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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vol. CIII, No. 2

Inspirational David Brooks

Baxter and Chapel Art Galleries

by pr eston eppl e r '15

by mae mu l l en '14


David Brooks is a world class opinion writer for The New York Times, yet when he spoke in front of the entire school community on Saturday, September 28th, he spoke of the truth, reality and problems that we face and that we are going to face in the future. It is incredible to think that when he was seven, he already had his life planned out ahead of him and how he began his path to becoming a writer at such a young age. David Brooks had a passion to write and he preached that life is about core passion; find something that fascinates you and working towards making it your life career. He told us that his most life changing experience was writing about urban poverty in Chicago while studying at the University of Chicago. His first job out of college was as a movie critic where he shared stories about his personal opinions on actors that he met on their rise to fame. After working as a movie critic, he began writing for the

Wall Street Journal as their foreign affairs columnist, until finally he was unable to turn down a job working for The New York Times as a columnist, which he still is to this day. At the New York Times, he spent the first six months hated by most New York Times readers and he struggled while working for a “left-winged” newspaper. Explaining his view on politics, he said, “Politics can either bring out the best in yourself or the worst in yourself, and most often both”. Unlike many adults in this time, he tries to convince young adults to enter into a career in politics. It is clear that today’s political world is harsh, but clearly Mr. Brooks thinks other wise and he has created a valid reason for wanting young adults to think about entering into that field. He shared his thoughts about the future and the burdens that our generation, and generations to come will face: taxes raised by 33% and beneContinued on page 2


Student artwork adorns the wall of the Baxter and Chapel Art Galleries. O ver t he su m mer, Westminster created two new art galleries, one in Baxter Hall (now Baxter Gallery) in Armour and one in the basement of the chapel. Baxter Gallery has a set selection of art, including several alumni artists as well as the work of many artists not related to the school. The art displayed in Baxter is a mix of sculpture and two-dimensional works, in a variety of media and ranging from abstract to purely representational. The Chapel Gallery, on the other hand, will feature changing art exhibitions over the course of the year. It opened on September 19. According to the Chapel Gallery Mission Statement, the mission of the Gallery is to provide opportunities for exhibitions of the work of the Westminster community’s artists, to “integrate studio activities” into an accessible format, to educate the public

about art and “interdisciplinary thinking”, to “provide opportunities for” a variety of educational and recreational pursuits, to “foster community relationships”, and to “support the diversity and vibrancy of artistic production and promote excellence in the

arts.” The gallery’s first exhibition included work by by art educators, including Mr. Sandoval, who is responsible for the creation of the gallery, and four other artists from the Westminster community. That show closed on October 13; the next show is an exhibition of student art from all the visual arts classes, and will open on October 22nd. Like Baxter Gallery, the Chapel Gallery provides space for works in a wide variety of media, from traditional to digital. Baxter Gallery is open for most of the hours Armour is open; the Chapel Gallery is open Mond ay s, Wed ne sd ay s, a nd Fridays, from 11 to 12:30, 11:30 to 1, and 12 to 1:30 respectively. Visit the galleries and enjoy the wide variety of art displayed by and for the Westminster community!.


The above painting by Lewis Jerry Powers, former Chair of the Art Department, hangs in the Baxter Gallery.

Westminster Introduces Two New Underform Classes Civic Engagement

Introduction to Visual and Performing Arts

by Paige Br ac k ett '15

by C indy J e ong '15


Civic Engagement, a new course t his yea r for Four t h Formers created by Mr. Eckerson, is designed to help students build their own opinions on who they are and what they stand for. Mr. Eckerson’s primary goal in creating Civic Engagement was to help students become aware of their surroundings through writing and discussion in class about current events, and the surrounding community. Mr. Gritzmacher, who also teaches Civic Engagement, believes that the course helps create a civil personality, and encourages the students to engage in life beyond the self through self-exploration. In addition, he likes the more relaxed atmosphere that Civic Engagement

portrays, while also providing another opportunity for Fourth Formers to get together. Eliza Mell '16 says, “Civic Engagement encourages you to freely express your opinions on current events and activities in the community.” In other words, this class can be more relaxed than a regular academic class, and helps the students practice involvement, one of Westminster’s core values, through active discussion. Erin Haydon '16 says, “Civic Engagement challenges you to not only find, but express your feelings about yourself and the outer community.” Most importantly, Civic Engagement is meant to help students find their purpose in life and what they stand for.

Students in the News Pages 6-7 Fun in the Fall Page 5 The Island School Page 4 Dear Sage and Taste of Westy Page 8

In 2013 -2014, a ll Third Form students are required to take an Introduction to Visual and Performing Arts class. The class gives an opportunity to new students to be exposed to different offerings in the visua l and performing arts. Mr. Chrzanowski views this course as necessary because it is a fantastic way to introduce the arts to Westminster’s youngest students in a way that enhances t heir lea rning experience at Westminster. Art affects students’ intellectual growth, and it helps students to develop confidence in the classroom and to increase their ability to analyze, cooperate, use their imagination, and create. The Third Formers meet

twice a week and are divided into 6 groups, taught by one teacher from the Art Department. T h rou g hout t he ye a r, e ac h group will alternate teachers and will experience visual arts with Ms. Barrett, music with Mr. Chrzanowski, and theater with Mr. Rasheed. According to Ms. Barrett, students will learn to observe and evaluate their surr ou nd i n g s t h r ou g h le s s on s focused on observation, abstraction, and narrative. She plans on helping students adapt to using wide range of visual tools and materials. Also, she wants to teach students to combine observation and the use of formal elements to tell a story or present an opinion based on a specific prompt. She

Should we Pay College Ahtletes? Two opposing views

hopes this will demonstrate the variety of ways that a story can be perceived and be told. Students will learn music theory, music appreciation, and music history in the music portion of the course; they will learn music, acting, design, and theater history in the theater portion. Mr. Rasheed says, “it is a great opportunity to get the Third Formers involved with the arts at the school. Students are enthusiastic and engage in class.” Third Formers are enjoying the class because not only does the class assign no homework, but it also is graded on a pass/fail basis and expands on their creative interests by interacting with the various forms of visual and performing arts.

Guess Who? Try to name the faculty member! page 3 page 2

THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 24, 2013


“Let’s Find Another Word.”

