— May 2013 —
The Walker School
Volume XIV Issue 7
JUNIOR MARY GRACE WALSH GIVES UP IPHONE FOR A WEEK ON PAGE 3
FEATURE ARTICLE FROM THE MIDDLE SCHOOL NEWSPAPER ON PAGE 5
EISENMAN REVIEWS THE GREAT GATSBY ON PAGE 8
SENIOR ADVISORS PROVIDE FINAL WORDS OF WISDOM ON
The Wolverine The Wolverine, founded in 1999, is the newspaper of The Walker School, 700 Cobb Parkway North, Marietta, Georgia 30062. Telephone: (770) 427 - 2689. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org The Wolverine is published seven times during the school year by the members of the student body. Guest articles and letters to the editor may be submitted. Submissions must include the writer’s name and be hand-delivered or emailed. The meaning of any submission will not be altered, but The Wolverine reserves the right to edit for coherence. Rights are also reserved to postpone or withold publication any letter, article, or advertisement submitted. Final decision on publication rests with the Editor-In-Chief in consultation with the entire Editorial Board and the Journalism Adviser. Guest articles and letters to the editor do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Walker School, its administration, or employees. Copyright authority to the material (articles, graphics, etc.) contained in this publication is strictly held under reserve by the Editorial Board. Any reproduction or alteration without written consent is strictly prohibited. The staff of The Wolverine is comprised of members of the Upper School Journalism Class. The Wolverine serves as a voice for the Walker Community. (email@example.com)
Visit us online at TWSWolverine.com Journalism Adviser: Kaitlyn Ranney 2012-2013 Staff Editor-In-Chief: Coleman Hedden. ‘14 Managing Editor: Travis King, ‘14 Assistant Editors: Mary Grace Walsh, ‘14 Meredith Wright, ‘13 Reporters: Alex Brack, ‘15 Victoria Hudson, ‘14 Guest Writers: Matt Eisenman, Faculty Sindhu Kannappan, ‘17 Lindsay Weinert, ‘17 Cover Courtesy of Mike Mackey
A Week Without an iPhone BY Mary Grace Walsh What would life be like without my iPhone? It’s strange to think we all survived without Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and texting for a period of our lives. Now, we all seem to be attached to our technology. How does this affect us? What would it be like without one? I decided to go a week without my iPhone to see if I could find answers to these daunting questions. I kept a running journal of the lonely days without social media on-the-go.
had a friend come up, ask me why I hadn’t replied to a group message the day before, and laugh when she saw my phone. I’m kind of starting to find it funny too. I check my little useless phone every hour or so to see if someone has called me. Of course no one has called me: it’s 2013! Who uses a phone for its true purpose anymore? My current contact list includes my mom and dad. If need be, Travis King also decided to include his number in my phone. He constantly texts me. Day One: Monday, April 29 Too bad I can’t read it because the The common theme for today: screen is too small. My social life “Why would you ever want to do right now… that?” When I whipped out my fancy Samsung Go Phone in first Day Three: Wednesday, May 1 period, people wanted to know I expected this experience to be why I chose to do this willingly. lonely, but it’s been the opposite. Right now, I’m actually not sure. When I’m at school, I’ll typically The phone features a screen about pull out my phone in the hall or a quarter of the size of my iPhone, during break and lunch, but now and typing is basically impossible I’m forced to actually talk to to those like me who don’t have the people. That sounds awful, but we patience to text with nine buttons. don’t realize how much face-toWith this obstacle, I only plan to face conversation we miss when use it for making calls. I also plan we’re leaning over our phone in to try throwing it out the window at the hallway. After school, I’m not the end of the week to see if I can distracted with technology, so I shatter the screen. (I’ve already spend more time talking to my dropped it multiple times and that family. Sounds cheesy, but it’s been seems like an unlikely occurrence; nice to have separation between it’s indestructible and will probably friends and family time. That’s my haunt me for the rest of my life.) deep thought for the day. I reached in my bag at break to check for texts and Snapchats Day Four: Thursday, May 2 from my friends, and completely One more day left, and I must forgot that I was without my iPhone admit that I’m ready for this to be companion. I nanny a fifth grade over. I didn’t realize that not only girl in the afternoons, and her hour- do I use my phone for texting long gymnastics class felt a lot and social media, but I use the longer than usual without my phone alarm clock every day. I’ve slept to keep me company. Instead, I in twice this week, so I think it’s had to actually do homework. My time to invest in a real alarm clock. productivity has gone up about Thankfully, my mom usually shows 500% without a constant distraction up to get me out of bed about 20 in my backpack. I also discovered minutes before I have to leave; I can change the wallpaper of the great. If you are unaware of what home screen on my new phone: the term “ratchet” means, I have how exciting. It’s currently a nice embodied the characteristics of this sunset photo. adjective throughout the week as I’ve slept in until 6:45. I also use the Day Two: Tuesday, April 30 camera on my Iphone extensively. This morning, I got bored and My little Samsung doesn’t even changed the wallpaper to the other have a camera. There’s a possum sunset picture that it features. in the courtyard at lunch? Good Today has been significantly better luck getting a picture of that Kodak because I don’t constantly check moment with this antique phone. my bag for a device I don’t have. I
Day Five: Friday, May 3 Last day! I can’t believe it’s been a whole five days; it wasn’t as bad as I thought. After a few days, I got used to being more social at school and not depending on texting to be in touch with my friends. At the end of the school day, my mom reluctantly handed my phone back over to me with a reminder that I still have to keep up with my homework. I happily got my phone back and spent a while going through my 50 plus text messages, and realized that I hadn’t missed much. It was a good week without distraction, but I am glad to have my technology back.
The Aftermath: I’ve had my phone back for the weekend, and I’ve realized that I haven’t used it as much. I’ve become less dependent on it. I think everyone should try just a day without their phone. You may think I’m crazy, but you would be surprised at how fulfilling it is. Faceto-face interaction is something we miss out on when we’re leaned over our phones in the hallway or at dinner with friends. Life without my phone? Not so bad!
