ST. JOHN’S SCHOOL STUDENT NEWSPAPER
Red chip, blue chip Bet you didn’t know that some students wager big bucks on the toss of an empty water bottle. On Page 8
2401 CLAREMONT LANE · HOUSTON, TX 77019 · VOLUME 65 · ISSUE 6 · MARCH 26, 2014
Wrestling gets a lock on second SPC title
Captain Sean Yuan enters the Houston Christian gym during the SPC Championship basketball game, hoisting wrestling’s second consecutive trophy. After multiple lead changes, the wrestling team finished 5.49 points ahead of runner-up St. Mark’s. Boys’ basketball went on to defeat Kinkaid, 42-39. Visit The Review Online for recaps of both championships.
Steeped in tradition: Combining old with new From Senior Tea to Mrs. Mulligan’s Birthday, community traditions evolve through passing decades by Megan Shen
tudents leisurely sipping steaming beverages and nibbling on biscuits is not the first image that comes to mind at the mention of Senior Tea. Yet this was a typical sight at Senior Tea more than twenty years ago. Senior Tea still exists, albeit in a different form, as one of the many unique traditions that have developed over the years. “Tea in the Commons was created by Mrs. Ellis Chidsey, our founding Headmaster’s wife, to greet parents while they waited for their students in the afternoon,” Staff Emerita Rebecca Jay said. “Ladies wore hats and dressed beautifully, and Mrs. Chidsey poured tea in fine china.” Although faculty often enjoyed the afternoon teas, seniors were not invited to join until the late 1970s. “The idea was that seniors could enjoy tea while learning how to carry on a proper conversation with adults,” Interim Head of Upper School Ann Louise Hagerty said. As the teas gained popularity among students, parents began to serve Senior Tea in the parlor outside the headmaster’s office. “We would stroll through the area near the fireplace and grab some cookies or biscuits with something to drink—usually tea, or perhaps some hot cider or juice,” English teacher Kimberley Olan (’87) said. Senior Tea later moved to the Quad and then to its current location on the plaza last year to accommodate its growing food and beverage offerings. While students today embrace these modifications, past SJS members were more reluctant towards
the proposed changes. opportunity to leave their mark. “When I was first here, it was something “It’s a chance to put you, your friends of a scandal when we decided to serve iced and inside jokes all on the wall,” Spirit tea instead of hot tea during the first and Club captain Cameron Hull said. “Even fourth quarters,” Hagerty said. though it’s painted over the next year, it The Quad has been a senior zone makes you feel like a part of the communisince the early decades of the school. Dr. ty because you know it’s still there.” Dwight Raulston (’71) recalls that aside While many traditions are exclusive to from pep rallies held in the Quad, the area seniors, students from all divisions of the was limited to seniors and alumni only. school enjoy Mrs. Mulligan’s Birthday. The Daring underclassmen, unafraid of the inschool’s first headmaster, Alan Lake Chidtimidation they faced from seniors, would sey, was supposedly inspired by a real-life cut across the Mrs. Mullicorners of the gan, who had Quad on their an unconvenway to class. tional excuse “Senior Mural is a chance to The Quad for closing her put you, your friends and inside shop in New is open for senior English jokes all on the wall.” England. classes, and “Whenever on days with she wanted to Cameron Hull take the day pleasant weather many off, which was seniors spend their free periods relaxing on several times a year, she would hang a sign benches or hammocks outside. on her door saying it was closed for her Other senior traditions, such as painting birthday,” Hagerty said. the mural on Winston Hall, originated Initially, the tradition closely followed more recently. After 2006, the mural the spontaneous habits of Mrs. Mulligan. replaced the traditional wrapping of the “In those days, most students lived withQuad in toilet paper. in five miles of the school, so the holiday “People were appalled at the terrible was unannounced,” Hagerty said. “The mess it made for maintenance to clean up,” school would simply post a sign on the Hagerty said. “The seniors were finally per- door saying it was closed for Ms. Mullisuaded to start a new tradition in return gan’s birthday.” for not wrecking the Quad.” Students today simply appreciate the In following years, seniors painted a mu- chance to take the day off from school. ral after the homecoming dance. Although “It’s the best invention ever,” Prefect Jefa new layer of paint is placed over the frey Fastow said. “It’s something unique at wall after each year, seniors appreciate the SJS that I’ve looked forward to every year
since kindergarten.” Another long-standing tradition is the Book Fair, an event originally held in the gym solely for the Lower School. “After the old gymnasium on the south side of Westheimer was torn down, the fair relocated to the Barnes & Noble on Holcombe in 1997,” Librarian Peg Patrick said. “We found that less work was involved, and more books were bought, so we’ve been there ever since.” Book Fair later expanded to include all divisions. It has continued to invite authors every year to sign books. The event also inspired the creation of other traditions, including the Book Fair Assembly and the Book Fair Cafe. “A volunteer and I wanted to start Book Fair Cafe as a festive event to encourage more books to get checked out,” Patrick said. “We looked around locally and thought Crescent City Beignets and Baskin Robbins would be great places to serve us.” Held before the winter and summer breaks, the Cafe gives students the opportunity to explore different genres of books while enjoying refreshments. “The faculty favorites table is always the most popular one,” Patrick said. “I’m delighted that teachers are excited to share their passion for books with students.” Students and faculty agree that the school’s traditions foster a sense of community. “They connect us in our memories, whether good or bad,” Olan said. “We’re all part of that bond, no matter how different we are.”
Online this Month Spring sports SPC previews, ISAS coverage, Prefect candidate preview, New curling club
NEWS...............................................2 FEATURES........................................4 ENTERTAINMENT.............................6
SPORTS.........................................12 ODDS & ENDS.......................................14 PHOTOSTORY................................16
BEYOND...........................................7 IN FOCUS...............................................8 OPINIONS.......................................10
THE REVIEW MARCH 2014
In Brief News around campus WHEE Showcases Art The paintbrush is mightier than the sword. During lunch on March 5, WHEE members showcased their artistic empowerment through painting, sculpture and poetry at the WHEE Art Show. Works on display included pieces by freshman Amy Liu, juniors Kate Bomar, Tiffany Yue, Elizabeth Cregan, and many more. Each piece showcased the artist’s feminist concerns and experiences with empowerment. “I thought it was interesting to see people’s different interpretations of beauty through their artwork,” sophomore Madison Trice said. Senior Srini Kumar presented a video about her own organization, Women Empowerment in Arts (WEIA). Through WEIA, Kumar has talked to young girls about their problems and insecurities while helping them build their confidence by performing South Asian dances in front of their friends and family.
Kantorei Goes ‘MAD’ Kantorei traveled to San Antonio, Feb. 28, to compete against some of the best high school a capella choirs in Texas at the American Classic Madrigal and Chamber Choir Festival, or “Madfest.” The choir sang three songs and garnered accolades from judges, including an overall rating of “Excellent.” “It was really inspiring to hear the best choirs around the state,” junior Reece Wallace said. “It made for a nerve-wracking performance for us, but also our best of the year.”
Seniors Celebrate End With Song, Dance Twenty-one seniors performed in the Senior Celebration, March 5, with dances, songs and raps to commemorate the end of high school. The celebration began with an encore performance of Kristen Santiago and J.T.
milla Manca), the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner (senior Aaron Chu). Instances like the failed schemes of Rosamund’s jealous stepmother Salome (junior Hannah Tyler), the antics of dastardly robbers and animal puppets offered plenty of laughs. “At first, I was skeptical about seeing a bluegrass musical,” sophomore Claire Gorman said, “but I ended up really enjoying the singing and the dancing.”
Certamen Team Dominates
Bandit of the woods The musical cast rehearses its opening number “Once Upon a Natchez Trace” for its performance of “The Robber Bridegroom,” March 7-8 in Lowe Theater.
Trauber’s student choreography dance and continued with a duet between Christie Dawson and Aaron Chu. It then segued to a dance and song featuring Lydia Liu, Carolyn Martin, Kristen Santiago and Amy Kang. Wainaina Wanguri and Justise Winslow performed “Let Nas Down” accompanied by Jake Peacock on the saxophone. “It was an absolutely fantastic way to cap off four years of chapel performances,” senior Claire Jones said. “I got to sing with one of my best friends, Danielle Rubin, and there was a great sense of camaraderie among all the acts.”
second place. Teams were asked to take a position on case studies, like the Trayvon Martin incident, and then justify their position using ethical principles. The Ethics Bowl is part of a larger movement to increase the amount of philosophy and ethics taught in high school. Rev. Greg Han approached the Philosophy Club when he heard that an Ethics Bowl competition was being held at Rice University. Han said, “We’re arguing the importance of the ideas, not the character of the opponent.”
