Hopkins School 986 Forest Road New Haven, CT
December 16, 2021
Vol LXVI, no.
Matt Glendinning Named 110th Head of School
Zach Williamson '22 Editor-in-Chief Anjali Subramanian '22 Managing Editor On December 1, Hopkins announced the appointment of its 110th Head of School, Dr. Matt Glendinning. Glendinning grew up in Waterville, Maine before attending Dartmouth College, where he earned a B.A. in Classical Archaeology. Glendinning’s interest in the classics and archaeology was sparked by his Latin teacher in high school who “made [Latin] come alive.” He explained, “I wasn’t intending to fall in love with classics, but he made that easy to do.” Once in college, Glendinning’s passion for classical archaeology solidified. He said, “When I went to college, each academic department had an open house the first week of school to introduce you to their curriculum and their professors. I went to the Classics Department and happened to sit down next to a professor who was an Archaeology professor, and he started talking to me about the opportunities [in archaeology].” From this experience, Glendinning decided to enroll in his first class in archaeology, in which he “got a C- on the midterm exam. I’d never seen a C in my entire life.” Glendinning elaborated, “I had to figure out how to study Archaeology. I did well in the class in the end and I realized that I really liked the subject.” Following his undergraduate education, Glendinning pursued a Ph.D in Classical Archaeology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Arcadia University. Glendinning has worked at several schools, most recently serving as the Head of School at Moses Brown School. Three of the institutions at which Glendinning has worked are Friends, or Quaker, schools, and Glendinning brings with him to Hopkins the values of a Quaker education, which he sees as “very similar to [Hopkins’] values, in terms of honoring all perspectives in the community, seeking to nurture each student’s inner intellectual and human potential, and operating in a way that is fundamentally fair and equitable.” While Glendinning cites several important les-
sons from his years in education, he emphasized the value in “teaching to different learning styles. … This is becoming more and more apparent the more we know about student brains and how the brain develops. Every child learns differently, so you have to be ready to teach and meet students where they are.… You have to have support staff on hand to hopkins.edu help students who do learn differently and also recognize that there’s a significant social and emotional component to learning.” During his tenure at Moses Brown School, Glendinning Matt Glendinning. oversaw curricular changes and the addition of new facilities. “Thirteen years ago, I would have described [Moses Brown] as an excellent school, but a little bit traditional. It was looking for ways to innovate and grow its curriculum. With the help of the people there, we have definitely moved it in the direction of experiential learning,” he said. To this end, Glendinning added a “travel program” to Moses Brown, allowing “400 students a year [to partake in] overnight trips.” He also organized the construction of a “new performing arts center, an engineering and design study…[and] a bunch of athletic facilities.” He added, “We’re building a new elementary school right now.” Glendinning hopes that “some of those experiences could come in handy or useful” at Hopkins. Glendinning has a wide range of passions be-
yond the classroom, too. “I am very careful to try to exercise regularly,” he said, “I like soccer very much; I still play even at age 57. I do a lot of swimming. I ski in the winter. When I can, I do a lot of running.” He hopes to bring these interests to Hopkins’s campus, and, in his Assembly address to the student body, quipped that he’d “love to join in some workouts with the swim team, cross country team, soccer team, tennis team … if you guys will have me and wouldn’t mind a fiftysomething-year-old guy out there practicing with you.” Glendinning also holds an appreciation for the performing arts: “I’m in absolute awe whenever I see musicians and vocalists performing at various concerts at our school.” At Moses Brown, Glendinning oversaw the design and construction of a “gigantic complex that includes 35,000 square feet with a new theater. The whole idea was that this new space is the intimate intellectual, social, and artistic hub of our campus. … We wanted it to really be the heart and hub of our school, and it put performing arts right at the heart of everything that we’re doing.” Part of Glendinning’s passion for the performing arts can be attributed to his time in his school’s theater program. “I wish I had done more of that, as I look back on my time. You should’ve seen me as Levi in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat when I was a senior in high school. It was the highlight of my high-school career. And I say you should have seen me, not heard me, because despite those silly snow day videos that we make from time to time at Moses Brown, I’m not a singer. You don’t want to hear me sing.” What drew Glendinning to Hopkins was the “people [who] were touring me around” on his initial visit to campus. Glendinning observed how students and faculty “talked about the school with such passion and energy. I thought, alright, these are people that I think I can work with and would want to be around.” As for his aspirations for the school, he says he has “a lot to learn.… I’m very hesitant to have specific ideas at this early stage. I have passions, things I’d like to work on here, but what I would rather do is take my first year and really do a lot of listening and find out what this school most needs and how I can be most helpful."
Yule Ball Dance Returns With New Theme and Later Date
McLean, an analyst of the NPD Group, stated that Rowling’s sales were “underperforming the rest of the market, comparatively, by two-thirds… especially as benchmarked against her performance in 2019 — which was very consistent with the rest of the market.” Adam Winter is coming to The Hill again, bringing with it a return to Hopkins' usual B. Vary, a writer for Variety, attributed this faltering performance to the controversies winter events: the Holiday Assembly, the musical, and Yule Ball, the Harry Potter-themed surrounding Rowling regarding the repeated transphobic and racist remarks she made. dance. However, this year, Student Council (StuCo) decided to change Yule’s theme for StuCo President Albert Yang ’22 hopes to improve the low attendance by implethe first time since 2015. In a Google Form sent out on November 20, the student body was menting more student feedback into the planning of the dance. He said, “We will be invited to submit their own theme ideas and to vote on a few pre-determined Winter Dance looking to gather more feedback from the student community and use that information themes, ranging from a Frozen-themed dance to a masquerade. The most popular themes to have the best possible dance… We sent out a form the other day to gauge which new from this form will be voted on in a later poll to determine the new Winter Dance theme. theme was most popular, my personal favorite being a winter-themed ball.” Apart from Yule Ball, in the recent past, has not been the most well-attended dance. StuCo this, StuCo has decided to change the date of the dance. Yang stated, “The dance will member Ava Littman '23 said, “In my opinion, Yule be held in January instead of an overly busy DeJulius Herzog Ball has always been the least popular dance.” Jucember. Hopefully, this can help spark attendance.” lia Brennan ’23 stated that she “never really liked A strong theme will definitely be at the [Yule]. I was never into Harry Potter but that is just core of the winter dance, to the joy of much of the my personal preference.” Emma Maldon ’22 said student body. Maldon said that her “ideal dance she’s “never been to Yule Ball, but I’ve heard great would be a super fun themed dance; they have things about it.” StuCo Representative Pearl Miller these dances at boarding schools where they have ’22 believes that the Harry Potter theme itself might a theme like neon, and instead of dressing up, peobe accountable for Yule’s lower popularity: “I think ple dress as the theme and just have a good time.'' the Harry Potter theme is definitely shooing people Brennan agreed with the idea of a themed dance: away from coming in the past years… As each year “My ideal dance would have an intriguing theme progresses, fewer and fewer people are as big fans that the majority of participants would follow.” of Harry Potter… Especially with the recent news Miller wants “to make sure that this dance is more about all the things with J.K Rowling, I feel like maythemed… I want to have a costumey fun party.” be doing a Harry Potter theme is a little outdated.” Whatever the theme may be, Yang believes A 2020 study in June conducted by NPD Members of Boys Water Polo pose in front of one of the “We Think”- that “Yule, or whatever we begin to call it, will defithemed signs found at 2018’s Homecoming dance. BookScan per Variety confirms Miller’s observations nitely be a blast. Music, snacks, and just another opon the decline in popularity of the Harry Potter series. portunity to bring the school together after being so apart the previous year... I am still just Despite the sale of fictional printed books growing at a rate of 31.4%, NPD BookScan re- happy that we have the opportunity to bring everyone together. Seeing the community dancported that the sales of the Harry Potter series staggered behind at a 10.9% growth. Kristen ing and enjoying an event to take their minds off such stressful times is the ultimate goal.” Daniela Rodriguez-Larrain '23 Campus Correspondent
Inside: News........1-3 Features....3-5 Arts...........5-7 Op/Ed.......8-9 Sports.......9-11 Wishlist.....12
Features Page 4: Young Apprentice Writers Program
Op/Ed Page 9: How Meta Will Change the World
Sports Page 10: New Coaches Profiles
The Razor: News
December 16, 2021
Hopkins Students Comment on New York Gun Law Challenge toxicated or crazy person with a gun makes things better.” She continued, “I also look at gun statistics in the rest of the world and the American gun obsession is causing many In response to the national debate surround- deadly incidents.” The statistics Chavez referenced include ing firearm usage in America, opponents of New a study conducted by CNN, suggesting that “Americans York’s long-standing gun permit law are challeng- own nearly half (46%) of the estimated 857 million civiling its constitutionality. The legislation is current- ian-owned guns worldwide,” which yields 120.5 guns for ly before the Supreme Court of the United States. every 100 people. “Do gun laws benefit the country? The Put into law in 1911, the Sullivan Act requires statistics show that guns equal death,” Chavez concluded. However, the Sullivan Act imposes limitations New York gun owners to present probable cause in order on firearm access in underserved communities, accordto acquire a permit to carry a concealed firearm outside ing to Lily Panagos ’23, a leader of Students United for of the home. This is an expansion of basic gun registraRacial Equity (S.U.R.E): “I feel like the need for ‘probtion requisites, as a standard license only grants ownable cause’ in order to obtain @NewYorkPost a firearm is theoretically a good idea, but the entire concept of strict gun control in a country like the US most likely cannot be achieved properly. The New York law doesn’t really specify where they draw the line and can lead to discrimination.” Some members of the Hopkins community questioned the specific parameters of the Sullivan Act. Sean Kelly ’25 said, “I believe [the Sullivan Act] is far too strict….All that these gun laws do is render the law-abiding citizens defenseless in public, which, by the way, is where people need them most to defend [themselves].” However, New Yorkers protest the rise of gun violence. Sean Kelly continued, “I believe that background checks ers the right to possess a weapon on personal property. are definitely beneficial, and that gun owners should have Some Hopkins students expressed support for the further responsibilities– such as not being drunk while carSullivan Act as written. Nate Meyers ’22, Co-Head of Young rying (for obvious reasons)– but if someone passes a backDemocrats, stated,“I think the New York gun law is the legground check, they should be able to carry it wherever islation [that] states need to be passing in order to finally they want (although I have reservations about churches, reduce gun violence in our country.” Math teacher Kathy schools, and government buildings) as long as they do not Chavez said,“I am not opposed to people owning guns, use the guns illegally.” Director of Dining Services Mike but I have never been in a situation where an angry or inKing shared his take: “New York firearms laws are among Asher Joseph ’25 Campus Correspondent
the strictest in the country, to the point where a person could be imprisoned for transporting a competition firearm, properly stored and disassembled; firearms laws are regulated by individual states, not by America.” King explained, “Having said that, nobody should be permitted to own, possess, or carry a firearm without having passed a certified firearms safety course (NRA or other nationally recognized firearms organization) and proved proficiency in safely handling, stories, carrying, and discharging a firearm.” Kian Ahmadi ’24, who has been working with the Connecticut Against Gun Violence Campaign, proposed a possible solution to address these concerns: “organized and consistent” community-centric violence prevention programs. Ahmadi clarified, “I think investing in recreational programs for kids (including young children and pre-teens) can prevent street-level gun violence. A lot of the time we start thinking of what to do or how to get kids out of the system once they land in [juvenile detention], but this is finding positive recreational outlets for them to spend their time in.” Ahmadi summed up, “I don’t believe stricter gun laws are the answer to gun violence–I think it’s kind of naive to just assume more restrictions will solve violence and I think that assumption doesn’t acknowledge the roots of our problems.” There are several details of the multipronged Sullivan Act that must be taken into account when examining the legislation’s validity, but the deciding factor in the law’s continuation is its constitutionality, as determined by the Supreme Court in the months ahead. Liam Kelly ’22, Co-Head of the Young Republicans, said, “While commonsense gun restrictions are necessary, New York’s gun law is too strict, and likely unconstitutional, as it practically eliminates the right to self-defense outside of the home.” Kelly continued, “It would be unconstitutional to demand ‘proper cause’ to express free speech, and thus the same can be said for the Second Amendment.” English teacher Rebecca Marcus said, “The Second-Amendment right to bear arms is often contextually and historically misinterpreted in terms of its intent; as I understand it, I do not believe [the Sullivan Act infringes upon a person’s rights]. I think the need to demonstrate cause for a deadly weapon is reasonable.” Marcus echoed others in the Hopkins community when she said, “It is my firm hope that people will look at global gun restrictions and make decisions in line with what results in the fewest deaths of others.”
