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The

Gryphon Gazette

December 2015

The Student Voice of St. George’s Independent School • Volume XIV, Issue III

Photo: Katie Boyle ’17 As a part of the new schedule next year, the committee has proposed to get rid of passing periods and bells. If this is incorporated into the new schedule, students would go to their next class immediately after they are dismissed by their teacher.

Rotating into a new schedule Proposed changes include late start, semesters Merryn Ruthling ’18

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magine school starting at 8:30 a.m., going to four 70-minute classes a day, having an extra letter day and taking exams twice a year. Next year at St. George’s, this may become a reality. These proposed schedule changes were introduced to a small group of students in November. Sophomore Maggie Vento was present at this meeting and is optimistic about the proposed changes. “I really like it,” Vento said. “I

think the fact that we may have semesters and a later start with tutorials in the morning will be better.” A committee of St. George’s teachers and administrators have been working to create a new schedule for over a year. The committee had two goals in mind when creating the new schedule. They wanted the new schedule to work with both the middle and upper school, and they wanted time to be used more efficiently in both wings, helping students be better rested and focused for class.

“The second piece is grounded in what brain research tells us about how people your age learn,” Head of Upper School Mr. Tom Morris said. “That tells us that the better rested you are with a later start in the day, the better you learn.” To achieve the first goal, the new schedule would be the same for both middle and upper school, including a sevenperiod rotation over seven days instead of the current rotation of an eight-period rotation over six days. To accomplish their next goal, the committee proposed

a later start time of 8:30 a.m., with tutorials in the morning instead of after school. Tutorial in the morning will allow sports practices to be held earlier in the afternoon, making it possible for students to start homework earlier than before. Faculty meetings would also be held in the morning on Wednesdays, resulting in a 9 a.m. start time on those days. “Teenagers need around nine hours of sleep,” Associate Head of School Mr. Will Bladt said. “If we can cut down on the number of homework assignments

Features

Entertainment

and get students an extra hour a day, that would be extremely helpful.” Another significant change in the current schedule includes not having dismissal bells or transitioning time in between classes. Currently, students have a four-minute period to get to class. Next year, however, this four-minute period will be removed and students will get to class as quickly as possible.

Cont. on Page 3

Top Stories News • Can’t we all just ‘Meet in the Middle?’ (p.3)

Sports • Taking up arms (p.4)

• Senior Sophia Quesada captures the lives of St. George’s students (p.6)

• 12 things to do this Christmas (p.8)

Opinion • Give me pretzels or give me death (p.10)


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December

The Gryphon Gazette

News

STAFF “Alpaca” your bags

Co-Editors-in-Chief

Miriam Brown ’17 Annie Vento ’17

Advisor Dr. Margaret Robertson

Layout Editors

Students prepare for Spanish immersion trip to Peru St. George’s está planeando un viaje a Perú durante del receso de primavera de dos mil dieciséis a través de Med Life. Este es un viaje nuevo para la escuela. Mientras en el viaje, los estudiantes van a dar cuidado médico a los familias pobres en Cusco, Perú. También van a poder practicar su español en un país que habla español. St. George’s is planning a trip to Peru during Spring Break of 2016 with MedLife. This is a new type of trip for the school. While in Peru, students will provide medical care to families in need in Cusco, Peru. They will also be able to practice their Spanish in a Spanish-speaking country.

Katie Boyle ’17 Elise Fong ’16 Laura McDowell ’17 Carolyn Lane ’18 Annie Murff ’18

Copy Editors Kendall LoCascio ’17 Laura McDowell ’17 Rachel Ducker ’17 Annie Murff ’18 Caroline Zummach ’18

Photo Editor Katie Boyle ’17

News Editor Carolyn Lane ’18

Features Editor Kendall LoCascio’17

Entertainment Editors Rachel Ducker ’17 Emma Pounders ’18

Sports Editor

Bayard Anderson ’17

Opinion Editor Web Editors

Elise Fong ’16

Grant Webb ’16 Jacob Peeples ’16 Eric DiNicolantonio ’16

Staff Writers Sam Hyde ’16 Matthew Blum ’17 Iona Yates ’17 Anna Harbert ’18 Merryn Ruthling ’18 The Gryphon Gazette is dedicated to serving as an authentic voice for the students of St. George’s Independent School. We at the Gryphon Gazette strive to be an open forum for student expression, to act in the best interests of the student body and to embody the principles of journalistic excellence.

Do you think we missed anything? Feel free to comment on the stories on thegryphongazette.org St. George’s Independent School 1880 Wolf River Blvd. Collierville, TN 38017

Photo: Caroline Zummach ‘18 Students plan on traveling to Peru during Spring Break of 2016 to assist the medical needs of families in rural areas of Cusco. In the past, St. George’s trips have traveled to countries in Europe where students visited historical sites.

Caroline Zummach ‘18

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he trip to Peru was brought to teachers’ attention last year when the idea was introduced by students. “It was student-recommended,” Spanish II teacher Ms. Freya Kridle said. “A few juniors approached Ms. Mary Reed about doing a service project abroad that would be for Spanish students.” The trip was then approved in September of this year, and at least 12 students have expressed serious interest so far. The trip has also recently opened up for students involved in the Citizenship Institute. This experience will be the first of its kind at St. George’s. In the past, St. George’s trips have typically travelled to countries in Europe where students visited historical sights and museums.

“This is the first time St. George’s is offering a trip that is service-related,” Ms. Reed, lead high school Spanish teacher, said. “It is a really unique opportunity.” St. George’s students will work in a clinic educating locals on hygiene. Students will also assist local doctors and dentists as they treat patients. “Helping a little kid brush their teeth doesn’t take much, but it makes such a big difference,” sophomore Whitney Ziegenhorn, who is planning on attending the trip, said. Ziegenhorn enjoys going out of the country and helping people, and she believes this trip will be a great fit for her. During the trip, the group of students will participate in a community building project, and they

will also take a day trip to Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains of Peru. As this is a Spanish-immersion trip, students will practice their Spanish-speaking skills in a community outside of the classroom when speaking with the locals in Peru. “It will be hard, but the aspect of pushing myself to speak Spanish outside of classroom work [means] I can become better,” Ziegenhorn said. While this trip is in service of the locals of Peru, it will benefit students and teachers who attend as well, according to Ms. Reed. “You are more fulfilled as a human being by serving others,” Ms. Reed said. “It is a great path to happiness in your own life.”

