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ubicon October 2010 <volume XXXVIII issue II> St. Paul Academy and Summit School 1712 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN



Staff the rubicon

Editor in Chief Nadja Milena

Managing Editor Maddie Butler

Chief Visual Editor Joanna Mendelsohn

News Editor

Noah Shavit-Lonstein

Feature Co-Editor Rebecca Xu Henry Moyers

Sci/Tech Editor Allison Wang

Centerspread Editor Iman Jafri

Sports Editor Alex Smith

Op/Ed Editor Rachel Kinney

A & E Editor Kaia Wahmanholm

Satire Editor August King


Taylor Billeadeau

Staff Writers

Saif Ahmed Taylor Billeadeau Ellie Fuelling Aditi Kulkarni Lucy Li Andy Monserud Calvin Rose Liz Rossman Nick Scott Zach Zanaska

Editorial Cartoon Claire Larkins

October 2010

Letter from the Editor

One down, three more to go


he end of the first quarter may be rapidly approaching, but there is still no shortage of activities all around the school. Talk of college applications dominates conversation in the senior hallway, while the freshmen worry about their first real high-school grades. The anxiety that the flurry of activity at the end of this quarter brings is something many people have experienced sometime in their lives at St. Paul Academy. Here are just a few of the emotions that can be found flying through the hallway: The end of first quarter means that Halloween is drawing near. This holiday devoted to all things spooky often brings out people’s hidden fears and secret anxieties. Learn more about what SPA students are afraid of, and how they handle these fears, look to the Centerspread section (page 10-11). Although there are nerves, there is also a great sense of excitement in the halls. We have made it through one-fourth of the year relatively unscathed, and there is a long weekend ahead to prepare for the next one. Relax and reward yourself: download a few new songs (playlist, A&E page 15), reminisce about Homecoming Week (Back Cover), or spoil some movies for yourself in the Satire section (movie quiz, page 14). Anxiety and fear, excitement and fun - all this activity fills up days and drains energy. Despite everything going on in their lives, however, students continue to follow their passion outside of school. This issue features just a few of these amazing students whose achievements are truly admirable, as well as unique. Read about senior Gavi Levy Haskell’s summer knitting project in News (page 3), and learn how to do a circus trick from dedicated performer and sophomore Nick Zelle in the Feature section (page 7). This quarter may be coming to a close, but that does not mean that anyone is any less busy. In fact, there is so much going on that The Rubicon had to add four extra pages to this issue to fit it all in! So when you find a quiet moment amongst the chaos of quarter’s end, find a comfortable spot, sit down, enjoy the issue, and remember: one down, three to go.


Kathryn Campbell


Writing for Publications Randall Findlay, CJE



the student newspaper of St. Paul Academy and Summit School 1712 Randolph Avenue St. Paul, Mn 55105 Memberships Minnesota High School Press Association National Scholastic Press Association Awards JEM All-State Gold, 2004-2008 JEM All-State Silver, 2009-10 MHSPA Best in Show, 2004-2008, 2010 NSPA First Class with 3 marks of Distinction, 2010 Subscriptions may be purchased by emailing The Rubicon at The Rubicon does not accept advertisements

In the issue News.................................................................................................................3-5 Feature..............................................................................................................6-7 Sci &Tech.........................................................................................................8-9 Centerspread.................................................................................................10-11 Sports............................................................................................................12-13 Satire..................................................................................................................14 A&E..............................................................................................................15-16 Op/Ed............................................................................................................17-19 RubiMail


Thoughts? Rants? Praises? We want to hear them. Email us at


October 2010

Book Fest celebrates great reads The St. Paul Academy and Summit School Book Fest, will continue to celebrate the joy of reading through their book sale and assembly speaker on the Randolph Campus, November 8-11. The Book Fest is sponsored and run by the Middle and Upper School Parent Association, and is chaired by SPA parent Kathleen Novak. She and many other parents order the books that will be sold during the festival and coordinate with teachers to set up the location. Books are purchased from Common Good Books, an independent St. Paul bookstore that also recommends popular books to the Parents Association. The speaker this year is Minnesota storyteller and playwright Kevin Kling. He will perform in the US assembly on Monday, November 8 and hold a book signing in the Summit Center from 11 am to 1pm. Copies of his book will also be available for purchase in the gym so that they are easily accessible to students. According to Novak, the Parent Association chooses a speaker and uses that as Nadja Milena Editor in Chief

a spring board to choose a theme. Last year featured local mystery author Julie Kramer, and the theme became mystery. With Kling, the theme became clear: storytelling. “He is a storyteller. That’s what he does for a living,” Novak said. The greatest opportunity for student involvement in Book Fest, aside from buying and enjoying books, is the poster contest. Students who submitted Book Fest posters were given two quotes to choose from: an old Indian Proverb or a Pablo Neruda quote. Each quote has something to do with storytelling. The two winners this year, seniors Claire Larkins and Zach Rice, each chose one of the quotes and created artwork inspired by it. These posters are displayed around the Middle and Upper School as advertising for Book Fest. This is the third consecutive year of Book Fest. Previously, the Parents Association alternated between organizing the Spring Art Party and Book Fest. The switch to holding it annually was intentional. “Doing it every other year, it was hard to build momentum,” said

Poster Art: Claire Larkins and Zach Rice - Submitted by Kathleen Novak

Larkins’ and Rice’s Book Fest posters were inspired by a quote from Pablo Neruda (left) and an Indian Proverb (right).

Novak, “So we just thought, let’s try to do it every year.” The location of Book Fest will stay closer to the center of the school; they will be in the Summit Center, the Library Classroom, and a nearby section of the Library. Novak said this change was made last yearn in order to try to attract more Upper School students. “[They] tend to be

so busy and have so much reading already, that they’re maybe not the big patrons of Book Fest… We’re going to try to have the tables really well labeled so that if you’re walking through the library you might say ‘oh, college books! Let’s go look at some college books.’” “Whatever money we earn, we pay for Kevin Kling, we pay for the posters

getting printed, and we pay for little snacks. We always have some cider or little cookies or something there. But the main reason we do it is because most of the parents that are working on it feel that a school like SPA should celebrate reading. ” The Book Fest is open the week of November 8-11, from 8am to 4pm.

Student’s art featured in medical journal St. Paul Academy senior Gavi Levy Haskell used her spare time for an interesting activity this summer. She knit models of bacteria. Who wouldn’t want a yarn bacteria hanging in the living room? Her bacteria models were featured in the British Medical Journal and were on display at the Ig Nobel awards at Harvard University. The Ig Nobel Award, administered by an organization called Improbable Research, acknowledges scientists who step outside the box and research unusual theories. This year, for example, Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse, Agnes Rocha-Gosselin, and Diane Gendron received an Ig Nobel Engineering Prize for “perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote control helicopter.” Or take Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston, who conducted an experiment to prove the belief that swearing relieves stress. They received the “Ig Nobel Peace Prize.” Each year, the Ig Nobel prize ceremony, which was held September 30 at Harvard University’s Saunders Theater, has a theme, and this year’s theme was bacteria. Levy Haskell has been involved with Improbable

Q&A with Gavi

Zach Zanaska Staff Writer

Q: How did you hear about the Ig Nobel awards? A: I first learned about the Ig Nobel awards from my honorary aunt, Geri. She does publication design and got involved with the Annals of Improbable Research, doing their magazine layouts and such.

Photo courtesy: Gavi Levy Haskell “There are some vaguely acceptable bacteria patterns online, but most of them were fairly drab,” said Levy Haskell. She freehanded this pattern, as well as an E. Coli and a Bacteriophage.

Research for a few years now and volunteers her time making posters for their award ceremonies. She became involved with the Ig Nobel awards when her family friend introduced her to the organization. The friend is a freelance designer who creates and designs posters for Improbable Research. Levy Haskell’s work has been seen by all the Ig Nobel award recipients who attended the gala where the awards were distributed.

Some winners had bacteria pinned to their suits. Along with the award recognition, the magazine, Annals of Improbable Research, publishes the research and the results. Levy Haskell’s family friend called her one day and told her that the British Medical Journal wanted pictures of her bacteria models for their article on the Ig Nobel awards. The article was the top trending article on the journal’s site for a day.

Q: What is your interest in bacteria? In knitting? A: My interest in bacteria is, in fact, merely in passing. They are a fascinating subject, but I’m not particularly devoted to them. This year the theme happened to be bacteria. The knitting interest is ongoing, however. I started knitting in elementary school. The same honorary aunt, Geri, was the person who really inspired me to pursue it, however. My mother and I spend most summers living with her, [we] knit to be social. When my aunt Geri mentioned her thought of getting Giant Microbes to donate plush bacteria to the Igs, I think I asked, why can’t we knit some? There are some vaguely acceptable bacteria patterns online, but most of them were fairly drab. Therefore I decided to just freehand a few. The E. Coli, the bacteriophage and the Gangrene are all examples of my free-handing. Q: How does it feel to have your work recognized in this way? A: It is, to be entirely honest, downright fantastic. I remember when Geri called and told me what the British Medical Journal had asked for, I figured they might have a little picture of a bacteria as a teaserphoto on their web site or some such. When I found out that they actually wrote a miniature article about it... Well, suffice it to say I was dumbstruck. I realize that it’s not entirely merit-based (they mostly just wanted something cool to introduce the Ig Nobels with) but it still made me pretty happy.


Newsbrief Students head into the wild Seven St. Paul Academy and Summit School juniors and sophomores will be attending the Fall Odyssey on October 22-30. Lead by US English teacher John Wensman and Widjiwagan counselor Tessria Bokin, the Odyssey group will travel to the Dark Canyons in Utah for their wilderness trip. Students will spend three to four days working on outdoor group skills, two days on solo experience, and the final two days together but without adults for two days if the group is ready. “I always look forward to getting to the canyons; it’s an amazing place,” Wensman said. “To have that opportunity to hike in a landscape that beautiful is an experience that I can’t get enough of.”

Film club to show Indian Epic Drama On October 20, Film Club and Intercultural Club will show the film Lagaan (2005). The film is a Bollywood drama movie about cricket, taxes, and oppression in India. Set in the Victorian period, Lagaan tells the story of an Indian village that is being taxed highly by the British. Intercultural Club sponsored a real cricket game in preparation for the movie. Due to the movie’s 224-minute length, IC and Film Club members will also provide snacks and dinner. They hope that people will bring mostly Indian food, but other food will be present. Film club screens the film at 6:00 pm on the Randolph Campus.

Middle school prepares for performance The Middle School Theater program will perform The Secret Garden on October 29 and 30 in the Sarah Converse Auditorium. Middle School theater director Mary-Kay Orman chose to direct this one hour play in part because she thinks “it is a touching story about how love can heal and transform us,” Orman said in an e-mail. It also provides a variety of roles “accessible to Middle School Students,” since half of the characters are children. The cast will present the play during a special assembly on Friday, October 29 and 4pm Saturday, October 30.



