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THE REVIEW

Fear of failure Do students need to experience failure in order to succeed? See Page 10.

ST. JOHN’S SCHOOL STUDENT NEWSPAPER 2401 CLAREMONT LANE · HOUSTON, TX 77019 · VOLUME 65 · ISSUE 2 · OCTOBER 2013

BOND, SJS BOND

School issues $125M in bonds by Alyyah Malick

SJS recently issued approximately $125 million in bonds to finance the purchase of the Taub Property and the construction of the Campus Center, otherwise known as the Great Hall. The deals will close Oct. 29. “We have issued bonds before but never on this magnitude,” Director of Finance and Operations Greg Swan said. The issuance of bonds represents the School’s obligation to pay back the bond’s value — with interest — after a predetermined period of time. The school will fulfill these monetary debts through fundraising efforts and incremental tuition increases. “Our community has been very generous and hopefully will continue to be very generous,” Swan said. The Finance Committee is scheduled to review a plan for an increase in tuition at a meeting Nov. 6. The Board of Trustees will then consider the tuition change at its December meeting. In April, the Board approved a plan that calls for an increase in the number of Upper School students to provide additional funds for repaying the debt. For four years, beginning in 2015, the school will admit an extra 25 students to each freshman class. Despite the increased Upper School enrollment, the size of academic classes will not change. The school will hire new teachers as needed. “We’ve done this before,” Swan said. “We’ll just have to figure out how to work in a total of 100 kids throughout the system.” The cost of the Taub Property was $91.1 million, and the budget for the campus center is approximately $40 million. Further contributions by the community will go towards paying off the bonds and financing future development of the Taub Property. The school had no major trouble finding investors for the bonds. “SJS is a strong brand. It’s a strong school,” Swan said. Selling bonds is a conventional way to finance large-scale projects. In 1998, SJS issued $11 million in bonds to pay for a portion of the costs to construct the VST and purchase Caven Field. Last week, SJS issued public bonds with the help of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in New York. RBC facilitated the transaction of $94.5 million in public bonds that mature in 30 years. An additional $30 million in private placement bonds that mature in seven years will be sold to Compass Bank. Individual investors purchased about $8 million worth of bonds, and large institutions invested in the rest. The largest investor was United Services Automobile Association, an insurance company based in San Antonio.

Online this Month Jaywalking Halloween Special and full coverage of Kinkaid Week

ISABELLE METZ

Like father, like son Rickie Winslow dunks in Liu Court with the approval of his son, senior Justise Winslow. Rickie, who played professional basketball, provides advice both on and off the court for Justise, who has led the Mavericks to two SPC championships.

Learning from the best

Students of talented parents benefit from wealth of experience

by Irene Vazquez

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“More of his help comes off the court, about how to handle the pressure and the spotlight,” Justise said.

through his hands at some point,” Iris said. She wrote her first serious short story in the fifth grade. “When I go back and read it now, I think ‘Whoa, this is rough,’ but it was a pretty big step for me. I felt so energized by it,” Iris said. Her father was interested in writing throughout his childhood, especially after reading Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles.” “In high school, I started to envy writers for what they could do,” Justin said. “I had no expectation of actually becoming a writer.” Iris’s family has a long-standing history in the field of writing. Her parents met at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her mother, Leslie, is a poet and English teacher. Justin taught creative writing at LaSalle University in Philadelphia from 1992 to 2003 and at Rice University from 2003 to 2012. “He would take me to his office at LaSalle on days when I didn’t have school,” Iris said. “I’d just hang out in his office, spin around in the big chair and play computer games.” Although her parents’ professions bring many benefits, Iris acknowledges that there are definite downsides. “Since he was the speaker at Book Fair, people have been coming up to me, saying that they’re excited or that they had to read his story in English class,” Iris said. Justin does not see any drawbacks to helping Iris hone her writing craft. Continued on Page 4

BEYOND...........................................8 OPINIONS.......................................9 IN FOCUS.............................................10

SPORTS.........................................14 ODDS & ENDS.......................................18 PHOTOSTORY................................20

hen senior Justise Winslow goes in for a layup, he knows his dad PASSING ON THE PEN has been there before. Justise’s father, Rickie Winslow, was a When junior Iris Cronin hands her star player at the University of Houston dad a manuscript, she expects it to be who also played briefly in the NBA for returned full of edits and coffee stains. the Milwaukee Bucks. Writing has been a part of her life for as Winslow teamed with future Hall long as she can remember. of Famers Clyde Drexler and Hakeem “I wrote my fi rst book in kindergarten. Olajuwon in the celebrated “Phi Slama It was a picture book called ‘Inner and Jama” fraternity, which was the Cougar’s Outer Space,’” Iris said. “The follow up basketball team that reached the NCAA finals in 1983 and 1984. “My dad’s knowledge of the game helps me immensely,” Justise said. “He’s experienced what it is like to be “My dad’s knowledge of the a professional athlete. He’s been there before.” game helps me immensely. Because of his dad’s basketball He’s been there before.” success, Justise feels as though other people think he has to live up to his Justise Winslow dad. “I play because I love the sport,” Justise said. “I want to be as good as was another picture book, colored with I can be.” crayons, called ‘All About Bears.’ I didn’t Winslow was naturally drawn to sports know anything about bears.” because he followed his older brothers Her father, Justin, is a New York Times Josh (’11) and Cedric around to their bestselling novelist and author of four practices. novels. “It was the third grade when I started “I barely have to help Iris. We talk, she playing YMCA basketball,” Justise said. shows me drafts and I make some sugges“My first year our team made it to the tions,” Justin said. “Whether she chooses championship. We tied, but there was no to use my help or not is up to her.” tiebreaker. I remember going back to the Justin reads all of Iris’s pieces, ranging locker room and just crying in front all of from fl ash fi ction and poetry to short these older guys.” stories and novels. Justise’s relationship with his father “Every creative thing I produce passes benefits him both on and off the court.

NEWS...............................................2 FEATURES........................................4 ENTERTAINMENT.............................7


THE REVIEW OCTOBER 2013

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NEWS

In Brief News around campus AP Bio Field Trip

Treble Trouble

Both classes of AP Biology took a field trip to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas. Students looked for critters and observed the marine ecosystem, Oct. 7-8. Accompanied by a graduate student from the Institute, AP Biology teacher Doug Elliott and his students caught marine organisms in Corpus Christi Bay and scavenged for others on the beach. They also tested the oxygen levels and the salinity of bay water, hypothesizing the possible effects of environmental degradation on ocean life. “I loved the trip and so did everyone else,” said senior Elise Viguet. “Both classes really bonded on the trip, especially the juniors and seniors who may not have known each other that well before.”

The new all-girl a capella group, Treble Trouble, is currently working on David Guetta’s “Titanium” as well as Kimbra’s “Settle Down.” No official dates have been set for performances, but senior founder Carolyn Martin hopes that the group will perform in the mini-quad with Les Chantdudes sometime in late October. Martin said, “I’m really excited about learning new music and working with a group of such talented individuals.”

Race For the Cure October not only marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but also Coach Brenda Mercado’s fifth year as a breast cancer survivor. To honor this anniversary, both JV field hockey teams ran in Race for the Cure, Oct. 5, along downtown Houston and Allen Parkway. Coach Margaux Harbin organized the project, and team members made t-shirts and donated money to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Coach Jack Daniel said, “This run serves as a great bonding experience for the teams outside of a field hockey environment.”

ISAS Meeting Approximately 100 Fine Arts department representatives from 42 Independent School Association of the Southwest (ISAS) schools attended an ISAS Festival planning meeting at SJS, Sept. 20-21. Students involved in the Fine Arts program at SJS guided attendees around campus to preview the venues for the festival.

Stidham Coaches Debate SUSAN BARTHELME

Under the sea During the AP Biology field trip to Port Aransas, students boarded a ship and examined marine organisms from the bay with the microscopes available on board.

Led by Head of the Fine Arts Department Bill McDonald, the representatives discussed how to maximize the ISAS experience for the estimated 3,000 students attending the festival in April.

Freshman Field Trip The ninth grade history field trip took their study of classical Indian religions beyond the textbooks. Students received tours at a Hindu temple and a Buddhist temple. They also watched the IMAX film, “Jerusalem,” at the Museum of Natural Science. “Everything we saw was really colorful and different, not like anything that I’m used to,” freshman August Schwanauer said. “It’s impressive how dedicated these people are to their religions.”

Model UN Model United Nations announced the countries that SJS will represent at the 2014 Houston Area Model UN Conference with 27 other Houston-area schools. SJS will represent Belarus, Benin, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Lesotho,

Qatar and Zambia. Only Benin has been represented by SJS in previous years. Sophomore Daniel Shebib said, “We are especially excited about China and Canada because they can really be studied and represented well at the conference.”

Imagination Lock-In Aspiring artists and writers gathered in Senior Country for the Imagination LockIn, Sept. 20. Approximately 20 students met for six hours to write and edit their submissions. Students were allowed to work in hallways and classrooms around campus as well as in the art room. Freshman Emma Shea said the event “was a really great chance to have fun with my friends and get some writing done.” Senior editors Anna Huang and Danielle Rubin plan to hold workshops and writing hours during lunch in the coming months. Junior poetry editor Robin Granberry said, “We hope that a lot of people will participate and make this a great edition.”

After teaching and coaching debate at Eastwood Academy, Michael Stidham joined SJS as the debate coach. Stidham plans to lead the debate team to more victories in tournaments and double the size of the debate squad, which currently consists of about a dozen people. “Success in debate is a matter of organization and dedication,” Stidham said. Several debate members did well at the first tournament of the year. Freshman Ethan Wang (2nd) and senior William Clutterbuck (3rd) both placed in speaker points. The team’s next tournament is at Bellaire High School, Nov. 18-19, and Stidham expects another victory. Stidham said, “We have the talent to be as good as any school in the city.”

Official SAC News Socrates once said, “Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.” SAC has been quite busy over the past month, and our lives have been anything but barren. In fact, SAC has been over-the-top busy planning decorations, food, flyers and music for the Homecoming Dance. Your SAC prefects and representatives are looking to forward to throwing a fun-filled, psychedelic party for this year’s theme, Color Splash. by Prefect Jeffrey Fastow

Compiled by Suman Atluri, Stefania Ciurea, Brooke Kushwaha, Amy Liu, Matthew Steiner, Irene Vazquez, Michael VerMeulen and Christopher Zimmerman

Faces in the Cloisters

Get to know your classmates better

Eric Gao

Mia Mirkovic

AJ Moore

After practicing at King Daddy Sports for over five years, sophomore Eric Gao has achieved national acclaim in tennis. Gao is now ranked in the Top 50 in Texas among 16-year-old players. “Eric has a great all-around game. He has worked to improve his serve’s accuracy and power,” senior Harsha Bandi said. Although Gao has made strides in tennis, he admits that he still has to overcome certain obstacles. “It’s hard to stay concentrated 100 percent for an entire match, and I lose points because of mental lapses,” Gao said. “My biggest weakness is footwork and movement, especially when my opponents start to hit harder.”

Most people use their lockers just for book storage, but sophomore Mia Mirkovic keeps tea leaves among her usual school paraphernalia. Mirkovic has been drinking this beverage since she was a child. She used to buy tea from the school cafeteria, but in late September, Mirkovic decided to make her own tea at school. She brought a box of her favorite Ahmad Tea as well as a strainer and a mug to keep in her locker. She brews the tea, a mix of green and black tea leaves, one to three times a day. Mirkovic said, “I can’t imagine my life without tea.”

Freshman AJ Moore is known as the kid with the Perry the Platypus backpack, but his daily attire also includes his crazy socks, which many people tend to overlook. Moore has socks that feature dinosaurs, aliens, radios and superheroes. “I thought Dean Popp would get mad,” Moore said, “but he actually compliments my socks.” Moore is currently competing with freshman Maddie McZeal to see who can wear the most outrageous socks. “I’m not sure when it started, but it was something along the lines of us arguing over whose socks were better,” McZeal said. “The argument continued the next day and the next.”

