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Tower The Masters School

December 10, 2012

Volume 69, Number 3

The Masters School, 49 Clinton Avenue, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

One year later: Students respond to ACR

In the fall of 2011, the administration instituted the Athletic Credit Requirement (ACR) for the incoming freshmen class, the Class of 2015. The ACR requires students to participate as a member of an interscholastic team for three out of six seasons during their freshman and sophomore years; at least one of these seasons must be in ninth grade. Students can also receive credit through Dance Tech II and III, Dance Company and the Winter Musical. In November, Tower conducted a school-wide survey to gather the community’s response to the ACR, one year later. Tower is publishing the results as part of a three-part series.

by Tyler Pager Editor-in-Chief

The majority of students are not satisfied with the Athletic Credit Requirement (ACR), according to a school-wide survey. When they were asked if they agreed with the administration’s view that the ACR is an important component of creating a well-rounded educational experience, 42.6 percent of students

The adminstration views the Athletic Credit Requirement (ACR) as an important component of creating a well-rounded educational experience. Do you agree?

Managing Editor

The Empire State Building was bathed in blue as CNN projected Barack Obama as the winner of the 2012 presidential race. Nov. 7 had just begun and Americans either rejoiced or expressed frustration that Obama had been voted into a second term. Similarly, in the school’s mock election, Obama won, albeit by a significantly larger margin. He received 67 percent of the vote, while Romney got 21 percent. Third parties in the actual election were barely represented, but within the

by Teerin Julsawad Features Editor

Graphic by Tyler Pager and Jackie Liu

In response to the question above, the majority of students were not in favor of the ACR, and did not find it a useful component in creating a well-rounded experience at Masters.

said not at all; 32.6 percent said to some extent; 13.0 percent said to a fair extent and 11.7 said, yes, completely. While the administration implemented this requirement for the wellbeing of the students last year, the majority of students are unhappy with it. Freshman Kiera Allen is among the many who oppose the requirement. “I appreciate the

opportunity to participate in school-sponsored sports, but not the obligation,” Allen said. “But, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that three seasons is a lot of time to commit to something that I don’t enjoy. I understand the school’s desire for students to be active and healthy, but I feel that this component of sports can be substituted with physical education.” Allen also said that

camaraderie and team building is not only achieved through athletics. “Having participated in both athletic and nonathletic co-curriculars, it is my personal feeling that the relationships that I developed in dance, plays and musicals were as strong as those in sports,” she said. Allen was attracted to the school continued on page 8

Students react to Barack Obama’s re-election by Casey Chon

Construction begins on Health Center

Masters community, Gary Johnson collected seven percent of the total votes. Jill Stein of the Green Party, Peta Lindsay, and Virgil Goode made up for the remaining five percent. The student reaction to both elections were split. Freshman Alex Harwood said, “Obama’s win benefits me because he’s been able to somewhat lower unemployment rates, and I’m going to want a job when I’m out of college.” A contrasting opinion from Harwood’s was voiced by junior Juliet Day. “From watching the debates, I found that I agreed with more of what

Romney said,” she said. “Although I did not agree with Romney’s opinions of abortion and gay marriage, when it came to the economic views he seemed to be much more convincing.” Day added, “I also did not like that people faulted Romney for being wealthy. Yes, Romney was born into wealth, but he made a tremendous amount of money buying and selling businesses, so he really did work for his own money. Therefore, he really should not be faulted for his wealth.” Senior Laura Hughes voted for the first time this past election. “I did a lot of research

into each candidate, yes, even Jill Stein and Gary Johnson,” she said. “I even agreed with almost everything in Jill Stein’s platform, but I decided not to vote for her because I recognized that a vote for a non-major party would be a waste.” Junior Isabel Grieder expressed frustration about the policial polarity at Masters. “It’s disappointing but expected that the results in the actual election are different than the Masters results,” she said. “I have always considered Masters a liberal community, but I wish there was more political diversity.”

Opinion

Features

Why New York State should legalize pot

Superstorm Sandy submerges New York

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Pages 4-5

Many students have experienced the discomfort of walking into a student assistance counselor’s office. Regardless of what the purpose may be, the uneasiness of visiting a counselor or a psychologist never ceases to exist. Taking pride in giving students confidentiality, the Health Center is being expanded to include new spacious areas for nursing and counseling. The extension to McCormack Dorm, the location of the Health Center, is already underway. While Superstorm Sandy delayed construction, the school estimates that the project will still be completed within four months. Students will be provided with a newly constructed reception area along with additional counseling offices, isolation rooms for contagious patients and extra office space. Separate entrances for the counseling and nursing offices will also be built.

Rosemarie Corradina, the school nurse, explained that the new areas would mostly consist of private spaces for students. “There will definitely be more privacy for students who feel less comfortable about seeing our counselors,” Corradina said. “We like to make sure that everybody has that ability to have confidentiality because it is very important for many students and everyone is entitled to it.” Junior Chelsea Strong, who visits a counselor at the health center on an occasional basis, consents that confidentiality is essential. “Personally, I don’t mind if people know whether or not I go talk to a counselor or a nurse,” Strong said. “I know that for some people, [confidentiality] can be a matter of not going to a counselor because they think people around them could take it the wrong way, so I think many students will find the new areas extremely useful.”

Photo by Teerin Julsawad

The entrance to the Health Center has been temporarily blocked due to the construction. The extension of the building will feature a reception area, counseling offices and isolation rooms.

Sports

Squash sensation shares his story

Photo courtesy of lookcatalog via Flickr

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Photo by Dale Walker


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Op-Ed

TOWER/December 10, 2012

Taking the high road: Why marijuana should be legal by Johanna M. Costigan Editor-in-Chief

While specific states light up, America is lightening up. As of November, when voters in Colorado and Washington elected to legalize marijuana, the federal illegalization of pot has been challenged. The government spends a substantial amount of money punishing those who are caught using, possessing or selling marijuana, when they could be taxing lawabiding citizens indulging in marijuana and making a profit in the process. Instead of spending huge sums of money, we could collect it. Punitive measures taken against marijuana users are often inconsistent and racially skewed. Although

more white people use marijuana than minorities, more minorities are arrested every year for marijuana use than white people. Besides the blatant display of prejudice and racial discrimination in this practice, police officers picking and choosing who to punish for the same offense suggests that the crime pot smokers are committing is not much of a crime at all. Law enforcement officials are unlikely to hesitate before arresting a murderer or a rapist, regardless of his or her race. Once they start cherry-picking who is worth the paperwork of an arrest, it becomes apparent that the law they are breaking is questionable. Criminalizing marijuana in this way causes racial

disparities in prisons, which undermines confidence in the justice system. To protect itself against criticism and doubt, and its citizens against injustice, the government should spend far more time persecuting violent offenders and far less time confiscating joints from music-loving festivalgoers and sending some smokers off for decades of incarceration while others are let off scott-free. If the government taxed and regulated marijuana, it would become safely monitored. Public schools are one area that receives federal funding that could benefit from the legalization. Schools tend to be the number one expense for state governments, and are certainly a

Graphic by Declan Considine

COLORADO AND WASHINGTON voters both chose to legalize marijuana in November. Many believe that legalizing pot throughout the country and taxing its consumers would actually be a benefit.

worthy cause for tax revenue. Many argue that smoking weed is a detriment to students’ academics, which may be true, but the tax revenue from the legalization of the substance may, in fact, enhance