October 2010

Seniors recognized as merit scholars Eight percent of all St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s seniors rested above the national average on PSATs, compared to the one percent of seniors nationally. These eight percent are being recognized as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists. The National Merit Scholarship Program, an academic competition that recognizes high school juniors, was established in 1955. Of the approximately 1.5 million juniors who had taken the PSAT, only 50,000 students were awarded for their high scores. These scores vary by state averages and the difficulty of the test. 16,000 of those high scorers are commended as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. The National Merit Scholarship Program recognized seniors Alexandra Johnson, Gavriella Levy Haskell, Hannah Lutz, John Micevych, Preston Morris, Nathan Rice, and Steven Wendeborn for their achievement as Semifinalists. Other “Commended Scholars” included seniors Alexander Berger, Madeline Butler, Kjersten Conway, Samuel Dicke, Jackson Evert, Sonali Garg, John Hill, Nadja LeonhardHooper, Zachary Mohring, Emily Rasmussen, Zachary Rice, Hannah Samuelson, Kira Snyder, Jonathan Socha, and Jada Wensman. “The opportunity to earn money [from the scholarship] is pretty exciting”, Wendeborn said. A few of the seniors prepared for the SAT over the summer before their junior year. For Johnson, this meant writing over 1000 vocabulary cards to prepare for the test. “Preparing for the PSAT took a lot of pressure off the SAT,” Johnson said. For seniors like Wendeborn, the PSAT helped give them an idea of what the SAT was like and gave them a feel of the “test-taking experience.” However, the competition isn’t over yet. In February, 15,000 of the 16,000 semifinalists will be commended as finalists. The finalists’ judges base their decisions on the finalists’ academic record, information about the school’s curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official’s written recommendation, information about the student’s activities and leadership, and the finalists’ own essay.

From two party system, Tea Party gains steam

Allison Wang Sci/Tech Editor

With midterm elections looming, the Tea Party has been gaining respect and interest from the American public, especially after unexpected primary wins in states such as Delaware. The Tea Party, a grass roots movement that rose from angry citizens and support from media outlets such as Fox News, was originally widely regarded as politically insignificant, and later as a rising antiestablishment sentiment that would either divide the Republican Party or make it stronger. But recent polls have shown otherwise, and the Tea Party is becoming an important, separate force in modern American politics. One driving force for Tea Party anger is corruption in politics as they now stand. Michael Marschinke, the Tea Party organizer for the South St. Paul area, says the primary reason he supports the Tea Party over the traditional Republican Party is that “the Republican Party has said things that they haven’t stood by, but the Tea Party will stand by …(what they say)… no matter what kind of negative publicity they get.” He claims that the current government is faulty, especially because of a lack of term limits in Congress. “Congress,” he says, “is a road to corruption, and the Tea Party not only has something for the American public to do about it, but a solution for government to make it run more efficiently.” Many theories have emerged regarding the effect of the Tea Party on the midterm elections. Some say that the Tea Party will divide the Republican Party, crippling it for the next elections. John Finch, faculty advisor to the Student Political Union and Upper School history teacher, believes the contrary. He says that the Tea Party will likely be absorbed by the Republican Party. “I don’t think there are any hidden issues… that are going to divide the Republican Party.” Finch points out that throughout history, numerous third parties have emerged, but, soon after times of crisis have passed, dissolved or gone more mainstream. Andy Monserud Staff Writer

Photo illustration credit: Maddie Butler

Colbert, Stewart hold competing rallies on Washington Mall In an attempt to balance political sway by the Tea Party movement, news satirists Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart announced that they would each be holding rallies at the National Mall in Washington D.C. on October 30. Colbert announced that he would be “restoring truthiness” during his March to Keep Fear Alive. The Rally to Restore Sanity will be hosted by Jon StewNick Scott Staff Writer

art in an attempt to “take it down a notch for America.” The rallies closely resemble Glenn Beck’s most recent rally, “The Rally to Restore Honor.” “This [march] in conjunction with John Stewart’s ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’ are both attempting to bring the political identity of the moderates forward in a media where usually only the extremists are heard,” said Danny Foussard, an avid fan of Stephen Colbert. Thus far, the results of

holding these rallies remain purely speculation. It’s possible that the rallies may entice a lot of viewers. According to Foussard, “I think there’s going to be a lot of response to a rally. I think back to Glenn Beck’s socalled Restoring Honor Rally and the massive amount of coverage surrounding it and I can only see similar trends with regards to Colbert’s version.” Stewart and Colbert both made the announcement on September 16 in a somewhat

competitive fashion, as both reporters attended the announcement on the other’s show. About two weeks later, during an interview about his new book, Pinheads and Patriots, Stewart invited Fox news Anchor Bill O’Reilly to attend the Rally to Restore Sanity. O’Reilly declined the offer, stating, “You and Colbert don’t want me to come, because if I come, then there’ll be a big crowd, and you won’t get any credit.”

Worldquest goes for the gold Competition moves to October; group has lots to learn in short time Despite the Saif Ahmed fact that St. Staff Writer Paul Academy and Summit School’s Academic Worldquest team has had very limited time to prepare for the competition on October 29, the team is feeling confident about a victory. The competition was scheduled in January, but was moved up to October because the day coincides with a gala night, an adult version of Academic Worldquest. Because of this time change, both competitions are going to be held on the same night. “The time change will help us because [other competing schools] have classes devoted to Worldquest,” copresident Hagop Toghramadjian said. He said that because of the classes they have everyday, they study the material question by question, and by the end of the semester, when the competition is normally held, the other schools would understand the material better.

Photo credit: Noah Shavit-Lonstein

Below: Academic Worldquest captain Hannah Samuelson studies a map of France. Students are studying on their own time, while other schools have Worldquest classes.

This time change is going to help SPA’s team because it will give them more of an incentive to win and to stay focused. Because SPA does not offer classes devoted to Worldquest, the team studies the material in greater chunks, as opposed to little

bits everyday. Last year’s team had many now-graduated seniors. Now, there are only two juniors from last year, and very few younger students. Because of the lack of experience on the team, they feel more pressured to

work together. The business running the competition handed out a book that has the basis of all the questions. All questions come out of the book to allay surprise at hard questions.


October 2010


New student groups boost Focus of sophschool spirit, animal rights omore retreat reexamined

Plan reduces team-building activities, increases service

Photo Credit: Joanna Mendelsohn

Sophomore Cory Russell, president of PAWS, talks about the various activities the group will focus on for the first semester. The group plans to offer opportunities that benefit the Human Society. PAWS will also focus on raising money and educating the SPA community about animals.

The new student group People for Animal Welfare and Safety (PAWS) is perfect for hard-core animal lovers and caring pet owners. Sophomore Cory Russell, group founder and leader, hoped for a good turnout at the first meeting October 7. Attendance was strong, and doubled the second week. Russell owns a dog from the Humane Society and is interested in animals. Lucy Li Staff Writer

Hoping to providing support and enthusiasm for all SPA athletes, Spartan Boosters joins the community. Started by senior hockey player Charley Bemis, the group hopes to organize and encourage students to cheer on each other at games. Bemis wants to increase attendance and cheering not only at easy to attend sports like football and soccer, but also sports that are harder to attend because their competitions are often further away, like swimming and diving. Transportation is the group’s main issue. “We are yet to come up with a system,” Charley Bemis, group leader, said. He hopes for a way to carpool or bus. “Potential members should know we’re supportive of all sports,” Bemis said. “We’d love to hear your ideas. My group should be all about having fun.” The group’s mission statement is to “strengthen support for student athletes of

After Russell approached her, English teacher Kathryn Campbell volunteered to be the group’s advisor. She hopes this new group can raise animal awareness in students. “I know we have a lot of animal lovers at SPA,” she added. The group has plans to participate in lots of activities: making cat beds, volunteering at adoption centers, creating dog treats or toys, and connecting with the Humane Society for fur-

ther service opportunities. “There will be a lot of raising money,” Russell said. The group will plan locally and focus on the Humane Society, according to Russell. She also wants to educate people about the dangers of pit bulls and other dogs. The second semester will attempt to educate students on more global animal issues, such as dolphin slaughter. The group hopes to bring in a few speakers

from time to time. However, Campbell said, the group will have to keep a focused goal. There are countless choices of who to help and what to do. They want to find the best way to be helpful to animals. The group is still in the planning stage, so she hopes that new group members will share some of their ideas. “The whole beauty of student groups is how ideas sort of bloom out of student interest,” Campbell said.

Lucy Li Staff Writer

Photo Credit: Joanna Mendelsohn

Students attend meetings of the newly created student group, Spartan Booster Club. Sophomore Spencer Egly enjoys participating in school spirit. “I think that it’s good that there is more involvement in SPA sports and school.”

SPA and to create a tradition of athletic excellence within the community.” They also hope “to integrate athletics into the culture of SPA.” The group meets in the cafeteria, with administrators Nick Bancks, Dave Montgomery, and Mike Brown as advisors.

Bemis is excited because he believes there are many opportunities for the new group. He hopes he can create a long-standing position for it in the SPA community. Being a hockey player, he knows how much more fun a large, cheering audience can be for the athletes.

The large number of students who attended the first meeting was a good sign. However, the group’s leaders are looking for more girls to join. “I think the big thing is that our group will try to be equitable,” Bancks said.

Photo Credit: Mikayla Nelson

Tenth grade students volunteer at Feed My Starving Children, which sends food to families in need internationally. “I’m glad we had a chance to help less fortunate kids,” said sophomore Amy Loushin.

In hopes of replacing past teambuilding activities with service learning, the Sophomore Class Leadership Council (SoCLC) is restructuring the Sophomore Retreat. Newly elected SoCLC members founded the idea of restructuring the retreat and will primarily decide the plans and events, concluding that final decision will be approved by Dean Cummins, and Principal Mr. Hughes. The sophomore retreat will be in February, during the middle of the year. “A boring and stressful time for most students, the retreat will be a fun and productive release from school,” says SoCLC member Melanie Luikart. Activities such as team-building have been rejected at council meetings with hope of retreat to giving students options and unassigned activities. “Team Building just isn’t fun anymore. We’ve been doing the same bonding exercises at every retreat and we are looking for something new to do,” says sophomore Gina Nguyen. SoCLC believes that giving students options of different projects such as trips to Feed My Starving Children and unassigned groups of classmates will make the retreat more enjoyable for students. Service learning will occur between October and February where students will be involved with small Liz Rossman Staff Writer

activities that benefit the community. “We will still practice community service outside of the retreat, and encourage students to perform service outside of the school,” says SoCLC faculty advisor Mollie Ward. A goal of eight hours of community service per student, between October and February, has been set by SoCLC looking to engage students into service by rewarding service with rewards such as snacks and, according to SoCLC member Amanda Hotvedt, “homework and assignment passes”. Service projects will vary from participating in organizations like Feed My Starving Children, creating meals for children in developing countries, and Christmas Child, creating gifts contain necessities for underprivileged children, to community service like raking leaves for nearby neighborhoods. Sophomore students Gina Ngyuen and Marie Siliciano, hope that the retreat will incorporate exciting, productive activities with the ability to relax and join with classmates. “Past retreats, and experiences at Camp Widji were the most fun because we had options of activities and were able to switch between groups of classmates,” says Nguyen. SoCLC will have the final word on the changes, hoping to incorporate opinions of the sophomores while still leaving some room for surprises at February’s retreat.