David Brooks

Mrs. Joncas Gives Chapel on the Impact of the word “gay”:

Continued from Page 1

by c ol l een joncas A s t he Former Dea n of Faculty, Dick Adams, explained in last spring’s commencement address, being in schools is particularly special because each school year has a clear beginning and end. As Mr. Adams commented, each school year presents a “fresh start.” I think each of us have our personal goals as we take advantage of this year’s fresh start, but I would like to discuss a community goal to consider for the year ahead of us. “That’s so gay.” You have a l l he a rd t he expression used. Often it is used not to describe a person being happy or its definition as homosexual, but rather to describe something bad, boring, or stupid. The question is, do we mean what we say when this expression is used? It may be used to describe a particular assignment in history class, a bad call by a referee on the soccer field, or someone who is annoying you in the dorm. I think that most of the people who use this expression do so because it has become part of a casual vernacular and little thought goes into what it means or what you are actually saying when you describe something bad, stupid, or boring as “gay.” Ma ny of you k now my 14-month-old daughter, Finley. Her godmother, who is my best friend, is gay. When I hear people use the expression, “that’s so gay” many thoughts cross my mind, but most of all I think of Marissa and many of my other friends, family members, past coaches and others in my life who are gay. Is Marissa “bad” or “stupid” because of her sexual orientation? Is that not what is implied when that statement is used? I don’t believe that the offhand nature of this phrase, when many students and their friends use it, is intended to be truly hurtful to those that are gay. I just don’t think most of us mean to go through our day purposely bashing those who are gay. However, with some thought and ref lection, can you think about how this phrase may indeed have that effect on others in our community? Do you know anyone who is gay? Do you have a family member or friend who is gay? Many of us in this community do. This phrase can be cutting and hurtful and in a community like Westminster’s, I think we can do better. We are all smart enough to think and ref lect on the words we use and the meanings they imply. What I am asking you all to do today is reflect. Do you use the phrase “that’s so gay” or other homophobic slurs? Do your friends use the phrase? How frequently do you hear that phrase or other homophobic slurs used throughout the course


Upon exiting Andrews Memorial Chapel, members of the Westminster community gathered to sign a pledge to think before using the word “gay” in a derogatory manner. of a day? If you do use that phrase, do you mean what is truly implied? That being gay is bad or boring or stupid? If you do not, then I think it should be easy enough to motivate yourself to f ind another word. If an assignment is tedious or annoying, let’s use those words to describe it. If you are angry with a referee or official’s call, find another word to describe that feeling. When Marissa came out to me during our senior year in college, she immediately asked that I not tell anyone about her relationship with her girlfriend. She told me that she wanted to just graduate and be remembered for who she was and what she did, and not be labeled and remembered for her sexuality. At Bowdoin College, Marissa was an incredible athlete and two-sport All American, as well as a dorm RA and respected leader. Although Marissa had the support of her family as she came to accept this realization, I was frustrated that she wanted to keep her relationship from her friends and community. Upon reflection, I began to understand why she might feel that way. Throughout my four years there, I constantly had to harass my peers to not use homophobic slurs. This was something I pestered my friends and classmates about years before Marissa came out. Although I loved my college so much, it did make me sad that such an incredible school did not have as welcoming and as safe of a community as one might think. Hatred, fear and homophobia just hit harder for me once Marissa came out. Although many of you may not intend to use these slurs in order to express hatred and homophobia, there are people who do. In the weeks before we graduated that spring, a kid on the baseball team came up to me at a party and said, “so your roommate’s a dyke, isn’t she.” I can’t begin to describe how infuriated I was by his comment. But beyond that one baseball player’s individual issue with homosexuality, the amount of times I heard phrases and homophobic slurs casually used among

the student body was enough to leave me feeling discouraged. I wanted to have pride in my community and believe that we were welcoming and safe for my friend and for others; however, I began to realize that this simply wasn’t the case at that time. I graduated from Bowdoin almost 10 years ago now, and I am happy to report that the school has come a long way over the last decade, partly because incredible strides have also been made in greater society, but also due to efforts in the community to create a safe space for everyone. Now in 2013, I am able to see wedding pictures of my gay friends on facebook. Even this past summer two things happened that ref lected colossal strides. Most of you probably heard about the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, which was an enormous victory for same sex couples in this country. And on the pop culture front, I was shocked when I first heard Macklemore’s “Same Love” on the radio. For a hip-hop artist to come out in support of gay rights is truly unprecedented. All of this demonstrates how we as individuals can affect change in our community and culture if we are willing to take the steps or risks necessary. A s we embark on a new school year, I simply want to challenge our community to make one small change, to take one small step, and maybe to take a risk. Whether it is you who says it, friends, or teammates…challenge yourself, your team, and your peers to find another word. Help better the culture and community at Westminster by creating a safe space for those who are gay or questioning or for those who have family and friends that are. Be an ally. You don’t have to have someone like Marissa in your life to be an ally. Do you, as an individual, have the courage to stand up to a teammate or friend who uses this phrase? Do we, as a school, have the character to meet the challenge?

fits down by 50%. This burden also includes the widening of the social gap and a depleting middle class. The social gap also includes the amount of college graduates versus high school graduates and how the number of college graduates is getting smaller because of financial issues throughout America. He spoke of the future; the careers that we choose and the problems we face. But he also spoke a greaet deal on success and awareness. According to Brooks, “Most people work hard in life, because they fear failing, rather than they strive for success”. Many students at Westminster can relate to this. What defines success? What are Westminster students striving towards and what are they looking to do with their lives? Most students would probably say that they haven’t decide what they want to do or where they want to work when

they’re an adult. Everyone will probably say, “I work hard so that I can get into a good college”. Are stsudnets working hard to get in to the dream college or working hard to make sure not to end up at a “safety-school”? According to Mr. Brooks, success does not mean making a lot of money. Success is finding a core passion and working hard to achieve a final goal in the future that will bring happiness. Success is defined a the level of happiness achieved after achieving a goal in life.


Guess Who? by Lei l a D odd '14 & Ke l ly A ndr ien '14 1. She is an EMT with the Simsbury Volunteer Ambulance Association. 2. She is an Ironman triathlete. She completed Ironman Mont-Tremblant on August 13th, 2013. (An Ironman Triathlon includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112mile bicycle race, and a marathon 26.2-mile run) 3. She was born in Toronto, Canada. 4. She is half Jamaican. 5. Her PhD is in marine ecology; therefore, she has spent a lot of time underwater as a scientific SCUBA diver. 6. She lives in Simsbury with her partner, Jeff.

7. In astrolog y, she is a Taurus, and she was born in the Chinese year of the dragon. (Yes, she is a bull and a dragon combined!) 8. She will only wear Adidas running shoes and ride Cervelo bicycles. 9. Her dog, Monkey, is a mutt from Bonaire, Netherlands A nt i l le s. She c a l ls him t he Bonairian greyhound. 10. She has one sister who lives outside of Boston with her husband; her parents live in Simsbury.

Faculty member from September Issue of Guess Who: Mr. Chrzanowski

Editorial Board

Co-Editors-in-Chief Mae Mullen & Anish Chadalavada Abby Reed Ellie Deveaux Nadrina Ebrahimi

News & Features


George Doolan


Tommy Griffith


Paige Brackett


Eugenia Naamon


Hieu Do Olivia Parmenter


Rebecca Ryan

Faculty Advisor

Sara Deveaux

Staff Writers Jacqui Richard George Crawford

Taite Puhala Preston Eppler

Contributors Cindy Jeong Jackson Andrews John Dowling Contact Us The Westminster News Westminster School 995 Hopmeadow St. Simsbury, CT  06070-1880 © 2014 The Westminster News The text of the articles is printed in 10-point Adobe Garamond.

