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Groton School Quarterly Winter 2009 | Vol. LXXI, No. 1

Seeking Groton beyond the Circle

Service in Peru • New Automotive Concepts • Roving Mars • Textbooks in England and America


Winter 2009 | Vol. LXXI, No. 1

Contents Circiter | Featured on Campus

3

Parents Weekend October 17–19, 2008

11 A Midsummer Night’s Dream

14

Fall production in Campbell Performing Arts Center

14 Gallery News

de Menil Exhibit, Brodigan Exhibit

Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle

17 Choices, Acceptance & Becoming Yourself

A Chapel Talk by Kathryn Nichols ’09

20 Preparing for the Unexpected

24

24 Planting in Peru

A Chapel Talk by Jonathan D. Klein, Trustee, P’08, ’11

31

A Chapel Talk by Craig Gemmel, College Advisor

Primary Purposes A Chapel Talk by Richard B. Commons, Headmaster

Personae | People of Note

35 George Butler ’62

35

38 Simple Opportunities

Profile by John M. Niles

by Jay Rogers ’91


Groton School Quarterly

Grotoniana | All Things Groton 43 Language Matters Textbooks by Groton faculty

instruct students far beyond

the Circle.

43

46 Doug Brown ’57 Harpsichord

Inaugural performance

47 New Faculty

50 Fall Sports

56 New Releases

58 Book Reviews

Frontiersman: Daniel Boone and

the Making of America

by Meredith Mason Brown ’58

The Greatest Game: The Yankees,

the Red Sox, and the Playoff of ’78

50

by Richard P. Bradley ’82

61 School News GWN/GSSA/Annual Fund

Notabilia | New & Noteworthy 56

63 Form Notes 99 Marriages, New Arrivals, Deaths

Installation by Chinese artist Ma Qingxiong as part of fall Christopher Brodigan Gallery exhibit.


FROM THE EDITOR:

Groton School Quarterly Winter 2009 | Vol. LXXI, No. 1

Seeking Groton Beyond the Circle

G

Vaughn Winchell

o wherever you wish in literature, mathematics, religion, architecture, the fine arts, and you will find the concept of the circle. Whether in some physical manifestation or as a symbol or metaphor, the circle has been with mankind for millennia. Certainly it is with us here at Groton, both since our beginning as an organizing figure of the physical campus, and more recently as a figure of speech as we hear the Circle used as a synonym for the School. Interestingly, the earliest references to this intentional feature of our campus make no mention of a circle. It was referred to as “the Lawn,” and later the “Circular Lawn.” Over time, this was shortened to the Circle, giving rise in more recent decades to metaphorical and symbolic uses to which we have grown accustomed. For many unaffiliated with Groton, the idea of the Groton Circle quickly becomes conflated with notions of “inner circle,” privilege and exclusivity. Our image studies last year affirmed this fact. We have long been viewed as a top school, but our size and particular history have combined also to create the impression that Groton “is not a school for people like me.” As the School develops strategies to address these perceptions, the Quarterly hopes to do its part by highlighting Groton’s broad diversity, and by offering stories on what our alumni are doing as they move through early, mid- and late careers. This issue carries several articles on the activities of those on the Circle, as well as student and faculty projects and alumni careers that affect lives well beyond it. Issue by issue, we want to expand the notion of Groton’s place in the world. We are defined by our alumni and what they do, not just by the efforts so earnestly underway by faculty, students and staff around Mr. Olmsted’s “Circular Lawn.” For many of our readers, the Groton experience is part of a past that now includes any number of important formative experiences in schools and careers after Groton. What does “educated at Groton” mean to them now? How have the ideals and principles learned at Groton stayed with them over time? We hope to continue to provide answers to these questions in future issues with more articles by and about students, faculty, staff, and particularly our alumni. Please feel free to suggest writers and/or subjects for consideration. We are always happy to feature stories about Groton beyond the Circle.

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John M. Niles, Editor Quarterly@Groton.org

Editor John M. Niles Graphic Design Jeanne Abboud Contributing Editors Julia B. Alling Amybeth Babeu Elizabeth Wray Lawrence ’82 Erin E. Lyman John D. MacEachern Melissa J. Ribaudo Rachel S. Silver Photography Cover photo by Bob Krist All other photography by Arthur Durity unless otherwise noted. Editorial Offices The Schoolhouse Groton School Groton, MA 01450 Phone: 978-448-7506 E-mail: quarterly@groton.org

Other School Offices Alumni Office 978-448-7520 Admission Office 978- 448-7510 The views presented are not necessarily those of the editors or the official policies of the School. Groton School of Groton, Massachusetts 01450 publishes the Groton School Quarterly three times a year in late summer, winter, and spring, and the Annual Report once a year in the fall.


Circiter | Featured on Campus

PARENTS WEEKEND 320 of our 330 families were able to attend the 2008 Parents Weekend held October 17, 18, 19. The 足weather was spectacular, and the schedule for conferences and meetings, while assisting parents and teachers, also allowed for special luncheons, meetings, and receptions to take place among sports and arts events. A jam-packed agenda of 2,100 parent/ teacher conferences took place over the new Thursday-afternoon-throughSaturday-morning schedule.

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Circiter | Featured on Campus

Parents Weekend Address October 18, 2008 Richard B. Commons

A

t our first Sit-Down Dinner of the fall, as an icebreaker, I asked my table, “What was the best movie of the summer?” It worked. There was immediate response and discussion. Initially, there was some squaring off along gender lines, but two girls eventually crossed over and agreed with the guys that the honor should go to the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight, if only because it features Heath Ledger. Lindsay and I have not gone out to see a movie in twenty months, which is, by sheer and inexplicable coincidence, the precise age of our son, Matthew. Whatever the cause, we have some cultural catching up to do. Eager to get more good recommendations, I asked the table: what’s the best movie of the last year? There was no hesitation and no real debate. Hands down, the unanimous winner of “best picture” at my Sit-Down table was something called Superbad. I began to scribble on the back of my napkin: Movies to see: The Dark Knight, Superbad. “Um, Mr. Commons,” said the welldressed young man to my right, “I don’t think you and Mrs. Commons want to see Superbad.” He winced and shook his head to emphasize his point. I looked around the table at the other members of the Academy. “Are you recommending that I not see your unanimous selection for best picture?” Another member of the Academy spoke up: “It has a lot of bad language in it.” A third chimed in: “And it’s kind of about sex.”

Headmaster Rick Commons addresses parents in the Hall.

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Enjoying the Sixth Forn evening reception are: Bill ’59 and Julie Kemble P ’91, ’09, Madeleine Kemble ’09, Ashleigh Corvi ’09, Cindy Willis P ’09, and Danielle Rainer ’09.

You all are familiar with this irony. While I do not yet have teenage children, I live with yours, so I’m familiar with it too. They are wonderful kids, they want the best for us, and they are trying to protect us from the vulgar aspects and pernicious influences of popular culture. This is ironic, isn’t it? To be fair, who among us does not remember trying to “protect” our own parents in similar ways? Still, I think most of us would agree that the decency of popular culture has been on a fast march downward in recent years, while technology and mass media have made the indecencies all the more accessible, to the point of being virtually unavoidable for this generation of young people. Setting the ironies aside, how do we go about educating this generation in a cultural context that might itself be called “superbad”? This is a critical question for parents and teachers, and it is one that we ought to be answering especially well if we want to go on proclaiming, as I do, that Groton is a great school.   

Over the summer the entire Groton faculty read a book called Everything Bad is Good for You. The central argument is that popular culture is often thought to be dumbing down our society and particularly our youth, but certain elements of it are actually making us smarter. The book does not try to suggest that the violent video games, sexually explicit movies, and cheap thrills of an impersonal Internet culture are good things. Rather, the argument is that the nature of their presentation forces the consumer to be mentally nimble and insists on a kind of multi-dimensional concentration that is good for the brain. The increasingly stimulating delivery of popular culture, the book asserts, may in fact be responsible for steady general increases in IQ and SAT scores. As one who spent a good portion of last summer trying to get through War and Peace and who is now aiming to finish that project over Christmas break, I have to wonder whether seeing The Dark Knight or even Superbad would somehow be better for my brain than Tolstoy. To my disappointment, the author of Everything Bad is Good for You does not present a formula that weighs popular culture, with its unhealthy ingredients but brain-stimulating delivery, against great books, with their wholesome ingredients


Parents Weekend delivered in a doorstop. But shouldn’t we at Groton, blessed as we are by the talent and motivation of your children and their potential to make a difference in the world, be steadily figuring that formula? Isn’t it the very essence of transformative education to make a classical curriculum as riveting as a summer blockbuster and to make values as addictive as video games? I think it is, and I think we can, but it is not so simple when your repertoire of special effects features required Latin, required Chapel, and Saturdays in the Schoolhouse. A couple of years ago we invited a physics professor to deliver one of our dreaded, after-Sit-Down, instead-of-intervis, payattention-because-this-will-be-good-for-you “all-school lectures.” The professor spoke about quantum physics and string theory for ninety minutes straight. And for ninety minutes the kids were mesmerized. We all were—students of all ages and faculty in all departments. After the lecture, any who were interested in further conversation with the professor were invited to come over to the Headmaster’s House. The back living room was jammed to overflow until 10 p.m., when I had to kick the students out the door so they would not be late to check-in. At lunch the next day I overheard a group of IV Formers talking about the lecture, and before I moved out of earshot I heard one of them say, “That guy was a rock star.” I was amused by the unintentional pun, but, more than that, I was struck by the fact (and the privilege) that Groton students are so receptive to important ideas, exciting thinkers, and unpopular culture. What an opportunity for a great teacher! What an opportunity for a great school. The rock-star physicist was Brian Greene, a professor at Columbia University and best-selling author. Dr. Greene recently published an opinon in The New York Times that was headlined, “Put a Little Science in Your Life.” In it he wrote:

I’ve spoken with so many people over the years whose encounters with science in school left them thinking of it as cold, distant and intimidating. …In teaching our students, we continually fail to activate rich opportunities for revealing the breathtaking vistas opened up by science, and instead focus on the need to gain competency with science’s underlying technical details. In fact, many students I’ve spoken to have little sense of the big questions those technical details collectively try to answer: Where did the universe come from? How did life originate? How does the brain give rise to consciousness? Like a music curriculum that requires its students to practice scales while rarely if ever inspiring them by playing the great masterpieces, this…squanders the chance to make students sit up in their chairs and say, “Wow, that’s science?” (June 1, 2008) Groton students are extraordinarily ready to say “wow” to academic subjects, even (and perhaps especially) the tough ones. From physics to applied math, from Mandarin to Moby Dick, Groton

Skylar Cruz ’10 and her father Daniel Cruz walk the Circle after the games.

teachers have not only the opportunity, but I would say the responsibility to wow our students. If we fail to do so, we will be losing a critical culture war, one in which the conditions actually favor us, because Groton students, unlike most of the school-age population in this country, actually want us to win this war for them.   

Unfortunately, I do not get to witness my colleagues in action as often as I would like. How many times in the last six years have I said to myself, “This term I’m going to take a class!” There are competing demands, of course, and I do teach a class, but one day soon I will give myself the gift of being a student at Groton. In the meantime, I access the gift in moments like when Michael Smith comes out from behind the organ and faces a sleepy Chapel congregation on a rainy morning and lifts us up out of our seats and our comfort zones, making us stretch and breathe, and then teaches us, all of us, how to sing. I admit to being chorally challenged, but when Michael walks us through a melody, I feel like a member of the Grotones. The other day he was teaching us a familiar hymn—one he’d taught us before, and he was leading us step by step through the melody. (Mr. Commons sings,) “Let justice roll, roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” See what I mean about my choral challenges? As I looked around the awakened Chapel and saw even the sleepiest, shyest Second Former joining Quarterly Winter 2009

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Circiter | Featured on Campus in the song, rushing down the mighty stream, there came a vivid memory…of a soccer game. It was a playoff game a couple of years ago, and the other Groton teams were finished with their games and practices, so one sideline was filled with a couple hundred students wearing Groton colors, chanting Groton cheers, urging on the Groton team. Suddenly, the entire throng fell quiet under the direction of a Sixth Former in body paint, and then they broke into song: “Let justice roll, roll down like water…” I’m not kidding. The Groton sideline sang the hymn all the way through, multiple times. The opposing team was totally flummoxed. I do not remember what happened in the game, because something far more memorable was taking place. You know the saying, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?” The implication is that you go to Vegas, you behave badly, and you leave the bad behavior there. Well, we have the opposite mission. We want students to come to Groton, behave quite well, and then take their excellent behavior out into the world. To put it another way, what happens in Chapel should absolutely NOT stay in Chapel. And so I love the memory of a rowdy sideline at a soccer game belting out the hymn that we sang in Chapel that morning. Sure, the students were partly amused at the juxtaposition they had created, but they were also aware that this is not something that happens at other schools. And they were clearly quite proud of that. I am proud of it too, and I believe that great teaching around the Groton Circle should not only wow our students; it should echo broadly in their lives, and it should do so in ways that will often be completely out of context, completely contrary to what popular culture would predict.   

There is another important source of inspiration at Groton, another means of cutting back against the grain of popular culture that is as important as great teaching and sometimes even more powerful. The other source is student leadership, and Groton relies on it more heavily than any other school I know. When I began my tenure at Groton, Bill Polk, Form of ’58 and Headmaster for twenty-five years, gave me a piece of advice that I did not quite believe. “As the Sixth Form goes,” he said, “so the School goes.”

Felipe and Marta Urrutia P ’09 speak with Rick Commons.

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Mari Tabata ’09 performs a jazz solo at Saturday night concert.

And so I love the memory of a rowdy sideline at a soccer game belting out the hymn that we sang in Chapel that morning. Sure, the students were partly amused at the juxtaposition they had created, but they were also aware that this is not something that happens at other schools. I remember thinking that was quaint—an old-fashioned idea that might have been true fifty years ago. But I did not really believe that the collective personality and character of one grade could determine the tone and tenor of the entire school. I am now in my sixth year at Groton, a five-year school, so in a way I am beginning my second run through. And I have come to believe Bill’s advice. Most everyone on the Circle feels that the tone of the School this fall has been terrific—lots of hard work but lots of fun too, with a sense that students and faculty are very much on the same page, pursuing the same goals in concert. Ask your children about it, about what makes Groton a good place these days, and I bet they will not get far in their answers without talking about this Sixth Form. They care deeply about the School, and they are doing things every day to lead it—from their Chapel talks to their check-ins, from classroom discussions to in-house debates, from athletic contests to lip-synch contests. Some of you have heard me refer to the first student Chapel Talk of the year, given by Senior Prefect Henry Mumford. He


Parents Weekend used as a point of departure a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon in which Calvin announces that he is trying very hard to be cool. Hobbes, his stuffed tiger, observes that he looks more bored than cool, to which Calvin answers in the final frame: “That’s because the world bores you when you’re cool.” Henry’s talk went on to suggest that Groton will bore you too if you do not dive into everything about it with passion, abandoning the teenage impulse to be blasé and forgetting what other people might think. His message was, quite simply, we did not come to Groton to be cool. It was a memorable talk. But imagine if I had given it. The students would have listened politely; they are unfailingly respectful of even the dullest, most didactic delivery. But when the Headmaster urges you not to be cool, it is hard to believe anyone is going to run right out and sing hymns on the sidelines. When the senior prefect gives that talk, it is as riveting as the best movie of the year, only it is not Superbad; it is supergood.   

Games are about to begin, so I will conclude. I do not believe that “everything bad is good for you,” but that is not really the premise of the book that bears the title. Its premise is that, however bad it may be, today’s popular culture is quite stimulating to the brain. I believe that, and it ups the ante for Groton. In order for us to stay in the game, we must make Groton’s culture just as stimulating and just as alluring. While your children might be able to protect us from popular culture, we cannot expect to separate them from the standard fare of mainstream media. As we all know, a computer with an Internet connection puts “everything bad” at their very fingertips.

John and Kathryne Maguire P ’05, ’07, ’09 converse at registration with Mary Sutherland and Jeremy Silverman P ’05, ’06, ’11.

What we must do in this context is show them every day how exciting it is to think and study hard, how stimulating it is to be and do good, and how sustaining it is to live in a community devoted to enduring values. If we do this well, they will choose themselves to put popular culture in its place, and they will lead others to do the same. That is the mission of this place. I hope you have noticed it in every classroom and every dorm, I hope you have heard it this weekend in your conversations with teachers, and, most important, I hope you have seen it taking hold of your children. It is really much more than a challenge brought on by our current culture; it is where Groton School has always been, and it is why we are all here today. On behalf of our future, I thank you for coming.

Dr. John Tyler, teacher of history, confers with Nennaya and Charles Okorafor P ’09, ’10.

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Parents WEEKEND 2008

Circiter | Featured on Campus

Clockwise from top left: Christopher Borg conducts the Chamber Orchestra during Saturday night concert. Blair and Sara Villa enjoy the weekend weather with daughter Emily ’09. Trumpet and sax sections of Soul Sauce, the Groton jazz ensemble, perform at the Saturday evening concert. Participants at the Cultural Alliance reception gather in the Gammons Recital Hall on Saturday morning. Michael Smith conducts the Madrigals at the Saturday evening concert. Betsy and David Wilmerding, P ’09 speak with faculty Catherine Coursaget and John Conner at the Sixth Form reception.

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Parents Weekend

Clockwise from top left: Fall color near the JV soccer fields. Michael and Amy Davies with their daughter Charlotte ’11 stand with former trustee Wick Simmons ’58 and Sloan Simmons, parents of Taylor ’07, and Reese ’09. Fifth Former Georgia Brinkley and her mother, Clare, sport Groton aprons for sale at registration. William and Jacqueline Sarvay P ’11 review their morning schedule. Soon Kyu Park ’09 speaks with mother, Dr. Sung Ae Jung, and aunt during registration. The Grotones perform during the Saturday night concert.

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Parents WEEKEND 2008

Circiter | Featured on Campus

Clockwise from top left: English teacher Martha Gracey speaks with Cheryl Swansburg P ’10, ’11 in a Saturday conference. Students check in at Friday morning chapel. Clare Warburton and daughter Zanna Hamer ’13 choose next conference location. Headmaster Rick Commons and son, Matthew, host luncheon for international parents on Friday at the Headmaster’s House. Classics teacher Scott Giampetruzzi speaks with Richard Clarida and Polly Barry, parents of Matt Clarida ’12, during a teacher conference. Susan and Chris Amorello, parents of Blair ’11, enjoy the conversation before remarks from Rick Commons.

