May 2019 Issue

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Sophomore Hayden Graff hopes to lead his youth sailing team to success over the summer.

Performers’ impressive vocals and the tech crew’s attention to detail wowed audiences over the course of the show’s May 17th-19th run.


@therubiconspa @TheRubiconSPA TheRubicon.SPA The Rubicon



New abortion bans and bills throughout the country raise concerns about bodily autonomy.

A&E pg. 12

SPORTS pg. 14


the student newspaper of St. Paul Academy and Summit School 1712 Randolph Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105 Volume 46. Issue 8. May 28, 2019

Construction ends, trailers leave CHARLIE KEILLOR STAFF WRITER

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Charlie Keillor ENGINES READY. The portables were pulled out in sections, then covered and attached to semi trucks when they were returned to the rental company.

The portable classroom buildings were removed from campus May 16. All classes that were held in portable classrooms moved to their permanent location in the Thompson wing. Students no longer have to walk through the courtyard to get to classes and no longer have to walk through the athletic hall-

Proposed abortion ban sparks protest

way to get to the lunchroom. This is a benchmark in the final completion of construction on the Randolph campus. “Now that the portables are down I don't have to walk as far for my classes,” junior Eddie Krasny said. The portables were a huge project for the Director of Operations Mark Dickinson. He said that the initial setup for the trailers was $80,000 and they cost

Commencement ceremony O’Shaughnessy Auditorium June 9, 2019 4 p.m.

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Evelyn Lillemoe PRO CHOICE. Sophomore Grace Krasny hold up a sign reading ‘My body my choice.”


Hundreds of people chanting “vote them out,” “their body their choice,” and “abortion is healthcare, and healthcare is a right” rallied at the Minnesota state capitol on Tuesday, May 21, one of over 400 protests across the United States. The protest was held in response to a 20 week abortion ban was presented by members of the Minnesota legislature, as well as multiple other states passing abortion bans. If this 20 week abortion ban was passed, people would not be able to obtain an abortion 20 weeks after fertilization except in cases of possible death or serious physical harm. Those that perform or try to perform abortions after 20 weeks would be guilty of a felony. The protest in Minnesota was planned by National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League Pro-Choice Minnesota, Planned Parenthood Minnesota Advocate, National Council of Jewish Women Minnesota and Women’s March Minnesota.


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$3,500 a month. Dickinson said, “It's a challenge of, you know, you can buy them, but once we’re done with them, there's not an instantaneous market." There were three individual trailers driven in and set up on a level rock base. The school removed the walkway and electricians came in to disconnect power to the trailers before they were driven away.

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Lucy Benson BRIGHT FUTURE. The 109 members of the class of 2019 will receive their diplomas at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium June 9.

Class of 2019 graduates

Outgoing U of M president to deliver address JENNY RIES THE RUBICON EDITOR With the newly-unveiled Schilling Math and Science Center, Saint Paul Academy and Summit School has publicly declared its commitment to STEM education. SPA will maintain the STEM-focused tone, welcoming Eric Kaler, a former chemical engineer and the retiring president of the University of Minnesota, to the stage. This will be SPA’s 119th commencement ceremony. In a press release on the SPA website Head of School Bryn Roberts said, “It is indeed an honor to have President Kaler address the Class of 2019,” Rob-

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erts said. “In the rapidly changing world of higher education, President Kaler is known for his vigorous leadership and extraordinary understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing universities in the years ahead. He has an exquisite sense of what awaits our students heading off to college and university. It is hard to envisage a more informed and thoughtful speaker for this year’s graduating class.” Though this year’s keynote speaker will represent the STEM community as an engineer, he also brings significant experience as a college administrator and a leader. This focus on leadership has been present among many of the other recent speakers, one a

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CEO, and the other a dean. In addition, seniors Nora Povejsil and Gemma Yoo will represent their class as speakers at this year’s commencement ceremony. Yoo will use the time to reflect and reminisce on her high school experience. She said that her speech is centered around “memories and remembering.” “I think it’s important to take a moment to think about the things we will miss about high school, because then we’ll be able to focus on the excitement on its own as well.” SPA’s support of STEM is evident in its last few commencement keynote speakers, such as obstetrician/gynecologist turned CEO of Allina Health

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SUBMITTED PHOTO: Eric Kaler’s office, U of M LEADERSHIP. Eric Kaler was appointed the University of Minnesota’s 16th President in 2011, and will retire on July 1. System Penny Wheeler, and Dr. Karine Moe, economist and dean of faculty at Macalester College. The ceremony will take place Jun. 9 at 4 p.m. at O’Shaughnessy on the University of St. Catherine campus.

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@SPA jobs employ students for the summer TOMMY STOLPESTAD THE RUBICON EDITOR From September-May, the classrooms are filled with traditional academic learning, but during the summer months, Summer at SPA takes over. Camps focus on everything from learning how to make films to building homemade rockets. With multiple camps to choose from, the campus is far from deserted during summer break. A handful of students experience the shift of working a summer job at school. Although few in numbers, these students become role models and leaders for younger campers throughout the summer. Junior Henry Vlietstra is a member of the team of counselors working the three weeks of Film and Frolic this summer. “I help kids with making movies, and we set up a bunch of games, and we help oversee lunch and field trips and all that stuff. It’s really fun,” Vlietstra said. Sophomore Gracie Tilney-Kaemmer and Sara Browne also worked at film and frolic during the summer. “I like working at Film and Frolic because I feel like it’s a perfect way to spend the summer for me because I love making movies and I love watching kids create their own work.” Til-

ney-Kaemmer said. “I like the fun and creative energy that the kids bring. Movie-making is very open-ended so it never gets boring” Browne



- Henry Vlietstra

said. Film and Frolic is one of the most popular camps in the program. Led by middle school teacher Bobak Razavi, campers are able to collaborate and make their own films. Razavi explained the process that goes into hiring counselors that assist him in teaching campers the art of film making, and gaining the position of a counselor is no easy task. “Mr. Razavi makes sure things are fun and run smoothly” Tilney-Kaemmer said. “Usually the [counselors] have done the camp before, or done other video related things, or worked with me closely on other ventures. Part of the magic is to come up with a group

PHOTO REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION: Film and Frolic website FRAME. FOCUS. FILM. Sophomore Sara Browne helps a camper at the Film and Frolic camp. that gels and functions the way that you picture a summer camp counseling group working where they are creating a lot of the fun and the culture of the place,” said Razavi. The students must be passionate about what they are counseling and have some sort of background in the subject. Yet with gaining popularity of the camp, the application process may become even more selective. “We are getting to a point where I probably have to have a more formal process for hiring because now I am at a point where there are definitely more kids that want to work than I have spots for, and that is tricky but there is a certain number that makes sense,” Razavi said. While being a counselor comes with its fair share of responsibility, it also offers a truly

enjoyable summer job experience for those who apply. “I feel really comfortable when I’m working here,” Vlietstra said. “I liked working at SPA specifically because I know the location very well and I feel comfortable here” Browne said. Although counselors and teachers have things to adjust to when working at SPA in the summer, they are able create truly memorable experiences by working together on something they are passionate about. “It’s really fun to see these high schoolers, who used to be eleven, twelve, thirteen year olds who I had in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, be leaders and come into their own. Part of what is really fun is seeing the magic that happens when I connect these older kids with the younger kids. It’s great too because it feels different than school,” Razavi said.

Summer @ SPA A to Z

Amazing Mazes Ardunio Programming and Making Artmarks: Drawing and Painting with Pizzazz Artmarks: Cooperative Creations Artmarks: Fantastic Fibers Board Game Design Creative Science Debate Institute Film and Frolic Intro to Programming in Processing Rockets, Rockets Everywhere Rube Goldberg Machines The Science and Art of Candy Making Classes run 1-2 weeks between Jun. 10-Jul. 26 for students grades 4-12.

Ross gathers interest in Youth and Government delegation MAREN OSTREM THE RUBICON EDITOR If Foreign policy, state legislature and current events interest you, then you may be a good fit for the new Youth in Government Delegation student group that 9th grader Sonia Ross is organizing. Ross wants to take students interested Model United Nations and Model Assembly and organize them into one group, who work together to prepare individual legislature for both events in January and at the end of spring break in March. “Youth in Government is a program that happens all over the US. We’d be starting a delegation. So that’s a group of kids that go to the conference, the program. There are two programs within the program, there’s Model Assembly and Model United Nations. Model Assembly is practicing US government, whereas Model United Nations is like the actual United Nations,” Ross said.