James Lee Andrew Lee Charlie Russell

Katie O’Connor Aubrey Moulton Alaina Bisson

The opinions expressed represent those of the authors, not necessarily those of The Westminster News or Westminster School. We invite all members of the community to share their opinions in these pages. The News reserves the right to edit all submissions for length, clarity, or factual accuracy, and are published at The News’s discretion. Anyone interested in contributing to The Westminster News should contact Molly Mullen '13, Ronald Yeung '13, or any member of the Editorial Board for information on how to submit writing, phtographs, etc.

THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 24, 2013

Student Opinion: Should we Pay College Athletes?




First Field Hockey

by J ac k s on A ndr ews '17

by anish chada l avada '14

by abby r eed '14

We should not pay NCA A student-athletes for their efforts on the field. It is simple and clear cut; there is no valid reason for paying them. Do we pay Morehead scholars, kids with perfect SAT scores, or students on academic scholarships? No, we don’t. Colleges don’t fund these students outside of school because they feel like they don’t need to, and they are right. There are students that have an incredible ability to thrive in the classroom, and we don’t pay them for their gifts. Therefore, we shouldn’t have to pay those who have the ability to thrive on the field. Student-athletes under scholarship already have their books, room and board, and tuition paid for. Hopefully, if they are prudent with the money they have, they should be fine. If this is not enough, there are further arguments. There are always arguments for paying student-athletes, some of which are admittedly valid. One is that the student-athletes (SAs) should be compensated because television unfairly uses their images during programming to promote their network without compensating the players on the field. It is true that TV makes billions each year off of college sports. However, the players themselves are not the ones that should be compensated; it should be for the teams they are playing for. This, fortunately or unfortunately, does happen. Colleges make a huge profit off of athletic programming every year. It may seem unfair to the players, but I can assure you that it is not. The programs that are the most successful are not the ones that pay their players under the table; they are the programs (like the University of Alabama’s football team) that use the money to

fund things like new stadiums, training facilities, dorm rooms, classrooms, and most importantly, a better tutoring program for the SA’s at their respective schools. The money that schools are receiving from TV programming is being put to good use. In a way, they are being compensated. They are being paid through knowledge which is given to them in the form of new books and classrooms that wouldn’t have been given to them if they hadn’t had nationally televised games. Keep in mind that these players are student-athletes, not professionally paid players. If a student-athlete were to be paid, his priorities would definitely shift in school. SA’s already spend the majority of their time on athletics; imagine how their academics would suffer if they were to be paid. Also, if colleges were to start paying SA’s, at what point do they then draw the line? Do they start paying their extended family as well? Do they put the younger sibling of the player through a private high school? Do they guarantee a future spot on campus for any younger relatives? How about other scholarship students? Would the college have to start paying students on academic scholarship? They were recruited to go to that school just like an SA, except for the fact that they are spending their energy in the classroom, not on the field. A solution to this question is a simple and obvious one; it is to avoid the problem completely and not ask the question at all. Paying student-athletes for their abilities may sound like a good idea hypothetically, but it is too hard to determine the benefits of paying colleges and universities directly, or where to draw the line the student-athletes have been paid.

Faculty named to AP Board

I believe that we should pay college athletes, specif ically Division I football players and Division I Men’s Basketball Players. Many people believe that college athletes at the highest levels are paid, just not directly. They are “paid” with stipends and a free college education as well as countless other benefits. However, even if the university “pays” an athlete in this way, it is often dwarfed in the context of revenue to the school. Take the University of Texas as an example. The Longhorns received 104 million dollars in revenue the last season, from the football team alone, even though they were not ranked in the top 10 to end the season. This was following an investment of 26 million dollars. In other words, The University of Texas turned a profit of 78 million dollars, almost a 400 percent return, over just 6 home games. The attendance routinely reached 100,000 people for home games. In return for such spectacular profits and attendance, 85 Texas football players received full scholarships. The monetary value of the scholarship is infinitesimal compared to the profit that the University gained from the football program. In addition, the NCAA has routinely mistreated its college football players and college basketball players. Despite being high profile athletes, the NCAA does not allow schools to pay even for plane tickets for new recruits during recruiting season, is extremely stringent with hardship waivers, despite demonstrated need, and is unnecessarily harsh in terms of restricting eligibility. There has been more than one story about athletes who were serving the country or had to move closer to home to take care of family, but were deemed ineligible to transfer or lost precious

years of eligibility due to NCAA inefficiency. It is no wonder, then, that there have been so many recruiting scandals over the years, the most significant of which was Reggie Bush who had to forfeit his Heisman Trophy because he received improper benefits in college. It is understandable that college football and basketball players are often worshipped by loyal fans and the NCAA is only trying to keep them on the same level as student. However, the fact of the matter is that high profile college athletes are not students. They are not student athletes either; they are closer to semipro athletes than anything else, and it is useless to maintain an illusion that academics carry a lot of weight in the football locker rooms at big name programs. There was a problem several years ago, in fact, when it was found that a football player at the University of Georgia graduated and went on to the NFL, but was unable to sign his contract because he was unable to read, write or even sign his name While such stories are rare, the idea behind them is informative. University of Texas students do not bring 100 million dollars of profit to the school over 5 months, but the athletes do, and they should be recognized for it. Even without paying college athletes, the NCAA needs to reassess its rules; for example, college athletes cannot even sign their names for profit without being cited for infractions of policy, and this is not at all fair to the players who work hard and generate such large sums of revenue. Ultimately, the NCAA does not necessarily need a complete overhaul, but does need to reform its policies regarding the oftentimes unfair treatment of the highest-profile Division I athletes, due to the revenue they generate.


The First Girls’ Field Hockey team has had a strong start to their season. The squad already has had several wins, over teams i nclud i ng M i lton Ac ademy, Choate and Loomis Chaffee. The team takes every practice and game as another day to improve, to challenge one another and to compete. Led by captains Abby Reed '14 a nd Mega n Wa lsh '14, the team includes returners Brooke Wolejko '14, Kat Pate '14, Emily Mell '14, Stina Ladd '15, Susanna Baker '15, Catherine Crawley '16, and Ashley Carbone '16. New to the team are Kelcie Finn '14, Shannon Cherpak '14, Erin Ozturk '15, Jade Marlowe '15, Meg Forel li '15, Sa ra h Melanson '16, Sarah Migliori '16, Emma Stevens '16 and Maddy Paro '17. On November 2, the team will not only be playing Berkshire under the lights, but the game will also be a Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser. They are looking forward to this event, as it will not only be a chance for the school community to come out and support the Black and Gold, but the fight against breast cancer as well! The team continues to work hard, and looks forward to the rest of the season.