Ethics Team Places Second
The Lowe Theater transformed into Mississippi’s Natchez Trace as the fine arts department and Johnnycake presented this year’s musical, “The Robber Bridegroom,” March 7-8. Based on a Southern folk tale, the musical featured over 40 cast members in lively square dances and bluegrass-style songs. The story followed the mysterious Jamie Lockhart (senior Justin Bernard) and his attempts to woo Rosamund (senior Ca-
While ethics and philosophy may not be a common discussion topic among high school students, members of the Ethics Bowl team spent Feb. 1 exploring and debating controversial issues. The team included senior Xavier Gonzalez; juniors Andrew Jing, Luke Kramer, Ben Bieser and Julian Henry and freshman Marisa Murillo. Out of eight teams, SJS finished in
“Robber Bridegroom” Steals With Style
Latin students proved that their language is not dead by collecting a plethora of accolades at the area Junior Classical League Convention (JCL), Feb. 15, earning fifth place in the small school division. The advanced team placed first in Competitive Certamen, a quiz bowlstyle competition that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of mythology, Roman history and culture, classical literature and the Latin language. Seniors George Davies and Anna Huang, juniors Vinay Gajula and Katherine Wu and freshmen Jared Margolis and Gwendelyn Butler all took home firstplace awards in their respective categories. The reigning champion SJS certamen team will defend its title at the state level, April 11-12, vying for the chance to represent Texas at the National JCL convention.
Prom Theme Revealed Upperclassmen gathered in the plaza for music, refreshments and a spirited dance to kick-off prom invitations, March 6. The jazz band performed Santana’s “Oye Como Va.” The prom theme, South Beach to Havana, was announced, followed by a dance featuring seniors Meg Bres, Meghan Chapman, Christie Dawson, Parker Donaldson, Sloane Gustafson, Amy Kang, Nikhila Krishnan, Lydia Liu and Kristen Santiago. Prom will take place April 12 at The Bell Tower on 34th, a popular Houston wedding venue.
Compiled by Rebecca Chen, Brooke Kushwaha, Inaara Malick, Matthew Neal, Megan Routbort and Megan Shen
Faces in the Cloisters
Get to know your classmates better
Amidst school, track, Music Chapel performances of “Alors on Danse” and sleep deprivation, music emerges as the number one priority for junior Ben Bieser. While working at Cactus Music record store last year, Bieser met musicians from local bands like Buxton and Wild Moccasins and also indulged in his guilty pleasure by expanding his own record collection. “Eighty-five percent of my disposable income goes to buying music, which is actually a pretty bad habit,” Bieser said. Though his aﬃnity for music led him to attend four different music festivals last year, enjoying the music that others produce is only part of Bieser’s plan. “The best part of music is that it brings me into contact with people, sounds and ideas I wouldn’t have known otherwise,” Bieser said, “I hope to someday participate in production and not just stand on the sidelines looking in.”
Sophomore songbird Olivia Havel hopes to achieve internet recognition and musical experience with her SoundCloud. “I still consider it a hobby, but I’ve learned a lot about recording and sound editing,” Havel said. So far, Havel has recorded 26 covers of popular and indie songs, including A Great Big World’s “Say Something,” Smallpool’s “Dreaming” and Kodaline’s “All I Want.” This year, she bought a microphone and a ukelele in order to begin recording these covers. Havel has received over 6,700 views for her cover of Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love” and currently has 49 followers on SoundCloud. “I like being able to share my recordings with more people than just my friends,” Havel said. “It’s really fun when you get comments and likes from people in other countries.”
Placing political conditions on humanitarian aid to foreign countries is unjust. While this statement may seem perplexing, it is part of sophomore Michael Huang’s daily jargon. “Debate is an intellectual activity,” Huang said. “People don’t simply throw out random, invalidated facts or make arguments that don’t make sense.” Huang started debating in sixth grade, doing public forum debate for the SJS team and Lincoln-Douglas debate for his Chinese school, Hua Xia. At the 2012 National Forensics League Tournament, Huang finished in first, qualified for the Texas Forensic Association and was ranked in the top 32 out of hundreds of state qualifiers. Huang hopes to keep debating in the future. “I’ve been told that I should be a lawyer, but I’m not really sure yet,” Huang said. “I’d possibly still debate in college.”
Compiled by Amy Liu, Megan Routbort and Emily Sherron Photos by Kelly Buckner and Jared Margolis
MARCH 2014 THE REVIEW
NEWS LEND A DRESS
Classy clothes closet accumulates party attire Students donate gently used garb, accessories for community to wear by Irene Vazquez
rom. Cotillion. Weddings. Graduations. With all the formal events that students attend, accumulating large clothing bills is easy. From this problem sprung the Classy Clothes Closet. The idea for the Classy Clothes Closet was developed by Director of Wellness Dr. Jennifer Welch, her daughter, junior Taylor Welch, and junior Alex Sheinbaum. Students bring their gently used party dresses, tuxedos or accessories to the closet, where other students may borrow them. In order to borrow an article of clothing, students must donate an hour of their time to one of the school’s community service projects or to the Fairy Godmother Project. “In sixth and seventh grade, you go to all these bar and bat mitzvahs and end up buying all these dresses, and my mom and I always thought it was such a waste,” Taylor said. “I wore them once and never wore them again.” Taylor then coordinated with Sheinbaum and met with Upper School Community Service Coordinator Marci Bahr to include a community service aspect to the project. Taylor is collaborating with The Fairy Godmother Project, an organization that works to help students in Houston who cannot afford to buy prom dresses or tuxedos. Extra dresses will be donated to the Fairy Godmother Project.
“We based our idea off the work that the Fairy Godmother Project is doing,” Taylor said. “It seemed like the perfect way to incorporate community service into our idea for the project.” “People can volunteer as personal shoppers for the Fairy Godmother Project,” Sheinbaum said. “We’re encouraging people to volunteer for those opportunities.” Dr. Welch is the faculty sponsor for the project, though the closet intends to mainly be a student-driven organization. “To be more financially well we shouldn’t spend money on things we don’t necessarily need,” Dr. Welch said. “It’s a good combination of community service and giving back to each other in the community.” In the coming months, the closet hopes to raise awareness for the program through contests on campus, as well as the SJS Wellness Instagram and Twitter accounts. “The closet consists of mainly donations at this point,” Taylor said. “We’re hoping to collect as much as possible so that next year we can really have the borrowing take off. We’re really interested in having this become a community project.” Sheinbaum and Taylor hope to expand the project beyond the Storied Cloisters. “Our long term goal is to involve other schools as well,” Sheinbaum said. The first person to donate to the closet was senior Caroline Craddock. “I was motivated to donate to the project because of the saying ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,’” Craddock said. “Some of my favorite dresses didn’t fit me anymore, and while cleaning out my closet, I liked the idea of their becoming
Haute couture Juniors Taylor Welch and Alex Sheinbaum, with Director of Wellness Jennifer Welch, incorporated community service in their project, the Classy Clothes Closet.
something special for someone else.” In addition, the Classy Clothes Closet has received donations of accessories from the store Charming Charlie’s. Talks are underway to get hangers and clothing racks from the store as well. “This community could learn the value of a dollar,” Dr. Welch said. “Just because there’s a dance doesn’t necessarily mean
you have to buy a whole new outfit.” News of the Classy Clothes Closet has been spreading through the community. “I’m a frugal person, and I don’t like spending money buying a new dress for every party,” freshman Elysa Tulek said. “For people who do a lot of community service anyway, it sounds like an amazing idea.”
THE REVIEW MARCH 2014
Behind the Scenes Affinity group assemblies highlight culture
Back to their roots Junior Aanie Shah (left) walked alongside sophomores Amina Matin and Suman Atluri (center) in South Asian Affinity Group’s fashion show, modeling traditional and modern outfits. African American Affinity Group took a trip through history, with students such as senior Justise Winslow (right) representing key figures like Martin Luther King, Jr. by Cara Maines
A spotlight shone on junior Isabel Wallace-Green as she threw the set of chains from around her shoulders, reciting the words of Sojourner Truth: “I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that?” Wallace-Green, who helped organize the African-American Affinity Group (AAAG) Assembly, Feb. 19, was one of many AAAG members representing a key figure in American history. Like other affinity group assemblies, AAAG spent months planning and rehearsing. “We wanted to plan it out and diverge from the normal sequence of chapel, so we came up with a play that went through the sequence of history for African-Americans and ended with us,” Wallace-Green said. “In January, we sat down, wrote the script and decided on parts. It was stressful, but I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out.” This year’s assembly presented important figures in African-American history, ranging from poet Langston Hughes to Senator Blanche Bruce to Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. “I thought it was really cool how we brought people through history using quotes,” sophomore Leah Hampton said. “Students were able to learn about people who they’ve never heard about before but who are actually really important to African-American history.”