Compiled by Benjamin Shou, Jared Margolis and Inaara Malick Photos by Jake Nyquist and Claire Dorfman


OCTOBER 2013 THE REVIEW

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NEWS OUT-OF-CLASS EXPERIENCE

Thompson transitions to Upper School as Director of Experiential Education New position oversees field trips, encourages novel learning opportunities by Stefania Ciurea and Lydia Liu

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arty Thompson (’91) believes that learning can take place even outside the classroom. After teaching United States history in Middle School for almost two decades, Thompson now transitions into his new position as Director of Experiential Education. He will help organize learning opportunities that travel beyond the walls of the Storied Cloisters. “Ever since I was a student in sixth grade, the most valuable experiences for me haven’t always been in a classroom,” Thompson said. Thompson has already helped coordinate Upper School trips. He took part in the ninth grade retreat to Camp Allen and accompanied AP Biology teacher Doug Elliott with his classes to Port Aransas. “Mr. Thompson was super important in renting the suburbans for transportation and making sure they were at school on time,” Elliott said. “More than anything, he was a positive presence and influence.” In addition, Thompson wants to work in conjunction with Upper School Community Service and the Advancement Office’s internship program that connects current students with alumni. “I am excited to explore how I can support and enhance both groups’ off-campus service and learning opportunities throughout our city,” Thompson said.

KELLY BUCKNER AND JAKE NYQUIST

Outdoor classroom As Director of Experiential Education, Marty Thompson will coordinate more off-campus learning opportunities. Thompson has led the Big Bend trip for seven years and hopes to model other trips on the annual eighth-grade excursion.

Thompson has moved into an office in the U.S. History Department. Despite his location in the Upper School, he has already taken part in the sixth grade trip to Mo Ranch and helped the fourth and fifth grade students in St. John’s Singers with their retreat to Forest Glen Camp. He advocates the expansion of the school’s goal of K-12ing. “I’d love to help us find ways to vertically integrate students in a meaningful way by creating more leadership opportunities for Upper School students,” Thompson said. “Off-campus outings, such as Big Bend

and freshman retreat, provide a unique opportunity for us to take advantage of our status as a K-12 school and to capitalize on all that Upper School students have to offer to younger students.” Thompson has been the main coordinator of the eighth grade Big Bend trip for seven years. His experience with the annual camping trip will help him as he plans future excursions. “Big Bend is definitely a model for other trips,” Thompson said. “It does not have any third party contractors for activities. Big Bend is completely organic – every-

thing is done by us.” Thompson hopes that the Experiential Education program can help students develop self-awareness through off-campus activities. “I look forward to supporting colleagues in their efforts to connect students to the myriad learning opportunities that exist beyond the Storied Cloisters,” Thompson said. “I want to engage folks around campus in a conversation about the many values of hands-on, off-campus experiences, for young and old alike.”

SENIORITY RULES

Administration allows for earlier senior sign-outs by Tiffany Yue

Early senior sign-outs are the Great Compromise of 2013, forged through the mutual efforts of the prefects and administration. The privilege of sign-outs, which usually begin second semester, was extended to seniors at the beginning of October to compensate for the demolition of Winston and Senior Country this spring. “It’s definitely a great thing to have signouts so early in the year,” senior Daniel Treat said. “It’s a shame that we will be missing out on Senior Country in return, though.” Student Affairs Council (SAC) and administrators began discussing senior privileges last spring, with early sign-outs as a top priority. Senior sign-outs were initially slated to begin in November. “We were told that Winston was actually going to be taken out earlier than we’d thought,” Dean of Students Stephen Popp said. “We reached out to the seniors saying, here’s the news: we’re willing to give you even earlier sign-outs for the loss of time.” In the past, the administration has granted early senior sign-outs to compensate for the loss of other senior privileges. In 2005, seniors received sign-outs mid-November when the Quadrangle was under construc-

tion. Early sign-outs are part of a larger deal that SAC presented to the administration regarding the upcoming year. In exchange for early sign-outs, seniors will leave Trammel for the juniors once Winston is demolished. The deal also addresses the upkeep of Senior Country. In the past, some seniors have felt reluctant to use Senior Country. “Part of our deal is to keep Senior Country clean, physically and emotionally,” Head Prefect Sira Ntagha said. “People should feel comfortable coming into Senior Country.” Other privileges like Senior Tea will remain intact. Ntagha says seniors should remain optimistic during their final year despite the loss of Senior Country. “We have that presence on campus, “ Ntagha said. “We’re at the top, we’ve made it four years and we’re ready to apply to college. The only thing that we’re losing is Senior Country. [SAC] hopes that since we get our senior sign-outs, it’ll be less of a blow.” Many seniors appreciate that sign-outs remain a tradition in the midst of pre-construction adjustments. “I think it’s another rite of passage and offers even more bonding time with classmates in our final year together,” senior Sloane Gustafson said.

ANDREI OSYPOV

Senior Exodus Besides going off campus to get lunch, seniors can also leave during free periods to grab coffee or a snack. Though sign-outs traditionally begin second semester, seniors received the privilege early to make up for the loss of Senior Country in March.

Implementing early sign-outs sets the tone for the rest of the year. The administration is open to ideas and opinions that are suggested in a timely manner. “My biggest advice is to present ideas early and be consistent with the agenda,” Ntagha said. “That’s one of the big things about the push and tug between the senior class and the administration. Everything we’ve been presenting to the administration has been very businesslike. We look at the pros and cons, we look at the cost. We

make sure we get a deal, and the administration has been very helpful.” Sign-outs have been met with positive responses so far. “I usually just go to Starbucks to study,” senior Jeffrey Fastow said. “By the time I get there I only have around ten minutes before I pack up and go back to school. I still love it because I get to walk around campus with a venti cappuccino and look like Dean Popp.”


THE REVIEW OCTOBER 2013

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FEATURES

Parents act as role models for children Continued from Front Page “It’s just good that she’s interested in something that I actually know something about,” Justin said. “If she was interested in dermatology, I wouldn’t have much to offer her. But as it so happens, I know not just about writing itself, but how to build a life around it.”

aunts, cousins and sister, sophomore Natasha, all play. “My earliest memory of tennis was when my sister and I were ball boys for my parents’ matches,” Xavier said. “I barely knew what was going on and probably did more harm than good.” MUSICAL CHAIRS

SERVE IT UP

Senior Xavier Gonzalez considers his mom, Natalya, an excellent source of advice. Although his mother was a two-time captain of the Yale tennis team, Xavier has never felt the pressure to excel. “I’ve always pushed myself,” Xavier said. “Even when I was just starting to enter tournaments, she praised me for how hard I tried even though I was playing at a level far beneath her.” Xavier has nothing but admiration for his mother, who reached No. 21 in the nation and was an Eastern Region champion. “My mom plays with her non-dominant hand. She entered her first tournament when she was 14, and she had very little in the way of private coaching,” Xavier said. “She lacked pretty much every advantage that I’ve enjoyed. If someone like her can still reach such a high level with desire, determination and hard work, I can absolutely do the same.” Tennis is a family sport for the Gonzalez’s. Xavier’s grandfather, dad, uncles,

When sophomore Michael VerMeulen sits down to practice the French horn, he knows a pair of highly discerning ears hears every note — especially the wrong ones. Michael, a member of the SJS Wind Ensemble, began playing when he was 10, quit and then restarted playing only six months ago. Although his dad, William, is Principal Horn of the Houston Symphony as well as Professor of Horn at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, learning the French horn was Michael’s decision. “When I started playing again, I was nervous that my dad had certain expectations for me to live up to, but he really doesn’t,” Michael said. “If I tried to live up to him, then I’d probably never be as good as he is.” Music has been an integral part of the VerMeulen household. “My dad’s been practicing around the house every day as early as I can remember,” Michael said.

JAKE NYQUIST

Family racket Senior Xavier Gonzalez looks up to his mother, Natalya, who was once ranked No. 21 in the nation. Gonzalez is currently ranked No. 87 nationally in the class of 2014, and he is the tennis team captain.

William knew that he wanted to be a professional musician from the time he was six. When he was young, his mother played the cello in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and would bring him along to rehearsals. “Music was constantly around the house,” William said. “I would get to sit in a different section of the orchestra and watch. I worked my way through the whole orchestra and decided that the horn players looked like they were having the most fun.” Because of William’s duality as both a teacher and father, his relationship with Michael is complex. “He gets on me if I stop practicing before nine,” Michael said. “But I’m learning from the best French horn teacher in the USA — my dad.”

ONLINE POLL RESULTS Would you consider pursuing the same profession as your parents? Probably not, you never know. (29%) No, I’d like to blaze my own trail. (25%) Maybe, I’m open to it. (24%) Probably, but I’m keeping my options open. (15%) Definitely. (7%) Total voters: 101 Taken from The Review Online blogs.sjs.org/review

Behind the Scenes Portraits

Henry Taub

James Winston, Jr.

William Stamps Farish, Sr.

In the Taub Library, two large portraits of Henry Taub and his wife Carol hang across from the checkout area on both sides of the window. “He donated the space that would come to be the computer lab,” Librarian Peg Patrick said. Taub also donated money when the science building was being constructed, allowing for the library to be relocated from its original location near the fireplace in Farish Hall. The library was originally created in honor of Carol Taub in 1980, but the dedication was changed after Henry Taub passed away in 2004. “His children had the library rededicated to both Mr. Taub and his wife,” Patrick said. Taub was the chairman of the Baylor College of Medicine’s endowment campaign and the director of many philanthropic organizations. Patrick said, “President George H.W. Bush was one of the honorary pallbearers at his funeral.”

Students who sit in W205 may have noticed a painting of a man dressed in traditional hunting attire standing aside a canine companion. “It’s a very nice painting, and it looks a little bit like Dean Popp,” freshman Annie Ren said. “I wish I knew who it was.” The painting’s subject is James Winston, Jr., a prominent figure in the formation and governance of SJS in its early years as well as the namesake of Winston House. He worked as an architect and was the husband of Ella Rice, whose family founded Rice University. “The painting was donated by J.L. Mayhew,” Director of Finance and Operations Greg Swan said. “He worked in the business office for 30 years starting in 1974.” Winston served as the first Chairman of the Board from 1946-1968 and negotiated with Hugh Roy Cullen to purchase Cullen Campus, which would later become the North Campus.

Across from the Language Lab and Director of Wellness Jennifer Welch’s office hang the portraits of William Stamps Farish, Sr., and his wife, Libbie Randon Rice. Farish was an oil developer who helped to establish Humble Oil in 1911, which later merged with Standard Oil in 1959 to become Exxon Mobil. Farish became chairman of the Board of Standard Oil in 1933 and later served as president in 1937. Farish died in 1942, before the founding of SJS, but Libbie was one of the school’s founders. She donated half of the original Quadrangle and was responsible for developing the science wing, Winston building and the Lower School. Alan Chidsey, the first headmaster and namesake of Chidsey House, referred to Libbie Farish as “The Angel of St. John’s.”

