Volume VI Issue II
Spring 2016 1
Monica Nyland Austin Varner
William Chapman John Frye
watch magazine would like to give special thanks to the Hebra Family for their hospitality and support for this issue.
The watch magazine would like to give special thanks to those who helped out with this issue: Leslie Wade, Amanda Billings, Barnes and Noble, Gettys Moore, Ali Lovell, Hugh Wood, John Peters, Brink Norton, Michael Psenka, Madison Coleman, Preston Johnson, Luc Hanfield, Derrick Main, Hayley Adams, Eleanor Lee, Dr. Tom Westerman
Table Of Contents 6
Great Again?: A Critical Analysis of Donald Trump
American Progression, a Story of Regression
Liberty Tweets: PG Politics in 140 Characters or Less
Election 2016: One Perspective
Bend or Break: How will the wearable fitness bands of today hold up?
From Math Class to World Class: Olympians--are our own age?
Primal: How our attraction to sports teams feeds into our atavistic needs
“...But by the Content of Our Character”
Some PG Students Go Against the Grain
John Frye Alex Dodenhoff John Peters, Ali Lovell, Alex Dodenhoff, Hugh Wood Alex Dodenhoff Emily Symonds Judah Ellison Austin Varner Guest Contributor Chris Nelson Malone Vingi
Clubbed to Death: A “Where are They Now?” of PG’s clubs, old and new.
The Top Ten Essential Albums You Should Have Already Heard
A Word of Advice: A Senior Offers some Insight
Looking Back ... and Forwards
Will Limehouse Guest Contributor Cade Callen Monica Nyland Matthew Key
The College List 5
Great Again? @A Critical Analysis of Donald Trump John Frye
The nation lies in ruins. With a failed military campaign fresh in the people’s’ minds, nationalism dwindles toward extinction. What’s left to be proud of? Financial degradation? An inept and schizoid government? A culture rife with immorality? But all is not lost. One man arises to confront the challenge. One man speaks the honest, bitter truth. Only one man can vanquish the foreign hordes and restore national glory. Now where have I heard this story before? When I first discovered the parallel between the rise of Trump and the rise of fascism in Europe, you could have called me thoroughly unsettled. The likelihood of Donald Trump, a man synonymous with his almost comical megalomania, becoming President Trump shocked me. The threats towards religious liberty and racial equality seemed gravely distressing. I was quite concerned for a simple, obvious reason: Donald Trump is a salesman, not a statesman. And he markets a very dangerous product. To contextualize his pernicious effect on society and ineptitude as a statesman, we first need to analyze the very nature of “The Donald,” particularly in regards to his campaigning strategies. Compared with his rivals, Donald Trump lacks governmental knowledge and experience, as demonstrated by his seeming ignorance of foreign policy. However, instead of a handicap, Trump uses this deficit as a virtue. In an arena of conniving politicians, Donald Trump presents a fresh (albeit furled and spray-tanned) face bent on “fixing” a broken nation. No one expects Trump to deliver a seminar on the complexities of health care or foreign policy, and in the event that an “overly-sensitive” inquirer might pose a question Trump can’t logically answer, he reverts to his time-tested and iconic tactic: causing controversy. It’s an characteristic of everyone’s favorite sentient comb-over: debate begins, Trump spouts a controversial remark about ce ethnic group ci or ce religious minority la, and the print and broadcast media wind up in a frenzy over what should be taken with about as much salt (i.e. a fifty pound bag) as a diatribe from your crazy uncle at the Sunday dinner table. At the end of the day, his controversial remarks distract most critics from emphasizing the inconsistencies and vagueness of any actual plan to “make America great again.” Take, for example, December’s CNN Republican debate, in which a viewer, concerned with Trump’s proposition to kill the families of ISIS members, asked, “How will intentionally killing innocent civilians set us apart from ISIS?” Characteristically, Donald Trump replied, “I will be very, very firm with families.” Though steadfast in his plan to execute terrorists’ families regardless of their innocence, Trump offers an intentionally vague reply. He never straightforwardly says that he will kill civilians, merely that he will be “firm”—a term with a definition as solid as Trump’s comb-over. Now, imagine if other candidates, such as John Kasich or Bernie Sanders, were to reply with such a quote. Critics would, in addition of pointing out its violation of the Geneva and Hague Conventions, decry the proposition’s ambiguity. But because Trump draws more attention to his wall-building and Muslim-banning comments, critics quickly forget any flaws with his plan of how to accomplish his goals. It’s an unsettlingly perfect distraction: Mr. Trump, how do you respond to allegations that you a lack a thorough plan for health care? “I think that we should definitely disallow any Muslims from coming in.” 6
Mr. Trump, you emphasize your success as an entrepreneur, despite the fact that your brand name is worth substantially less than a majority of the world’s companies. Care to comment? “Whites killed by blacks—81%” How do you intend to pay for your proposed wall along the Mexican border? “[Mexicans] are bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” This diversionary tactic is, in a sense, the inner working of Donald Trump. It yells, it slings mud, it circumnavigates questions, and at the end of the day—when all focus falls upon Trump’s ultra-orthodox ranting—it beckons forth an unmistakable crowd of white, conservative, blue collar Christians. Though a niche group of diverse followers support Donald Trump, the majority of his fan base is comprised of those with an idyllic vision of what America once was. Trump preaches to a crowd that longs for an America where women knew their place as a “hot piece of [expletive referring to the female posterior],” and where blue collar, white families faced no opposition from immigrant laborers and career candidates from various socio-ethnic backgrounds. Trump’s appeal to blue collar whites on the foundation of Conservatism also attracts many members of the religious right. Trump’s lionization of the past (though generally in an economic sense) appeals a crowd of Evangelicals who wish to return to the way things once were. His religious followers, likewise, view contemporary America as Gomorra: an areligious and immoral wasteland. Despite the fact that nearly 70% of citizens and 90% of Congress are Christians, and that private industries have every legal right to wish customers whatever Holiday greeting they please, Evangelicals seeking to “Make America Great Again” flock to Trump for his proposed reversion of American society to traditionalist roots. Traditionalism, regardless of religious zealotry or income, defines the attraction supporters feel for Trump. To his fan base, the supposedly wholesome past drifts further towards the libertine hellhole of the present: a horrid dystopia plagued by foreigners and #BlackLivesMatter. Trump likens social change to entropy and upheaval of morality. A nation viewed as bleak and terrifying as contemporary America needs Trump’s authoritarian rule: it’s simple. Donald Trump is a salesman. His product: fear. His fear: Change. And America is changing fast. Its change conjures fear in those rooted in the past; they grow desperate. They look for anyone willing to save their traditional way of life, even if that person might be Donald Trump: a man prone to evade factual evidence in favor of dogmatism, to uphold bigotry over reason, to hide the fact that he lacks any kind of political savvy other than his ability to congregate disgruntled white people, and to sacrifice the liberty of others for a superficial sense of security. Even if your conservatism lies ingrained in stone, I ask you to envision America under a president who governs by fear-mongering and a reality show mentality. Donald Trump is no savior, only a salesman marketing racial and religious persecution under the veil of faux-conservatism. He is a man rooted in the old, right or wrong. But today is not yesterday. The past, regardless of how loud Donald Trump shouts, is in the grave, and if we cannot move forward as a nation, we will join it. 7
American Progression, a Alex Dodenhoff
How our system of Federal Governm
I want you to think of the natural progression children take from when they are nurtured as infants, to when they become young children, then enter tween-hood, adolescence, and eventually adulthood. And now familiarize yourself with the role that a child’s parent or guardian would take throughout this process. Of course when children are infants, the parents must take quite literally 100% of their child’s responsibilities. When they become young children, they still can’t provide for themselves, but they start assuming more responsibilities. When they enter adolescence, they are becoming freer each day. It is finally when they enter adulthood that they are free from the will of their parents, free to build a life of their own and explore the world without the overhanging guidance of their biological superiors. There certainly shouldn’t be anything wrong with this scenario. In fact, it seems silly to examine the most natural and ubiquitous processes of humankind, but let’s look at the alternative, which is much more puzzling. Imagine a child who is born to extremely protective parents, ones who won’t let the child do much of anything he or she wants. And eventually the child rebels, going through a type of “revolution” if you will, and finds some new parents. By comparison, these parents seem pretty cool, even “chill” in younger terms, but these new parents never let the child free—not even when he or she grows older, more mature, more capable, and more willing to live his or her life. This child, you see, is America, having escaped the iron claws of Great Britain’s rule to the façade of freedom created by the US Federal government. If you were shocked to hear how that came together, then clearly you are like most Americans, who would never place the Federal government on the same level of oppression as Britain’s reign. And you are right; it isn’t quite the same, but don’t get ahead of yourself. Let’s take a brief look into the power shifts that America has undergone since its beginning. What you have is a perfectly logical progression halted in its tracks by the Federal government’s inability and unwillingness to just say, “America’s smaller forms of government can take the helm now.” In the beginning, we still had a king—George III—and we were lucky to have a king and parliament. Yes, I said lucky, because, simply put, England put necessary preparations in order, created a withstanding administration base, and began developing infrastructure. Meanwhile, under this king, we didn’t have many freedoms; we didn’t have representation in our law making, the right to say and do as we pleased, or many of the basic freedoms we hold dear today. And, although you won’t like to hear it, those freedoms, for a time, wouldn’t have been useful to create a functional country. In the beginning of any country, company, organization, or any entity, decisions need to be made quickly, without question, and with complete authority. For that reason, we must be thankful we had British overlords, as getting America in order could not have been done with a sprawling divided collection of colonies, but rather under the direction of a encompassing power. You could say the Revolution was a bit of a realization by Americans that Britain’s work was done, and every day they continued to rule, they no longer accelerated American success but halted it. Our answer to this realization and the next step in our progression was America’s Federal government. Over a series of conferences, we conjured the Articles of Confederation, but it introduced a much too weak executive branch, which, as I am highlighting, is essential at the beginning of an ambitious country. We attempted to reshape this 8
a Story of Regression?
