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St. Paul Academy & Summit School

1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN

December 2013. Volume XXXXI. Issue IV.

Why I want to be liked r o f s




e k i l










sts e u q e R d n e i r 20 F

s t e we

Putting the “Me� in

t e R 5

Social Media

Students share passion for the world of figure skating

The Student Tutors program needs improvements

A&E p.13

Sports p.14

Opinions p.5

Cover p.8-9

Theater program shares unique and fun traditions

Student actors and directors prepare for one-acts


Photo Credit: Nina Zietlow

Auditions for Winter One-acts took place Dec. 9-10. The one acts will be directed by seniors Helen Derechin, Kaia Findlay, Victoria Guest, Charlotte Hughes (with Ann Hill and Sydney Kuller), Danielle Socha, Michael Wilkens, and Upper School Theater Director Eric Severson. “I’m really excited to direct a one act because I’ve been the actor taking direction, but this time I get to see the show from a whole new way,” Derechin said. “It’ll be interesting to see how my ideas will be incorporated into the show I’m going to direct.” Rehearsals will begin after Winter Break.

December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV

Tutorial discussed “There are some obvious flaws [with Tutorial],” Dean of Students Judy Cummins said. “We are have having serious conversations about how it is used.” -- read more and share your opinion at

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Mandela’s legacy lives on World mourns loss of civil rights leader Meghan Joyce



Staff Writer

Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to ending the racially oppressive system of apartheid in South Africa, where he became a source of inspiration and a moral compass worldwide. According to an article in The New York Times, Mandela was surrounded by family on Dec. 5 when he died peacefully at age 95, after several hospitalizations for a lung infection. “We had known for a while that it was coming, so I think we were remembering his legacy even before he died,” sophomore Calla Saunders said. Mandela has left a lasting legacy. According to CNN, President Barack Obama is quoted as saying “He no longer belongs to us --he belongs to the ages.” People around the world mourn for the loss of a brilliant and dedicated leader and celebrate his life with memorials and moments of silence. In an Upper School assembly on Dec. 9, US Principal Chris Hughes began by recounting moment of Mandela’s significance, and played the Maya Angelou

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela July 18, 1918 - Dec. 5, 2013 video of her poem “His Day is Done.” Several movies have also contributed to immortalizing Mandela, including Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which premiered just one week before his passing. St. Paul Academy and Summit School students weren’t alive to see Mandela help end apartheid or rise to presidency but were sad to hear of Mandela’s passing regardless. “He was old, and I knew he was sick, but I was still sad because he was such a great person,” junior Neerja Thakkar said. Mandela’s determination to end apartheid was taken as a threat to the government, and in 1962 he was sentenced to life in jail for high treason. “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed

with the hope that he will rise even in the end,” Mandela said. And rise he did, after his release from prison after 27 years. He only grew in strength after that. Shortly after his release, in 1993, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. A year later, the first election to be open to both black and white people in South Africa was held, and Mandela won, making him the first black president of his country. Mandela was confident that he had done what he needed to with his life, and because of that he wasn’t scared of his death. “Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity,” Mandela said.

Photo reprinted with permission from Madeleine Redelinghuys South Africans mourn the loss of Nelson Mandela by holding vigil outside his home Johannesburg, South Africa on Dec. 5. “I think that we were remembering his legacy even before he died,” sophomore Calla Saunders said. Former South African president Nelson Mandela died peacefully at age 95. “He was old, and I knew he was sick, but I was still sad because he was such a great person,” junior Neerja Thakkar said. Flickr Creative Commons Photo: BK

Advisories encouraged to donate presents for Toys for Tots Hannah Johnson


Editor in Chief

Walk by the Deanery and see an area strewn with the dozens of dolls, books, and trucks. Plush animals overflow from boxes, and it may be tempting for even the oldest students not to play with the toys. St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s Community Action student group is supporting a popular charity, Toys for Tots. The organization will replace Community Action’s previous winter project, collecting donations for the Adopt a Family program. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program is a nationwide organization that collects new toys for underprivileged children. There are toy drives from October through December in over 700 communities across all 50 states. Making the holiday season a happy time for underprivileged children is very simple task for students. “Just bring in toys for NOVEMBER CORRECTIONS:

Just bring in toys for any ages, brand new ones. s e n i or A r i a Br y a n

Photo Credit: Eva Perez-Greene Junior Julia Lagos adds toys to the Toys for Tots drop box outside the Dean’s Office. “ [Adopt a Family] was just a lot of work to do around the holidays with so much to do already,” senior Aria Bryan said. “So we thought that Toys for Tots would be a good substitution.”

any ages, brand new ones,” senior Community Action member Aria Bryan said. The group chose to switch from Adopt a Family to Toys for Tots because of previous issues with scheduling and getting all

advisories involved. “[This year] it is more accessible for more advisories to do,” junior Community Action member Olivia Carry said. “It is a lot easier to do with all of the other events we want to do this year.”

With Adopt a Family, Community Action members needed to use much of their time to match advisories with families, buy wrapping paper and organize the wrapping party. With Toys for Tots, the group can make the same impact with less hassle. “It was just a lot of work to do around the holidays, with so much to do already,” Bryan said. “So we thought that Toys for Tots would be a good substitution.”

InDepth: Sarah Coleman is a senior; Back Cover: Lauren Boettcher was only identified by her last name.

Both individuals and advisories alike are encouraged to purchase new toys and bring them to donate. Many advisories make this a bonding experience, as they go to toy stores and shop together. Senior Vittorio Orlandi, who is in Upper School Spanish teacher Pam Starkey’s advisory, is excited to go out shopping as a group. The advisory has gone shopping for Adopt a Family the past few years and plans to do the same for Toys for Tots. “We are all going to go out; we are going to buy whatever is needed,” Orlandi said. He is positive that the school’s enthusiasm for past Community Action events will continue this year. “I don’t see why things should be any different this year,” he said. Community Action hopes that this year’s donations can reach out to more individuals than in previous years. When asked how many toys the group hoped to donate, Bryan said, “Enough to make all the kids happy.” Donations ended Dec. 12.

Debate team builds a “powerhouse” presence

“I’m very excited for the winter wonderland dance because it’s going to be [this year’s] first semi formal dance.” freshman Maria Perkkio said. -- read more about the upcoming Winter Wonderland dance @ The Rubicon Online

The St. Paul Academy and Summit School debate team is looking forward to another strong season this year and in years to come. “We have some unbelievable novices. SPA is going to be a powerhouse in debate pretty soon,” senior debater Yusra Murad said. “We have had the most successful overall season in my 18 years at SPA, winning virtually every tournament we have attended,” Debate coach Tom Fones said. “We have also had the largest number of debaters, by far, actively debating for SPA.”

The Rubicon is feeling social Photo Credit: John Wilhelm @TheRubiconSPA. RubiconTV

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

N EWS 3 December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.

Amidst exams, community debates value Meghan Joyce


Midterm exams can cause stress to pile up fast, but they do have their benefits. “If there’s not a midterm, it creates a lot of stress for the end of year exam,” Upper School history teacher Nan Dreher said.

Staff Writer

To test, or not to test, that is the question. The decision to change the schedule catalyzed discussions among faculty about the value of midterms and their place in the new schedule. Naturally, many students have their own opinions about the controversial subject. Some students agree with the school’s midterm policy, or don’t feel strongly about wanting to change it. “I’m kind of indifferent, if the school really thinks that they’re important… Once it’s expected of you, it becomes something that you just do,” junior Sonja Mischke said. Mixed feelings about the midterm exam system are not uncommon. Sophomore Lia Orey is unsure about if they should continue. “Yes and no. They show where you’re at, but there’s also the stress of taking them,” Orey said. Upper School Principal Chris

Photo Illustration: Meghan Joyce

Hughes exhibits these same mixed feelings. “If we’re going to ask students to do school in different ways [in reference to the new schedule], we’re going to need to tweak the way we do assessments,” Hughes said. However, he continues, “I think what makes it difficult is that a lot of classes look at the midterm ex-

ams very differently. For semester classes, it’s not a midterm, it’s a real final exam.” Upper School history teacher Nan Dreher supports the midterm exam system. “As a history teacher, it’s nice to see students pull together information from different units and make connections,” Dreher said. “If there’s not a mid-

term, it creates a lot of stress for the end of year exam. The midterms give students a chance to practice with that format.” For some students, more experience taking midterms means less stress. “I think the math exam is a lot less daunting now,” junior Evan LeDuc said. On the other hand, stress lev-

els vary by student and by class. Senior Steven Go-Rosenberg has found that more experience with midterms doesn’t necessarily translate to less stress. “It depends on the exam. Normally I’m nervous for Chinese and Physics,” Go-Rosenberg said. “I’m in favor of less testing.” “It’s never going to mean going away from tests, because we wouldn’t be serving you well... There’s a balance, and we are working our way toward it,” Hughes said.