American education. Furthermore, our schools do not need to be littered with unsafe marijuana. If it were regulated, the integration of PCPs and other unsafe additives in weed would

decrease significantly. The United States should adopt a zero tolerance policy for unjustifiable drug laws because they rob us of both essential tax revenues as well as the liberty of our citizens.

will determine their future: “Deny, Defer, or Accept.” After putting months of hard work into applications, a decision of this nature can seem particularly impersonal. Students deserve recognition for their hard work or at least acknowledgement that their application was thoroughly read and considered. While steps like these may not make a rejection any easier, they will make the process feel less like having a door slammed in our faces after months of waiting. Some schools like Rice

University argue that they are saving trees by notifying students electronically. Other schools with large applicant pools simply do not have the time to send twenty to thirty thousand students gracious letters. Some students even argue that they like the “cut and dry” nature of the online notification; everyone finds out at the same time, on the same day. Personally, I do not need a decision essay written by an admissions officer apologizing to me for not offering me admission or gushing about all the wonderful reasons that I was

chosen. Rather, I would value a letter that simply acknowledges my effort and does not make me feel like it was all in vain. Even Harvard University, with a record applicant pool of over 25,000 students last year sent letters to its rejected applicants that read “The particular college a student attends is far less important than what the student does to develop his or her strengths and talents over the next four years.” Sentiments like that are enough to help ease the tension of the college process and are appreciated far more than digital confetti.

The impersonal nature of a College decision: Finding out online by Alex Minton Op-Ed Editor

Cartoon by Sang Bae

THE ONLINE COLLEGE DECISON can seem rather harsh whether an acceptance or rejection.

This Saturday is “DDay” for many anxious high-school students awaiting their early decisions from schools all over the country. After months of studying, test taking, touring and nail-biting, some seniors will get to finally breathe a sigh of relief. Unlike the stereotypic “fat” and “skinny” envelopes students used to receive, most decisions are now communicated electronically. Seniors this weekend will head online, and after several clicks reach the one word that

Tower 2012-2013 Editors-In-Chief: Johanna M. Costigan and Tyler Pager Web Editor-In-Chief: Noah Buyon News Editors: Lily Herzan and Sofia Linden Opinion Editor: Alex Minton Features and Arts Editors: Teerin Julsawad and Jackie Liu Sports Editors: Abigail Costigan and WenXuan Ni Advertising Designer: Sang Bae Managing Editor: Casey Chon Web Content Manager: Kiera Wilson Photo Editor: Declan Considine Columnists: Max Borowitz, Nick Fleder and Ryan Rosenberg Staff Photographers: Bob Cornigans, Sam Miller, Ken Verral and Eve Wetlaufer Contributing Photographers: Niall Higgins, Gavin Koepke, Gayle Miller, Darrien Pulos and Dale Walker Faculty Adviser: Ellen Cowhey

The Masters School 49 Clinton Avenue Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 Volume 69, Issue 3

Distribution Process Tower is hand-delivered on the day of publication to the Upper School. 500 copies are printed, and one is put in each faculty member’s mailbox. In addition, a copy is sent to each of our Advertisers.

Scholastic Press Affiliations and Letter Policy Tower is an award-winning member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), Journalist Educators and Quill and Scroll. E-mail TowerEditors@Mastersny.org to send Letters to the Editor. See the subsequent page for information regarding letters to the editor. Published approximately eight times a year, Tower, the student newspaper of The Masters School, is a public forum, with its Editorial Board making all decisions concerning content. Unsigned editorials express views of the majority of the Editorial Board.

Mastering Style:

by Ryan Rosenberg

HALLOWEEN

Although I spotted one too many “Where’s Waldo” and “Thing 1 and Thing 2” costumes, a truly spirited creativity embedded the outfits of those who dressed up on a foggy Monday in November. Boys were dressed as cops, donning short shorts and aviators, freshmen attempting to make their colorful hair defy the law of gravity in an effort to resemble trolls. Banana suits were also boldly worn by students hoping to receive a second glance. However, I was most struck by those who bravely embodied their

“Halloween ego” by intricately painting their faces. Whether trying to be humorous, chillingly frightening or chic, the painted faces of the students all demonstrated commitment to their costumes, as they daringly embraced their new identities. Overall, as someone who happily dressed up, I can say that there was something exhilarating about planning and looking forward to what I would be wearing. I assume that one would not paint his face if he or she did not feel energized about it. Perhaps, we should think

about ways to inject this whimsically outward confidence that surrounds Halloween into our everyday get up by taking wardrobe risks with the comfort of knowing that on a random Monday someone was brave enough to dress up like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I spoke to one girl who, after I had complimented her newly dyed auburn hair for her costume, said enthusiastically, “Well, it’s staying just like this! The dye is permanent!” Now that’s Halloween dedication! Photos by Ryan Rosenberg


TOWER/December 10, 2012

Op-Ed

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A fresh face for school news: Tower’s online debut by Noah Buyon

Web Editor-in-Chief

In America, the age of print journalism is dying. The Pew Research Center reports that around 20 business-scale newspapers have closed each year in the last five years, on average. Newspaper-derived advertising revenues, upon which most newspapers (including Tower) rely, have declined by 50 percent since 2006. Increasingly, people the world over are turning to online sources for their news. In America, an estimated 61 percent of consumers now get at least some of their news from the web, according to CNN. Digital news provides a level of timeliness and interactivity (in addition to social media connectivity) that print mediums cannot, so the website tends to look more attractive than the paper to the

twenty-first century eye. This is reflected in circulation trends: a 2010 Pew study noted that the number of people who read a paper-and-ink newspaper decreased by 14 percent since 2008, while the number of readers of digital news actually increased by 4 percent over that same period. The fate of journalism, then, is firmly hitched to that of the web. And so, after over fifty years of (admittedly, non-consecutive) print publication, Tower is going digital. By our next issue’s publication, www.tower. mastersny.org, the home of Tower’s online edition, will be up and running. For the foreseeable future, Tower will run paper news concurrently with online news, but we (the staff) are exploring ways of expanding our presence on the web in the coming years. It is the hope of the Tower staff that the web

edition will change the way students get their school news; with photo galleries, videos, game scores, tweets,and blogs, we hope to enhance our current production process. We plan on making breaking news, like school cancellations, available in real-time, and on giving students more of a voice than they’ve ever had before. We aim to reach students, faculty, parents and alumni, with a goal of perhaps as many as 1000 unique visitors to our website per month by the end of this year. A lot has been put into our online edition, and we hope our community, and those beyond, get a lot out of it. As has always been the case, Tower needs you, the reader, to help in this endeavor. All you have to do-- and forgive the shameless plug-- is follow us @MastersTower.

or creating art, we look forward to the end of the school day because it is the time the school allots for us to not only check off boxes they have invented, but to do something meaningful to each of us individually. The severity of the athletic requirement strips us of this privilege. It disproportionately and excessively demands participation in one pocket of life at The Masters School. High school students can take challenging courses and have thought-provoking conversations with peers at any school. A significant facet of Masters that makes it attractive and distinctive is its emphasis on and strength in extracurricular programs. But there is nothing

extracurricular about participating in sports you have no interest in. There is nothing impressive or appealing about a talented actress banned from the stage, spending her afternoons kicking around a soccer ball, all the while mentally drafting a list of all the things she would rather be doing at that moment. There is nothing “critical, creative, or independent,” (words Masters uses to describe itself in its mission statement) about spoonfeeding an interest in athletics to students who very possibly are not at all interested in sports, and certainly do not need to be told by the administration if they are. To remain healthy and

Have an opinion? Write a letter to the editor! Send a 300400 word letter to TowerEditors@ Mastersny.org

Photo by Noah Buyon

WHEN RELEASED, the new Tower website will allow for faster and more frequent access to news regarding the Masters community and beyond. The website’s primary contributors will be the Tower staff, although submissions will be accepted from all members of the community.