ment may have outlasted its purpose
new government, not in the image of the oppressive British monarchy, but instead, on one that represented the people and their true desires. We concocted a new constitution, which would govern over the entirety of the nation—all 2.5 million people, at the time. And this constitution was strong, and we made it stronger with a series of amendments, but by doing so, we didn’t place the power outside of federal hands, but only expanded on that same power. So now if you are under the impression that we should be relying on the same government designed and formulated to govern 2.5 million people to oversee our 318.9 million people, you are either delusional, or, simply put, part of the majority of Americans. At that time we had .008% the number of people that we do now. Today, I ask that we change this. I ask that you reject the idea that one man or woman, the president could ever tell 318.9 million people how to live. Or that one body, Congress could ever tell an entire country what to do and what to avoid doing. Or that one bench, the Supreme Court, could ever interpret laws intended to affect a nation in total. We need to be relying on the smaller levels of government, because, little do we realize, that’s what the Federal Government used to preside over, a very small body of people. In fact, the state government of Nevada currently governs over a population roughly equal to the entire country’s population in the year we established the federal government. California governs a 39 million person population that is 16 times as large as the entire population of the country when it was established.
I don’t just hope I have opened your eyes to a great realization; I hope I’ve infuriated you. I sincerely hope you are verbally yelling, “What are we to do about this?” as you hold this magazine. And, by Jove, I have a soothing answer for you. In three simple words: Let States lead. Have the Federal government step off its high horse and grasp that it doesn’t need to be telling us whom we can and cannot marry, what we can and cannot own, or what we can and cannot use. In fact, the Federal government doesn’t need to be doing anything other than protecting American interests, not creating interests of its own. Americans want what they want, not what the Federal government deems important or worth funding, but what they want to pursue and pour time into. In our country, we have 50 perfectly working governments operating at the State level with one agenda: to please the people who live there. That means South Carolina doesn’t need to care what California does, and can do exactly what it wants with its own state. And if for whatever reason some other foreigner wants to threaten our right to think how we please like so, we will respond as a unified front, proclaiming that although the states’ people can not agree on whom should own guns, what drugs should be available, or even who to let in the country, we will fight and die for our fellow Americans’ right to think as they do. And that is what makes America what it is, not because we force each other to live like one another, but rather that we embrace our right to live as we choose. And that is a beautiful—American—thing.
Liberty PG Politics in 140
John Peters Independent
Ali Lovell Democrat
Immigration: “Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, send the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” - Lady Liberty
Immigration: We need immigration reform to permit legal immigration and citizenship. Calling groups of people rapists and murderers is not the answer.
I e i
State’s rights: Certain issues covered by states, safety issues by federal.
States’ Rights: States’ rights are great until they endanger our basic human rights, such as civil rights legislation, abortion, and access to education.
S g t
Guns: are fun but people are pretty crazy so...
Guns: 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015. None in Hawaii since 2013. Their laws tightly regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms.
G s c
Drugs: Legalize harmless drugs, treat addiction as the disease it is.
Drugs: People in prison due to minor drug possession are using up our tax money. We should tax the regulated sale of decriminalized drugs.
D i f
Tax System: Graduated tax system, higher for rich.
Tax system: Corporations avoid paying taxes, becoming richer while the middle class suffers. The 1% needs to pay fair taxes, so the gap stops growing.
T p i
Healthcare: Catch up to the rest of the modern world.
Healthcare: No one should go broke because they get sick. Insurance companies shouldn’t discriminate based on gender or pre-existing health conditions.
H t F
Welfare: Redistribution of wealth to those who need and deserve it.
Welfare: The TANF grant requires welfare recipients find employment. We should improve this to keep welfare but limit exploitation of the system.
W l p
Equal pay: It’s 2016.
Equal pay: It should not be legal for companies to pay people who work the same amount, efficiency, and time different wages due to gender.
E m w
Gay Marriage: It’s 2016.
Gay Marriage: Our nation has no set religion, and marriage is a secular institution according to the law. #lovewon
G G a
Minimum Wage: You should be able to raise a small family on one minimum wage job.
Minimum Wage: We need a living wage—a minimum wage that Americans can actually live off. Nobody working 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.
M h t
Education: Education is the key to a free society and a free mind.
Education: Education is essential to our country’s development. We must prioritize it in legislation to strengthen our system and improve our future.
E a c
Characters or Less
Alex Dodenhoff Libertarian
Hugh Wood Republican
Immigration: Let all people into US to work & help our economy, but drop backwards benefits (e.g. healthcare) that immigrants get and don’t pay for
Immigration: Immigration is a +. My grndprnts came 2 the USA on a ship (from Argentina) w/nothing..but came thru proper channels--which we must enforce.
States’ Rights: States allowed to improve lives of their people: guns, healthcare, labor, education, etc all state issues. National security by federal
States’ Rights: The GOP position is: a small FedGov is more conducive to freedom. & this couldn’t be more true. The people R better rep. on the state-level.
Guns: Criminalizing guns grows the black market and shrinks the safety of citizens; put the power back with citizens and legalize guns
Guns: Guns are ensurers of liberty, safeguards for our way of life, immunizers agnst tyranny..& are the means by which we protect ourselves & fam.
Drugs: Take power away from despicable criminals by legalizing choice drugs (states decide which ones) to raise money for children’s education
Drugs: The #GOP pos. on drugs < the popular pos. on drugs. #pot is not dangerous--and it is the opinion of many #YRs that it ought be #legalized.
Tax System: Gov’t spends people’s money worse than people do 99% of the time. Keep taxes low letting free market improve lives of all classes & people
Tax System: #TaxReform is a must. Why not implement 3pg. tax code? It COULD be that simple. Lets cut taxes&spending--and subseq. reenergize the economy.
Healthcare: We have best healthcare world due to privatization not fed-led efforts which ruins countries (Canada and France) keep healthcare private
Healthcare: The #GOP position is to encourage competition amongst insurance and healthcare providers -- using the free market sys. to drive costs down.
Welfare: Welfare is hellfare: sends citizens to disaster. Ruins lives wherever used (Denmark, France). Free Market for less poor & more prosperity
Welfare: We MUST take care of disabled&impoverished thru COMPETENTLY administered social programs--b/c we care, not 2 “buy” votes like #Dems often do.
Equal Pay: Women are underpaid because liberal policies make it harder to fire and hire them, deregulate labor and women’s wages will rise
Equal Pay: Wage gap stats R misleading. If corps. could pay women ~25% less--men would be out of jobs! Stats reflect median earnings across the board, not ppl in same job.
Gay Marriage: Let gays marry, let people do as they want. Government has no place in people’s life choices unless they are hurting others.
Gay Marriage: Like many old-school #Dems, (inc. Hillary @ 1 pt.) the GOPers of yesteryear denied same-sex cpls to wed. Future GOPers will not abide by the outdated.
Minimum Wage: Helps no one, rises unemployment. Who is helped when desperate workers have a job & gov’t says “no” to a wage they are happy to work for?