Full-Time Return to Campus Brings Surge in School Spirit
Arielle Rieder ’23 Campus Correspondent
The return to the Hopkins campus after online school sparked a renewed interest in school spirit. From athletic contests with fans to spirit days, such as Spirit Week, that have been absent for over a year, this school year has brought all of these activities back to campus. During the pandemic, school spirit waned as the school adopted a hybrid model. Joy Xu ’23, a Student Council (StuCo) Representative, stated, “It was difficult to have the same amount of school spirit during the hybrid model, but once we came back to full in-person [school], most people were excited to be part of the community!” Adam Hagens ’23 said that in-person events such as the Back to School Bash and Homecoming have lifted morale: “School Spirit is stronger than before [online school] since everyone wants to get back to normal and what we [had] before.” In particular, students have been looking forward to the return of Hopkins traditions, especially those that bring together the student body. KC Chustecki ’23 expressed excitement for the Five Golden Rings Assembly before winter break: “I’m so excited for [Five Golden Rings] this year. Shorter classes are amazing and then we get to sit together in the AC and laugh and sing and it’s the best way to go off to break.” Hagens echoed this sentiment: “The whole school comes together before break.” The resumption of sports games has also led to an increase in student participation. From regular athletics contests to special events like the junior vs. senior girls football game and student-versus-teacher games, attending athletic events is a favorite pastime for many students. As a Volleyball player, Xu has noticed that “lots of people come out to games and cheer us on.” Dev Madhavani ’23 agreed: “I’ve found that we get a lot of people out to games like the Volleyball FAA championships.” However, he wished for “more participation in Spirit Week or other events.” Another way students show school spirit is by wearing Hopkins School or team merchandise. School Store Manager Tracy Bray explained, “I see tons of kids in Hopkins gear, whether for sports or through the items here at the store.” Sports play a big role in how Hopkins shows school spirit, with events such as Homecoming that showcase the sports teams. Director of Aquatics Chuck Elrick noticed the difficulties that Hopkins has trying to support the teams: “With the majority of students participating in a sport or drama production, it makes it difficult for students to support various teams, as they are participating as well.” Even with difficulties in finding support, StuCo President Albert Yang ’22 enjoys the athletic side of school spirit: “My favorite event has to be Homecoming weekend. For me, playing in a soccer match then cheering on classmates in their sports games is the highlight every year.” Covid’s differing impact on various grades and the time away from school in 2020-2021 limited efforts at school spirit. With this, the urge to attend school events has
grown. When Covid-19 impacted the ninth grade for the Class of 2024, Emma Yan ’24 was most looking forward to the volleyball games and Homecoming. Yan explained, “I feel like Covid definitely dampened our school spirit because [fewer] people showed up to games, but now that things are slowly going back to normal I feel like the school spirit is better than ever because people are making up for lost time.” Yang agreed, “Covid had a significant impact on school spirit, limiting it in all facets. We couldn’t have the same events @hopkinsfanclub2022
Students cheer on Varsity Volleyball in their quest for the FAA Championship. nor cheer on each other as we can now. I’m happy to see a growing sense of normalcy.” Students and faculty alike are excited to return to activities on campus that showcase the best school spirit that Hopkins has to offer. The pandemic and online school brought students a new appreciation for school spirit and the many events that foster it. Yang said, “School spirit has bounced back in a big way. Seeing the whole community together at Assemblies, sports games, and events such as Back to School Bash shows the progression we’ve made since last year.” Elrick agreed: “I don’t think the pandemic has changed school spirit. If anything, the desire to get back to ‘normal’ has increased school spirit. My hope is that we can maintain it and not get complacent.”
The Razor: News/Features
December 16, 2021
CFBF Fundraising Returns After One-Year Cancellation Grace Laliberte ‘24 Campus Correspondent Fundraising is back once again, with students in every grade setting out across the state to fundraise on behalf of the Connecticut Food Bank. School-wide fundraising is an annual event that was temporarily eliminated last year due to COVID-19, but has now returned with significant enthusiasm and support from students. The proceeds are going to the Connecticut Food Bank, a non-profit organization committed to providing underprivileged individuals with the food they need. “It’s a great cause,” said Helen Xiong ’24. “We were really excited to get involved with it.” Students set up tables in pre-approved locations in various stores in New Haven, Branford, Madison, and Guilford. These storefronts were validated by Student Council (StuCo) members, who called and acquired permission in the weeks before fundraising began. “We call each individual store to first ensure that we’re allowed to fundraise outside their store. Then, each class president sends out gradewide spreadsheets that have the openings for each location so that students can sign up to sit outside that particular store at a particular time,” explains StuCo member Chris Ruaño ’22. “We got many stores that were available to fundraise this year, which was really helpful,” says Vedant Aryan ’24, who is also a member of StuCo. Signs that displayed different facts about the Food Bank and childhood hunger decorated the fronts of the tables. Some strangers stopped, interested in the cause or drawn to the fact that students were from Hopkins School. “We met so many people who graduated from Hopkins,” said Xiong. “Some asked us about the Food Bank, and we were able to tell them a few facts about how they serve people here in Connecticut.” Students were also encouraged to create their own signs or jars promoting their cause, with the incentive that the best-decorated sign or jar could win two tokens in this school-wide contest. These tokens are exchangeable in the “CFBF Arcade,” a system in which the number of hours spent fundraising and the winning of these contests are accounted for and traded for various prizes, such as Hopkins merchandise, stuffed animals, fidget toys, and more. StuCo has also implemented additional competitive aspects among the grades. Every class has its respective fundraising program, and the total amount of money made is counted and compared to the other grades. Emma Yan ’24 is a supporter of the friendly rivalry: “It’s nice to have that sort of competition and incentive to get people fundraising. That sort of competition really drives the cause forward.” The most successful grade is periodically announced at the weekly Assemblies, and it is reliably
met with enthusiasm from students who are loyal to their grades. “With the seniors, although we started out slowly, our engagement has steadily increased to the point where we exceeded our targets for our last weekend. It’s been great to see the seniors getting more enthusiastic about helping out our community even with all the stresses that this time (and college admissions in particular) can bring.” Ruaño commented. The fundraising has been extremely successful, with a steady stream of students
Students fundraise outside Ashley’s Ice Cream in New Haven. signing up to help every weekend. Over Thanksgiving break, opportunities to fundraise increased immensely. “We were able to get out there almost every day.” Yan noted. “A lot of people donated; we made over 550 dollars,” Adam Zheng ’24 said. As fundraising came to a close this year, many students had shown initiative and drive towards assisting the Connecticut and New Haven communities. “It’s important to help people in your community when you can,” Swarna Navaratnam-Tomayko ’24 concluded.
