Page 1

Computer recycling page 2 • Clothing trends page 3 • Dear Smythie page 5


Farewell to Eduardo page 3

Volume XCII

St. Christopher’s School, Richmond, Virginia, February 2007

Prep League victory SAINTS BASKETBALL WINS FIRST REGULAR SEASON CROWN SINCE 1969 by Neil McGroarty ’08 The air was thick, fans were rowdy, and the emotions ran high. On Feb. 9, the Saints Varsity basketball team pulled off a rambunctious win against the visiting former #1 Sea Horses. The victory earned STC a regular season Prep League title, a first in Saints basketball since 1969. Just prior to tip-off, the seniors stepped out onto the court alongside their parents to be honored for their two years of service to the Saints Varsity basketball program. As emotions of Senior Night began to settle, the five starting seniors gazed up at the storm of fervent student fans who filled up half of an entire side of stands. It was undoubtedly one of the largest turnouts of Saints fans in the history of Scott Gym. In a game where momentum was everything, the Saints were able to cap off a remarkable series of events that all occurred in the final minutes of the game.

Trailing by two points, Charlie McCann drained a rainbow three with 13.7 seconds left on the clock. Fans held their breaths as the shot seemed to last an eternity until the ball floated through the basket. Christchurch called a quick timeout to draw up a play for J’Courtney Williams.

Williams was inbounded the ball and powered his way down the court through Saints’ defenders. With Saints’ fans blaring their voices, Williams released the ball just left of the foul line. After a brick that was so hard that it made steel seem as soft as cotton, Senior Matthew Thompson rebounded the ball and

was fouled with 2 seconds left on the clock. As victory seemed inevitable Saints fans began to chant “Prep League Champs!” However, the next series of events took some diehards from sheer excitement to panic and dread. Some hid their faces while on the brink of tears.

See CHAMPS page 6>

Can’t stop, won’t stop

by Thomas Jenkins ’07

Riding a Razor scooter in between classes would seem like something for nerds... unless of course that’s all you’ve got. Wednesday Jan. 24, was a day of infamy for the class of 2007, whose driving privileges were suspended for being off campus. However, in a clever show of boldness and innovation, seniors arrived at school the next day carrying an odd assortment of self-propelled craft, including skateboards, bikes, rollerblades and the ever popular scooter. There was even talk of Big Wheels, a golf cart, a riding lawn mower and a John Deere tractor. The plan originated with Blake Evans, Alex Lohr and Jeb Bryan whose casual chat during long lunch spread quickly through the locker room and across phone lines later that evening. There was a noticeable buzz in the parking lot Thursday morning, as seniors showed each other their riding gear. Resistance to using the bus system largely drove the initiative. On Wednesday, students recognized that adding

Driving gets the boot; Seniors scoot

67 more bus riders put pressure on the system. There was general frustration with waiting for long periods of time to board a cramped bus. Taking alternate means of transportation liberates one from

these troubles. Avid scooterer Thomas Distanislao says that he regularly beats the bus on its route between the schools. The Star Wars club president probably uses “the force”…

While making his bid for “most athletic senior,” Alex Grymes expertly negotiates the potentially hazardous terrain of the senior parking lot.

Soon after the inception of this alternative travel, the administration brought it to the seniors’ attention that several students had scootered out to lunch. This brought confusion to the class; many thought that scootering was outlawed. However, they quickly realized that the administration was frowning upon going out to lunch, not scootering between classes. The riders resumed their excursions, despite sub-freezing temperatures. The following Monday morning brought its own share of disappointment for those who prefer two wheels to four. St. Catherine’s filed complaints with Mr. Abbott about students scootering around the campus and rollerblading in the halls. As the day progressed, I assumed that the “alternative travel” students had given up. However, I was proven wrong when Chad Harkins buzzed by a group of students waiting for the bus. To add to the controversy, Mr. Abbott announced on Groundhog

See SCOOTERS page 2>

Dodgeball recap page 5

No. 3

Saint soars high pulling double duty in the air Senior Spencer Hall recently communicated via email with alum Graham Cashwell ’79 who just completed a tour of duty in Iraq. Here’s what Cashwell had to say just before leaving Iraq: “I graduated from St. Christopher’s in 1979. Although my years there were undistinguished -- my primary activities being wrestling and Watermen -- they are deeply valued. To this day my best friends are classmates. “Graduating from the University of Virginia in 1983, I spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa. A year of language study in France followed. “Attracted by the idea of service and hoping for a career in aviation, I joined the Virginia Army National Guard in 1988 to fly Black Hawk helicopters. Our unit was activated for and played a minimal role in Desert Shield/ Desert Storm. In October 2005 our unit, 2nd Battalion 224th Aviation Regiment, was activated in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “We arrived in Iraq in January 2006 and were attached to a Marine Expeditionary Force whose Area of Operation was the Al Anbar province, a large region extending from Baghdad west to Syria. Our tour has come to an end, and upon return to Richmond in February 2007 I will resume my civilian job flying Boeing 757s and 767s for United Airlines. “I have a son Austin and a daughter Kristen attending Lower School at St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s respectively, and a wonderful wife Lisa.” Q: What is it like flying around where the terrain all looks the same? A: We flew mostly at night using Night Vision Goggles, so everything looked green. With experience we learned to correlate the wadi on the ground to the same wadi on the map. Flying in urban areas like Baghdad and