October 2010

Bienvenida a los Estados Unidos

New amity Maria Araujo shares her feelings on transitioning to America The clocks in Iman Jafri Centerspread Editor Madrid, Spain tick seven hours ahead of Minnesota’s. St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s new Spanish amity, Maria Araujo, says that, here, everyone does things “really early. Here, you eat [lunch] at 11, but in Madrid, I eat at three,” said Araujo with a chuckle and her brown eyes glittering. “For dinner with my family, we eat at six, but in Madrid we eat at 10.” Araujo arrived in Minnesota on Monday, September 13 after flying 16 hours in the air. This is her first time in America. Araujo loves her family here. Araujo lives with a middle school family that has three daughters, and she said that she spends a lot of time playing with the girls. “I live with the NaQvis, a Pakistani family,” Araujo said. As such, she said that a lot of the food she eats with them is “too spicy,” and that she ends up drowning it in yogurt. However, she said that her family is very attentive of her needs and that they are “very good people … My mother here took me to the supermarket and we got some food for me,” Araujo said. “I have my own bedroom and a lot a privacy. It’s very fine and very nice.” In terms of Araujo’s fam-

ily back home, she said that she has her mother, father, and a sister named Lola. She said that she tries to Skype with them as often as possible, though it can be difficult to find time. This is due to the time difference and her hours at SPA. She also goes to bed at eight p.m., the result of lingering jet lag. “When I get home, I run to the house and call them,” said Araujo, using hand gestures to describe her urgency. In Madrid, among playing fútbol (soccer), baloncesto (basketball), going to el teatro (theater) and el cine (cinema) and teaching English literature and grammar, Araujo spends time as a swimming instructor. “I did it three days a week, and I taught four year olds through old people.” She has not been swimming here yet, but plans on it, though “I don’t have much time, since I play with the girls.” She said that, along with how early people do things here, there are quite a few differences. “Here, everything is by car. In Madrid, we take the metro or the bus, because otherwise the traffic jam is terrible.” Araujo also said that SPA’s culture has many differences than that of the schools in Spain. “Here, the boys are dancing,” she said in reference to the lip sync competition during homecoming week. “In

Photo Courtesy: Maria Araujo

New amity Maria Araujo enjoys her stay in Minnesota with a Pakistani host family. “[They are] very good people … My mother here took me to the supermarket and we got some food for me,” Spanish amity Maria Araujo said.

Spain, we don’t do that.” She also said “I really love the way that you have a big table [Harkness table] and everyone sits around it and speaks and participates. In Madrid, no. The students listen and the teacher speaks.” Araujo really ap-

preciates the close teacher-student relationships prevalent in the SPA community. So far, Ararujo has enjoyed her time in Minnesota very much, both at home and at SPA. However, she said that the upcoming “cold

frightens me. In Madrid, no.” Despite the promise of a Minnesota winter, Araujo seems ready to enjoy the 2010-2011 year as an amity at SPA.

SAC endorses Spartan dance song list Student groups make changes in their work and impact on the community Change happens. It happens during all stages of our lives. With Henry Moyers Feature Co-Editor the start of a new school year, everyone changes policies regarding their work. So, it comes as no surprise that student groups also modify their policies. The Student Activities Committee is one of those groups. The newly designed dance song lists helped students voice their preferences. While some students haven’t used the sign up sheets before, these lists have existed in the past. The SAC tried to make the sheets more popular this year by advertising around St. Paul Academy and Summit School. SAC Co-President Conor Dowdle said, “We implement song lists for every dance. This year was the first year we had multiple lists. Usually a list can be found on the opinion board prior to the dance, but this was the first year we had SAC reps make an announcement in class meetings.” Even though the song lists didn’t receive much input from students, they still felt the effect of SAC’s changes to their dancing experience. The dance proved to be very successful compared to past years, and was well liked by many students. Many seniors were present, more than the number of seniors who attended in past HomeRebecca Xu Feature Co-Editor

coming dances. Senior Autumn Thorpe thinks that the Homecoming dance this year was very enjoyable: “The transition songs seemed better this year; it was a lot better than songs from Grease.” Thorpe said that SAC put a lot of work into the dance this year, and their effort was apparent. “There was a good hype to the dance, SAC really helped to lead up to the dance through Homecoming week.” Although many students acknowledge that SAC made changes for the better, student’s opinions remain far from unanimous. Some students weren’t aware that the sign up sheet format had changed. “I knew about the sign up sheets” said sophomore Francesco Di Caprio. However, Di Caprio didn’t use the sign up sheets to request any songs. He wasn’t aware that the lists had changed and said that the lists “seemed the same as past years.” Change has once again crossed paths with our lives, whether for better or for worse. The variety of responses received from SAC’s changes to the Homecoming dance proves the diversity of SPA’s students and their opinions. As the school year moves forward, we move forward as well. Although we’re still unclear of the path to travel on, we can assure ourselves that wherever we go, change will always be awaiting us.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Xu

SAC’s Homecoming Dance song list reflects student’s opinions. “Anyone can write down the songs they want which means we’ll have the combined opinion of everyone,” said SAC Co-president Conor Dowdle.


October 2010


Spotlight’s on me, just like a circus Step 3

Step 1

Step 6 Photo Credit: Rebecca Xu

When most kids were spending their days attending camps or relaxing with friends, Nick Zelle was twirling in hula hoops, spinning down ropes, and occasionally being a clown. During the summer, he had joined a circus. Zelle, a sophomore at St. Paul Academy and Summit School, spent 10 weeks performing all along the East Coast in a circus called Circus Smirkus. Zelle, along with 27 other kids ages 11 to 18, performed intricate acrobatic moves like the cordelise, a move in which you wrap around an apparatus of ropes and drop down, twisting around and doing tricks. He also got the opportunity to perform in a European-style big top, the only one in the United States. Zelle also does circus during the school year at Xelias, an “aerial arts studio” which he has been Ellie Fuelling Staff Writer

Step 2 attending since the program first started. “When I was four, I saw Cirque du Soleil, and I wanted to do that,” Zelle said, reminiscing about the moment he realized circus was something he wanted to do. “So I did gymnastics for about a week, and then I began Circus Juventus for a year in 2000. Then I moved to Xelias when that started.” Although circus is Zelle’s passion, he admits that balancing homework and practice can be tricky. “I sometimes have to plan ahead like on the weekend, and get some work done ahead of time.” He can have up to three hours of practice after school each night. To say that Circus Smirkus is prestigious is quite the understatement. The first part of the application process involves sending in a tape of yourself showing your skills. If the people at the circus think you have the talent, you fly out to Vermont to audition in front of

Step 4

them. In the summer of 2009, Zelle made the flight out East and made it to the first audition, but the judges told him that he had difficulty “connecting with the audience,” his mother, Julie Zelle said. She added, “Most kids don’t get in the first time.” The next summer, when Zelle was going into sophomore year, he tried again, and made it past the first round of judging. “All of a sudden he came out,” Julie Zelle said, “Charlie (his dad) was crying, his coach was crying, we were all crying.” Julie said that Zelle was smiling and confident. His technical skills were already there, which everybody knew, but this time was different because he connected with the audience. Zelle got in, and packed his bags to spend his summer in the circus. A typical day at Circus Smirkus

Step 5

begins in a homestay’s family, which is the family that hosts them. The performers then drive to the big top tent where they perform two shows each day. Zelle did a cordelise and triple trapeze act. “There were 70 shows a summer. We had coaches from Mongolia, Morocco and America.” Zelle said. As a result of travelling together for 10 weeks, Zelle made strong friendships. “He found this group of friends that shared his passion,” Julie Zelle said. Zelle says he, “made incredible friendships. In the first part we were living in trailers, so we were all living together, and eating together, and training together, so we definitely had really good friendships.”

Sophomore Nick Zelle twists his body into a circus trick. “When I was four, I saw Cirque du Soleil, and I wanted to do that,” said Zelle.

Zelle came away from Circus Smirkus with a better appreciation for his “bizarre art form,” said Julie Zelle. Zelle has become a better performer, but he has also gained confidence. He is now the boy who can be seen walking on his hands down the hall, and enthusiastically telling stories about his summer in the circus.

Singing for the Red, White, and Blue Spartan National Anthem singer is decided through a selection process

Imagine you are standing in front of a crowd consisting of high school students excited for a football game. You’re waiting to sing the National Anthem, one of the most difficult songs to sing. Sophomore Isabel LaVercombe won the singing competition to become the new Spartan National Anthem singer. LaVercombe had the opportunity to sing at homecoming and record her voice to use at other athletic events. Students sought out US Choir teacher, Anne Klus, and US English teacher, Eric Severson. The auditions were held on Thursday, September 23, during X-Period. The 3 finalists chosen in the end were juniors Isabel LaVercombe and Sydney Carlson, and senior Kira Snyder. On Monday September 17, the finalists sang in front of the student body panel, who ultimately decided the winner. LaVercombe said it was easier to sing on the field because “[there were] less people looking straight at me, and it felt less like that because it [the field] was more open.” The criteria for picking was based on things such as consistency of pitch, clarity of the words, Aditi Kulkarni Staff Writer

and style. “They each had a very specific style to the way they sang it and each one was gorgeous in their own right” said Severson. Seven students auditioned, all of them female. Klus and Severson expressed regret that no boys auditioned, but said it was understandable. “It’s a really hard song to sing. It’s got a really, really, really big range and we encouraged them

ing the same voice, because I have a really different high singing voice than a lower voice,” LaVercombe said. “It’s always a different experience when you sing live. I remember one time at a hockey game I forgot to turn the mic on and ended up having to start over in front of every one,” ’09 alumna Annie Walli said.

“Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” to, but maybe they just didn’t feel comfortable doing it,” Klus said. Ms. Klus adds another difficulty: “the idea of staying in key and not losing pitch,” which is especially difficult to do when singing live and when there is no instrumental backup. “I have to focus on maintain-

- The Star Spangled Banner Francis Scott Key, 1814 This is the first time a competition took place to chose the Star Spangled Banner singer. In previous years, the process of finding a singer was more recruitment than auditions. Klus would listen to students in choir, looking for a range and vocal strength that would suit this difficult piece of music.

“Isabel has a very pure sound,” Severson said. Recording the Star Spangled Banner has been a tradition at St. Paul Academy and Summit School for many years. Along with Annie Walli, Elizabeth Berg (’07) was another previous student to sing it. “Making the recording was pretty hard. It takes a while to get a recording that is good enough and I ended up recording it a second time because there was a fan in the background the first time and it screwed up the sound quality,” said Walli. The contest was Severson’s idea. He thought it would not only be a fun event to have during Homecoming week, but also an opportunity to “showcase some of the really talented singers we have at school.” Severson said this contest was a way of “bringing the arts into the other aspects of SPA, so it’s not just during a concert or not just at a play.” In the future, it will be up to the Student Activities Committee to continue the contest and give other students at SPA a chance to showcase their talent in a school where the arts are continuing to expand.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Xu

Junior Isabel LaVercombe displays her vocal talent with The Star Spangled Banner. “Isabel has a very pure sound” US English teacher Eric Severson said


Science & Tech

October 2010

Drowning in

Decaffeinating Coffee Beans Photo Credit: Nadja Milena

How does the deNadja Milena caffeination proEditor in Chief cess work? Anyone who has ever made a cup of coffee has gone through the process of decaffeinating coffee beans; the flavor of coffee and the caffeine found in the beans will transfer easily into water if the beans are left to soak. But how is the caffeine then removed from the flavored water? The answer lies in caffeine’s

chemical structure. According to Beth Seibel-Hunt, Upper School Chemistry teacher, caffeine is an aromatic, which means it is a molecule bonded in a double ring structure. Removing caffeine from an aromatic is relatively easy: use a chemical that will attract aromatics; that will filter out only the caffeine. Chemicals like methyline chloride and chloroform attract only aromatics, and since caffeine is a volatile compound, it will move from

its liquid to gaseous phase when heated. So, when naturally caffeinated beans are soaked in chloroform, the caffeine bonds to the chemical. Then, when the beans are roasted, the chloroform turns into a gas, taking the caffeine with it. Decaffeinated beans remain. However, this must be done carefully. Movie scenes in which kidnappers knock their victims out by having them smell a handkerchief splattered with chloroform are not

inaccurate: chloroform is toxic at high levels. The evaporating gas must be transported out of the building through a large tube that releases the gas on the roof and into the atmosphere. Most decaffeination processes are done in Europe. This means that when places like Peace Coffee, an or-

Enter the gas staIman Jafri tion and head to Centerspread Editor the back, where the coolers live. Open one up and feel the accompanying cool burst of freezer fresh air. In front, rows of shiny cans line the shelves. Red Bull, Amp, Rockstar, Monster, and whatever other energy drink you can think of. Pick your poison. To some, these energy drinks really are poison, while to others, they are the nectar of life, be it for taste or necessary energy. This whole spectrum of the different uses for energy drinks can be found at Saint Paul Academy and Summit School. “This summer, I probably had one a day, because I had to work at night,” senior Aaron Frisell said. “Our lacrosse coach has us drink them before a game, because it woke us up.” During the school year, Frisell sometimes drank energy drinks over the weekends “to wake myself up.” Freshman Ellen Samuelson said that she drank energy drinks more for the taste than for the effect, because she said that they energize her for only about 10 minutes. “I get really hyper and then I crash.