The Razor: Features
Hopkins Traditions and Holiday Festivities Come Back at Full Force said, “I’m looking forward to the [Five] Golden Rings just because it has such a big reputation and I’m excited to see what it’s about.” Dhalia Brelsford ’23 said, “I feel like we are all much more excited for anything that we can do as a community together.” Ingrid Slattery ’23 missed It’s that time of year again, when the winter walk“that moment after Five Golden Rings when you can walk ing safety tips are sent out and the holidays are fast apout the [Athletic Center] door surrounded by friends with proaching. Hopkins students are looking forward to the two weeks in front of you that are completely your own.” upcoming holiday festivities in December, especially fol In addition to December holiday traditions, some lowing last year’s hyfestivities extend brid schedule. through winter. For much of Due to Covid the 2020-2021 school restrictions, Luyear, the student body nar New Year was split into two cocelebrations on horts to limit comFebruary 12 will munity spread of Cocontinue to folvid-19. This period low safety regulaincluded the holidays, tions. Brelsford is and the two cohorts looking forward celebrated the holidays to “Chinese New independently while Year because it’s on campus. Followalways been my ing the holiday breaks favorite Hopkins the Hopkins commutradition. The nity was fully virtual, way everyone so school celebrations comes together were difficult to mainto make it haptain. Henry Tanner ’25 pen is amazing, noted, “I can now see and the parents more people and openly who come out to say, ‘happy holidays’ make dumplings instead of communiare incredible. cating that through a There is always screen.” While the cohopkins.edu so much to do as horts celebrated the holwell—you can Due to Covid-19 restrictions last year, 5 Golden Rings was sent out via video instead of the traditional all-school Assembly. idays when they were get your silhouon campus, Ayelet Kaette cut out of paminski ’22 said, “Last year it felt like the holidays just there’s Five Golden Rings, and food, and holiday sweat- per or try your chopstick skills by picking up passed by without any in-school acknowledgement.” ers, and gifts and so much happy and positive energy.” M&M’s or you can just enjoy the delicious food.” If anything, last year’s challenges have led HopAs the majority of the student body was at Hopkins pre- Finally, Student Council has started to plan the kins students to make the most out of the holiday season. pandemic, many students are looking forward to a return Yule Ball for January. All-school dances were not posThe in-person schedule has given Student Council time to to those holiday celebrations. Tanner said, “I’m looking sible last year, but the student body has already successbring back missed traditions, including the Connecticut forward to the Five Golden Rings this year because I re- fully navigated an in-person Homecoming. Ripley Chance Food Bank Fundraiser. Senior Class President Chris Ruamember how good it was two years ago and I can’t wait.” ’26 said,“Our first dance was awesome and I’m excited ño ’22 said, “It’s always going to be a challenge when you Kaminski looks forward to “Five Golden Rings because to get back into the groove of things.” After last year’s have to deal with rigorous health and safety standards, but I’m finally a senior and that’s the Assembly we get to festivities and separations, Jennings said, “The attitude for most of our events we were able to adapt. The major plan.” Some students have never experienced this Hop- just seems a lot more festive this year since everyone is issue was with fundraising at bigger chains like Stop and kins tradition before, like Hanna Jennings ’24. Jennings all together again and all the holiday traditions are back.” Shop, because they wouldn’t allow us to fundraise because Jane Cowie ’24 Campus Correspondent
of Covid.” This year, students have been raising money outside of Ashley’s Ice Cream and Atticus Bookstore Cafe, among other locations while masked. Ruano continued, “We were able to make modifications so even if they’re not exactly the same, we were able to keep our traditions.” The student body’s favorite Hopkins holiday tradition, Five Golden Rings, is also making a big return this year. Abby Regan ’22 missed “that last day of school before break when you don’t do anything in classes and
Students Reflect on Workload Prior to a Break From School Mira Krichavsky ’24 Campus Correspondent As the holiday season hits the Hill, so does a rush of assessments and deadlines in the weeks before students’ time off. When students were asked about their mental state before these vacations, many reported that their spikes in workload were overwhelming. The Razor polled the student body, receiving 173 responses, and only 7.5% rated their overall mental health in the week prior to Thanksgiving break as a five out of five. Students reported that this was a result of the tremendous increase in workload. “I feel like every class is trying their hardest to test me with some big project or test,” said Silas Webb ’24. Christopher Hwa ’24 added, “Many of my friends [had] tests or major assessments in almost all of their classes this week. The workload goes from light to heavy in a matter of days as every teacher tries to pack in a unit test or major project just before the break begins.” Students in all grades described struggling with mental health and anxiety at this time of year. Miko Coakley ’23 said, “Every day I am debating with myself whether I feel well enough mentally or not to go to school. That is the truth.” Webb said that he was “fighting [to get through the week and] trying to keep in mind how close I am to break.” Preston Parker ’24 added, “I’m pretty close to falling off the edge, but I just remind myself that break is close [and] I only have one more week.” School psychologist Susan Watson and school counselor Linda Romanchok explained: “There are noticeable changes to everyone (adults and students) around the holidays, which can show up leading up to breaks. Looking at the population overall, we see a mix of changes in student mental health - it definitely depends Mira Krichavsky on the individual and what they are experiencing both at school and personally.” Of respondents to The Razor’s survey, 37% gave a five out of five to the statement “I feel anxA graph plotting students’ agreement with the statement “I am getting i o u s / s t r e s s e d . ” enough sleep,” where 5 = strongly agree and 1 = strongly disagree. The same survey showed that 36% of respondents strongly disagreed with (i.e., gave a one out five to) the statement “I feel there is no change to my workload, stress, and mental health.” Both students and adults on campus agreed that stronger communication about mental health is essential in relieving students’ stress levels. “Communication between students, their advisers and their teachers is so incredibly important. Since every student handles stress and workload differently, it is necessary to let someone know how you are feeling, so that the appropriate help can be offered,” said Watson and Romanchok. Coakley claimed that “the most important thing should be how kids feel. A good school cannot be a great school without healthy kids.” No-homework vacations are meant to provide a chance to relax and rest over break. However, some students worry that the peaceful atmosphere of the break can be affected by the stress of the week before. Anticipating the Thanksgiving break, Steele Malkin ’27 worried that the stress of the week before Thanksgiving break would infringe on his ability to relax, saying, “I try and hold the stress in and if I have so many tests and quizzes I am going to release all my stress over the break, which takes away the whole point of it.” Lera Strickland ’23 commented that she “really [needed] a break to spend some time with [her] family.” Some students noted that trends in teachers’ planning which result in the accumulation of tests on the days before a break. Ripley Chance ’26 thought that “many of the teachers think alike — teachers give lots of tests/quizzes on the Friday, Wednesday, or Thursday [before break]. If teachers were able to communicate with [each]other and spread out the tests throughout the week, then students would be less stressed.” Several students mentioned that increased efforts to spread out assignments over a few weeks before vacations would be greatly beneficial. Malkin asked that teachers “don’t squeeze in so many tests and quizzes before the break.” Max Blechinger ’26 felt that mental health before breaks would be improved if teachers would “slowly give less homework throughout the week”. Parker suggested “[Hopkins] could do checkups [where] the teachers check in on students and how their workload is affecting them and also chill with the workload right before break. Like spread the tests out.” Watson and Romanchok agreed that flexibility in workload is important, and urged students to reach out to their teachers: “There are often times where flexibility is given to students who are not able to complete all of their assigned work prior to break and special plans are developed for those individuals on a case-by-case basis.” In response to concerns about student well-being, Hopkins has enacted two new academic policies. These were presented by Dean of Academics Kristine Waters at the allschool Assembly on November 29. First, teachers are required to approve requests for extensions on assignments, with an understanding that students will then make up this work in a timely manner. This serves to relieve some of the stress surrounding a build-up of deadlines and to provide some flexibility for students. Secondly, teachers will not assess late penalties on homework assignments, as long as they are submitted prior to the end of the unit. In both policies, the intent is to provide students with options for handling a particularly challenging confluence of assignments. Both policies also encourage students to reach out to a teacher or advisor for help when they are struggling, and encourage increased communication among faculty and students. These policies are an initiative on the behalf of the Hopkins faculty to help students balance a heavy workload and reduce stress.
December 16, 2021
Students Thrive in New Writer’s Program Swarna Navaratnam-Tomayko ’24 Campus Correspondent Vivian Wang ’23 Lead Features Editor Summer means the chance to finally relax and enjoy the warm weather, but for some Hopkins students it also is the perfect time to experiment with character backstories for their novel or to finish drafting the last act of their production script. Through the newly formed Young Apprentice Writer’s Program (YAWP), a select few sophomores and juniors get the chance to hone their creativ@hopkinsschoolct ity with writing projects, develop their craft, and get a taste of the writing and publishing process under the guidance of professional writers. English Teacher Brad Czepiel’s vision of enriching aspiring writers at Hopkins came to life in the form of a writing mentorship program. As the founder of YAWP, Czepiel proposed the initiative this year to recognize the talents of Hopkins writers and provide them the opportunity to explore their interests in more depth. Throughout his years working at Hopkins, Czepiel observed that “many stuLucas Alfaro ’22 at the YAWP podium. dents were writing amazing pieces but [had] few avenues to advance the pieces towards publication and themselves as writers.” To broaden the opportunities available for Hopkins writers, he decided to make use of the “unusual assets that only New Haven can provide” and allow students to work and “[learn] as much as they could from ‘pros.’” The program requires dedication and hard work; participants and their mentors engage in weekly meetings over Zoom from early spring to the end of summer. Along the way, students keep a journal where they reflect on their writing processes and growth as writers. Mentors assisted participants in fine-tuning their writing, and the experience culminated in a final project that would eventually be published in literary magazines and presented at the public reading event hosted in October. Czepiel reflected on his experience working with the students: “I was proud of the apprentices’ commitment- they wrote a lot of pages, but they also took some big risks and dealt with real discomfort about their abilities.” For their projects, this year’s students dived into various genres of writing, ranging from poetry and short stories to screenplay and production scripts. Andrew Sack ’22 took on poetry as his main focus: “I worked with another poet from New York City to create a collection of well-edited poems to be sent out for publication.” Maisie Bilston ’22 also explored her passion for poetry writing: “My project was a crown of sonnets telling the story of one main character, Benjamin Pope... the final product was ten poems long.” On the other hand, Julia Murphy ’23 developed two short stories: “The first piece was about a depressed woman coming to the realization that she needed to leave her relationship… [and] the second piece, which I wrote in August, was about two teenage girls admitting they liked each other.” YAWP students use their mentors’ advice and weekly workshops to polish their writing skills and develop their final writing projects. Bilston said, “My mentor, [Chris] Jacox, really helped me figure out how to combine poetry with my passion for narrative.” Although she initially found the final project daunting, her mentor helped her to simplify it, and Bilston ended up writing “the most structurally ambitious poem [she’d] ever written.” Bilston found that “it was a lot of fun to be able to talk to someone as experienced and passionate as she was.” Sack also valued his time working with a professional poet. The meetings left Sack “with a stronger grasp of who I am as a writer: what I excel at, where I can improve, what I like, and what I don’t like.” Murphy described her mentor as someone who “was always open to talk about various ways we could evolve my story,” and showed Murphy “what it was like to be a professional writer.” This first session of @hopkinsschoolct the program concluded in October with a small gathering during which the participants read their work aloud. Sack said, “I loved the presentation because it was small. I didn’t have to read my work in front of the whole school, but rather a group of people who were genuinely interested in what I had to share.” Bilston also “really enjoyed the final presentation,” and Maisie Bilston ’22 reads her poetry aloud at the YAWP live reading “especially loved hearon October 1. ing what everyone else had been working on!” Despite its novelty, YAWP has been a success so far, and Czepiel look forward to continuing the program and achieving the same level of success in future years. He found his experience leading the program “deeply satisfying,” seeing how “several participants [went] to seek agents and publication.” When asked about the likelihood of the program expanding next year, Czepiel answered that he “hope[s] so,” and that in the future he hopes to “keep the program focused on the relationships between Apprentices and Mentors; talking about your writing with someone for an hour a week for several months is intense and requires a deep trust.”
