Page 1

THE PONTEFRACT

VOL. 82 NO. 3

POMFRET SCHOOL

POMFRET, CONNECTICUT

Fresh, Fine Food at the Dining Hall by Declan Brennan ‘12 and Ben Tules ‘12, Members of Mrs. Hayes’ Journalism Class Of Pomfret’s 16.5 milliondollar budget, 1 million of those dollars go to purchasing food for the dining service. Where does that million come from? Straight out of your college fund. This however, is only applicable to those who eat in the dining hall regularly. To put this into a scale that we can all picture, imagine buying two different dinners and just throwing one away. In context, this sounds crazy, but it isn’t that rare to be seen happening on Pomfret’s campus. Many students are more inclined to spend extra money buying low quality junk food at the Tuck Shop instead of eating the meal that they already paid for that is waiting for them in the dining hall. There seems to be a preconceived notion that the dining hall food at Pomfret is simply bad. Why do we have to have chicken every night? Why are these bagels so stale! I hate this Chinese food! Let’s order tonight! But here are the big questions: Why is this? Why is the food hated? Is the pricey and visibly high quality food here actually bad? Or is it just a popular trend that is dominating the students of Pomfret, like a common thing that all of us love to hate? We decided to set out and see exactly what kind of stuff is going into the school’s dining hall amenities. We spoke with Matt Taylor, the Director of Dining Services, and had a tour backstage of the kitchen and storage areas. “We work with one contractor, Performance Food Groups,” said Mr. Taylor. “They handle all the generic vendors that we may

want to get any products from, like Kellogg’s, Tyson’s, and so forth.” Mr. Taylor let us know about just how much care goes into the dining hall food, and one thing in particular is that it must come from a particular trusted source. “Our produce is all from a trusted group called Fresh Food,” Mr. Taylor explained. “They make deals with local farmers from anywhere within 150 miles and will grow fruits and vegetables specifically for us. If we hear great re-

INSIDE THIS EDITION Features: Dining Hall, p. 1&4 Point System, p. 1&3 Intervisitation, p. 1&2 Circle of Sisters, p. 2&5 Da Chen, p. 3 Library Initiatives, p. 3&8 Fundraising, p. 4 Campus Priorities, p. 4&5 Diversity Weekend, p. 5 Faculty Meeting, p. 8 From Legos to Calculus, p. 12 Columns: From the Editor’s Desk, p. 2 The Great Debate, p. 6 Faculty Profile: Ms. Wagner, p. 7 Pomfret Through the Ages: Mr. Eaton, p. 7 Music Review: A Dramatic Turn of Events, p. 9 Philosophy, p. 11 Beyond the Bubble, p. 11 Filibuster in Print, p. 11 Arts (Page 9): Artist Profile: Cecile Lu Athletics (Page 10): For Love or the Game Athlete Profile: Meg Gaudreau Winter Sports Recap Also in this edition: The Pontefract has published the best articles produced in Mrs. Hayes’ journalism class.

views about a different local farm or group, we can’t use them unless we know the exact details of how they grow their food: if they use pesticides, if they feed their animals with hormones, or if they are simply not trustworthy enough for us to do business with.” Mr. Taylor then showed us the pantry and freezer area. We were both in shock, not at how alien or industrial it looked, but of just how reminiscent it was of an everyday (continued on page 4)

The Couple’s Dilemma by Adam Ganley ‘13 and Sid Looney ‘12, Members of Mrs. Hayes’ Journalism Class “It would be weird if you walked into your own bedroom, and your parents were there, cuddling in your bed,” bellowed Mr. Peck’s voice through the chapel, followed by a wide wind of laughter breaking the tension caused by his stern and fed up tone. “The music rooms are not a place for you and your significant other,” he demanded. As the organ kicked in, the speech was not washed out as many continued to linger around the outside of the chapel attempting to find a friend to break the news to. Many students began to quickly express their feelings on the recent comments made by Mr. Peck, but why should this even be an argument in the first place? Students at Pomfret have questioned the “Intervisitation policy” for quite some time now; however, the issue has seemed to reach its climax with the recent statements made by Mr. Peck. Following up with him on the topic, he had this to say in response: “We need a real policy, rather than something that (continued on page 2)

1

Est. 1898

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 1 Pomfret, CT

FEBRUARY, 2012

Points System Too Harsh? by Erin Brady ‘13, Staff Writer

In light of recent disciplinary cases of a serious caliber, many students are questioning if the punishment for much less grievous misconducts is currently too strict. The number of points one must accrue over a period of time to earn restrictions is eleven, meaning that two missed classes will place a student in restrictions and on a no-point basis for the remainder of the term. Multiple occurrences of being out of dress code can now also give a student points. In an interview with Ms. Lamothe, who keeps track of the points system, she revealed trends in point accumulation and her view as to whether or not the entire system itself is fair to students. She reflects that not only is it disheartening to see students miss classes regularly, but that “when a student chooses not to go to classes that teachers put so much time into preparing, it is a total lack of respect.” However, the students who miss classes ordinarily don’t view it that way. A junior who wishes to remain anonymous said that the fault in the system is that “students who intentionally skip classes as a sign of disrespect or disregard are treated the same way as students who unintentionally sleep in late. I know that there is no way to determine the difference, but it sort of seems unfair to me.” With the invention of the “grub club” this year, students with minor offenses in the dorms are required to stay after dinner and help clean the dining hall. Students interviewed (continued on page 3)

The Pontefract Staff

Editor-in-Chief Cayman Kai ‘12 Executive Editors Shay Gingras ‘12 Lydia Rosenfield ‘12 Jake Wikman ‘12 Managing Editor: Michael Wolak ‘12 Sports Editor: Jasper Kozak-Miller ‘12 Art Editor: Cecile Lu ‘12 Faculty Advisor: Mr. S. Mitchell Pinkowski Technical Advisor: Mr. Chris Atwood