It really doesn’t work,” Sameulson said. “[I drink them] at least four times a month,” junior Zoe Gantman said. She only drank them when necessary. “They’re extremely helpful when I have to get up at four in the morning. The downside of energy drinks is that most of them give you a crash, because of the sugar level. It’s worse than a coffee crash, because of once the caffeine and sugar leaves, you become completely dead,” Gantman said. “I used to be obsessed with them, then they started to make me sick,” senior Claire Larkins said. “I would have one or two a day sometimes. I guess I thought it was cool at the time. But then they started giving me headaches, so I stopped after a while.” Larkins said that she also could not drink other caffeinated beverages now, such as coffee. “I hate caffeine,” she said. Other students often said that they experienced some side effects, such as shaking and headaches. “I have gotten the jitters so much that you could actually see me shake,” Gantman said. Veterans Affair Medical System

Illustration Credit: Allison Wang

Hyped up on energy drinks

ganization that promotes “Farmer Friendly Fair Trade Coffee” receives their beans, they’re already decaffeinated. But according to Seibel-Hunt, many people don’t like heavy duty chemicals used in decaffeinating their beans. Fortunately, that’s not the only way to do it. Caffeine is also easily filtered by a more refined version of something many have at home: carbon filters.

The caffeine molecule is bonded in a ring structure, similar to that of a steroid. Instead of having four fused rings like that of steroids, caffeine contains a double ring structure.

Emergency Room provider Syed W. Askari said the main cause of these side effects is the ingredients of the energy drinks. Many energy drinks contain primarily caffeine and sugar, along with chemicals that include natural roots like taurine (often a component of meat and fish, known to temporarily improve athletic performance). “People need to realize that not everything that’s natural is good,” Askari said. “… Most of the en-

ergy drinks contain some form of stimulant. The typical effects of these stimulants include a high heart rate, headaches, potential allergic reactions, and insomnia.” Askari also said that “the body is tired, but the brain wants to keep going.” Askari said that it can be fairly easy to get hooked onto energy drinks, because once the effect of the drink goes away, the body “burns out.” Instead of resting the

body in order to more energy, most people will have another drink in order to get back to normal. “The biggest problem is that these drinks are pushing the body beyond its normal capacity,” said Askari. It is difficult to say whether the popularity of drinks will go up or down, but as of now, gas station goers should expect to see at least some students sashaying over to the back of Super America.

Science & Tech

October 2010



Getting a boost with caffeine It’s in your coffee. Hiding in your Rocky Road Ice cream. Lurking in your favorite iced drink. Fizzing gently in your can of coke. Staring at you from inside your can of Rockstar, Red Bull, and 5 Hour Energy. It’s caffeine. And if you’re like 90% of the world’s population, you consume it in some way. Caffeine occurs naturally in over 60 different plants, including coffee beans, tea leaves and cacao beans. In moderation, caffeine is not harmful for most people. The average adult consumes 200 mg of caffeine a day, the equivalent of two 5-ounce cups of coffee. Because caffeine affects everyone differently, it is hard to agree upon a maximum amount of daily caffeine. However, most experts agree that 600 mg of caffeine, the equivalent of four to seven cups of coffee, is too much. Caffeine has many uses in the medical sphere. As well as being the main ingredient in over the counter anti-drowsiness medications, it is also used to increase the effectiveness of painkillers. For the sleep-deprived, caffeine in moderation can help keep consumers alert and focused, temporarily lessening the need for sleep. However, when it’s overused, it can begin to have the opposite of its intended effect. Caffeine reaches its peak effectiveness approximately one hour after consumption, and although it remains in the blood stream for 4-6 hours, the energy boost it gives doesn’t last that long. This means that many users experience a crash and a need to refuel. Too much caffeine can make users, particularly those whose bodies aren’t used to caffeine, feel jittery, anxious, and can make it harder to focus. Caffeine, although it is widely used and accepted in American culture, is an addictive drug. It is possible to become physically dependent on this nervous system Nadja Milena Editor in Chief

The Coffee Debate Noah Shavit-Lonstein News Editor

stimulant. Withdrawal symptoms can include headaches, muscle pains, irritability and depression. If someone experiences these withdrawal symptoms, no matter how much or how little caffeine they ingest, they are physically dependent on caffeine According to St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s Upper School Counselor Susanna Short, the most important thing for teenagers to watch out for isn’t necessarily whether they’re consuming caffeine or how much they are consuming (as long as it’s within a safe range); it’s why they’re using it. “If you’re using it truly to replace food or exercise or sleep, then eventually it’s not going to work very well,” Short said. This reliance on caffeine can quickly lead to a physical dependence. In the absence

ing their headaches with the cause of their pain. Short’s other concern is the amount of money teenagers can end up spending on caffeine, something students shouldn’t need to depend on in order to remain alert. “I am a coffee drinker,” she admitted. “But I drink black coffee at like, $1.30 a cup, but if you’re a frappuchino-mocha-blah-blah, it can be three, four, five dollars a shot. Getting any kind of dependence on that is probably not in anyone’s best interest.” Short emphasizes the importance of know-

ing ones body and understanding how caffeine affects it. Caffeine affects everyone very differently. It can exac-

Photo Credit: Kaia Wahmanholm

With 90% of the world’s population consuming caffeine through their foods and drinks, how much is too much?

him the Ritalin, and we would make him a cup of strong coffee; it would completely calm him down.” Short also stresses that caffeine is not helpful study tool. Although it may keep students awake, caffeine will not keep them focused or ready to learn. “I think a lot of college students have had that experience where they take caffeine pills, which is crazy and very dangerous, or they drink, you know, three pots of coffee,” she said. “they’re awake, but they can’t possibly study, they’re not absorbing anything.” The consensus on caffeine? It affects everyone differently. It has its perks and its hazards. It is a drug, and when consumed in moderation, it is not damaging. But in order to use it healthily, consumers need to understand what it can, and cannot do for them.

of caffeine, these users could experience adverse physical symptoms. For caffeine, this is typically a horrible headache. This is where the vicious circle can begin: “of course, people take caffeine to make it [the headache] go away, and they slip into a cycle.” They are, essentially, treat-

Coffee Pro • Coffee can protect against Parkinson’s disease (Journal of the American Medical Association). • Coffee can lower the chance of Type II Diabetes and liver cancer (Mayo Clinic). • Coffee may reduce pain after exercising (University of Illinois). • Coffee contains antioxidants,

erbate symptoms in people struggling with anxiety issues or make people feel jittery and nervous. On the other hand, sometimes caffeine has the exact opposite of its intended effect. “I used to work at a daycare center, and there was a child who was on Ritalin [for ADHD],” she said. “Occasionally his mom would forget to give

which boost immunity. • A compound in coffee may prevent cavities from forming. • Coffee or tea may reduce risk of stroke by 20% (Harvard School of Public Health). • Coffee and tea lower the (already low) risk of brain tumors (Brown University).

Coffee Con • Frequent coffee drinkers do not get an energy boost from caffeine it only removes the crash from the previous cup. • Those who drink three cups of caffeinated brewed coffee or seven cups of instant coffee in one day are more likely to see hallucinations (Durham University).

• A highly debated study has connected coffee and miscarriage. • Coffee can raise risk of heart disease in people who break down caffeine slower (Mayo Clinic). • Non-organic coffee has one of the highest rates of pesticide use of any crops. • Unfiltered coffee may raise cholesterol (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).




Is fear really the only thing to fear? What is your greatest fear? What scares you the most? What keeps you up at night? Fear exists in everyone, whether it is rational or not. Babies, kids, and adults all have the capacity to be afraid of something, feel fear and each fear something different. In the St. Paul Academy and Summit School community, fear takes shape in many forms. From heights to snakes to even academics, all students fear different things. Everyone has a different thought on what fear means to them, and some even think forms of fear can be a positive thing. SPA students and faculty members were surveyed on their greatest rational and irrational fear.They also picked how afraid of something they were from a list.The list included common fears, spiders, snakes, darkness to fear of small spaces. Humorous fears were included, such as clowns. Lastly, the list included fear of tests and fear of failure. According to a poll conducted by The Rubicon, the greatest fear in the SPA community is fear of failure. As SPA is a stressful environment, it is understandable why students feel this fear. To see some surprising results about fear in the SPA community, see the trends listed below. Henry Moyers Feature Co-Editor

Tests came as a close second to failure for most grades.

Greatest Rational Fear:

Teachers actually tests the least.



For most grades, the least common fears were and

Of the listed fears, was the most prominent throughout the SPA community.

darkness, small spaces, strangers.

The majority of

“Fear of not being prepared, of losing control, fear of car crashes, fear of being all alone” Great Irrational Fear: “Fear of gross, slimy monsters eating me or my family or my friends” -- Kaia Findlay

Greatest Rational Fear: “Nuclear war. Don’t laugh, it’s totally possible! We have an aging arsenal that’s also connected to the internet. Either Windows will do it or hackers will.” Great Irrational Fear: “I don’t have intentional fears. Rational ones are enough.” -- Asher Szachowicz


man boys marked spiders as their greatest fear

Rational Fear: Those surveyed include 20 male and 21 female freshman, 27 male and 29 female sophomores, 15 male and 22 female juniors, 17 male and 24 female seniors, and 2 male and 7 female faculty, for a total of 184 members of the SPA community. Quiz conducted by Feature Co-Editor Henry Moyers

What classifies as a phobia? Taylor Billeadeau Staff Writer

Photos Credit: Iman Jafri

As per Dean of Students Judy Cummins

• Phobias fall under the category of anxiety disorders. When anxiety persists of the said object, there are consequences and the individual suffers. • Phobias are excessive and irrational and the reaction is out of proportion. • People avoid the feared object by any cost, restricting daily activities and things that give happiness to the individual. • Phobias are treatable; and they are dealt with as an anxiety problem. • Most commonly, they involve animals or objects. • Social phobia is the fear of social situations in which the individual will be judged, such as a presentation in class. Social phobias are a diagnosed anxiety disorder. • All people have fears and anxiety, but a phobia is focused on an object, is irrational and interferes with everyday life. • Psychologists can help an individual overcome a phobia. • Cognitive Method:The cognitive method is talking out the irrationality of the fear, however, most individuals know that it is irrational, so this method is not that affective. • Another strategy is to gradually expose the individual to the feared object, hoping the individual sees that it is irrational and the object will not harm them. • Visualization is also used. • In a phobia, there is a physical reaction to the feared object, and relaxation techniques are used by psychologists. Anti-anxiety medication is also sometimes used, but some are not treated.