South Asian Affinity Group (SAAG) invited Renu Khator, the chancellor and started planning for their assembly, Jan. president of the University of Houston, 22, in the fall. They practiced their group to speak. AAAG took a different approach dance together for the first time the day of this year, asking senior John Peavy to speak the assembly. about his mother’s experience at SJS. In “During the month leading up to the May, Peavy will be the first African-Ameriassembly, we met almost every weekend can legacy to graduate.. to practice and learn the dance and to “We decided that we didn’t want an rehearse the fashion show,” junior Meghna outside speaker,” Wallace-Green said. “We Dara said. “Coordinating everyone’s hectic wanted people to talk about their own schedule was experiences very difficult, so they could which made connect with learning the the student “We wanted to diverge from the body better.” dance a little bit harder.” Although normal sequence of chapel, so While HisHAG and we came up with a play.” panic Affinity AAAG present Group (HAG) affinity group was also conIsabel Wallace-Green assemblies fronted with each year, the duties of SAAG and planning their assembly, which occurred East Asian Affinity Group (EAAG) alOct. 9, they faced the additional issue of ternate years. This year, SAAG presented a time-crunch. Although they originally an assembly featuring a speaker, dance planned to perform a dance, they did not numbers and a fashion show. have enough time to choreograph and “Ostensibly, we alternate because there’s rehearse. only a limited amount of chapel space and “Because the HAG Assembly is quickly we don’t represent a large enough portion after school commences and only a couple of the student body to need a yearly chapweeks after the club fair, we always have el,” junior Akshay Jaggi said. “Additionally, difficulty executing entertainment,” HAG you notice that HAG and AAAG host president Kristen Santiago said. chapels corresponding with their ethnic HAG invited lawyer and talk-show host history months.” Sofia Adrogué to speak about her experiAffinity group leaders and participants ences as a Latina and active participant in agree that affinity group assemblies should the Houston community. Similarly, SAAG both entertain students and inform them
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about the cultures, traditions and histories of their ethnic groups. “Affinity chapels are often a spectacle just because of the dance numbers. Those are important and fun to watch, but there should be some substance behind it,” sophomore Lauren Smith said. “It should be both, not one or the other.” In addition to entertaining and educating their audience, affinity group assemblies allow for members of the groups to spend time together and bond. “The assembly brings SAAG together,” SAAG co-president Alezeh Rauf said. “Not all of us know each other, but learning a dance is a good way to bond.” Despite tiring rehearsals and limited time to prepare, affinity groups manage to exhibit their traditions and histories for the entire student body. “Affinity group assemblies are more exciting than just the normal chapel speeches,” freshman Matthew Fastow said. “I would like to see every affinity group have a chance to present in chapel along with a chapel that maybe combines all of the affinity groups together.” Sophomore Jordan McLemore-Moon, who danced in the EAAG assembly last year, views affinity groups as serving an important purpose. “It’s possible that people misunderstand the goal of affinity chapels,” McLemore-Moon said, “but I think that their intention is to showcase and highlight the various fun and intriguing things about the culture from which they stem.”
MARCH 2014 THE REVIEW
FEATURES SICK DAYS
‘If I’m feeling bad, I will still go to school’
Students compromise health to avoid academic, social consequences of missing multiple classes by Gabe Malek and Christopher Zimmerman
lthough most high school students love missing a day of school, SJS students dread it. Many SJS students see missing school as a last resort. “We pressure ourselves to do so well that we often sacrifice our well-being to achieve that perfect grade,” junior Elissa Hakemack said. “People definitely come to school sick to avoid missing work. A day’s worth of work missed at SJS seems like a week’s worth anywhere else. Sometimes it’s easier to fight through the pain now than make up for it later.” Students sometimes value their academics over their health. “If I’m feeling bad, I will still go to school so I don’t miss anything, in terms of assignments,” sophomore Hannah Curtis said. “If you get a little behind, it is really easy to fall extremely behind.” Especially for students who often miss school, work can pile up quickly. “I have an immune disorder, and I’m supposed to go straight to the doctor whenever I get a cold, but because of the idea of makeup work looming over my head, I try to go to all of my classes,” sophomore E Robins said. “I ended up being kicked out [of class] and sent to the nurse twice because I looked so bad, and eventually the nurse made me go home.” Ultimately, students try to go to school at all costs in order to avoid the possible repercussions of missing school. “There are only a few things that would prevent me from getting to school,” freshman Sam Schneider said. Students may neglect the consequences of coming to school ill. “It’s bad for physical wellness when somebody comes to school sick and then gets other people sick,” Director of AllSchool Wellness Jennifer Welch said. “Also, it might take that person longer to get better because they do not take the proper down time to rest and get better.” Welch feels that SJS ought to emphasize personal health. “Part of respecting the ‘whole child’ includes ensuring that we prioritize the physical wellness of each student,” Welch said. Missing school can also have social consequences. Hakemack missed over three months of school during her freshman year due to mono. “I didn’t lose any friends, but my relationships definitely got strained. I had very little contact with anyone outside
of school. Even when I was at school, I miss long periods of school. was only there for two hours a day so I “I have had kids who come back after saw very few people,” Hakemack said. “I missing an extended time of school becouldn’t go out on the weekends, and I recause of mono. When they come back, member it was a big deal when my parents we might only have them go for half let me go to the rodeo one night with my days,” Upper School Academic Dean Judy friends.” Edwards said. “If it is something that the Occasionally, these emotional strains can kids know about before they are gone, develop into other issues. we meet ahead of time to see what they “At least for me, it was harder socialcan get done, and once they get back we ly than academically,” an anonymous work out a calendar. It’s never impossible; sophomore said. “When I got back I felt it’s just how do we get creative to make it separated from my friends. Essentially, I possible.” was depressed.” Teachers also make efforts to lessen the Welch make up work, believes but work is that the SJS discarded only community in extreme cases should devote “A day’s worth of work missed of prolonged attention to absences. at SJS seems like a week’s students’ social “Often times well-being in when kids are worth anywhere else.” addition to sick and out Elissa Hakemack [of school], their academic wellness. they are doing “As a school academic work we should try to figure out a way to do a anyway. That doesn’t really make sense better job at helping kids reintegrate after because if you are sick enough to miss an extended absence due to illness,” Welch school, you probably shouldn’t be worksaid. “I know we sit down to help schedule ing,” Welch said. “I think that we need to academic life, but maybe we should do the work hard to ensure that students know same with students’ social lives, including that we value their being physically well. the way they are feeling about themselves We will work with them to ensure that and their relationships.” they are able to catch up on academic As most SJS students know, absences work in a healthy way when returning to have severe academic impacts. school after an illness.” “Honestly, I was frustrated with the Welch believes that teachers should amount of work I had to do because all I lighten the workload for students who wanted was to pass each class,” Hakemack know they are sick. said. “I had given up on getting good “If we tell students, ‘You grades because I knew I didn’t have that need to sleep more and strength.” stay home when you’re SJS attempts to sick’, and then do accommodate not back that and assist stu- up, then it dents who probably feels
to the students like a mixed message,” Welch said. “We are saying to the students that, yes, their health is important, but we need to make sure that we are also working with them to make sure they can prioritize their health.” Sophomore Emma Hagle missed a month of school in eighth grade. “Some of my teachers were really good about emailing me, and I would email teachers to check in and make sure I hadn’t missed anything big, and if I did, to make sure I put it on the calendar to make up,” Hagle said. “But some of the teachers were a bit unresponsive, so I was totally out of the loop when it came to knowing what was even happening in class.” Despite teachers’ efforts, students still feel stressed while recovering, and catching up can take weeks. “Making up the work that I had when I came back was actually harder than the work I had while I was gone because for a while I had twice the workload,” sophomore Leah Vogel, who missed five days of school after tearing her ACL, said. Junior Tanvi Varadachary missed a month at the beginning of the year. She and other students have been forced to drop classes because the makeup work became too much to handle. “History was physically impossible to make up, so I was forced to drop the class and now I’m in only four academic classes,” Varadhachary said. “I’ll have to take history next year as a senior.” Sacrificing academics for personal health is a tough decision to make for many SJS students. Varadhachary said, “A great thing about students here is that we really care about how much we try, but sometimes that can be dangerous because we push ourselves too hard.”