Tutors, council work to facilitate a stronger program Amodhya Samarakoon


Staff Writer

After attacking, struggling and nearly defeating a math problem, the student sprints towards her classroom frantically to see that the teacher isn’t there, and panic starts to rise. If only there was a handy tutor at the ready to save her day! This situation motivated the members of the Upper School Council to implement a change in the tutoring program, hopefully bettering it. Over the summer, the two co-presidents (seniors Hannah Johnson and Nick Cohen) along with the other members of Upper School Council set up the tutoring program with hopes to see students benefiting from the tutors help. After seeing that the program had some obvious holes, they revised the tutoring program to make it more convenient and helpful. “Basically what we did was change the location for the tutors,” Cohen said. “We took each student who is tutoring in a specific subject and put them in the specific department to which they were tutoring in.” This change was made because the USC had been hearing from students that the program was pretty ineffective, “…because underclassmen [and tutors]

weren’t showing up on time,” Cohen said. “We, as a council, revised some pieces to try and make it more effective.” Those revisions have two major impacts. First, when a student tells their advisor that they’re “going to go the tutors to get help,” it isn’t specific. The location change centralizes the meeting places for the tutors. Second, while previously the group of upperclassmen had been intimidating to many underclassmen, dispersing the tutors helps make them more approachable. “[The tutors] are useful if people use them, but they don’t,” freshman Sarah Wheaton said, after stating that she’d never gone to see the tutors for help. “[If I needed help] I would probably go to my teacher first,” Wheaton said. “They for sure have the right answer, but the tutors might not.” Many students seem doubtful of the tutors, worrying they might get the wrong answer if they don’t ask their teacher. “It might depend on what you need help with, ‘cause if it’s something that [the tutor] doesn’t know then I wouldn’t go to them,” freshman Stephanie Li said. Sophomore Navodhya Samarakoon stressed that it’s not necessary for students to go to an upperclassmen for help when they have people within their grade who are learning

[The tutors] are useful if people use them, but they don’t. freshman Sarah W h e aton the same material. “What people do is they ask a friend because their friend is in that subject with them and is readily available to help them,” Samarakoon said. “A friend is so much more useful than having someone a year or two older to help.” Another issue that seems to have carried on from the previous tutor location to the current one is that most people still don’t know where the tutors are. “I know that they’re there but I don’t really see them,” freshman Kyle Ziemer said. “They might be [helpful].” Other students, along with Ziemer, have also shown confusion regarding the location of the tutors. One reason for the students not seeing the tutors is that they’re

Photo Credit: Lucy Li Sophomore Milo Wittenberg meets with Junior Tutor Afsar Sandozi. “I know that [the tutors] are there but I don’t really see them.” freshman Kyle Ziemer said.

just not there. Upper School English teacher John Wensman mentioned that he didn’t see the tutors that were supposed to be available for English in the English area. US Science teacher Dan Ertl also stated that he noticed a similar pattern. All said and done, despite the tutoring program’s flaws, USC is working to better it. Cohen predicts that as exam time nears and panic sets in the students will be more compelled to ask a tutor for assistance, if the tutors are there.

“I think that there’s still some problems in terms of students not knowing exactly what the program is for and how accessible it is. Right now, there’s still some work to be done.” The student body seems to agree, more or less, but the change is definitely a step in the right direction. Baby steps will have to be taken first before students and tutors can fully accept and make use of the tutoring program.


December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.


St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Staff Editorial

the rubicon

2013-14 Editor-in-Chief Hannah Johnson

Online Editor-in-Chief Print Managing Editor Lucy Li Chief Visual Editor Ava Gallagher Co-News Editors Nina Zietlow John Wilhelm Opinions Editor Thomas Toghramadjian Co-Sports Editors Katie Braman Katrina Hilton Cover Story Editor Boraan Abdulkarim Feature Editor Gita Raman Co-A&E Editors Netta Kaplan Laura Slade In Depth Editor Eva Perez-Greene Copy Editor Netta Kaplan Columnist Nick Cohen Adviser Kathryn Campbell


Staff Writers Shefali Bijwadia Patrick Commers Ali Duval Diane Huang Meghan Joyce Mari Knudson Eva Malloy Sarah Murad Noor Qureishy Amodhya Samarakoon Emily Thissen Clare Tipler Paul Watkins Javier Whitaker-Castaneda




the student newspaper of St. Paul Academy and Summit School 1712 Randolph Avenue St. Paul, MN 55105 AWARDS JEM All-State Gold (Print and Online) MHSPA Best in Show 1st Place - Print 5th Place - Online NSPA All American w/3 Marks of Distinction

Traditions may feel routine, but provide meaningful community connection It’s the holiday season. Between decorating Christmas trees, lighting candles, going sledding, and making resolutions, December is a time full of celebration and tradition. But, traditions during the holiday season are not limited to religious holidays or Santa Claus. We are at the halfway point of the school year. It is a good time to reflect on the various St. Paul Academy and Summit School traditions. Many of these traditions are grade-level specific. Freshman have orientation and the first of their yearly retreats. Sophomores complete community service projects. Juniors begin college counseling. Seniors deliver senior

Created at

Traditions are predictable and grounding and provide a sense of group identity that can be revisited again and again.

speeches, carve pumpkins with the Kindergarteners, and plan and present May projects. While it is important to consider the motive behind a tradition and not just blindly follow it, these SPA traditions are meaningful to many students and faculty. Some things, such as Taco Tuesday and retreats, are not appreciated by everyone. But whether you love or hate burrito bowls or extended periods

of bonding with your peers, these traditions are a part of our community identity. They reflect the unique environment of our school that values education, philanthropy, and respect for community. Both simple and complex traditions create common grounds that bring together our student body even though we hold such diverse beliefs. They offer us a time to reflect on our values and

create connections with our peers and faculty. Traditions in and out of SPA can be a source of fun and meaningful memories with family and friends. With so much in the world around us changing, traditions can be a constant in our lives. Before we know it, school will be over. When people head off in different directions at the end of this year, our SPA traditions provide a reason to come back together.

Mini-Editorials Advisory tutorial Wonderland should be more Dance worth a than a study hall whirl

A celebration should not be a memorial

At present, tutorial time for underclassmen is straightforward: go to advisory and get work done. Work can mean checking out of advisory to meet with a teacher or work with a group, but it should be productive, quiet work time. This may sound like study hall, which all freshmen are required to have in their schedule. If tutorial time is, in essence, a 35-minute long advisor facilitated study hall, why should freshmen and sophomores with honor roll GPA’s be barred from moving about campus? Two out of three underclassmen polled want advisory tutorial to be replaced with a free period. This could pave the way for student activities or more interest groups. Students could have more freedom meeting teachers, and stress would be reduced when choosing a place to work and meet. Tutorial should be a time where students can meet regardless of advisor, a time where people can work in whatever space they want, and a time where students can de-stress.

The Fall Recognition Assembly is a time to acknowledge students for their achievements in athletics, academics, and the arts. It is a time to appreciate the effort that students put into participating and trying hard at school. It is not a time for sadness. Having Maya Angelou’s tribute poem to Nelson Mandela, “His Day is Done,” was undeniably sad. It was a beautiful, moving piece, and despite how important and recent his death was, it was presented at a time that made it difficult to transition to the celebratory spirit of the assembly, and it made students’ achievements seem extremely petty and insignificant comp to Mandela’s. It would have been better to present the poem at the end of the Fall Recognition Assembly rather than the start. Having it at the end would have allowed students to have their moment of pride and recognition before using the poem to provide a sense of conclusion and to give everyone in the St. Paul Academy and Summit School community a chance to reflect.

When the snow starts falling, anxiety for school dances also starts to flurry around the halls of St. Paul Academy and Summit School. Whether one is a freshman girl or senior boy, many students begin thinking about their plans on the night of the Winter Wonderland dance weeks, even months, before the actual date. From asking friends in a creative way to shopping for the perfect dress, school dances have transformed from a relaxed, social event to a glamorous extravaganza. While planning for a school dance can be exciting and fun, it is important to keep in mind the purpose of going to the Winter Wonderland dance. Students should attend the dance in hope of socializing with friends and taking a break from hectic homework schedules, not to outdo each other with fancy dresses and limos. No one should feel pressured to go to the dance with a date, expensive outfit or huge plans for after. Just grab a friend and get on the dance floor.

The Rubicon Editorial Policy: The Rubicon editorials are representative of the opinions of the Staff Editorial Board, which is made up of all students in journalism/Editorial Leadership. All other opinion pieces are the opinions of the authors themselves.

The Rubicon Letters Policy: The Rubicon welcomes letters to the editor. They can be mailed to us or e-mailed Letters should be limited to 150-200 words and published by discretion of The Rubicon staff. MEMBERSHIPS National Scholastic Press Assoc. MN High School Press Assoc. Columbia Scholastic Press Assoc. Quill and Scroll Honor Society

O P I N ION S 5 December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

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Tutoring program needs amendment

re a d m ore in


Cheating New plan should include scheduled and unscheduled time undermines Lucy Li long term Managing Editor r Online Editor in Chief learning The language hallway is empty and quiet during Monday tutorial as I sit at a long table scattered with German and Spanish magazines, waiting for students to come for help. So far, nobody has. The move from the Upper Library hasn’t made any difference, aside from more loneliness now that the other tutors are scattered across the school. Since its inception, the Upper School tutoring program has struggled. Although the list of junior and senior tutors stretches long and wide, few students show up during tutorial times for help. The Upper School Council organized the program so that at least one tutor per subject is present each day of the week. In early November, tutors moved from the library to departmental locations in hopes of improving attendance numbers. However, student tutors continue to tutor no one. I swear that not everyone who walks through the halls of St. Paul Academy and Summit School completely understands all the material they’re learning. So why the empty tables, and how can this be fixed? Since the new locations of tutors are so close to classrooms, a student seeking help would probably rather talk to a teacher than a random upperclassman they don’t know. The change in location also

Gita Raman

... predetermined pairings would make tutoring responsibilities urgent enough for tutors to follow them. has other flaws. “I understand the concern of underclassmen being intimidated by a whole group of seniors in the library, but I think it’s harder [now] for them to go all over the school to find the people they need,” senior tutor Sydney Kuller said. Also, freshmen and sophomores check in with advisories during tutorial, limiting the tutors’ visibility to students. Kuller has not yet been able to tutor anyone as part of the program. “When I originally signed up I thought that I would be paired with specific students or [a] student who were interested in being tutored in the subjects I had offered to help in,” she said, “and then we would set up times to meet and help them with whatever they needed.” Kuller suggested that USC should pair tutors up with specific people who want help or who teachers believe could use some


Photo Credit: Lucy Li The math area sits, devoid of tutors or students seeking assistance, during a Thursday tutorial period. This illustrates two problems with the current situation: lack of participation by tutors, and lack of demand for their services.

help. This would mirror how USC organized the mentoring program, which began at the same time as tutoring. This change would at the very least make the program more alive than it is now. Early in the school year when the program was still in the Upper Library, I also saw very few tutors show up during tutorial. This suggests a lack of monitoring by USC; Kuller’s idea for predetermined pairings would make tutoring responsibilities urgent enough for tutors to follow them. If USC arranges specific tutoring pairs or groups in the future, it should also have some element of flexibility to still allow students to find tutors during tutorials without prior appointment. In all fairness, USC’s tutoring program has benefited some students. “I’ve gone to talk to the science tutors one time and it was

amazingly helpful,” sophomore Ingrid Topp-Johnson said. She had wondered if the tutors would actually have a good understanding of the material and was pleasantly surprised. Upper School science teacher Tina Barsky had referred Topp-Johnson to the tutors, which suggests that teachers could play a pivotal role in assisting the program by encouraging students to use it. Tutoring should be an open resource for Upper School students to feel comfortable and confident enough to rely on when needed. As discussed in The Rubicon staff editorial from the October issue, non-tutor students can also help grow the tutoring program by understanding that seeking help, far from being shameful, is an admirable action.

