The Hotchkiss Spectrum: Issue 3 (Tradition)

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Message from the Editors: For our third issue, we have chosen the theme of “Tradition”. What does tradition mean to the individuals of our community? Which traditions should we oppose or accept? How does tradition impact who we are? Coming from all different backgrounds, the members of the Hotchkiss community have a breadth of cultural knowledge, and we hope this issue is able to illuminate the significance of tradition in our lives. As you will see in this issue, submissions may be made anonymously. If you feel comfortable with personally contacting a specific member(s) of our team, you may submit work to us with a request for anonymity - or - you may anonymously mail a printed copy of your submission to one of us. Additionally, we would like to reiterate that if members of the Hotchkiss community feel compelled to respond to the content of any issue, they are welcome to produce a thoughtful response and submit it to be published in a following issue. Finally, while the overarching theme may change with each issue, Spectrum is always commited to promoting open, thoughtful conversation as well as upholding themes of diversity, equity, and inclusivity. We encourage contributor to use the “I” perspective in their work, and we hope that every member of our community will use Spectrum as an oppurtunity to better understand, communicate with, and respect others. - Karen Ahn, Mariah Bell, Thunder Keck Managing Editors Karen Ahn, Mariah Bell Design Editor Mariah Bell



The Meaning of New Tradition | Priyanka Kumar


Burdens | Regan McCall


Tradition | Dajung Lim


Photo by Lauren Lam


Dance | Alice Sarkissian-Wolf


Art by Amy Wang


A House Versus A Home | Anonymous


Art by Elysia Li


The Two Sides of Tradition | Anna Connell


Photography by Mariah Bell


Cain Inable | P. Michael Coffy


Art by Karen Ahn


Music by Desmond Teague


“Tradition” Survey Responses

The Spectrum of

tradition .

The Meaning of New Traditions Priyanka Kumar My mom always says to me, “Don’t be afraid of change. You might lose something good, but you may gain something even better.” Until this year, I never fully understood the impact of this mantra. Every year during Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light, my family and I would decorate the outside of our house with Rangoli, which were paintings made of sand, give hundreds of packages filled with Indian sweets to our friends, and most importantly, light up every square inch of the house with diyas. Diyas are oil lamps that are made by hand from clay, with a cotton wick dipped in cow butter. These lamps have been passed down from generation to generation all the way from India to the United States, when my parents immigrated to New York in 1989. The lamps would stay lit the entire night and make every dark corner of the house illuminate brightly. In Hinduism, these lights symbolize warding off the evil spirits and bring us peace, prosperity, and success. After placing the lamps throughout the house, we would go to the temple every year, pray, watch the fireworks, and spend time with family and friends. My first Diwali away from home was nothing like the big celebration I had become accustomed to. I couldn’t go home because I was worried about missing classes and falling behind. There was no Rangoli, no boxes of Indian sweets, and no fireworks. We had the Diwali Dinner, which was fun, but it still wasn’t the same as how I celebrated back home. The nearest temple was hours away, and I didn’t have any diyas, or even candles, to celebrate my favorite holiday of the year. So instead, I settled with keeping my iPhone flashlight on for the whole night. I had promised myself before coming back to Hotchkiss for Lower Mid year, that I would try something new for this year’s Diwali celebration and find new ways to celebrate the holiday at Hotchkiss. I got together with some of my Indian friends, and told them that I wanted to put diyas all over the campus. we couldn’t have candles all over main building without having a fire hazard, so

