The Horace Mann Record HORACE MANN’S WEEKLY NEWSPAPER SINCE 1903
MAY 4TH, 2018 || VOLUME 115, ISSUE 26
JUNIOR ISSUE 3
Flash fiction writer and translator Lydia Davis visits school Julia Robbins Staff Writer Renowned writer and translator Lydia Davis spoke to students and faculty last Tuesday about her work with language and flash fiction. Davis, the recipient of accolades such as the 2013 Man Booker International Prize and the 2013 Philolexian Society Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement, is “a crafter of this new genre which some people have defined as flash fiction,” English teacher Dr. Deborah Kassel said. Davis discussed how she began both her translating and writing careers and acquired her affinity for learning languages. She also read aloud several of her short stories ranging from several lines to multiple paragraphs in length, such as “Circular Story”, “The Dog Hair”, and “A Story of Stolen Salamis.” “She’s very capable of provoking thought with very little words, which is what I think makes her so special,” Peter Chi (10) said. Davis’ works included clever word play, political commentary, and a dissection of human thought, he said. Kassel organized the event and has been in communication with Davis for the past two years to schedule a potential visit, she said. Kassel connected with the writer through Visual Arts Department Chair Mr. Kim Do, whose wife has worked with Davis, she said. It is not often that students are able to hear somebody so distinguished in their field talk about their work process, so that was one of the appeals
Ahaan Palla/Staff Photographer
STORY TIME Davis speaks to students about her experiences with language and flash fiction. of having Davis come to the school, Head of the English Department Vernon Wilson said. To prepare for Davis’ visit, English teachers were encouraged to share her stories with students, Kassel said. Each teacher who talked to their students about Davis’s work presented her material in different ways during class, Wilson said. It was important for students to have some familiarity with her work before hearing her speak, he said. English teacher Dr. Wendy Steiner’s students
Juli Moreira/Art Director
Faculty attends Capelluto award mental health workshops Kiara Royer Staff Writer
Amrita Acharya (12) and Joanne Wang (12) led two Alexander Capelluto grant mental health workshops along with the Counseling and Guidance Department and the organization Hallways over the last two weeks. The workshops provided a space for teachers and administrators to learn about and discuss topics of mental health and student well-being. The school is a unique place in terms of stress, anxiety and expectations, science teacher Dr. Rachel Mohammed, who attended the first session, said. Navigating the world as a teenager at such a fast-paced academic atmosphere can be a lot for a student to handle, Mohammed said. “During the workshops, the two Hallways representatives, Blessing Uchendu and Alison Finder, led different scenarios related to dealing with uncomfortable situations regarding mental health, racism, and
socioeconomic status,” Acharya said. The speakers showed the participants diagrams that teachers could use in order to identify how one would react to events, Middle Division history teacher Katharine Rudbeck, who attended the first session, said. “Instead of tackling a single topic or issue, [the workshop facilitators] presented a framework for how to approach difficult issues in a systematic way,” Counseling and Guidance psychologist Dr. Ian Pervil said. “The rest of the workshop was spent considering ways to apply aspects of this theoretical framework to realworld situations, elaborated from a list of faculty-generated stressors in the community,” he said. “Given my postion as one of the college counselors, I spend the majority of my time meeting individually with students, so any additional training or professional development that involves counseling will be at the top of my list to attend,” Director of College Counseling Initiatives Beth Pili said.
Jeffrey Ahn Arts Grant
Juli Moreira/Staff Artist
Acclaimed school artist, Rivers Liu (12) wins $10,000
really enjoyed reading Davis’ short stories in class, she said. Steiner talked with her class about components of short stories in general and discussed whether these components are apparent in Davis’s stories, she said. “Having her there to read her poems and stories changed how I thought of some of her poems because she read them differently from how I had on my own,” Benjamin Spector (12) said. A unique aspect of Davis’ work is that she writes in a style that combines components of prose and
English Department Chair Vernon Wilson attended a session because he believes educators should be able to strategize and understand how to help students deal with issues related to stress and mental well-being, he said. “Based on the workshops, the biggest thing I will try to build on more now is to allow students to make space for [mental health] discussions not only as a one day thing, but to try to make it a part of our classroom,” Wilson said. The Hallways training provided useful tools to address mental health and wellness which I found to be very helpful in assisting students as they navigate the college process in a smooth and thoughtful manner, Pili said. The workshops included practical techniques faculty could use to help students engage with the emotional complexity of their lives and gave faculty concrete pointers on how to address their concerns, Wilson said. Every teacher unknowingly encounters students in moments of fragility and uncertainty, whether it’s emotional or psychological, Wilson said. The workshops opened the door for a better understanding of what students often deal with during the school day, he said. Wang believes the workshops helped highlight the stigma around mental health that needs to be addressed in the school community, she said. The strong turnout of teachers, along with the thoughtful Hallways facilitators and the hard work of Acharya and Wang, made the program worthwhile and highly applicable to life at the school, Pervil said. Though the program was optional for faculty this year, Acharya hopes that it will be implemented into teachertraining in the coming years, she said. “It’s just the beginning of Horace Mann’s commitment to mental health,” Wang said.
The inside scoop on the school’s third trimester seniors
Prom tickets free for students Amelia Feiner Staff Writer
The school has finalized the decision to make tickets to prom free of charge for all students attending. Student Activities Director Caroline Bartels and Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly had been talking about making this change for several years, and both agreed that it was unnecessary to make students to pay for the event, Bartels said. “I’d prefer not to have students focused on whether or not they can afford the prom, when the prom is one of the final rites of passage for every senior at HM. Charging for tickets no longer felt appropriate, and hasn’t for quite some time,” Kelly said. Students in past years had to pay $125 per person to attend prom, which will be held at Chelsea Piers this year, Bartels said. Some students that brought dates from other schools had to pay twice that, leaving the students to deal with a $250 price tag just to attend, she said. The change occurred when Bartels emailed Kelly to check in about the pricing of prom before sending out an email about the event to the senior class, and he instructed her to make the event free, she said. Originally, the money from ticket sales amounted to approximately $10,000. The Student Activities budget already covered this sum, so there were no changes to the financing of the event, Bartels said. In past years, students who needed support in paying for the tickets applied for funds from the Student Assistance Fund (SAF), Bartels said. However, many students who had used up all of their SAF money were
poetry, Andrew Cassino (10) said. “It certainly takes a talent to be able to express something in just a few lines that can spark so much discussion and lead to many different interpretations,” he said. “Her short stories are characterized by a kind of comic cynicism that encompass the universal and the particular with which so many of us struggle as citizens of the 21st century,” Kassel said. Davis’ writing is not difficult to understand linguistically but challenges readers to understand what is going on in between sentences and to understand what makes the piece of writing a story, Wilson said. “Since I also take French, I appreciated the multidisciplinary nature of the lecture,” Evan Frommer (12) said. “I enjoyed hearing her discuss the connections she’s found between the languages she’s learned, which has enabled her to understand the roots of the English language.” It was interesting to hear Davis share her journey of becoming a writer, Priyanka Voruganti (10) said. Watching how Davis carried herself and being able to see her mannerisms revealed a lot about how Davis sees the world, she said. Wilson hopes that from the visit, students gained an interest in Davis’ works and might start reading more varied styles of writing, he said. “She is the master of a genre that transcends categorization--not exactly poetry, not exactly prose, perhaps we could call it a “pro-em” or “proetry,” the new voice of the 21st century,” Kassel said.