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A Midsummer Night’s

Dream

The much-translated Nick Bottom (Ames Lyman ’09) receives loving attention from Queen Titania (Perin Adams ’09), and her attendants, the kneeling Mustardseed (Nimesha Gerlus ’13), Peaseblossom (Bridget Jeong ’10), and three fairies (faculty children, Josephine Alling, Lucy Anderson, and Ishana Sen Das).

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Circiter | Featured on Campus

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hakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream brought magic and warm moonlight to the campus in gray November. Directed by Laurie Sales, Groton’s new Artistic Director of the Campbell Performing Arts Center, with set, lighting, and sound design by Sarah Sullivan, Groton’s new Production Designer and Technical Director and with costume design by French teacher Catherine Coursaget, the performance played to packed houses both nights. The cast and crew created a fanciful world full of tiny fairies (thank you, faculty children!), willful adolescence and Athenean law. Laurie Sales notes that “the joy of working in the Asen Theater is that it offers a laboratory full of resources to make magic happen on stage, and it is because of these resources and the talented young artists who are drawn to this amazing space that I chose to start the season with a play full of magic, wonder and fantasy.”

Clockwise from top left: Queen Titania (Perin Adams ’09) confronts King Oberon (Zach Nichol ’11) in the Athenian Wood. Oberon brings the transforming potion to Titania’s bower. Demetrius (Nathaniel Lovell-Smith ’09) comes between Hermia (Haley Willis ’09, on his shoulders) and Helena (Eliza Fairbrother ’12) as confusion builds in the night. Titania argues with Oberon. Hermia pleads with Lysander (Sean La Liberte ’09) to be more constant with his love.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Top row: King Oberon receives the potent flower from Puck (Ben Ames ’12). Queen Titania awakens as from a dream, having been released from her infatuation with Bottom. Middle row: The court of Duke Theseus assembles for after-dinner entertainment. A bemused Hermia listens to Helena’s grief. With Queen Hippolita (Perin Adams ’09) looking on, the rude mechanicals perform their play. Thisbe (left—Malcolm Johnson ’12), is separated from her love, Pyramus (right—Ames Lyman ’09) by the Wall (Nya Holder ’12) Bottom row: Hermia hopes to recapture Lysander’s affection. Helena professes her love for a disbelieving Demetrius. Demetrius and Lysander wonder at the trials of love.

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Circiter | Featured on Campus

Gallery News The de Menil Gallery WINTER

Exh i b i t

Uncovering Ancient Greece: Fifty Years of Archaeological Discoveries by Hugh Sackett

with objects loaned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York January 12–March 3, 2009

The Palaikastro kouros in its new home at the Heraklion Museum; an aerial view of Palaikastro; the centaur found at Lefkandi; Hugh Sackett at Palaikastro.

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he winter exhibition at the de Menil Gallery celebrates the long and fruitful career of Hugh Sackett, one of the School’s most distinguished faculty members. Though known to many Grotonians as a respected Latin teacher and a beloved dorm master, not all members of the Groton family are aware of his international reputation as an authority on Bronze Age Greece. Principally associated throughout his career with the British School in Athens, Sackett is best known for his work at five important archaeological digs that are the focus of the winter exhibition: the Dema and Vari Houses near Athens, the Unexplored Mansion at Knossos in Crete, the town of Lefkandi on the island of Euboea, and a previously unknown Minoan palace complex at Palaikastro in eastern Crete. In addition to being respected for his meticulous scholarship and long list of publications, Sackett enjoys a reputation among his colleagues as an archaeological divining rod. Long before there were infrared aerial photographs, Sackett’s uncanny instinct for identifying locations that would appeal to ancient peoples, would prompt him to say “dig here,” and, sure enough, artifacts and stone foundations, long hidden beneath the surface of the earth, would begin to appear. His finds would be the envy of any archaeologist. At Lefkandi, Sackett and his colleague Mervyn Popham uncovered an intact clay centaur of remarkable craftsmanship and

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design. Indeed, Lefkandi was supposed to have been a Dark Age site, its dates (ca. 1150-900 BC?) belonging to a period when the peoples then inhabiting Greece were presumed to have lost the ability to write, while their contact with other parts of the ancient world diminished. Yet Lefkandi, which controlled a key point on the Strait of Euboea, proved just the opposite: evidence of trade with places as far away as Cyprus and Egypt were unearthed there, together with locally made pottery and jewelry fashioned by artisans of great skill. The objects found at Lefkandi forced textbook authors to rewrite their chapters on the Greek Dark Ages. The dig, begun by Popham and Sackett in the early 1960s continues today under the direction of Dr. Irene Lemos, who had been trained by them both. It is no exaggeration to say that the Lefkandi excavation is probably the most important excavation in the Greek world by any archaeological team after the Second World War. More mystery and romance surrounded the excavation at Lefkandi when Sackett and Popham discovered an ancient heroon, or hero’s tomb. The structure itself was a prototype that would eventually evolve into the well-known peripteral Greek temple. Inside, an elaborate urn contained the ashes of the warrior chieftain, and nearby his urn were the remains of a chariot and the skeletons of horses sacrificed in his honor, as well as the corpse of a female with a knife found ominously at her neck.


Gallery News Since 1983 much of Sackett’s attention has focused on the British School excavation at Palaikastro, amidst the olive groves and beaches of a yet unspoiled section of the coastline of Eastern Crete. Here earlier surveys had suggested the remains of a partially submerged Minoan palace complex. During the final days of one summer’s digging at Palaikastro, Sackett’s team found some pieces of carved ivory of rare beauty, clearly parts of a kouros, a young male figure, perhaps an image of the young Zeus, since local tradition held he was born in a nearby mountain cave. Fortunately, when the team returned the next year, they were able to gather up the remaining pieces of what turned out to be the largest chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statuette yet recovered from the antique world. It is now the crown jewel of the state museum in Heraklion. Greek law forbids any of the objects discovered in Sackett’s various excavations from leaving the country, but Sean Hemingway of the Form of 1985, now a curator of the Department of Greek

and Roman Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, has arranged for a small selection of objects from the Met’s study collection to be on display in the de Menil Gallery. In addition, a replica of the Palaikastro kouros, made by Professor Mark Moak of Rocky Mountain College, will also be on display, giving visitors the opportunity to see one of the most important recent finds of Minoan culture as it might have originally appeared. “Uncovering Ancient Greece” will be on display from January 12 through March 3, 2009. Gallery hours are 9-3 on weekdays (except Wednesdays) and 11-4 on weekends. Admission is always free. On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 7:15 p.m. in the evening, Sackett will lead a gallery tour of the exhibition. On Friday, January 23, we will celebrate Sackett’s achievements with a reception in the gallery beginning at 6 p.m. We hope that many former Grotonians who worked on Sackett’s excavations or traveled with him in Greece will be able to attend.

Christopher Carey Brodigan Gallery WINTER

Exh i b i t

Winter Celebration of Light

January 19–March 3, 2009

S

eth Riskin is an artist, teacher and researcher of light. He has studied light in various cultures and is an expert on light symbolism and expression. In addition, he creates original light instruments for his “light dance” art: silent, space-defining performances of light effects that he articulates through his body movement. Riskin is currently the manager of the Holography and Spatial Imaging Initiative and the Emerging Technologies Initiative at the MIT Museum. Riskin is visiting Groton this year as the 2008 Mudge Fellow in residency at the Groton School, and he has designed his residency work to encourage cross-disciplinary learning.

Laser Ring

Circles

He will participate in a number of classes, develop temporary artworks for the community, and present a talk-demonstration of his work under the theme of Winter Celebration of Light. Drawing on light as a cultural symbol and artistic medium, as an intellectual vehicle and physical phenomenon, he will relate different fields of study and complementary ways of thinking and working. Riskin’s artwork during his residency period comprise two pieces: a light installation featuring a hologram in the Christopher Carey Brodigan Gallery; and a light performance in St. John’s Chapel as part of the Epiphany of Light Festival.

Bluelight End

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Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle

Some 30 years ago, weekday Chapel Talks became regular occurrences at Groton. They are now an ingrained tradition at the School, and parents, trustees, alumni, faculty, and students continue to address the School four times a week in Chapel. The talks have become the centerpiece of services that enrich the Groton experience by virtue of the points of view, ideas, experiences, and opinions expressed in this more formal setting. Over 100 speakers present at Chapel each academic year, adding to the voices on the Circle. We offer several examples from the fall term here.

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Choices, Acceptance

A Chapel Talk by Kathryn Nichols ’09 October 3, 2008

&

Becoming Yourself

G

ood morning. I hope that you all feel awake and refreshed. Before I begin with my talk, I want to throw a quote out, one that means a lot to me. “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” These words were said by Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Buddha. Not only do I want you to think about these words, but I also want you to practice them. “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” Now, close your eyes and think of something that makes of happy. Let that image fill your heart. Open your eyes. I want you to maintain this feeling of happiness and focus on what it is you truly want throughout the entire day. I promise that it will be well worth your effort. Okay, that was totally random but something that I wanted you to try. This talk was, actually, inspired by the movie Superbad, which I have seen far too many times. Superbad is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, because it touches on topics that are so present in my life, as well as in the lives of my fellow classmates. I became particularly interested with one of the boys in this movie, Fogel. Fogel is a scrawny eighteen-year-old who wears glasses and has a stutter. While he is nice enough and does well, very well, academically, he is not accepted by the majority of the senior class at his large public high school. He is not even accepted by his own best friends, Seth and Evan. Fogel, however, does not tolerate this sort of treatment, and he makes an effort to become popular by changing who he is. He even goes as far as to get a fake ID, transforming him from Fogell, to McLovin’, the 25-year-old Hawaiian organ donor. Predictably, this does not make him cool. It does not work in Hollywood, and it certainly does not work in the real world. It seems as though Fogel would have been better off sticking to his own name, his own person. Unfortunately, most people learn this lesson the hard way. High school is tough, especially when your high school happens to be Groton. Every single day we face the realities of gossip, homework, grades, sports, boys, girls, no boys, no girls, and, I apologize in advance for this, college acceptance rates. Fogel is no exception, and I cannot help but picture him around our very own Circle. I think that he definitely fits the persona of one of the few Groton stereotypes. His name shows up on Firstclass and in facebook, and you wonder “Who is that kid?” but never bother to find out. I know this kid. He is recycled year after year, and, in a sense, I am this kid. Are not we all a little bit like him? Let us face it, we are not cool. I have always been a little weird, but never, in my life, have I ever been this big of a nerd. I must say that Groton has done some strange things to me. It has made me spend far too many Saturday nights in the library, writing Quarterly Winter 2009

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Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle English papers and studying for chemistry tests. I actually wrote this chapel talk two weeks ago … on a Saturday … in the library. Check-ins have forced me not only to enjoy but also to become extremely competitive in Trivial Pursuit and Scattegories. Shoutout to Andi Liebowitz for always keeping me on my A-Game. Cross country has made me run so hard that, at the last home

differences. I found, in letting my true self show, that I could better connect with my classmates and teachers. More importantly, however, I began to love myself. Most of you do not know me very well. I would like to give you a brief introduction of who, exactly, I am. I am Katie. I like grilled chicken and the color purple. I live in Lyman’s dorm here on campus, but I go home to

“I have been able to fall in love with my classes, stay up late with some of the most amazing people I have ever met, and run with the greatest cross country team that Groton has ever seen. I want to thank you all for this.”

Katie Nicol ’09 and teammate Ali Makranz ’09.

race, I actually threw up at the finish line. Arjun, I’m really sorry that you had to witness that. During my four years here at Groton, I have laughed. Lorcan, Alisha, and Dianne, remember that chem competition when we stood in the elevator and told chemistry jokes to calm us down? “Do you have mole problems? If so, call Avogadro at 602-1023.” Now that I think about it, maybe that was more of an actual suggestion than a joke. Anyway, at Groton, I have cried: over the pressures I felt to be cool, which I am not; to fit in, which I do not; and to get perfect grades on all my tests and papers, which still has not happened. While my four years here at Groton may not sound all that fun and exciting to you, I have to say that I have gotten pretty in to them. Boarding school has provided me with the unique opportunity to really care about my education as a whole. Away from most distractions, unless you are a fan of cow tipping, I have been able to fall in love with my classes, stay up late with some of the most amazing people I have ever met, and run with the greatest cross country team that Groton has ever seen. I want to thank you all for this. Unfortunately, the Fogel in us is ever present, forcing us to suppress our true selves. This is especially true at Groton. Fogel has gotten the best of me. During my first year at Groton, I felt the pressure to change who I was in order to be more like everyone else. To make a long story short, it did not work. I am glad that it did not work. I was lucky enough to have the love and support from my friends, both here and at home, and my family. They helped me see the beauty in my

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Portland, Oregon, over breaks. Yes, I have been on the Oregon Trail. No, I do not drive a wagon. I am a West Coaster, an entertainer, a painter, a runner, and a trapeze artist. I enjoy getting acupuncture and drinking green tea, but also coffee, and lots of it. I am fluent in French, I am really good at chemistry, and I have never lost a limbo competition. If anyone wants to challenge me, I would be more than happy to bring it on. I have been shaped, over the years, by many external sources. When people meet my mom, they pretty much have me figured out. She is a total hippie who has had quite the life story. She grew up in Marin County, in Northern California. She went to the University of Guam and was one of the only white girls in her graduating class. While it is not ranked by U.S. News & World report, the University of Guam has about 100 percent acceptance rate. I guess if Harvard does not work out… This summer, my mom drove my friend and me downtown to do some shopping. A few hours later, she called us to meet up with her at Starbucks. When we arrived, she was sitting outside at one of the tables, engrossed in deep conversation with a homeless person. On the drive home, I asked her why she was talking to that guy. She replied that they had some of their classes together in college. That she had recognized him because he only had three fingers on his left hand. I was lost for words. My mom went on to teach English in Japan for a couple of years before becoming Mahogany the clown. Think little kids birthday parties and rest home social nights. When she did not make the cut for


Choices, Acceptance & Becoming Myself Wringling Brothers—that is not a joke, she actually did try out—she decided to do landscaping for a few years. Not to name drop but she gardened for Carlos Santana. She eventually met and married my dad. I must say that he is not as interesting a character, but he has the brains in our family, some of which I was lucky enough to inherit. Aside from my parents, I have two different groups of friends, one here at school and one back at home, and a rambunctious little brother. They have all contributed a great deal to shaping the person I am today. My friends at home are almost the opposite of my Groton friends. They wear a lot of tie dyed shirts, eat a lot of granola, and kind of just sit around all day. Each time I go home, I am informed of a new underground band and a new way to wear the infamous sac dress from American Apparel. My friends here at Groton vary, but they all share one thing in common: determination. This is why they go to Groton. They are wonderful, warm, caring, and, while they make fun of it, applaud my weirdness. Thank you, Christie Colley. They are smart and strong, challenging me to be the best person that I can possibly be, even when it is a struggle. My nine-year-old brother, Jack, who was diagnosed with autism at a young age, but who has, for the most part, overcome it as a result of much therapy, has taught me to love with all of my heart. He has also taught me to hope, because without hope, Jack would not be the

guess that would be fun and all, but what would you take from it? There would be no lesson learned. Similarly, if I were to have chosen to attend another high school, in my mind, I like to think that my life would have better. The grass is always greener on the other side, right? Four years would fly by so fast, but, in the end, I know that I would not be any stronger for it; my education would not be complete. Groton is a challenge. For everyone. Groton is, actually, the first real challenge I have ever encountered. I am not talking about homework or sports. I am talking about the challenge I faced to be myself. I know that I am not alone in saying that Groton students feel the need to conform. Like Fogel, far too many Groton students are afraid to be themselves. I think that if anyone should feel like an outcast, it is me, but I do not. I know that I have a strong group of friends who care for me and are there to support me. Ironically, I found these friends after I stopped caring about what others thought of me. It is good to be a little different. Love it! I do. Right now I am terrified. I am staring at 350 of the brightest young minds in the country. You are all talented and, as clichéd as this sounds, special. Obviously you shined bright enough to get in to this school, a huge achievement. Why not show that person to the world? We have a cultural alliance, a gay-straight alliance, and peer counselors. This school wants you to be yourself, not your roommate, not your prefect. You.

Katie, second from left, races with varsity team.

“Groton is a challenge. For everyone. Groton is, actually, the first real challenge I have ever encountered. I am not talking about homework or sports. I am talking about the challenge I faced to be myself.” little boy he is today. Funny, I have never shared this part of me with anyone, but, today I feel comfortable with letting down my guard, with bringing you into an important aspect of my life. I hope that, someday, you all will be able to do the same. I told myself that I would not write about Groton, but, I have to say, my life has been pretty good before I came here. Random, sure, but good. I could stand up here and tell you all about my life in Oregon, about fields of daisies, beach bonfires, trees, tree hugging. I

I came to Groton on a coin toss. I was choosing between here and another boarding school in Southern California. Some days I regret that the coin was heads; that my fate was to come to Groton. Today, however, I do not regret it at all. I am glad to be here right now, and, whether you like this school or not, you still have at least three more terms ahead of you. Let us make the most of Groton. Let us not waste time pretending to be someone we are not, McLovin’, perhaps. So I say, let’s let Fogel be Fogel. Mclovin’ was never that great anyway. Quarterly Winter 2009

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Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle

d e t c e exp

Preparing for the

Un A Chapel Talk by Jonathan D. Klein, Trustee, P’08, ’11 November 7, 2008

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ood morning. Do you want to hear something funny? Well, you are in the wrong place for that as, to quote Mae West, actress, screen goddess and the source of many hilarious and rude comments, “It’s hard to be funny when you have to be clean.” Please concentrate carefully as we now have a surprise quiz. Mr. Commons has agreed to an extra Surprise Holiday, and Mr. Beams and Miss Hughes will give no demerits for the rest of the term if you get the answer correct. Ready? What do these headlines have in common?

Previously unknown former community organizer with middle name of Hussein is elected 44th President of the United States. Red Sox overturn seemingly unassailable Yankee lead and then go on to win their first World Series in 86 years. Jonathan Klein is giving a Chapel Talk at Groton School today.

“Not one of you knows where your life will lead. This should not concern you or cause consternation. Quite the contrary, it is a good thing.”