Follow Tower on Twitter: @MastersTower

Questions surrounding the fairness and necessity of athletic requirement by Johanna M. Costigan Editor-in-Chief

We study, cram and Harkness. We read; we solve; we communicate. We socialize and engage and discuss. And we do it all before 3 o’clock. Embedded in our curriculum, in the seven hours dedicated to academics each weekday, is an obligation to fulfill a multitude of requirements. By the time the school day ends, we are worn out by the equations that do not interest us and the textbooks loaded with microscopic, tragically dull print. We want to do something for ourselves, something that stimulates and inspires us. Whether it is acting in a play, running track, giving back to the community

Letter to the Editors:

How essential is a college education? Dear Editors,

In our privileged, private school mindset we are trained to think that college is the automatic next step following graduation. But why? According to The Atlantic, 53 percent of recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed. In addition, college seniors graduate with an average $27,000 of in student loan debt, as reported in CNN Money. Out of the 400 richest people in the U.S., 63 entrepreneurs, which comprise of more than 15% of the list, aren’t college graduates, according to a study by Forbes magazine. Aspiring to become educated is not simply aspiring to become wealthy. But many people justify paying tuition because they consider college an

investment for the future. This investment, however, seems riskier as the country climbs further and further into an employment slump. If a traditional college education isn’t necessary for success, what is? The consensus is: experience. Multibillionaire Sean Parker, who did not graduate college, said, “We should expect to see the emergence of a new kind of entrepreneur who has acquired most of their knowledge through self- exploration.” Similar sentiments were echoed by John Paul DeJoria, another non-graduate, multibillionaire, who said, “I learned sales and marketing from knocking on a hundred doors a day.” In an age in which knowledge is at anyone’s

fingertips, what makes the difference for future success isn’t an expensive college education. It is experience. It is rejection. It is not having a degree to fall back. These are the qualities that create people who do not stop trying, who will succeed because their livelihood depends on it. These are the qualities of a worthwhile education. This is not to say that a college education does not serve a purpose. However, I urge those who are applying to college now and those who will be in the future, to seek out learning experiences. Find a college, or hopefully a few, which will give you the opportunity to try, fail, and try again, in a real world context. -Maya Berrol-Young

balanced, as well as to provide exposure to athletics, (in the same way the freshman humanities classes do with the arts) we should certainly require all Masters students to have some interaction with sports during their career here. Whether that means nonathletic students are simply obliged to take gym class, or even required to participate in one season of a sport at Masters is up for discussion. But the athletic requirement as it stands now is pointless and destructive. It forces serious athletes to play alongside bitter, disengaged teammates who couldn’t care less about the outcome of each game or the team’s improvement. Similarly, it intimidates and

repels potential students who are already aware of their passions from applying to the school. High school kids don’t have everything figured out. For the most part, they are unsure of their career paths or life goals or greatest interests. But by the age of 14, most students know whether they would rather spend approximately 13.5 hours a week playing basketball, lacrosse, or softball, or drawing, writing, or dancing. And if they don’t, Masters is still a good fit for them because every student has the freedom to try something new at any stage in their time here. Masters defines itself as an institution that, continued from the mission

statement, “encourages students to participate actively in decisions affecting their lives.” For the most part, we are just that. But the athletic requirement denies us the right to actively participate in deciding the way in which we spend a significant portion of our daily lives. It is a direct contradiction to the tenets and values of our school. It is an attack on our independence and an affront to our individuality. If we want to remain the lively, impassioned, driven group of thinkers we are today, we need to reconsider the extent to which we micromanage students’ extracurricular pursuits and redirect our energy to supporting students’ passions, whatever they may be.

Rebecca Kadaga wants to “kill the gays.” Kadaga, the speaker of the Ugandan parliament, announced that the parliament has officially added the “kill the gays” bill to its schedule. The bill will send gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to automatic imprisonment. They will also be subject to the death penalty. Despite significant outcry and protest from both native Ugandans and members of All Out, a global movement fighting for LGBT equality, the parliament has decided to pursue the bill. When the first version of “kill the gays” was introduced in 2011, over 500,000 people worldwide signed an All Out petition against the bill within the first three days of its release. According to the Huffington Post, Andre Banks, executive director of All Out, was aware of the possibility that the bill might come back to their attention, due to the

ferocity with which the parliament and the speaker in particular supported the bill. Banks said, “The speaker vowed to bring back the bill, and we vowed to stand with our partners in Uganda and fight if she did.” Although the dedication demonstrated by Banks and other All Out members is certainly admirable, their efforts should not be necessary. No individual should be persecuted due to any personal preference, sexual or otherwise. And more than that, no government should have the ethical ineptitude to consider such a devastatingly bigoted, offensively antiquated proposal, let alone draft and advocate for it. Here, such a travesty would never be considered, let alone endorsed. While the United States is still not embracing of sexual union on all levels, especially considering marriage rights, hunting down and killing gay people is officially illegal.

While a government may chose to follow other ethical standards around sexual preferences, going so far as to murder people based on their sexual orientation is downright barbaric. As Americans, we are lucky. As New Yorkers, we are privileged. And as active, engaged, well-educated individuals, we are obliged. We are obliged to speak out against unsupportable injustices, even and especially if they are endorsed by abusive governments. We are obliged to make everyone we interact with and everyone we identify or sympathize with feel adequate and human. We are obliged to make sure all global citizens are respected and cared for, regardless of whether they reside within the borders of our fifty states of freedom.

Editorial: Sign now and save their sovereignty

Visit www.change.org to Sign the Petition


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tOWER/ December 10, 2012

FEATURES

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FEATURES

Extreme Weather Strikes: Superstorm sandy leaves devastation in its wake Students recount family tales of woe and destruction

Curriculum scrambled with Sandy by Abigail Costigan Sports Editor

“Please hold for an important message from The Masters School” and all thoughts of doing homework free the minds of joyous students. But after receiving this call for one week straight, excitement turns to worry. While many students and teachers feared that valuable material will be left unlearned, they have less to dread than they think. Head of the Upper School ChrisFrostwasnotveryworried by missing a week of classes. “The schools days we’ve missed so far won’t have as much effect on the curriculum as some people think,” he said. “Few teachers have planned out from the beginning what

they will be doing in each class during the year. With most of the year still ahead or us, they have time to assess what, when and how they will explore the concepts they feel are central to their courses.” Even so, attempts might be made to get that class time back. Although it would be impossible to add school days onto the end of the year due to boarding complications, said Academic Dean Chris Goulian, “We may need to explore the possibility of recapturing some lost time and how to do so, depending on how many snow days we have this year.” The school has dealt with losing a lot of school before. During the 1993-1994 school year, “There were 13 snowdays,andwehad Saturday