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Outside of school speech monitoring by schools is legal, but immoral and inadvisable Laura Slade


A&E Editor

The line between caution and privacy invasion is a thin one to walk and a dangerous one to cross. As Internet usage amongst teenagers increases, the information which they choose to share online has increasing amount of potential to be harmful to themselves along with those around them. Because of the way students treat each other on the Internet, school administrations across the country face the challenging decision of how much they need to be involved. As both a high school student and an Internet user, it is important to me that schools remain to serve as safe places for kids, no matter what events take place off campus. I do not believe that schools need to monitor all of their students Internet behavior, but legally I see no reason why they couldn’t. What the school can see is only what a student has al-

ready shared with the world. All the school is doing is accessing public information. It is not different from a student talking in the hallway; someone not part of the intended audience may overhear what is said. Schools who do monitor Internet behavior are also not denying students their First Amendment rights. They still have the freedom to say whatever they want. Despite the legality, I don’t think it’s morally right for schools to constantly watch their students, nor is it practical. In my experience, when I know I’m being watched I get extra-paranoid that I may be doing something wrong. While middle and high school students aren’t always the smartest about what they put on the Internet, they still deserve to be able to express themselves without constant fear. The more restricted students feel, the more resentment they will have towards their administration. More resentment never leads to a peaceful work environment.

The line between caution and privacy invasion is a thin one to walk and a dangerous one to cross. The practicality aspect, or lack thereof, seems almost too self-explanatory to share. It is nearly impossible to find each of the accounts that thousands of students run. People rarely use their real name on Twitter; some websites require a password to view and every day, new websites emerge. In order for schools to observe what their students do outside of their school building, they need

to be open and transparent, do the proper research, and know the limits and severity of each situation. These all could be done, but would take an unnecessary amount of time. For students to feel safe in school, they first must feel trusted by their school administrators. To earn that trust, there are many steps that could be taken. Schools can offer classes or assemblies about cyberbullying, students can share with their parents and teachers what they do online, and if it is necessary, schools can warn students about their ability to see what students put online. By going straight to snooping, schools do not give students the chances they need to be trustworthy or to grow. ______________ Laura Slade won an Excellent Award at the JEA/NSPA National Convention in Boston for this piece. Read the other national winners from The Rubicon staff @ The RubicOnline:

Feature Editor

The word “cheating” is associated with images of answer keys, clandestine signals, or students looking over each other’s shoulders. However, cheating takes many different forms--some less obvious than others. What causes this urge to take credit for something that isn’t yours or giving away your work? Cheating becomes a constant necessity in order to get better grades and succeed. “I don’t think it is all wrong; sometimes getting answers from a another person can help. There are other times when it is completely wrong though,” sophomore David Nicholson said. Cheating removes a small amount of stress off a student for a short period of time. “Cheating is an outlet for students to achieve more without stress placed upon them,” Nicholson said. Senior Helen Derechin differs from Nicholson, “We shouldn’t do it because it is not really displaying our full potential it; [it] cheats ourselves and other people as [well].” Sophomore Madeeha Rizvi agrees with Nicholson that cheating is largely motivated by stress.“Students usually cheat if they feel if they want to do better on their grade or if maybe they are pressured by other people to get good grades.” Students place their priorities with cheating because of the pressure of getting good grades, compared to the need for education. Good grades means students will succeed, get a good GPA, and eventually get into a good college. Cheating over the years has changed from just trying to get by in high school, to where there is a need to receive the “A” grade, according to ETS. The pressure just increases in order to get the high grades which the students need. Cheating is easier in some subjects compared to others. “[In] any writing class, it is easy to copy and paste something, and claim it is your own,” Derechin said. According to statistics from, “One out of three high school students admitted that they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment.” Cheating becomes a natural action once, a student has cheated and received a good grade on a homework or test, the natural action is to cheat again. This causes problems, for the longterm process of learning because the student does not learn how to learn and study, just how to cheat.

6 Fe atu re

December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Selecting the Perfect Christmas

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How lovely are your branches! In beauty green will always grow Through summer sun and winter snow. O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, How lovely are your branches!

Tree Photos Credit: Catherine Braman

Fair Use Image from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Charles Schulz

Photo submitted by: Victoria Guest Senior Victoria Guest (far right) poses with younger siblings Cameron Guest (center) and Olivia Campbell (left) in front of their 2013 Christmas tree. “We decorate with silver and frosted glass balls and glittery snowflakes that are purple, pink, turquoise, and green,” Guest said.

Getty Images: Stephen Lovekin Rockefeller Center lit up for the annual tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 5.

Catherine Braman


Sports Editor

The well-known German Christmas carol “O Tannenbaum” pays tribute to the decoration that is often the symbol and the centerpiece of the home during the holiday season. According to Statisticbrain. com, 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year and 9.5 million artificial trees are bought annually. For those who celebrate the holidays with a tree in their home which is better? A real tree or an artificial tree? According to sophomore Quinn Smith, his family has already purchased a real tree for this Christmas at Gerten’s in Inver Grove Heights. “It’s a tradition to put it in the same place every year, in the living room,” he said. Smith’s family decorates the tree with many ornaments that they have received as gifts over the years from family and friends. “At the top of the tree, we put a star,” he added. Senior Victoria Guest’s family tree is also topped with a star, but the tree is artificial. Her family purchased the tree when she was three and living in Arizona, where real trees are considered a fire hazard. Part of their tradition includes sorting and arranging the branches and stringing the lights.

Official White House photo: Lawrence Jackson

Photo submitted by: Vanessa Miller Sophomore Vanessa Miller poses with her artificial Christmas tree in 2010. “Artificial trees require assembly, but don’t have much maintenance,” Miller said. Artificial Christmas trees often resemble real Christmas tree, minus the familiar scent and needles of a fir or pine tree.

“We decorate with silver and frosted glass balls and glittery, snowflakes that are purple, pink, turquoise, and green,” Guest said. Christmas tree owners can select from a variety of real and artificial options, ranging in color, style and price... decorations extra.

Get the Real Tree For sophomore Lucas Johnson, the ritual of getting their tree is important. “We buy our tree from the same place every year, a tree lot at the Highland Golf Course,” Johnson said. All members of the Johnson family participate in picking out the tree which gets everyone into the holiday spirit. Real trees bring a natural fragrance to the home

Fair Use Image from “It’s a Wonderful Life” dir. Frank Capra (USA) In the 1946 iconic film, George Bailey (center) played by Jimmy Stewart, revels in his newfound knowledge of what his life means. In this closing scene, he is surrounded by Bedford Falls community members and friends around the Christmas tree.

According to a 2013 article in Investor’s Business Daily, the Obamas have 24 decorated Christmas trees at the White House.

during the holiday season. According to Deb Krueger who owns and manages Krueger Christmas Tree Farm with her husband Neil in Lake Elmo, “the Fraser fir is the most popular and the best selling.” Environmental stewardship is important to Krueger’s Tree Farm. “One acre or one thousand trees gives off enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe... this is the reason that is important to support the growing of real trees and the planting of trees around the world,” she said, adding that “the average six foot tree takes about 10 years to grow.” They also encourage their customers to bring their trees back to the farm after Christmas to be recycled into wood chips.

have had both types of trees in our house.” Last year the Miller family had a real tree that Vanessa named Henry the Bird. “Real trees are expensive,” Miller said. Miller mentioned that real trees do look nicer but need to be watered frequently. On the other hand, “artificial trees require assembly, but don’t have much maintenance,” Miller said. Artificial trees closely resemble the real ones which is one reason a lot of artificial tree owners like this option. Also, artificial trees, a onetime investment, last longer, and can even have the inviting aroma of a real tree, with potpourri and scenting products available. There are even pre-lit artificial trees for sale.

Reuse the Fake

Famous Tannenbaums

For sophomore Vanessa Miller, her family will set up an artificial tree this year. The tree has sentimental value for her family. Although she mentioned “we

There are a few Christmas trees prominent in American culture. Every year the tree displayed and decorated at Rockefeller Center in New York City

is an iconic symbol of the holiday season. The White House in Washington D.C. proudly displays the national Christmas tree. In the famous Peanuts special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, Charlie Brown makes a big deal of selecting the perfect tree to be part of the Christmas pageant that the Peanuts gang performs. He chooses a scrawny twig that gets transformed into a beautiful masterpiece. At the end of the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, actor Jimmy Stewart’s character George Bailey and his daughter, Zuzu, stand by the Christmas tree to celebrate an angel who earned his wings. These well-known images are vivid and memorable for many during the holiday season. The bottom line is that people generally have a tradition as to whether or not they set up a real or an artificial tree. There is no right or wrong option. Regardless, the symbol of the Christmas tree will continue to be part of the spirit of the holiday season for years to come. “I really enjoy this family tradition,” Smith said.

F E AT U R E 7 December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School


la Netta Kap n Credit: Illustratio


Staff Writer

Senior Anna Carlson wakes up on Christmas morning to find that the joy of Christmas brought her parents together, “just for Christmas.” Divorced families don’t have the luxury of following their past holiday routines as they did prior to parental separation. “Before my parents divorced we used to visit my relatives in other states,” said Carlson. It is important to remember that families do not divorce, only the parents. “We stopped visiting family and having dinner together,” said Carlson.

