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thereview VOL. 64, ISSUE 1





Walt Baker named fifth prefect

BY ORION HICKS AND NINA MANIAN After narrowly missing a seat on SAC, Walt Baker has a second chance to be a prefect. The departure of senior Harris Lummis prompted SAC to give the Walt Baker position of prefect to the candidate with the next highest vote total from last spring’s prefect elections. Prefect Ryan Beckner is thrilled to welcome the defensive and offensive lineman of the football team to SAC. “Walt is hilarious, hard working and an unstoppable juggernaut of muscular destruction,” Beckner said. Baker was disheartened by barely missing the cut during last year’s elections, and he is enthusiastic now to take the vacant spot on SAC. “My goal this year is basically to do all I can to make sure students’ voices are heard,” Baker said. “This is a two-way street, however. What [they’re] asking has to be feasible. In other words, no amount of politicking will ever eliminate homework.” “I think I bring a different perspective,” Baker said, “and much like Lyndon Johnson, I bring size and volume to a group quite bereft of either.” This is not Baker’s first rodeo; he was on SAC last year. “Being on SAC as a junior has given me insight on how the system works,” he said. “It was a privilege that I’m grateful for.” Fellow SAC members as well as faculty sponsors are thrilled to have Baker back on the team. “We honestly could not hope for a better representative,” said Barbara DiPaolo, a SAC sponsor. “Walt has served on SAC before, and he knows his duty. I know he’ll do a great job.” Allie Robinson, a fellow prefect, is excited to serve with Baker. “He’s easy to work with, is open to new ideas and is very respectful to others,” she said. “He really cares about the school, and I think he will bring a new point of view to SAC.”



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Husband and wife The memory of her late husband, Jerry, motivated Linda Carswell to fight for patients’ rights. Carswell is part of a panel appointed by the Texas Department of State Health and Services that works on uploading information online pertaining to hospital safety issues.

Tragedy to hope: Carswell lobbies for clarity in hospital forms

BY IMAN CHARANIA In September 2011, Linda Carswell’s long battle to enact Jerry Carswell’s Memorial Act finally ended with the passage of the law. Mr. Carswell unexpectedly passed away in 2004 after being admitted to a hospital for kidney stones. He was placed under observation and was found dead in his hospital bed the next morning. Carswell brought a lawsuit against St. Christus Hospital and was awarded $2 million in damages. The case is now being appealed. Carswell realized that in the haze of events following her husband of 33 years death, she had signed an autopsy form without fully understanding the purpose of the post-mortem examination.

The form allowed the hospital to conduct a teaching autopsy, rather than a coroner’s autopsy, which tries to determine a cause of death. “I signed the form thinking I would finally know how he died, but the autopsy they performed kept me from ever knowing why. I just did what the hospital said to do,” Carswell said. “It’s always unfortunate to lose a loved one, but at least you know how it happened if it was something like a car accident. I’ll never know.” To keep other people from facing this situation, Carswell took up the cause to clearly lay out patient and family rights concerning autopsies.

“I got involved, like most people do, after the unexpected death of a family member, not from illness but from either negligence or an unexpected adverse event,” Carswell said. “For me, it was like, is this even a possibility?” Carswell was left with questions after her husband passed away, but she did not know where to get answers. “I read everything I could get my hands on to learn about patients’ safety. In the early days, the Internet wasn’t quite as helpful as it is now, but I would log on and read what I could find,” Carswell said. Continued on Page 4


Playing it safe BY ELLIOT CHEUNG

Over the summer, the campus received a security makeover. Changes include adding security cameras and placing electronic locks on several entrances to the school. An increased police presence and a blue light system on South Campus and in the St. Luke’s parking lot have also been implemented. Officer Andrew Blitch, head security coordinator,

was promoted to arrange these changes. With five years as a Houston Police Officer, Officer Blitch is tightening security measures to ensure the school remains as safe as possible. The changes have taken some students by surprise. “When I first got back to campus, I thought the blue light system was a little weird because we’re such a small campus, and

I’m so used to just seeing those for colleges,” Allie Robinson said. Many universities use similar towers to quickly alert security. When someone presses the button, the tower alerts the Riverdale patrol dispatcher. Pressing the button also triggers a camera to start documenting the scene. Continued on Page 2

CENTERSPREAD Anya Ring and Carolyn Brooks explore the culture of sleep deprivation and its impact on student life. . See PAGES 10 AND 11



Security changes newsbriefs heighten school safety Continued from Front Page

Looking forward Head of security Andrew Blitch presents the new blue light system. Prevalent on college campuses, this button notifies patrol dispatchers and begins taping the scene.


Headmaster Mark Desjardins noted geography played a role in the decision to make these changes. “We have an incredibly porous campus that sits right at the heart of two major roads in one of the largest cities in the country. As such, we have many inherent vulnerabilities,” Desjardins said. “The overarching goal of an excellent security program is to act as a deterrent to potential security breaches.” “I did see the keypads on the doors,” Robinson said. “They take away from the traditional look of our doors, but aesthetics aren’t the issue here -- safety is.” The changes reflect the concern over recent high-profile acts of violence: this summer’s shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., at a Sikh temple in Milwaukee and a Feb. shooting at a high school in Chardon, Ohio. Given this current climate, the goal of these changes is to improve the school’s security. Teachers also recognize the need for security measures. “To be quite frank, when I started here in 1998, I was sur-

prised at the lack of security at SJS as opposed to the security at Lamar High School,” history teacher Wendall Zartman said. “I think it makes sense that we have enhanced security because of where we are: [with] Westheimer, in a big city, easy access.” SJS has not escaped incident-free. Over the past two years, every school division has been on lockdown due to either internal or outside incidents. “It can happen anywhere,” Robinson said. Some students are confused by the sudden changes they see around campus. “I’m unsure of why such a drastic increase in security was necessary,” junior Molly Vitek said. “Our school is pretty safe.” Junior Zack Lee said, “You can never be too safe.” Officer Blitch said, “With the number of officers we have and the strength of the security, I’m pretty confident. I’ve also toured other private schools; our security is far better. You guys are very safe here.”

The fall All-School Convocation featured a video by Matt Snively and Courtney Burger of the Advancement Office. The film showcased the first few days of school and welcomed students back. Headmaster Mark Desjardins said that the convocation conveyed SJS as “a place where students want to learn and have the available resources to help them.” BENJAMIN SHOU

Over 40 club booths filled the Plaza for the annual Club Fair, Sept. 5. Students scrambled in the heat to sign up for activities from Mathematical Problem Solving Club to Art Club, Harry Potter Club to Electronic Music Club. There was a choice for every type of interest. New clubs also emerged, including the Fun Run Club and the Robotics Club, which featured a remote-controlled, basketball-shooting robot. BENJAMIN SHOU

After a series of upgrades, Upper School students will be able to freely access the Internet throughout campus without going through an application process, which had been required for the past six years. Director of Technology Jeff Ritter said, “We’re now in 2012. Wi-Fi is pretty well predicated everywhere you go, and so we wanted to make sure that the tool was available for kids and teachers to use in class.” IRIS CRONIN


New teachers reveal tidbits of tantalizing trivia susanbigge science

jenniferjenkins history


johnmartin english




If you could travel back in time, when or where would you go and why?

I wouldn’t go back as I’m too addicted to modern comforts. I would like to have been present at the 1927 Solvay Conference. A very geeky choice, but the conference group photograph shows only about thirty participants and includes Marie Curie, Einstein, Schrödinger, Heisenberg and many more. I’d love to have heard about the beginning of quantum theories and relativity from the people who developed them.


Q: A:

Do you have any interesting college experiences?

I studied in Madrid for six months during my junior year in college (Wellesley), which made me proficient in Spanish. I wanted to learn Spanish because I had lots of friends who were Spanish, I wanted to communicate with them and other people and I wanted to go to a country far from home.

Q: A:

What is your favorite work of literature that you teach this year and why?

I would have to say “Frankenstein,” because it will be the first time I’ve ever taught it, although I am a great fan of 19th century gothic and horror fiction. I think it will be especially appropriate for the month of October, leading up to Halloween.

Q: A:

What is your favorite organ and why?

Hands down, the brain. Not only is it the control center of the body, but also there is so much we don’t know about the brain, and that is what makes it so exciting.

rebeccalillienstern history

Q: A:

Did you have any interesting college experiences?

When I started my senior year at University of Virginia, I took a job at UVA Catering, and that was a great experience. Our manager had very high expectations but he was also completely confident that a group of college kids could and would put together a successful Rotunda dinner without a hitch, week after week. He taught us how to work as a team and handle pressure, and it was really fun and rewarding.