Junior Mary Grace Walsh with her Samsung Go Phone and her iPhone 5. Photo Courtesy of Travis King
Walker Holds Second Town Hall BY Travis King
Upper and Middle Schools Align Schedules BY Coleman Hedden
On April 3, Head of School Jack Hall, along with Preschool Principal Gail Doss, Lower School Principal Megan Howard, Middle School Principal Will Forteith, and Upper School Principal Bob Murphy held Walker’s second annual Town Hall meeting, a community forum in
which the administration listed important changes that will affect Walker parents and students. Each principal presented a list of changes within their division, and Hall focused on giving an overview of the school’s strategic plan as well as the results of the recent self-study.
Fast Facts School-wide: Preschool: - Michael Arjona promoted to - All faculty returning, two new Director of Studies - Strategic Goals 1. $15,000 endowment per student 2. Update/reconstruction of Middle and Upper School facilities 3. 2% of operating budget directed towards marketing efforts 4. Additional land must be purchased
Lower School: - Grades and homework are not
teachers being hire - Largest kindergarten applicant pool in several year - Addition of two new Spanish classes
Middle and Upper Schools: - Focus on collaboration - Continued support of fine arts and technology - New Schedule
being removed from curriculum - Top-quality education prime focus
Seniors Make Final College Decisions BY Victoria Hudson The end of the year is approaching quickly, and the Class of 2013 is hurtling toward the next chapter of their lives. Walker’s current seniors plan to attend a wide variety of schools, spanning the nation geographically, culturally, and socially. As is per usual with Walker students, many have garnered scholarships for their academic and/ or athletic excellence. Two seniors will be playing varsity sports at top-tier universities this fall: Mike Ramsay will play football at Duke University, while Sarah Syrop has committed to play softball at Ivy League Brown University. Syrop made her final decision in April, while Ramsay committed early in the 2012-13 school year. Syrop singed on May 1. Syrop said, “I am beyond excited!
I cannot wait to get to school and start playing softball. The girls are awesome, and the coach is amazing so it’s the perfect fit for me!” Many Walker students plan to attend schools here in the Southeast. The seniors this year cover almost all of the Southeastern Conference schools such as University of Georgia, Auburn University, University of Alabama, Louisiana State University, University of Mississippi, and Mississippi State University. Along with a large showing in the SEC, Walker will also send many students to the Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology, more commonly known as Georgia Tech. However, not all seniors plan to attend SEC and ACC Division-I universities. Senior Izzy Haslam
During the 2013-14 school year, in order to take advantage of the shared faculty and classrooms, the Upper and Middle Schools will be altering their daily schedules which will extend the school day to 3:15 on Mondays through Thursdays. With the new schedule, the Upper and Middle Schools will align their schedules so that each period begins and ends at the same time. To do this, the lunch period for the Upper School will be extended to 50 minutes and the school day will end at 3:15, with the exception of Fridays. On Friday, school will end at 3, as per usual, becausethere will be no advisory in the morning. Middle School principal Will Forteith said, “We want to be more of a unified school as opposed to four divisions, or four different schools...We have more and more classes and teachers who overlap and it’s very complicated when we’re on different schedules.” Logistically, the schedule change makes the lives of many teachers who share classrooms much easier. Upper School Academic Dean Michael Arjona said, “For the past few years we’ve run into this weird discrepancy that can happen during the day and so that was a main factor in the change.” For example, middle school students will no longer have to walk to their Latin classroom in the high school during a high school class period; now, all students will change classes simultaneously. To correct some student rumors, none
of the class periods will lengthen. Upper School Principal Bob Murphy said, “In order to keep the same number of teaching minutes, we had to add fifteen minutes somewhere. We felt like adding it onto the back part of the day was less of an impact than adding it onto the front part...For the high school age, starting at 8:00 is a lot different than starting at 7:45 and going until 3:15, in many ways is not that much of a change.” The extended lunches bring many benefits to students as well. First off, the unnecessary bells during class will be eliminated as the lunch period will act as simply another class period, and once again, all students will change periods simultaneously. Therefore, the period from about 1:00 to 1:30 when no one is in the cafeteria will no longer exist. With the lunches extended to 50 minutes, seniors will now have a more time to go out to lunch when their free period rotates in. Obviously, there are also academic advantages to the extended lunch. Upper School Academic Dean Michael Arjona said, “We felt like the time that is used right after school for seeing teachers and things like that and some of those other activities, we will be able to accommodate that to a large extent through the lunches. I think we might see more of the lunch times used for meeting with teachers who have the same lunch or students being able to work together.”
will attend Boston University and plans to double major in art and economics. Boston University houses a program that will allow Haslam to double major in art and economics without having to go between the two colleges. Haslam said, “I’m really excited about BU, especially this program. I’ll be able to get credits for both of my majors right of the bat, and graduate on time.” Preparing college applications and essays can be stressful considering all the different
deadlines and requirements, and some seniors who have successfully navigated the college process gave their advice to the rising seniors. Senior Rebecca Hampton said, “Finish your applications early! Everyone says it, but it will make life a lot less stressful if you’re not worrying about completing apps, because you focus on senior year and just wait to hear from colleges. Also, visit any schools you are considering. You shouldn’t make a commitment without actually having been on campus.”