Minimum Wage: If the minimum wage should rise, it will rise naturally and as a result of growing economy and improving jobs climate. After all, IMPOSED “prosperity” is FALSE prosperity.
Education: Private edu better. E.g. Porter-Gaud. Deregulate and de-tax education allowing more Porter G’s to exist for cheaper for more people.
Education: Best left 2 the states: Ex: GovHaley’s mdl: gradually pay-off student loans of high-quality educators if they teach in horribly performing schools. 11
Election 2016 An Op-Ed Piece on the Race for the White House
To be well-informed Americans, it is certainly our duty to understand the landscape of our presidential elections. Everywhere we go, talk about the election floods our ears, whether it be die-hard Bernie fans advocating his every policy, America-Great-Again-ers touting Trump’s platform, or, of course, the large portion of people who throw up their arms and proclaim that none of the candidates deserve their support—“bunch of idiots” they say. But no matter what they say, these “idiots” will be heading our country one day very soon. Times like these make me wonder: if we have so little individual control as to the leaders of our nation, why are we so comfortable with giving them so much power? Why don’t we shift the power closer to our own homes where we can influence that power, and even participate in the governing process? Yes, I’m talking about local government, but beyond that, I’m speaking directly to you as an American. Are you truly willing to keep taking the gamble that your candidate will get elected? You know full well that your will can be overturned by the sprawling population of the US, clocking in above 300 million, so why submit to such tyranny of the masses? This election poses a particularly thorny issue because two of the candidates represent such stark differences. Of course, this election does not simply pit two candidates battling it out for the presidency but rather a clash of prevailing ideologies -- democratic socialism, left center progressivism, country club Republicanism, and warmongering conservatism—the first, democratic socialism being advocated by Bernie Sanders, and the last, warmongering conservatism, represented by Donald Trump. Peering across a list of candidates’ stances on issues has almost never turned up with a “no-match” reading, let alone an “utterly contradictory” reading. These two men don’t agree on anything except that free trade hurts American workers. An election that offered these two as candidates could force moderate voters to have to choose an extremist.
rw e t t a m ’t n s e o d It we’ll still be
If when asked to decide between these two candidates your answer is, “Sorry I’m AmeriVegan, I’ll take a separate menu, please,” you’re certainly not alone. However, it is certainly easy to just accept the seemingly patriotic resolution, “that’s just democracy: the majority picks the candidate and the rest go along with it.” And yes, you are absolutely correct in saying that if you are going to sustain a just democracy you should most certainly follow that basic principle—majority rules. So whoever might win this theoretical election, Bernie or Trump, could win by one percent or possibly even lose the popular votes and win the Electoral College. Where do the losing voters turn—Mexico? Canada? I truly wish I was making an outlandish joke, but countless people have claimed they’ll be “packing their bags” if one of these men leads the country. Let me make this perfectly clear: people are literally threatening to leave the country that they have inhabited for their entire lives because their fellow Americans elect one of these two. The issue is, of course, their fellow Americans have their own interests in mind. That’s human nature. It just so happens that their self interest, may that be democratic socialism or a towering wall between our country and another, could quite literally send thousands fleeing from our country—or at very least living four years in a land they believe has betrayed them. If you do not see a problem with this, you, sir or ma’am, are a gambler. You may be so confident that your candidate will win that you are willing to take the risk in hopes that he will, and therefore see no reason to perhaps minimize the influence these men could have over our country. After all, your candidate is leading, not the other—too much power is perfectly fine in the correct hands, right? So what do we change? Wouldn’t it solve everything if we found a candidate that we all agreed with? That way, no one would flee the country but rejoice under our new supreme leader for eight years of glee. No. That’s not the answer, because we are humans, and we disagree, and as Americans, we should, because that is how we get ahead, not by forcing each other to live the same way but embracing our right to live as we wish. So if we want to live in a country where people are not threatening to pack off and leave because of the will of the majority but rather are incredibly happy with their local condition, we must redistribute the power. Down from federal, to the states, and, if we are truly going to commit, even beyond that to the cities. That way, at least likeminded communities might agree. Otherwise, everyone again is faced with living under the lesser of two evils vowing to build a stronger America—which is no America at all.
r who wins, e torn.
Bend or Break: How will the wearable fitness bands of today hold up against the smartwatches of tomorrow?
Six thousand, three hundred and eighty steps. Your goal is eight thousand. Looks like it’s time for a walk. You are averaging 162 steps per minute. Your goal is 160 steps per minute. Keep it up! Bzzz. Bzzz. It has been forty-five minutes since you were last active. Time to get up and do something!
For people with wearable fitness trackers, such as Fitbit or Jawbone, hearing this sort of message isn’t out of the ordinary. But for everyone else, this robotic cheerleading might sound a bit weird, and possibly useless. After all, what are we supposed to do with a suggestion? It’s not like your Fitbit or Jawbone can do the work for you. And therein lies the problem. Many people just don’t see the point of spending around a hundred dollars on a contraption that is essentially a motivator. And yet, the market for wearable fitness trackers is booming. As of January 2015, one in ten adults in the U.S. owns a fitness tracker. But with smartwatches such as the Apple Watch and Motorola’s Moto 360 on the rise, will products such as Fitbit and Jawbone continue to prevail? Or will they sink into oblivion like the original iPod or Blackberry? Despite the techological leaps and bounds made by companies that produce fitness bands, it is the original, fundamental purpose of fitness bands that most attracts people: the step-counter. Pedometers have been around for for years, but they never really caught fire until companies such as Fitbit, Nike, and others began to integrate the step-counting technology of the clunky, impractical, and somewhat embarrassing clip-on device into the first wearable fitness bands. Suddenly, with the help of a sleek new design and some advertising, step-counters became a source of fascination and desire. They tapped into two of humans’ most powerful attributes: our thirst for knowledge and our natural competitive edge. The prospect of knowing how many steps you take was a compelling one, and, combined with the chance to compete with friends and family to get the highest number of steps each day, people became enamored with early wearable fitness bands. But with growing demand comes the pressure of improving the product, and that’s what producers of the top wearable fitness bands have done. They’ve added new features, introduced a slimmer, sleeker design, and, for a while, consumers’ money just kept rolling in. But along came Apple Watches, and the game changed. Statistics show that the majority of Fitbit owners are young, well off, and active--ironically, those who would reap the fewest benefits from the bands. They “held the cards” in the wearable fitness trackers market; however, with the power to create comes the power to destroy. It was the evolution of wearable technology, epitomized by the Apple Watch, that ultimately tipped the power scale in the wearable technology department. Smartwatches wrapped everything that the average fitness band could do into a sleeker, slimmer, more elegant package and added technology previously confined to smartphones, and, despite the steep price, smartwatches are proving to be impossible resist for those who can afford it. Gradually, the wearable fitness tracker market is falling victim to the very thing that led to its ascension: people’s desire for the best, the fanciest, the most upto-date products on the market. The real allure of fitness bands was the step-counter, not the faulty heart rate monitor. But with smartwatches such as the Apple Watch, you can get everything Fitbit, Jawbone, and countless others could offer plus so much more. So the question remains: will wearable fitness bands overcome the rapidly growing technological juggernaut of smartwatches? The producers of wearable fitness bands will continue to improve the technology and features of their products, and strive for the thing that consumers want most of all. But so will the producers of the smartwatch. In the end, only we, the consumers, can decide the winner of the contest; only we can decide which accessory becomes obsolete and which skyrockets to the top of the market. So what is the real answer to the question? Only time will tell. 14
Art by Leslie Wade
FROM MATH CLASS TO WORLD CLASS THIS SUMMER, WE WILL WITNESS OUR PEERS COMPETING ON THE SPORT WORLD’S GREATEST STAGE—THE OLYMPICS
BEEP…BEEP…BEEP!!! Groaning, you roll out of bed and slam the OFF button on your alarm. You sleepily drag yourself to your desk, wondering once again why school makes you wake up at 6:30—the epicenter of the teenage sleep cycle. Checking your calendar, you suddenly remember that you have a math test first period (as if your teachers want you to suffer). At least every teenager has to suffer through the never-ending cycle of tests and assignments known as high school… BEEP…BEEP…BEEP!!! Groaning, 17-year-old Bailie Key rolls out of bed and slams the OFF button on her alarm. The Olympic-hopeful gymnast sleepily drags herself to her night desk, wondering if her coaches will ever let her sleep later than 6:30—the epicenter of the teenage sleep cycle. Checking her schedule, she woozily stares at the words “7:30—Gym Practice.” Rubbing her sore muscles, she wonders what life would be had she not taken the course she chose when she was only 3 years old. When I was younger, I used to watch the Olympics and cheer on these American demigods with a near worshiplike fervor. To me, these Olympians were hardly human, competing on the world’s greatest stage, and I longed to walk their paths. One night, I was watching gymnast Shawn Johnson go through her routine in the 2008 Olympics when the TV showed her background information. When I saw that she was only 4’9”, all 4’10” of me jumped up with joy. I was taller than the great Olympian.