Compiled by Christain Maines and Samantha Neal Photos by Claire Dorfman, Kelly Buckner and Jake Nyquist


OCTOBER 2013 THE REVIEW

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FEATURES GROWING TOGETHER

Boys to Men encourages male students to communicate, learn from one another Turk puts plan into motion after years of preparation

go on for years,” Turk said. Turk was pleased by the number of guys at the meeting, their participation and their enthusiasm, which has solidified his goal to make the organization a long-term presence on campus. “It was a great first meeting, and I’m by Ben Shou and Pallavi Krishnarao excited about the rest of the year,” sophoDating advice and fighting techniques more Hunter Kowalski said. are among the topics that Boys to Men Turk introduced the topics that the orgaintends on covering in its incipient year, nization will explore, including confidentialong with more difficult topics such as ality, alcohol, and guilt by association. alcohol abuse and guilt by association. Junior Akshay Jaggi said, “The first meetThe group, started by Upper School ing was entertaining and set up some great physics teacher Erol Turk with the support topics for us to focus on later during the of Headmaster Mark Desjardins, serves as year. I’m most looking forward to getting a forum for guys to discuss their concerns dating advice from the wise and wonderful without judgment. Mr. Turk.” “We’ve tried for several years, but we Jaggi recognizes that Boys to Men has haven’t found a receptive audience. Now much to offer. we have the right “The club won’t combination of just be a forum people and events, on how to pick up so we can put girls,” Jaggi said. “I “One of our big goals, right it together with think it has much enthusiasm,” Turk to offer for guys from the beginning, is to said. who don’t feel soestablish trust.” Though Boys cially adept around to Men has a girls yet.” Erol Turk Junior Peter similar premise to Women Helping Cordill appreciates Empower Each Turk’s understandOther (WHEE), Turk says WHEE is not a ing nature. competitor. Because Boys to Men is geared “I’m looking forward to being able to towards males, it will not deal with the discuss difficult topics with a teacher like same issues nor have the same dynamics. Mr. Turk,” Cordill said. “It is good to “Guys treat each other differently and know you have a teacher who understands have different interactions than those that and can sympathize with some of the situawomen have,” Turk said. “They generally tions teenagers find themselves in.” have to feel safer in order for them to open After describing future agendas, Turk up.” opened the floor to suggestions from the In part as a result of Desjardins’ support, members for discussion topics, which Turk was able to get the group up and included self-defense. running this year. The significance and the values of the “[Turk] has been wanting to do somegroup are truly important to Turk, not just thing like this for a few years, and I wanted its popularity. He wants everyone to learn to lend my full support to him,” Desjarfrom his and other men’s experiences. dins said. “There are too many mistakes in life to Through the dedication of Turk and have to learn all of them first-hand, and Desjardins, the group has received positive there are so many areas where your classfeedback from the community. room teacher is not going to talk about it,” “I know that if we start with some topics Turk said. that are interesting and relevant, people Turk wants to provide an avenue for guys will start to get a good feel. I hope this to communicate with each other and ask becomes something like WHEE which will questions without fear of judgment.

512.473.2775 w w w. w i n n t u t o r i n g . c o m

JAKE NYQUIST

Turk-men-istan After years of planning for the creation of a male-centered support group, Erol Turk led the first meeting of Boys to Men. The group will explore topics such as confidentiality, alcohol and guilt by association.

“One of our big goals, right from the beginning, is to establish trust,” Turk said. The group is directed at all Upper School boys, with the intention to have freshmen learn from upperclassmen and to prevent future problems.

“That’s the problem with experience,” said Turk. “You don’t get it until after the event.” Additional reporting by Rebecca Chen


THE REVIEW OCTOBER 2013

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FEATURES GOING GLOBAL

From Abu Dhabi to Moscow, families adjust to new surroundings Students reflect on experiences, culture shock abroad by Megan Shen and Pallavi Krishnarao

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ndrei Osypov faced a cultural identity crisis. “I was teased in Russia for being American,” the senior said, “and in America for being Russian.” Shortly after his birth in Sweden, Osypov moved to Denver. He then relocated to Moscow at age six and returned to America five years later. Osypov’s biggest obstacle was the language barrier. “It was hard to socialize because I couldn’t understand conversations,” he said. “When speaking Russian, I feel more connected with people. It’s harder to become intimate with someone in America.” Though Osypov appreciates the community in Russian culture, he recognizes its drawbacks. “In Russia, immigrants are not warmly welcomed,” he said. “If I had stayed in Russia, I wouldn’t have grown to be as accepting. There are things I believe in, like immigration, that are completely American.” Osypov maintains a close connection with his Russian heritage and visits every summer. “I speak Russian at home, and my mom makes Russian food,” he said. “The summer before I went to the sixth grade, my family and I went to a Russian restaurant where we saw Russian dancers. My mother contacted them for my brother and me to get involved in Russian dance. ” After being educated in America, Osypov hopes to change Russia for the better. “Russia is very corrupt,” he said. “Maybe I’ll move back, and though I can’t change Russia completely, I can at least try to bring some positive American values to Russia.” Osypov is thankful for his experiences in both Russia and America. “Having two perspectives allows me to see the best in both,” he said. “I no longer affiliate myself with either nationality because I’m a mixture of both.” MISSING MEXICO

The reasons behind junior Rod Ojeda’s move to Houston were less than ideal—his family had been waiting for the opportunity to leave Mexico due to safety concerns.

“Our fears were realized with the drug violence that has swept Mexico,” he said. “It was a confirmation that we made the right choice.” At six years old, Ojeda was initially indifferent toward his move. “My world was entirely contained by my home and my parents, so it didn’t feel like it was much of a difference,” he said. Despite his initial nonchalance, Ojeda struggled with his transition to American culture. “I couldn’t read until third grade,” Ojeda said. “I struggled with knowing what words and body language were appropriate.” Ojeda misses the warmth of Mexican culture. “Mexicans are a lot more comfortable with overt displays of affection. In a way, it is a more direct culture,” he said. “People are more comfortable saying exactly what they mean.” Mexican culture plays a vital role in Ojeda’s life, and he frequently visits. “I go back every year since I have a lot of family. My mom has eleven siblings and my dad has eight, so I have many cousins,” he said. Being part of distinct communities allows Ojeda to maintain the traditions of both. “I really enjoy having a duality of identity,” he said. “My house is an enclave of Mexico within the United States.” DESERT DREAMS

When her parents proposed moving to Abu Dhabi due to her father’s job with Exxon Mobil, junior Ella Jackson, then nine years old, promptly spit out her corn on the dinner table and began sobbing. She and her family relocated to the capital of the United Arab Emirates where she attended fourth and fifth grade. Despite her initial reluctance to leave Houston, Jackson learned to enjoy the independent lifestyle of her new desert residence. “Whenever I wanted to play with my friends or get candy, I scootered to their houses or to the corner store,” she said. “In Houston, my parents had to drive me everywhere.” Jackson’s experience at an international school helped her transition by fostering a close-knit community. “My classmates were from all over the world,” she said. “We all lived in the same compound, so we were very close to each other.” Despite the comfort she found at school, Jackson still struggled to acclimate to the culture of Abu Dhabi, a city with predomi-

KATHERINE MCFARLIN

nantly Islamic traditions. “During Ramadan, it is rude to eat in public,” she said. “One time we were at the mall, and I was so hungry that I went to a bathroom stall to eat.” Jackson was able to travel to exotic locations with ease. “For long weekends we would go to Oman or Jordan or go camping in a desert and ride on camels,” Jackson said. SWEET LIFE IN SINGAPORE

Sophomore Emma Wertheimer experienced culture shock when she moved to Singapore in the first grade. “I remember waking up to so many different religious services right outside

my apartment building,” Wertheimer said. “I could walk a couple of blocks to Little India, and in the other direction would be Chinatown or the outdoor fish market.” Though thousands of miles from home, Wertheimer appreciated her proximity to nearby travel destinations. “Places like Thailand were only two hours away,” Wertheimer said. “I got to ride on elephants and swim in different oceans.” Wertheimer is grateful for her international experience. “While I was in Singapore, I always thought about coming back,” Wertheimer said. “But now that I’m here, I wish I hadn’t taken my time there for granted.”


OCTOBER 2013 THE REVIEW

7

ENTERTAINMENT

PROCRASTINATION

TV binge-viewing weaves dangerous web Increasing addiction to Netflix disrupts students’ lives

WAYS TO BINGE Hulu Plus: $7.99 a month gets you both current and past seasons. Episodes are available one day after they air, but the constant commercial interruptions (yes, even for subscribers) disrupt the viewing experience.

by Iris Cronin

H

annah Tyler knows her obsession is something to monitor carefully. “I try to never let it cut into my social or school time,” the junior said. “But it can be hard. Sometimes, after a long day, I come home really revved, and I just need to. It’s basically a tranquilizer for my brain.” Sophomore Julia Boyce knows what it’s like to live in the grip of the monster. “Pretty much everyone I know does it. You can ask anyone in school, and they’ll have a story,” Boyce said. “Mine is ‘Friday Night Lights.’ I’m on season four; I really can’t control myself.” The dangerous fad sweeping the school has spared nobody, crossing gender and grade lines to rot the student body down to the very core. It’s Netflix. Junior Meghna Dara went on her first TV binge last summer, when she watched 66 episodes of “The Vampire Diaries” in less than a week. Her next exposure to the dangers of streaming was less drastic, a relatively mild 14 hours of “Downton Abbey” over the course of a weekend. “Once I got going, I couldn’t stop. The drama and emotion, especially the Mary and Matthew love saga, just pulled me in deeper,” Dara said. “I wasn’t alone in my bingeing. My parents got hooked too, and that should say something about how strong it was. They never get into this stuff.” Many students are able to keep their lives on Netflix on the sidelines, secondary to their lives off the addictive site. “I didn’t have any struggles with guilt with ‘The Vampire Diaries’ because I had nothing better to do, and I hadn’t watched that much TV before,” Dara said. Others cannot keep the two worlds from colliding. “The question of guilt really hits home,” Tyler said. “My basic rule on binge watching is this: I don’t binge watch anything new until I’m on break. In that way, I hope to limit myself.” According to Tyler, the trick is to plan

iTunes: The store usually contains all show seasons. Episodes can be bought the day they air and automatically sync to the iTunes library, which allows for easy access without internet. Individual episodes are $1.99 each, which can get a little expensive. Netflix: This website is ideal for the dedicated TV addict. For $7.99, you get instant streaming and a plethora of content; however, episodes from the current season may be delayed. Amazon Prime: The $79 annual fee initially appears steep, but the value is quickly apparent. Subscribers get unlimited instant streaming of 41,000 movies and TV show titles with the added bonus of free two-day shipping on orders from Amazon. For those who enjoy reading, subscribers may borrow one book each month from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. KATHERINE MCFARLIN

TV sprees ahead of time. “A couple of my friends and I are planning on binge-watching ‘Breaking Bad’ over Thanksgiving, so I have that to look forward to.” To others, catching up on shows is a substitute for other tasks. “I’m never binge-watching unless I have something else to do,” sophomore Yousef Gaber said. “I mainly binge on anime. ‘Deathnote’ is my weakness; it’s so good. I definitely choose that show over homework. Sometimes.” “My problem was ‘Law and Order: SVU,’” junior Elizabeth Elrod said. “I went in really deep – 13 seasons in under two months. When I’d finished, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt lost.” Despite the havoc TV addiction has wreaked on their lives, students have no plans to stop. “Do I feel bad sometimes? Oh yeah. But TV is so much better in one giant sitting,” Elrod said. “Things like Netflix have ruined regular television for me.”