See CASHWELL page 5>


The Pine Needle

Recycling effort hauls in 18 tons of electronics by Robert Allen ’09

The Computer Recycling Initiative here at St. Christopher’s is one of the ways our school is contributing to global efforts to save the environment. As we all know and have heard a thousand times before, global warming is a problem and the future of our planet is at risk. Recycling is one of the ways we try to slow the decline. The problem is that the amount of all waste, electronic waste in particular, is growing. Technology has become more available to Americans. Thus, we produce more electronic waste. How often does your family replaces its electronics? Every ten years? Every five years? Less? For many households, those DVD players that were first becoming available in the ’90s have just recently expired. These old DVD players are thrown out into the trash with all our other waste and eventually end up in landfills. So how is technology harmful? Electronics contain harmful metals such as mercury, baryllium, phosphorus and lead. It takes just one teaspoon of lead to poison a 100-acre lake. A computer monitor contains an average of six pounds of lead, and 156,000 computers become obsolete everyday. That’s a lot of

harmful waste. According to Mr. McGuire, Upper School biology teacher who coordinates volunteers for this project, one purpose of the Computer Recycling Initiative is to recycle these harmful components back into their elemental forms. It’s obvious there is a problem here, but the statistics look so daunting. One can’t help but wonder if a small school having an annual recycling drive will make any difference in the global scene. Mr. McGuire feels that this is the wrong way to look at it. “As humans, it is our moral obligation to do the right thing,” he said. “If a lot of people steal, does that make stealing right?” Participants concurred that this year was a success. “Lots of volunteers showed up, and it ended up being a great time,” said junior Andrew

Bernard. The group, made up of student volunteers of all ages took in 18 tons of technological equipment. These pieces were sent to a private recycling firm. This company manually separates the different metals and components. These components are then sent off around the United States to be broken down by special equipment so that they can be reused. The CRTs, or Cathode Ray Tubes, for example, are disassembled in Pennsylvania. There was a surprising catch to the drive. If you wished to recycle certain technology, you had to pay a fee. Items with a CRT were charged $10. However, most electronics like laptops, tapes, and flatscreen TVs were free to recycle. Perhaps most important is encouraging consciousness of the environment in the community. A total of 250 cars drove through to drop off old electronics. Who knows how many Virginians were inspired by the school’s initiative? The Computer Recycling Initiative is a necessary event for the school. It is a great service to the community and to the world effort to save the planet. Make sure to save your old electronics for next year’s drive.

February 2007

Q&A with Senior Track captain and shot putter John Davenport

by Ted Moore ’07 Biggest disappointment: Farthest throw: 45’2” “It’s frustrating when you have a few weeks where Strength: quickness and you can’t beat your PR technique (Personal Record).” Pre-game Describes meal: himself as: “We throw “a pacifist” in the morning, Biggest but if it influence: was later Frank Keifer in the day I would like Personal a whole goal: “To pizza and throw more a liter than 50’ of coke, soon.” maybe some hot wings.” Team goals: “To have everyone beat their PR’s What he’s working on: every week.” “the spin” Biggest win so far: “We usually beat Collegiate by a lot.”

Student Council Update by President Kyle Menges ’07 Here’s what Student Council has done for you in the past several weeks:


Continued from page 1 Day that helmets are now required for students choosing this alternative form of travel. The effort has not lacked its share of injuries. Alex Grymes and his bloody knees can explain the dangers associated with rollerblading between St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s. Grymes handed in his blades for a seat on the bus as a result of his wounds. While the numbers aren’t nearly as strong as the first Thursday, a small contingent continues to brave the cold as they scooter, bike, skate and walk up and down Somerset Lane to class. I imagine they will continue until driving privileges are restored.

Held Wear Anything Days Jan. 5 and feb 8. to raise money for the Student Council Fund. Some of this money is being used to continue painting the Senior Lounge, a side project which will be completed by spring 2007.

Hosted the Sacred Heart 5v5 Dodgeball Fundraiser - More than 30 teams and 200 students participated, raising more than $700 in the first night alone, the majority of which will benefit the Sacred Heart Center.

Sponsored a “Fan Appreciation Day” at the St. Christopher’s-Collegiate varsity basketball game Feb. 6, featuring a pro-style announcement of the starting lineup and half-time competitions between fans.

Began planning for Career Day 2007, which will be held april 20


Jeb Bryan gets gnarly air as he prepares for the 2007 X-Games.


Most wants to: “I’m pretty focused on getting into college right now.”

5- Number of critical violations in the Williams Dining Hall evaluation 16- Number of digits needed for our passwords to be “safe” 150- Actual number of digits needed for our passwords to be safe 0- Number of people who can to be as loud and obnoxious as Blair Smith 10- Predicted margin of victory for the students over the faculty in the student-faculty basketball game 8- Actual margin of victory of the faculty over the students. Make note that this was the closest score ever.

Student Council is the student representative body of St. Christopher’s Upper School. Any comments/complaints about any aspect of school policy or student life should be directed to your Student Council representatives.