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Sports Photo of the Week

by Aubr ey Mou lton '15 & A l aina Biss on '15

Ms. Heck ma n ha s been named to the Advanced Placement Program Comparative G o v e r n m e n t a n d Po l i t i c s Development Committee for the 2013-2014 academic year. She is now part of the committee that is responsible for developing the AP Comparative Government and Politics course and examination. The national committee consists of seven high

school and college faculty members, each of whom can potentially serve on the board for up to four years. The members represent a diverse collection of knowledge and viewpoints within their field and Ms. Heckman has been a reader for the AP Government exam for six years, and has taught AP Comparative Science at Westminster since 2004. The committee collaborates to construct the exam and make decisions about the required subject matter for the course. Ms. Heckman is honored to have this experience and to be able to improve her understanding of the material and enrich the classroom experience through her work alongside other experts in her field.


Laura Moore '14 wins a header against Wilbraham and Munson. Wilbraham is one of only two losses for the First Girls’ Soccer team who is currently 8-2.

THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 24, 2013


Faculty are asked the question: Why do we…


There is a purpose to everything that we do in life. Some of our actions are more important than others, but all of our actions have reasons behind them. Why do we play sports? Why do we act in the play? Why do we take rigorous classes? Just like the students, the faculty here at Westminster ponder similar questions about their participation in the community. Many of the faculty participate in sports as coaches or assistants, and have a huge impact on the students that they coach. One question that they may ask themselves is, why do they coach? Seeking the answer to this question, we asked some of the coaches here about what they felt their purpose as a coach was. As a result, we learned a lot about the faculty and their personalities on and off the field. While asking the faculty why they coach, we got some very precise answers; “I coach because I like to play and because I’m not good enough to play professionally,” laughed Mr. Tawney, the head coach of the First Girls’ Basketball team. “Sports are a big part of my life.” Having coaches


…Have Family-Style Dinner?

by J ac qui Richa r d '16

by k atie o’c onnor '16

with such passion for the sports they coach helps us to create strong team dynamics. This is a privilege for the students here at Westminster. The First Girls’ Soccer coach, Mrs. Gerges, tells of a similar passion; “I have a love and passion for the sport and want other people to be able to have a good experience with the sport as well.” Westminster’s core values and beliefs are one of the reasons that a lot of the coaches chose to teach here. Mr. Tawney explains this when talking about moving from teaching and coaching at Eaglebrook School to Westminster. “I was looking for a smaller school and fell in love with Westminster and its communit y va lues,” Mr. Tawney says. Similarly, Mrs. Gerges says, “I truly believed in the motto of Grit and Grace on and off the field.” Continuing, she states that Westminster embodies these characteristics best with their beliefs and core values. When asked what their favorite part of the Westminster coaching experience is, both coaches sat back in their chairs to think. “All of it,” stated Mr. Tawney with a smile. “When they are really trying their best to get better.” Success with his players and watching his players work hard to improve is one his favorites. Simply being able to interact with

her players is Mrs. Gerges’ favorite part of coaching. “Working with the kids is my favorite part,” she put simply. Both coaches agree that going through wins and losses with the team is an important aspect of the game, and that winning is not always what matters most. They also agreed that coaching has been a huge part of and has had an impact on their lives. As this year adds another team to the many that they have coached, they admit that each one has a huge impact to them. “It really forces me to think about what I believe in and why the team does what they do,” admitted Mr.Tawney. Westminster in particular allows for the coaches to balance their teaching and work, along with coaching sports, says Mrs. Gerges. Being able to coach at Westminster impacts not only the coaches, but is a privilege for the kids as well. By having such committed and passionate coaches to help them, students can make positive strides forward on and off the field.



St udent s of ten g r u mble about having to go to Family Style Dinner a few nights a week, but there are many reasons why family style is a part of life at Westminster. Of course the big question is; why do we have family style? Family Style Dinners are intended to help introduce members of the community to others whom they might not cross paths with during the regular school day. Students are randomly assigned to a table with a faculty member, and about every two weeks, the table assignments change. Because of this, these dinners offer students a chance to meet students in other forms, and to meet faculty that they may not have as teachers. They also give the faculty a chance to meet new and returning students that they may not have in the classroom. In the fall and spring, family style usually occurs about three times a week, on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings. In the winter, these dinners happen once a week. Family Style Dinner used to occur five nights a week (Su nday immed iately

after evening chaplel, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) but has since been shortened due to the busy schedules of Westminster students. Table etiquette is also an important part of sit-down dinner. One student acts as the waiter and brings the main dishes to the table. A sixth former is in charge of serving the main dish to the other students at the table, beginning with the most senior faculty, and once everyone is served, the faculty member gives permission to begin eating. Family St yle Dinner has become a Westminster tradition, bringing together the boarding community after the school day. This tradition, which has been a part of Westminster for many years now, adds to the sense of community on campus. Below, some faculty have given their take on why family style dinner is part of the Westminster life: “So that students can meet kids in other forms throughout the year, whom they would otherwise not come into contact with through the normal course of the academic day or afternoon commitments.” -Mrs. Urner-Berry “Sit-down in a way of getting the Westminster community together in a less formal setting than classes.” Mrs. Connell.

My Semester at The Island School by G E ORG E C R AW FOR D '15 George Crawford has returned this semester to school after a spring term abroad. His parents originally encouraged him to attend the Island School in the Bahamas, and he correctly believed it would be a great experience. While in the program, he took seven classes including, marine ecology, human ecology, research on sea turtles, English, math and art. In preparation for the program, he became certified in scuba diving, which helped out greatly because many of his classes were underwater. Each morning George swam two miles then went to breakfast and his classes. His favorite class was marine ecology. This was a two hour class with a fifteen minute lesson and then a dive. Instead of lab classes, lab partners dove into coral reefs together and recorded their findings on a dive slate. However, the Island school was not all work; instead of Baxter Lawn, there was the beach. Everyday, from three-thirty to six, the students enjoyed free time where they could dive, sail, or relax on the beach. Overall, George enjoyed his experience at the Island School. Below is his chapel talk: Last spring, on March 4th, just after my winter term ended at Westminster, I left for three months to attend a semester at The Island School. I f irst hea rd about The

Island School from my neighbors when I was growing up in Wilton, Connecticut. As I learned more, my interest grew and in the winter of my Third Form at Westminster, I applied to The Island School to have the opportunity to study and live in a remote and isolated place. The Island School is an educational & research center located on 18 acres on the southernmost cape of the Bahamian Island, Eleuthera, about 225 miles off the coast of south Florida. The school and research station were founded in 1999 by Chris Maxey, a Yale graduate, Navy Seal, and former teacher at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, along with his wife Pam. Chris still runs the program with a staff and faculty of approximately 30 people. The School offers two 100-day semester sessions each fall and spring, summer programs, and a gap year program. Chris Maxey founded the Island School because he wanted to create an educational program that would teach others how to live better in a place. Specifically, the school’s mission is to serve as a catalyst in the global transition to a more sustainable future. ‘Conservation and Sustainability’ are guiding principles of The Island School. The buildings and campus grounds