Students split and spend time with both families

From the Tanner family

the m o Fr hells c t i M

Eva Malloy

Two homes for the holidays



Ch Merry

! idays l o H ppy

“What we usually do is switch off every other year for Thanksgiving and Easter, and then I split Christmas in half and spend half of the day with my mom and half with my dad. Having two households results in around five-ish Christmas celebrations,” senior Sela Patterson said. Freshman Weston Lambard has a similar situation,“For Christmas I would be with my mom and then for Christmas Eve I would be with my dad. Then I would flip flop every year.” These are the decisions that divorced families have to make during the holiday season. “The holidays can be kind of chaotic with two households and finding presents for 4 parents and everyone else, but it’s also really

We still have a Christmas morning where we open up presents. senior Anna Carlson exciting to have so many people that I get to see” Patterson said. The most popular and common method according to Today’s Parenting magazine is for the children to alternate parents every

other year. “In my family for each holiday we switch back and forth every year with which parent we spend the holiday with,” sophomore Lexi Hilton said. Another popular way for families to get together over the holidays are for parents that are living in the same area is to divide the holiday, splitting up the days equally The third way is to join together and form new traditions. Larger extended families can lead to more and better memories. “On Christmas morning my parents-both my parents--open presents together,” said Carlson Regardless of the way the families choose to celebrate, planning seems to be crucial. This can be as mundane as trying to avoid double gifts for the little ones to the complexity of older children spending time with friends. Even though the divorce can

be a hard event and the holiday season can make it more difficult, good things can emerge. “We still have a Christmas morning where we open up presents” Carlson said. “When we miss spending Christmas, for example with one parent, they usually do a ‘make up Christmas’ a week or two later where we open presents, eat yummy food and have family time to make up for not being with them that year,” Hilton said. Carlson remembers the years before her parents’ divorce, “We used to go visit my family in other states [during the holidays] but once they got divorced we stopped visiting them because then we switched off [and couldn’t travel].” Despite having a divorced family, students are able to bring the spirit of Christmas to their celebrations.

Annual Christmas traditions extend beyond religion Students share their reasons for decorating a tree and writing a wish list Nina Zietlow


News Editor

For many students at St. Paul Academy and Summit School, December is an exciting time as lights are strung, cookies decorated, and the anticipation for Christmas grows. For some SPA students who don’t belong to the Christian religion, the Christmas holiday isn’t celebrated for its religious significance, but instead for the sense of family, tradition, and fun that comes along with this popular holiday. Sophomore Lexi Hilton is Jewish, but celebrates Christmas with her dad’s side of the family. “We try to spend it with family if we can, but it can be hard cause they all live outside of Minnesota,” Hilton said. Hilton celebrates the holiday the same way that most American families do, with presents and a decorated tree, but still finds ways to tie Christmas traditions back to her Jewish faith. “The part of Christmas of spending time with family and friends is an important value that I find in Judaism as well,” Hilton said.

The part of Christmas of spending time with family and friends is an important value that I find in Judaism as well.

s o p h o m o re L e x i H i l t o n

Junior Eva Zaydman, who is also Jewish, will be celebrating Christmas for the first time this year. “My family and I plan on getting a Christmas tree this year,” Zaydman said, “but we’ll also make Christmas-related foods such as gingerbread.” Unlike Hilton’s family, the Christmas celebration does not have the same family significance. “It’s something we do for fun,” Zaydman said. “Everyone else does it, it’s a way for us to assimilate into American culture,” sophomore Navodhya Samarakoon said. “Now every time my friends talk about Christmas, I know what it is; I can relate to it more.”

Samarakoon practices Buddhism but celebrates Christmas with her family. “We put Christmas lights up and sometimes we get presents,” Samarakoon said. Samarakoon’s family moved from Sri Lanka to the United States 12 years ago and finds that celebrating Christmas has helped them feel more connected to American life. Whether the Christmas celebration is a way for families to become more deeply connected with religious tradition, or help them assimilate into a new culture or custom, the festivities and holiday spirit of Christmas help people feel united and established in their lives.

Photo Credit: Nina Zietlow Sophomore Navodhya Samarakoon draws her version of Christmas. Samarakoon practices Buddhism but celebrates Christmas with her family. “Everyone else does it, it’s a way for us to assimilate into American culture,“ Samarakoon said.



St. Paul Academy and Summit School


Putting the “


me ” in social media:

C ounting Twitter followers, blogging Tumblr promos and posting row after row of Facebook selfies all have one

thing in common: the need to gain attention on the Internet. Here, the identities that users create on social media websites undergo closer examination.

Students avoid fear of missing out in social media Nina Zietlow

News Editor

Technology is everywhere, both at school and at home. Though phones and laptops have multiple practical uses, one thing is for certain: wherever there is technology, social media is present too. Popular networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Snapchat have become so integrated into our everyday lives some are left to wonder if the constant pull of technology is getting in the way of other important activities, especially those that take us away from home and the comfort of a computer or mobile device. “FOMO,” or the fear of missing out, has become a well-known online term. Are we so afraid of missing out on whats

happening online that we can’t enjoy the activities of everyday life? Freshman Lea Moore doesn’t find that the lack of social networking is an issue for her when she is away from home. “I don’t typically miss social media when I am away because I’m usually so excited about whatever I am doing,” Moore said. It seems to be the general consensus for St. Paul Academy and Summit School students that despite the ever present pull to check notifications and message friends, social media doesn’t distract from exciting events such as vacations and camps. Sophomore Hunter Hannula agrees: “I don’t really [miss social media] ‘cause when I go to camp, I’m there to do there stuff.”

Some students avoid social media altogether because they don’t want to get sucked in, and feel as though there is something they’re missing. “I don’t feel like I need it,” sophomore Christine Lam said. “It takes too much work, and I like face to face interactions better.” For many students there will always be an urge to check up on what’s going on around them in social media, which is understandable considering how integrated it has become in our lives. Nonetheless, it is important to recognize that social media will never take the place of face to face conversation at school or home. Photo Illustration: Nina Zietlow A student has multiple tabs open, each with a social media website pulled up. “It takes too much work, and I like face to face interactions better,” sophomore Christine Lam said.

Digital Footprint redefines individuals’ presence on Internet in positive, negative ways John Wilhelm


News Editor

Illustration Credit: Boraan Abdulkarim

“I’ve been in your Facebook!” Ellen DeGeneres proudly proclaims at the beginning of her talk show, explaining the premise of her next segment. The day before, DeGeneres searched through the Facebook pages of all her audience members—looking for the raunchiest, strangest, and most embarrassing photos, airing them on prime-time television for millions of people to see. DeGeneres reads a few names, and the select audience members amble onto the stage before DeGeneres makes the grand reveal: an incriminating photo—someone wearing less clothing than they ought to, or a regrettable picture from a party that everyone tried to forget. And after much nervous laughter and awkward jokes, the audience members run back to their seats, a free iPad in tow, as compensation for the embarrassment. Everything someone leaves online, be it an embarrassing photo or a LinkedIn resume, comprises what’s called a “digital footprint,” something Upper School technology coordinator Chris White says can be both good and bad. “[A digital footprint] is a representation of yourself, either professionally or personally online… People have problems when they blur those two.” Unfortunately, in real life, free

“ One of the things that made me

not get a Facebook for so long was that possible employers or colleges could do a search. s e n i or Kat h e r i n e Jon e s iPads aren’t given out every time an embarrassing Facebook photo is leaked. The consequences of a misused digital footprint can vary widely, senior Katherine Jones says. “One of the things that made me not get a Facebook for so long was that possible employers or colleges could do a search.” Jones continued, “and they’d ask themselves, ‘what is Katherine doing?’” At times, even the actions of other people can compromise your own privacy. Last year, a particularly creepy app was removed from the Apple store, by the name of “Girls Around Me.” The app integrated the user’s Facebook and Foursquare, and scanned for women in the user’s area who had recently used their Foursquare. The app then gave users full access to any select woman’s Facebook profile, displaying photos, as well as letting users send the woman a message should they so

choose. While the app was in direct violation of Foursquare’s application programming interface, all of the information the app used was unrestricted and consensually provided by Facebook and Foursquare users. “Sometimes information can be taken without your knowledge if you do not educate yourself to understand how your information is being used and what you can do to prevent it,” White added. But just as a digital footprint can be harmful, it can also be beneficial. “I got my Facebook out of necessity,” Jones said. “I use it for the messaging aspect, and checking on my friends—it’s an easier way to communicate with people.” For school related usage, a Facebook can be helpful to work with others on a group project, when communication would normally be more difficult. For professional usage, White contends, there’s more than meets

1 out of every 13 people in the world is a Facebook user, according to

the eye when it comes to Twitter. “I think most people don’t understand its power. For me, it’s the best professional tool I have. I’ve met people all over the world, who are experts in their field… Before Twitter, I’d have never had a chance to interact with [them].” Ultimately, a digital footprint is all about choices. Misuse and abuse can lead to long-term consequences, and vigilant understanding can lead to professional benefits. But no matter what, be careful what you post, because Ellen DeGeneres just might be watching.