LONDON 2012 BY LYDIA LIU Meghna Dara’s 2012 Olympics experience began before she even arrived in London. While flying over the Atlantic, the sophomore sat just two rows in front of the Fierce Five, the American quintet who won the women’s gymnastics team gold medal. When Dara’s mother insisted she take a picture with them, Dara refused. “I didn’t know who they were because this was right near the beginning,” she said. “I told my mom to stop embarrassing me.” After the Olympics, Dara wished her mother had taken the picture. Every four years, athletes from all over the world compete for the ultimate affirmation of athletic excellence. This summer, London hosted more than 10,000 athletes. Along with the competitors, almost 500,000 tourists, including several students from SJS, arrived each day to cheer on their favorites. Most families began planning this once-in-a-lifetime trip a full year before the Opening Ceremony. Freshman Julia Boyce and her family booked their tickets through a travel agent. The Boyces attended gymnastics, tennis and volleyball. Boyce’s favorite event was gymnastics. A former recreational gymnast, she cheered on the Fierce Five as they won gold. “You see [gymnasts] on TV, but nothing is really like seeing it in person and watching them actually compete,” Boyce said. Dara’s older sister Natasha, who lives in London, helped secure tickets to soccer and gymnastics for her family. Junior Sloane Gustafson obtained tickets through her uncle. Gustafson’s mother helped mentor American boxer Marlen Esparza and also helped with some legal work. Esparza graduated from the top of her class at Pasadena High School but also trained as a boxer. After graduation, she delayed college to pursue her Olympic dream. Fortunately for Esparza, women’s boxing

became an official event this year, and she won a bronze medal. Freshman Leah Vogel and sophomore Taylor Welch attended the Olympics using tickets they found on the Internet two weeks before the Opening Ceremony. “We had some other trips planned throughout the summer, and we had talked about how cool it would be to go to the Olympics, so my mom started looking online,” Vogel said. Scouring eBay and Craig’s List, Vogel’s mother landed tickets to both women’s beach volleyball and soccer finals as well as some track and field events. Welch watched volleyball with Vogel and was pleased to sit right next to the court. “I got to high-five Misty May-Treanor…isn’t that crazy?” Welch said. “It was really cool,” Vogel agreed. “Taylor looked at the tapes afterward and saw her [own] hand on TV.” Before Vogel and Welch left London, they met the British men’s beach volleyball team and scored tickets to the USA House, where current and former Olympians could escape from the public eye. Vogel met Olympic hurdling legend Edwin Moses and four-time gold medalist diver Greg Louganis. Boyce did not have any celebrity encounters, but she did have her own star-sightings. “When we went to Wimbledon, I was two feet away from Serena Williams,” Boyce said. “At the gymnastics stadium, we were sitting on the balcony and looking over, and [2008 US gold medalist] Nastia Liukin was down there.” Fans often supported many nationalities at a time. “There was an ‘I’ll cheer for your team if you cheer for mine’ kind of thing. People did that all the time,” Gustafson said. Gustafson enjoyed the diversity. “There were people from Kazakhstan, Mongolia, all these remote places.”


American pride To show support for Team USA, Julia and Emily (‘12) Boyce brought a flag to the gymnastics arena. For Julia, a former gymnast, her favorite event was the women’s team finals.

“You see [gymnasts] on TV, but nothing is really like seeing it in person and watching them actually compete.” Julia Boyce


Seeing stars Reese Vogel, Leah Vogel, American diver Greg Louganis and Taylor Welch enjoy the relaxing environment of the USA House, where pass-holders could watch the Olympics on TV or even meet Olympians in person.


Medal mania The Gustafsons cheered for American boxer Marlen Esparza, a Houstonian


Ticketed Meghna Dara (center) and her family obtained passes for gymnastics.





Student DJs work the disc job in school and beyond BY OLIVER RUHL


Evolution of a DJ Jackson Jhin attracts followers among the tough crowd of students at the club fair. EMC’s music could be heard throughout the plaza, attracting new and returning students alike.

Great parties need great music. Setting the mood and pleasing a huge crowd may seem like a daunting task, but seniors Jackson Jhin and Andrew Chennisi have made careers as DJs. Jhin created the Electronic Music Composition Club (EMC2) to spread his love of electronic music. Long interested in composing and utilizing computer software to create music, Jhin felt that DJing was the logical next step. Outside of school, Jhin worked with manager and musical assistant Spencer Lepow, a fellow senior, to establish a DJing company, Boom Bass Parties. Boom Bass started small with SJS events, DJing for the senior and junior back-toschool parties. They are expanding to bar mitzvahs and may DJ at future SJS dances. “It’s a good experience because we are allowed to be around and explore music


Legal obstacles abound for Carswell Continued from Front Page In 2005, Carswell began her journey researching what would become the foundation for the Jerry Carswell Memorial Act, but there wasn’t much online information about patients’ rights or safety. In 2008, she encountered the Consumers’ Union Safe Patient Project (CUSP) and began to involve herself with the organization. “We have forms to get a driver’s license but in Texas, we did not have a standardized, mandatory consent form for autopsies,” Carswell said. She campaigned with CUSP and traveled to Washington DC to lobby for health care. “All of these laws regarding death investigations are online […], but you don’t notice them because life goes on until something happens to make you notice them,” Carswell said. “When I first took my idea for the bill to my congressman, Bill Callegari, he told me that all I was proposing was already in our law code, but my question was ‘How do people know it’s law?’” Carswell said. All the information in the bill is found in the Texas Criminal Code, but the act requires the deceased’s next of kin to provide informed consent for the autopsy. Thanks to Carswell’s efforts, there is now a standardized autopsy consent form for Texas. The law mandates that a form must be signed and the contents explained before an autopsy can take place. The consent form includes the circum-

stances under which a medical examiner is required to conduct an inquiry, and the information that families can request an independent pathologist if the case is not taken by the medical examiners. It also codifies that the person giving consent for the autopsy retains control over release of the body. To add insult to injury, St. Christus Hospital is still in possession of Mr. Carswell’s heart. “I’m fighting to get Jerry’s heart back,” Carswell said. Carswell and Callegari worked together for a year before taking the act to the legislature. They worked with many lobbies including Texas’s most powerful hospital lobby, the Texas Hospital Association, who agreed with the idea of an informed consent document for patients. The bill analysis conducted by the House Research Organization, a nonpartisan, independent part of the Texas House of Representatives, said, “The informed consent form that would be required under HB 1009 would provide the information that Mrs. Carswell did not have. The form would explain in plain language what a person’s rights were under the law.” On Carswell’s part, she is glad to have prevented others from facing the same uncertainty she did: “I just kept thinking, ‘What could I do to protect others from being harmed because they were not aware of the law and their rights?’”

almost all the time,” Lepow said. “The hardest part is reading your audience and trying to anticipate what music they want to hear,” Jhin said. Chennisi also DJs at school parties, bar mitzvahs and family events. His dad loaned him money for the basic equipment, and Chennisi repaid him within two months. “I wanted to become a DJ after hearing so many DJs at parties play music that no one wanted to hear,” Chennisi said. “I thought I could to a better job.” According to Chennisi, being a DJ requires knowing the type of music appropriate for certain venues. “My least favorite event has to be parties for younger kids,” Chennisi said. “I’m not a big fan of tween music, but it’s what I have to play.” Chennisi enjoys parties that he DJs for his senior class.

“I get to show others new music, plus everyone knows me, so they are comfortable asking for what they want to hear,” Chennisi said. Chennisi does not plan on giving up his passion when he graduates; he will take his equipment to college and DJ parties there. Jhin and Chennisi are following in the footsteps of perhaps the most recognized SJS DJ, Neeraj Salhotra (’09), also known as DJ Raj. Salhotra has performed at weddings and birthdays, and has had his share of embarrassing experiences as a DJ. “I’ve had moments where I get so into the music that I start singing, and my horrible singing gets broadcasted to the whole party,” Salhotra said. Salhotra has also DJed several SJS events. “It’s awesome to come back to SJS; it is great to get to know some of the younger students,” Salhotra said.