As the Rio Olympics approach, I have begun to realize that many of these world class athletes would be attending high school just like us right now had they chosen another path. While we put on red PorterGaud polos and cram for that Wordly Wise quiz or test in Bio, 17-year-old Michael Andrew dons his black Speedo jammer as he prepares for the 2016 swimming Olympic trials. We have now reached our first Olympics where some of the athletes on the TV screen are the same age or even younger than you and me. This fact both highlights the accomplishments of these kids and makes me wonder about my own life accomplishments. If life were defined by our athletic achievements, then only 0.0002% of the world’s population would be accomplished at the end of their lives (13,700 professional athletes to 7.399 billion people). It is tough to admit defeat to my Olympic dreams (although rumor has it, plenty of sports have Olympians in their 30s), but then again, had I chosen to take Olympic path (even if I had an ounce of the athletic skill of an Olympian), I would have been denied the end of my childhood and a normal teenage life. Even for the Olympians like Missy Franklin (21-year-old record-holding swimmer) who managed to juggle much of a normal high school routine, “normal life” as a high schooler has meant something much different to them than it does for us. Although we are taking classes in high school while other teenagers win gold medals, it does not mean that we are slacking, unathletic underachievers; we may yet demonstrate our quality on various world stages, whether on the athletic field or business conference room. As we watch the Summer Olympics this August, we can appreciate the accomplishments of our fellow “high schoolers” and observe the proof that dreams can be pursued and realized with a high level of commitment and belief in yourself.
PRIMAL How our attraction to sports teams feeds into our atavistic needs Austin Varner The clock hits triple zeros as the ball soars... wide left. Your beloved team battled, tooth and nail, through the most challenging and nerve-wracking game of the season—and lost. You can hardly breathe. Near tears, you feel like life is no longer worth living. Your weekend is ruined. And perhaps your next three months. If you surf channels on a Sunday or Saturday afternoon, you will undoubtedly see a stadium filled with fans sporting their team’s colors, be it in bold and specific colored jerseys or painted from head to toe. The entire game appears swamped in a sea of color and similar attire. This scene of apparent conformity, however, serves a purpose: sports fans need to feel like part of a community. This sense of belonging is likely the reason that fans say “we” when referring to their favorite team. Most avid fans know the fight songs by heart and hum them in elevators at work. They wear the gear on casual Fridays and call the players by their first names. They do all of this in an attempt to be part of a group united under a strong sense of pride and love for their team. Aside from the sense of community, another fundamental reason that people care how “their team” performs is that emotionally charged competition serves as a source of entertainment. Fans find it fun to watch their favorite team “do battle” on the field or court. In fact, the emotional commitment alone can add to the entertaining atmosphere. I have met one fan so committed that he decided to wear the same underpants for every game without washing them. Another example of a superstitious fan is my uncle who sits with his cousin at every Clemson football game because Clemson has a win streak going back to 2011 when they sit with each other. When time, money, and stress characterize every game, fans can’t help but rejoice when their team wins. Everyone enjoys happiness, and as many fans will attest, “your” team’s victory means utter, blissful celebration. How could it not? Many fans follow their team’s every move to the point that they feel as though they are players themselves. This sentiment is difficult for non-fans to understand, but from a fan’s perspective, it feels as if they are a vital part of the team’s success and/or failure. Based upon their team’s performance, fans gain feelings of self-worth as well as validation. The stakes, and thus the entertainment value, only increase when an individual can play a role in fighting alongside his or her team. In fact, the human inclination to fight is one of the key reasons why many fans form such a bond with their teams. After all, Gladiator fights and constant, intense warfare once was a common form of entertainment. However, because both of those “sports” have been deemed as inhumane, modern contact sports such as football, boxing, and hockey have satisfied our ingrained human bloodlust. Viewing contact sports now for many substitutes for participating in warfare. The players dress in opposing uniforms and then “battle it out” on the field. Sports lingo often contains militaristic terms and nods to human aggression, for example, The Legion of Boom, The Steel Curtain. The Sunday dress code for every true Raiders fan. The contest on the field creates a strong sense of community pride, albeit among those decidedly for your team. In terms of warfare, sports represent the notion of my-tribe-versus-your-tribe, in which the winner receives “bragging rights” and the ability to assert superiority over the losers. Beyond that, there is no tangible gain for the fan in rooting for a specific team, but in the heat of the moment, in the midst of a close contest, it feels as if everything is on the line, including your team’s “life,” similar to the life of a combatant during tribal warfare. Sports and our favorite teams capture and consume most fans. They can dictate who your friends and enemies are during a game. They also influence people’s moods for great lengths of time, depending on whether their team won or lost in the past few days. Though it is undeniably fun to watch your team play and feel a sense of belonging, fans’ extreme devotion poses the question: what is the truly gained or lost when your favorite team wins or losses? Many diehard fans have no answer to this question. So next time you’re watching your favorite team, ask yourself why “it” matters. 18
“...But by the Content of Our Character”
Sophomore Chris Nelson illustrates just how to change the world In the past few years, we have witnessed many stories in the media in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement, a movement inspired by tragedies such as the Walter Scott case and the Mother Emmanuel AME shooting, both tragedies that transpired here in Charleston. The movement’s objective is to expose and call attention to the flaws in society that lead to discrimination against blacks in America. Although it’s easy to point out the insignificant cultural differences among various groups of people such as in sports, music, and fashion, many may be unaware of the deeper-rooted struggles for black people and the everyday differences we face because of ingrained stereotypes or social profiles that have been perpetuated over time. As an African American, I, for example, often feel that a certain image is projected on me as an individual because of my heritage and skin color. I may be assumed a criminal, a thief, or drug dealer because of where I come from or by the color of my skin. I may be frisked by a cop or assumed to be less intelligent or knowledgeable because of a presumed inferior quality of the educational system from my area, an area of scarce wealth, where the families have less opportunity. This deficiency of opportunity takes its toll on the community—and I think far more than some people realize. It is responsible for the area being riddled with tension, fear and even violence. There is little hope to make it out of a situation endured by generations of families faced with unequal opportunity and disadvantages, which captivate a despair that then contributes to an endless cycle that produces outliers so rare that those in similar situations think that it’s impossible to escape like the celebrities and entrepreneurs they respect. However, it is not strong black celebrities who have fought to earn what they have, like many others, that are glorified in the media and news. Rather, it’s celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, those born lucky. Popular media and the news outlets do not often tell the stories of other African Americans fortunate enough to beat the factors of their environment, like Kendrick Lamar, who lived their whole lives avoiding the system of gang violence and imprisonment, or how they worked and focused to make it out of ghettos like Compton, what for many is an inescapable trap. Although people understand some of these differences, many are not aware of the depth of this reality or the extent to which people of admirable character are pressured into sometimes desperate decisions because of the difficult predicaments of their lives, and hence they may instead judge these same people unfairly. Being black at a largely white school like Porter-Gaud can feel like being left out of an inside joke that everybody else is aware of. Discrimination in the present day is not blatant or even intentional. Rather, it may be a product of not being familiar with the culture of black people. The larger percentage of the Porter-Gaud population is one that lives life almost secluded from black people. It’s easy to see that the school is a majority of white students and teachers, with minority students totaling only a few per grade. For the most part, the only other black people on campus work in the Facilities Department or on the kitchen staff, those with limited regular contact with the student body. Outside of school and off campus, some of our students can regularly shop at expensive stores or go on vacations around the world or spend much of their time in the world online— seemingly typical of most teens—and yet a world accessed by expensive devices and software that a lot of teens don’t have. And many here go home to their larger-than-average houses in wealthy or upper middle class predominantly white neighborhoods. However, I go home to a completely different world. Coincidentally, many of these students “left out of the joke” shine on the athletic fields. At many schools this would be enough for everyone not only to notice you, but also to follow you and cheer you on. At many public schools, for example, student life is still centered on the jocks and the athletes, and this respect and high regard translates no matter what race the athlete is, making discrimination less likely because talent is talent whether in the form of white skin, tan skin, or dark skin. 20
It may not be possible to erase all prejudice in the world, but we can control how our school community reacts to it and how we interact. Back in September, when we had the assembly that presented Traces of the Trade, a documentary film exploring the lingering effects of slavery, people took it differently. Some saw the assembly as pointless. The slave trade ended hundreds of years ago. No one attending here owned any slaves. So why should they feel guilty? However, the point of the assembly was not to make anyone feel guilty, but, rather, to showcase the fact that there is still today a difference in privilege based on, and grown from, the privilege of the past in just the same way that the descendants of slaves living now, even generations removed, are still held back because they lack much of what many others have. In one scene in the film, a group of white people sit and visit at a dinner table. Over the course of eating, they come to admit how they each attended Ivy League schools—Yale, Princeton and Harvard—like their parents before them, colleges that welcomed them as legacies and those indirectly paid for with inherited wealth linked to the slave trade generations back. They realize that they were, and still are, fortunate, born lucky. They start to understand that they have had the opportunity and possibility to make it through life with little financial worries or racial tensions. These same people sitting at the table realize their similar degrees of privilege. It’s a privilege most blacks do not have. No, you cannot simply give this same privilege to the many black Americans living in low-income neighborhoods or areas of poverty. What you can do, though, to change our culture for the better—the culture of the school, of the state, of the country, and beyond—is huge: Be more inclusive. Make new friends. Break down old barriers and the false assumptions that have held us all back. Recognize the real differences between us. And that will make a difference.
