The Pingry Record - December 2018

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Volume CXLV, Number II

The Pingry School, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

December 17, 2018

Next Year’s Head of School Matt Levinson Introduces Himself

By BRYNN WEISHOLTZ (V), FELICIA HO (VI)

On November 30, Mr. Jeffrey Edwards ‘78, Chair of the Board of Trustees, announced that Mr. Matt Levinson has been selected to be the next Head of School, effective as of July 1, 2019. He was elected by a unanimous vote from the Board of Trustees following a fivemonth-long search directed by the Pingry Search Committee and executive search firm Spencer Stuart. After graduating with a B.A. in History from Haverford College, Mr. Levinson pursued an M.A. in Social Studies Education from the Teachers College of Columbia University, where he was also a member of the prestigious Kappa Delta Pi Honors Society. Mr. Levinson then became a History Department Chair, Grade Dean, and Varsity Soccer Coach at Princeton Day School. During his time in New Jersey, he was also involved in giving back to the community as an active participant of New Jersey SEEDS and Prep for Prep. After moving to the West Coast, he became the Assistant Head of School at Marin Country Day School in Marin, CA. He then held the same position at The Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA, and, most recently, he was the Head of School at University Prep in Seattle, WA. His wife, Ms. Priyanthi Alahendra, is also an educator who taught in elementary schools for over 25 years. Now, Mr. Levinson is ready to bring his extensive leadership experience to Pingry. Mr. Lederman and Ms. Procter, Co-Chairs of the Search Committee, offered some insight into how Mr. Levinson was selected: surveys were sent to and meet-

ings were held with students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, current and past parents, and current and former trustees to identify what Pingry hoped to find in their next Head of School. During

these sessions, Mr. Lederman and Ms. Procter gathered that the community wanted “a visionary leader, a community builder,” someone who, in past positions, “attracted, retained, and developed faculty talent, as well as shared our Pingry values of excellence, honor, diversity, and inclusion.” The Search Committee then reviewed candidates by reading their résumés and writings, and holding video and in-person interviews. Mr. Levinson greatly impressed them in his first video interview; the interview was held at 6:30 A.M. in Seattle, but “he immediately evidenced warmth, directness, and intellectual curiosity.” With Mr. Levinson’s experience in implementing

Inside the Record

new design programs at The Nueva School and Experiential Learning programs at University Prep, Mr. Lederman and Ms. Procter believe that Mr. Levinson will greatly contribute to the growth of

the Pingry curriculum. After consulting reference-checks that detailed how students loved him as “a very visible community builder who builds lifelong relationships w ith faculty and staff,” the Search Committee concluded that Mr. Levinson would be a perfect fit for Pingry. Describing himself as collaborative, inclusive, and energetic, Mr. Levinson is most looking R. Kapur (IV). forward to meeting as many people as possible and getting to know about the Pingry community from administrators, faculty members, students, parents, and alumni. He plans “to connect with the students by attending various events such as games and drama productions. After being a classroom teacher for fourteen years, I don’t know any other way to be in a school community.” Having worked in New Jersey for many years, Mr. Levinson has always been

The Rumor Mill

Editorials

Brooke Pan (IV) presents a unique take on Ariana Grande’s latest hit.

Co-Editors-in-Chief Miroslav Bergam (VI) and Ketaki Tavan (VI) delve into reputation and legacy

An Inside Look Justin Li (IV) answers your burning questions about the behindthe-scenes of the Student Activities Committee (SAC).

Columns Felicia Ho (VI) reviews Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot, Martha Lewand (V) discusses her latest Netflix obsession, Aneesh Karuppur (IV) highlights winter tech, and Kristine Fu (VI) shares Snowball outfit insights.

Winter Sports Roundup Our sports reporters cover each team’s start to the winter sports season.

Sections News......................................1, 6, 7 Commentary..........................2-4 Columns......................................5 Sports.....................................8

On November 20th, the final day before the start of Thanksgiving break, the Buttondowns serenaded the Upper School in Hauser Auditorium at their annual Buttondowns Assembly. The elite boys’ acapella group is led this year by president Rajeev Doraswamy (VI) and vice president Ian Dugan (VI). The assembly began with the highly anticipated Buttondowns movie, an annual tradition. The three-movie format was inspired by “Edgar Wright’s unofficial ‘Cornetto Trilogy,’ a film trilogy with the same actors, themes, and creative team,” according to Dugan. The seniors in the Buttondowns had been planning the movie for a long time, as evidenced by clips of the seniors throughout the years. To this, Dugan elaborated, “The introduction to the film was written back when we filmed in the BAC construction site as freshmen, and we left it open ended as to be able to take whatever creative direction we wanted.” At the end of the movie, the Buttondowns ran down the flight of stairs to the stage wearing their namesake white button down shirts, khakis, and of course, no shoes. The first song was Bruno Mars’ “Marry You”

By ALEX KAPLAN (IV)

On November 8th, the Jewish Affinity Group hosted a town hall in the wake of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Eleven people were killed, making it the deadliest attack on Jewish people in the United States. While the event was hosted by the Jewish Affinity Group, it was open to the entire Pingry community, regardless of faith or culture. The event intended to create a space that was free for respectful debate so anyone could voice their thoughts with-

a number of faculty, students, and staff. Many people came both to share and to listen. Ms. Hartz felt that the town hall was a powerful experience, saying that “seeing the students [who] came to the meeting was most impactful since these were students I don’t normally see in Affinity Group meetings.” The viewpoints that were shared varied as well. Some shared their opinions on the recent events, whereas other shared ideas they found had affected them. Mrs. Ostrowsky, for example, shared a poem written to

we wanted to allow people to be political without turning what’s meant to be an emotional place into an argumentative place”

out fear of retaliation or judgement. According to Ethan Malzberg (VI), co-facilitator of the Jewish Affinity Group, “any shooting inherently provokes a political response from some people, and we wanted to allow people to be political without turning what’s meant to be an emotional place into an argumentative place.” The town hall was a success, with high turnout and a great impact on those who attended. Present at the town hall was Dr. Diana Artis, Chair of the Department of Diversity and Inclusion, Mrs. Eva Ostrowsky, counselor and Peer Leadership Program Advisor, and Ms. Shelley Hartz, Director of Community and Civic Engagement, as well as

the baby whose naming was supposed to take place during the tragedy at the synagogue. It was an emotional moment for all who attended. Malzberg noted another affective moment, saying, “I was the first person to share, so seeing people around me stand up after me was really affirming and inspiring to everyone.” Ms. Hartz and Malzberg both noted that the community turnout was better than expected. The high attendance and heartfelt response to the event opens the door to more events of a similar nature in the future. Ms. Hartz echoed this sentiment, noting that she hopes, “as a community we can continue to find venues where students can support each other during difficult times.”

“Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield. Jan mentioned that he really enjoyed performing this particular song as both he and Charlie Malone (V) arranged the music together. Finally, Rajeev Doraswamy (VI) and Henry Wood (IV) sang the closing song, George Erza’s “Budapest.” Wood appreciated how the song’sl y r i c s , “generally talk about how love is more important than anything else.” D o raswamy spoke after the assembly about his years in the Buttondowns group, reflecting Pingry Communications t h a t , “ I t

hadn’t hit me that it was my last assembly until it was over; once it did end, I felt a huge sense of gratitude to those who put countless hours in, and definitely some sadness that it was my last one.” He thanked Dr. Andrew Moore, “who was there for me all four years and has never wavered in his support for the group.” Doraswamy also thanked his fellow seniors Dugan, Jan, Thomas Campbell, and Ryan Henriques, as well as the entire class of 2019, “who have cheered us on from freshman year until now.” He also thanked Dugan for the immense effort he put into the Buttondowns movie. The event was widely enjoyed by the whole Upper School, apparent by the loud applause. As a final note, Doraswamy said, “All in all, I’m really proud of the boys, and I’ll definitely be looking back on it with a real sense of both happiness and sadness.”

Buttondowns Entertain Upper School at Annual Assembly By MONICA CHAN (IV)

Courtesy of Pingry Communications

aware of Pingry and especially its Honor Code values. Mr. Levinson recalls Haverford’s Honor Code as “the single most defining part of my college education; it imbued the whole community, affected how we engaged with each other, how we approached learning in the classroom, and acted as our conscience.” He hopes to bring his experience with Haverford’s Honor Code to Pingry, referring to Haverford’s pillars of intellectual engagement, diversity and inclusion, and stewardship and sustainability. Mr. Levinson said, “The students are the lifeblood of the school, so it’s important to hear what you have to say. We need to have different kinds of conversations regarding the pillars and more involvement in applying strategic plans to combat the issues we face as a community.” His long term goal is to bring people together in a whole, inclusive, and collaborative community. “This can be accomplished,” he said, by “distributing leadership and empowering people to work on something they are truly passionate about.” During his free time, Mr Levinson plays soccer and basketball. Having taught AP European History, AP US History, American Studies, and middle school history, he would also love to find a way back into the History Department. As an official introduction to the community, Mr. Levinson stated, “I would hope that you are all open and receptive to conversation and dialogue and that we can continue it as I am here. I want the community to get to know me in a personal way.”