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What do these headlines have in common? What are the chances or the odds of an extra Surprise Holiday and a demerit-free Groton? Very low indeed, completely impossible, unimaginable? Not at all: From a statistical or actuarial perspective, these two Groton events would be ranked as very probable in comparison to any of the headlines I just mentioned. The answer to the quiz is that all the events were almost impossible to predict. They were a surprise; they were unexpected; one could not have guessed that they would occur, and so preparation was impossible. Or was it? Is it possible to prepare for the unexpected or even expect the unexpected? We all know about life being like a box of chocolates and “you never know what you’re gonna get.” Forrest Gump’s momma was right. Oscar Wilde went further by saying: “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” Perhaps you had not heard of Mae West; however I hope that we have an educated crowd here today, and that you all know who Oscar Wilde is. This is only the second time that I have addressed an entire high school. Thirty years ago I told the school in South Africa from which I had recently graduated exactly what I thought. Yes, my talk was clean and it was not funny. A return invitation is still awaited. I was 18, opinionated, certain of everything (or, at least, pretended to be), and knew all the answers. Does that remind you of yourself or some of the other people sitting around you? Be honest—of course it does. Little


Preparing for the Unexpected did I know? Much has changed since then, and I now freely admit to not knowing many of the answers, but what has not changed is that I will give an opinion (or ten), offer some advice that you are free to ignore, and talk a little longer than most people do from here. Simply looking around my surroundings now goes to the quiz, Forrest Gump, Oscar Wilde, and how this talk began. My grandfather was an ardent Communist, having enjoyed the Russian Revolution; then chose the wrong side (Trotsky, rather than Stalin) and had to leave Russia in a hurry when my father was about nine years old. They somehow landed up in South Africa. Most male members of my family prior to the Trotskyite had been rabbis. My father, born in Voronezh, south of Moscow, was brought up by a revolutionary poetry-writing unrepentant Communist—perhaps, explaining why he left us absolutely nothing but poetry in his will—and a mother who had no formal education but great wisdom. She believed that persecution and having to flee was inevitable and the only transportable asset was one’s education. The result was that my grandparents literally did not eat on certain days so that they could get the best education possible for their only son. My dad arrived in South Africa and spoke two languages—Yiddish and Russian— and neither was any use at all. His nickname was “Bolshie,” as in Bolshevik, and he was beaten up frequently for being a Communist and supporter of Stalin, even though they had to flee because of Stalin. Anyway, little did any of them know what path their lives would take or the lives of their children and grandchildren. Neither do any of you. Three days ago, we elected the first black president in the history of the United States—who could have predicted that turn of events? My family could never have imagined that their last grandchild would be standing in an Episcopalian chapel in the heart of New England. Nor could they have seen two Klein boys here and that there would also be the honor and privilege of serving on the Board of Trustees of what is the best school in America. Little did anyone know that a path would lead me from South Africa to school in the English countryside with British real and theatrical royalty to Cambridge, London, Seattle, New York City, and to this beautiful chapel. Not one of you knows where your life will lead. This should not concern you or cause consternation. Quite the contrary, it is a good thing. You think you know that there will be a clear path. Well, it is not going to be like that or, at least, I hope for your sake that it is not the case. Today I urge you to expect the unexpected, be open to it, and also prepare for it. In order to do this, you need to be flexible and try things. You need to be open-minded, allow things to happen, realize that not everything can or should be planned and try and think in a different way from the crowd. This approach will not only bring unexpected success, it is also likely to lead to happiness. As Herbert Spencer, a little known 19th Century British philosopher, commented: “Objects we ardently pursue bring little happiness when gained; most of our pleasures come from unexpected sources.” I was recently visiting Alex, Groton Form of 2008, at Yale. Not so many years ago, I would not have been able to spell or pronounce the word Groton and did not know where Yale was. Just shows you. I attended a lecture by John Gaddis, professor of Military and Naval History. It was wonderful to spend an hour feeding that most important yet sometimes neglected part of the anatomy—the mind. Gaddis was examining the different ways that scholars can explore history and contrasted two extremes. The first drills deeply into a particular event with excruciating detail. As an example he cited “Five Days in London: May 1940” by John Lukacs. Those five days altered the course of 20th century history and had the British government made a different decision, well, we might all be speaking German, and there is little chance that I would be standing here today. The other approach is to look from a greater distance and cover the entire span of history

The Klein family—Deborah, Adam ’11, Alex ’08, and Jonathan Klein—last spring on the occasion of Alex’s graduation.

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Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle in a single book of less than 300 pages, for example, E.H. Gombrich’s “A Little History of the World,” or in one year through a course that we used to have at Groton with the pithy title of World History. I prefer an approach that combines both. Perhaps due to my work, life and the power of imagery, I have a bias for the image telling a great deal of the story. So, I am used to a clear focus (and sometimes out-of-focus) look at the defining moments. These moments are often unexpected or surprising. Just like the events I read out at the beginning of this talk. The two key events of the last seventy years were both unexpected—Pearl Harbor and September 11, 2001. We were taken by surprise and so were unprepared for the challenges that came in the wake of these momentous events. In the case of 9/11, conventional thinking and taking a predictable path was precisely what our enemy hoped for and expected, and we are still dealing with the consequences of those errors today. Perhaps, we are now experiencing another major and unexpected event—the financial meltdown and recession (at best) or depression (quite possibly). We were not ready and so reacted with ideological fervor and little knowledge, rather than with clear and flexible thinking. Thankfully, we seem to have course corrected and there is now hope. Moving from the big events to the rather more personal. Cambridge University interviews are notoriously difficult. I did not own a suit and so borrowed a complete outfit from my dorm mate at school, Mainardo di Nardis. He was a snappy dresser from Milan and a little larger than me, even though his shoes fitted rather well. Of course, I was totally prepared for anything the professors would throw at me. What about this for the first question? I walked in, Professor Collier barely looked up and said, and I quote: “First the damn Catholics, now the bloody Jews. Klein, what the hell are you doing here?” I expected anything from one of the foremost authorities on international law in the world but not this question. The next question was: “Where the hell did you get that suit?” At least that one was easy to answer. He then asked me which position I played at soccer (midfield) and cricket (wicket keeper—bit like a catcher) and told me that they had excellent players for both these positions. He asked me which English football team I supported and whether I played any other sports—he told me that he hated my beloved West Ham and had no time for or interest in tennis and table tennis. In desperation, I told him I would play any position in soccer and asked what the cricket team needed. Well, so much for being prepared. The Catholic in question who was interviewed before me ended up as best man at my wedding, which took place in a Victorian art gallery with a priest and a rabbi jointly officiating. Who could have predicted this series of events? The first night of college was equally unexpected. Before dinner everyone was asking their new colleagues the same question: “So, where did you go to school?” It was all awfully polite until some young man with a triple-barreled name, said: “Eton, of course.” Harry, a smart-arse, wise-cracking New Yorker, broke the gentility of the evening by stating: “I’ll bet you are not a virgin!” Eton, incidentally, was an all boys’ school at that time. So, I had expected a marvelous education, sophisticated company, and serious professors, and look what happened at my interview and on the first night. On the last night, shortly after graduation, Professor Collier, who remains a good friend, said something equally surprising: “Klein, we have done our job with you. Our purpose here is to allow young people a few years to grow up with the minimum of damage to the rest of society.” Collier was right. This is one of the reasons that I simply do not buy into all the hysteria about which college and the college process. You will learn so much at college, have a great time, make lifelong friends, and grow up a little with the minimum of damage to the rest of the society, wherever you end up.

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Preparing for the Unexpected College brings me back to my grandparents’ emphasis on education. Bruce Springsteen, everyone’s dad’s favorite rock star and also mine, sings in “No Surrender:” “We learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school.” Peter Ustinov, then a teacher at Westminster School in London, one of Groton’s forerunners, commented in 1939 about a student: “He shows great originality, which must be curbed at all costs.” Neither The Boss nor Ustinov was thinking of Groton School. This is not the Groton way, or, if you think it is, please let the trustees know this weekend, as this is not what the faculty or we believe in. At this school we begin to prepare you for life and do that on the basis of a set of principles. From this education and a clear set of principles, you obtain the tools, that are essential to becoming a leader and a contributing member of society. By these tools, I do not mean the ability to solve complex math equations or translate ancient Greek seamlessly. I mean the education that we can take anywhere and will help prepare us for whatever twists and turns our lives take. Sticking with the ancient Greek theme, Aristotle had it quite right when he wrote: “The mark of an educated man is to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Even Aristotle knew about the most successful advertising campaign of the last several years—Think Different. Do think of this Chapel Talk as the Apple one—the “Think Different” one. So, how do we prepare for the unexpected? First, always expect the unexpected and approach everything with a flexible and open mind. As the Greek historian Polybius in the second century B.C., puts it: “We are no more than mortal men, and we should at all times make due allowance for the unexpected.” Second, the best preparation for anything and one that my grandmother knew was transportable is a great education. To quote my only hero, Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is no accident that the overwhelming majority of educated people are less likely to be ideologues and are more open-minded and are prone to Think Different. Third, one needs a filter for decision making when these unexpected events occur—whatever the event may be—and the best filter is a set of principles or values to help make those tough calls. Fourth, be well prepared for the expected. A few years after 9/11, I was at a talk by Rudy Giuliani. I have little regard for the man or his policies, yet there is no question that he was a great leader then. He was asked how they managed through that day and the immediate aftermath and made the point that if you are very well prepared for the expected, then you have a much better chance of dealing with the unexpected. Here are some more headlines:

Bin Laden gives himself up, apologizes and admits that a liberal and secular society is best. The Chicago Cubs win the World Series.

“ Aristotle had it quite right when he wrote: “The mark of an educated man is to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

Pre-Roll Call Schoolroom conference; Nils Martin ’11, Remy Knight ’11, and Alozie Erondu ’11.

Groton School gets new Student Center and Science Wing and the Varsity Football completes an unbeaten season. They all seem extremely unlikely; however, do not rule any or all of them out. Keep an open mind, allow chance to occur, take a different view, resist the gravitational pull of negativity, and enjoy yourself. I leave you with the words of Carl Sandburg, two time Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet and writer: “Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.” Have an unexpectedly unplanned and pleasurable day. Quarterly Winter 2009

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Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle

Planting in PErU Witnessing Change

I

was naked. There is no other way to describe it. And by naked I am not referring to naked in the metaphoric sense. I did not have any clothes on. It was mid-day, and I was standing in the center of an old courtyard without a bit of greenery to dive behind, and a band of rogue tourists was staring at me.

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Planting in Peru

A Chapel Talk by Craig Gemmel November 18, 2008

At left: Craig Gemmel stands in the doorway of his host famly’s house in Ollantayambo, Peru.

The morning had begun early, even by Peruvian standards. My 70-year-old host father Fernando and I ate bread and drank coffee in 5 a.m. darkness and then walked the hour up to his chackra—his hill farm—together in order to prepare the soil and plant on his three-acre plot. His wife Alesia and a few locals were also going to help with the planting, but they were to follow a few hours later in a car laden with seed corn and fertilizer. Fernando wanted to be ready for them when they arrived, and I was a willing set of hands. By the time we arrived at the Chakra, the sun was just appearing above the mountains, and we spent those first few hours picking up piles of weeds, carrying them in bright, Peruvian cloth slings, and dumping them into the swales along the edge of the field. And when the others arrived, we unloaded the weary car of its load of corn seed and fertilizer, yoked the oxen, and, before we began planting, together arranged a handful of corn in a crucifix on the ready soil, poured acidy chicha, a distilled corn spirit, on the cross, and stood solemnly as Fernando spoke in Quechua, a pre-Columbian language to the spirits. Then we passed a jar of chicha around and were quiet for a moment as the burn of it settled in our throats. Despite the televisions in the village and the appearance of a cell phone tower above the extraordinary Incan temple that fanned out across the ridge above my bedroom, planting in Ollantaytambo is as it has been for centuries. Strong oxen are joined by a wooden yoke, and the team pulls a wooden plow that is guided by a single very brave or very stupid person. For quite some time that morning, I was that stupidly brave person. And as we marched mostly in concentric circles around that field that morning—first the oxen, then me holding on for dear life to the leather harness in my left hand and the plow in my right, then Fernando behind me sowing seeds, and, finally, Alesia sprinkling guano—we moved as the oxen dictated we should: slowly, steadily until the oxen became tired and rebelled, throwing dirt with their hooves and freeing themselves from the yoke. I stood frozen when the horned animals started to buck, but Fernando gently grabbed my arms and pulled me to safety as Alesia literally dove for the wildly flying reins. Soon the oxen were chastened, I had reins in hand again, and we continued our slow circumferences. Circling as I was, time did stand still that morning, so much so that when I noticed several hours later that the sun was high above the surrounding mountains, I glanced for the first time all day at my wrist watch and gasped when I realized that I was late in joining the Groton students for a celebration at the Tierra Del Ninos garden we built over the past weeks. Wanting to watch the children plant the trees that had arrived the day before, I realized I would have to hurry. As I excused myself from one planting and started running (literally) toward another, I exchanged hugs and gratitude with my family. Twenty minutes later, I was nearly in town and my feet were starting to feel heavy. As I left the dusty main road to take a shorter footpath home, I slipped as I attempted to Quarterly Winter 2009

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Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle

Children of the town greet the Groton students with a welcome cake.

Josephine Ho ’09 looks on as Connor Baharozian ’10 (back to camera) Ud Ukorafor ’09, and Fred Beams prepare a whole for tree planting.

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skirt a deep puddle and gracelessly fell head-first into knee-deep, dirty, stagnant water, emerging a second later covered in sticky mud and cuts, spitting filthy water. The remaining few miles back to the house were squishy. As I passed traditionally clad women laden with bundles, I heard giggles of laughter. And as I drew closer to my house, I realized that I finally needed to take a proper shower after three weeks of going without lest I offend others at the celebration. And by proper shower, I knew that I needed to use hot water. Not a big deal, you think? Well you should know that I have few phobias, but electricity inspires terror. And to get hot water from our shower, I needed to turn on an old-fashioned knife switch with exposed wires. These wires would then heat the water as it passed through the crude shower head. In the past, I had been so afraid of this shower that I had merely taken a few short, cold baptisms to wash work grunge from my face prior to dinner. So I entered the shower, took my sodden clothes off, and, awaiting the hair-raising shock, flipped the electrical switch and turned on the water. As you might imagine, I was not electrocuted that day, and the warm water and soap managed to wash away all but the cuts on knees and hands. The plot thickened when I realized my single towel was hanging from the doorway of my room across the open courtyard. Knowing that the family was miles away, I did not expect there would be anyone to offend as I tip-toed my way across the courtyard toward my towel. And that is when I saw them. Three tourists were, perhaps, ten yards away, and they all had cameras. Clearly, they were here admiring the Incan stonework of which the house was built, but little did they expect to see a naked, unshaven, dripping wet man with bleeding cuts covering his arms and knees. My response, I suspect, grew as much from deep instinct as it did from any other place. For when I saw them, cameras in hand, well into the confines of a house I knew did not belong to them, I raised my hands, ran toward them, and screamed Venga, Venga! And as I screamed at them, they ran for the door, though one of them held his camera over his shoulder as he attempted to take a picture of the madman charging toward him. Five minutes later, clothed, as I walked quickly to the work site where all of the Groton students had been laboring all morning, I had some time to think. First, I basked in the humor of the circumstance and chuckled as I rounded the corner to


Planting in Peru enter the main square of Ollantaytambo, laughing all the harder when I realized that I had yelled VENGA at the tourists. For those of you who know Spanish, VENGA means COME HERE in English, when I really wanted them to leave. Realizing this, I actually hoped that this tourist was headed for one of the internet cafes to post the picture on the internet with an embarrassing caption: naked native captured on film! Instant fame. But then, as I dug deeper, I wondered why I responded as I did. And as I thought, I realized that for the last two weeks, this 600-year-old Incan house had been my home and I felt the trespass to be a violation into my host family’s space. My response was utterly unfiltered, spontaneous, and such spontaneity was both new to me and very old. I was struck when I realized I had become my self again during my time in Ollantaytambo. Much of this reversion to my younger self I attribute to the particularly interesting context in which we were all living. Ollantaytambo is a high Andean village in the sacred valley of Peru and is one of the only existing pre-Columbian villages taken over by the Spaniards but not destroyed—a fascinating embodiment of the Spanish term mestisto—mixture. Land and water are never far apart here, and walking on cobbled streets with irrigation water flowing alongside foot traffic is a constant reminder of the sheer flow of time independent of clocks; the sound soothes. Pausing at trapezoidal Incan doorways—like the one through which I passed daily to enter my home—links past with present and inspires because of the durability of that which is built beautifully and to last. Watching local boys play the video game “Conquest” on dated computers in the internet café while I make photocopies makes my head spin, particularly since this village seemed shaped far more by consilience between past and present than by simple destructive domination of one culture over another. Set against this backdrop, I was mostly a quiet watcher made yet quieter by my rudimentary Spanish skills. Given this, I found myself available to thought—real thought—for the first time in years. I was not numb with worry or overwhelmed with detail. Apart from a few trips to the clinic and dealing with a few logistics, the kids truly took care of themselves and each other. I could thus float apart from it all for good long stretches of time—watching, evolving, and refining my vision. And when I was with others, I was engaged fully in the conversation of the moment or the experience being had. Connected to this experience as I was, my existence seemed ideal. I was finding my way honestly with others in a complex communion in which I was both giver and receiver. And as I awakened and thought, I careened through the many faces of change before me. Perhaps the most omnipresent reminder of change was the looming mountain peak at the opposite end of the valley, a peak that had lost half of its snow cover over the past 30 years due to global warming. On the roads up to the chakras, cisterna—large concrete water collection tanks—were appearing as it became clear to farmers that water was growing increasingly scarce at times because there was less snow to melt into flowing water every spring. In the village, internet cafés were nearly as omnipresent as booths selling Peruvian handwork, and pizza parlors were present alongside restaurants serving traditional Andean fare. On my long plane ride home, while most travelers slept, I was awake and lingering on the substance of these changes in self, others, and place through time, and I came to think some about the nature of change itself. I started listing the changes I had seen over the past weeks in Peru, and they fell into three loose categories. One list included a bunch of seemingly disparate changes and their associated effects—to name a few: increased global temperatures affected melting in glaciers above the village; increased tourist traffic affected the local economy; increased technology affected traditional ways. To me, melting glaciers, increased tourists, increased technology are all what I came to think of as unintended changes—slow, steady alterations in basic conditions in the area. These changes, in fact, were hard to comprehend by those most immediately influenced by them because the causes were distant and invisible, the

A Mayan fountain in Machu Picchu, not far from Ollantoyambo.