VOL. 82 NO. 3

Campus News POMFRET SCHOOL

POMFRET, CONNECTICUT

FEBRUARY, 2012

I Want to Join: Circle of Sisters

by Meg Calderado ‘12 and Kristen Pempek ‘12, Members of Mrs. Hayes’ Journalism Class The subject read “Circle of Sisters,” and A few minutes after Whitney sent the initial white boys?” “How about one for skinny girls?” I was immediately interested. I read the email e-mail introducing her new club, students started “Red heads?” These somewhat harsh reactions were and was taken aback when I found out I wasn’t talking. Many were angry and confused, and felt due to people not having an understanding of, or allowed to join. Unfortunately, I didn’t fit the perspective for, what the club is actually intended criteria to be a part of “the circle”. to do. I’m not permitted to join because I’m Although Whitney’s first email presentwhite. ing the exclusive club gave the five W’s in order There is an array of exclusive groups to give a general feel of what this group is, peoon Pomfret’s campus. The Women’s Action ple were offended by the limited membership. Collation and Steak Men are both gender However, in speaking with Johara Tuckexclusive clubs, but Circle of Sisters is limited er, the school’s Assistant Dean of Students for by both race and gender. Community Life and the faculty advisor for the And there’s no counterpart. No club for black boys. Circle of Sisters, she told us that membership is not fully “limited to women of color.” No club for white girls. In fact, there are two different types of Whitney Willingham, a senior girl who meetings that the club offers in order to make came to Pomfret as a sophomore, is the student anyone feel welcomed (continued on page 5) leader of the Circle of Sisters. She started Art credit: Cecile Lu ‘12 the group after Christine Savini, a diversity consultant, visited Pomfret. After meeting with the group was unfair. Olivia Hoden ‘12 asked, Savini, Whitney realized that the school needs “Why can’t I make a club for just white girls?” And many students were asking similar “an affinity group for the women of color on by Cayman Kai ‘12, Editor-in-Chief campus.” questions. “Am I allowed to make a club for As the thirteen-week winter term is winding down, I’m sure we’re all ready for a much-deserved break before we return for continued from page 1 (Art credit: Erin Brady ‘13) the start of spring term. Whether this term flew by or dragged on, when you stop and pretends nothing is happening.” and hang out in your room? Does this policy dethink about it, it is hard to believe we are The students at Pomfret also felt strong- ter making friends of the opposite sex? Does it more than two-thirds through the year and ly about the policy. Junior Miller Staten, who is imply that the opposite sex is only for sex? seniors are now less than one hundred days currently in a relationship mentioned the hard- A public school/day student has the luxfrom graduating. But instead of rushing forships. “They have made it so intense ury of going home after school and has ward, sometimes it’s worth it to take a mothat it is hard for couples or even the ability to go spend time with his sigment and pause in reflection. friends of the opposite sex to have a nificant other while not being monitored The Pontefract invites you to take relationship.” His girlfriend, Sarah by a faculty member. So why are these a break and remember some of the major McThomas ‘14, exclaimed with liberties not offered here at Pomfret? events of the winter term. Our writers refrustration, “I feel like they don’t Students lack a “home” at view events such as Diversity Weekend trust us to make good decisions!” Pomfret. A dorm room is not a and debate over the utility of the new win But as students try to home. Obviously students must ter schedule. Our columnists delve into the get away, does the example agree to regulations made for nature of dreams vs. reality, fantastic new of the music halls prove their “living quarters,” but bands, and current important international that Pomfret needs to find why must it be subjected to and national issues. a better way to deal with gender? A four-year senior Among the many turning points the its couples on campus? who wished to remain school has experienced this year, The Pon Miller offered anonymous explained, tefract is also changing, taking its own a quick response al“Inter-visitation has becrucial step forward in our age of quicklymost as if he had come a game of hide and advancing technology. With the help of the thought about a soluseek with a severe punteam in Marketing and Communications, tion to this problem beishment; teachers like to we are taking The Pontefract online and we forehand. “There needs to keep their guards up and are choosing to discontinue mailing. Copies be a place where couples catch there next victim, of The Pontefract will still be printed and can go to be alone, where and send them to D.C. available on campus, however. The current they don’t feel as if they and punish them for their issue and archived issues dating back to are going to get in trouble ‘bad behavior,’ when in 2004 will now and forever be available at for being together.” Sarah reality, many of the inthe following web address: brought up a good question: ter-visitation D.C.’s are http://www.pomfretschool.org/pontefract “What’s the point of having for harmless offenses.” We hope that you are as excited as the rule, if the faculty aren’t A rule causing so much we are to have made the move to online around to give us permission?” controversy begs for change. If a new trial schedpublishing. If you love the feeling of holding With the inter-visitation policy filled ule can be put in place, why not experiment with newsprint in your hands as you read – don’t with flaws, students of the opposite sex are dis- a new policy put together by student governworry! We don’t plan on completely getting couraged from seeing each other. There should ment and administrators? Alessandra suggested, rid of on-campus printed editions, because be no reason for an 18-year-old and a 17-year- “Prefects should be able to allow inter-visitation we love that feeling, too. If you would still old to hide fearfully amidst pianos in hopes of because they are around more than the faculty.” like to have printed copies mailed to you, not getting a D.C. Maybe the whole policy should be changed in please send your name and address to: If your hands or feet happen to leave the order create a designated inter – visitation period pontefract@pomfretschool.org. floor, does this mean that your Pomfret career is that has stricter hours, while checking in with a Whether you’re currently reading this now in jeopardy? Alessandra Reist ‘14 agreed, teacher need not apply. Pomfret is in need of a from the printed or online version, we hope saying, “It’s too strict; having a rule for two feet policy that promotes healthy relationships and that you enjoy the latest issue of The Ponteon the ground is a bit ridiculous.” eliminates the fence built between genders. It’s fract. What happens if you make a friend of time the music rooms went back to what they the opposite sex and you want them to come over were used for.

From the Editor’s Desk

Where to Couple?

2


VOL. 82 NO. 3

Campus News POMFRET SCHOOL

POMFRET, CONNECTICUT

Schwartz Visiting Fellow Da Chen

by Michael Wolak ‘12, Managing Editor Mr. Chen’s visit followed the standard procedure for the Schwartz speakers: an address to the outside community, two community internal meetings, and several smaller meetings with Q&A sessions for the students. In the community meetings, Mr. Chen directly discussed his experiences in China as well as his arrival in America. He also stressed the importance of writing in order to have a successful life, and the growing significance of knowing a foreign language, especially Chinese. In the Q&A sessions, students asked a variety of questions concerning his personal experiences in China and his writing style and inspiration. Jacob Lee ’14 describes his visit: “ I liked how [Mr. Chen] stressed learning Chinese; its hard, but it’s nice to know it’ll pay off.” It was in the Q&A sessions that some students focused on Mr. Chen’s possibly skewed perception of China. The questions were slightly confrontational in nature, seemingly attempting to discredit Mr. Chen’s memoir; however, his response to these inquiries was honest and profesPhoto credit: Lindsey Lehmann sional. Other than the slight disagreements con Pomfret School’s most recent install- cerning Chinese politics, the rest of the student ment of the Schwartz Visiting Fellow speaker se- body seemed welcoming and appreciative of his ries for the 2012 winter term brought Da Chen to visit, with one senior girl saying, “ He was so campus. To prepare for his visit, the Pomfret ad- cute!” Mr. Chen was also enthusiastic about ministration inserted a special summer reading, China’s Son: Growing up in the Cultural Revo- coming to the Pomfret campus, explaining that lution by Da Chen, as a mandatory assignment his first reaction to the hilltop was that it was, for students and faculty. The book is a memoir “full of snow.” He described our school as “sadealing with Da Chen’s personal experiences cred. [It is] a temple of knowledge where ignogrowing up in southeast China during the Cul- rance is not tolerated;” a profound statement that tural Revolution. There are some admitted exag- truly defines an aspect of our community not gerations for the sake of the plot, but for the most so readily seen by ourselves. Even our Monday Chapels and Friday Community Meetings were part, the memoir is a factual account. described as “lovely traditions…where we can sit and think like Harry Potter.” He even went on “[Pomfret is] a temple of knowledge to praise those few who spoke against his memoir, “Discussion is always a productive activity.” where ignorance is not tolerated.” Though exhausted after being pulled around - Da Chen campus from meeting to meeting, Mr. Chen was regretful to leave our campus, which he respected so much.

The Problem with Points

were divided over their preference of grub clubs or breakfast clubs, concluding that although work was involved during a grub club, it was convenient to still be allowed to sleep in later. The trends in point accumulation are predictable. Ms. Lamothe revealed that all-school gatherings such as chapel and school meeting are the most frequently missed. For these meetings, members of each class must sign in with their respective form deans amid a sea of hundreds vying to do the same. One of the most frustrating things for a student is to accumulate points or even restrictions for being marked “absent” from a chapel or meeting they attended. Though a more effective means of recording attendance seems to be an issue everyone yearns for, Mr. Geyer, form dean for the junior class, stands by the regulations at present. At a re-

Hip Happenings at the Library by Shay Gingras ‘12, Executive Editor

The du Pont Library has always been popular for students looking for a quiet place of study or a computer and printer to use. Many students forget that our library is more than just a building and a study destination, but that it is also a resource. As of late, the du Pont Library and its staff have made many changes and additions to accommodate the study and research needs of students. As the student body is very aware, the library staff enacted a new “Travel on the Hour” rule at the beginning of the winter term, which encourages students to “come on the hour or trudge home dour,” as Mr. Ring’s email sent out earlier in the term said. The seven o’clock to eight o’clock time allotment allows students to come and go freely to “study, check out books, use the computers, print papers, etc.,” but come eight o’clock, any students in the library must remain there until nine o’clock or ten o’clock. The same goes for any students arriving at nine o’clock; they are required to stay until the end of study hall.