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instead we decided to buy 300 electric candles of all different colors. We ran up and down main building putting them by Elfers, through main hallway, and by the front steps of main building. At first, it didn’t seem like much. But after the sun had set and the candles lit up the campus, it felt like we had really accomplished something. They may have just been candles to some, but they were a reminder for me of how sometimes the best way to preserve old traditions was by making new ones. I was able to bring a little piece from home and share it with this community and that was the greatest celebration of all. It wasn’t until talking to my parents recently when I realized they had to start making new traditions, except on a much grander scale, when they immigrated to America. When they had first moved from India to Albany, NY, there were only 50 Indian families in the area. They had gone from praying daily in grand, decorative temples to praying in a small temple with a few statues and idols in the back of someone’s house. American grocery stores didn’t even have the food and supplies that were needed for Hindu prayer ceremonies, so they had to come up with new traditions like offering bananas instead of palm tree leaves or carnations instead of marigold flowers. While they could not keep the same traditions as they had in India, there was something even more beautiful in transforming their old traditions to fit their new life in America so they could embody both cultures. Albany now has grown to more than 10,000 Indian families, and the Indian community has come a long way from that small temple in the back of a house. Going to the Hindu Cultural Center Temple, a tradition which was new for my parents after moving from India, has now become an old tradition for me after coming to Hotchkiss. However, I now understand that I can still find value and meaning in creating new traditions at Hotchkiss and sharing my culture with the rest of the school. So after all, you shouldn’t be afraid of change. Yes, you might lose something good, but in the end you may gain something even better.

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burdens Regan McCall Sophie carried a tape recorder that was always on. Along with it, she carried the nation’s distrust of police officers. Inside her bag, surrounded by AP textbooks and papers with “good job” comments under B grades were three pairs of headphones to block out the world. Her phone’s lock screen read “IT’S LOCKED FOR A REASON, STUPID!”, and her diary was held under lock and key, hidden within a small pocket, invisible to a passing glance. The key ring in her bag held four keys; for a safe, a diary, a bike, and a dorm room. Each held a piece of her soul that had never seen the light of day. If you ever got the chance to see inside her locked items, you would find everything Sophie held dear along with all the warnings she’d ever received. Her safe held a wallet as well as her father’s constant reminder to never trust anyone. And just to ensure that she maintained her father’s wishes, Sophie always locked her door. Inside her diary were poems filled with lost love, pain, and disappointment. In the back of her diary was a list of those who had left her; it served as a reminder of the cost of trusting others. On her phone were text messages, memories of her parents’ divorce, failed relationships, and teary goodbyes. Sophie’s iTunes held pop music and warnings from her mother saying, “if you’re too different, they’ll make your life hell”. Sophie carried all these things. The heavy and light, the real and imagined, the painful and prideful. Others looked upon Sophie with pity because of this, but she had grown used to it. They were her burdens; some were passed down, and others she developed on her own. Regardless, she carried them all.

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tradition Dajung Lim If I were to name the two places where I saw the word “tradition” the most, I would’ve picked “history textbook” and “holidays”. For me, tradition existed in history, and only came to life couple of times a year for New Years or Thanksgiving; “tradition” was always the same and eventually became quite boring, at least until last year’s spring break. Most countries have their traditional clothing, and the “guards” in front of the old Royal Palace in South Korea were always dressed in such, standing in front of the big gate to provide the tourists with a real time traveling experience. Despite spending my first 11 years in Korea, I’d never been to the Palace until last spring; I mean, out of so many attractions, visiting an old historical sight didn’t rank very high on my to-do list. However, my sister didn’t agree with me; she found out that the entry is free if we wore a traditional “hanbok”, and tried for days to convince me to wear one with her. Though eventually I gave in to her plea - I certainly felt slightly guilty for not knowing much about the country I come from- I wasn’t excited to put on the heavy vests and long, draping skirts that would sweep the dirty ground. Consequently , I was shocked when I went into a shop and saw rows of light, flowy chiffon skirts and tops with unique patterns and cleanly cut sleeves. My first thought looking at them was, ‘I would even wear them as an outfit sometimes’. The clothes felt great, too; their fabric was light and fitting, and my excitement grew, peaking when we entered the palace gate. There were hundreds of people- hundreds of young people- walking around in their Hanboks, taking pictures, talking, and laughing. No one had to “travel back in time” to experience the history and tradition of the palace- rather, everyone was bringing those traditions to the present. It was tradition in the 21st century, claiming its best place in the middle of neon signs and modern shopping malls. This type of traditional experience was fun, unique, and freshly alive. Tradition has the potential to always be that way: an aspect of our daily lives. It could be a family’s weekend routine, or a school’s oldest chant; it could be the light silk kimonos of Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters, or fusion tacos in a New York restaurant. Tradition isn’t something that we have to dig out from the past- it’s something that moves with us throughout our lives.