Red Team roars at Middle Mania!
still paying full price of their prom tickets, she said. Allison Li (12) planned on paying for her ticket because she had already used all of her SAF money on the school orchestra’s trip to Hawaii this summer, she said. Now that prom has been made free, the night will only cost her the $100 she spent on her dress. “I heard a few of my friends say that they were worried about the cost of prom and they weren’t even sure they wanted to go just because of the high ticket price, so it’s great that they can just enjoy prom without being concerned about that,” Li said. Gibby Thomas (11) attended prom last year, and still feels that the price of the night was stressful even though her date paid for her ticket, she said. Brian Song (12) was planning on paying for both himself and his date and is happy that prom is now free, as “not having to pay makes the event less stressful,” he said. Bartels hopes that the change will make the night more fun for the senior class, and has “heard back from a lot of grateful kids,” she said.
Juli Moreira/Art Director
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THE RECORD OPINIONS MAY 4TH, 2018
Depictions of female characters in Marvel: not so ‘Marvel’ous functioning as a damsel in distress, is to show Thor the ways of earthlingsto take care of him. As soon as he no longer needs her help, there is a convenient off-screen breakup. When a Marvel woman isn’t directly guiding the male protagonist, she is breaking up with him, dying, or otherwise creating or destroying an emotional obstacle. Usually, this is the turning point at which the male protagonist is able to reach self-actualization. This is true of Gamora’s “death” in Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as the Ancient One in Dr. Strange, who isn’t even a love interest. What Marvel’s writers seem to be saying is that women are the “other” who need representation in the face of the “normal” masses. This is why there are no Marvel movies with female protagonists. Instead there are token female characters, just like any other type of token minority characters. Black Widow of the Avengers, Gamora of Guardians of the Galaxy, and Valkyrie of the “Revengers,” are just a few examples of token girls. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as the “Smurfette principle,” named after the smurf who, unlike the other all-male smurfs, is named after her gender and not a personality trait. The women who do exist in media with male demographics are forced into very specific tropes: the “hot” love interest and the nerd. We see
Margot Rosenblatt I really love superhero movies, but there’s one not-so-super thing about them: their portrayal of women. I know what you’re thinking--that this is just another article about how it’s absolutely appalling for superwomen to be so sexualized-- I am not arguing that. In fact, in Marvel movies especially, the male superheroes are leaning more and more towards sexualization; that stuff sells, no doubt about it. What’s concerning is how Marvel movies almost always portray women as men’s caregivers and/or as obstacles to the male protagonists’ self-journies. These movies tell their audiences that men are the norm and women are the exception by use of exclusively male protagonists. The token women who do appear are fit into boxes, further dehumanizing them. Take Jane Foster: she’s a brilliant astrophysicist and Thor’s love interest. Her main purpose, aside from
this with Thor’s Jane Foster and her friend Darcy Lewis, Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Liz Allan and Michelle Jones, and even Black Panther’s Nakia and Shuri/Okoye. These suffocating character constraints make female characters unrelatable to women and men alike, effectively keeping women as side characters and creating a negative feedback loop for the Smurfette principle. Those who know Marvel productions will point out that two female superheroes, Captain Marvel and Black Widow, are scheduled to star in their own movies. I fully encourage this, and I hope that those women are portrayed well. However, I highly doubt that will happen. This is in part due to Black Widow’s persona, the sexy spy, a misogynistic trope in itself, along with Marvel’s abhorrent culture concerning female characters. For example, in Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Chris Evans (Captain America)’s words, Black Widow is a “slut” and a “complete whore.” This kind of language does not give me high hopes for the Black Widow or Captain Marvel movies. Plus, female protagonists are often treated as a complete diversion from the norm, just as Black Panther diverged from the usual white superheroes. This is just furthering the propagation of the Smurfette principle. Some real comic book fans might
point out the fact that Jane Foster becomes Thor, Pepper Potts gets an Iron Man suit, and other instances of Marvel women in male roles in the comics. However, this is irrelevant because what matters is what the main demographic sees: the movies. We need to stop treating women in superhero movies and other media like they are the exception rather than the rule. We need to give female characters stories and legacies that are compelling for both men and women.
No longer should women be plot points or stepping stones on men’s journies. We need to stop placing women into one-dimensional “hotor-nerd” boxes. Let’s keep it simple: female characters should be treated as people. I believe that writer and director Joss Whedon put it best by saying, “equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity.” I have high hopes for Infinity Wars… here’s to hoping they’ll listen to Joss.