These rules were put into action with the general goal of reducing foot traffic to keep the library a quiet place of study. Mr. Ring, a new addition to the du Pont Library staff this year, shared that “while students might grouse about having to plan accordingly, all the library duty staff have noted a dramatic drop in extraneous noise and interruption…and the library is a noticeably more quiet (continued on page 8)

continued from page 1 cent form meeting he announced or two day boys in the day room that “this is halfway through the doing homework during chapel or year. If you are marked absent at school meeting, because we sort of have the points to spare before rethis point, it is your fault.” But the issue of all school strictions or anything.” meetings is further complicated due “Once you graduate and to an expanding enrollment the past you’re out in the work few years. As one senior expressed force and have slept it, “why should we clamor around through a meeting, try to looking for our form deans to sign explain to your boss that in for a seat on the aisle way of your alarm didn’t go off or Hard Auditorium?” you didn’t feel well. Let Bias in the point system me know how well you do is another heated debate usually with that.” regarding the equality of the rules - Ms. Lamothe when applied to day students and The overall effectiveness boarders. A junior day student admitted that he thought that the of Pomfret’s disciplinary system is rules and subsequent consequences questionable; though some believe were much less harsh for day stu- it to be incredibly successful, othdents. Seth Fargnoli, a junior day ers dismiss its productiveness. A student, continued with this point, popular opinion voiced by Palmer even adding that “day students have McGraw ‘11 is that “kids who skip much less of an opportunity to gain class or show up late are going to points, so you can always find one keep doing it, regardless of whether

3

FEBRUARY, 2012

or not they get punished.” Faculty members are forced to agree that students who miss classes intentionally and accumulate points typically aren’t deterred from these activities after restrictions. Though students see the point system as a means of “punishing kids” and “not meant to be helpful,” as Olivia Hamilton ’12 says, faculty members who dole out the punishments disagree. Many believe that the discipline enforced at Pomfret prepares students for the real world, instilling responsibility and accountability for oneself, allowing them to achieve. To answer students griping about the harshness of the point system, Ms. Lamothe says this: “Once you graduate and you’re out in the work force and have slept through a meeting, try to explain to your boss that your alarm didn’t go off or you didn’t feel well. Let me know how well you do with that.”


VOL. 82 NO. 3

Campus News POMFRET SCHOOL

POMFRET, CONNECTICUT

Fundraising at Pomfret

FEBRUARY, 2012

Dining Hall Food

by Lydia Rosenfield ‘12, Executive Editor

continued from page 1 household kitchen. Mr. Taylor then explained to us that the contractors bring them just the raw ingredients, and that everything else is made more or less from scratch. Processed foods are something that the dining hall staff goes to great lengths to avoid. “The only processed things we have here are the tater-tops and chicken broth,” said Mr. Taylor. “Most meats today are extensively processed, and that’s one reason why we try to avoid them. Non-processed meats tend to be outrageously priced, though, and that is why we can only have it so often.” So how can this possibly be so despicable? This food is virtually all homemade, and essentially the same stuff that you can find at any supermarket and made with as much care as in any household. Is there a specific attribute of the food that turns people away?

Photo credit: Olivia Hamilton ‘12 With the excitement of Relay Rejuvenation, Christine’s Cookies, and the upcoming Krispy Kreme sale, it seems as if the American Cancer Society has been a major fundraising focus on campus. How does Pomfret decide where to give its support, and why Relay? This year, there has been a major change in how fundraisers are chosen. They must now be approved through Ms. Tucker’s office. One of her main goals is to diversify fundraisers and for us to be a school that “recognizes all types of needs.” She feels that much of her role is “looking at the calendar” and scheduling events, saying, “I know that Relay has a certain amount of fundraisers a year. I look at other fundraising things that come in and look at what they’re going to do… I don’t want four fundraisers at one time.” Some fundraising ideas have been rejected mainly because they need some more planning and thought before they are run. Ms. Tucker looks for students to be passionate and truly excited about giving their support to a charity. Ms. Miller, who is in charge of Relay, feels that Relay has continued to be a strong presence on campus because, “so many people have been touched by cancer… We talk about changing [Relay], we talk about not doing it, but every year there are students and adults who are passionate so we do it again.”

Lipton, Ocean Spray, Tetley, Heinz - all the same brands that your parents cook with

at home. Photo credit: Ben Tules ‘12 and Declan Brennan ‘12

“Mr. Hastings wanted to promote the use of healthier foods,” Mr. Taylor told us. “We had consulted with various dieticians and experts who agreed that chicken tenders and pizza make us fall asleep. This did not come well to many of the students who liked chicken tenders and pizza almost every day. So we figured we could compromise by offering healthier food for most of the week and make a few exceptions every now and then with the less healthy, more popular food to break the monotony. When things aren’t well received, we stop serving it. We work very hard to keep the menu as varied and appealing as possible. You guys are, after all, our number one priority!” It was clear from our talk with Mr. Taylor that the food here is truly top-notch and has a level of care put into it that very few students at Pomfret seem to acknowledge. It seems that repetition of menus, adaptation to the dining hall, and above all, the general dislike for healthier foods seem to be the true reasons as to why students dislike the dining hall food and would rather splurge extra money at the Tuck Shop for the junk food that they really want and are guaranteed to enjoy. In reality, the view on the dining hall is a big paradox. The dining hall is where actual good food is, the food that the school puts forth a great deal of time and upwards of a million dollars a year to keep as top-quality as possible. Students are simply turned away by the idea of eating healthy, nutritious food and are instantly convinced that whatever they eat here is not a homemade meal. But with the facts that we discovered, the food here is truly a blessing that few appreciate.

The general focus of fundraising at Pomfret is to give to needy charities while allowing students to express their passions and support what they feel most deeply about. The current system results in numerous small events for unrelated charities. Ms. Miller has “felt that our lack of focus on one or two charities takes away from everything. I would like to see a model in which fundraising is for only one or two charities.” Ms. Tucker has been trying to “balance it so that we don’t give all our money to one” charity. An option that has been considered is a model that would split Pomfret’s funds four ways, between local giving, Relay, an emergency fund for occurrences such as natural disasters, and a school choice, which would support something chosen by the students. The plan was “seriously considered but,” Ms. Tucker says, “we decided to take some more time to work with the model to make it the best possible.” The general focus of fundraising at Pomfret is to give to needy charities while allowing students to express their passions and support what they feel most deeply about.