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Photo by Lauren Lam


Alice Sarkissian-Wolf

As a dancer, the subject of tradition resonates with me due to the many influential individuals and nonconformists who came before me. Tradition cannot be discussed without understanding that in fact, one’s viewpoint is limited by one’s past. The key is to keep moving forward while still honoring the past and tradition. Modern Dance has a great history of tradition. It’s founding members, Loie Fuller, Helen Tamiris, Isadora Duncan, Ted Shawn, Ruth St. Denis, Doris Humphrey, Jose Limon, Charles Weidman, Rudolph von Laban, Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Mary Wigman, Anna Sokolow, Sophie Maslow, Pearl Lang, Katherine Dunham, Erick Hawkins, Merce Cunningham, Alwin Nikolais, Lester Horton and Alvin Ailey, were all non-conformists that created a new tradition based on individualism, creativity and exploration. Their inspiration came from living and observing life, and their objective was to allow a freedom of expression that simply did not exist. They were courageous souls who against all odds created a new language, a new tradition for those of us who have been pulled in and have made dance our lives. The mere evolution of Modern Dance has built itself a tradition. I am the recipient of that, and I carry it proudly. It has been said that Modern Dance is a “state of mind” and therefore can never become static or relegated to a mere fixed place. Jose Limon said it best when he commented on tradition and dance. “It is important to preserve tradition. It is part of our heritage, and as such it is to be cherished. But the Modern idioms should be left to the individual to be kept resilient, venturesome, experimental, unhampered.”

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Art by Amy Wang

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A House Versus A Home As soon as the plane’s wheels touch the ground, I know I am home. My heart starts to skip beats, and I press my nose to the window like a child, trying to breathe in the salty air. We sit in the back of the plane, and it feels like eternity until I step into the airport, my feet finally on the ground after a long day of traveling. I have every nook and cranny of the minuscule Alaskan airport memorized and rush to the stairs, taking them two at a time. A pang of sadness hits me when I realize that I will be walking these stairs again, but in the opposite direction, heading back to Connecticut. When we finally gather all of our bags, we step out into the cool air. A thick layer of stormy clouds covers everything, but when you live in Southeastern Alaska in the Tongass National Rainforest, this is something you are accustomed to. The airport sits on its own small island across from the town of Ketchikan. We board a small ferry to reach the town. Float planes crowd the sky as they try to land on the channel we are crossing. I feel that if I reach my hand up, I could touch one as it descends overhead. A couple hours later, we are ready to depart to Square Island, where our cabin sits alone all year

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round waiting for us to come home. In order to understand the Island though, you must understand the backstory first. When my dad was a child, he was always fascinated by fishing. When he was old enough, he started working a summer job as a fishing guide in Alaska at a place called Yes Bay Lodge, which is an hour and a half from, Ketchikan, the nearest town. While out fishing, he would always stumble across an old run down cabin. He later learned it was the last privately owned cabin in The Tongass National Forest. He called the owner and she told him that her husband had recently passed away due to a heart attack, and she hated the place, so he could have it. The rest is history. My dad and mom fixed up the cabin, and ever since I was born, we have spent our summers there. I have never been anywhere so beautiful in all my life. Everything is a vibrant green, due to the constant rain. Thick moss grows on everything and covers the forest floor like a huge pillow. Everything smells like the ocean, and I can constantly hear waves crashing against the rocky shore. Other days, the ocean is smooth like glass, and the only things that disturb the eerie silence