“Messing up... A very good friend told me that if something’s worth doing, do it poorly, and what he meant was don’t be afraid of it not working. If you’re always afraid of something not working, you’re never going to try things. ... If you want something to work, you have to try it, see what works, and move on.” -- US Science Teacher Steve Heilig

Shivers, goose bumps, & heebie-jeebies You are walking alone down a dark road in the middle of the night when suddenly you hear a noise in the bushes. You freeze. Your breath quickens. Your heart pounds. You know you are scared. But what you may not know is that this response is due to your sympathetic nervous system. Both the parasympathetic and sympathetic divisions of your autonomic, or automatic, nervous system send signals throughout your body. This causes the two types of signals to either work together or balance each other out. The parasympathetic division is what controls “resting” actions such as digestion, while the sympathetic division prepares your body to react quickly to something. Becoming stressed or scared causes sympathetic nerve cells in your brain to send signals through your spinal cord to the adrenal medulla section of your adrenal glands, located above each kidney. This stimulates the release of the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine into your bloodstream. These hormones affect the body in many ways to prepare you for dealing with whatever is scaring you or causing you stress. This reaction is often called the fight-or-flight response. It includes raising your blood pressure, breathing rate, and The metabolic rate, as well as dilating blood vessels in the brain and skeletal muscles. Blood vessels constrict where energy does not need to be focused during this response, such as the digestive system. These changes mean you will be prepared to think and move quickly, and your body can use energy for this instead of digestion and other things uninvolved with the fight-or-flight response. Although this physical response is the same in everyone and cannot be controlled, emotional responses vary from person to person. Some people actually enjoy feeling afraid, while others hate it. Chances are if you don’t enjoy activities involving heights and adrenaline, someone you know does. While some people enjoy this feeling of fear in extreme sports, the thrill sensation paralyzes others—that is to say they fear fear itself. “While individuals certainly can respond differently to emotion-producing situations (negative or positive) based on their genetic makeup, probably the largest contributor to differences comes from one’s prior experience with a fear-inducing stimulus,” said Mark Thomas, Assistant Professor in Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Minnesota. Past experiences and anxiety disorders can both lead to irrational fears, meaning fears that have no basis of reality and probably could not happen. An irrational fear gets worse over time as the fight-or-flight response takes hold. To reduce anxiety over irrational fears, there are two main types of desensitization: systematic desensitization and flooding. Systematic desensitization causes the affected person to gradually become accustomed to the thing they fear, thus relieving irrational anxiety. For example, if someone has a fear of dogs, they would first learn about coping techniques, then talk about dogs, look at pictures of dogs, and eventually, be around dogs. Flooding is a faster yet sometimes more traumatic way of reducing a fear, involving the person being immersed in their fear at its worst. To get over a person’s fear of dogs, they may be placed in a room full of dogs. Their fight-or-flight response will start, but a psychologist will be with them, aiding the person in relaxation techniques until after the response runs its course. Once they realize there is nothing to be afraid of, it is more unlikely they will experience a fight-orflight response the next time they come in contact with their fear. Memories interact with emotions to form fears, which is what causes many irrational fears. This occurs with the release of neurotransmitters, which transmit signals in your brain and nervous system. This release during emotional situations causes strong memories to form. An extreme disorder of this nature, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, occurs when details of events that cause strong negative feelings are ingrained in someone’s memory. “Individual stimuli that may bear only a vague resemblance to a part of the original experience can trigger waves of intense negative emotions when there is nothing in the individual’s current environment that is truly threatening,” Thomas said. Although fears don’t always make sense, they are a part of everyone’s life in one way or another. Fear is important for survival, shown by innate fears of heights and large animals, though it has expanded recently to include fear of human-made inventions such as cars. Reasons why someone has a certain fear can be complicated and may never be fully understood. However, more and more is being found out every year through studies on memory and anxiety disorders. Rachel Kinney Op/Ed Editor



October 2010

Taylor’s Wild Column

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Billeadeau Taylor Billeadeau sitting on the Wild bench in the Xcel Energy Center.

It is late October, and that means winter is approaching in Minnesota. The hockey teams are beginning preparations for their seasons, as well and are sharpening skates, taping sticks and pulling out their hockey gear. Minnesota is the State of Hockey, so I am extremely excited for the new Wild season. Stepping back into the Xcel Energy Center for these games was like coming home again, feeling the chill of the ice, the usual pump up music playing over the loud speakers, the sound of the skate blades hitting the ice for the first time, the smell of the different food, and the new merchandise in the Hockey Lodge (where of course, I have already made various purchases from). Although there were fewer fans than the usual 18,568 who attend every single game, it still felt as if the great fan atmosphere that Minnesota has was still there. The Wild are now a few weeks into the season and preseason games have given way to the three opening games of the season played in Helsinki, Finland against the Carolina Hurricanes. The preseason was quite disappointing, and the Wild ended up 0-4-2, along with one win against the Finnish team. I Taylor Billeadeau Columnist

attended almost every preseason home game, and many young players have stepped up to try and make the team, such as 22 year old Casey Wellman. Wellman ended up making the team, and his speed kept him on top during those preseason games. Also, newcomer Matt Kassian, who at 6’4”, 230 pounds took on both Matt Brewer of the St. Louis Blues and Matt Walker of the Philadelphia Flyers within two days. The preseason had a few shootout losses, which were devastating. The Wild lost the first game played in Finland against the Hurricanes 3-4 and lost again in the second game in a shootout 0-1. Along with the new Wild players, there have been a few changes in the NHL rulebook. Most notably, rule 48, the just added “illegal check to the head” rule. This rule states that a lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted is not allowed. Along with the new changes in lineup and game play, the State of Hockey is buzzing with anticipation about the new Wild season. Will it improve from last year’s “junk” season? Head coach Todd Richards claims this season is a year to polish and perfect, rather than work and adjust for the Minnesota Wild. A few injuries set the Wild back even during the preseason. Forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard is still out with a concussion that he suffered almost a year ago. Center James Sheppard is out for 2 to 3 months of the season with a knee injury. Hopefully, he returns ready to step up his game and rack up the points for the Wild. Backup goalie Josh Harding was hurt in the pre-season and is working on recovering. For the time being, we have acquired former Washington Capitals goalie Jose Theodore. However, the Xcel Energy Center is not the only place preparing for the new hockey season. Even during the fall, both of the Spartan girls and boys hockey teams at SPA were preparing to start their seasons strong. I know that all of the hockey fans out there will be cheering on their favorite teams—the Minnesota Wild and St. Paul Academy Spartans—when their seasons are in full swing.

By the Numbers

1982 260 59

was the last time the Spartan Football program made it to the state tournament.


The amount of shots the Spartan The amount of games the Boys Varsity soccer team took Volleyball during the regular season. team played during the The number of goals the Girls soccer regular seateam scored during the regular season. son.

Photo Courtesy: IBID Archives The team photo of the 1978 Spartan Cheerleading squad. In order from top left to bottom right: Captain Karen Flom, Andrea Garretson, Advisor Judy Cummins, Martha Paper, Kathy Kansas, Shannon McNeely, Kris Flom, Nancy Jasinski, Cindy Greenberg, Kathy Monson, Julie Brooks, Dana Kuller, Ann Mairs, Mimi Rasmussen.

Whatever happened to Spartan Cheerleaders?

Before groups like Spartan Booosters were dedicated to creating buzz around Spartan Athletics, there were Cheerleaders. “Clap your hands and stomp your feet. Let’s all do the Spartan beat. I say blue, you say gold. I say number, you say one. I say Spartan, you say power.” Nowadays only the Spartan mascot has the sole power to arouse athletic fans at St. Paul Academy and Summit School athletic events. However, this wasn’t always true. While some students react in bewilderment at the combination of the words “cheerleaders” and “SPA”, many past alumni can relate to this topic. The cheerleading team at St. Paul Academy experienced as many tumbles and splits as its members have executed. Middle School French Teacher Kris Flom was a cheerleader at SPA during her sophomore and junior year in high school. It was 1978 back then, and cheerleading was not a sport. Instead, it was an activity that required dedication, enthusiasm, and try outs. Past, former and ex-cheerleaders, some teachers, and some varsity male athletes, had the privilege on deciding which ten to thirteen girls would represent the school and guide Spartan athletic spirit in the crowds as cheerleaders. As a swimmer, gymnast, basketball and soccer player, Flom recalls the difficulties of balancing her academic, athletic and cheerleading life. “It was so hard and incredible. Some weeks I would have swimming practice until six o’clock at night, and could only cheer for Friday football games,” said Flom. On average, each cheerleader would dedicate three hours a week in motivating Spartan athletic spirit out of football, soccer, wrestling, hockey and basketball fans. All of the cheerleaders’ routines were choreographed and practiced over a weekend at one of the member’s Rebecca Xu Feature Co-Editor

cabin. Since no past experience was necessary to join the team, the squad was “really learning it as we went,” said Flom. Some of Flom’s more memorable cheerleading experiences were during hockey games. All of the members on the squad performed their routines on the ice rink in Drake Arena and some could even do jumps and splits. Cheers were simple, but effective. “You didn’t letter in it; you just did it for fun” Flom said. However, that fun didn’t last long for Flom. In 1979, Flom became the captain of the cheerleading team. Due to the amount time cheerleaders committed, they wanted to make cheerleading an official sport that could gain physical education credits. Flom and her team took this plan to the administration, but were rejected. Administration decided that cheerleading wasn’t athletic enough to be considered a sport. Then came the breaking point. “If they were not going to let us have PE [Physical Education] credits, then we just wouldn’t have tryouts. We were under appreciated, it was a lot of work, and we put in a lot of time in addition to doing our own sports,” Flom said. Shouts stopped. Flips disappeared. And the Spartan cheerleading era ended. While there was no longer an official cheerleading team, other forms of cheerleading erupted. Middle School Counselor Sara Mairs talks about an informal Pep Club that echoed off of the cheerleaders’ ambitions. Mairs and other student athletes created a Pep Club for athletics during Mairs’s junior year in high school. “We felt that we need more of a presence at these sporting events” said Mairs. The goal of the Pep Club was to stimulate

Photo Courtesy: IBID Archives Two cheerleaders show their support at a Spartan Boys Basketball game in 1978.

athletic interest and stir up support for sports. To accomplish this goal, the Pep club organized activities such as forming a kazoo band to perform at a football game. Mairs and Flom both agree that the concept of cheerleaders often generates a negative, stereotypical image that doesn’t fit the culture of St.Paul Academy. “I think SPA prides itself on the fact that there aren’t cheerleaders and there haven’t been cheerleaders. That kind of social structure [stereotypical image] doesn’t exist here in that exaggerated fashion. I would much rather have girls being jocks and play their team sports than be in that secondary position,” Flom said. Mairs adds, “This [cheerleading] isn’t about gender, it’s about ‘let’s generate enthusiasm in the crowds.’” While the fate of Spartan cheerleaders may have tumbled down the hill, both Flom and Mairs hope that blue and gold SPA athletic spirit will not. And as long as students continue to chant along with the Spartan at events, it more than likely won’t.