THE REVIEW MARCH 2014
ENTERTAINMENT LET THE MUSIC MOVE YOU
Free Press reveals diverse lineup Weekend promises myriad artists, genres for festivalgoers
SJS PREPS FOR ISAS by Christian Maines
by Brooke Kushwaha
igh school students shouting “Free Press!” on the morning of Feb. 12 were not taking a renewed interest in the First Amendment; they were celebrating the release of the 2014 Free Press Summer Fest (FPSF) lineup. FPSF, which is in its sixth year, will take place at Eleanor Tinsley Park, May 31 to June 1. Last year’s lineup featured both alternative powerhouses and newcomers, including Passion Pit and Macklemore. In comparison, this year will showcase more classic artists, such as ’90s rap group WuTang Clan and rocker Jack White, as well as indie staples like Vampire Weekend. Skeptics insist that the 2014 roster lacks the star quality of last year’s. “They had a great variety of more relevant people,” sophomore Sloan Rucker CAMERON HULL said. “This year it’s just those bands that you kind of liked in middle school but still Up in the air Attendees at the 2013 Free Press Summer Fest music festival release balloons during one of the main-stage concerts. FPSF, which began in 2009, recently appreciate their coming back.” revealed their 2014 lineup, which includes acts such as Vampire Weekend and Zedd. Since its humble beginnings in 2009 with approximately 30,000 attendees, FPSF has expanded to new heights. Last Jack White will just alternate between lineup, but on the whole I think the qualiyear’s festival completely sold out. ‘Ball and a Biscuit’ and ‘The Air Near My ty of rap is better than last year.” “Last year was shocking because there Fingers’ for the entire time.” Despite an arguably lackluster lineup weren’t very many well-known bands in The festival has tried to diversify its and increased ticket prices, FPSF had no 2012,” junior McKenna Gessner said. “I genres by incorporating more than just trouble selling out in one day. liked that indie artists, “The festival is just getting bigger,” because you adding hipGessner said. “I’m most looking forward can find all hop talent to Jack White and Edward Sharpe and the these up-andlike Childish Magnetic Zeros.” “You can find all these up-and- Gambino coming small Surprises like Die Antwoord and Mariabands and and country chi El Bronx also pepper the lineup for the coming small bands and learn learn about crooners more adventurous concert attendee. The about new music.” new music.” like Dwight former is a South African rap and techno Wall-to-wall Yoakam. In duo, while the latter is a mariachi band. McKenna Gessner past years, hitmakers are Jack White of The White Stripes also adds interspersed FPSF prachis own brand of eccentricity, and Vampire with musiticed a oneWeekend’s Ezra Koenig brings a bit of East cians from a more underground scene. and-done big name rap music policy with Coast fashion down south, popping collars “Although I didn’t recognize many of Snoop Dogg (Lion) in 2012 and 2 Chainz and plucking guitars. the local bands, I’m very excited to see The and Macklemore in 2013. Houston’s music scene has always played Kills and tUnE-yArDs as well as Vampire “I wanted 21 Pilots to go, and I really second fiddle to that of Austin, but the Weekend, Gambino and CHVRCHES,” thought they would go,” Rucker said. “I increasing popularity of festivals like FPSF sophomore Joe Faraguna said. “Hopefully would have liked to see more rap in the prove that locals still have a reason to sing.
As nearly 4,000 students from all over the Southwest swarm campus, student and parent volunteers will take on the task of hosting the Independent School Association of the Southwest (ISAS) Arts Festival. The three-day event (April 3-5) will consist of visual arts exhibitions as well as live performances by music and dance ensembles “One purpose of the festival is to foster creativity by exposing students to the work of other student artists,” parent volunteer Carol Sugimoto said. Volunteers will set up a 1,500-person tent for volunteers and participants. Demeris Bar-B-Q will cater and food trucks will be on campus to serve sandwiches and waffles. Three concession stands will be set up around campus with a portion of the profits benefiting community service. Students who volunteer at these concession stands will receive community service hours as well as an opportunity to be on campus for ISAS. “It’s a good time for students who are not involved in the fine arts to volunteer,” Sugimoto said. Faculty members in all three school divisions are all required to put in 10 hours of community service at ISAS. “It’s a massive undertaking,” history teacher Wendall Zartman said. Zartman is organizing the student volunteers, who will greet visiting students and teachers at the buses and bring them to their destinations. Student volunteers will also guide visitors around campus throughout the festival. “It’s going to be a very fun and exciting few days,” freshman Frances Hellums said. “There are so many parents, teachers and students who have been working extremely hard to make everything come together on time.”
Be sure to follow The Review on Twitter (@SJS_Review) for live updates from ISAS.
Maverick Munchies Maine-ly Sandwiches by Michael VerMeulen
At Maine-ly Sandwiches, the feeling of being in a quaint beachfront restaurant washes over every patron. Serving food typical of Maine, this establishment successfully recreates the tastes found in the country’s northeast corner. The menu is packed with sandwiches, soups and desserts that cater to all taste buds. While the specialty sandwiches are expensive (a lobster roll is $9.49), their impeccable taste and high quality ingredients make the meal worth every cent. The highlight of Maine-ly Sandwiches is definitely the lobster roll. This delectable sandwich combines fresh steamed lobster with mayo on a buttery roll that boasts a pillow-like texture and rich taste. The lobster is fresh with a melt-in-yourmouth texture, a requisite of any Mainebased restaurant. Maine-ly Sandwiches has certainly matched (and perhaps even exceeded) that requirement.
This establishment also serves soups including clam chowder and lobster bisque, which is creamy without being too thick. The chefs have become experts at creating a savory, luscious texture present in all of their soups. For those with room for dessert, Mainely Sandwiches serves multiple variations of their acclaimed Whoopie Pie. Their version has a cake-like texture with a sweet cream inside that accentuates the flavor. Each meal also comes with a complimentary piece of salt water taffy. Though this homemade confection has a tendency to get stuck in your teeth, the distinct flavors shine through and are reminiscent of Maine taffy. Even though Maine-ly Sandwiches does not possess especially large eating quarters, service is fast and sociable. With cuisine that could very easily be found in its namesake, Maine-ly Sandwiches is a must for all who just want to escape the Houston heat and smell the ocean air.
DIRECTIONS AND INFO Maine-ly Sandwiches 3310 S. Shepherd Dr. (713) 942-2150 Sunday - Wednesday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Thursday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
MARCH 2014 THE REVIEW
BEYOND STUDIO TIME
Bonjour to ballet: Dancer attends class abroad McClure recounts her decision to spend senior year of high school at ballet academy in Switzerland by Iris Cronin
athleen McClure (’10) was too busy dancing across a stage 5,541 miles away to walk alongside her classmates at graduation. ”I was in Milan that day,” McClure said. “In the dressing room after the performance, my friends gave me a card and a bottle of champagne to congratulate me.” McClure, who entered SJS in kindergarten, received a diploma even though she spent her senior year at the Rudra Bejart Ballet School in Lausanne, Switzerland. “I had been attending Houston Ballet Academy since I was in Lower School,” McClure said. “Gradually, I had worked my way up to the top level.” The demanding nature of ballet requires that students in the upper levels devote their entire week to class and training, which makes attending school full-time extremely difficult. “There was a point where I was the only person in my ballet class who was still in high school,” McClure said. “Everyone else had gotten a GED, dropped out or was finishing classes online.” Despite the demanding schedule, McClure refused to give up dance in high school. “I tried complete as many credits as possible so that I would be able to go to dance for more hours per day my senior year,” she said. “The workload was definitely difficult because I took on extra things like an ISP and a community college class, but it was mostly difficult because of my ballet schedule. I was totally exhausted. I was always stressed. I fell asleep in class a lot.”
By her junior year, McClure was dividing her time evenly between her two passions: attending SJS for half days and then dancing in the afternoons. “I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my education, but the situation wasn’t ideal,” she said. “It was hard to keep up with my classmates who were training twice as much as me every day.” When she was accepted to Bejart, a school associated with one of the most famous and successful dance companies in the world, she knew it was time to try a different track. “I decided to leave SJS completely. It was really a once-in-alifetime opportunity,” she said. “I was nervous to leave home and live by myself in a foreign country, but I knew if I didn’t do it, I would regret it for the rest of my life.” The change was challenging but rewarding for the then 17-year-old McClure. “Ballet school was exhausting,” McClure said. “We danced over ten hours a day, and we only had one day off each week. Yet McClure still managed to have time to experience life in Switzerland beyond dance. “I got to experience living in a different culture, I became fluent in a second language, and I learned things I never would have in a classroom,” she said. “I also got to perform all over
Switzerland with my school, and I had the opportunity to perform professionally and semi-professionally in ballets and operas in Switzerland, Italy and France.” McClure ultimately decided that
she did not want to pursue a career as a professional ballerina. Two years after leaving for the Bejart School, she returned to the states and enrolled at New York University (NYU). She is currently a junior, double-majoring in economics and romance languages. “It was very difficult to transition from being in the ballet studio ten hours a day to writing essays and doing problem sets,” McClure said. “Since I took two years off, I wasn’t used to doing normal ‘school’ stuff.” After transitioning from Switzerland to life at NYU, McClure struggled with what she calls “reverse culture shock.” “I had been abroad so long. America and Switzerland are very different, and most of the other students in my school had been French or Italian, so I was used to following certain cultural norms,” she said. “It was pretty jarring going from a clean, quiet, mid-sized town on Lake Geneva to bustling, hectic New York City.” The experience and independence
McClure gained during her time abroad ended up complicating her relationships with other students. “It was hard to relate to people because I had done so much and experienced so much during those two years, and it was hard to explain what it had been like. I felt like I didn’t have much in common with a lot of my peers,” she said. “Ultimately, I found my niche, and now I am very happy and well adjusted. I love NYU. I love my classes and I have a great group of friends,
but freshman year was very hard.” She also struggled with the age gap between herself and other incoming freshmen. “I was a year older than everyone else, but I had also matured a lot when I went abroad,” she said. “My freshman roommate had never done her own laundry before, but I was totally comfortable buying groceries, doing dishes, all of those sorts of ‘adult’ activities that people aren’t used to doing when they first move away from home.” Through all the challenges, McClure describes her choice to leave SJS early as “one of the best decisions” of her entire life. “Don’t get me wrong; I loved SJS. I grew up there, and I’m extremely grateful for the education I received there,” McClure said. “Leaving high school early and dancing full time for two years was certainly unconventional, but it enriched my life in innumerable ways. You can’t let opportunities pass you by just because you think you have to follow a certain path.” Straight to the pointe McClure (above) demonstrates her ballet expertise. At 17, she left SJS and moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, to train at the Rudra Bejart School of Ballet. (Courtesy photos)
Catching up with
former Community Service Officers
Carly Rapp (’13)
Allie Robinson (’13)
Claire Nuchtern (’11)
As a member of the CIA, I’m not allowed to disclose much about my whereabouts or wellbeing. But I am having the time of my life at the Culinary Institute of America. I go to a college where it is normal to carry spatulas, piping tips and knives in your backpack rather than books and calculators, where classes are five days a week for eight hours each in a kitchen and where our cafeteria meals are gourmet. My schedule includes classes such as Basic and Classical Cakes, Hearth Bread and Rolls and Individual Production Pastries. In between classes, I’m “that southern girl” who still frolics in the snow, the goofball who belts out Beyonce anywhere and everywhere, and I am the only one who can pronounce “pecan” correctly. I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and any other organization as often as I can.