Summer Jobs for Students BY Travis King
With summer just around the corner, the hunt for a lucrative summer job is in full swing. As students start driving, many want to have extra spending money, and working during the summer can easily provide a steady flow of cash. Though there are the obvious opportunities in fast food, at pools, and at theme parks like Six Flags, many positions that are a perfect fit for students fly under the radar. One of the highest-paying jobs available for students is waiting tables. Junior Chandler Smith, who works at J. Christopherâ€™s in Roswell, said, â€œI usually take home over $100 a day on weekends, though a bit less on slow days.â€? Though waiters (â€œtipped employeesâ€? in the eyes of the government) are paid a very small hourly wage ($2.13 to be specific), they can often make over ten times that amount in tips alone. However, if this sounds like something you would be interested in, start your search early; jobs as waiters and waitresses are hot commodities and are often very competitive. Another area that students should consider is retail. Along with bigname stores like Publix and Target, the metro Atlanta area is home to hundreds of small, independent shops, many of which need extra help over the summer months. Along with oftentimes offering better pay and benefits than larger stores, small businesses can be much more relaxed and fun places to work. Again, keep in mind that jobs at small stores and boutiques will likely be much more competitive, especially at places like the Marietta Square. For students who enjoy a more professional environment, many offices hire students to help out with clerical work over the summer. Junior Annabelle Mathis, who worked at a law firm this past summer, said, â€œItâ€™s interesting to experience the inner workings of a law firm and to help out the attorneys around the office with their day-to-day tasks.â€? However, these â€œprofessionalâ€? jobs are often not well-publicized and may only be offered to
select individuals. Ask around with relatives or family friends who work in professional environments about any summer opportunities their company may have. Additionally, simply stop by and ask what types, if any, of summer opportunities are available for students. Companies are impressed by driven students and may be able to find something for you to do. A final option to consider is interning. Though many interns are not paid, interning can offer you valuable experiences and allow you to explore a field you are interested in. It also looks great on a rĂŠsumĂŠ or college application. Walker offers the WISE summer internship program for rising seniors, but there are other opportunities available outside of the program. Assistant Director of College Counseling Peter Sullivan said, â€œI would encourage [students interested in internships] to, number one, talk to me and see if I know of any other options in the area. If you have a neighbor, whoâ€™s willing to take you on for a week in his law firm, or you know someone who works in a hospital and theyâ€™re willing to take you onâ€“I encourage students to go have those conversations. I would encourage someone to always pursue one because getting that real-life experience is priceless.â€?
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The PawPrint BY Alex Brack Students diligently typing and pitching ideas being discussed among journalists are typical sounds that echo throughout the Walker Upper School Journalism classroom. However, many students are unaware of the fact that Walker has another class, found in the Middle School, delegated to journalism. The Middle School has created their own group of future journalists who work to publish a small newspaper called “The Paw Print.” Eighth Grade Project and MS History teacher Brian Surkan is the teacher in charge of The Paw Print. Surkan has been in charge
BY Sindhu Kannappan
of the program for all six years it has existed. According to Surkan, Middle School Journalism is a specialized version of the required Eighth Grade Project class. Being that it is part of the Eight Grade Project class, students learn about more than simply writing articles. In fact, Surkan said, “they learn how to write cited articles, how to take surveys, interviews, videography, photography, web publication, as well as video editing and InDesign page layout skills.” The current 2012-2013 Middle School Journalism class has produced two issues of The Paw Print with a third on the way. Being
that this is the first time many students have written in journalistic style, Surkan teaches slowly but thoroughly, making sure that each issue is individualized for each member. Surkan said, “I believe that the Paw Print is an excellent preparation for Upper School Journalism.” Should any of these rising high school students decide to continue their career as a journalist, Surkan believes that they will transition into Upper School Journalism smoothly. In fact, Surkan said, “I would expect graduates of MS Journalism to become leaders in US Journalism.” While still in its early
stages, one can expect this Middle School class to greatly benefit Upper School Journalism in the long run. For more information regarding The Paw Print, interested students can check the Middle School bulletin board outside of the Middle School office. In addition, interested readers will find an article written by a current member of Middle School Journalism below this article. This featured article discusses eighth grade student Sindhu Kannappan’s perspectives on middle school sports, entertainment, and fashion.
Middle School Trends
code, scarves allow girls to make outfits more fun; creativity is welcome with open arms! Scarves hit the spot on our fashion craving!” Colored jeans have also been trending recently. Bright colored jeans make an outfit look ardent and lively. Eighth grader Abby Saberi said, “Subtle hints of color are great during the spring time, they make an outfit look so much more dynamic.” Regarding shoes, sixth graders Ashlyn Spencer and Kinsey McElhaney said that UGG Boots and Toms are favored in the Middle School. These shoes are simple and serve the purpose while still remaining trendy. Since students are not allowed to wear backless shoes, girls have also been wearing simple Fashion: Middle School girls hold strong flats, gladiator sandals, and moccafeelings in terms of fashion. They sins. Sperry’s are preferred by both represent their personality through girls and boys in the Middle School. the clothes they wear; they are daring and confident. Recently, Entertainment: What do students do during sheer, lightweight scarves have become increasingly popular. In- the free time they have outside of finity scarves, floral, patterned, school? Recently, girls in the eighth pastels, bright colors; girls have grade have found Wanelo, a webfound tons of ways to style them. site and application which presents Scarves spice up a simple shirt a dashboard of products that are on and serve as a bold accessory. sale, and it allows people to save the Eighth grader Ally Chebuhar said, products that they like. According “When following a strict dress to Eighth grader Lindsay Weinert The Walker Middle School is a vibrant place to be; students don’t just follow stereotypical trends, they create them. According to Dictionary.com, a trend is the general course or prevailing tendency. At Walker, students guide their peers in the optimal direction and establish various trends. Students are not afraid to express their true feelings; therefore, The Walker Middle School acts as a hub for students to share their opinions, students do not have the culture of downgrading their peers. This is the beauty of the Walker Middle School; creativity and consideration.