February 2007

The Pine Needle


Saints dress for success

by Thomas Jenkins ’07 There are those who dress well, and then there are those who dress WELL. Two Saints who have worked their way into the latter group of elites shared their opinions about clothes at St. Christopher’s. Look through the halls of

by John Mark DiGrazia ’08

In January, if you heard someone cracking up in the back of your Spanish class, it was likely Eduardo Antonio Viteri Fernández who spent three weeks out of his summer vacation here at St. Christopher’s. Eduardo hails from Guayaquil, Ecuador, the largest city of the country, which is located on the west coast. He came to visit Madeleine and Graeme Alderman, friends from St. Catherine’s and St. Christopher’s, whom he met through sailing. Eduardo sails Opti class for Ecuador’s national sailing team, and sailing is his favorite sport and activity. He claims to have sailed in 40-knot winds with waves as tall as 10 feet! While Eduardo lives in the southern hemisphere, he is remarkably like many of the 14year-old kids here in America. For example, whenever he has extra time he likes playing Fifa 2007 or Super Smash Brothers Melee on his Gamecube, and he enjoys

St. Christopher’s and you might notice a few trends: Polo, Lacoste and Brooks Brothers shirts, plaid and seersucker shorts, Varsity letter jackets and Vineyard Vines and Peter Blair ties. They are most visible on special occasions, such as a dance, an away sporting event, a special chapel service or an afterschool date with that special someone. Other days, students will often settle for the ordinary STC T-shirt. While these labels are quite popular around school, students seldom wear them every single day. Overall, the tendency is for students to be somewhat erratic in their dress. However, there is a select collection who consistently outdresses its classmates. These students never miss a day, always coming to school armed with the plushest wardrobe. I managed to track down two of these students and talk to them about clothing trends here at St. Christopher’s. Jacques Farhi arrived here in 2003 as a freshman, bringing with him an array of colorful clothes. Farhi, who appeared for the story interview dressed in a herringbone jacket, black vest and orange and blue bow tie, selects his clothes based on his frame of mind. “If I’m in a good mood, you might

see me in colorful clothing,” he said. “If not, I’ll throw on a UVa sweatshirt.” When it comes to style, Farhi arranges guys into four groups. First come the regular polo shirt guys, students like Neil McGroarty. The sweatshirt group comes next. Robin Marschak and Thomas Distanislao are examples of guys who wear a sweatshirt so you can’t see what’s underneath, Farhi said. Third are the long plaid shirt and cowboy boot guys, he said, using Basil Jones as a typical example. The last group is the cutting edge and prep guys, which includes students such as Jeb Bryan and Farhi himself. Farhi said he found his way into this group through an urge to be on the edge, and the influence of golfers such as Luke Donald, Camillo Villegas and Sergio Garcia. Farhi likes the springtime, because he feels he can wear about any color without the risk of breaking any fashion rules. Most recently notable was his dress for the Tostitos BCS Championship Game, complete with Gator socks, belt, shirt and hat. Dressing well doesn’t mean you have to come to school looking like a Polo salesperson. Rich Morgan, also new in 2003 after moving here from New York, usually sports a brown leather jacket. He often innovates his style, such as wearing a French club T-shirt over a collared shirt. That to me is pure ingenuity; who has ever thought of such an idea? If you’re lucky, you might happen to spot his signature driving gloves

that he wears on chilly mornings while driving his yellow Mini Cooper. He observes that his style constantly evolves, saying “I never want to stay stagnant. I just gotta stay fresh, man.” Despite his attentiveness towards clothing, Jeb Bryan turned down a request for an interview.

¡Adiós amigo!

banging around on his drum set. And like many guys here in America, Eduardo thinks with his stomach. When asked about the best part of his visit to the United States, he said it was definitely the fast food. Eduardo enjoyed eating at Cheeburger Cheeburger and Arby’s, as in Ecuador they only have McDonald’s, Burger King and Pizza Hut. In addition, Eduardo is a huge

soccer fan, and he supports Club Emelec from Guayaquil. Referring to himself as a “soccer hooligan,” Eduardo said, “We have the best fans in Ecuador. The stadium is always full.” During games, Eduardo sits in the section with all the crazy, hardcore fans who light dynamite and explosives to celebrate. Indeed, when Eduardo got hold of a computer here in the United States, the first thing he did

was log onto YouTube so that he could see clips from Emelec’s preseason games that he was missing. During his brief stay here in the United States, Eduardo spent three weeks in the Upper School attending Biology, English and History classes as well as several Spanish classes, and he also played on the indoor soccer team. In general, he found the students nice, and when asked about the teachers said, “I like them all.” Eduardo also found several friends at the school, such as Stephane Irankunze and Logan Cochran, who bid him farewell during chapel on Jan. 26. Unfortunately, Eduardo has now left to go on a cruise and then to start training for some sailing competitions in the near future. However, the St. Christopher’s community will not forget him anytime soon.

Boots & bow ties We cannot forget the faculty as we examine clothing trends here at St. Christopher’s. Mr. Sherman Horner, English teacher and lacrosse coach, has garnered a reputation for his footwear. Mr. Horner owns four pairs of cowboy boots and he considers his favorites to be his Red Wings and Justins.  He has worn boots since college, saying “they’re comfortable.  They mold to your feet.” Mr. Billy McGuire, biology and environmental science teacher, always wears bow ties. If you ask him, he will say that it’s because he doesn’t want to dip a long tie into some experiment. While this is true, McGuire calls it his “usual cop-out.” The real story is that he has worn bow ties since he was 14 when he went to a camp in New Hampshire. At the camp, wearing a bow tie meant you were from Richmond, Mr. McGuire said. He also likes bow ties because they were worn by many gentlemen he has admired over the years.