George Crawford learns about marine ecology while exploring coral reefs. at School incorporate ecologically sound systems to promote conservation of limited resources including food, water and energy For example, a combination of wind and solar systems located on site provide power to the campus, along with supplemental electricity generated by a power plant located on the island. The Island School also has a farm on campus with fresh vegetables, chickens and pigs, as well as an aquaculture system, including an underwater cage to house Cobia fish for food. Furthermore, water on campus effectively recycled from rainstorms, as there is little to no ground water on Eleuthera. We were only allowed to take oneminute, outdoor, cold showers

from a water-saving shower head. Unlike the showers in Memorial or Squibb, the shower heads at the Island School looked a lot like a gardening hose. Although this sounds like an unnecessary restriction, we realized the importance of limiting water use even further when we became within days of running completely dry. Fortunately though, we had about four large rainstorms lasting a full day frequent enough to provide a sufficient water supply. Altogether, the school’s systems provided an interesting and ecologically sound lifestyle for three months. A typical day began with an all-school wake up at 6:15, followed by an hour of outdoor,

group exercise starting at 6:30, dorm clean up, then breakfast, classes, lunch, some more classes, dinner, study hours and then eight valuable hours of sleep. Although it looked like a vacation, the program’s ever yday schedule really showed the rigor you must endure to enjoy your time. We slept in open-bay dormitories without air conditioning. For the most part the weather was warm or hot, sunny, and always beautiful. We were not allowed to bring cell phones and we could only use our laptops for school and music. Once a week, each student has a designated phone time to call home or check in with close friends for twenty to thirty minutes. These restrictions allow for full immersion into the program, free of irrelevant distractions. There are 48 high school sophomores and juniors in each semester program. In my semester, the majority of students came from all over the U.S. however some traveled from places as far as Nepal and the South African Island Mauritius. While I was there, I took six challenging academic courses: Math, English, marine ecology, human ecology, and history, and did an extensive research project with term paper and presentation, culminating in Continued on page 8

THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 24, 2013

Grandparents Day, Night Games, a Hill Holiday and Form Picnics: What a Fall!

Photos are courtesy of Mr. Werner who is never without his camera, always capturing life on the hill.


THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 24, 2013


Summer Internship at Northeast Utility by anish chada l avada '14 We all know how important electricity is for our daily lives. When the October snowstorm in 2011 caused me and my family to live without electricity for 10 days, its importance was magnified. Against that backdrop, I was curious to understand the business of producing and delivering electricity. I spoke with my parents about trying to find an internship and my dad pointed out that I should contact local ut i lit ie s, such a s Nor t hea st Utilities. Between my outreach and a bit of help, I was fortunate to secure a summer internship at Northeast Utilities. I spent 6 weeks as an intern, averaging 20 hours per week. Northeast Utilities is headquartered in Berlin, CT and it is a fairly imposing set of buildings. I was a bit nervous and intimidated about entering a professional workplace. NU assigned a young engineer as a mentor to me, and she was very helpful showing me around. I was introduced to several people who worked in the various different departments at NU. NU has a very organized internship program and it included several field trips. I met several other students who were also participating in this internship program, and although most of them were in college, they were happy to show me the ropes. One of the neat things I was able to observe in action is a process called LIDAR surveying. For many years, surveyors would go

out on foot to survey and map la nd a nd ma ke obser vations about the suitability of the land for transmissions lines. However, with the recent developments in computerized surveying technology, Northeast Utilities was able to use LIDAR surveying and avoid sending any people into the field at all. While the specifics of LIDAR surveying are extremely complicated, the basic idea is that a helicopter flying overhead, guided by landmarks, can collect millions of data points using a laser light technology that scans the ground beneath it. After this process, a computer can generate a perfect three dimensional replica of the landscape. Surveyors proficient in the use of such technology can then just use the software to lay the groundwork for architectural planning and design. Northeast Utilities also worked on a project to standardize substations, the facilities that help to control energy transmission. These substations are so important because they help to regulate transformers as well as energy lines. As a result, a substation failure can be catastrophic, causing entire regions to lose power as well as cause spectacular damage to the area around the substation I visited the Kleen Power Plant on one of my field trips. It was amazing to see the huge rotating machinery at these plants generating electricity. I also visited transmission and distribution substations. These substations are

like jungle gyms – with bars and rods cutting across every direction. I wore a hard hat and work boots and was told to stay away from all equipment. Visiting these places, I was able to conjure up a vision of how electricity gets delivered – from generating plants that produce the electrons to their travel via long transmission lines to local distribution stations and then finally to each home and business. But behind that simple picture, is a level of complication that is fairly awe inspiring. My most vivid memor y, beyond the field trip visits, was the warmth of the people that took great pride in explaining what they do to me. They let me play with a power system simulator and were kind and gracious during my whole stay – including buying me lunches. It was cool to see young engineers from various different universities work together towards a common cause. As a Sixth Former, I am about to embark on the next stage of my academic pursuit, and this experience certainly bolsters my leanings towards engineering. Apart from the experience itself, my dad took me to and from Northeast Utilities, allowing us the chance to have long conversations about topics that face us in society. It was overall, a great summer experience and I feel like I have grown with this opportunity.

Fall Student Exemptions:

Horses, tennis, music and recording radio waves from Jupiter and the Sun by G e orge C r awfor d '15 & C ha r l ie Russe l l '14 Unlike the many students at Westminster who participate in a structured school afternoon activity, there are a few students from almost every form who have an exemption this fall. From golfers to telescope builders, this has been a very productive fall for the exemption crew. Altogether, twenty-two different students from the fourth, fifth, and sixth form have been independently working for an hour and a half plus everyday on their chosen skill. So, to give them some credit for their work, here they are: G e o r g e D o o l a n ' 15 , Mackenzie Hawkes '15, Philippe Morin '15, and George Crawford '15 all have golf exemptions and have been playing thirt y-six holes a week at the Hopmeadow Country Club to train for the spring season. Mackenzie and George Doolan have also been participating in tournaments across the country. Andrew Bell '14, Katherine Kelter '14, Lia Petersen '14, and Charlie Russell '14 have tennis exemptions and play at Simsmore Indoor Tennis Facilit y while Ha rr y Ga nek '14, Ginny Durfee '15, Cricket di Galoma '14 and Laila Samy '14 play squash every afternoon on campus in preparation for the winter season. Emma Filler '15 has a photography exemp-

tion and is very easy to spot taking photos of various first team and lower team sporting events. Jordan Gowdy '14 and Amanda Savino '14 have both been working hard to prepare for their last season on the Softball team by training every day. Nina Montross '16 and Thiele Schroeder '14 go to Kelianda Farm in Granby six days a week to ride horses for t wo hours a day. R achel Chan '14 plays piano and Brian Kelleher '15 plays guitar. Tom Dudzik '15 cycles around various parts of Connecticut including the Greater Hartford area as he prepares for his long-distance sprint competitions. Henry Chou '15 has been using his time this Fall to practice for this Winter’s upcoming swimming season, and Grace Brentano '16 is building a radio telescope which will be able to record radio waves from Jupiter and the Sun! Finally, it is important to note that all the above students are called upon to be ballboys or ballgirls and timers for the athletic games played at home. So, next time you see someone with an exemption, ask them how it’s going and say thank you for bringing such diverse talent to our campus.