Spyri Potamopoulou/Staff Artist
Not just for the beach: Boys Volleyball deserves more support
Eric Ohakam Whether it is Varsity Football winning their homecoming game or Girls Soccer making the playoffs, sports receive a lot of attention on campus. But throughout my two years on the Varsity Boys Volleyball team, I have noticed that our team does not garner the same respect on campus. Volleyball is traditionally seen as a female sport, and not many schools have their own Boys Volleyball team of their own. Furthermore, many people do not acknowledge it as a serious sport and view it merely as a fun beach activity. Even though we are as skilled as other teams, the Varsity Boys Volleyball team is often overlooked, while other spring sports such as lacrosse or baseball are taken more seriously. Varsity Boys Volleyball is not like the volleyball in the physical education curriculum at school. It is more rigorous and the stakes are much higher. The ball must always be controlled, and there needs to be constant cooperation from everyone on the court. Otherwise, the ball will
Juli Moreira/Art Director
not even cross the net. I know that Boys Varsity Volleyball exemplifies the values that make a good sports team: confidence, teamwork, and perseverance. Due to the limited number of players allowed on the court (six at a time), most of the team usually sits on the bench cheering on their fellow team members. Whether I’m playing or not, I enjoy the games, and I look forward to practice every day. I love the coaches, I love the
managers, and I especially love my teammates. Our team has improved its performance from last year, and our roster contains a diverse group of talented individuals from freshmen to seniors. We have many positive bonding moments on and off the court, shown by our “SARF” chant (an inside joke), or when we strike a “T-pose”. Whether we are sweating up a storm during practice or going into overtime against Poly Prep, we
Junior #3 Editorial Board Managing Editor Betsey Bennett Opinions Tenzin Sherpa Lions’ Den Natasha Stange
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Features Sadie Schwartz Sandhya Shyam
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Middle Division Peri Brooks
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keep our cool and stay focused on our objective, having fun in the process. Still, I find myself asking the question: why doesn’t this enthusiasm attract other members of our school community to our matches? I think this has to do with the fact that we are the only indoor spring sport. Most of the people who watch our games watch by chance, as they just happen to be in the gym at the right time. When members of the school community
Staff Writers Malhaar Agrawal, Betsey Bennett, Peri Brooks, Amelia Feiner, Elizabeth Fortunato, Leonora Gogos, Caroline Goldenberg, Katie Goldenberg, Surya Gowda, Will Han, Jude Herwitz, Edwin Jin, Solomon Katz, Janvi Kukreja, Madison Li, Connor Morris, Megha Nelivigi, Noah Phillips, Eliza Poster, Julia Robbins, Abigail Salzhauer, Nishtha Sharma, Sadie Schwartz, Tenzin Sherpa, Sandhya, Shyam, Becca Siegel, Charlie Silberstein, Lynne Sipprelle, Griffin Smith, Georgi Verdelis, Ben Wang, Jeren Wei, Robbie Werdiger, Simon Yang Staff Photographers Iliana Dezelic, Eva Fortunato, Miyu Imai, Abigail Kraus, Daniel Lee, Mimi Morris, Benjamin Parker, Tatiana Pavletich Staff Artists Elizabeth Fortunato, Sofia Gonzalez, Surya Gowda, Damali O’Keefe, Spyridoula Potamopoulou, Jackson Roberts, Zoe Vogelsang
walk outside or look onto the field they can see Varsity Softball or Varsity Baseball right away. Besides, no one wants to stay inside a hot gymnasium when they could be outside in the cool breeze instead. The school should make an attempt to promote underappreciated sports such as volleyball. I understand that some sports are more popular than others, but we are a great team and we deserve more support from our peers. Nonetheless, I encourage students to come support their friends on the volleyball team and strengthen the bond we have as a school community. The school claims that it supports each team equally, but the disparity between our team and baseball, for example, is obvious. If the school promoted under-represented sports as much as it did football, there would be both a greater turnout and an improved sense of community. I would also urge more boys to join the volleyball team. But Boys Varsity Volleyball is more than just a sport or a team. It’s a friendship that extends beyond the season. I did not know any of the freshmen before our first practice, but now I greet them in the halls and play Spikeball with them on the field. Our friendship helps us work together and improves our skills. As a team, we already have several wins under our belt, and we strive for greatness in the playoffs. I urge you to come cheer us on!
Editorial Policy ABOUT The Record is published weekly by the students of Horace Mann School to provide the community with information and entertainment, as well as various viewpoints in the forms of editorials and opinion columns. All editorial decisions regarding content, grammar and layout are made by the editorial board. The Record maintains membership in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and National Scholastic Press Association. EDITORIALS & OPINIONS Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the majority of the senior editorial board. Opinion columns are the sole opinion of the author and not of The Record or the editorial board. NOTE As a student publication, the contents of The Record are the views and work of the students and do not necessarily represent those of the faculty or administration of the Horace Mann School. The Horace Mann School is not responsible for the accuracy and content of The Record, and is not liable for any claims based on the contents or views expressed therein. LETTERS To be considered for publication in the next issue, letters to the editor should be submitted by mail (The Record, 231 West 246th Street, Bronx, NY 10471) or e-mail (email@example.com) before 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening. All submissions must be signed and should refer to a Record article. Letters may be edited for grammar, style, length and clarity. CONTACT For all comments, queries, story suggestions, complaints or corrections, or for information about subscribing, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HORACE MANN NEWS MAY 4TH, 2018
Rivers Liu (12) receives $10,000 Jeffrey Ahn Arts Grant Nishtha Sharma Staff Writer
Rivers Liu (12) received a $10,000 grant from the Jeffrey Ahn, Jr. Fellowship to pursue an independent art project this summer. The grant is open to high school students nationwide and is rewarded to one each year. According to the fellowship’s website, the Jeffrey Ahn, Jr. Fellowship calls upon young artists from any background to “submit proposals for the independent creation of artworks.” Liu chose to apply earlier this year after art teacher Kim Do sent an email to several students informing them of the scholarship, they said. “I just applied because I thought, ‘why not?’ which is why I was so shocked when I received it,” Liu said. The application included an artist statement, budget proposal, portfolio, and two teacher recommendations, they said. Liu received recommendations from Do and theater and arts teacher Alexis Dahl, who is also their Independent Study adviser. “The production process of making art…isn’t quite the same thing as the artistic process,” Dahl said. “The production side entails permissions, reserving space, [and] considering rules and regulations.” Liu enjoys being a “spontaneous artist,” so logistical planning and budgeting for their future projects was a little frustrating, they said. “I’m not an artist who likes to get ahead, which is why I was so surprised that they accepted my proposal and budget,” Liu said. “I’m really glad they trusted me and my ability.” Liu hopes the grant will allow them more access
to high quality materials, so they can create “bigger fleshed out art” than what they are making right now, Liu said. “I don’t have that many credentials, and I was stressing out over doing something over the summer, and along came this email informing me I received the grant, so I’m really happy,” they said. “In the past year, Rivers has definitely become more sensitive to what needs to be planned when making art within an institution,” Dahl said Many of Rivers’ friends notice that their interest and involvement in art has magnified throughout high school. Lisa Shi (12) recalled that she has seen Liu start to pursue what they actually want to do and who they want to be through their art, she said. “This year, they’re really only ever in the studio working on their art, and with the additional dedication and effort, I think they’ve produced so much incredible work. I’m so happy they’ve won this grant and they 100% deserve it,” she said. “Within the past two years, I’ve noticed that Rivers has diversified their art a lot,” Ben Parker (12) said. “They’ve gotten more into multimedia and performance art, as opposed to two-dimensional drawing and painting,” he said. Art is also a prominent part of Rivers’ personality, and greatly helps their general mood, he said. “I can tell how much Rivers loves everything about art, from its history to their own work to that of other artists,” Shi said. Do has watched Liu’s work evolve from encompassing more traditional and typical realism, to more experimental and expressive art, he said. “Rivers is constantly evolving as a person and an artist,” he said. “They definitely stand out for being so prolific, and it’s wonderful to see endless creativity happening in such a powerful way.”
Courtesy of Isabella Zhang
DINE AND DISCUSS School administrators pose at Diversity Practitioner dinner.
