The Newspaper of St. George’s Independent School •
Volume XII, Issue IV
Space Crunch Top
Students yearn for a place of their own
Opinion • Reading between the lines Entertainment • British bands impact multiple generations
• New legislation
complicates Olympic games for LGBT advocates
Due to the recent closure of the upper school lounge, students crowd the halls looking for a Source Lindsey Cayce ’14 quiet space to work during their free periods.
• Grizzlies grind through
Regan Hewitt ’14 and Taylor Owens ’15
• Sleep deprivation causes stress in students
t is common knowledge that the hallways near Mr. Adcock’s and Mrs. Philpott’s classrooms are always crowded and hard to maneuver, regardless of whether you are a student, teacher, or administrator. Yet, lately, the hallways feel
Personality differences pose classroom challenges Lexie Marotta ’15
At the end of their sopho-
more year, all students at St. George’s will take the MyersBriggs personality test. One of the things identified in this test is whether a student is introverted or extroverted. A common misconception is that introverts are quiet and shy, while extroverts are loud and outgoing. The truth is that introverts may actually have excellent social skills, but are quite happy on their own. Often confused with shyness, introversion is an aspect of personality, which affects participation in social activities and educational preferences. According to the American Psychology Association, people who are introverted tend to be inward turning, or focused more on internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than looking for external inspiration. Introverted people draw their energy
from being alone, while extroverted people find inspiration and energy from being with large groups of people. Many modern classrooms are designed for the extroverted child, as evidenced by walking in the majority of classrooms and witnessing the constant interaction of many students. Due to the fact that a classroom typically runs parallel to an extrovert’s comfort zone, teachers should aim to keep in mind the preferences of introverted students. At St. George’s, teachers strive to teach a curriculum that plays to every student’s strengths. Big group projects, small group projects, individual presentations and essays are all examples of things that are part of the curriculum and each one of these assignments plays to both introverted and extroverted traits.
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even more crowded, the locker bays packed, and the lunch lines elongated. There has definitely been a surge in the Upper School population, and everyone is feeling its effects. According to School President Mr. William Taylor, St. George’s
maximum number of students is 700, with each grade level rounding out to approximately 100 students. Due to the fact that the senior class is smaller than most, the sophomore and freshman classes have had the liberty to fill the gaps.
This surge in lower classmen has been felt in both the student parking lots and during the free period blocks, especially with the freshman class, who have not been awarded free periods
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What to expect when you’re accepted Virginia Whitsitt ’14
he Class of 2014 has made it through three years of high school. We have come to February of our senior year, over half way through the school year and a mere four months away from graduation. Most of us have a general idea or plan about where we’ll be next year. Some of us are going to large universities, some small colleges, or even taking a gap year. We think we’re ready, but what don’t we know? St. George’s focuses on personal relationships with teachers and small class sizes, but some students will not have this luxury when looking forward in their educational career. Students who will be attending larger universities will have to make a transition from a class size of a maximum of 20 students,
to a class that might have a minimum of 100. Ms. Beverly Brooks, the Associate Director of College Guidance, said, “[St. George’s students] know how to go to the front of the room and shake somebody’s hand, and you know how to find your professors or your teachers when you need help. You will have to do the same thing, it’s just rather than competing with 11 to 18 other kids, you may be competing with 350 to 400 other kids.” The relationship between students and teachers at St. George’s is largely a dual effort. Teachers reach out to students and work with them amidst their schedules and struggles. Students find the confidence in teachers so that they can communicate with them at a higher and even
more personal level. Creating this sort of relationship is different in a collegiate setting. “It is much easier to connect with someone in a class of 20 than it is in a class of 300,” said Mr. Timothy Gibson, the Director of College Guidance here at St. George’s. To add to this point, the college schedule is different than that of a high school schedule. Classes, which would typically take place four or five times a week in a high school setting, occur once or twice a week for a college student. To combat this change, Ms. Brooks advises that students get to know their teacher’s assistant (TA).
Cont. on Page 7
St. George’s Independent School
The opinions expressed in this section reflect the views of individual writers and are not necessarily those of the Gryphon Gazette or its staff.
It’s time to overuse the word “love” Regan Hewitt ’14
I am a cynic. That’s my confession
for the month. I have never believed in love at first sight, magic, or the innate goodness of people; I still do not. For a while, I did not even believe in Valentine’s Day as a proper holiday. Some people (most likely cynics such as myself) say that the word “love” is tossed around too casually as well as too often, and for that, “love” no longer means anything. According to some, love no longer means trying to make someone laugh when they are sad, picking up milkshakes for your brother when he is sick, or trying hard in math classes because you know it will make your father happy. Those same people who curse the overuse of the word “love” lament Valentine’s Day for several reasons. They ask, “Isn’t this just a Hallmark holiday? And what if you are single? Besides, shouldn’t love be celebrated all year round?” These are just some of the arguments I have heard against this “holiday of love” and arguments that, at one point, I made to others. However, I do believe in the concept of love. I believe in whatever occurs between people that makes them love each other – whether it is for just a few years or even a lifetime. I believe in the type of love that exists in romantic relationships, friendships, and between family members.
Love encompasses more than Starbucks drinks and nice cars. In addition, Valentine’s Day acts as a reminder of the love around you, not as the only day that love can be expressed to others. It doesn’t matter what sort of relationships you are involved in – all of them are probably, to some degree, loving. Four years ago, before high-school, I would never have been able to say “I love you” to someone. In fact, I was even scared to toss a quick, “Love you!” to a friend. Now it is part of my daily routine, tossed over my shoulder in response to my mother, sent in a quick text to a friend, or breathed out thankfully during the school day when a classmate helps me with my homework. Maybe I do overuse the word, “love.” But is the world truly worse off for it? I don’t think so. I think the world can only benefit from the use of the word “love.” Ask yourself – is there anything better than hearing a quick, “I love you” or receiving a nice text or Tweet from a friend with those same caring words at the end? To me, the expressions of love that occur around Valentine’s Day prove me – and all the other cynics – wrong about this holiday. So, send a quick text to a friend, or a significant other, or a parent. Tell them that you love them and help make the word “love” one of the most overused words ever.
Newspaper Staff Editor-in-Chief
Leah Hodgkiss Virginia Whitsitt
Caroline Cannon Kellen Young
Caroline Cannon Lindsey Cayce
Dagny Vaughn Lexie Marotta
Student Life Editors Entertainment Editors Staff Writers Advisor
Maggie Courtney Meredith Gatlin Courtney Harshbarger Zoe Leake Anna Marie Beard Preston Vihlen Dr. Margaret Robertson
Political Ponderings with Emily Dickey ’14: Political philosophy “The essence of Western civilization
is the Magna Carta, not the Magna Mac,” political philosopher Samuel Huntington wrote. “Somewhere in the Middle East a half-dozen young men could well be dressed in jeans, drinking Coke, listening to rap, and between their bows to Mecca, putting together a bomb.” Written in 1996, Huntington’s theories rang especially true after the devastating events of 9/11. He goes on to make the point that this cultural globalization, or as we tend to call it “westernization,” does not necessarily mean an exchange of values. Political philosophy is a sect of politics that tends to be less glamorized than say your typical domestic policy debates, or the ever popular social platforms that different parties found their campaigns on. This, oftentimes, is due to the uncertainty that political philosophy is developed in, opposed to analytical equations and calculated decisions. However, as Richard K. Betts of Harvard University once said, “policymakers need intellectual anchors if they are to make informed decisions that are any more likely to move the world in the right direction than the wrong one.” So they often look toward the visions of philosophers like Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington, or John J Mearsheimer. It will always be important to stay informed with global events and the current standings of our country’s foreign affairs. However, I believe it equally important to look at the past in order to move toward the future. Just as the ideologies of philosophers like Aristotle or Nietzsche continue to be relevant in today’s world, political philosophers oftentimes prove more insightful than we give them credit for.
I recently read an article that presented these three philosophers’ predictions for the future of foreign policy. Although it was quite lengthy, there is one point the article made that I wanted to relay. All three philosophers spent a great deal of time emphasizing the idea that modernization does not mean “westernization.” In an increasingly interconnected world, it is vital that we realize that technological and economic advancements in globalization aren’t enough. The social aspect of globalization and multiculturalism is the difference between actually knowing and accepting a culture, opposed to just accepting the front men that are presented to the public – the elites, in other words. As civilizations and cultures modernize and globalize, it is easy to let ourselves picture different colored paper dolls lined up around a globe, holding hands. Just because other cultures participate in western consumer culture doesn’t mean they accept social pluralism, representative government, and the ideologies our country was founded on. George Washington once referred to the role of the United States in foreign policy “to be upon friendly terms with, but independent of, all the nations of the earth. To share in the broils of none. To fulfill our own engagements. To supply to wants, and be carriers for them all: being thoroughly convinced that is our policy and interest to do so.” Globalization, while unpredictable, provides incredible opportunities for nations and international systems to flourish at a peak that no one has ever seen before. That being said, the idea of a sweeping westernization uniting the globe may not be as probable as we once thought. Modernization does not mean westernization.