October 2010



Boys Soccer: A program of traditions

The Spartan boys soccer program has a winning tradition, and a cheering tradition. The team combines well organized soccer strategy with a mysterious cheer to create success. Before the game they circle like a pack of wolves who have just killed their prey. They make loud noises, like a tribe of warriors before battle. They are the Spartans boys soccer team and what they are doing is a long standing tradition, for the varsity boys soccer team has a cheer that has been passed down from season to season. Although the true origin of the cheer is unknown, its effect provides the players with motivation to get the game started and help them on their way to victory. “It represents tradition; we do it before every game,” senior captain Nick Forsgren said. Forsgren has been playing on the Varsity soccer team since his freshman year and said that when he was a freshman the captains told him it was an African chant. However, when he spoke to current Assistant Coach Max Lipset, Forsgren was told that the cheer is of Latin origin. “I don’t know what the chant means, and as far as I know they [the captains] were pulling my leg when I was a freshman when they told me it was an African cheer.” Meanwhile, senior captain Max Hommeyer believes what Forsgren was told when he was a freshman, that the cheer comes from Africa. “It’s an African chant, or a prayer. It’s praying for victory in an upcoming battle.” According to Hommeyer the African tribe would use this chant when fighting other tribes. Whether it’s an African tribe going to war, or the Spartan boy’s varsity soccer team, the message of the need for victory gets across. Forsgren speculates that the cheer has been around for at least twenty years. According to Forsgren the only individuals who participate in the cheer are the starters. Although the cheer’s origins may be unknown, it is an old tradition which helps contribute to the storied history of the soccer team. The cheer is preformed in a circle. The soccer captains start in the middle and the starters stand around them. The captains shout “Lemani, Lemani” the rest of players answer “Hunga, Hunga.” “It pumps us up. We talk each other up in the circle first then do the cheer,” senior captain Conor Perkkio said. Meanwhile, junior Nico Olson-Studler thinks that the cheer helps add positive morale to the team. “We have two cheers: one is with the whole team and then [this] one is with just the starters,” Olson-Studler said. Sophomore Josh Gray agreed with other members of the team and said, “It really helps pump us up and it helps get us all in the right mindset before the game starts.” Some players agree that the cheer comes from Africa while others think it is of Latin origin. Nonetheless, the boys make up a motivated and winning oriented team, one of which combines well organized soccer strategy with old traditions... traditions that may always be unknown. Henry Moyers Feature Co-Editor

“Lemani, Lemani!” “Hunga, Hunga!”

Photos Credit: Alex Smith Performed in a tight-knit circle, the cheer starts as the captains get in the middle and shout, “Lemani, Lemani!” and the rest of the team starters respond with shouts of “Hunga, Hunga!” Sophomore Josh Gray (in the top photo on the right) said, “ The cheer really helps pump us up and it helps get us all in the right mind set before the game starts.” Senior captain Nick Forsgren (in the bottom photo kneeling) noted that the cheer represents tradition.


Satire Har, Har.

October 2010

the rubicONION St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s FINEST fictional news source

Hungry, curious, adventurous create new groups A remarkable number of new Thursday student groups have been rostered at the beginning of the school year. “These Rachel Kinney Op/Ed Editor

new groups fill niches that our current student groups often ignore,” Dean of Students Judy Cummins said. All of the new groups have collected at least five signatures ex-

pressing student interest, although there has been some speculation about the legitimacy of the signatures; it was unclear from sign up sheets is if the student names were

forged, or if they actually belong to current students. Notice: These groups are not real. Do not attempt any suggested activities on any Thursday at any time for any reason.

Food Appreciation Troop Sunny and in the 50s, but don’t be fooled. Winter is already upon us. Adapt Halloween costumes to something with a large winter jacket, hat, gloves, boots Prediction for Pumpkin Day: H- 17 L- 3

Why join a club for the food when you can join a club ONLY for the food? “The Food Appreciation Troop (FAT) strives to promote excellence in the art of stuffing ourselves with chips, donuts, and soda.” said co-president Liat Kaplan. Don’t disappoint your current club members by having nothing to contribute but your “helping” in the eating of their snack. This group can even help you do well in school in a number of ways—eating reduces stress, keeps your energy up (WAY up if some-

one brings Mountain Dew), and teaches responsibility, as members who forget their snack will be greatly punished in a variety of food-based methods. An advisor for FAT has not be determined yet, due to the fact that Dean of Students Judy Cummins has dictated that the advisor must be trained in the Heimlich Maneuver because of the weekly “How Many Oreos Can You Fit In Your Mouth In Twenty Seconds” competitions.

Sophomore Presidents Liat Kaplan and Ibad Jafri and freshman Jonathan Sogin jump right into the FAT festivities at the first meeting by respectfully eating in silence... well, except the crunching and chewing noises.

Teachers Tell It Like It Was

Megasoft Games Inc. releases spin-off of popular 90s video game, becomes cult classic at St. Paul private school See 3B

US Mathematics teacher George Leiter elaborates on an important life lesson from his past to sophomore Peter Wood.

Teachers Tell It Like It Was (TTILIW) is a great opportunity for students and teachers alike to get to know each other. Students can come hear the wisdom of the ages from a different faculty member every week. The group was originally proposed as a senior history elective, but the idea was disbanded because of parental concern about how students would be graded. Guest teachers talk in lecture style about their high school expe-

riences, sometimes giving advice but mostly sharing anecdotes from their lives that you didn’t want to hear. The first meeting’s guest speaker was Señora Salido, who discussed her experience watching animals being slaughtered outside of her Latin classroom as a child. Students were obviously shocked by her reenactment of the blood curdling screams. AAHHHHHHHH! An educational day for all, to be sure.

Exploration Society Project

US student Macbeth essay becomes popular humor reading among teachers See 4D

Have you always wanted to see what SPA’s grounds would look like from the roof ? Do you find yourself wondering what secrets the basement tunnels hold? That can be arranged. “The Exploration Society Project (ESP) is for those who want to take the road less traveled. We hope every member of Exploration Society will leave our meeting every week feeling like they now know why students aren’t allowed through the gym hallway door

reading DANGER and warning of asbestos exposure.” In Exploration Society, you can actually go to these special places and return feeling exhilarated, overwhelmed, and occasionally moderately nauseated. Exploration Society is always looking for new members to replace their first week participants who are still missing. Consider joining, particularly if your family has good health insurance coverage.

Eager sophomore members Max Lowenthal and Reid Kett prepare to enter the mysterious “DANGER” door leading to the basement.

The RubicONION once again presents... Rubisave you an average of two hours! 1. After almost two hours of a few extremely subtle and obviously set-up horror scenarios, the three film students get what they deserve and die. Oh, and you don’t even get to see the witch. Rip off. (A) Titanic

(C) Avatar (B) The Wizard of Oz

5. Pocahontas and her Native American Tribe…er, I mean a blue Zoe Saldana and her group of blue aliens from another world accept a human into their society. 6. The world is saved by the Autobots with the help of some teenagers; not that you would care though, considering the only reason anyone would see this movie is because Megan Fox straddles a motorcycle.

3. The classic, adorable musical ends the journey through forests, poppy fields, and shiny cities by revealing “it was just a dream.” (D) A Serious Man

(E) Transformers

(F) The Blair Witch Project

KEY: 1. F, 2. A, 3. B, 4. D, 5. C, 6. E

2. The “King of the World” stupidly lets go of the piece of driftwood keeping him afloat in front of his lover who likely could have saved him.

4. This black comedy ends with a St. Paul Academy middle school alumi/ae about to be hurled to his death by a giant twister. Ouch.

Arts & Entertainment

October 2010


Local artist displays work along University Avenue Maddie Butler Managing Editor “Live and let others live.” “No money no honey no bunny.” “We cry for the same reason we smile.” These words are all contained in photographs displayed along University Avenue as a part of local artist Wing Young Huie’s latest project, in conjunction with Public Art Saint Paul, entitled University Avenue Project: The Language of Urbanism, a Six-Mile Photographic Inquiry. The messages, written on small chalkboards held by those who wrote them, convey the different personalities and lives of the diverse group of people that encounter the avenue in their everyday activities. Accompanying the chalkboard photos are more traditional portraits of the people of University Avenue, as well as pictures of common occurrences on the street itself. Since March, over 400 of Huie’s photographs have been displayed along walls and windows on the avenue. Walking along the 6-mile stretch where the photographs are presented, one will find small, family businesses and large corporate megastores, people of all ethnicities, ages, and occupations. Further, University Avenue has one of the highest concentrations of new immigrants in the nation. This diversity is what attracted Huie to the street. “It’s all part of a continuum, a investigation into the changing cultural landscape. Trying to define who we are, as Minnesotans, and as Americans,” he said, in a phone interview. “I think the perception of who we are has not caught up to the realities. So part of what I was trying to do is show what we look like.” Indeed, his photographs depict a wide array

of economic and cultural backgrounds, revealing what a true microcosm University Avenue really is. As stated on the project’s website, “The University Avenue Project is a chronicle the colliding and evolving American experience.” While the photos may now appear to be seamlessly integrated into the landscape, organizing the University Avenue project was no easy feat. “It’s a massive undertaking, on so many levels,” said US Photography teacher Linda Brooks, of the project. “Just taking the photographs is one huge piece of it… Then in addition to that activity there’s the printing and the technical aspect of putting the photographs out in public, there’s the aspect of installing, collaborating with storeowners and businesspeople and getting them to cooperate with him on this, getting the support of Public Art Saint Paul, raising funds, incorporating community projects such as the Saturday night cabarets with performing artists.” Huie has, indeed, been working on this project since 2007, saying “It’s a very large-scale collaborative project. And then you add in the thousands of people I photographed, and it’s really connected, in a lot of different ways. To put on an exhibition like this… it’s quite extraordinary.” The University Avenue Project uses many forms of display to present the images. Apart from the unconventional mounting of the photographs along the avenue itself, there is a slideshow of Huie’s images every night from Wednesday to Sunday. Located at 1433 University (the project’s main landmark,) the two-hour show begins at “twilight” and projects the images onto a 40-foot screen, which can be seen for a mile in each direction. It is joined by a soundtrack of music from local musicians. On the last Saturday

of each month that the project is up there is a cabaret, featuring live performances by local musicians, poets, and more. The last cabaret will be held at 7 P.M. on Saturday, October 30. “It’s hard to state the goal [of the University Avenue Project], because I embrace ambiguity. When you put photographs up in public, it’s really up to whoever looks at to decide for themselves what they’re looking at and why they’re looking at it,” said Huie. This ambiguity is perhaps best shown in the fact that none of the images are labeled in any way, and the only place where the title of the project or the names of Huie and Public Art Saint Paul appear are at the projection site. “I think, really, the meaning is then supplied by whoever looks at it,” he said. “Certainly there are thousands of photographs that already exist along University Avenue. We are confronted with and consume photographs on a daily basis without really knowing it. But all the photographs we see… Do they really reflect all the people looking at them?” Recently, the Senior Art Seminar, publications, and photography classes went on a field trip to view Huie’s works along University Avenue up close. “I think it’s always good to be exposed to art that happens outside the ivory walls of art institutions, such as the major museums in town. Wing is kind of democratic… he brings the art to the people, where it is most accessible to them. I think that’s an interesting and important concept,” said Brooks. Senior Hinnah Abid agrees, adding, “All his photos were open to interpretation. He didn’t have descriptions of each photo, rather we had to attempt to discover the story behind each image. This openness ... reflects the diversity of the community.” Huie’s past projects have all re-

Photo Courtesy: Linda Brooks

Photographer Wing Young Huie presents to publications, photography, and art seminar students on the thousands of images people encounter in their everyday lives. “We are confronted with and consume photographs on a daily basis without really knowing it. But all the photographs we see… Do they really reflect all the people looking at them?” he said.

volved around documenting the “changing cultural landscape of his home state Minnesota,” according to his website. Huie is most well-known for his works Lake Street USA and Frogtown. Brooks said, “I think it’s important the way he attempts to photograph people who feel alienated in different ways. You can tell that

by what they have written on the chalkboards they are holding. He presents these people in these documents in a way that demonstrates to all of us that they’re an important part of the fabric that makes up the diversity and specialness of Saint Paul.”

Get Hip! With Julian D’Rozario Sophomore D’Rozario shares commentary on his 10 favorite songs Break Your Little Heart – All Time Low This song is really catchy. Go listen! You Always Make Me Smile – Kyle Andrews I don’t know who Kyle Andrews is, but this song was in a Holiday Inn commercial.