- Sonia Ross

Model UN is an educational simulation in which students simulate United Nations committees and delegations. Model Assembly is similar, except the simulated government is United States specific rather than United Nations wide. Ross found out about the program through a separate government activity she enjoys, “I volunteer for Congresswoman Betty McCollum. And one day,

I was marching in a parade with her. And there was a man there who was marching with her too. And he was talking about how youth should be more involved in government, and how I should start with some programs. He was talking about young Democrats, which is not a Minnesota organization. But I found like the closest thing to it, which is Youth in Government,” Ross said. US History and Social Studies Department Chair, Jon Peterson has aided Ross in her attempts to begin the group. “She’s really doing a fine job as far as organizing people, talking to Mr. Magee, in the middle school about getting middle school students involved since they can be involved” Peterson said. Ross’s inspiration began when she noticed that there were many students at St. Paul Academy already interested or participating in Model UN and Model Assembly, but they didn’t have a group to join. Many resorted to traveling to other high schools such

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Maren Ostrem POLITICAL PRESENTATION. 9th grader Sonia Ross explains Youth in Government at an interest meeting May 9 to establish a club next fall. as Roseville, Southdale or Highland. “For a while we’ve been with Highland Park, and their schedules weren’t lining up. But I also think that it’s important because I think government is a way for people to exercise their

voices around politics and issues. And I know that there’s a lot of people as SPA who would be interested in having their voices heard, and I think government is an outlet for that,” Ross said.

3 Voters choose 19-20 leaders NEWS



THE RUBICON PHOTO: Salah Abdulkarim UPPER SCHOOL COUNCIL. Ananya Narayan and Liam Will present a platform during speeches. They were elected USC co-Presidents. Will said, “We want to re-address the sexual assault provisions in the handbook, expand the faculty end of the year thank you board...continue addressing what we are now and any other topics students come up with.”

USC Presidents: Ananya Narayan and Liam Will

Co-Presidents: Niko Liepins and Rashmi Raveendran Secretary: Maya Choi Treasurer: Bobby Verhey C3 Chairs: Zach Dyar and Paige Indritz Secretary: Audrey Egly SAC Presidents: Henry Cheney and Henry Vlietstra Vice President: Sydney Therien Secretary: Maxanne Millerhaller Treasurer: Gavin Kimmel STC Chairs: Miranda Bance and Evan Barnes

Council leadership votes were tallied May 9 after speeches in the Huss X-Period, with representative presentations and voting following on May 14. “It was very exciting [when we found out that we were elected]. We are ready to make a positive change at SPA,” USC co-President Ananya Narayan said. Students elected 16 student body officers and 30 representatives to fulfill various positions on Upper School Council, Student Activities Committee, Committee for Community Conduct, and the Student Technology Committee for the 2019-20 school year. Each of these student groups/committees work with administrators to implement changes recommended by the student body. Will explained the changes he and Narayan plan for: “We want to re-address the sexual assault provisions in the handbook, expand the faculty end of the year

thank you board to include the rest of the community like the maintenance and janitorial staffs and lastly we would like to continue addressing what we are now, and any other topics students come up with.” SAC will have junior Henry Cheney and junior Henry Vlietstra as co-Presidents. “Henry [Vlietstra] and I chose to run for this position because we are very passionate about SAC and making Homecoming and the winter dance fun...For everyone. Next year we’re going to advocate for a student DJ because that is the best option for us in terms of both cost and enjoyment for students,” Cheney said. C3 will be conducted by cochairs Zach Dyar and Paige Indritz “We have had enough experience on the committee,” Dyar said, “and we had some ideas for what we wanted things to look like. Next year we are hoping to continue in...A more proactive way within the community. We want to have less problems and prevent those problems before they happen. We also hope to re-

fine the way that students can interact with the disciplinary process and maybe get more student input in how we handle cases.”


- Ananya Narayan

USC is in charge of communicating student needs to administration. SAC helps with the organization of student events including Homecoming and the winter formal. C3 assists administration in handling disciplinary cases as well as proactive educating the student body on policies and expectations, like academic dishonesty, preventing issues that would require disciplinary action. STC is in charge of helping students with technology issues as well as assisting administration with technology policies.

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RUBICON online

Ocean plastic data spurs action to reduce single use products ELOISE DUNCAN THE RUBICON EDITOR The world’s seven oceans are full of biodiversity home to between 700,000 to a million species. Plastics threaten their security, but the growing awareness around this issue is changing some plastic use habits. “With knowledge of the damage [caused by plastics], I have been working on eliminating as much plastic use in my life as I can, whether it be using a water bottle or using reusable containers for storage and such. It is important to find ways to re-purpose different items,” sophomore Niko Liepins said. According to a recent study done by Plymouth University, around 700 aquatic species are affected by plastic, including sea turtles, seabirds, and whales. As of right now, over 18 billion pounds of plastic goes into the oceans every year, as reported by National Geographic, and around 300 million tons of plastic are produced. The first plastic was invented in 1907, but plastic was not in popular use until the 1950s-60s. According to Global Citizen, more than 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced since then: “We know we’re losing biodiversity at a rate that is 1,000 times faster than we should be,” said Stuart Pimm, a conservation biologist at Duke University. Plastic is commonly mistaken for food by aquatic animals, which leads to high numbers of animals ingesting plastic. According to Ocean Conservancy, over 60% of sea birds and 100% of turtles have been found with plastic inside of them. Over a

million animals are killed each year due to plastic ingestion, as reported on Global Citizen. The amount of plastic humans produce and put into our waters, however, has not gone unnoticed. “I used to teach environmental education on Catalina Island, and we would lead snorkel groups. We would see pieces of plastic floating around,” Upper School science teacher Christine Schwichtenberg said. Action to reduce plastic use are on the rise. Out of the 300 million tons of plastic produced each year, half of it is single-use, according to Plastic Oceans. In January 2019, Peru banned single-use plastic in cultural and natural areas, like Manchu Picchu; previously, 14 tons of waste were produced each day by tourists there, as reported by Nation-



al Geographic. In the same month, San Diego banned styrofoam containers. According to National Graphic, around a million plastic water bottles are sold globally every minute. Plastic water bottles contribute to a large amount of plastic usage, as packaging is 40% of all plastic production.

Action doesn’t only come from governments, policies and big companies. “Instead of buying a pack of plastic water bottles, just buy a reusable one because it’ll not only be cheaper in the long run, but it’s also a lot better for the environment,” 9th grader Ellie Murphy said. Schwichtenberg agreed: “If everyone at SPA would use reusable water bottles, the impact from SPA alone would be great.” Reusable water bottles are a start, but just a start: “We are top of the food chain, so we think that we can pretty much always have the ability to survive. But if you destroy the oceans and the animals, that is destroying part of our world, which is necessary for our survival,” Murphy said Plastic is also a factor adding to climate change. A study done

by the University of Hawaii found that plastic, when exposed to solar radiation, emitted methane and ethylene, which are both greenhouse gases. As reported by ABC News, UN researchers found that the effects of human caused climate change will be irreversible if carbon dioxide emissions are not half of what they were in 2010. “I think it is important for us to remind each other that recycling and cutting down plastic use is important, as well as holding yourself and others accountable,” Murphy said. “I have taken the statistics as a sort of call to action,” Liepins said, “and using that to motivate change. What that information needs is people taking action.”



Take a summer break from grades

EDITORIAL CARTOON: ADRIENNE GAYLORD UNNECESSARY COMPARISONS. Summer is a time for fun and a break from thinking about school, so don’t let GPAs dominate your conversations.

EDITORIAL THE RUBICON STAFF Grades. Grades. Grades. Summer starts, but scores of exams and standardized tests come out and GPAs are updated, so people are bound to talk about these subjects. Remember that talking with peers about grades and scores is never a good idea. Talking about grades with peers is first and foremost, absolutely unnecessary. What someone’s grade was has no effect on any other classmate. Other people’s scores are irrelevant, so why talk about them? Along with this, success in academics is relative to the person. Everyone has a different relationship with school, with testing, and with grades. One person’s goal may be another person’s disappointment, and that’s okay, but sharing grades can invali-

date one’s view of their score. If someone had a score they viewed as good and someone else talked about how upset they were that they got the same score, they might no longer feel that it is good. This practice of sharing grades, by principle, breeds competition. SPA students often talk about the damage academic competitiveness has on them, and sharing grades is a part of that. It forces people to compare themselves with others and can influence how somone views themself. Truly, sharing grades has only negative effects. It makes people feel guilty they got a higher score or feel sad they got a lower one. Sharing scores may seem rewarding in the moment, but in the end it benefits no one. And these negative effects make school and testing a negative experience overall and make it

harder for students to confidently go into the next school year once the time comes.