CORRECTIONS AND RETRACTIONS: The St. George’s Gryphon Gazette strives for accuracy in all articles. However, mistakes are sometimes made. When this happens, you will see corrections here. Issues 1 and 2, page 2: Sophomore Anna Harbert was mistakenly left out of the staff column. She is a staff writer. Issue 2, page 12: A question on the flow chart on the back page was misleading. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders want to increase government spending.


December

The Student Voice of St. George’s Independent School

News

Rotating into a new schedule continued

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Continued from page 1

Additionally, the new schedule will consist of fewer classes each day, resulting in less homework each night and more time for sleep. However, the reasoning behind fewer classes and longer periods is not solely justified by the need for sleep. Mr. Morris explained that, in general, kids spend 14 minutes transitioning in and out of class, and having 70-minute class periods would add 15 more minutes of engaged, in-class learning. “The meaningful work you’re doing remains, but the extra work you’re doing declines,” Mr. Morris said. “In essence, what we’re doing is we are trading time outside of school for better and deeper learning in school.” Teachers will have to adapt to these longer 70-minute periods, as it will be a change from the current 45-minute schedule. The longer

class times will require a multifaceted lesson plan with different ways to engage students with the material. In addition, the change in class length will affect what is being and can be taught. “I think it’s great that it will allow us to go deeper into concepts so we can have students learn material on a deeper level,” upper school math teacher and math department chair Ms. Page McMullen said. “But, the number of concepts that we can cover in a year will have to be reduced in order to compensate for that.” The committee is also considering making the switch from trimesters to semesters. If this is put into place, students would take exams before Christmas break, and there would still be project exam grades as well as written exams. The hope is that switching to semesters will

take out the stress associated with sports seasons ending at the same time as trimester exams. None of these ideas are set in stone, and there are still many details that need to be worked out. Some of those details includes whether one-third credits will be changed to one-half credits with the switch to semesters as well as when wellness will occur. The actual schedule should be released in January of 2016. “At our school, we want to use hands-on experiences and projectbased learning, and we want to have kids do and make and create and work together,” Mr. Bladt said. “That short class every single day really hamstrings us from designing experiences that are really engaging to kids, and it is something that we need to change.”

What Would Be New Next Year: • Four academic classes a day

• Semesters • 70-minute classes • No dismissing bell • 8:30 a.m. start everyday but Wednesday

• 9 a.m. start on Wednesday • Tutorial in the morning

Can’t we all just ‘Meet in the Middle?’ Students weigh in on controversial topics Eric DiNicolantonio ‘16

Every red flex, students gather

in H270, Ms. Freya Kridle’s room, to “meet in the middle” on certain topics with their classmates. Meet in the Middle is a club that was organized by Associate Head of School Mr. Will Bladt where students can meet to talk about some of the “hot topics” in the news and within St. George’s. Many important topics have come up in these discussions, including feminism, racism, police brutality, religion and terrorism. “We need to have a place where we have these regularly scheduled meetings so that, when these things happen, we can talk about them,” Mr. Bladt said. Any student can come and express their opinion on whatever the topic of the day is. Although Mr. Bladt is involved in planning the meetings, his role is almost exclusively the mediator, so nearly all of the discussion is studentled. The discussion is quite lively, with passionate students weighing in on each topic. Recently attending her third meeting, junior Faith Huff has enjoyed her time at meetings as much as ever. She claims that the passionate students, such as junior Regine Miller, are the pri-

Illustration: Elle vaughn ‘17

mary reason she continues to attend club meetings. On the other hand, Miller loves how the club gives her an outlet for the feelings and opinions that she normally has to hold in. When coming together, Meet in the Middle embraces three different values, which are connection, understanding and appreciation. The goals of the club are to let the students learn about each other, embrace their similarities and, as a result, be able to appreciate diversity and differences amongst each other. “This is something our school

needs,” senior Paige Madison said. Madison attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference last year, and she was inspired after seeing all kinds of diversity clubs from other schools at the conference. Working together with Director of College Guidance, Mr. Timothy Gibson, seniors Autumn Jones, Madison and Blake Nicolia and juniors Essence Davis and Annie Vento took this idea to the next level and made it a reality. Mr. Bladt hopes to expand the club further in terms of members. “Each time we’ve met, there

have been more people in the room than the time before,” Mr. Bladt said. Although nothing new is planned in the foreseeable future, Mr. Bladt discussed ambitions about possibly holding a multi-school conference about inclusivity and diversity in the future. Meet in the Middle encourages student participation, and they encourage anyone who wants to learn more about the program to come by and try it out for themselves.


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December

The Gryphon Gazette

Sports

taking up arms Fencing program is on the rise Bayard Anderson ’17

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nyone who has ever watched a James Bond movie remembers the classic scene in which Bond gets into a sword fight at a fencing facility. In this scene, the first person to draw blood from the chest wins the fight. Senior Alex Merino cites this as the reason he decided to start fencing. Merino saw the scene when he was nine, and with the help Coach Tom Knowles, his fencing coach, Merino has worked his way up in the fencing community. He began fencing when he was 13, playing in a padded weapons martial arts program. Fencers are ranked on a scale of A to E, A being the best and E being the worst. Additionally, fencers can be unranked if they have not

participated in enough competitions. Merino is currently ranked at a B status and is starting to make a name for himself. “I regularly win quite a few local competitions,” Merino said. “I’m working my way up on the national scene.” Merino plans to continue his fencing career after high school. “I really love doing it on a weekly basis, and I do plan on fencing on a college team,” Merino said. “It’s going to be really fun.” Merino would not be the first St. George’s student to fence in college, as alumnus Jake Doan now fences at Indiana University. Merino hopes that he can help build St. George’s back up as a strong fencing community, like it was when

Doan was a student. Freshman Aiden Tanzer may be just the person to help with this. Tanzer began fencing this past summer, even though he wanted to begin earlier. “I have wanted to fence since fifth grade, but I thought it was a varsity sport, so I waited until this summer,” Tanzer said. Tanzer has not attended any tournaments yet, but he is starting to do more individual work with Coach Knowles and plans to start attending tournaments in the fall. According to Coach Knowles, there is currently a course at St. George’s for students who are interested in learning how to fence. “Before anyone can try out, they need to know how to play the

sport,” Coach Knowles said. “These first six weeks were supposed to give students the chance to get started.” The course meets on Fridays but, at this point, not enough people have signed up. “If we get a good number to take the Learn to Fence course, then it is my hope that many of those will want to move forward and become the core of the fencing team,” Coach Knowles said. Both Tanzer and Merino agree that St. George’s would be a great fit for a fencing team. Between the experience of Merino and the youth of Tanzer, it may only be a matter of time before St. George’s is fighting its way into the world of fencing.