Jewish Affinity Group Hosts Gathering Following Tragedy

with soloists John Robertson (V), Ore Shote (IV), and Alex Kaplan (IV). “I always learn something from performing in front of crowds. In this case, I learned how to lend attention to the people behind me while still singing correctly,” Kaplan reflected. The next song had a more R&B feel: “Juke Jam” by Chance the Rapper, with soloists James Wang (V) and Nolan Baynes (IV). This is the second year the two have paired up for a song at the annual assembly. Baynes said he enjoys performing with Wang because, “I think that chemistry between us shows when we sing together, which is really unique.” Nabeel Jan (VI) and Dugan sang next with the 1980’s hit


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THE PINGRY RECORD

EDITORIAL

Leaving a Legacy

In a recent interview with Mr. Matt Levinson, Pingry’s soon-to-be new Head of School, I asked a question about legacy. I wanted to know what came to mind when I prompted Mr. Levinson to consider the mark he hopes to make on our school. Before I even finished asking my question, the irony of the inquiry dawned on me: I wanted to know what our future Head of School hopes to leave with Pingry several months before he even begins his first day on the job. As the months remaining in my senior year at Pingry dwindle, the idea of leaving a legacy has plagued my thoughts incessantly. Considering the number of years many of us have spent at this place, I don’t blame my classmates when they express their desire to move on to a new, exciting phase of their lives in which Pingry isn’t the focal point of the picture. And while I do share this eagerness to discover what my future holds, I can’t seem to wholeheartedly enter the mindset of leaving Pingry behind. Physically leaving is a daunting thought. In several months, I’ll be in a completely new school, quite possibly a new state, surrounded by thousands of strangers. Nothing about that experience will feel familiar. But more than the anxiety of physically leaving Pingry, I can’t get my mind off of my legacy leaving Pingry. Everyone has one. Through the way we speak to people, what we work on within and beyond these walls, how we carry ourselves — every one of my classmates will leave behind a legacy of sorts. But what is my legacy and how quickly will it vanish? Who decides what my legacy is? What can I do to be proud of what I, one person, leave with a whole school full of people who have done so much for me? Maybe dwelling on these questions is a selfish way to think. Why should I expect my name or the what I did with my time here to carry any significance when I leave? Is it wrong of me to hope that they will? As I go through the next few months, I’ll try to remember that there’s no value in leaving a legacy just for the sake of leaving a legacy. The pressures that I feel now didn’t used to preoccupy me until the prospect of moving on started to feel real, but it’s important to remind myself that nothing about my place at Pingry really has to change. I’m grateful to have had such a fulfilling experience here through engaging with the incredible people I’ve met along the way and the exciting opportunities I’ve encountered both inside and outside of the classroom. As my high school years come to a close, I’ll continue to value little interactions and savor the moments I share with others. I’ll continue on the same way I always have, and with the added recognition that I don’t have much time left, hopefully I can be someone who makes a mark on a place and people that have made an indelible mark on me. —Ketaki

Tavan

COMMENTARY DECEMBER 17, 2018

The Importance of Club Communication

By ANEESH KARUPPUR (IV)

I entered Pingry as a freshman knowing that the student body was extremely motivated and that the teachers and facilities were some of the best in the region. So, when the Club Fair came around in mid-October of 2017, I was ecstatic. My previous middle school allowed students to participate in a maximum of three clubs, since the only available time slots were after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Pingry has a big open schedule, with two flexes, conference periods, and community time. So, I figured that I would sign up for every single club I was interested in during that very first club fair. Chemistry Club? Well, I was decent at Chemistry, so I signed up for that. Politics Club? I read the news sometimes, so I thought it would be an okay fit for me. AFS? Well, the head of that club was in one of my classes and she offered me cookies, so I figured I’d sign up for that one as well. Overall, I probably signed up for about ten clubs total, and I figured I could squish them all into my schedule. Well, (big surprise) I couldn’t. I would receive an email from Politics Club and think, “Oh, I have to go

By EVA SCHILLER (IV)

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I was dragged out of my room to watch the opening skit of Saturday Night Live. It was a rerun commenting on Kavanaugh’s election by the Senate; it showed Republican senators partying after the judge was confirmed to the Supreme Court. While I did enjoy the skit, I recognized that it was designed to make the viewer think as well as laugh. So, what part resonated with me? I managed to pinpoint a quote by Cecily Strong, who played senator Susan Collins in the skit: “I think it’s important to believe women until it’s time to stop. But…you know, I’m a guy’s gal, okay?” While it was intended to mock Collins for not supporting her own gender, this quote brings up a more serious question: why would anyone support a Number II

Copy Editors Meghan Durkin Aneesh Karuppur Brooke Pan Eva Schiller

Editors-in-Chief Miroslav Bergam Ketaki Tavan Senior Assistant Editor

Felicia Ho

Assistant Editors Vicky Gu Brynn Weisholtz

Chemistry Club met twice before disappearing into the void of forever-silent Pingry clubs, so I forgot about it and ignored it too. By the end of the year, I had ignored the majority of clubs I had signed up for and completely forgotten about them. When the 2018 school year rolled around, things were a bit different. I started one club and began to run a small part of another club. I was pretty confident going into the Club Fair: I had

perfectly color-coded slides, agendas, lesson plans, and videos lined up to wow every student who would attend my meetings. I would collect tons of signups, and even if I wrote off ninety percent of them as people who signed up for the candy and not for the actual club, I would have a nice chunk of students ready to learn from my massive 10th grade-level expertise and knowledge.

We l l , a s you might expect, it didn’t turn out that way. I was well aware that the C. Wen (V) first meeting of any club would contain a good amount of students, and the attendance would sharply decrease over time. I didn’t realize that students who filled out the Google Form saying that they were coming wouldn’t actually come. Even with the club Google Calendar and numerous all-caps emails, I found that it was very difficult to get people to show up, especially in flex and CP times. I understand that it is

hard to remember to show up to meetings between athletics, meetings with teachers, homework, and make-up assignments. However, I believe that using scheduling tools like Google Calendar or the Pingry Today app can solve these kinds of problems. Additionally, it is important to let your club leaders know if you are no longer interested in the club. Your club leaders will not be hurt or angry; in fact, it will make their job easier, because they will have a clearer picture of who is interested in the club and who is not. Finally, if you remember the meeting but can’t show up – which is, by the way, totally okay – please email your club leaders. It is so much easier to figure out what to discuss or do in the club meetings if we know who is showing up, who is not showing up yet is still very interested, and who is not interested and not showing up. I believe that all the clubs at Pingry will be able to benefit if members communicate to their club leaders. Clubs are not like classes or athletic commitments; they are meant to allow you to pursue your passions in a more relaxed environment. Communicating with leaders will not only benefit you, but it will also benefit the club and the Pingry community.

Selfishness as the Driving Force Behind Voting

Volume CXLV

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to Orchestra on Wednesday! Guess I can’t go. ” Then, I would ignore the email and hit “Archive.” AFS Club sent an email informing me of their welcome party for that year’s foreign exchange student, but I couldn’t attend that either, so I declined the Google Calendar event and archived that email too.

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Mrs. Meghan Finegan

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cause that damages their own ‘people’? Why root against the progress of your own team? To me, it seems similar to a Pingry student rooting for the other team during a sports event. You

may ask yourself why any Pingry student would do such a thing. The answer is simple: they must feel a stronger affiliation with the other school than they do with Pingry. Perhaps they are indifferent and throw their support behind the opponent, seemingly more deserving of it. Maybe they choose to root for a friend on the other team. But is this really why people vote against causes that could potentially benefit them? For instance, it seems hard to believe that any woman could feel a stronger affiliation with “sexist” messages than they do with “feminist” ones. It

seems even harder to believe that a woman could outright dislike feminism. There must be some reason why people are able to forsake a group that they are expected to support, much like our hypothetical student who decided not to root for Pingry. It is important to remember that many people simply disagree with me: causes that I deem harmful the progress of women or other groups may appear beneficial to others. However, there are others who recognize a cause as damaging to their ‘team,’ C. Wen (V) yet still support it. I have decided that the root of this decision is the selfishness ingrained in our society. This may seem paradoxical– wouldn’t selfish people support a cause that benefits them? Well, they do. Selfish people support causes that benefit them as individuals, not the groups they identify with. For example, many believe that our current leadership is against causes that benefit women, but this does not seem to quell support from some women who remain unaffected. If a Pingry sports team wins or loses, the average student is un-

affected and is at liberty to root for either side. As long as people care more about what affects them, we will continue to vote based on personal interest rather than the interest of our political, racial, and sexual groups. The problem that we, as a society, then face is how to encourage stronger affiliation with one’s various groups. According to Alexander Hamilton, humans are inherently selfish, but I am unconvinced that voting for the good of one’s people is a lost cause. Since it is more selfish than voting strictly for the good of society, while still less selfish than voting for individual gain, I find voting for one’s societal groups to be a middle ground that many tend towards when given the right culture. It may even help people make better decisions that benefit themselves. For instance, if I considered my identity as an American, a woman, a student, a daughter, etc. while voting, I would likely end up making a choice that was best for both me personally and for everyone who shares those qualities with me. So, let’s summarize. We support causes that are potentially damaging to our own societal groups based on our own intrinsic, inevitable selfishness, and the only solution is to reconstruct our culture. A bit morbid, I know. But, the best place to start is within ourselves: remember to take others into consideration when making decisions that affect them.