Mr. McClain dreams big for sustainability Zoe Leake ’14
ake a quick gaze out of your nearest window. What do you see? If you are on the Collierville campus, instead of seeing busy streets, tall buildings, or large gates, you are most likely gazing into the trees or peering across a grassy field. St. George’s swampy – but welcoming – location gives our school community an automatic advantage over other schools in the area. Match our forested, ski-lodge wonderland with Mr. William McClain, the new Director of Sustainability, and we have just about become unstoppable. Mr. McClain felt particularly driven to accept his new position by his desire to develop our outdoor spaces in a way that increases our sustainability while conserving energy and reducing waste. Mr. McClain believes this to be the driving force behind his job title because, as he said, “It is important for a person to have meaningful experiences in nature before asking them to make decisions to reduce their impact on the environment.”
The everyday events occurring at St. George’s to improve our sustainability go far beyond routine recycling. In fact, the school is currently participating in TVA’s demand response program. We have recently “installed a real-time energy monitor on our buildings so we can see what our consumption is at even given time,” said Mr. McClain. “By reducing our peak demand for energy we can reduce the number of power plants that TVA must build and reduce our energy costs. Students on all three campuses are taking a hands-on approach to learning and practicing sustainability. We now have gardens on all three campuses, each supervised by eager students. “Showing the kids where their food comes from helps them see that clean air and clean soil is important for their food,” he said. “It also help them see understand where their food comes from.” The Collierville campus is in no way missing out. The environmental science classes are current-
ly working on a project to install a hoop house, or a class of greenhouse, which will house five to ten “tower gardens” which are being generously donated. These “tower gardens” use “innovative new ways to grow food when space is limited,” says McClain. The possibilities for sustainability at our school are endless, and Mr. McClain is definitely not short of big dreams for our growing school. Mr. McClain even admitted his hopes that one day the Collierville Campus will “create an Outdoor Learning Center and Innovation Lab where students from SG and the surrounding community can come and explore. The Innovation Lab will allow student to design and create artifacts that will teach about ecological restoration, nutrient cycling, renewable energy, agriculture and a whole host of environmental issues.” Whatever our next steps are as a school community, rest assured that those footprints will be green with the help of our new Director of Sustainability.
St. George’s Independent School
The opinions expressed in this section reflect the views of individual writers and are not necessarily those of the Gryphon Gazette or its staff.
Reading between the lines Dagny Vaughn ‘14
ach year, there comes a time when we are faced with the daunting task of choosing our classes for the coming year. With slight confusion, we scroll through the seemingly endless choices, wondering which of the classes will appeal to our individual interests. Although, as a senior, I will not be preparing a new high-school schedule, I have noticed an inconsistency in class choices that I wish I had enough time to change: the lack of English electives. Though many of my fellow peers may peg me as the English-type (and admittedly I am), I have an equal appreciation for the sciences. However, when looking at an elective list dominated by classes such as Anatomy, Environmental Science, and Computer Program-
ming, I cannot help but feel that the English-loving side of me is getting slighted without the option of a creative-writing class or culture specific literature class. In the past, we have offered several well-loved English electives such as film adaptations and southern literature, but currently, there is no such class on the list. Now, since I am a student, I admit that I do not know the reasoning of the administration for choosing the leave English electives off the list. But, what I do know is that perfecting the art of writing is as important as mastering any scientific topic. Skills learned through English are essential to nearly any career a student may wish to pursue. No matter if they are discussing Jane Austen or the structure of
DNA, ideas are useless unless they are communicated effectively. Sure, you may not need to write brilliant fiction to be a doctor, but you still need to be able to use your words correctly to share your scientific findings. You also need to be able to think critically and creatively, a skill that planning a work of fiction can help develop. With the complete understanding of how important advancing scientific knowledge is to our world, I urge students looking for another elective in the humanities to pursue this desire in the future. Some of us are English-geared minds, and some of us aren’t but simply wish to know more about the subject. Either way, let’s look into providing more opportunities to diversify our elective choices.
Moving forward in teen health Kellen Young ’14
t the beginning of 2014, many adolescents made noble resolutions relating to improved health. In order to reach these goals, students should recognize that health covers complex topics, which are difficult for any person to overcome. While diseases are a primary concern, mental illnesses, obesity, malnutrition, and narcotics also affect a person’s health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 81.1% of American adolescents from ages 12 to 17 are in excellent health, which is actually a positive percentage, but there is still the possibility for improvement. In 2010, 18.4% of adolescents from 12-19 were medically obese; 8.3% of adolescents from 12-17 had a history of smoking cigarettes, and 13.6% of adolescents used alcohol. All of these are considered to be dangerous health inhibitors, especially for adolescents in a critical period of physical and mental development. A major cause for health concerns in adolescents is body image stereotypes. For teenage boys, those extremely concerned with their body image are nearly twice as likely to engage in frequent drug or alcohol use. Teenage girls who are concerned with their body image have a far greater chance of eating disorders and depression. While depression used to be perceived as a simple emotional problem, it is now recognized as a more concerning mental and chemical struggle. A depressed person experiences extreme, prolonged sadness, apathy, and anhedonia, an inability to experience pleasure from enjoyable activities. Anatomically, depression occurs when an imbalance of the hormones, dopamine (controls reward and motivation behavior), norepinephrine, and serotonin. In other words, depression is actually a mental illness and victims
The Collierville campus’ primary vegetable option. Source: Emily Dickey ’14 should seek medical attention to combat the problem. Lastly, as the flu season peaks from January to March, take the necessary precautions to stay healthy including a healthy diet. At an opportune time, get the 2013-2014 flu vaccine, wash your hands properly for two minutes, and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing. For growing adolescents, a recommended diet should consist roughly half of fruits and vegetables, a significant amount should also be whole grains, lean meats or protein alternatives, low fat dairy foods, and limited fats or oils. There are mixed opinions from students on the health of lunch at the St.
George’s Collierville Campus. When asked if it is easy to find healthy meals at lunch, senior Jason Crawford said, “You can if you try hard enough, but your options are limited.” Senior Dani Cafferty added, “there’s never a healthy version of a hot meal.” However, junior Nathan Weinrich said, “I do feel that St. George’s provides the opportunity for healthy choices during lunch.” Sophomore Michael Squillacioti said that the “salad bar has plenty of choices. There are also bowls of fruit every day.” While St. George’s may not meet all expectations for a healthy lifestyle, students can still find ways to become healthier.
What parents should never ask Courtney Harshburger’15
arents have an unfortunate habit of asking questions that make their kids feel worse after a stressful day of school. While they may be asked with good intentions, some of these questions can bring up feelings of incompetence or self-consciousness that are not very beneficial. The most frequently asked question is “How was your day?” Although seemingly innocent, this should probably be saved for Friday afternoons. Otherwise, the answer is probably not too positive after a long day of stressful schoolwork. If a kid had a great day at school, they will probably be visibly excited as opposed to the usual deadened stare. An equally common question is “What did you do today?” Once again, this question appears acceptable, but since the answer will usually be “I went to class,” this tends to lead to more conflict. Parents will not be happy with a snarky answer, and a student would be annoyed to have to think of something interesting that did happen at school. One of the worst possible questions to ask is “How much homework do you have?” The answer is most definitely going to devastate students when they realize just how much work they need to complete in one night. If a student does not have too much homework, they will be extremely excited about that rare occurrence and talk about it without being asked. The best thing for parents to do is to stray very far from any school-related questions that will only bring up bad feelings. Parents also love asking about grades. “Why are your grades so low?” and “Why are you doing so terribly? School is easy!” are a few favorites. This can be extremely contradictory when students later ask parents for help and are given the response “I can’t do that! It’s too hard!” Homework and school-related questions are possibly the worst topics to choose from and can seem like an interrogation. So, it is best to simply bring up fun topics, such as television or the weekend. This will ensure that everyone can start of the afternoon in a happy, rather than hostile, way. In closing, the only truly acceptable question for parents to ask is “Do you want cookies?” Almost any other unhealthy food item will work as well. Otherwise, the question will be met with distaste and probably result in terrible moods, lack of conversation and potentially, worse grades.