The Rhyme and Reason Behind Campus Priorities by Michael Wolak ‘12, Managing Editor started and completed within the last four years. Aside from the usual delays that are inevitable for expensive and time-consuming

We heard it all when we arrived on all of the current priorities do not address the campus as prospective students: plans about the current needs.” Mr. Malagrino goes on to say that the new Head of School and his oversight new Science Building and the windmill being has been “invaluable” built on the Quad, among others. Some of these he provides “With a change of leadership, it is not unusual to widen your because plans, like the Science an outside perspective Building, were proposed thinking and see that all of the current priorities do not address on our campus. We all know that the Chapel to be completed in 2012 the current needs.” and Hard Auditorium are but since then, many Mr. Malagrino, Director of Facilities other projects have been overcrowded, to a point completed and started where it becomes a legal without any word on the Science Building. projects, Mr. Malagrino, Director of Facilities, problem due to fire hazard issues. After becoming Projects like the Lodge, Turf Fields, and many says, “With a change of leadership, it is not comfortable with this complication, the arrival of others large-scale developments that have been unusual to widen your thinking and see that Mr. Richards and (continued on page 5)

4


Campus News

VOL. 82 NO. 3

POMFRET SCHOOL

POMFRET, CONNECTICUT

Diversity Weekend a Great Success

Campus Priorities continued from page 4

by Elizabeth Rathjen ‘14, Staff Writer

Students learn Chinese calligraphy. Photo credit: Marketing

Pomfret had its first ever Diversity Weekend on January 7th. The weekend gave students the choice of twenty-eight workshops. Some enjoyable workshops included karate, Greek dancing, African drumming, and Brazilian Captilara. A few workshops were more serious, such as Sexuality Around the World, Diversity & Violence, and Race & Ethnicity at Pomfret School. These were more discussion-based and students were encouraged to express their personal opinions on the subject matter. Maddy Hutchins ’14, who helped run the Native American Stories workshop, felt that, “people seemed very open to it.” When asked why Pomfret decided to have a Diversity Weekend, Ms. Tucker replied, “at SDLC (Student Diversity Leadership Conference) one of the community norms is to ‘lean into discomfort.’ This statement framed my decision to organize Diversity Weekend because I felt that if the entire school could ‘lean into discomfort’ for a short period of time, whether it would be participating in an activity they’ve never heard

about or in what could be a slightly uncomfortable discussion, that it could start to open up further discussions and action about equity here at Pomfret.” Personally, I appreciated the opportunity to take different types of courses. I especially liked that students were able to do activities they would not normally be able to try. For instance, my workshop was Greek Dancing, which I would have never tried if it were not for Diversity Weekend. Going into the Weekend, I was not very excited to give up my Saturday to learn about diversity, but after the day was over, I felt that it was worth the time.

I was not very excited to give up my Saturday to learn about diversity, but after the day was over, I felt that it was worth the time. For many, the high point of the weekend was the speaker, Mykee Fowlin. His inspirational words were very moving. I believe that in my two years at Pomfret, he was the best speaker I have ever heard. Alyson Chase ’13 agreed he “was definitely one of the best speakers Pomfret has had.” Isabelle Lofquist ’12 felt that it was, “really cool how he touched on a bunch of different subjects and had different ways of displaying points.” Hopefully next year’s Diversity Weekend will be even better than this year’s successful program!

FEBRUARY, 2012

his oversight begs the question: Why do we accept this? The surfacing of this type of obstacle requires the administration to reprioritize certain goals, a necessary drawback to improve our campus. Planning out large projects like the Science Building and the windmill are enormous endeavors that require a huge amount of funding; funding that is sometimes hard to find. And for the windmill; the average wind speed required to justify constructing a costly structure in the Quad was 11 mph, while the Quad only generate 9.5 mph of wind on average. So far, the Science Building has only undergone logistical planning, where the administration comes to terms with the amount of space that the Science Building would take up with class space, living space, etc. Actually physically laying out plans for structure has yet to take place. Going back to drawbacks, which require attention, Hurricane Irene made it apparent that Pomfret needed to deal with its ‘energy crisis.’ With plans to ‘go green’ taking a top priority, plans to start breaking ground for new piping on campus are set for May 2012. There are many issues with the energy usage on campus, from the faulty piping to our dependence on costly oil. To see an example of the inefficiency of the piping, peer down the hill between the OSU and Centennial and watch as mud bubbles with steam coming from the piping underground. By switching off oil and switching to natural gas, Pomfret School plans to reduce: campus energy cost, campus energy consumption, and the campus carbon footprint. As the administration shelves certain ambitious developments, it is to keep the School’s priorities in check and follow through with more worthwhile goals.

Circle of Sisters continued from page 2 to the group. Ms. Tucker explains that “membership is limited for “closed” meetings” only, while “open meetings” are available “in which anyone could attend.” And Whitney further explained that “women of color” doesn’t just mean black girls. The term “people of color” was coined in the 1960’s during the struggle for civil rights. “People of color” includes all people of racial minorities. The term is associated with people who want to make change in society. The purpose of the club, as articulated by both Whitney and Ms. Tucker, is to give women of color a “space to speak about issues that [they] may not be comfortable addressing in a bigger group.” The group is necessary because the experience of “women of color on an independent school campus tends to be different than [that of] their counterparts, especially because they are a minority within

a minority.” An initial concern of mine was that the group would hurt the diversity on campus rather than help it. I thought that it would hinder,

doing session, movies, and more. As for the group itself, they want to “empower the women of color on campus.” They’re structured around an issue of

The purpose of the club, as articulated by both Whitney and Ms. Tucker, is to give women of color a “space to speak about issues that [they] may not be comfortable addressing in a bigger group.” rather than promote, unity because it was clearly segregating a specific group of people. However, I was wrong. The group plans to host cultural events around campus which will get the community involved. They plan on having a double-dutch competition, a hair-

5

the week. During each meeting they’ll talk about the issue at hand and create a logistical resolution. They’ll work each week to see their resolutions come to light. Ms. Tucker stresses that the group is “meant to support, not segregate” and Whitney added that the group isn’t about being

exclusive; it’s about “educating the community.” They both recognize that if the group was, in fact, secluded, it would hurt the sense of diversity within the community, and this is not their aim. Neither Whitney nor Ms. Tucker wants people to feel left out or unwelcome; the limited membership simply allows these girls, who may feel alone or unaccepted, a “place to be accepted.” Those who do not fall under the category of “women of color” can still join the group as an ally. An ally is someone who will “support, empower, or stand up for [the group].” Allies are important because they will be able to present a different point of view and can be helpful to those who are targeted. Although I was originally put off by Whitney’s first email, I now fully support the “Circle of Sisters” and find their agenda necessary and enriching.


VOL. 82 NO. 3

Inside ViewPomfret Points POMFRET SCHOOL

POMFRET, CONNECTICUT

FEBRUARY, 2012

The Great Debate As the winter term winds down, students and faculty have had enough time to gauge how they feel about the trial winter schedule. Two of our writers debated the pros and cons of the new schedule.

Pro

Con

by Erica Ott ‘13, Staff Writer

by An Hoang ‘14, Staff Writer

With all the new changes that have been made with Mr. Richards’ arrival this year, possibly one of the most talked about, next to the return of sugary cereals, is the new winter trial schedule. One of the goals of this schedule was to give students the chance to be better rested while they are at school. The lack of Saturday classes gives students the chance to have free time on Friday nights and give them a chance to sleep in a bit on Saturday mornings. Some students have complained that the Saturday morning commitments are taking away from their sleep time anyways and that they would rather be in class, but Saturday classes used to start at eight and the new Saturday mornings usually do not start before ten. Although we can not sleep until noon every Saturday, the extra few hours and the Friday nights without study hall seem like a nice change to me! The next major adjustment to allow for more sleep was starting school a half hour later. I understand that people say that this means that they just go to bed later, and I believed this would be the case when I first heard the new rule, but I have found the later start to be a very positive change. I still go to bed late, but no later than I went to bed before the change in schedule. The major difference that I saw in waking up was that I appreciated that the sun was up in the morning when my alarm went off. This made a huge difference in the mornings, and although I still have the occasional tough morning when I press snooze once or twice, in general, the mornings are much less of a chore than they were with an 8:00 am start. The other reason that I personally enjoy the new schedule is the new meeting blocks. I do not know that I like having meetings during them, but I think they are a nice way to break up the day, especially when you do not have a meeting and have a short break between classes. I believe that I speak for most of the students here at Pomfret when I say that I appreciate the one less sit-down lunch we go to each week. Having sit-down lunch is a Pomfret tradition, but once a week keeps this tradition alive without being too much of a burden on the busy schedules of students and faculty. This new schedule is obviously not perfect, but the changes made this winter, in my opinion, are an improvement to Pomfret life.