Senior Alex Merino holds his sword across his face. Merino and freshman Aiden Tanzer have started to reinvigorate a new wave of fencers at St. George’s. Alex Merino poses in his fencing equipment. Merino has been ranked among the best fencers in the nation.

Photos: Annie Vento ’17

SPORTS IN BRIEF Sam Hyde ‘16

Cheer: St. George’s competitive cheer recently earned a bid to nationals, thanks to their performance at their competition on Dec. 5. Nationals will take place in February in Orlando. The cheer team hopes to build on their strong performance last year and do even better this year.

Winter Cheer: The winter cheer team has changed dramatically since last season. They have lost four members to graduation and gained about eight new members, but they have also begun practicing earlier in the year, which means they now have more experience working as a team. Along with continuing to cheer at basketball games, they hope to bond more as a team this year, especially with their new members.

Girls Basketball:

Football:

Wrestling:

The varsity girls basketball team is expecting a season vastly different from last year’s. After losing five players to graduated and gaining about four, they are planning to have a steady team this year and grow and bond together, on and off the court. With leadership from their lone senior, Katherine Clayton, the team plans to make it to the tournament this year. Their current record is 1-1.

The St. George’s varsity football team is coming off a successful season, in which they took the state championship over Northpoint Christian School 50-20. Junior Ben Glass took home Offensive MVP with six total touchdowns, while junior Noah Pope took Defensive MVP. This is the third football state title in St. George’s history, they went 13-1 this past season.

St. George’s varsity wrestling just had their Black Horse Tournament at Houston High, as well as their Cordova Preseason Tournament. The wrestling team had quite a few of their members place at the Cordova Preseason Tournament, as well as at the Black Horse Tournament, which makes this season look very promising.

Boys Basketball:

Swimming:

St. George’s varisty basketball is looking to continue their championship season last year by hopefully winning another state title this year. They will have several key contributors returning, seeing as the football season has ended, which will help them defend their state title. Their current record is 1-3.

The swim team has been very successful this year, with students qualifying for state and county meets in 16 events. Senior William McBride and juniors John Barton and Sarah Thompson lead their charge this year, and the team recently beat Houston High and lost to Ensworth.

For sports commentary, check out the Brocast video series on thegryphongazette.org


December

The Gryphon Gazette

Sports

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On defense Gryphons shoot for state repeat

Photo: Avery Whitehead ’17 St. George’s Varsity Basketball forms a huddle to discuss their gameplan during a game against ECS on Dec. 9. The Gryphons won state last year and look to do it again.

Sam Hyde ’16

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oming off one of the best seasons in the team’s history, the St. George’s Gryphons varsity basketball team is looking to repeat their success from last year. Seniors Mac McGuffee and Eric Matula looked at last year as one of the best moments of their lives. “That was a great season and it was

definitely something special to be a part of,” McGuffee said. “It was something that I will never forget.” “Last year’s season was incredible. We came together as a team to push our common goal to win state,” Matula said. “We had a lot of good talent, and it was a great season to be a part of.”

The team prides itself on its excellent outside shooting. Juniors Ryan Bray and Chase Hayden are adept three-point shooters who are commonly asked to space the floor for players like junior Noah Pope, who does most of his damage inside the arc. The Gryphons’ defense still looks to be formidable as well, as the team works off of a zone defense that forces other teams to take outside shots and prevents them from getting too many looks inside the paint. However, the team will not be without key losses this year. The team has lost five contributors to last season’s team. Four of those five, Justin Scott, Justin Wertner, Logan Parsons and Connor Green, graduated last year. Meanwhile, the fifth, McGuffee, tore his ACL during the first varsity game this year, which will cost him the season. “We lost some leadership and obviously some scoring threats,” McGuffee said. “Connor was a big part of the inside presence and Justin and his size was big. Their length will be missed as we will be smaller.” All hope is not lost, however, as two of the biggest contributors to last season’s championship, Hayden and Pope, will be returning. Members of the team trust in both players’ abilities and believe that each one will take on a bigger role this season.

“I think Noah will have to be a big inside presence. Chase, I’m not sure his role will change that much,” McGuffee said. “He was our leading scorer towards the end of the year, so we will need that night in and night out.” Both players are juniors this year, and with another year of experience under their belts, they will be asked to fill a larger role in order to fill the holes left by the players who have left the team. Other players on the Gryphons’ team look to take on larger roles, such as juniors Johnathan McNeill, Bray and Corey Jones, as well as seniors Matula and Andrew Deaton. The foundation for the team has been weakened by the departure of the seniors from last year and the injury to McGuffee, but this year is still very promising. “We are looking forward to doing all that we can to defend our state championship. More importantly we will strive to play with great effort, focus and as a team to represent the school well,” varsity basketball Coach Jeff Ruffin said about this coming season. “While we lost some tremendous players to graduation this past year, we are excited about the nucleus that returns and know that this good group of young men will work hard to prepare themselves for another good season of Gryphon basketball,” Coach Ruffin said.

Hounds, Stallions, Ducklings, oh my! Students jump into rec basketball Annie Vento ’17

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here was less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Pterodactyls and Flamingos were locked in a tight game with a full gym of fans watching. The Flamingos scored with five seconds left in the game and went up by two points, breaking the tie. Pterodactyl Head Coach Brian Wirth called for a timeout and drew up an inbounds play. Bayard Anderson was to throw the ball to Morgan Wirth within the last five seconds for a buzzer beater, but Wirth was not open. The ball was thrown to Luke Wagerman and, as he fired from half court, the ball slowly flew into the air, missed the hoop and the Flamingos won by two. While this nail-biting type of game may remind many of a varsity game, it was actually a recreational, or rec, basketball game from the the last season of the Pterodactyls. St. George’s students collectively represent more than seven rec basketball teams, including the senior Hounds and Swans, the junior Young Dolphins and Stallions, the sophomore Dynasty and Ugly Ducklings and the freshman Tree Frogs. Students have been involved with rec basketball teams since they were in middle school. As they have grown up and entered high school, their respective teams have grown with them. Last year, about 10 junior boys represented the Pterodactyls team, who played rec basketball together since fifth grade but did not officially recognize themselves as the Pterodactyls until ninth grade. However, the team split into two