EVERYONE HAS A DIFFERENT RELATIONSHIP WITH SCHOOL, WITH TESTING, AND WITH GRADES. Going into summer, don’t let these conversations ruin the time away. The school year is filled with conversations about school. When with friends, rather than discuss grades and tests, discuss each other’s lives, current events, even a popular TV show. This

will curb the negatives of comparing grades, and probably lead to a more productive and interesting conversation. This extends not just to friends, but to every daily interaction. Many people fall back to school and testing questions when they don’t know someone that well or don’t know what to talk about. Going to school and taking tests are both things most people in high school are doing, so it makes sense why people automatically bring it up, but it is also the reason they shouldn’t. Talking about something the majority of people experience results in a generic, unoriginal, and boring conversation. Topics around school and tests may also make someone unnecessarily stressed and upset. Instead, choose to talk about something that focuses on the specific person. Talk about

someone’s hobbies, their talents, their accomplishments, and what they’re looking forward to in the near future. You will learn more about the person and probably have a much stronger connection with them. Sometime, still, one might be stuck in a conversation about grades and school and be uncomfortable, stressed, or even just bored. Find ways to change the topic. Ask the person a question about themselves or bring up a new topic. Another thing that can help is having someone with you who is ready to pull you away or change the topic when tests and grades come up. After this summer is over, and the tests and GPAs resume, continue to work towards not discussing grades. It will benefit you and the people around you to great extents.


Quinn Christensen Evelyn Lillemoe Lucy Benson Julia Baron, Charlie Johnson Maren Ostrem Meagan Massie Lizzie Kristal Sharee Roman Jenny Ries Salah Abdulkarim, Tommy Stolpestad Eloise Duncan Adrienne Gaylord


Melissa Nie Noah Raaum Lynn Reynolds Bobby Verhey Liv Larsen, Elizabeth Trevathan Tana Ososki, Lara Cayci Kieran Singh Harper Lux, Katya Sjaastad Lucia Granja, Zekiah Juliusson Sam Hanson Martha Sanchez Henry Burkhardt


Mason Brooks, Clara Garner, Charlie Keillor, Mukeil Rizvi PODCAST Mimi Geller ADVISER


Kate Glassman



Normalize non-nuclear family structures

Abortion laws infringe on human rights


In the past month an abortion bill in Alabama was signed into law by the governor, Kay Ivey. This abortion bill makes it illegal in the state for a doctor to perform an abortion in mostly all circumstances, including when the fetus is considered non-viable and in cases of rape or incest. This bill has proven to have a major effect on women and people worldwide, as abortion has been a widely debated topic for decades. Should the government really be able to regulate and control the bodies of others? Arguably, that is the largest question that this new bill brings to the table in conversation about abortion. People should be free to do what they want with their own bodies, and should not be forced to do something because of another’s belief and view on the topic. Difference in opinion is inevitable in this world, but that does not mean that opinions have to be imposed onto one another. One person’s belief can control their own life, but should not control another’s life, as they may live under another set of beliefs. This abortion bill supports the idea that it is okay to have control over aspects of another person’s life, including their body, even if it may not affect you in any way. Instead of controlling someone else, let them have control over their own life as you are allowed to have control over yours. Individuals should be able to be individuals and not be forced under the beliefs of others, especially if those beliefs may harm them either physically or mentally.

Read about local protests of abortion laws on: News 1

Try searching “family” on google images. Smiling back at you are groups of parents, children, and grandparents. There are families with five children and families with one child; entirely white families and families of color. Some of the photos contain immediate families and others a larger, extended family, but almost all the photos contain an example of the nuclear family. The nuclear family is a commonly idealized family model that is played by a mother, father, and their two children; often a boy and a girl. This perception ignores other families that cover the U.S. and create unrealistic ideals of family.

TO THIS DAY THE NUCLEAR FAMILY IS STILL WHAT IS PRESENTED AS ‘THE NORM’. THIS LACK OF REPRESENTATION IS INCREDIBLY HARMFUL TOWARDS HOW WE TREAT ONE ANOTHER. In the 1960s and 70s, the American economy boomed and young families gained the ability to live comfortably on their own. This is when the idea of the nuclear family really took a foothold. The post-war economy made it far easier for a young man and young woman to get married and settle down in suburbia. The man could be the breadwinner and the woman could take care of domestic duties, such as cleaning and child-rearing. This family model became heavily relied upon by marketing and the media, and gained a reputation as the most desirable lifestyle. To this day the nuclear family is still presented as ‘the norm’. This lack of representation is incredibly harmful towards how we treat one another. Same-

CARTOON DESIGN: ADRIENNE GAYLORD sex couples are still struggling to have the same recognition as parents as straight couples. The processes of both assisted reproduction and adoption are expensive and a greater struggle for LGBTQ+ families due to discrimination. Children growing up with same-sex parents are sometimes seen as broken or lacking role-models and often are bullied. A 2011 Pew research poll stated that 61% of respondents said children need both a mother and a father to grow up happily. A child does not strictly need their biological mother and father in order to be a perfectly functional human being. The challenges children of same-sex parents face is not because they are less capable, but because of the unequal treatment enforced by the portrayal of nuclear families. Single mothers also face prejudice. 69% of respondents say the trend toward more single women having children is bad for society. According to statistics published by Statista in 2017 there were 15,425 single mothers and 6,424 single fathers raising children. These are families that deserve representation that isn’t negative. There are so many parents raising children on their own who don’t want pity or judgment from strangers on there economic wealth or promiscuity. The amount of single fathers is also increasing, yet their existence is overlooked by the ‘single mom’ stereotype. Representation of fathers taking care of children has often been the punch-

Percentage of children living with... Two parents One parent


No parents


THE RUBICON PHOTO: Eloise Duncan DEFEND YOUR RIGHTS. Protesters gather at the capital to support abortion rights.


69 26 9 4




INFORMATION: Pew Research Center INFOGRAPHIC DESIGN: Maren Ostrem line of jokes in movies, and it’s important to make it known that one’s gender doesn’t affect their ability to raise a child. Statista found in 2017 2.9 of every 1000 marriages ended in divorce, and yet there’s still a stigma. One poll from Pew Research found that 16% of respondents think divorce is not at all acceptable, while 27% found it very acceptable. Some people still have the idea that children who grow up in a divorced family are somehow ruined by the imagined turmoil around divorce. Some parents are hesitant sending their children to their friends’ houses whose parents are divorced, with ideas that their houses are more relaxed or irresponsible. This stereotype hurts the children of divorced parents. Plenty of children grow up living with people other than

their biological parents. Whether they live with an aunt, uncle, grandparent or godparent it’s totally normal and fairly common to live with people who didn’t give birth to you. No one deserves to be harassed based on their family’s model. Every family is valid as long as the people in it support each other. Through representation, acknowledgment, and actively working to spread the message that the current norm is restrictive and discriminatory, we can change the ideas held by our society. Remember to respect other’s families and love your own family without barriers created by restrictive family models.

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EDITORIALS articulate the collective



POLICIES, MEMBERSHIPS AND AWARDS OUR MISSION We strive to capture the spirit of the community through its stories while inspiring deeper conversations. Above all, we stand for integrity in our pursuit to inform and engage our readers.


is published eight times a year. We distribute 750 copies of each issue to the Upper School which are available for free.

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it is always preferable to use names when reporting, there are times when it is necessary to protect those we report on. In the case of a student, the use of grade level as a name designation (i.e. Sophomore Student) will be the preferred method of anonymity.

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Bring open mindedness to Courageous Conversations RUBICONLINE PHOTO: Lucia Granja LOST LIVES. Senior Maggie Qin Youngdale’s art names victims of mass shootings.

SPA SMUGMUG LAST TIME... 2016 was the last time that graduation was held on the front lawn.

Graduation should return to the front lawn

Art classes teach lessons beyond the studio



Many commencement traditions have shifted since their derivation. Most of these changes make sense: allowing female identifying students to wear pants if they wish respects the way that gender presentation has evolved, and the adoption of an alphabetical procession is more inclusive than the previous male/female procession by height. However, one tradition that I would love to see return is hosting graduation on the front lawn.


I began attending SPA my 9th grade year, and the Upper School building has had a huge impact on my high school experience. With so many school-based extracurriculars and free time worked into the schedule starting in 9th grade, students develop a sense of ownership over their favorite nooks and crannies. The Ordway and the O’Shaughnessy are beautiful, but they aren’t mine. Upper Schilling where I study, the Huss stage where I perform, the publications room where I write and design - those are my places. When it is time for me to move on from SPA, saying goodbye to those special spaces will be just as important to me as my last day of classes. Now that the construction on Randolph campus is complete, it is time for this tradition to come home. What could be a better way to celebrate a class than wandering the lawn, eating cake in the dining hall where they’ve shared countless lunches with friends, and accepting their diploma in front of the wood and iron door where it all started? There is history in our building, personal and communal, that we simply cannot bring with us to a stage across town. In 2020, let’s bring commencement back to our own front door.

INFOGRAPHIC DESIGN: Eloise Duncan Infographic information from a survey of students, grades 9-12 with 50 students responding.