Sharing a living space with aspiring supermodels and watching male models transform the streets into catwalks, Madeleine Angus seemed to live an episode from “America’s Next Top Model” this summer in Milan. Upper School biology teacher Paula Angus, Madeleine’s mother, was nervous about her daughter traveling to Milan alone. “When I realized that she and her Houston agent were serious, I started doing my homework -- I asked a lot of questions and did a lot of online research,” Ms. Angus said. For two months, the senior lived in a cramped Milanese apartment with models from different countries around the world. “I went through so many different roommates, about five, that I can hardly remember where they were from,” Angus said. “Everyone I met was so interesting; they all spoke different languages and had different interests, but at the same time we could still all laugh together.” Angus usually attended castings from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. “There can be anywhere from 10 to 30 girls sent to one casting,” Angus said. Booking jobs was a difficult task, because there were so many models and the clients could be rude. “Sometimes they insult you right in front of you as if you’re not even there,” Angus said. “You have to have personality and a tough skin; I’ve seen the most gorgeous girls break down crying because they get the idea that they aren’t good enough.” But she survived. She booked jobs, despite the number of competitors.

“I modeled in the showroom for Miu Miu for a week, and I shot with a lot of cool photographers,” Angus said. Angus earned enough money to pay off her trip while still in Milan and considered the experience worth it because she got so many modeling opportunities she could not find in Houston. “I can’t really work in Houston at all because it’s so commercial-based and not really high-fashion,” Angus said. “And since I’m back home, it’s hard to balance both modeling and school.” When she was not modeling, Angus kept in touch with her mother through Skype and spent time with her newfound friends but did not tour Milan much. “I pretty much enjoyed the city while I was trying to find my way around,” Angus said. “I would walk by the Duomo Cathedral about 10 times a day in a rush to get to castings.” For Angus, the most difficult part of living in Milan was communicating with crowds of Italians and finding her way through one of Italy’s largest business centers. “Imagine being in a foreign country by yourself with the majority of the people not speaking English, no GPS and having to ask for directions using words you know aren’t right,” Angus said. Upon coming home, Angus posted on her blog, “Being in Milan was possibly the greatest real world experience anyone could have given me at this point in my life, but it was necessary to come home and remind myself that I do, in fact, have parents and that I am, in fact, still in high school.”


Photo shoot Madeleine Angus took her modeling career overseas this summer to the fashion capital of Milan. Her stay was far from a simple vacation; Angus’s schedule was packed with castings every day.


6entertainment SEPTEMBER 2012



Anderson’s luminous ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ waxes nostalgic





Woodlands Pavilion Genre: Pop Reason to go: Jam to the most overplayed song ever on the radio -- “Hey, Soul Sister.”



Toyota Center Genre: Country Reason to go: “Springsteen”

9/23 MAPPING THEIR FUTURE. Wes Anderson’s qurirky love story became a surprise box office hit in a summer of big budget blockbusters.

Wes Anderson’s quirky, offbeat romantic dramedy about adolescence and young love, “Moonrise Kingdom,” hits all the right notes. On the New England island of New Penzance, 12-year-olds Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) fall in love and decide to run away together. They meet at a production of “Noye’s Flood” and write to each other over the course of a year, confiding in each other and sharing secrets. Their disappearance throws the peninsula into a frenzy, and everyone’s lives become more complicated. “Moonrise Kingdom” not only has an interesting premise, but an A-List cast to match. Some stars have already appeared in Anderson’s other films. Bill Murray, whose work with Anderson established him as an independent film actor, has appeared in every one of Anderson’s films except “Bottle Rocket.” Jason Schwartzman (Max Fisher in “Rushmore”) and

Edward Norton (who has already signed on for Anderson’s next film) also have important roles. Others are new to Anderson’s repertoire, like Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton. The most memorable character is the Narrator (Bob Balaban) who makes brief, unexplained appearances to provide important details. Even Mr. Fox would admit, this is a fantastic movie. I loved almost everything about it, from the amazing soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat (who wrote the soundtracks for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 and 2”) that meshes perfectly with every scene, to the extreme and crazy characters, to the cartoonish special effects. The young couple was well-developed and relatable, and all the actors captured their characters’ quirks without being weird. The script, by Anderson and Roman Coppola, is interesting, but around the hour mark, things get less exciting than the first two-thirds of the film. You have


Bayou Music Center Genre: Electronic

Reason to go: Witness a light show better than the music itself


to pay a lot of attention to understand what’s happening from the moment the action shifts to Fort Lebanon Scout Camp, otherwise things get confusing. The feelgood ending, although predictable, was heart-warming. Anderson pays homage to St. John’s – Sam belongs to Scout Troop 55, and the Boy Scout troop at St. John the Divine is – you guessed it – 55. It might not be as big a role as St. John’s played in “Rushmore,” but it’s nice to see that a person can look back fondly on his alma mater.



FLORENCE + THE MACHINE Woodlands Pavilion Genre: Indie Pop-Rock Reason to go: Florence Welch’s stage costumes


THE SHINS House of Blues Genre: Indie Folk-Rock Reason to go: Dance ‘til you break a shin.

Available on Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 16 Rated: PG-13


GOTYE Woodlands Pavilion Genre: Indie Rock Reason to go: The chance to hear other songs besides “Somebody I Used to Know.”



House of Blues Genre: Indie Rock

Reason to go: Brag to hipsters that you saw a band other people don’t know about.


MAC MILLER Bayou Music Center Genre: Rap Reasons to go: He’s the coolest white Jewish rapper in the game.





We can’t believe it’s not ice cream BY TIFFANY YUE AND EUGENIA KAKADIARIS





Cherry de Pon











Kosher-friendly low-fat or non-fat frozen yogurt awaits. Fourteen flavors, from mud pie to the house blend, line the self-serve machines on the walls. Menchie’s features a small counter with toppings, including fresh fruit, fat-free brownies, chocolates, yogurt raisins and snowcaps. Although there are fewer toppings than at Swirll, Menchie’s compensates with quality yogurt. The mud pie, house blend and sweet Georgia peach each have a pleasant thickness, allowing the flavor to linger. The mud pie turned out to be coffee-flavored yet was enjoyable and should be a hit with high school students. The house blend was on the sour side but still enjoyable. Lastly, the sweet Georgia peach was, as its name implies, delicious and creamy. Count us fans.

An array of 16 flavors, most either low fat or non-fat, presents the perfect treat after a long day. Among these flavors are the house blend, four fruity tarts and four other pioneering flavors, including peanut butter and taro. Two counters of toppings beckon the eager customer to try the popping bubbles, mochi, fresh fruit, various candies and heated syrups. We had to limit ourselves to five flavors, adding marshmallow syrup, which tasted as good as it sounds. The house blend was mediocre, lacking a certain creaminess, and the red velvet left something to be desired. However, the cake batter is a staple for any day, the pink lemonade sorbet is sweet but sour, and banana nut bread, invoking nostalgia for Thanksgiving, were both tasty and satisfying.

Even those with dietary restrictions can enjoy Yogurtland’s frozen yogurt, thanks to gluten-free, kosher and vitamin C-fortified options. Red velvet cake batter, Ghirardelli Dutch chocolate and taro are among the mainstays of this establishment. Toppings include a variety of fruit, coconut shavings and vats of Ghirardelli syrups. Wanting to get a complete picture of the yogurt at Yogurtland, we sampled the peanut butter, French vanilla and strawberry lemon sorbet. The French vanilla was tart but sweet, and the refreshing strawberry lemon sorbet had the perfect blend of sweet and sour; however, the peanut butter left much to be desired because of its watered-down taste. Yogurtland’s offerings seemed diverse and tasty, though there was an occasional miss.

An extravaganza of frozen treats is available at Berripop, satisfying sweet tooth cravings of any kind. Among the options are 20-ounce fruit smoothies, which are sold in six fun flavors, and parfaits, which are made of a layer of yogurt and three of any toppings. Frozen yogurt, the star of the shop, can be bought in five different sizes, including a to-go pint. Unlike most other shops, their frozen yogurt comes from behind the counter rather than from self-serve machines, and they only stick to the basics. Berripop also stands out because of its fruitier, healthier toppings, attracting health fanatics. After sampling the shaved ice and frozen yogurt, we can conclude that all the flavors are delicious and perfect for anyone desiring a healthy treat.

Irish mint, lychee and other exotic yogurt flavors find a home at Cherry de Pon. This establishment boasts a selection of 15 flavors of frozen goodness, ranging from simple tart to decadent flavors like piña colada and dark chocolate mousse. we opted for a pistachio, piña colada and vanilla combination. The piña colada transported us to a beach with its refreshing flavor and sweet scent. Both the pistachio and vanilla were creamy and had notes of honey. We piled toppings into our cups but were disappointed to note that while the dried cranberries and caramelized pecans added to the flavors, the fruit poppers’ juice was thick and tasted like cough medicine. Small topping issue aside, Cherry de Pon satisfied our sweet tooth with its flavors and toppings.