Tyler is adamant that indulging in moderation hurts nobody. “If you’re careful about when you do it, and you pick a good show, it can be really awesome,” Tyler said. “But if you pick a week when you have two papers and a test in every subject, a good, or even mediocre show, can really do damage.” Despite her own habit, Tyler doesn’t hesitate to warn others about the addictive dangers of Netflix. “Don’t ever cancel plans or turn down opportunities just to binge,” Tyler said. “A show isn’t that important. Don’t let it cut into your life.” Senior Claire Jones can easily pinpoint the start of her binge-watching. “Mikaela Juzswik got me to start watching ‘Doctor Who’ spring of sophomore year. That took maybe two months for six seasons,” Jones said. “Then ‘Firefly’ in a week, and then ‘The Tudors,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ and the first season of ‘Torchwood’ over the summer.” The pattern continued well into the next

year with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Dollhouse” and “The White Queen.” “I’ll watch as many as four or five episodes a day during the summer or on the weekend,” Jones admitted. “Usually if I’m watching that day, it’ll be one to two, though if there’s a good end-of-episode plot twist I’ll watch more. ‘Buffy’ and ‘Angel’ are really the only ones that interfere with real life, not so much social interference, but so much homework didn’t get done because of those shows. Finishing those 12 seasons was a huge accomplishment for me.” Jones lost time to what she calls “fandom-related activities.” “Some episodes were really emotionally taxing – occasionally I had to take a deep breath and walk around for a while, which further hindered work,” Jones said. “Also, going back and re-watching old clips, reading about the shows, especially on the TV Tropes website, all that takes up a lot of time.”

Maverick Munchies Kata Robata Sushi and Grill

by Emily Sherron

Authentic sushi and grill restaurant Kata Robata is just a five-minute drive from school, saving sushi aficionados the 14hour flight to Tokyo. While Kata serves traditional nigiri sushi (raw fish atop sticky rice) that is so fresh it melts in your mouth, it is also a great place to take risks and try some creative dishes. Though their nigiri salmon with ginger and soy sauce is hard to beat, their more unique dishes, like the foie gras and duck chawanmushi, have become my favorites on the menu. This appetizer is a mouthwateringly rich, Japanese-style egg custard with seared foie gras, duck breast, oyster mushrooms and gingko nuts. The miso lobster mac and cheese, critically acclaimed as Houston’s Best Mac and Cheese by the Houston Press in 2011, is incredibly rich. For a lighter option, I

recommend the ceviche or the miso-marinated black cod, both of which are fresh and perfectly seasoned. If you’ve saved any room, the desserts are the highlight of the menu. You can’t go wrong with the enticing traditional Japanese banana cake, but try the toasted rice creme brulee; it’s the perfect example of creative east-west fusion that makes this sushi joint rise above others. The restaurant’s atmosphere lives up to its food. A sushi bar stretches along the back section of the restaurant so that you can watch the chefs in action while you enjoy your meal. Kata is great for impressing a date or sharing tapas with a large group of friends. Although it is a little pricey, as sushi tends to be, the experience is worth every penny. The nigiri sushi averages about $2.50 per piece. Most appetizers are around $10, and entrees are close to $15.

DIRECTIONS AND INFO Kata Robata 3600 Kirby Drive, Suite H Houston, TX 77098 (713) 526-8858 Mon-Thurs: 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fri: 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sat: 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sun: 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.


THE REVIEW OCTOBER 2013

8

BEYOND STAR-ON-BOARD

Crain hoists sails in journey to Rio 2016 Member of U.S. Sailing Team seeks Olympic glory while balancing academics by Megan Routbort

C

arson Crain (’12) is adjusting his sails and charting a course towards dreams of an Olympic medal. “There are several obstacles I have to face; I have to be the number one man in the U.S. in my event, and then I have to qualify in the Olympic trials,” Crain said. “Only then can I compete in Rio in 2016 for Olympic glory.” Crain is currently a sophomore double majoring in Sports Medicine and Sports Management at Rice University. At the end of this year, he will take a break from school so he can fully devote himself to windsurfing. “If I’m going to be a professional athlete, which is the goal with Olympic qualification, I need to be spending a lot more time on the water,” he said. This semester, Crain is devoting more time to his studies. When Rice lets out for winter break, he will head to Miami to train for and participate in the International Sailing Federation World Cup in January 2014. “Success on the world stage requires years of commitment, training, focus and heart, but I know it is possible,” Crain said. Crain got an early start in the sailing world. He began in the sailing program in Northeast Harbor, Maine, a village with a zealous boating community. “Summers in Maine were where my passion for sailing started,” Crain said. “My whole family was involved.” At age six, Crain participated in his first summer sailing program. He went on to sail in an opti regatta when he was eight and raced his first international event at 12. “It was freezing cold, and I was the youngest in my class, but that event and a few others made me realize I wanted to keep sailing,” Crain said. In 2005, Crain met Paul Forester, an Olympic medalist who won the gold medal in the 470 sailing class in Athens. “I got to hold his gold medal,” Crain said. “That was the moment my Olympic dream was born.” Houston was not as conducive to sailing

COURTESY PHOTO

Feel the breeze Carson Crain (’12) windsurfs at Skandia Sail for Gold, an international sailing regatta. Crain has been sailing since the age of six, despite the difficulty in balancing his passion with his academic career, first at SJS and now at Rice.

his drive to achieve Olympic glory is his as Maine, but Crain continued sailing in ability to consistently balance windsurfing Kemah on the weekends and participated and school,” in the Texas Sykes Yeates Sailing League. (’12) said. By the time Yet balancing he came to his activities SJS in sixth “Success on the world stage often proved grade, Crain requires years of commitment, difficult for was deeply training, focus and heart, but I Crain. immersed in “I divided sailing culture. know it is possible.” my life; while I “I was already in Houssailing outside Carson Crain (’12) was ton, school of school on a was always my weekly basis,” priority, but Crain said. when I traveled to competitions, I focused Crain’s friends were aware of the chalcompletely on sailing,” Crain said. lenges he faced as a scholar-athlete. His sophomore year at SJS, Crain was “The only thing more impressive than

put on the U.S. sailing development team. “I would miss weeks of school at a time,” he said. “But my teachers knew I had two passions, so they were very understanding.” Crain was a member of the development team through 2012 and participated in numerous international sailing competitions with them. This year, Crain is on the U.S. Sailing team. He sails in the RS:X class, which is a windsurfing event. To train for RS:X, Crain sails on the weekends in Kemah and works out with a trainer. “I wake up every morning focused on my goal of representing the United States at the 2016 Olympic games in the RS:X class and ultimately winning a gold medal,” Crain said.

Catching up with

former Boys’ Volleyball Captains

JASON SHYU (’13)

JARED LICHTARGE (’12)

RICHARD JOHNSON (’11)

College is really busy, and I’m still tired as always. For the moment, I plan on majoring in biochemistry, but that might change. I’m playing club volleyball here at Rice, which is nice since there are a lot of people who graduated from SJS here on the team. The thing I miss the most about volleyball at SJS was having a close group of friends within the team. College is just so much bigger, and it feels different from the community in high school. Besides the volleyball team, I’m also part of the Rice Taiwanese Association, the chess club and the Rice Pre-med Society.

I am majoring in computer science at Wash U in St. Louis, and I am considering a second major in philosophy. I am involved in the Wilderness Project, climbing club and Beta Theta Pi fraternity. I also play on the men’s club volleyball team. There is no varsity, so the team is competitive but also tight-knit. We got ninth at nationals last year, which was awesome. Because of shoulder injuries from rock climbing, I am actually moving to libero (only defense) from setter. It’s a huge change in responsibility, but it’s turning out to be a lot of fun.

I go to Trinity University in San Antonio, pursuing a degree in International Business Administration with a focus in Finance. I am employed by Vega Energy, a small natural gas trading company that specializes in buying and transporting natural gas across the country. I have worked there for the past two summers and plan on continuing my employment post-grad. I am currently the captain of our club volleyball program; we placed eighth at regionals last semester. It was a ton of fun playing for SJS back in high school, and I hope they continue the winning tradition.


OCTOBER 2013 THE REVIEW

9

OPINIONS EDITORIAL

Stop joining extracurricular activities for the sake of improving college admission chances As college application deadlines shift from far-off dates to dreaded reality, seniors feel the pressure of competing against students around the world for the limited spots at their dream schools. Applicants are forced to compare their accomplishments with teenage geniuses building supercomputers, publishing novels or patenting their latest medical breakthrough. Many students are wracked with the nagging fear that they haven’t done enough to stand out. It doesn’t help that Naviance scattergrams show students being rejected with GPAs of 95 or higher. So students scramble to fill their resumes with as many extracurricular activities and leadership positions as possible. Other less scrupulous students even create clubs solely for the purpose of gaining a “founder” position or participate in community service for the sake of earning a President’s Volunteer Services Award. We understand that this stereotype is not representative of the entire student body, but we do sense a disturbing trend, even among the youngest members of the Upper School. Forget about college admissions for just a minute (it’s hard, we know), and think about the clubs, sports and fine arts activities you attend. Which ones are for your own enjoyment? We encourage students to pursue

JAKE NYQUIST

Dear “College Obsessed” While students think that excessive extracurricular activities are necessary for college admission, we encourage quality over quantity.

extracurricular activities based on their interests, not based on what will look impressive on an application. While it might be tempting to tailor one’s resume with the college process in mind, admissions officers read enough applications to see through such exaggerations. You’re only hurting yourself by trying to impress colleges with an amalgam of meaningless activities. We’re not discouraging experimentation.

SJS offers a plethora of activities. Try out for the musical (despite having two left feet), join a sports team (even if you’ve never run a mile), engage in a political discussion (sans knowledge of current events). But don’t join activities solely to bulk up the resume. Even if you try an activity and fail, you’ve probably learned something about yourself, and you might use that experi-

ence for the Common App essay about failure. Some colleges have picked up on this trend of padding resumes and modified their application process. Bard College, a liberal arts school in New York, allows applicants the option of their “Entrance Exam”: students must submit four analytical essays of 2,500 words each, choosing from a list of 21 questions. A student will be admitted if their essays, which are evaluated by Bard faculty, receive a composite score of B+ or higher. In an interview with the New York Times, Bard’s president Leon Botstein described the application as “declaring war on the whole rigmarole of college admissions and the failure to foreground the curriculum and learning.” When evaluating applications, Bard has only one major question: Are applicants prepared to do university-level work? Amidst the many colleges that emphasize leadership and participation in the community, Bard’s admission process provides a welcome respite. Just remember: passion speaks louder than calculated fluff. Take advantage of the opportunities provided at SJS to discover your passions. Focus on the activities that make you happy. Your resume will come across as more genuine, and you’ll have an easier time writing about those activities.

From the editors

The perks of being a failure According to the widely cited and beloved Dictionary. com, failure is “an act or instance of proving unsuccessful.” At SJS, technically, a failing grade is anything below a 60. We constantly hear students lamenting that they have failed a test or paper, but the grade is usually nowhere near failing. Even if we do get a less-than-stellar grade on one assessment, our final average rarely falls in that category. Do SJS students experience enough failure? For many, our first major brush with failure comes with college rejection letters. In our center spread, we explore this idea: are we given enough opportunities to stumble, learn and grow? On one hand, no one wants to suffer; on the other, how can we improve if we don’t make mistakes? We asked each of our editors to choose an aspect of school life and talk to people from those areas. Our inter-

R

views ranged from fine arts to athletics, administration to parents, students at SJS to students elsewhere. Our original hypothesis was that SJS shelters us too much. We brainstormed a multitude of examples, concluding that we aren’t given enough chances to experience failure. As our editors began the interview process, we discovered that the answer is hazier than we originally anticipated. We realized that the definition of failure varied by person and subject area. Furthermore, we struggle with the distinction between allowing us to learn life lessons and sheltering us from disappointments that may squash our future ambitions. It’s a hard line to clearly demarcate. The lesson we have all learned from researching this topic is that all things are best in moderation. The revelation itself is not groundbreaking (Aristotle came up with

the idea two millennia ago), but the implementation is tricky. From reading this issue, we hope that you not only understand the SJS environment better but also explore what failure and success mean to you. Love,

Samantha Neal, Alyyah Malick and Lydia Liu (S + Al + Ly = Sally)

The Review · St. John’s School · 2401 Claremont, Houston, TX 77019 · review.sjs@gmail.com · 713-850-0222 blogs.sjs.org/review · Facebook SJS Review · Twitter @SJS_Review · Instagram @_thereview