separate teams this year, the Young Dolphins and the Stallions. “The Pterodactyls split because some members of the team wanted more playing time, so we decided to go our separate ways,” junior John Carter Hawkins, who plays for the Stallions, said. “However, with this split, there is still a strong bond between players.” “I love playing rec [basketball], because at the end of the day, everyone is playing purely for fun,” junior Graham Sisson, who plays for the Young Dolphins, said. “There are no state championships on the line, and while it would be nice to win the league tournament, nobody on our team will be too disappointed if we don’t.” New to the rec basketball scene, the Tree Frogs consists of a group of freshmen boys who are confident they will go undefeated this season. “The team [was] started by a group of people who played on the school team last year, but decided they did not want to play for the school this year,” freshman Alec White, who plays for the Tree Frogs, said. “I decided to pick rec over school because school basketball would have taken up a lot of my time.” A typical rec basketball season is slightly shorter than varsity or junior varsity, beginning in early December and lasting until early February. They also play less games compared to the approximate 30 games played in a typical varsity or JV season. For example, the Young Dolphins will play at least 13 games this season, while the Stallions have eight games.

Photo: Annie Vento ’17 Junior Bayard anderson goes for a steal in their game against Bluff City Blues. The Young Dolphins won their game 33-24 on Dec. 2.

Often, fans of basketball choose to attend varsity basketball games over rec games with the belief that varsity players are better at basketball, and varsity games are more exciting. “I would say the biggest misconception is the idea that rec basketball is always terrible basketball,” Sisson said. “While the games are often low-scoring and some teams definitely have more skill than others, there are definitely moments in close games where pretty, maybe even beautiful, basketball is being played.” Despite these stereotypes, rec basketball games have seen large attendances

from fellow St. George’s students in the past, many of whom are friends supporting each other. One such fan is junior Brook Goodman, who plays varsity girls basketball. “I attend the basketball games because they are a lot of fun, and I like supporting my friends,” Goodman, who has been attending games since her freshman year, said. “In the rec league, it’s a league just for fun and to have a good time, but [in] varsity basketball, it’s a lot more serious because they have a goal of getting to state.”


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December

The Gryphon Gazette

Features

Through the lens

clockwise from the top: Senior Caroline Green and the Owner of Gibson’s Donuts, sophomore Maggie Vento, Alumna Leah Hodgkiss, Senior Courtney Tipton, Junior Kneeland Gammill and senior Duncan Daniel.

Photos: Sophia Quesdada ’16 Illustration: Katie Boyle ’17

Senior Sophia Quesada captures the lives of St. George’s students Annie Murff ’18

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hen students log on to The Teenage Experiment’s Instagram, they learn that sophomore Maggie Vento’s favorite place is the St. George’s beach and senior Caroline Green goes to Gibson’s Donuts with her dad on a regular basis. Students can keep scrolling and learn even more fascinating facts about various St. George’s upper school students, such as Allie Harbert, Adam Cruthirds and Daniel Quesada. Senior Sophia Quesada is currently working on her Senior Independent Study project. However, it is not just any SIS project, as the fittingly-named “Teenage Ex-

pursue that project because of the extensive amount of equipment needed to carry out such a study, but she wanted to remain on the path of developmental psychology. In the end, she decided to create an Instagram page called The Teenage Experiment in order to find out “different things about people that you wouldn’t see in the hallways.” Quesada follows her subjects to places in Memphis that are personally meaningful to them, including Gibson’s Donuts, the Memphis Pyramid and even the St. George’s field house. “[It’s] cool to see places that aren’t only

“[They] have experiences that are really meaningful to them that we didn’t even know about.” periment” has not only caught the attention of the Gryphon Gazette, but also much of the upper school as well. SIS, which is led by high school English teacher Mr. Jamie Roszel, is a program unique to St. George’s. According to Mr. Roszel, this project is the chance for seniors to show off the skills they have acquired from first through twelfth grade. It explores something that bears meaning in a student’s life, and Quesada does just that. “The person we become has a lot to do with the brain and who we are,” Quesada said. For her SIS project, Quesada originally set out to do a psychology-based project, a “sleep study” of sorts. She decided not to

in Midtown and hip and trendy, but actual places that have meaning to them or meant something to someone,” Quesada said. After arriving at the chosen location, Quesada asks the subject a series of ten questions, ranging from “What has been your hardest experience?” to “What do youthink the purpose of life is?” However, Quesada only picks one of those ten answers to be featured in the Instagram post for anyone who follows her account to see. According to Quesada, the chosen answer out of the ten is either the one that “encompasses the entire interview and their personality” or one that includes a “surprising” answer. She hopes that other teenagers will see these interesting answers and feel more comfort-

able with being themselves. “If other teenagers see other teenagers [and] that there is more to them, they will be more okay with being themselves,” Quesada said. She hopes this will help teenagers be seen in a new and different perspective. Senior Courtney Tipton, who was subject number 18, is one of the 20 people who volunteered to share their story. She credits her wanting to participate in the project to her love for horses. “I could go on about my horse for like six hours,” Tipton said. “However, I wanted to explain that it’s more than just ‘I ride horses,’ that it goes deeper than that.” Tipton describes the interview being “chill” and “interactive.” When asked how this SIS project is beneficial to others, Tipton said that Quesada’s questions are much “deeper than one’s that teenagers are normally asked,” and it is interesting to learn new things about people that are not seen everyday. “These are kids, friends even, that have experiences that are really meaningful to them that we didn’t even know about,” Tipton said. “[The Teenage Experiment] is interesting because it is trying to tackle individual experiences and what it is like to go through adolescence,” Mr. Roszel said. “It is especially interesting for [the younger] generation because everyone has become so focused on social media.” “It’s more introspective because it asks questions we are never asked,” Quesada

said. According to Mr. Roszel, it’s very “student-focused” and “global in the sense that it can affect all teens.” Quesada credits the popular Instagram account, Humans of New York, for inspiration, thinking it would be great if Memphis had one, thus creating the idea of @theteenageexperiment. Quesada says she wants not only to show Memphis off by showcasing the interesting places that hold meaning to specific people, but by showcasing the special people that are in her life as well. She wants The Teenage Experiment’s Instagram page to be a forum where people can share their thoughts safely and comfortably. “It’s okay to be vulnerable [and] it’s okay to yourself,” Quesada said.