Woodward said. “Later, a third tree fell in the same spot.” Editor-In-Chief She said flooding started 50 mph wind gusts pum- at 9 p.m. and continued until meled the tri-state area: Su- 4 a.m. The roof was patched perstorm Sandy left very few up shortly after the storm residents unscathed. While ended and the Woodwards are many of those living off living in the home, but still campus lost electricity for cannot use the family room. Meanwhile, the Wooddays, the majority suffered minimal damage. However, wards feared the state of their a select group of students vacation home on Fire Island, did not escape Sandy’s where many houses were wrath. Sophomore Olivia completely lost and the isWoodward, Senior Laura land was closed to the public. Woodward said, “We Hughes and Junior Niall Higgins share their stories. didn’t know what happened to our house unOLIVIA WOODWARD til days after the storm. New residents of Bri- We didn’t even know if arcliff, New York, Wood- the house was still there.” After friends of the Woodward and her family moved into their glass house this wards illegally visited the past June after four years island and took pictures, the of renovations. When the family found out that part of storm hit, the house shook the roof came off and most vigorously; the power went of the first floor was flooded. out and trees started to fall. “We were really lucky that “A huge tree brought we only had some damage,” down another tree and they Woodward said. “My friend fell onto the family room,” completely lost her house.” By Tyler Pager

classes in April,” Goulian said. However, this strategy “is problematic as well because a lot goes on during Saturdays.” Junior Nick Diao said, “There was a lot of work to get done, but most teachers spread the work out well and it didn’t feel too cluttered.” He added, “I didn’t necessarily use my week off constructively, because I didn’t know how much time we would have off.” Senior Maya BerrolYoung’s school work has also been adjusted to accommodate Sandy, but she does not foresee any long term repercussions. “I’m proud that the administration took initiative and said ‘we really can’t have school’ because it benefitted the student body as a whole.” Photo by Ellen Cowhey

Photo by Niall Higgins

WHAT ONCE WAS A BOARDWALK is now unrecognizable, hidden and destroyed under trees and debris blown in from the storm. Many places across New York and New Jersey faced similar destruction.

TREES ALL ACROSS campus splintered and toppled over onto roads, power lines and walkways. Construction crew workers worked around the clock to clear the debris and make campus safe and accessible for students and teachers.

LAURA HUGHES Hughes’ family lives in Brighton Beach, an oceanside neighborhood in Brooklyn. While Hughes boards at school, her mother, two aunts, uncle and sister live in the house, which the family has owned for more than 30 years. The weekend before Sandy, Hughes went home for the weekend. However, early Sunday evening, her family urged her to return to Dobbs Ferry because of the approaching storm and the home’s proximity to the waterfront. Later, a mandatory evacuation was issued, but her family, like most of their neighbors, did not obey the order. “I know how stubborn my family is and I knew they wouldn’t leave,” Hughes said. “For Irene, we were told to evacuate, but nothing happened so everyone thought this would just be a fluke.” Once the storm hit and the water reached the house,

School succesfully handles crisis despite initial concerns Despite the unpredictable wrath of Hurricane Sandy, the Masters community fought to maintain stability on campus during the eye of the storm. Because of the ominous forecast over the weekend of Oct. 27, many boarding students made a decision to leave campus and stay elsewhere with friends or family for the duration of the storm.

While no one could truly predict the magnitude of Sandy’s wrath, the boarding community was prepared for the worst. “I think that there was an assumption from the borders that we had to evacuate because last year we lost power,” said said Associate Dean of Students Tim Weir. He continued, “About half of the students left. We had a total of 100 students on campus, so we made provisions for the

hundred of them,” Weir and Associate Dean of Students, Gillian Crane, prepared the dorms for the worst by collecting emergency flashlights and snack food as well as providing students and faculty with frequent updates regarding the conditions of the storm and the status of the school’s opening. Weir was pleased with the school’s response to the state of emergency. “I think we dealt with Sandy

successfully, but I think that there is always something to learn,” he said. “Now we are working on having big tubs of dried and canned goods ready to go in each dorm in the event of another emergency.” Many of the hundred students that stayed in the dorms were pleased with the school’s actions. Senior Miquael Williams said, “I think that the school handled Sandy really well. They gave kids

the option to go home, but it wasn’t mandatory. That was nice, because I think that would have been really difficult to do so last minute.” Williams said that she spent a quiet week in the dorms, mainly watching movies and spending time with her friends. The school was very fortunate, only losing several trees and outlying fences in the 116-mile per hour winds compared to widespread devastation

across the tri-state area. In response, the community has hosted collections at performances and Head’s Dinners, as well as a Jeans Day to support the victims of Sandy and has raised $1,000. While Masters was fortunate to remain undamaged, Weir and other administrators felt that they successfully prepared for the emergency. “Credit to the school and everybody because we did very well.”

use Sandy as a wake-up call. BusinessWeek posted an article titled “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.” Environmental Science and Biology teacher Kristen Tregar shares BusinessWeek’s sentiment. Tregar believes that climate change was responsible for the recent exchange of extreme weather. “Usually,” Tregar elaborated, “by this time of year, the Atlantic in this region is considerably colder than it was this year.” This year, however, that was not the case. The hurricane season was so late this

year because of the warmth of the Atlantic – the storms were encouraged to move north, rather than to turn in towards the southern coastline. “In the course of her travel north,” Tregar said, “she [Sandy] was able to build power.” According to Sheldon Perlysky, Math Department head and meteorology expert, Sandy formed weeks ago back in the Caribbean. Two separate weather systems – the polar jet system from the north, and the southern jet system from the south – happened to collide in the Northeast at the same

moment, which formed one giant low-pressure system. This not only increased the severity of Sandy, but also “encouraged her to hang around for a while,” as Tregar puts it. Warm temperatures this year encouraged Sandy’s growth, said John Comforto, Science teacher. “There’s more moisture in the atmosphere due to increased temperature, which is obviously supportive of storms,” Comforto said. Some claim that this weather was not the fault of climate change, but rather in coordinance with El Niño.

El Niño is a weather phenomenon that causes a shift in the climate of the Pacific Ocean, raising its temperature by several degrees. These occurrences can happen irregularly, usually every two to seven years. The last El Nino on the east coast occurred in 2009-2010, causing massive snowstorms in the tri-state area. While some believe that recent incidents are simply cycles of El Nino, experts are sure they are not. Typically, El Niño suppresses storms from the Atlantic Ocean. “These storms

are much more closely tied to climate change,”Tregar said. Sandy was not the only storm that hit the northeast this fall – Athena, the name for the nor’easter that shut down schools and closed off roads, hit only a week after Sandy struck. “These two storms, strangely enough, were completely independent of each other,” Perlysky said. “There is more than one thing affecting this weather, no doubt.” The weather community seems to be in agreement with the scientific community

regarding the causes of these storms, however. “This is clearly a symptom of climatic fluxuations,” Perlysky said. “It really makes us think about the issue of global change.” It seems as though the scientific community is in agreement – Sandy, Athena, and whatever may be coming in the future are all closely tied to climate change. And although the legend of 2012 may be true, many believe that if something isn’t done about the earth’s warming soon, something like it may be just around the corner.

by Lily Herzan News Editor

by Kiera Wilson

Web Content Manager

The year 2012 is associated with apocalyptic images and dangerous, world-ending conditions. The past few months, now notorious for the severe weather that affected thousands, have not instilled confidence in those who refute the pending disasters authenticity. However, scientists are contesting any claims that the

storms such as Sandy and Athena have anything to do with an impending apocalypse. This devastation, they say, can be attributed to climate change. Almost immediately after Sandy hit the northeast, newspapers and scientific blogs all over the country posted stories that posed the question: “Was it Climate Change that caused Hurricane Sandy?” and Mark Fischetti for Scientific American answered, “It is.” Other sources urged that people