CHARLIE JOHNSON MAREN OSTREM THE RUBICON EDITORS As students, we are given a platform to discuss current pressing issues in our community and beyond. This platform is known as Courageous Conversations, a platform specifically created to isolate the concept of race. Student attitudes have been mixed. We need to start appreciating Courageous Conversations for what they are: a way to delve into topics surrounding race and more generally, identity, that may cause many of us to feel uncomfortable. The Courageous Conversations compass has four quadrants: Believing, Thinking, Feeling, Doing. While speaking, students can share their thoughts and experiences in an open situation. Yes, these conversations can be uncomfortable, but isn’t that the point? One of the guidelines of Courageous Convera-

tions is to expect non-closure. These conversations are not for SPA students to solve the problems in one sitting, but rather to acknowledge the problems, and honestly discuss them.


In a survey with 50 responders, only 8.3% said that Courageous Conversations make entering discussion easier. The bulk of responses stated that the Courageous Conversations compass is irrelevant and treats students as if they aren’t mature. It is evident that students have negative attitudes when it comes to Courageous Conversations. The program itself isn’t the problem - it’s the students who refuse to take these discussionss seriously..

By using the results from Courageous Conversations we as a SPA community are trying to become more understanding and thoughtful. Courageous Conversations encourages a difference of opinion. We need to realize that Courageous Conversations are not a punishment, but rather a way to develop deeper connections to those around us by truly hearing other people’s stories and truths. As a school that is severely lacking in racial diversity, these conversation can be incredibly valuable for both students of color and white students. White students need to use Courageous Conversations as a time to learn how we take part in racism, and what we can do to make ourselves more culturally aware. Student attitudes need to change quickly because the conversations are not going to stop all of a sudden. If we made the most of the opportunities we are given, we would be taking a step in the right direction.

With Saint Paul Academy’s gallery now full of senior art seminar projects comes a moment to reflect on the prevalence of student art at SPA. SPA is lucky to have the resources to fund a robust art program. This benefits the student body in a few ways. Firstly, it gives students a creative outlet, which not only allows them to pursue artforms that interest them at school, but also to hone a set of skills that they may not be using in other parts of their life. Secondly, students are able to blow off steam and reduce stress through art, which is beneficial at a high-pressured school. Finally, art can be a way for students to make a space for themselves at SPA, especially if academics or athletics are not where they feel most comfortable, or a place for students to expand their identity beyond student or athlete. As for giving students a creative outlet, it is amazing that SPA students who are interested in art are able to pursue that at school. SPA has been able to prioritize self-expression in a way that not every institution has the resources to. This also allows students at an academically-minded school to strengthen skills that will help them outside of an art studio, such as creativity, critical thinking, and self reflection. Art is also a great way for students to take a break from daily pressures. Student artists are able to take a few hours a week to focus on something besides math tests and English papers. Too often SPA students rank one another on their academic or athletic successes, because those are easy to measure, but art provides an escape from this. Art allows students to create, without the pressure of trying to achieve a certain score. At a small school like SPA, it can be hard to find space to grow and change. Often students are pigeonholed into certain identities, such as soccer-star or mathlete when they first arrive, and are not given room to develop as a person as they get older. For students who find that athletics or academics are not where they feel comfortable, art can be another space. Alternatively, for students who have a set identity as an athlete or an academic, SPA’s art program can be a place for them to continue to explore themselves.



INFOGRAPHICS DESIGN: Meagan Massie, Visme FACTS OF THE EPIDEMIC. The symptoms of Measles can look common, but have deadly consequences in young children. Over the past four years, the measles outbreak has increased rapidly, reappearing in 23 states to date.

Measles upsurge raises vaccine debate What does


about vaccinations?

I think [diseases] play less of a role in today’s society compared to throughout history just because of all the new vaccines and medication people are researching about. I don’t like [when people don’t vaccinate] because there are people who have worked very hard to make these vaccinations that prevent serious diseases and when you don’t [vaccinate] you put others in danger too.

- Junior Griffin Thissen

I don’t totally agree with anti vaxxing because it makes these outbreaks of diseases possible and it puts not only the person who wasn’t vaccinated at risk, but also everyone around them at risk of getting sick too.

- Sophomore Jane Christakos

I do not know very much about [the measles outbreak]. I have seen some stuff on the news, but I don’t think it afects that many people locally so I on’t know a ton about it. I don’t have too many opinions on anti vaxxers, but I don’t think they take into account all the risk that not vaccinating their kids can have on everyone around them. - 9th grader Teo Dieperink

TOMMY STOLPESTAD THE RUBICON EDITOR For as long as humans have existed, disease has posed a serious threat to humanity due to its unforgiving way of infecting people and destroying communities. Luckily, in the 21st century, many diseases that have been historically devastating were put to rest due to advancements in medical science and vaccinations. While organizations like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) work globally to make sure that these diseases do not reappear, infamous diseases sometimes reappear. This is the case for the recent spread of the measles in the United States. According to the American Red Cross, there have not been as many cases of the measles in the U.S. since 2000. Despite the availability of a vaccine for the virus, the disease is has reappeared in 23 states across the country. The disease has not been reported in Minnesota, but other states in the midwest have had reported cases of the virus. The majority of measles related deaths worldwide are children under five years old. To add to the severity of the situation, the World Health Organization deems measles as a “highly contagious, serious disease caused by virus.” With symptoms like fever, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat, and skin rashes, the effects of the disease are far from painless. Along with this, the disease is a relevant issue because it signifies a step back in medical advances and what diseases health professionals have deemed, “wiped out.” Health Assistant Julia Karschney explains what happens statistically when a portion of the population is left susceptible to a disease.

“[Immunity] is this idea that when you have a lot of people that are unvaccinated, you have a higher chance of becoming sick. If you have a lot of people that are vaccinated and some that aren’t vaccinated, you’ll have less people that get sick,” said Karschney. The spread of disease has been a recent focal point in the news. Refusing to vaccinate children can make the portion of the population who are unable to be vaccinated susceptible to the measles virus. Along with this, the measles outbreak is not something to take lightly. According to the American Red Cross, the highly contagious disease is spread through coughing and sneezing. It can live for up to two hours in a space where someone infected with measles has coughed or sneezed and can be transmitted by simply breathing in the air of a room where the virus is present. Of these statistics, one that raises the cause for concern is that a person infected by measles can infect up to 90% of those close to them who are not immune. While the measles epidemic has not affected students at SPA, the school still takes general precautions and medical information about students to ensure that the school can remain as safe as possible. “For school, you fill out vouchers before you are enrolled that says you either have all of these vaccinations or that you would like to not vaccinate because of your beliefs, or because of medical reasons,” said Karschney. She continued by saying, “I think generally from this office, and other standpoints from community house settings or school settings, it’s about making good choices for families [when deciding to vaccinate].”

HISTORY OF AN EPIDEMIC. Measles has been scientifically noticed since 1912 and had thought to be eradicated in 2000, but as of 2015, Measles has made a comeback.

THE OUBREAK RESURGES. A variety of metopolitan states have had a significant amount of Measles cases since January 1, 2019.


Code Switching



The complication of shifting between multiple accents and languages




ode switching is a person’s ability to shift in the lingui conversation for those who speak multiple languages switching: verbal and nonverbal, otherwise known as switching. This is not something that single-lingual people oft code switching determines how well they will be understood not everyone is aware of the hardships that come with it. Often, this switching between languages provides a stron community, especially in minority communities. Although th some speakers will opt to choose their native language since United States, the language norm is English. In some place other than English has become stigmatized and people rece the representation of their heritage. According to a Ted Talk b the app Friendish, “When we look more closely at code swit switch, we discover a hidden reality. That reality is the expec diversity.”


People will code switch for a multitude of reasons. Some want to fit in but, for others, it’s not a conscious effort. The most common way to code switch is by using slang words or profanities that one hears every day on the street or in movies. There are different accents that speakers obtain depending on the language they are speaking. Sophomore Ivan Starchook adapts accents: “I usually only speak Russian with my grandma, which is a different accent than what I [use to] speak to the rest of my friends and family. I can talk to my grandma in Russian and then switch back to English, but sometimes it messes with my head.”



Another reason people code switch is to integrate into a culture or society to ingratiate themselves. According to a Netflix documentary series, What Had Happened Was, African American actors sometimes feel like they’re being forced to code switch. “[Code Switching is] a weird thing because we all do it; it’s a survival tactic,” actor Justin Simien said. Simien goes on to say that it is exhausting to be raised in a society where frequent, daily code switching is expected. There are many forms that it can take, but the biggest is the feeling that to tone down their personality when interacting with white people. By using a different accent to appease other people, acceptance is equated with more income in job positions. Assumptions are difficult to overcome and when in a society where a person’s first language isn’t the norm, it can become an everyday struggle to understand one another - sometimes quite literally. “Code switching isn’t just trying to fit into something you’re not. Sometimes it’s trying to fit into what people perceive you as,” actress Logan Browning said. People think in the language that they’re most comfortable with. Sometimes it’s easy to think of words in one language and the same phrase might not translate as fluidly from one language to the other. Sophomore Jonas Bray lived in China when he was younger and found himself often thinking in two different languages. “Sometimes, I’m thinking in English, but sometimes when I’ve just come out of Chinese class, I’ll be thinking in Chinese. I’ll think of what I’m saying in Chinese before I say it in English and vice versa,” Bray said. “In general, in any conversation with my dad or sister, I can switch pretty effortlessly in speaking and listening,” Bray added. Senior Isabel Saavedra-Weis agrees that switching between languages feels very fluid. “When I first learned to speak, I spoke English and Spanish at the same time interchangeably because I thought they were the same thing,” she said.