In My Head - Jason Derulo I’m listening to this song as I write this, so I should probably include it.

I Slept with Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me – Fall Out Boy Heh. Heh. Up Against the Wall – Boys Like Girls I heard this song whilst amongst a mosh pit of screaming crazy people. That’s not relevant to the song, but now you know.

Forever (Travis Barker Drum Remix) – Drake, Eminem, Lil’ Wayne, Kanye I know this songs old, but my god! Look at this crazy good line up, also Travis Barker’s on it, and he’s the coolest person ever soooooo…

Piano Concerto no. 2 in B flat major op. 19 – Ludwig Van Beethoven Got Milk Concerto? Compiled by: August King

Photo Credit: Joanna Mendelsohn

No Love – Eminem & Lil’ Wayne Eminem is a seriously good rapper. By the way, FREEWEEZY!

Reckless Abandon – Blink 182 Blink 182 (possibly the funniest and one of the best bands ever) is (amazingly) good.

Come One Come All – All Time Low I can’t dance.


Arts & Entertainment

October 2010

Mobile museum exhibits in Drake Gallery

Art department partners with the Minnesota Museum of American Art to present prominent potters in Ceramics Then/Ceramics Now Take the clay in front of you and warm it in your hands, allowing them to glide over the smooth material. Once it is warm and pliable, start molding it. Round its edges, mold its body. Shape it, design it, and create it into something you will remember. The process of working with clay has been established in St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s ceramics program for many generations. Shaping, designing, and creating new innovative artworks, art students have already been introduced to the world of art and invention. To continue this experience, SPA and the Minnesota Museum of American Art have collaborated to exhibit Ceramics Then/ Ceramics Now in Harry M. Drake Gallery from September 30 to October 22. “They [the Minnesota Museum of American Art] have a wonderful ceramics collection, and even though it’s not huge, it’s probably one of the finest in the world” US/MS Fine Arts teacher, Robert Jewett said. Ceramics Then/Ceramics Now started as an idea introduced by Ann Pifer, a member of the Board of Trustees at both SPA and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Because the Minnesota Museum of American Art is currently without an established building, it has been going to various galleries, colleges, and schools to host shows. Their efforts are an attempt to increase community awareness of art and their organization, and eventuRebecca Xu Feature Co-Editor

ally to reestablish a home for their collection. Jewett expects people from all over the Midwest to come Ceramics Then/Ceramic Now; “The world of ceramics is a very small community in a way, and each of us is related to each other. It’s a combination of shared ideas, we just end up knowing each other one way or another.”

All Photos Credit: Joanna Mendelsohn

“Vase” 2009, by Connee Mayeron. The decoration on the vase was inspired by the traditional Middle Eastern vessels Mayeron saw on a trip to Turkey. “Lidded Jar” 2010, by Peter Jadoonath. Jadoonath is teaching a ceramics workshop for students at SPA in conjunction with this show.

Representing major ceramic artists of the 20th century worldwide, Ceramics Then/Ceramics Now provides an opportunity for the SPA community to see the quality of art and history on exhibition. While the works of more than 30 artists will be on display, Jewett particularly highlights the works of Maria Martinez, Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach, and Peter Voulkous. Native American ceramics artist, Maria Martinez lived from 1881 to 1980 in a Pueblo outside of Santa Fe. At a young age, her aunt taught her the basics of pottery. Martinez strived to preserve cultural art in her pottery; tradition was important to her. The Minnesota Museum of American Art collected 10 of her artistic pieces, which cost 5 or 10 dollars apiece back then, but are now quite rare and invaluable. Leaping across the Pacific, The Minnesota Museum of American Art has also received works from Japanese ceramicist, Shoji Hamada. Hamada lived from 1894 to 1978 and has inspired hundreds of artists from all over the world throughout his lifetime. Jewett described Hamada’s perspective towards the unity of life and art as “The spirit that is involved in our studio, because his attitude about working with clay and the relationship of his work and his life are intertwined. That is tangible when you look at his work.” Jewett also noted how Hamada “was like the Picasso of the far east.” The art museum has also collected work by Bernard Leach, an English potter, who was also a good friend of Hamada. Leach lived from 1887 to 1979, and spent more than 50 years in collaboration with Hamada. Born in Hong Kong, Leach has fused Asian and European styles into his artworks. This artistic style gained him national

Above: “Bottles” 2010, by Jason Hess. Hess graduated from SPA in 1987 and was a ceramics student of Jewett. Hess’ work is often presented in groups to highlight the subtle differences in color, texture, and expression in each piece of the set. Below: “Platter” 1959, “Bowl” early 1940s, and “Vase” 1960s, by Maria Martinez. Martinez received the “Symbol of Man Award” in December 1969. The Symbol of Man Award is a lifetime achievement award presented by the Minnesota Museum of Art, the original name of the Minnesota Museum of American Art.

recognition, with many regarding him as the “Father of British studio pottery.” One of Leach’s best students was Warren MacKenzie, a professor at the University of Minnesota and Jewett’s art teacher. Due to Warren MacKenzie’s influence, Hamada and Leach had the opportunity to set up a workshop and exhibition in St. Paul during the early to mid 1900s. To wrap up this artistic journey around the globe, the Minnesota Museum of American Art will also exhibit the works of American artist Peter Voulkos. Voulkos, who lived from 1924 to 2002, spent much of his life advocating for the acceptance of abstract expression,

opening the door for hundreds of other artists. Jewett described how Voulkos’s “force of character and force of spirit” made the art world take notice accept clay as a contemporary medium. Among this reunion of some of the world’s most influential artists, Jewett mentioned how Ceramics Then/Ceramics Now will impact the SPA Community and art program; “Whenever you go to an exhibition, you’re gathering ideas and stretching the definition of beauty. [Art] provokes ideas that make human beings human. It’s like the great literature, it’s universal because it’s from the heart and [it’s] opened to everyone.”


October 2010


Despite the Homecoming Week success, SPA spirit fades School spirit can make or break the perspective of an outsider from a community. Students showing school spirit by participating in student-oriented events prove to outsiders that there is a sense of togetherness within the community. These activities range from attending the sporting events to going to the school dances. Here at St. Paul Academy and Summit School, there should be no exception to these ideals. We at The Rubicon believe that while there have been many situations in the right time at the right place for school spirit to prosper, not enough students have complied with the opportunities placed in front of them. Without a number of students willing to partake in spirited ideas and activities, the whole concept of

school spirit falls apart. SPA students are not showing their support for their athletic teams. The same goes for partaking in the dress-up days during spirit week. For example, when only a few boys dress up like girls on Dress as your Date Day, they look somewhat out of place. While this year’s dress-up days seemed simple enough, the student participation was at a low. While many students chose not to participate in the spirited festivities, actions taken to show school spirit have particularly strived this year. The Rubicon salutes those who have helped make school spirit possible and further pushed its importance into the minds of students. SPA’s spirit week leading up to the homecoming football game, the toga dance, and other

activities, looked great this year. Run by the Student Activities Committee, the week consisted of eccentric dressup days, an intense ping pong tournament, the annual hilarious (and not overly offensive) lip sync, a well organized Pep Fest, and a concluding toga dance with a DJ who played overall popular music among students. A new student group, Spartan Boosters, has also pledged to generate more school spirit by urging students to attend sporting events, both home and away games. The Rubicon hopes to see this group make an impact on students to promote spirit off campus. Considering the intensive courses students at SPA are challenged by, the work load at SPA is renowned as being high, causing high amounts of stress and anxiety. With

the weight of work on students’ shoulders, they may began to stress about their public image, which then results in the decision to be extra careful in vulnerable situations that could affect the views of their peers . This egotistical stance may very well be the reason students lack spirit: they may be afraid to expose themselves to others. We at The Rubicon encourage students to lighten up a bit over whether or not they are going to embarrass themselves in front of their peers because on a designated day they were supposed to come to school in all camouflage. While the idea is certainly atypical, if all students dress like this in unison, it would represent a sense of togetherness and humor that exists at SPA, ultimately proving

our school is filled with spirit we aim for. The Rubicon also has a clear understanding of the homework load students receive every day, making it difficult to spend the afternoon any other way than doing homework. However, The Rubicon feels it is not due to homework that attendance of sporting events is so low, but due to lack of motivation. The Rubicon challenges students to have some agency, and attend at least one sporting event per season to root for their friends prove to the other team that SPA has spirit and devotion to their school. The components for a spirited school are all in place, so the rest is up to you: as students, and as a group of people showing off their pride for their community.

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 welcomes letters to the editor. They can be mailed to us or e-mailed to rubicon. Letters should be limited to 150-200 words and must be signed. Letters may be edited and published by discretion of The Rubicon staff.






THIS IS FUN! Cartoon Credit: Claire Larkins



October 2010

Use of caffeine harms more than it helps

Although it is the world’s most popular stimulant, caffeine use can lead to insomnia, addiction

Caffeine: It’s the world’s most popular stimulant and 85% of Americans consume this drug daily in coffee, tea or soda, according to a study on caffeine’s effects. It’s sweeping the world with its widespread consumption. It’s in the mouths of both teenagers deprived of sleep and adults working late at the office. It keeps us awake and in the moment for important occasions like a meeting or school. The fact that the majority of the American population using caffeine shows how much of America’s society is all work and no play. Better yet, no rest! Something about America’s demanding culture has driven its youth to rely on caffeine. Sometimes the best cure for stress and exhaustion can be a simple nap. But despite its widespread popularity, an accumulating amount of scientific evidence shows compelling arguments against caffeine. Even with caffeine’s benefits in certain medications, caffeine still has detrimental health effects. Allison Wang Sci/Tech Editor

Caffeine technically is a drug. It’s a psychoactive stimulant that raises blood temperature, increases heart rate, and increases blood pressure. But caffeine is not just a drug that stimulates your central nervous system to make you more alert. Like any drug, it can become addictive and have negative side effects. So, for those daily coffee drinkers, withdrawal effects like headaches can keep caffeine addicts in a caffeine cycle that can be harmful for their body. Caffeine harms sleep patterns and causes sleep insomnia. Contrary to its stimulating effects after a restless night of sleep, caffeine may be the reason why consumers are staying up late. Caffeine keeps users awake by blocking adenosine receptors. Adenosine is a hormone that is related to sleep promotion. According to an adenosine study conducted by the Harvard University’s Laboratory of Neuroscience, adenosine quantities increase during prolonged periods of wakefulness and decrease with sleep. The

receptors of adenosine accumulate with prolonged wakefulness, thus building sleepiness. Since caffeine blocks these adenosine receptors, drinking caffeine after 4 PM causes a loss of deep sleep during the night, according to a University of Minnesota Biological Psychology project. This happens because of caffeine’s half-life of six hours, which allows half of a 200mg dosage of caffeine to remain in a consumer’s blood stream six hours later. Without much deep sleep, which plays a major function in body repair and energy buildup for the next day, consumers can wake up exhausted instead of refreshed from a night of sleep. Caffeine also is an acid-producing food. The normal pH for the human’s blood is 7.4 ± .2 units. Too much acid can be harmful. It can decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals, produce energy, repair damaged cells, and so on because the optimal pH for bodily functions is not being maintained. At a blood pH of 6.9, people are unlikely to live and recover.