3 Houston-area locations, including 5310 Weslayan

4 Houston-area locations, including 1944A W. Gray

3 Houston-area locations, including 2055 Westheimer

5 Houston-area locations, including 2339 University Suite A

Located at 4001 Bellaire Blvd, Suite C.

MAVERICK MUNCHIES El Rey Taqueria Casual Cuban and Mexican Cuisine 4 Houston-area locations, including 910 Shepherd Dr. Open until 10pm Sun-Tues, 12am Wed, 3am Thurs-Sat $5-10 for typical meal

El Rey reigns supreme BY IAN MELLOR-CRUMMEY Located on the corner of Shepherd and Washington, El Rey Taqueria stands out with its festive orange and blue exterior. A local favorite, El Rey combines Mexican and Cuban food into an expansive, cheap and delicious menu. The choices include fresh rotisserie chicken, traditional ropa vieja tacos and shrimp tempura tortas. El Rey caters to everyone’s tastes. A single taco costs less than $3, a steal considering how fresh and exquisitely prepared the ingredients are. El Rey Taqueria also offers breakfast tacos. Early risers can choose from six variations, all for under $2. Vegetarians should be cautioned that they have a rather small selection of truly meat-free dishes (even their rice has chicken in it).

If you’re looking to cool off after too much of their fresh, homemade sauces and salsas, they serve an authentic horchata, a milk-and-rice drink flavored with a bit of vanilla and cinnamon. The dine-in service is always prompt, but for those too impatient to stay a while and enjoy their vibrant decor, they have a drive-through window. Overall, El Rey’s attention to detail and authenticity makes every meal enjoyable, and though it may be out of the way for some, it deserves a visit for any fan of real Mexican and Cuban street food. There are three other locations in the Houston Area for your convenience -- the Heights, Memorial and Copperfield.

8beyond SEPTEMBER 2012




Crepes bring sweet satisfaction At Sweet Paris, customers experience tasty fillings, charitable acts BY REBECCA CHEN Nestled among the plethora of popular shops in Rice Village, Sweet Paris Creperie and Café (2420 Rice Blvd.) serves delicious crepes while also supporting a charitable cause. Allison Young (’03) and her fiancé Ivan Chavez are the cofounders of Sweet Paris “It was a crazy idea,” Young said. “We literally had a craving for crepes and then wondered why there weren’t any more crepe stores in Houston.” Young and Chavez started the business from the ground up. Young describes it as a project of passion. They began their project in the kitchen, trying out a recipe for crepes. When the old Texadelphia restaurant closed, the couple knew they had the perfect location. They hired a staff to run the restaurant and, on Mother’s Day last May, Sweet Paris opened for business. “The business has been going well and is actually kind of nuts,” Young said. “Maybe it’s because crepes are something new, unlike cupcakes, which have gotten a lot of attention.”

CREPE CRAVINGS Sweet Paris’s exploding popularity has kept Young occupied. “You think you’re so busy in high school, but it just gets busier and busier—it never stops,” Young said. Its location in Rice Village may also contribute to its popularity. The restaurant is situated on what is jokingly called Mommy Row due to the abundance of nearby maternity stores. “If we’re counting on the cravings of

pregnant women, I think we’re set,” Young said. Sweet Paris has expanded from selling just sweet crepes to savory crepes and breakfast items. For a street-style crepe, Sweet Paris offers a cardboard cone that

“We wanted Sweet Paris to have a fast, casual restaurant concept because we believe that is what works best for customers these days,” Young said. “We like the more casual atmosphere it creates and the flexibility it gives the customer.” Both Young and Chavez were involved in the interior design of Sweet Paris. They wanted the restaurant to have an industrial Frenchchic feel, which is expressed through the European-style décor and beret-sporting staff. A dusty blue, similar to the Tiffany & Co. blue, dominates the French-inspired color scheme. Jain said, “Sweet Paris has such an adorable and quaint—yet modern—atmosphere, and crepes I wouldn’t mind eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”

“It was a crazy idea. We literally had a craving for crepes and then wondered why there weren’t any more crepe stores in Houston.”

Allison Young (’03)

can be taken to go. “You can really put anything in a crepe,” Young said. “I think everyone can find something they like and crave.” Ranging from the classic Nutella and strawberries to chicken carbonara, Sweet Paris does seem to have it all. It even offers a kids’ menu and vegan options. “I’ve tried many of their crepes, and I haven’t eaten a crepe that wasn’t delicious. I don’t know anyone who has,” sophomore Priyanka Jain said. “All the fillings are creative and [tasty], and they are some of the best crepes I’ve had.” Besides serving delicious food, Young and Chavez also wanted to create a unique experience for customers.

CREPES FOR CHARITY Sweet Paris is not just about food and French ambience. “We thought it was really important for a social cause to be built into the business model from day one,” Young said. Young and Chavez decided on a onefor-one business model in which for each

product sold, a set amount would go towards a charity. At Sweet Paris, for every crepe purchased, a donation of 25 cents is sent to the World Food Program USA. Each crepe pays for an undernourished child’s school meal in areas all around the world. By paying for school meals, this program also fosters education. Children will be encouraged to go to school and eat a meal rather than stay at home. “After we heard about various one-forone partnerships, it made sense to do something with food. The World Food Program proved that it could make the most impact because it is so big and has the process down to a science,” Young said. A donation program like this is rare in the food industry because the profit margins are usually tight. “The social component might not encourage people to come in and have a crepe, but it’s important to us,” Young said. “We feel like we are contributing, and we can also set the example for small businesses, especially in the food industry.” Sweet Paris’s commitment to its cause attracts SJS patrons. “Sweet Paris is somewhere you can go any time of the day and enjoy yourself,” sophomore Monica Dayao said. “The fact that they give to those in need makes me want to go back there every time.” Young sees a bright future for Sweet Paris. She hopes to open more stores, including kiosks in places like airports and malls. Young said, “As our menu keeps evolving, hopefully no one gets tired of crepes anytime soon.”




Despite the incessant buzzing of mosquitoes, spotty internet service and unbearable heat, Arvind Mohan (’10) and Melissa Yuan (’11) persevered as they spent the summer volunteering as medical interns in Africa. LEARNING IN LESOTHO Yuan, a Rice University sophomore, traveled to Africa to teach children and parents awareness and avoidance of teen pregnancy, HIV and other diseases. Although Yuan went as a teacher, she ended up learning as well. “As cliché as it sounds, it’s really opened my eyes to realize that life isn’t always about the next big thing,” Yuan said. Working alongside public health worker Asha Doiron, Yuan taught without the luxuries of teaching materials or even a room. Their group meetings were held in an open field. In a culture she described as “chill,” Yuan found it inspiring that people learned from the teaching sessions and tried to help their communities. “In Lesotho, you live in the present and plan ahead if you can,” Yuan said. On a personal blog dedicated to her summer in Africa, she wrote, “There are no such things as ‘plans,’ here in Lesotho, Africa. You can plan all you want, but when things are happening, they’re happening, and you can either hop on the bus, or try to stick to your ‘plan’ as well as you can.” Yuan also taught local hospital staff how to use a medical device she invented with her engineering team at Rice. The invention clamps IV bags to stop any overflow. It uses a mouse trap and counterweight to clamp the IV to stop the dispensing of fluids after the proper dosage has been administered. Yuan saw her IV clamp in action when she placed it on the IV of a patient at Maluti Hospital in Lesotho. “At the end of the day, what you’ve accomplished, no matter how little it may seem, is more than what you started out with at nine a.m., and that, in and of itself, is something to smile about,” Yuan said. While Yuan does not foresee a medical career in her future, the impact her summer had on her will last.

Therapeutic trips: Alumni aid others amidst own learning

“I’ve learned about a culture I’ve never encountered before. I’ve learned how to do things I’ve never thought about before. My standards have changed, and my priorities have shifted,” Yuan wrote on her blog.

BENEFACTION IN BOTSWANA Yale junior Arvind Mohan set off for Africa on a Baylor medical research expedition to aid those infected by HIV. When he first set foot in Botswana, Mohan was amazed at how modern the capital city, Gaborone, was. Mohan had access to internet and running water. Mohan also had the opportunity to dine and socialize with locals. But beneath the urban social life in the city, Botswana is also affected by HIV. “A whole generation is missing because of HIV,” Mohan said. During his first week in Botswana, Mohan shadowed a professional while awaiting the approval of his project on anemia and HIV. Soon after his study was approved, Mohan became more involved as he began his research. “It was really rewarding for me to see the challenges associated with delivering care in resource-limited settings,” Mohan said. During his study, Mohan encountered many patients. One girl was still recovering from stomach surgery when she contracted HIV. She aced all of her classes and wants to attend university. Mohan plans to pursue medicine as a career (he spent part of his time in Africa studying for the MCAT, the test required for admission to a medical school) and was grateful for the experience he had in Africa. “I was inspired most by how many struggles in life [the people I worked with] had overcome,” Mohan said.