Photo: Annie Murff ’18 Senior Sophia Quesada poses for a photo while looking through her camera lens. For her SIS project she took photos of different students.


December

The Student Voice of St. George’s Independent School •

Features

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‘Lifelong Gryphons’

Bleachers Creatures encourage student, alumni spirit Photo: Carolyn Lane ’18 Students participate in “the roller coaster” at the football state championship. The Gryphons proceeded to win the state title in front of over 220 students.

Miriam Brown ’17

The Bleacher Creatures weren’t about

to let a fence at an away football game keep them from celebrating a St. George’s win. Even though St. George’s students had been told that they were not allowed to run on the field to celebrate after the 38-21 win over Briarcrest on Aug. 28, they still found a way to support the team. The students stood on one side of the fence and linked arms with the Gryphon football team on the other side, and the Bleacher Creatures led the tradition of singing and swaying to “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show, which was played on one student’s wireless speaker. “That was a moment where there’s an obstacle in front of us, and they figured out a way to make it happen in a respectful way,” Athletic Director Mr. Tom Densford said. “Being a person who saw it happen, I think that was really cool.”

The group’s mission is to create a strong sense of school spirit and support for student athletes through positive encouragement, and this large show of support at an away game was a clear sign that the Bleacher Creatures have been succeeding at exactly that. The group is led by a group of seniors, including Prefect of Spirit Will Courtney. Courtney said that the small attendance of athletic events last year inspired him to create the group and, after trying out several different names in a summer brainstorming session, the Bleacher Creatures were born. “Last year everyone knew there was a lack of spirit and participation from the student body,” Courtney said. “I care so much about it and wanted to make a difference.” Senior Will Patterson, one of the other leaders of the Bleacher Creatures, agreed that there was a noticeable need for larger

Photo: Miriam Brown ’17 Junior Bayard Anderson holds a wagon wheel above his head at the state football game. The wagon wheel was a symbol of victory for the football team and the student body this year.

Photo: Miriam Brown ’17 Seniors Sutton Hewitt, Olivia Rooney, Francesca Healy, Frances Gatlin, William McBride and Max Underwood cheer on the Gryphons. The seniors led the student body in school spirit this year.

attendance at sporting events, adding that a crowd can play an important role in a team’s success. “Playing for a lively crowd is always a great feeling,” Patterson said. “It is an all-around good time for both the fans and the players.” Through tailgates, hype videos and customized noise-makers, including duck calls, vuvuzelas and cow bells, the Bleacher Creatures have led the school spirit at St. George’s. “The difference in attendance last year and this year is huge,” Mr. Densford said. “The number of not just students, but adults who don’t have children playing, has increased. People just coming to watch the game has increased.” In a mere week, students from the Collierville campus filled four fan buses and allowed over 220 students to attend the football state championship on Thursday, Dec. 3. That nightm the Gryphons went on to win the state title 50-20. “We truly do owe it to [the students] for cheering us on all the way to the state championship,” senior football player

Jake Lindow said in an email to the upper school. “I know we could not have done it without [their] support.” Members of the St. George’s community may find this year’s athletic attendance reminiscent of St. George’s in earlier years. In 2007, alumni Elliot Williams and Laurence Bowers starred on the varsity basketball team, and they garnered so much support that fire marshals attended the games in order to ensure that the large crowds were not a fire hazard. Those games are still distinctly remembered today, eight years later, by both current and past members of the St. George’s community. Similarly, Mr. Densford hopes that the athletic department and Bleacher Creatures will help provide experiences that will be memorable in the future to members of the St. George’s community, even after student leaders have graduated. “We want our teams to have support, but we also to be able to help create memories,” Mr. Densford said. “That school spirit lives on because that’s what builds lifelong Gryphons.”


8

December

New year, new Gryph

The Gryphon Gazette

Entertainment

12 things to do in Memphis this Christmas

Rachel Ducker ’17

The new year brings new opportunities. We all

know that keeping our New Year’s resolutions is nearly impossible, so this checklist might give you some ideas of what you might want to do. Along with the checklist, we supplied some opportunities to attend events in and around Memphis. We want to see all the things that you do this year, so keep this checklist and mark off events as you do them. Submit pictures to the Gryphon Gazette via Instagram and Twitter with #NewsGryphsBucketList.

Photo: Sean Davis Lights shine down the Mississippi River during the holidays. many christmas events, like starry nights, have been around for years.

Iona Yates ’17 Go to a concert for a band that you have never seen before City and Colour Jan. 15 (Minglewood Hall) Judah & the Lion Feb. 12 (Minglewood Hall) Blake Shelton March 3 (FedEx Forum) Fall Out Boy March 18 (FedEx Forum) Billy Joel March 25 (FedEx Forum) Eat at a restaurant you have never been to Petra Cafe (Germantown) East End Grill (Cordova) Kooky Canuck (Downtown Memphis) Blue Fin (Downtown Memphis) Young Avenue Deli (Midtown) Go on road trip Attend a music festival Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn., June 9 to 19 Beale Street Music Festival, April 29 to May 1 Go skydiving West Tennessee Skydiving Solve an escape room at the Memphis Escape Rooms View a new movie coming out in 2016 “Ride Along 2” Jan. 15 “Dead Pool” Feb. 12 “Race” Feb. 19 “Allegiant” March 18 “The Jungle Book April 15 “Alice Through the Looking Glass” May 27 “Finding Dory” June 17 Learn how to play an instrument Go ziplining at Shelby Farms Run in the color run Color Buzz on June 11 Unplug for a day Go on a Young Life trip Malibu Club Sharptop San Francisco Solve a rubix cube Enter a photography or art contest Finish an entire series on Netflix “Dexter” “Friends” “Gilmore Girls” “The X Files” “Friday Night Lights” Learn a new language Go to a play at the Orpheum “Matilda” Jan. 12 to 17 “Book of Mormon” March 15 to 20 “Bullets over Broadway” May 16 to 22 “The Wizard of Oz” June 14 to 19 Join a recreational sports team Decorate your room in a new way

1. Starry Nights

Located in Shelby Farms, this drive-through light show displays a whopping 1.5 million lights. This year, the show will run from Nov. 20 to Dec. 27 and will highlight some of the most iconic places in Memphis. Admission is 20 dollars per car into the park.

2. Snowy Nights in My Big Backyard

At Snowy Nights in My Big Backyard, snow falls from the sky of the Memphis Botanical Gardens. After watching a light show, you can roast s'mores or drink hot chocolate around a fire. Snowy Nights is open Dec. 11-12 and Dec. 18-30 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is 10 dollars for non-members and eight dollars for members.