N - MAY 2019

Why Do People Code Switch?

Other: 28% Amplify and emphasize a point: 26% Expressive: 22% Habitual Expressions: 14% To show identity: 10% INFOGRAPHIC DESIGN: Lizzie Kristal Information courtesy of Manarat International University Studies

istic code of everyday s. There are two distinct types of code consciously and subconsciously code ften think about, but for everyone else, d. It is a necessity among people, yet

ng sense of identity and belonging in a he dominant language may be English, e it’s more comfortable for them. In the es around the U.S., speaking languages eive critical and rude comments about by Chandra Arthur, founder and CEO of tching and who’s expected to make the ctation of code switching threatens true

Student life: Most students wouldn’t talk to a teacher the same way they talk to their friends, or to a stranger the same way they talk to a family member. Changes in words and tone are common and normal across different situations. Sometimes these changes are more complicated and more significant - particularly for students who are bilingual, and doubly so for bilingual students of color. Saavedra-Weis describes herself as a “language and accent sponge,” constantly soaking up the way that others talk around her - even in little ways, like watching a film. “Something I’ve always noticed about myself is that if I sit down and watch enough of a Harry Potter movie, by the end of it, I’ve adopted a very Harry Potter-esque, Hermione-esque accent,” she said. Her natural adaptation to different methods of communication is especially pronounced with regards to her second language, Spanish. “Sometimes [my accent] comes out just because I’m speaking Spanish and then I switch back into English, and then I have an accent in my English, or if I’m speaking English with others who have accents because they’re Spanish speakers, sometimes that bleeds onto me as well,” Saavedra-Weis said. For many, the switch between accents happens unconsciously. Starchook said, “I hadn’t really realized I was code switching until just now; actually.... It is a pretty subconscious decision.” However, this isn’t always the case. Junior Ananya Narayan describes switching accents intentionally, like at airports. “The few times it is conscious, I switch to an American accent when I am talking to an authority figure,” Narayan said. “This is really upsetting when it happens because it makes me feel like the only way I can get people to listen to me is when I sound like everyone else.” Saavedra-Weis knows this intention is common in situations involving power: “Many have to learn how to “talk white” to like get jobs… I think code switching can be a survival skill to survive in a white dominated workforce or [to] be considered trustworthy. I think that’s a very negative thing to have to change the way you speak. That is often considered incorrect English and is very invalidated, and I think that that’s incredibly negative.” Narayan explained that the American cultural attitude towards accents other than Western European accents perpetuates the idea that certain accents are superior to others. “When I find myself speaking with a very defined American accent, it bothers me because it is usually when I am trying to assert myself,” Narayan said. Despite the negative aspects of code switching, the dance between accents and languages can have positive effects. “Around my family members, I put on my Indian accent to feel closer and more connected to them,” Narayan said. Saavedra-Weis said, “I think that code switching is a very beautiful thing. The fact that different codes that we switch to are in a hierarchical order is the negative part of it.”




Teachers leave the classroom MUKEIL RIZVI STAFF WRITER

Six educators will leave at the end of the year: Randall Findlay and Haseena Hamzawala from US English, Leigh Evron from US Math, Meghan Bjork from US Science, Bill Mayson from US Fine Arts and Karen Dye, the Director of Intercultural Life. Some of the teachers have taught here for over a decade, while others are still new. No matter how long they have taught here, they have influenced school life at SPA.

Hamzawala works toward social justice US English teacher Haseena Hamzawala started teaching in the English department 13 years ago. She taught American Literature for 10 years and has taught four different junior/senior electives including The Bible and Literature, Literature of Resistance, Writing Seminar: Critical Contexts, and Literature of the Asian Diaspora. “I’ve been here through four different principals, three different Deans of Students, and the school has tripled in size with the Huss and Schilling buildings,” Hamzawala said. Some of her favorite memories include the six trips she has conducted to Utah for the Odyssey trips, to help connect everyone and build stronger relationships. “Those trips have been incredibly rewarding ways to get to know students in a completely new context,” she said. SPA has helped her learn to become a better listener and helped her refine how to conduct her classes with more clarity and passion to help the students and herself. “I have learned how to approach new situations and problems from a place of openness. I try, anyway, and I have tried to teach with both my head and my heart,” Hamzawala said. After SPA, Hamzawala plans to work with more social justice programs..

Bjork relocates to the UP US Science teacher Meghan Bjork has been teaching at SPA for three years and has taught the Physics 9 course and has seen lots of new and old teachers come and go. “It definitely feels like in terms of a family, it’s a big family, but compared to other schools, it feels a lot smaller,” Bjork said. She has gotten to know many students as the classes are small and fitting into SPA’s community has been easy for her. “It’s a pretty tight-knit community; everybody really roots for each other and cares about each other,” she said. Some of her favorite things about teaching here have been seeing the development of her students inside and outside of the classroom. “Going to their games, their matches, seeing how they’re doing, like, in their fencing tournaments, the plays, the musicals, the concerts... it feels like everybody is involved in something,” Bjork said. After she finishes the year, Bjork is moving to Michigan with her family. She is an outdoorsy person and believes Michigan will be the perfect place to go on lots of trails, hikes, and play outdoor games.

Dye heads west to Los Angeles Director of Intercultural Life Karen Dye, works with students grades K-12 and has seen transformation at SPA over the past 14 years. “There’s been a lot of change. The numbers have certainly increased and went from about 19 or 20% of students of color to about 33%,” Dye said. She also noted that the faces in the hall are not the only change. “There have been some cultural shifts in terms of how we look at things like hiring and how we do school, you know, how we practice diversity, inclusion, and equity in school,” she said. On the technological side, lots of resources have also been added for everyone to educate themselves on the importance of things within the culture of SPA and the world. She would still describe the school as a primarily white, traditional private school community but still ahead of rival schools in diversity and community. She will miss “the people -- a lot of people here -- young students, parents, and faculty... I’ve built really strong connections with people,” Dye said. After this year, Dye is moving to Los Angeles, California, to a different school, but she is still going to continue to educate students and others.

Bill Mayson


Haseena Hamzawala, Leigh Evron



Meghan Bjork, Ned Heckman


Karen Dye, Randall Findlay



FACULTY FAREWELL. The Upper School loses five teachers and one adminstrator this spring: Bill Mayson retires after 12 years; Haseena Hamzawa focuses her time on social justice work Leigh Evron becomes a PhD candidate; Meghan Bjork will move to Michigan with her family. Randall Findlay plans to pursue more Shakespeare and music opportunities, and Karen Dye moves to Los Angeles to work at a new school.




With a final bow, Mayson retires Director of Bands Bill Mayson first came to the school as a long-term sub and was hired full time in 2007. He is very passionate about his music and in 2015 took a sabbatical that focused on improvisation and jazz styles. At the spring Jazz Bands concert in April, US Principal Delgado said, “it’s no surprise that Bill has a special affection for the trombone, since as a slide instrument it stands at the intersection of precision and intuition. These are the precise qualities Bill has brought to the classroom — he was precise in his building of our Jazz program; his understanding of kids and their needs is intuitive and natural. Only a trombonist could hold both these qualities so gracefully, and Bill did, and does, and always will.” Mayson said he has loves “watching and listening to students grow in their ability to make music.” He is the founder of the Middle School chess activity, and his hobbies include aviation, astronomy, military history, and building scale models of aircraft.



thing that scares you...

Evron heads back to university US Math teacher Leigh Evron started teaching at SPA at the beginning of this year and is leaving to begin a Ph.D program. She taught 9th grade math and adjusted to the role smoothly. “This was my first, and sadly last, year at SPA. Though that means there hasn’t been much change while I was here, I know that I was here in a time of flux,” Evron said. She enjoyed getting to know many of the students here. “I especially enjoyed getting to know my advisory, as well as students in SADD and Mishpacha,” Evron said. She will miss the faculty and staff because they are all strongly connected and have a great bond with each other. “This may not be obvious to the student body, but the faculty community is really strong here. I have learned a lot from my peers and formed strong friendships in a very short time,” Evron said. Although pursuing a Ph.D. is highly academic, what many people might not know about Evron is that she obsessed with TV: “I think some of the best storytelling is happening on TV and streaming right now. Some of my favorites: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because it turns the issues that high school age girls face into real, palpable monsters and Buffy kicks their butts,” she said.