Undeniably, we have to thank and appreciate the effort that many have put into creating the new schedule. However, for a body of 350 students, there will be an inevitable variety of opinions about the schedule. The most common complaint about the schedule is its effect on day students. One day student commented: “I have many mornings when I come into class ready for a nap. I might as well wear pajamas to class because of this schedule! Especially being a day student, you don’t get anywhere near as much sleep as a student living on campus. This is a major disappointment to me and some of my fellow day student friends. This should be thought over with more consideration of people from all points of view next time.” Some day students have family members that have to go to school or work early and the day student has to go along for convenience. Therefore, the amount of sleep some day students receive hasn’t increased, but they get tired by waiting half an a hour more before class starts, stretching their day unnecessarily. One student commented: “The order of the classes gets routine and extremely boring. I need variety.” Before the new schedule was released, some students complained that they could not remember the blocks, and this element was also brought into the discussion of the schedule committee. However, now some students feel that the new schedule is mundane with its alphabetical order. By reducing one full block, five minutes of each class, and all the Saturday classes, we have cut down a lot of academic time. One student commented: “No schedule is perfect; students are missing the 8th block, a free for most and used for study and/or play and relaxation.” Another student said: “It took away my valuable H block. We should have eight blocks, especially for those who need to take all eight courses.” Pomfret has numerous electives, including art courses, to offer. By reducing one block, most of the students can’t experience the wide array of interesting and awesome electives because they are usually full with core courses. Because of this, we may consider the possibility of recovering the eighth block. There are other minor complaints about the schedule. Some people talks about the unreasonable break on Wednesday, which is already a half day. “Why is the break on Wednesday and not, for example, on Thursday?” one student questioned. Others don’t like all the new meeting blocks: “During the meeting blocks, teachers always have meetings, so I can’t meet with them.” Another student said, “The new schedule was supposed to create more time for meeting blocks; I find is hasn’t achieved that objective; we still can’t even find time to meet as advisee groups.” We will have to see if the spring trial schedule solves the problems with this one.

Do you like the winter schedule? Results (out of 100 votes): Yes: 83% No: 18%

Goodbye to this trial winter schedule!

Hello, new spring trial schedule!

6


VOL. 82 NO. 3

Pomfret Profiles POMFRET SCHOOL

POMFRET, CONNECTICUT

FEBRUARY, 2012

Faculty Profile: Ms. Wagner by Vincent Lee ‘15, Staff Writer

Ms. Wagner is the School Counselor and teaches Social Issues. She is from New Hampshire. Although her father was a minister, she moved around a lot. However, she grew up in Connecticut for most of her childhood. During her youth, she grew up on the shoreline of Connecticut. She spent every summer digging in hopes of finding Captain Kidd’s treasure which is allegedly buried along Long Island Sound. After spending a few years next to the shoreline, she moved to central Connecticut to go to undergraduate school, Central Connecticut State University where she double-majored in psychology and art and also took a wide variety of courses, including archeology. She studied social work at the graduate level at the University of Connecticut. After graduating, she attended Rhode Island School of Design and received both an academic and studio degree. Following that, she had a few years of clinical supervision at Dartmouth College School of Medicine and then spent ten years of supervision at Brown University School of Medicine.

“I love the energy that exists at Pomfret. I love the connection that students make with adults here both outside and inside classes.” - Carolyn Wagner, School Counselor

Furthermore, she did spelunking (ex-

Photo credit: Lindsey Lehmann ploring caves). She personally liked it because it reminded her of her childhood, seeking to find some of Kid’s treasures. On top of that, she liked it because she could relieve her stress by climbing and help her to regain her mindfulness. She later lived in a cottage beside a lake in Woodstock, Connecticut. Living there, she found her partner, Mike, who is a lumber broker who sells woods to India, Singapore, etc. Ms. Wagner met Mike after he moved next door to her. They started to hang out and ended up dating. They now manage a beautiful farm behind the school campus together and grow ingredients for amazing cooking. They also raise honeybees

and have grown more than fifty fruit trees, making their farm even more wonderful. Sometimes, they even cook foods for Pomfret students. She also does art, and she especially likes to make things; she makes jewelry and works with metals. Aside from that, she loves spending time with friends and the students at Pomfret. Ms. Wagner has been in Pomfret for fifteen years, both counseling and teaching Social Issues. In the beginning, the counseling department was not organized well. She started to organize the system; she attempted to approach students by opening more classes for discussing social issues and she started a counseling group similar to a homesick group. She was happy to do that because she wanted to help students begin to change their lives and begin to grow up. After having changed the system, the number of students coming to her for help has exponentially increased. To expose students to mindfulness, she recently worked on organizing the Mindfulness Weekend with Ms. Miller. She hopes to teach kids how to center themselves by giving them some ideas about mindfulness. She says about Pomfret School: “I love the energy that exists at Pomfret. I love the connection that students make with adults here both outside and inside classes.” She also wants to tell students that, “It is not what happens to you, but it is what you do with it.” She sees a number of kids struggling in their lives - we all have difficulty – But it all depends on what we do with that and how we deal with it. She also wants to tell everyone, as senior chapel speakers often say: open your mind - try to be fully present and take advantage of every moment that Pomfret has to offer.

Pomfret Through the Ages: Mr. Marshall Eaton Mr. Marshall Eaton has been working at Pomfret for more than thirty-six years, which has earned him the title of Senior Master. He did not originally plan to be a teacher. “I was interested in becoming an engineer,” he says, “I actually earned an engineering degree at Tufts University.” What caused the sudden career change that turned this young engineer into the most steadfast faculty member at Pomfret? He answered with a smile. “I never thought I would teach here. I guess it all started at one time … during which Pomfret was kind of short on math teachers. Mr. Per-Jan Ranhoff, who was a math teacher and also Assistant of Headmaster at that time, knew about me, so he asked me to teach for six weeks while the school searched for a new math teacher. I accepted. After that experience, I realized how much I loved working with students and teaching math, so I stayed and be-

by An Hoang ‘14, Columnist. Photo credit: Lindsey Lehmann ton. “Pomfret has came their new grown a lot, since math teacher!” there was only two Mr. Eaton is also a Pomfret hundred and ten students and about graduate, which thirty-two faculty adds four years then. We had to to his time here. dress formally to Through him, we can see how every meal, since every meal was Pomfret’s consit-down, in which struction and the students serve student life have changed. “Pomfret food. That is a total of twenty has a history of sit-down meals moving buildings a week. Only the from one place to another,” he says. brunch meal on Pyne dorm used Sunday was not to be where Censit-down.” Mr. Eaton has many distennial is and the Student Union did not exist. Although the campus tinctive memories of his time at has changed a lot, student life has Pomfret, saying, “I remember being changed more. “At the time I went the first group of day students to go to Pomfret, it was an all-boy board- to Pomfret, since it was an exclusive ing school and we all lived at the boarding school then. I also rememfour ‘bricks’ dorms,” says Mr. Ea- ber my ‘silver’ season of football,”

7

when the team lost only one game. Mr. Eaton was a three-year varsity football player and earned the most varsity letters in his class. He still holds the school’s record for shot put, “partly because Pomfret does not offer that anymore.” Mr. Eaton also participated in the math team, helping the school win second place in the Amherst math meet. In his junior year, he was one of the first students who had exposure to computers, particularly the “PDP- 8,” which had only eight kilobytes of memory. Mr. Eaton was one of the few students who had a car, which made him popular with both boarding and day students. Mr. Eaton, with three friends, ran “The Lower Four Food Store,” which sold candy, donuts, hamburgers, and other food. The tuck shop had to close because Mr. Eaton’s store stole all the customers, meaning that no one want to go to the tuck shop for food.