Photo Credit: Joanna Mendelsohn

An 8.46 ounce can of Red Bull Energy Drink contains 80 mg of caffeine, about the same as a cup of coffee. When users consume a lot of and tissues to restore the body’s caffeine, the acidic-producing food pH level. However, these restorcan put a lot of pressure on the ative measures increase the bone blood’s pH level. The body tries to loss for men and women. compensate with this low level by Through caffeine’s harmful using alkaline minerals like sodium, effects to sleep patterns and the potassium, magnesium, and cal- body’s pH level, caffeine can be a cium. According to Eric Peterson, damaging for the health of cona coach for Pacific Elite Fitness, sumers. It goes to show that even the body will extract these essential the world’s most popular stimulant minerals like calcium from bones can be harmful instead of helpful.

A crisis bigger than Katrina hidden under water

Devastating summer flooding in Pakistan deserves more attention and support Noah Shavit-Lonstein Pakistan’s monsoon season has hit News Editor the nation harder than usual, causing widespread flooding. At the flood’s peak, onefifth of Pakistan was underwater. The displacement and death were unpredicted and unprecedented. The flooding in Pakistan began at the end of July, and killed 1,600 by mid-August. Apparently, this isn’t enough death to shock America’s media into paying attention. The insufficient amounts of rations that aid workers brought weren’t enough to make America pay attention, either. Neither was the Pakistani government’s response, which could not help all refugees, and favored helping Muslims. More recent statistics found that ten percent of Pakistan’s population, or twenty million people, have been displaced. The United Nations have said that they need two billion dollars to aid the crisis. Even worse, they have also calculated that this is the worst humanitarian crisis in the organization’s sixty-five year history, which includes Hurricane Katrina, the Indian Ocean earthquake and the recent Haitian earthquake. In January, news of the earthquake in Haiti was everywhere. Posters asking for donations were pinned to school walls. Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update was interrupted with an announcement asking for donations. Humanitarian aid collected $2.5 billion by mid-March, with more money pledged. This response not been repeated by the media for Pakistan’s flooding. Why aren’t people rushing to aid the Pakistani response? People suggest that developed nations’ apathy is due to physical distance and “donor fatigue”. The New York Times recently took a

Mini Editorials German Exchange success The two weeks are over and the students have returned to Hamburg, but the memories of this year’s German exchange are still fresh in the minds of students from both countries. The fifteen students from Hamburg’s Heisenburg Gymnasium arrived on Sept. 19, marking the seventh year of cooperation between the schools. This year’s exchange was an overwhelming success – many members of the school communtiy have praised the organization and quality of the activities and students who participated. The German students reached out to the entire community, and established friendships with people other than those directly involved in the exchange. The Rubicon would like to thank the organizers of this program, and commend all those involved for making the exchange such a memorable experience, and showing the community what is possible when different schools and cultures come together.

Tissues need improvement

Illustration Credit: Rachel Kinney

different approach, and theorized that many countries, like America and Britain, antagonize Pakistan. And they can back up that claim: CNN has said that, when polled, seventy-eight percent of Americans say they have a “negative” view of Pakistan. British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Pakistan “promote[s] the export of

terrorism”. Cameron’s statement is ludicrous, as only 15% of Pakistanis think well of the Taliban or al-Qaeda. The two billion dollars that the United Nations wants seems like a lot, and it is. But if every American gave just ten dollars to the effort, the United Nations would have around three billion

dollars for the crisis, far beyond its goal. Pakistan is full of refugees, of mourners, of the tired and hungry masses. Farmers whose land has been uprooted could need aid for two more years. With a crisis of these unimaginable proportions, everybody must aid the crisis how they can.

What is Decor? It means decoration, has no use, and its position at St. Paul Academy and Summit School is an unusable decoration. Unlike conventional tissue brands, SPA has decided to place Decor tissues around the school. While Decor tissues look like any other kind, one “achoo” allows the user to uncover Decor’s disguise. Decor tissues irritate the user’s nose, having a texture similar to that of sandpaper. In fact, Decor’s inadequacy has led it to serve more practical uses such as whiteboard erasers. The Rubicon supports quality of material in even the most trivial things. In public schools, students bring in their own tissue boxes to share. Maybe it’s time for SPA to take similar actions .


October 2010

Students bullied to death


The multiple September suicides show an extreme result of bullying, but even to a lesser extent, bullying is never tolerable. On September 9, Billy Lucas’s mother found her dead son. His peers at Greensburg High School, Indiana, had tormented and harassed Lucas because he was perceived as gay. They told him he didn’t deserve to live, and that he should “go kill himself.” When he couldn’t take it anymore, he hanged himself in the family barn. He was 15 years old. Since the day Lucas took his life, Cody Baker, Seth Walsh, Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Harrison Chase Brown, Raymond Chase, Felix Sacco, Caleb Nolt, Justin Aaberg and Zach Harrington have all done the same. They come from all over the United States: North, South, East, West. Their ages ranged from 13 to 19. All of them were bullied, and news sources have confirmed that at least nine of them were being bullied for being, or appearing to be, gay. These are just three examples of situations that made young men believe suicide was their only option: Cody Baker, a17-year-old Cody Baker student in Wisconsin was, according to his Gay Straight Alliance Peer Mentor, a passionate activist for all students, especially Nadja Milena Editor in Chief

those “ostracized for their sexual orientation.” She added that he didn’t always experience his school as a safe and accepting place. On September 13, Baker took his own life. Tyler Clementi was an eighteenyear-old freshman at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The young man’s roommate had secretly set up a Webcam in his room and streamed the footage of Clementi’s intimate encounter with another man live to Facebook. On September 22nd, Clementi threw himself into the Hudson River and drowned. Asher Brown, a thirteen-yearold at Hamilton Middle School, Texas, experienced constant harassment for being small, for his religion, for his clothing choices, and for allegedly being gay. The morning of September 23, one day after Clementie’s suicide, Brown came out to his stepfather. Later that day, he shot himself in the head. In response to the news of these deaths Eric Severson, faculty advisor of the Saint Paul Academy and Summit School Gay-Straight Alliance, and Haseena Hamzawala, Upper School English teacher, posted information about the deaths on the opinion board and


from Principal Hughes In an assembly on Monday, October 11, Upper School Principal Hughes addressed the bullying in hopes of introducing a dialogue about bullying at St. Paul Academy and Summit School. He spoke about all the ways students are involved in bullying: The bully: This is someone or a group with enough social power to be influential who chooses to go after another person or group. I would hope that if you recognize in yourself someone who teases, excludes, targets, or mocks other people, that you would have the courage and the awareness to find a way to change your behavior. Those who are bullied: The temptation here is to accept or dismiss the bully’s action. “Oh, he’s just like that with everyone, oh she doesn’t really mean it when she says those things.” If you find yourself a target, it takes courage to stand up to it. To stand up to the bully himself, or to bring it to somebody who can help. Friends, teachers, parents. A bully takes silence for consent, and comforts himself with the thought of “well, if it bothered her, she would say something.” Those who ignore bullying: I think for our community, the third group is the most important. Those are the ones who see cruelty and teasing and are faced with a choice. Take it on, or ignore it. The position of courage, and frankly, the only position that’s morally defensible within our community is to choose to take action. That can be speaking out directly against what’s going on, letting an adult know, physically supporting somebody who appears to be a victim. If you see cruelty or harassment going on and you don’t act, you’re giving permission for it to continue.

expressed their concern about the growing number of bullying related suicides. The Gay-Straight alliance hosted a discussion of these events on October 7. “The purpose was just to start a dialogue around this notion of bullying over sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation or perceived difference,” Severson said. GSA is also looking ahead to the week of October 18, when they will be selling shirts with the logo “We’re all a little gay inside” to promote LGBT allies week. October 20 is an “Allies” day on which people are invited to wear purple to bring visibility to the community in a silent but powerful way. GSA will be passing out purple ribbons to advisories so that, if students and faculty so choose, they may wear them. GSA deserves recognition for the support and awareness they bring to our community about LGBT issues. Most of these victims were kids. Six children’s lives have been destroyed and ended by hateful words, homophobia, and children mistreating one another because of a perceived difference. Students of SPA should come together to participate in upcoming GSA events, which promote the acceptance of all, regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion, gender or any other reason for treating someone poorly because they are “different.” We are all different. But this is not simply an issue of homophobia. It’s bigger than that. Upper School Principal Chris Hughes addressed the issue of bullying in last Monday’s assembly, stressing that bullying comes in many different forms, for just as many reasons. In a thoughtful and commendable speech, Hughes stated that bullying could appear “innocuous and innocent, joking, or even mutual between two people. At it’s worst, it has the kind of horrible tragic results that we see in those photocopies and we read about in the news.” But there is a middle ground between a respectful environment and the kind of hate filled language that destroys lives. Students at Saint Paul Academy and Summit School are, in general, incredibly bright and caring individuals. I have never heard the word “fag” on our campus. I have never heard the N word on our campus. I have never seen anyone be shoved into a locker, or be told to go kill themselves, because they were gay, or Jewish, or Hispanic or just plain “weird.” Yes, there is teasing. A certain amount of teasing between friends

Photo Credit: Noah Shavit-Lonstein

Upper School English teachers Eric Severson and Haseena Hamzawala posted photographs of the multiple boys who committed suicide on the Opinion Board.

is healthy; joking around is an excellent way to prevent people from taking their problems, themselves, and one another too seriously. But bulling is an issue. And it is three pronged. The first piece is that sometimes we let our dislike for a person excuse the thoughtless way we talk about them when they’re not present. This happens at every age level, in every high school, in every state. That doesn’t make it any more acceptable or any less hurtful. The second piece is that everyone can deal with different amounts of teasing: if two people both have a high level of playfulness and understand none of the friendly banter is meant seriously, their interactions will probably be. But everyone’s comfort level is different. We’re all going to take a joke too far and accidentally offend someone at some point in our lives. When it happens, we can’t just let it slide. We must explain that our intentions were not to offend or hurt. This apology is how we stop an accidental offense from growing into something devastating. Interwoven with this issue, but distinctly unique, is the fact that people don’t understand the potential offensiveness of their language. Every once in a while, you’ll hear “gay” being used to describe a time consuming but boring homework assignment. Or you’ll hear some-

one tell a friend to stop acting “so retarded.” Or you’ll hear someone tease a friend or an acquaintance, meaning absolutely no harm. The people making these jokes rarely mean any harm. Indeed, more often than not, when they say “that’s so gay,” their not even thinking about homosexuality. A slang term that was born out of homophobia is now merely a synonym for stupid; no gay hate intended. However, in this case, the intention is irrelevant. It’s offensive. It’s hurtful. It’s wrong. And, if recent events have shown anything, it’s dangerous. It may not as prevalent here as it is at other schools or even in different states, and it’s certainly not comparable to filming someone’s sexual encounter without their consent or knowledge, but it is dangerous. In a small community like ours, when one person speaks, a large percentage of our population hears. We cannot possibly know how everyone who hears our words will react emotionally. We cannot possibly know what they are going through, what context they have for our comments, or how emotionally fragile they are at this time in their lives. We don’t know. It’s not necessarily our business to know. But we have to be aware of our words, our actions, and the possible responses our carelessness could elicit. We all owe each other that kind of respect.

If you or someone you know is being bullied, don’t stay silent. Tell a teacher, parent, friend, counselor, or someone else you trust. Even if you just have suspicions someone is being bullied, tell someone about it. You could also check out an anti-bullying website:, www.stopbullyingnow.,, and have advice and further resources. Anti-bullying hotlines you can call are the Trevor Helpline for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth at 866-4-U-TREVOR, National Center for Victims of Crime at 703-276-2880, and the National Referral Network for Kids in Crisis at 800- 543-7283. Don’t just let it happen. You can get help.­




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Homecoming [2010]

For more photos, check out the homecoming album on The Rubiconâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s facebook page!

October 2010  

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

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