3. Zoo Lights

The Memphis Zoo completely transforms during the holiday season, with an on-site ice skating rink, a ferris wheel, a light show with singing Christmas trees and live reindeer. It runs from Nov. 20 to Dec. 30 and is six dollars for members and eight dollars for non-members.

4. Singing Christmas Tree

Bellevue Baptist Church’s Singing Christmas Tree show began in 1975 as a broadway-style production, and it is now a part of a long-lasting legacy of spreading Jesus to all. The show runs from Dec. 12-14 and 16-17, and ticket prices range from five dollars to 20 dollars.

5. Enchanted Forest Festival of Trees

The Enchanted Forest Festival of Trees, an old Mid-South tradition, includes pictures with Santa, a fairytale forest and a full-scale miniature train that children can ride. Admission is six dollars for adults and five dollars for seniors and children, with all proceeds benefitting Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

6. A Christmas Carol

If you enjoy classic holiday plays and movies, you must watch Theatre Memphis’ production of “A Christmas Carol.” The classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his hatred for Christmas comes to life on stage from Dec. 4 to 23. Admission is 30 dollars for adults and 15 dollars for students.

7. Brooks Winterfest

The Brooks Winterfest at the Brooks Art Museum in East Memphis is completely free and includes a multitude of things to do, including an interactive LED music show, a story told by the Memphis Public Library, ornament decorating and horse-drawn carriages for 15 dollars per ride.

8. Majestic Grille’s Sunday Supper and Movie

This holiday season, the Majestic Grille Restaurant holds special holiday-themed Sunday dinners and movies, including "Holiday Inn," "Miracle on 34th Street” and "It's a Wonderful Life.”

9. “If Scrooge Was a Brother”

This not-so-traditional holiday play runs from Dec. 2 to 20 at the Hattiloo Theatre, a prominent African American theater in Midtown. The play follows the plotline of “A Christmas Carol” but is set as if Scrooge was African American. Admission for the play is 26 dollars for adults and 22 dollars for students and children.

10. Christmas at Graceland

Graceland, Elvis’ mansion, allows tourists to not only get an exclusive view of Elvis’ personal life but also see the mansion decorated with great holiday splendor. You can view holiday lights with the purchase of an admission ticket for a museum tour, which is 36 dollars for adults and 32 dollars for children and seniors. The lights can be seen from now until Jan. 9.

11. Ugly Sweater Run

Shelby Farms will be hosting the annual Ugly Sweater Run, also known as the “merriest 5k,” on Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. Put on your worst holiday apparel and walk or run. This event for all ages costs 30 dollars with pre-registration or 40 dollars on race day.

12. Santa Send-Off

On Christmas Eve at the Pink Palace, you can watch Santa leave to deliver presents to children around the world on a helicopter. The Santa Send-Off happens on the front lawn of the museum, where a Christmas parade also occurs.


December

• The Student Voice of St. George’s Independent School • Entertainment

9

Good game, well played

Esports become more mainstream Grant Webb ’16

G

amers are frequently told that what they do is a waste of time. However, the past few years have seen a large growth in esports, legitimizing it as a feasible path to college and career. Eric “ESAM” Lew, like many adolescent boys, has enjoyed video games since his youth. Unlike many, he had a natural gift for playing “Super Smash Bros.” At the age of 10, he was convinced by his older brother to compete in a tournament with a strict ruleset. After finishing in the top eight, he went on to become one of the best “Smash Bros” players in the world. Typically, a gamer’s source of income comes from either tournament winnings, sponsorships or subscriptions to their livestream. There are organizations dedicated to providing for professional gamers, including Cloud 9, Team SoloMid and [A]lliance. Each organization is dedicated to growing electronic sports, or esports, by supporting the players. To do this, each team picks top players to sponsor and then supplies them with any gear they need to perform, as well as travel fare and hotel rooms for tournaments. “Sponsors will pay players a salary

“I feel that esports are way more exciting than physical sports for me.” relative to how much they feel the player is worth,” ESAM said. “[However], many of the players are very young, so they are unfamiliar with the fact that they can negotiate for a higher salary.” Esports are not limited to a single game, such as how sports are not limited to football or basketball. Often, individual games begin with a grassroot community of players who actively support the growth of a game so it can become a major esport. “Call of Duty,” “Counter-Strike” and many other fighting games began as grassroots communities, where as slower-paced strategy games, such as “League of Legends” and “Starcraft,” are actively supported and balanced for competitive play by the developer. For grassroots communities to

work, there needs to be active individuals dedicated to supporting the game as an esport. For example, “Super Smash Bros” has tournament organizers, broadcasters and, of course, the players. The role of a tournament organizer is rather self-explanatory. At the most basic level, they advertise the tournament and make sure it runs smoothly. For major events, they will invite top players and reach out to broadcasting studios to cover their event and accumulate viewers. Broadcasters are typically organized into studios such as VGBootCamp, Beyond the Summit, Tourney Locator, JoinDota and The GD Studio. Each studio is dedicated to broadcasting and spreading word of events. Major and some minor events will request a studio to cover their event with a live broadcast of games alongside pre- and post-game interviews. The number of competing studios inspires competitors to strive for higher production quality. To make a living off of gaming, one does not have to be a top-level player. There are many personalities in gaming who make a living as an entertainer. “Streamers” will spend between three and 24 livestreaming gameplay to their fans. “I have a lot of free time right now, and I don’t want a normal job because video games are more fun for now,” ESAM said about livestreaming his gameplay. “I figured I’m pretty entertaining, and my personal-

ity is lively, so I decided to just go for it.” A popular platform for this is Twitch.tv. Twitch.tv is a website that allows each user to create and customize a page where they can broadcast gameplay and interact with viewers through a live chat room. Streamers thrive off of interactions with their fans, and given such an interactive platform, they are able

appeals to the community they are a part of or media intended for their community to enjoy. Merchandise is often comprised of art which will be printed for posters or apparel. But media can be anywhere, from articles to tutorials. When asked why he creates informative videos about “Super Smash Bros” ESAM said, “I’m one of the top players, and I don’t enjoy when

“If there is an opportunity that will lead a student to a career path or business opportunities, I am all for it.” to engage with their audience in real time. Esport scholarships have been recently offered from multiple universities including Columbia College, Robert Morris University, University of Pikeville, Maryville University and Southwestern University. “If there is an opportunity that will lead a student to a career path or business opportunities, I am all for it,” Director of College Guidance Mr. Timothy Gibson said when asked about the legitimacy of esport scholarships. “Clearly video games resonate with millions of people, and I believe it could become a mainstream sport in the future.” Some gamers earn revenue through content creation, whether this is physical merchandise that

only one or two people give their opinion. It is not actually the popular opinion, and everyone bandwagons on them.” As the community support for esports remains consistent, there will be a competitive environment. Players are the core of esports, and without them, there will be no way for the community to grow. For now esports are in their infancy, but in the future they are coming close to a legitimate sport in the athletic world. “I feel that esports are way more exciting than physical sports for me,” senior Connor Funck said. “It is something you can always do. You can’t always go out and play football, but you can play these games whenever you want.”