St. George’s Independent School •
British bands impact felt across multiple generations Taylor Owens ‘15
omehow they were able to work against what was already there and create this whole new thing,” said Mr. Zack Adcock. It is clear that the world has been consumed time and time again by the British mania that has been connected with bands such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and One Direction. Whether a fan of one of these bands or not, there is no way to escape the excitement that these bands have generated. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and One Direction may have different sounds, styles, and messages; however, their popularity as well as their music’s popularity over the years is unprecedented in comparison to many American bands. Not only have these British bands reached levels of popularity and fame that no other band has ever accomplished, their styles of music and overall message is the reason that their popularity seems to transcend time, especially in the case of the Beatles. “They have this timeless quality about them that I can’t completely understand,” said Mr. Adcock. “People are still fans because it spoke to them on a personal level. It was inspiring and it made people happy. It was a profound effect to have on people,” said senior Regan Hewitt. The effect that the music has on people cannot be perfectly fit into a mold. So many people have differing opinions as to how individual songs made them feel, in addition to their feelings attributed to the band as a whole and their styles of music. However, it is undeniable that people feel something for these bands that allows them to maintain popularity. The majority of people know of either the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, or One Direction. When questioned about the differences between the bands and their fans, Mr. Adcock said, “The social stigma of being one type of person or another type of person is kind of ridiculous. I think that there’s a lot of similarity in their popularity. The Beatles began their musical career by releasing songs that clearly spoke to their message of just wanting to have fun. It was only later on that the band grew into their sound and sang about subjects that were controversial. “There was too much violence in the world. At first it was about having fun but then they developed into their sound and message,” said Mr. Andre Miller. The Rolling Stones have also been attributed with being a part of the “second” British invasion. Their style of music is vastly dif-
(Disclaimer: Not every movie that is nominated is appropriate for all ages)
ferent from the pop-sounds of the Beatles and One Direction, but they have managed to reach the same level of fame and popularity. Their songs are definitely “raunchy, boozy, oversexed songs, the epitome of what they are,” said Mr. Adcock. The Stones were not as metaphorical as the Beatles and are much more straightforward in their style of music. They talk about subjects that are just as controversial but much more forthright, as seen in their song “Sympathy for the Devil.” A lot of the appeal for each of the bands in these multiple British invasions is the attractiveness of the band members. “They’re very attractive, obviously. Except Mick Jagger,” said Hewitt. “[Jagger] has a funny looking body but I just loved the way he danced across the stage,” said Mr. Miller. One Direction, following in the British band footsteps, has accumulated one of the greatest followings, due to both the band’s music and attractiveness. “[Their] music is catchy. It’s a real exit from the misogynistic and low moral music,” said Mr. Miller. Even though the appeal is partly rooted in looks, the real attraction and lasting impression is due to the meaning and message behind One Direction’s songs. “I’ll never know what it felt like to have the Beatles come over but I know what it’s like to have One Direction come over. And I feel like they’re very similar,” said Hewitt. Today’s British invasion is definitely the result of technology. “Technology has contributed to the way that One Direction has reached its extreme popularity. It’s accessibility. If the Beatles had Internet, we’d probably still be wearing the trends from back then,” said Mr. Miller. “The first British invasion influenced every invasion after in terms of the popularity,” said Mr. Miller. No matter the way these
multiple bands reached their level of popularity, it was all due to merit. These bands speak to their audience and include them in the music. These band’s members fed off each other and made the music and the invasion their own. Each band became a symbol for young people about breaking away from the mold of “normal.” “We just liked the novelty of it. It was nostalgia for us. We grew up listening to our parents’ music. Now they were all going back to the same type of feel. It was a Renaissance for rock and roll. It was based on soul and rock. It was nice to have that feeling again. We had fun,” said Mr. Miller. Each British invasion that has occurred has seared itself onto the world’s memory and into history. Each band has left their lasting mark on the world because of the feelings that their music leaves with those who listen. No matter the style, the sound, or time, each British band has the same feeling of timelessness. “It all comes from the same spirit,” said Mr. Miller.
It’s awards season! Prepare for the Oscars Alex King ‘18
y favorite time of year is finally here: awards season. As the Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars) are fast approaching, I have a couple of favorite movies that I personally think will dominate the awards, in particular “American Hustle.” Starting with the directing awards, I believe Alfonso Cuarón will come out on top, as he did at the Golden Globes, for “Gravity.” Moving on to Best Actress in a Supporting Role, I think Jennifer Lawrence will win for “American Hustle.” I believe this will be a repeat of when David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence collaborated on “Silver Linings Playbook.” For Actor in a Supporting Role, I think Michael Fassbender will win for his performance as Edwin Epps in “12 Years a Slave.” For Actress in a Leading Role, Amy Adams, the female star of “American Hustle,” is my favorite choice. On to Actor in a Leading Role, I am predicting Christian Bale for his role in “American Hustle.” He is an actor who can gain and lose weight for any role he is selected to play. I am still confused about how Bale pulled off the gut in “American Hustle” while at the same time filming “Out of the Furnace,” where his character was in better shape. For the grand finale, the award of the Best Picture of the year, my choice would be “12 Years a Slave.” However, I could be wrong. Last year, I definitely did not expect “Argo” to win and it was named Best Picture of 2013.
The Daily Grind by Preston Vihlen ‘15
St. George’s Independent School •
The Producitons recreate “To Kill A Mockingbird”
Entertainment 5 Favorite love songs for 2014 Lexie Marotta ’15 Leah Hodgkiss ’15
Love songs describe all sorts of relationships: happy, sad, angry, etc. Here are some of our “lovey-dovey” favorites for every type of love: 1. “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles 2. “My Kind of Love” by Emili Sande 3. “Near to You” by A Fine Frenzy 4. “Who You Love” by John Mayer ft. Katy Perry 5. “You’re the One That I Want” by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John 6. “Best Love Song” by TI and Chris Brown 7. “The Girl” by City and Colour 8. “Only Love” by Ben Howard 9. “Danny’s Song” by Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina 10. “As Long as You Follow” by Fleetwood Mac
The Cast of “To Kill A Mockingbird” poses on the set of this winter’s Drama.
Source: Trish Dianetti
13. “Angel” by Jack Johnson
Julia Spinolo ’15
The Producitons have once again en-
riched the St. George’s community with yet another fabulous theatrical work. “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a story about two children, Jem and Scout, and their father, Atticus Finch. The family lives in a racially segregated Alabama town in the 1930s. Finch, a lawyer, must defend a black man who has been accused of sexually assaulting a white woman. As the play unfolds, it reveals a stark picture of prejudice, injustice, and discrimination in the segregated South. “’To Kill a Mockingbird’ is a great show to fit the kids that auditioned for the winter drama. It seemed like appropriate timing because it is around this time of the year that we focus on civil rights issues,” said Mr. Marques Brown, the director of the play.
12. “Come Fly with Me” by Frank Sinatra
Although the play was an uphill battle, Mr. Brown had a lot of faith and trust in the cast of the play, and he said that the cast was “a wonderful group of kids for the characters we have to portray in this show.” Sutton Hewitt, the sophomore who starred as Scout, said that the production was interesting because new actors and people who had never been on stage before were involved. Prior to show, she also predicted that the audience would be intrigued by the drama and would enjoy seeing the story come to life. Matthew Turner, a junior who portrayed Heck Tate (the town sheriff), said that there were “a lot of talented people” in the cast, and “with enough work, we can pull it off and be successful.”
Autumn Jones, a sophomore who played the family’s maid Calpurnia, noted that the play was about “a touchy subject,” but that she thought that there were “some really good actors that can make it come to life.” She was “glad to be in the play, because there is a great cast.” John Hankes, a senior who played Judge Taylor, stated that “Mr. Brown’s eloquence is just staggering,” and that fellow senior Colton Morgan carried “this play, along with the cast and crew carrying this play. Everyone will carry this play.” Performances of “To Kill a Mockingbird” were successful in raising over $1,000 and contibuting over 1,300 pounds of canned food to to the Mid-South Food Bank.
“Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” Preston Vihlen ’15
f you are looking for a book that that will blow you away, “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” is the book to read. If, by chance, you happen to pick it up randomly, then be prepared my friend because you are in for a wild ride. You will definitely be left saying to yourself, “Wow.” Originally written by Robin Sloa as a short story, the novel follows a very observant web-designer named Clay Jannon, who recently became unemployed in 2009 due to harsh economic times. He is soon forced to look for “Help Wanted” signs posted on store windows, even though he ironically says that ligament job listings are posted on Craigslist.
This search eventually leads to Jannon’s employment at “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.” Found on Broadway Street in San Francisco, next to a strip club with a neon sign, the bookstore appears to be a boring and uneventful place. The misleading appearance hides the fact that the store holds books for a very peculiar book club, where all the members share their weird behaviors and attire while also shouting for titles to check out from the shelves. Soon, questions and confusion begin to pile up. You will be left amazed at how well the book is put together and how nothing is left uncovered. After reading this book, one thing is for sure, “Never judge a book by its cover.”