School hosts diversity dinner Isabella Zhang Staff Writer Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly and the office of Identity, Culture and Institutional Equity (ICIE) organized the second Heads of School Diversity Practitioner dinner, held in the Faculty Dining Room last Tuesday. The event allowed administrators and diversity practitioners, faculty members committed to the pursuit of diversity, from 28 independent schools across the tri-state area to gather, share ideas surrounding diversity work, embrace changing society, and talk about collective issues the institutions face. “As we endeavor to grow our programs and services, all with a focus on promoting greater inclusivity, a deeper appreciation of identity, and a clarion call for social justice, we thought it was]only appropriate to meet with our peer schools, at least annually, to compare notes and, hopefully, best practices,” Kelly said. “School cultures are made visible by the people who live that culture and so
culture can shift and change over time as the community welcomes new members,” ICIE DirectorPatricia Zuroski said. Over the course of the dinner, administrators were presented with diversity-related issues to discuss at their tables such as learning how to deal with difficult conversations and understanding the work of being an anti-racist institution. Zuroski, co-Director of ICIE John Gentile, and ICIE Associate Sharina Gordon then presented a scenario regarding school expenses and financial aid. Administrators were seated at tables apart from their respective diversity practitioners so each participant could speak candidly and hear from the experiences of other institutions. “It is important that the independent schools come together and realize that diversity work does not reside in one person or even two people,” Bank Street Head of School Jed Lippard said. Head of the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School Martha Haakmat does not believe a school can be excellent without
doing diversity work. “We try to help the child to get to know himself as a full human being and get to know the differences of the people around them as full human beings,” she said. The Ideal School of Manhattan Director of Diversity and Community Life Tatesha Clark wants to educate a more diverse and complex body of students and teachers so her school is able to represent the world at large. “Diversity is everywhere you look. Sometimes you can’t see it, and sometimes you are not aware of it, but in order for a community to be creative, inspired, and to thrive,” Gentile said. “You want to tap into what diversity is.” What stood out to Browning Head of the School John Botti was “the degree to which all of our schools are wrestling with some of the same challenges, irrespective of our different histories in this work,” he said. “After this meeting, I’ve left with some needed energy and some hopes for new kinds of questions to share with both my community and my fellow heads of school,” Botti said.
Ahaan Palla/Staff Photographer
CREATIVE JUICES FLOW Rivers Liu develops a new piece in the art studio.
Debate team ends season at Tournament of Champions Gabby Kepnes Staff Writer
The Tournament of Champions (TOC), a nationwide debate involving over 100 teams, was held at the University of Kentucky this past weekend. Compared to other years, the tournament was more relaxed and team oriented, debate co-President of Debate Honor McCarthy (12) said. “This year stood out to me mostly because of how incredibly collaborative and tightknit the team felt,” debate co-President of Debate Elizabeth Raab (12) said. “We had never brought so many people to the TOC before,” she said. To qualify for the TOC, debaters have to receive bids and make the top 16 or top eight in other tournaments, Siddarth Tripathi (12) said. A bid requires reaching elimination round and debaters ultimately need two for qualification, he said. Nader Granmayeh (11) feels that the team did extremely well at the TOC, he said. “Previously, we’ve only had one year in which we advanced to the elimination rounds in HM history,” Granmayeh said. “My partner and I made it to the silver division in the TOC but didn’t get far in the elimination rounds.” Rhea Sanger (10) also thinks the team performed well, considering the TOC is supposed to be one of the hardest tournaments of the year, she said. Sanger and her partner won four rounds but lost three, signifying a winning record, she said. Tripathi and his partner McCarthy made it to the quarterfinals and the top eight during TOC. They went into the year with really high expectations since they made it to the final rounds last year, placing second in the country, Tripathi said. “Since Honor and I have been with debate since seventh grade, we’ve realized how debate had such an impact on our lives,” Tripathi said. “We work hard and end on a high note which we did.” “We’ve been lucky enough to be part
of the team for six years, attend over 30 tournaments, and debate in hundreds of rounds. We’ve travelled and met friends from across the country,” McCarthy said. Eddie Jin (10) was disappointed that he did not make it to the out rounds, but at the same time he was content earning a winning record as a sophomore, he said. “One of the problems we had this year was not doing enough prep and research beforehand,” he said. Jin thinks that the juniors next year are going to have to step up with more work, he said. However, Raab thinks the team has never done so well at this tournament in terms of concrete success, she said. “I’m even prouder, though, of how mature the entire team was throughout the TOC,” Raab said. “Everyone, even debaters who were not there, contributed hugely to the team’s success, by working on new responses and arguments,” she said. Debaters have a love-hate relationship with the intense pressure and workload, Raab said. “But when our last tournament rolled around, we would’ve given anything for one more day of it,” she said. McCarthy believes that at its core, the debate team is about arguing and laughing with your friends, she said. “As we’ve gotten older and the team dynamic has shifted, we’ve gotten a sense of perspective,” McCarthy said. “It was bittersweet because this is the seniors’ last tournament As the team moves on to next year with new leaders, Raab believes that the team will continue to foster the collaborative and supportive atmosphere that had made this year so special, she said. Aaron Snyder (11) wants to focus on helping the freshmen to guide them to the TOC as a senior next year, he said. “I know next year’s leaders will build upon the legacy of success and mentorship that has always defined HM Debate,” McCarthy said.
Courtesy of Honor McCarthy
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS Debate seniors pose with tournament awards.
THE RECORD FEATURES MAY 4TH, 2018
Stress less, work less
Caroline Goldenberg Staff Writer
Arjun Khorana (12) used to stay up as late as needed to finish work. But now, as a third trimester senior caught up in the ‘senior slump,’ he values sleep more than readiness. Khorana’s choice isn’t unusual. ‘Senior slump’ is the label the school community has given the lack of motivation experienced by the senior class in the third trimester, which often extends beyond getting a little more sleep to participating less, attending class less frequently, studying less for assessments, or skipping homework. The dwindling-down of the college process by the third trimester is a major influence in the trend of ‘slumping,’ Parul Sharma (12) said. “It speaks to the way the college process has an effect on the community at Horace Mann,” Sharma said. “Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and even first trimester seniors - they’re so stressed out about college and grades and standardized testing,” Sharma said. “But once you get into college, you feel like, ‘why am I so stressed out about all this?’” Sharma, who received acceptance to her earlydecision school, experienced the beginning of her ‘slump’ earlier, and she has had more time to spend with friends and in extracurriculars. However, although she feels less pressure, Sharma still maintains the same work ethic in classes, she said. According to an anonymous poll by The
Record, 54% of 85 participants reported working less than a 3 on a scale of 1-5 this trimester, and 82.3% stated this was related to college acceptances. James Arcieri (12) worked very hard during the first trimester of the school year, he said, but now, maintaining the same intense work ethic to achieve the same grades isn’t any real help to him, he said. In the poll, 65.9% of participants reported that their grades have dropped this trimester. Mari Nakagawa (12) chooses not to study for tests anymore, although she still completes work she will need to hand in, she said. For Maggie Brill (12), ‘senior slumping’ just translates to feeling less stressed and having more time for non-academic interests, she said. “Senior slump has been a time for me to reflect on my past years at Horace Mann,” Jenna Freidus (12), who spoke about the tradition at this week’s assembly, said. Although she still studies and completes her homework, Freidus feels less stressed about school and is enjoying taking the time to appreciate learning, she said. The fact that many seniors are experiencing some kind of slump at this point in the school year has affected class dynamics and participation in many courses. Nakagawa feels little motivation to participate much anymore, she said.