“Wanelo is an entertaining app that helps me find where to buy all of the new clothes and accessories that are in style.” Students have also been enjoying creating various types of blogs on Tumblr, a blogging site. Several students also role play on Tumblr, and they write paragraphs from the perspective of a fictional character which they create. Eighth grader Chloe Scott said, “Tumblr is my creative outlet. It strengthens my writing skills as well as helping me relax.” Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram are also popular. Boys in the middle school have been interested in applications such as Bike Race, Plants vs. Zombies, and iMobsters. Eighth grader Xander Melnick said, “I enjoy playing Bike Race during my free time because it’s a great way to spend time with your friends through technology.” In the sixth grade, the application “What’s the Word” is commonly used. This game presents the player with four pictures, each of the pictures have a common object, and players must guess this word using the provided letters. Applications such as iFunny and Temple Run 2 are also enjoyed by all grade levels. As usual, a major-
ity of the girls in the Middle School have been obsessing over the band One Direction. Sixth graders Madalyn Helms and Cameron Paulsen said, “We love their music because they’re really talented, and plus their British.” Sports: Finally, lacrosse has become extremely popular among all boys. Before school, during recess, and after school, students have their lacrosse sticks out and are ready to play. The sixth graders enjoy playing badminton during recess time while the eighth grade boys play handball, a mix of soccer and Ultimate Frisbee. Apart from these recent sports trends Eighth grader Colby Turner explains that he and his friends still enjoy playing soccer and football during recess.
Lindsay Weinert’s article about the Middle School Chorus can be found online at twswolverine.com
Man on the Street What was your favorite memory from Senior year?
“Going undefeated in football and geting my official football scholarship from Duke.”
“Spring Break in Cancun, Mexico!” - Georgia Abdallah, ‘13
- Mikey Ramsey, ‘13
“The powderpuff football game.”
- Jordan Schoettler, ‘13
- Caleb Adams, ‘13
Student Leadership Reorganizes BY Coleman Hedden Due to the increasing responsibilities of the SGA and the growing number of student leaders, the administration has decided to reorganize the student leadership groups. What was once the Student Government Association has now been divided into three separate organizations: the SGA, the Student Activities Union (SAU), and the Student Service Organization (SSO). The SGA will focus on changing school policies and addressing
student concerns, the SAU will become the “party planners” of the school and plan events such as Homecoming and Powder Puff, and the SSO (formerly known as Interact) will handle the school’s community service projects. The change will allow each group to focus on their specific area and raise the overall effectiveness of the organizations. The Student Government Association will be led by presidentelect, junior Yanik Desai, but a
Dear Daisy... Dear Daisy, I like this guy, but he is incredibly shy. We have talked a few times, but he’s always so quiet; I can’t tell if he’s nervous or just not interested. I’m just not sure how to bring him out of his shell. Any suggestions?
understand, but put yourself out there and see how it goes. You never know what could happen!
Sincerely, Out of Ideas
Sincerely, Going to Miss Them
Some boys are a lot shyer than others, and girls often don’t realize this. Certain boys need you to really show that you’re interested in order for them to step out of their comfort zone. Of course you can’t change who he is, and some people just aren’t as outgoing as others. But just because he’s quiet doesn’t mean he’s not interested. Try starting off conversations with things he’s interested in; ask him about himself. Gradually, he should open up, but you may have to persevere. If you’ve tried and nothing works, he may not be interested. Don’t be dismayed, because there are plenty of fish in the sea! Boys can be hard to
Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to a whole class each year. There’s nothing we can do to slow down time, but you should look at the positive side. The seniors you met have obviously had a great impact on your life, and they’ll always be there for you. My best friend is graduating this year, and it’s hard to accept the fact that they’ll be in another state next year. But goodbyes aren’t as bad when you know you get to say hello again. Be happy for them as they move onto the next chapter of their life, stay in touch, and know that this isn’t the end of your friendship. It’s only the beginning!
Dear Daisy, How do you deal with sadness that comes over you when the seniors leave?
faculty advisor has yet to be named. In recent years the SGA has taken student policy, event planning, and community service all underneath its wing. However, with the creation of the SAU and the SSO, the SGA can focus on what it was intended to accomplish: listening to students and giving them a voice in changing school policies. The shift of focus for the SGA will hopefully allow them to have a greater impact on the student body policy-wise than they have in years past. One of Desai’s hopes for his term is to increase the attendance at policy meetings. Desai said, “I would love for people to actually come to the policy meetings. Because if y’all don’t come to them, my job is rendered useless and I would feel as if I failed or accomplished nothing.” The Student Activities Union will be led by president-elect junior Jaycee Patel and the new advisor, Upper School History teacher Greg Hite. With the establishment of the SAU, the union can focus on planning greater and more numerous events than the SGA could. The SGA had many responsibilities and could not devote all of their meetings and resources planning events, unlike the new SAU. The SAU will plan, organize, and promote events throughout the year such as Casino Night and Hoop-coming. Hite said, “The Student Activities Union is going to be responsible for Homecoming, Prom, some of the assemblies, events like Battle of the Bands, Earth Day, all of those events.” As the school’s first ever SAU president, Patel is very experienced, as he has been on the SGA since his freshman year, and he is eager to begin his term. Patel said, “I felt like I could be the person who could keep the successful aspects of each event, but also change the not-
so-successful ones. I also just really wanted to represent the student body as well as entertain them.” The Student Service Organization will be led by president-elect junior Kayla Hall, and Upper School Math teacher Malanda Murchison, who was previously the advisor for Interact. Hall said, “By being president, I hope that I can make the students more involved in the club because I feel like, at least this year, there were a lot of people who called themselves members but didn’t do anything.” Interact has been renamed as the SSO and will continue the duties of Interact, as well as absorbing the community service responsibilities that once belonged to the SGA. The primary distinction between the SSO and Interact is that the SSO is no longer associated with the Rotary Club of Marietta. McCurdy said, “Interact only took that name because it was connected to the Rotary Club of Marietta, and there had been no real, formal connection with them in years. So we figured, this way, by rebranding it, it would give more people opportunities for service.” Alongside the creation of these new organizations, assemblies will be run differently as well. Rather than simply having the SGA president lead assemblies and read announcements each week, the responsibilities will be divided up amongst all of the student leaders. Student Leadership Council advisor Katie Arjona said, “We’re going to divide that amongst the student leaders, primarily the president, vice president, and secretary of the four grades and SSO, SGA, and SAU. You’ll see their faces more in front of the student body reading the announcements and taking some more ownership of the assemblies as opposed to just one person.”