Si Wofford in the news

Check out the March 21 issue of Style magazine, in which freshman Si Wofford will be featured as one of the “16 under 16” finalists. The article focuses on teenagers who have made outstanding contributions to the community. Wofford stood out because of his work for the Leukemia Society.

Did you know?

The definition on of “ballin’” as it appears on our T-shirt has the primary meaning of: 1) To play basketball

The T-shirts also reference Jim Jones’ famous rap song that reads, “We fly high, no lie. You know this... BALLIN’!!!!!!” In this song, it means extreme wealth and luxury.


The Pine Needle

February 2007

Dodgeball tournament to benefit Sacred Heart Center

by J.P. Welch ’07

On Jan. 23, the Upper School Student Council launched the first round of the biggest dodge ball tournament that St. Christopher’s students have seen since Lower School bombardment days. Complete with controversial calls, miraculous upsets, one-onone sudden death and a three-way

tie in one pool that lasted for several hours and went into eight overtimes, round one did not disappoint. “In the first round, we saw literally over half of the Upper School playing in the tournament and having a good time,” said President of Student Council Kyle Menges ’07. That, for him and other members of the Student Council, was the best part. “The tournament didn’t run perfectly, he said. “It gets pretty hard when we’re dealing with so many people, especially in those first two rounds, but I think it ran about as smoothly as it could have given the circumstances.” The tournament spanned three weeks with “Team Achilles,” the Junior powerhouse, finally coming out on top after the long

Stephane lives life to the fullest by Robert Allen ’09

“Tall, proud, and optimistic.” This is how sophomore Stephane Irankunze describes himself in a nutshell. Irankunze has one of the most interesting journeys through life you could imagine. He is from Burundi, a small African nation bordering Rwanda. He lived there until age 7. Then he moved to Italy where he stayed for a few months before his father’s work as a diplomat brought them to New York City. He finally ended up in Richmond. He speaks a handful of languages including the Burundian native language Kirundi. He enjoys writing, soccer, music and most of all, life. Besides his incredible journey in life thus far, Irankunze is a great person and popular guy, his friends say. Students and faculty alike are intrigued by his radically optimistic statements and attitude towards life and happiness. “I am not sure that I have ever met another young man quite like Stephane,” said Mrs. Wray, Irankunze’s former advisor. “His ability to get along with people and to become a part of a community is amazing. It was such a pleasure to teach Stephane because I never knew exactly what was going to come out of his mouth.” However, few people know much about him. I was fortunate to get to know Irankunze early on. I learned that he is not just crazy like many people thought. There is a reason for his apparent madness. He has a belief that we were all made to be happy. He is serious about his philosophy and

Photo by Thomas Jenkins

lunch championship round. The nearly $800 dollars that Student Council was able to raise is set to go to the Sacred Heart Center, a non-profit organization in South Richmond which serves nearby families in need. “We wanted to sponsor one of the smaller non-profits here in Richmond,” Menges said.

clear whether or not round two will be held next year. “I’m not sure if we will do exactly the same thing, but we’re definitely going to come up with some fun activity to raise money for charity,” Menges said. Said activity will have to be pretty good to live up to this year’s standards.

Photos by Peter Thomas

Saints learn the Dray way

St. Christopher’s alumnus teaches film class by Brian Kusiak ’08

strives to live by it every day. Irankunze is always eager to talk and laugh with anyone. “His outlandish comments, interest in gossip and love for women all combine to make an interesting class period.” Mrs. Wray said. Irankunze takes his greatest pride in loving people. “I have gotten the chance to experience a couple of different cultures. This has really made it easier for me to appreciate many kinds of people. If there was one thing I liked about myself that would be it.” Irankunze holds his values very dear to him. Among those values he considers family to be the most important. Irankunze said that from early on in his life he has been taught to treat family with utmost respect. “I guess it’s also the influence from Burundi. Our culture is very bent on respect for family. I have learned to always address my aunts, uncles and elders in a respectful way.” Nonetheless, Irankunze still claims that he values his friends as much as anything else. “There is nothing more fun than being around my friends,” he said.

“A member of Student Council had been working with the organization previously and suggested we do something to help them out. It turned out to be a pretty good fit for us.” It was obviously a pretty good fit for St. Christopher’s too. While many teams are already thinking about revenge, it is not

“Show it, don’t say it.” “You can’t manufacture inspirata.” These two apothegms become ingrained in your head after going through a class or two of Mr. (or Dr. should you prefer) Justin Dray’s Digital Video I seminar. The first reminds us that we cannot say everything in our films; we must be able to show the intended message with images. The second seems fairly selfevident and it really is very important. Dray requires us, his students, to keep journals to log all the fleeting images and ideas that come to us at random, because you cannot manufacture inspirata. What is inspirata? Inspirata is all that inspires you–music, television, movies, news, books, poetry, animals, sports, or any number of things that exist or occur. While you cannot manufacture it, you can record it. When it comes down to writing a film script or scoring a movie or editing video, you have all the inspirata possible at your fingertips, and this is what Dray teaches in his class. He himself

Did You Know?