Alex Wrona plays soccer in Poland


by John D ow l ing '14

by T hie l e S ch roede r '14

While you may have been catching some rays at the beach this past summer, our very own Alex Wrona '14 was chasing his dream to play collegiate soccer. I had the opportunity to sit down with Alex as he reminisced on the trip of a lifetime. What did you do this summer? In the beginning of August I left for Poland. I went to train for a pro team there called, Wisła Kraków, and they are a first division team. Wisła Kraków plays in the Ekstraklasa, the highest league in Poland. They are currently in first place in the division. I got the opportunity to train with their Youth Team and I moved my way up to the Reserves where I spent most of my time. We trained twice a day, 8 to 9 times a week—which is very different than in the states. In the states I train 3 times a week with my Oakwood Team. But I also train 5 times a week before school “one on one” with my father, who was also a professional coach. Poland was a very different environment; very professional. The players and even the fans live and breathe the game. My dad signed a professional contract when he was 17 and I just turned 17 in July. It was a privilege to go over-


seas and train with a Pro team. My dream is to follow my dad’s footsteps and to do what he did. What was the best moment of your trip? When after one of the first team practices I had the honor of meeting Franciszek Smuda who is the First Team Head Coach and the former Polish National Team coach, he then introduced me to the entire 1st team and I got to shake everybody’s hand. Tell me about your decision to play for your club team over Westminster? T he d e c i s ion w a s ve r y dif f icu lt for me. I ca me to Westminster to play for the school

team. I played for my club team, Oakwood Academy, before, but at the time the Academy was not that big of a presence in US Soccer. When the Academy arose, it was a difficult decision because they said I had the choice to play for my high school team or my club team. I didn’t want to lose three months not playing for Academy and so I felt it was in my best interest so I could keep improving. Oakwood is ver y high-level soccer and I thank Mr. Ulrich for giving me the chance to play on the first boys’ team my Third Form year. I am very thankful to him for giving me the opportunity to show myself and to make something of myself. What are your future plans? The whole college process was very stressful for me. A lot of schools I was interested in are far away and it was hard for coaches to see me play. I did my best to stay in touch with them and my choices came down to George Mason, my number one school, and I am currently speaking with VCU and American University. My dream is to play Division I soccer.

I believe in sodium chloride. Not the chemical compound that we commonly refer to as table salt, but the one ingredient that connects sweat and tears. I like the feeling of each pore in my body spitting out liquid like a sprinkler, the feeling of my eyes filling up with water and releasing the weight in one big outburst. I like the capability of controlling my own cure. I returned to my pediatrician’s off ice the seventeenth time for my yearly check up. Everything seemed the same: the 40 minute wait to get called back from the waiting room, the childish school bus wallpaper in the examining room, and the crinkle of the paper as I sat down on the table. The nurse practitioner opened her computer and started to ask the usual questions. “Who do you live with?” “Do you feel safe in your home?” “Do you eat dinner with your family every night?” But this time, one caught me off guard. “How do you deal with stress?” I had been used to the “yes” or “no” answers and now I had to explain myself with more than one word. My mind was spinning. After minutes of silence, the nurse moved on to the next question with eyes full of confusion.

What scared me most about the experience is my own cluelessness to the answer. Clearly, at age seventeen, I am right in the thick of high school drama, academic pressure, and the college admissions process, and it is normal for me to undergo stress. Emulating the movement of saltwater in the ocean, my stress would come in waves and crash heavily down on my shoulders. But apparently, I had always mindlessly dealt with it. I would mindlessly wander to the gym to sweat or mindlessly stand in the shower and cry and never stopped to think about what effect those actions had on the barrier between my sanity and my stress. Some people would say that “rubbing salt in the wound” only makes the pain worse, but for me, the same salt is the crane that lifts the weight off my shoulders. As each individual deals with stress uniquely, you may wonder why I turn to these things. I can give you an answer now. I imagine that in every bead of sweat and each teardrop lies a particle of the source of my heaviness. Every morsel of each sodium chloride mixture releases stress until I feel light again. That is what restores my body. That is my detox.

THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 24, 2013


Summer at Yale School of Medicine

Westminster Davis Scholars

by mae mu l l en '14

by J ames Lee '17 & A ndr ew Lee '17

This su mmer I had t he unique opportunity to spend eight weeks within 30 feet of malaria and the black plague. I was in a program that organized internships for high school students in the labs at the Yale School of Medicine, and I was working in an infectious disease lab. I personally worked with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a very common bacteria that is only dangerous if the host’s immune system is already compromised, like in burn wards of hospitals, or patients with cystic fibrosis. Fun fact: because of a luminescent secretion, Pseudomonas infections glow blue-green in the dark. By inserting antibodies into Pseudomonas from an immunized alpaca named Prince, we were hoping to find a way to identify what makes the bacteria move. It was fascinating, but also really confusing (it took me six of the eight weeks to find out where the spare agar plates, for bacterial cultures, were kept). One of the downsides of the internship was its location, as Yale is an hour and fifteen minutes away from my house. I had to get up over an hour earlier every day than I do during the school year, which made that part of summer not very relaxing. The location was also a huge upside, though. Besides working at Yale

with incredible people, I was in New Haven, which has one of the highest number of restaurants per capita among cities its size. The med school is right next to (and across from, and behind, and even in) Yale-New Haven Hospital, and every day between noon and one almost the entire population of the med school and the hospital would empty out onto one block’s worth of one-way street. All the restaurants in the New Haven area knew that would happen, and there were some days over two dozen food carts out on the sidewalk. Never have I seen so many people in long pants or scrubs out in the sun in hundreddegree weather, calmly waiting in line for their food and casually discussing their hypotheses and how frustrating it was when their protein analyses wouldn’t come out clearly. It was a bit surreal. Also I got to eat cupcakes from a cupcake truck that represented the winner of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. That was surprisingly fun. It was such a relief after the heat and humidity of August in New England to go back into my building and its air conditioning. I was then able to do real science, among real scientists, which was a really cool experience. Even though the least-educated person there besides me was a col-

lege senior, they took my thoughts seriously, and they took the time to explain everything to me. When something went wrong in one of my experiments, I was neither left alone to figure it out myself, nor excluded from the discussion of why the experiment didn’t go as expected. Once we figured out what the best procedure for screening the bacteria for motility changes was, I examined somewhere around 10,000 genetically unique colonies. I found about 15 that exhibited different behavior from the original, unaltered colony. It sounds like a terribly discouraging result, but in fact, 15 of 10,000 is about what we were expecting, because of the very low likelihood that the bit of DNA we had added to the bacteria would happen to affect the bacteria’s motion. Now, one of the lab members is examining those fifteen further to see if the results I obtained are accurate, and if they are, what that means for understanding how the bacteria move. In other words, there is a possibility (a fairly slight one) that this summer I found a way to interrupt bacterial motion that could lead to better understanding of the way that bacteria infects people with compromised immune responses.