Wolverine Gatsby on Screen: An English Teacher’s Take
BY Matt Eisenman
“The Great Gatsby”: Possibly, my favorite novel. I am the guy with the “Gatsby” iPhone case. I am the guy who went to New York for the sole purpose of attending an 8+ hour performance of every word of Fitzgerald’s original text – a play that required two intermissions and a dinner break. Fitzgerald’s prose is ripe with beautiful language and a stunning window into the complexities of human nature and the American Dream. I love the work, as a whole, for all the reasons one loves literature and chooses to pursue life as an English teacher. While I have been excited for a contemporary film version of the novel for some time, I have also been fairly skeptical of what to expect. Often film versions fail to recognize that the protagonist and narrative voice of the novel is Nick Carraway, and spend the majority of the film focused on the eponymous Jay Gatsby. Some film versions fail to depict Daisy with any shred of relatable humanity. Most importantly, for me at least, some film versions shy away from using Fitzgerald’s language and with that, lose the impact of the most critical moments in the novel. Walking into the theater in Cordele, Ga., with a small group of students and faculty, I was optimistic - full of hope in the way Nick describes
Gatsby in the film - but totally prepared to feel unfulfilled during the final credits. Though there are certain moments I think the movie captured better than others, and I will get to those, my initial response to the film is that Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” essentially captures the feeling the reader is left with at the conclusion of the novel. To my classes, I often describe the feeling at the end of the novel as one of being punched in the stomach, left breathless and despairing. All hope that true love triumphs over all has been dashed, and the reader is left with Tom and Daisy, who “smashed up things and creatures and then retreated into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was the kept them together.” All childhood fairy tales, with true love conquering evil are proved to be false in the real world. As the final words of the text ran across the screen and the green light at the end of the dock appeared and faded into the closing credits, no one in the theater stirred. I am not even sure anyone took a breath. At that moment, I knew given all of the other potential criticisms, that the movie had been a success. I was most certainly left feeling like I do each time I finish reading the novel. Breathless.
I appreciate that Luhrmann made a significant effort to keep Nick Carraway a central figure in the novel. Nick remains the one character that connects the others, the character that is present at all of the significant moments. It is through Nick’s perspective that the audience enters the story, and Luhrmann certainly employed an interesting device to keep him in this role. I also appreciate the attention to the specific text of the novel. Many lines are quoted directly, and the way in which Nick narrates allows for some of the most beautifully descriptive passages to remain present in the film. With that said, I thought Luhrmann missed out on some key opportunities. I thought the casting of Meyer Wolfsheim with Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan meant that Wolfsheim did not carry the “New York” weight the character requires. This decision also made Tom’s slur about Wolfsheim seem empty and disconnected. Like this casting decision, some of the decisions about which specific lines of text to include left me waiting for those significant lines that never came. Nick never introduces Gatsby as the man who represents everything for which he has an “unaffected scorn,” and the ambivalent nature of Nick’s attitude towards Gatsby never really
develops. The film also significantly alters the final series of events in the novel. While I understand that some of this is done for the sake of the length of the film, and in some ways Luhrmann fixes a narrative incongruity in the novel, I definitely noticed the lack of the funeral scene and the absence of Gatsby’s father. Choices made in the final scenes forced the elimination of a handful of the most significant lines. In the novel, Nick describes Gatsby’s final view of the world as one of hopelessness, having lost the single thing to which he aspired. The film leaves Gatsby as the eternal optimist, believing that he has received the one call for which he has been waiting. Though the Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation is by no means a substitute for the novel, it does manage to capture the complex nature of jealousy, ambition, greed, and love. Luhrmann maximizes the impact of his medium, using stunning visuals and a complex, contemporary soundtrack to supplement Fitzgerald’s story. Though not perfect, Luhrmann gets enough right to warrant my approval as a successful adaptation of my favorite novel, “The Great Gatsby.”
Jay Gatsby (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and Daisy Buchanan (played by Carey Mulligan) dance together in Baz Luhrmann’s production of “The Great Gatsby.” Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Luhrmann’s Risky Direction Pays Off BY Victoria Hudson
The most highly anticipated movie of the season, “The Great Gatsby,” raked in a respectable $51 million at the box office on opening weekend. Following months of strategically planned advertising, the film drew audiences across the nation. Devoted lovers of the novel as well as film enthusiasts and the ever-present Leonardo DiCaprio fans came out of the woodwork to support the movie’s endeavors. Loyal readers who feel passionately about the novel made their way to the theatre with some hesitation. The film would undoubtedly be a quality movie; that is a given considering the team of Hollywood veterans who are a part of it, but these readers worried that the movie could stray from the integrity of the book. Director Baz Luhrmann held the reins over this incredible endeavor. Luhrmann is known for his unconventional mode of storytelling, as well as his brilliant use of color and music. This abstract style was the central question concerning the success of the movie. Either this modern style would exemplify the glitz, glamour, and chaotic nature of the “Roarin’ 20s,” or it would be detrimental to the transition from novel to the big screen. Thankfully, Luhrmann’s unorthodox ways paid off in a magnificent way. The nontraditional use of text on screen, modern music, and over-exaggerated ambiguity all allowed the audience to experience a response similar to the book, while still making the film version unique. It is necessary to make the important themes of the novel stand out, and Luhrmann does that by magnifying those themes. The beauty of the language, the lavish lifestyle of the rich, and the consequent confusion of the audience as to what is true are all magnified by Luhrmann’s risky directorial techniques.