December 16, 2021
The Razor: Features/Arts
Hopkins Teachers and Students Offer Research Paper Advice search question. From that question, students further re- one source.” Maxwell elaborated: “a page with foot search their topic and come up with a thesis statement. notes from only one source is often a red flag that the During this part of the process, students are also error- student’s argument isn’t completely their own. Most prone. According to Resch, one of the most common mis- don’t intend to plagiarize … but plagiarism isn’t just tak Following the end of Thanksgiving break, most takes she sees in students’ papers is that they “want to have ing someone else’s words.” Resch added that “the range Hopkins students have started their dive into the His- a thesis before they’ve explored a topic enough to be able of sources a student used” in their paper is one of the tory Department’s research paper process. For many to develop any ideas about it.” Maxwell said, “Too many main things she looks at when grading research papers. younger students, the thought of writing an six to nine students begin the process with a preconceived thesis. Go As research papers constitute a large grade for page paper from scratch, with months of research and in with a question, not an answer. Go where the research a history class, teachers’ grading processes tend to be at outlining, is a daunting and unfamiliar task. Even older takes you. You’ll quickly find a hook on which to hang the forefront of many students’ minds. To give students students, with a paper or two under their belts, dread the your research.” A good research question, however, can be some insight into teachers’ grading process, The Razor prospect of adding forty notecards to Noodletools and hard to create. Slattery discussed her ninth-grade paper, in asked teachers about the main things they look for when finding yet another primary source. To help put grading research papers. According to Maxwell, Highpoint Pictures “consistency and depth of argument, balance of these fears to rest, The Razor reached out to Atlantic Communities I and II teachers and past sources, [and] flow of writing” are the three major winners of the Julia B. Thomas History Prize areas of consideration. She also advised students to for advice on the research paper writing process. “read [their] teacher’s rubric.” Belbita said, “both The first stage of the research-paper prothe paper itself and the process are graded, so the cess is finding a topic. For many students, picking entire picture is taken into consideration.” Belbita just one topic to research and write about for months also elaborated on the specificities of her grading: on end is a daunting task. History teacher Megan “The questions I ask myself while grading a paMaxwell often sees students make the mistake of, per include: Is there a SNAPPy thesis? Are there “picking a topic because they think the teacher will topic sentences that connect to the thesis? Does like it.” She elaborated “it’s your paper, not your the presented evidence support each section of the teacher’s or your parents’. You have to find the paper and thereby prove the argument in the thetopic interesting enough to invite it into your life sis? Was information cited effectively? Of course, for the next four to five months.” Maisie Bilston things like spelling and sentence structure come Maisie Bilston ’22 (left) and Ingrid Slattery ’23 (right), recipients of the ’22, recipient of the 2020 Julia B. Thomas History into play, but the main emphasis is on making and 2020 and 2021 Julia B. Thomas History Prize. Prize for the best research paper, also spoke to the proving an argument using (mostly) primary sources necessity of finding a good topic. She shared that as evidence.” Resch emphasized the importance of she “get[s] overwhelmed easily, so … I think of topics that which she tried to tackle a topic that “was way too broad.” a strong thesis, stating that when grading, she evaluates excite me. That way, I know that I genuinely am excited by She admitted, “I was afraid to pick a research question that “the thesis as a clear and evaluative statement that summawhatever I’m writing about, and so it feels less daunting.” was narrow in case I couldn’t get enough notes on it. [The] rizes what the supporting points/evidence demonstrate.” For students who are most concerned with grades next year I worked to narrow my question even though I Finally, The Razor asked teachers what specific or their teachers’ thoughts on their paper, interest in a topic had the same doubts. I ended up having to narrow it further strategies students could incorporate to improve the final makes the research-paper experience more enjoyable for as I researched.” Slattery said, “I’m learning that narrow product. Belbita stressed the importance of time managethem and for their teachers. Maxwell recounted an anec- topics give you time to get into the complexities, find con- ment, as she finds that students often “[struggle] with time dote about a former student who “wrote a paper on the vincing primaries, and write a completely original piece.” management and how to incorporate [their] research paTexas Rangers [the law enforcement personnel].” Even To reach a thesis, students need to thoroughly per… into their overall workload.” To combat this issue, though “[the student’s] rough draft… lacked a thesis, he research their topic, and get a variety of evidence from Belbita advised students to “create a work plan … each was able to manage a good thesis out of it,” and despite numerous sources. Finding primary sources, in particular, week. Clearly mark in your planner (yep, use a planner, its rocky origins, “it was one of [her] favorites because can be difficult. History teacher Sarah Belbita suggested please!) the times you will dedicate to research. Having he so loved his topic, and that shone through in every visiting “the fabulous librarians in Calarco.” “Definitely a plan can offset distress and reduce the feeling of beparagraph.” Bilston echoed Maxwell, stating that, when ask your librarian for recommendations,” Belbita said. ing overwhelmed.” Belbita also stressed the importance writing her paper on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, her “Your teacher is, of course, your main point of contact,” of seeking assistance: “Ask for support and help along interest in her topic helped make the paper great: “I had Belbita continued. “Seek that person out and ask questions: the way: don’t wait until you get into a jam to seek asloved Pre-Raphaelite art for years before writing my term we are here to answer them and provide support along the sistance. A simple “Can we check-in for a few minutes paper - and so I think that it was obvious, reading my pa- way. Additionally, there are research paper help sessions about my research paper process?” is a great question per, that I really cared about all the stuff I was writing.” held on Tuesdays and Thursdays during G and H blocks to start a helpful conversation.” Maxwell spoke to mis The question remains, however: how does one … outside of T121 and the South Atrium of Thompson.” takes in formatting and proofreading: “Don’t assume that find a topic that is engaging enough to work on for months, Maxwell added that “local public libraries… [and] real, computers know all.” Maxwell elaborated, “Noodletools yet narrow enough to yield a specific thesis? Ingrid Slat- physical books” are other beneficial sources for students. is an amazing tool, but it’s not infallible with formattery ’23, who won the 2021 Thomas Prize, shared her According to Slattery, “the Hathi Trust database” is anoth- ting. And active editing, rather than running spell/gramprocess for brainstorming a topic: “I like to start with a er great resource “for primary sources.” “They have tons mar check, is essential to finding errors of style and fact.” blank sheet of printer paper and just start writing down all of material and their searching program works very well,” Writing a research paper, no matter how well my ideas....Write down what you like, maybe something Slattery added, “definitely start with the databases in your you structure your time or how many sources you use, you remember from class, or an event that occurred in libguide, but if you’ve exhausted those, Hathi is worth a can add an extra source of stress to students’ lives. the AC1 time period, or even a favorite dish, figure, song, look. Google Books is also a good place to find second- Thus, it’s important to put the assignment into perspecplace, artwork… Some won’t quite work, but at least one aries if you have a niche topic that the library doesn’t tive. As Belbita concluded, “you’re researching a topic will, and then you’ll be on your way.” History teacher cover.” Slattery also mentioned that having “a person and writing a paper, not altering the trajectory of your Zoe Resch advised that students “give [themselves] time who you can talk with about your research… helped me life’s journey: perspective is important! Do what you to explore (read around) [their] topic[s], especially at the synthesize my arguments and find holes in my research.” can to the best of your ability, identify where you can beginning of the project.” Resch added, “I always say Another important part of gathering evidence improve and move forward empowered, knowing you that in the early stages of exploration, students SHOULD and research is citing a variety of sources. Accord- are bolstering skills you’ll rely on for life. Rememgo down every rabbit hole that inspires their curiosity.” ing to Maxwell, one mistake that many students make ber what Dory sang to Nemo: ‘Just keep swimming.’” After choosing a topic, students generate a re- on their first research paper is “following the outline of Zoe Sommer ’23 Features Editor
The Razor: Arts
Live Theater Returns to New Haven Venues Amalia Tuchmann ’23 Assistant Arts Editor Almost a year and a half after the curtain went down in theaters all over the country, the lights are finally turning back on for live theater in New Haven and beyond. From Hopkins’ very own Drama Association (HDA) productions in Lovell Hall, to the Shubert and Long Wharf theaters in downtown New Haven, to Broadway in New York City, actors are once again experiencing their first standing ovations and audiences are attempting to figure out if and when they should clap after a song ends. As well as returning to these sanctuaries of storytelling and creativity as audience members, New Haven students can now take advantage of the high school
theater programs on offer. The return to theater has produced intense emotions for cast, crew, and audience members alike. Anthony McDonald, the vice president of the Shubert Theater remarked that “the energy within the theater community has been both excited and nervous for this return. Excited to finally get people back in the building to have memorable, fun experiences. Nervous because we don’t know if our audience is ready to come back. In reality, some of our shows are definitely going to have a smaller than normal audience, but we are undeterred. We will be presenting our shows, as of right now, we are not cancelling anything because ‘the show must go on.’” He also expressed that he and his staff are even more passionate than usual
about their work after being separated from and it was really difficult during Zoom it for so long: “Theater is our life so not performances to gauge if the audience was having it for so long was a weird experi- enjoying the show. Being able to hear the ence....the excitement to audience laughing get the theater ready to after a joke or apreceive an audience is plauding after a good exhilarating!” scene is so incred From the peribly gratifying as it spective of an actor, shows that the audiDaniela Rodriguez-Larence is enjoying the rain ‘23, a member of show, which means HDA, said “Live theatre that all of the hard is so important because, The Shubert Theater awaits live audienc- effort you’ve put as a performer, having a es once again in downtown New Haven. into the production live audience completely is paying off.” She changes the dynamics of a performance. also remarked on how the live experience When we were fully online at the begin- strengthens the friendships among the cast. ning of the pandemic, we weren’t able to Continued on Page 6... put on performances with a live audience
December 16, 2021
The Winter One Acts: An “Edukational” Production hearsals.” Ceisler pointed out that while Sarvin Bhagwagar ’24 the show is similar to pre-pandemic shows, Campus Correspondent “in comparison to last year, it is very dif On December 9, 10, and 11, the ferent, as last year’s One Acts took place Hopkins Drama Association (HDA) put entirely on Zoom.” Rehearsal stage manon the latest iteration of its student-directager Lena O’Malley ’25 said the show ed Winter One Acts. This year, the show contained eighteen Ty Eveland sketches and songs, all under ten minutes in length, from the famed comedy troupe Monty Python, in Monty Python’s Edukational Show. The directors selected for the Winter One Acts this year were seniors Felipe Perez, Anand Choudhary, Talia Chang, Rose Robertson ’24 and Zack Haywood ’24 rehearse a particularly dramatic moment in the One Acts. Ty Eveland, and Erin Low, and juniors this year was a “little different because we Will Schroth-Douma, Sophia [couldn’t] see our actors’ faces during norNeilson, and Abigail Murphy. mal rehearsals and we [couldn’t] practice Covid-19 impacted rehearsals facial reactions.” Murphy said, “Perforthis year, forcing members of the Winmances and rehearsals are basically back ter One-Acts to take precautions that adto normal. The one restriction is masks, but versely affected rehearsals. Calderone we have had a year to adapt to using them said, “Rehearsals have been masked and… so that has not yet been a problem. Just like have been small with only five or six kids our fall production of Sense and Sensibiltogether at one time...We’re following on ity, the actors [performed] without masks.” with the Covid-19 protocols we did dur The cast and crew of the One Acts ing Sense & Sensibility [HDA’s fall play] also faced some challenges unrelated to where the actors will be unmasked when Covid-19 that they had to work through. on stage (masked backstage), the audiCalderone said that the directors and stage ence will be masked, and proof of vacmanagers, along with the tech crew, did cination will be required upon entry.” a “great job.” However, Calderone also Rehearsal stage manager Hannah Ceisler said that time was a challenge, and “a ’22 described the One Acts as similar to week’s vacation popping up two weeks HDA’s shows before Covid-19, with the before one opens a show always throws a exception of “wearing masks during rewrench in the works.” Perez said, “In this
busy fall, scheduling [was] an issue. Ev- most my entire life, so any show that HDA eryone seems to be doing a million things does, I will want to be a part of!” Schrothand finding shared free time is very hard.” Douma said Monty Python “has held a speDirector Will Schroth-Douma ’23 stated, cial place in my heart for quite some time. “Due to the iconic nature of these scenes, I must’ve watched Holy Grail for the first there’s been a bit of an internal struggle time when I was around eight or nine, and I trying to figure out where I can personal- was hooked on all their material ever since.” ize/tweak things to my liking, and where The show was the first for the I simply have to let the original staging/ directors, but Perez said he is “so grateful design/performance of the scenes guide for all the support [he’s] received from Mr. the way.” Despite these obstacles, Mur- Calderone, other directors, and [his] own phy said, “Both actors and directors have actors and tech.” This year’s One Acts were been professional and we have been able also the first time O’Malley stage manto work around all of those difficulties.” aged: “I have never been a stage manager at Calderone had wanted to produce Hopkins but I am definitely enjoying it so sketches by Monty Python for years. He far. My director [Talia Chang ’22] is awesays, “they’re the creators of creative Talia Chang and wacky movies such as The Life of Brian, The Meaning of Life, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail which [was] transformed into the musical HDA put on recently, Spamalot.” Rehearsal stage manager Beyla Ridky ’24 said, “The acts are humor- From left to right: Owen Lamothe ’22, Munib Kassem ’25, Kian ous, and almost all Ahmadi ’24, and Asher Joseph ’25 rehearse for the One Acts. of them [were] performed by different small groups of actors.” Schroth-Douma some and I really have loved working with said,“We had songs, dancing, absurdist her. I also adore working with the actors comedy, [and] intellectual comedy in... because they are very fun to be around.” a really dynamic and entertaining show.” While there have been chalDespite the logistical obstacles they faced, lenges along the way, Ceisler said it the directors and stage managers raved was “really fun to work on” and, beabout their experiences with the produc- fore the show, said, “the people who tion. Murphy said, “I have loved theater al- come to see it will really enjoy it.”
