottom line is that people generally have a tradition as to whether or not they set up a real or an artificial tree. There is no right or wrong option. Regardless, the symbol of the Christmas tree will continue to be part of the spirit of the holiday season for years to come. “I really enjoy this family tradition,” Smith said.


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Senior Anna Carlson wakes up on Christmas morning to find that the joy of Christmas brought her parents together, “just for Christmas.” Divorced families don’t have the luxury of following their past holiday routines as they did prior to parental separation. “Before my parents divorced we used to visit my relatives in other states,” said Carlson. It is important to remember that families do not divorce, only the parents. “We stopped visiting family and having dinner together,” said Carlson.

Students split and spend time with both families

From the Tanner family

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Two homes for the holidays

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December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.

“What we usually do is switch off every other year for Thanksgiving and Easter, and then I split Christmas in half and spend half of the day with my mom and half with my dad. Having two households results in around five-ish Christmas celebrations,” senior Sela Patterson said. Freshman Weston Lambard has a similar situation,“For Christmas I would be with my mom and then for Christmas Eve I would be with my dad. Then I would flip flop every year.” These are the decisions that divorced families have to make during the holiday season. “The holidays can be kind of chaotic with two households and finding presents for 4 parents and everyone else, but it’s also really

We still have a Christmas morning where we open up presents. senior Anna Carlson exciting to have so many people that I get to see” Patterson said. The most popular and common method according to Today’s Parenting magazine is for the children to alternate parents every

other year. “In my family for each holiday we switch back and forth every year with which parent we spend the holiday with,” sophomore Lexi Hilton said. Another popular way for families to get together over the holidays are for parents that are living in the same area is to divide the holiday, splitting up the days equally The third way is to join together and form new traditions. Larger extended families can lead to more and better memories. “On Christmas morning my parents-both my parents--open presents together,” said Carlson Regardless of the way the families choose to celebrate, planning seems to be crucial. This can be as mundane as trying to avoid double gifts for the little ones to the complexity of older children spending time with friends. Even though the divorce can

be a hard event and the holiday season can make it more difficult, good things can emerge. “We still have a Christmas morning where we open up presents” Carlson said. “When we miss spending Christmas, for example with one parent, they usually do a ‘make up Christmas’ a week or two later where we open presents, eat yummy food and have family time to make up for not being with them that year,” Hilton said. Carlson remembers the years before her parents’ divorce, “We used to go visit my family in other states [during the holidays] but once they got divorced we stopped visiting them because then we switched off [and couldn’t travel].” Despite having a divorced family, students are able to bring the spirit of Christmas to their celebrations.

Annual Christmas traditions extend beyond religion Students share their reasons for decorating a tree and writing a wish list Nina Zietlow

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News Editor

For many students at St. Paul Academy and Summit School, December is an exciting time as lights are strung, cookies decorated, and the anticipation for Christmas grows. For some SPA students who don’t belong to the Christian religion, the Christmas holiday isn’t celebrated for its religious significance, but instead for the sense of family, tradition, and fun that comes along with this popular holiday. Sophomore Lexi Hilton is Jewish, but celebrates Christmas with her dad’s side of the family. “We try to spend it with family if we can, but it can be hard cause they all live outside of Minnesota,” Hilton said. Hilton celebrates the holiday the same way that most American families do, with presents and a decorated tree, but still finds ways to tie Christmas traditions back to her Jewish faith. “The part of Christmas of spending time with family and friends is an important value that I find in Judaism as well,” Hilton said.

The part of Christmas of spending time with family and friends is an important value that I find in Judaism as well.

s o p h o m o re L e x i H i l t o n

Junior Eva Zaydman, who is also Jewish, will be celebrating Christmas for the first time this year. “My family and I plan on getting a Christmas tree this year,” Zaydman said, “but we’ll also make Christmas-related foods such as gingerbread.” Unlike Hilton’s family, the Christmas celebration does not have the same family significance. “It’s something we do for fun,” Zaydman said. “Everyone else does it, it’s a way for us to assimilate into American culture,” sophomore Navodhya Samarakoon said. “Now every time my friends talk about Christmas, I know what it is; I can relate to it more.”