“Watching local boys play the video game “Conquest” on dated computers in the internet café while I make photocopies makes my head spin, particularly since this village seemed shaped far more by consilience between past and present than by simple destructive domination of one culture over another.”

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Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle

Picnic overlooking the Sacred Valley.

“They took a New England pasture and fashioned a Circle from it, built buildings, filled them with students of the Eastern Protestant establishment, deprived them of the comforts of home, and endeavored to prepare them for lives of service instead of the easier, more selfish path.”

Groton students and children of the town assemble to commemorate the tree plantings.

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consequences gradual enough to be imperceptible. Take the glacier for example: as it melted slowly through time, neither the people in more industrialized areas who caused it nor those Ollantaytambo residents affected by it knew of its occurrence because the causes were as invisible as the slowly accreting consequences. The second list included another cluster of changes, including the building of cisterna above the village to trap and meter out rain water as a means of maintaining crop productivity despite changes in availability of glacial meltwater, the emergence of a local tourism office to train tour guides and manage influxes of tourists, the emergence of textile cooperatives to create and bring to market traditionally dyed textiles in order to support the continued production of handcrafts. I came to think of these as adaptive changes, for these all represent deliberate, evolutionary responses to changes in original conditions. Once it became clear that crops needed more water, farmers took to storing it. The final list included another small handful of changes: the Tierra Del Ninos project; Groton’s participation in Tierra Del Ninos; and Groton’s presence in the village of Ollyantaytambo. These are what I think of as conditional changes—changes intended to alter underlying conditions. This sort of change makes glaciers grow where they had previously receded. In our work together, we were participating in a form of conditional change because we were in Peru in part to build a garden adjacent to the local primary school under the auspices of the Tierra del Ninos project. The project endeavors to turn over one percent of all Peruvian land to children, and the hope is that the next generation of Peruvians will develop into a generation of stewards of a fragile and degraded Peruvian landscape. The dream of the project founder was simple: if children design and take care of gardens, they will develop the skills and tendencies at an early age to take care of the very Peruvian landscape degraded by their predecessors. Though this work was hard and relentless, the end product was breathtaking: seeing the local and Groton kids together plant the perennials and fruit trees, it was clear that we had accomplished something that could have abiding resonance in the future of these kids and this community. Our work was also a form of conditional change for us because, by virtue of our living and working conditions—stripped as they were of the familiar, the comfortable—we were forced to tread upon new landscapes of experience. And in going far from our homes and families and simultaneously into new homes and new families, we all, each in our own ways, dove deep into our own lives and the lives we have shared at Groton. Being in such uncertain physical and metaphysical terrains, we at first adapted, but later, as comfort supplanted fear, we each did some reimagination. Each of us has our own story of such rebuilding. Ud Okorafor told his a few weeks ago in his Chapel Talk; others who made the trip have surely told similar tales at dinner tables and in dormitories. Despite the mounting time since I have left Peru—rife as it has been with the complexity and detail I have returned to at Groton—I have thought quite a bit about my airborne conjectures on the structures of change and its application to this place we all, at least for a time, call our home. First questions abounded, and these gave way to the misguided notion that change does not happen much here. But as I have thought, I have come to realize that the very core of this place—the wind breathed into it by the founders—is infused with change. They took a New England pasture and fashioned a Circle from it, built buildings, filled them with students of the Eastern Protestant establishment, deprived them of the comforts of home, and endeavored to prepare them for lives of service instead of the easier, more selfish path. In 124 years since its founding, this school has changed much as Groton has embraced a changing world. Our students come from diverse backgrounds, and their experience is a far cry from the era of cold showers and starched collars. Think also about our relationship to technology, gender, race, faith, reason, sports, clothes, food— we have changed in all of these ways and in others.


Planting in Peru

Groton’s history of change seems to be a story of long periods of small, adaptive changes during which tinkerings with the status quo happened. Every once in a while, however, there has been a critical moment of mission-driven conditional change, and each of these occurred when the larger world was changing rapidly. For example, Groton admitted students of color as the civil rights movement was gaining momentum and girls as women’s rights were being hotly contested. To create a new school without destroying the inviolate and ineffable qualities must have been the height of adventure. Since the inception of co-education and through the last 15 years subsequent to my arrival here, Groton has ridden a wave of good times: our endowment has grown, our facilities have been modernized, our curriculum has expanded, and our student body has become more diverse. In that same interval, the world built without much apparent fanfare toward the present turmoil, and now global political unrest, global environmental crisis, and financial peril dominate the news. These interestingly parallel truths suggest we are at a point when we are poised to respond to needs evident in a world that has suddenly changed. As I think about the future of change here at Groton, I consider it in light of my time in Ollyantaytambo—where I came to see the perils of globalization and the transformative power of conditional change—in light of the remarkable presidential race in which challenging global issues were highlighted and conditional change was implicit in both parties’ platforms, in light of an institutional history shaped by moments of change. And I am both hopeful about the future and fearful about the slow melting of our institutional identity if we allow ourselves to be paralyzed by the prospect of the future. Now, I think, is the time to start thinking deliberately about how Groton is going to respond to a world presenting new realities. Now, I think, is the time to start thinking

The Peru travelers on a hike. Front row: Taylor Maykranz, Fred Beams, Josephine Ho ’08, Will Robinson, Sidney Wood ’09, Elise Kang ’08, Jane Bang ’10. Back row: Tucker Fross ’08, Annabelle Walsh ’09, Julie Maguire ’10, Zandi Pasanen ’05, Craig Gemmel, Caroline Boes ’08, John White ’11, Ross Wehner, Connor Baharozian ’10, Ud Okorafor ’09, Hanna Reeve ’11, Jocelyn Hickox ’11, Joaquin Randal

“Now, I think, is the time to start thinking deliberately about how Groton is going to respond to a world presenting new realities.”

Quarterly Winter 2009

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Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle

I

n conjunction with the World Leadership School and the Andes Cultural Preservation Program, 17 Groton students and graduates lead by Fred and Cindy Beams and Craig Gemmel spent four weeks on a service-learning project in the Peruvian mountains. The summer 2008 program focused on leadership training and global issues such as climate change, public health and consequences of globalization. The group did volunteer work on one main educational project designed to empower local children to face the challenges of conservation and sustainability in their town, Ollantaytambo. The group reclaimed and established a children’s park or “tierra del ninos” in the village of 4,000 people nestled in the Sacred Valley of the Incas between Cusco and Mach Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.” Working with local teenagers and children, staying with local home-stay families, Groton students and faculty took a bare patch of land and converted it into a park with an organic vegetable garden, a play area, and an outdoor structure to serve as a meeting place. They also worked on a nearby compost and waste recycling system for the local school. The goal of the project was simply to help the Peruvian children become stewards of their land and of their community. The Beams and other Groton faculty and students will make a second trip to Ollantaytombo in July 2009, and a second three-week servicelearning project of tree planting in conjunction with the Greenbelt Movement is planned for August 2009 in Kenya.

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Lifting together are John White ’11, Ross Wehner, Zandi Pasanen ’05, Craig Gemmell, Ud Okorafor ’09, Connor Baharozian ’10.

about the shape and texture of the next conditional change. To do so, let us dig down through the layers of our daily practice, clarify what is essential to serve the mission, and uncover the bedrock of our timeless motto. Then let our conscience guide us as we move into the future, deliberating on questions of ideal community composition, ideal program, ideal resource use, ideal outcomes from a Groton education, and ideal measures of our success. Motivated by the promise of this small place to effect large change, mindful of the peril of a melting identity caused by inaction, all of us can take a hand in this work by asking and seeking answers to the hard questions. Who are we? What do we stand for? How can we act most forcefully in light of our durable mission in a changed world? I believe that when we concern ourselves largely with such mission-related questions and how they can be directed toward underlying changes in the world, our position in the market will take care of itself—because the world is hoping for and in need of the sort of school we are positioned to become. And when we become the school we are destined to be, the bones of the place will be no different—even though the ripples into the larger world emanating from this place will be more powerful, more transformative. Idealistic? Yes. Naked in the metaphoric sense? Yes. Going back to Peru next summer? Yes. Come along, and stop by to meet my family if you are in the neighborhood. Watch out for Tarzan—he bites. And please knock first. I might be in the shower.


Primary Purposes A Chapel Talk by Richard B. Commons November 3, 2008

L

ast Tuesday, when we entered the Chapel to discover that the seats were turned around and the hymnals had been stacked into walls on the altar and around the organ, I wasn’t sure what to think. There was no organ prelude, no hymn, and no postlude. We were unable to find quiet as we entered, and even the usual peace of waiting for the prayer eluded us. The prank was clever in its way, and there was no damage done, as far as I know, to the books, or the seats, or the organ, or the altar. But I missed our rituals—the silences, the organ music, and, the rising to it of our voices— students and faculty struggling sometimes to reach the notes, but sometimes hitting them all together, with surprising volume and unity. At Roll Call that morning, I tried to express what I had missed in Chapel and why I thought it was a meaningful loss, but I had not had much time to think, and I was not sure exactly how to feel. Even as I took the microphone and began to speak, I felt uncertain. Should I be upset about this, or should I shrug it off as harmless silliness? Were the pranksters guilty of too little respect for the Chapel, or was I guilty perhaps of too small a sense of humor? Since that morning I have learned that the pranksters did not intend to stop the music. They had planned for us to sing “Let Justice Roll,” a hymn we all would know, by putting “CN23” on the hymn boards and laying the Canticum Novum on the organ, open to that page. So they were more careful than most of us knew at the time. Still, here is a question I’ve been mulling over: What if a similar prank had been played in the athletic center on a game day? Suppose the coaches and athletes discovered some basic things amiss as they hustled down after classes, just before game time. All the balls deflated, let us say, or all the cleats knotted together, or the door to the locker room blocked so nobody could get in to dress for the game? Isn’t that a fair parallel? Such a prank would not necessarily stop a game from being played; it would just eliminate the usual rituals of preparation and force some alterations to the original game plan. The team’s performance would probably be affected only at the outset, and whatever was lost, even if it was the game itself, would only be lost one time. It would be only one game. Athletes and coaches: how would such a prank and the losses it might bring make you feel? My guess is that some would have a hard time maintaining a sense of humor. I am not trying to issue a reprimand this morning. The pranksters meant no harm, they cleaned up after themselves, and, while I do not know or need to know who they were, I am guessing that the group included many whose general leadership this year I have already praised from this pulpit and continue to appreciate deeply. But I do want to use the experience as a point of departure for some thinking about our Chapel and what we are doing here. Quarterly Winter 2009

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Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle “How often should God’s name be used, and to what purposes? That’s a question that Groton School needs to answer with greater clarity.”   

Remember the other day when Mr. Smith brought the organ out in front of the congregation and set up video screens so that we all could see his hands and footwork? I thought the performance was magnificent, which probably made the prank harder for me to take when it happened a few days later. Afterwards, you’ll remember that Mr. Smith introduced us to a new hymn, “Too often, God, your name is used.” Was anyone else a bit startled by the title? We were handed the hymn on sheets of paper as we entered, so most of us probably read the title as we were taking our seats. “Too often, God, your name is used.” Wow, I thought. That is radical. Not until I read further did I understand the title to be a fragment of a fuller thought. “Too often, God, your name is used… to sanction hate and fear....” I’m pretty sure we are supposed to be startled by the title. It is a kind of poetic enjambment, a strong one that forces the reader, or in this case the singer, to stop momentarily and think about the uses of God’s name. How often should God’s name be used, and to what purposes? That is a question that Groton School needs to answer with greater clarity. Over the last few years, it has been suggested by both students and faculty that our purposes in the Chapel are not always clear and the ways in which we use God’s name not always coherent. As a result, last spring I asked the Board of Trustees to form an ad hoc committee to review our Chapel program. This fall I began holding weekly meetings with Messrs. Fidler, Row, and Smith to discuss the nature and content of our services. And I recently invited Reverend George Andrews, whom many of you have now met, to talk with faculty and students about their experiences in Chapel. In his conversations, Reverend Andrews found universal appreciation for the time we take four mornings a week to gather here, the opportunity we provide sixth formers and faculty to express unedited ideas, and the superb music that fills this glorious space. He also found wide approval for the various religious services on weekends, though some questioned the requirement of student attendance. The place where our purposes are least clear, he found, is in our weekday practice of offering prayers and readings from various faith traditions. Some expressed the feeling that, in a Christian church, the multi-faith readings seem like token gestures that do not contribute to a coherent whole.   

As a step toward greater clarity and coherence, I would like to lay out the primary purposes of our Chapel program as I see them. Consider this a first draft, open to discussion and revision. In my view, there are three fundamental purposes: moral development, spiritual community, and the search for faith.

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Headmaster Rick Commons addresses the School.

The first of these seems to me to be widely understood. I think I speak for all of us in saying that our time in Chapel should continue to attend to ethical concerns, helping all of us in our moral development. That sounds quite solemn. And yet I hope we maintain ample room for laughter, joy, and lightness in our attention to issues of justice, peace, and love. Groton is not alone among good schools in emphasizing character alongside intellect, but our Chapel and its program provide more regular and inspiring considerations of human character than any other school I know. The coherence of that purpose probably depends most on the quality of the Chapel talks offered by the faculty and the sixth form, but again, I sense no question about that aspect of our purpose here. The second fundamental purpose I offer, spiritual community, seems to be less clear and unanimous. There is no more important time in the School day, I believe, than the brief period of silence in Chapel that comes between the prelude and the prayer. As we sit shoulder to shoulder, we cannot help but be conscious of our complete togetherness. And our silence sets to the side, like the backpacks beyond the Chapel doors, all the non-spiritual pursuits that will consume us for the rest of the day. We wait in silence


Primary Purposes

“In my view, there are three fundamental purposes: moral development, spiritual community, and the search for faith.” to rise all together for a prayer. And the prayers, readings, and hymns we use are deliberately inclusive of the variety of religious traditions represented in our student body and faculty. The inclusivity is extended by the fact that any sixth former or faculty member can sign up to speak without restriction from any topic she or he believes might have lasting meaning for the community. It is important to understand that this welcoming of many faiths to the altar and many persons to the pulpit is actually quite Episcopalian, and our particular practice has the hearty approval of The Right Reverend M. Thomas Shaw, the Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts. And, while neither multi-faith readings nor sixth form talks took place in the Rector’s day, it is worth noting that both have been practiced in weekday Chapel for more than a quarter century. Our increasing diversity makes the creation of spiritual community increasingly complex as we seek also to remain true to our Episcopal tradition; yet I think it must be our firm purpose to place the Chapel at the center of every student’s experience, affecting each one, regardless of background, in deeply personal and enduring ways. I think the essence of our purpose as an inclusive spiritual community is captured rather beautifully in the last verse of “Too often, God, your name is used.” That verse goes like this (I’ll spare you my singing this morning): “Thus synagogue and mosque and church look out beyond their walls / to honor all who ask and search for where your spirit calls. / The questions and their wondering help us more fully claim / our mission as an offering that glorifies your name.” I would be interested in hearing thoughts about how we can be a spiritual community for all without a sense of tokenism or incoherence, but I want to say clearly this morning that I believe our weekday Chapel services must continue to include all the religions that enter the School. The third of my fundamental purposes for the Chapel program is the search for faith. I use that phrase carefully, after thinking about it for a while. I do not feel that Groton has failed its mission when members of this community do not find faith, but I think we have failed when students are not inspired to search. This is why we require attendance at religious services on weekends: to form the habit of religious searching and worship. It is a habit I hope will continue after Groton, whether it takes place in a house of worship, in service to others, or in how we understand our very selves. I hope for this for all of you, because I have witnessed and personally experienced how the search for faith can give us courage to act rightly, solace in times of grief, and joy in human relationships. I want to share a part of a story that appeared in the Quarterly a few years ago. It speaks to the kind of searching I believe in. It was written by Hugh Taylor, Form of ’83.

I like to think that I have a somewhat distinctive perspective on Chapel and religion at Groton. For one thing, I didn’t graduate from Groton, and I was able to compare Groton with a conventional public high school that had no mechanism for making students take spiritual and ethical issues seriously … In addition, I am now an orthodox Jew, having spent the last eight years in a process of learning and ever-increasing observance of Jewish Biblical law. I wear a yarmulke on my head … In the morning, I put on Tefillin, a set of leather straps and boxes that place special words of the Torah close to one’s head and heart, as I say my prayers … As a teenage Jew at Groton, I don’t think I could have been any more religiously ambivalent … So, how did I arrive where I am now from where I was then? … After many years in a personal “wilderness” of my own, I found myself longing for spiritual community. I found it in Los Angeles’s burgeoning Jewish scene. However, my instinctive drive for such a community came from a completely different place: the Groton Chapel. The Groton Chapel is where I learned that there could be such a thing as spiritual community. And, as I began to learn more about the core values and beliefs of the Jewish people … I saw that many of the issues that we discussed in Chapel at Groton were quite relevant and informative to how to be a good Jew. Perhaps that is not such a big surprise. … After all, Judaism and Christianity share many moral values. Yet, there is a small irony in it for me: the basis of my interest in Judaism was formed at an Episcopal school that had three Jewish students enrolled at the time I attended it. But there it is. The Chapel program [at Groton] was a wonderful platform on which I could build my spiritual life. (May 2005) That is quite a testament to what can happen here. The Chapel program at Groton should make the same platform possible for everyone who comes to the School. Including students and faculty, that is about 435 different paths converging in any given year. It is not easy, but it is fundamentally our purpose to bring them together meaningfully and yet send them out of these Chapel doors on their own spiritual way. So every day is a game day here, and every ritual has a sacred purpose. That is what I wanted to say in Roll Call last Tuesday. Thanks for listening twice. Quarterly Winter 2009

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Personae | People of Note

Personae | People of Note

OPENING OUR EYES George Butler ’62, Documentarian

S

ome 34 years ago Erick Barnouw, a professor at Columbia University, wrote in his book, A History of the Non Fiction Film, that the documentary film grew popular in its earliest years because of “its ability to open our eyes to worlds available to us, but for one reason or another, not perceived.” Organizing Barnouw’s study is an awareness of the documentary’s implicit claim to objectivity, but it also hightlights the documentarian’s creative motives, as Barnouw gathers his extensive work into chapter sections titled: Poet, Prophet, Painter, Prosecutor, Chronicler, Advocate, Observer, Explorer, Reporter, Promoter, Catalyst, and Guerilla.