VOL. 82 NO. 3

Inside Pomfret POMFRET SCHOOL

POMFRET, CONNECTICUT

FEBRUARY, 2012

Faculty Meeting Clarifies Teacher-Student Boundaries by Cayman Kai ‘12, Editor-in-Chief

Faculty members recently had an extra faculty meeting on January 14 outside of curriculum discussions. Many students have wondered what exactly the faculty meeting was about. The Pontefract questioned Mr. Richards to find out. Mr. Richards brought in Dr. Chris Thurber to conduct a workshop for the faculty. Dr. Thurber is a counselor at Phillips Exeter Academy and a consulting psychologist for summer camps and boarding schools for issues surrounding professional standards and boundaries.

“People feel that Pomfret faculty are well-committed to the students.” - Mr. Richards, Head of School Dr. Thurber spoke about professional responsibility for educators, what an appropriate teacher or mentor is, how it easy to not be aware of boundaries, and tactics for self-feedback on being cognizant of professional standards.

Art credit: Erin Brady ‘13

The workshop included a lecture, film clips, and examples of scenarios of teachers putting themselves or being placed into situations where appropriate boundaries are fuzzy. Dr. Thurber pointed out some questions for faculty to ask themselves in such situations and how to handle these situations. He offered many “common sense reminders,” as Mr. Richards says, but also some that seemed more “subtle.” For example, in the movie Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams plays an eccentric English professor who instructs his pupils to rip out the ridiculous introduction to the book

on poetry they are reading. Dr. Thurber asked if the professor is doing something inappropriate. Obviously he wants his students to be independent thinkers, but on the flip side, is it appropriate for a teacher to tell kids to destroy their own property? From this example, Mr. Richards points out that it’s not always clearly “right versus wrong because there can be different sides.” Mr. Richards says that the clearest way to do the right thing is to make sure that as a faculty member, your actions are “always in the interest of the student.” Clearly things such as lambasting another faculty member or student is not acceptable behavior for a faculty member, but Dr. Thurber also cautioned how interactions with students look to the public, such as always driving the same student alone in a car. However, Mr. Richards perceives that “people feel Pomfret faculty are well-committed to the students.” He feels that this workshop “validated to faculty that they are already doing the right thing with respect to professional standards and boundaries.” In case the faculty handbook was not already clear enough, the wording has also been clarified even more. Mr. Richards states that his number one priority is “protecting the safety and well-being of the students.” Although he is confident in Pomfret faculty, this recent workshop was, as he calls it, “added insurance to make sure that faculty are aware of expectations.”

Library Initiatives

continued from page 3 (Photo credits: Olivia Hamilton ‘12) place to get work done.” Mrs. Atwood also mentioned that these rules have been used as a model in the past, and a conversation between her and Head of School Tim Richards led to this recent establishment. Mrs. Atwood shared that Mr. Richards had similar rules at his previous school, but he “didn’t come in saying, ‘This is how we did it at St. George’s’,” and he was, in fact, very “collaborative” and open to new ideas. Mr. Ring acknowledged that the new rules will “take a little while for people to get accustomed to,” but there has been “no direct backlash and as people get used to it, people get okay with it.” He also shared that it makes for “a better atmosphere in the dorms” during study hours. In addition to the new Travel on the Hour rules, the library staff has recently updated the library website, a major overhaul from the previous site. The new site is dynamic with different tabs and many different features, including quick access to an extensive subscription database and eBooks. Ideally, all aspects of the site will eventually be completely accessible within the Pomfret network. Mrs. Atwood describes the new site as “a virtual library without walls,”

and encourages students to check it out, sharing that with the new “fun stuff” available, such as book blogs and the word/quote of the day, will “hopefully become more of a destination site than it used to be.” In our continually evolving technological age, the library has also begun an eBook collection. The compilation is already growing,

but it will be an ongoing project. The books are available online through the card catalog on the library’s new website. In addition to the online book collection, books are constantly being added to the shelves, ranging from new fiction, science, and history books. Mr. Ring notes, “There are some fascinating and stellar reads right

“We try to pay attention to what students and faculty here are most interested in and looking for.” - Mrs. Atwood

8

here.” The most important thing to Mrs. Atwood is that “we try to pay attention to what students and faculty here are most interested in and looking for.” The library also has access to books outside of Pomfret, as it participates in an interlibrary loan system with libraries mainly in Connecticut and Massachusetts. With a finite amount of space available, there is a concern that the du Pont Library will run out of room for new books. However, Mrs. Atwood explained that they are constantly “weeding out outdated books” and “not buying as many books as we used to” because the reference section is sparsely used and the interlibrary loan system “stretches our resources.” With all of the new resources available to students, including the new du Pont Library website, eBooks, real books, and library staff, Mr. Ring and Mrs. Atwood hope that students take advantage of all that the library has to offer. Mr. Ring sums it up by saying that the “depth and breath of materials at the disposal of the community is impressive,” and Mrs. Atwood adds that the library is a “pretty amazing resource” that should be heartily utilized.


VOL. 82 NO. 3

POMFRET SCHOOL

Arts

POMFRET, CONNECTICUT

FEBRUARY, 2012

Music Review: A Dramatic Turn of Events by Austin Galusza ‘15, Columnist

The progressive rock band Dream Theater has been around since the 90s and is continuing today to develop their own curious and complex style of music. Progressive rock, a sub genre of rock music, has been around since the 60s and was pioneered by bands such as Yes and Pink Floyd. It is a style of music in which the usually curious music changes over time and may include lyrics, keys, tones, tempos, and dynamic shifts that vary during songs. Dream Theater, famous for their blend of rock symphonies with electronic keyboards, has just put out their latest album A Dramatic Turn of Events, which is a clear statement of what these amazing musicians are like. Their music has always changed between their different projects, but with each, their mixed messages and touches of creativity have stood out, especially in A

Dramatic Turn of Events. The album is eleven tracks of pure progressive rock at its best, complete with spectacular artwork.

The album cover shows a man on a unicycle going over a tightrope through the clouds with the fin of a plane with the band’s logo on it at the bottom of the picture. This curious artwork is typical for Dream Theater, but the music is what matters. The album is based off of their trademark rock mix. A blend of Metallica guitar riffs, wellsung vocals, and tough drumbeats characterizes this album, and it is complete with symphonic keyboard progressions to top it off. The album’s lengthy songs are quite impressive since they are not only a band that can “rock out” for a long period of time, but can also mix it up and keep it interesting. This album sparked a creative interest in me and will surely be a musical portrait that will strike a good chord in you.