THE PINGRY RECORD

High School Stress? Thank U, Next By BROOKE PAN (V)

W h e t h e r i t b e Ta y l o r Swift back in 2012 or Ariana Grande now, breakup songs have always found a way to occupy a spot on the radio. Their catchy tune and shade-throwing tone captivates anyone and everyone listening by fulfilling our culture’s thirst for drama. Reading about which celebrities just had a baby or whose shoes clashed with his or her outfit is fine, but listening to and experiencing an artist’s reaction to a breakup couldn’t be more compelling toward drama– thirsty teens. As many of us know, Ariana Grande responded to her breakup with ex-fiancé Pete Davidson by masterfully crafting a breakup song encompassing all of her past relationships and thanking them each for teaching her the important life lessons she acquired after having exited these relationships. Since then, this song has blown up, topping charts and spawning a popular meme. Slyly calling out her exes, Ariana Grande galvanized all of her followers into frenzies on social media platforms with the gossip this song addresses. After hearing this song and seeing its reactions on the internet, I began questioning why this song was so appealing to everyone who has listened to it. Many people love pop

culture and celebrity drama: we are drawn to the overdramatized lives of celebrities as some form of escapism. But what is the nature behind drama? I understand that celebrities tend to contrive different ways in which they can attract more attention, and in consequence earn more publicity, but what about the average person? What about someone not

C. Wen (V)

under the microscope of fame? Falsifying events, fabricating rumors, feigning kindness. Most students will encounter these tactics throughout high school. While it is often difficult to uncover the motivations behind these actions, I imag-

ine it is similar to the headline-grabbing intentions of celebrities. Regardless of motivation, I’m pushed to ask the question: how do we deal with it? What do we do when the gossip culture of celebrities spills into our everyday lives? While some may be able to brush off hurtful people, others may not yet have the confidence to withstand them. For the latter, it is important to know how to deal with such people. As we are still growing comfortable in our own skins, it does not help to have to deal with all the drama and dishonesties that come with being surrounded by the wrong people. We must learn an important lesson: to distance ourselves from those who have a negative impact on our lives and move on. This solution is sewn into the lyrics of Grande’s “thank u, next,” distinguishing it from many breakup songs that seem to add fuel to a fire. Grande instructs us to find the positives in a negative situation. She learned to push past the hardships of breakups and instead look at all the virtues she’s gained from the experience like love and patience. So remember these words the next time you face a person who doesn’t necessarily have your best interests at heart: “thank u, next.”

Holiday Party Participants

By LAUREN DRZALA (IV)

Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie: just a few of the elements that help make a Thanksgiving feast for most people. As you all know, Thanksgiving break came to a screeching halt after five days. For me, it was not enough time to recharge my brain. Now we anxiously await winter break, hoping for one or two snow days in between. During this holiday season, family members swarm your house. And in every holiday party, I have realized there are certain categories my family members fit into when it comes to preparing any holiday event: the watchers, the cooks, the cleaners, and the guests. The watchers. This classification of holiday participants can be described as the little pests who hang around the kitchen, waiting to strike on the innocent mashed potatoes sitting by the hot stove. I, myself, am guilty of this. Spoon in hand, they dive for the unfinished sauces and foods, being stopped by none other than the cook who prepares it. To vanquish a watcher, one must tell them they have to help clean up the mess. After

this point, the watchers are nowhere to be seen, saving the remainder of the food they did not get their hands on. The cooks. The creators of the holiday foods who feel they are the superior beings in the kitchen. They are just normal people who turn into chefs, making everyone wonder where these hidden talents just came from. Suddenly Mom and Dad turn into Alton Brown, whipping out delectable items comparable to those on Food Network. They make us wonder how these hidden talents just appear out of their ordinary lives. The cooks add some thyme here and a splash of a mysterious juice seemingly from the depths of the Amazon Jungle there. Because they are so engrossed in

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COMMENTARY DECEMBER 17, 2018

their cooking, a mountain of dishes begins to grow in the sink, much to the dismay of the cleaners. The cleaners. These are the people I relate to the most. They start off as watchers, unaware of the perilous mistake they have made by sitting in the kitchen. These innocent children meet their parents’ gaze, aware of the pile of dishes in the sink. They try to escape, but are forced to help clean up. Once the cleaning begins, so does the complaining. I am personally guilty of this. “No one helps me,” is usually my go-to, but once someone like my younger sister tries to help, I say, “Get out! You are not good at cleaning up.” However, there are times when the mess is just too much to handle, and that usually

leads to me ask for help. The guests. There are many varieties of guests, including the grandparents, the cousins, the family friends, and those family members you see once every six years. Some guests are people that I have never met before. You think you hear your parents say they are friends of your third cousins, but you aren’t quite sure. There are some guests who decide to help clean up. Although I do enjoy a helping hand (when there is too much for me to handle), I don’t enjoy it when the guests begin to clean up when I am enjoying myself. This leads to a death stare from my mom, compelling me to halt my fun and start to clean up again. I then have to approach these

C. Wen (V)

EDITORIAL

Regarding High School Reputation

I can’t stop listening to Reputation by Taylor Swift. Its grip on me is tightened in part due to its campy pop production, Swift’s cheesy yet masterful songwriting, and its chilly, seasonal mood (Reputation is a winter album and I will argue that to the grave). What fully captures me, however, is Reputation’s message. The album explores the shiny zeniths and dark, grimy alleyways of having a public reputation. “Delicate” whispers about coping with your name being dragged through the mud and “I Did Something Bad” is a liberating middle finger to false accusations and public blame. This may seem like an unrelatable piece of work by nature; not many people can understand the stress a celebrity faces from being in the public sphere. As I continue my senior year, however, I’m beginning to realize that it’s quite the opposite. If high school is a microcosm of society, then we are all something of celebrities. This is particularly true in a small school like Pingry. With grade sizes below 150 and class sizes never breaking 20, any move we make sends ripples through the social ecosystem. From speaking at Morning Meeting to quietly shifting friend groups, our actions draw more attention than we expect and assign us a +1 or -1 in the eyes of our peers and teachers. Only in retrospect do I realize how I charged headfirst into high school not knowing this principle, and perhaps my reputation is reflective of that. So, what is my reputation? My offbeat humor draws equal amounts of blank stares and affirming laughs. I won the “Most Likely to be on Reality TV” superlative, which intrigues me because I can’t identify any public drama or attention-seeking stunt that I’ve been a part of in the last two years. My actions from the former half of high school — a squabble here or there and my embarrassing foray into dancing during the talent show — must still be latched to my reputation. Moreover, I think of myself as approachable, but just last week an underclassman rather bluntly told me, “you’re not as mean as I heard.” Underlying all of this are the stereotypes that come with my identifiers, consciously and unconsciously shaping the perception of me. Am I a funny, quirky friend-to-all? Am I a disingenuous attention-seeker? Am I a closed-off scholar with a niche and inaccessible sense of humor? More generally, what created my reputation? Do small, interpersonal collisions and coalitions have any weight when compared to more my public appearances, like my LeBow speech? How fast does a reputation form and how does one slow the process? Is it possible to reverse a reputation entirely? While these questions plague us as students of a tightknit school, the future looms, jarring and unfamiliar. In college, people won’t know who I am. Actions that would result in either a scarlet letter or golden sticker at Pingry are a shout into the void at college and in the larger world. For the first time in my life, I’ll walk by people in school who don’t know or care about who I am. A tar of anonymity will coat me and keep my community from knowing the personal facts of my life. With this comes the strangest realization of all: despite how my reputation at Pingry has sent me down spirals of insecurity and self-reflection, I’ll miss it dearly. While it may be best for me to learn how to define myself on my own terms rather than based on the perception of others, there’s something formative about being assigned a reputation. I’ve learned to decipher how I am perceived. I’ve learned which parts of me I want to share with the world and which are better kept private. I’ve learned how to gradually let go of my inhibitions that come from the fear of judgment. As the chorus of “Getaway Car” peaks in intensity, the backtrack chants, “nothing good starts in a getaway car.” In the moments when I want to escape to college in a getaway car fueled by anxiety and drama, I forget that a large portion of who I am comes from grappling with my high school reputation. Like Swift, I’m learning to relish in the good and bad of having one. For better or for worse, it’s something I’ve only come to explore in the few months I have before it, in its ephemeral nature, disappears like footprints in a snowstorm. —Miro

guests and pry the soap and sponge from their hands, telling them to have a good time while I am stuck with the dishes . . . again. Now, what I have also learned from continuous holiday parties and guest after guest is that hosting a holiday party is a pain, but it is all worth the trouble. Every-

Bergam

one special in your life comes together for one glorious party. Yes, it can be exhausting, but you are doing it for the people that you love. I am very glad to spend my holidays with my family; they really do make me happy at the end of the day, and I do not say that enough. To quote Michael J. Fox, “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.”


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THE PINGRY RECORD

COMMENTARY DECEMBER 17, 2018

Another Shooting Happened. This One Felt More Personal. What Can I do? By ETHAN MALZBERG (VI)

The news broke for me on Twitter. It was Saturday, October 27. While taking a break from college essays, I never expected to scroll past frantic headlines announcing a massacre against my community. The Monday following the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, I immediately went to Ms. Hartz’s office to discuss how we could act. As co-leader of Jewish Affinity Group, I was unsure what my role should be in the healing process of the Jewish community and the greater Pingry community. Together, we decided that the Jewish Affinity Group should host a Town Hall. There, anyone from the community — regardless of religious identification — could share their reaction to the events in Pittsburgh. Aside from Pingry’s usual norms, we added an additional one for this town hall: attendees were welcome to stand up and share their reactions, but no one was allowed to respond to someone else’s reaction. Our intention in setting this norm was to create a space solely for

reaction and support, not debate. It was important for me to allow people to react in whatever way they desired — and given the political intertwinings of any

place on November 8 during CP. All members of the Pingry community were invited. Teachers, students, and administrators attended the event. Many attendees

as an American and as a Jew, my distaste for the manner in which our President and Vice President addressed the shooting, and my guilt for not giving myself enough time to process the events immediately after they occurred because I was so busy with schoolwork and college applications. Mrs. Ostrowsky, one of the school counselors, shared a particularly poignant poem written by Zev Steinberg that brought many at the event to tears. The following is an excerpt from the poem: “Little boy, what’s your name – do you have one? Sweet baby, just eight days, what should we call you?

mass shooting, that might mean politics — without allowing something as emotional as this to turn into a place for heated argument.