“The Great Gatsby”: A Too-Modern Success BY Mary Grace Walsh
Luhrmann’s directing and film style are not the only special tactics that make “Gatsby” a winner. The “Big 3” roles of “Gatsby,” Daisy, and Nick are taken on by DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire, respectively. The believability of these characters is paramount to the film’s success and allegiance the novel. Daisy is by far the most polarizing character in the story, and one of the most polarizing in all of literature. Mulligan takes on the massive task of portraying Daisy as someone the audience
“The Great Gatsby,” adopted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, did not disappoint audiences who are familiar with the novel. I was surprised to see that it followed the original story line closely. It’s a must-see for any audience, but I do encourage reading the novel first; it’s truly a work of art. The dazzling party scenes and depiction of the “Valley of Ashes” was spot-on, and the overall feel of the movie was similar to that of the book. There were a few lines that were copied exactly from the book,
Jay Gatsby (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros.
must make up their own mind about. Considering a large portion of the audience is coming in with preconceived notions about these characters, making them relatable and staying true to the descriptions in the book – not being influenced by their supposed reputations – is imperative to keeping the movie devoted to the book and connected to the audience. “The Great Gatsby” displays mastery in filmmaking and acting, as well as seamlessly connects the novel and film. The visual and emotional context of the film leaves the audience with a hauntingly beautiful feeling of hope and loss, which parallels the feeling the novel leaves with the reader. It is this correlation that makes it possible to call the film a success.
and for those who were familiar with the novel, they were easy to catch. Daisy’s “I hope she’ll be a fool--that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” quote flowed seamlessly into the dialogue. Nick’s final line, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,” also appeared as the final line in the movie, just before the green light slowly disappeared across the bay. The actors were perfect for their roles; they were just as the book described them. Gatsby’s rare smile “with a quality of eternal reassurance in it” was reflected in our first glimpse of DiCaprio when Nick spotted him at his party. I was thrown off by the overly dramatic turn of Gatsby’s head with the simultaneous fireworks in the
background, and I wish our first meeting of Gatsby had been more realistic. If Gatsby falls into the crowd so much that Nick doesn’t notice him, then why did that effect have to be included? Daisy’s affectionate presence was brilliantly carried out by Mulligan. After reading the book, it’s easy to both love and hate Daisy for her senseless decisions, and though the movie did make her seem lovable, she was also depicted as the hurtful, material and luxury focused woman that she is deep down. Nick’s constant presence was also felt through Maguire’s story telling from his mental hospital. He was honestly a little creepy at times, and you could logically make the argument that Nick was the one in love with Gatsby. I was slightly let down by the computerized effects, because they felt fake. When Nick is peering out the window after the party in Tom’s apartment, the scene doesn’t seem real. Although the effects were nice, they did not reflect the setting that I imagined from the book. The music that played throughout the movie also caught my attention. Don’t get me wrong, the soundtrack is awesome, and it blended well with the fast-paced New York City scenes. I do wish that there had been some more timely selections, because wealthy Long Island residents in the 1920s were not partying to Jay-Z and will.i.am. Like I said, the music worked well alongside the effects and extravagant scenes. But the director, Baz Luhrmann, could have chosen to leave some of this out in order to truly make the audience feel as if they’ve traveled into the past. It lacked the old-time feel. Being a huge Lana Del Rey fan, I loved her song from the second it was released as a single from the soundtrack. It was worked into a few scenes and captured the essence of Gatsby and Daisy’s (or maybe Nick and Gatsby’s, you never know) love story successfully.
BY Meredith Wright As the Class of 2013 prepares for graduation and a new chapter in their lives, here is some parting words of wisdom from the senior level advisors to their students that you wouldn’t typically hear in a classroom. Upper School French Teacher and Class of 2013 Grade Level Advisor Jennifer May: These days it is bittersweet for me to look at the senior countdown, to hear about where you will soon be starting college, to receive invitations to graduation celebrations. The sweetness comes from the pride I feel for your growth and your accomplishments over the last four years. I have loved listening to you play and sing in concerts, admiring your athletic gifts and abilities on the fields and courts, marveling at your creativity and talent in the art gallery and on the stage. I have been wowed by your intellect and inspired by your desire to learn, achieve, and be excellent. You have warmed my heart with your displays of friendship, and you have entertained me with your great sense of fun. This year I look back with special pride at the way you came together as a class during Spirit Week, and at the initiative and dedication of the peer leaders who gave their time, efforts, talent and creative ideas to TWLOHA. The open mic night in October was a complete triumph of generosity of spirit and a night I will never forget. Of course the only bitter part of this time is the sadness that comes from knowing that we have to say goodbye to you in just a few short days. Please know that I have loved you as a group and as individuals. Each one of you is special and uniquely gifted, and I believe you will continue to impress us with spectacular accomplishments to come. As you move on, remember that you have fans who remain here at Walker, and that we will be cheering you on as you face new challenges and embark on exciting adventures. Pursue every dream, never settle for less than absolutely amazing and always remember that we love you. ~J. May
Dear Seniors... Upper School Band Director longer exists.” Never stop learning. Todd Motter: Second, for what it’s worth, “In college, never let learning get in the As your Senior year draws to a way of your education.” close, the next chapter is about to ~Mr. Konieczny open. The funny thing is that you have spent 12 years trying to acquire Upper School English Teacher all the information and knowledge Matt Eisenman: that you can, but everything you really need to know about life you The person you are going to be learned at a very young age. That in college does not have to be who is not to say that higher education you were in high school. Try new isn’t important, because it is! Nev- things and explore - academically er lose sight of who you are and that and beyond. College may be the this world is made up of people just last chance to take a class or join like you. The Golden rule is “Do a new organization just because it unto other as you would have them seems interesting. You will never do unto you” NOT “Do unto other know what your calling may be because they did unto you first” or unless you try. Remember to go “Do unto others before they do unto to class. All of the other ways to you.” Simply treat people in a man- distract yourself are fun - but you ner in which you would like to be are there to discover and prepare for treated. I have a poster in the band your life’s work. Have fun, work room that reads “What kind of band hard, and be yourself! would this band be, if everyone in ~Mr. Eisenman it played just like me?” I’d like to change that phrase up just a bit Upper School History Teacher for you guys and I want you to ask David Yarborough: yourself this question: “What kind of world would this world be, if Set your goals in life based on everyone in it acted just like me?” what makes you happy, not necesWhat’s your answer? sarily financially or materially hap~Mr. Motter py, but what brings real happiness. One’s health and happiness are Upper School Science Teacher the most important things one can Joe Konieczny: nourish. Seek happiness by finding a job that you would have passion I will share two quotes: First, “In for and do without hesitation, even times of change the learners will if you were not paid or if money inherit the world, and the learned was no object. Then it is not work, will find themselves beautifully but a true labor of love. equipped for the world which no ~David Yarborough
Upper School Science Teacher Joshay Lang:
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”- Dr. Seuss “Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.”- Author Unknown “So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”- Marilyn Monroe ~Ms. Lang
Upper School Science Teacher Denice Esterly:
People will tell you that looking back, this will be the best time of your life. They lie - it’s not. It gets better and better. Each new experience, whether good or tragic, imparts new wisdom and helps you grow as a person. The more open you are to each experience, the more open-minded and accepting of others you are, the better your life will become. My advice for you is to always give back. Be honorable, be kind, and giving to others, but also ask for and accept help when you need it. Life is what you make of it...make it extraordinary, because you are. ~Love, Mrs. E
Upper School History Teacher Cindy Schafer:
Recently in a discussion in AP Europe, Ceci reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” While you are about to embark on one of the best times of your life, don’t forget where you come from and all the people that have been an important part of your life. I challenge each of you to “be the change” in the world, make a difference in someone’s life, however small, and never forget to always pay it forward. No Smoking! ~Love, Dr. S.