Samarakoon practices Buddhism but celebrates Christmas with her family. “We put Christmas lights up and sometimes we get presents,” Samarakoon said. Samarakoon’s family moved from Sri Lanka to the United States 12 years ago and finds that celebrating Christmas has helped them feel more connected to American life. Whether the Christmas celebration is a way for families to become more deeply connected with religious tradition, or help them assimilate into a new culture or custom, the festivities and holiday spirit of Christmas help people feel united and established in their lives.

Photo Credit: Nina Zietlow Sophomore Navodhya Samarakoon draws her version of Christmas. Samarakoon practices Buddhism but celebrates Christmas with her family. “Everyone else does it, it’s a way for us to assimilate into American culture,“ Samarakoon said.


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January/February 2014. Vol XLI Issue V.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Rubik’s Cubes provide puzzlement Lucy Li

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Managing Editor Online Editor in Chief

In a dark corner of the auditorium at the Minnesota State High School Mathematics League’s state tournament last year, a news reporter spent around ten minutes quietly interviewing a student in the audience. The reporter was as fascinated by the Rubik’s Cube in the boy’s hand as much as she was by the Math Bowl about to happen on stage, and convinced the boy to try to solve the puzzle in front of her cameraman. No matter the occasion or event, Rubik’s Cubes draw the attention of many. “...It makes you look smart,” junior Daniela Tiedemann said. Tiedemann learned how to solve a Rubik’s Cube at Japanese camp a couple years ago. Sophomore Joel Tibbetts saw their popularity peak around the later years of Middle School. “I do know that quite a few other people learned how to solve them when I brought them to school,” he said, “and they turned into a big thing for a little while.” As if a 3x3x3 arrangement wasn’t enough, today’s varia-

Cube Fact

The biggest Cube in the world is 3 meters tall in Knoxville, Tennessee.

They’re fun to do because you get a different challenge every time. s o p h om or e Jo e l Ti b b e tt s tions of the Rubik’s Cube can have spinning dials, 7 squares per side (also called the V-Cube 7), triangular faces that form an icosahedron, or even more than 3 dimensions (via a computerized simulator). The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974 by a Hungarian named Ernő Rubik. “I believe probably the most characteristic part of the cube is the contradiction between simplicity and complexity,” Rubik said, according to CNN. “I think probably that’s part of the key to the success of the cube --

Photo Credit: Lucy Li Sophomore Joel Tibbetts holds his completed Rubik’s Cube. Tibbetts saw Rubik’s cube gain popularity around the later years of Middle School. “They’re fun to do over and over because you get a different challenge every time,“ Tibbetts said.

you are able to have a connection with this order and chaos.” “It looks complicated and difficult to understand but once you figure it out, it’s very easy,” Tiedemann said. Tibbetts has been able to solve a Rubik’s Cube in 40 seconds. “Anyone can really learn to do them,” he said. “They’re fun to do over and over because you get a different challenge every time...” Upper and lowercase letters

that represent the different layers and faces of the cube can be used to spell out move sequences. “If someone knows the notation, they can translate it into an algorithm pretty easily,” Tibbetts said. Still, mastering the puzzle has its challenges. Sometimes one must undo previous progress in order to move cubes to their correct spots. “The problem that people have with Rubik’s Cubes is [that] to solve it, you have to mess it up,” Tiedemann said.

Check out The Rubicon Online for a video of sophomore Joel Tibbetts solving a Rubik’s Cube in just over a minute!

han Joyce

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Rubik’s Cu

Puzzle Illustration Credit: Gita Raman

Photo Credit: Gita Raman Sophomores Peter Baker, Maggie Vliestra, Maya Smith, and Jane Jackson play a round of Apples to Apples. “It’s stress relieving and it’s kind of a conservation starter.It provides structure,” Vliestra said.