Hughes’ aunt said there was “five feet of water in ten minutes” in the basement. Throughout the storm, Hughes kept in contact with her family through e-mail because she did not have a phone. The day before Election Day, Hughes returned home to vote. “When I got out of the taxi, on either side of the street, there were piles of stuff- cabinets and painting and mattresses- anything you can think of,” Hughes said. “It was seven feet high.” After being evacuated to a shelter for two days, Hughes’ family is back in their home and waiting for an inspector to visit the basement before they can begin to repair it. NIALL HIGGINS Higgins’ family roots are ingrained in Rockaway Beach, where his mother grew up and his parents first met. As a result, Higgins spent many weekends during

his childhood there with his grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. When Higgins’ family heard about Sandy, they tried to get their family members that still live in Rockaway Beach to stay with them in Cresskill, New Jersey. “We got my grandma and aunt, but everyone else stayed,” Higgins said. After the storm passed, Higgins and his family went to Rockaway beach to help clean up and bring food. “It looked like a war zone,” he said. “There were military trucks driving around and piles of sand and garbage. This playground I used to go to all the time when I was younger was just a pile of concrete. It didn’t look like a storm hit, but a severe earthquake.” He continued, “The boardwalk is gone and the restaurant where my parents had their first date burned to the ground,” Higgins said. “It is not a high income area so it is difficult to get clean up going. It won’t be the same for a while.”

Photo by Jackie Liu

MANY STUDENTS, after facing blackouts, were left to study and work by candlelight at night. Some prepared for the SATs; others worked on their college essays. Nonetheless, seniors remained burdened by demanding workload.

Extreme weather brings to question apocalyptic possibilities in future College extensions

from storm aid seniors by Jackie Liu Featires Edotpr

Last month, not only did Superstorm Sandy wreck havoc across the East Coast and disrupt power and transportation, it also interrupted the calendars of many early decision and early action college applicants. Colleges and universities across the country extended their early deadlines up to a week or longer. Columbia University for example changed their application deadline from Nov. 5 to the 12. While some seniors abided by the college office’s requirement of submitting their early applications three weeks prior to the deadline, others used the extra time to revise essays. Some even took the chance to apply early to more schools. “I think the storm forced all of us to appropriately shift our priorities and made people do their own job,” Art McCann, Associate Director of College Counseling, said. “Students could not worry about what their teachers or counselors were doing and focused on their own work.”

Senior Archie King began considering adding another college to his list of early action schools after the colleges had announced their extensions. King said, “I didn’t plan on applying early action to a certain university, but when the storm struck it seemed to make sense to apply if I could get the application in on time.” “With extra time and nothing to do considering there was no power, there wasn’t much to do but think about college essays,” he said. In fact, he had to go to a friend’s house in Connecticut, which had internet and power to submit his application. Many teachers, too, faced difficulty gaining power. The campus luckily did not lose power, allowing teachers and students alike to gather at electrical hubs to keep their computers powered. McCann added, “The college office understands that things happen completely out of the applicant’s control. A healthy lesson from this is that deadlines are not always black and white. The rest of the world is still moving.”


4

tOWER/ December 10, 2012

FEATURES

5

FEATURES

Extreme Weather Strikes: Superstorm sandy leaves devastation in its wake Students recount family tales of woe and destruction

Curriculum scrambled with Sandy by Abigail Costigan Sports Editor

“Please hold for an important message from The Masters School” and all thoughts of doing homework free the minds of joyous students. But after receiving this call for one week straight, excitement turns to worry. While many students and teachers feared that valuable material will be left unlearned, they have less to dread than they think. Head of the Upper School ChrisFrostwasnotveryworried by missing a week of classes. “The schools days we’ve missed so far won’t have as much effect on the curriculum as some people think,” he said. “Few teachers have planned out from the beginning what

they will be doing in each class during the year. With most of the year still ahead or us, they have time to assess what, when and how they will explore the concepts they feel are central to their courses.” Even so, attempts might be made to get that class time back. Although it would be impossible to add school days onto the end of the year due to boarding complications, said Academic Dean Chris Goulian, “We may need to explore the possibility of recapturing some lost time and how to do so, depending on how many snow days we have this year.” The school has dealt with losing a lot of school before. During the 1993-1994 school year, “There were 13 snowdays,andwehad Saturday

Woodward said. “Later, a third tree fell in the same spot.” Editor-In-Chief She said flooding started 50 mph wind gusts pum- at 9 p.m. and continued until meled the tri-state area: Su- 4 a.m. The roof was patched perstorm Sandy left very few up shortly after the storm residents unscathed. While ended and the Woodwards are many of those living off living in the home, but still campus lost electricity for cannot use the family room. Meanwhile, the Wooddays, the majority suffered minimal damage. However, wards feared the state of their a select group of students vacation home on Fire Island, did not escape Sandy’s where many houses were wrath. Sophomore Olivia completely lost and the isWoodward, Senior Laura land was closed to the public. Woodward said, “We Hughes and Junior Niall Higgins share their stories. didn’t know what happened to our house unOLIVIA WOODWARD til days after the storm. New residents of Bri- We didn’t even know if arcliff, New York, Wood- the house was still there.” After friends of the Woodward and her family moved into their glass house this wards illegally visited the past June after four years island and took pictures, the of renovations. When the family found out that part of storm hit, the house shook the roof came off and most vigorously; the power went of the first floor was flooded. out and trees started to fall. “We were really lucky that “A huge tree brought we only had some damage,” down another tree and they Woodward said. “My friend fell onto the family room,” completely lost her house.” By Tyler Pager

classes in April,” Goulian said. However, this strategy “is problematic as well because a lot goes on during Saturdays.” Junior Nick Diao said, “There was a lot of work to get done, but most teachers spread the work out well and it didn’t feel too cluttered.” He added, “I didn’t necessarily use my week off constructively, because I didn’t know how much time we would have off.” Senior Maya BerrolYoung’s school work has also been adjusted to accommodate Sandy, but she does not foresee any long term repercussions. “I’m proud that the administration took initiative and said ‘we really can’t have school’ because it benefitted the student body as a whole.” Photo by Ellen Cowhey

Photo by Niall Higgins

WHAT ONCE WAS A BOARDWALK is now unrecognizable, hidden and destroyed under trees and debris blown in from the storm. Many places across New York and New Jersey faced similar destruction.

TREES ALL ACROSS campus splintered and toppled over onto roads, power lines and walkways. Construction crew workers worked around the clock to clear the debris and make campus safe and accessible for students and teachers.

LAURA HUGHES Hughes’ family lives in Brighton Beach, an oceanside neighborhood in Brooklyn. While Hughes boards at school, her mother, two aunts, uncle and sister live in the house, which the family has owned for more than 30 years. The weekend before Sandy, Hughes went home for the weekend. However, early Sunday evening, her family urged her to return to Dobbs Ferry because of the approaching storm and the home’s proximity to the waterfront. Later, a mandatory evacuation was issued, but her family, like most of their neighbors, did not obey the order. “I know how stubborn my family is and I knew they wouldn’t leave,” Hughes said. “For Irene, we were told to evacuate, but nothing happened so everyone thought this would just be a fluke.” Once the storm hit and the water reached the house,

School succesfully handles crisis despite initial concerns Despite the unpredictable wrath of Hurricane Sandy, the Masters community fought to maintain stability on campus during the eye of the storm. Because of the ominous forecast over the weekend of Oct. 27, many boarding students made a decision to leave campus and stay elsewhere with friends or family for the duration of the storm.