Against the Grain
PG Students who break the mold with their unique talents Malone Vingi At first glance, the Porter-Gaud student body appears to be a massive group of stereotypical high school students terrified of standing out and breaking away from the uniformity that characterizes many high schools. We seem to have hundreds of students fitting perfectly into the mold of a teenage boy or girl, playing football or volleyball, running track, essentially doing anything and everything that you would expect them to do. In fact, it’s quite easy to overlook the incredible students we have who have strayed from conformity and have taken up hobbies and sports that many of their contemporaries wouldn’t have ever considered. These students that chose the path less followed are exactly what makes Porter-Gaud a wonderful campus to learn on and provide our student body with the diversity and eccentricities that it needs to be special. Here’s a closer look at some of the interesting students who have adopted activities that are remarkably rare amongst our student body. Take, Luc Handfield, for example, a freshman at PG, and a phenomenal cellist, who is extremely passionate about music and has taken up several different instruments, including the guitar, the ukulele, and the electric bass, which he plays for the school jazz band. Luke shared with us his passion for the cello: “I have played the cello for seven years. Every Monday I attend Honors Orchestra at the School of the Arts. We have two concerts every year; one of which involves the band. I often have solo performances as well. I was drawn to the cello because the sound was deeper than a violin (which I was interested in at the time). I decided to play this instrument because music was something that I felt passionate about. I currently play golf for Porter, and I ran track last year, and although these sports have been fun, music has always been more appealing to me because I have a natural talent in hearing the notes (if they are on tune). My dad once told me about a book he read that discussed a topic that affected me and changed my perspective on what a lot of what people call ‘natural talent.’ The book said that you can have natural talent in something but not be a perfectionist at it. In order to perfect what you do, you must put 10,000 hours into it. After hearing this, I have been working towards my goal of putting 10,000 hours into the cello. Everyday I practice 40 minutes and play my scales. This way, I can eventually achieve my goal.” Another unique Porter-Gaud student is junior Michael Psenka, an accomplished concert pianist who has consistently wowed us with his performances during Monday Morning Meetings. Michael‘s devotion to his art is palatable:
“I’ve been playing piano pretty much all of my life. My dad and grandfather introduced me to the piano at around 3, and I started taking lessons at 5. I would do little performances with the other students as well as talent shows through elementary school, which got me recognition from others and helped me realize that I had talent for the piano. I also started doing Achievement Day in elementary school, which is an annual piano competition for pretty much all levels of students in grade school. Throughout elementary school, I would say that I was distinguishably good, but not amazing. In 5th grade, a teacher strongly recommended School of the Arts, so I eventually decided to go there for middle school. My first year at School of Arts was when I really started improving rapidly and becoming the pianist that you hear today. Each year in SOA, they have two concerts: one in the fall, and one in the spring. The concerts were split by grades, so in the fall, there would be 2 concerts for middle school: one for 6th and 7th grade, and one for 8th grade. The joint 6th and 7th grade concert comes up for fall, and it’s the first concert I have with the school. The concert is ordered from least technically difficult to most technically difficult for each grade, so it went from least to most difficult for 6th graders, then least to most for 7th graders. I was ordered to play last for 6th graders, so that made me feel really confident (the piece I was playing was not that difficult at all, nor was it way more difficult that the piece placed second to last for 6th grade). The concert goes through, I play my piece, and I’m feeling confident as the 7th graders are playing pieces that I deem easier than mine. The concert goes on, then finally the last performer of the 7th grade concert plays Chopin’s Etude op. 10 no. 12 (Revolutionary Etude), which is very flashy and impressive. All I feel when I heard him play was jealousy. I didn’t care that he was older or if he spent more time practicing the piece or anything; he simply played better than I had, and I couldn’t live with that. In our class time for piano in SOA, we practice on these digital pianos that have pre-recorded pieces. One of those pieces was the Revolutionary Etude. I played the recording slowly, listened, found the note, played it, stopped, then repeated for the first two notes, then the next three, and so on and so forth over and over again until I could play that first run as fast as he could. This grinding out of that run started my passion for playing the piano, and when I started really spending a ton of time on the instrument, and I went from spending some time each day practicing to staying up at night drilling a single part over and over again until I finally had it consistently right. I can’t really put a finger on what this drive really was, but it forced me into thinking I was never good enough, and if I ever slacked off, someone was still going, getting even better than me. I then started to play much harder pieces, and I got the sheet music for the Revolutionary Etude and finished it before the end of 6th grade. From then on through middle school, I just started going for the hardest possible piece I could play. Then, once I finished that, I found the next hardest piece I could play. This chain went on and on through middle school, and I finally ended on playing “Hungarian Rhapsody” no. 2 in the 8th grade spring concert. I’ve performed in Piccolo Spoleto a few times, I’ve done Achievement Day numerous times, and I’ve attended many state-wide competitions in middle school. I applied for the National Honors Performance Series to play at Carnegie Hall this year and got runner-up for the pianist, but other than that, I don’t really do any competition anymore.