Photo by Peter Thomas

keeps journals for his ideas, and while he may not have as many written notes as Mr. Smith, Dray’s journals are far from sparse. Dray isn’t just a teacher, because in fact, this is the first class he has taught. He is an actor, director, producer; he’s done almost anything related to movies you can imagine. A 1994 St. Christopher’s graduate, Dray got his start in acting in the Ampersand program. You may see him in any number of commercials almost everyday and he also acts in films. This year, he will be in a Sissy Spacek

film “Lake City” and has recently been working with a production house in Suffolk that makes films for the Discovery Channel. Dray also serves as the artistic director for his non-profit production house Yellow House, and he just directed a feature length kung fu film by the name of “Hitiro.” Yellow House, with his help, puts on a film festival one Sunday evening per month at the Firehouse Theatre on Broad Street and Lombardy Avenue. This festival, Project Resolution, provides a venue for VCU students and other local filmmakers to present their works and receive critique from a live audience. Now, as you can see, this is not just some boring class taught by some teacher with little out of the classroom experience. To the contrary, it’s an exciting class taught by a teacher who has done all of his work out of the classroom. Learning from a man who has filmed and edited a feature-length film, our class tackles the problems of filmmaking and editing with the industry standard program Final Cut Pro and armed with an arsenal of microphones, booms, cameras, tripods and inspirata.

Mrs. Hollerith, Upper School chaplain, babysat for children of New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning. In 1986, she was dating a young man named Robert Pratt, who happened to live next to Manning in New Orleans. Manning’s sister was unavailable for the night, and so Mrs. Hollerith stepped in. She said that the children were well-behaved. She also noted that Eli and-- Peyton’s school, Isidore Newman School, is a private school much like ours. Mrs. Hollerith expressed surprise that two boys from one family could reach NFL stardom from such a small school.

February 2007

The Pine Needle


Hooked on the ’book by Peter Thomas ’07

How might all of last year’s seniors find out when to pick up their yearbooks? How might Stephan Irankunze wish all of his friends a happy new year without seeing them over the break? How might Ben White form groups of people who would “bow to the Prince” or “tumble for Boy George”? Facebook, of course. Since its introduction into the lives of St. Christopher’s students in September of 2005, has become hugely popular. “How often do I use Facebook?” asked Rich Morgan ’07, “How many times does a butterfly flap its wings?” The appeal of Facebook seems to come from its simplicity. Lacking the modified backgrounds and odd “alternative” music one might find on sites like, Facebook offers a more streamlined, easy-touse interface. Joseph Suarez ’08, who uses Facebook to communicate with school friends and Myspace for many of his other friends, said, “It’s more organized. It’s pretty plain.” It is also more private than


Continued from page 1 Ramadi, recognition of ground light patterns was our primary means of navigation (if the power grid wasn’t out). Q: What are the dangers associated with your job? A: I divide the hazards into environmental and hostile. Environmentally, the lack of contrast over the desert at night made it difficult to see the ground, landings could create dust clouds that completely obscured visual references, and reduced visibility in blowing dust or sandstorms all brought risk. We mitigated these environmental risks through training and by assuring a strong crew mix. Hostile threats came in the form of projectiles fired at the aircraft. I carried my lucky marble to cover this risk. The mortar attacks we received at our base were more of a nuisance than a hazard. Q: How do you mentally deal with the daily stresses of the job? A: To me, stress in Iraq was much the same as at home: it is a challenge you address best you can with the tools you possess. My elixir was exercise. Humor also helped. Q: How you have bonded with people? A: Our unit was very cohesive. The key for us was always treating one another with respect, regardless of rank or professional differences. When working and living together in close quarters for 16 months, the Golden Rule goes a long way. Q: How has the military prepared

sites like Myspace because only your friends are able to view your Facebook profile. Facebook allows students to share their interests online, such as their favorite movies, music and books. They can also share photographs in online albums, as well as leaving messages on their friends’ Facebook “Walls” without all the effort of perhaps picking up the phone and calling someone to have an actual conversation. Such communication makes it easier to stay in contact with friends who might live far away, or to just leave a quick message for someone one might see daily. Basil Jones ’07, who recently joined Facebook said, “I was tired of people saying there are funny pictures of me on Facebook, and I hadn’t seen them.” Jones now suffers from the same addiction which has claimed countless other users.

“When I get really bored, it’s something fun to do,” said Harrison Tucker ’09 who visits Facebook every night. Other students use Facebook primarily as a means to communicate with members of the opposite sex. Edward Rives ’09 said that he meets “a lot of babes” on Facebook. However, there are still many students who still refuse to join, citing fear of the site’s addictiveness and its lack of personal privacy. “I see what it does to people,” said Austin Smith ’07. “It consumes their lives.” Christian Harder ’08 sees Facebook as a waste of time. “I can keep up with my friends without having to look on Facebook or Myspace,” he said. Stephen Davis ’08 dislikes the idea of people getting his personal information online. “There are too many sketch-balls on Facebook,” he said. This is a legitimate concern. As Katie Koestner made clear in her recent chapel presentation on internet safety, the extent of privacy controls on social networking sites may not be as dependable as you think, and there are numerous risks associated with posting such

information online. Since many St. Catherine’s students were exposed last year for posting pictures of themselves consuming alcohol and behaving inappropriately, Facebook has not exactly been embraced by the school administration. This has lead many parents to disallow the use of Facebook in their households. It has also resulted in Mr. Johns’ blocking of the website on campus computers. However frustrating this may be for students, it is most likely a good thing that students can no longer access Facebook at school, as many students would waste time on the site instead of brushing up on British literature or doing their biology homework. Some students have found ways around Mr. Johns’ restrictions, such as accessing the site through proxy servers, but this has been limited in most cases by changes to the school network. Whether you use it or not, it is clear that the use of Facebook continues to be a prevalent activity among St. Christopher’s students. School administrators would advise students to stay safe and keep it at home.