Heckman heads to school in Connecticut US Science teacher Ned Heckman has taught at SPA for 6. In an email addressed to his current students, he wrote, “I have accepted a dream position at a boarding school in Connecticut, which will allow me to be closer to my family and allow my husband to pursue his goal of going to Seminary.”

Findlay focuses on the arts US English teacher Randall Findlay has taught at SPA for 15 years. “I pretty much, for the last seven or eight years, taught the same five classes. Before that there was a variety -- a lot of new teachers will teach a whole bunch of things as they get settled -- but for the whole time I’ve taught 9th grade Journeys in Literature. And that’s a really fun class. And I’ve stuck with it. I like it. People have moved in and out of it. But I’ve been I’ve done it...all 15 years that I’ve been here,” Findlay said. He developed and taught the Writing Seminar, Film, and Shakespeare classes for junior and seniors, as well as advising the Film Club. Mr. Findlay is not 100% sure what he wants to do next, but one of the many things he does outside of school is that he is a dramaturg for the Classical Actors Ensemble and he wants to pursue that. “They do Shakespeare and they exclusively focused on Shakespeare and Shakespeare’s contemporaries,” Findlay said. He is also a musician and is still figuring out what he wants to do with that.



The wrinkly, stickly, gray, child-sized creature peers up beside my bed, its eyes glaring directly at me. It sits, statue-still for five seconds, making my anticipation grow. What could happen next? Suddenly, the monster springs up onto my head. I scream in terror and fling the virtual reality machine onto the couch, thankful to remember that it isn’t real. How did I get here? Well, let’s back up a few hours. After a night of classic movies with a friend, it was time to venture out of my comfort zone. My friend excitedly explained how her family received a VR headset as a gift, and I naturally grew enthusiastic to try it out. I let her pick a setting for me, instructing her to make it one that’s not too scary so I could be eased into the most terrifying settings. After adjusting the headband to where it should be, I was shocked at how accurate the reality felt. My surroundings adjusted perfectly as I moved my head, and the animation was realistic. I selected the setting she recommended, and was transformed to a completely new place. I was standing in a skyscraper next to a large glass window; below laid an extraordinary view of a city. It was peaceful and all -- that is until a robot the size of a skyscraper appeared and smashed the building. I found myself standing on a ledge of a crumbling infrastructure, feeling like I was a witness

in the next Marvel movie’s plot. The robot shot a laser at the building again, and I fell onto a horizontal (and very unstable) telephone tower. I was hanging purely on a few pieces of wire, slowly descending towards the ground. The wire gave out, and I was free-falling towards the ground. My heart dropped, but I realized that my acceleration downwards began to slow, and soon I was floating upwards. I looked up to see a robot sucking me up, but it immediately dropped me right after that. When I hit the ground, the level ended and I was taken to the main menu.


Fearful for the scarier setting my friend had in mind, I braced myself by sitting down. Conveniently, that’s what the VR instructed me to do since the setting put me sitting up at the head of a bed. I already knew this was going to be creepy, because nothing good ever happens in child’s bedroom at night. There was thunder and lightning outside, and the room was lined with book cases of children’s books and toys (clowns, jack-in-the-box, dolls, etc.).

From the corner of my eye, I saw orange glowing lights peering out of the closet door. I whipped my head around to see that they were gone. An uneasy feeling growing in my stomach, I saw a creature run across the room; it was small, skinny, gray, and it ran with a hunchback. It reminded me of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Then the creature disappeared for a few seconds. I looked around to make sure it didn’t take me by surprise. I spied it perched on top of the bookcase at the point in the room where the corner met the ceiling. My heart was beating fast as it climbed into a nearby vent, disappearing again. I then saw it clinging to the foot of my bed, slowly crawling closer to my nightstand. By this point, it was on the floor immediately beside the bed, and it froze there. I squirmed in the seat, hoping it would back away. Then, it jumped onto my head, forcing an enormous scream out of me. Before I could see what would happen next, I tore the VR from my head and was grateful it wasn’t real. Overall, I’d highly recommend VR as an unusual experience, one that holds many options for a thrilling or peaceful few minutes, depending on which setting is chosen. It’s able to accurately capture the realistic feeling of being present in a situation, and it does it so well that it has the ability to cause true reactions.

Do one thing that scares you is a monthly first-person feature. Interested in challenging a staff member to try something? Want to submit your own story? Contact with your idea and it may be published in a future issue.




Into the Woods bewitches audience

ALL PHOTOS REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION: JOHN SEVERSON A SHOULDER TO CRY ON. Cinderella (Elise Parsons) and Little Red Riding Hood (Gracie Tilney-Kaemmer) offer each other comfort as they mourn their loved ones.

LARA CAYCI RUBICONLINE EDITOR The annual spring musical this year was Into the Woods, which was shown on May 17-19 on the Huss Center stage. There were several unique aspects of the show, making this year’s musical an amazing watching experience. If you didn’t catch the musical, here is a basic run down. Suffering from a curse caused by his father who stole magic beans from a witch, the baker and his wife are unable to have a child. With the witch being robbed of her youth and beauty from this curse, she agrees to lift it if the baker and his wife provide the necessary ingredients for a potion: a white cow, a red cape, a yellow strand of hair, and a golden slipper, none of which she is allowed to touch. After a series of failed attempts and misfortunes, the baker and his wife are able to obtain the ingredients from various fairy tales characters to make the potion and all the characters live “happily ever ever.” Cinderella marries the prince, Rapunzel is freed from her witch, Jack steals riches from the Giant in the beanstalk and kills him by cutting it down, Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother are saved from the Big Bad Wolf, and the witch regains her youth and beauty. However, that is only Act I. The characters’ plots continue into the second act as they come across several conflicts which interfere with their happily ever afters. The growth of a new beanstalk results in the giant’s wife to come down to the kingdom and demand Jack’s death

as retribution for her husband’s murder. After several accidental deaths, the fairy tale characters team up, plotting to kill the giants wife. The second act twists well-known tales into a mature and realistic story about family, love, and the woods.

THE SECOND ACT TWISTS WELLKNOWN TALES INTO A MATURE... STORY ABOUT FAMILY, LOVE, AND THE WOODS. Junior Ananya Narayan, who played the witch, was amazing at singing and she realistically portrayed the witch’s emotion and perspective. Senior Ethan Asis provided emotion to the baker’s tragic story. His acting and his vocal abilities added depth to his story and well represented his character. Jack, played by Senior Max Moen, convinced the audience that he was a young boy (despite being taller than everyone else in the production, including his mother) with his energetic acting. It was clear that all the actors put in a lot of time and energy into the show, and it really showed. The costuming was impressive for a high-school show. Although capturing Rapunzel’s famous hair could prove difficult, the kidnapped girl’s wig was beautiful, so much so that it was able to transform as the witch cut her hair, making it realistic to the audience. Another impressive feature of the costumes was the intricate detail put into Cin-

derella’s dress. The iridescent pearls, shimmer, and giant hoop skirt made the dress stand out, even against the detailed set. The light blue dress evoked both the animated and live-action Disney rendition of Cinderella and showed the contrast between Cinderella at the festival and her home life. The most memorable costume was that of the MilkyWhite Cow. With Aidan Lanz set on arm crutches, he resembled a cow as similarly that a human could get. It was a slightly disfigured interpretation of a cow, but properly replicating a cow is difficult on a human costume. The cow was equally memorable for his hilarious acting, so he was a very effective character overall. With the show set at two hours and forty five minutes, Into the Woods was one of the longest musicals that Saint Paul Academy has produced. The 2014 Into the Woods film based on the Broadway production, was only two hours and five minutes, setting the SPA production far longer than the motion picture. The first act was one hour and 30 minutes and long enough to be its own show. Although many middle school and high school productions only do the first, more kid-friendly half of the show, the school’s production contained both acts, showing the whole twisted story. On Saturday night, a group of SPA alumnus who were in past productions of Into the Woods were invited by the school to see the production, showing the legacy of Into the Woods at SPA. This 2019 version of Into the Woods was a successful performance, beautifully executed.

GIANT PROBLEMS. The witch (Ananya Narayan) delivers a speech as the giant approaches.

FATHERHOOD. The baker (Ethan Asis) holds his son.

FAIRY TALES COME TRUE. Cinderella (Elise Parsons) and Prince Charming (Ben Atmore) celebrate their marriage.