“Something I find funny is how I’m pretty sure I established a pretty bad reputation for myself in middle school to the high schoolers in SOA. In middle school, I started playing a lot of little sections of different really hard pieces I liked. I was playing a section of Rachmaninoff ’s Prelude op. 23 no. 5 out loud, and one of the high schoolers heard me playing and said that I was playing the piece he was learning. He also asked if I was the kid who was playing all of the high schooler’s pieces, which I was unaware of until then, but I then realized that all of the snippets I had been playing were from pieces the high schoolers were playing. He then said something along the lines of ‘haven’t you done enough already?’, and from then on I was pretty sure I wasn’t too well received among the high schoolers. “I played football in freshman year, and I’ve been pole vaulting since freshman year. Music is more appealing to me than athletics because of how much depth you can find in it. Take literature for example. When discussing texts in English class, there’s always so much information you can get out of not only the literal text, but the general ideas it implies, the literary devices employed, etc. Piano, and really any art form, is the same way. There’s so much of this abstract information in music that you simply can’t get elsewhere. When playing/learning a piece, you get to explore everything the composer was expressing through the piece, then share it with an audience in your own interpretation. In my view, that’s the role of a pianist: to not only bring out the expression of the piece and the composer, but to add your own expression and interpretation and bring out something in the piece the audience has never heard of before. Otherwise, what’s the point of multiple pianists playing the same piece? Throughout middle school, I thought that the best pianist was the one that played the most technically difficult pieces, the ones that had the fastest runs, biggest chords, etc. However, it wasn’t until later in high school that I realized the depth in piano and how a better pianist doesn’t just play the most notes in the least amount of time, but is able to express the piece and really portray the emotion of the piece. I also realized that the amount that a composer actually puts into a piece is phenomenal, and every little phrasing, melody, etc. contributes to some main idea of the piece, meaning that the best piece isn’t necessarily the most challenging piece. I also realized the correlation that piano (and really any art form) has with literature in how much you can really get out of a text, what the author tries to convey, etc. In general, I realized the depth of these pieces and the massive amount of information, emotion, and thought that goes into not only composing a piece, but performing it as well.” In addition to musical talent, many of our students separate themselves from the crowd through their interesting athletic endeavors. Derrick Main, a junior who was an integral part of the Cyclones’ inaugural bowling team this year, shared his experiences on the school’s newest team: “Our final squad went to the state championships and did very well, especially for a first year team. We were a pretty tight group; we had different handshakes for each person on the team for when we got strikes. I hung up my basketball shoes for a bowling ball because I figured I would try out a new sport, and what’s better than free bowling for an hour and a half after school two days a week; plus bowling is so relaxed compared to other sports. I’ve bowled since I was about five years old, but it wasn’t until this year that I really focused and tried to fine-tune my game. Some people don’t consider bowling a sport, but I remember Oliver, a fellow bowler, would always say, ‘my hands are sweating; I swear it’s a sport! “It’s great being able to really measure how good you are and how far you’ve come over the course of the season by looking at your own scores. And no one else affects how you do. There is no one-on-one aspect; it’s you versus yourself, which is something that really makes bowling special compared to other sports. My being on the bowling team always surprises people as it isn’t very mainstream. One time a few of us were bowling after school, and a group of Wando girls came up and jokingly asked, ‘Are y’all on the bowling team or something?’ to try and start a conversation, and every single one of us, Oliver, Parker, Joe, and I looked them straight in the eyes and said, ‘Yes, yes we are...’ The looks on their faces were priceless. They’d never even heard of a high school bowling team. Playing a sport that is so off-the-grid is something that not many people can say they have done, which is what separates bowling from other sports for me. Joining the bowling team has taught me to always look for something new to do. If something doesn’t work out, you might as well try something else out because you never know what might happen.” Another PG athlete who has taken an uncommon path is junior Madison Coleman, the only female member of the newly founded Cyclones shooting team. Being the only girl on a team like the shooting team taught her a lot
throughout this season and is an experience that many women cannot say that they have had. She recounted some of her experiences for the magazine: “The shooting team has twelve competitors, and there is one coach for every three shooters. We started off the season with multiple Saturday practices at Legare Farms. After shooting in the competition for state, we came in second, and we were the top-scoring first-year team. Being the only girl on the team definitely challenged me and provided a different perspective of the year-team. The season was a lot of fun, and everyone on the team is super excited for next year about shooting in more competitions! “In ninth and tenth grade, I was on the tennis team. While I loved being able to play tennis with my friends and advance in the sport, I was not a very skilled tennis player. The shooting team gives me the opportunity to do something that I love, to truly improve my scores and technique and to legitimately compete for my team. This season was a lot of fun. I got a lot more experience and practice out of it, and it introduced me to some younger students and allowed me to get to know a lot of people better than I did before.” Another fine arts extraordinaire within our student body is junior Hayley Adams. Many of us are familiar with Hayley’s phenomenal spinning poi routines as she too has dazzled us with her overwhelming talent during a few Monday Morning Meetings. Hayley relayed some stories about her spinning poi: “I saw spinning poi for the first time at PG, when Lillian Saul (‘13) spun her pair of poi at the Founder’s Day Concert when I was in eighth grade. At that time, I was just getting good at my devilsticks, and since I have a flair for unusual hobbies, naturally, I wanted to start spinning (a friend of my father’s who was present at the concert actually placed a small bet that I would want to do it; she clearly won). I got my first pair of poi for Christmas that year, and after trying them one time, I put them down for two or three months in frustration and pain because I had turned my calves and thighs black and blue from hitting myself too many times! Then I met Clara Sutin, who was in 6th grade at the time, and she and I began practicing together in Shady Acres. In high school, I got to talk to Lillian, and we all became friends; then for the Spring Concert of my freshman year, I got to do a spinning poi show with her before she graduated. Now, Clara and I have formed a little poi “group” called Astro Borealis, and we do shows at various PG events featuring music. I perform monthly at the Bridge Event at Charleston Baptist Church (CBC). I’ve performed to numerous songs, mainly Christian pop songs, but there have been a few Disney exceptions. I’ve spun in two countries, the USA and the Dominican Republic, where I got to spin to “Let It Go” from Frozen in Spanish! One of the kinks in my spinning poi routines that I’m working on is spacial awareness. In the CBC youth room, the ceiling is very low and the tables are very close together. I had to kneel down to do overhead tricks, and a group of boys had to duck when I did a turn! For a fundraiser for a mission trip, a similar experience happened when I almost hit an older woman in the front row. Yikes! I missed her head, luckily, but she thought that was the coolest part of the whole fundraiser. I find poi appealing because it’s a great form of exercise that increases flexibility in my wrists and it’s astonishing to anyone who watches. Poi has helped me immensely with my stage fright because once I get lost in the music, then I can just jam out! If I hit myself during a show, odds are that people won’t even notice and they still think it’s amazing!” Finally, we have freshman Eleanor Lee, who has adopted knitting as a hobby. Obviously, knitting is a unique activity for a teenage girl these days, but Eleanor is absolutely enamored with the endeavor, often crafting multicolored and highly complex socks and hats on our close-knit campus. These six students are exemplary of the unique diversity that makes Porter-Gaud special. As high school students, we are all well aware of how challenging it is to break away from the norm and truly be different, and it is because of this knowledge that we should applaud these six students and the other non-conformists among us for their willingness to go against the grain and truly be themselves. We should also attempt to follow suit and expand upon the non-conformity that has begun to develop here at PG because our school and student body truly has no limits if we each express ourselves uniquely just as these six have done.
Clubbed to Death
A “Where are They Now?” of PG’s clubs, old and new Will Limehouse
Every fall, at least a dozen students armed with a PowerPoint slide, a bag of candy, and a signup sheet set out to start a Porter-Gaud club. Clubs in the past have included a colorful array, among them: the Bojangles Club (the ultimate “group of friends who don’t need to be school sanctioned” club), The Wrestling Club, The Really Great Books Club, The Goodwill Society Club (from what I gathered from an early 2000s yearbook; this club was only one person), The Scuba Club, The Reggae Club, and many more. The club founders typically based each on their own interests, which may sometimes be a little esoteric for our small student body. The goal of a club anywhere is primarily to meet people with similar interests as yourself, and to partake in your common hobby together. At Porter-Gaud, however, these clubs often fizzle out by the second semester because of lack of interest from the students, or in some cases the club founders themselves, or because of the sheer busyness we all experience. Some clubs, though, turn naturally into a group of friends who didn’t need to start a school club in the first place. How many of these clubs are still meeting regularly, how many have died out completely, and how many are flying under the radar to everyone except their core members? Art by Leslie Wade
Outdoors Club (Fall 2013?-) The Outdoors Club meets once or twice each semester to either go rock climbing, kayaking, or camping. Its membership is somewhat fluid, but they usually see a good turnout for activities from the junior class. Young Entrepreneurs Club (Fall 2013-) The Young Entrepreneurs Club (YEC) meets a few times each semester to discuss entrepreneurship or listen to a guest speaker knowledgeable in the field of business. While the club has made some money, sadly it has stayed in the red thanks to a failed endeavor to sell t-shirts, (approximately 20 of which still remain in Mrs. Stock’s room). YEC stays alive. though, thanks to the large amount of students interested in business (and eating pizza) at PG. Soccer Club (Fall 2014-) The Soccer Club organized multiple soccer tournaments as well as an Xbox 360 FIFA tournament. They are currently on a hiatus because they lost their classroom privileges due to club members making too much noise (and evidently playing video games in total silence isn’t as exciting). Film Club (Fall 2015- Fall 2015) The Film Club had a fair premiere with a few preliminary meetings, but then it faded to black as many clubs have when, according to one of the club’s founders, “something fell through, and then everyone just kind of forgot.” Comedy Club (August 2015 – the end of the 2015 club fair) When a founding member of the club was asked about its current status, he made a strange face and shrugged, “Someone lost the email list… well, I lost the email list.” Debate Club (Fall 2015-) The Debate Club planned on meeting every Thursday for first semester. Despite not doing any of that, the club plans to meet at least twice that much next year. Reggae Club (2003) According to the vague description in the 2003 Polygon, the Reggae Club’s purpose was to go to reggae concerts in the Charleston area. Whether they actually went to concerts is unclear. However, they were organized enough to have 13 students pose for a picture, which is impressive considering the specificity of the club. Bojangles Club (2003) The Bojangles Club might bear the loosest definition of the word “club” to have gone through the school. It was essentially a group of students who went to Bojangles on Fridays. So, if you and more than one other person frequent a restaurant, you are well on your way to having a Porter-Gaud club more successful than most.