Catching Up With Cheerleading Captains




One step at a time With her engineering team, Melissa Yuan (’11) created and implemented an IV regulating device. The clamp is now being used by hospitals 9,000 miles away in Lesotho, Africa.



I’ve just been settling in at Yale. School is kind of crazy, so I haven’t really had much time for extracurricular stuff. The cheerleading team is not great here (I want to say that they are worse than St. John’s), so I’m not planning on cheering here. That being said, I’m planning to join a dance group or take dance classes while I’m here to try to stay true to my cheer roots.

This is my second year on the Northwestern cheerleading team. It’s pretty cool because we’re in the Big 10 Conference, so our games are really exciting. Cheering takes up a lot of time because we also have to do appearances and sign autographs, even though I’m not really that cool. Between football and basketball games I focus on my Economics and Political Science double major.

LACEY RYBARCZYK (’10) I am cheering at SMU for basketball, football and volleyball. For football, I cheer at home games and also travel to away games with the team. We will compete at nationals in Daytona. Aside from cheer, I have joined sorority Delta Gamma and have declared a double major in Sport Management and Spanish.


hen senior Natasha Kumar heard the recommended nightly amount of sleep for teenagers, she scoffed. “Eight and a half hours of sleep? That is a joke.” Sleep, a significant factor in mental and emotional health, is anything but a joke. Despite sleep’s importance, it is often difficult to reach that 8.5-hour mark as a student. “It’s not possible for me,” junior Xavier Gonzalez said. Though medically unacceptable and dangerous, losing sleep to schoolwork, extra-curricular activities and sports is, for many, unremarkable. The SJS community has come to accept sleep deprivation as the norm. Juggling time-consuming activities with homework is a common cause for skimping on sleep. “With sports, you start homework after dinner, so a lot of nights I start homework at eight, and then there’s still four to six hours of homework,” Gonzalez said. Senior Robby Rybarczyk has a similar routine. She goes from school to field hockey at 4:00, and at 6:00 she heads over to cheerleading, which lasts until 8:00. Between picking up food, getting home and eating dinner, it is 9:00 before she has a chance to start her schoolwork. To cope, Rybarczyk has resorted to a unique sleeping pattern. On days when she feels tired, she sleeps for two hours, then wakes up to do her homework for two hours—a cycle that repeats until the early morning. Rybarczyk will have slept between three and five hours by the time she goes back to school. Even students without time-intensive athletics sometimes put sleep on the back burner. Senior Pranav Bhamidipati found that, as he transitioned from being an underclassman to an upperclassman, the amount of long-term assignments increased while his capability to keep up with work fell. “Rather than small amounts of work every day, juniors and seniors have more flexibility to schedule their work,” Bhamidipati said, “but as responsibilities and assignments pile up, keeping track of all the balls you’re trying to keep in the air can be quite a task.” Kumar agreed: “It’s not so much the written homework as it is the managing everything that’s going on that takes up time. In addition to homework, I have college apps and essays.” Kumar blames the burden of many different assignments for her inability to get a sufficient amount of sleep; most nights, she gets only six hours. For Bhamidipati, time management is the real issue. “I never quite got the hang of the long-term due date,” he said. In addition to his struggle with planning ahead, Bhamidipati said that the distraction provided by the Internet also contributes to his lack of sleep. “The most interesting links and discussions tend to pop up late at night,” he said. Moving from one website to another, Bhamidipati rarely goes to sleep before 1:00 a.m. “The internet is a vast, fascinating place,” Bhamidipati said. “There is so much out there to discover, and it’s very easy to get addicted.” As for sleep, Bhamidipati said, “Oh, it’s important. But when your brain’s having such a good time you tend to

forget that your body needs that time to rest.” For many students, sleep faces its most serious affront the night before synthesis papers are due. Bhamidipati pulled an all-nighter, while Kumar stayed up until 4:30 a.m. and senior Annie Gocke stayed up until 5:15 a.m. “There was definitely some procrastination involved, but it took me so long to come up with a creative, tangible thesis that by the time it was finally approved, I only had a few days left,” Gocke said. “By then I was pretty fed up with the paper, so I took a night off and finally started actually writing it two days before it was due.” Sleep deprivation has become a badge of honor in the student community, symbolizing one’s ability to work more diligently than classmates. “It’s almost become a way to prove yourself as a student,” said Gocke. “If you stayed up working on a project or a paper later than someone else, it means you’re somehow a better, more dedicated student.” Some embellish their stories of sleeplessness in order to measure up to classmates. Sophomore Gabe Bennett-Brandt said, “There is slight exaggeration in conversations about lack of sleep—probably because time spent awake sounds impressive and invites sympathy.” Much of the sleep deprivation in the SJS community is not exaggerated. Rather, it is an accurate indicator of students’ priorities. For many, finishing homework and maximizing time is simply more important than getting sleep. Pervasive sleep deprivation has serious repercussions. Upper School Counselor Pat Reynolds sees the negative effects every morning: “Everybody tends to be a little more irritable, less focused, more easily distracted and more anxious without sleep.” Biology teacher Paula Angus observes these effects daily in her classes: “Students who were really engaged in class a couple of days ago suddenly don’t take notes and don’t participate when they don’t get a good night’s sleep.” Reynolds said, “Long term sleep deprivation is not good for us in any aspect of our life: relationships, everyday tasks and driving.” Despite these consequences, students are cavalier regarding their lack of sleep. “Staying up late to get the job done isn’t really that awful as long as you get the job done,” Kumar said. “I wrote some of my best essays junior year while sleep deprived,” Bhamidipati said. “We know it’s not healthy or smart, but it’s a deeply ingrained habit that works out in the end.” Like Bhamidipati, Rybarczyk believes her sleep patterns are fixed. “If I had to change one thing about myself, it wouldn’t be my sleeping habits,” she said. “Truthfully, with my activities, I don’t think I could change it.”

With the stress of college, standardized testing, and homework weighing heavily on the minds of students like senior Jacqueline Dickey, coffee becomes a substitute for sleep.






10 PM


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It may be a “scientific fact” that teenagers need to get 8.5 hours of sleep, but after some careful studying, it becomes clear that getting enough sleep just might be the worst possible option. First, who knows how many bugs you might swallow while you sleep? While an exact number of how many insects people swallow in their sleep has never been confirmed, just think how easy it is for a critter to climb into your vulnerable open mouth at 2 a.m. No matter how big or strong you are, there is nothing you can do to keep vermin out of your esophagus. Maybe you’re a fan of bugs. Maybe you already eat them on a regular basis. In that case, think of the embarrassment you would face if, while sleepwalking, you ran out into the street with less clothing on than Bar Rafaeli on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The horror! You’re not easily embarrassed, you say? Well, do you like living? According to WebMD, “Some studies have found that people who slept more than eight hours a night died younger than people who got between six and eight hours.” In other words, sleep more, live less. Some doctors say 8.5 hours of sleep is necessary. Those doctors must think that ingesting bugs, embarrassing yourself, and shortening your life span are necessary too.