Photo: Grant Webb ‘16 A COLLECTION OF GRANT WEBB’S CONTROLLERS FOR VARIOUS GAMES SYSTEMS ARE PHOTOGRAPHED TOGETHER. HE PURCHASED SPECIFIC CONTROLLERS, AS THEY SUIT SOME GAMES BETTER THAN THE OTHERS.


10 December

The Gryphon Gazette

Opinion

Give me pretzels or give me death

Photo: Caroline Zummach ‘18 A Flik chef prepares pasta, a fan-favorite of St. George’s students, for an upper school lunch. Flik joined the St. George’s community in 2014, and since then, there have been long lines and a shortage of food at upper school lunches.

Laura McDowell ’17

Let’s talk about raisins. Some

people consider raisins to be nature’s candy, but these people are wrong because raisins are not candy and

therefore do not belong in brownies. Flik sometimes thinks they do, and that is a point on which we disagree. Flik Dining Services joined the St.

George’s community at the start of the last school year. Flik does a lot of things very well. The Flik staff is absolutely amazing and kind, and they make sure to talk to every person who comes through their line. These people bring to us delicious chicken tenders and an amazing burger bar, and for that we are so grateful. They also try their best to extend our horizons with food, and that is where trouble arises because some of us are not quite there yet. Let’s face it. Most students aren’t hard to please. Most of us wish it was still socially acceptable at our age to order chicken tenders at a nice restaurant. Though most students at the Collierville campus are over the age of 13, a lot of us aren’t quite ready to trade in the kid-friendly macaroni and cheese for tomato pie or chicken cacciatore. Serving some less intimidating food options is definitely something that Flik should consider. Take snack food, for example. I still have my teenage metabolism right now, and until I lose that, and probably not even then, I will not want to give up my snack food. Chips are a staple of many students’ diets, but with Flik, there often aren’t a lot of options available. If chips are too unhealthy, I would love to see pretzels

available more often. Pretzels offer a healthier alternative that still satisfies the lunch salt craving. The white cheddar popcorn is also absolutely mouthwatering, and the devastation I feel when I walk in and don’t see it is almost too much to handle. The refrigerators are of great convenience for students who want to avoid lines or eat fast so they have time to work on homework during the lunch period. However, there are hardly any sandwhiches available by second lunch. If your goal is to grab-and-go, this creates a problem that could be solved by stocking the refrigerators more often. If you make them, we’ll take them. Integrating some of these things into our daily lunch would make a huge difference, eliminating some of the stress accompanied with not knowing if there will be something you want to eat and having to stand in long lines. If listening to ‘80s pop and watching bad Adam Sandler movies ever taught me anything, it was to “Don’t Stop Believin’.” I will never stop believing in good lunches. Flik is up for the challenge, and I believe they can rise to the occasion.

inspiration to all. Her light and courageous soul has inspired us to fight like kids every day and to enjoy every moment. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you, Carson, and we will never forget you. If interested in supporting St. Jude, students, teachers and parents can donate

money to the St. Jude pages of Team Carson Elizabeth or Adam’s Army. In addition, students can contact Cruthirds, senior Sope Adeleye or junior Kneeland Gammill about joining the St. Jude club to become involved with future events.

Editorial

Fight like a kid

Carson Head’s legacy lives on E

very morning since March, many St. George’s students have woken up, gotten out of bed and looked down at the Team Carson bracelet on their wrists. This bracelet serves as a reminder of Carson Head’s beautiful spirit, and it is a symbol of how, no matter what the day may entail, you have the ability to face life with a big smile and positive thoughts. After a difficult battle with osteosarcoma, Carson Elizabeth Head passed away on June 26, 2015. She was nine years old. During her fight, Carson received treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., where the staff never gave up on her or lost hope. St. Jude is an organization unlike no other. They believe that “all a family should worry about is helping their child live,” which is seen in how families of St. Jude’s never receive a bill for treatment, housing, food or anything else. It takes two million dollars for St. Jude’s to operate every day, and yet 70 percent of their funds come from public donations. The multitude of fundraising events hosted by different teams demonstrate the perseverance of the St. George’s community, as each event helps St. Jude in their work to find a cure for childhood cancer. In the words of founder Danny Thomas, “no child should die in the dawn of life,” and with the support of St. George’s and many other institutions and individuals, St. Jude works day in and day out to accomplish this. This year, senior Adam Cruthirds intro-

duced a St. Jude club to St. George’s, and the club has led event after event to support St. Jude’s and remember Carson. On Sept. 17, the varsity volleyball team and the St. Jude’s club came together for a Too Clutch for Cancer volleyball game, where proceeds raised were donated to St. Jude and the upper school modern music ensemble performed “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten, Carson’s theme song. Team Carson Elizabeth and its partner team, Adam’s Army, in support of Cruthirds, work to raise money and awareness for St. Jude in memory of Carson Head. So far, Team Carson Elizabeth and Adam’s Army have raised over $164,309 for St. Jude’s at different events and fundraisers through St. George’s. In the month of November, the club organized Coins for Carson, a fundraiser in which students at the Germantown campus decorated piggy banks in religion class and then raised money for St. Jude with their families throughout the month. On Dec. 5, the club, in collaboration with Mrs. Emmy McClain, teacher and assistant director of student life, and other sponsors, provided four free fan buses to the St. Jude Marathon. 172 students and teachers ran or walked in memory of Carson, and many more came in support. We at the Gryphon Gazette applaud the efforts of St. George’s, the St. Jude club, Team Carson Elizabeth and Adam’s Army to support St. Jude in memory of Carson. Carson Elizabeth Head was a daughter and a sister to some, a classmate to many and an

Photo: Michael Head

Carson Elizabeth Head strikes a silly pose during a walk in the woods. Through fundraisers led by the St. Jude’s club and St. George’s, over $160,000 has been raised for St. Jude’s in remembrance of Head.