Lessons From Uruguay: The Benefits of a Citizen Politician by G e orge D o ol an '15 In recent years, government, Congress specifically, has shown to be ineffective in passing bills. Elected officials remain obligated to what is best for their political party, rather than the greater good of the United States and the qualities of freedom, equality, and change that our country was founded on. The United States Government has always been based on compromise, and the government shutdown shows that compromise no longer exists within Capitol Hill. Perhaps this is because politicians feel compelled to “stay the course”, out of respect to donors to their campaign. In short, politicians of both sides have fallen out of touch with the American people and form their opinions largely on their parties’ agendas rather than what is best for the American citizens. The stability of the American government is what has kept us as a leader in the global setting for so long, and with the government shutdown not having an established end, that time might come to a close. Already, the US is receiving criticism for suspending aid in Egypt. The lack of compromise in the American government shows weakness on an international basis, especially when it is the Americans who step up as leaders in international affairs and

complication. Our leaders are elected to help the country, not their political party. Although we cannot ask that their views be unanimous, we can ask that their views all benefit the people of the United States. Recently, I read an article in The Wall Street Journal by Nicholas Casey, about the Ur u g u ay a n Pr e s id e nt , Jo s e Mujica, who is not only the poorest president in the world, but also the most connected to his people. He sees firsthand the lifestyle of Uruguayans, living on a modest farm on 775 US dollars a month. He donates 90% of his salary to charity and his only security is two policemen outside his house. Although Mujica’s decisions are eccentric and radical, he is clearly more connected to the people of Uruguay than the leaders of the United States are. Mujica recently has promoted a bill to legalize cannabis because he believes that the consumption of the drug is far less costly than drug dealing and gangs in Uruguay. Mujica’s opinions directly prove that his point of view as a politician-citizen greatly improves his position in governing Uruguay. The insight that Mujica has into the lives of the Uruguayans is something that leaders of our country do not have. Although this would mean a drastic change for our leaders,

and is clearly improbable, Mujica’s ethics are something to be considered by politicians. More importantly, Mujica sacrifices his comfort for the sake of his country, something that American leaders should strive to do. Finally, Mujica does what is right for his country, which also benefits him, because he is more part of his country than our leaders are part of our country. B ot h Pr e s id e nt O b a m a and Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, need to adjust their views on the government shutdown. Although there are clearly two ways of perceiving the shutdown, one as Boehner holding Democrats hostage over Obamacare funding, the other being Boehner protecting the debt ceiling and American dependence on our “national credit card”, an agreement must be made soon. Our politicians need to take a lesson from Mujica in dealing with the budget and debt ceiling fights. President Mujica would immediately hold a civilized conversation and be open to all opinions. If our leaders approached conflict with open minds, our government would no longer be shut down.


The current Davis Scholars at Westminster School are: Laila Samy '14 (front row right) is a returning Sixth Former who hails from Cairo, Egypt and enjoys hanging out with her friends, watching Westminster sports and playing squash. Mario Benicky '14 (back row left) is a returning Sixth Former who hails from Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia and enjoys playing hockey any chance he gets. Hieu Do '15 (back row center) is a returning Fifth Former who comes to us from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and enjoys running cross crountry and eating noodles when he is not doing the layout for The Westminster News Gustavs Gerkin '15 (back row right) is a new student this year from Latvia who loves playing sports and looks forward to playing squash in the winter. He has also enjoyed all of the amazing facilties on campus. Nadira Abdilahi '16 (front row left) is a new Fourth Former this year from Hargeisa, Somalia who loves playing field hockey, a sport she has never played before. Westminster School is one of only a few boarding schools that were chosen to take part in the Davis Scholar program, funded by the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund. The goal of the program is to spread an understanding of a variety of cultures the world has to offer and to integrate these cultures throughout boarding schools and across the globe. The students who are offered admission to the Davis schools quickly find their place as part of the community and fill many leadership roles. Besides Westminster School, Ph i l l ips A c a demy A ndover, The Lawrenceville School, The Taft School and Emma Willard School also invite Davis Scholars to spend a year on their campuses. Each school recruits its own students, usually four to ten at a time. The primar y goal of the Davis Scholarship program is to give scholarships to foreigners who deserve a chance to experience something new at one of the top boarding schools on the East Coast. The Davis Scholar Program provides a full scholarship at any of the participating boarding schools and colleges. Davis Scholars also receive scholarship for half of the tuition for select colleges, including all Ivy League schools. The prog ra m ha s opened up ma ny doors for the Davis Scholars in our Westminster community, one of whom is Mario Benicky, a Sixth former from Liptorsky, Slovakia. Wanting a chance to pursue his passion of hockey and to perform at the highest level, while at the same time pursuing

the most challenging academic career possible, Mario sent out e-mails to the participating Davis Scholars program schools. Mario chose Westminster over the other David Scholar schools, because “Westminster not only has a rigorous academic program, but they also have a fantastic hockey program”. Throughout each of the Westminster News conversations with the current Davis Scholars, a constant message was present: the Davis Scholars agreed that the program has made a positive difference in their lives and has allowed them to reach places they had never thought they could reach, as well as to learn at a stateof-the-art institution that provides the best facilities and faculty possible. “The Davis Scholar program is great. It has allowed me to pursue my dream, which is to be able to play hockey at the highest level I can possibly achieve, and to be able to get a great education at a great school, which is in the top five percent in America,” Mario explains. Hieu Do '15, a Davis Scholar from Vietnam and current Vice President of the Fourth Form, agrees that the scholarship can be a life changing experience. “The Davis Scholarship has allowed me to travel to the United States and experience a great education and meet new people,” he says. It is evident throughout the experience of Westminster’s students that the Davis Scholarship has successfully incorporated many cultures into the schools, as well as providing the scholars a chance to an excellent education

THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 24, 2013


Dear Sage Dear Sage, I am so awkward. Everything I do somehow puts me in an awkward situation. Take the other day for instance. I am at the salad bar, trying to make a simple PB&J sandwich. As I reach over for some jelly, I knock into a teacher ladling up some soup. The jelly flies off my spoon and into the bowl of chicken noodle. How is that even possible? And what do I do now when that teacher is my study hall proctor? Bring them some soup? Sincerely, Frazzled fresh Dear Frazzled, Everyone gets into awkward situations, even, if you find it hard to believe, me. What you have to do is just laugh it off. Tell the teacher you’re sorry, get him or her a new bowl of soup, and move on. Trust me, you are not the first awkward student this teacher has encountered after working at a boarding school for x number of years. I promise you this will not be the last, or the most embarrassing, awkward moment you will have. Also, if this teacher does happen to be at your study hall, why don’t you bring them a nice PB&J? Sincerely, Sage