December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.


the culture of “like” on the Internet Social media and technology can breed narcissism Eva Perez-Greene

InDepth Editor

A girl holds up a smartphone, her face contorted to express an exaggerated version of the emotion she’s actually feeling, until the camera catches her at just the right angle, under just the right lighting. At this instant in time, she snaps a photo to be posted on Instagram. A Twitter user carefully selects his words for a short and pithy tweet, meant to convey his intelligence and expertise. A Facebook user, like an author, edits her Facebook “timeline”, by highlighting significant moments in her life, uploading photos, and writing statuses. In doing so, she underscores and quite often exaggerates her most desirable traits for a potentially global audience. Thanks to technology and social media, people have the power to control and promote their image to a large audience. Social media outlets have elevated the importance of the individual among the masses and certainly this is progress since the time when kings and queens were the only distinguished individuals in society. Everyone with access to the web can achieve celebritude by developing a strong social media presence. However, is there a point when the empowerment and voice so many people have found through social media morphs into low self-esteem and

Photo Illustration: Boraan Abdulkarim

Sophomore Sami Brattland snaps a selfie with her phone. “It’s constantly about you, you, you, you, you,” junior Kailey Wendlandt said. excessive self-preoccupation? Active social media use may be contributing to a narcissistic culture in which individuals are trapped in an endless cycle of low self esteem and the desire for affirmation that follows. Junior Kailey Wendlandt has an online presence greater than that of most people, making her a poignant example of the effects serious involvement in social media can have. Her YouTube channel is extremely popular with 7 million hits and counting. However, with Wendlandt’s YouTube fame has come the pressure to please a large audience and maintain a strong sense of self esteem under the public’s eye. “I used to have it where I would get a really nice comment

on a video and I would feel amazing about myself. But then I would get one bad comment, and it would ruin my day,” Wendlandt said. “At this point, I really could care less about what people think,” she said. Pressure to please and be perceived positively is inherent to all social media outlets when used to their fullest capacities. One does not have to be a YouTube star to feel on display or, perhaps dependent upon the affirmation he or she receives online. As someones with a huge online following, Wendlandt’s experiences of being scrutinized by the media are simply an amplified version of common symptoms of social media use. Social media does have the power to boost people’s self esteem by

Illustration Credit: Boraan Abdulkarim Photo Credit: Sami Brattland

making it possible for anyone to receive attention for virtually anything; however, this shallow culture of individual celebritude which the media promotes may also be harming users in the process. “It’s constantly about you, you, you, you, you,” Wendlandt said when describing how social media has caused people to obsess over their own self images. Spending so much time thinking about and shaping one’s own identity online can not be healthy. While Wendlandt loves her YouTube channel and feels it represents

honests aspects of her character, she believes that people’s online activity is not a good representation of how they actually are in real life. “The internet’s a place where people are pretending to be something they’re not,” she said. There is probably some personal honesty in almost everybody’s online profile and contributions to social media; however the facility with which people can pose as someone they are not and gain attention for it has been taken advantage of. The good news is, just as social media can be manipulated for dishonest or narcissistic ends, so can it be manipulated for positive, healthy ends like connecting with other human beings and getting ones voice out in public. The key is to form engaging, fulfilling and deep relationships or hobbies because sadly, the once empowering nature of the media has evolved. It may, in fact, be more empowering to take a step back from the media than to cope with it’s negative effects. What matters in the end is that people are thinking about and deciding for themselves how the media makes them feel. After all, according to Wendlandt, “the Internet must be what you make of it.”

Users give excessive amount of contemplation towards approval online John Wilhelm

News Editor

“I deleted all of my friends,” senior Sam Carlson recounted. “All but two. And I have alternative ways to talk to those two people, without Facebook. I don’t use it anymore.” Carlson is among the many students at St. Paul Academy and Summit School who are beginning to wane their Facebook usage, or simply deleting their accounts altogether. While student’s reasons for diminishing their time on Facebook vary widely—from an academic distraction to a personal test of willpower—many have arrived to the same conclusion: Facebook creates a superficial social climate. “People will post random, unnecessary stuff about their lives,” Carlson continued. “It’s like they’re searching for people to like and comment on their post.” It’s a phenomenon that people notice offhand, but is starting to

gain more credence—Facebook users search for positive affirmation through “likes” on their pictures and comments, and feel inadequate without it. Junior Sophia Harrison is another of the students who have recently slowed their Facebook usage. “I used to be someone who would go on multiple times a day,” Harrison said. “But I don’t use it so much as a social place anymore, as I do to keep track of when stuff is happening—a social calendar, almost.” Even while using Facebook sparingly, Harrison found it hard to ignore Facebook posturing. “People look for affirmation, and it’s based on how many likes they get. I see it all over the place,” Harrison continued. “You know they just want attention,” sophomore Willa Grinsfelder agreed. “You can tell when people post something just because they want to get a bunch of likes. You think to yourself, ‘just stop!’” To many, the essence of Face-

book makes that type of environment unavoidable. “Between the lines, social media encourages that—it’s the nature of social networking,” Harrison said. Carlson and Harrison agreed that academic use of Facebook is beneficial, but that the ostentation it pushes on teenagers is damaging. “Now they have that thing on Facebook, where it says ‘seen by 27 people,’” Carlson said. A Facebook user can tell, out of all the people who’ve seen a post, who liked it and who didn’t. “It’s kind of disturbing, when you see that people don’t like what you say or post,” Carlson continued. “You change up what you say, really quick. You change yourself for the internet.” Ultimately it’s a difficult balance, towing the line between gratuitous positive affirmation and basic Facebook usage. Freshman Lutalo Jones posed an interesting philosophy: “I don’t post many things on Facebook, but

Screen Capture : John Wilhelm While one post has five likes out of14 views, the other has zero likes out of eight views. A Facebook user can tell, out of all the people who’ve seen a post, who liked it and who didn’t. “It’s kind of disturbing, when you see that people don’t like what you say or post,” Carlson continued. “You change up what you say, really quick. You change yourself for the Internet.”

when I do and I get a lot of likes, it makes me feel good,” Jones said. “It makes me feel like I have friends who listen to me.” It’s perfectly fine to feel good about being liked, and appreciate the Facebook community for

what it’s worth. “But,” Jones continued, “If I post something and I don’t get a lot of likes, I won’t let it bother me.”

10 I N D E P T H

December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.

The truth about


St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Competitive environment fuels the urge to cheat Thomas Toghramadjian


Opinions Editor

Four years of high school can be reduced to a collection of rankings and accolades: the first curve in Honors Earth Science, quarterly honor rolls, awards assemblies, and, finally, college decisions. Throughout, there remains a distinct element of competition— silent or not. Students compare grades on essays, rehash test questions, and pester each other about SAT scores. In such an environment, education can become a means to an end, rather than the

end itself. “It’s my opinion that school has become about passing a test and not about actually learning,” senior Connor Allen said. Learning for learning’s sake, while not extinct, is widely perceived to be on the decline. “There are still people who do learn and absorb information just to learn. But I think at SPA, because of the fact that is a college preparatory school, kids do focus on their grades just to get into the college of their choice,” junior Afsar Sandozi said. Allen believes that this perception encourages academic dis-

honesty, “because it can be seen as an easier way to achieve the goal or as a last hope.” However, he acknowledged that the consequences are severe enough to deter cheating. “The known harsh repercussions…de-incentivize academic dishonesty,” he said. Junior Laura Viksnins, currently serving in her third year on the Discipline Committee, finds that academic dishonesty is largely a product of students’ workload. She notes that the cases of academic dishonesty involved last-minute plagiarism on essays and papers, rather than premeditated attempts to gain unfair ad-

vantages on tests. “Usually they all knew what they had done was wrong, but at that point it was too late. They had already turned [the plagiarized assignment] in and were caught, or thought it was more important to get it turned in on time [than to properly cite their sources],” she said. “I wouldn’t put them down for people who would cheat.” While Viksnins’ experience indicates that students turn to plagiarism only when they are pressed for time, she believes that the school’s competitive atmosphere also has a significant impact.

“People feel as if they can’t not [complete] anything--because everyone else somehow manages, so why can’t they?” Viksnins said. Despite the competitive factors that can motivate academic dishonesty in a competitive college preparatory environment, students do not feel that it impacts them. “Copying homework happens occasionally, but I have rarely if ever seen it happen with tests, essays, projects, ecetera,” senior Christian Koch said.

Unprescribed Adderall use poses a threat to students’ health and community of trust Photo Illustration: Eva Perez-Greene

Boraan Abdulkarim


Cover Story Editor

Unwritten papers pile up, unfinished assignments approach their due dates, and the time for putting off studying for midterm examinations draws to a close. As the remaining weeks of the first semester dwindle, winter break seems distant in this infamous and stressful two week time span dubbed “exam season”. Exam season is a time when focus, organization, and efficient planning are particularly essential, while procrastination, a pessimistic attitude, or even “giving up” are a recipe for disaster. Many students at St. Paul Academy and Summit School approach exam season or academically pressuring times with honest, determined hard work. Others, however, may turn to unprescribed study drugs such as Adderall to help them power through and achieve seemingly impossible high scores. What many might not know is that these drugs are dangerous for individuals without attention issues.

Negative Health Effects

Adderall is a drug prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, characterized by a short attention span, easy distraction, organizational problems, procrastination, and the tendency to leave tasks unfinished. Junior Eva Zaydman, who has ADHD, takes prescribed Adderall regularly for this exact reason, but wishes there was another way to treat her ADHD. “I have a very

short attention span. When I take it [Adderall], it does help me,” she said. While Adderall increases the attention span and focus of those who have ADHD, it is still an inherently dangerous drug whose distribution must be strictly controlled. Its main ingredient, amphetamine salts, are derivative of the extremely addictive methamphetamine. Adderall too is a highly addictive substance for which withdrawal can be extremely difficult. Upper School counselor Susanna Short comments on this crucial aspect of the drug saying,“If you really get addicted to Adderall, and then you go off, the withdrawal can be quite painful. I mean muscle aches, body aches, sweating, nausea. It’s a withdrawal from a serious controlled substance.” Dosing an unprescribed drug like Adderall is dangerous, especially when the user feels only positive effects from taking it. “If it’s not prescribed, you may not be dosing it right. Nobody is following you to make sure that you are taking it appropriately, so I think in the long run it could be very very harmful,” Short, who is certified in mental health, said. An overdose of Adderall, while generally not fatal, may induce a laundry list of health troubles including but not limited to arrhythmia, hypertension, and hyperreflexia. One of Adderalls most common and disruptive side effects is trouble sleeping, which Zaydman can relate to. “From my personal experience, trying to fall asleep while on Adderall is

really hard,” she said. Other side effects include appetite loss, nausea, increased heart rate, anxiety, depression, and hallucinations. These side effects are very similar to those of methamphetamine. Contrary to popular belief, Adderall isn’t even guaranteed to make every user feel more focused or succeed on a test. As with any medication, it could have different effects on different people. “For some it may cause a helpful amount of focus,and for others it may cause jitteriness, perhaps making them revved up in a way that could be unmanageable,” Director of Center for Learning and Teaching Sarah Davies said.


If the health effects of taking unprescribed Adderall are not reason enough to stay away from the drug, perhaps the legal implications of doing so are. It is against the law to possess Adderall without a prescription and such legality issues may “come around and hurt you, bite you in the back,” junior Ian Sussna said. “If you don’t have ADHD, then the cons of it outweigh the pros, by far,” Zaydman said.