Amman Kejela (10), who takes AP French, has noticed that in the third trimester senior classmates have not been participating as much and seem to be less enthusiastic about the curriculum, he said. For Louis Toberisky (12), there is a difference between being less stressed and disrespecting teachers by slacking off in class, so he tries to keep up his class participation, he said. However, for many seniors, AP classes are viewed as important to work hard in throughout the third trimester, as some universities offer college credit for successful completion of such courses. Nakagawa felt herself caring less about her AP classes towards the beginning of her ‘senior slump,’ but after attending several more college visits and being advised to continue doing well in these courses, she decided to stay motivated in APs, she said. Khorana knows he will still have to retake three of his AP courses in the future, he said. However, “I am still somewhat motivated to do well in APs; I want to prove to myself that I still have learned something this year, to validate what I’ve done in class,” Khorana said. Teachers have been understanding of the fact that seniors are undergoing ‘slumps’ of different kinds, Joshua Doolan (12) said. However, Doolan has also heard one of his teachers comment that it
is more difficult to conduct class with the lowered attendance due to field trips and conflicts, he said. Toberisky has also not received pushback from teachers about lowered academic drive among students in the grade, but teachers are now reminding the students in his classes more often to complete homework, he said. “We’ve worked so hard for three-and-twothirds of our time at the school,” Khorana said. “And our end goal is often going to a really good college, and now that we’ve done that, we’ve kind of accomplished our goal. It’s the first time in four years where grades don’t matter that much.”
Damali O’Keefe/Staff Artist
Allison DeRose/Design Editor
Slumping from the other side: faculty perspectives senior backpack photos
Abigail Salzhauer Staff Writer
Juli Moreira/Art Director
“The intensity of the college process leaves seniors with one foot in school and one foot out the door,” Dean of the Class of 2018 Dr. Glenn Wallach said. Senior slump, a longstanding tradition of academic slacking by third trimester seniors, provokes a variety of reactions from faculty. This year’s senior slump has not been worse than those in
years past, Head of the Upper Division Dr. Jessica Levenstein said. While last year’s slump seemed widespread to Dean of the Class of 2017 Michael Dalo, he attributes it to his increased awareness of the grade as dean, he said. While every senior approaches their senior slump differently, there are some common themes, Wallach said. “A fair number of seniors dial back the amount they’re doing in class but sometimes that just means that they’re getting a few more hours of sleep or not triple checking what they’re handing in. Very few seniors completely stop,” Wallach said. Senior slump is a little bit of a myth, Levenstein said. “While seniors feel more relaxed, they don’t really slump in a way that is so dramatic. There is a sense before you’re a senior that you can’t wait until this moment when you don’t have to work, but the fact is, most students at the school are wired to give their all to their work,” she said. “When they have the chance to slump they don’t really slump so much.” The biggest problem with senior spring is how much class students miss, science teacher Dr. Megan Reesbeck said. It becomes difficult in a class mixed with juniors and seniors when seniors miss class for college visits and field trips and don’t necessarily make up the work she said. Dalo tried to remind students that while they may not have been working as hard as in the past, they wanted to end their
senior backpack photos
time at the school in a positive way, he said. Math teacher Chris Jones said that finding a balance between keeping students engaged and active in class but understanding that they may not be working as hard at home is important. “There are students whose approach to their academic work never changes,” Director of College Counseling Canh Oxelson said. “They do the best they can with every academic opportunity granted to them and they work all the way through graduation, and then there are seniors who discover they can take their “foot off the gas pedal” a bit and still do very well,” he said. “It’s actually a relatively small number of seniors that purposefully ignore their academic responsibilities,” Oxelson said. “This is by far the smallest category; maybe 10 kids total. Unfortunately, one of the problems is that this small group of students can be toxic and damaging to the full senior class,” he said. Over the past few years there have been faculty committees working on ways to keep seniors more engaged at the end of the year, Wallach said. Reesbeck has the students work on independent research projects because it helps to reduce stress associated with missing class and allows students to delve into topics they are curious about, she said.
HORACE MANN FEATURES MAY 4TH, 2018
Sadie Schwartz/Features Editor
Third Tri Traditions Ben Wang Staff Writer
Allison DeRose/Design Editor
Allison DeRose/Design Editor
A day where the entire senior class cuts school, a study room just for the seniors, silly backpacks, and absurd costumes are just a few of the traditions that bring much needed levity to senior year. These traditions have existed for many years, and the seniors have created many experiences and bonds that they will reminisce about in the future, Ben Parker (12) said. Allison Li (12) thinks that the traditions create a unifying feeling, she said. “There’s solidarity in this. You want to be a part of these senior traditions, something that involves the entire grade. You feel closer,” Li said. Another common practice of third trimester seniors is going out on school nights. In an anonymous poll by The Record, out of 85 seniors who responded, 15 percent reported going out at least once per school week, 50 percent reported going out at least one school night per month, and 34 percent reported never going out on school nights. Parker believes that taking part in senior traditions fortifies friendships, he said. Jenna Friedus (12) has grown closer to unfamiliar classmates in the senior study room, a place solely dedicated to the seniors in a section
of Katz Library, she said. However, Tae Moon (12) doesn’t believe that the traditions create any new bonds, he said. Moon did not buy a senior backpack, which are are often purposefully absurb and comically small. “I don’t want to buy a bag for just a trimester,” he said. Other seniors, such as Chidi Nwankpa (12), also chose not to participate in the senior backpack tradition, he said. “I haven’t gotten a senior backpack just because I have two AP’s and I need to hold my books,” Nwankpa said. Despite her workload, Emma Kelly (12) has a senior backpack with Care-Bears on it. The senior backpacks are a funny, and it’s evident that you’re a senior,” Kelly said. Along with Kelly, Beatrix Bondor (12) has a blue whale backpack, Anna Yarosh (12) has a My Little Pony backpack, and Brooke Hailey (12) has a bumblebee backpack. Kelly had a hard time choosing which was her favorite tradition, she said. “They’re all fun and different, highlighting different aspects [of being a senior]. The backpacks are supposed to make you stand out as seniors, the Decades Dance is when you come together as a grade, same with senior absurdity day, and the
Is the slump real?
senior scream is being done with ‘everything.’ I can’t pick a favorite,” she said. Although he is a third trimester senior and partakes in some traditions to alleviate stress, Nwankpa still doesn’t find much time to participate in many school activities. “I’m trying to [participate more], but I run track, and with my schedule, I don’t have time,” Nwankpa said. “I do want to take time and smell the roses and just enjoy life at Horace Mann.” Parker looks forward to Senior Cut Day and Senior Dorr the most, he said. “[Both events are] day[s] where the entire class will be able to spend the day together. That’s harder to do on the weekends because people have plans,” Parker said. Some traditions have been tamed over the years. Friedus recalls an alumnus telling her about the time their class drove a fire truck onto campus, but students are not allowed to continue such traditions anymore, she said. “Our grade is a really great group of people that I’ve spent the last 13 years with,” Kelly said. After spending the majority of her life at the school, Kelly thinks it’s awesome to celebrate the last trimester with these traditions, she said.