Adjusting to college and life away from SJS was initially a bit tough, but I feel like I’ve found my place in school now. I’m undecided on a major at Princeton, but I’m debating between history, psychology and sociology. I’m also in the process of applying to our Teacher Preparation Program. I joined a dance group in the fall, which has kept me super busy, but I love it. I am a math SAT tutor for low-income students in Hamilton, N.J. It can be pretty difficult at times, but it is very rewarding. In terms of service, I’m also learning a lot about what it means to love and support the people in my life. I live with seven other girls, and it’s been incredible to see how we’ve built a community amongst ourselves. Spring semester is kicking my butt academically, but I’m surrounded by incredible people who teach me how to live life more fully, and that is the greatest thing I could’ve ask for.
I’m now a junior at Princeton, majoring in public policy with a focus on criminal justice and education policy. I definitely credit the SJS community service program for giving me a great foundation in how to do effective and meaningful service work. My main goal on the officer board at Princeton has been helping get more freshmen interested in service activities every year. In college, I became passionate about the injustices of our criminal justice system, and I tutor every week at a correctional facility nearby. I also started a project that matches Princeton students with high school juniors and seniors to mentor through the college application process. I’m excited to pursue teaching after graduation, and I’m grateful for the opportunities that SJS gave me to think creatively about serving my community. I hope I can one day give students those opportunities as well.
THE REVIEW MARCH 2014
ALL ALL BETS BETS AR A Story by Gabe Malek and Chris Zimmerman Photo by Jake Nyquist
Editors’ Note: We recognize that this article deals with a select minority of the SJS population. We also understand that gambling is illegal for minors, but unfortunately this legal barrier does not always prevent gambling from occurring. In no way does either The Review or the SJS administration condone such behavior from students on campus. That being said, we chose to conduct this investigation in order to shed light on an activity that may seem benign, but in reality has dangerous consequences. We are informing the community about a potentially addictive activity in the hopes that those who view gambling as harmless fun will think twice before making their next bet. We appreciate the honesty of those gamblers who shared their stories, and we have changed their names in this article to protect their identities.
n some states, recycling a water bottle will yield five cents. In the boys’ locker room, throwing away an empty Gatorade bottle could fetch as much as $500. Gambling among Upper School boys is a little-known trend, but it is part of a national epidemic. According to psychologist John M. Grohol, a small fraction of teens in the United States — some 750,000 — have a gambling addiction. SJS is not exempt from this pattern. PENNY-ANTE PROPOSITIONS
Wagers range from a few cents to thousands of dollars, but
the majority of bets do not exceed $50. Most gambling is related to sports. “I would bet between five and twenty dollars on teammates on how well they would do or on the outcome of our matches,” sophomore Arthur Anderson said. Players occasionally even bet against their own teams; however, bets are not made by players who can affect the outcome of the game, and no teams throw games for the sake of a bet. “Some sports teams that I know of have bet on their own games and the scores of their games,” senior Barney Brown said. “We sometimes pull for the other team, but never during counter games and only if we are on the bench.” To some students, gambling serves as a form of entertainment, betting to pass time with friends. “For me, gambling is just something fun, and I never put more than ten dollars on a single bet,” Brown said. Others engage in alternative methods of gambling that take place off campus. “The very first [lottery] scratch-off we bought was a one-dollar ticket, and we won twenty dollars, so we got in our head that you just win money,” junior Cooper Chase said. “Pretty soon it became a pregame tradition, but then things spiraled out of control, and we started to buy them every day before practice.” Junior Damian Darby estimated that, over the course of four months, the team bought around 100 scratch-off tickets ranging between one and ten dollars. One of the most widespread forms of small-scale gambling is the annual NCAA March Madness bracket challenge. The FBI estimates that approximately $2.5 billion is wagered every year on the college basketball tournament, and ac-
cording to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, lost productivity from March Madness could cost employers $192 million. The Journal-Constitution estimates that 8.4 million work hours are spent following March Madness. HIGH-STAKES PROP BETS
For some students, the stakes can reach hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. “The big thing about these bets is they start off as smaller amounts, but then people start panicking and going for double-or-nothing,” sophomore Eli Erickson said. “A lot of scenarios are created by people becoming more desperate to get their money back.” Even fellow gamblers find such extreme forms of gambling absurd. “There are people who cannot control their gambling, people who bet more money than I even have on the outcome of a flip of a card,” Brown said. Gambling can sometimes take on unorthodox forms as students invent ways to turn seemingly commonplace situations into betting scenarios. “I have had bets where we grab a leaf and drop it, and if it lands on the dark side, one person wins, and if it lands on the light, the other person does,” sophomore Felix Foster said. The “bottle game” has become popular within the boys’ locker room. Two
MARCH 2014 THE REVIEW
ETS TS ARE ARE OFF OFF
players attempt to throw a plastic bottle from a set distance into a recycling bin with two holes on the top. Bets are made on a gameby-game basis between the two players, who then pay each other after the game. Students have even begun to practice their form because the game has become so competitive. Bets can reach the thousands. Although the money is not usually paid at one time, small sums can add up. “I made a total of about two thousand dollars on the bottle game,” sophomore Garrett Gray said. For the bigger payouts, students often cut deals, accepting less money up front rather than waiting for the entire amount to be paid over time. “Somebody owed me one thousand, but I told them that if they paid six hundred in the next week, we would be even,” Gray said. While most of the extremely large bets start small and grow through double-or-nothing propositions, other bets immediately reach thousands of dollars. “I once bet a thousand dollars on a game of ping-pong,” Gray said. Most students pay with their own money to keep the transactions as secretive as possible. “I try to keep it away from my parents, and when I get asked about it, I have to lie,” Gray said.
Some students have become compulsive gamblers. “There was a point in time when I was absolutely addicted. I couldn’t go a week without gambling,” Gray said. “It was last winter, and I lost three hundred dollars in an hour.” Such extreme gambling addictions can often spiral out of control and have immense detrimental consequences. Former Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter had a promising future ahead of him after being selected fourth overall in the 1982 NFL draft. However, Schlichter’s gambling problem quickly dominated his life, causing him to lose his entire signing bonus by the middle of his rookie season. In 1983, he was suspended indefinitely from the NFL for his illegal gambling, marking the end of his football stardom. In 2012, Schlichter was sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison for a ticket-selling scheme, receiving thousands of dollars in payments for tickets to NFL and college football games, but never delivering on his end of the deal. THE ROOT OF GAMBLING
Students often gamble to socialize, prove a point, satisfy their competitive side or simply make money. “People will often bet just to settle an argument,” Brown said. Others use bets to reinforce their point. “It is the power to rub it in somebody’s face that you’re right, and you have money to back it up,” Anderson said. Yale psychology professor Marc Potenza wrote in the article “Adolescent Gambling” that, contrary to adults, teens gamble more for the opportunity to socialize than for the money. “What I found is that [gambling] makes sporting events twice as fun to watch because you watch every play and
you’re more interested,” Gray said. “It just makes everything more exciting because it is more competitive, and you have so much more to lose.” Anderson acknowledged that those who have more money are more likely to gamble and less likely to worry about gambling losses. “A lot of SJS students have too much money on their hands,” Anderson said. “Teenagers don’t really understand what it means to earn a living.” For others, the joy of gambling has to do with the thrill of making a bet. “Realistically, I think people gamble for the excitement,” Foster said. “It is more of a gambler’s high.” Potenza argues that gambling has become socially condoned, making it seem like a quick way to earn money. “I suppose pop culture and media popularizes gambling, so a lot of teens think it’s cool,” senior Harry Howard said. A large gender divide also exists in the teenage gambling world; boys are the main offenders. “Girls tend to be more cautious and protective of certain things, one being money,” sophomore Irma Ingram said. “I think guys gamble because they think it’s a way to be cool or fit in.” The International Center for Youth Gambling Problems and High Risk Behaviors suggests that boys develop more gambling problems than girls because “boys are more attracted to the competitive nature and risk-taking aspects of gambling games.” Ultimately, the lure of a potential profit tempts students to gamble. Foster said, “Having money in your hand is one of the greatest feelings.”