Long-term Side Effects

Adding to the list of downsides to unprescribed Adderall usage, is that fact that when used to replace constant hard work and effort, Adderall may permanently damage their study habits which indispensable for success in life. “[Illegal Adderall users] won’t learn the study habits they’ll need for college, or they won’t have the work ethic that they’ll need for a

“ I think [illegal Adderall] users are deceiving themselves.

ju n i or Ev a Z ay d m a n job. So it may be helpful to study in the short term, but they won’t learn the lessons that they need in the long term,” Sussna said. “[Adderall] basically is a shortcut. You don’t have to study long or work hard when you have the advantage of, in this case, abusing Adderall that you’re not prescribed,” he added. “I think [illegal Adderall users] are deceiving themselves,” Zaydman said. As a private college preparatory school, SPA prides itself in the study habits it instills in its students. Its success in doing so is something which parents at SPA have invested in year after year. Taking that shortcut, that illegal Adderall, deceives not only parents but students themselves. Students who take Adderall without a prescription not only miss out on academic strategies which will serve them for life, but also come to believe that they need Adderall to succeed. As they sink deeper and deeper into Adderall addiction, students begin to perceive their natural capacities as insufficient enough to succeed. Their self confidence drops, driv-

ing them deeper into a cycle of dependence on the drug. The stakes at a school like SPA are high when it comes to academic achievement and this is part of the reason why so many students turn to study drugs like Adderall. “Adderall becomes really popular during midterms and finals. Around these times, for instance, they say ‘wow, I haven’t been doing well in this class. It’s so important for me to do [well] on this math final,’” Zaydman said. “The whole community has a kind of a drive to be successful. People come to this school to take advantage of that,” sophomore Navodhya Samarakoon said. “You go to SPA and if you think about it, if you get good grades at SPA, you can go anywhere. There’s a lot of pressure,” sophomore George Stiffman said. While it is important to be motivated to succeed in an environment which values success highly, one should not feel so desperate as to seek out illegal Adderall to lift their grades, test averages, or the like.

I ND EPTH St. Paul Academy and Summit School

December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.


Academic dishonesty by the numbers Have you commited academic dishonesty before? 25%




Have you known or seen someone cheating? 75%

Yes No

Photo Illustration: Eva Perez-Greene:


The Dean weighs in on cheating

What was your response? Ignore it


Talk to student

Is taking unprescribed Adderall to do homework cheating? Yes



59% Is taking unprescribed Adderall for tests cheating? 67%

Yes 33%

Have you been asked to assist others in cheating? Yes

65% 35%


Which do you value more? Honesty



40% Photo Illustration: Lucy Li and Eva Perez-Greene

Survey data based on 278 student responses out of 389 surveys distributed.

Q& A

Judy Cummins




Dean of Students Judy Cummins gives her point of view on academic dishonesty. Guest Writer

The Upper School is a unique community where students and faculty live the shared values of trust, honesty and respect. Academic honesty is a key component of these values. I believe that our students do not take these expectations lightly and, consequently, when academic dishonesty occurs, it is a serious and complicated violation. The news media reports that cheating has reached epidemic proportions in academia, especially high school and higher education (2013 Harvard University cheating scandal). Perhaps this is true at SPA but I have not seen evidence of it. Although academic dishonesty is the most frequent violation that comes before the Discipline Committee (an average of 5 cases yearly), there is no difference in the number of cases we have seen over the last 10 years. One recent challenge lies in the wide availability and ease of online access to information i.e. papers to purchase, Wikipedia, etc. The majority of our cases involve language and concepts that come directly from sources without attribution. Our students understand that plagiarizing a

paper is wrong but have more difficulty with the gray area of when and how collaboration and conversation about work cross the line. The concept raised in the student poll about loyalty vs. honesty presents a moral dilemma to many students. In our community, we encourage students to communicate with teachers when they are having difficulty with work, not take the risk with their integrity. The student representatives on the DC focus on the motivation of the student, highlight the violation of trust and the breaking of relationship with the teacher, and ask the student to strategize how this will be different in the future. Consequences without strategies rarely lead to a change in behavior and these conversations are designed to prevent development of a pattern of academic dishonesty. In higher education, consequences for academic dishonesty are more severe and may include immediate failure in the course or suspension and, in some colleges, expulsion. As a school, we educate students to develop and adhere to community principles, and provide firm, yet supportive boundaries for growth.

Thomas Togradmadjian conducts an interview with an anonymous student at St. Paul Academy and Summit School on the secret life of cheating.

What kinds of academic dishonesty do you see people commit most commonly? Copying homework answers from each other.

Do you see the same people commonly rely on cheating, or is it an isolated incident?

I don’t really see the same people rely on it as the only way of getting their homework done, usually if someone copies someone else’s homework, they will return the favor later.

How many times have you let somebody copy

your homework this year?

A rough estimate is probably around 10 times.

And how many times have you copied somebody else’s?

Probably about the same, around 10.

Have you ever seen anybody cheat on anything bigger?

The biggest thing I have seen someone cheat on is a test.

Were you involved at all, or did you just see? And how did they do it? I have been involved in al-

lowing someone to cheat, but not cheating myself. That case just involved them looking at my answers and me not stopping them. But in other cases I have seen people using phones or notes during tests.

Do you ever feel there’s a threat of being caught copying homework, or does it feel casual? Homework feels more casual, it’s not as big a part of the grade for the class, and there is no time limit or proctoring. I have never seen someone get caught copying homework, and have never heard of any consequences, so there is no real threat.

Do people do it for the grade, or just because it’s awkward when the teacher checks and you don’t have it?

People do it for the grade. Especially with the huge workload we have at SPA, it is not always possible to get all of your homework done, but that usually is not a credible or acceptable excuse, so students are pressured to get the work done, but not always by themselves.

Back to cheating on tests, have you seen people premeditate it or plan it, or do they just look around when they don’t

know an answer?

I have never seen anyone premeditate it, just trying to find the answers once they realize they aren’t prepared for the test.

Do you think copying homework is morally wrong? Not really.

Why not?

Because teachers don’t care if you use outside sources for homework, so copying isn’t much different. Plus, if you copy homework, chances are you won’t be prepared for that lesson’s material on the test later, so you will be punished by yourself in the long run.

Check out student art in the Winter Student Art Show in the Harry M. Drake Gallery through Jan. 24, 2014.

Photo Credit: Laura Slade Three of senior Ben Morris’ pottery creations are displayed in the Harry M. Drake Gallery for the Winter Student Art Show.

Tweet tweet! Students share their thoughts on music in 140 characters or less.

12 A RT S & E N T E RTA I N M E N T December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Pops concert comes together just in time Thomas Toghramadjian


Opinions Editor

The week leading into this year’s Pops Concert was marked by a distinct sense of crisis. Time limitations caused by the new class schedule, along with an ambitious array of pieces, left the musicians and their directors “scrambling for solutions,” in the words of Upper School Orchestra Director Almut Englehardt. Despite the challenges that surrounded it, Pops 2013 came off without a hitch. Among the concert’s highlights was Adele’s “Skyfall,” a collaborative effort by the Summit Singers, Gold Jazz Ensemble, and senior vocal soloist Emma Chang who sang the theme from the 2012 James Bond film in its entirety. “I think Adele just got out-Adeled,” senior emcee Yusra Murad remarked after the performance. Chang secured her part weeks before the concert, after Choir Director Anne Klus announced an opportunity for a singer to sing solo in conjunction with the Gold Jazz Ensemble. “I came in one

FAST FACTS The word oboe comes from the French hautbois, or “high wood” Siblings of the oboe include the English horn and the heckelphone The modern oboe is usually made from grenadilla wood and nickel silver

day during a free period and sang for her. After a while she then asked me to come in again and one day she announced during choir that I was going to sing with the band,” Chang said. After that, she rehearsed in one-on-one sessions with Klus, with the choral accompaniment, and with the band. Despite her years of experience, Chang acknowledged that she was nervous beforehand. “I had to take a few deep breaths before I sang,” she said. The concert ended with another joint effort: a performance of Europe’s “The Final Countdown” by Gold Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra. The customary finale, including all the different ensembles, did not occur this year due to the schedule change. However, “The Final Countdown” was an exciting conclusion that featured two lengthy improvisational solos, by junior Shaan Bijwadia on alto saxophone and sophomore Danish Mahmood on electric guitar. “[Band Director Dr. William Mayson] just asked me if I could play a solo for a few bars, and I pulled off something different every time we rehearsed the song.

Photo submitted by: Victoria Guest Students stand for applause at the end of the Pops Concert on Dec. 7, 2013. “In general, I am very happy with all of my students this year. Everyone is working hard and is doing their very best,” Upper School Orchestra Director Englehardt said.

At the concert I combined all the ideas and went off in a different direction,” Mahmood said. “But at the end of the day, I was just enjoying the amazing music that the band and orchestra were creating.” Bijwadia’s solo on Final Countdown was more scripted, but still relied heavily on his improvisational skill. “I had a pre-written skeleton that I embellished upon. Each time I played it was different, but as you practice you get a feel for which notes and phrases go well with the accom-

paniment,” he said. Englehardt was particularly impressed by the Honors Sinfonia, noting that their pieces required “high quality sound and intensity throughout, which requires non-stop focus and a high level of technical skill.” She also was proud of the orchestra’s ability to recover from the loss of a strong senior class. “I am so impressed by how everyone has stepped up and filled that void, making the transition this fall seamless and successful... One group I am particularly happy with this fall [is]

our freshmen who have exceeded my expectations on every level and who stand out as a group of young and excellent players,” Englehardt said. “In general, I am very happy with all of my students this year. Everyone is working hard and is doing their very best,” Englehardt said. And as always, the musicians’ best was perfectly fine for everyone.