The Top Ten Essential Albums You Should’ve Already Heard: (So people don’t think you’re a fool) Cade Callen, Guest Contributor I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news that one of the greatest rock icons the world had ever seen passed away. At my desk, still half asleep, during first period when I opened my laptop to an un-refreshed Twitter feed where I spotted a single ominous tweet: “R.I.P. David Bowie :(” I was puzzled. “It must be a hoax,” I thought as I waited for the feed to reload, but what followed was a mournful train of icons expressing their grief in 140-character elegies with links to his popular songs. It was true. David Bowie, age 69, was dead. Cancer. I turned to the person sitting next to me and told him the news. “Who is that?” he asked. I gave him a puzzled look and replied, “What do you mean who is that?” And he uttered the words again, “Who is David Bowie?” A second shock—I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, now from another classmate who reacted the same way. Was it true? No one in that classroom knew who David Bowie was? These people never heard anything off of Hunky Dory? Had they never even heard the name “Ziggy Stardust?” Is it possible that the “Man Who Fell Earth” didn’t? What else had they never heard? This may seem like a trivial matter and, of course, not everyone has the time to go and search for great music of the past, but Porter-Gaud is an institution dedicated to enlightening and educating, and since we don’t have a Music Discussion 101 class listed in the P-G course guide, I decided to narrow it down to a list of ten albums that everyone just needs to know for reference sake, and if you don’t have time to go and listen to ten albums in their entirety, I included selections from each album that are essential to know and function as somewhat of an album synopsis. Know that these are in no particular order; they’re all incredible albums for their own incredible reasons. You’re welcome.
The Beatles – Rubber Soul
You’ve heard the band but probably not this album. Why this Beatles album and not the go-to Sgt. Pepper’s or Abbey Road? Because Rubber Soul marks the beginning of the fab four that made those classic albums that revolutionized modern music. While the band’s earlier songs are great in their own right, they were mostly directed towards a teenaged audience, thus prompting the members (and, no doubt, their record producers) to write more conventionally popular sounding music. In the spring of 1964, John Lennon purchased the album Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, an album that would impact the Beatles in a profound sense and drive them to write songs about love rather than “girls” and about the problems of men rather than that of boys. Rubber Soul stands as the greatest mile-stone in The Beatles’ career, for the band then developed into the collective musical sensation whose lyrics, instrumentals, and recording style not only changed music, but also the entire world. The Essentials: “Girl,” “Norwegian Wood,” “Nowhere Man.”
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
Rolling Stone critics recently deemed The Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band the greatest popular musical composition of all time. I chuckled and thought to myself, “Well, these fools must have never listened to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.” This album is not only revolutionary in its innovative yet uniquely simplistic production style, but also in its lyrical composition—representative of a by-product in the perfect combination of “intellectual depth” and “commercial appeal.” From Gilmour’s enticing guitar riffs to Water’s commercially contemplative lyrics, this album is deserving of the utmost praise and critical acclaim. The Essentials: “Time,” “Breathe,” “Us and Them”
The Strokes – Is This It
Who knew Rock n’ Roll would be saved by a group of rich New York Boarding school kids? While their relative novelty to the music scence may invite sckeptism at their placement on this list, The Strokes are undoubtedly one of the most important bands in musical history. They created the warm, hazy, modern day garage rock sound accompanied by upbeat guitars and a characteristic baritone croon that has further been adopted by many of the popular bands that we hear on the radio today i.e. (The Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys etc.). This album also holds musical significance because it is representative of Rock n’ Roll’s unfolding legacy and what it has lead up to now. The Essentials: “Someday,” “Last Nite,” “Is This It”
The Doors – The Doors
The Door’s Front man, Jim Morrison, was our parents’ equivalent to Kanye West. He was over-the-top, outlandish, arrogant, but undeniably a pop icon that oozed an unparalleled amount of talent in his artistry. The Doors not only possessed poetic lyrics and captivating sound, but also successfully captured the emotion and energy of the neo-romantic era of the 1960’s (without even having a bass player!) The Doors maybe gone but they are certainly not forgotten. The Essentials: “Break on Through,” “Light My Fire,” “The End”
Nirvana – Nevermind
Nevermind: an album slated as the epitome of grunge rock, an album that deemed Kurt Cobain the Spokesman of an entire generation, and an album that transfigured a cultural evolution with astounding haste and influence that arguably gave birth to the intellectual subconscious of the 1990s. The sound of the power-chord guitar progressions and Kurt Cobain’s raspy voice echoed songs dealing with existential meaninglessness, emotional fluctuation, and dealt with the prevailing problem of rape-culture that characterized punk music. This album is more than just a musical composition; it established an emotional outlet and gave a voice to the depressive angst-filled American counterculture of the 1990’s. The Essentials: “Lithium,” “Come as You Are,” “Smells Like Teen” Spirit
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
If you meet someone and they say that they “don’t like the Red Hot Chili Peppers,” with the exception of your grandparents, I can guarantee you that that particular person is either sick, troubled, or just flat out sucks. After a six-year hiatus from the band, the RHCP guitarist John Fruciante regrouped with his beloved peppers: Flea the renowned bassist and Anthony Kiedis the charismatic vocalist to make RHCP’s magnum opus: Californication. This album marks the Pepper’s musical transition from their earlier punk front to a more chill alternative collective responsible for making the music that you know you can play in the car without having anyone complain about it. Furciante’s laid back yet sporadic guitar playing and Kiedis’s soothing vocals truly mix into a perfect fruition on Californication. The Essentials: “Scar Tissue,” “Californication,” “Otherside”
Led Zeppelin – Mothership
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Need I say more? The Essentials: “Black Dog,” “Stairway to Heaven,” “Ramble On”
David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
Explosive, Energetic, Out of this world, phenomenal, revolutionary, a creative endeavor that in one way or another impacted the whole world in the way it views the power of individual character. These adjectives can only be describing one piece of music: David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust. Beautiful in its melodies, breathe taking in it’s lyrics, and original in being one of the first and most impressive concept albums that tells the tale of a fictional rock star/alter ego named Ziggy Stardust who is a messenger for extra-terrestrial beings. An Einstein in the realm of music, a man forced to create a world of his own due to the opposing oppressive powers of the world that sit before him. He was a true artist by all means of the definition. The world will truly never see a man so talented and creative as he was ever again. Rest in Peace David Bowie. The Essentials: “Starman,” “Five Years,” “Rock-n-Roll Suicide”
Jimi Hendrix – Axis: Bold as Love
No one can argue that there was a better guitarist to have ever lived than Jimi Hendrix. You’ve heard the name of the man but you cannot say you admire or appreciate him without listening to one of his earth shattering musical compositions. A pioneer of distortion and a surfeit of other guitar shredding techniques, Jimi Hendrix was truly a master of his craft in both his guitar playing and his lyricism with clever metaphors such as a “Castle made of sand” to represent something magnificent that decay’s in due time. Axis: Bold as Love truly captures his musical mastery both lyrically and musically. His legacy still lives on today through the many guitarists he inspired such as John Mayer and John Frusciante of RHCP. The Essentials: “Little Wing,” “Castles Made of Sand,” “One Rainy Wish”
Rolling Stones – Some Girls
The Rolling Stones: the creators of cool. They revolutionized Rock n’Roll by blending the Blues with Rock which was only coming on the rise at time thus creating a unique and classic sound that would impact not only a plethora of bands but also created the cool, rugged, classic Sex-drug-Rock image that many bands would iconzsiz and portray as their life-long aspiration. The Stone’s album Some Girls captures their raw skill and ability to come back together and still successfully reproduce the sound they had been producing for two decades already. Guitar Legend Keith Richards and acclaimed lyricist Mick Jaggar never seem to disappoint even on their 14th hit record! The Essentials: “Miss You,” “Beast of Burden,” “Just my Imagination”
A Word of Advice:
An Open Letter from an Alternative Perspective To all PG underclassmen: I hardly think of myself as older than you all, but having come through what you are about to embark on, I figure I can give a bit of advice. As I write this, my graduation is in 39 days. When asked about the final thoughts I wanted to share with my school through this magazine, my instinct was immediate, though niched: I wanted to appeal to the minority of seniors who come through this school and seek a different college experience. Though there is absolutely nothing wrong with the predominant path, other opportunities exist. If the majority’s preference doesn’t suit you, that is ok. Let me tell you a story... “I think I’ll probably rush [insert Greek letters here]” the faceless girl concluded from across the lunch table. I surveyed the other girls listening -- intently nodding in agreement about a definite sorority choice for University X. I could feel my wheels turning: how did she already know which sisterhood she would be a part of in college? How did she even know which college she would go to? I left the cafeteria and googled Clemson’s undergraduate enrollment: 20,000 students. My eyes dilated. There were about 400 people in the entire upper school at PG, and I couldn’t even fathom what a grade of 5000 people would feel like. I just knew it didn’t appeal to me. Now, don’t get me wrong -- this article is not a diss to any certain school or experience. I simply feel that my experience in finding my college at Porter-Gaud was off the beaten path, and I want to extend the accessibility of small liberal arts schools in Southern-state-school-dominated high school. Obviously, if you’re looking for big sports and Greek life, small liberal arts is not going to be for you. But if you’re intimidated by an enormous student body, you prefer offbeat mascots, and you wish to pursue a degree in humanities, liberal arts might be the the educational path for you. With this in mind, I have compiled a list of things to do before you lock down your college choice: Talk to college counseling -- and I mean really talk. College counseling at Porter-Gaud is superb. Mrs. Kimberly and Mrs. Wright are two amazing women who know the answers to literally everything. Take full advantage of this service at school. When you meet with Mrs. Kimberly for the first time, you will probably feel nervous and out of place. Get comfortable. When she asks questions, answer with candor and express your fullest opinions. The more forthright and precise your thoughts are, the better she can help compile lists and options for you. These meetings are also the forging of a very special bond that you will probably (definitely) cry over at graduation. Explore your options! When you receive your first college list, you might feel trapped. “These are the only ten schools that you’ll like and/or get into.” NO! Take your list and run with it. Explore similar schools, harder, easier, bigger, smaller; create a range of options for yourself. Do your own research. If you have a larger list of interesting schools, don’t discredit initial research. Online identity says a lot about how a school presents itself. Obviously, this is the least damning factor, but research can do nothing but help. This step will help you condense visit lists. That said, if you can, visit. I cannot stress this enough. I was lucky enough to have parents willing to take me to a list of different colleges. Narrow your choices and do your best to see campus -- the vibe you will get there cannot be determined from websites and pamphlets alone. 32
Talk to current students and admissions officers. The people at a college can also provide a great deal of “vibe info”. Listen to what your gut tells you! The people you encounter can become your jumping off point. Instead of stressing about the future, take a step back and “appreciate where you are.” Though being a senior and enduring the sheer chaos that is college applications is hellish, there is also something to be said for the experience we are all privy to here. Will you lose sleep? Inevitably. Will you cry? Probably. But your duress now will pay off later, I promise. Also, you’re pretty lucky to be getting to pick a list of wonderful colleges to spend time at. Be grateful. Enjoy it. In closing, I urge rising seniors and juniors to begin this process with an open mind. Find your niche. My niche was liberal arts; yours could be Big Ten sports. Whatever it is, commit to this time wholeheartedly and above all, do not sacrifice any of your desires for the sake of what everyone else is doing! I promise you will not regret it. All the best, Monica Nyland ‘16
Artwork by Gettys Moore
Looking Back... Matthew Key
Preston Johnson anxiously awaits his letter of acceptance... to Porter-Gaud in 2011 Years ago, a picture was taken of a boy awaiting his letter of admittance into Porter-Gaud school: almost ignorant of the gentle rainfall, or the pressure of his dirt-bike against his back, he gazes out towards the horizon for what he already knows is coming but just can hardly accept without the certainty of ocular proof. A glance at such a scene forces a pause, a brief contemplation and wonder, on whether or not his excitement is universal. For a select few seniors, they have undergone the “Porter-Gaud experience”—a gradual metamorphosis from the idle, playground-days of lower school to an exciting, and then anxiety-ridden, senior year. A once carefree, almost euphoric outlook on the future might have morphed into a gradual dread for a select few, but that childhood spark still hides deep down inside everyone. An eager 8th grader stationed beside his mailbox for his acceptance letter to Porter-Gaud embodies this very enthusiasm. It resides deep inside each and every one of us in some shape or form -- the butterflies you might get before the state championship basketball game, your opening lines in the fall play, or even the seconds opening your mailbox and opening your first college acceptance letter. The monotonous humdrum of academic life often drowns out the excitement of these dreams. Yet, your passions allow them to make brief breaks in the surface of an otherwise rocky and somber exterior. A nostalgic glance back might revive these sentiments. While high school may not be the best four years of your life, they are four years that you cannot, and will not, get back. With that in mind, enjoy it: learn, live, strive to make of the most these experiences throughout the highs and lows. The cyclic ebb and flow of the transition from lower to middle school, middle to upper school, upper school to college is constant, and who knows what transitions you will encounter after that—the possibilities are endless. But, do not forget your roots, the friends and relationships that you grew during school and memories made that wouldn’t have been possible without this very institution. When it comes your time to receive your diploma, or maybe even a letter of acceptance like the boy above, all the feelings of the last four years will come boiling up from within. What will you want to remember? The times with friends, the experience of sportsmanship, or maybe the thrill of the performance? The kid-waiting-at-the-mailbox is inside all of us. It’s up to you to find it. 34
THE COLLEGE LIST A LOOK AT WHERE THE CLASS OF 2016 IS HEADED
Bailey Allen Mark Anastos Michael Barry Amanda Billings Afif Bizri Nour Bizri Morgan Blanton Amauri Bowman Lillie Bradshaw Edward Buxton Maggie Cochrane Hunt Cramer Randolph Dew Beaumont Dixon Chris Doll Caroline Dudley Sam Eason Max Easter Turner Fabian Beau Faith Connor Flannery Sissy Freshley Ann Claire Gaillard George Geils Edward Gilbreth William Godfrey Garis Grant John Griffith Holden Grooms Cole Hardy Max Harley Mary Alston Herres Kate Herrick Dylan Hudgins Annabel Iwegbue Preston Johnson Jake Kalinsky Trevor Kane Kaylee Kemp James Kerr Matthew Key Harris Krogh Madeline Kuhn Claire Lawrence Mackenzie Leinbach
Clemson University Cornell University University of the South Clemson, Georgia Tech College of Charleston Meredith College Clemson University Francis Marion University College of Charleston American University UNC: Chapel Hill Middlebury College Depaul University Boston College Penn State University Clemson University Virginia Tech University Furman University University of South Carolina Univ of Texas: Austin, UVA Boston College Clemson University Anderson University University of South Carolina
College of Charleston, UNC-W University of South Carolina Agnes Scott College UNC: Chapel Hill Davidson College Georgia Southern University Clemson University University of South Carolina Loyola University, New Orleans University of Colorado Boulder
New York University
Georgia Southern University
Tulane University Clemson University University of Alabama University of Alabama Clemson University: Honors Clemson University: Honors New York University University of Kentucky Auburn University
David Lynch Katie Lyons Julia Mabe Chappell Maddux Carson Marr Ethan McAlpin Alex Millman Gracie Mogul Gettys Moore Matt Naumoff Eddie Nesmith Charlotte Nicholson James Nicklas Matthew Norton McKay Norton Monica Nyland Joshua Olmi Kara Polancich Thomas Pritchard Ornella Ravo Preston Remington Chandler Richards Harry Sanderson Garrison Sauls Cinnie Saunders David Silliman Ross Simmons Collin Smith Coleman Solomon Lexi Steichen Alexander Swanson Langley Thomas Cross Tolliver Hailey Turner Keegan Ulber Cole Walter Allen Walters Cameron Ward Jessica Weitz Steven Werber Ryan Wingate Hugh Wood Kimi Xu Amy Yu
George Washington University
College of Charleston Auburn University University of Pennsylvania Flagler College University of Texas: Austin University of South Carolina Auburn University University of the South Harvard University Clemson University University of Miami: Ohio Dartmouth College University of Pennsylvania Bowdoin College Wofford College University of Alabama University of South Carolina Louvain La Neuve
University of South Carolina: Honors
Eckerd College Davidson College American University Chapman University Hampden-Sydney College
Georgia Southern University
Saint Anselm College Miami University: Ohio Providence College College of Charleston University of Pennsylvania Brown University
North Carolina State University
Clemson University Duke University Dickinson College
Univ of Michigan, Wake Forest
Tulane University Clemson University Clemson University College of Charleston
University of California: San Diego University of California: Los Angeles
watch Porter-Gaud School 300 Albermarle Rd. Charleston, SC 29407