THE REVIEW MARCH 2014
OPINIONS SENIOR MOMENT
Senior Country claims special spot in memory
by Elliot Cheung
I reluctantly make my way towards the familiar double doors. Must I go now? I know I have to leave, but after I do, there’s no going back. I take one last mental snapshot of the room. The couches, the tables, the TV, each filled with so many memories. A solitary tear runs down my cheek as I step out of Senior Country for the last time, never to return. Senior Country played a big part in my life this year, a statement which I think rings true for most of my class. Every free period, every lunch hour, every time I stayed after school or came early, you could find me there. Senior Country was more than just a room to hang out in—it was a safe haven for the weary, the restless and the bored. And it was ours. I remember the first time I encountered the magic of Senior Country. Summer 2007. A younger, slightly-shorter Elliot was visiting SJS for the first time, bringing his old Village School uniform, can-do attitude and hopes for a bright future at this new school. At least I still have the
uniform. The tour took little Elliot through various classrooms and hallways. He paid attention to none of them. Suddenly, the guide opened the double doors. Little Elliot’s eyes widened. His heartbeat quickened. He found himself, suddenly, in the most wonderful place a high school could have. Seniors get to play video games during school? Awesome! Four years later, my reaction on the first day of school was eerily similar. If I counted up all the hours I spent in Senior Country this year, the result would probably be large enough to make me question what I do with my life. So many memories. So many conversations held, important and stupid alike. So many homework assignments I tried to do before getting distracted. And oh-so-many games of Super Smash Bros. played as I strove to be the best player at SJS. Perhaps too many games, but also never enough. Now we are blocked off from Senior Country. Cast out, never to return. I know the destruction of Senior Country, as well as the rest of Winston, will make way for something new and great. But for now, the pain of losing it is still fresh. Senior Country was a place where I made new friends, napped after late nights and got decently good at a video game. It was a place isolated from the rest of the school, a sanctuary to rest and reboot in between classes. A place where no freshmen could block hallways, no sophomores could assert that
Countdown Since freshman year, seniors have looked forward to the myriad privileges that their last year brings, including Senior Country. The room, which contained couches, TVs and a foosball table, closed Feb. 27 to prepare for North Campus construction.
they’re no longer freshmen and no juniors could complain about their workload. Senior Country wasn’t just a lounge, it
was a home, and it’s sad to see it finally go. We had a good run, Senior Country, and you’ll always have a place in my heart.
DINING AL FRESCO
Be optimistic about changes to lunch routine Modified food situation requires cooperation from entire community by Emily Sherron
As much as we might wish to be Katniss or Peeta, the 76th Hunger Games has not begun at SJS. Bringing a sack lunch was not a punishment. In fact, it’s a pretty standard practice, but if waking up five minutes earlier to make your lunch nearly crippled you, at least you only had to endure it for the two-week period before the outside food service began. Complaining is almost as fun as blaming the administration for everything, but neither activity accomplishes much. Nothing unites like a common enemy, but our enemies are neither the administration nor the bulldozers mowing down half of the school. Although the construction debacle affects some more than others, no one comes out unscathed. The distant parking, the blocked pathways, the relocated offices and most importantly, the lack of a cafeteria are issues that affect the whole community. The only way to move forward as a student body is to know that we’re not targets; we’re more like the recipients of unavoidable damage for the betterment of the future of our school. Believe it or not, the administration is working hard to minimize that damage. The administration’s lunchtime plan included cafeteria staff serving food from vendors and students eating at picnic tables outdoor, weather permitting. Since the SJS community enjoys tradition, we are generally resistant to change, yet after time for adjustment, we will realize that this change is not completely for
New course Students enjoy the sunshine and company of their classmates during lunch on the plaza. The cafeteria staff began serving food from vendors like Mission Burrito and Demeris Bar-B-Q on March 3 after two weeks of students bringing their own lunches.
the worse. As important as food is to our happiness, the demolition of the cafeteria has some positive upshots. Plenty of schools, including my elementary school, have outdoor eating facilities, so suggesting that eating outside ruins the SJS experience is absurd. I have myriad fond memories of enjoying lunch with fellow pint-sized friends. In addition, many people chose to eat outside most days before the construction, so the experience is not such a huge change. Legitimate inconveniences have definitely arisen, especially during the “inclement weather” period during which students could eat in carpeted classrooms but not in carpeted hallways. Since the basis for prohibiting eating in the hallways was preventing bugs from entering the buildings, the rule seemed to
lose its legitimacy when the administration approved eating in classrooms. Also, being forced to eat in classrooms divided us. It’s much harder to find your friends, and it’s definitely awkward to settle into a teacher’s classroom and carry on conversations when teachers could be nearby. On the initial days of the vendors, the drizzly weather necessitated that lunch be served out of Trammel, causing a long, slow line to stretch into junior hallway. This gave me a negative first impression of the vendors because of the inefficiency. On rainy days, lacking a cafeteria is a huge pain, but on pleasant days, adding tables outside encouraged or, in effect, forced people to enjoy the weather. Plus, the proximity of the tables brought everyone physically closer, encouraging inter- and intra-grade bonding. I found
myself sitting with new people because of the different arrangement. When the food vendors began serving outdoors, the tables were also closer to the food itself, expediting lunchtime for the hungry swarms of students. Many aspects could be improved, and there certainly are worthy issues to complain about, but most parts of our current situation are inevitable. The money has been donated, the land purchased, the plans drawn and the fences raised. There’s nothing left to do but brace ourselves for the bulldozing. Perhaps we should abandon the search for someone to blame and accept that we’re simply attending the school at an inopportune time, too old to reap the benefits and too young to enjoy the school in its former glory.
MARCH 2014 THE REVIEW
Field Day needs to retire, appoint replacement Field Day? More like an extra day of Spring Break. At least that’s what some members of the Upper School believed. We understand the temptation to skip Field Day (or come down with a bad “cold” that day), but, frankly, it’s disrespectful. SAC worked hard to plan the activities, and the least we students should do is show up. It’s better than coming to school in uniform and slaving away at math packets or taking notes on the Gilded Age. But the fault does not lie solely with those who decided their time could be better spent not attending Field Day. There is a reason the total attendance rate hovers around 70-75 percent. Field Day is in serious need of a makeover. In past years, each division held its own Field Day. Teams in Upper and Middle School were based on randomly assigned colors until the institution of the house system in 2011. House teams replaced color teams, and Upper and Middle School had a combined Field Day last year. The inter-division bonding was taken one step further when Field Day became an all-school event for the first time this year. The “all-school” nature was limited since events were segregated by division to prevent first graders from playing dodgeball against football captains.
Go for the ﬂag Lower School students from Claremont and Hoodwink compete in Capture the Flag at Field Day, March 14, accumulating points for their respective houses.
Throughout all these changes, one constant remained: abysmal attendance rate. When given the choice between attending a half-day of games and either making up homework or starting Spring Break early, many students understandably choose to skip, especially because the repercussions for missing Field Day are nonexistent. March is an especially busy month since an extraordinary amount of work is
packed into precious few school days, and an extra day off is just what some students need to stay on top of their workload or use as a breather. We appreciate the effort to promote K-12 bonding, but we believe there are better outlets for it. Field Day may be a tradition that started out strongly, but now it has too many problems and too many stigmas attached to it. Many have tried,
but there is simply no way to fix Field Day. Organizing an event like Field Day is only worth the effort if students enjoy and participate in the activities. If the attendance and general atmosphere at Field Day during the past three years have been any indication, then it is clear that Field Day is not worth the effort and some other event should take its place. Instead, we propose that all divisions participate in ongoing house games. Right now the houses are essentially Field Day teams, not smaller, tightly woven communities within the larger all-school one. Having games throughout the year will promote house unity by making the houses more than a one-time team. These games could take place every Friday at lunch, as part of pep rallies during the fall and as a continuation during winter and spring. By incorporating Field Day-type activities throughout the year, we get the best of both worlds. Students get to bond with others in their house by competing together, and it eliminates the attendance problems by making it a weekly routine. We realize that there is no perfect solution, but we cannot continue as we always have when Field Day has become an unappreciated joke and a waste of SAC’s valiant efforts.