Patterson cousins, oboe twins Catherine Braman


Sports Editor

What do Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Richard Gere, Steve Martin, Julia Roberts, and Bruce Willis have in common? They all play the oboe! A woodwind instrument that has a long tube shape, metal keys, and a double reed, the oboe produces a high pitched sound. Because the oboe is not as popular as common woodwind instruments like the flute, clarinet, and the saxophone, some orchestras only have one. Photo Illustration: Catherine Braman However, the St. Paul Academy and Summit School Upper School orchestra has two oboists, Patterson cousins, senior Sela Patterson cousins junior Kevin Patterson and junior Kevin Patterson pose with their and senior Sela Patterson. oboes after rehearsal. When considering Junior Kevin Patterson started the challenges of the instrument, Kevin to play the oboe when he was in said, “the hardest thing is that it is somesixth grade. He chose it “mostly times a little difficult to because it seemed pretty unique,” produce a good sound he said. that is in tune.” When considering the challenges of the instrument, he add-

ed,“the hardest thing is that it is sometimes a little difficult to produce a good sound that is in tune.” On the other hand, senior Sela Patterson has played the oboe for seven years. She chose this instrument because she wanted to play something that not many people play and that was a woodwind instrument. Sela Patterson also mentioned that she liked the fact that the character Megan in the television show, “Drake and Josh”, played the oboe. Sometimes the oboe is perceived as a difficult and squeaky instrument. “People do not realize how much air goes into the reed and how tight your lips are. It is hard to play it consistently throughout the piece of music,” Sela Patterson said. According to the Groth Music Company’s website, a new oboe can cost anywhere in the range of $1,800 - $6,600. Some music stores also sell used instruments for a much lower cost. It is typ-

ical for a beginner instrumentalist to start by playing the clarinet and then move to the oboe which is similar, but more difficult and complex. The expense does not end with the cost of the instrument. The oboe requires a double reed to play and each reed can cost $15 to $20. Kevin Patterson said, “I change my reed whenever one breaks or wears out which is usually every couple months. Sela Patterson added that it is important to play with a reed that is “broken in” which takes roughly one week of practice and rehearsals. With the oboe section of Patterson and Patterson, the cousins will continue to play their part in the US orchestra.

Go behind the scenes of SPA theater online at

Photo Credit: Netta Kaplan

Sophomore Blaire Bemel puts a braid in sophomore Ora Hammel’s hair before the opening night of The Caucasian Chalk Circle on Nov. 22, 2013.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The 2013 fall play, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, received honorable mentions from the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program in the Overall Production and Overall Performance categories. Individuals in the show received the following awards:


Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role

Honorable Mention Performance in a Supporting Role

Charlotte Hughes as Grusha Vachnadze

Evan Leduc as Simon Chachava Connor Allen as Azdak, the judge

Honorable Mention Performance in a Leading Role

Honorable Mention Performance in a Featured Role

Emily Ross as Arkadi Chaidze (the singer)

Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role Sonja Mischke as the Governor’s Wife


Halsey Moe as Prince Kazbeki and Jussup Anna Biggs as Musician/Singer/Ensemble Maddie Flom-Staab as Musician/Singer/ Ensemble Nissa Rolf as Musician/Singer/Ensemble Claire Walsh as Musician/Singer/Ensemble

E N T E RTA I N M E N T 13 December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.

Theater traditions carry on It’s easy to see r how the ball keeps on rolling with St. Paul Academy and Summit School theater, but no matter the show, cast, or season, some things never change.

Netta Kaplan

Staff Writer/Copy Editor

Sing (and dance) your heart out

The last meal: pre-show dining With just a few hours before the lights go up onstage, the cast and crew gather to eat at Cossetta Alimentari, an Italian restaurant and market near downtown St. Paul. For years, the cast of every play, musical, and one-act has carpooled over to Cossetta’s before opening night. “It’s far away and super inconvenient but that doesn’t stop us from coming here,” junior Mansuda Arora said. “No one’s hungry for a giant heavy Italian meal--especially before a musical--but that doesn’t stop us; we still do it.” “It wouldn’t be the theater if we didn’t do it,” junior Sonja Mischke said. “We just couldn’t go anywhere else honestly, especially because it’s one of the only

places that’ll take a big group,” she added. It is a big group, but over 40 hungry teenagers hardly make a dent in the available seating. Renovations last year mean the restaurant boasts over 300 seats, indoors and outdoors. “Now that they have this bigger building, it’s really awesome compared to how it used to be,” junior Olivia Fitch said. While the menu offers a wide variety of salads, sandwiches, and other Italian dishes, “We generally order the same thing... either pizza or pasta,” said to Arora. By far the most popular dish is Mostaccioli con Ricotta, a pasta dish with accompanied by ricotta cheese sauce along with the Cossetta family sauce.

Warming up to warm-ups Some traditions aren’t purely for fun and bonding. Before every show, the cast warms up to get prepared for the hard work of acting. “Warm-ups, for what we do, is to get everyone pumped up and energized,” junior Sophia Harrison said. “It gets us kind of in the mode. It’s kind of like a wake-up call, like ‘It’s show time!”’ she

added. The cast warms up all together onstage through dancing and tongue exercises: rolling their tongues 12 times on each side of their mouths. “We get in the zone, and I guess it’s just a transition from reality into getting into character and coming together before the show,” Harrison said.

Photo Credit: Netta Kaplan The cast of The Caucasian Chalk Circle warms up onstage by dancing to music. “Warm ups, for what we do, is to get everyone pumped up and energized,” junior Sophia Harrison said. “It gets us kind of in the mode. It’s kind of like a wake-up call, like ‘it’s show time!”’ she added.

Photo Credit: Netta Kaplan Juniors Sophia Harrison, Sonja Mischke, and Olivia Fitch sing and dance on Nov. 22, 2013, before the opening night of the fall play. “I think it’s something that really unites the cast before we get to go be onstage together, especially if it’s a song everybody knows. Everybody can sing along and everybody feels that energy,” Mischke said.

No preparation would be complete without the perfect playlist of pump-up music, and theater is no exception. While the cast dons costumes and makeup before a show, tunes blast in the background. There is no official playlist, and the music alters yearto-year depending on the cast’s choices of what to play next. But one thing remains constant: the steady flow of showtunes. This year, much of the music came from musicals like Newsies, Mamma Mia, and Hairspray, the 2013 Upper School spring musical. And just playing the music isn’t enough; there’s also plenty of singing and dancing, especially to songs from Hairspray by students who remember the choreography from when they were in it. “I think it’s something that really unites the cast before we get to go be onstage together, especially if it’s a song everybody knows. Everybody can sing along and everybody feels that energy,” junior Sonja Mischke said. “They know it’s building up to the play and we can all unite.”

playlist “One Day More” ........................ Les Miserables “Seasons Of Love” ........................................ Rent “Shake It Out” ..... Florence and the Machine “You Can’t Stop The Beat” .............. Hairspray “Defying Gravity” .................................... Wicked “Carrying The Banner” ......................... Newsies “Same Love” ...................................... Macklemore “Hello!” ..................................... Book Of Mormon “A Whole New World” ........................ Aladdin “Take A Chance On Me” ............... Mamma Mia “Countdown” .......................................... Beyonce “Cell Block Tango” .............................. Chicago “Without Love” ................................... Hairspray “Revolting Children” . Matilda: The Musical “Pokemon Theme Song (Gotta Catch ‘em all)” ..................Jason Paige “Lay All Your Love On Me” ........ Mamma Mia “Under The Sea” .............. The Little Mermaid “Take Me Home” .......................... Midnight Red “Seize The Day” ....................................... Newsies

Illustration Credit: Netta Kaplan



The Nordic Skiing team will ski at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, MN for training camp Jan. 2-5.

Senior Ellen Samuelson committed to the University of San Diego for rowing.


December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Photo submitted by: Sophie Pressman Senior Sophie Pressman performs her solo routine in the annual Roseville Figure Skating School ice show this past April. “It is pretty fun because it’s just you, versus having a bunch of other people on the ice with you,” Pressman said.

Skaters sparkle and shine on Boraan Abdulkarim


Cover Story Editor

“It’s sparkly.” This is how senior Sophie Pressman, a figure skater since the age of six, describes the elegant sport. As the snow falls, the ice freezes and anticipative skaters come out of hiding to grace the ice, moving skillfully and rhythmically, drawing intricate swirls with their blades on the frozen water, embracing the cold winter season in all its grandeur. While for leisure skaters, figure skating is more popular during the colder months of the year, dedicated figure skaters find an indoor rink to practice and train inside when higher temperatures make it impossible to ice skate outdoors. “Normally, [my practice times are] about equal, maybe a little bit more [during the school year],” Pressman said. Sophomore Joel Tibbetts began figure skating six years ago after experimenting with many sports, including dance

Freezing weather doesn’t stop determined fishers

and swimming. While he played hockey, his interest was caught when a teacher suggested that he try figure skating. After an original reluctance to participate in a supposedly more feminine sport, he tried it out and “it just stuck. I had fun with it,” Tibbetts said. Pressman’s figure skating career began in a similar fashion. “My mom signed me up for it because my sister did it. I’ve done it for so long that it wouldn’t make sense for me to quit,” Pressman said. As a male figure skater, Tibbetts is part of a minority in the figure skating community. There is actually a different figure skate designed specifically for guys, Tibbetts pointed out. Their style of skating is different from that of women. While both figure skates and hockey skates focus on speed, figure skates give a more creative aspect to skating, while hockey skating revolves a lot more around briskness and clean runs. “What I like about figure skating is you have a lot more maneuverability and there’s a lot more ver-

Do you know your ice?

If you want to throw a spin in there somewhere, you can do it. s o p h om or e Jo e l Ti b b e tt s

satility to it. If you want to throw a spin in there somewhere, you can do it. It’s not all practicality,” Tibbetts said. However figure skating in general is not composed of a minority community. “There’s always a couple people that I’ve known to skate or have skated. There are quite a few people at SPA who I know go to the [St. Paul Figure Skating Club] rink. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a small com-

Students recently completed a poll about ice fishing terminology. Test your knowledge at The RubicOnline and see if you can beat their scores.