Artist Profile: Cecile Lu by Oliver Finley ‘13, Staff Writer

Photo credit: Lindsey Lehmann

Pomfret School has seen the development of many talented artists through its visual art courses but few that are as ambitious and inspiring as Cecile Lu. Discovering an interest in art at the exceptional age of two years old, Cecile is the paradigm of dedication in artistic expression. Her parents quickly noticed her newfound enthusiasm and put her in art classes at age seven, just after moving to China. Cecile had been working on her skills all throughout middle school and had no problem fitting right into Pre-AP Painting & Drawing her freshman year, taking AP Painting & Drawing her Sophomore year and again her Senior year. Cecile noted that her Junior year was supposed to be her “year off” and that the withdrawal of artistic expression was close to intolerable. “I realized that year I really need art in my life,” she said. “I ended up asking JP if I could come and work in the Pre-AP

class in my free time, just so I wouldn’t go crazy.” One look at Cecile’s portfolio and the preciseness and attention to detail becomes instantly apparent. Realism is her preferred and most proficient style, but it would be an understatement to say that she is, by any means, limited by any particular technique. When asked about the style of her work, she explained, “I prefer painting and drawing realistically, but JP has helped me to get a little more abstract since my freshman year.” Students taking AP Painting and Drawing are required to produce twelve different pieces sharing specific a theme, called a concentration, for the AP assessment in the spring. For her senior year, Cecile has chosen a concentration surrounding the theme of dramatic make-up, and Lydia Rosenfield ‘12 has modeled for all of them. She currently has six more pieces to produce before the end of the year, but she has already produced a wide variety of pieces ranging from the most flawless realism to the innovation of expressionism. In addition to art, Cecile also shows an interest in physics, and for Above: “Faces” Below: “Toy Animals” by Cecile Lu ‘12 this reason she has decided to major in Architecture. “It’s the perfect combination of engineering and art, and even though it’s one of the hardest majors, I think I’m really going to enjoy it.” Cécile has no doubt that art will always be important to her, in and out of her chosen profession. No matter what I’m doing, I will always be painting. Art has played a huge role in my life, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”

9


Athletics

VOL. 82 NO. 3

POMFRET SCHOOL

For

POMFRET, CONNECTICUT

FEBRUARY, 2012

Love or the Game by Katie McNaughton ‘14, Staff Writer

Who is Gabby’s favorite teacher at Pomfret? Will: Mr. Burke. Meghan: Mr. Large. Gabby: Mr. Burke. What is Gabby’s favorite movie? Will: …The movie with the fish. Meghan: Miracle on Ice. Gabby: Finding Nemo. If Gabby could go anywhere on vacation, where would it be? Will: New Jersey. Meghan: Hawaii . Gabby: Greece.

Photo credit: Olivia Hamilton ‘12

For this round of for the love or the game, we chose Varsity Hockey player Gabby Criscuolo as our spotlight. The best friend and teammate for this round, is fellow Varsity Hockey player Meghan MacArthur, while the ‘love’, is Will Dana. Let’s see who knows Gabby better, the love, or the game? What snack does Gabby buy at the tuck most often? Will: Milkshakes.

Meghan: M&Ms. Gabby: Milkshakes. What show is Gabby obsessed with? Will: Man vs. Food. Meghan: Modern Family. Gabby: Modern Family. What is Gabby’s middle name? Will: Marie. Meghan: Marie. Gabby: Marie.

Athlete Profile: Meg Gaudreau

by Liana Therrien ‘14, Staff Writer When she was three, Meg Gaudreau ’12 was introduced to one thing that would change her life: basketball. Always having a passion for the sport, she started playing in the front yard with her dad, quickly making her become addicted to it and started playing competitively when she turned six. “Coming to Pomfret has been a blessing for me because some of the competition that I see here is tough and it has prepared me a lot more for college basketball,” says Meg. Playing on varsity as soon as she arrived at Pomfret her freshman year, she played in the NEPSAC class B finals and was undefeated her sophomore year. “I have been blessed to play for Ms. Brooks. She’s been one of the best coaches I’ve ever had because she’s always keeping me humble and pushing me to be the best player possible,” she adds. “My teammates have been super supportive as well. We all become really close every year, and thanks to them, all four years at Pomfret have turned out to be winning seasons.” Going to college for basketball had always been a dream of her’s, but it became a reality when she received her first letter when she was a freshman. Her accomplishments so far this year include getting scouted by St. Mike’s college in Burlington, Vermont and scoring her 1,000th point. Photo credit: Johnny Richmond ‘13

What is Gabby’s dream college to attend? Will: SLU. Meghan: Boston University . Gabby: Princeton.

Love Game 4

:

2

In this round of For the Love or the Game, it appears that love is victorious. Maybe next time, Meghan!

Winter Sports Recap

by Jasper Kozak-Miller ‘12, Sports Editor Although most teams haven’t put the finishing touches on their season, we at The Pontefract have compiled this update on how teams have done so far. A few contests remain for most squads. As of February 20, 2012, the Girls Basketball and Boys Squash teams are the clear highlights of this winter, though other teams also show very promising results. Boys’ Basketball Boys’ Basketball held a 7-14 record with two games left in the season. Girls’ Basketball Girls’ Basketball held a formidable 15-7 record with two games left in the season. Girls’ Hockey Girls’ Hockey held a 6-13-2 with two games left in the season. Boys’ Hockey Boy’s Hockey held a 3-19-2 record with two games left in the season. Boys’ Squash Boys’ Squash had a 12-7 record with 2 matches left in the season. Girls’ Squash Girls’ Squash went 7-9 with 2 matches left in the season. Wrestling The wrestling team went 6-17 this season. Senior RJ LaBeef closed out his New England Wrestling career by winning his third New England title this season. Photo credit: Johnny Richmond ‘13

10


VOL. 82 NO. 3

Editorials

POMFRET SCHOOL

Philosophy: On the Subject of Dreams

by Jake Wikman ‘12, Executive Editor Perhaps the part of us that distinguishes reality from fantasy is severely misguided. People often lose themselves so much in fantasy that they begin to believe in fantasy. After all, many of us end up believing ridiculous rumors and stories. Making those stories into reality seems to be an inherent function of our humanity. Dreams themselves are often indistinguishable from reality. As Descartes argued, the part of the brain that distinguishes fantasy from reality is inherently flawed. One cannot tell when one is dreaming. Lucid dreams often seem completely real, and people’s previously experienced dreams often meld with their memories to create a jarred version of the past.

That being said, it is possible to live life in a waking dream, so perhaps no reality exists at all beyond the dream. Descartes posited that the only thing we can know really exists is ourselves. This, however, does not tell us where we exist in reality or fantasy. Instead of deciding whether or not we exist in an objective reality, pretending that there are no others, we must instead recognize how reality exists within fantasy. Reality appears differently to everyone, and despite the “objective” reality, there is never an objective interpretation of reality, only a subjective one. Therefore, accepting that the fantasy is the true reality will allow us to live regardless of whether or not we exist in a dream or a reality, because, either way, it is still real.