The Return of Live Theater to New Haven
the Mirror, Dream Hou$e, and Queen, among others. your seat. There’s no mingling and mixing around, which Covid has also impacted audience response to is unfortunate because theater is a communal activity.” In addition to hosting performances again, these current shows, the format of current shows, and how new “Cast members spend so much time hanging out toshows are written. Moore Heaney noted that “in this pe- two theaters have also resumed their program offerings for gether backstage, during rehearsals, or even while getriod of pause, so many artists were inspired by this mo- high-school students. At the Shubert, the Shubert Sophoting food after performances,” said Rodriguez-Larment and cultivated many pieces that are in response to, mores program, which began in 2019 with a grant from rain, “After the shows are over, you really find that or directly inspired by this moment. So I think we will see the DeLuca Foundation, is now available. McDonald exyou’ve formed strong bonds amongst your castmates.” a trend in the theater community at large of plained that “the Shubert Sophomores program promises Kate Moore Long Wharf Theater a greater volume of pieces being produced.” $10 tickets for all New Haven tenth graders and a chaperHeaney, an Artistic AsBarboza observed that audience response one to see a Broadway performance” (for ticket informasociate-Literary at Long to The China Lady was affected by events tion, contact firstname.lastname@example.org). Long Wharf currently Wharf, agreed that there that occurred over the pandemic: “While the has two programs for high schoolers on offer: the Next is palpable excitement show was already slated to happen right be- Narrative monologue competition and the Stage Squad within the theater comfore the pandemic began, because of the rise program. The national monologue competition “celebrates munity, along with a in anti-Asian hate and violence during this the work of contemporary black playwrights who are crecontinuing movement to time, the play resonates in different ways for ating a canon of work of monologues. It is run by True make theater more acThe China Lady at the Long Wharf Theater. audience members.” Additionally, the format Colors theater in Atlanta, and the finals are performed on cessible and equitable: of The China Lady had to be redone entirely a professional stage in New York. The finalists usually get “I think there’s a little bit of trepidation as we go back. to see a Broadway show and due to the social distancing necessitated by Long Wharf Theater There’s a question around, did we take this pause and actuconnect with other high schoolthe pandemic: “The production was origially take the time to do what we needed to do in terms of ers across the country who love nally designed for a 200-seat black box changes that needed to be made in the theater community theater, in addition to a cash theater, but had to be moved to our main and the larger ways that we as an industry address a lot of prize,” says Moore Heaney. 408-seat theater, so the creative team had the inequities that exist and continue to exist. So I think The Stage Squad is unique to to reimagine the entire set while maintainit’s a combination of both excitement and sort of questionLong Wharf: “It is a collective ing the integrity and intention of the deing around how we move forward taking that with us.” of theater artists who have onesign, which was an exciting challenge.” At the Shubert Theater, Covid has not had any on-one interactions with other The shadow of Covid is still evieffect on the volume of show offerings, but a few adstudents that are passionate dent in the theater-going experience. Masks justments have been necessary at the Long Wharf Theare required for audience members in accor- The Long Wharf Theater in New Haven. about theater and are working ater. McDonald said, “This year we will be presenting theater professionals. Eventudance with New Haven mandates, as well as a slew of shows, including Beautiful in January, Waitvaccination or a negative Covid test. Long Wharf Theater ally, they culminate together in creating their own show by ress in March, An American in Paris in May and Hairwill no longer open their full-service bar with drinks and the end of the season. It’s a really cool afterschool program spray in June.” According to Cheyenne Barboza, the snacks, and will open the theater only thirty minutes prior of folks that just wanna create together,” said Barboza. Community Partnerships and Literary Associate at For current theater lovers and for those just discovto the show. Barboza remarked that “pre-Covid, however Long Wharf, “We have fewer performances, but not by early you came, you were hanging out in the lobby, talk- ering its joys, Hopkins students are welcome to get involved much. We’ve unfortunately had to cut our student matiing and getting your drinks until the house opened. But in these programs, and all members of the Hopkins comnees, as every school is doing something different with now we are coordinating the building to open to the public munity can watch live theater right on campus at an HDA their Covid policy.” Long Wharf is producing Fires in at the same time as the house is open, so you go right to production, once again being performed in Lovell Hall. Continued from Page 5.
The Razor: Arts
December 16. 2021
Artist of the Issue: Chase Stevens-Scanlan Rose Robertson ’24 Assistant Arts Editor Anika Gurjar ’24 Campus Correspondent Hopkins fine artist Chase Stevens-Scanlan ’22 grew up in a family of scientifically-minded artists who nurtured her own artistic instincts. Her relationship with art has blossomed gradually; in her own words, StevensScanlan “was just always into it.” This family influence is multi-generational. Stevens-Scanlan explained: “My grandma painted a lot and so did my mom, and both of them are women in STEM, and I like to consider myself as a woman in STEM. So it’s almost like a tradition to be a girl in my family in STEM, but also do some art on the side.” While Stevens-Scanlan noted that she derives most of her inspiration “from other people, other artists,” she reaffirmed the profound effect that her mother has had on her artistry. She expressed that her main influence is “definitely [her] mom, in terms of seeing art actually done.” Within the Hopkins community, Stevens-Scanlan cited Visual Arts teacher Derek Byron as a prominent influence: “He’s an architect, so I guess that’s a little different [from my field of art], but it’s still similar, so seeing someone actually go into art is cool.” She also admires the work of artist Jean-Honoré Fragonard of the Rococo Era, and architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Stevens-Scanlan stated, “[Wright] has really cool buildings that are all about connecting people to nature, and that’s something that I try to put into my art as much as I can.” Working with the fine arts, Stevens-Scanlan shared the details of her artistic process and preferred media: “ I’m always drawing and sketching and coming up with ideas, so most of what I do is probably in pencil, but when I actually want something to hang up in a gallery
or submit to a portfolio, then I’d probably say oil paint or oil pastel.” In fact, Stevens-Scanlan is currently crafting “a 6x3 oil painting, and it’s just light on water, which is super cool” and cultivating her college portfolio. When asked about a piece that she is particularly proud of, she mentioned one of her recent works showcased in Hopkins’ Reflections exhibit: “I like one of my pieces in the gallery that’s this girl, and I have one rendering of it in pencil and one in oil pastel.” She has a preference for portraits, and added that a dream project would be to “do a huge painting, like the size of a big wall, that includes portraiture.” Stevens-Scanlan appreciates art as a way to express varied facets of herself, such as her experience as a woman and her dream of going into marine conservation Highpoint Pictures
Right: Untitled by Stevens-Scanlan Left: Chase Stevens-Scanlan
science, while balancing these aspects with her aesthetic vision. She noted her conflicting concerns about how meaningful her art is, and shared some insight into her thematic tendencies: “I have such a big issue where I’m like ‘Oh my God, my art has no meaning, what am I gonna do?!’ But I think my favorite thing to do is making art about being a young woman in the world.” She often takes another route, favoring the visual value of her work. “I like making art that is just pretty to look at. It has no meaning
behind it; that’s fun too,” she said. The right environment helps prime StevensScanlan for creativity. She described the connection between her workspace and her love of nature: “I do most of my art in this room in my house that is all windows. I don’t think I realized it until now, but I definitely like that room because it’s so airy; you can see all the nature.” She remarked upon her attempts to do art on the beach, but ended up prioritizing practicality over her loyalty to the ocean: “It’s totally corny, but I love the beach, so I try to do art at the beach, but it’s honestly so inconvenient. You have to lug all your stuff out there. I just can’t do it outside.” The soundtrack to her artistic endeavours consists of music by Phoebe Bridgers, Sufjan Stevens, David Bowie, Queen, and Taylor Swift. Stevens-Scanlan even proclaimed herself “the biggest Swiftie ever.” She added, “All the artists that come up after listening to Phoebe Bridgers, they are definitely my while-doing-art music.” Stevens-Scanlan advised other students to “still try and make your schedule academically rigorous; if you want to take all your STEM classes, still take them. But, make sure from the get-go you make room for art, because it’s so easy to disregard the art classes.” She argued against the overshadowing of art by other academic considerations: “Just take the art class, it’s still gonna look good for your college application, and you're doing something you actually like.” Reflecting on the importance of consistency, she imparted, “I took AP Art History last year rather than an actually interactive art class; I just wasn’t drawing as much at all and I think I’ve gotten back into my swing of things…had I been just sketching ten minutes a day back then, my skills would have been so much better and the transition into Advanced Studio Art would’ve been so much easier.” Stevens-Scanlan left her fellow artists with a final piece of wisdom: “Do as much art as you can, even if it's ten minutes of sketching a day. It definitely relieves stress and it’s good for practice.”
