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The Octagon

‘Patiently Waiting’ by Jacob Sands

May 27, 2014

By Grant Miner

My Angle Trigger Happy How to make sure that everything is beautiful and nothing hurts (Trigger warning: the following column contains trigger warnings. If you have ever been triggered being warned of said triggering, please do not continue.)

EDITORIAL: Outdated MP room should be first on the renovation list Our MP room isn’t a place at which a prospective student musician or actor would look and say, “Wow, I think it would be really cool to perform here!” Frankly, our MP room pales in comparison to the performing arts centers of other schools. We don’t even have a real stage, as ours is cramped and distinguished from the rest of the room only by a change of flooring. Plus, the room is utilized for many different purposes (including music groups, drama, dances and assemblies), making scheduling difficult and requiring equipment to be set up and torn down daily. The school has made significant progress in upgrading and modernizing the campus over the past several years (such as the current project of the middle-school math and science building). But it’s about time the performing arts received some attention. We know the MP room will eventually be replaced with a performing arts center. But eventually could mean it’s the next project, or the one after that, or the one after that—a new performing arts facility is something that has been desired for a long time and is still years down the road. Our programs will always be limited by the size of our school, but the lack of a proper place to perform (or even to rehearse) is a huge turn-off for serious musicians and actors.

And with the school’s new emphasis on marketing, starting next year with the hiring of Tucker Foehl as the first head of strategic programs, it makes sense to try to attract new actors and musicians (and old eighth graders) with new facilities. To be fair, the L-shaped building in the middle school that is planned to be constructed after the current project will provide some needed classroom space. If it turns out that enrollment increases so much that additional classrooms are absolutely necessary and cannot be provided any other way, the L-building should be built next—no question about it. But if the visual and performing arts center were constructed first, it could provide temporary classroom space until another building is constructed: even if some groups still have to share practice rooms, they’d still have a nicer building and a real performance hall. Eventually, a performing arts center could even include space for programs (such as dance) that we don’t currently have at all. Since a performing arts center would be the site of assemblies, concerts and other events, it would be especially influential in improving the school’s image. After all, the folding plastic chairs on a tile floor that currently provide seating in the MP room simply do not convey a great image.

The Octagon Editors-in-Chief Garrett Kaighn Connor Martin Kamira Patel Online Editor-in-Chief Ryan Ho Copy Editor Garrett Kaighn Business Manager Garrett Kaighn News Editor Emma Williams Editorial Editor Zoe Bowlus Community Editor Grant Miner Sports Editors Micaela Bennett-Smith Eric Hilton Centerpoint Editor Kamira Patel

Opinion Editor Maxwell Shukuya Feature Editors Connor Martin Aishwarya Nadgauda Photo Editor Cissy Shi Assistant Copy Editor Amelia Fineberg Reporters Avi Bhullar Daniel Hernried Zane Jakobs Elena Lipman Madison Judd Austin Talamantes Manson Tung Cartoonist Jacob Sands Adviser Patricia Fels

The Octagon is published eight times a year by highschool journalism students of Sacramento Country Day School, 2636 Latham Drive, Sacramento, Calif. 95864. Phone: (916) 481-8811, ext. 347. The online Octagon ( is updated daily.


Orchids Onions

My adviser forwarded me a New York Times article the other day (although original forwarding credits go to teacher Jane Bauman). It chronicled the quest of some UC Santa Barbara students to apply trigger warnings to the entirety of the school’s curriculum. For those ignorant of the word’s meaning, a “trigger” is basically anything that can cause an episode of post-traumatic stress. In its purest form, the word addresses the needs of a person who’s had some serious prior trauma. However, in a fashion typical to today’s youth, it has become bastardized enough to refer to anything that could make people feel uncomfortable. What began as a way to describe something that could be potentially harmful to a very small set of people (scenes of violence from a certain war, etc.) has since devolved to require warnings before everything from violence to racism and even to romance (to protect anyone who’s had a particularly nasty breakup). The problems that arise when this concept is applied to education are evident. Obviously, any science or math course isn’t threatened (they’d better watch what they put in those word problems, though). The danger is to the humanities. The history curriculum, I think, speaks for itself. AP European History alone would require enough trigger warnings to fill the better part of a small textbook. Don’t even get me started on our English classes. Have you heard that they’re teaching sophomores the Bible now? That’s probably the most triggering book in existence. If you’re searching for something offensive to warn people about, look no farther. Sodomy, incest, premarital sex, domestic violence, racism. Yup, it’s all here. I’ve even heard that some guy gets nailed to a cross. The “Good Book”? I think not. The real problem with this kind of movement is that it encourages people to ask that their environments be regulated, with careful warnings and considerations given to them at each turn to prevent them from getting offended or being uncomfortable. But the parents of the UCSB students sent their kids to the second-biggest party school in the country to learn to make intelligent decisions, not to learn curricular baby-proofing. (Trigger warning: if the idea of a permanent end frightens you, please circle back to the beginning.)

rchids to. . . the Parents’ Association for planning an all-school end-of-theyear party. Raging Waters will be a great place to celebrate with our classmates.


nions to. . . the burned-out printer that caused the prom photo booth to shut down. As a result, Student Council had to refund $5 of the ticket price.


rchids to. . . parents Denise Williams and Lisa Quattlebaum for turning the library into the Good Luck Saloon for the Faculty/Staff Appreciation lunch, May 22.

nions to. . . students who leave notes and homework lying on picnic tables. The wind blows them away and makes a big mess. Plus, don’t you need those papers?