POMFRET, CONNECTICUT

FEBRUARY, 2012

Beyond the Bubble by Charlie Kimball ‘13, Columnist. Art credit: Cecile Lu ‘12, Art Edtior

Here on the Hilltop, it is easy to allow yourself to become wrapped up in the multitude of responsibilities at Pomfret and to forget about what goes on outside of our school. Beyond the Bubble provides you with information about current events beyond the “bubble” that is Pomfret. Chinese-American Relations Xi Jinping, who will soon become the Chinese president, visited the U.S. on a weeklong trip, marking the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s trip to China. During his stay, he met with President Barack Obama, beginning to develop a relationship with the Commanderin-Chief. However, tension existed concerning China’s human rights policies. Assuming Obama wins the current election, this relationship could prove to be pivotal in the years to come. Republican Primary Rick Santorum’s campaign for the presidency is enjoying a boost of enthusiasm as they have won two caucuses in a row. It would appear that Rick Santorum is replacing Newt Gingrich as the alternative to Mitt Romney. With this

newfound opposition, Romney may not have yet secured the election for himself. Iran The Iranian government is continuing its efforts with its nuclear program, prompting the U.S. government to freeze their assets in the U.S. in order to apply pressure to the situation. However, Iran is seemingly undeterred and continues nuclear testing in underground bunkers. In addition to this, Israeli relations with Iran are rapidly deteriorating with propaganda being flung from both sides. War between these two countries would inevitably result in U.S. involvement that would set into motion yet another conflict in the Middle East, the consequence of which could devastate the U.S. economy.

Filibuster in Print: Shays and McMahon by Nick Fulchino ‘15, Columnist For those who aren’t particularly fond of Connecticut politics: 10 years in the State House of Representatives, and 20 years in the United Chris Shays, former U.S. Representative, is up against former WWE CEO States Congress – yet he isn’t qualified? Please! The people, especially Linda McMahon. McMahon, the 2010 nominee, is hoping to run again in the Republicans, of this state need to wake up and smell the coffee: if 2012 to win the Senate seat. Receiving much of the support of the local we’re going to replace Joe Lieberman with a Republican we need someone establishments in Connecticut, McMahon has promised not to pour another who can attract independents and moderate Democrats to the ticket, but the $50 million into her Senate campaign, but Chris Shays’ bid for the U.S. truth is Linda McMahon just won’t do that! Senate is being run on real results and a proven record of success in the A Public Policy Polling poll from September shows Chris Murphy, United States House of Representatives. the Democratic front runner in the race, leading Linda McMahon by seven percent! Now, throw in Chris Shays against Chris Murphy and the lead on the Republican shrinks to four percent. Shays leads William Tong, a potential Democratic nominee, by nineteen percent, whereas Linda McMahon only beats William Tong by seven percent. And when you make Susan Bysiewicz the Democratic candidate, Chris Shays wins by eleven percent and Linda McMahon loses by one percent! If we, the people of Connecticut, want change, Chris Shays is the only logical solution! Shays’ experience in public service is unmatched by McMahon and his continued dedication to all of the people in the state is definitely noteworthy. There is no doubt that Linda McMahon will attract As a former supporter of Linda McMahon (I was one of the first national attention to the state, but Chris Shays will bring change when he’s to line up and support her in 2010) I am appalled that the Connecticut elected to the United States Senate. The truth of the matter is, for ConRepublican Party refuses to learn from its mistakes. Linda lost once and necticut Republicans, there is only one candidate for Senate that makes any she’ll lose again! Chris Shays spent three years in the Peace Corps, over sense: Chris Shays.

If we, the people of Connecticut, want change, Chris Shays is the only logical solution!

11


VOL. 82 NO. 3

Editorials

POMFRET SCHOOL

POMFRET, CONNECTICUT

FEBRUARY, 2012

From Legos to Calculus: The Story of My Imagination by Mamoru O’Hara ‘13 I can say that I had a rather normal childhood with one exception: I was obsessed with Legos, and at a time when they were extremely popular, that’s saying a lot. Before I had to go to school, I would wake up at six in the morning, and after a glass of milk, I would start a ruckus mashing a box full of Legos looking for the one right piece out of somewhere around one thousand pieces. That was the cue for my family to angrily trudge over and give me the death stare. At that age, I had some particular hobbies, as I would carry my collection of pacifiers in one hand, and with my other hand I would create something unusual or meaningless out of random objects, which other kids usually could not understand. I also kept a Thomas the Train set, but never really liked to use it. While creating the tracks was fun, to me, they represented a restricted, straightforward path with a few turns. That was precisely why I loved Legos and even K’nex; they would allow me to act freely and make objects as I so desired. But as I grew older, I became more and more interested in real world mechanisms. I would study machinery and science that seemed to satisfy my itch. Japanese technology and design often deal with specific details of many things, ranging from a pen to a building. I went to a robotics expo in Osaka and created my own simple rolling robot. Though I did need quite a

bit of help, it was my first attempt. I saw many inspirational works of technology that had the potential to change the world, and I loved each and every one of them. Designing Legos eventually had broadened my curiosity to designing larger, better things. My neighbor, Patrick, and I created objects like potato gun, rockets, and so on. Because I grew up with the development of computer and Internet technology, I would look up websites of vehicles, machines,

As I grew older and entered middle school, I had graduated from Legos and began to focus more on the reality of what creating real world applications meant. Math was the key in achieving this goal, so I began to work hard in mathematics. Starting in sixth grade, I began to take extra courses at a nearby community college because my school’s education was not exceptional by any means, and the math courses there did not cut it. I managed to stay ahead of the curve at

I had explored both the real world and the world of childhood imagination, but I did not have any idea about the connection between them. aircrafts, electronic devices, and whatever else had some mechanical or moving function. However, none of these ideas or objects seemed to hit the sweet spot for me. I would sometimes look deeper in the machines and look at the inner mechanism, ready to find something astonishing but none of them really satisfied my “imaginative taste,” so I would revert back to my Legos. I had explored both the real world and the world of childhood imagination, but I did not have any idea about the connection between them.

the time, and in the summer between seventh and eighth grade, I got into the Johns Hopkins University CTY program and attended a Principle in Engineering Design class. For three weeks in the summer, I had my first real contact with the way mechanics work. The three-week course created a transition from the child-like mindset I had before to a more modern and realistic view of the world. As the years went on, algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus, physics, chemistry, and

then some APs came into my life and I strived to study hard, as I knew they were very important for me. Why am I studying? Is it to get a good grade and eventually go to an engineering college? Is that all? I began to raise some questions. What is the real purpose in studying? Math and science are not goals; they are supposed to be just tools to reach exciting things get life. Does becoming older and realistic require that you should shed your own skin of imagination? Should knowledge and equation-solving skills bring me to some exciting world? Of course, it is obvious that innovation is not possible without scientific consideration or mathematical calculation. However, I felt that I had left something very important behind. I dug back to my elementary years and found a self portrait I made when I was a fourth-grader. At the beginning of the school year, each student drew one with a sentence that starts with “I’m famous for…” My portrait is still hanging in the corner of my room and reminds me of my original spirit, and it says: “I’m famous for having a lot of imagination.” As I have grown older, I think that somewhere along the way, I tended to rely less on imagination. For a while, my view of innovation had begun to go stale. It is important to keep those feelings from our childhood. They are the essence of what we are and what we strive for.

Fun and Games Across 1. The captain whose treasure Ms. Wagner looked for as a kid 5. Nick Fulchino’s ‘15 pick for the Connecticut Senate seat 7. Schwartz Visiting Fellow this year 9. Number of points required to get restrictions 10. The toys that inspired Mamoru O’Hara’s ‘13 curiosity

Down 2. The band which created the album, A Dramatic Turn of Events 3. Philosopher who argued “the part of the brain that distinguishes fantasy from reality is inherently flawed” 4. Pomfret was considering building this on the quad 5. Republican presidential candidate who is quickly becoming the major opposition to Mitt Romney 6. Circle of ________ 8. Gabby Criscuolo’s ‘14 favorite show

12

Pontefract - February 2012  

The Student Newspaper of Pomfret School

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you