From the editors
Controversial stories are not just about the shock factor
Sometimes we work a whole year for one article. While brainstorming for this issue’s In Focus piece on gambling, we encountered a spectrum of difficulties. While we refuse to sugarcoat a clearly problematic issue, we were hesitant to portray this arguably negative sliver of our school to all of The Review’s subscribers. We understood that the issue was confined to a certain demographic, unlike our previous in-depth articles that had widespread relevance; publishing such a story may misrepresent the school to those outside of our immediate community. And since gambling is illegal for most of our would-be sources, we were also faced with confidentiality issues. The Review had not covered an issue of this magnitude in recent memory. At the beginning of the school year, we decided that we wanted to publish a serious story with a significant impact. Many are under the impression that, as a high school newspaper, The Review lacks the voice and authority to cover hard-hitting topics. Gambling seemed like the perfect article to tackle, yet, we couldn’t help but wonder if we were forcing the issue. Controversial articles are often
the most impactful ones, but covering a topic for the mere goal of fulfilling a quota for contentious articles is not our mission. Ultimately, we believe that our In Focus piece addresses an issue that, though small in scope, deserves recognition from the community. We hope that the story proves that The Review can serve as a forum for discussion and a vehicle to promote change or raise awareness. Borrowing the words of our former Editor-in-Chief Andrew Vogeley, we strive to be an “engine of discourse.” When we went to the administration with this article, we were prepared for them to veto it immediately, especially because of the potentially negative light it casts on the school. After administrators overcame their initial surprise (“Is this for real? Or is it for the April 1st edition?”), they approved the article. We were pleasantly surprised by this outcome and by Headmaster Mark Desjardin’s high praise: “Perfect! Good note on a hard-hitting story.” We truly appreciate the administration’s trust and the freedom we are given with regard to content choices. We are very proud of the writers, Gabe Malek and
Chris Zimmerman, and their final product. We thank the sources who provided us with their stories; without their willingness to share and their honesty, we would not have been able to shed light on this situation. Even though we have already published five issues this year, even though we have covered topics ranging from campus security to the pressure to succeed, we are still looking for that one article that will change our community. Maybe this gambling article will be the one. Love,
Samantha Neal, Alyyah Malick and Lydia Liu (S + Al + Ly = Sally)
The Review · St. John’s School · 2401 Claremont, Houston, TX 77019 · firstname.lastname@example.org · 713-850-0222 blogs.sjs.org/review · Facebook SJS Review · Twitter @SJS_Review · Instagram @_thereview
Member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Silver Crown 2014, 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 Jessica Lee, Christopher Zimmerman 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, Claire Dorfman, 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 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 MARCH 2014
SPORTS HURDLE TO VICTORY
Track places first overall at Maverick Relays
From Field Day to Mav Relays Sophomore Noel Higgason (left) placed second in the 800m race while freshman Isabelle Paine (right) won the 100m hurdles event, contributing to the girls’ first place finish at the 47th Maverick Relays, March 13-14. Along with the boys’ team, which placed third behind St. Thomas and Episcopal, the Mavericks captured first overall. by Megan Routbort
Just minutes after Field Day ended, track and field coach Richie Mercado (’79) could be seen setting up for a different race: the hundred meter dash. “It was nice having the relays after Field Day,” sophomore Isabelle Draper said. “We had some time to relax and get psyched for our races.” The 47th Maverick Relays took place on Thursday and Friday, March 13-14, just after Field Day. The meet, which is typically held on a Friday afternoon and a Saturday morning, switched times due to scheduling conflicts with Spring Break and the ISAS Arts Festival. “For track athletes, spring break didn’t
start until the last 4x400 relay was finished in the evening,” Mercado said. Despite having a delayed start to their spring break, the Mavericks had a strong showing. The team took home the overall title, with the girls placing first and the boys capturing third. After losing strong contenders in the sprints, jumps and hurdles with the departure of Jackie Modesett and Stephanie Guo (both ’13), the girls’ team is compensating with impressive performances from newcomers. Junior Jennifer Melcher, who took a hiatus from track last year, returned this season and switched from running in distance events to specializing in the shorter 400m. She took first place in the event at
Maverick Relays. “Jenny is our secret weapon,” freshman Ellie Faraguna said. “She is an amazing and determined sprinter but not even she expected it.” Other individual first-place winners were freshmen Isabelle Paine (100m hurdles), Peyton Brown (1600m, 3200m) and sophomore Caroline-Ankoma Sey (100m, 200m). The boys’ team, which placed sixth at SPC last year, looks forward to improving their performances not only individually but also as a team. “The meet was a good starting point,” junior Ben Bieser said. “The fact that so many of us got personal records bodes well for the rest of the season.”
The most notable moment for boys’ track was when their 4x800 relay team featuring seniors Jay Bhandari and Jake Peacock, junior Akshay Jaggi and sophomore Joe Faraguna, snagged a surprise first-place finish the first night of the relays. “To the roaring cheers of Maverick fans, Jake came through in the final leg of the relay to lead his team to victory,” junior Frank Spence said. The team remains focused after these strong performances. “We have six weeks until SPC, but there are only 21 days of practice until our runners board the bus for Dallas,” Draper said. “Everyone is trying to put as much work into practice as possible in preparation for the big meet.”
MARCH 2014 THE REVIEW
END OF AN ERA
Winslow’s legacy: Three titles, All-American acclaim
Magic number 42 Captain Justise Winslow, who donned the number 42 jersey for his entire SJS basketball career, led the Mavericks to three out of the past four SPC Championships. SJS defeated Kinkaid in the championship game 42-39 after Winslow scored the final point on a free throw, an incredible coincidence considering Winslow’s jersey number. by Matthew Steiner
t was the final game of Justise Winslow’s freshman year. In the SPC championship game, Episcopal had an early lead, but a valiant 21-point effort by Justise got the Mavericks back in the game. On the final play, the Knights and the Mavericks were tied at 67. “At the biggest moment on the biggest stage, Justise stepped up,” head coach Harold Baber said. “The defense rotated and he made the pass into the paint. We had won a buzzer-beater layup with [brother] Josh Winslow (’11), and it was none other than Justise who passed the ball and got the assist.” That championship marked the first time since 1979 that the Mavericks cut down the nets. In Justise’s four years at SJS, he led the team to three SPC titles, doubling the number of championships prior to his arrival. “The Mavs have won three out of the last four SPC Championships. Take a minute to think about that,” Baber said. “At any level: middle school, high school, college or pro, it is something that rarely happens. It’s been a heck of a ride.” Though a strong team chemistry and a roster of veteran players have been key
the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year, an factors in this unparalleled success, the accolade that he earned again this year. Duke-bound small forward holds a great deal of personal responsibility for the A decade had passed since the last priteam’s victories. vate school player, Westbury Christian’s Ndudi Ebi, earned the honor. This year, Justise was born into a family of Justise was named one of five McDonald’s high-caliber athletes. His father, RickAll-Americans in Texas, and Sports Illusie, was the 28th pick of the 1987 NBA trated featured him in their February 10th draft and played briefly for the Milwauissue’s “Faces in the Crowd.” kee Bucks. He played both at home and His preemabroad until inence on the 2000 and domestic and currently serves as asinternational “The Mavs have won three out sistant coach stage culmiof the last four SPC Championnated in his for the Mavericks. His ships. It’s been a heck of a ride.” playing for the U17 Team USA brother, Josh, who played Coach Harold Baber in 2012. Team USA brought as a senior home the gold. alongside his freshman brother, currently plays defensive Last summer, he was one of two high school players on the U19 team that won back in football for Dartmouth. gold. In his four years on varsity, Justise’s Despite all the attention, Justise remains athletic development has been noticeable. His playing style has evolved with the grounded within the community. thousands of hours of training. “He just makes everyone around him “His offensive game has improved trebetter,” Baber said. “He also takes the time, mendously,” Baber said. “As he got older, whether he’s walking over to practice or his jumps got better.” walking to the locker room after a game, As his career progressed, Justise garnered to talk with kids and reach out to the SJS community.” more attention from the national media. Justise has had a monumental impact on Following the 2013 season, he was named
his teammates. “As a captain, he approached every day with the perfect mixture of not only fun but also seriousness, which really helped set the tone for each practice,” sophomore Cade Luedde said. The team will not lose its sense of solidarity with Justise’s departure, but there is a feeling that this is the end of an era. “With nine seniors on the roster this year, the other five of us are going to have to step it up,” Luedde said. “We’ll have to work to become leaders in the quick turnaround and get help from rising underclassmen.” Justise’s pursuit of collegiate glory will be bittersweet for the Mavericks as they lose the most celebrated athlete the basketball program has ever seen. When he committed to the Duke Blue Devils, Justise was ranked as the No. 14 prospect in the nation in ESPN’s 100. He chose Duke in order to continue playing with the No. 1 prospect, center Jahlil Okafor, and No. 4 prospect, point guard Tyus Jones. The trio consists of the nation’s best recruiting class. “Their team chemistry should be great. Justise talks to Okafor and Tyus Jones all the time,” Coach Baber said. “They have a chance to be a great, if not legendary, college basketball team.”
Upon further review Varsity golf teams
Number of Mondays missed for tournaments. The Mavericks kicked off their season of perpetual Monday absences with their first tournament in February. The team will miss four school days in April for matches hosted by John Cooper and Episcopal. The SPC tournament will take place April 28 and 29.
Number of strokes by the girls’ golf team to win Kinkaid’s tournament, the Steve Lasher Invitational on Feb. 24. Senior captain Mary Ellison shot a 106, freshman Grace Wilson shot a 95 and junior captain Monica Dayao shot an 80 to beat Lutheran South by only one stroke.