While no one could truly predict the magnitude of Sandy’s wrath, the boarding community was prepared for the worst. “I think that there was an assumption from the borders that we had to evacuate because last year we lost power,” said said Associate Dean of Students Tim Weir. He continued, “About half of the students left. We had a total of 100 students on campus, so we made provisions for the

hundred of them,” Weir and Associate Dean of Students, Gillian Crane, prepared the dorms for the worst by collecting emergency flashlights and snack food as well as providing students and faculty with frequent updates regarding the conditions of the storm and the status of the school’s opening. Weir was pleased with the school’s response to the state of emergency. “I think we dealt with Sandy

successfully, but I think that there is always something to learn,” he said. “Now we are working on having big tubs of dried and canned goods ready to go in each dorm in the event of another emergency.” Many of the hundred students that stayed in the dorms were pleased with the school’s actions. Senior Miquael Williams said, “I think that the school handled Sandy really well. They gave kids

the option to go home, but it wasn’t mandatory. That was nice, because I think that would have been really difficult to do so last minute.” Williams said that she spent a quiet week in the dorms, mainly watching movies and spending time with her friends. The school was very fortunate, only losing several trees and outlying fences in the 116-mile per hour winds compared to widespread devastation

across the tri-state area. In response, the community has hosted collections at performances and Head’s Dinners, as well as a Jeans Day to support the victims of Sandy and has raised $1,000. While Masters was fortunate to remain undamaged, Weir and other administrators felt that they successfully prepared for the emergency. “Credit to the school and everybody because we did very well.”

use Sandy as a wake-up call. BusinessWeek posted an article titled “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.” Environmental Science and Biology teacher Kristen Tregar shares BusinessWeek’s sentiment. Tregar believes that climate change was responsible for the recent exchange of extreme weather. “Usually,” Tregar elaborated, “by this time of year, the Atlantic in this region is considerably colder than it was this year.” This year, however, that was not the case. The hurricane season was so late this

year because of the warmth of the Atlantic – the storms were encouraged to move north, rather than to turn in towards the southern coastline. “In the course of her travel north,” Tregar said, “she [Sandy] was able to build power.” According to Sheldon Perlysky, Math Department head and meteorology expert, Sandy formed weeks ago back in the Caribbean. Two separate weather systems – the polar jet system from the north, and the southern jet system from the south – happened to collide in the Northeast at the same

moment, which formed one giant low-pressure system. This not only increased the severity of Sandy, but also “encouraged her to hang around for a while,” as Tregar puts it. Warm temperatures this year encouraged Sandy’s growth, said John Comforto, Science teacher. “There’s more moisture in the atmosphere due to increased temperature, which is obviously supportive of storms,” Comforto said. Some claim that this weather was not the fault of climate change, but rather in coordinance with El Niño.

El Niño is a weather phenomenon that causes a shift in the climate of the Pacific Ocean, raising its temperature by several degrees. These occurrences can happen irregularly, usually every two to seven years. The last El Nino on the east coast occurred in 2009-2010, causing massive snowstorms in the tri-state area. While some believe that recent incidents are simply cycles of El Nino, experts are sure they are not. Typically, El Niño suppresses storms from the Atlantic Ocean. “These storms

are much more closely tied to climate change,”Tregar said. Sandy was not the only storm that hit the northeast this fall – Athena, the name for the nor’easter that shut down schools and closed off roads, hit only a week after Sandy struck. “These two storms, strangely enough, were completely independent of each other,” Perlysky said. “There is more than one thing affecting this weather, no doubt.” The weather community seems to be in agreement with the scientific community

regarding the causes of these storms, however. “This is clearly a symptom of climatic fluxuations,” Perlysky said. “It really makes us think about the issue of global change.” It seems as though the scientific community is in agreement – Sandy, Athena, and whatever may be coming in the future are all closely tied to climate change. And although the legend of 2012 may be true, many believe that if something isn’t done about the earth’s warming soon, something like it may be just around the corner.

by Lily Herzan News Editor

by Kiera Wilson

Web Content Manager

The year 2012 is associated with apocalyptic images and dangerous, world-ending conditions. The past few months, now notorious for the severe weather that affected thousands, have not instilled confidence in those who refute the pending disasters authenticity. However, scientists are contesting any claims that the

storms such as Sandy and Athena have anything to do with an impending apocalypse. This devastation, they say, can be attributed to climate change. Almost immediately after Sandy hit the northeast, newspapers and scientific blogs all over the country posted stories that posed the question: “Was it Climate Change that caused Hurricane Sandy?” and Mark Fischetti for Scientific American answered, “It is.” Other sources urged that people

Hughes’ aunt said there was “five feet of water in ten minutes” in the basement. Throughout the storm, Hughes kept in contact with her family through e-mail because she did not have a phone. The day before Election Day, Hughes returned home to vote. “When I got out of the taxi, on either side of the street, there were piles of stuff- cabinets and painting and mattresses- anything you can think of,” Hughes said. “It was seven feet high.” After being evacuated to a shelter for two days, Hughes’ family is back in their home and waiting for an inspector to visit the basement before they can begin to repair it. NIALL HIGGINS Higgins’ family roots are ingrained in Rockaway Beach, where his mother grew up and his parents first met. As a result, Higgins spent many weekends during

his childhood there with his grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. When Higgins’ family heard about Sandy, they tried to get their family members that still live in Rockaway Beach to stay with them in Cresskill, New Jersey. “We got my grandma and aunt, but everyone else stayed,” Higgins said. After the storm passed, Higgins and his family went to Rockaway beach to help clean up and bring food. “It looked like a war zone,” he said. “There were military trucks driving around and piles of sand and garbage. This playground I used to go to all the time when I was younger was just a pile of concrete. It didn’t look like a storm hit, but a severe earthquake.” He continued, “The boardwalk is gone and the restaurant where my parents had their first date burned to the ground,” Higgins said. “It is not a high income area so it is difficult to get clean up going. It won’t be the same for a while.”

Photo by Jackie Liu

MANY STUDENTS, after facing blackouts, were left to study and work by candlelight at night. Some prepared for the SATs; others worked on their college essays. Nonetheless, seniors remained burdened by demanding workload.

Extreme weather brings to question apocalyptic possibilities in future College extensions

from storm aid seniors by Jackie Liu Featires Edotpr

Last month, not only did Superstorm Sandy wreck havoc across the East Coast and disrupt power and transportation, it also interrupted the calendars of many early decision and early action college applicants. Colleges and universities across the country extended their early deadlines up to a week or longer. Columbia University for example changed their application deadline from Nov. 5 to the 12. While some seniors abided by the college office’s requirement of submitting their early applications three weeks prior to the deadline, others used the extra time to revise essays. Some even took the chance to apply early to more schools. “I think the storm forced all of us to appropriately shift our priorities and made people do their own job,” Art McCann, Associate Director of College Counseling, said. “Students could not worry about what their teachers or counselors were doing and focused on their own work.”

Senior Archie King began considering adding another college to his list of early action schools after the colleges had announced their extensions. King said, “I didn’t plan on applying early action to a certain university, but when the storm struck it seemed to make sense to apply if I could get the application in on time.” “With extra time and nothing to do considering there was no power, there wasn’t much to do but think about college essays,” he said. In fact, he had to go to a friend’s house in Connecticut, which had internet and power to submit his application. Many teachers, too, faced difficulty gaining power. The campus luckily did not lose power, allowing teachers and students alike to gather at electrical hubs to keep their computers powered. McCann added, “The college office understands that things happen completely out of the applicant’s control. A healthy lesson from this is that deadlines are not always black and white. The rest of the world is still moving.”