SHAREE ROMAN THE RUBICON EDITOR Music plays a role in many people’s lives, whether in the form of writing, performing, or listening. The function of music is emotional. Heavy metal certainly has a different vibe than classical music. Freelance musician Eric Mayson, jazz band conductor William Mayson’s son, shares how music has allowed him to better understand his identity. “So I grew up, you know, half black, half white. So, you know, there’s sort of like a cultural whiplash element to my upbringing, as like most biracial people will tell you, it’s like, you know, two very different cultures,

if you’re in touch with both of them, kind of give you like, this sense of being in between, and also have neither,” Mayson said. While race is complicated to talk about, living through the issues of race, regardless of what a person identifies as, is even more difficult. Mayson further delves into how music has helped him cope with his reality. “I feel oftentimes, really bewildered by the what I guess you would call reality or existence. And then you know, a lot of people have different way of overcoming bewilderment. And I think my way of interpreting that is through not just writing music, but generally partaking in artistic expression. It seems like most of my voice has been accu-

rately expressed through music,” Mayson said. As a freelance artist, Mayson spends a lot of his time writing music for other groups to perform or for his group band to combine with another band. It all depends on where he is needed and what kind of music he wants to be involved in. Mayson tells that his racial makeup affects his music career professionally. “I feel sort of constantly like the need to sort of justify being in a hip hop band with such light skin, or, you know, playing in a folk group with an afro, like there’s this constant sort of question about whether I belong or not. Which I think, not only has influenced my music and the way that my career has unfolded,

but also it’s present on me always as I navigate the music industry,” Mayson said. From his identity, Mayson’s music has developed a unique characteristic that he can finally call his own in his debut album, it’s all real, it’s all fake. “Because of my interests in different cultures and my identity, I think my music has a homey and like, groove, but also, you know, harmonic movement. And, you know, it’s very different.. [The album] started as sort of a collection of songs that were examining parts of myself that I think are manufactured, or that I’m faking, or that I am afraid of or really want to get in touch with,” he said. His album morphed into a companion soundtrack for this dance piece that he is working on for a dance company called Dance Bums. The new album is

available on soundcloud and the dance company is currently on tour with Mayson’s music. While Mayson is incredibly passionate about his music, the life of a freelance artist is beginning to wear on him. “I’m just tired. You know, because like you don’t have any benefits. There is no health insurance. Tax Season is a nightmare. There is not vacation time...I don’t have time to write [my own music]...Like 90 to 95% of the work I do, I’m not saying that it’s not enjoyable, but it is simply to pay rent,” he said. Mayson recently decided to attend college to become a pilot. Instead of believing that he never coming back to music, he believes his decision is in fact to keep his passion for music alive. “I have been wanting to kind of decouple music from money a little bit, so that I can free myself up to be more true to my music. And once I made that decision, I honestly don’t really care what people think about my music anymore. Songs came out so quickly. This decision to free myself from this job allows me to take more risks and put my true self out there,” he said. While writing music for Mayson is a part of him, having the space and the mindset is the first step to being himself, even if that means taking a break. Mayson’s decision to become a pilot will allow him to have a more stable job and continue to express himself through music.

Niche memes promote specific lifestyles ADRIENNE GAYLORD THE RUBICON EDITOR There are so many different genres of meme to get lost in on the internet. Surreal memes, dank memes, animals memes, reaction memes, and a genre that has recently gained more traction, niche memes. They are often easy to spot due to their eye-catching aesthetics. They often have a collage-like form that is iconic and easy to replicate. “It’s simple!” said Lizzy, who runs niche memes account @justanotherannyoingblonde, “we use basic photoshop or picsart and phonto.” The memes have been able to create their own strong community and a name in the internet. A lot of niche memes are similar to a look book, a collection of outfits, but make connections between the objects and real life. The outfits created are often in the style of popular teen clothing choices in 2019. They are created with clothing from stores such as Urban Outfitters, or collected around created aesthetics such as soft-girl or e-boy. Some of the memes will have titles such as “Aries and a teen girl” or “Geminis.” They try to form a

connection with the viewer by inserting a quality the viewer may have. If you’re a Sagittarius you may look at the collection and think, ‘woah! I have those socks! This meme knows me! ’ It creates a sense of relatability that many are drawn to.

THE QUESTION IS, WILL [NICHE MEMES STAND THE TEST OF TIME, OR... BECOME A SPECK IN INTERNET HISTORY? Lizzy loves niche memes because, “they’re simply different from regular memes and funny and relatable,” she said. Niche memes also connect through qualities other than astrological signs. Some have titles such as ‘a math lover’ or ‘every teen in school’ and display cutouts of iphones, Starbucks beverages, airpods, and emoticons. They also include text with popular teen slang or actions that couldn’t be represented picto-

rially. Common slang includes phrases such as ‘sips tea,’ or will express actions like ‘goes thrift shopping.’ Freshman Nafisa Hagi-Aden said that her favourite category of niche memes are either related to fashion, or the ones that connect through astrology. “Even if I don’t believe in star-signs… they look so aesthetically pleasing.” she said. There are criticisms of the genre, and some of those criticisms are aimed at ironic niche memes. Ironic niche meme accounts upscale oddly-specific things niche memes portray as common, and push the joke as far as if can go. Unironic niche memes will have scenarios relating to tweets or quirks, while ironic niche memes with describe more outlandish scenarios. “I feel like niche memes can project a stereotype about how certain people should dress, or how certain things should look… Sometimes niche memes don’t fit to bigger bodies,” said HagiAden. Niche memes have made their presence known on the internet. The question is, will they stand the test of time, or will they become a speck in internet history?

that cool girl from school wears a bun a lot her favorite color is blue

always has hot chocolate even when its 97°

shes a really good swimmer

loves charcoal face washes

always smiling :) wears a scrunchie on her wrist

THE RUBICON PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: EVELYN LILLEMOE NICHE MEME. 9th grader Nafisa Hagi-Aden said, “I feel like niche memes can project a stereotype about how certain people should dress, or how certain things should look.”

Can’t get enough of niche memes? Check out our pinterest @The Rubicon to see more niche memes.



Graff sails to a win in competition

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Sharee Romans GET TO THE FINISH. Sophmore, Hayden Graff, races towards the finish line in boat eighteen in his sailing competition. “We’ve gone from being the back of the fleet the whole time to placing third place in the regatta overall just two weeks ago. We were really happy about it,” Graff said. and another, and they got 20 of sailing is too harness and SHAREE ROMANS WHEN I AM ON ka points less than us,” said Graff. control the wind with two sails, THE RUBICON EDITOR THE WATER, Unlike many sports, winning mainsail and jib, and the rutter. Feeling the sharp breeze of the in sailing means getting the The type of sailboats that IT’S LIKE I AM air and splashes of water, sopholeast number of points, overall. the Minneapolis Sailing Cenmore Hayden Graff and his partFREE. Despite looking like an easy ter uses on the youth team are ner are the first to curve around sport, sailing requires many fac- called 420’s. According to 420 - Hayden Graff the orange buoys placing them tors to fall in place to get out Sailing, it is the top youth dein first place for the second race. at the Minneapolis Sailing onto the water. If there is no velopment boat and is used in 43 Graff ’s personal goal this Center by the end of season. wind, the sail boats won’t depart. countries. 420’s are named after “We’ve gone from being How could they? They can’t their length (420 centimeters) year, and for the past years, had finally been accomplished. His the back of the fleet the whole catch any wind. If the wind is too and require two people to drive desire to place first just once time to placing third place in violent, the sailors are put at risk the boat. One person, the crew, has finally been accomplished the regatta overall just two because the chance of the boat controls the small sail called in the early in the season. He weeks ago. We were really hap- capsizing are higher, the waves a jib and the other person, the just hopes that first place award py about it. We got beat by two are stronger, and other possibil- skipper, controls the angle of can be extended to whole team really good teams, Minneton- ities could occur. The purpose the boat is traveling by moving

the rudder. Graff currently is the crew, but has been working towards converting to a skipper. “I usually do crew and I’m really good at it. I want to become a Skipper because I don’t do that often. I have a really good understanding of the tactics and the rules, but I need to work on actually performing the tasks,” said Graff. As the longest standing member on his team, Graff serves the role of a captain without the name. For the past year, Graff and his team have been training an eighth grader named Wyatt Tait to become a better sailor. Tait is the last moving piece to be able to compete in traveling regattas. Once he is in high school, the team can take the next step in their competitions. Sailing has captivated Graff for many years and continues to do so. While regattas are a large part of the sailing team, an even bigger part is what sailing provides. “I don’t know how to describe it. I really do enjoy sailing. I know it sounds cheesy, but the fact that when I am on the water, it’s like I am free, I guess,” said Graff. “You and your partner are out their along and there is no one to tell what to do next when your in a race. It’s just you and your choices and what you do next is what determines how you finish.” Sailing is a teamwork sport and that is a fact. One person messes up and suddenly the back of the fleet is how it is going to be for the rest of the race. Despite all the seriousness and rules, Graff ’s most important advice is to have fun. With the summer coming up, recreational sailing is also on the move. Sailing is a seasonal sport because it can only be done when the water is tolerable for the human body. When finals are done and summer is finally here, take the opportunity to enjoy the water doing sailing.