C. Wen (V)

shared one or multiple responses to the shooting; others simply listened and observed for the duration of the event. Personally, I T h e To w n H a l l t o o k shared my newfound fear

I have heard the sacred circumcision postponed for jaundiced yellow, but never before for bloodshed red. Is your name Shalom? We long for peace in this troubled world. I hope you are Shalom. Is your name Nachum? Oh, how we need to be comforted in our grief. I hope you are Nachum. Is your name Raphael? Our broken hearts and bleeding

souls need healing. I hope you are Raphael. You should have been carried high into the congregation on Shabbat morning – past from loving hands to loving hands – on a cushioned pillow to receive your Jewish name. Instead your elders fell and were carried out on stretchers in plastic bags. Their names on tags. Is your name Moshe? Our unbearable anguish and rage demands justice. I hope you are Moshe. Is your name Ariel? We need the ferocious strength of lions to protect our people. I hope you are Ariel. Is your name Barak? We need courageous warriors to vanquish our enemies. I hope you are Barak. The blood on Shabbat morning was supposed to be covenantal not sacrilegious, sacramental not sacrificial, sacred not unholy. The tears were supposed to be of boundless joy not bottomless sorrow. The cries were supposed to be ‘mazel tov’ not the mourner’s kaddish.” For those who do not know, a baby’s naming ceremony is considered, by Jews, to be one of the most important moments in life. This is supposed

to take place within eight days of birth. As the poem mentioned, postponement of the ceremony is a rarity; the fact that this occurred speaks to the gravity of the Pittsburgh tragedy. Personally, I was brought to tears by this poem. It made me aware of just how unpresent I had been. It was so easy to hear “9 dead, 10 dead, now 11 dead” in the headlines that eventually, I tuned the news out. It was so easy to fear for my own safety (for the first time in recent memory) and immediately tune out. It was so easy to immerse myself in school work that I tuned my own pain out. Despite having planned this event, I had been so numb that I never processed everything that occurred until I heard this poem: the shooting happened at a baby’s naming ceremony, it wasn’t “just” a normal Saturday morning service. What happened at the Tree of Life Synagogue is so much bigger than me. Still, I learned that selfawareness and emotional awareness are necessary if I want to help other people heal. I need to take care of myself before I can try to help anyone else.

Fall Play Review: Students Shine in Starcatcher By BRIAN LI (III)

On November 8, 9, and 10, the Upper School Drama Department presented its annual fall play; this year’s play was Peter and the Starcatcher by Rick Elice. Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, this comedy explores the backstory of Peter Pan. Directed by Mrs. Stephanie Romankow, Peter and the Starcatcher included over 40 cast members, two British ships, and a forested island full of native people. The play begins with Molly (Katerina Deliargyris, VI) and three orphans boarding the Neverland, a British ship commanded by Bill Slank (Lucas Vazquez, VI). Her father, Lord Leonard Aster (Stuart Clark, V), boards a second ship, the Wasp. Each ship has its own trunk, one filled with sand, the

and interrupts the standoff. Stache opens the orphans’ trunk only to find it empty. Realizing his plan has failed, Stache gives a farewell, noting that he and his enemy Peter will meet again. Although Molly wants to take the orphans back to England, her father realizes that Peter was affected by the starstuff and cannot go back. Peter is then permanently a boy, the one thing he always wanted to be. Although Mrs. Romankow has directed productions before, this was her first time directing the play. As a “magical” production, Mrs. Romankow said, “it embraces theater in its purest form, allowing the audience to see how the magic is made.” She appreciates that the actors are “not only a group of insanely talented students, but also students who know the importance of collaboration.” Mr. Christopher Abbott designed and built the set, and M r. A l a n Va n A n t werp served as the lighti n g o p erator. Mr. Jay Winston was the sound direct o r, w h i l e Mary Kovacs (VI), U d o c h i Emeghara (VI), Grace Brown (VI), and Sonia Talarek (V) Pingry Communications

other with starstuff, a magical substance that makes people what they wish to be. While Molly befriends the orphans, Black Stache (Jack Lyons, VI) and his band of pirates take over the Wasp in search of the starstuff. They leave thinking they have successfully stolen the starstuff, but when they find their trunk is filled with sand, they realize the trunks had been swapped. The Wasp pursues the Neverland, while Peter (Nicholas Grimaldi, VI) and the other orphans take the starstuff and float to an island as the Neverland breaks apart. Molly finds them, but they are captured by the natives and their king, Fighting Prawn (Lucas Vazquez, VI). The orphans manage to escape with the trunk of starstuff, but Peter falls into a starstuff-filled lake. The pirates capture Molly and the two orphans, but Peter returns

G. Liu (VI)

were stage managers. This year’s fall play was drastically different from that of previous years, according to Lucas Vazquez (VI). “Last year, Antigone was an ancient Greek play with barely any movement or set changes. The cast this year was much bigger than last year’s, and we also had the songs [and] audio cues. [With] all

the set changes, costume changes, and cues, it felt like we were doing a musical, or half a musical.” The cast, along with Mrs. Romankow, agreed that the fall play was a rewarding experience. In the words of Leo Zhu (VI), “This play embodied the idea that everyone matters...I really enjoyed working with the cast and I wish I could stay at Pin-

gry longer. It’s sad having to leave everybody behind after spending so much time with them.” Vazquez elaborated, saying, “While I plan to do theater in college, it won’t be the same without the people I’ve known for so long. It won’t be worse, but it just won’t be the same.”


THE PINGRY RECORD

COLUMNS DECEMBER 17, 2018

5

Satisfy a Boiling Passion at Little Hasan Minhaj Makes his Netflix Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot Debut with Patriot Act By FELICIA HO (VI)

Winter is brutal. Icy winds blow through your useless coat, chilling you to the bone. Your car might be smothered under a thick layer of snow, and your hands, already numb from shoveling snow off the driveway, will be as frozen as the icicles hanging down from your roof. When the world succumbs to darkness at 5:00 PM, where do you turn to for some warmth and light? Here’s some advice based on my own experience living in this post-apocalyptic nightmare: step inside Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot in Edison, NJ.

Felicia Ho (VI)

Soft, acoustic pop song covers blend in with quiet chatter from large and small families alike, creating a cozy atmosphere inside. When you arrive at your table, you might be surprised to see a black, rectangular stove top sitting in the center. You may think, “am I actually at Benihana?” No - this is where the magic

of hot pot happens. Hot pot is a traditional Chinese dish typically enjoyed during the winter, and involves preparing a simmering pot of soup and placing all kinds of foods, from lamb meat to fish dumplings, into the pot to cook at the table. Ready to get started? First, choose a soup base. In addition being a well-known chain in China that has now expanded to over 30 different locations in the U.S., Little Sheep celebrates central Mongolian traditional cuisine by offering two different soups: a simple broth with goji berries, jujubes, black cardamom pods, ginseng, and herbs; or a spicy red broth with chili oil and peppercorns. If this is your first time, I recommend the half and half pot with both soups. Now, it’s time to pick what you will be cooking inside of the pot. There is a wide variety of meats, vegetables, seafood, and noodles — don’t be afraid to try new things and order away! As a four-person family, we typically order lamb, beef, the seafood combo, fish balls with roe stuffed inside, fish tofu, beef tripe, spinach, napa cabbage, enoki mushrooms, crab sticks, pumpkin, taro, glass noodles (long, silky noodles that dissolve in your mouth), and egg dumplings. You can also order sides like the sesame pancake, which is satisfyingly crunchy on the outside and has layers of fluffy, soft bread inside, or the sesame balls, filled with my

absolute favorite — sweet red bean paste — for dessert. After you order, head over to the sauce bar. The sauce is a key component to eating hot pot, as the food cooked in hot pot typically lacks in flavor. There are several sauces available; the most popular being sesame paste and sha cha sauce, which has the tang of barbeque sauce and the hearty base of Italian meat sauce. Feel free to mix and match, and sprinkle a few green onions on top at the end. By this time, the broth should be boiling and ready to cook all the delicious food you ordered. As a few general guidelines, Little Sheep recommends 10-15 seconds in the pot for thin sliced meat, 1-2 minutes for green vegetables, and 3-5 minutes for all other ingredients. Here’s a tip: the spicy broth cooks faster than the regular one. As you savor the last bits of a taro that dissolve in your mouth or break open a fish ball filled with roe, you’ll watch everyone, from your annoying five-yearold little brother to your beloved 75-year-old grandmother, join in on the fun of cooking their own food. Don’t worry if you have a “food baby” by the end of your hot pot journey; treat this meal as a reward that you deserve after all your hard work studying for tests, writing papers, and preparing presentations during these last few weeks leading up to winter break.