Member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association-Gold Medalist 2012 & 2013 · National Scholastic Press Association-6th Place Best of Show (2012), First Class 2012 & 2013 Editors-in-Chief Lydia Liu, Alyyah Malick, Samantha Neal Senior Design Editor Parker Donaldson Online Editor Amy Kang Assignment Editors Rebecca Chen, Pallavi Krishnarao, Megan Routbort Design Editors Claire Dorfman, Jessica Lee Photography Editor Jake Nyquist Video Editor Emma Gobillot Copy Editors Iris Cronin, Tiffany Yue Asst. Online Editor Cara Maines Online Copy Editor Oliver Ruhl Social Media Editor Srini Kumar Business Manager William Clutterbuck Asst. Business Manager Gabe Malek

Staff Suman Atluri, Jay Bhandari, Kelly Buckner, Joseph Caplan, Stefania Ciurea, Elliot Cheung, Jake Chotiner, Chloe Desjardins, Caroline Harrell, Anna Huang, Priyanka Jain, Eugenia Kakadiaris, Brooke Kushwaha, Mikaela Juzswik, Amy Liu, Christian Maines, Inaara Malick, Jared Margolis, Katherine McFarlin, Isabelle Metz, Matthew Neal, Andrei Osypov, Kanchana Raja, Megan Shen, Emily Sherron, Benjamin Shou, Matthew Steiner, Jennifer Trieschman, Irene Vazquez, Michael VerMeulen, Virginia Waller, Max Westmark, Christopher Zimmerman Advisers David Nathan, Shelley Stein (‘88), Steve Johnson

Mission Statement The Review aims to inform the St. John’s community, prompt discussion, and recognize achievements and struggles through our print and online presence. Publication Info The Review is published eight times a school year. We distribute 950 copies each issue, most of which are given for free to the Upper School community of 574 students and 80 faculty. Policies The Review provides a forum for student writing and opinion. The opinions and staff editorials contained herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Headmaster or the Board of Trustees of St. John’s School. Staff editorials represent the opinion of the entire

editorial board unless otherwise noted. Writers and photographers are credited with a byline. Corrections, when necessary, can be found on the editorial pages. Running an advertisement does not imply endorsement by the school. Submission Guidelines Letters to the editor and guest columnists are encouraged but are subject to editing for reasons of clarity, space, accuracy and good taste. On occasion, we will publish letters anonymously, provided the editor knows the author’s identity. The Review reserves the right not to print letters received. Either email letters and guest columns to review.sjs@gmail. com; give them to David Nathan in the Review Room (Q-210); or mail letters to The Review, 2401 Claremont, Houston, TX 77019.


THE REVIEW OCTOBER 2013

10

IN FOCUS

To ail or not to ail Under pressure to succeed, students forget benefits of failure Story and Reporting by the Editors Photo by Jake Nyquist, Modeling by Jonathan Chen

Failure or success? The choice seems obvious. We all want high praise, numerous accolades and perfect grades (or at least near-perfect grades). We respond positively to dopamine, the neurotransmitter produced in response to praise that brings us a sense of euphoria. Failure, on the other hand, is a scary thought. In the competitive school environment, students leave tests, auditions and sports tryouts wringing their hands at the possibility of disappointment...or at least of not performing as well as their peers. Where is the happy medium, if one even exists? A New York Times article “Losing is Good for You” cited a study revealing that students respond positively to praise, but after excessive praise, “they collapse at the first experience of difficulty.” Do SJS students have enough opportunities to fail and learn from their mistakes? You decide. In the article below, we examine the benefits of letting students fail versus protecting them from failure. At the end, we propose a middle ground between prevalent failure and avoidance of the dreaded f-word. TOUGH LOVE

J

erald Barbe knows that entering the wrestling room means that he will have to endure both triumphs and disappointments. “I’ve lost in wrestling more times than I can count,” the junior said. “I’m used to failing in wrestling, and I’ve learned to cope with it. The failure I experience in sports helps me cope with failure in the classroom.” The Wall Street Journal article “Why Tough Teachers Get Good Results” cited a 2012 study in which sixth-grade students were given anagram problems too difficult for them to solve. One group was told that trying again was part of the learning process while the other group was told nothing. “On subsequent tests, the first group consistently outperformed their peers,” the article reported. Many educators and parents fear that failure will traumatize children, but the unintended consequences of sheltering students from failure may be worse than allowing them to fail. SJS’s tendency towards inclusiveness frequently protects students from experiencing rejection or loss. As an example, students are rarely cut during sports tryouts or musical auditions. “The kind of inclusivity at our school can have a negative impact. For the past two years, we had to double-cast [in the musical] to accommodate for the large number of people who auditioned,” Hannah Worscheh (’13) said. “You end up with some people in the show who consistently miss rehearsal and aren’t fully committed. Although some people got the chance to perform on stage for the first time, I always wondered if the productions would be better and more polished if we had cut people.” Due to both ill-prepared students at auditions as well as the limitations of musical ensemble sizes, the directors of this year’s musical have decided on a more comprehensive audition process and the possibility of cuts. “With double casts, directors are pressed to finish and have to rush through the teaching process,” director and choreographer Victoria Arizpe said. “Less rehearsal time means less confidence on stage and a less polished, cohesive production. A single cast is more of a real-world Musical Theatre experience and is better preparation for those interested in studying Theatre in college.” Some students at other private schools disapprove of inclusivity, not only because of the decrease in quality but also due to the unfair nature of meshing more experienced students with novice peers. Ashley Chainani, a junior at Episcopal High School (EHS), said, “Many top-level athletes and actors don’t like the idea of working with Famous Failures kids that could potentially hold them back or slow J.K. Rowling

them down.” Victor Zhou, a senior at St. Mark’s School in Dallas, said, “One of the best parts of making the team is knowing that you’re one of the best, that all the work you put in paid off and that everyone else knows you put in the work. If everyone can be on the team, there’s nothing really special about it anymore.” The lack of opportunities to face rejection or compete for positions may leave students unprepared for the world outside the Storied Cloisters. “This kind of inclusivity gives students an unrealistic expectation when they enter college or apply for a job,” Sarah Zhukovsky (’12) said. “There’s actually a lot of intense application processes out there.” When Sykes Yeates (’12) went to Texas A&M University, he had to make adjustments. “A student must compete against peers for everything— admission to leadership organizations, social organizations, Honors programs within the different colleges, a spot on the roster of our club sports teams, study abroad programs, internships, full-time jobs, dorm rooms in on-campus housing, parking spots,” Yeates said. “What was missing during my time at SJS was preparation for the gripping reality of having to seek out and earn each and every new opportunity.” Looking back, graduates are more critical of the environment at SJS. “Everyone at SJS is just scared to step on toes,” Jack Kempner (’12) said, “which is silly because in the real world, toes get crushed.” Sheltering students from the learning experiences that failure brings comes from all facets of life. “Parents here certainly tend to try to manage their kids’ academic lives much more than they used to,” Director of Curriculum Dwight Raulston (’71) said. “It makes them less prepared to go off to college where they have to do these things for themselves. While it’s comfortable at the time, it also means that you’re not making as many small mistakes. It’s much better to learn from making small mistakes and cleaning up those messes than it is to have everything taken care for you and then suddenly be thrust into the world.” “Because we are well-intentioned as parents and teachers, we really focus on the successes,” Director of Wellness Jennifer Welch said. “Sometimes our kids don’t realize how valuable the challenges are.” An increasing desire for success makes failure a concept that is feared and avoided at all costs. “Students today are noticeably less willing to take intellectual or creative risks than they were when I first came to teach here [in 1982],” Raulston said. SJS BUBBLE

Junior Vasia Pobedinski never touched a lacrosse stick before his freshman year, but he decided to play after throwing around a ball with classmate Charles Rogers. “Everyone was really excited [about my playing lacrosse] even though I’d never played before,” Pobedinski said. “This could not happen at a big school where everyone is already dedicated to sports. Since SJS is a small school, everyone is pretty accepting. I really like this environment because I can try new things.” SJS may be academically competitive, but the school provides numerous opportunities to all students in sports, fine arts and extracurricular activities. Although athletes are cut from varsity teams, JV sports are open to all aspiring players, regardless of skill level. “Since SJS can afford to do it, I feel like there’s no reason not to allow everyone to do any activity they want, even if they’re not very good at it,” Fan-Hal Koung (’11) said. “I definitely focused on academics while at school, but the sports team policy let me try out some sports even though I was pretty bad at them. I feel like a lot of the people I meet in college didn’t get to have that kind

Rowling’s manuscript for “Harry Potter” was rejected by 12 different publishers when she was a penniless single mother suffering from depression.

Abraham Lincoln Before Lincoln was elected president, his fiance died, he failed in business and he was defeated in eight elections. Michael Jordan When Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, he locked himself in his room and cried.

of breadth.” “There’s something to be said about promotes,” Director of Athletics Vinc early for students to commit themselv we promote specialization, we also va Lessons learned in the athletic arena of life. “Athletics are a good way to learn th continual failure,” Coach Richie Mer individual to focus on his or her own instead of winning or losing.” To allow for more participation in t the musical two years ago and institut increase in fine arts interest. At Episcopal, “not enough people g they’re afraid of rejection,” Chainani s

“Experiencing unm is worse than expe failure at all.”

Dwig

is great because it encourages student considered before.” Even in academics, SJS tries to dive indicators of success such as grades an es student achievements that foster a competition. Last year, the Middle School remod vious years, Middle School awards co awards, with both honorable mention Now, the Middle School gives an awa each grade for excellence in academic arts and citizenship. Combined with are reserved for eighth grade students the number of award recipients has d “There has been a decrease in award Middle School Eric Lombardi said. “I body’s successes relative to their own than it is about comparing my succes Although some may think that avoi long run, others argue that SJS studen outside the school campus, regardless ment. “SJS is a highly competitive school dents. I feel like the administration st Katherine Morille (’12) said. “Regard students to become accustomed to fai won’t have to become accustomed to The school tries to provide a safe en grow without fear of falling. “We work really hard to make stude from the minute they walk in to the m “I don’t think we want to create a sch for yourself because even in the real w


OCTOBER 2013 THE REVIEW

t the potential for balance that SJS ce Arduini said. “High school is too ves too fully to one thing, so while alue opportunity.” a can also be applied to other aspects

hat progress will come only after rcado said. “Sports can allow the n performance and improvement,

theater, SJS began double-casting ted the one-acts this year due to an

get involved in the arts because said. “[The SJS] policy of inclusivity

mitigated failure eriencing no

ght Raulston (’71)

ts to try what they might not have

ert the focus away from numerical nd rankings. The school emphasizsense of community rather than

deled its awards ceremony. In preonsisted of departmental academic ns and overall winners recognized. ard to one boy and one girl from cs, community service, athletics, fine the Stark and Nixon awards, which s and have only one recipient each, dwindled. ds that are purely academic,” Head of It’s more about identifying someabilities and their own challenges ss to your success.” iding failure is detrimental in the nts are talented enough to survive s of its seemingly sheltered environ-

with extremely competitive stutrives to keep that at a healthy level,” dless of whether or not SJS allows its ilure, the reality is that most students that.” nvironment for students to learn and

ents here feel that they are cared for, minute they leave,” Dean Popp said. hool environment where it’s just fend world there are support networks.