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George Butler ’62, Documentarian

George Butler’s ’62 latest Imax film, Roving Mars, released through Disney Pictures in 2006, demonstrates several of Barnouw’s motives at work. Butler, award winning director and producer, is the chronicler of the spectacular success of the 2003 NASA mission to Mars, which landed not one, but two Mars Exploration Rovers on Mars, but we are also reminded of poetic personification as the MERs come alive with individual quirks and mechanical problems that give them their own personalities. The actual IMAX photography the rovers send back from Mars added to the simulations of the journey and landing take the notion of explorer literally out of this world. Interestingly in 1974, the same year that Barnouw’s book hit the shelves, George Butler (with Charles Gaines) published his first book, Pumping Iron: The Art and Sport of Bodybuilding. An unexpected best seller, the book, which has been through 15 printings, began a journey that would take Butler from his roots as a writer to his career as a producer and director of documentary films. Butler takes his writer’s instincts for the good story and the strong central character into all his projects, venturing beyond the explorer and the chronicler into the role of advocate, promoter, catalyst and more. Butler, president of White Mountain Flims, began as a writer for Newsweek after college. He remembers he “wrote a lot at Groton” both academically and for the Grotonian. He recalls especially a Jake Congleton history paper for which he interviewed a Calypso band leader in South Boston in 1961. Congleton drove him in and out of the city for the interview with the popular musician who turned out to be the young Louis Farakahn. From Groton, UNC, the draft and conscientious objection to the Vietnam war, Butler landed in the domestic Peace Corps (VISTA) in the late 60s. He was assigned to the embattled city of Detroit, where he helped to found an inner city community newspaper, the Oakland Lion. While in Detroit, Butler apprenticed

Publicity poster for the Roving Mars documentary produced in conjunction with Walt Disney Pictures.

On Friday January 9, 2009, The Alumni Association of Boston invited the School community to the first screening in the Boston area of Mr. Butler’s documentary, Roving Mars. Butler and Mission Head, Dr. Steven W. Squyres, introduced the film which was narrated in part by Paul Newman, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. The film was featured at the Boston Museum of Science IMAX Theater for multiple daily screenings from January 16 through February 7.

George Butler ’62 with sound and camera men shooting Pumping Iron documentary with central figure, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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Personae | People of Note

Charles Gaines, George Butler, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cape Town, South Africa, 1975 after Mr. Olympia contest. (Automatic timer photo by George Butler.)

On assignment for Life to photograph a 1972 Mr. Universe Competition in Bagdad, Butler encountered the obscure sport of body building, and the personal charisma of the then reigning champion, Arnold Schwarzenegger. His experience there led to the conviction that, beyond the muscles, Schwarzenegger should be in movies.

Mr. Butler in the clean room photographing the Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit.

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himself to the photographer Enrico Natali and added photography to his writing skills. On assignment for Life to photograph a 1972 Mr. Universe Competition in Bagdad, Iraq, Butler encountered the obscure sport of body building, and the personal charisma of the then reigning champion, Arnold Schwarzenegger. His experience there led to the conviction that, beyond the muscles, Schwarzenegger should be in movies. It took three years to produce his first documentary based on Pumping Iron. The struggle to get funding for his first film project emphasizes the plight of the documentarian who explores the obscure and the unknown. The documentary Pumping Iron, however, was a huge commercial and critical success, catapulting Schwarzenegger into mainstream movies and transforming the place of the gym and the fitness industry in our culture. In an extensive Boston Globe article that appeared in the summer of 2003, Butler described a single week in his life that June. It was crammed with planning a trip to the rain forests of Africa’s Congo Basin for a documentary about the region’s lowland gorilla; this preceded an excursion from his family home in Holderness, New Hampshire, to Cape Canaveral, Florida, to film the first of two Mars Rover launches for the IMAX documentary, after which he was scheduled to begin filming for a documentary on the life of John Kerry, slated for release just before the 2004 presidential election. All this multi-tasking from a man who as a fourth former at Groton was labeled by his headmaster, Jack Crocker, as a lad with a “tropical (read, laid back) attitude” towards life on the Circle.


George Butler ’62, Documentarian

All this multi-tasking from a man who as a fourth former at Groton was labeled by his headmaster, Jack Crocker, as a lad with a “tropical (read, laid back) attitude” towards academic life on the Circle. Born in England in 1944 and raised in Wales, Somalia and Kenya, a young George Butler came to Groton after his family had settled in Jamaica. He remembers his years at the School as a “great experience,” as he enjoyed his classmates, made friends, played soccer, and even became the School chess champion as a second former. But as he looks back he is (understandably) unable to make direct connection between his experience at Groton and direct preparation for what his life’s work has become. For Butler, the Groton of the 60s was a small, isolated place from whence he has journeyed these last 46 years, connecting himself to events, ideas and individuals that have taken him across the planet, and even the solar system. After Pumping Iron, came (in 1985) Pumping Iron II: The Women which helped transform the way our culture looked at women athletes. Toward the end of the second wave of the women’s lib movement, Gloria Steinham, having seen the movie twice, proclaimed Pumping Iron II would “change the way women look at themselves and the way we’re looked at forever.” In 2000, Butler completed three films based on Caroline Alexander’s best-selling book, The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition. The trilogy included an IMAX movie, a two-hour TV special and The Endurance, a 92-minute theatrical feature. The latter was a Groton all-school lecture just a few years ago and was one of the most commercially successful documentaries ever made. Looking ahead, Butler has three related projects in development. He is filming three documentaries on animals who face extinction; the ivory billed woodpecker, the royal bengal tiger, and the lowland gorilla. In these projects, Butler is a chronicler of the obscure lives of endangered species and is a catalyst for continued environmental activism. Although Butler admits that his work makes him “more of an observer of life than a participant in it,” 46 years out from Groton, he continues his work of profound educational and social impact, artfully and powerfully accomplished through photography and documentary films.

Top: Artist’s rendering of the legendary ivory-billed woodpecker, believed to be extinct or nearly extinct. Butler’s film about the search for the bird debuted in May 2008. Above: Father and son, central figures in Butler’s documentary In the Blood, which advances the notion that big-game hunting benefits animal conservation efforts.

Left: Butler with IMAX camera in Arizona shooting “Martian terrain.”

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Personae | People of Note

SIMPLE OPPORTUNITIES Thoughts on Service by Jay Rogers ’91

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t has been more than 17 years since I graduated from Groton, and after the travel, the learning, the bombs, and the bullets, I am back in Massachusetts starting a car company. It occurred to me that, if given the opportunity, I should share some of my thoughts on service as it has played heavily in my life and because much of it began for me at Groton. For those lucky 90 or so students per year who enter our school under the banner of Cui Servire est Regnare, here is a message: You are blessed with a fundamental teaching which you will carry forward for the rest of your life. It is hard to know how you will use your service, but tempered in the fire of Groton’s education, service is a forged tool that will be one of your strongest assets. You will know when it is time to put it to use, and my bet is that it will be a simple choice. Since graduation, I have earned several degrees, worked in six businesses, sang semi-pro, learned a new language, taught soccer, traveled extensively, and endured excruciating physical and mental exhaustion. Despite the effort involved in these events, they are nothing but the interstitial intensity that has glued my service together. I have only really served three times in the last 17 years, and each time was a precious gift that marks my time in becoming a man. I have: Served my country as a United States Marine; Served my family as a father, son, and brother; and Served my stakeholders as the founder of Local Motors, Inc.

Author, on left, on a strategic reconnaissance detail outside of Saddam’s palace in Basra, Iraq, while serving with the British led Multi-National Division Southeast.

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Simple Opportunities

None of these has been a complicated choice; in fact each has been deceptively simple. That is not to say that they have been easy or perhaps even successful in the way I imagined, but they are the choices that have mattered. In 1998, I found myself at a crossroad. On the way to graduate school and earning money, I was accomplishing things, but none were causes of service greater than myself. This feeling of “something missing” was percolating when one day the opportunity to serve dropped in my lap. Gathered in an auditorium with a group of soon-to-be classmates, I happened to be sitting next to a former Marine who spent the afternoon sharing the details of his service. Though we were supposed to be focused on our upcoming graduate school experience, I came away with the feeling that perhaps I had just been given my real opportunity, and it was not business school. I wanted to serve. Misunderstood by my loved ones—unknown to me, full of danger, joining the military was a difficult and unpopular decision, but it was a simple choice of service. Robert Gula—my second form dorm head, Micheline Myers—my faculty advisor, and Bill Polk—my headmaster—were all there somewhere in the background of that decision. In fact, my training at Groton is what prepared me to move with decisiveness when the gift of service dropped in my lap. Without Groton in my past, I do not think that I would have had the fortitude and muscle memory to drop what I was planning and to pick up the torch. Seven years later after being combat-tested, humbled, and hardened, I completed active military service. In retrospect, choosing to serve in the Marines was for me just the beginning of a new perspective on service. I had made a simple choice, and it had made all the difference. My friends and I used to wonder early on as Marines in long nights in the Middle East desert, “if we did not make it home in one piece, would we be sad?” and soon I learned that it was the very service in which we were all engaged that gave me meaning and comfort. I have never again pitied myself. By serving, I was beginning to rule—Rule my fear, my indecision, and my ability to make a difference. Cui Servire … In more poignant moments, service came as a stark choice that had to be made with great speed. Shortly after the picture on page 38 was taken, I was traveling on a mission to Baghdad to negotiate the training budget for the Iraqi River Patrol—a bureaucratic process of presentation and fund allocation. Shortly after the meeting, mortars started to drop all around us. No sooner than the first bomb hit the ground did my satellite phone crackle with a call from my general asking for a progress update in the funding talks. He could hear the bombs, and probably could have guessed that I was pressed in a corner beside a massive concrete barrier. But I had a choice, deliver the update and carry on, or let my personal situation overtake the greater job we were all there to achieve. Again, without the training formed in responding to the opportunities of service beginning at Groton, I would not have been ready to complete this mission. It

Artist’s and designer’s rendering of the Rally Fighter, the first Local Motors vehicle to be up for production.

My friends and I used to wonder early on as Marines in long nights in the Middle East desert, “if we did not make it home in one piece, would we be sad?” and soon I learned that it was the very service in which we were all engaged that gave me meaning and comfort. I have never again pitied myself.

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Personae | People of Note

I think it is something about real product, palpable manufacturing productivity, and a powerful brand built in a local community that breeds this connection between a founder and his company.

Ralph Rogers and JBR’s father on Indian motorcycles.

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may sound strange that discipline in combat could be taught as much in the halls of Brooks House as it is in the barracks of Quantico, but it is true. I can only liken this experience as a quickening, and when given opportunities to serve since then, my decisions have been faster, easier, and more efficient. Susannah and I now have three boys, John, Charles, and Houston, and together we serve our little family daily to bring them into a world of love and meaning. Recently, Susannah told an old friend how proud she would be if our boys served in the military. Quietly, I thought, “we have so much work to do to give them those choices in their heart when the opportunity arises.” This Halloween, they asked to be policemen and were running around giving tickets to everyone that passed by. If we do one thing right by them, they will feel proud to become those policemen about which they dream. My grandfather on my father’s side was a hard-working businessman, who owned several businesses in his life, some successful and others not, but as a father, he felt the same obligation of service to his children. Recently, my father and I were going through his father’s memoirs, and we uncovered a picture of him in the 1940s. He was then the CEO of the Indian Motorcycle Company in Springfield, Massachusetts. In the picture, he was seated astride one of the company’s newest bikes, and next to him was my father, a St. Mark’s youngster. Looking into my grandfather’s eyes, I could see a leader responsible for employees, their families, stockholders, customers, and a legendary brand. Looking into my father’s eyes, I could see wonder and excitement, learning at the feet of his father to be the formidable CEO that he would one day become. What I realize now is that my grandfather was grooming his boys to be someday the business leader that he himself had become by setting the example of service. Though the Indian Motorcycle Company was ultimately unsuccessful, it was perhaps my grandfather’s first love in business and the company of which he was always most proud. I think it is something about real product, palpable manufacturing productivity, and a powerful brand built in a local community that breeds this connection between a founder and his company. To the onlooker, this may have looked liked leadership, but to my father and now to me, I see a man who offered unbridled service. If we can offer a great gift to our children, especially in times of economic uncertainty, it would be the pride of their knowing that their parents are serving a cause greater than themselves. Today, I lead Local Motors, a new American automotive manufacturing and sales company, stepping right into the shoes of my grandfather in the very home state where Groton trains its leaders and where he figures below. At Local Motors, my team serves investors, employees, suppliers, our environment, and our future customers. These customers are the precious enthusiasts who protect our


Simple Opportunities

JBR stands with automotive designer of the Rally Fighter, Adis Gacevic.

brand and who remain at the vanguard of disruptive innovation in one of America’s last industries to be transformed from century-old labor, manufacturing, and management practices—the automotive industry. Making the decision to start Local Motors meant stepping into one of the most iconic American industries and also into one of the most complicated labor, franchise, and supplier networks ever created. To describe the industry as complex would be an understatement. But in a sense, the facts were simple. United States automakers were losing market share to Asian and European manufacturers, and in the process they were reaching unprecedented levels of unprofitability and financial loss. Jobs were in peril and disappearing across the heartland, and the very faith in American manufacturing and automotive innovation was shaken to its core. But yet other companies were growing within the U.S. auto industry all at the expense of our domestic incumbents. Nothing was wrong with the industry as much as things were wrong with our country’s readiness to make a change. Coupled with a global angst about the automotive contribution to global warming and the strained relations with the oil producing countries who supply product to our country of voracious petrol consumers, the opportunity to do something was growing greater every day. Just like my second form dorm prefect duties, joining the military in an unpopular time, or discussing training budgets when bombs are slamming all around, making the decision to jump into the car industry fell into sharp clarity: stick your hand in the ring to serve and thereby have a shot at taking control of your destiny, or stand by and watch as events unfold and dictate the course of progress. Time will tell if Local Motors has the right idea with which to address the current automotive crisis, but whatever the end result, I will have made a simple decision whose inevitable result must be to inspire others to serve alongside. Daily, we are seeing domestic car makers, who have been the century-old bedrock of American manufacturing prowess, strain and wither under market and economic conditions. We have the opportunity to step into the breach. It is immaterial that we are the country that fired automotive mass production, and that we are the country where dealerships grew to blanket the country and put a car in almost every driveway; conventions notwithstanding, our automotive industry is flagging and our environment is calling for better methods. The opportunity to serve has presented itself once more. If my life of punctuated service is an inspiration to a young Grotonian reading this article then these words will have been well spent. Humble yourself enough to see the opportunities in which to serve and through that action find natural leadership.

Local Motors is a new American car company that is setting an exciting and sustainable course to design, manufacture, and sell cars. Revolutionary yet simple, Local Motors creates a direct connection with customers who guide design development. The outcome of this open, collaborative process is meaningful, exciting cars designed specifically for car enthusiasts in local areas. Local Motors will build micro-factories in regions where demand is highest. Cars will be built and sold from the micro-factories on a just-in-time basis. Both the products and process are sustainable. Local Motors vehicles feature best in class fuel efficiency. The development and manufacturing process dramatically reduces waste and maintains the flexibility to incorporate new efficient technologies as they emerge while creating a direct physical connection with more fully satisfied customers.

Jay Rogers, a graduate of the Form of 1991, is the co-founder and CEO of Local Motors, Inc., headquartered in Wareham, Massachusetts. Quarterly Winter 2009

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Grotoniana | All Things Groton


Language Matters Textbooks and readers by Groton faculty instruct students far beyond the Circle.

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hen Groton’s faculty publishes, the country learns. Carrying on a tradition that dates back to 1898, the current faculty in the School’s Classics and Modern Language Departments have recently published nearly a dozen scholarly tracts, textbooks and workbooks that are being used by hundreds of teachers and thousands of students across the country. All this publishing activity has helped the School achieve one of its ongoing goals. “One mission of the School is to help lead American education,” says Spanish teacher John Conner, who has written a popular three-volume set of Spanish language textbooks. “All this writing and publishing helps us reach beyond the Circle. It presents real opportunity to effect change for the better.” All of this recent publishing activity is built on a solid foundation that dates back more than 100 years. “Since its early years, the School has maintained a tradition of producing classics textbooks,” classics teacher Andres Reyes ’80 writes in the preface to his recently released Intermediate Latin (Oxbow Books, 2008). “I have inevitably learnt much from my predecessors.” In the preface, Reyes offers an informative history of publishing at Groton—and by Groton. He notes that the tradition started in 1898 with the publication of Edwin Hall Higley’s Exercises in Greek Composition: Based on Xenophon’s Anabasis and Hellenica. Higley was a professor of Classics at Middlebury College before coming to Groton as a schoolmaster.