6

Features

Massie enthralls Estherwood audience by Sang Bae and Johanna M. Costigan

Advertising Designer and Editor-in-Chief

Pulitzer Prize winning author Robert Massie wanted to see “smart, inquisitive and insightful students who want to develop the next generation.” He got just that when he visited the AP Euro students on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Massie provided interesting insight with the students during his lecture on the process of writing his book, Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. He explained the distinctions between fiction and nonfiction writers

using an extended metaphor of a tightrope walker, emphasizing the fact that nonfiction writers have an automatic safety net due to the mere fact that their stories are based on fact. Senior Dylan Etzel had seen Massie talk before, and cited a particularly interesting aspect of the talk: Massie’s discussion of Catherine’s personal life. He explained that in both the book and the lecture he preferred to focus less on textbook facts and more on anecdotes and characters. Massie talked about how Catherine once wrote in her memoirs that men and women were equal,

and he believed she was the most influential female leader of her time. Even when she got older, she retained her childlike sense of humor and energy. That was what kept Massie hooked on drafting this 625 page biography. In addition to Catherine’s stories, Massie’s occasional humor kept the lecture interesting. Etzel brought up an instance in which, when asked if he could speak Russian, Massie described a moment from one of his twenty trips to Russia. Massie said, “After the fifth or sixth toast, I became fluent in Russian.”

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TOWER/December 10, 2012

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DENZEL WASHINGTON PLAYS the role of Whip Whitaker, a pilot with an addiction to liquor. Washington has been nominated for five Academy Awards, and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Glory (1989) and for Best Actor in Training Day (2001).

Flight crashes into theaters by Declan Considine Photo Editer

Despite its title, Flight immediately descends into the darkness of human strife. The film, directed by Robert Zemeck, stars Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker, a veteran airline pilot, who miraculously lands a doomed plane and saves almost everyone on board. However, Whitaker is as much of an alcoholic as he is a pilot and the film focuses on his struggles following the plane crash. The result is a powerful and deeply emotional journey that takes its audience to the deepest descents of Whitaker’s life. The screenplay for Flight was written by John Gatins. Gatins spoke at the Masters graduation ceremony last year, and is uncle of former Tower Editor-inChief Daniel Block ’12.

During his speech, he made a few references to the film, or “shameless plugs” as he called them, and commented that the screenplay is a work reflective of many years of his own personal struggles. The trailers for Flight show a seemingly uplifting drama about a good man who is wrongly accused. However, the real thing is anything but uplifting. In reality, Washington perfectly portrays Whitaker as a loathsome alcoholic in complete selfdenial. Washington shines in his uncanny ability to drag the audience down with him into his characters depths of despair. Although Flight is hard-hitting and cuts deep, there are some moments of strange levity that make it feel more like a comedy than a drama. Whitaker’s coke dealer

and essentially his only friend, played by John Goodman, serves as comic relief immediately after one of the film’s most dramatic moments. The juxtaposition of Whitaker’s serious issues with his goofy friend’s antics draws away from the films impact as a whole. Additionally, the religious themes in Flight are muddled and confusing. A cancer patient’s musings give one scene a deep existential feel, while another scene mockingly portrays a pair of religious zealots. By the end of the film, it is unclear what the story is trying to say about religion. Overall, Flight is an intense and emotional film that will leave the audience in awe. Washington delivers a fantastic performance, and the heartracing crash sequence will go down in film history.

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TOWER/December 10, 2012

Arts

7

Arabesque-ing Abrahams amazes by Teerin Julsawad Features Editor

At the age of five, Margot Abrahams took her first step as a dancer at a local studio in Scarsdale. Now a senior, Abrahams is easily recognized as the passionate ballerina who often performs at school, mostly with Dance Company. Abrahams’ interest for dance sparked when she first went to see a ballet show with her mother. “I was about three years old and I asked her to let me take classes,” she said. Abrahams admits her mother was never a big fan of the art form. “She never really wanted or planned to put me in dance lessons because she never liked it herself.” Since then, Abrahams has been dancing on a regular basis. She attends classes at the Westchester Theatre of Dance at least four days a week in addition to the Dance Tech III class she takes at school, and has gone to summer dance programs since she was 11. Abrahams has also competed in the annual Maccabi Games and has won awards in solos and duets with silver and gold, respectively. While Abrahams cites ballet as her favorite type of dance, she notes that

she enjoys a wide range of other dance forms as well. “I never really discovered other forms of dance until I came to Masters,” Abrahams said. “I love any form of dance and with any type of music I hear, I just want to start moving to it any way I can.” Performing is Abrahams’ favorite part about dancing. “To be on stage and to try and figure out a new character each time is so much fun.” She reveals there is also an element of acting when it comes to dance p e r f o r ma n c es . “Characters in dance can be harder too because you cannot speak to set a scene. You can only communicate with your body.” Dance Instrcutor Mary Rotella said, “She was always extremely professional in her approach and dedicated in class.” She added, “She has definitely grown to become a very well-rounded and observant dancer, especially after her injury.” Abrahams’ recent injury, a synovial impingement, almost stopped

her from dancing. “I had a surgery last fall for my knee injury,” she said. “It was a very difficult choice for me but I knew it would help me to continue dancing. I think it was the best choice if I wanted to carry on with dance.” Rotella praises Abrahams for her positive spirit throughout the ordeal. “It’s very hard for a dancer not to get depressed, lose focus and even give up when they injure themselves,” Rotella said. “Margot displayed a real fighting spirit when she was in that

Photo courtesy of Margot Abrahams

situation.” Abrahams plans to continue dancing as long as her body allows her to. “I’m auditioningfordance programs right now,” she said. “I’m hoping to keep on dancing in college, and possibly after that as well. I have always loved dance as I personally believe it is, at the same time, the most difficult sport and most beautiful art form.”

Photo by Alex Minton

GOD OF CARNAGE, this winter’s Phoenix Presents, is on December 14 at 4 and 7 p.m. The four person cast is shown from left to right: Nick Fleder, Sabrina Stanich, Kiera Wilson and Henry DuBeau.

Parents rage in God of Carnage by Sofia Linden News Editor

Sometimes parents can be worse than their kids. Through dark humor and the dialogue of two uncompromising, raging couples, God of Carnage, this year’s first Phoenix Presents play, succeeds in portraying the concept of parental immaturity. The play opens with the four cast members convening in one of the couples’ living room. They are confronted with the task of handling the aftermath of their sons’ recent physical altercation. The audience watches these four parents, Alan and Annette and Michael and

Veronica, argue throughout the show. As the play progresses, the characters become increasingly hostile towards one another. As the characters ramp up the anger and sarcasm, the humor increases as well. Senior and director Alex Minton is enthusiastic about the show. “It’s one of my favorite Broadway shows, so it’s exiting to make it my own,” he said. Minton described the play as fast-paced and highly intensive, adding that the actors have the comedic timing and stage chemistry to enhance the show further. Henry Dubeau plays the husband of senior Kiera Wilson, and the father of the son who was beaten.

Dubeau depicted the characters of both himself and his wife as a down-to-earth, artsy Brooklyn couple. Junior Sabrina Stanich’s character is married to the successful egocentric lawyer, played by senior Nick Fleder. The surprisingly realistic characters in this dramatic plot are given dialogue that represents the best types of sarcasm. They are bitter, passively and actively aggressive, and have an overwhelming sense of self-righteousness. But they are sure to entertain. Not to mention the fact that the show itself provides an alleviating sense of much-needed catharsis.