you (if at all) for handling the mental stresses? A: The military may be onto something with its initial training/ indoctrination methodology. The underlying premise is to load you up with more than you can possibly accomplish. You learn prioritization and time management. And you are exposed to a high level of stress, artificial though it may be. Flight School is like that, with all sorts of gratuitous stress thrown in to prepare you for later experiences. Q: How much of your time is spent simply waiting around vs. actually being on a mission. And what do you do when you are waiting around? For “fun?” What do you do to prepare for a mission? A: Our unit was fortunate to have had a high operational tempo, the big upside being that time passed quickly. Fourteen hour duty days including four to six hours of flying were not uncommon. In my downtime I sat around with the guys, read, and watched DVDs on my laptop. Q: Can you please be as specific as possible as to one mission you have completed, or if that is too specific to reveal, could you give a brief overview of the types of missions you are asked to complete? A: Routine characterized our admin missions. We arrived at the flight line three hours prior to takeoff to receive the mission and intelligence update, plan the route, pre-flight the aircraft, and brief the mission. At departure we flew to the range to perform weapons checks before proceeding on the mission. Debrief was one hour after shutdown.

Dear Smythie The Smythenator answers your romantic queries

Dear Smythie, Recently, I have developed an infatuation for a special someone. She sits in front of me in nearly all of my classes, but I don’t think she notices me. What can I do to obtain the apple of my eye? Sincerely, Hopeless and Desperate Dear Hopeless and Desperate, Keep trying! Don’t lose hope. If at first you don’t succeed, keep calling. The way to a woman’s heart is through her home phone. Try to explain to her in simple terms how much you are attracted to her. For example, “I love you more than democracy.” If that doesn’t work, your next strategy is to make her think that you don’t need her. Girls are like cats. They only come to you when you ignore them. Dear Smythie, I want to go to the Sweet Sixteen dance, but I don’t think I’ll have a date. Is it okay to go stag? Always, Flying Solo Dear Flying Solo, Not only is it okay to go stag, but I recommend it. Your best course of action is to just show up by yourself and hook up with all the girls when you get there.

Tactical missions were more involved, often requiring days of coordination and planning among the ground and air elements. Again, most of the flying was at night with 90% involving the administrative movement of Soldiers and Marines around the battlefield. The balance of the mission load was tactical, primarily in the form of raids. A raid is precipitated by information on the location of an individual(s) or target (e.g. - IED manufacturing facility). We insert ground forces as close to the objective as possible, the ground forces go do their business, then we return to extract them and any prisoners. Q: What is the general sentiment towards what we are doing now in Iraq? How much has it changed since the war began? Do the troops have faith that we are doing the right thing? Do the troops think that they are doing anything worth while at all? A: We are required as soldiers to perform our jobs as directed and to stay within the confines of the Army Code of Conduct, Rules of Engagement, and good sense.

Opportunity to voice our strategic views comes on Election Day. I will say that morale was high. Q: Please describe the location(s) where you are staying. How long you have been there? What do you do there? For “fun”? For training? A: We were located at Al Taquaddum Forward Operating Base (TQ) the majority of the 12 months in country. Equidistant from Fallujah and Ramadi, TQ lies just south of the Euphrates River. The facilities were limited: chow hall, gym, and a small PX. The base was predominately dirt, concertina wire, blast walls and temporary structures. It would not be unfair to say it was Spartan. Q: Please describe your helicopter. Guns...missiles..? Personnel capacity? A: The Black Hawk, named after the American Indian tribe, is a great aircraft. Powerful and maneuverable, it cruises at 130 knots and seats 11 fully loaded troops with the seats in and 20 with the seats out. Its primary role is to support the infantry.

Dear Smythie, I’m really attracted to this senior girl named Martha, but I’m only a sophomore. What should I do? Your Pal, Tempted in Tenth Grade Dear Tempted, Back off. Don’t look at, talk to, or think about Martha unless you want to get Smythenated. You’ve been warned… There are two pilots and two door gunners manning M-240 machine guns. It has hot-refuel capability which allows for refueling during a mission without shutting down. Q: Please relate an experience in which you said to yourself, “That is why we are here in Iraq. And I feel good about it.” On the contrary, please describe an experience (if any) in which you have said to yourself, “That is why we should get out of here.” A: My thoughts did not run along those lines. I found reward in committing 100% effort to my job and supporting fellow soldiers.


The Pine Needle

February 2007

Are we really safe?

by Peter Thomas ’07

As most members of the Upper School are aware, St. Christopher’s has recently faced problems regarding the security of information on the school network. A few technologically inclined students hacked into the system and obtained passwords of students and faculty school accounts. Consequently, one student was expelled, and the terms of using school computers for all students have been severely limited. The question that remains is how the St. Christopher’s community should respond to this problem. The school administration with the help of Mr. Johns has already come up with several answers. “Asking all constituents to change their passwords on both systems was our first step,” said Mr. Johns, “hand in hand with increasing awareness of vulnerabilities and good practices