Winter Tech in Pingry and the World

By ANEESH KARUPPUR (IV)

The December season is one of the most active for new technology, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday marking the beginning of the holidays. But before delving into the tech world at large, let us take a look at how the Student Technology Committee (STC) is making Pingry an even more technologically advanced school. In early November, STC welcomed its new members for the 2018-2019 school year: Michael Sun (VI), Chris Gu (III), Lukas Strelecky (III), Jamie Wang (V), Sumant Sagar (IV), Abigail Rubino (III), Ashley Lu (V), Julian Lee (IV), Jessica Yatvitskiy (IV), Brian Li (III), Colin Wen (V), Katherine Xie (III), and Thomas Beacham (V). Notably, STC announced that Pingry is now an Apple Authorized Service Provider that will go by the title “Pingry Bear Repair.” Students and faculty can have their Macbooks repaired and serviced at Pingry without having to drive out to the nearest Apple Store. Officially licensed and approved STC members will work carefully with Macbooks as technicians at any Apple

Store would. Apple Certified Mac Technicians (ACMTs) are available during first flex and CP in the Tech Office. STC will also be working on many other projects during the school year. For example, STC’s How Cards will provide helpful tutorials on all sorts of tech questions, conveniently arranged in the form of virtual notecards. The Virtual Reality Curriculum will be receiving many updates as well, and STC hopes to integrate the Virtual Reality headset and computer station into many more classes. The communications team will be working on providing websites to Pingry publications (an example can be found at www. students.pingry.org/record!) and any clubs that request one. The Pingry Today app will be be receiving some new features, and assorted coding projects and possible school-wide charging stations round out this exciting list of projects. Turning back to the greater world of technology, Apple’s MacBook Air, one of the most popular and famous computers to ever be released, was finally updated after ten years. Long a staple of the Pingry 1:1 Program, the original MacBook

Aneesh Karuppur (IV)

Air was first launched in 2007 and was hailed as a light but fast machine for the ambitious student. The new MacBook Air features a brand-new processor, a memory bump, a much sharper screen, and a chassis made entirely out of recycled aluminum. The 128 Gigabytes model of the new Air starts at $1,199. I personally do not recommend this laptop. If you are looking for a very light laptop, Apple’s normal MacBook is a better option. If you are looking to do a little more powerful work like modeling, photo and video editing, music production, and publications work, the base model MacBook Pro (without the Touch Bar) is a much better option for just a little more money and is in fact the very laptop this column was typed on. The original MacBook Air was revolutionary, but the new one has effectively become redundant in Apple’s line-up. In other Apple news, Apple also launched its new iPad Pro. It starts at $799, and is aimed at professional artists and content creators. It is very powerful, but runs iOS (just like an iPhone) and so is not a great option to serve Pingry students as a main device. Apple also released its longawaited update to the Mac Mini. The Mac Mini has been the cheapest way to buy a Mac, especially because it doesn’t come with a display or a keyboard. The new Mac Mini features updated components and better upgradability down the road. Due to the fact that this is a desktop computer, I don’t recommend it for students, especially if they already have a Mac laptop for school.

By MARTHA LEWAND (V)

When Sunday night rolls around and I need to find a way to procrastinate as I complete my mountain of homework, I usually go to HBO or Comedy Central to watch my favorite comedians discuss the current political climate. From shows such as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver or The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, politicalcomedy shows are dominating television networks. Hasan Minhaj, a comedian and former correspondent for The Daily Show, brings a fresh new take to this genre with his new Netflix show, Patriot Act. Patriot Act examines the political, social, and cultural landscape through a comedic lens. Unlike most Netflix shows, which are released in full seasons at once, Patriot Act releases new episodes every Sunday. So far, the first six episodes have covered a variety of topics such as Saudi Arabia, affirmative action, Amazon, oil, Supreme, and immigration enforcement. In August of this year, Minhaj announced his departure from The Daily Show and mentioned that he would be launching a show of his own. Minhaj had great success on The Daily Show, with his viral segments surrounding issues like the USA Women’s Soccer Team wage gap and President Trump’s “Muslim Ban.” With his departure came some speculation and doubt; viewers like myself were excited and curious, but dubious of how Minhaj would distinguish his show from an arguably overcrowded field. Despite some of the doubts I had, Minhaj exceeded my expectations. To begin, the way Patriot Act is presented is both unconventional and engaging. Instead of sitting still behind a desk for thirty minutes, Minhaj is constantly pacing around the stage and emphasizing his points with hand gestures. The stage is the perfect size for Minhaj to maneuver and has vibrant lighting effects, large pictures, and slideshows that engage the viewer. Because of the show’s very active style, Minhaj is able to interact with the audience in a more comfortable fashion. When watching the show from home, viewers can see the audience and their reactions

as well; this creates the feeling that watchers like myself are physically in the audience and conversing with Minhaj, rather than seeing him lecture from a distance. He also does in-between takes that he uploads on Youtube,

Netflix

where he answers audience members’ satirical questions on an array of topics ranging from “What’s your NBA superteam?” to “What would it be like to wake up white?”. In addition to the authentic approach, Patriot Act’s collection of diverse topics is very unique, innovative, and appealing to audiences of all ages and interests. Recently, the fifth episode surrounded the clothing brand and skate shop, Supreme. Minhaj describes Supreme as a contributor to the fashion movement of streetwear — a “cultural phenomena built on hype,” as he puts it. The brand is a modern style of apparel often worn by celebrities, famous musicians, athletes, and even some Pingry students. The reason Supreme is highly sought after is for its so-called “drop culture”: a limited supply of product that is in high demand. Hence, Supreme resale is significantly more expensive than the original value of the product. By providing insights into the brand, Minhaj shows how it has created a negative exclusiveness for everyone except the wealthy and famous. Minhaj not only points out the conspicuous consumption but also uncovers Supreme’s clear plagiarism of artist Barbara Kruger’s designs for their iconic red and white logo. Minhaj cleverly peppers in jokes as he prompts his viewers to question the trends that society is feeding into. But it does not stop there.

At the very end, Minhaj throws the audience in for a loop: he announces the launch of Patriot Act’s own website. This website offers a limited amount of imitated Supreme T-shirts based on a number of concepts from the segment, including one that reads “Barbara Kruger Was Right.” Minhaj’s experiment worked, as the T-shirts immediately sold out and now reportedly resale at 1500% its original price. Throughout this episode and many others, Patriot Act balances comedy with ethics and morals. Besides the format and themes of Patriot Act, two vital qualities distinguish the show from its adversaries: the limited talk on President Trump and Minhaj’s perspective as an immigrant and person of color. Other satirical shows constantly mock, rant, and complain about our controversial President and his administration. Minhaj refuses to say the President’s name on Patriot Act and rarely mentions the President’s tweets and comments, in contrast to almost every comedian on this platform today. In a way, Patriot Act is a refreshing break from all the chaos occurring in Washington. In terms of perspective, Minhaj is the first IndianAmerican to host this kind of show. Minhaj is a part of what he and many others call the “Brown Renais sance” — a revolution of often underrepresented South Asians breaking stereotypes and making headlines in American media. In the show, Minhaj adds personal elements by often referring back to points in his life when he faced hardship as an immigrant, a Muslim, and a person of color in a dominantly Caucasian town (with a comical twist, of course). In a field often dominated by white males, Minhaj’s unique background offers an unconventional point of view that is needed in this genre and is influencing the strong emergence of diverse performers across the country. Minhaj’s jokes are occasionally dull, but that is to be expected with any political commentary. Patriot Act has original, personable, and effective content that breaks barriers and sets high expectations for political comedy shows around the country.

Snow Many Dresses, So Little Time By KRISTINE FU (VI)

With the end of winter break, we are reminded that the annual Snowball Dance is approaching! This year, Snowball is on Saturday, January 26th. It is a night to relax, hang out with friends, and take pictures in our beautiful dresses and handsome suits. For some, dress shopping can be overwhelming; there are dozens of dress websites and endless choices for cut, color, decals, etc. If you don’t know where to start, I would recommend perusing through the Revolve website or the Nordstrom site, both of which have a wide variety of options and brands. H&M ($) offers a wide range of styles, from elegant crushed-velvet dresses to eye-catching sequin dresses. For monochromatic bodycon dresses, check out

Free People

Lulus ($$). Their wrap and skater dresses are typically solid colors, without flashy details. On the other hand, Zara is your go-to for avantgarde styles, such as studded dresses, snake print, and

silk chain-print. Free People ($$$) is known for its unique designs with ruffles, lace, jacquard fabrics, and classy floral prints. Consider Rent the Runway ($-$$$) if you are interested in wearing haute couture like Chanel or Versace for less. This company is also a practical option since you will likely only wear the accessories and dress once a year. The final recommendations for finding the perfect outfit: 1) For those who shop online, be sure to buy your dress early! Avoid the panic when your dress arrives the day before January 26th and ends up not fitting right. 2) Dress for confidence! Your dress is a form of self-expression, so you should feel confident and comfortable in whatever you choose.


6

THE PINGRY RECORD

SCHOOL NEWS DECEMBER 17, 2018

German Club Explores Christmas Market By NICOLE KLOSS (VI)

German Club consists of a group of Pingry students who are eager to learn more about German culture and language. During meetings, we discuss German traditions and holidays while enjoying traditional German food. We also learn a few German words re-

lating to the holiday. Some club meetings include Oktoberfest, Weihnachten (Christmas), movie night, and Fasching (Spring Fest). During Oktoberfest we enjoy bratwurst, pretzels, nutella, and apfelstrudel. For Weihnachten, we make gingerbread houses

and listen to Christmas music. During movie nights, we watch German movies. For Fasching we enjoy German desserts. Each meeting also comprises a presentation about each holiday detailing the history, how it is currently celebrated, and my experience with the holiday as the president

Nicole Kloss (VI)

of the club. Our German Club outing for the month of December was a trip to a Christmas market in Sparta, NJ. The trip was a great opportunity for club members to fully immerse in German culture and have a deeper connection to what I talk about during club

meetings. The market is on a long boardwalk beside a lake. When we first arrived, we immediately noticed the enticing smells coming from all the food vendors as well as from pine trees decorating the market. We headed over to a biergarten area where we had delicious Bratwurst and Heisse Schokolade (hot chocolate). Then, as a club, we walked around passing vendors that sold Christmas decorations, popcorn, clothes, German snacks, and much more. As we walked, we all snacked on some stroopwafels while Christmas songs played. There was even a wood carving area where someone was making intricate wood sculptures with an electric saw. I began German club because I am very connected to my German heritage and visit Germany often. I wanted to share my culture with the Pingry community. It is important to note that the club is welcome to everyone, regardless of whether you take German or know anything about Germany.