14. “Birthdays” by Kings of Leon 15. “Angels” by The xx
Favorite movies for Valentine’s Day Emily Dickey ’14
ith Valentine’s season in the air, everyone from the seasoned love birds to the doe-eyed hopefuls are planning their romantic evenings full of roses, gourmet chocolates, and candlelit dinners. One thing that is sure to set the mood this Valentine’s Day is a good romantic movie. I took the liberty of combing the halls full of love-struck Gryphons to find out their favorite setthe-mood flicks. Annie Vento ’17: “Love Actually” Gracie Livingston ’14: “Love and Other Drugs” William McBride’ 16: “Sixteen Candles” Catie Wilcheck ’14 and Joseph Rache ’14: “Forrest Gump” Preston Vihlen ’15: “10 Things I Hate About You” Wil Barton ’14: “Better Off Dead” Alexandra Smith ’14: “Valentine’s Day” Eva Neel ’17: “Little Manhattan” Steven Joe ’14: “When Harry Met Sally” Mrs. Allison: “An Affair to Remember” Richard Kuhen ’16: “Pulp Fiction” Connor Funk ’16: “The Notebook” Caroline Cannon ’15: “The Lizzie McGuire Movie” Kathyrn Smith ’16: “She’s All That” Jason Crawford ‘14: “The Princess Bride”
St. George’s Independent School
Moon rocks hit “Affluenza” may affect Collierville campus Opinion
current generation Meredith Gatlin ’14
hen you picture someone wealthy, it is likely you would picture someone successful and happy; however, that is not always the case. Throughout this generation, it seems that more and more privileged adolescents seem to be unhappy and are acting out. Some (not all) teenagers have a sense of emptiness inside, which can lead to drinking, drugs, or delinquent behavior. But when does this negative behavior begin to cross the line? In June of 2013, teenage Texan Ethan Couch killed four people and injured twelve other people, one being paralyzed, in a drunk driving accident. Couch’s intoxication levels were three times higher than the legal level when he was driving. A few months later, prosecutors were hoping Couch would receive a 20-year sentence in jail. Instead, Judge Jean Boyd sentenced Couch to 10 years of probation and his parents will spend $450,000 dollars a year for a rehabilitation facility. The reason Couch was able to receive such an easy sentence was a new psychological diagnosis: Affluenza. The psychologist that testified for Couch’s defense stated that Couch’s actions were the result of Affluenza. In his opinion, a teenager who has affluent parents often has a problem choosing what is right or wrong. This is apparently a result of when bad behavior goes unpunished. If this is the case, then shouldn’t Couch have received more severe consequences for his actions? Couch could then learn that what he did was horrible, while he sits in jail. Therapist Francis Murf Galbreath at the Memphis Christian Psychological Center said, “Affluenza is just a fancy word for entitlement.” Many would agree that affluenza is not a real psychological disorder. Mrs. Beverly Brooks, Associate Director of College Guidance, said, “Candidly, I think Affluenza is ridiculous. If Affluenza gets to be a thing, so does poverty-enza. If anything, along with wealth should come
additional responsibility, not a lack of accountability.” Senior Virginia Whitsitt agreed; she said, “Learning right from wrong is not based off whether your family has wealth but it is based off the household you are in.” Couch will be spending his time in a plush rehabilitation center for the next few years where he receives cooking classes and if he has good behavior, is able to take trips to the beach. Where is the justice in that? The families of the four victims of this horrible act wish that Couch would receive a more severe punishment. Judge Jean Boyd, the same judge on Couch’s case, sentenced a 14-year-old African-American boy to 10 years of prison. This teenager accidentally killed someone by punching him in the face and then the victim fell to the ground, hit his head, and died. This teenager accidentally killed one person while Couch killed four people and injured twelve others. Couch committed a worse crime and he received a lesser punishment because his parents could “afford” it. Even though, affluenza is a controversial topic, there are cases of psychological issues with teenagers of the 21st century. Psychologist Dr. Madeline Levine believes that parents put too much pressure and have high standards for their kids that can result in these kids losing their identity. If parents force busy and challenging schedules of AP courses, sports, and extra-curricular so that their children can achieve their parents’ high expectations, then these teenagers may not be able to make their own choices and learn from their mistakes. This may not be the case for every privileged family in America, but many see a rising epidemic in our generations and generations to come.
Source: Laura Beard ’19 Lindsay Pepper ‘19 holds a case containing lunar materials during class.
AnnA Marie Beard ’15 Laura Beard ’19
ecently, the St. George’s middle school underwent a bit of excitement with the arrival of moon rocks for the seventh and eighth grade science classes. The moon rocks arrived in early December. They stayed on campus for only two days, under the care of Mr. Mike Smothers, the Introductory Physical Science (IPS) and Astronomy teacher. These moon rocks were intended to act as the seventh graders’ introduction to the lunar section of their study, as well as an interesting example of real-world science. An entire class period was set-aside for the combined groups to interact with and learn about the science surrounding the moon rocks. Mr. Rob Jungklas, the seventh grade
science teacher, was enthusiastic about having the moon rocks in the classroom. He felt that learning about moon rocks was a good way for the students to meet and interact with Mr. Smothers, their future teacher. The transition to eighth grade science is often jarring for students, as it moves from a general science program into a stricter, regimented course of study. Mr. Jungklas felt that having the students in a classroom environment and exposing them to Mr. Smother’s teaching style would help to ease the transition into IPS. Obtaining the rocks was quite the ordeal for the school. Mr. Smothers underwent special training as well as a background check with NASA in order to qualify for managing the rocks. The moon rocks were kept in protective casing for handling and examination, and kept in a safe when not being used by students. When not in his room, Mr. Smothers was required to keep the classroom locked. However, the result of this lesson among the middle school students seems to have outweighed the difficulties. The students themselves expressed awe over being able to see and interact with the moon rocks. One student, seventh grader Evan Dorian, said that it was “like I’m holding a piece of history.” Seventh grader Lindsey Pepper thought the touching a moon rock was more like “holding a piece of space.” Other students described the experience as “surreal” and “incredible.” Overall, the students were very appreciative of being able to participate in this unique and transformative experience.
Ms. Vasil organizes freedom-focused program
Ms. Vasil analyzes the Freedom: A History of Us exhibit in the Dining Hall.
Dagny Vaughn ’14
his winter, a writing contest was sponsored by the Gryphon Writing Center as a part of a project undertaken by English teacher, Ms. Jennifer Vasil, to enhance the humanities at St. George’s. With the theme of “What does freedom mean to you?” the writing contest was part of Ms. Vasil’s larger program, with a focus on the
Source: Lindsay Cayce ’14
topic of freedom through history. The contest was open to all students, in grades sixth through twelfth, interested in creative writing. Entries included works of fiction, poetry, and personal essays. Winning entries will earn a Barnes and Noble gift certificate as well as publication in either the literary magazine, Sculpture Garden, or the newspaper, Gryphon Gazette. Though this was the first writing contest to be sponsored by the Writing Center, Ms. Vasil
hopes that there will be more to come in the future. “I’ll be pitching that idea to our coordinators,” she said. Passionate about both the humanities and the idea of freedom, Ms. Vasil sponsored this year’s freedom-themed project with a grant that she earned from Humanities Tennessee, a program of the National Endowment for the Humanities which works to incorporate the humanities into the lives of Tennessee citizens. Last year, Ms. Vasil won the prestigious Award of Recognition for Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities from the same organization, given to teachers who encourage the humanities in the lives of students and within their school communities. With the award, Ms. Vasil received a two thousand-dollar fellowship to further the development of the humanities in our school. Besides hosting the writing contest, Ms. Vasil also planned the performance for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Chapel. In past years, students have spent the Friday before MLK weekend taking short classes geared to explore ideas of race and equality. This year, though, actor Phil Darius Wallace performed a one-man show on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. “The way that [Wallace] instilled so many emotions really showed the complexity of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life,” said senior Andrew Grissom. Touching on the new change to schedule, sophomore Francesca Healy said, “I liked the performance more than the usual classes. It was more engaging and really brought MLK to life.” In addition to the writing contest and the performance, Ms. Vasil brought the Gilder Lehrman exhibit to campus. This exhibit displayed America’s struggle for freedom throughout history as well as other topics relating to freedom. To set up the exhibit, the honors pre-calculus class devoted class time to finding the best arrangement by using mathematic principles. When asked about her ultimate goal for the program, Ms. Vasil expressed a hope that students learn to see beyond the supposed divisions between academic disciplines. “I hope that these events have helped to demonstrate the connections between our academic disciplines in a new way. We might not always think about the connection between theatre and history or poetry and current or historical events, and I think this gives us an opportunity to explore those connections,” she said. “I also hope that these events have sparked some conversation, particularly the ways in which our city has at times struggled with the idea of freedom.”
St. George’s Independent School
Space Crunch New legislation complicates Olympics Students yearn for a place of their own Continued from Page 1 for LGBT advocates Taylor Owens ’15
he Olympic Games aim to promote a more open environment that embraces differing ideas. However, this year such freedom of expression has been limited by political change in Russia. The Russian government has fined young adults up to 5,000 rubles for “forming nontraditional sexual setups” that may cause a “distorted understanding” that gay and straight relationships are “socially equivalent,” according to the official bill. These are the newest guidelines in an anti-gay propaganda bill that has recently been signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. This new bill caused a great deal of controversy concerning the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Signed in June of 2013, the anti-gay propaganda bill began a period of aggressive activities by the Russian government aimed at limiting the rights of the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex citizens. In the past, Russia’s gay citizens held the same constitutionally protected rights as any other citizen. However, more and more bans and restrictions are being placed upon the gay citizens of Russia. Bans on gay pride parades in Moscow and other cities, extortionate fines to gay rights groups accused of acting on behalf of foreign governments, denial of registration to nongovernmental organizations, and regional laws banning the propaganda of homosexuality to minors have been a few of the violations of the constitutionally protected rights of a
Russian citizen Currently, Russia is in a time of violence and cruelty toward its gay citizens, which has provoked a great amount of disagreement concerning the fast-approaching Winter Olympic games. A time marked by limited freedom of expression has unfurled itself in Russia. This fact has come into conflict with the Olympic Games’ policy that athletes would be free to speak openly in non-accredited areas and at press conferences. Finding a balance between three different priorities seems to be the main issue facing athletes and Olympic teams during the games. These priorities include the requirement that athletes and teams comply with the Olympic charter, which prohibits any form of discrimination. This idea of a country representing its values through their Olympic teams has been seen in the case of Barack Obama naming a few openly gay ambassadors to represent the United States team at the opening and closing ceremonies. This decision by the U.S. President was seen, in many ways, as a direct challenge to Putin’s new laws. Despite the increasing worry about the extent the new laws will be enforced in the Olympic games, many athletes are unwilling to downplay their sexuality. While also entertaining the idea that they may not be allowed into Russia due to these laws, many openly gay athletes have seen the games in Sochi as an important opportunity to represent their community.