11

IN FOCUS Fostering a caring and supportive environment has few downsides.” MIDDLE GROUND

“Failure scares us — it scares our whole community,” Welch said. But, as senior Claire Jones learned, failure does not always have to be such a frightening prospect. “I’ve been trying out for both musicals and plays since my freshman year. I haven’t gotten in the cast until this year,” Jones said. “It was disappointing and frustrating to see other people get parts that I knew I could have done well in. But then getting cast this year was exhilarating. I was on a cloud for about two days. The knowledge that I had more years to try out [kept me going] and that your chances of a part get better with age.” Jones is just one example that some failure is better than none. “I think I’d be a much better actor if I’d started getting parts earlier,” Jones said, “but maybe as a person it was a good thing to happen: experiencing disappointment, learning to cope, acknowledging when other people are better than you.” Students can learn that failure is not necessarily an absolute defeat but rather a stepping stone for success. “When you fail, it’s easy to beat yourself up and go to that dark place of ‘I shouldn’t have even tried,’” Welch said. “You have to learn to look at that as ‘What did I learn from this anyway? What did I do that maybe I can do differently in the future? What did I do that even though I failed, I wouldn’t change it because it was the right thing to do?’ Use it as an opportunity to maybe change the way you act in the future.” There is an extent to the amount of failure that is healthy. “Experiencing unmitigated failure is worse than experiencing no failure at all,” Raulston said. “Teachers need to provide challenges that are slightly outside a student’s competence: success at the challenge shouldn’t be easy or guaranteed, but the challenge should not be next-to-impossible either. There also has to be a recovery path from failure, or what people can learn is the Homer Simpson rule: if you don’t try, you can’t fail.” Though students are not prone to actively request challenges, the experience from overcoming those obstacles prove beneficial down the road. “At least for Dr. Raulston’s [AP Calculus BC] class, I think that asking us to expand our knowledge and use the information we learned in class to extrapolate on the test is a good exercise,” junior Stephen Wang said. “Obviously, the grades might not reflect it, but it’s a good thing that he does it that way. It makes you struggle, and the struggle is where you learn.” Students and faculty alike acknowledge that the possibility of failure makes success all the sweeter. “Most of us value much more something that was harder to earn than something that came quite easily,” Raulston said. As a result, some believe that more chances to fail would be beneficial. “The more opportunities we can put in place for students to take risks and get outside their comfort zones would help them all become more resilient,” Welch said. “It’s not the end of the world when you do not do well at something and learn from that experience going forward.” Raulston said, “In the short term, you don’t want to hurt other people. In the long term, the hardest thing is to let your kids or your students do things that you know are not going to turn out well but that they need to learn

for themselves.” The views of what constitutes failure may also be skewed. “People here think that an 82 average for a class is just terrible, but at most schools the average GPA is in the mid-70s,” Barbe said. “We’re living under a different standard than what everyone else is.” “It’s easy to think you’re a failure here because everyone seems so talented,” junior Isabel Wallace-Green said. “The competition is so intense that we put ourselves down in comparison to others, forgetting our own strengths.” Perhaps the solution is to think about failure not as an individual entity but as a concept that goes hand-in-hand with learning. One of the new essay topics for the Common Application is about failure: “How did it affect you, and what did you learn from it?” Ultimately, though failures may embarrass or disappoint, they also promote growth and maturation. Acknowledging that we are not perfect and that we must learn from the mistakes we make will help us in our road to success. Raulston said, “You tend to learn more from your failures than your successes.”


THE REVIEW OCTOBER 2013

12

OPINIONS MISS AMERICA CONTROVERSY

Beauty contest reveals ugly side of patriotism Historic victory for Indian-American marred by racist social media attacks by Brooke Kushwaha

As a half-Indian, half-Caucasian, I was surprised to learn that I am only fifty percent American, at least according to some vocal commentators of the Miss America pageant. Miss New York contestant Nina Davuluri was crowned the first Indian-American Miss America winner in the history of the pageant, and while we should be celebrating a major step in the right direction for the diversity of the program, some are not so happy with the results. Complaints range from the geographically imaginative (“And an Arab wins Miss America. Classic.”) to the incorrigibly ignorant (“Congratulations, Al-Qaeda. Our Miss America is one of you”). Such ig-

norance fuels one of the most misinformed and xenophobic controversies. Among the most ridiculous complaints against Davuluri include her alleged affiliation with the 9/11 attacks. A quick review for anyone suffering under this misconception: An Indian is not an Arab, an Arab is not a terrorist, and neither can be held personally responsible for the 9/11 attacks. And if any of the three were born on U.S. soil, they would be American, regardless of cultural or racial background. Although we like to believe that America is a land of tolerance and acceptance, the backlash against Davuluri’s success proves that there is still much bigotry to overcome. “It’s pathetic that people in our country are so closed-minded about what it means to be American,” sophomore Sydney Watkins said. American culture should be defined by its diversity, not by a stereotype. Davuluri’s victory in the pageant indicates a shifting perspective on conventional beauty. Blue eyes and blonde hair do not make an American, and neither do super-

ficial interests like hunting or football. Just because someone does not conform to the stereotypes of a country doesn’t mean that they don’t share the same universal values. Junior Elizabeth Cregan said, “How on Earth does the whole un-American argument even come into play when none of us are truly ‘American?’ We all come from different places, and our histories make America what it is.” While many have come to ignore the diversity of the American bedrock, even more are happy to have minorities represent them in both beauty pageants and political positions. “Hateful, ignorant people are becoming a minority, albeit a vocal one, and still one that absolutely needs addressing,” senior Stacie Dudley said. Platforms of free speech such as social media serve as a double-edged sword for its users. As long as racists have such a public forum, we have no excuse to deny that ignorance is still present in our society.

ANDREI OSYPOV

McComic By Katherine McFarlin

Political Corner

Discourse on Health Care

How does staying on your parent’s insurance until you are 26 sound? Or not being denied coverage for preexisting conditions? Or over 30 million Americans previously un-insured receiving insurance? Well, if you think that any of these things are a great idea, congratulations, you have just agreed with some of the basic tenets of Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to a Reuters poll, the majority of Americans agree that these aspects of the ACA are beneficial and would agree with each individual provision. The problem emerges when you have to fund these changes to our healthcare system. So that’s when all hell breaks loose, especially regarding the ACA. Much has been said about the ACA, ranging from outlandish fiction to facts that no one seems quite sure of. Here are a few myths to add to the confusion: 1. The current system is cheaper: America has the world’s most expensive healthcare system, and healthcare gobbles up about 16 percent of the country’s economic output. According to The Economist, “America’s healthcare system is not only growing at an unsustainable pace, but also provides questionable value for money and dubious medical care. Three troubling symptoms stand out: uneven quality of care, inadequate coverage and soaring

costs.” 2. Emergency room medical care is the solution: Before the ACA, if you were uninsured, you had no choice but to go to the emergency room, but pricey surgeries could have often been avoided with a small investment in preventative care. This cost difference results in the waste of billions of taxpayer dollars. 3. The states can take care of it: Obamacare was actually piloted in Massachusetts in 2006, by a certain Republican presidential candidate. And Massachusetts did execute it. Really well. But the problem is for every state like Massachusetts; you have a state like Texas. Texas leads in health-care spending yet it has the highest uninsured rate in the nation. Similarly, in Miami, people pay twice as much as those in Minnesota, though they are provided with far worse care. According to the Dartmouth Atlas, there are wide differences in costs across the country: healthcare costs less than $5,000 per person in Salem, close to $8,000 in San Francisco, and more than $16,000 in Miami, but there is no connection between higher spending and better outcomes. Thirty percent of America’s health-care spending is just a waste. That’s why the government needs to step in – across the board, the states

have proved themselves ineffective, contributing to rising premiums and inflation. The money we spend on health care is money we don’t spend investing in our future. 4. Obamacare kills jobs: According to factcheck.org, experts believe that the law will cause a small loss of lowwage jobs, but also some gains in well-paid jobs in the health care and insurance industries. 5. Obamacare kills small businesses: Obamacare actually helps small businesses by giving them cheaper ways to provide health insurance for their workers, and provides tax incentives for those that do so. Those with fewer than fifty employees are not required to provide insurance. 6. You won’t be able to go to the same doctor: There is no guarantee that your employer will not switch insurance providers or plans, but Obamacare is not meant to come between you and your doctor. Rather, it serves as an added layer of protection between individuals and insurance agencies, especially regarding premiums, pre-existing conditions, and the denial of coverage. Obamacare is by no means perfect. But it is a start, and it provides a better cushion to the consumer than the current system. by Pallavi Krishnarao


OCTOBER 2013 THE REVIEW

13

OPINIONS

10

Top Ten Best Jobs

by Joseph Caplan

1. Top Ten Columnist It might sound a bit biased, but I’m pretty sure I have the best job at SJS. Though I don’t get paid for it, I do pretty much get to write about whatever I want (see rest of list).

2. Food Network Judge “Chopped,” “Iron Chef,” “Cupcake Wars,” “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.” These are just a few shows I dream of and salivate over. I would seriously go as far as to get a Guy Fieri haircut just to have his job.

3. Video Gamer Yes, there are people who get paid to play video games. Whether it’s League of Legends, Super Smash Bros, FIFA or Minecraft, every video game has testers who go the extra mile to press the “A” button faster and move the mouse with greater dexterity. The hours such people put into their “work” is truly inspiring.

MEREDITH LLOYD

Smooth moves The football team cheers on junior Lee Hampton (24) and seniors Justise Winslow and Wain Wanguri as they dance at the pep rally, Oct. 4, before the Episcopal game. The three performed to Soulja Boy’s “Turn My Swag On.”

SENIOR MOMENT

School spirit is more than making noise

4. Actor This past summer I worked on a movie set, and I can report that an actor’s life is an easy one. Out of the 14-hour work days for everybody else, an actor typically works less than three. I was fetching coffee for the director for hours on end. Why am I not going to get fame and fortune?

5. Second-String QB Undoubtedly second-string quarterbacks put a tremendous amount of effort into their jobs, so their spot on the roster is near perfect. The first-year NFL base salary is 405K, and they get a sideline view of all games, I’d rather be T.J. Yates than Matt Schaub.

6. Movie Trailer Editor Seeing a movie at the midnight premiere is always awesome because you know you are the first. Well, sorry to break it to you, but those previews that draw you to spend money and sacrifice hours of sleep were put together by those lucky enough to see those movies months in advance and get paid for it.

7. Travel Guide Writer You know those books about places to go on vacations that your parents analyze as if they were written by William Faulkner? Those books were written by somebody, some lucky somebody who got paid to go to exotic places, see the world’s largest attractions and eat the world’s best food.

by Elliot Cheung

If you know me at all, you know that I’m not the type of guy who paints himself red and parades around shirtless, loudly yelling about how great our football team is. But there’s more to school spirit than erratic behavior and overwhelming volume. Even a quiet guy who writes newspaper columns to express himself can have just as much school spirit as the freshmen in Pots and Pans. Just to be clear, I’m not against the bright flags, huge signs, or earth-shaking

9. Admissions Officer Getting paid to travel the country and re-live the college life makes me wonder why Dr. Accrocco ever decided to switch sides on the college admissions process.

10. Fantasy Football Analyst These guys work tirelessly tweeting about everybody’s favorite football players and writing occasional blogs about everybody’s favorite players for everybody’s favorite game.

flourished with each passing year. As I sit here on our beautiful Quad writing this column after more than six years at SJS, I know that I truly enjoy being here. At times the workload can be a royal pain and the stress can seem overwhelming, but when people ask me if I made the right choice coming to SJS, I respond, “Absolutely.” Even when times get tough, this place has become my second home. As much as I complain about how difficult it can get, for some indescribable reason, I love being here. If that’s not school spirit, I don’t know what is. So if you’re like me and aren’t the most outgoing, voluble person in the world, don’t worry about it. And if you’re one of those people who love going to football games and loudly celebrating, good for you. Yell your heart out. Everyone is unique—in the same fashion, school spirit is different for everyone. I hope that every student gets to experience school spirit in the deeper sense like I do. The time we spend here is short; appreciate how great SJS is before it’s too late.