1 2 3 Based on 46 votes from a poll on

We would benefit from a late start -- I think students would get more sleep and therefore be healthier and potentially more academically successful. - Kef Wilson, Head of Upper School

There is a lot of biology that supports starting school later. In teens, the pineal gland produces melanin much later. This delayed production of melatonin shifts teenagers’ sleep patterns much later, causing them to feel naturally sleepy around 11:00 p.m. I think it’s time we adjust the school schedule to correspond with students’ sleep cycles in order to advance learning. - Paula Angus, biology teacher

REASONS TO START LATER We need a late start so we can sleep. The more you sleep, the better you perform in academics, athletics, everything. Plus, sleep makes you happier. - Josh Thomas, senior

12opinions SEPTEMBER 2012



Be wary of the outdoors when planning for Commencement As we begin the school year, the Editorial Board feels it is appropriate to talk about one of the most important times of the year – graduation. Commencement (the actual graduation ceremony) is traditionally held in the sanctuary of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Year after year, the community packs the sanctuary. And up until this year, that has not been an issue. Starting with the Class of 2013, the class size has been increased by roughly ten students. Each student is given eight tickets to Commencement. Clearly, St. Luke’s cannot accommodate 80 additional people. Class sizes continue to increase, so if it is not an issue this year, it will be soon. There are several solutions to deal with this impending situation. One option is to have Commencement on Skip Lee Field. With Houston’s infamous heat and humidity, this is not the most appealing choice. If it were on Skip Lee, Commencement

would need to be at night. An evening ceremony has the potential to be beautiful, but the Editorial Board would rather not have sweat dripping on our diplomas. Rice University, home to many SJS alumni, would be an intriguing choice. Not only is Rice’s campus spectacular, space would not be an issue. Another possibility would be to stay at St. Luke’s but reduce the number of tickets each student receives. The Editorial Board is in strong opposition to reducing the number of tickets. Commencement, although tedious at times, is a special, once-in-a-lifetime event. All who want to attend should be able to enjoy it. Ultimately, the Editorial Board also opposes having the ceremony outside. With heat, humidity and the potential for rain, Commencement would be better indoors. This is no easy decision for the Administration, but we know they will make a careful one.


We kept the name The Review. I must confess though, we had conversations about changing that, too. Going into the summer, the goal was to evaluate everything we did and see if we could do it better. We were wedded to nothing. Every convention would be challenged and scrutinized, every process, analyzed. Coming out of the summer, the result was change – a lot of it. In July, seven editors and our advisor, Mr. Nathan, went to a week-long journalism workshop at Columbia University. It was there where much of this change occurred. The design editors spent their days tinkering with colors, fonts and spacing. The assignment editors learned how to ask the tough questions and finesse the right answers. We stayed up late, waxing philosophical about the purpose and direction of our paper. What we saw, however, was even more important than what we did. What we saw were other school newspapers remarkably better than ours.

thestaff Andrew Vogeley

Parker Donaldson

Valerio Farris

Lydia Liu

Braden Doyle

Samantha Neal

Anya Ring

Amy Kang

design editor

copy editor

online editor

online copy editor

Carolyn Brooks

Caroline Cowan

Iman Charania

Nicole Lang

Alyyah Malick

Spencer Lepow

assignment editor

assignment editor

assignment editor

These newspapers did something our paper has rarely done – they made an impact in their community. It was out of this understanding of what we were not that we were able to grow. We left the workshop vastly improved. Our new design was named Best Overall and our assignment editors came up with an entirely new workflow. Our online section radically reorganized their long-term strategy – the effects of which you will first begin to see in October. Tying all of this change together is The Review’s new philosophy. This year, we will be the “engine of discourse.” We will present issues in a responsible and intelligent manner. We will start conversations and continue conversations, and sometimes, we will end conversations. The community, I can say with confidence, appreciates The Review. Seldom, though, has The Review engaged the community. The introduction of “issue-driven coverage” is one of the most crucial steps towards achieving this goal. With issue-driven coverage, each edition

of The Review will be centered around and anchored by two or three in-depth articles that we hope are relevant. In this issue, you will find a center spread exploring the sleep culture at SJS and you will find a story about English teacher Linda Carswell’s quest to honor her late husband’s memory. This is not to say everything is serious. The fun stuff will still be there. We have a newly designed two-page Odds & Ends section with several new features like the “Meh” list and “Charted.” My hope is that this is not a one-year experiment. My hope is that The Review can come to better represent the voice of the students. Enjoy this issue and, as always, we welcome and appreciate your feedback. Sincerely,

Andrew Vogeley Editor-in-chief

Member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association-Gold Medalist 2011-2012

graphic specialist/asst. business manager

design editor

Bursting at the seams: St. Luke’s is the current site of Commencement, but expanding class size will soon mean a choice between fewer guests per student or changing locations.



managing editor


social media editor

photography editor

business manager


Nikhila Krishnan Suman Atluri Winnie Brandfield-Harvey Pallavi Krishnarao Jessica Lee Daniel Brenner Joseph Caplan Cara Maines Gabe Malek Rebecca Chen Nina Manian Elliot Cheung Jake Chotiner Ian Mellor-Crummey Matthew Neal William Clutterbuck Iris Cronin Kanchana Raja Chloe Desjardins Caroline Reasoner Megan Routbort Joshua Dickerson Claire Dorfman Oliver Ruhl Emily Sherron McKenna Gessner Lin Guo Benjamin Shou Stephanie Guo Anirudh Suresh Jennifer Trieschman Caroline Harrell Scott Hereford Hannah Tyler Orion Hicks Virginia Waller Anna Huang Tiffany Yue Eugenia Kakadiaris Christopher Zimmerman


David Nathan Shelley Stein (’88) Steve Johnson

Mission Statement

The Review strives to be an engine of discourse. We seek to inform and engage the St. John’s community.

Publication Info

The Review is published eight times a school year. We distribute 900 copies each issue, most of which are given for free to the Upper School community of 584 students and 80 faculty. Writers and photographers are credited with a byline. Corrections, when necessary, can be found on the editorial pages.

Submission Guidelines

The Review provides a forum for student writing and opinion. The opinions and staff editorials contained herin 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. 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 without a name, provided the editor knows the author’s identity. The Review reserves the right not to print letters received or advertisments. Either e-mail letters and guest columns to; give them to Andrew Vogeley or David Nathan in the Review Room (Q-210); or mail letters to The Review, 2401 Claremont Ln., Houston, TX 77019.





Application apprehension sets in as school year begins BY GUEST COLUMNIST LILY BROWN


“Good Time” – Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen Who thought Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen was a good idea? And while we applaud your ability to wake up on the right side of the bed, you should know that our economy isn’t doing well, so it really isn’t always a good time.

The only reason this song isn’t totally unbearable is thanks to the influx of moderately funny memes having to do with being cut off. Just kidding, the song is still unbearable.

No one uses a payphone anymore. Adam Levine, get with the times. His next song could end up being “telegraph.”

How considerate of Flo Rida to teach us the valuable skill of whistling! We didn’t know it was so important to him.

“We Are Young” – Fun.



“Whistle” – Flo Rida


“Payphone” – Maroon 5


“Somebody That I Used to Know” – Gotye

Ha, we get it. Higher than the Empire State, that’s clever, Fun. Except it’s not even the tallest building in the US.

“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” – Taylor Swift Okay, Tay-Tay. We get it. Your ex-boyfriend is a jerk. You’re not getting back together with him. Ever. Ever. Ever. We’re sure the feeling was mutual after you dropped this song.



“Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen It got popular on its own, but the endless covers on YouTube by everyone under the sun, combined with the free pickup line, kept this song clogging the airways all summer. After the 100th time we’ve heard it, we’d trade our soul for a wish – make it stop!

Life’s a great balancing act Seniors juggle the seemingly never-ending cycle of school, applications, activities, athletics, travel and personal interests.

“One Thing” – One Direction




Only one of two conclusions can be drawn. Either they are hopelessly stupid and can’t think of one thing to complement, or they are masters of the game and can simply get away with throwing open-ended compliments.

“Want U Back” – Cher Lloyd


This year, we are seniors applying to college. In one year, we will be in college. When did that happen? This is insane. I’m going into this process somewhat blind. I don’t have any siblings, and the whole college process is shrouded in mystery. That’s why I’m writing this column. I hope that this series is helpful or relatable for anyone who reads it. I don’t want to be an additional source of pressure or stress - I know a lot of us already have too much of this in our lives - so I definitely want to keep this fairly chill. I know things are going to get strange this year. What was not really a big deal last year has become the primary focus of our lives, but I don’t think it’s permanent. We’ll continue being ourselves, and it’s going to get slightly crazy for a little bit, but it’s going to be fun. I know a few things at this point. I know that the Common App is the second most visited page on my computer (the first is Facebook). I know that I still have to write


In “Universified,” senior Lily Brown will chronicle her journey from applications through acceptance—complete with excitement, angst and humor. This eight-part column offers an inside look into the often stressful and sometimes misunderstood college process.

billions of essays about me, my life, why I’m awesome, and why I’m applying to College X or why I’m interested in major Y. I know that I will get into a college. Hopefully. It didn’t even hit me that we started senior year until a few days ago, so I don’t think I’ll fully comprehend that I’ve even applied to college until I’m sitting in my dorm after I’ve moved in. It’s strange because I’m so used to the way things have gone for the past thirteen years: summer then school then winter break then school then summer, so the cycle continues. Now that high school is almost over, we’re soon moving into the pseudo-real world. I’m in major denial that anything will change. I really just don’t want to think about it. This summer I made The List. I haven’t visited many colleges—only TCU when I helped my cousin move in, and Rice, because I live in Houston. I relied heavily on my friends to be my eyes and ears. If you get the opportunity to visit a college, take it. There is probably nothing better than actually going to a college to get the feel of the place. Since I have not visited many, I’ve literally been stalking their websites and doing Google Maps walkthroughs. My “Fiske Guide to Colleges” has been awesome as well. I’m slightly less focused on academic programs than I am on finding a place where I will want to live for four years. The other day, I was freaking out at my cousin about college apps, and she said that whatever happens, happens for a reason. I think that I’ll try to live by that philosophy for a while. Yes, I am going to pour my heart and soul into every single application, but at the end of the day, I think I have to accept that The Decision is ultimately out of my hands. And that is just slightly terrifying.