Number of broken pinkie fingers. Junior John Armstrong, who has consistently shot as the second best scorer on the boys’ team, is currently unable to golf due to a broken little finger on his dominant hand. Armstrong shot a 170 overall at last year’s SPC tournament, and he should be able to resume golfing shortly.
Hole in one Girls’ golf captain Monica Dayao plays through a sandtrap.
THE REVIEW MARCH 2014
ODDS & ENDS
Extras JAKE NYQUIST
Triple-double Mavericks celebrate their SPC victories, Feb. 15, following the basketball team’s third championship in four years as well as the wrestling team’s defending of their status as reigning SPC champions. Wrestling defeated runner-up St. Mark’s by 5.5 points in a repeat of last year’s upset while basketball beat Kinkaid, 42-39, in the final game.
SAVE THE DATE
with Harsha Bandi
As the school year winds towards a close, we’re still sifting through our inbox to bring you some interesting 60 seconds profiles of your classmates. Here’s our antepenultimate one from senior Harsha Bandi. Name Harsh Bandito Grade Senior State of mind Senioritis Known for Clowning Color Brown Hate to love Demi Lovato Love to hate Leg Day Happiness Steak Misery Cardio Sports team Maverick Golf Sport to play Curling Sport to watch Arena football Olympic sport Trampoline
Fav spot on campus Weight room Dream date Julia Moody Relationship status Domestic partnership with Douglas Moody Comfort food Gatorade protein shake SJS Club Pokemon club Guilty pleasure Ellie Goulding’s music Cafeteria food Pumpkin pie Place to live Friedman’s backyard Usually found In the nook outside S208 Treasured possession Swag The best thing Hodge twins The worst thing Second semester senior year homework assignments Spirit animal Koala Hero Virgil Campbell I wish We still had senior country Superpower Flight Fictional character Piscine Molitor Patel
Book Don’t read Music Anything by Ariana Grande TV show Friday Night Lights Movie Star Wars V Video game Smash Website www.garfieldminusgarfield.net Phobia Trypanophobia (fear of needles) Stress reliever Gum Hidden talent Mario Kart Wii prodigy Motto Gotta catch em all Anthem Beast mode by B.O.B. Doppelganger Vamsi Mohan Sing in the shower? Dubstep I am Single ;) Item of clothing Black SJS sweatshirt Secretly Mean I’d rather be A Yuan Follow us? Lol no
Senior Class Meeting in VST Kantorei Concert in Stasney Hall at 7:00 p.m.
April Fool’s Day
School Closed for ISAS Preparation
ISAS Festival hosted on campus
Junior Class Meeting in VST
Senior Parents’ Chapel
Word for word Soundbites around campus Everything we learn in APUSH I already know from the American Girl doll books. Mackenzie Mott prefers historical fiction to primary source documents.
Gracie Voss: “This is really embarrassing but I was watching ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ last night...” Ms. Weissenstein: “That is really embarrassing.” Senior English Seminar attempts to relate guilty pleasures to memoirs
When I got out of the car this morning, I said “goodnight” to my dad. Julia Boyce gets confused from spending her nights in the VST during production week.
I swear it looks like a woodshop out here. Collins Yeates surveys the picnic table-filled plaza
If you frequent Starbucks, you may be familiar with Ethos Water — also called profit margin water. Mr. Turk teaches students about the importance of consumer’s skepticism. Ms. DiPaolo: “The forest people were smaller in stature than the regular people.” Julian Peavy: “Like Ewoks?” World History I brings a galaxy from far, far, far away to life
Sophomore Class Meeting in VST
Boys’ SPC Lacrosse Tournament
State JCL Tournament begins
Prom held at the Bell Tower 8:0011:45 p.m. After-Prom for seniors and their guests: Midnight to 1:30 a.m.
13 Palm Sunday
Passover begins at sundown
By the numbers
Pages of paper used by the copy machine
National Letter of Intent- Regular Signing Day (Traditions Room) Easter Chapel All-School Orchestra Concert at 7:00 p.m.
Good Friday- School Closed No Homework Weekend
20 Easter Sunday
Prefect Elections Spring Band Concert SAMANTHA NEAL
Sorry, Mother Earth Between Jan. 2013 and Jan. 2014, the copy machine in the faculty lounge printed 1.2 million pages of paper. The machine that suffered through printing this extraordinary volume of paper was recently retired and replaced with a newer model.
MARCH 2014 THE REVIEW
ODDS & ENDS
Blast from the Past
Spanish teacher Aline Means honors former classmate Looking back on my high school years, I have many, many memories. Some are sad to remember; during my junior year, my father passed away after a long battle with cancer. Others are painful, like the perm I should have never gotten (twice!). Mostly, I have fond memories of my high school years. They were happy years surrounded by friends who supported me when I needed it and with whom I still keep in touch and try to visit whenever I am home. They were years in which I learned important life lessons, such as appreciating my straight hair and appreciating what truly matters in life: family and friends. Today I write about a particular friend, an amazing and wonderful woman: Isabel Lobo Patiño. Isabel was my classmate and
Charted By Tiffany Yue
dear friend, and she died unexpectedly of weekend outings, of bad hairdos, wild over the weekend. I know you don’t know ‘80s music, parachute pants and prom. her, and my friends in Chile will not read Now I mostly think of Isabel. It brings a this; nevertheless, I want to tell you about smile to my face. Her enchanting smile her. La Flaca, as we called her, was a great lives on in her two beautiful daughters and her selflessness, joy of living and desire to friend. She always had a smile on her face, maintain close friends live in all of us that and she was always organizing some sort knew her. I am sorry to not have a more of gathering (aka party). She wanted our exciting and humorous anecdote class of ’87 to stay close, to never lose to share, but I think I can that sense of unity that carried confidently say that, when us through high school. She you look back on your was the glue that held out high school days, you group together. Did you know? However, whenever will have many stories Ms. Means has to tell, but you will I think of my not-socherish the memory wild high school days a brother named (sorry to disappoint!), of your close friends Sócrates. I think of friendship, the most.
McComic By Katherine McFarlin
Immediately associating the prom theme with the Cuban Missile Crisis ... Coach Mercado setting up for Maverick Relays the minute Field Day ends ...
Still sporting free outerwear due to the cold in March ... Running into classmates on spring break college trips ...
Living vicariously through other people’s college acceptances .. . . Struggling to ignore the dead bees lying on the windowsills in the Quad ...
Still getting all our days off when HISD is losing Memorial Day and Good Friday for the “snow days” ... Having to stay at school all day for ISAS ...
Featured Twitter @QuotingWes The recent debut of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” has revitalized media interest in the movies of Wes Anderson. This particular Twitter page, which has over 8,000 followers, features famous quotes from Anderson’s witty scripts, followed by a hashtag of the dialogue’s film of origin. The account has 955 tweets. Some of the best ones include: “But even smart kids stick their fingers in electrical sockets sometimes.” #MoonriseKingdom “My top schools where I want to apply are
Oxford and the Sorbonne. But my safety’s Harvard.” #Rushmore “I love you too, but I shouldn’t have married you.” #FantasticMrFox “We go your way, that’s about four inches. We go my way, it’s an inch and a half. You wanna pay for the extra gas? #LifeAquatic “The secret, I don’t know...I guess you’ve just gotta find something you love to do and then do it for the rest of your life.” #Rushmore
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THE REVIEW MARCH 2014
4. “The secret? I don’t know... I guess you’ve just gotta find something you love to do and then do it for the rest of your life. For me, it’s going to Rushmore.”
Wes Anderson’s (’87) “Rushmore” may have been filmed on campus in the winter of 1997, but scenes from the cult classic can still be brought to life at SJS. The Quad, though now used for Senior Tea, can be easily transformed into a fencing arena, especially with the help of actual competitive fencers (3). Although the campus is home to a host of extracurriculars from Harry Potter Club to Microfinance Club, the eccentricity of offerings pales in comparison to that of Rushmore. We doubt that the Beekeepers will appear at Club Fair next fall even though some families, like the Fastows, actually keep hives (2). Rushmore and SJS are similar in their emphasis on academics. If last year’s prom at the library was any indication, students appreciate spending quality time with works of literature. At least SJS students tend to understand the importance of returning books on time (3). “The Wes Anderson Collection” by Matt Seitz will be available at the library as soon as The Review returns it. Still, we can’t ignore that the campus has changed since Anderson’s crew descended on his alma mater. The plaza is less of a student hangout, and Upper School carpool no longer runs through the circle as it did in the “Rushmore” era (1). Aspects of SJS, such as the limestone buildings and inviting Quad, are and will likely remain immediately recognizable as Rushmore. At least our state champion Advanced Certamen team ensures that we will never need Max Fischer to save Latin (5). Visit the Review Online to see a side-by-side comparison of “Rushmore” scenes and additional pictures from this photo shoot.
Photos by Jared Margolis and Jake Nyquist | Story by Samantha Neal Modeling by Nikolai Hood (1, 2, 4, 5), Megan Routbort (2), Christie Dawson (3), Sara Reddy (3), Richard Appel (3), Ellie Trent (5), Sloan Rucker (5), Amy Kang (5)