Artists of the Month: Aly Iachino & Sam Lowry BY Coleman Hedden The final artists of the month for the school year are seniors Aly Iachino and Sam Lowry. Iachino and Lowry recently were Walker’s representatives in the Shuler Hensley Student Ensemble on April 18. The two performed alongside many other students from across the state at the annual Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards. Iachino and Lowry worked together multiple other times this year as they both performed in the Show Choir and in the fall musical “Little Women.” Iachino has loved music all her life and has participated in various choirs since she was three years old. Iachino said, “My life literally revolves around music—rehearsals, when I can play piano again, when the new CD I want is coming out, stuff like that.” During her time at Walker, she has sung in the Chorus with Upper School Chorus teacher Samantha Walker for five years. Iachino said, “Singing has always been something I loved doing.” Iachino played the part of Clarissa in “Little Women” – it was her first musical performance and she
loved the experience. Iachino has developed a very strong relationship with Walker, and it was no surprise when she was selected as her assistant for the Show Choir. Most recently, Iachino performed four times in the Fine Arts Showcase on April 30. She sang in the girls’ a Capella group, the school chorus, the show choir, and performed with her dance class. Iachino said, “My favorite performances of the year are always in the showcase. It makes me so happy to see what all the other arts groups at Walker have been doing, and it’s always fun to put on a show with everyone.” Iachino will be attending Berry College in the fall. Lowry has been participating in the Walker Fine Arts Department since eighth grade. His first performance was in “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” and it sparked his interest in drama. Lowry’s freshman year, he participated in the one-act play, “Property Rites,” which won the regional competition and placed fourth at the state level. As a sophomore, Lowry took
Drama II with Upper School Drama teacher Katie Arjona where he learned to stage fight and fence, talents he later used in his performance in “Little Women.” Lowry acted in Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” as a junior and worked backstage on the spring musical, “Xanadu.”
Seniors Aly Iachino and Sam Lowry walk the red carpet at the Shuler Awards. Photo Courtesy of Aly Iachino
Lowry also took the Directing Seminar course with Arjona and directed the play “Untitled #2” for the 10-Minute Play Festival. Finally, as a senior, Lowry performed in his first musical, “Little Women,” where he used his Drama II stagefighting talents in his role of the “villainous aristocrat, Braxton Prendergast.” Lowry also acted in “You Can’t Take It With You.” Lowry will be attending Belmont University in Nashville next year where he will study directing, an interest that began after taking Arjona’s Directing class as a junior. Lowry said, “My dream play to direct would be ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs.’ I definitely want to keep doing drama and theater for the rest of my life.” Upper School Chorus teacher Samantha Walker has worked with both Iachino and Lowry throughout their high school careers. Walker said, “They are both dedicated students who value the entire artist experiece. It is always a privilege to work with these two; to witness not only their diligence, but their passion to get it right every time.”
Athlete of the Month: Mitch Van Den Eynde By Alex Brack Although his journey as a Walker student is coming to an end, the legacy of Senior Mitch Van Den Eynde as a soccer player will live on. Many students will simply come and go through the Walker soccer program but only a few of these players will be remembered by the staff as being a significant influence to their success. Van Den Eynde is one of these players. In years to come, he will stand as a coaches’ example of an all-around great soccer player. Van Den Eynde is a very active member of the Walker community. Along with soccer, has been a member of the Varsity basketball and Varsity soccer team for the past four years, along with a player on the Varsity football team for one year, and countless other Walker clubs and organizations. While being so involved with his
school and community, Van Den Eynde has maintained excellent academic standing. Van Den Eynde said, “Walker soccer has a tradition of having great teams that always fight every minute of every game with class. Our jersey reminds us of the standard that we must hold ourselves to as soccer players.” During a soccer match, Van Den Eynde is all over the field playing what he calls “blue collar soccer.” Like a blue collar worker, Van Den Eynde is constantly working hard. He performs by communicating with his teammates, checking to the ball, and staying marked with his man. After a soccer match, Van Den Eynde is the first player to shake the opponents’ hands and thank the Walker fans, regardless as to
whether Walker had won or lost. continues, “He certainly is an Many of the Varsity soccer players invaluable component to our team. would agree that Van Den Eynde’s Theoretically, if everyone on our effort and sportsmanship on and team preformed like Mitch, we off the field provide the team with would undeniably win the state valuable moral centering. In fact, tournament each year.” Sophomore, Parker Smith said, “For the two years that I have played alongside Mitch, he has been a great teammate. Mitch’s encouragement clearly makes a big difference on how both myself and our team perform.” Boys’ Walker Varsity Coach and Athletics Director, Gary Blohm, shares strong feelings about Van Den Eynde. Having coached Van Den Eynde for four years, Blohm said, “Mitch is the perfect combination. He Senior Mitch Van Den Eynde playing in is a great athlete, a great role a Varsity soccer match. model, a great student, and a great teammate.” Blohm Photo Courtesy of Mike Mackey
BY Meredith Wright Academic Team: Who knew that a group of four students could have so much knowledge? Seniors Ian Cossentino, Daniel Sosnovsky, Brielle Bowerman, and Georgie Wilkins teamed up with sophomore Andrew Wright to lead the Academic team towards an especially successful season. They easily beat each of their opponents and placed second in the overall competition! Brandon Stanton: In February, Walker Alumni Brandon Stanton led an intriguing assembly for the Upper School. Stanton is the man behind the camera for the wildly popular blog, Humans of New York. Encouraging students to follow their dreams while sharing his journey of pursuit, he definitely inspired both students and faculty. College Decisions: One of the most common and stressful questions for a senior: “Where are you going to college?” Every Walker Senior went through an extensive process of visits, applications, and acceptance letters. As of May 1, everyone has found their “best fit!”