Boraan Abdulkarim

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Cover Story Editor

The Finch Advisory gathers around the history office Harkness table, eyes darting across the table, lifting pieces and putting them back, delighted when they find what they want. Students converse and laugh at stories and experiences the day has brought thus far. They are assembling a puzzle, one of many that they showcase on the table when finished. Though the ways to spend the 45 minute advisory time on Wednesday vary from advisory to advisory, some resort to a simple board game. White advisory traditionally plays a variety of card games. “We play during X-period on Wednesday, and we just do that when we’re eating snack for advisory. Mr. White has card games that we can play in his office, so we just play those,” freshman Emilio Alvarado, a member of the White advisory, said.

Corcoran Advisory plays Apples to Apples. “It was one of the games we had available, and everyone likes Apples to Apples because it’s funny and people get into it really quickly,” sophomore Maggie Vlietstra, a member of Corcoran advisory said. Finch advisory members “just sort of had a mutual love for puzzles,” as sophomore Calla Saunders, a member of the Finch advisory, describes it. “Someone brought in a puzzle once, and then we just fell in love with doing puzzles,” she said. Saunders appreciates the aesthetic quality of working on a puzzle as an advisory, and finds it a great way to enjoy their time together. “They’re just a fun way to relax while also think[ing] and being creative. It’s fun to organize everything,” she said. “It is really calming to have something to work on and put energy into.” Alvarado confronts the manageable chaos of playing a heated game of cards as a way to release

Advisories bond with games and puzzles pent-up stress. “It’s stress relief, because everyone’s just kind of yelling at each other,” he said, laughing. Similarly Saunders finds finishing puzzles “A good way to relax instead of going on the Internet, which is usually how I relax. It gets a lot more done and I think it’s a lot more constructive.” “It’s stress relieving and it’s kind of a conversation starter. It provides structure,” Vlietstra said of playing Apples to Apples with her Advisory. One of the most unique characteristics of board games as an advisory is the necessity to put everything else away and focus on the task at hand, with fellow advisees. Saunders and Alvarado find it builds a strong sense of teamwork and community between advisees. Saunders also attested to the satisfaction of “add[ing] them to our collection and show[ing] off how we accomplish so many things.”

Photo Credit: Boraan Adulkarim Sophomore Calla Saunders holds up a completed puzzle. The Finch Advisory has completed eight puzzles so far this school year. “They’re just a fun way to relax while also thinking and being creative,” Saunders said.


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St. Paul Academy and Summit School

January/February 2014. Vol XLI Issue V.

Junior Asad Masood shares his top 5 games Junior Asad Masood plays games on his computer using an emulator. “[Pokemon FireRed] has a really fun storyline,” he said. Illustration Credit: Gita Raman

Tetris craze reemerges Lucy Li

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Photo Illustration: Lucy Li

Lucy Li

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Managing Editor Online Editor in Chief

“If you go online there are websites that allow you to download a program called an emulator that lets you play different video games from different platforms like Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, things like that [on your computer],” ju-

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nior Asad Masood said. Masood was introduced to playing some of his favorite games by his sister. “I never really liked them really early on because I thought they were stupid and would be boring, and I didn’t really want to read all the text on the screen,” he said. But once his sister got him started, he couldn’t put them down. Here are his top five favorites:

Pokémon LeafGreen version I like it so much because I used to play it a lot when I was in Pakistan and it just makes me really nostalgic.

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Pokémon Blue Version LeafGreen is a more recent version and this is a more classic and simpler version of the game. [It]’s more closely related to the actual Pokémon TV show which I also used to watch in my childhood.

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Super Mario Tennis I like [this] one because it’s way more addictive. ‘Cause it’s a sports game, there’s more competition and that involves a lot more focus and energy on my part.

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Yu-Gi-Oh! game for Gameboy It is a strategy game. Even though it’s childish and [has a lot of ] fantasy, it still involves a lot of strategy on your part. It’s also a childhood show that I used to watch.

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Pokémon FireRed This one allows you to get a legendary Pokémon that is better than all of them, which is fun because there’s a process for you to get it. And it has a really fun storyline.

Photo Illustration: Lucy Li Sophomore Cullen McCabe plays Tetris in the gym foyer. “It’s pretty simple, there’s not a lot of keys that you have to hit,” McCabe said. “The more you play it, the faster you can go… You always want to get a higher score.” The game was originally released in 1984 and is often highly ranked on lists of best games.