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Grotoniana | All Things Groton The following timeline for classics textbooks is gleaned from Reyes’ preface: 1898

Exercises in Greek Composition Based on Xenophon’s Anabasis and Hellenica, by Edwin Hall Higley

1904 First Latin Writer by Mather Abbot 1935

Eclogues, an edition of Virgil’s published by F.J. DeVeau

1938* Latin Syntax*, by various members of the Classics Department This 47-page booklet offers a basic outline of the language. The third revised edition appeared in this year. 1966 Pearson’s Essentials of Latin, by M.W. Mansur and N.M. Getty 1966* Basic Latin Vocabulary*, by Getty and Mansur 1968

Selections from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, edited by DeVeau and Getty

1968

Intermediate Latin, by R.J. Gula

1975

Jenny’s Latin Course, a revision by R.V. Scudder in four volumes

1976* Juvenal and Johnson*, a volume of Latin poetry edited by W.J. Myers 1977* Varieties of Latin Verse*, another volume of Latin verse by Myers 1977 Mythology, by Gula and T.H. Carpenter 1978* Carmina Amatoria*, a third volume of Latin verse edited by Myers 2006 A Vergil Workbook, by Katherine Bradley 2007 Virgil’s Aeneid: A Reader’s Guide, by David Ross Titles with an asterisk are particularly noteworthy because they were published by the Groton School Press. This publishing arm of the School produced at least six books from 1938 into the 1980s, from textbooks and study guides to editions of Virgil and Latin verse. “The Groton School Press produced all of the School’s printed materials, from stationery to the annual reports, The Circle Voice, the Third Form Weekly, the Grotonian, and anything else,” Reyes says. “Much of it was produced by the boys and girls themselves, or else by the press master.” Missing from the above list of textbooks—but far from forgotten—are the works of Hugh Sackett. The Groton School Press published his critical editions of Catullus (1973) and Horace (1977). Edited by Myers and George Goold, they were considered the best editions then available. “These are not strictly textbooks for schools, but they are seminal contributions to knowledge about the ancient world,” says Reyes. Although the books published by the Groton School Press were intended for use by Groton students, their influence on contemporary faculty writers has helped them find a life beyond the Circle, even if indirectly. “The word-lists in Basic Latin Vocabulary are still the most concise and useful summary of meanings that I know…” Reyes says in his preface. “… and I have taken the liberty of adopting definitions in that volume for the vocabulary and glossaries in my current book.” In the end, modern technology killed the Groton School Press. As Reyes explains, computers with word processing and publishing software made it far easier and less expensive for faculty to print and photocopy their work. Of course, the ease of production often leads to the ease of discarding that which has been produced. To its credit, the Classics Department, then under the leadership of John Tulp, had the foresight to collect these computer-generated faculty writings and classroom assignments

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All Things Groton

There is one thread that ties this long list of publishing efforts together and unites today’s faculty writers with those of more than 100 years ago: A deep faith that language matters. in a binder that serves as a Latin primer. This binder, along with another containing selected readings of Latin writers, is still in use. There is one thread that ties this long list of publishing efforts together and unites today’s faculty writers with those of more than 100 years ago: a deep faith that language matters. “Language is culture, and both pervade our daily lives,” says author Katherine Bradley, who joined the Groton faculty in 2001. Speaking about Latin and Greek, she says: “If you have an understanding of Latin and Greek, you’ll have a better understanding of English.” Conner, who along with Cindy Beams, wife of faculty member Fred Beams, has set up his own company, Breaking the Barrier, Inc., to publish his Spanish textbooks and French textbooks by other Groton faculty, concurs. He collaborated with fellow language teacher Cathy Folts on the first Spanish books, and he convinced colleagues Michelle Myers and Catherine Coursaget to write the French companion series. Myers retired from Groton in 2003, and Coursaget is set to retire at the end of this school year. “One’s language is the most important part of one’s identity,” he says. “It’s a secret code to life.” Tulp, the former chairman of the Classics Department, agrees with both Bradley and Conner and offers a personal anecdote to underscore the point. “My father was a trust and estate lawyer,” he says. “When I was about 20, I was chatting with my dad, and he said, ‘I’ve got a grammar question for you.’ He asked if a certain word modified one word or another. I gave him my opinion and used my studies in Latin to explain why. “‘Well, I agree,’ he said. “‘And if the judge agrees with you tomorrow, my client will get a million dollars.’”

Andy Reyes ’80, PhD, in class

And for those for whom “mathematics was Greek to me” Groton mathematics teacher Jon Choate ’60 has teamed up with other authors to develop textbooks on dynamics activities titled, Chaos and Iteration as well as a series of workbooks for geometry projects that cover tessellations with polygon patterns and more complicated mosaics.

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Grotoniana | All Things Groton

Brown ’57 Harpsichord Inaugural Performance

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n the depths of the Schoolhouse, there sits a beautifully restored English harpsichord built in 1789 by the wellknown harpsichord builders Shudi and Broadwood. It was commissioned by Charles Carroll of Maryland, a delegate to the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence. This notable instrument was acquired by Groton School in 1939 and, in its own right, marks an important spot along a distinguished spectrum of historical instruments. Despite the historical fanciness of Shudi’s instrument, however, there is another harpsichord on the Circle that holds even more meaning in our community, as it was built on site in the School’s wood shop by our very own Mr. Doug Brown ’57, school archivist and member of the Arts Department in woodworking. Brought to the Chapel on November 20, 2008 the School heard the harpsichord performed for the very first time. Exquisite in detail, craftsmanship, and choices of wood, Brown’s harpsichord is a close copy of an instrument made in London by Jacob Kirchman in 1770. Since the late 1980s, Brown has worked on this instrument on and off until its final completion in 2007. Builders of musical instruments such as the harpsichord or violin can spend up to a thousand hours on just one instrument, belaboring over countless details, many intangible, that can only be approached and realized by a skilled hand, well-trained eye, and tuned ear. When the final coat of varnish dries, the instrument is unveiled to the world in a setting like the one we

Douglas Brown stands with Prof. Tom Kelly, Chair of the Music Department at Harvard who played the harpsichord in its inaugural performance.

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The ensemble members performing in Chapel were L to R Susan Randozzo, Tim Terranella, Anne Trout, Guy Fishman, Tom Kelly, Chris Borg, Joan Ellersick.

enjoyed in November when the spectacle of its craftsmanship became secondary to its life in the air with its new sounds, timbre, and nuances. This was an incredibly wonderful and suspenseful moment shared by the builder, performer, and audience. In the spirit of fellowship among the music communities connected to Groton, we welcomed to campus six guest musicians whom director of instrumental music, Christopher Borg joined in a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6. The musical guests were educators in various areas of music who balance their classroom, research, or administrative work with a life on stage, performing in such ensembles as the Boston Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society, the Boston Pops, and, more locally, the Indian Hill Symphony. Joining Borg in the viola section was St. Mark’s School Director of Chamber Ensembles, Joan Ellersick. On the two viola da gamba parts were Groton’s cello instructor, Tim­ Terranella, and local cellist Susan Randozzo, executive director of Indian Hill School of Music. Playing on Brown’s harpsichord was Tom Kelly ’61, chairman of the Music Department at ­Harvard. Cellist Guy Fishman played the continuo line. Fishman is a co-founder of Switzerland’s Alpine Chamber Music Festival, the festival at which Groton’s Chamber Orchestra was ensemble-in-residence in 2006. Finally, Groton’s string bass instructor Anne Trout provided the music’s bottom-most notes. To hear a brief selection from the concerto and Brown’s harpsichord in its inaugural performance, go to www.groton.org and visit the performing arts section of the site’s academic pages.


New FACULTY Submitted by Aimeclaire Roche, Assistant Head of School

Rob Calagione

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e welcome Rob Calagione warmly as an intern in the History Department. Upon meeting Rob, History Department Chair John Lyons reflected, “Unlike so many intern candidates who are full of dash, who seek to impress with just the right vocabulary, and who often only thinly veil their sense of entitlement and hubris, in Rob’s case I sense there is a quiet earnestness about him.” It was clear during our recruitment process that Rob is admired from all quarters for his decency, genuine enthusiasm, and modesty. In addition to such human qualities, Rob, a 2008 graduate of Wake Forest University, also brings a keen interest in the world beyond the west. At Wake Forest he double majored in economics and Middle East and South Asia Studies. Rob is a member of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society and the Omicron Delta Epsilon, the economics honors society. Rob has served as a research assistant in the Southwest Asia and Gulf Department at the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington D.C.; and has been an intern at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, also in Washington. While at Wake Forest, Rob began his study of Modern Standard Arabic. According to his teacher, “Success in learning this language requires sharpness of intellect, an ability to think ‘outside the box,’ and above all discipline, consistency and a willingness to work hard—all qualities that Mr. Calagione possesses in ample measure.” No stranger to independent school life, Rob is a 2004 graduate of St. Mark’s School where he was head of the student All new faculty photos by Vaughn Winchell

government, a captain of the varsity baseball, varsity cross country and junior varsity basketball teams. A tutor of Arabic, a tutor of SAT strategies and, most recently, a teacher at the Northfield Mount Hermon Summer Session, Rob is teaching American History and bestows his earnest care to his affiliate work in Capen’s dorm, and to the teams he will coach: football, basketball and baseball.

Carmine Grimaldi

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ccording to the reference text The Joys of Yiddish, a mensch is “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being ‘a real mensch’ is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.” (Rosten, Leo. 1968. The Joys of Yiddish. New York: Pocket Books. 237) Although we wish we did, it is not often that you see mensch used in school correspondence. To one of Carmine Grimaldi’s recommendation writers, however, no word better describes this aspiring teacher whom we welcome as one of our two interns this year. “With his penetrating intelligence and remarkable sensitivity, Carmine has the qualities to become a stellar teacher. He is also a true ‘mensch’—kind thoughtful, and caring.” Described as having “an exceptionally agile mind” and an unusually “broad stock of knowledge,” Carmine joins us in the History Department where he will teach The World and The West. Carmine is a 2008 graduate of Amherst College, with a bachelor’s degree in history, and his professors there speak of the clarity of his thought,

and writing, and the astuteness of his reading. While an undergraduate, Carmine enjoyed travel and research grants under the auspices of Alpha Delta Phi and the Linden Fund, and the Humanity in Action Fellowships. In 2007, Carmine served as an intern at the Center for Constitutional Rights, working on the issue of legal rights at Guantanamo. Carmine also has pursued work as a text editor. He is the founder and editorin-chief of the Five College Literary Review, a publication representing and distributed among the Five College Consortium; also, for three years he has edited nationally best selling books on the martial arts—one of his avocations. Among other gifts, Carmine brings to us a keen sense for the issues of community and residential life. He is a 2004 graduate of St Paul’s School, from which he graduated with distinction in the humanities, where he was a dormitory prefect, and where this summer he taught in the summer session. Carmine has also worked as a tutor in the Vermont system of Mental Health Services, as a volunteer at Amherst’s Survival Center, a resource for Massachusetts families in need, and as a reader to those who are blind or dyslexic. In addition to his teaching, Carmine will assist Melinda Stewart, Director of Counseling, with various aspects of the co­-curricular program; he will serve as an affiliate in Hall’s dorm and will coach cross country, squash and crew.

Drew Kesler

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rew Kesler joins Groton with myriad experiences in schools. Indeed, Drew is one of those Quarterly Winter 2009

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Grotoniana | All Things Groton teacher candidates with whom our own Charlie Alexander would be able to talk for hours about the people and places they know in common. Drew’s father was a long-serving teacher at Holderness School, and Drew’s grandfather an even longer serving teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy. Our friends at Carney, Sandoe & Associates shamelessly advertised that teaching is “in Drew’s blood.” Teaching is in Drew’s blood, not because of his ancestry but for who he is and the conviction with which he approaches his teaching. With 15-years experience teaching at Salisbury School, Drew is a sabbatical replacement in the Science Department where he teaches physics. And there are few candidates about whom colleagues speak so glowingly. Able to “challenge and inspire in equal measure,” Drew has been a teacher to whom Salisbury graduates write for years after they matriculate to college with excited news about further study, or with questions about academic or personal challenges. With quiet but deft poise, Drew is able to hold students “accountable to the highest standards without losing their enthusiasm.” A Salisbury colleague spoke of Drew’s work as “art.” Drew’s academic pursuits have been wide-ranging, from physics to philosophy, from expository writing to writing computer applications. Drew is a 1988 graduate of Holderness, and holds a 1992 bachelor of arts degree in physics and philosophy from Lawrence University, and a 2003 masters in civil and environmental engineering from Princeton University. While at Salisbury Drew served on the Judiciary Committee, sang in the gospel choir, and advised many clubs. The most successful of these clubs built a solar-electric car from the ground up. They then defeated all in their category of the American Tour de Sol in 1994, including several technical institutes and an Ivy League school. The following year, they successfully defended their title. By the way, Drew also ran a dorm and coached two seasons! While on sabbatical from Salisbury during the 2002–2003 academic year, Drew earned a masters in engineering while also coaching Princeton’s women’s fours into both the final and the petite final of the EAWRC Sprints, and coached for the Carnegie Lake Rowing Association as well.

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These are only a few of the many reasons why we are pleased to have Drew join us, along with his wife Maryanne, former faculty member at the Hotchkiss School, who will spend this year acclimating their two children—Tess and Colin— and two cats—Cottonball and Gilbert—to their new home on the Circle.

Erin Lyman

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rin Lyman joins the Groton community as the director of Recent Graduate Relations with impressive credentials and an abiding affinity for young people and the communities in which they evolve and mature. Erin is a 2001 graduate of Bowdoin College where she was an Asian studies major and education minor. Her Bowdoin career included Dean’s List standing as well as 12 varsity letters, three sport captaincies, and All New England honors in cross country. Erin also served the Bowdoin community as an R.A. on a first year residence hall. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Teachers College, where in 2004 she earned her master’s degree in education administration and where she served as an R.A. in a graduate school dormitory, was editor of the “TC Residential Life” newsletter and reviewed applications for undergraduate admission. Erin’s professional experience covers the spectrum of collegiate and secondary education, public as well as private schools, and involves work in residential life, admissions, and development. With the marketing team at the University of Vermont from 2004–2007, Erin had responsibility for, among other duties, athletic and development admission recruitment and file review. In 2007, Erin joined the South Burlington Public School District in Vermont as the director of Alumni and

Development and the executive director of the South Burlington Schools Foundation. In this post, Erin served as a campaign director and contact for private scholarship and fundraising activities. Erin’s enthusiasm for independent school work is fueled by her own experiences growing up as a faculty child at Northfield Mount Hermon School, and her student career at NMH from where she and her four siblings graduated. Erin even returned to NMH in 2001-2003 as an assistant director of Admissions, and as athletic liaison. In addition to her work with development at Groton, Erin will serve as a dorm head to upper school girls in Hundred House, where she and her fluffy dog Gus have already made a gracious home. Indeed, upon meeting Erin for the first time, any acquaintance—a new or old colleague, a student or parent, a recent or veteran alum—will be struck by her broad smile, gentle confidence, and her love for the world of schools and schooling. Erin’s experiences in a variety of educational venues and her myriad aspects of administrative work will be a tremendous asset to her colleagues in the Dome and all around the Circle. Erin is also thrilled to be living in such a runner’s paradise. She has completed 11 marathons, most recently the Philadelphia marathon in November, 2008.

Tim Reed

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im Reed will teach chemistry at Groton during Sandy Kelly’s sabbatical year. It is Tim’s experience in teaching that makes him such an exciting addition to our faculty. He has spent the last 17 years teaching in the Weston High School where he has taught AP, Honors and college preparatory chemistry.


New Faculty Tim also has sat on or chaired committees for schedule reform, technology innovation, career exploration, and school accreditation. Weston colleagues undoubtedly missed him as they opened school this fall, for they agree that he “will take your best students to new heights.” Prior to his career at Weston, from 1972-1990, Tim was a teacher of chemistry, earth science and physics in the Waltham High School. And prior to that, Tim was a Peace Corp teacher at the Government Secondary School in Tamale, Ghana. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Bates College and a master’s in computer science with a concentration in artificial intelligence from Northeastern University. Some of Tim’s hobbies outside education include: advising research in measuring collegiate success among science students sponsored by the HarvardSmithsonian Center for Astrophysics; developing curricular materials for teaching high school students about molecular motion; and developing curricular materials for teaching high school students quantum principals. Which is not to overlook Tim’s life outside the lab where he enjoys coaching youth soccer, skiing and acting as a trustee to the Randell Library in Stow, Massachusetts, where he and his wife Margaret have their home, with their two children, Parker— an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, and Meghan who works in communications in Washington, D.C. While Tim will continue to live in Stowe, he is excited to serve as an affiliate in Smith’s dorm and will coach boys soccer.

Laurie Sales

the spring of last year, she read our advertisement and without any tangible reason to do so, pursued our invitation to interview. Until then, Laurie’s recent work had been centered in the New York City area, in both professional theater and public schools. As the associate artistic director and producer in the Performing Arts Program at the Ridgewood, (NJ), Public School, Laurie was a part of a nationally recognized school drama program which produces seven main-stage and four second-stage productions annually. And, at the same time, as drama program supervisor and teaching artist at the Bronx Academy of Letters, Laurie was shaping a vibrant and essential drama program for a significantly under-resourced school. Still more, at the same time Laurie continued to pursue meaningful work in directing and with the nationally recognized Tectonic Theatre Project, under the direction of Moises Kaufman, with whom she had forged a long and important mentor relationship. When asked of his work with Laurie, Kaufman simply said, “Laurie can do no wrong.” It is a stroke of tremendous good fortune that Laurie heeded the lure, not only of the Campbell Center facility, but of a teaching life within a community. On the Circle, Laurie’s work, not only with students, but in her endeavors as professional director and playwright will continue to thrive. Laurie holds a 1995 bachelor of science degree in speech and theater from Northwestern University. She is a member of the Professional Director in Training MFA program at the University of Washington. Her directing career has taken her from numerous venues in New York to the Williamstown Theater Festival, to the McCarter Center in Princeton, New Jersey, to Melbourne Theater Company in Melbourne, Australia, and finally to Groton, where she will be an affiliate in Coursaget’s dorm.