A technology security investigation

in a networked environment.” He added that the school will be enlisting the help of an outside consultant to review the security of our system. This consultant “may make software, hardware, and policy recommendations,” according to Mr. Johns. The other side of this issue is how students feel about the seriousness of technology-related activity. “They assume that none of it is real,” said Dr. Smith, “And if it’s not real then they aren’t doing anything wrong.” Dr. Smith said that one of the key problems is a common misunderstanding of the concept of intellectual property. If a person takes another person’s password, and then uses that ability to obtain other information which belongs to that person, it is in effect as much of an honor violation as taking a calculator or book. There is also the deceptive aspect of taking someone else’s information on their school account. If a person

enters someone else’s account, they are effectively pretending to be that person. “Claiming to be someone else,” said Dr. Smith, “that’s fraud.” “Students who would never think of trespassing in someone’s house or peering into their windows at night, even if no harm is planned, don’t make the same connection with others’ network storage and internet accounts (and passwords, which after all are the keys,)” said Mr. Johns. Mr. Johns agrees that students see the online realm as having a different level of seriousness. “The rules of acceptable behavior don’t seem to apply online in many people’s minds, either because there is a level of anonymity on the internet (so, no risk to saying outrageous, harmful, hateful things), because there is a sense that ‘it can’t be traced back to me’ (in terms of actions, not just words), or that because it’s ‘virtual’ it in some way makes

any potential consequences less real.” Clearly, there are some serious dangers associated with the inappropriate use of school technology. However, many students do not seem to believe that they are at great risk of losing valuable information on the school network. “I really don’t care,” said Robin Marschak ’07, “It’s not like I have anything important on it.” Although Mr. Johns has suggested it, some students have decided not to go through the hassle of creating a new 16-character password for their SaintsNet and Windows accounts. “I chose not to change mine because I still respect the community enough,” said Sam Hays ’08. Others have clearly heeded Mr. Johns’ advice, although most of them remain light-hearted about the issue. “At any time, millions

of people could be looking at my history notes, and that frightens me,” said Stephen Davenport ’08. Mr. Johns remains firm on the subject, saying, “There is too much predatory action, too much dishonesty, too much identity theft, to be cavalier about our approach to things like network access and passwords.” Over the span of an entire week, the Honor Council worked to deal with this issue and to figure out what should happen to the students involved. “The technology breach is an unprecedented issue that the council struggled with in an unprecedented amount of time,” said Ted Moore, Honor Council chairman. “We plan to address the student body, reflecting on the unfortunate events and using them as an educational tool for the future.”

CHAMPS Continued from page 1 Alex Hall inbounded the ball to an open Austin Wates streaking down the court. The ball was chucked high and far until “THUD!” The ball bounced off the rafters giving Christchurch possession right under their offensive basket. After a last second miss by a Seahorse, obviously intimidated by Ted Moore, the buzzer sounded, and we were champions. Saints fans rushed the court to celebrate with the Prep League champs. The Saints were victorious 56-55 in arguably one of the greatest games in St. Christopher’s history. “I thought Friday night’s game was one of the three most exciting athletic contests I’ve seen in 33 years at St. Christopher’s,” said Dr. Andy Smith. Christchurch -- 11 15 14 15 -- 55 St. Christopher’s - 14 14 9 19 -56 Christchurch (9-4 Prep League, 149): Walker 5, Cunningham 1, Miltz 12, McCune 7, Washington 2, Bolen 0, Mizelle 0, Williams 16, Pressley 6, Prato 0, Johnson 6. Totals: 21 7-14 55. 3-point goals: Miltz 4, Pressley 2. St. Christopher’s (11-3, 18-5): Wates 6, Mitchell 4, McCann 8, Moore 1, Karn 17, Pretty 0, Conner 0, Hall 10, Thompson 10, Hart 0. Totals: 22 5-11 56. 3-point goals: McCann 2, Karn 2, Hall 2.


February 2007

The Pine Needle

Traywick hits the streets in Volkswagen dune buggy

by Teddy Mitchell ’08

Crisman Traywick ’08 has long been renowned on the St. Christopher’s campus for his easy going, candid manner and signature southern drawl. His imitations of various faculty members and students are famous. However, this die-hard Clemson fan has recently been

gaining attention for his choice of transportation: a Volkswagen dune buggy. Traywick received the dune buggy from his parents last summer; in pieces. He and his father had to construct the buggy, part by part. “It was a long process,” Trawick said. “It was kind of frustrating because with

my dad, everything has to be perfect, which in a way is a good thing because it turned out to be a better dune buggy.” Mr. Cris Traywick, Crisman’s father, had a dune buggy when he was a child and thought his son should have one, too. The dune buggy is an eye catching, almost dangerous looking vehicle. It has an open frame, with no windshield, doors or windows. Traywick has driven it 75 mph on the highway, but claims it can go faster. He assuredly points out that the buggy is outfitted with seatbelts. “The only thing I’m really worried about is stalling out in the middle of an intersection,” said Traywick who is still mastering the art of driving with a manual transmission. With its open frame, the dune buggy is completely exposed to the elements, but Crisman doesn’t mind. “It’s really fun,” he said. “When you get off your skin feels really weird because it’s been hitting the wind for so long.” Although the buggy is very different, it is easy to see the adoration that Traywick holds for his unique vehicle. On rainy days, he can be found gathering trashbags so that he can cover the buggy to prevent rust. He is often found sitting contentedly in the buggy during his free periods, peacefully passing the time away, just he and his buggy. “I love my dune buggy,” he said with a grin.