Courtney Harshbarger ’15
The effects were most felt with the closing of the Upper School Lounge in late October. The lounge was closed because according to Mr. Tom Morris, “it was unsuccessful in supporting a student driven culture.” Ms. Jill Reilly also commented that the lounge was being used inappropriately. Although there was a brief student-led attempt in November to re-open the lounge, it was futile and went unsupported by the majority of students using the space, leading to its re-closing a week later. The benches, which disappeared shortly before the winter break, were also taken away to discourage the space being abused; upon their return on January 7th, Ms. Reilly reports that the area is genuinely neater. As a result of the closing, students had nowhere to go during their independent studies and took to roaming the hallways, frequently taking their periods in the college guidance offices or in the locker bays. Some students have come to the realization that the locker bays might have the ability to be re-purposed as study areas rather than simply storage. While Mr. Morris applauded that ingenuity, he said that the school has a responsibility to provide a safe storage area for students’ personal belongings. When students complained about the lack of space, the administration suggested using the dining hall and library for these independent study periods. They even went so far as to entirely discourage students from using hallways during their study periods. Some students took to the idea while others balked at the idea of relinquishing their independent
study to a quiet space, increasing frustrations. However, as quickly as it was suggested, the library, which already hosts a variety of study halls for freshman and sophomores, was filled. There have been repeated claims of students sprawled in the aisles, searching for a quiet place to work, regardless of the lack of available seats. “Some teachers will let you sit in the back if you’re silent. Finding a quiet place with a surface to work on is super hard,” said junior Heather Schaefer. Students began to complain that the library was crowded and that the lunch periods spanning the time btween Flex to the beginning of seventh period, made the dining hall inconvenient for studying. Unfortunately, this is how the Upper School student schedules works, and as a result, there is either a lack of space or too much space. When asked for a student solution to the space problem, Junior Ansley Thompson replied by saying, “More open chairs and places to put them.” This response seemed to be a common consensus amongst other students. To the thanks of many students, the lounge reopened in the first week of February, to students with an average effort mark of 3.4 or higher, or those who maintain positions on the Honor Roll or Scholar’s List. Mr. Morris said that these conditions were arranged so that hard work was rewarded, rather than performance. As all the students know, there are other unspoken conditions for using the lounge as well, such as keeping the room neat, quiet, and open for all of those who meet the effort mark re-
quirement. Mr. Taylor acknowledges the space crunch, saying that “it does put a strain” on St. George’s resources, such as teachers who have had to pick up multiple grade-level classes, including Ms. Vasil and Ms. Charnes. Mr. Taylor assures us that St. George’s has plans to expand the school in order to accommodate its growing community; this includes considering new wings and new buildings, as well as more converted classroom space within the current academic building. Since 2010, three teachers’ lounges and the computer lab have been converted to accommodate growing classroom needs. In addition, the library, which occasionally held classes, now has several upper and middle school classes booked in both the conference room and the new “library classroom” space. Not only is the library housing overflow classes, but it also prohibits students from using the tutor rooms unless previously reserved. This recent overflow issue has not escaped the School Board’s notice. Despite there being some trouble with the construction of new buildings on the St. George’s campus due to the fact that there is a lot of protected acreage, there have been continual meetings about how to relieve the space issue and overflow. Mr. Taylor reiterated that the issue of space is only beneficial to St. George’s. He believes that regardless of size, St. George’s will maintain the same student-oriented feel and that “having lots of people wanting to come to school here says something great about the school.”
What to expect when you’re accepted Continued from Page 1
“The TA’s are often the ones with office hours, and sometimes they’re the ones helping. They oftentimes are the ones grading your paper so they’ve seen your name repeatedly. The professor might be the one teaching and that is it,” she said. While students might have mastered time management in high school, the college schedule is undoubtedly different. “I think every college student struggles with time management,” said Mr. Gibson. “The beauty of college is that you have a flexible schedule; the challenge is you have a flexible schedule. You go from needing to be somewhere from 8:00 am to 3:18 pm, to having random breaks
in the middle of the day without someone telling you where to be and when to be there.” Mr. Gibson suggests finding a schedule that best suits the student. “It’s all about learning to balance your academics and extracurricular activities.” If a student works best in the morning, it would be in their best interest to take morning classes, get their homework finished in the afternoon, and then they have the freedom to socialize at night. It’s all about finding a schedule that best fits you. Both Mr. Gibson and Ms. Brooks agree that accountability is something with which students will struggle.
“Things like extensions don’t really exist in college,” said Ms. Brooks. “A professor might not care if you miss a class, but it absolutely does matter,” said Mr. Gibson. St. George’s students prosper because we put such weight into our academic efforts. However, once we move into a collegiate setting, it is up to us to make up missed assignments and be responsible for the syllabus. As far as personal lives go, Ms. Brooks says that one of the most important things that we are often unprepared for in college is establishing adult relationships with our parents. “You’re in this weird inbetween where you’re independent in that you don’t live with [your parents], but in
a large part [they’re] paying for your college, so you are both dependent and independent,” said Ms. Brooks. She continued by suggesting that students and parents plan a time two or three times a week to talk with each other. “You don’t want to set up unrealistic expectations for your availability with your parents… Eventually you will start emotionally relying on other people and not your parents for your well-being.” Regardless of how far away college feels, these changes are just months away for the Class of 2014 and on the horizon for all of us sooner than we expect.
St. George’s Independent School
Sophomore qualifies for Olympic prodigies Junior Olympics in fencing hopeful for Sochi medals Carly Owens ’18
Source: Anna Merino ’14 Alex Merino faces off against an opponent in qualifying competition.
Courtney Harshbarger ’15
he St. George’s fencing team is only four years old, but many of its members have already won many local and state competitions. On December 14, 2013, sophomore Alex Merino qualified to compete in the Junior Olympic Fencing Competition. He came in second place, which qualified him for two different categories. He will be competing in the under-17 men’s epee division and the epee division for men under-20 years old. This is an amazing accomplishment, especially for someone who is somewhat new to fencing. The Junior Olympic Fencing Competition is one of the biggest fencing tournaments in the country. There will be hundreds of fencers from all over the country competing for the gold. Of the three weapons, saber, foil, and epee, Merino will be fencing in the epee competition against other teenagers his age. There will be approximately 150 people per category, so the
competition will be fierce. The actual Junior Olympics will be held in Portland, Oregon on President’s Day Weekend from February 14-17. Merino will be making the trip to see if he can bring St. George’s its first Olympic medal in fencing. He has been training extremely hard in order to have a chance at earning a medal. Fencing against so many great athletes may seem daunting, but Merino said, “I am not exactly nervous yet, but as the date gets closer I think I will start to feel the pressure.” He started “fencing” with padded weapons at the age of six, in admiration of James Bond’s fencing scene in “Die Another Day.” He then recently began fencing with metal swords for the St. George’s team, and St. George’s is thrilled to have such a skilled fencer on the team. Hopefully he will be able to fight to victory in the upcoming competition.
ave you ever felt as if you have done nothing with your life so far? Well, after watching all the Olympic athletes, maybe you should. Polina Edmunds has been figure skating since she was twenty months old. Could you land a triple flip-half loop-triple Salchow combination at the age of fifteen? Edmunds could. She is also the youngest figure skater in the Olympics since Tara Lipinski, who at the age of fifteen, won the gold medal in figure skating at the 1998 Winter Olympics. Edmunds is part of the three-woman American Olympic figure skating team that will be performing in Sochi, Russia. Gracie Gold, also a member of the three-woman figure skating team is only eighteen years old. Gold is the 2012 World Junior silver medalist and the 2014 National Champion. Gold has been skating since the age of eight. In the time span of only ten years, Gracie Gold has become an Olympic athlete. Arielle Gold, not related to Gracie Gold, is an American snowboarder. At the young age of seventeen, Gold won the gold medal
in the half pipe at the 2013. Snowboarding World Championships. Later, when replacing a fellow snowboarder, she won a bronze medal in the SuperPipe at the Winter X Games XVII. Gold has been competing since the age of eight. She is currently in fifteenth place in the Overall World Tour Ranking and is now preparing for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Eighteen-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin is quite possibly the “next big thing” in skiing. Shiffrin already has six career slalom wins and is second on the all-time slalom list of American women. Slalom is a type of alpine skiing, involving skiing between poles or gates. Shiffrin trails behind only Tamara McKinney’s nine victories on slalom. Mikaela Shiffrin is the reigning world champion and World Cup champion in the slalom. All of these young olympians are all extremely talented, but all also have tremendous weight on their shoulders as they head into the 2014 winter Olympics. Will Polina Edmunds win an Olympic title? Do you think Gracie Gold and Arielle Gold will live up to their last names? Will Mikaela Shiffrin prove herself?