are salmon jumping and whales breaching. Bald eagles swoop out of the sky and snatch fish out of the water. Deer bound about the woods and on the beach, eating seaweed. Little do they know that wolves slink at the woods edge watching, waiting. The most breathtaking sight is not the snow covered mountains, the rolling sea, or the untouched, peaceful land, but the stars at night. Without any light pollution, the stars shine brighter than one could ever imagine. The Northern Lights dance around the sky in a mesmerizing sequence. I sit for hours just staring up, unable to tear my eyes away. Now, as we motor in towards shore, my anticipation continues to grow. After what feels like eternity, I finally feel the thud of our skiff hitting the shore. After a long day of traveling across the country from my house, I step onto the rocky beach of Square Island and know I am home.


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Elysia Li 13 | The Hotchkiss Spectrum

The Two Sides of Tradition Anna Connell

Long-standing customs and beliefs are rooted in our community’s culture, sewn into the complex fabric of our various origins. They are based in a set of ingrained ideals, and their value is rarely based on truth, but rather on their age and their significance in history and the present. Certain traditions can unify us as individuals by forming a common bond between different groups. These traditions are beneficial for the environment that we aspire to create in the world as they can integrate multiple characteristics into a wholesome community. Traditions, in this sense have the ability to unify individuals, but their stagnant nature can sometimes be polarizing. Traditional views, created hundreds of years ago and rooted in history, remain prevalent today. Yet we cannot justify or base our knowledge and opinion on the facts that tradition deems true, as these values, however ignorant they are, are almost ineradicable due to their age. Traditional ideals of gender, race, and sexuality, form an unrealistic confinement of societal norms, which many people use to justify today’s ignorance. We cannot simply forget the traditions and norms rooted in our culture, but we cannot blindly abide by their restrictive presence either. Instead, we must acknowledge their existence- their truths and faults- and form our own, more-accepting ideals. We must recognize that humans, as intricately unique as we are, do not form two simple sides or a few different, independent groups, but rather form a spectrum of beautiful complexity that we must accept and appreciate.

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“Every Night the Lights Go ‘Round” Florence, Italy

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Photo by Mariah Bell

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“Patiently Caught within a Moment� Pushkin, Russia

Photo by Mariah Bell

Cain Inable P. Michael Coffy

The brisk morning air inspired Father Luke to walk a little more fervently, his muffin and coffee were chilling with every passing second. He glanced at his watch: 8:28. “Perfect,” he thought as he entered the St. Agathus Church. The best part of his morning was flipping the switch, and, with a flicker, watching darkness turn into light. And that light shone brilliantly, gleaming off the waxed pews and the rose gold emulation of Christ. These moments were uncommon: a shepherd presiding over none of his flock. But soon enough, they would return; seeking His guidance and of course, thanking Him for settling our eternal ransom. Men like Father Luke were to serve as the in between; a physical representation in the human form, but operating with His grace. His job? absolve mortal and venial sin. A job with inherent flaw. How can a human, having the same capacity for sin as any other human preside over all the rest without fault? With a sigh, Father Luke peeled his gaze off the cross and strolled to the wooden structure left of the altar. Every morning, Father Luke had confessional duty starting at 8:30. No one was usually there until 11, so on most mornings he would eat his breakfast and catch up on his favorite shows on Netflix. But today, he left his phone off. ‘The Lord is watching,’ he reminded himself. In reaching to unlock the door, he began to a hear someone softly sobbing on the other end of the booth. “Bless me Father, for, I have sinned,” the mystery man muttered. “Of course my son,” Father Luke said, muffin lining his words, “how long has it been since your last confession?” “I have never confessed, Father.” “Well I'm happy you're here today, son. Go to the altar, recite three Hail Marys, and we’ll begin.” As the man repeated the Word, Father Luke wondered what this man was here for today. He’s heard it all in his twenty-plus years sitting in this confessional. Nothing surprises him anymore. Humans are sinners. There's no getting around that.