Dear Sage, I am so tired. I just can’t seem to get enough sleep. Even when I try to go to bed early I can’t fall asleep, or I keep waking up. I’ve tried every form of sleep medication out there and nothing seems to help. Even melatonin doesn’t work for me anymore. Any advice? Sincerely, Ready to Drop Dear Ready, Sounds like you have the typical return-to-boarding-life fever. My advice is just to push through. Try to sleep when you can. Use your sleep-ins. Go to bed early. Or, if this just doesn’t work for you, you can go the other route. Don’t sleep at all. I mean, who needs sleep when Wal-Mart sells multi-packs of 5-hour Energy? Red Bull works too. If you want to go healthier, get the Cliff Shot Blocks, Gatorade also sells similar chewies. You have to eat these more frequently though. By doing this you will just get so tired that you’ll have to sleep. Sweet dreams (or not), Sage Dear Sage, Yesterday I was almost hit by a car. On campus! This has happened not once, but several

Sleeping Habits times to me in the past couple weeks. I thought people had to take Driver’s Ed. in this state? Whatever the case is, people have to watch where they’re going. Sincerely, Soon-to-be Road Kill Dear Soon, Maybe it isn’t the drivers. Maybe you should watch where you’re going. I find that students on campus think it is okay to walk in the street. Yes, most of the time there aren’t cars, but there is also this thing called the sidewalk. And although the high population of New Yorkers on campus may think it okay to jaywalk, news flash there are cross walks, and where do you possibly need to be in such a hurry that you have to run across the street? Heed Mr. Huguley’s advice and stay to the side. Sincerely, Sage

Send Sage your questions!

by nadr ina ebr ahimi '15

With all of the homework, tests, afternoon commitments, and clubs Westminster students have to keep up with, they barely have time to sleep during the school year. Summer is the time for Westy students, and teachers, to catch up on their sleep. THe News asked forty students and teachers about their sleeping habits. When asked what the latest time they woke up over the summer was, their answers ranged from 6:15 o’clock A.M. to 4:15 P.M. The overall average time woke up was 10:53 AM. The latest time teachers woke up averaged to 8:10 AM. Students, on average, woke up at 12:20 PM at the latest. Girls on average slept until 12.01, compared to boys who slept until 12:34. The overall average is about eight and a half hours of sleep per

night in the summer and six and a half hours during the school year. During the summer, teachers had about 7 hours of sleep per night and 6.14 hours of sleep during the school year. Students had 9.3 hours of sleep during the summer compared to only 6.7 hours of sleep during the school year. Girls had nine hours of sleep during the summer and 6.5 during the school year, compared to boys who had 9.7 hours of sleep during the summer and 6.9 during the school year. The difference in hours of sleep in the summer and during the school year is much greater for students than for teachers. Students slept 2.7 more hours during the summer year than during the school year. Teachers only slept 0.85 more hours during the summer than during the school year.

A Taste of Westy: Halloween treats

George Crawford

by Taite puha l a '14

Continued from Page 4

It’s October, the leaves are changing, and Halloween is right around the corner. In honor of this most haunted of holidays, I bring you spooky recipes from the Taste of Westy repertoire. Gingerdead Men W hat a cute name for a recipe, right? These are just gingerbread men (and delicious ones at that) decorated appropriately for Halloween. You can cut them with a cookie cutter or freehand for a more rustic look. You could make royal icing, but I’m not going to tell you how to do that. Buy it at the store, it’s easier. 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon baking powder 2 teaspoons ground ginger 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon ¾ teaspoon ground cloves pinch finely ground pepper (optional) ¾ teaspoon coarse salt 1 stick unsalted butter (at room temperature) ½ cup packed dark-brown sugar 1 large eggs ½ cup molasses Royal icing (for decorating)

Whisk together f lour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Cream butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl (if you don’t have a mixer, melt the butter and do it by hand with a large spatula or spoon). Mix in eggs and molasses. Add f lour mixture, mixing on low until just combined. Divide the dough into half and wrap in plastic or use a Ziploc bag. Refrigerate until firm, at least one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into whatever shapes you want. Spread two inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat, and refrigerate until the cookies firm up again, about 15 minutes. Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool. When cool, decorate! Use the royal icing to pipe designs on your cookies. If you shaped them into ghosts, fill in with the white icing and leave just the eyes. Or, if you used traditional gingerbread men cookie cutters, draw on skeletons or mummy wrapping. The possibilities are endless! Candy Corn Popcorn Balls I secretly love getting popcorn balls on Halloween. These would be fun to make as a group, since messy food brings people together.

1 bag plain popcorn, popped 1 ½ cups of candy corn (just add however much you like) 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional) Pinch salt 4 cups mini marshmallows (about 2/3 of a bag) 4 tablespoons butter In a large bowl, mix the popped popcorn and the candy corn. Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the marshmallows to the melted butter (you’ll want a large bowl for this as well), and microwave again until melted. Stop and stir regularly, because the marshmallows might not look melted until you stir. Once the mixture is liquefied, add the vanilla and salt. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and candy corn, and stir to combine. Wait a minute so that you don’t burn your hands, but don’t wait too long or the whole thing will seize up. Grab a handful of the mixture and form it into a ball. Push it together firmly or it will fall apart. You may want to spray your hands with cooking spray if the marshmallows stick. After you finish a ball, place it on a nonstick surface (like a plate splayed with cooking spray) and move on to the next one. Allow the balls to firm up at room temperature before eating.

a published report. In my research project, I studied the non-human factors affecting sea turtles in a given pristine environment. We compiled the research into a report that will be published by the Fisheries Conservation Foundation as of January 1st, 2014. To build a greater connection between Island School students and local residents, we volunteered at the local middle school. Once a week, I worked with a 6th grader on a community health project studying the effects and treatment of diabetes on the island. Spending time in a very low-income environment helped me realize the value of some things I used to take for granted every day. The physical aspects of The Island School were also demanding. I ran several miles and swam long distances in open water regularly. This physical activity culminated in a four-mile swim off the shores of the campus at the end of the term. I completed the four-mile swim in 2 hours and 17 minutes and finished 7th out of 48 participants – students and faculty included. During my semester at The Island School, I also became a certified scuba diver and went freediving regularly. At my the peak, I was able to freedive to approximately 70 feet at the deepest for 65 seconds on one breath. Learning to freedive is one of my most valued abilities. Another of the most memo-

rable parts of the semester was the 8 day kayak trip around the southern tip of the island which included a 2 day solo. For my solo, I camped alone on an isolated beach, far from any other people from the program or any civilization. With me, I had six liters of water, an apple, half a bagel, a block of cheese, and the natural environment for 49 hours. Along with the four-mile swim, this solo was one of the most challenging parts of the program. I spent hours building a shelter out of palm fronds and other material I discovered along the shore. As I attempted to ration my food, I swam, explored, slept, and probably spent about eight hours total (nearly twenty percent of my time) opening two thick coconuts. As I talked to myself on the sandy, white beach, I realized the value of naturally born food. The 100 days I spent at The Island School are definitely some of the best in my life. I became mentally and physically stronger, and more confident in what I can accomplish. My understanding and awareness of natural resources we take for granted grew each day. I made some great friends and learned new skills. I became more resourceful. The oldest graduate of The Island School is 31. I am proud to be an alum.

The Westminster News