Managing Editor Online Editor in Chief

When one thinks of classic games, one can’t forget Tetris and its colorful falling blocks. Released in 1984, this game has had a recent revival among some students at St. Paul Academy and Summit School. The objective involves rotating arrangements of 4 squares so that they fall to create continuous layers of squares at the bottom of the screen. “It’s pretty fun,” sophomore Cullen McCabe said. He and his friends became addicted to the game before winter break, and they sometimes play against each other. Tetris often makes the top of the list for best games of all time, having ranked #1 by Electronic Gaming Monthly and #2 by Imagine Games Network. The game has been played on the side of buildings and even used for thermodynamics research. “It kills time and compared to [the message in senior Jack] Reich’s senior speech, it allows you to get rid of stress,” sophomore Evan Dahlseide said. “It’s pretty simple, there’s not a lot of keys that you have to hit,” McCabe said. “The more you play it, the faster you can go… You always want to get a higher score.”

Juniors battle over library chess boards Illustration Credit: Gita Raman

Paul Watkins

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Staff Writer

“Checkmate.” Junior Kit Rasmussen sits and plays chess across from frequent challenger junior Zeeshawn Abid in the lower library at Saint Paul Academy and Summit School. “No… -” “Yes I am, I can’t go anywhere.” “Oh, yeah, he’s right. It’s checkmate.” Abid, who plays chess in the library every day, has just lost this game. “It’s the only game here,” Abid answered in response to why he plays chess every day. “It’s more out of necessity than anything.”

Most days the lower library is populated by students engaged in a riveting game of chess during free periods or lunch. Lying on the chess boards are pawns, queens, and knights ready to strike the opponent at the players’ will. “Awful. God-awful,” Abid said, describing himself as a chess player. Junior Kyler Weatherspoon, ranked 54th best under-18 chess player nationally, also plays chess at SPA. “In sixth grade, there was a chess club at my school, Capitol Hill. That’s when I started playing,” Weatherspoon said. “They had a thing where our team would go to nationals. I ended up going and I thought it was fun.” “I’m a pretty impulsive, pretty impatient chess player,” Rasmussen said, playing a four-person game of chess. Whenever a piece is taken on one board, the player using the opposite set holds on to it until they place it on the board. A piece can be put into play at any time, except in check. The game

is over when a player is in possession of all four kings. “Even if there were other games here, I’d still play chess as often,” says Rasmussen. Rasmussen plays chess about two to three times a day. The clattering of chess pieces provides an atmosphere unique to the lower library. “These laiddown pawns are queens,” explains Rasmussen, subtly hinting at the missing pieces in the sets. Playing with him is junior Jack Labovitz, who is sitting at the opposite board. “I seem to be a little bit surrounded,” Labovitz remarks, snickering a little under his breath. He and his opponent’s board have most of the pieces, whereas Rasmussen and his opponent’s board is sparse in comparison. “Yeah. This’ll take a long time,” Rasmussen said. “Kit’s the only reason I play. He can be very persuasive sometimes,” Labovitz explains. “[I play] about once a week.”

Photo Credit: Paul Watkins Parallel chess games go on in the lower library, with junior Kit Rasmussen at one board and junior Jack Labovitz at the other. “I enjoy the stimulating intellectual competition. How it’s so challenging,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen nodded his head in approval. “I enjoy the stimulating intellectual competition. How it’s so challenging,” Rasmussen said. He started becoming interested in playing chess at Camp Mishiwaka, a summer camp. “Chess is a really great and

is a unique way to develop your mind, your ability to be more analytical, and allows you to be more creative,” Weatherspoon said. “It allows me to have a clear goal in mind.”


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March 2014. Vol XLI. Issue VI.

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Students share stories of success and slump PostSecondary Education Options take students off campus Lucy Li

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Managing Editor Online Editor in Chief

“What’s your major?” Senior Charlie Southwick’s fellow French classmates at the University of Minnesota asked him this question, not knowing that Southwick was part of the Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program. “I was like, ‘Well I’m actually still a high school student,’” Southwick said, “and they said, ‘Oh, cool.’” Southwick is not alone; the PSEO program has placed many students into college before they even graduate high school.