A Winter Revival: Choir and Orchestra Concert Returns to the Hill in previous years, is unavailable. The Yale Chaplain’s Office, which administers the Chapel, warns on its official website that On Sunday, December 12, Hop- “our spaces have temporarily been closed” kins’ musical ensembles hosted the Music due to Covid-19. Smith acknowledged that of Winter Concert for the first time since the Chapel would be missed but also ex2019, in Hopkins’ own Walter Camp Ath- pressed gratitude to be able to perform on campus, saying, “we are truly grateful to be letic Center. The performance marked Hop- able to use our great facilities at Hopkins kins’ first indoor concert since the onset of as, without the gym, we would be unable to hold a concert this winter. However, the pandemic, making the event there is obvia celebratory one. Director of Hopkins School ously someChoral Music Erika Schroth thing special said, “Since we haven't had an about the arindoor concert in two years, we chitecture and are thrilled to host the concert seasonal deon campus, in the AC!” Schroth cor at Battell said an “amazing” spring conthat elevates cert was held last year outdoors the concert which was “chilly, windy, but experience full of strong performances for everyand heart-felt music making.” one.” Daniela However, she admitted that “it Schroth directs Concert Choir at Delgado ’25, [would] be nice to be indoors 2021’s Spring Concert. a member of together,” and gave the student Concert Choir, was disappointed at the performers “all the credit for sticking with change of setting, but maintained that the their training and team spirit to make this Choir would work just as hard for this conwinter's concert happen.” Although an indoor concert was cert. “Because it’s my first year at Hopkins, possible this year, that didn’t mean the you can imagine how excited I was when performance wasn’t affected by pandemic I heard that in the past the choir had perrestrictions. Student performers came to formed in Battell Chapel. If you can imagterms with “increased spacing between ine that, then you must also imagine how performers, the masks, and the bell cov- disappointed I was when the choir learned ers,” said Arts Department Chair and Di- that [it] was no longer available. Although rector of Instrumental Music Robert Smith. it’s an opportunity we can no longer take Smith noted that these restrictions compli- part in for the meantime, the group contincated the planning process for the concert: ues to work hard for future performances.” While some students were disap“While we've been fortunate with Covid pointed with the changed location, they at Hopkins, the reality is that we've never were glad to be able to perform live and given a concert under these same circumin-person this year. Elliana Welby ’24, an stances before and with so many extra conalto in the Concert Choir, gave insight into siderations like air flow, social distancing, how the class ran in the height of the panmasks, etc, this adds layers of planning that demic: “My freshman year we had to perwe've never had to do before.” form through recordings. It was horrible in Smith also noted that the Concert my opinion, because having to individually Choir and Orchestra were forced to change venue to Hopkins’ Athletic Center because record without the support of the rest of the Battell Chapel, the site of the winter concert choir's voices made me struggle so much.” Teddy Witt ’24 Campus Correspondent
Mira Krichavsky ’24, a second violinist in encing a system for college applications the Orchestra, added that last year, “It was in which options would be sorted into definitely strange not being able to have three categories based on the likelihood any way to assess our performance of the of achieving them. Choir singers also felt pieces, or have the positive reinforcement that some pieces were at different difficulty of an audience.” levels—Welby stated that “The Ground” The concert is the culmination of was the most nerve wracking to perform the performers’ work so far this semester— because of the “tempo and timing of [its] both the Orchestra and the Choir have been notes.” Delgado thought that “Papa Loko” rehearsing their pieces since September. was the song they were the most nervous to Smith noted that this amount of time is nec- sing for similar reasons, saying “It’s a great essary for an orchestra, “as it often takes piece, but I’m most nervous to perform it many weeks to bring all students up to because of how upbeat and fast it is comspeed on tempo, rhythm, intonation, style, pared to the others.” phrasing, articulation, and dynamics.” In Unlike in some past winters, the Concert Choir, Welby mentioned that she concert wasn’t designed around any speciffelt preparation isn’t especially stressful ic theme. Schroth said that, as in all years, due to the “well paced progression” of re- “The goal [of each concert] is to help stuhearsals, and the fredents grow artistically Hopkins School and creatively.” She quency at which they rehearse. Krichavsky stated, “We try to sing echoed that sentiment music both old and and said, “Each day new, from composers in class, we practice around the world, that our repertoire for helps to tell stories the coming concert, that we think will reswhether that be in onate on a musical and two months or two lyrical level,” bringing weeks… but [Orches“broad musical expetra is] a chill time in riences” to Hopkins the morning where audiences. Smith addSmith conducts the Orchestra at I don’t have to be so ed, “To be honest, I've 2021’s Spring Concert. hyper-focused and take never enjoyed thematic notes.” Instrumental Music teacher Erik concerts. The pleasure in exploring music Elligers, who directed the Jazz Ensemble, is just that - having one piece lead you to Concert Band, and 8th Grade Instrumental another and wondering where the journey Music Ensemble, said that he and his stu- will take you next!” dents both enjoyed the rehearsal process. Students were truly passionate “We have had a great time learning and about performing as a group for an audirehearsing music for this performance as ence. Delgado explained, “Although it has this will be my first Winter Concert here at not been too long since the year began, Hopkins. The students have all been work- my experience in Hopkins Choir has been ing very hard to prepare their pieces and I amazing. You get to bond with others while have admired their work ethic and love of sharing the beauty of each other’s voices. music.” It’s also amazing how you have the power Schroth acknowledged that some to make an audience feel something… It songs at the concert were harder than oth- definitely sounds cliche, but there really ers. She remarked that songs were divided is something magical about being able to into "safeties, targets, and reaches," refer- hear everyone’s voices come together.”
OPINIONS/EDITORIALS Page 8
The Montessori Solution
December 16, 2021
ed with respect, would develop a deeper respect for others and their environment.
Zach Williamson ’22 Editor-in-Chief
In the past few weeks, as I’ve begun to lose sight of myself in the sea of college essays, I’ve been reflecting on my educational past as I look to its future. My mind keeps drifting back to my time in a Montessori school from the ages of three to thirteen, but also to the Montessori model of education on the whole. Montessori education is, as I see it, widely misunderstood. I’m often met with skepticism at its efficacy or dismissal of the pedagogy as “nontraditional,” good for some kids but not for most. The traditional educational system in the United States, though, is broken. The quality of education provided by public and private schools differs greatly, and access to better schools is unequal. The sheer size of enrollment and the nature of the traditional system itself means students at different socioeconomic levels and levels of ability leave school with unequal outcomes. Increased access to Montessori education is the key to educational reform. It’s important to give some background on the Montessori method to understand Jimmy Tran
Kids are engaged in a Montessori school day. why it’s so powerful. It was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early twentieth century. Dr. Montessori devoted her professional life to the development of a new educational model based on her observations of children. She brought her pedagogy first to a hospital for children with special needs, then to the tenements of Rome, and eventually to classrooms around the world. The typical Montessori classroom has twenty to thirty students led by one teacher, and is mixed-age, which often fall in three-year increments (0-3, 3-6, etc.). To start, I’ll highlight some of the most important pillars of Montessori education: 1) Respect for the Child - the Montessori method is built on a deep mutual respect between parents, teachers, and children. Children are allowed to make choices for themselves, and adults model respect. Montessori believed that children, when treat-
2) The Absorbent Mind/The Prepared Environment - in her observation, Montessori realized that much of early childhood development is dependent on environment. Children are constantly learning from and making sense of their environment. If children are presented with an environment that encourages them to make free choices and do things for themselves, they will learn to be intrinsically motivated and independent. If you walk into a Montessori classroom, you’ll see a room filled with furniture designed to fit children, but also light enough for them to move and manipulate without help. 3) Sensitive Periods/Follow the Child - Montessori identified certain developmental periods in which children were more susceptible to acquiring certain skills - but also acknowledged that these periods would naturally occur at different times for different children. Follow the Child is one of the most important aspects of Montessori education. Teachers are trained to constantly observe their classrooms and identify when children are ready to be taught new skills or lessons. 4) Cosmic Education/Education for Peace - these are the pieces that’ve been on my mind the most recently. Cosmic Education teaches children the interconnectedness of life on Earth through studies of history, science, and culture. Montessori education is built on the belief that, if values of independence, peace, and integrity are taught to children from a young age, they will go into the world more socially responsible and compassionate. The traditional educational system is often completely at odds with the pillars of Montessori’s pedagogy. Most of the disciplinary systems within traditional schools are built on mistrust. When students are monitored to ensure they don’t act out, they will. Hall passes, hall monitors, and detention are all examples of the educational system failing students. When adults lead with respect for children from a young age, children model that behavior. From a very young age, children have a desire to learn, to communicate, and to be heard. The traditional system disregards this entirely. Because of the nature of the educational system, if students are interested in learning about something that is technically beyond their level, they are often turned away. In a Montessori classroom, while lessons are taught to individual students based on their needs or to small groups, any student who wishes to watch a lesson is welcome to, and are encouraged to ask questions. Individuality and diverse interests are encouraged, and the system fosters students who are intellectually curious, driven, and emotionally intelligent. The biggest roadblock for Montessori education today is cost. The vast majority of Montessori schools are private institutions, and are forced to rely on donor contributions and high tuitions to sustain themselves. This is largely because the materials that make up Montessori classrooms are themselves expensive, and teachers who have received training in Montessori pedagogy are few and far between. Charter Montessori schools, supported by the public education system, do exist, but often divert from the strict pedagogy, and because there is no trademark on Montessori education, any school is free to call itself a Montessori school even if it uses none of Dr. Montessori’s educational methods. As great as all of Montessori’s methods sound to me as someone who grew up in the system, I’m well aware that they can sound quite alternative to those unfamiliar. I’ll lead with this: the Montessori method is uniquely suited to meet students at their needs. The principle of “Follow the Child” means that teachers guide each student on their own developmental path. Instead of sitting kids down in rows of desks and presenting them all with the same lesson, students are taught material with which they’re ready to engage. And, because classrooms are mixed-age, older children learn to teach younger children in the classroom and help them in their work. A recent study by the journal Frontiers in Psychology examined the efficacy of Montessori education as compared to traditional preschool. While there was a significant gap in achievement and development between students of different socioeconomic backgrounds in the traditional school system, students in Montessori classrooms performed and achieved uniformly well. Getting Montessori education to more kids is a big goal, and one I keep coming back to. Realistically, how do we get there? One of the most important pieces is standardizing what can be called Montessori education in the first place. The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) is the leading governing body of Montessori accreditation. Charter Montessori schools should absolutely become more widely available, but should also be accredited by AMI. Adult education is also important. When parents send their children to school for the first time, they should be given more information about alternatives to the traditional educational model. It’s time for a change to the educational system in the United States. Children are not offered equal opportunities in education and their possibilities of achieving success in the traditional system are often dependent on their socioeconomic status and their parents’ education. Montessori education is uniquely suited to meet children at their needs, and instills vital principles of self-discipline, but more importantly, values of deep respect for others and the environment. By scaling up Montessori education into the public system, students will be better served and leave their pre-collegiate education better equipped to move into society.
OPINIONS/EDITORIALS Page 9
December 16, 2021
Zuckerberg Shifts Us Into the Metaverse Anika Madan ’24 Assistant Op/Ed Editor In October, Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Meta (formerly known as Facebook), delivered a speech describing the reasoning behind the corporation’s name change. He stated that building technology around apps, rather than people “is not the way that we were meant to use technology.” Though the modification does not affect daily user experience on the app, Zuckerberg claims that the new name more accurately represents the mindset of the company. Examples of the “Metaverse” in modern society include virtual reality headsets, and video games like Fortnite, but the vision of this technology for the future is more advanced than any video game currently available. The Metaverse is the future of the internet, but safety and security can become major concerns for the platform. “Metaverse” describes a three dimensional virtual realm in which the virtual world and reality intersect, creating augmented reality. It stems from the Greek word “meta” for “beyond.” Avatars in the Metaverse would mimic a user’s expressions and movements behind the screen. Ultimately, Metaverse innovators will look to explore each of the five senses— sight, hearing, touch, and eventually smell
and taste—and how they can be engaged. A major hope for the Metaverse is interpersonal connection. During the pandemic, a major struggle of quarantine periods was isolation from friends and family. With the Metaverse, one could feel the sensation of a hug in the virtual world. Another vision is the ability to go on vacation, like virtually climbing Mount Everest. There can be feelings of dissatisfaction because virtually climbing the mountain will never be the same as physically climbing it. However, the availability of both options will become a norm. This would change the world of travel forever. Some may worry that the travel industry would suffer, though the old-fashioned model of airplane travel, staying in hotels, and purchasing souvenirs would maintain its charm. The Metaverse would merely provide an alternative choice and can benefit humans greatly, especially in the entertainment and social departments. A highly immersive and advanced virtual world will become a powerful tool for humans. Despite the natural desire to explore technology to its full extent, it is important to prioritize safety and security. Physical risks must be solved independently; users should ensure that the space around them is safe enough for virtual trips, especially if there is movement involved. A major privacy concern is content creators’
Cartoon by Ayelet Kaminski ’22.
collection of more data than the current internet. Meta could minimize this by preventing the introduction of third-party apps. Meta should explore all possible implications of the Metaverse before releasing it to the public to ensure safety and security. The line between humans and robots could blur as technology becomes more advanced. Humans will be able to go to virtual concerts, meetings, try on clothes, and more in the metaverse. However, privacy and safety need to be maintained, just like in the real world. Nick Clegg, Meta’s
Vice President of Global Affairs, declared it would take ten years to achieve a fully developed Metaverse world. According to Bustle, Meta is creating 10,000 new jobs to increase the rate of growth in the field, with emphasis on the creative process. The arrival of the Metaverse will greatly change humans socially. While initially exciting and new, but it will gradually become second nature. Whether it is climbing Mount Everest or learning how to drive, the Metaverse world will make all activities more accessible. The possibilities are endless.