Ava Merker/Contributing Photographer
Allison DeRose/Design Editor
Senior responses to Record poll question “In a few words, how do you define the senior slump?” Allison DeRose/Design Editor
Vivien Sweet Staff Writer
By the time third trimester rolls around and seniors have committed to colleges, many traditionally start to slump. But not all seniors fit this stereotype. For Joshua Doolan (12), who had committed to a college before Tuesday, the third trimester presents an excellent opportunity to learn in depth about the subjects he is taking, so slumping would be counterproductive, he said. “I want to take full advantage of my educational experience at Horace Mann throughout the remainder of the limited time I have left here. With or without the pressure of grades, my classes are incredibly enjoyable,” Doolan said. Beatrix Bondor (12), who also committed to a college early, thinks that slumping would prevent her from getting the most out of her favorite classes, she said. She is especially dedicated to her Independent Study project, a book of poetry. “Since it means so much to me and I’ve worked so hard on it this year, I can’t imagine stopping working [on it],” she said.
According to Bliss Beyer (12), who committed to college early, her college has special rules regarding AP classes, which stopped her from slumping. “Getting a certain score on APs allows you to place out of introductory classes, and I’m currently taking two APs, so I really want to do well in those classes,” she said. However, Alexis Bolner (12), who also committed to a college in the fall, thinks that her senior slump experience would be different if she was on a waitlist because she would feel more pressure to keep her trimester grades up, she said. “When you’re on a waitlist, there is the added stress of doing well in school in addition to applying to colleges,” said Zaie Nursey (12). On the other hand, Chloe Bown (12), who is on a waitlist, says that her choice to continue working hard isn’t based on the fact that she’s on a waitlist. “I doubt that my habits would change either way, whether or not I got into college in the fall, because it’s just the way that I’m used to
working here,” Bown said. “I doubt that my habits would change whether or not I got into college in the fall because it’s just the way that I’m used to working here.” Bown would feel disappointed in herself and probably would be self-conscious of what others thought if she stopped working hard, she said. Charlie Hayman (12), who is also on a waitlist, thinks that this doesn’t impact his senior slump experience because colleges look at cumulative grades, so he doesn’t feel more pressure than usual this trimester. Both Bown and Hayman, however, think that seeing their peers commit to colleges early is tough and a little uncomfortable for them, they said. “It’s annoying because you can see everyone buying college gear and really committing to it, but you can’t really do the same thing or even get attached to a college,” Hayman said. “Obviously you want to be on the same page as everyone and be really excited about
the next steps for you, but you can’t really do that because you’re in this awkward in-between period,” Bown said. Although some seniors seem to be slumping in the third trimester, it’s a misconception that most seniors are slumping, said Doolan. Seniors still have the same course load that they had coming into the school year, he said. However, Doolan thinks that teachers can recognize students who are slumping, just as they can see who puts in the hard work and participate in their classes, he said. “They also understand that there can be a lot of conflicts that come up in the third trimester, regarding colleges and field trips,” he said. Still, the assumption that most seniors slump in the third trimester isn’t exactly true, Beyer said. Most seniors are still working hard, she said. “Senior slump doesn’t mean everyone just stops, or stops coming to school,” Bondor said.
THE RECORD ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT MAY 4TH, 2018
Faculty by day, artists by night: exploring arts beyond school Eliza Poster Staff Writer For some faculty members, ambition extends beyond their school days to a pursuit of the arts in their free time. Lower Division teacher Jean Eifert can often be found in her classroom tending to the mathematical woes of her first-grade students, but by night, she is a leading lady at the City Island Theater Group.
Since becoming involved with community theater, Eifert has played countless roles as not only a performer, but also as a costume designer, director, playwright, and set designer, she said “I think acting, right now, is my primary passion because I really get to use my creativity on stage, and it’s nice for my friends and family to be able to participate in that, in being members of the audience,” Eifert said.
Courtesy of Mr. Ennis Smith
ON THE WRITE TRACK Mr. Smith reads his work at the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony in Woodstock, NY during a writing residency.
Currently, she stars in ‘Suite Surrender,’ a comedy chronicling two feuding divas trapped in the same hotel room during the World War II era. For Eifert, who tends to act in dramas, this role was a change of pace, as she has to sing and portray a very “flamboyant” character, she said. Prior to coming to the school, Administrative Assistant to the Grade Deans Ennis Smith acted for 25 years and now focuses his creative energy primarily on writing, he said Smith explored blogging, was a features writer for a dance publication, and most recently has been working arduously on a memoir, he said. “There’s something about [creativity] that I require,” Smith said, “I probably sprang from the womb, not as an actor or as a writer, but as somebody who is looking for creative solutions.” For Film, Video, and Photography Teacher Jordan Rathus, this creative impulse has been pervasive throughout her entire life. She explores the performing arts through music, performance-based photography, and drawing, but mainly focuses on experimental film and video as creative platforms, she said. “When I was trying to figure out what to do with all my interests, I realized that film could actually combine all of them,” she said. Her film ‘That’s Why I’m Here’ is a 35-minute semi-fictional documentary which stars Rathus as a hopeless student on a journey of self-discovery and a search for an alternative lifestyle, she said. In the film, Rathus immerses herself in the cultures of Norway, Iceland, and the Hudson Valley,
Courtesy of Jean Eifert
TEACHER TURNED DIVA Jean Eifert poses with co-star Thomas Losito in the City Island Theater’s current production, “Suite Surrender.” visits naturally heated lakes, and sports traditional Nordic attire in an attempt to learn to be a Viking, she said. “I’m interested in making fun of the American perspective on foreign nations,” Rathus said. She chose to focus on Vikings because they are “the stereotypical cultural archetype for Scandinavia.” Visual Arts Department Chair Kim Do is mainly a landscape and portrait artist, whose work is displayed in the faculty dining room and will be exhibited in Art on 16 Gallery in Marion, Virginia later this year, he said To teach students art, teachers
must be practicing artists themselves to better understand the challenges presented by the creative process, he said. Similarly, for Theatre Arts, Dance, and Film Studies Teacher Alexis Dahl, partaking in playwriting along with her students enables her to empathize with them, she said. Dahl is currently collaboratively writing a play as an Associate Artist with ‘Daughters of Troy,’ a theater and visual arts company focused on the promotion of women in the theater industry, she said. Creating art is both an outlet and inlet, as it inspires her with new techniques to teach, Dahl said.