PSEO Basics PSEO offers the opportunity for high school students to take courses at a local college, including the University of Minnesota, Hamline University, Macalester College, or St. Catherine’s University. The Minnesota State Legislature introduced this program in 1985. “It serves a different sort of purpose for different students,” Upper School Director of College Counseling and Academic Planning Mary Hill said. Hill mentioned that some students in Minnesota might take the majority of their classes through PSEO. PSEO is only available for juniors and seniors. When making recommendations, “we tend to keep an eye on which students are going to be exhausting our curriculum in fields like math and language,” Hill said. Before Spring Break, college counselors notify individual students of the opportunity. Application deadlines range from April 1-May 31. “We support students to do a PSEO class if they run out of our courses to take… or if they’ve got a specific reason to study a subject that we don’t offer at all,” Hill said. This is the case for senior Connor Allen, whose interests led to him taking logic and conflict studies courses at Hamline University. SPA requires that PSEO students still complete a minimum of 4.5 credits at school and that

Photo Credit: Lucy Li Senior Cynthia Zheng takes Chinese classes through PSEO. When making the decision, she had to take into consideration the academic balance of her programs, but also timing and budget for things like driving and paying for parking. “I have to leave right after school every day so I have no time to meet with teachers and no time to meet with other people when I’m in a group project,” she said. “That’s been really difficult.”

they participate in community activities such as advisory and assemblies. PSEO applications may include an essay, a standard state form, transcripts, and recommendations, but the process varies from college to college. For junior Evan Miller, the U of M had provided decisions by June, while entry into the program at Macalester, which Miller preferred, did not finalize until August. “[It] was actually a little bit stressful...,” Miller said. “It was difficult to plan because I didn’t know whether or not I’d be able to take the class.” He currently attends a linear algebra class at Macalester along with senior Vittorio Orlandi. Southwick took an intermediate level French course last semester, after finishing French V at SPA as a junior. “I’m really passionate about French so I wanted to keep going,” Southwick said. Senior Cynthia Zheng had a similar situation, having completed all the offered levels of Chinese. “My thought was that if I didn’t take Chinese for a year, that I would forget a lot of characters and grammar rules, and by the time I get into college I would be behind,” she said.

College classes The rigor and size of PSEO classes varies, but Southwick’s PSEO class was not too different from those at SPA. “My class was only about 13 people so there was still an engaged interactive environment,” he said. Southwick did notice, though, that his college classmates didn’t have as much unity outside of class. Miller’s class has approximately 40 students, and students still have opportunities to reach

out for help. “[The professor’s] office hours are really accessible; I can talk to him at any time, similar to a [SPA] teacher here,” Miller said. One difference between Miller’s class and those at SPA is that teaching assistants, not the professor, grade the homework and exams. “They’re the ones you go to if you have questions about homework or the course materials.” “At the U of M, one big difference is that people don’t necessarily care who you are,” Zheng said. “Other students are not going to be like, ‘Let’s have a go around,’” an introductory activity that is commonplace in many SPA classrooms. Professors and classmates do not look down on high schoolers in the classroom. “The students treat you just the same,” Zheng said. “Most of them don’t even know I am a PSEO student.”

Achieving balance For Zheng, she had to not only take into consideration the completion of assignments and exams but also driving and paying for parking. “I have to leave right after school every day so I have no time to meet with teachers and no time to meet with other people when I’m in a group project,” she said. “That’s been really difficult.” Zheng’s advice for people thinking about doing PSEO: “You really have to think about your schedule.” With a course overload, Zheng has been especially aware of her management of time during the day and transportation between schools. Miller’s class is held during the day from noon to 1 p.m., a time that conflicts with the SPA block