Pingry Attends the New Jersey GSA Forum By HANNAH GUGLIN (V)

On Saturday, November 17th, Pingry’s GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) travelled to Middletown High School South to attend the 2018 New Jersey GSA Forum. The GSA Forum is an annual gathering of GSAs across the state to discuss LGBTQ+ issues. The forum allows members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community to come together. This year, the conference began with a speech from keynote speaker Gavin Grimm. Grimm, a transgender rights activist, is currently involved in a legal case involving transgender bathroom laws after he was rejected from using the bathroom of his choice at his local school. During his speech, Grimm discussed the court case and also his process of coming out and his resilience throughout those experiences. Ethan Malzberg (VI) recalls that, “hearing the legal aspects of his story was super interesting, but also having the opportunity to hear the emotional battles he had to go through for recognition within his own family was even more enlightening.” After the speech, there were three workshops.

The workshops included, “Language Matters: The big impact of ‘little’ things,” where students discussed the impact of microaggressions and the importance of language, as well as, “Make it happen at your school: GLSEN Days of Action,” in which they talked about how to implement ideas, such as Ally Week or Day of Silence, into schools. At Pingry, the Day of Silence is observed within the community. On this day, students proceed without speaking to show solidarity for LGBTQ+ issues. When discussing her experience at the forum, Ms. Stephanie Mygas said, “It’s nice to be able to see groups of students who are so civically engaged getting together. It was also nice to see other teachers that are involved

Hannah Guglin (IV)

in GSAs and hear from the community about what’s happening outside of Pingry.” At the forum, many resources were given to those who attended. Upon arrival, folders containing a list of the different resources specific to the LGBTQ+ community were handed out. This list included ones for education and advocacy; youth groups and resource centers; parent and family support groups; and more. These provide aid not only to those looking to become more involved in the community but also to those struggling through their journey as a member. Overall, the forum was informative and demonstrated the ability for a community to unite behind a common cause.

Debunking the Process Behind SAC By JUSTIN LI (IV)

SAC has become a popular part of the Pingry community in the eyes of students and teachers alike. Students know that SAC assemblies are a perfect time to take a break and have a laugh with friends, regardless of the academic pressures during the normal school day. Under the new leadership of Ian Dugan (VI), Jack Gambello (VI), and Jack Timko (VI), the group already has a notably successful fall assembly under their belt. We enjoy the products

SAC’s segment on Pingry look-alikes

of SAC in the form of their comedy and performances, but how exactly does their work come to fruition? I talked to Ian Dugan about what exactly goes into an SAC assembly and how the club functions as a whole. The preparation for an assembly usually begins with a meeting a month prior. The core team convenes, throws ideas on a whiteboard, and narrows the pool of ideas down to those that they like the most. They then assign three or four SAC members to each idea and give them a deadline to bring the idea to life. In regards

Ian Dugan (VI)

to these assignments, Dugan says, “We delegate ideas to people who we think will treat them well. We’ll also have one production person with each group to make sure it’s a quality piece of art.” After ideas are assigned, the project groups start to write, film, edit, and complete whatever else their segment entails, making sure to report back to the leaders regularly to ensure that progress is smooth and on schedule. They usually do not meet as a group again until the week of the assembly, at which point they’ll run through the script a few times. Before any joke hits the stage, it must be approved by Dean Ross and any of the students or teachers at which the joke is aimed. This process has evidently worked well for SAC, as they have received particularly positive reception for their latest assembly. Dugan remarked, “I had teachers email me and say that it was the funniest SAC assembly that they’ve been to, and I really appreciate that because it makes me feel like we were successful. Overall, it’s been positive feedback about the assembly. When com-

ments about the assembly are as specific as: ‘I think this idea went on for a little too long,’ or ‘I didn’t like this one joke,’ then that means as a whole, it was a good assembly.” A large reason behind the quality of SAC’s events lies in the diversity of their ranks; their jokes must appeal to the entire audience, rather than a select few. Dugan and the rest of leaders have made it an effort to make sure that students from all over the school have a voice in the club. This school year, they’ve achieved the most equal gender ratio in recent memory and have increased the number of sophomore and junior members by a sizable measure as well. Dugan said, “Generally, SAC has been one group of friends making jokes for their group of friends, but this year, we’ve tried to find the funniest people in different social groups who may have not been included in SAC in previous years.” The Meme of the Week has also doubled as a way to find out “who’s funny, who has potential, and who we want on SAC.” SAC’s process of taking on new members is also

unlike that of most other clubs at Pingry. There is no sign-up sheet or application where you present your most guffaw-inducing jokes; instead, it is up to the leaders to decide who deserves a spot on the team. During the summer, they meet and compile a list of candidates who they think would be great additions to the team and reach out to them when school starts. In some rare cases, students who demonstrate persistent interest may also be considered and admitted into the group. This method of selecting new members is one reason why SAC has been successful. The next thing we can look forward to from SAC

is their annual winter assembly, which the team has not yet begun preparing. The winter assembly, held in the senior commons, distinguishes itself from its fall counterpart in that is entirely live, a factor that makes Ian describes as a “challenge” and “a whole different territory” for the group. However, he also sees it as “another opportunity to diversify by getting Pingry’s actors and actresses on board.” It is evident that even with the changes the club has made this year, they have remained true to the spirit of SAC that the Pingry community has loved. All in all, there is a lot more behind their jokes than it may seem.

Ian Dugan (VI)


THE PINGRY RECORD SCHOOL NEWS DECEMBER 17, 2018

7

Postponed Powderpuff Still Great Success Chelsea Art Galleries Inspire Students By BURKE PAGANO (V)

On the afternoon of November 13, juniors and seniors gathered on the sideline of Parson’s Field, ready to compete in new, unfamiliar ways. The annual Powderpuff Games had finally arrived. This event, organized and run by SMAC, Student Movement Against Cancer, features two games: a field hockey game among the boys and a football game among the girls. The event, originally scheduled for November 2 for the culmination of breast cancer awareness month, was postponed due to inclement weather, resulting in a steep drop in attendance. Nonetheless, the games continued with minor alterations. The senior boys played against the junior boys in

the field hockey game first. The juniors dominated the first half and opened up a strong 2-0 lead; the seniors brought themselves back into the game with a quick goal at the beginning of the second half, but ultimately the juniors pulled a 3-2 win. Patrick Birotte (V) said, “It was a great community event and I really enjoyed playing field hockey for the first time.” After the completion of field hockey, the girls gathered for a game of two-hand touch football. Unfortunately no junior girls attended the event, and as a result, the football game was converted to a co-ed game with the junior boys taking on all the senior girls. Although the Powderpuff Games served as a fun way to compete for the upperclassmen, the

event stands for a greater cause. Every year, in promotion of the games, the SMAC leaders sell pink and white shirts to the juniors and seniors to raise both money and awareness for breast cancer. This year, the three leaders of SMAC, Jack Gambello (VI), Margot Present (VI), and Lauren Shelby (VI), decided it would be a great idea not to limit shirts to upperclassmen, but instead design a shirt for the sophomores and freshmen as well. Present said, “This year, we really wanted to include the entire Pingry community in the fight against cancer and contribute to the cause.” Each shirt was twenty dollars and in total they sold 115 shirts and raised over $800 for a great cause.

SDLC Attends the People of Color Conference By BRYNN WEISHOLTZ (V)

From November 28th to December 1st, Ethan Malzberg (VI), Nia Phillips (VI), and Noelle Mullins (V) and 19 faculty members attended the annual People of Color Conference (PoCC)/Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) in Nashville, Tennessee. The mission of PoCC is to “provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools,” whereas SDLC “focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community.” The conferences are run by the National Association of Independent Schools. Surrounded by activists, teachers, and fellow students from around the country, Malzberg, Phillips, and Mullins attended lectures, took part in group discussions, and shared their opinions on the issues that face our society today. The regularly engaged in activities with their family groups, which were smaller breakaway groups of 50 students meant to serve as a microcosm of the conference at large. The three students also attended affinity groups - larger meetings that brought together all attendees of certain identi-

fiers - including Black/African, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, and LGBTQ+. Finally, the conference pulled in a handful of high profile keynote speakers, including CNN journalist Lisa Ling and former white extremist turned author Christian Piccolini. Near the end of the conference, Malzberg, Phillips, and Mullins created their own activity based on what they had learned at the conference and presented it to the Pingry faculty who attended. While presenting, “many of the teachers were able to open up and speak about their personal struggles and experiences dealing with identity in their lives. It was so impactful for me to delve deeper into my teachers and their lives, but to also see how diverse and interesting our teachers are,” said Mullins. The students, attending PoCC to initiate their work on the Student Diversity Leadership Committee (SDLC) at Pingry, were pushed out of their comfort zones in a deeply diverse community. According to Mullins, “I had never in my life been around so many people who were as committed to activism as I am. It was amazing.” Not only did the event influence the students, but the teachers were also greatly affected

Ethan Malzberg (VI)

by this experience. Dr. Megan Jones said her biggest takeaway came from the topics the workshops presented. “One workshop discussed how the faculty can foster respectful dialogue between people with different points of view concerning contentious issues. Another workshop leader discussed how one can determine the differences between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. The workshops were really helpful and thought-provoking,” said Dr. Jones. Dr. Delvin Dinkins noted that his biggest takeaway reflected the themes - “harmony, discord, and the notes in between,” and that to “achieve harmony you have to recognize that there are going to be a lot of bumps, twists, and turns on the journey there. Something harmonious might be fleeting for a very finite period of time and then it becomes discordant and then you have to go through the process again.” While talking about the student’s presentation, Ms. Meghan Finegan said, “Ethan, Nia, and Noelle posed questions that forced us to reflect and really talk about our feelings related to everything we’d been learning over the past few days. They led it beautifully and it was very emotional; many of us were in tears with our heightened awareness and gratitude for being there.” Overall, Malzberg said, “PoCC answered so many questions I never knew I had. As a white person, I had always accepted the notion that politics are life-threatening for people of color without understanding why; hearing the experiences of the diverse array of fifty students in my ‘family group’ gave me the context and the ‘why’ to this question.”