The Razor: Sports
Ski Team Hits the Slopes as “a great opportunity for both skill development with coaches and team bonding.” After winter break, the team continues dry land training and begins to travel to Mount As sports on the Hill begin to return to in- Southington on Mondays for training and on Wednesterscholastic play, the Ski Team looks to a new days for races. “The coaches plan practices and organize season to continue carrying on their traditions. trips, and they run practices with the help of the captains Last year, Hopkins’ Ski Team requested recogni- and seniors on the team,” said Matthew Vasseur ’22. tion as a Varsity team. Students, including skiers from the The competitive season for the ski team lasts from Class of 2021, and the coaches presented a written pro- January to the end of February. In contrast to many other posal to the Athletic Department. Though denied Varsity teams, the team competes “in a very competitive league… status, the team has continued to demonstrate the qualities with the best teams in Connecticut,” said Ski Team Coach and characteristics of a Varsity team. “Even though we are John Isaacs. Skiers race individually, but they all contribnot a Varsity sport, we still treat it like we are,” said Sofia ute to Hopkins’ overall rankings. For each race, the top ten Karatzas ’22. Brendan Cafferty ’24 stated, “We want to girls and boys race under the Varsity category. However, win just as much only the top as any other VarAanya Panyadahundi six times will sity sport and are determine willing to dedithe overall cate just as much ranking of time to do so.” Hopkins for In addition, Skier a race. “At Aanya Panyadathe end of hundi ’23 said, the season, “The Ski Team if we place is composed of high enough, people who have we have the either grown up opportunity skiing or just abto qualify solutely love it. for states,” Every single skier said Panyais dedicated and dahundi. In always gives their the 2019Ski Team huddles before a team hike at Sleeping Giant in Hamden, CT. all at every single 2020 season, practice and race.” the Hop Unlike most other teams on campus, the Hopkins kins Girl’s Ski Team took third overSki Team has to travel off-campus for practice. Sydney all in states and first in their league. Matthews ’23 said, “No other team spends as much time One of the most important aspects of the Ski together as we do. From the long bus rides to Southing- Team is the team dynamic. In addition to the typical team ton and chairlift rides up the mountain, we have a lot of dinners and Senior Day, the team holds annual day and time to talk.” The team has Game Day Fridays where overnight trips, including hikes on-and off-campus and ski teammates and coaches are able to bond with each other trips. Team events and outings are what allow the team and play games like Ultimate Frisbee. The Ski Team also to be “a family and cross the line between team friends holds an annual training trip to Vermont in the beginning and real friends,” said Matthews. Additionally, Chase Steof winter break. Panyadahundi noted that the trip serves vens-Scanlan ’22 said, “As a sport, because of the long Angelina Li ’24 Campus Correspondent
hours we spend together, we have a lot of time to bond as a team. Cafferty stated that the ski team prides itself on being a “very welcoming group. The people who had been on it before were so welcoming to me my freshman year- since there really isn’t that big of a divide between girls and boys and upperclassmen and lower class Aanya Panyadahundi
Hopkins Ski Team poses for a photo before a race.
men, everyone becomes friends,” added Panyadahundi. After last year’s season, Ski Team looks toward a bright future back on the slopes. The team will continue to carry on their tradition of trips and activities as sports begin to return to normalcy. With the team almost doubling in size from years before, many developments are on its way to continue what Lily Panagos ‘23 called the “one big happy family” team dynamic.
December 16, 2021
New Faculty Coaches Hopkins has many teachers who also serve as sports teams’ coaches. In this new series, some of these new additions to the Hill (within the past five years) will be introduced to the Hopkins community as coaches, rather than as teachers.
Brittany Soto Hanna Jennings ’24 Assistant Sports Editor Eli Ratner ’24 Assistant Sports Editor Varsity Girls Soccer Coach Brittany Soto, a new addition to the Hopkins faculty this school year, has been playing soccer her whole life. Growing up in Atlanta, she played for a competitive club team in high school and received a full scholarship to play Division 1 Women’s Soccer at Winthrop University. After two years, Soto decided to focus on her academics and transferred to Birmingham Southern University, switching from Division 1 to Division 3. After college, she played in the WPSL (Women’s Premier Soccer League) Pro-Am League for the Pensacola Texans and Knoxville Cours. Unfortunately, at this time, Soto suffered a career-ending injury. After her injury, Soto began assistant coaching at the reigning state champion Oak Mountain High School in Alabama. However, Soto realized that she wanted to move into the club scene. She started with U11 (under 11 years old) girls and ended up falling in love with the kids and coaching. Soto then moved back home to Atlanta and began coaching NASA-Tophat, a nationally ranked club team. She later moved up to New England and coached different teams in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Having coached for twelve years now, Soto has “had the whole spectrum of coaching...anywhere from very developmental and very young [teams] all the way through ECNL (Elite Clubs National League).” Soto also “coached a little bit in high school” and “helped recruiting at [her] alma mater, Birmingham Southern.” She summarized, “I’ve had my hands in quite a bit of coaching now.”
Soto came to Hopkins “because I wanted to work with kids who were motivated, who truly wanted to develop, and [who] wanted to make something of themselves personally and academically. I knew that the kids worked hard, [and] I knew that [the soccer program] was
pride back to this program and really unify them.” Abby Regan ’22 described, “She shifted all of our values to put each other and the team first, so that each and every one of us worked to get better every single day. She always allowed us to ask questions and learn from our mistakes.” Taylor Jenkins ’24, a starter on the Girls Varsity hopkins.edu Soccer team, said that Soto has “definitely changed the girls soccer program since the day she stepped onto the field. She emphasized unity and tradition with everything we do. Girls soccer is one program and one team. Whether we win, lose, or tie ...we’re in it together no matter what.” Jenkins provided an example of the solidarity of the team: “Every game, we all wear tape on our left hand and write in the words we all collectively believe define us as a team as a reminder of the unity that holds us together. That tradition from now on will forever be carried throughout generations of teammates, as it stands for who we are as a school and people.” Soto explained that her immediate goal for this season was to “bring back the fun and love of the sport. After Covid, we weren’t used to being on the field, [and] we weren’t used to being together.” Not only has Soto improved the team as a whole, but the individual players have gotten better too. Jenkins stated, “Honestly, she is one of the hardest working coaches I’ve met. Anyone on the team can see that in her. Personally I really respect the time and dedication she puts into each and every player on the team. I give her a lot of credit for my development as a player, as I have learned so much about the game from her already.” ReBrittany Soto. gan summarized, “As a senior, this was by far my a solid program in which [they] could create something best season and this was completely due to Coach B’s special.” One of the biggest goals Soto had “was to bring leadership and willingness to help each of us get better.”
Hanna Jennings ’24 Assistant Sports Editor Eli Ratner ’24 Assistant Sports Editor
Varsity Football Coach Dante Brito has been an athlete his whole life. Attending Hamden Hall, he was a fouryear Varsity athlete in both Basketball and Football. While there, Brito was selected to the all-league Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) basketball team his sophomore and junior years and to the all-league FAA football team his junior and senior season. After high school, Brito received a scholarship to play football at Stonehill College. “My college career was plagued with injury, which gave me a greater appreciation for the game and the positive impact it had on me. As a way to remain engaged, I started to spend time with my coaches as they prepared for games and practice, giving me the passion for coaching,” he explained. After college, Brito started his formal coaching career at a boarding school where he was the defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator for the football program and a Varsity Basketball and Track and Field coach. After a few years, Brito decided to come to Hopkins. He initially wanted to work at Hopkins a year earlier in the hopes of coaching with his best friend and cousin Jordan Sebastian ’11, the defensive coordinator of the Hopkins football team until his passing in 2017.
However, Brito did not get the job. The year same things he did. I also wanted this to after, he was offered Sebastian’s job, but it be his place; this is where he went to high was mainly due to Sebastian’s passing. “It school, and came back to work. I did not was not an easy decision for me [on wheth- want that to be lost. Then I realized that reer to Highpoint Photos gardless accept o f t h e whether job or I was to not], take the if I am job or being not, he honwould est. I be redid not placed; want and who to be better to ‘Jorm a k e d a n ’s sure his R e legacy placeis rement’ memor for bered people a n d to concontinstantly ued.” b e O n e comof Brip a rto’s iming us, mediate since I goals would for the be dofootball i n g t e a m many was to Dante Brito. of the win the
MIFL (Metropolitan Independent Football League) championship, which he accomplished with this year’s team. Additionally, Brito said that he wants his players to leave the program better than when they entered it: “Football is a great game, but it is temporary; I want the impact of football to be everlasting and in a positive way.” In his first few years coaching at Hopkins, Brito has proved to have a positive influence on Hopkins athletics as well as those who he has coached. Football Captain Ben Jenkins ’22 said, “Coach Brito has shown me that effort is the most important factor when trying to achieve a goal.” Senior Football player Will Blumenthal ’22 stated “Coach Brito has pushed me to become my best self both on and off the football field. He’s taught me many life lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. He inspires me to work hard in everything I do and to ‘not flinch.’ I’m so grateful to have had him as a coach and it was a pleasure to play for him.” Connor Tomasulo ’24 stated, “He’s a really good coach and he’s really good at motivating the team. He’s really intense, but it’s out of love.” Tomasulo explained how Brito advised him outside of football: “He gave me advice for when I was applying to Pathfinder, and he has always been really encouraging.” Tomasulo summarized, “He is passionate about the sport of football, but he’s also passionate about us as people.”