Cheerleaders were R-E-A-D-Y for Nationals
Lindsey Cayce ’14
t. George’s Independent School is fortunate to be home to multiple regional and state championships. For being such a young school, we have brought home an impressive number of trophies. Whether it is the football team competing in Cookeville, the soccer teams in Murfreesboro or the swim team in Nashville, we have had the opportunity to compete for a number of state titles. However, we seem to be unaware of the fact that we are home to a team who works through both the fall and winter sports seasons in order to compete at a National competition at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This means that this team competes to be the best in the country, not just the state of Tennessee. The St. George’s cheer team has competed at Nationals for the past seven years. Although they enjoy their part in helping to rally the fans and cheer on our Gryphon football players every fall, the cheer team has their sights set on goals that require them to move from the sidelines to
center stage. In fact, football season seems to be a warm-up for when the real competition starts. Starting in November, the cheer team competes in three to four competitions, ending with Nationals in February. However, it is not the high ponytails and big smiles that get them to Nationals each year. Senior leader Camden Betchick makes it very clear that a lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into each cheer season. “We usually practice six days a week for two hours, but will make practice longer and add a seventh day closer to competition time,” said Betchick. This year, there are especially high hopes for success at Disney World. The hard work of the nineteen girls that make up the cheer team has started to show. Betchick excitedly stated, “This season, we won Regionals, beating Arlington who is known around the city for being amazing at cheer.” This accomplishment was a very big step that puts them closer to success at Nationals. Betchick continued to say that she
The cheer team poses in the competition uniforms.
is “more confident than I have ever been going into this year’s Nationals. Even though our team is very young, we have a lot of talented girls who work incredibly hard. Hopefully we will come home with a white
Source: Sharon Lathum
National Champions jacket!” The St. George’s cheer team finished in ninth place at the National competiton. They are quite proud of their performance and hope to attend Nationals again next year.
St. George’s Independent School
Grizzlies grind through the years
Anna Merino ’14
here are very few teams that can say they have had a long-term successful franchise in the NBA, such as the San Antonio Spurs or the Los Angeles Lakers. The legacy of success is more than a function of the players at any point in time. It is a function of the organization. The Grizzlies began as a sub-par franchise in Vancouver – not exactly a thriving basketball town. The Grizzlies were bought by a billionaire from Chicago, Michael Heisley, and they started as one of the worst teams in the NBA. Through the brilliance of the recruitment team, the Grizzlies were placed into a sub-standard arena in the Pyramid. Memphis now had an NBA team, although with several horrific players and a weak management infrastructure. Jerry West, a former Laker player and manager, came from Los Angeles and helped to build up the team. One of the most difficult decisions of the Grizzlies over the years was the Pau Gasol trade. Gasol is a prolific power forward but he was not a franchise player. However, Gasol’s trade did not destroy the team. This is because one of the central tenants of the Grizzlies, from a structural standpoint, has been to build a team around a concept, rather than any specific player. This concept was eventually developed into the famous cry of “Grit & Grind.” Memphis really embraced the Grizzlies once the team was established as a blue-collar team, where no player was above diving for a ball or
The Grizzlies play basketball at the FedEx Forum.
playing hard defense to win the game. After trading Gasol, the Grizzlies received Zach Randolph, a supposedly troubled man, who rehabilitated himself and is now a pillar of the Memphis community, as is Grizzlies player Mike Conley. However, the Grizzlies’ recruiters have made mistakes; for example, the draft of Kevin Love, the OJ Mayo trade and the draft of Hasheem
Senate scores with new pep rally event
Meredith Gatlin ’14
It is a high school right of passage to ex-
perience a pep rally. The whole student body gathers to show school spirit and get pumped up for a big, up-coming game. Many of the students at St. George’s would agree that this year’s pep rallies have been a big improvement from ones in past years. For this year’s basketball season, students were able to come together for a big pep rally that was unlike any other. The big event at this pep rally was a co-ed basketball game where the faculty faced off with the seniors. The faculty team consisted of Mr. Bill McClain, Mrs. Kalyn Underwood, Mrs. Jill Reilly, Mr. Wilson Taylor, Mr. Will Bladt, Mr. Eugene Tarjan, Mr. Danny Broadway, and Mrs. Elizabeth Bran. On the senior team were Jack Matula, Jack Dunavent, Davis Selberg, Colin Kraus, Shelby Sims, Lindsey Cayce, Catherine Cantu, and Madison Lathum. The game was full of fun and exciting moments between the players. Mrs. Underwood channeled her inner Michael Jordan for her jumping ability as well as became increasingly aggressive on the basketball court. The greatest moment of the game was when Mr. Taylor caught an extraordinary pass from Mr. Bladt and then scored a 2-point basket. The game was a nail biter, going into overtime. The scores were neck and neck throughout the game, but eventually the seniors were able to pull off a win, with the score 16-14. It was a unique and fun idea that has never
Thabeet instead of Tyreke Evans. Despite these mistakes, the Grizzlies have still been able to maintain Tony Allen, a key player, as well as make the playoffs in the most competitive division in the NBA. This past year, the Grizzlies replaced Lionel Hollins with a new head coach, David Joerger. It is not yet clear if it is because of the players’ injuries, the new
Source: Taylor Owens ’15
Senior Jack Matula tips off against Mr. Bill McClain in senior vs. faculty basketball game.
management, or if the other teams in the NBA have significantly improved, but the team has had a significantly rocky transition. It has been a rough start this year, but throughout the years, the Grizzlies have shown that adversity is overcome through “Grit & Grind” and support from the Memphis community.
Swimmers streamline to State Lauren Marotta ’17
happened at a St. George’s pep rally before. Senior Casey Schneider said, “This has been the best pep rally by far.” Hopefully, this faculty-student basketball game will be an annual tradition.
Source: Lexie Marotta ’15
On February 14th and 15th, hun-
dreds of swimmers from across the state of Tennessee will travel to Nashville to compete in the Tennessee Swimming and Diving State Championships. St. George’s typically sends between seven and fifteen swimmers to the state meet. The meet lasts for two days and includes both swimming and diving competitions. The meet requires specific qualifying times and swimmers must remain focused all season to achieve a state cut. In previous years, the girls’ medley relay is the highest point earner for the school. The meet is run with preliminaries in the morning and finals at night. Only the top 16 fastest swimmers or relay teams per event make it to the finals. Coach Rob Snowberger hopes to have both the St. George’s girls’ and boys’ relays make it to finals this year. Last year, Wil Barton ’14 made the A final in the 500 freestyle, meaning he was one of the top eight swimmers in the state in his event. Two freshmen that have currently qualified for state are Sarah Thompson and John Barton.
Both earned their state cuts early in the competition season, along with senior Brynna Bartlett, and have been working to improve on those times. The Gryphon Swimmers are training hard for their final two qualifying meets with their ultimate goal being a bus ride to Nashville. On February 1st, St George’s competed in the Shelby County High school championships. After a great showing on the part of all St George’s swimmers, the “Killers in Speedos” came in third overall, with the girls repeating their first place victory by a margin of 20 points, and boys coming in the fourth place. For more updates on the St. George’s swim team, follow @KillrsInSpeedos. St. George’s is sending 16 swimmers to state this year. Freshmen: Sarah Thompson, Kneeland Gammill, John Barton, Lauren Marotta Sophomores: William McBride, Payton McGough Juniors: Lexie Marotta, Caroline Cannon, Susanna Hamsley Seniors: Calla Michalak, Wil Barton, Brynna Bartlett, Rachel Howard, Will Adkins, Michael Kutteh
St. George’s Independent School •
PLC public service announcements Personality differences create classroom address positive living challenges Brittany Correia ’14 F
or middle school students, it is an exciting time of year. Everyone has returned from winter break with some much needed rest and with reinvigorated spirit. The passing of the winter midterm also marks one of the most exciting middle school events of the year: the Peer Leadership Council’s Public Service Announcement project. Before break, the PLC met with each middle school advisory to brainstorm and come up with a preliminary script for a short video clip that either promotes good behavior or discourages negative behaviors. Since the Public Service Announcement project began last year, there have been videos on cheating, cleanliness, recycling, PLC leader Murry Goldberg assists Source: Lexie Marotta ’15 cyber bullying, social inclusion, middle schoolers filming their anti-bullying video campaign. and gossiping, just to name a few. Once classes resume in January, dents during the 2013-2014 PSA give middle schoolers a proper PLC meets with advisory groups video season. At the end of the forum to express their thoughts with each grade again to film the night (or rather, the chapel peri- about things that impact their videos. Once certain PLC mem- od), one advisory from each grade lives.” By letting the students decide bers edit the final videos, then the will be championed as Academy Award winners, with gold (col- on the topics they want to make fun really begins. All of the blood, sweat, and tears ored) trophies to show for their their short video about, the school community gets a better idea for that go into these videos deserve hard work. One of the primary goals of the the issues that are actually on the some recognition, right? This February will mark the second annual PSA project was to put the onus of minds of middle school students. PLC PSA Academy Award Cer- acting responsibility on the shoul- The past and present success of ders of the students themselves. the PSA project will hopefully emony. This red carpet event celebrates PLC Executive Member and become tradition and become an all of the magnificent triumphs founder of the PSA project, senior integral part of the middle school achieved by middle school stu- Calla Michalak, said, “It should curriculum.
Continued From Page 1 Extroverted students verbally answer every question, participate in group discussions and thrive at oral reports. They often get in trouble because they talk when they should be listening. Unlike extroverts, who are typically energized by social interaction, introverts can find interacting with groups of unfamiliar people exhausting. Introverted students enjoy solo or small group projects. They prefer writing their thoughts to presenting them, and rarely volunteer to answer questions in class. In busy and crowded classrooms, quiet students can be overlooked. To an observer, the quiet student in the back of the room may appear unmotivated. However, he or she may sim-
ply be an introvert who is quietly processing the lecture. In most scenarios, introverted students will not ask for help, for fear of being judged or because they feel as if they are bothering the teacher. They usually prefer to take their time to process their own thoughts. While students and teachers should be respectful of personal boundaries, by being asked to do something outside of their comfort zone, students become well-rounded and more confident in themselves. The styles of learning for introverts and extroverts are very different, and keeping a balance is something with which even the very best teachers struggle.