By VICKY GU (V)

On November 14, Pingry’s advanced Upper School visual arts students took their annual field trip to the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. There, they visited many diverse art galleries, each displaying various media, such as paints, prints, sculptures, films, photographs, and other installation-type pieces. Because the art shown in the galleries is constantly changing, the students have a chance to become inspired by and learn from the trip each year even if they are visiting the same locations. Students were split up into rough groups based on the art class they are enrolled in, so as not to overcrowd any one particular gallery at a time. Though they visited many of the same galleries, some groups viewed galleries tailored to their classes that others did not. For example, a group of junior and senior photographers visited the David Zwirner Gallery, which showed small, figurative paintings by Lisa Yuskavage. Other places students visited included the Albertz Benda, James Cohan, Agora, Asya Geisberg, and Mary Boone galleries. Reactions to the artists’ works varied from admiration to surprise, from confusion to quiet contemplation. When visiting the Gagosian Gallery, the students exam-

ined the very messily linear works of Mark Grotjahn. “It looked like swathes of toothpaste were put on it. Tubes of white toothpaste with green and red stripes in it,” said Victoria Gu (V). Another classmate noticed that one of the swatches had fallen off, leaving behind a pale, white imprint. Many quickly dismissed it as another incomprehensible example of contemporary art and gathered in the gallery’s atrium to be led to the next

Art by Keith Haring

one. Ms. Rebecca Sullivan, who teaches both the drawing and painting and film classes, then revealed some confusing and controversial news: each one of the 75 by 60-inch paintings was worth at least $5 million dollars. The larger ones were worth closer to $10 million. In awe, the group filed back into the gallery to reexamine the paintings, wondering how they could be worth more than several houses. One of the last galleries the groups visited was the HG Contemporary Gallery,

featuring artist Susan J. Barron. Her exhibition, titled “Depicting the Invisible,” is a series of portraits of veterans suffering from PTSD surrounded by quotes about their wishes and laments. All observers were silent as they read her pieces. Many students cited that exhibition in their subsequent reflections as one of the most moving and eye-opening things they saw on the trip. The student artists visited nearly a dozen galleries before boarding the bus for lunch. Rather than bagged lunches, students enjoyed exploring the diverse options of Chelsea Market. The previous year, the field trip had brought the students to lunch in Little Italy, and most students agreed that while Chelsea Market had fewer formal dining options, the change was welcomed because it was much less crowded. Overall, even though the trip featured some of the same places as last year, the artists and works within the galleries had changed and the students were able to learn new things from the experience. They also got to witness the artists’ new inspirations and further survey the present-day artistic landscape.

Peter and the Starcatcher Brings Magic to Pingry By SARAH KLOSS (III) & EMMA DRAZALA (III)

Peter and the Starcatcher is a tribute to an orphan boy’s journey to discover his identity as the now well-known Peter Pan. Peter and two other orphans find themselves on a ship known as the Neverland. Soon, a girl named Molly Aster approaches them and tells them about a secret mission that only she can fulfill. This mission leads us through several adventures that greatly influence Peter’s journey to becoming Peter Pan. The show delivered in many unexpected ways; everything from the costumes to the lighting made the show incredibly professional. Although the cast and crew were only high-schoolers, the story they told transported the audience to another world. We embarked on an adventure with the characters, allowing our minds to reach new limits. Although the entire cast contributed to the making of this phonomenal play, Jack Lyons (VI) stole the show. He played the Black Stache, an evil pirate with a thirst for power. With his English accent, black mustache, and great acting, he kept the audience members sitting on the edge of their seats. Lyons gave a consistently wonderful performance, and, given his character, it must have been quite a challenge. Katerina Deliargyris’ (VI) portrayal of Molly the Starcatcher could not have been more spot on, and she enchanted us with her voice at the end of Act I. Molly taught the audience passion, love, and leadership. Deliargyris

embodied the character, always impressing us. Another character who made a great impact on the audience was Prentiss, played by Andrew Cowen (VI). Cowen never failed to add a little humor even in the most serious scenes. From his snarky comments about leadership to his shouts while running through the jungle, he made every scene memorable. Indeed, Cowen was able to switch personas in the blink of an eye. One moment we would see the cocky, arrogant boy who justs wants to be the leader, and another moment we would see the scared, broken orphan who justs wants affection. This ability added depth to Cowen’s character that wouldn’t have been obvious otherwise. The only actor that performed two lead roles was Lucas Vazquez (VI). Not only did he perform two roles, but his phenomenal acting allowed the audience to tell the two apart. His first role was Bill

Slank, the ruthless pirate who takes the trunk meant for the Wasp. Vazquez delivered a classic “bad guy” character in this role. Bill Slank’s anxiety, nervousness, and evil behavior was hilariously p o r t r a y e d b y Va z q u e z . Of course, we must not forget the boy himself, Peter Pan. Nicholas Grimaldi (VI) showed the audience the true Peter, and the story behind why he is forever young. Although Grimaldi is a senior, he was able to perfectly capture the innocence of a 13-year-old boy. He took the audience through quite a journey, and they clearly recognized his character development, one that only a true actor could pull off. The show was incredible, as it unravelled a tale of how Peter Pan the orphan came to be the boy who is forever young. Pingry Drama has pulled off yet another spectacular performance, and we cannot wait to see the next production.

Pingry Communications


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Page Volume CXLV, Number II By JOSIE JAHNG (VI), ALISA CHOKSHI (VI), FELICIA HO (VI), BRYNN WEISHOLTZ (V), BRIAN LI (V), AVI SHAH (IV), JUSTIN LI (IV), JOSIE ALSTON (IV), MEGHAN DURKIN (IV), NOAH BERGAM (IV), ANDREW WONG (III)

BOYS’ SWIMMING 2-0 The swim season has just kicked into full gear, and the Pingry boys’ swim team is ready for another promising season. Although some fast swimmers graduated last year, the team is still very strong and has a lot of potential. Both

captains Leighton Mayers (VI) and Kevin Ma (VI) are ambitious in their goals for the 2018-19 season, looking for the team “to be ranked first in the state as we were last year and continue our undefeated record,” Ma says. Last year was one of the best seasons for Pingry swimming in all of Pingry history, going completely undefeated throughout the season and even placing 3rd in the country in our school division. The team hopes to once again defeat their rivals, Bridgewater Raritan High School, another formidable team. One event to anticipate will be their specialty 200 medley relay, which is an event divided among 4 swimmers, each swimming 50 meters. The event starts with backstroke, then breaststroke and butterfly, and finishes with an explosive freestyle sprint. They hope to have a victorious season no matter what, and most importantly to have fun!

GIRLS’ SWIMMING 2-0 As they head into their season, the girls’ swim team is working hard to continue the last year’s success. Led by Head Coach Deirdre O’Mara, the team is coming off of a 6-2 season full of school- and state-record breaking. Captains Grace O’Mara (VI) and Darlene Fung (VI) know that living up to the name they’ve made for themselves will be a tough, but hopefully achievable task. In regards to this year’s team, Grace O’Mara said, “We have a very young team so we are really hoping to have a strong season. We graduated a very high scoring senior class so we are all going to need to push ourselves this year.” They were the Non-Public “A” and NJSIAA Prep champions last season, but placed second in the Skyland Conference Championship. The team hopes to defend their titles and bring home a third championship this season. Key swimmer Teodora Kolarov (IV) noted, “We have a promising lineup this year, and with our new leadership, we have great chances of success.”

BOYS’ FENCING 0-0 Led by captains Michael Sun (VI) and Chris Yu (VI), the boys’ fencing team is off to an excellent start. With preseason conditioning and footwork finally coming to a close, the team is beginning to transition into competition preparation. As the actual season has just begun, footwork is still a routine practice. Now under the gaze of watchful coaches, including Head Coach Ted Li, the boys are beginning to practice using their

SportS The Pingry School, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

weapons, along with other secondary equipment. Last year, the boys had a very successful season as a team. They qualified to compete in the Sweet Sixteen tournament and placed third in the District Three Championships. In addition, the boys sabre squad and boys foil squad competed in their respective Squad State tournaments. It is very exciting to see so many new fencers of all grades and experience levels join the team. In the upcoming season, épée fencer Sankar Gollapudi (III), is looking forward to “getting to know fellow épées” and establishing relationships with teammates outside of his grade. The team is ready for a great season with their first competition against Montgomery High School on December 14th and their first tournament on December 15th.

highschoolsports.nj.com

GIRLS’ FENCING 0-0 Captains Jamie Wang (V) and Georgia Liu (VI) are leading the girls’ fencing team in a strong direction this year. During preseason, they guided the team through conditioning and footwork; now, at the start of the season, they look forward to putting their bladework to the test. Although the team is considerably smaller this year, there has been an influx of new freshmen at varying levels of familiarity with the sport. In response to the new lineup, Alison Lee (V) shared, “We have a small team this year but I’m excited to succeed this year like we did last year! Especially the foil team!” Lee is not kidding when she mentions the success of the girls’ team last year. Not only did the team win Overall District Team Champions, but they also qualified to compete in the Sweet Sixteen Tournament, sending teams to compete at Squad States. The team is off to a great start and is putting in a lot of effort to make this season even better than the last. On December 14th, the girls will be facing off against Montgomery High School, and, on December 15th, they are looking to compete in their first tournament.

looks to start this season strong, avenge the preps title. In February, they will their losses to Ridge, and prepare for the compete for the Non-Public A state title conference and state tournaments that against their rival Union Catholic. start later in the year. With lots of strong talent, the boys’ track team is ready for a successGIRLS’ ICE HOCKEY indoor ful season. Their first meet will be the Bishop Loughlin Games. 2-3 With last year’s record of 8-9, the girls’ ice hockey team is ready to begin another exciting season led by Captains Clare Hall (VI) and Sophia Smith (VI). Starting goalie Emma Barrison (V) said, “I think the season will be really good because we have improved a lot since last year. We have a slightly smaller team this year, so we have to rely on each other to become stronger and that has put a lot of pressure on us to become better as a team.” This growth is evident: in their first game against Chatham they lost only by one point as opposed to last year’s nine. The team looks promising, but the hardest is yet to come: some of their toughest competitors (Princeton Day School, Immaculate Heart, and Morristown Beard) are scheduled to play the girls soon. Pingry supporters are looking forward to cheering on the girls throughout the season.