FRESH START

Underclassmen should not be overlooked

8. Astronaut While the training is daunting, astronauts have a pretty sweet gig once they make it to zero gravity. I like to think that they have a playlist on the International Space Station sound system that features “Space Oddity,” “Float On” and, of course, “Shining Star.”

cheers that make up the more spirited side of school pride. I love being in the loud, jeering crowd that our football team draws with each game, and the Spirit Club has done a fantastic job of rallying us together in support of our teams. I just don’t think that you have to be that outspoken to have school spirit. School spirit is a deep-rooted love for SJS that develops as you spend time here. It’s more than just saying that SJS is a great school—having school spirit is understanding what truly makes it so. When I first enrolled in sixth grade, I was lost. I knew very few people and was not really sure how things worked here. I missed my old elementary school that I’d grown to know and love. SJS was completely foreign to me; I did not have any attachment to the community nor any feelings for the school. Sure, I might have cheered at football games sometimes, but I didn’t have school spirit. I was just a kid trying to fit in with a new group of people and trying to get by in class. My school spirit has developed and

by Christian Maines

I have been going to the Kinkaid game at Rice Stadium since I was in Kindergarten. I have attended nine games so far, though I am hopeful this year’s game and the surrounding Spirit Week will be the most memorable. In Middle School, the only pre-game revelry we partook in was the All School Pep Rally. Now that I have crossed Westheimer, I am excited to experience Spirit Week, the time that marks the end of the football season and builds Maverick pride. While the hype surrounding Spirit Week sounds exciting, I am worried that

it will fall flat. Spirit Week effectively revolves around dressing up and making fun of the Falcons, but only Seniors are really active in the festivities. I have a lurking feeling that we’re going to slip back into everyday routine without so much as a second thought after Spirit Week, but I hope that I am wrong. In past celebrations, I’ve returned to my day-to-day life without really reflecting on how exciting the past day or two had been, and I cannot imagine a situation in which this year plays out any differently. Because much of the Kinkaid Week extravaganza is largely geared towards the seniors, I will be excluded from the excitement, and this will put a damper on my enthusiasm. But my lack of fervor does not mean that I do not have school spirit. I have great pride in my school, and that is something worth celebrating. I express my school spirit by working hard and trying to help people around me. School spirit is not limited to seeing who can yell the loudest during pep rallies. Granted, being vocal is great and important to the SJS community, but

sometimes people can go too far. Though I have never seen anybody act in a negative way while celebrating SJS pride, there are points at which school spirit at SJS can be excessive. Mocking students from other schools, for example, is crossing a boundary between enthusiasm and rudeness. The capability of SJS to graduate copious numbers of merit scholars does not grant us the right to make fun of other schools. Spirit means something different to each person, but surely we can all practice it peacefully. I am concerned about this year’s Kinkaid week events because I am worried that we—the freshman class—will not be able to celebrate at all. Every Kinkaid game has meant something a little different each year. It is more than just a football game; it is a block party, the biggest school event of the year. But Kinkaid games are more than just social gatherings — they allow me to reminisce about different points of my life. Regardless of who is and is not participating in the hype leading up to the game, I hope we can all make some lasting memories this year.


THE REVIEW OCTOBER 2013

14

SPORTS PUCK STOPS HERE

Check this: Griffith rules the rink

Junior straps on skates to compete on Dallas Stars’ development team

COURTESY PHOTOS

Ice princess In two years, Emily Griffith has gone from a beginning skater to a forward on the Dallas Stars’ U-16 development team. Griffith practices with an all-boys team in Houston two nights a week in addition to commuting to Dallas every weekend for her practices with the Stars. by Eugenia Kakadiaris

O

n a typical weekend, most Maverick hockey stars are dribbling, passing and shooting in the heat on Caven Field. But junior Emily Griffith forgoes turf for ice, trading a field hockey ball for a puck as a member of the Dallas Stars Elite Hockey Club, the only all-girls ice hockey travel team in Texas. Hockey has been part of Griffith’s life since she was young, but she picked up her own stick and began playing in eighth grade. “My dad and I love watching both NHL and college hockey, and we especially love the Stanley Cup Playoff season,” Griffith said. “I actually bought my first pair of skates myself to convince my parents that I was serious about playing ice hockey.” Her father Geoffrey grew up playing ice hockey in Colorado and still plays in an intramural league. Mr. Griffith backed Emily’s hockey career from the start. “In three years, Emily has had to learn to skate and learn the game. Now she is playing hockey on a Tier 1 AAA elite hockey

The Herricanes were disbanded after league national travel team, competing a year, when the league no longer had against girls who have skated their entire enough female players to field a team. life,” Mr. Griffith said. “It shows what you Undaunted, she began playing on the can do when you follow your passion.” Thunderbirds, a boys’ team. On April 14, Griffith was added to the “Boys don’t care if they see a ponytail Dallas Stars’ travel team for developing behind the players, just helmet,” two short Griffith years after said. “They she began “Boys don’t care if they see a pony- will still hit attending you just as clinics for tail behind the helmet. They will still hard.” beginners. hit you just as hard.” While she “My was playing biggest challenge Emily Griffith with the Thunin playing derbirds hockey has during her been starting so much later than everyone else,” Griffith sophomore year, Griffith was a practice said. “Most girls switch to hockey after player with the U-16 Dallas Stars, a years of experience with figure skating, but training program for the only professional I had to start from scratch.” hockey team in Texas. Griffith first played for the Herricanes, “I wasn’t on the team, but it was a great the only all-girls team in a boys’ league. opportunity because the Stars Club was so “We got beaten a lot by the boys’ teams much better than anything in Houston,” Griffith said. “I knew that practicing with at first,” Griffith said.

them would be the best thing to improve my game.” Griffith has to commit up to four days a week to play on the Dallas Stars. During a typical week, she has two weeknight practices with a Houston boys’ club team and then commutes to practice with the Stars. This year she has travelled to Ontario and Detroit to compete in tournaments. After lettering in softball her freshman year, Griffith quit playing sports at SJS to focus on playing hockey. “It was hard giving up SJS sports because they’re so much fun,” Griffith said. “But it’s just not possible to play so much hockey as well as a school sport. I definitely miss it.” Griffith will continue to play hockey and see where the sport takes her because many colleges offer women’s ice hockey programs. Griffith is currently unsure if she will continue to play in college. Griffith is unfazed by the lack of public attention for women’s hockey. “Usually people look down on all-girls teams, but I think we have earned the respect we deserve.”

Upon further review with Boys’ Volleyball

71

Collective height in feet of the varsity squad. Stacked on top of each other, the boys would reach as high as the tallest Easter Island statue. Tallest team members include William Trieschman (6-foot-5) and sophomore Paul Labanowski (6-foot-6).

1

Number of sets lost by the team in counter matches. The boys have swept Kinkaid and St. Mary’s Hall in three games and beat Episcopal, 3-1. In preparation for SPC play against stiff competition from the North Zone, the team has played club teams from both Rice and the University of Houston.

324

Assists by setter Andrew Chung (pictured right). Trieschman leads the team with 98 kills on offense while John Armstrong heads a strong defense with 84 digs. Currently seeded first, the team aims to repeat their South Zone title. Captain Matthew Kreutter said, “We are looking to continue the upward trend and take first at SPC.” MEREDITH LLOYD


OCTOBER 2013 THE REVIEW

15

SPORTS SPORTS MEDICINE

Despite congenital health condition, kicker continues participation in team sports Davis excels but takes precautions to ensure safety by Matthew Neal

Former Major League pitcher Trevor Hoffman and junior Matthew Davis have more in common than excelling on the diamond — both have just one kidney. Davis was born with only one functional kidney. The other was partially deformed, so doctors removed it when he was six months old. “I don’t really worry about it too much,” Davis said. “It’s just part of me.” Due to the risk of potentially damaging his remaining kidney, Davis was not allowed to play contact sports like football or lacrosse. “The doctor finally allowed me to play football this year because he knew I was only going to be the kicker, so he did not think it would be too much of an extra risk,” Davis said. As a member of the Express soccer team and a varsity soccer defender since his

freshman year, Davis has always been athletically inclined. Since he was young, Davis has competed in soccer and baseball. Davis’ life is packed with sports, with football practice every day, soccer twice per week and games on the weekends. Members of the soccer and baseball teams are aware of Davis’ limitations. “Playing with Matthew really isn’t all that different,” junior Juan Philippe said. “But we all know that if he ever gets hit in the back, we have to be prepared to call for help.” Coaches recognize Davis’ condition, but do not see him as any less capable. “Matthew is engaged with all facets of the game, and we know we can rely on him,” football coach George Turley said. As a kicker, Davis wears a protective pad around his waist. “He definitely doesn’t let it hold him back — he’s an extremely hard worker. You wouldn’t even notice with his leading sprints in practice and running around on the field,” senior Sean Yuan said. “I really enjoy playing football even though I cannot do everything,” Davis said. “The games are unbelievable, and I am very glad I decided to play.”

KELLY BUCKNER

Fleet feet Junior Matthew Davis plays football despite having only one kidney. Davis was never allowed to play contact sports, but he can kick due to the reduced risk.

For more sports content, visit the Review Online at blogs.sjs.org/review.

Follow The Review on Twitter (@SJS_Review) for live updates of Maverick sporting events.


THE REVIEW OCTOBER 2013

16

SPORTS

Willis, Texas

Meet Fireman Drake (age 5), and Fireman Al (age undisclosed).

Drake lives with his grandparents Al and Wendy Goebel. I had the distinct pleasure of taking their family photos this summer while working on an educational exhibit for Bo’s Place.* You might think this is a family of heroes because of their service to our community, and you would be right. But to me they are heroes because they made the choice to seek out Bo’s Place, when life itself sounded an alarm. Their world changed when Drake’s mom died. Life as they knew it changed forever. They work hard every day to heal from an event they cannot change, and in doing so, they inspire those who cross their paths. Here’s to the courage of everyday heroes and those of us willing to love deeply. Here’s to Bo’s place, and their incredible ability to offer services of strength and support that inspire hope and healing.

KAREN SACHAR & CO., INC.

p

713.523.1150

creative productions • inspiring results

www . K S A C H A R . C O M

ksachar@ksachar.com

* Bo’s Place is a nonprofit bereavement center offering free-of-charge grief support services to children, families and adults. The exhibit “Life and Death - Let’s Talk About It” opens in the lobby of Williams Tower Gallery Nov. 2013. Through storytelling and photography, the intent of the exhibit is to educate the public on how to better communicate and share compassion with those who have experienced the death of a loved one. For more information please email info@bosplace.org


OCTOBER 2013 THE REVIEW

17

SPORTS BETTER THAN REALITY

Fantasy football mania sweeps school Students, faculty succumb to allure of statistics-based online competition

ANDREI OSYPOV AND ANNA HUANG

Digital Gridiron Though a select few players suit up in shoulder pads to face their competition every football season, a larger group indulges in fantasy football, an interactive competition in which people act as general managers of online teams consisting of real NFL players. The game fosters increased interest in football but can be addictive and contentious. by Gabe Malek and Chris Zimmerman