Minimester: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly Point Of View

by Ted Moore ’07

Is minimester a good thing? I think it all depends on how you use it. Two weeks of bridge class, bird watching and weaving sounds a little ridiculous if you ask me. On the flip side, “tutoring” kids in Harbor Island is very educational (Karn and Lohr). Minimester is a goofy time of year, a time to finally relax and enjoy a break from the strenuous, cyclic academic lives of St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s students. But a class in bird watching? Come on now. The independent project is a great way to spend the two weeks for seniors. Internships in fields that interest you, doing community service through programs such as Habitat for Humanity, and focusing on musical talents by recording a CD and teaching kindergarteners (Gardner and Walton) all should provide positive experiences. One of the main downfalls of minimester is the fact that all of St. Catherine’s participates in the program while only the seniors at St. Christopher’s get to enjoy it. It doesn’t seem fair or logical

to make the underclassmen at St. Chris suffer through three to four morning classes and exams while St. Catherine’s students make baskets, play games and talk about their feelings. Minimester should be open to all Upper School students, regardless of age and gender. The administration at St. Christopher’s has a strong belief that the absolute worst thing for a boy and his education is to take three weeks off from school at this point of the year. They fear students’ minds will wander too far from the difficult core classes they take with the AP exams right around the corner. From a student’s perspective, I think it’s a good idea to have a break from rigorous courses and expand education to areas outside of typical classroom topics. Minds begin to fry after nearly two trimesters of reading Spielvogel and learning physics equations. Time away will make it easier for students to refocus and get ready for APs. Free time in the afternoon with little to do is another consequence of the continuation of regular all-male classes for underclassmen at St. Chris. The “special activity period” after lunch for freshman, sophomore

and junior boys can be a little boring. For example, the class of 2007 traveled to the movie theater freshman year to watch the movie “Miracle.” That was the probably highlight of freshmen year Minimester. However, it was disappointing to all of us when we had to watch that same movie as a class during sophomore minimester. Sleep was abundant. Minimester is a great time of year that brings excitement to the student bodies of St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s; however, there is room for improvement. St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s schools need to reach a better agreement concerning Minimester. St. Christopher’s should allow all grade levels to participate in this unique opportunity, and St. Catherine’s should work to improve the class offerings. It would be exciting to see both schools work to bring in more appealing classes in which all students could participate. N.B.: Karn and Lohr are so passionate about teaching young, poor children that they decided to stay in Harbor Island for Spring Break.


Book illustrator brings out Lower Schoolers’ creativity by Sam Perry ’09

On Jan. 19, third through fifth grade lower school students assembled in the extended gym to take part in a presentation created by Mr. Ed Young. Mr. Young, raised as a child in Shanghai, is an artist who has illustrated more than 70 children’s books. His most famous works are included in the books “Monkey King” and “Tsunami.” At St. Christopher’s, Mr. Young showed off “Tsunami.” Mr. Young took an interactive approach to demonstrate what being an illustrator is truly like. He first split the children up into groups and instructed each group to create a picture for each page of “Tsunami.” The children were not allowed to use orthodox methods to create their picture. They had to use materials like

ripped construction paper. Once each group created their picture, they were placed on the floor chronologically corresponding to each page of the book. At the end of the activity, the floor portrayed the story of “Tsunami” without using words at all. Parents were impressed with Mr. Young’s creative activity. “It was amazing to see fourth and fifth graders so into it,” said Mrs. Ivy Caravati, a parent who attended the event. Once the day was done, it was obvious that illustrators are as instrumental to the story making process as the writers. Any observer could see that it was just as easy to discern the narrative of “Tsunami” by looking at the chronological pictures on the floor as it was to read the book itself.

Mr. Nystrom will tie the knot by Brendan Worst ’08

Members of the track and cross-country teams have played witness to the appearance of a new lady at the side of their coach and Spanish teacher, Mr. Bruce Nystrom, at several running events this year. While the Señor never formally introduced this mysterious woman as anything other than “my friend Patty,” or “Ms.White,” there was always an implication of something more than mere friendship. The suspicions have been confirmed. Mr. Nystrom, under the intense interrogation of The Pine Needle, yielded the secret that he was really getting married. Mr. Gene Bruner, a longtime friend, had a few words on the subject: “The only thing I

figured Mr. Nystrom looked for in a bride was that she had teeth and possibly a riding mower. However, Patty is one of the most attractive, kind and sincere individuals on the planet. Strong willed, beautiful and feisty, she is the perfect compliment to el Señor.” Judging strictly by how Mr. Bruner describes her, Ms. White seems perfect for our Nystrom. This jaw-dropping news may come as a surprise to many long time readers of this reputable publication, but they should have seen it coming. After all, when one thinks of hopelessly warmhearted romantics, Mr. Nystrom is at the top of the list. As of yet, no wedding date has been confirmed but Mr. Nystrom said, “She’s retiring from Dow Jones soon, so we have to get married before July 1 so I can get on her health plan.” The St. C h r i s t o p h e r ’s community wishes Nystom the best as he embarks on the next chapter of his life.


The Back Page

The Pine Needle Senior editors Ted Moore Thomas Jenkins Peter Thomas

Senior writers Spencer Hall J.P Welch

Student Council correspondent Kyle Menges

Junior editor John Mark DiGrazia

Junior writers Brian Kusiak Neil McGroarty Teddy Mitchell Brendan Worst

Sophosmore writers Robert Allen Sam Perry

Faculty advisor Mrs. Kathleen Thomas

February 2007

February 07 Pine Needle  

February 07 Pine Needle

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