One Act, One Class, One Performance Mayanka Dhingra Staff Writer Excited whispers and nervous murmurs from aspiring playwrights filled the air of the Black Box Theatre until student and faculty volunteers began reading the student written “plays in one act.” All at once there was an attentive silence, followed shortly by an eruption of laughter and creativity energy. The one-act plays, written by students in the Upper Division
Playwriting and Production class taught by Middle and Upper Division theatre arts teacher Alexis Dahl, were read by volunteer actors for the first time on Monday after school. A play in one act may have multiple scenes, but it has one narrative arc, one central conflict, and one resolution of that conflict, Priyanka Voruganti (10), who is writing a thriller rooted in feminist ideals, said. The students wrote a series of
PLAY BY PLAY Play writing class discusses plays after reading student written works.
plays leading up to the performance, which helped them prepare for the reading, Ben Rosenbaum (11), a student in the class, said. Notebooks in hand, the students were eager to hear feedback from the audience. “My hope is that the students become more confident in what they have written,” Dahl said. From an artistic standpoint, the reading gives the writers the chance to truly hear what moments resonate with the audience versus those that still need more work, she said.
Jake Shapiro/Staff Photographer
An individual can cultivate any scenario in his or her mind, but a playwright must reflect his or her message in the text, Eliza Bender (10) a student writing a play on Soundcloud rappers, said. Administrative Assistant to the Grade Deans and one of the volunteer readers, Ennis Smith was on the edge of his seat throughout the whole reading, fascinated by the writer’s raw ideas, he said. Smith believes readings are crucial exercises that give writers the opportunity to pin down and refine their initial ideas, he said. It was an honor to be a part of that process, Smith said. “It’s one thing to read the work on the page, but it’s another thing to hear it being said out loud by another actual person,” Rosenbaum said. After all the plays had been read, the circle opened up for a discussion about the writers’ plays. Dahl asked the playwrights to consider specific questions intended to probe further into the text. Afterwards, audience members were welcome to respond in any way that speaks to what the writer is seeking, she said. The plays dealt with a broad range of ideas that included both comedic and serious storylines. Dahl gives the students creative leeway to write about what they are interested in – “there are no hard and fast rules,” she said. For Dahl, hearing the plays read aloud was a proud moment, she said. “Do you know that gratifying feeling when you experience something you
Juli Moriera/ Staff Artist
find so moving and you look around and see the experience was shared? That’s what it felt like,” Dahl said. As for the future of the plays, the Student Written One-Act Festival is held every other year. Students this year will be able to submit their plays in two years to be produced at the festival, Voruganti said. Dahl, who feels that she has been too close to the writing process as the class’ teacher to evaluate the plays, asked three published playwrights to read the plays without giving them the authors’ names, she said. After reading the plays, the professional playwrights will send feedback and rank the plays for production, Dahl said. Sometimes alumni come back to direct the production of their work, she said. Volunteer reader, Daniel Wolf (10), who played an aspiring Soundcloud rapper in Bender’s play, is excited to see the playwrights’ vision realized in the near future. “I hoped that I would be able to play Jeff in a proper production of the play and be a part of that satire,” Wolf said.
HORACE MANN MIDDLE DIVISION MAY 4TH, 2018
Red. yellow. green. blue. black. Students face off in athletic and academic competitions
Courtesy of Alumni/ae and Development Director of Publications Ruth Seligman
Andie Goldmacher Contributing Writer
Last Monday, the Middle Division suspended formal classes and replaced them with Middle Mania Day, an event that has been promoted all school year long. The competition between red, blue, green, yellow, and black teams started at the beginning of the school year, but Middle Mania Day allows any team to win the yearlong contest. The day began with an opening ceremony where a torch was passed to signify the start of the events, rockets were fired, and a new band performed rap music. Afterward, each grade rotated through sets of activities in different locations. Kickball and volleyball took place on Alumni Field, while tug of war, an obstacle course, a chain link relay, a 100-yard dash, and trivia contests occurred on Four Acres. Addy Steinberg (6) really enjoyed her first Middle Mania Day and participated in the
obstacle course, the tug of war, and the human chain link, she said. Steinberg preferred the human chain link because the Black Team girls strategized and decided to move slowly and steadily, winning the race, she said. Since this is the sixth grade’s first Middle Mania, there was a feeling of spirit and excitement in the group, Steinberg said. Phoebe Rice (7) participated in kickball and READY SET GO Students are hype for Middle Mania. trivia, she said. Trivia was her favorite event even though her team got zero points, she said. Jaden Piccirillo (8), participated in tug of war, the obstacle course, and volleyball in the morning. His favorite was volleyball because everyone was ready and excited, he said. To plan the day, physical education teachers, especially Gregg Quilty, met with grade deans several times throughout the year to discuss staffing for events and which events to include, he said. Quilty also kept the scores updated throughout the day, he said.
FRIENDS ENJOY MIDDLE MANIA Students in Middle Mania apparel.
BLACK BARKS BACK Black Team’s chalk drawing. Courtesy of Alumni/ae and Development Director of Publications Ruth Seligman
Red hot: Red Team emerges victorious Nelson Gaillard Staff Writer
The Red Team secured their Middle Mania victory for the second year in a row with 1631 points. The victorious Red Team captains, Miles Kuhn (8), Jaden Sacks (8), Lucas Correia (8), Gabby Chong (8), and Esha Patel (8) enjoyed their leadership position and designed a game plan to lead the team to victory. This year, we had really good captains and we all split our roles equally, Chong said. “I liked helping out with all the grades and I thought it was fun to help lead a team,” Correia said. Sacks thought it was cool that she and her co-captains served as teachers to the younger kids, she said. “It was really awesome because we had 100 percent leadership,” Sacks said.
Being a captain was sometimes difficult because of differing schedules, Patel said. “However, when we were able to meet, we added onto the ideas that we had, and the end result was great.” The captains used strategies to encourage younger students on The Red Team. “We tried to have a captain at each event to cheer everyone on,” Sacks said. According to Chong, the captains’ one main strategy was being loud, she said. “We made different cheers related to red to raise everyone’s spirits,” she said. “We gave the younger kids candy when they were spirited and did something that helped the team out,” Chong said. Patel made sure that everyone was listening and quiet so the captains could share their ideas, she said.
“If someone was really good at running, we’d put them in the relay race as long as they were ok with it,” Correia said. All of the Red Team captains were prepared to win, Arthur Caer (6) said. “The captains screamed a lot and made everyone’s energy pick up,” Adelman said. Caer is staying positive and encouraged to earn more wins for the Red team in the future, he said. “I want to win all of the Middle Manias while I’m there.” “I think if the captains continue to have everyone feel like they’re involved, and have everyone work together, I think the red team can win,” Correia said.
THIS TEAM IS ON FIRE! Red Team captains pose with trophy.