It definitely adds a layer of stress, so only do it if you’re willing to work hard. s e n i or C h a r l i e S o u t hw i c k schedule. “I find it somewhat difficult to keep up with classes that I’m missing here at SPA while I go to class at Macalester, but I’ve been managing it so far,” he said. What he misses for math class includes travel time between schools, and Wednesdays can be particularly challenging due to the late start schedule. Southwick decided to not do PSEO this semester because of the work it involved first semester. “I [went to class] on Monday and Wednesday for one hour and 15 minutes and I probably did 5 to 6 hours of homework per week,” he said. His class was held in the evenings, and he had set up his SPA schedule so that he could have enough free periods to do homework. Combined with cross country practice, college apps, and regular schoolwork, PSEO provided a sturdy challenge for Southwick. Southwick gave this advice for students considering PSEO classes: “It definitely adds a layer of stress, so only do it if you’re willing to work hard,” he said.

Senior slide impacts students Ava Gallagher

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Chief Visual Editor

“Senior slump? More like senior stop,” senior Ben Morris said in the senior lounge. Senioritis has hit the class of 2014 hard and—according to students—those of this year’s graduating class are not the only ones affected. “You can just kind of feel it in the air... it’s obviously second semester,” senior Yusra Murad said. Second semester is notorious for bringing about a lazier attitude and usually a positive carefree vibe, but what happens when students are only feeling the laziness? The lounge is a scene of slumped shoulders, reclined old chairs and napping students. A lack of drive is as abundant as the empty paper coffee cups littering the room. “Should I do this assignment?” one senior asked. “Dude, it’s second semester senior year,” a friend responded. The conversation stops there. Every senior has heard this exchange more than once since second semester began, and although it can provide a feeling of relaxation for some, it’s really just an excuse. Motivation is at an all time low. Rising seniors in the grade below look up to current seniors, and when all they see is rationalizing and excuse-making, it is easy to wonder why they should be any different. “I’m ready to be out of here and done. My motivation is at an all time low right now,” junior Julia Lagos said. Around the junior benches, goofing around and putting off studying or assignments is nearly as common as in the senior lounge. Clearly, the class of 2014 has spread the legendary senioritis to those looking up to them. Once in a slump, it is hard to get out. Those seniors who have been accepted and who have committed to colleges have even less reason to produce the impressive results they were once eager to earn. However, not every senior believes that now is the time to slump. Senior Emun Solomon is ready to keep focused until the end of the year. “I am actually more committed to my homework this semester as opposed to earlier this year,” Solomon said. Unfortunately though, this is not the case for every senior. As five senior girls convene in the lower library to complete two weeks of overdue homework senior Aria Bryan said, “This is so lame I could die,” and stops after only ten short minutes of work. “Yeah, I’m definitely having trouble staying focused,” Bryan said. “Senior stop indeed.”


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St. Paul Academy and Summit School

F E AT U R E 7

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

April 2014. Vol XLI. Issue VII.

Students keep sexual health safe and real As part of the 10th grade Wellness curriculum, Planned Parenthood representatives come in to discuss safe sex options. Students share opinions about the organization’s presentation. Netta Kaplan

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Staff Writer/Copy Editor

It was pretty informative [and] very interactive. It was a good experience; I learned a lot from it. junior I s a a c Fo r s g r e n

Photo Illustration: Hannah Johnson

Sophomore Isabelle Saul-Hughes gets involved in safe-sex education by working at Planned Parenthood locations. “I think that sex ed is super important because it’s really easy to not know what is going on,” she said. Here, she holds the ribbon she received for working with the Affordable Care Act: “I was a member of the ObamaCare outreach team so I called people and told them about ObamaCare,” SaulHughes said. “With them I also went to see Obama [at the Union Depot on Feb. 26] , which was so cool.”