The Razor: Sports
December 16, 2021
Words from Winter Sports Athletes
Girls Fencing: “I’m really excited for this season! We’ve got a big team full of enthusiastic people, and we have great captains and coaches. A personal goal for this season would be to feel more confident in my skills as well as support and encourage the newer fencers. As a team, I hope that we motivate each other to get better, spread our love for fencing to the younger members, and crush it at states!” - Harini Thiruvengadam ’23 Wrestling: “I'm excited for the season because it has been a while since I have been able to compete for this team. For myself, I am trying to make a run at Nationals, but as a team, I just want to make sure everyone gets something out of this season. Wrestling isn't easy, and I especially hope the new [wrestlers] learn a lot and enjoy some success.” - Dominic Roberts ’22
Boys Swimming: “We lost some fast swimmers over the past few seasons but we have 20 new freshmen! It's going to be a building year, and I'm looking forward to watching the newer swimmers improve.” - Andrew Woolbert ’22 Girls Swimming: “I’m most excited for the team unity that we haven’t had a chance to have since Covid. All the team dinners and bonding activities had to be put on hold, and I think those really make the team what it is: a close knit family. In terms of some goals for the team, Top 5 at New Englands and Top 3 at FAAs. Honestly, just to have everyone achieve their personal goals would be great for the team. We have a lot of younger talent this year, and I’m excited to see how they improve this season.” - Ava Hamblett ’22
Girls Basketball: “I’m really looking forward to the season especially after not having one last year. There are a lot of new young players, and I’m excited to get to meet everyone as the season continues. I can’t wait for team dinners and for games to start. The team has a lot of potential and a great work ethic, so I’m looking forward to having a great season with them.” - Clara Zuse ’23
Boys Squash: “I'm excited to have a brand new team. My goal this year is to create a strong foundation for future teams to come.” - Samuel Mason ’22 Boys Basketball: “I’m just excited to get back on the court after a two year intermission. Covid messed a lot of things up, but I’m glad to finally get back on the court with my [teammates]. I’m also really excited that we have a young core; a lot of younger players are going to have to step up this season and play a bigger role than they have in past years.” - Arman Hyder ’22 Girls Squash: “We are a young team with a lot of potential. Two years ago, we were amazing. We had really good team spirit. The highlight of the year was watching Love Island UK and Lemonade Mouth at Nationals. I am excited for the upcoming season because we have a new coach, Lee Belknap, and she pushes us to work hard. I am hoping we can make [it to] Nationals.” - Rhea Ahuja ’23
Skiing: “I’m excited to finally be back on the mountain, not just personally, but as a team. I hope we can do better than the 2019-2020 ski season and have both teams go to finals. It will certainly be harder with a lot of new skiers, but I have faith that we will do better and possibly win.” - Ryan Schatz ’23
Boys Fencing: “I'm really excited about the upcoming fencing season. We have a good mix of returning fencers and new faces, so I'm eager to get to work with the team and see what we can accomplish. In terms of goals for the season, I would like to see everyone grow as a fencer and athlete in some way. I also really want us to be able to establish a strong [team] bond. Especially coming off of last season when we didn't really get to bond much, I think my biggest goal for this season is to have a strong sense of community among the fencing team.” - Lucas Alfaro ’22
Varsity Swimming and Diving begins their first meet of the season.
Emma Maldon ’22 looks to score for Varsity Girls Basketball.
Peter Mahakian The Ski Racing Team poses for a photo after a practice at Mount Southington. @hopfencing
Peter Mahakian Sam Cherry ’23 takes a shot during a Varsity Boys Basketball scrimmage.
Varsity Fencing team members pose for a photo after a hard practice.
Interviews with winter captains conducted by Co-Lead Sports Editor Tanner Lee ’23 and Assistant Sports Editor Sam Cherry ’23
Varsity Wrestler Jonathan Leite ’23 prepares to take down his opponent.
December 16, 2021
Senior Holiday Wishlist I Wish....
Abby Regan - To have a picnic on the roof of Lovell . Albert Yang - For senior snack. Alexandra Mathews - To meet Taylor Swift. Alistair Selby - For a day where Mr. Smith teaches the Chorus and Ms. Schroth teaches the Orchestra. Allison Fehmel - We had more no homework weekends. Amélie Khiar - For someone to tell me “it’ll all be okay.” Amy Zhang - To play Genshin Impact with Dr. Cox. Anand Choudhary - For Dr. G to build a new theater. Andrew Bordea - For a milkshake. Andrew Cotaj - That everyone is happy! Andrew Sack - For unstructured free time. Andrew Woolbert - For an aquatics Assembly. Anibal Loureda - For infinite wishes. Anishi Kalaria - To be able to go to Six Flags at the end of the year for AP Physics. Anjali Subramanian - For Haniya to stop saying “so true.” Annika Sun - For bring your pet to school day. Arbi Koleci - To watch the sunrise from the Thompson roof. Arman Hyder - To get my money up, not my funny up, in 2022. Ava Cho - For the senior class to have a normal, relaxing senior spring. Ava Hamblett - For underwater pool speakers. Ayelet Kaminski - To be added to the Harmonaires Heads group chat (I won’t say anything). Baran Pasa - To get the senior couches back for at least one day. Ben Jenkins - To shimmy across the ledge in the Malone Atrium to the other side. Ben Mulligan - For Alumni School Day (a day where alumni come back and go to classes with a current student). Brandon Faunce - That Mr. McCord would come back for one Math Team meet. Cameron Murray - That Ava Lynn Cho could get a horse named Buttercup in order to live out her horse girl dream of shouting “Buck up, Buttercup!” to her loyal companion. Caroline McCarthy - For speakers for the Track. Caroline Meury - To play Wii with Owen Lamothe one more time. Catherine Dwyer - For the administration to bring back the senior couches. Charles Wang - For an infinite amount of additional wishes. Charlie Wang - For shorter lunch lines. Charlie Wich - To be a librarian for a day (upper library). Chase Stevens-Scanlan - To have a decent parking spot for a day. Chidimma Nzekwe - To have a class on the Thompson balcony. Chris Ruaño - To have IMBL be nationally televised. Chris Takoudes - For a teacher IMBL league. Christian Maiurro - To get to use Rocco’s golf cart for a day. Colin Gray - For Joe Biden to take me out to dinner. Cyrus Kenkare - For Free Food Truck Fridays. David Buckley - For gainz bruh. Diya Aggarwal - For J-School snack as seniors. Dominic Roberts - For Mr. Ayer to say something nice about everyone in my advisory. Eesha Rao - To hangout with Ms. Belbita at least one more time. Eli Calderone - To fully investigate the secrets of Lovell. Elio DiMauro - To do rotational inertia intergrals with Dr. Stewart. Ellie Medovnikov - For a no homework senior spring. Emma Maldon - For a school-wide Pitbull day (as in Mr. Worldwide). Erin Low - For a good night’s sleep. Ethan Piazza - That the 5’5” on my license wasn’t a lie. Evan Migdole - For the senior wish committee to stop emailing me about submitting a wish. Eze Iheanacho - To have a fun senior year. Felipe Perez - To sit in Dr. Bynum’s chair for an hour. Finn Kiely - For an adviser group Olympics. Fiona Li - For a landscape painting from Mr. Ziou! Giacomo Lowenstine - That there was a snoring alarm in the lower library for when my friends fall asleep. Gisella Castagna - For one of the huge stuffed goats. Haniya Farooq - For Kyle to stop hitting deer. Hannah Ceisler - To play my rubber chicken to Beethoven at Assembly. Irena Komninakas - For the lower Heath cafeteria to be open for the entire school day. Isabella Kaplan - That Mr. Ayer could be my advisor in college. Jacob Ragaza - For seniors to reclaim the bleachers (all others sit on the floor). Jade Aprile - For the therapy dogs to return for midterms and finals this year! Jai Desai - To race a golf cart around campus. James Jeffery - To be a member of Peaches for one day. Jenny Alaska - To drive one of the Hopkins golf carts. Jeremy Pennington - To play a tennis match against Mr. Atlee.
Jessica Chapman - To run the cafe for a day. Man the register, make the food, the whole package. Jessica Horkovich - For the therapy dogs to come back. JJ Drummond - To meet Olivia Rodrigo. Joanna Lu - For a boba buffet for seniors. Jon Schoelkopf - For pizza!! Juan Lopez - To 1v1 Dr. Bynum in basketball. Julia Loffredo - To go through the tunnel(s). Julia Sotelo-Emery - To go to bed. Kallie Schmeisser - For the pool to have underwater speakers. Katie Viselli - For a bring your pet to school day. Krista Park - For ample snow days this winter! Kyle Robik - To be able to differentiate red and green. Lara Jasaitis - For the senior section couches to be brought back. Laura Colonna de Lega - That Covid-19 would be over. Lauren Sklarz - For a growth spurt. Leela DeSilva - For oil paints to become a permanent member of the visual arts curriculum. Liam Kelly - For a steak dinner. Liam Spellacy - To meet Pop Smoke. Liv Streeter - For chocolate croissants in the cafe. Lucas Alfaro - For the best holiday movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, to be played in Heath sometime before winter break. Maria Cusick - To be a seventh grader for the day. Marin Ciardiello - To win a FAA championship. Mark Zdankiewicz - For a Patriots vs Bucs Super Bowl. Mathias Dias - To go to Lake Compounce on a senior field trip. Matthew Booth - To listen to Kanye West with Mr. May. Matthew Breier - To have Ms. Stauffer write “Class of 2022” in Ethanol in the Thompson parking lot and light it on fire (like she did in seventh grade). Matthew Cotaj - For a car. Matthew Spenner - To drive Rocco’s golf cart. Matthew Sun - To enjoy the rest of my time at Hopkins and to become more athletic. Matthew Vasseur - To steal Rocco’s golf cart. Max Gordon - To have snacks back in the Cage. Megan Yi - That The Razor won’t publish my senior wish. Michelle Grutzendler - That everyone could bring their dogs to school for a day. Milla Kovshov - For a designated napping area. Milo Sobel-Lewin - For a donkey. Mykaila Meunier - To get into my top colleges. Nana Dondorful-Amos - To get a sea fairy cookie. Nataly Moravec - To see Dr. Bynum spike a volleyball. Nate Meyers - For the seniors to get the senior section in Assembly again! Nati Tesfaye - To meet Mr. Baxter or anybody from the Business Office. Nick Hughes - For Jon S. to cosplay as a cat. Nolan Brant - To drive Rocco’s golf cart. Olivia Duan - To play League of Legends with the legend himself, Mr. Smith. Orly Baum - To conduct a choir of the Faculty and Staff singing “Jingle Bell Rock.” Owen Lamothe - To play Wii with Caroline Meury one more time. Paola Frunzio - To fence with lightsabers at practice. Pearl Miller - To watch a Marvel movie with Mr. Guthrie. Robert Lawler - For me to be a part of the Volleyball Assembly. Ruth Aromolaran - To have fried chicken for one lunch. Samuel Mason - For someone to give me a pack of gum. Sebastian Merce - For a good book. Sofia Karatzas - To use the emergency shower in the science rooms. Sophia Cerroni - For a bring your pet to school day. Suthi Navaratnam-Tomayko - For yogurt pretzels. Talia Chang - To take a High School Musical jumping photo in front of the red curtains on the theater stage! Thaniel Illuzzi - For a free food truck. Timothy Hsiao - For a longer Activities time! Ty Eveland - To have a dance battle against Mr. Ziou. Vivian Mudry - For as many snow days as possible this winter! Wiley Johnson - To put a whiteboard in Upper Heath with markers for community use. Will Blumenthal - To have the Monday after the Super Bowl off. Will Cooper - For Mr. Pizarro to wear his mask below his nose for a day. Will Vianese - To go on the Baldwin roof. William Foster - That the Coronavirus stops mutating into new variants before we run out of Greek letters. Yaqub Bajwa - For Mr. Mooney to wear a pink tutu. Yuki Ma - For more student visual art exhibitions. Zach Williamson - To play a piano four-hands duet with James Jeffery. Zachary Bleil - For chocolate cake at lunch.