All right Cher, let’s break it down for you. We want Cher Lloyd from X Factor back.





SPC leaders shuffle conference alignment BY BRADEN DOYLE As President of the Southwest Preparatory Conference, Headmaster Mark Desjardins was instrumental in implementing a new football playoff formula that will begin this season. Desjardins, in his fifth year as the head of SPC, has been working on this issue since the beginning of his term. “This conversation has been going on for a decade. I think that almost every year the athletic directors and football coaches have tried to to come up with a proposal that would allow a deeper playoff system than previously existed,” Desjardins said. Until now, the discrepancy between the size of male enrollment in the schools had sidelined the talks of a more inclusive playoff system. Some of the smaller schools did not want to compete against the larger teams. Over the past five SPC seasons, Division II teams (schools with smaller enrollment) had won more head-to-head games than Division I schools (teams with larger enrollment). “That data enabled me, as the President of the SPC, to say, ‘Wait a second, the biggest excuse we have been using for the past decade about equity amongst football teams no longer counts,’” Desjardins said. Desjardins also said the extended travel played a role in the change. The new format allows eight SPC schools to participate in the

playoffs. Four teams from each geographic division earn playoff berths. In order to schedule the season to end at the same time, one non-conference game was removed from each team’s regular season schedule. Inside the zones, the North and South, the schools are furthered divided based on the number of males enrolled in the school. The result is that the four best large enrollment schools will vie for a Division I championship and the four winningest small enrollment schools will compete for the Division II championship. The top-seeded teams will host the first round of the playoffs in their home stadium, and the championships will be played Nov. 9 at Pennington Field in Fort Worth. The new system will allow teams who do not make the playoffs to end their season a week early and recuperate for the next year. This transition comes in the midst of zone realignments and school additions. Houston Christian School began play this year in the South Zone and the North and South zones were realigned to reflect school locations. Austin St. Stephen’s withdrew from SPC competition this year, leaving the South Zone with an odd number of teams and an inconvenient hole in the middle of the teams’ sections.

Commander-in-chief Headmaster Mark Desjardins has been the leader in changing the SPC football playoff format. School enrollment numbers ultimately decided the groupings in the new format.

soundbites I’m excited about the change because it is new and different and because it gives us the opportunity to play different opponents. I think it was time for a change, and it gives everyone an equal chance at winning SPC.

I like the new playoff system because it gives us an easier shot at winning a ring. But at the same time I do not like it because Episcopal and Kinkaid are able to win a championship as well.

- Ben Griffin

- Will Griffin

redzone 1155 1 4 There are obviously things we can work on and improve over the course of the season but I am confident about the next seven games and the championship. Walt Baker

Yards the Mavericks’ three-headed rushing attack has accounted for in their opening three games of the season. Opponents have been unable to stifle the Mavs explosive ground game. Senior Captain Nathan Avery has set the tone for the offense and softened up the defense allowing Logan Smith to make large gains on the outside. Smith leads the SPC with 413 yards on 37 attempts and 6 TDs, and Avery is not far behind having rushed for 387 yards on 56 carries and 5 TDs. Quarterback and captain of the attack, Ben Griffin, has picked up 321 rushing yards on 47 carries and 2 TD’s.

Onside kick returned for a touchdown by senior wide receiver Will Griffin against Second Baptist. Lined up on the outside of the hands team, Griffin recovered the kick and sprinted past the Eagles for a 48-yard touchdown.

Uniform number of junior defensive end Wes Wallace who had a career game against Austin St. Andrew’s. Wallace led the team with three sacks and eight tackles - including five tackles for a loss - and batting down one pass at the line of scrimmage.


I don’t like the new playoff system because I know we can compete with “big” schools regardless of the size of our high school. Some people are going to criticize us even when we win SPC because it’s not a big school division. - John Michael Jones (‘12)


The Mavs take their undefeated (3-0) record into their SEPTEMBER 21 second conference game MUSTANG FIELD of the season. The Houston 7:00 PM Christian Mustangs, who recently joined the SPC, are led by senior quarterback Alex Roys and senior receiver Stephen Consoli. The Mustangs (0-3) defense has surrendered over 35 points every game this season. Mavs Head Coach Steve Gleaves has stressed the importance of staying consistent on both offense and special teams against the Mustangs on Friday at Mustang Field. AT HOUSTON CHRISTIAN





The Peppiest Place on Earth Christie Dawson, Haishat Alli, Taylor Heeg, Caroline Cowan and Meg Bres bring a sense of spirit and excitement to the sidelines. To prepare for the largest stage of the season, the Kinkaid game, cheerleaders practice three times a week after other students have already left campus.


Cheer straddles the line between sport, dance BY SAMANTHA NEAL

Before rushing out onto Skip Lee Field, aglow under the Friday night lights, the team recalls everything they’ve done in practice the past week— the leg lifts, fingertip pushups, and half-mile warm-up runs. Some wipe their sweaty palms on their uniforms, pristine and snug fitting. The cheerleaders take the field after one last deep breath with smiles, shouts and spirit fingers. Cheerleading counts as a credit for a fall sport, yet many seem to overlook the hard work required on a weekly basis and in the off-season. “I think that cheerleaders can be really cool, especially during pep-rallies,” a sophomore girl said. “I think they’re good at what they do, but I can’t think of it as a sport […] I feel like there isn’t enough physical activity going on.” Cheer practice is held three days a week from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., allowing cheerleaders who play other sports to attend. Senior Natalie Plummer, who participated in both cheer and field hockey last year, chose to continue only with field hockey this year. “I feel like the commitment is just the same, and the workouts for cheer are just as hard. I never really understood why it wasn’t a sport, but I thought it was cool you could do both,” Plummer said. Practice starts with the entire cheer squad running half a mile while the tumblers warm-up. For the remainder of practice, the squads rehearse jumps, stunts,

motions, and choreography for pep rallies. “Practices are challenging, but our hard work definitely pays off in the end,” junior Meg Bres said. Junior Paige Albert and senior Robby Rybarczyk both play field hockey in addition to doing cheer. They admit it’s hard to get home at eight to eat dinner and start homework, but they both improved time management and commitment to teams. Like other sports, cheer does not take a break during the offseason. Both JV and Varsity have attended National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) Camp at Sam Houston State University each summer for the past five years. “It is pretty brutal when you have to cheer for 12 hours a day, three days straight,” said captain Eleni Demeris. “At camp we compete just like other sports do. Even though it’s not running or hitting people, we work hard at what we do, and it doesn’t always come easily,” junior Mary Ellison said. Both squads took home several awards, including back-to-back titles as the GameDay top team and Varsity received the S.P.O.T. Award for safe stunting. The team also earned a bid for NCA Nationals, held in Dallas in Jan. 2013. The squad will not attend due to conflicts with

other commitments. In addition to attending NCA Camp, the cheerleaders stuck to a summer workout schedule created by Virgil Campbell, Director of Strength Training and Conditioning. Since Coach Jamie Everett was hired in 2007, the cheerleading program has undergone some significant changes. “Cheer is definitely more demanding

Though some might view dance and cheerleading as nearly identical, the two are in fact quite different. Everett said, “While both dance and cheer have counts and a certain rhythm, there’s a much greater physical demand in cheer and different technique involved.” Sophomore Terpsichore dancer Isabel Wallace-Green said, “Cheerleading is almost the complete opposite of dance because your movements have to be extremely sharp and identical to everyone else, whereas in dance you can be more fluid.” Despite the demanding workouts and commitments, cheerleaders are often overlooked as athletes simply because many are not aware of their efforts. “I would classify cheerleading as another type of dance class,” a sophomore girl said. “I know dance can be intense, but I don’t think of it as a competitive sport.” “I wish we were acknowledged alongside other athletes,” said senior Haishat Alli. “We are out practicing once everyone has left.”