Volunteers for Planned Parenthood talk about sex education programs Maria Aguilar (‘13) worked at the Twin Cities Teen Council, a youth development program through Planned Parenthood that strives for comprehensive sex education. When did you begin working with the Teen Council and why? I joined teen council when I was a junior. I took an application when I was a sophomore during my wellness class. I was basically looking for something to get involved in outside of school. What was the most interesting thing about working there? The most interesting was probably being able to not take things so seriously, being able to be silly and laugh, but at the same time learning and doing amazing work that we genuinely care about. Sex education can be kind of a weird thing to talk about, so what did the Teen Council do to make it comfortable? They made the council about the members and emphasized getting to know each other and bonding so we felt comfortable talking. We were required to go on 2-day retreat to get to know the members. At every meeting we had check-in where we’d play games to make it feel more playful. How do you think schools can try to make this topic easier to discuss and provide more meaningful information? I think that programs like this are a great step because they train regular students to be a resource to their peers. Also, plan more playful or informal activities [in small groups or pairs] that break the awkward feeling teens usually have toward talking about sex. Compiled by Nina Zietlow

Hannah Johnson

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Editor in Chief

Sex education. These two words alone inspire a groan from almost any St. Paul Academy and Summit School student. While most dread the sometimes uncomfortable yet vital topic, two students are going above and beyond to educate others about safe sex. “It is a dream to be a sex ed teacher,” sophomore Isabelle Saul-Hughes said. Saul-Hughes carried her passion for teaching others about sexual health over to her required tenth grade community service hours by working at Planned Parenthood on University Avenue in St. Paul. Saul-Hughes worked one night a week for a little over two months in Planned Parenthood’s offices. “It was a really cool work environment,” she said. “I was a member of the ObamaCare outreach team so I called people and told them about ObamaCare,” Saul-Hughes said. “With them I also went to see Obama [at the Union Depot on Feb. 26] , which was so cool.” Even though it can sometimes be uncomfortable, Saul-Hughes knows that sex education needs to be covered. “I think that sex ed is super important because it’s really easy to not know what is going on. It’s easy to get an STI,” she said. Saul-Hughes is not the only student working with Planned Parenthood. Senior Clare McGlincey will complete her Senior Project mentorship with the organization. “My next door neighbor is the head of Planned Parenthood for North and South Dakota and

Minnesota, so I just figured that that would be an easy connection and its something I’m interested in,” McGlincey said. McGlincey will split her time between Planned Parenthood’s locations in the Minneapolis Uptown area and on University Avenue in St. Paul. “I’m going to be teaching different people about what the program is at Uptown and at [the University location], I will be working as an escort for the women that are patients because there are protesters outside,” she said. “I’m gonna be protecting them and helping them get into the clinic without being distracted.” McGlincey believes that many people have misconceptions about the organization. “I think the most important thing about Planned Parenthood is the education part and spreading awareness,” she said. “They sort of get painted out in this sort of awful picture that they have this abortion agenda when really everything else they do is to prevent abortion from even being an option.” While Planned Parenthood is one of the leading organizations for students to get involved in, there are many other organizations that are always looking for volunteers. Family Tree Clinic, a local reproductive and sexual health clinic, has a summer program called Keeping It Safe and Sexy [KISS] for teens interested in sex education. “It’s for teens and you learn how to teach sex ed and you get a free sex ed kit…” Saul-Hughes said. “It is so cool and I really want to do it.” Students interested in working with either of these organizations should visit the Planned Parenthood website.

I liked [the presentation]. It could have been put in terms of more real world situations rather than just science, but I think [the information is] important to have. s o p h o m o re Liz Shaheen

The fact that the presentation was actually made by other teens actually made it a little bit more--I wouldn’t say informative because they’re always plenty informative--but it was a little bit more relatable. s o p h o m o re Pe t e r B a ke r

The way they presented it was very relatable and not awkward. That could be an awkward topic. s o p h o m o re Max Holland

Photos Credit: Netta Kaplan


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50 P h ot o g r ap hy 2012-2014. Portfolio

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Photo Credit: Gita Raman Sophomore Rachel Hotvet and freshman Emily Thissen pass the ball up the field during their game against Eastview on Sept. 9. “We are all willing to work our hardest all the time, which is definitely an asset,” junior Julia Lagos said.

Photo Credit: Gita Raman Sophomore Sarah Romans prepares to catch a ball thrown by another teammate at a recent practice in the Visitation gym. “We are very strong in the midfield and have an experienced goalie,” varsity head coach Beth Seibel-Hunt said.



Gita's Final Portfolio 2012-2014