Naichi Shih

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aurie herself would admit that she was not seeking an opportunity to teach in independent schools, but in

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aichi Shih joins the Groton faculty as our first teacher of Mandarin Chinese. Naichi comes to Groton with a bachelor’s degree in foreign

languages and literature, as well as two teaching certificates—one in teaching Chinese as a foreign language and one in secondary education, teaching English as a foreign language—all from Taiwan’s National Chiao-Tung (pronounced: Jau Tung) University. In addition, this July Naichi received her master’s degree in teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the program sponsored jointly by Middlebury College and the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Naichi has taken her master’s courses on both Middlebury’s campus in Vermont and the Institute’s campus in Monterey California. Naichi’s teaching experience includes work as a Chinese instructor at the Monterey Institute, Chinese lecturer at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, California, and English Teaching Fellow at Taiwan’s Kaohsiung [pronounced: Gaw Shun] Municipal Girls’ Senior High School. Indeed, beyond Naichi’s impressive credentials, it was her sample teaching lesson while interviewing at Groton that gave the faculty a glimpse of her affinity for language and her gentle care of language learners. In Naichi’s presence, our small band of uninitiated learners found themselves uttering new sounds and crafting new letters with a sense of profound confidence. After Naichi’s introductory lesson on Chinese characters, Andy Anderson, a member of the Modern Language Department, came roaring by the office saying, “Now that’s how a language lesson should be taught!” Naichi is described by her colleagues at the collegiate level as “observant, intellectually engaged, and fantastically organized and meticulous.” We feel tremendously lucky to have Naichi and her husband, Perry Yang, join us on the Circle. In addition to her teaching, Naichi will be an affiliate in Beams’ dorm and a coach of squash and tennis. Quarterly Winter 2009

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Grotoniana | All Things Groton

FALL SPORTS Boys Cross Country | 15 – 3 New England Division III Champions

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he boys cross country team completed the season with a dual meet record of 15 wins and three losses, its 12th consecutive winning season. Since 1997 the team has a combined dual meet record of 166 and 23. The team placed second at the ISL Championships, and won the New England Division III championship for the second straight year. Led by senior co-captains Arjun Aggarwal and Jack Carter, as well as All-ISL runners Ted Leonhardt and Jamie Norton, the team finished tied for second place in the ISL dual meet standings. It’s only ISL losses were to eventual ISL champion St. Paul’s and a narrow, one point loss to Governor’s Academy. The team would rebound from this defeat and go on to beat Governor’s by comfortable margins at the ISLs and New Englands. The team began the season with high hopes as well as a question mark: who would replace the four seniors from last year’s championship team? A strong group of fourth formers, led by returning runners James Wildasin, Orme Thompson, and Danny Rodriguez, as well as newcomers Zander McClelland, Josh Imhoff, Jack Cohen, Jamie Conner, Eric Smyth, and Mike Storace, stepped up to fill the void. Fourth Former Ted Leonhardt emerged as one of the elite runners in the league, winning two races outright and finishing sixth and fourth at the ISLs and New Englands respectively. Jamie Norton was also a top runner in the league, and finished with 11th and sixth place finishes at the ISLs and New Englands. Arjun and

Jack provided outstanding leadership as team co-captains, always working hard and setting a positive example for other members of the team. Fifth Former Austin Anton had another strong season as a member of the varsity seven. Ted Leonhardt and Jamie Norton earned All-ISL recognition, and Zander McClelland received honorable mention. By virtue of their top 15 finishes at the New England Championships, Ted Leonhardt, Jamie Norton, Josh Imhoff, James Wildasin, and Austin Anton were named to the All-New England Cross Country team. At the end of season banquet, the awards for Most Valuable and Most Improved went to Ted Leonhardt and James Wildasin, with the Coaches Award going to co-captains Arjun Aggarwal and Jack Carter. Eric Smyth earned the award for outstanding JV runner. Co-captains for 2009 are: Austin Anton and Jamie Norton.

All-ISL and most valuable award winner, Ted Leonhardt finishes a race at home.

Girls Cross Country | 11 – 4 ISL 4th Place, 2nd Place New England Division III

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Fourth Form runners Ted Leonhardt and Zander McClelland flank a St. Mark’s runner at the start of a quad meet at Groton with Governor’s Academy, Rivers School and St. Mark’s.

50 | Quarterly Winter 2009

fter fifteen years of coaching this sport at Groton, coach Gemmel might have grown complacent because each season seemed to proceed as did the previous: he put a bunch of overachieving, athletic, and kind kids together and seven weeks later, when the dust settled, the kids ran fast and earned some accolades in the process. This season shook him from complacency because this particular group struggled at first to find the balance point between caring too much and too little, between process and outcome, and between devotion to team and self-interest. Interesting opportunities emerged from this struggle, particularly given the impressively talented teams we encountered week after week. The team ended the season with a dual meet record in the ISL of 11 wins and 4 losses, and the girls surely learned valuable lessons


Fall Sports As a result of momentum built from hard work and commitment, Groton’s varsity squad finished just shy of third place in the ISL Championships and came back the following weekend to earn second place honors at the New England Division C Championships. Groton’s JV squad was yet more impressive in the final weeks and secured victories at both of these meets. Faith Richardson, a new Fourth Former, took many in the ISL by surprise and ended up finishing second at the ISL Championships, and she was followed closely by Ali Maykranz ’09 in 8th and Keri McKie ’09 in the 15th spot. New Fourth Former Julia Metzger, along with Fifth Former Julia Nestler and Sixth Formers Lili Urrutia and Sommer Carroll contributed also to the success of the varsity team. With many returning runners and copious excitement about next season, the girls look forward to continued success.

Sixth Form captain Ali Maykranz finishes a home race.

from every one of those contests. Perhaps most importantly, this team learned how to engage meaningfully, day in and day out in this sport even when other demands were competing for their energies. The impulse to do so surely came from their fine Sixth Form captains: Ali Maykranz, Keri McKie, and Katie Nichols. Each brought a different sort of intensity to bear: Ali modeled how to detach from caring too much about outcome; Keri encouraged others that full engagement was the ultimate goal; Katie ensured daily that we engage fully with delight. Slowly, steadily, others came to emulate their combined approaches, and the consequences were fulfilling to watch. For after the plagues of Groton ( flu and colds) washed over the team early in the season, the girls strung one good practice after another and gained momentum in races through the course of the season even after a few close defeats.

Fourth Form runner Faith Richardson (far left) gets out to a determined start in a home quad race.

Groton Boys Soccer  |  10 – 5 4th place in ISL, NEPSAC Semi-Finalist

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fter narrowly missing a tournament bid last year, the Groton Boys Varsity Soccer team set its sights on two goals at the outset of the season: winning the ISL and winning the New England Prep School Soccer Association (NEPSSA) Class B Tournament. And while they may have come up a bit short on both counts, it would be inappropriate to deem this season as anything other than a success. Continuing in the fashion of its recent record of success in and beyond the league, the team finished fourth in the tremendously competitive ISL and returned to the post season for the fourth time in five years. This year’s drive for excellence was again led by returning cocaptains Adam Reeve ’09 and Alistair Cummings ’09, players who brought an abundance of experience and passion to their critical leadership roles. Not surprisingly, both were named All-ISL First Team selections by the coaches of the league. As four-year starters for the varsity squad, these two players have been among the most successful players in the history of Groton Soccer, amassing an impressive 41-19-7 record over the course of their careers. Complemented by a strong senior core in Nick Hennrikkus, Henry Hoffstot, Henry Mumford, Tom Raymen, and Jungho Son, the captains modeled the edicts of selfless determination and unyielding commitment that came to define this year’s team and this year’s season. After a somewhat inconsistent 4-2 start to the season, the team held two losses as it took on an athletic and talented ISL contender, St. Paul’s. In an impressive display of grit and team play, Groton was able to outmatch St. Paul’s 2-1 on goals from 2009 captain-elect Will Stankiewicz ’10 and Tom Raymen ’09. This victory gave the squad confidence in its ability to compete against the league’s elite teams; and a newfound sense of team unity, optimism and resolve continued to build for the next two weeks, culminating in an impressive and deserved win over Rivers School (eventual second place ISL finisher) on Parents’ Weekend. Quarterly Winter 2009

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Grotoniana | All Things Groton All-ISL First Team: Alistair Cummings, Adam Reeve Second Team: Dan McCarthy, Will Stankiewicz, Jordan Washam Most Valuable Player: Adam Reeve Most Improved Player: Justin Swansburg Coaches’ Award: Henry Mumford

Girls Soccer  |  10 – 5 – 1 2008 Class C NEPSAC Quarterfinalist

C From that point, the team followed tremendous performance after tremendous performance, losing only twice (to Belmont Hill and Nobles, the eventual first and third place finishers in the league) in games that were each well within reach. Closing out the second half of the season with three consecutive victories—including a win against the Lions of St. Mark’s School in the 11th match for the Fritz Wiedergott Cup—earned the team a well-deserved return trip to the NEPSSA Class B Tournament, where they took on defending-champion Kimball Union Academy in the quarterfinals. Undaunted by the long drive north into New Hampshire, Groton was able to match KUA’s pace and athleticism on their fast turf field, and secured a 1-0 victory when Scott Fronsdahl ’09 broke through, his shot caromed off the keeper, and Justin Swansburg ’10 was waiting and lofted a shot on target with great poise. This set up a rematch of that all-important match with Rivers in the semifinal round, this time with a trip to the championship on the line. After getting off to a slow start, and finding themselves down 3-0 within the first 25 minutes of the match, Groton battled back admirably, creating a number of close chances at goal and getting a goal back in the closing minutes of the first half. Buoyed by that goal, the boys regained their footing in the second half, committing themselves fully to going forward and tying the match. Despite creating a number of tantalizing opportunities, and displaying admirable determination and effort right, Groton was unable to convert and their storybook season came to an end. In the words of Head Coach Peter Quagliaroli, “I am especially proud of this team, not for their success, necessarily, but for their resolve and resilience. Ours was a team that simply never stopped running and never stopped trying, right up to the final whistle of the season. For me, this is the highest compliment a team can pay its coaches and its school.”

52 | Quarterly Winter 2009

Vaughn Winchell

FifthFormer Will Stankiewicz laces a one-hop rebound toward the Brooks goal.

oming off a spectacular 2007 season which saw the first-ever trip to the post-season for Groton girls soccer, this year’s team was fired up and ready to go by springtime. We enjoyed a week of preseason training that included morning runs, technical training sessions and evening scrimmages. All of this hard work clearly paid off as the team began the season on a 6-1 tear. Though all of this success was truly a team effort, a few individuals made significant contributions. Sixth Former Alex Morss anchored the defense from her center back position while her sister, Third Former Abby Morss proved to be a potent striker. Fourth Form goalie Adrianna Pulford played every minute of the season in the net and kept the team alive in many close games while also posting four shutouts. Fourth Form midfielder Michela ­Mastrullo, also deserves an iron-man award for playing every minute of the season. Midfielders Nicole Fronsdahl ’12 and Paige McDonald ’10 both contributed strong seasons and were responsible for game winning goals against St. George’s and St. Mark’s. Throughout the fall the captains provided tremendous leadership in guiding a particularly young team that included six third formers and four fourth formers. Alex Morss, Danny Rainer and Gabriella Flibotte brought energy, enthusiasm and experience to

Sixth Former Alex Morss wins the ball in a game versus Brooks School.


Fall Sports earned honorable mention distinctions. Perhaps most satisfying, was the team’s earning the ISL sportsmanship award as voted on by ISL opposing coaches. We have some big gaps to fill in our graduating class, but we also return a large number of girls who are already thinking ahead to next year’s playoff run. With two consecutive trips to the playoffs and a third one in our sights, it’s an exciting time for Groton girls soccer.

Field Hockey  |  1 – 12 – 1

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hat members of the varsity 2008 field hockey team will always value about this season is the spirit that defined us, both as individuals and as a team. We came back for preseason healthy and energized about what we could accomplish this fall. We had a strong core of seniors to set the standards, led by co-captains Ripley Hartmeyer ’09 and Ashleigh Corvi ’09—with significant inspiration, dedication and desire evinced by Heather Mayer ’09, Katie Mello ’09, Lily Hoch ’09 and supplemented admirably by new-to-the-Varsity senior Nancy Chou. The way we practiced and worked, we had every reason to believe that we were going to be able to turn things around this fall. During our opening scrimmage against Andover, our goalkeeper Ashleigh Corvi badly injured her quad, preventing her not only from playing in that scrimmage, but from playing in games through the end of October. With that injury, we put out a call to arms, asking the student body if anyone was willing to learn this position. We had three students come out to practice the next day: Mari Tabata ’09, (who had played JV in the past, and who sacrificed her own music FSA in order to help us out) Kaly Spilhaus ’12, and Ali Norton ’12—to whom our program will always be grateful for their willingness to

Fifth Former Amelia Barnett goes up for a header.

Vaughn Winchell

Vaughn Winchell

help guide the team back to the postseason. They will be missed tremendously. The team worked hard to earn a 10-5-1 record and a second invitation to the NEPSAC tournament. We travelled to Brewster Academy for our first round game and played a thrilling match that ended in heartbreak. After 100 minutes of scoreless soccer, the game was decided on penalty kicks, where Brewster prevailed 3-2. While it was an exciting game to be a part of, it was also a brutal way to end such a successful season. Several girls earned ISL league honors this fall. Alex Morss ’09 was named to the all-ISL team, and three players, Amelia Barnett  ’10, Adrianna Pulford ’11 and Michela Mastrullo ’11

Fifth Former Coco Minot dribbles away from defender in Governor’s game.

Tri-Captain-Elect Bryn Garrity ’10 dribbles toward the goal in Governor’s game.

Quarterly Winter 2009

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Grotoniana | All Things Groton try something new and demanding for the good of others! They learned this role well, with Mari and Ali staying on as Varsity keepers, and Ali playing all season for the JV squad. Interestingly, an additional windfall from that unfortunate situation was the addition to our coaching ranks of Nishad Das, one of the best goalie coaches going! He joined our practices later on in the afternoons and put these goalies-in-training through their paces. We had our first win of the season against a feisty St. George’s squad, and the girls knew then that there was talent in the ranks. We tied St. Paul’s school in a terrific contest that went to OT. We lost to Brooks School in a classic battle; while Brooks ended up winning 3-1, we all knew how close that game really was. Unfortunately, our good luck didn’t last, and during the heart of the season we lost some key, experienced players for extended times (Ripley and Grace Bukawyn ’10 in midfield, Annie Badman ’10 at back, Whitney Hartmeyer ’11 on the forward line, to name a few) to illness and injury that proved too large a hurdle to overcome in the win/loss column. What we didn’t lose was our willingness to compete for 60 minutes, nor did we lose our “spicy” play, love of the game, or our heart—you would have thought we had won the World Series when we scored a goal against Lawrence Academy, the ultimate winners of the ISL and NEPSAC. The St. Mark’s game showed our toughness and desire to win. We scored first and took a 1-0 lead into half-time. St. Mark’s came back in that contest, and while they ended up with the W, we certainly knew that we gave them a fight they didn’t expect. The W/L numbers cannot begin to encapsulate all that this team learned, endured, and gained from being together this fall. We are a stronger, tougher team than the numbers show, and we will be a force in the future.

Fourth Former Bubba Scott breaks free out of the backfield versus Rivers.

Football  |  3 – 5

L Vaughn Winchell

ISL Honorable Mentions: Ripley Hartmeyer and Ashlin Dolan Coaches’ Awards: Ripley Hartmeyer and Heather Mayer Most Improved: Bryn Garrity Tri-Captains-elect: Grace Bukawyn, Bryn Garrity, Jenessa Battaini

Sixth Former Luke Deary sprints around left end versus Lawrence Academy.

54 | Quarterly Winter 2009

ast year, the 2007 Groton Varsity Football team battled to its best finish in several years (3-5). The strong 2007 season gave momentum and high expectations for 2008. Despite low numbers on the depth chart and several early season injuries, this year’s team duplicated last season’s record of 3-5. The 2008 team shared a strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie. The players became teammates and friends both on and off the field. They learned to enjoy the game, give it their all, and have fun at the same time. With the fast pace, no-huddle offense, Groton started the season showing how explosive a team we could be. In our opener trailing St. George’s half way through the fourth quarter by 15 points, Groton shifted into overdrive and scored 16 unanswered points to take a one point lead 3635. Although St. George’s was able to steal the game with only seconds remaining, the high scoring contest sent the message that we would be an exciting team in 2008. Team confidence soared after that first game, and our boy’s knew they could compete. Given the short season—playing only eight games, Groton put up impressive numbers. The defense had nine interceptions, a fumble recovery and 653 tackles for the year. Sixth Former Reed Simmons lead the team in picks with three, followed by Sixth Former Luke Deary’s two. Sixth Formers Kyle Goodwin, Peter Taylor and Fifth Former Will Stemberg lead the team in tackles with 159 tackles each. This year’s defense improved greatly in the turnover category, doubling the number of interceptions versus last season. Overall, we were a much improved defensive unit.


On offense, Groton had one of the most productive teams in the ISL. Total offensive production came to 2,684 yards, 1,716 yards from passing and 968 yards from rushing. Second year quarterback Fifth Former Brett Frongillo had an outstanding year, throwing for 1672 yards on 121 completions versus 184 attempts for a rate of 65.8%. Brett had 16 touchdown passes caught by five different receivers, while carrying the ball 88 times for 468 yards on the ground. Luke Deary ’09 was one of the team’s leading receivers with 32 catches for 478 yards and six touchdowns. Fifth Former Drew Daigneault, another leading receiver, had 32 catches for 489 yards and four touchdowns, while Sixth Former Billy Larkin had 22 catches for 226 yards. Combined, all four receivers were among the leaders statistically in the league. The heart and soul of the Groton offense were the F.O.O.L.S. (Fraternal Order of Offensive Linemen Society)—the O-line. Their solid play all season enabled Groton to compete and to generate outstanding numbers. The F.O.O.L.S. were led by seniors Peter Taylor ’09 and Kyle Goodwin ’09, with fifth formers Robert Black, Jonathon Rodriquez and Charles Boutet returning next year. The season ended in spectacular fashion as we defeated traditional rival St. Mark’s in a classic ISL shoot out, 46-43. The atmosphere surrounding this game was great, with our fans making a day of it, from tailgating to celebrating the victory. Groton had 591 yards of total offense, 270 yards rushing and 321

Vaughn Winchell

Fall Sports

Quarterback Bret Frongillo ’10 sets to throw while Tom Nagler ’10 provides pass protection.

yards passing. The first score came on a 71 yard run by Fourth Former Ross Julian. This game saw the return of Fifth Former Tanner Keefe, coming off a shoulder injury. His five catches for 135 yards, three touchdown receptions, two interceptions and nine tackles showed how you can put a whole season in one game. The excitement surrounding the St. Mark’s game was unbelievable as late in the game the student body and fans from both schools crowded the end zones as the sun was setting, cheering loudly for their respective teams. Both determined teams played hard and gave the fans what they wanted to see, a high-scoring, fast-paced nail bitter which the Groton Zebras were fortunate to put in the win column. This was a game our sixth form players will never forget. Playing hard all season, compiling a 3-5 record for the second straight year, winning three out of four at home is exciting for our football program. First-year Coach Sampson feels the team played hard all season and has laid a solid foundation for future teams to follow. Many thanks to the administrators, teachers, coaches and parents who supported the football team this season. 1st Team ISL: Brett Frongillo and Luke Deary Honorable Mention ISL: Drew Daigneault, Kyle Goodwin and

Will Stemberg Team Awards: Charles Alexander Award: Peter Taylor Most Improved Player: Drew Daigneault Coach’s Choice Award: Ben Lamont Most Valuable Player: Brett Frongillo Captains Elect for 2009: Charles-Eric Boutet, Brett Frongillo, and Sixth Former Billy Larkin surges for extra yardage in the Rivers game.

Will Stemberg Quarterly Winter 2009

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Grotoniana | All Things Groton

New releases Henry A. Francis ’56

Two for Tea – John Clark/Henry Francis Duo Release Date:  June 26, 2008 Mephistopheles Records

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ianist Henry Francis ’56, and clarinetist and saxophonist John Clark have recorded a variety of interesting and exciting arrangements from their eclectic repertoire of jazz duets. The musical genre is best described as classic hot jazz (pre-bebop), played with exuberance, swing, and taste. For details and audio samples go to www.swinglegacy.com.