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tower/December 10, 2012

SPORTS

SPORTS

Students evaluate the effectiveness of the ACR countinued from page 1

because of its renowned arts program. She participates in 15 to 25 hours of theater outside of school each week and is applying for an arts exemption, which is granted to a small number of student-artists who pursue art at a preprofessional level and exempts them from the ACR. As a result, when Allen heard about the ACR, she considered switching schools. “I was a little worried because the school day was already a lot longer and sports require a lot of time,” Allen said. “Ultimately, I decided Masters was the best place for me.” Allen, although, is in the minority among her peers, as 73.1 percent of underclassmen said their decision to come to Masters was not impacted at all by the ACR, according to the same survey. However, only 35.1 percent of upperclassmen said their enrollment at the school would not have been affected if the ACR

was in place when they applied, while 24.3 percent said the policy would have had a large impact. Junior Luke Davoren believes the ACR has contributed to major improvements in the school’s athletic program. “I think the steps they are taking to improve the athletic program are in the right direction,” he said. “The whole mentality that Masters has towards the athletes is really different than it was freshman year and a lot of that has to do with the ACR.” While Davoren is aware of the negativity surrounding the requirement, he attributes it to students’ attitudes. “Kids who think of playing on the team just to fulfill the ACR have a bad time,” he said. “Those who decide to like it are having a good time.”

Davoren added, “I don’t think that the arts program should be suffering and I don’t think that needs to happen. I think athletics and arts can go hand-in-hand.” When sophomore Christian Wiemer applied to the school, he was fully aware of the ACR. Wiemer expected to play soccer and run track throughout high school and therefore the requirement had no impact on his interest in the school. As he planned, Wiemer has played JV soccer for the last two years and ran track in the spring last year. However, after developing a strong interest in theater, Wiemer’s opinion of the ACR has changed. “This school is all about choices,” he said. “You should be able to pursue whatever you want. Some students either have no interest in sports at all or are really not physically capable.”

Sophomore Sam Epley squashes the competition By Jackie Liu

Features Editor

At first glance, one could mistake the sport with tennis. The racquet is longer, more olive-shaped than oval, and the ball slams against the wall over and over again, producing a dull thwack that resounds in the glass enclosure. Within the 351 m3 enclosure, two people are expected to dive, return and dodge a 40 mm bouncing squash ball. To sophomore Sam Epley this sport, squash, has been an integral part of his life for the past few years. “I got into it since I was friends with a squash player,” Epley said. “He was, I considered, to be the ‘best American squash player that ever lived’.” While he first participated in squash only as a fun activity, he began playing competitively at the age of 14. “I started late so I have to put in a lot of work,” Epley said. “It’s like playing catch up.” Every day, he spends

around 1.5 hours practicing at the gym and at home. Kumail Mehmood, Epley’s coach, said, “He is at a very strong level at this point, but has a lot of potential to become one of the best in his age division.” Currently, Epley is ranked the number 32 player in the National USA Boys Under 17 rankings. He has just turned 16. Even so, Epley is not satisfied. He also travels extensively for competitions both nationally and internationally. “This summer I went to California and then a camp in Germany where the Pioneer

Cup was held,” Epley said. The Pioneer Junior Squash Cup is where boys and girls all over the world under 19 can participate in championships corresponding to their age range. Going to such competitions, Epley said, “It’s really nice to work hard and be able to gauge how well I work through my results.” Despite his busy schedule of practicing and travelling to competitions, the sport does not get in the way with his daily life. “My parents taught me to put academics above squash,” he said, laughing.

Photo by Dale Walker

Sam Epley reaches for the ball in a recent tournament. Epley has traveled to Germany and California to compete in sqaush.

Wiemer has also experienced the negative impacts of having students on the team just to fulfill the ACR. “If there is a lack of enthusiasm, there is a lack of team spirit,” he said. If you are not excited about a soccer game, you won’t do your team any good.” While Wiemer does not believe there should be an athletic requirement, he still feels students should be encouraged to do sports. “I think sports are important because they keep you healthy and you develop team-building skills.” Sophomore Brandon Schneider enrolled at the school in sixth grade before the ACR was put in place. While he never anticipated playing sports in high school, he has had a positive experience with the requirement. “I like that it encourages people to try new things,” Schneider said.

Taking The

“I never thought I would run cross country or track.” He has also seen an overall interest in the quality and support of the athletic teams to the point where athletics now complement the arts. “More people come out to try the sports, which leads to bigger teams and a more supportive environment.” Although Schneider understands the concerns students have regarding the ACR, his own artistic endeavors have not been affected; he will participate in the winter musical for the second consecutive year. “I think it is possible to have a balance between sports and arts, but it defin i t e l y m a k e s it harder because of the time commitment they both require,” he said. He believes, in order to solve this problem, the time frame of the requirement should

be extended instead of limited to just freshman and sophomore year. While senior Jenna Hathaway believes that the ACR was established with good intentions, she feels the school’s culture has been negatively impacted. “I question whether Masters is forcing students into something the school wants to become, rather than fostering that which we previously embodied,” she said. Hathaway was also frustrated that students did not have the opportunity to share their opinion regarding the ACR before it was instituted. “As students of a discussion-based school, developing your individual voice is just as important as collaborating with a group,” she said. “Yet, I am unaware of any opportunity students were given to vocalize their thoughts, and personally, I believe this undermines what Masters stands for.” Photos by Gayle Miller, Sam Miller, Darrien Pulos, Gavin Koepke and courtesy of Brandon Schneider

my talents to

Tower:

l i tt l e - k n o w n r u l e

that is ruining basketball by Max Borowitz

In the summer of 2011, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) owners and players union were engaged in a protracted lockout that threatened to cancel an entire NBA season. Central to this drama was a conflict between the owners of small-market teams, and the players. After 2010, the world’s best basketball player, Lebron James, left smallmarket Cleveland to play for the glamorous Miami Heat. Cleveland’s notoriously hot-headed and narcissistic owner, Dan Gilbert, pledged to

make sure that no ‘super-team’ like the Miami Heat could ever be created again. Gilbert helped push for a draconian fee known as the ‘luxury tax.’ Gilbert’s goal was to create a fee for teams who spend a lot of money on players, so that no ‘super team’ could be formed again. The unexpected results of this new luxury tax have been disastrous for small-market teams, while essentially leaving big-market teams alone. Big-market teams like Miami, New York and Los Angeles are run by wealthy families so heavily committed to winning that the luxury tax barely matters. Meanwhile, a team in Memphis, Portland or Oklahoma City is owned by much less wealthy people. As a result, the luxury tax ends up hurting smallmarket teams the most. The effects of this were seen this summer,

when the Los Angeles Lakers acquired future Hall of Famers Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, to add to an already impressive roster. For the Buss family, who own the Lakers, the luxury was pocket change. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder were forced to trade away one of their four emerging young starts, James Harden, because they could not afford the luxury tax of keeping him around. The NBA should be ashamed of how unsuccessful the lockout was. Instead of legitimately restoring competitive balance to the NBA, the owners embarked upon a power-trip that failed to deliver results for anyone. Today’s NBA is a less competitive, less fair and less fun league than it was before the lockout, and owners like Gilbert should feel a great degree of responsibility.

Tower Issue #3 2012-2013  

Published December 10, 2012

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