Motorsports play key role in Minnesota summers LIZZIE KRISTAL THE RUBICON EDITOR

Water spraying her face and a life jacket clinging to her torso, sophomore Saffy Rindelaub catches her balance and drops the rope, finally surfing with no attachments. Wakesurfing can be especially fun for people in states like Minnesota where there’s no ocean or waves in sight. Typically in this sport, the rider is pulled by a rope behind the boat that makes a surfable wave in its wake. After gaining their balance on the board, they drop the rope and are surfing with nothing to hold on to. This motorsport and more are a great way to get active and get outside in the water. “Wakesurfing is definitely my favorite [water sport]. I think it’s really fun that you can drop the rope after you start with it, because with waterskiing and wakeboarding you need to hold the rope the whole time,” Rindelaub said. This activity isn’t so simple

though. Not only does it involve complicated equipment, but it also needs to be learned from someone who knows that they’re doing. “My dad has been doing water sports since he was really young so he taught me and my brother,” Rindelaub said. Another, more common, water sport is water skiing. Similar to wakesurfing, it involves a boat pulling someone with a rope. The only differences would be that the person doesn’t let go of the rope, and instead of a surfboard they are on skis.


“I love the feeling of being on top of the water and the wind in my face. It’s super fun,” Junior Abby Hedberg said, Additionally, waterskiing holds an extra challenge for those who are more advanced.

“I got up for the first time on one ski over spring break,” Hedberg said. Tubing is another popular choice. This activity calls for some sort of inflated raft at the end of a rope: donut, flat, seated, and hotdog are some common shapes. Slow rides are possible with a low speed and no waves, or wild rides are easy with high speed, lots of turns, and big waves. “One time I was tubing and we were going crazy… We hit a huge wave and it tipped the tube so far back. Luckily we all stayed on, but all of our heads were dunked in the lake,” 9th grader Judah Thomas said. There are many other water sports to take part in over the summer. They’re great for having fun in nice weather with friends and family. Not only that, but Minnesota is the perfect place for water sports. “Summer in Minnesota is all about the lakes and so having a mode of transportation and a way to have fun on them is important,” Sophomore John Hall said.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: Saffy Rindelaub RIDE THE WAKE. Sophmore, Saffy Rindelaub, focuses on balance while wakesurfing.


Baseball hits end of season stride CHARLIE JOHNSON THE RUBICON EDITOR

The snow is melted and the trees are budding, this can only mean one thing, baseball season has arrived. The game which is known as America’s pastime is only at Saint Paul Academy and Summit School for a few short months, and the Spartan Boys Varsity Team is hitting their stride. After going 0-2 to start the season, the team rallied around each other and went on a 6 game winning streak. Sophomore pitcher Levi Mellin has been on the varsity team for two years now and credits the biggest strength of the team to the bond that players share. “The chemistry is unbelievable, the person who holds everything together is Nik Lehtinen, he makes sure everyone is included,” said Mellin.

Senior catcher Nik Lehtinen finds that his favorite part about the sport is having fun in the dugout.“I mean there’s nothing better. You know, it’s just hanging out with your boys. You know, having some sunflower seeds, cheering on your team-


- Nik Lehtinen

mates that are out on the field.” The team has a different makeup this year compared to earlier seasons. Lehtinen feels that this team stacks up well to previous years. “I think we are much more of a family. Our depth comes from all grade levels. Last year most of us were first year players with little varsity

experience, now with the majority of the team returning it has been showing on our record. There has never been a Spartan Baseball team that’s as exciting as the one we have this year.” This is not to say that the team hasn’t had any close calls this year. Recently while playing Blake, the team was down seven to three with two innings left. In this time of distress what did the team do to rally the troops? Well naturally they built a rally fire. Now for those who don’t know what a rally fire is, Mellin describes the creation in the dugout. “It’s when you take a bunch of bats and [place them] over the bucket of balls and you build a bonfire esque looking sculpture.” The team used the strength they found in the rally fire and went on a 9-0 run to beat Blake. The win is credited to the rally fire which “heated up the bats.” Lehtinen and Mellin encourage those who might be skeptical to come out and support the team as they approach the bulk of their schedule. “We’re the most electric team in the IMAC. I think this is

Who’s your athletic inspiration? MAREN OSTREM THE RUBICON EDITOR THE RUBICON PHOTO: Charlie Johnson EYE ON THE BALL. 9th grader, Judah Thomas, awaits a call from the catcher while playing pitcher against rivals, Minnehaha Academy. the most fun that anyone has had on this team in years. The more fans we get, the harder we are to play against.” said Lehtinen. Lehtinen has a message for the skeptics who might say that baseball is a long and boring game. “High schools baseball is never long and dreary. There is always a battle. There’s always something going on.”

Spartan athletes voice importance of summer training

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: Aman Rahman CALL FOR THE BALL. Sophomore, Aman Rahman, hits the ball during a volleyball game.


Some students move from fall sport, to winter sport, to spring sport, while others pick a few of the three. Through the school, students compete and practice with their teams but when the school year ends students look to other options to continue their training. Sophomore Aman Rahman is on the volleyball, basketball, and ultimate frisbee team, and for a three sport athlete she doesn’t take a break when summer rolls around. She takes to a Volleyball camp at Macalester. As Rahman describes it, the camp is like going to a whole school day in length. Luckily there is still time for fun. “The last hour will be like playing, scrimmaging, and just like fun games and then we’ll have a ten minute cool down at the end,” She said. Though the training is also beneficial to Rahman’s game.

“It’s a lot of fun but we all get really really good and just a lot better and a lot of improvement happens,” Rahman said.


-Aman Rahman

She also notes how exercising helps her spend her time in the summer. “It gives me something to do especially because in the summer I don’t want to just sit around in my house a lot and just on my phone like constantly,” Rahman said. But the camp is beneficial to her more than just some-

thing to do in the summer. “It obviously keeps me on my game...and it allows for me to stay competing,” She said. “When it comes to like high school sports especially, because they are pretty competitive. So if I wanna make it onto varsity I would have to keep practicing and just like staying active with the sport so it also helps me to stay in shape,” Rahman said This also extends to the coaches and the timing of the camp. “I just do it to obviously stay active and then also since volleyball kind of starts...halfway through August… so it’s really nice to get back into that routine because it is like the end of July that camp and it just helps to like improve but also because it’s super...the coaches that are there are really really knowledgeable of the sport and that’s super helpful too,” explained Rahman While some athletes like Rahman train outside of school in the summer, others


do so all year round. As is the case for Junior Masha Ames. “I take karate,” Ames said. “My mom kind of got me into it, she kind of recommended that I do it [for] self defense.” Ames has been doing karate since seventh grade and she keeps up with her training year round. Though it can be more difficult in the summer. “I’m not as motivated because I wanna do other things,” She said. But she tries to stay committed. “The mentality of thinking that I’ll feel better afterwards, because I usually get kind of angry because of that built up energy so I think telling myself that I’ll feel better,” Ames said this is helpful for getting herself to karate. Rahman also offered some advice for those who want to stay active throughout the summer season when it may be harder to get motivated. “Just go, don’t think about it,” She said. “I go to [a] community center... and they have these open volleyball gym times and you can just come and a lot of people will come and you just kind of start a game so it’s just like get up and go outside at least.” Rahman shows that whether it be through camps or community centers there are many ways to get out and train throughout the summer.While Ames shows another way of staying active when outside of school. “The class is small so you all get know each other and it’s kind of like a small little family and it’s nice to trust them and get to know them.” Summer training can be a value added to summer or year round outside of school athletics. “And it really does pay off when you come back into seasons,” Rahman said.

Role models are an important part of life. They shape who we become as children, teenagers, and eventually adults. Almost all student athletes have someone who inspires them to work harder and become more skilled. Whether it is a college athlete, a professional one, or a family member, everyone has a reason why they began playing their sport and why they continue to.

“Her name is Tara Davis and she hurdles and her boyfriend actually ran in the Paralympics and he’s also really fast and they’re also just really dedicated to their sport. She also does hurdles and I do hurdles so I like to look up to her. And she seems like a really bright and fun person but also is like serious about track,” sophomore Rashmi Raveendran said.

Junior Will Rathmanner looks up to golf player Tiger Woods, “When I was growing up, I just saw [Tiger Woods]... he won all the time. And he was just a really emotional player to watch. And seeing him come back and win the masters this year was really cool,” Rathmanner said.

Junior Libby Cohen is inspired by her older brother, Ezra Cohen, when it comes to ultimate frisbee. “I guess I’m proud of his accomplishments in ultimate because he started the [ultimate] team here and then he now made the A team at his college,” said Cohen.



Where are the SENIORS headed?


How did the seniors apply? enrolling regular decision

enrolling early decision

enrolling early action


of seniors are attending colleges in the


27% 19%


colleges attended in total

36% of seniors are attending colleges on the

East Coast



16% of seniors are attending colleges on the

West Coast

students are taking a gap year

applications on average per person

INFOGRAPHIC DESIGNS: Lizzie Kristal and Quinn Christensen


of seniors are attending colleges in the


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