Meredith Mason Brown ’58

Frontiersman: Daniel Boone and the Making of America Release Date:  September 2008 Louisiana State University Press

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his is the fourth biography of Boone since 1992—it’s the most readable and balanced, and, because it benefits from those earlier studies, also the most complete and satisfying. Every biographer of Boone has to contend with the idolatry that grew up around the man when he was alive. But Brown, in his first book, steers clear of hero worship. He sees Boone whole, praising him where praise is warranted while scrupulously recording his failings—risking his family’s lives, losing sons in battles with Indians, never succeeding as a land speculator. Yet Boone emerges again as a truly remarkable figure. Caught up in the Revolutionary War, the unending Indian warfare that followed and westward expansion, he managed to remain a loyal American while moving among the tribes whose ways he knew and, unlike so many others, respected. His legendary marksmanship and daring protected him and his followers for decades. Brown’s Boone remains a larger-than-life figure: heroic without posturing, steadfast without foolishness, patriotic without Indian hatred. This is a book for those who seek an accurate, not pietistic, history of a way of life long past.

56 | Quarterly Winter 2009


New Releases

Allterton W. Kilborne ’65

Woodley and Its Residents, with a foreword by Walter Isaacson Release Date:  December 1, 2008 Arcadia Publishing

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uilt in 1801 on a ridge overlooking the incipient federal capital, Woodley stood for 150 years as the most coveted private residence in Washington, housing a series of presidents, senators, cabinet officers, generals, socialites, servants, and slaves. From the unique vantage point of his historic house and surrounding grounds, Al Kilborne weaves national, local, and household events around an evolving cast of unforgettable men and women to create a new lens on this nation’s history.

Cecilia L. Kemble ’91

Celerie Kemble: To Your Taste Creating Modern Rooms with a Traditional Twist December 1, 2008 Arcadia Publishing

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elerie Kemble celebrates what is beautiful about traditional style, while breaking some of its rules to create spaces that are versatile, original, and truly livable. She helps her readers blend a classic sensibility with a dose of irreverence and a dollop of humor to achieve a home that’s tasteful, eclectic, always evolving, and always welcoming. From finding inspiration in childhood memories, current trends, and favorite belongings to working around real-life design dilemmas (such as a lack of space or light, or awkward floor plans) to selecting just the right furnishings (including rugs, lamps, and accessories), Celerie Kemble: To Your Taste infectiously proves that when making a beautiful home, the process is the best part.

Elizabeth Curtis Sittenfeld ’93

American Wife Release Date:  September 2, 2008 Random House Publisher

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n this novel, Alice Lindgren is a kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s who has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. She learns the virtues of politeness early on from her small Wisconsin hometown, but a tragic accident when she is 17 shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself entering a world of privilege. And when her husband unexpectedly becomes governor and then president, she discovers that she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with—and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona.

Quarterly Winter 2009

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Grotoniana | All Things Groton

BOOK REVIEWS Frontiersman: Daniel Boone and the Making of America by Meredith Mason Brown ’58 Reviewed by John Tyler, Ph.D.

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aniel Boone has receded from the grand narrative of American history during the half century since I used to explore the woods and creeks behind my suburban home in Wilmington, Delaware, in my coonskin cap with toy rifle in hand. Boone and other “dead white males” have given way to increasingly sophisticated attention focused on blacks, Native Americans, and women, and the history taught in schools is better for it. Yet there is much that has been lost by forgetting Boone’s story. His life as explorer (“the Columbus of the woods”), trail blazer, commercial hunter, Indian fighter, surveyor, and land speculator contains much that is not just emblematic, but truly representative of life on the American frontier. And the frontier, as Frederick Jackson Turner reminded us, is not just a place, but a process that repeated itself over and over again in American history. Thus, the biography (as well as the legend) of Daniel Boone is integral to America’s history and culture. As Pulitzer-Prize-winner Joseph J. Ellis noted in his review of Brown’s book, Frontiersman: Daniel Boone and the Making of America is the fourth biography of Boone to appear since 1992, but it now “sits atop the list as the most engaging, engrossing, and—not a minor matter—far and away the best written.” Brown has taken pains to peal back the layers of myth surrounding Boone in order to reveal the man himself: somewhat of a loner though a trusted leader, personally courageous yet occasionally rash and impulsive, an Indian fighter but still respectful of the best qualities of Native American culture, and an eager participant in the scramble for land west of the Appalachians who ended life as an absconded debtor and bankrupt. Some of the first myths to fall victim in Brown’s account are that Boone wore a coonskin cap and that he was the first white man to pass through the Cumberland Gap on his way to Kentucky. Brown wisely portrays Boone as an example of the fluidity of frontier loyalties. While Boone fell captive to the Shawnees for seven months during the American Revolution, he became the adopted son of a powerful chief. When he was taken to British-held Detroit during his captivity, Boone promised the commandant there that he would return to Boonesborough with a force of the king’s Indian allies and persuade the settlers to remove to British territory and live under the protection of the crown.

58 | Quarterly Winter 2009

Meredith Mason Brown, Frontiersman: Daniel Boone and the Making of America (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008), 416 pp., 25 illustrations, and 8 maps.

Boone subsequently escaped from his Indian home and returned to Boonesborough in time to lead the 60 settlers in successfully withstanding a 10-day siege by 400 Indians. Had Boonesborough fallen, American settlers probably would have abandoned Kentucky, yet Boone’s behavior during his captivity and the protracted negotiations before the siege began was ambiguous enough to lead to his court martial. Arguing that the promise to surrender Boonesborough was just a ruse, Boone was acquitted. Peace did not descend on Kentucky until long after the Revolution. Both Shawnees and Cherokees continued to resist the advancing tide of white settlement into their traditional hunting grounds. (The population of Kentucky had grown from perhaps 200 in 1775 to 221,000 in 1790.) Such population growth should

George Caleb Bingham and Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers through the Cumberland Gap, 1851-52, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis.


Book Reviews have made Boone a rich man, since he had claimed thousands of acres during his early years as an explorer and surveyor. But Boone proved unable to make good his claims, and his career as a land speculator failed miserably. Plagued by creditors, Boone and his family moved to Spanish-held Missouri in 1799 where he served as both a judge and military commander for the Spanish. When Missouri changed hands in 1804 as a result of the Louisiana Purchase, the American authorities treated the aging Boone with deference, even though his financial woes still pursued him. Boone died in 1820 at the age of 86 near St. Charles six months after Missouri had attained statehood. Thus, Boone had lived under three flags during his long life. Brown is a fitting biographer, since his ancestor Mason Brown was a driving force behind the removal of Boone’s remains from Missouri and their re-interment in 1845 in Frankfort, Kentucky, the state capital. Casts were made of Boone’s skull prior to the reburial and later subjected to phrenological analysis. The author’s great-grandfather (age 8½) was allowed to handle Boone’s skull during the ceremony, and thus began the Brown family’s 150-year-long fascination with Boone’s story. Boone’s first biography was published in 1784, a blood-curdling account by John Filson that catapulted Boone to fame during his lifetime. It is surely one of history’s minor ironies that although Boone the Indian Fighter strove to live as much as possible in peace with his Indian neighbors, it was the bookish Filson who most probably died at Indian hands. Brown gives careful attention

to the way in which Boone’s story has been distorted by others for their own purposes. During the 19th century, stories of Indian savagery eased white consciences while the westward movement of whites relentlessly dispossessed them of their lands. Lord Byron inserted several stanzas in Canto XVIII of Don Juan depicting Boone as a child of nature following the ideas of JeanJacques Rousseau. Another aspect that distinguishes Brown’s book from other Boone biographies is that Brown does a better job of setting Boone’s life amidst the overall context of American history. (Perhaps this is accountable to good Groton training at the hands of Corky Nichols?) Yet Brown allows himself time for plenty of instructive asides, one of the most interesting of which is his account of ways in which commercial hunting was conducted when Kentucky was still a hunter’s dream world teeming with buffaloes, bears, deer, and turkeys. Hailing Frontiersman as “a product of thorough research and careful analysis,” noted Harvard historian Bernard Bailyn commends Brown for achieving his goal of explaining how Boone “both identified the conflicting loyalties that existed on the frontier and worked to build the American nation.” If two such worthies as Bailyn and Joe Ellis are calling Frontiersman “an important, well told, and engrossing story,” potential readers really don’t need any more words from me! Above: Engraving after Daniel Chester Harding’s portrait of Boone, c.1820

The Greatest Game The Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Playoff of ’78 by Richard P. Bradley ’82 Reviewed by James Waugh, Past Faculty

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ichard Bradley’s recent book, The Greatest Game, is in essence a celebration in which the author is cheering for both teams. The author has certainly done his homework. Armed with information gathered from radio and TV tapes, newspaper accounts, a wide variety of books and articles, and his own interviews with many of the players, he sets out to support his claim that the 1978 Yankee-Red Sox playoff game—“a rare convergence of tradition and rivalry”—is baseball’s greatest game. Bradley re-creates the entire game inning by inning, pitch by pitch, and by keeping a sharp focus on individual players on both teams he can develop personalities, explain strategy, create drama, and build suspense. The narrative is accompanied by an astonishing amount of biographical material covering every player from recognized stars to supporting actors, from “Yaz” to Jack Brohamer, from “Reggie!” to Brian Doyle. Much of the information comes in the form of vignettes and anecdotes that should delight hardcore fans: a frustrated Ron Guidry finally learning to perfect his slider under the tutelage of teammate Sparky Lyle, a disappointed Butch Hobson sadly fighting a losing battle with his ruined Quarterly Winter 2009

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Grotoniana | All Things Groton elbow, a flaky Mickey Rivers crouching in a sprinter’s stance and facing the centerfield fence as his pitcher prepares to pitch. The net effect is a collection of striking character sketches. By reviewing the 1978 season from the opening of spring training, Bradley develops the emotionally charged context surrounding the game. Entertaining and relevant highlights include the bizarre Yankee menage a trois involving owner George Steinbrenner, manager Billy Martin, and self-proclaimed leader Reggie Jackson that ultimately leads to Martin’s “resignation” in July; the “Boston Massacre”—a devastating four-game sweep by the Yankees in September; and the long-running uncivil disobedience of the Buffalo Head Gang, the countercultural faction in the Red Sox clubhouse dedicated to exasperating establishmentarian manager Don Zimmer, a.k.a Buffalo Head, a.k.a. Gerbil, a.k.a Hamster, courtesy of pitcher Bill Lee, a.k.a. Spaceman, the group’s irreverent leader and frequently all-too articulate spokesman. By the seventh inning Bradley has examined the history of Boston’s frustration within the New York rivalry, the advent and consequences of free agency, the current bitter atagonisms between opposing players, and the idiosyncracies of Fenway Park. Against this background Bucky Dent’s unlikley homerun off apostate Mike Torrez puts the Yankees ahead 3-2 and is the climax of the game. With it, Bucky Dent takes his place in Boston’s version of history as Detested Villain, who, aided by a shift in wind direction, an injury timeout, and two borrowed bats, has served as Agent of Doom to be branded forever as B.F.D. But Bradley is equally interested in presenting the less well-known story of Bucky Dent as Fortunate Son, who achieves a personal triumph in finally finding recognition in the eyes of the father who had deserted him. As is befitting, the game has a classic last of the ninth situation, Yastrzemski facing Goose Gossage with two outs and the tying

and winning runs on base. Many readers will find the rendering of the last out dramatically effective, others may find it overwrought. Critics might cite as excesses the interior monologues, Bucky Dent’s Saint Christopher’s medal malfunction, and third baseman Gregg Nettles’ testimony as to his fear and loathing of pop-ups. If indeed the author is facing a dilemma, perhaps it can be described in these terms: in Malamud’s novel Roy Hobbs strikes out; in the Hollywood version Roy hits a homerun; hero in the real game, Yaz pops-up and Bradley is trying to make the best of it. While possibly willing to grant some dramatic license here and there, knowledgeable fans will not tolerate obvious inaccuracies and misunderstandings of the way baseball works. The account of Yaz’s second inning homerun is badly confused, and if Lou Piniella, who was playing right field at the time, actually made the strategic decisions attributed to him here, he would not now be managing the Cubs. Perhaps Bradley’s editor got caught in one of Fenway’s notoriously long lines at the restrooms. Still, knowledgeable fans expect better, and Yaz, Piniella, and especially Bradley deserve better. Bradley’s impressive re-creation of this historic playoff game may well be regarded at Compleat & Unabridged. (It is unlikely that any other writer could be so thoughtful as to include a hilarious account of the “Reggie!” bar fiasco.) The book as a whole is highly entertaining, and all fans should enjoy the sustained excitement of the play-by-play, the dramatic situations, the memorable portraits, and the excursions into history. Furthermore, the entire presentation is infused with the author’s enthusiasm, which is remarkably infectious. Indeed, Bradley’s obvious admiration for the players and his respect for the traditional rivalry make The Greatest Game a celebration, one in which the reader ends up cheering for both teams.

Stay connected to the Groton School Net work The Groton Alumni Facebook group is over 400 strong and growing rapidly. Stay connected to the School community by joining on line groups like the Groton Alumni group on Facebook or the alumni group on LinkedIn. You can always update your contact information with the Alumni office by calling 800-396-6866 or email at grotdev@groton.org

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SCHOOL NEWS GWN

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he mission of the School is reflected not only on the Circle but also within the goals of the Groton Women’s Network. This year the GWN is hosting events that focus on service to others, educational themes, and on having fun. Led by Committee Chair Merrill Stubbs ’95, the GWN city ­representatives have planned a varied and engaging slate of gatherings to interact with the Groton community away from the Circle. Community service events to date include Boston’s annual On The Rise clean-up day, and the distribution of food at the Yorkville Common Pantry in New York. Repeat participants as well as newcomers joined together for hours of work to help those less fortunate. The Washington, D.C., city chairs organized a team of alumnae and mothers for the 21st Annual Help the Homeless 5K Walkathon in late November. Several social events took place at the end of 2008. Brooke McFerran Bancroft ’96 coordinated a Halloween play date in Central Park for alumni, spouses, and children. For a couple of hours one afternoon, costumed little ones enjoyed juice and snacks while singing along with talented musician Ryan Paulson. The holidays provided a great excuse for the D.C. Grotties to gather as the GWN and GSAA city chairs planned an outing at a local watering hole. Given the economic climate, the GWN city chairs in New York and L.A. are focused on events to introduce career options and a review of the educational landscape to attendees. New York City chairs are organizing a panel with speakers from several institutions to discuss four different school types: public, private, charter, and a hybrid option. An alumna in the Los Angeles area will host an evening session to speak about the challenges, successes, and some basic tactics of following an entrepreneurial path.

Other upcoming events include a Boston neighborhood culinary tour, an L.A. museum tour, and reprise of the annual sunset cocktail gathering, a pilates class in San Francisco, and some combined GSAA–GWN gatherings. During the GWN annual planning meeting, representatives spoke of making the GWN more visible within the greater Groton community. To broadcast all of the wonderful aspects of the GWN and to encourage involvement, a brochure highlighting the mission, history, and initiatives was created. This brochure was made available at Parents Weekend and will be shared with alumnae during Reunion Weekend. Also new this year was a GWN-sponsored sixth form girls dinner to introduce the group to Impact: Model Mugging. This event was also a good opportunity to share with the soon-to-bealumnae the role the GWN can play in their lives post Prize Day.

GSAA

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SAA has played host to a number of gatherings across the country. Groton School alumni, parents and friends have gathered while enjoying views of the Atlantic, Pacific, Rocky Mountains, and Manhattan and Boston skylines. Summer was celebrated in Kennebunkport, Maine, with a reception on an August evening graciously hosted by Ambassador and Mrs. George H. Walker III ’49, P’78, GP’02, ’04. With the arrival of September came the Boston reception at the Boston Athenaeum. This event welcomed a

terrific turnout of over 250 alumni, current and past parents, faculty, trustees, and other friends of the School. On September 24, Groton volunteers gathered at the Harvard Club of New York City for a fundraising workshop and a discussion with Headmaster Commons and Chairman of the Board Jamie Higgins P’02, ’06. The evening gathered alumni and parent volunteers who work to support Groton in a host of manners. Following closely on the heels of the New York event, Groton hosted its annual Parent and Alumni Volunteer meeting on campus. On Saturday, participants gathered in the Gammons Recital Hall for a similar workshop and discussions with Mr. Commons and Jamie Higgins. More than 60 volunteers were in attendance throughout the course of the week sharing stories, thoughts, and insights about the incredibly important work they carry out as volunteers for Groton. The New York City reception rounded out the fall festivities with more than 350 people at the Colony Club. In January, the GSAA ventured west. The trip was kicked off with an event which paired up with Lawrence Academy’s Alumni Association for a cocktail reception in Denver, Colorado, on January 12. Later that week the GSAA continued on to California and hosted two more receptions; on January 14 at the Four Seasons in Los Angeles and at the University Club in San Francisco on January 15. We hope to see you throughout 2009 in Palm Beach on February 12, Washington D.C., on April 14, or here around the Circle in between! And don’t forget to mark your calendars for Reunion Weekend 2009, May 8-10. Quarterly Winter 2009

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Groton School 2008–2009 Annual Fund

cui servire est regnare

“It is the faculty’s commitment to teaching, their encouragement of students to go as far in any field as they can, and their concern with the spiritual, social, and academic lives of our students that is at the heart of what we are doing.” —William M. Polk ’58, Headmaster 1978–2003

“Most people who accomplish something worthwhile in their lives trace some inspiration back to a particular teacher; Groton graduates trace inspiration back to several.” —Richard B. Commons, Headmaster

A gift to the Groton School Annual Fund helps to attract and retain Groton’s exceptional faculty and enriches all other aspects of life at Groton. Please consider a gift today.

To make a gift or complete a pledge, please go to www.groton.org and click on Giving to Groton; send a check to the Annual Fund, Groton School, P.O. Box 991, Groton, MA 01450; or call the Development Office at 800-396-6866 to make a gift of securities.

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Form notes

R Form Notes are now password-protected. Members of the Groton community may read them online by signing in at www.groton.org/myGroton.

Groton School Quarterly, Winter 2009  

Groton School Quarterly, Winter 2009

Groton School Quarterly, Winter 2009  

Groton School Quarterly, Winter 2009