SKI TEAM 0-0

As the winter season begins, the ski racing team, led by captains Annie Leithead (VI), Brian Kaplan (VI), Matt Dispenza (V), and Rosemary Collins (IV), looks to build on last year’s strong performance. Last winter, Leithead, Dispenza, and Collins all qualified individually for the Race of Champions, in which they finished 15th, 13th, and 3rd, respectively. Collins and Dispenza also went on to become the first Pingry skiers to compete at the Eastern High School Alpine Championships. This year, the team is thrilled to get back on the slopes. The team hopes the “girl’s team will do better at States and the boy’s team will qualify,” according to Collins. She and the other captains believe “that’s a very achievable goal if GIRLS’ WINTER TRACK we work hard.” Leithead and the rest of the team are 0-0 “happy the weather finally cooled down and are hopeful for a cold and snowy The girls’ winter track team, now the winter. We are really excited to see how girls’ indoor track team, led by captain we perform and ready to get on snow and Cathleen Parker (VI), is excited for the see some new talent.” season. This year, new freshmen talent rounds out a strong team to help replace Avery Schiffman ‘18 and jumper Sophia BOYS’ BASKETBALL Weldon ‘18, who graduated last year. Head Coach Chris Shilts, while dis0-0 cussing the team’s goals, said, “We want everyone to individually work their hardest and improve as much as they can.” The boys’ basketball team is off With intensive outdoor practices to a great start this season, having lost and a focus on personal health after only four seniors to graduation. Under an injury-ridden cross country season, the leadership of Captains Nate Hefner Parker hopes that “our girls can set new (VI), Kyle Aanstoots (VI), and Ray Fluet personal bests and contribute to a few (V), the team is excited to kick off the county, conference, state, and even na- new season. tional titles for themselves and the team. Last year, the team finished with We have a lot of girls that can compete a record of 4-20 and plans to keep in multiple events, so I am excited to see working hard this year for continued them contributing points in a diverse set improvement and success. Head Coach of events as well.” Jason Murdock said that, “Last season After finishing second last year, was a year of growth and development, the team hopes to win the Skyland and we are looking forward to bouncing Conference and beat Lawrenceville for back from our 4-20 record. This season the preps title. In February, they will will require a collective effort and I’m compete for the Non-Public A state title looking forward to the guys meeting the against their rival Union Catholic. challenges ahead of them.” With lots of strong talent, the girls’ Coach Murdock looks forward to indoor track team is ready for a success- creating an environment where playful season. Their first meet will be the ers feel valued, can have fun with the Bishop Loughlin Games. competitive nature of the game, and, of course, enjoy a few victories.

Bruce Morrison

foster a team that is supportive of each other, because “even though we want to win,” as Fakorede says, “it’s also about having fun.” The team faces their first scrimmage of the season away against Oak Knoll on December 6.

WRESTLING

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The co-ed wrestling team is off to a promising start this winter, hoping to improve upon their performance from last year. Led by Captains Jack Lyons

squash players. Unlike previous years, full Varsity and Junior Varsity teams will be created, allowing students of any experience to join the team. Ms. Olivia Tandon will be coaching Boys’ JV. With captains Jeffrey Xiao (VI) and Chris Zachary (VI) leading the team this year, the squash program at Pingry has come a long way from “[Eleven] people, and, of those eleven, five had actually played squash before,” according to Mr. Vehslage. The team is excited to see how they perform throughout the season.

BOYS’ WINTER TRACK

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The boys’ winter track team has now been renamed to the boys’ indoor track team. Despite losing many seniors after a strong season last year, the team is back, being led by Captain Nick Robinson (VI). This year, although comprising a small roster, the boys are determined to push through the harsh winter weather and build a strong core of runners over the course of the season. With training sessions every day in the cold weather, Head Coach Chris

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

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The girls’ basketball team is ready to start off its season with a swish. Coach Courtney Tierney’s hope is that the girls will “learn as a team daily, play with a fast-paced style, and be competitive in the Skyland Conference and the Prep Tournament.” Captains Ally Hosler (VI), Alyson

BOYS’ ICE HOCKEY 3-0-1

Led by captain Matthew Keller (VI) and assistant captains Daniel Schnack (VI) and Michael Vessa (VI), the boys’ varsity ice hockey team is ready for another great season. Coming off a solid 14-5-1 record last year, the team is “expecting big things to happen during this season,” Head Coach Scott Garrow noted. 19 players are returning from last year’s lineup, including a strong senior class and leading scorers Eric Bush (IV) and Jared Kordonsky (IV). The only factor that remains unknown heading into the season is the goalie situation: after losing the starting goalkeeper, Kevin Parnham (IV) and Jake Friedman (IV) will vie for the starting spot between the pipes. However, Coach Garrow has “no doubt that they will step up in the net and play well.” The team has already shown strong potential after opening the season with a 4-1 win against Watchung Hills. However, the hardest is yet to come, with the team soon playing against conference rival Ridge. Of the five games that the team lost last season, three were to Ridge, including a tough loss in the conference championship. The team

December 17, 2018

Bruce Morrison

(VI), Zach Dobson (VI), and Brandon Spellman (VI), as well as talented senior wrestlers like Kamal Brown (VI), Holden Shikany (VI), Max Brotman (VI), and Thomas Campbell (VI), the team has a deep lineup dedicated to making the most of their abilities. “Wrestling features both team and individual competitions, and in past years, we have produced a number of successful individual efforts,” said Head Coach George Sullivan, referring to Frankie Dillon’s ‘17 state qualification two years ago and Spellman’s impressive state tournament last season. “We are poised to put forth several impressive individual achievements once more, but we also have the depth of talent required to be competitive as a team.” Sophomore varsity wrestler Sean Lyons (IV) commented that, “We look to send a couple of kids to States and to get everyone to improve on the matches that they didn’t win last year. Some of the close calls we are set up to overcome.” All in all, the wrestling team aims to push past the limits of recent individual achievements to beat the team record for wins and pull off an amazing season.

BOYS’ SQUASH

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Bruce Morrison

Shilts said, “Despite the weather not being in our favor, we are going to work hard so we can to improve as much as we can.” With new freshmen to fill in the gaps left by the seniors, Robinson said, “My hope is to be able to put together at least a couple of very competitive relay teams with our small roster, and win big at our State Championship on February 16th.” After finishing second last year, the team hopes to win the Skyland Conference and beat Lawrenceville for

Feeley (V), and Solape Fakorede (VI) are optimistic about the upcoming season. Fakorede said her main goal for the team this season “is for us to just be the best that we can be.” Rather than focusing on winning just one specific game, Fakorede hopes to “put our all in every game, and fight for the W.” Coach Tierney notes that Aly Feeley (V) and Olivia Volpe (IV) are two key players to watch for in the upcoming games. In the end, the captains hope to

Last year’s boys’ squash team had a successful season with a 10-3 record, finishing 15th in the country. With captain Krish Bhavnani ‘18, the team achieved their goals and realized their next steps. Mr. Ramsay Vehslage has been coaching the boys’ squash team since its inception in 2003. However, since the Bugliari Athletic Center opened in 2017, the team has experienced a surge in squash players. Previously, the team had to travel to Drew University to practice on two courts. However, with the new athletic center, the squash program has grown tremendously in the Middle and Upper School and has also created interest in the Lower School. Coach Vehslage elaborates, “Having a facility here has opened up a whole bunch of new doors for us and the team.” The eight squash courts allow many more students to play, creating a new atmosphere for the

GIRLS’ SQUASH

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The girls’ varsity squash team is looking to advance even further after last year’s huge successes. Last year, the girls’ team took first place overall at the New Jersey High School Squash Championships and placed 11th at the High School Nationals in Philadelphia. This was the second highest finish in the team’s history. Despite graduating three seniors, there are promising new freshmen who look to further improve the team. In order to build off of the team’s 11th-place finish, Head Coach Tina RixStout has created a more challenging schedule for the regular season. Though the team has yet to face their toughest opponents (including Greenwich Academy, Lawrenceville, and Agnes Irwin), they are off to a promising start with a 6-1 victory over Hackley. With regards to the rest of the season Captain Alisa Chokshi (VI) said, “Our goal this year is to remain undefeated in the regular season, and earn an even higher ranking at High School Nationals.” Coach Rix-Stout said this will come by building, “a good team culture—coming to practice with a good attitude, willing to really work hard, and being consistent.”

All scores are updated as of December 12 Go Big Blue!


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