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“What are you here to confess today?” “I’ve committed the sin of impurity.” “In what form?” “Adultery.” “Continue.” “I couldn't take it any longer father. The flesh, is so... so enticing. When I’m alone a have an insatiable burning for this woman, it comes from an evil place, I know it. She tells me not to pay it any mind and shows complete disregard for her family, but I can’t condone it any longer. But you must see, I am not strong enough to end this on my own, I need guidance.” “It sounds as though this woman should absolve as well. Is she Catholic?” “Yes, Father. She comes to this church. You know her well. Sarah Cain.” Father Luke was quite startled by this. Of course, the mystery man could not see him through the latticed metal window, but it felt as if he could see through Father Luke, past the clerical cloth, and through the facade of a devout man. A man who was just as capable of sinning as any other man. “Who are you?” “You can’t ask me that, Father. The question is who are you?” “What are you talking about?” “You see, in her pillow rumblings, Sarah’s told me about your… rendezvous.” “Well, Sarah and I will have to have a conversation about th…” “No you won't. ‘Whoever shall dare to reveal a sin disclosed to him in the tribunal of penance shall be not only deposed from the priestly office, but he shall also be sent into the confinement of a monastery to do perpetual penance.’” “What do you want from me?” “I want the woman, Luke.” “That is Father to you sir.” “Well if you don’t cut your ties to Sarah, she won't either. And the name “Father” will be a bit more literal.” Leaving Father Luke, who was pondering his options, the man crossed through the ambulatory to get to the vestry. Ten minutes later, he walked out in his black robe.

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Art by Karen Ahn

Chlorine Desmond Teague

Tradition is something you fight to protect, especially when it is challenged by others. It can be something as simple as a meal or a specific kind of clothing. Here’s a song I made about the destruction of Native Americans and their traditions called “Chlorine”.

(Scan the QR code to hear the song) Soundcloud: “Chlorine” by Synchro Mash

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Tradition - Survey Results What is tradition/what does it mean to you? A double-edged sword. Being located in history, but being trapped by history. In Latin, ‘tradere’ means both ‘to deliver’ and ‘to surrender.’ Tradition delivers what is valuable across time, but it also can mean that the present gives in to the past and does not take an active role in shaping the future. - Emma Wynn, Faculty Tradition to me is something that unites a community. - Anon, Freshman

What are some traditions in the greater world that you believe should be upheld? The way complete strangers rally to help and support others in times of crisis and struggle, uniting and working en masse for the common good. Think 911, Katrina, the Newtown shootings, the Orlando nightclub shootings. And the list goes on. On a much smaller scale, we do the same at Hotchkiss. Just ask members of the faculty and staff who have experienced crisis and loss how the Hotchkiss community has stepped up and in during such times. - CDNoyes, Faculty World Peace Day- September 21st, International Women’s Day- March 8th - Amanda Maia, Sophmore

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What is your favorite tradition at Hotchkiss? Why? Taft Week and Community Voices; they bring us together. - Anon, Sophmore Head of School Holidays. Do I really need to answer why?! - Anon, Staff Revisit Day, because it shows how much the school is a big family. - Anon, Freshman Taft Day, Spirit Week and Community Voices. - Amanda Maia, Sophmore Senior first- it’s something that you work up to and just feels really good. - Anon, Senior

What is your least favorite tradition at Hotchkiss? Why? My least favorite tradition is the seating in the dinning hall. I think it adds a lot of anxiety to students especially those who are new or are introverted. - Anon, Freshman hotchkiss hook up culture in general. - Anon, Sophmore Unpopular Opinion: Contra Dance, because it’s not actually very fun and you don’t really meet new people. - Anon, Senior

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The Spectrum of