December

The Student Voice of St. George’s Independent School •

You will get through it

Opinion

11

How to manage and cope with stress

Kendall LoCascio ’17

“I am so stressed out!” How

many times do we hear this phrase daily? There are many factors that induce stress, and we need to change our perspectives on our situations, especially during this time of our lives. Parents are always teaching us lessons by making us do chores or grounding us after we make mistakes because they are trying to prepare us for the future. The type of person that we push ourselves to be as a teenager determines the type of person we are as adults. If you spend your teenage years being lazy and never doing any work, then that is how you will be in the future, but if you push yourself now to take advantage of your situations and work hard, then your future is pointed in that direction. “Stress is a top health concern for U.S. teens between ninth and twelfth grade,” the American Psychological Association said. “Psychologists say that if [teens] don’t learn healthy ways to manage that stress now, it could have serious long-term health implications.” Health implications range from headaches, stomach pains and anxiety to over- and under-eating, depression and even years shed off of your life. It is imperative that we find the positive in things, or simply try not to complain, so we can live the best life possible. People stress about different things depending on their age and stage in life. Sixth graders, ninth graders and eleventh graders are all experiencing different changes in their lives, all of which can induce stress, but they each stress about different things. “I would rate [my stress level] at probably a nine,” sixth-grader Will Franklin said. He said his stress level is due to lack of sleep, schoolwork and tests. Many St. George’s students agree with Franklin, reporting that a majority of their stress comes from schoolwork and lack of sleep. Freshman Emma Bennett also rates her stress level at a nine. Her stress primarily comes from English class. “While the teacher is awesome, it is probably the main reason for having so much homework,” Bennett said. “The workload is tough, and

Photo illustration: Katie Boyle ‘17

any freshman would agree.” One way that Bennett and other students reduce their stress levels is by altering the way they dress. “I just dress comfortably so I can pay better attention in class. Not dressing up gives me more time to sleep, so not looking the best is an easy sacrifice to make,” Bennett said. This is one great example of altering little things in your life that has an impact on your attitude and, in

“I guess I could manage time better, but there’s still assignments constantly being thrown at me,” junior Maggie Glosson said. “It can be very overwhelming.” Stress is an inherent part of life. It will happen regardless of what you are doing, but it is how we cope and manage our stress that determines the path we go on. Our attitude has everything to do with our stress levels. The way that we view the situations we are in and deal with

“The best way to reduce stress is to find the positive in everything.” turn, your stress level. While freshmen stress about grades, tests and their appearance, juniors tend to recieve their stress from completely different aspects of their life, including standardized test scores, procrastination, balancing social and academic life and applying to college.

them determines our character. The best way to reduce stress is to find the positive in everything and complain less. Instead of complaining about how much you need to study for the world’s most impossible math test, think about the tears of joy you will have when you get a good grade on that test.

When you want to complain about something, bite your tongue and hold it in. This is easier said than done, but it provides fast and easy results to improving your mood and reducing stress levels. If schoolwork is the source of your stress, talk to your teachers. Here at St. George’s, we are extremely fortunate to have an understanding and compassionate faculty. If you have a lot on your plate, talk to a teacher about pushing back a due date or other ways to get your grades up. If you just need a break from everything, surround yourself with friends and go to dinner, or to the movies, or do something spontaneous. Having a little time carved out to decompress is important, too, so make sure you can find some time for yourself to relax and watch Netflix. It is crucial to try to reduce your stress in every way possible. Besides making you unhappy, stress can have major health implications. When you do feel stressed, remember the good things in your life and take a deep breath. You will get through it.

OPINION POLICY: The Gryphon Gazette opinion section is a venue for the free expression of student views at St. George’s Independent School. The opinions represented in this section are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the Gryphon Gazette staff or of the St. George’s community at large. The Gryphon Gazette strives to be an open forum for the thoughtful and deliberate exchange of comment and criticism, and therefore welcomes letter to the editor. Letters to the editor will be printed in the opinion section of the newspaper, should not exceed 300 words, and must be signed and accompanied by a verifiable email address. These letters will not be printed if the content is judged obscene, violates the privacy of others or encourages physical disruption of school activites.


12 December

The Gryphon Gazette

Opinion

It’s a DIY Christmas M&M Money Jar

Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Christmas Candy Sled

Kendall LoCascio ’17 Rachel Ducker ’17 Elise Fong ’16

Personalized Mug

Photo Illustration: Carolyn Lane ‘18 and Rachel Ducker ‘17

Hot Cocoa Ornament

Hot Cocoa Ornament:

Vanilla Sugar Scrub:

Personalized Mug:

Christmas Candy Sled:

M&M Money Jar:

What you need: food-safe glass ornaments, funnel, instant hot cocoa mix packets, sprinkles, chocolate, white chocolate, or peppermint chips, Jet Puffed Mini Marshmallow Bits, a tag and pens.

What you need: one-half cup brown sugar, two tablespoons of melted coconut oil, one tablespoon vanilla extract and mason jar or container.

What you need: an oilbased Sharpie, a mug and an oven.

What you need: two candy canes, a large KitKat, 10 candy logs and a hot glue gun.

What you need: Mason jar, Christmas-colored M&Ms, a toilet paper roll and money, giftcards or whatever you are putting inside.

How to make it: Remove the top. Using a funnel, pour each ingredient into the ornament. Start with the hot cocoa mix, then add the rest. Tie on a note with directions.

How to make it: Combine and stir all of the ingredients. Put the sugar scrub into a mason jar or decorative container with an air-tight lid.

How to make it: Draw your design or message on the mug, then bake the mug in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

How to make it: Hot glue the two candy canes to the bottom of the Kit-Kat. Hot glue the candy logs in a pyramid formation on top of the Kit-Kat. Tie ribbons around both sides, and place a bow on top. Allow time for the glue to dry.

How to make it: Place the toilet paper roll in the center of the mason jar. Pour the M&Ms around the toilet paper roll. Place the money inside the toilet paper roll. If you want to make it extra cute, wrap the roll in Christmas wrapping paper.

The gryphon gazette issue 3 (dec 2015 16)  
The gryphon gazette issue 3 (dec 2015 16)  
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