Fun or forced? Students express opinions on Middle Mania Simon Yang Staff Writer
Following a colorful Middle Mania competition, students shared diverse opinions about the event, offering both praise and criticism, as well as as suggestions for the future. Adande Nartey (6) believes that Middle Mania is enjoyable for the students because the event requires students to be more active, Nartey said. Students enjoy escaping the typical classroom environment to engage in physical activities, he said. For some students, the element of competition is what amplifies the fun, Marcello Risa (8) said. “Middle Mania creates room for an enjoyable, friendly competition,” Risa said. The wide range of activities allowed students with different interests to actively participate, Darson Chen
(8) said. Activities such as the math contest showed that students don’t have to be athletic to enjoy the day, he said. Some students were overly competitive during the egg and spoon race, Kaitlyn Chiang (6) said. “I would get rid of that activity because Middle Mania is supposed to be a fun activity for everyone,” Chiang said. An intense level of competition would defy the spirit of the event, she said. Several students complained about the weather, which was colder than normal. “I think they chose the wrong day for the event,” Maddie Kim (6) said. “It was just too cold and rainy outside for us to enjoy the activities.” The event would have been more
Courtesy of Visual Arts Department Chair Kim Do
enjoyable on a sunny day, Nartey said. In addition to the bad weather, students may not have enjoyed the event due to the work they had to do afterwards, Aryan Palla (6) said. “Middle Mania is fun, but it can also cause a lot of stress as all the assessments are moved to the next day,” he said. Spencer Kim (6) also believed that Middle Mania took away time some students needed to catch up with their work, he said. Some students may prefer to use the day to do work, he said. “Overall though, the only thing that could stop Middle Mania from being fun is if people start being IN THE CROWD Crowd shows their Middle Mania spirit. uncooperative and unsportsmanlike,” Nartey said.
Lions’ Den Record Sports
MAY 4TH, 2018
Smashing start to Boys Varsity Tennis season Adam Frommer Staff Writer
The Boys Varsity Tennis team has won all seven of its matches this season and is currently undefeated for the second year in a row. “The Boys Tennis team has been really good for a long time,” Bradley Bennett (9) said. “I think that just because the freshmen and sophomores keep at such a high level, we always have a team that is up and coming,” he said. The team has a wide range of strong players. “If someone is having a bad day, there is always someone else good to pick them up,” Boys Varsity Tennis Coach Patric Westoo said. “When you have many talented guys who play tournament tennis, naturally you are going to have a lot of success,” Boys Varsity Tennis co-Captain Ethan Finley (12) said. “But more than that, we are all really committed,” he said. To prepare for matches, players tend to focus on improving their own techniques rather than worrying about the techniques of their opponents, since it is impossible to know exactly how their opponents will play, Robbie Werdiger (10) said. “My mindset going into any tennis match is that it really bothers me when anyone is better than me,” Ishaan Kannan (10) said. “I hate losing more than anything. Whenever I go into a match, I
KINGS OF THE COURT Players cheer before their match.
always need to have a plan,” he said. “We go into every match knowing we are better than the other team,” Finley said. “We have a swagger about it, but we should. We were undefeated last year and we are undefeated now. The key is to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand, but it’s going pretty well,” he said. This season, the team co-captains are Ethan Finley (12), James Baumann (12),
Ahaan Palla/Staff Photographer
and Connor Morris (11). “As a freshman, sophomore, and junior it was really about me and winning my match, and that was my contribution to the team,” Finley said. “Now I need to worry about my whole team. I have to lead by example,” he said. “I try to lead by example and be someone who can give the team the energy it needs to succeed,” Baumann said.
Softball defeats Fieldston in triumphant comeback Marina Kazarian Staff Writer
Ahaan Palla / Staff Photographer
HIT IT OUT OF THE BALLPARK Girls Varsity Softball team poses for picture after winning game.
Last Friday, the Girls Varsity Softball team won 22 – 19 in a nail-biter against Fieldston that featured a grand slam by co-Captain Jane Frankel (12). “It was cold and rainy. The pitchers had a very hard time pitching the softball, and it was tough to make plays in the field, so that’s why the score was so high,” Girls Softball Coach Ray Barile said. “We went down nine to nothing in the first two innings and then we had a little comeback and we were able to score ten runs in the third inning,” Barile said. After this comeback, the score remained close until the Lions took the lead by scoring five runs in the sixth inning, Sarah Acocelli (10) said. During the third inning, Frankel hit a home run with the bases loaded, adding
four more runs to the Lions’ total. Fieldston’s strong pitching and hitting make for a competitive opponent, and the Lions have lost to them before. However, Fieldston’s primary pitcher was absent for this game, which helped the Lions win, Acocelli said. The team consists of very smart players that just have to avoid panicking during games and play confidently, Barile said. The team has a strong defense in the field, player Kyra Kwok (11) said. The team’s offense while batting usually gets better later on in the games, Eunice Bae (11) said. Due to recent rain, the team has frequently had to practice indoors. “Not having a lot of practices outside has made it a little difficult for us to get used to playing in the field,” Bae said.
There are 15 people on the team, most of whom are juniors. All of the current players were on the team last year, except for two new freshmen, Barile said. “We lost a lot of seniors and pretty much were a fresh team coming into this season, but absolutely everyone has stepped up to show their dedication for the team,” Frankel said. “Everyone has had to try out new positions and learn how to play with one another as we only have two returning starters this year: myself and Ashna Jain,” she said. The team attends a training trip to Florida each spring, which helps to bring team members closer, Bae said. “I love how close the team appeared and how they cheered each other on,” Ruby Wertheimer (12), who watched the game, said. Julia Robbins (10) also attended the game. “I went because I was staying late to watch Pippin after school on Friday and I thought it would be fun to cheer on the team,” she said. “The cast of Pippin came to see us and they started cheering. I think that support really helped our team,” Acocelli said. Currently, Girls Varsity Softball has won three games and lost four, Barile said. The team lost many of their games at first, but has won more of their recent games, which has brought players hopes up for the rest of the season, Acocelli said. “I hope that we continue to put our best foot forward in every game and play with the attitude we’ve been working tirelessly to develop for the past few weeks,” Frankel said.
“The captains have been amazing with the younger players, and have taught us how to approach matches because team tennis is really different from what I’m used to playing at USTA tournaments,” Bennett said. “The team chemistry is really good,” Evan Buonagurio (11) said. “Everyone is friends with everybody, and we joke around, have fun and win all at the same time,” he said. “Tennis is a very individual sport, and it sometimes feels lonely and is not always fun, but when you are part of a great group and there are people to cheer you on, it brings more of a team aspect,” Werdiger said. Playing number one singles this year is Ishaan Kannan, Westoo said. “He’s stepped up and become a very serious number one player,” he said. Last year, after winning the Ivy League championship, the team competed against other top New York schools in the Mayor’s Cup Tournament, Baumann said. The team lost in the finals to the Beacon School, he said. The team’s current goal is to win the Ivy League, remain undefeated for the rest of the season, and hopefully win the Mayor’s Cup, Westoo said. Since the players compete at such a high level, winning the Mayor’s Cup could simply mean making small adjustments to individual gameplay, he said.
Wins of the Week: SOFTBALL
12 - 2
v. Lycée Francais
11 - 7