Sleep deprivation causes stress in students Colton Morgan ’14
our alarm clock goes off on another bright Monday morning and it feels like you only managed to get two hours of sleep. Maybe, that is because you actually only got two hours of sleep that night. Boston College research confirms that the United States had the highest percentage of sleepdeprived students, among other students in European and Asian countries in 2013. It seems like there is such a simple answer to this problem, and that is going to sleep at a reasonable hour. Sleep deprivation can cause grumpiness, weight gain, strokes and memory loss. However, there are too many factors in a student’s academic and social life that makes sleep the least of some student’s priorities. Teenagers seem to be so stressed that it keeps them awake at night. That is why I decided that I would interview students to go deeper into the minds of these sleepless creatures. I wanted to find out what type of pressures St. George’s students deal with and see what kind of sleeping patterns they
had. The majority of students whom I interviewed said that they get an average of five to six hours of sleep, and that they do their homework best when they are under pressure. Students typically felt pressured about schoolwork, keeping stable grades and getting into a good college. On the issue of completing homework, junior Vasili Doan states, “I end up doing it the night of and the assignment usually does not take as long as I anticipated.” Junior Chris DiNicolantonio says that he deals with stress by “eating lots of food” while freshman Kai Taylor says that she “gets on her phone to check texts.” Before sophomore Ellie Babb and junior Luke Robbins go to sleep, Babb says that she “wraps up phone conversations and text conversations” while Robbins “watches a movie or television show before bed”. When junior Preston Vihlen is approaching the time to go to sleep, he says, “I go to get coffee or a caffeine stimulant to keep me up.” What puzzled me was what kind of thoughts students had before they went to bed. Many students proclaimed that they
stay up and worry about the day ahead of them. Shane Talley, a senior, states, “Well, I think about all the homework I have to do tomorrow and what homework I did today”. As the stress builds up, this causes students to cloud their mind with stressful thoughts. This pattern seems extremely unhealthy, because sleep is supposed to be something that is enjoyed. Also, students seemed to fight past the sleepy feelings in order to finish schoolwork instead of just going to bed. Sleep deprivation seems to be controlled by the student. Students decide when they want to do their homework and decide how much time to give themselves to do homework. Also, it seems that most teenagers are hypnotized by their smart phones late at night. Students, including myself, cannot force themselves to close out of Tumblr, stop texting their significant other or put the pause on Netflix, for the sake of their own health. Students either distract themselves to sleep using media or keep themselves awake by procrastination until they pass out. Good grades and having a so-
cial life are very important, but sleep is something that should be enjoyed. Even if you receive good grades at the expense of sleep, in the long term, you’re the one who is really failing. Before you go to sleep, make sure to
turn off all electronics, block out all thoughts of school, and enjoy the peace that slumber provides.
Ensuring a healthy sleep schedule can help you be happier, healthier and increase your ability to focus as well.
Green Cup Challenge T
he Green Cup Challenge was a competition sponsored by the Green Cup Alliance, which is an organization that encourages schools around the country and the world to get involved in the green movement. St. George’s showed we have the ability to really do well in this challenge. The school started out in third place in the southern sector with a 7.4% overall reduction, which amounts to 3.1 kWh per person! Despite a drop in later weeks to seventh place, the school pushed on and the green stars continued to pile up. We really proved out commitment to saving energy during this challenge.
St. George’s Independent School
Relationships altered as technology evolves
Maggie Courtney ’14
lbert Einstein, one of society’s most notorious geniuses once said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” Could Einstein be correct? A national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that children between the ages of eight and eighteen spend over seven and a half hours a day using technology including cell phones, laptops, televisions, or iPods. However, because this age group is a generation of “multitaskers,” children actually accumulate a total of about 10 hours and 45 minutes of media content per day. The grand total amounts to about 75 hours of media every week. It is no wonder many parents and teachers struggle with media limitations. Children can significantly expand their minds through these devices, but how much usage is
too much? Mrs. Amy Michalak, Associate Director of Counseling and Guidance, elaborated on middle school relationships by saying, “texting can be very difficult because there is no emotion and people may read things differently than they were intended and that can be harmful for a relationship between a boy and girl, or a friendship.” Dating in middle-school terms may mean that a boy and girl are only texting, which can be easier for students experiencing those first feelings for a significant other. Mrs. Michalak said, “It keeps them from having to talk to each other.” Oftentimes, middle-school relationships are ended through a text. Mrs. Michalak said, “I sometimes hear of people texting that piece [the conversation] around.” If this happens, not only is the person who was broken up with sad, but they also become the object of social
scrutiny. This cop-out approach of removing oneself from a situation can negatively influence how a child will deal with problems in the future, especially when it comes to facing a boss or spouse. On high-school dating, Mrs. Michalak said, “If it’s balanced, then it’s okay; then, it is communication.” Relationships in high school move faster due to technology, but it is easy for older teens to find technology disturbing the terms of a proper relationship. In order to actually be dating, teens must have some sort of real-life interaction. Teenagers may exclusively use texting, Instagram, and other forms of social media to connect with for someone they have feelings. Consequently, two teens that have only connected through media will feel awkward together in a real-life social setting. Having previously taken the emotional part
out of a conversation, these two teens will feel as if they don’t actually know anything about each other. As teens mature, they become neurologically developed. An 18-year-old has the capacity for better self-control and is able to make better decisions than a -year old, who is scientifically more apt to make spontaneous decisions. Mrs. Michalak discussed “the big disconnect” that our society’s families often face. Phones at the dinner table and a lack of verbal conversation can be the burden of having a technological world if there is not enough parental control. No one wants his or her family to become disconnected just because of phone or laptop overuse. From a neurological standpoint, if a parent uses technology to communicate, then their child will catch on and do the same. This will create different neurological connections within
a child’s brain. The way a parent may have been raised to communicate may be completely different from how their child communicates. “If you don’t sit down and look people in the eye, hold hands, or any of these normal kinds of things, then you are missing part of what we’ve always defined as a relationship,” said Mrs. Michalak. For children who are on the shy side and may not enjoy a social setting, using a variety of multimedia can take away the intimidation of communicating with their peers. However, if children start to hide behind a screen in order to avoid verbal conversation, then technology can play a negative role on their social skills. Mrs. Michalak said, “I do not think technology is bad. I think it is a wonderful tool, but we just need to figure out how to use it in a healthy way so that you still have relationships.”
have always wanted to fly like a bird, which is impossible, so I figured jumping off a mountain was a close second,” said Harshbarger. Harshbarger said that she has never been nervous about jumping and paragliding off cliffs, just really excited. She does admit to being slightly on edge for her upcoming airplane jump in the spring. With her first jump at age 12 and many before her to come, her future in jumping soars before her. Freshman and beauty guru Megan Umansky makes videos about beauty, fashion, organization, and things that happen in her life. She started these videos on January 31, 2011. Unfortunately she stopped for almost a full year due to people at school making fun of her for them. “I know that I shouldn’t have cared, but since it was high schoolers making fun of me as a middle schooler, I couldn’t keep making them,” Umansky said. “As time went on without making videos, I realized that
making videos was something that I loved to do and that no one could stop me.” With new-found confidence, Umansky, otherwise known as The17Pink, continues to upload videos nearly every weekend. She states that editing the videos and coming up with an idea is the most challenging part about being a YouTuber. Having more than 130,000 views on one video, named “Room Tour,” Umansky debates whether or not she will pursue this as a career. Last but not least, senior Pearce Trenary started flying at age 14. After two years of flying experience and hard work, he was rewarded with his first rating at age 16. Trenary has flown all over the United States but says that his favorite flying vacation is his trip to Oshkosh every year. Trenary claims that his interest in aviation began when “I went to the world’s biggest airshow at age 14 and immediately fell in love.” He hopes to make a business career out of aviation.
Keys awarded for Students branch out from scholastic art endeavors typical after-school activities Courtney Tipton ’16
very year, a group of St. George’s students eagerly submit pieces of their artwork to the widely recognized Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. This competition is open to 7th-12th graders, and accepts submissions in fifteen different categories, including writing, painting, drawing, sculpture and photography. Winners of the regional portion of this art contest may be awarded with a gold or silver key as well as an Honorable Mention. A gold key award is the highest honor that a student can receive at the regional level. A silver key is the second best prize, and is awarded to any pieces of artwork that are also deserving of prestige. Of the gold key winners, five pieces of artwork will be chosen as American Visions and Voices Nominees, which is the “best in show” of the Scholastic competition. Once the artwork passes through the regional level of the competition, it will be sent on to the national level to be judged by another panel of judges. The prizes awarded at the national level are gold and silver medals that function much like the gold and silver key awards. Again, five artists from each region will also be awarded American Visions and Voices medal. If chosen for one of these awards, the artists could receive prizes, ranging from medals, cash or even scholarships.