Aware that involvement in fantasy sports can quickly become a drain of time, energy and money, some individuals resist the call. “I’ve always wanted to participate, but I’m worried that it would take up too much time and I would become consumed and obsessed,” history teacher Jack Soliman said. Director of Experiential Education Marty Thompson has played for eight years. His league is called Blood, Sweat and Tears 14, marking the fourteenth year of the league. “I won my first year in the league and that annoyed everyone that the league had existed for four or five years and then I joined and won,” Thompson said. “It really angered the people down to the core of

by Drew Brees and a hat signed by Josh Hamilton,” Schick said. “I suspect students’ getting really conStudents have been crunching numbers, nected to the game has something to do obsessively researching and engaging in with the social connections of the people spirited debate, but not for any academic that they’re playing with,” Thompson said. pursuit. They are playing fantasy football. “It gives them something to have banter As 1,696 players suit up for the NFL about and to discuss with their friends.” season, 24.3 million fans turn on their The fluid nature of fantasy can easily computers for an equally grueling and foment arguments and conflict. competitive endeavor. “Last year, I was in a league where we The season starts with a several hour had a bonus [extra points for rushing draft during which players create their yards], and I only won a game because rosters. Each week, players face opponents of the bonus, so I had an argument with within their leagues. the other players over who actually won,” Scores are calculated based on the perjunior Emery Mintz said. formances of their fantasy lineups. Seasons Junior Charles Rogers, also in Mintz’s culminate with playoffs, usually during league, said, “The argument about the weeks 14-16, in which teams with bonus still continues to this day.” the best records compete to crown a The time commitment also detracts league champion. from homework and productivity. Senior Ryan Schick, owner of “I spend half of every study hall “Absolutely no homework gets Brady’s Bunch, has been playing fanplaying fantasy,” freshman Rob Waldone on Sunday until about tasy football for eight years. lace, owner of Bulls on Parade, said. “It’s a fun way to follow football and eleven.” “It absolutely takes away from doing connect with friends,” Schick said. “I homework.” have a league with three friends across Some students devote their entire Paul Labanowski weekend the nation. It’s how we keep up, and to fantasy football, obsessing I think it’ll be a fun way to keep up over lineups until the noon deadline with old SJS friends.” and then gluing themselves to the TV It is not uncommon for players to be their souls.” until all the games have been played. involved in multiple leagues. For Thompson, fantasy is not just about “Absolutely no homework gets done on “I’ve been playing since sixth grade,” the football. Sunday until about eleven,” sophomore sophomore Arden Onanian, owner of “The statistical side of it is very interestPaul Labanowski said. Corn on the Schaub, said. “On average I’m ing,” Thompson said. “It is also part of the Yet some argue fantasy football adds to in about four or five leagues each year and headache behind it, but it is a puzzle. It’s a their appreciation for football. about half of them are paid.” fun game.” “[Fantasy football] is a good way to bring Obsession with fantasy football is not Cash prizes for the top teams in the friends together because a lot of us meet limited to students—faculty members also league help drive the cutthroat nature of and watch games on Sunday,” Guillory indulge in the game. Biology teacher Toby fantasy football. said. Day has been playing fantasy football for “The league gets really competitive Fantasy also allows and encourages pareight years. because of all of the money on the line,” ticipants to follow other teams. “Even though it’s fun and I enjoy spend- junior Grant Guillory said. “There have “If anything, [fantasy football] makes ing three hours on the weekends doing been some major arguments over trades you root for players and teams wouldn’t it, it does take time away from something and some verbal altercations at school.” normally root for,” junior Richie Lazear else that I could be doing like household The entry fee does into a pot. Within said. chores,” Day said. the storied cloisters top prizes average Junior Joe Kang said, “If it weren’t for History teacher Jon Peterson said, between $200-$300. However, cash fantasy, I would just watch the Texans.” “I used to play but the league got too prizes are not the only things motivating competitive for me, so the commissioner students. kicked me out.” “I have won a burrito, a book signed

INSIDE FANTASY

FANTASY MVPs QB: Peyton Manning (189 points) Manning reads the defense better than anyone in the league, plus he has targets such as Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas. Runner-up: Drew Brees (145) RB: Jamaal Charles (131.5) The most consistent performer at a weak position, Charles has scored between 17 and 27 points every week. Runner-up: LeSean McCoy (117.5) WR: DeSean Jackson (118.4) While Calvin Johnson is the best WR in the game, injuries have opened the door for Jackson to claim the top spot in a talented field that includes Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant and Victor Cruz. Runner-up: Marshall (108) TE: Jimmy Graham (142) So far this season, Graham has put up unprecedented numbers for a tight end, and it helps having Drew Brees as his quarterback. Runner-up: Julius Thomas (115) Defense/Special Teams: Kansas City Chiefs (118) New Head Coach Andy Reid has completely transformed this previously weak defense into one of the strongest in the league. It isn’t even close. Runner-up: Seattle Seahawks (78) Best Fantasy Team Names Watt You Talkin ‘Bout, Willis Luck Dynasty Burressted Development Shooting the Brees Dez-tiny’s Child


THE REVIEW OCTOBER 2013

18

ODDS & ENDS

Extras JAKE NYQUIST

Let’s get ready to Ramble Drum Corps made a surprise appearance at T.C. Jester Park, Oct. 11, to support the cross-country teams. With the beats of fellow Mavericks to drive them along, both teams captured first place.

Sixty Seconds

SAVE THE DATE

with Matthew Fastow We have been going through your submissions and have not been disappointed. Here’s another submission that had us in stitches: freshman SAC representative Matthew Fastow. Name matthew fastow Grade freshman State of mind wyoming or idaho Known for my hair i hope Color eggshell white Love to hate adam levine’s sweet high voice Hate to love reality Happiness mountains Misery falling off mountains Sports team astros. i lead a rough life Olympic sport bear wrestling Fav spot on campus the dungeons

Oct. 21

International Day of the Nacho

Dream date you Relationship status taken bacon (i’m so sorry) Comfort food scotch and soda, hold the scotch Guilty pleasure the review (now you guys have to use this one right) Cafeteria food paninis all the way Place to live under the sea I wish this questionnaire wasn’t the length of a short novel Treasured possession my social security number The best thing dr. pepper Spirit animal ron burgundy Hero i’d say me but someone probably took that already Superpower hindsight! Fictional character nicolas cage

Book all my friends are dead TV show how i waited 9 seasons to meet your mother Movie the matrix! Video game COOKIE CLICKER Website reddit Phobia productivity Stress reliever microsoft paint Hidden talent nostril flaring Motto if you ever feel down about yourself, just remember someone has snooki as a mom Anthem i’d procrastinate but i think i’ll wait for tomorrow Sing in the shower? hell yea Doppelganger ryan gosling I am batman Item of Clothing monocle I’d rather be skiing

22

Parent Conferences No School grades 6-12

23

SJS Fall Instrumental Concert Mole Day (6.022 x 1023)

24

All-School Pep Rally at Skip Lee Camo Day for varsity athletes and seniors The UP Experiences

25

Red and Black Day for Upper School Pep Rally SJS vs. Kinkaid at Rice, 7:00 p.m. National Greasy Food Day

26 Cross Country South Zone (Austin)

Word for word Soundbites around campus There’s nothing wrong with drinking tea, but once you raise your pinkie finger, it becomes pretentious.

I make it rain for D-Halls Dr. Peterson discussing punishment for missing lunch cleanup

Dr. Sharp relating Taylor Polynomials to the habits of the British

Maybe the reason we don’t have any unicorns is because the Spartans killed them all for their blood sacrifices.

Dean Popp: What is mass media? Justin Vincent: Mass media is the force of media divided by the acceleration of media. Applying physics principles to society in Government class

That’s the first thing you learn as a teacher: when a student says something that is just so completely ‘what,’ you smile and say, ‘Thanks for sharing.’

Julian Peavy muses on the extinction of magical creatures in World History

Mr. Friedman passing on teacher wisdom to his AP Physics students

Katie’s just Ms. Positive. For two English parents, it’s quite a shock. Ms. Bigge explaining genetic traits of those across the pond

28

Administration-Approved Senior Skip Day (aka Finish Writing Your College Applications Day)

29

National Hermit Day (remember, hermits have no peer pressure)

30 Fall Choral Concert in VST, 7:00 p.m.

31 Trick or Treat

Nov. 1

World Vegetarian Day Early College Applications due

2 Freshman Community Service Project

By the numbers

Mints at the Parents’ Desk

3

196

Daylight Saving Time Ends Diwali begins

5 Doughnut Appreciation Day

6 US Visual Art Exhibition Opens (VST)

8

SPC (Fort Worth) No Homework Weekend


OCTOBER 2013 THE REVIEW

19

ODDS & ENDS

Blast from the Past

Accessing primary sources with history teacher Barbara DiPaolo I remember sitting in French class and to say, it was cancelled. Looking back, I having the class interrupted by an am appalled by my reaction, but it announcement that President certainly was typical for my age. Kennedy had been shot. ... After getting over the When I was in high Did you know? shock, the next thing school, we did all our that everyone thought research in a library and Two days after JFK’s about was, “what will usually had to go to the death, the NFL happen to the dance main library downtown we have scheduled for (in Chicago) or to a played its games as that night?” Needless university. There was

scheduled.

no such thing as the internet or personal computers. We read through drawers and drawers of cards in the card catalog trying to find good sources or spent time at the microfiche machine reading old magazines and newspapers. No computers meant we typed our papers on portable electric typewriters (electric, if we were lucky) and had to figure out the spacing to add footnotes at the bottom of a page. A much longer and more tedious process.

#

 (Pie) Charted By Tiffany Yue Key: Your TI-84’s pi-nite representation of π Your pi-nite representation of π

SJSproblems

Only being able to sign out during a free period instead of all the time ... Not getting featured in the Kinkaid video or Jaywalking ... College. ... Only having 15 minutes to eat the free gourmet catering that is Senior Tea ... Having to go to the Ralph Lauren store to buy yellow polos for Dress Like Kinkaid Day ... Accidentally picking up other iPhones ... The cafeteria doesn’t have quinoa every day ... You keep running into your mom at senior tea and the parents’ desk

 Juz-a-comic By Mikaela Juzswik Another hard day of work in the computer lab.

Featured Twitter feed PSAT tweets Over 2,000 followers in 24 hours. Who is capable of this? No, not Miley Cyrus. Not even Justin Bieber. The only mammal capable of gaining this much online traffic in one day is the PSAT Cow. This year the College Board decided to add a few interesting passages to the PSAT critical reading section. These stories were so captivating that they made #PSAT trend

on Twitter and, of course, led to the glorious creation of PSAT Cow twitters. The story behind the PSAT Cow? There was an entire passage dedicated to the unfortunate reality that most kids have never seen a cow in real life. Udderly riveting. Check out one of the many PSAT Cow accounts on Twitter. A few more trending topics were #gee-

whiz and #cursive. Evidently, PSAT takers found it particularly difficult to write the honor pledge in cursive and lamented this challenge in tweets. Students were also asked to analyze the tone of “gee whiz,” which received a few thousand shout outs as well.

REVIEW ONLINE Facebook SJS Review Instagram _thereview Twitter @SJS_Review Website blogs.sjs.org/review


THE REVIEW OCTOBER 2013

20

REARVIEW

1.

under pressure

2.

3.

4. We’re one quarter of the way through the school year, but the pressure began a long time ago. Some of us, like senior Wes Wallace (Photo 1), feel pressure from defenders who try to do him bodily harm before he can make a play under the glaring stadium lights. But the stress isn’t limited to the athletic fields. Between the assessments and papers that teachers are so adept at assigning, students like seniors Helen Galli and Christie Dawson often feel the pressure looming over their shoulders as the deadline creeps closer (2). Talk about pressure. Senior Sloane Gustafson had to introduce her own mother, Sofia Adrogué, for the Hispanic Affinity Group assembly (3). Adrogué spoke about how pressure can be a positive influence. Despite a rough begin-

ning in America, she has channeled her desire to succeed and become one of the most influential women in Texas. But we should remember that the pressure is, in a sense, brought on by ourselves. We worry about our own performance, but we stress even more over the expectations that others have for us. Whether filming the Kinkaid video like senior William Mercado (4) or trying a new sport like foreign exchange student Amanda Aniansson (5), we all push ourselves to succeed. All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning observed that pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what you’re doing. No matter how great the pressure, we’ve all learned to take it as it comes. And the comforting thing is that pressure only comes from those who care.

5.

Photos by Jared Margolis (1), Virginia Waller (2), Meredith Lloyd (3) and Jake Nyquist (4 & 5) Story by Tiffany Yue

October 2013 Issue  
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