50% got snot rocket correct

Mari Knudson


Staff Writer

83% knew what an ice shanty is

50% knew swedish pimples

78% got ice auger correct

83% could identify shoe spikes

61% got tip-up correct

Infographic Credit: Mari Knudson

munity,” Pressman said. There is some debate about whether figure skating is a sport or not. This is due to the aforementioned focus on creativity. This could be countered by the fact that there is a large community of competitive figure skates who attend figure skating competitions that they practice frequently for these competitions. While Pressman hasn’t been competing for the past two years, she still has strong feelings when it comes to the classification of figure skating as a sport. Pressman believes that “what makes a sport a sport, personally, is if you have to be athletically able to do it. It takes practice, there’s a winner and a loser, there’s a technical way to judge who wins.” To Tibbetts’. the most distinct downside to figure skating is the toe pick, which provides more control for the wearer of the skate, but not as a means of stopping. When the ice catches the pick, placed on the front of the blade, the skater does stop, an experience Tibbetts describes as “[fall-

ing] flat on your face before you know it.” Pressman’s chosen flaw of figure skating is the cost and constant maintenance of skating gear, although she acknowledges that a lot of sports have similar hindrances. Recently, Pressman had to have her skates repaired because rusty screws had come loose on her skate’s blade. “ I didn’t hurt myself, but I realized when I got off the ice that I heard a clicking noise, and then I realized that something was wrong with my skate, and it was loose and that’s super dangerous,” Pressman said. Although Pressman no longer skates competitively, she participates in an annual Roseville Figure Skating School annual show as a soloist, a part available to the higher level skaters. “It’s pretty fun because it’s just you versus having a bunch of other people on the ice with you, and you get to pick your own dress and music, and do your own routine in front of an audience, with spotlights and a huge curtain and decorations,” Pressman said.

Just about anyone can go fishing when the weather is nice, but it takes guts to go fishing in below-freezing weather. Ice fishing is not a sport for everyone. Minnesotans who have been ice fishing are in the minority, and diehard ice fishing fans are rarer still. However, those who have been do have a few fish stories to tell. As soon as the lakes freeze over, the ice fishing season begins. Ice fishing is not that much different than regular fishing in execution, they both involve sitting and waiting for fish to bite at the bait on your fishing line. However, the ice fishing process

is a bit more complex. “First, you have a snowmobile and a trailer with an ice fishing hut,” freshman Emilio Alvarado said. “You ride the snowmobile out onto the lake with the trailer attached. Then you drill a hole in the ice and put the hut over the hole. You sit in the hut with your line in the water and wait for the fish to bite. Sometimes you have a computer to tell you where the fish are.” ______________ Read the rest of the “big fish” story at The RubicOnline.

School is out, sports are in!

UPCOMING HOME GAMES Dec 20 - Boys Varsity Basketball at 7:00 p.m. against Concordia Academy Dec 30 - Girls Varsity Hockey at 7:00 p.m. against Holy Family/ Waconia Jan 3 - Girls Varsity Basketball at 6:30 p.m. against Roosevelt Jan 9- Boys Varsity Hockey at 7:00 p.m. against Breck

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

SP ORT S 15 December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.

So many teams, so little space Hockey and basketball teams compete for practice times Javier Whitaker-Castaneda


Photo Credit: Eva Perez-Greene The Spartan Hockey team celebrates after scoring a goal during their Dec . 5 game against Mahtomedi High School. The Spartans defeated the Zephyrs in 3-2 victory.

Staff Writer

For many of St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s winter athletic teams, snow is a big problem. There are many winter sports that are based around annual snowfall, but sports that do not utilize Minnesota’s natural landscape must retreat indoors for the winter season. With limited practice space and each team wanting lengthy and convenient practice conditions, the schedules often change. Each athlete has their own preference of when they want to practice but not everyone gets their ideal time.


Photo Credit: Lucy Li The SPA-Visitation United Hockey team looks to take the puck away from an opposing player during their Dec. 3 game against Academy of Holy Angels at Drake Arena. The team beat the Stars 5-0.

Photo Credit: Catherine Braman Sophomore Charlie Hooley brings the ball up the court in the team’s Nov. 26 game against St. Paul Humbolt High School. The Spartans beat the Hawks 83-58.

Photo submitted by: Peter Sawkins From left: junior Sarah Romans, junior Katie Ademite and senior Jonte Claiborne defend the ball in their Dec. 3 game against St. Croix Preparatory Academy. The team won 66-44.

Athletic Director Peter Sawkins, in cooperation with Assistant Director of Athletics Mike Brown, is in charge of organizing practice times for the gym and the hockey rink. There are four hockey teams he needs to get on the rink every day and nine basketball teams to get in the gym. To get everybody into the Historic Briggs Gymnasium and Drake Arena to practice is no easy task. To make the basketball schedule work, it is divided into three practice sessions. All the Middle School teams practice at once, usually from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.. This means the 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys teams and the girls Middle School basketball team are all practicing at the same time. This gets very crowded and the gym gets very full. The Upper School teams have a different schedule which is more flexible and based on the coaches’ schedules. Every week the boys and girls teams swap practice times. The early practice time is from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and the late practice time is 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.. The three boys teams from Varsity to C Team level practice at once and the Girls Varsity and C teams practice at the other practice time. There are exceptions to this schedule depending on how available the coaches are. “The girls team wanted to go late first two weeks because it worked better for their coaches,” Sawkins said. Hockey practices are also divided into three sections. Girls Varsity Hockey practices are right after school and Boys Varsity practice follows at 5:00 p.m.. The boys and girls JV teams have the

FAST FACT Between the Middle School and Upper School, there are 13 basketball and hockey teams that use the gym and hockey rink every day. latest practice at 6:30 p.m.. They are at a disadvantage because each team only gets half of the ice at this time. “We can’t do as many of the drills that would help us without the full space,” freshman hockey player Maria Perkkio said. “We need a new rink,” senior varsity hockey captain Nick Hoffmann said.

STUDENTS BALANCE HOMEWORK AND PRACTICE Some students prefer the earlier practice which allows them to get home earlier after practice. “I have a solid practice time,” freshman varsity hockey player Jack Johnston said. Some athletes like the late practice better for the free time they get between school and practice. “I can go home or stay at school and I have time to do what I want,” freshman JV hockey player Peter Schavee said. Others disagree and find the practice times inconvenient. “My parents work so it’s not worth it for them to drop me at home then pick me up again,” Perkkio said. If a team’s practice isn’t right after school, the athletes usually stay at SPA. This is often a good time to do homework. Boys Basketball players are required to stay at a study table between school and practice. “It’s a great place to get my work done before practice,” freshman Wyatt Bliss said. Girls basketball and hockey players also work between practice, but it is less structured. “It’s hard to get homework done before practice,” junior basketball player Alexis Irish said.

THE WEIGHT OF WAITING Teams also take this opportunity to prepare for the rest of the season by working out in the

weight room. Boys Varsity Hockey often does a pre-practice work out. “You are tired when you get on the ice but it’s good for conditioning,” Hoffmann said.

THE SMALL GYM With the chaos of scheduling many teams may be left in disappointing positions. On days when all three boys teams have games, Girls Basketball has to squeeze into the small gym. Often these extra practices are also at an inconvenient times for the team because the coach cannot always make it to the start of practice.

THE PRACTICE OF BUSSING This schedule is also chaotic for players. For this reason, SPA scheduled an activities bus for winter athletes who need it. There are two buses at different times (5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.). “It helps Upper School athletes who can’t drive yet get a ride home,” said Sawkins. The bus is meant to enable students who don’t have a ride to participate in athletics anyway. Despite the convenience it is not very commonly used. “There’s almost no one on the bus,” freshman activities bus rider Ellis Tomlinson said. “The Kenwood rec center is the only stop for the second bus,” junior basketball player Jack Labovitz said. As the winter sports season progresses, there is more chaos with the schedules. On game days, scheduling is harder because games fill up practice spaces. Can’t get enough sports? The RubicOnline posts up to date game scores, special features, and team news.

16 B AC K C OV E R

December 2013. Vol XXXXI. Issue IV.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The First Amendment grants Americans freedom of speech, but what does that really mean? Here, St. Paul Academy and Summit School students examine the gray areas for speech on the Internet and off campus.

The thin line blurs between in and out of school speech The Rubicon Staff


You go to school for learning. It’s a separate life. SPA has jurisdiction to punish you within school walls, but not outside out of them. It isn’t SPA’s place. — senior Connor Allen

I think the school should be able to punish someone that put something on Facebook that affects a different student... if it’s cyberbullying or exclusion or anything like that. — sophomore Ora Hammel

If people kept saying mean things, there could have been consequences and a fight could have broken out. The school is responsible, especially if it is a school-sponsored event. Students should be careful of what they say. — senior Andrew Thao, in response to racist and elitist comments made by SPA students at the 2010 State Boys Soccer semi-final match.

When and how is the school responsible for monitoring student speech?

Basically, it’s on the student to represent themselves and the school well. The school can reprimand students for things they do on school property, but the school can only do so much. It’s the student’s responsibility to make sure they are being a good representation of themselves and of SPA. — sophomore Cait Gibbons

This week, an email was intercepted by the school and a student was punished because of it. Regardless of the context, the school is still penalizing somebody for their choice of words... and they’re enforcing what we say on an email address they require us to use. — junior Ben Pettee, in response to an announcement made at a class meeting about a recent Discipline Committee case.

There are some things which aren’t appropriate for school, but teachers shouldn’t care if it’s outside of school. — freshman Maya Edstrom

I think that the school should be able to punish students for what they post on social media only if it directly affects someone’s ability to learn. — sophomore Ryan Peacock

Quiz your knowledge on students’ speech rights 3


Do your First Amendment rights apply at school? a) yes, but only at public schools b) yes, but only at private schools c) yes; at all schools d) no


At SPA, can faculty punish you for something you post online? a) if it’s bullying another student b) if it has to do with illegal activity c) if it violates school code d) no

answers: 1-d, 2-a, 3-c, 4-c


What right does the First Amendment to the United States Constitution give you? a) freedom to exercise religion b) freedom of the press c) freedom of speech d) all of the above

Are school administrators allowed to see what you post online in non-academic settings? a) if there’s reason to be concerned b) if another student brings it up to them c) if it’s a public post d) administrators are not allowed to look at student’s social media

December 2013 Issue  

The Rubicon is the student newspaper of St. Paul Academy and Summit School in St. Paul, Minnesota.