Senior ABC’s Graduation: Simply put, imagine. Not only does May lead Graduation is the most momentous our grade in various activities, but occasion of senior year. she is always in the crowd of sports games or drama performances. She High 5: With the rockin’ success truly supports her students. Thank of the football team and dedicated you for all you have done Ms. May! voting of the Walker students, the Wolverines were featured as Fox New Teachers: In August, we News High 5 Sports team of the welcomed many new faces to week! Our school pep rally was Walker for the 2013-2014 school broadcast on the news, and we year. Specifically in the Upper won the High 5 Sports trophy that School, Joshay Lang, Malanda is proudly displayed in the front of Murchison, Kaitlyn Ranney, Ira our school. Dawson, Shawn Kennerson, and Greg Hite joined our outstanding It All Ends Here: The senior’s faculty! final homecoming walk out, featuring the theme “Between the Office Aid: One of the many Pages,” was led by a well-known perks of being a senior: working character named Harry. Fighting with Ms. Rogers! Being able to help off Voldemort and the Dementors, out in the office with attendance, Mr. Potter, led the senior class to detention notifications, and even a victory over the others while work for other teachers is a nice declaring “It All Ends Here.” break in the day!
Jo March: Fine Arts Department Chair Katie Arjona had a successful year filled with incredible drama productions! Back in November, a group of singing and dancing Walker students took to the stage for the production of Little Women. Senior Alex Catlin played the lead Drummers Drumming: The role of Jo March. Holiday assembly in December is one of the most popular traditions Konieczny: Upper School Physics that graduating seniors will never teacher Joe Konieczny joined the forget. Even after the assembly, the school last year and is now a senior faint chanting of the senior boys advisor. Students love him and so can be heard echoing through the does his new wife! hallways. Lifers: Out of the 99 seniors Evan, Sarah, Colin, Mikey, graduating in May, there are 18 Derrick: Along with successful students who have attended Walker academic students and artists, some since they were in preschool. They athletes continue their high school include Molly West, Jenny Ingram, sport into college and play for a Michael Arkin, Colin Mitchell, college team. Five seniors officially Amy Collerton, Jordan Schoettler, signed with different colleges to Chelsea Morris, Eleni Demestihas, pursue their sport. Melissa Pouncey, Sloan Coolbroth, Johnny Knox, Carly Bloom, Cole Funkytown: Flashing back to Warner, Chandler Morgan, Ansley Funkytown Junior Year is another Fantaski, Sarah Syrop, Jordan trip down memory lane. Visions of Strother and Mitch Van Den Eynde. the 1970s and winning homecoming over the seniors could be listed Ms. May: As our grade level as one of our class’s greatest advisor for the past four years, accomplishments! Upper School French teacher Jennifer May has done more for the senior class than we could ever
Prom: Up until the middle of March, all the drama in the Upper School was consumed with prom, ranging from prom dates to dinner reservations. Queens: Between our Homecoming Queen and Prom Queen, the senior class had two pretty amazing girls who were crowned. Alex Catlin was crowned Homecoming Queen at halftime in the midst of our very successful homecoming game. Marguerite Bradley was crowned Prom Queen later in March.
To Write Love On Her Arms: TWLOHA is an organization specifically established for spreading hope and love to people who are in any sort of mental depression or time of hardship. The Peer Leaders originally got the word out about this group by encouraging the students and even hosting an open microphone night, where many talented students performed.
UPenn, Brown, Emory, Duke…: The Class of 2013 has been one of the strongest graduating classes in recent years. With several students enrolling in more selective colleges and handfuls attending UGA and Georgia Tech, the upcoming classes have some big shoes to fill.
Van Den Eynde: As senior class president, Mitch led our grade to another victory in homecoming week! He headed all of the class meetings and worked closely with the SGA President, Will Chocallo, in fulfilling his promise for us to have the best year yet.
Walk: The Senior Walk is one of the few senior events that even preschoolers can look forward to as they get older. The recognition that the seniors and their families get is a day to dress and impress! This Spring, we got to see 99 seniors walk across the floor.
eXams: Occurring in both December and May, exam week is easily the most stressful time. Filled with tons of exam experience, every senior knows how to rock their tests and will be sure to pass with flying colors!
Region Champions: Welcoming Coach John East to our athletics program clearly brought good things to the football team this year. In the best season the Wolverines have ever had, the Varsity Football Team “You Can’t Take It With was crowned Region Champions, You”: In the beginning of March, finishing with an 11-1 record. the Upper School drama program Senior Break: Easily any senior’s put on another popular production favorite Friday of the month! under the direction of Katie Arjona. Groups of dedicated senior moms Acting in their last high school play, bring in armfuls of yummy foods, many seniors portrayed major roles. and it is hard not to walk away from Zzzzzz’s: Something that every the dining hall with a full stomach! Senior feels like they need more of and can now finally get some!