Caroline Cannon ’15
This year, 41 students, ranging from the middle and upper school of St, George’s, submitted their art into this year’s competition. Of this group, eleven students placed in the Scholastic Art contest. Seniors Jack Matula, Pearce Trenary, and Natalie Proctor, along with junior Clay Crenshaw, sophomore Jared Whitaker, and seventh-grader Gaston Gill were all awarded Honorable Mentions for their pieces of artwork. Senior Natalie Prodanovich won a silver key for her short story in the science fiction/fantasy competition. Sophomores Francesca Healy and Sarah Barkowski, as well as junior Juliana Wall, all won gold key awards. Healy received her key for her self-portrait drawing. Wall, a junior, was awarded a key for her photograph called “Illuminating” as well as an Honorable Mention for her piece entitled “Worn.” Barkowski, a sophomore, received a gold key for her submission of her creative selfportrait. She was also awarded first place in the middle division of the competition. These gold key winners will each receive a cash prize and go on to compete in the national portion of the competition. Their pieces, and the silver key winners’ pieces will be hung at the Brooks Museum from January 25 through February 23.
George’s is far from the home of the average Joe. Each and every day is different in its own special way, much like our student body. By simply sitting in the hall, one could be entertained for hours by the conversations and events that transpire in those corridors. Filled with athletes, artists, comedians, brains, and quite a few who are somewhere in the middle, something will bring loads of entertainment. There are still quite a few students who do not fall under any of those categories. Some obscure activities of St. George’s students are paragliding/skydiving, making YouTube videos, and flying airplanes. The lovely junior Courtney Harshbarger enjoys jumping off of cliffs in her free time. In the spring, however, she will be jumping out of a real life, highflying airplane. Most parents would be concerned with their youngest daughter jumping from such heights but it was actually Harshbarger’s mother who got her addicted to the thrill. “Ever since I was little I
St. George’s Independent School
The Winter Swoon hits St. George’s
Dagny Vaughn ’14
very winter, the St. George’s population is attacked by a plethora of pathogens that cause the number of flu-struck students and sore throats to climb higher and higher each day. However, according to information acquired through undisclosed studies from Bovina, New York, there is a phenomenon that is to be feared far more than any seasonal influenza, and that is the dreaded Winter Swoon. “Like a fog slowly and steadily rising from a river bottom, the Winter Swoon creeps into student minds soon after the end of the first trimester and clouds their academic judgment through at least Winter Break. Sometimes longer in extreme cases,” explains Mr. Tom Morris. Based on Mr. Morris’s observations, the Swoon appears to begin with a series of symptoms ranging from “I’ll do it tomorrow” Syndrome to “Dude, I have plenty of time to take care of that” Syndrome. Occasionally, symptoms can even take the forms of the “I will do really well next trimester” trap. After these initial symptoms, affected students are overcome with a crippling lack of motivation and an increased desire to curl up with their Netflix accounts on cold winter nights, instead of completing assignments. In many cases, second trimester grades begin to look as dismal as the weather outside. Perhaps the most dangerous adversary to any student, the Winter Swoon is much more difficult to spot than a typical virus, causing many students to develop cases too advanced to be cured. Usually, the Swoon is not even detected by the student themselves, but by teachers and parents
Source: Courtney Harshbarger’15
monitoring their school performance. However, there is hope for those in danger of catching the Swoon, or those on the brink of contamination. Though it may seem impossible to fight such a discreet disease, experts believe there is a way to outsmart it. “There is one way to avoid the Swoon: a determined, gritty work ethic fueled by a positive attitude and a commitment to remaining focused on academic goals. Nothing else works, not even juicing,” says Mr. Morris. So, as the winter stretches through the next couple of months, remember to protect against the Swoon with determination and an unbreakable focus. No matter how tempting that Netflix binge may sound, it is not worth sacrificing those second trimester grades. Beware the Swoon!
Quality counts for in-class films
Juliana Wall ’15
he sentence, “Today, we are watching a movie,” is probably one of the most enjoyable things to hear from a teacher, especially when you have been stressed out about all your recent schoolwork. Besides, it is common knowledge that kicking back and watching a film is way better than doing work. After a survey was taken, it became pretty clear that the vast majority of the high school population is in favor of watching movies in class. In fact, most people said they quite enjoy taking a break from the everyday work by watching a movie. Mrs. Jamie James’ tenth-grade history class’ latest Hollywood adventure was the film “Amistad.” When the students were asked if they like watching movies in this class, they collectively agreed they always looked forward to them. Now, this particular film is a drama, so most people would probably dismiss it, claiming there is no real value in watching movies like this simply because they are made to entertain, not to be historically accurate. However, Dr. Marianne Leung proved a hole in this theory by pointing out that even if they are not one hundred percent accurate, historical dramas still bring events in history to life, constructing a story in student’s minds instead of a boring list of facts and dates. Nonetheless, Dr. Leung agreed that there can be fallacies in the events that happen in the plotline of the movies, but students can use that to their advantage. “They help students think critically and historically in order to determine what is historically accurate and what is not,” she said. It is always interesting to see what Hollywood tries to pass off as fact when it is actually fiction. In the English curriculum at St. George’s,
students are often required to read plays, most of them by Shakespeare. It is often said that Shakespeare is meant to be performed and heard, so is it not beneficial to show the performed play in addition to reading it? That’s what Mr. Wilson Taylor said about the plays his tenth-grade students read. “Plays are open to interpretation,” he noted, “so it’s interesting to see how the directors open up the possibilities in the text.” Reading plays can sometimes be difficult enough to visualize, as with Shakespeare’s fancy words and complex metaphors, so it is especially helpful to be able to follow along in the script of the play you’re watching. While most students get excited for movie time, some tend to judge whether or not they’re going to like watching it on what movie is actually being shown. If it is an action- filled thriller such as “Troy,” “The Patriot,” or even the renowned “Braveheart,” it is more likely that students will pay attention. On the other hand, if the film that is being shown is something that no one has ever heard of, then the response would most likely be less enthusiastic. “It depends on the movie,” reflected junior Matthew Turner. He did, however, remember rather enjoying watching “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” in Mr. Zack Adcock’s English class, which was a humorous parody of Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey.” Films that are shown in school are a way to relax, but still keep gears in the brain going. These movies are generally entertaining, but they also help shed light on subjects that may have been difficult to grasp at first. While some people might say that the more practical films are boring, let’s face it: everyone loves a good in-class movie.
It’s your choice: Administration Mandarin to be introduced on all three campuses broadens course options Meredith Gatlin ’14
Allie Buckmaster ’15
Whether you are a rising freshman
or a rising senior, picking classes can be stressful. It might seem daunting, even final. However, with a deep breath, some honest self-evaluation, and knowledge of the St. George’s class opportunities and courses necessary to graduate, choosing classes will be one of the easiest decisions you make all year. Pre-registration for the 2014-2015 school year opened February 3rd, and St. George’s is offering new and more challenging classes to fill up your schedule and impress colleges. With more honors options next year, students can get an advanced course in classes other than the traditional math and sciences, like English I and World History. Another new option, blended courses, range from African-American Studies to Modern Music Ensemble, and meet only three times a week. The rest of the time is spent online through the teacher’s portal for reflection, reading, and research. Whether you’re just entering high school or about to leave it, here are some things to think about when you register: How am I doing this year? Will I be able to take on a more challenging course load? Or do I need to scale it back? “Everything is about pacing,” said Mr.
Zack Adcock. Making consistent educational progress is key, but it does not have to happen all at once. There’s such a great variety of classes next year so you can “take good, academic, healthy risks,” said Mr. Tom Morris, but still work in the parameters of your abilities and interests. To underclassmen, understand that there are four years in which you can meet all your requirements. However, many rising seniors would urge younger students to get those required classes out of the way as soon as possible, so you’re not scrambling to fulfill that one-third art credit as a senior when you could be taking Philosophy. To everyone, if you are completely lost as to whether or not you should take a class, there are many different people who are more than happy to guide you in the right direction. Your parents will offer you encouraging words and a warm hug, your teachers will nudge you to take their class next year, and college guidance will aim to rack up your resume, but they all want you to succeed. Listen to what they have to say and then determine what will make you happy and properly challenged. Then, pick you courses for the next school year.
With the rise of China as a world super
power, it is important for American students to become immersed in the Chinese languages. Many schools throughout the nation are teaching Mandarin, and those schools now include St. George’s. Students at the Germantown campus and Memphis campus are learning Mandarin in kindergarten through fifth grade classes and next year, the langage will expand to the Upper School as well. Ms. Xin Fang is the new teacher of Mandarin and Chinese culture at the Germantown campus and Memphis campus. Ms. Fang teaches greetings, children’s songs, and numbers to the younger grades, phrases such as, “How are you?” to third and fourth graders, and she teaches the fifth graders how to write Chinese characters. Although this is not a strenuous course, students are still learning basics that everyone should attempt to learn. Ms. Fang is also teaching the students about Chinese culture. Students learn how to properly hold chopsticks and perform brush writing, and paper cutting. Ms. Fang
said, “Being exposed to something totally different helps broaden our minds and views. And it also provides possibilities for our future.” The Lower School students are not the only ones who have the opportunity to learn language. Starting next year, middle and upper school students at the Collierville campus will be able to learn Mandarin, according to Mr. Bill Taylor. Even students who feel as if it might be too late to start learning Mandarin, which is a language that is often recommended to start at a younger age, are also able to learn this language. Mr. Will Bladt said, “We will be offering a Mandarin course to seventh and eighth graders as well as students in the upper school.” It may take a few years but eventually students will be able to take advance Mandarin courses beyond beginner courses. Mr. Bladt said, “When the current sixth graders are seniors, we will be able to offer AP Mandarin as a course.” Children in China often learn English in school, so it is exciting to see St. George’s students learn about the Chinese language and culture.