“Cheerleading is almost the complete opposite of dance because your movements have to be extremely sharp and identical to everyone else whereas in dance you can be more fluid.” Isabel Wallace-Green now. When I first came to SJS, cheer practice was held for 45 minutes in the lobby of the VST,” Everett said. “I think the cheerleaders help get the fans involved in the game […] I definitely think cheerleading is a sport because of all the work they do. They have practice just like all the other sports and they work hard,” junior Jim Mace said.





Student athletes shine at national, international summer sporting events KELSEY BING BY JESSICA LEE

Olympic bound Recognized for his basketball prowess, Justise Winslow traveled with the national U17 team to Lithuania.




After failing to make the U16 team last year, Justise Winslow was uncertain about his chances of making the U17 national men’s basketball team. After several days of tryouts early in the summer, he was named to the 12-man roster. The team spent a week in intense practices prior to travelling to the Canary Islands for two exhibition games against Latvia and Australia. The games ended in the USA’s favor: 108-72 and 89-64, respectively. With two wins under their belt, the players headed to Kaunas, Lithuania, to compete in the FIBA World Championships, where the team played eight games in ten days. The first game of the group stage was a rematch with the Australian team they had played only four days earlier, and the US defeated them a second time (113-59) to start off an impressive run. After four consecutive victories, the squad finished the

preliminary rounds with a commanding 69-point victory over China (116-47). Upon exiting the group stage, the US ran through Canada and Spain to reach the gold medal game. For the third time in two weeks, the team squared off against the Australians, but this time the two teams were playing for a gold medal. In the final game, Winslow recorded a double-double (13 points and 11 rebounds) and beat the Australians 95-62, the highest margin of victory in the medal rounds. In addition to helping the US go 8-0 to win the gold, Winslow’s efforts earned him a spot on the all-tournament team. “My favorite moment of the trip was when the US flag was raised to the ceiling and the Star-Spangled Banner played,” Winslow said, “because it symbolized what we were playing for.” Additional reporting by William Clutterbuck

Watching freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Bing save shot after shot, it is hard to believe she has only been playing field hockey for two years. This summer, Bing earned a spot on the U17 USA Junior National Field Hockey Squad, a process that involved rising through multiple tryouts and teams. Bing qualified for the Futures program for USA Field Hockey after completing 27 hours of training under top coaches. Bing then participated in the Regional Futures Championship in St. Louis, and progressed to the National Futures Championship (NFC) in Virginia Beach. “I did not even imagine making it to NFC. At regional’s, I thought I was done,” Bing said. During national tryouts, Futures athletes have the opportunity to be selected for the Junior National Camp (JNC) held in July in Amherst, Mass. Originally Bing was the only Futures athlete from Houston invited to compete with 120 others in the Junior Olympics; however, two others were eventually invited to participate. One of the girls was Maverick junior Paige Albert. “I was so shocked when I found out that I had made Junior Olympics. Bing was previously on my team at nationals, so I was happy to be playing with her again,” Albert said. Bing’s team placed fifth out of eight teams in the four-day competition. “Playing at Junior Olympics was harder than playing for local teams because I had to learn the different ways my new teammates play and adapt to the style to make us the best as possible,” Bing said. After days of tryouts at JNC, Bing learned that she earned a spot on the U17

Junior National Team. She also received training from Australian coach and two-time Olympic goalkeeper Justine Sowry. Bing will train with the U17 team in Chula Vista, Calif. at the Olympic training center in January. If Bing does well, she can go to the World Championships. “I did not expect that I was going to get there,” Bing said, “I was just playing and learning to work for the team.” Bing found a way to cope with the stress. “I made friends and although we all were nervous together, we also helped each other,” she said. Despite the rigorous tryouts that took up most of her summer, Bing persevered through the pain. “At JNC, I was worn out and sore. I’d been given a spot and I wasn’t going to give it up. So many people wanted that position,” Bing said. If all goes well, Bing can qualify to tour internationally for the Junior World Championships with the U17 team and continue her way up through the Olympic pipeline. “I’ve thought of playing goalkeeper for the Olympics. Going to the Olympics would be cool, but there are a lot of people out there, and anyone else can do the same,” Bing said. Bing not only plays as a Futures Elite athlete, but also as a goalkeeper for the Texas Pride Field Hockey Club and St. John’s. Playing for SJS and Futures have been very different experiences. “At JNC, I knew no one,” Bing said. “It was more comfortable to play at SJS. The people have been so nice.”





name grade state of mind hero olympic sport restaurant love to hate hate to love dream date dream occupation happiness misery superpower omg cafeteria item treasured possesion holiday feeling down place to live comfort food did you know? i collect motto like our Facebook?

“ ” SEPTEMBER 2012

iz walgreens sophomore keep calm and dance on gabby douglas gymnastics five guys cheer cotilz 2013 william belt beyonce the wobble my braces teleporting rubberband just popped line’s too long living in africa whichever comes next teach me how to dougie new york city homemade brownies i hate jewelry fewer hours of sleep #YOLO heck yeah! 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0


I should make watches that have hour hands that say “it” and minutes hands that say “like.” That way everybody could say, “It’s, like, 3:45.” Elizabeth Moore, freshman

I’m so apologetic. I’m sorry, I need to stop.

Audrey Eyring, senior

We’ll jump off that bridge when we get to it.

Chris Hutchison, drama teacher, on questionable content in his play

Okay, guys, I made this combo really slow, so make it juicy.

Victoria Arizpe, dance teacher

I never wear sweatpants outside of my house because if you wear sweatpants outside, it means you have given up on life. Never give up. Jon Peterson, history teacher

0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0






twitter account @oldmansearch



“Where mediocrity is the standard”


Liam Payne

(the other guy from One Direction)




2nd floor Mewbourne


Houston Christian SPC rivalry



Maverick gone AWOL

Last season of Jersey Shore



why we love it

The son of an 82-year-old man convinces his dad that twitter is a search engine. Follow Norman’s life through his everyday questions. Results include: “can i bring a tupperware of chili on an airplane?” “a carton of salt water please”

tumblr Rich Kids of Instagram why we love it

The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous as seen through a sepia filter. Satisfy your inner voyeur by peering into the extravagant, everyday activities of the teen elite. If backflips off helicopters and gold plated iPhones are your thing, this is your website.

PHOTO OF THE ISSUE twitter@sjs_review facebooksjs review instagram_thereview

Jane Labanowski and Girls Volleyball steamrolled John Paul XXIII EMMA HAGEMANN



1. 1. Upton Abby Junior Abby Avery celebrates a 3-0 victory over Episcopal with teammates Paige Albert and Carson Peacock. Thus far, the Mavericks have outscored opponents 40-4. 2. Bursting with pride Cheerleaders prepare for football players to run through the Not Without Honor banner at the home opener. The Mavericks defeated Second Baptist 55-34. 3. The XY factor Junior winners Wainaina Wanguri and J.T. Trauber listen to and sing a song at the pep rally music competition as Spirit Club Captain Meredith Lawrence watches. 4. Kickoff Showing their flexibility, Paige Albert and Cheer Captain Caroline Cowan rally the crowd. Read more about the cheerleaders on Page 16. 5. It’s clubbering time At club fair, senior Aparajita Maitra recruits new members for International Club. The lunchtime gathering in the Plaza allowed students to explore new groups. 6. Bro-vado Seniors Ben Griffin and Jake Horowitz engage in the male ritual of chest-bumping. Cheerleaders organize pep rallies during lunch on Fridays to promote school spirit. 7. Lukens, I am your brother Senior Steven Lukens and second-grade sister Lexie display Mulligan spirit at the All-School Convocation. Students sat according to house, transforming the gym into a sea of colors. 8. Getting set “The captains bring us all together so we can focus on winning the game,” junior Grace Winston said. Thanks to team unity, girls’ volleyball started the season 11-4.


The year is in full swing as students immerse themselves in busy schedules. In the unbearable Houston heat, field hockey, football, cross country and volleyball have been tirelessly practicing. The colorful displays at Club Fair signaled the beginning of a vibrant year with a slew of innovative ways to escape from the academic rigor of the school day. All-School Convocation marked, in a truly ceremonial style, a whirlwind of activities, arts and academia.

4. 3.

5. 6.

8. 7. photos by Nicole Lang (3, 5, 6-7), Ian Mellor-Crummey (1, 2, 4), Anna Huang (8), story by Pallavi Krishnarao, captions by Lydia Liu and Iman Charania

Review September 2012 Issue  

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