Page 1

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Westminster School Simsbury, CT 06070

Vol. 106 No. 1

Fall Snapshots


New Faculty Interviews

John Morello: Dirt

by E L E N A L I E-A- C H E O N G '17 & G eena k im ' 2 0

A One Man Show of Substance Abuse and Making Choices

Getting to know Westminster’s New Faculty Members ARTS EDITOR & CONTRIBUTOR


New faculty portrait. Westminster News had the pleasure of interviewing Westy’s new faculty. Answers varied, and some certainly surprised us, but when asked the question, “What aspect about Westy speaks to you?”, they all agreed that Westminster’s welcoming community made them feel comfortable and at home.


Ms. Morgan: Q: What do you teach and/ or coach at Westminster? A : I te a c h Frenc h a nd Spanish and am the Assistant Coach for Girls’ XC. Q:W here d id you work

before arriving on the Hill? A:Immediately before coming to Westminster, I worked at the Watk inson School in Hartford. But in my former life, before I became a teacher, I was a fashion merchandise planner for Q: What aspect about Westy speaks to you? A: I love the spirit of community at Westminster. It really does feel like one enormous family! Q: What do you like to do in your free time? A: Reading a novel always feels really luxurious. I love catch-

New International Students Interview Soccer at Westminster Ask A Senior: Sam Monte

page 5 page 7 page 8

ing up with family and friends whenever I get an opportunity. I also love exploring new places and learning new languages! Q: What is something that no students know about you? A: In my past life, I was a violist/violinist and my former chamber group even performed at Carnegie Hall. I also was a serious dancer in high school, racking up 25+ hours of training a week. I used to dance for the Alabama Contemporary Dance Company and guest starred with the Chuck Davis African American Dance Company. I wanted to dance for Alvin Ailey! Q:What was your favorite class back when you were a student? A: French and Spanish obviously! I was also a really big math and science student. Ms. Barillon: Q:What do you teach and/ or coach at Westminster? A:I teach French (3 Honors, AP, and independent study). Continued on page 2

by F iona fan '18 COMMUNITY CO-EDITOR

Born in Detroit and raised in Boston, John Morello has been on stage for fifteen years as an actor and comedian. Despite being a high-school dropout, he obtained his BA degree in Theatre Arts, and has been traveling and performing around the country for twelve years. Morello considers himself a survivor of a “highrisk” childhood, during which he was exposed to friends and family members who struggled with substance abuse and addiction. Additionally, as a teacher in a treatment centre, he witnessed many students battle self-harm and self-medication. His response to these experiences was to give a voice to these people’s feelings on a stage where everyone can connect and feel less alone on their journey through life. This past month, Westminster had the pleasure of hosting Morello’s critically acclaimed one-man show “Dirt” in Werner Centennial Centre. Through the portrayal of relat-

Insights into Travels done by a new freshman!

able and memorable characters, Morello explored challenges and decisions that young people face on a regular basis. “Dirt” got to the heart of difficult issues, including bullying, drugs, and self esteem, in a way that was real and meaningful, yet comedic at the same time. More than just a “motivational” presentation, this show inspires people to ref lect upon the choices they make in their daily lives, not only about how they treat their peers, but also about how they treat themselves. Everyone in the Westminster community thoroughly appreciated “Dirt,” as it took them on a rollercoaster of emotions, causing laughter at some points and tears during others. In lieu of preaching, teaching, or lecturing, Morello took the audience on a powerful journey that will undoubtedly resonate in students’ and the faculty’s minds alike for a long time.


THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 20, 2016


Community News Cushing Apartment Life

Marilyn Nelson

A Returning Westminster Poet

What Happens When Four People Live in One Room?

by M I K E riBerdy '18 & A L B E R T gao '18

by donatella M A N C I N O N E '18




Marilyn Nelson, an A me r ic a n p o e t , t r a n s l a tor, and professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut, is our visiting poet for 2016-2017. This is the second time Nelson will be a Westminster poet. After earning a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, she composed a plenitude of poetry for both adult and adolescent audiences. Among the twenty-four books Nelson has authored or translated, many were winners of a variety of awards. She has received the 1998 Poets’ Prize, the 2005 Boston Globe/ Horn Book Award, and the 2013 Milton Kessler Poetry Award, a mong others. She wa s a lso awarded the 2012 Frost Medal for

“distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry”. Nelson continues to deliver interesting material to be used as food for thought. In “Faster than Light”, a collection of poems which includes “A Wreath for Emmett Till”, she, through her subject matter, provokes readers to consider motifs, such as time; life and death; ownership; racism; realism vs. idealism; and others. Nelson’s collection of books also includes those that she has translated, such as “The Thirteenth Month”, by Inge Pedersen (originally written in Danish), “The Ladder”, illustrated by Pierre Pratt, written by Halfdan Rasmussen (also originally written in Danish). Of her translations and collaborations, many are children’s books. Compositions such as “A Wreath for Emmett Till”, and “How I Discovered Poetry”, are also illustrated. Nelson also writes from a variety of perspectives, ranging different periods in the checkered history of America. We are excited to welcome Marilyn Nelson to Westminster later this year.

Most students on campus know what dorm life is like. But what about living in an apartment? This year, Emma Lange, Emily Samar, and Lilly Holmes live in one apartment together, and Nadia Lee, Lauren Nam, Chloe Sealy, and Mia Stevens live in another. This is what they had to say about living in an apartment in Cushing. Q: Why did you choose an apartment? Lauren Nam: So I could live with the three of my friends and have a fridge! Lilly Holmes: To be closer to the dining hall, armour, and to focus on sports and academics without outside conflict. Emma Lange: Cushing is so convenient, the teachers in this dorm are the best, and it’s where we knew we would be the most efficient in getting our work done. Chloe Sealy: To have more space for my shoes and drinks! Mia Stevens: I chose the apartment because for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to live with three of my

friends and also I really wanted a regular sized fridge. Q: Do you fight with your friends more or less now that you all live together? Lilly Holmes: Less Emma Lange: Less or equal Chloe Sealy: Before this we basically lived together already so it is very similar to what we had before, except now Lauren stays the night every night. Nadia Lee: We’ve never really fought, even before living together. If anything, the apartment has brought us closer together. Mia Stevens: We have not gotten into an argument yet, or even last year. However, while I was writing this my roommates were being annoying. Q: What’s the best thing about living in an apartment? Lauren Nam: We have things to ourselves. For example, we have our own bathroom, living room , and of course, the kitchen. The random dance sessions that we all have in our living room are a big plus. Lilly Holmes: Living with my

closest friends without any outside or inside conflict. Emma Lange: I get to live in it with my best friends… and there’s a full size fridge. Nadia Lee: We have our own bathroom which is great because we know how to keep it clean. Mia Stevens: Everything we need is right here. We have a living room, a study room, and our own bathroom. Q: What’s the worst thing? Lauren Nam: There’s nothing bad about the apartment! Lilly Holmes: Not being close to my friends in Gund. Emma Lange: No A/C and the loud heat pipes. Chloe Sealy: None of us like to do chores but we all hate dirty rooms so it all comes down to who can hold out the longest before picking up the cups off the table. Nadia Lee: There is nothing bad about living in the apartment.

Student Opinions on Family Style Lunch Two Martlets Cross Swords Over the Controversial New Dining Plan

Editorial Board

by spencer O RG A N '18 & al b ert G AO '18 CONTRIBUTOR & STAFF WRITER

Gao, Boarding Student: The school ’s addition of family style lunches to the new schedule next year is not beneficial. Despite its seemingly advantageous outcomes, such as more free time in the afternoons, the system will worsen our experience of Westminster meals. Lack of sufficient food, loss of freedom of communication with friends, and experience of lunchtime dishroom duties are just a few examples of the flaws of the new family style lunches. For full engagement in afternoon programs, all Westminster athletes need enough energy from lunches. However, as we are all aware, the formality of family style meals prevents us from getting enough food because we need to be polite. Our current family style dinners are not too problematic since we can order food from local restaurants as an alternative. We would most likely lose that option if we have such lunches. In addition, for many students, lunch represents invaluable time to hang out with friends. The existence of family style lunches, however, would take away a precious opportunity to sit with

friends during meals. Unlike family style lunches, buffet lunches provide us with more freedom in terms of time management, since we are allowed to leave the dining hall and finish our homework as soon as we finish eating. It’s not hard to predict that Black & Gold and chamber choir will be a lot more competitive next year! Alternatively, we could have family st yle lunches only on Mondays and Thursdays, so that our Tuesday and Friday classes don’t have to end as late as 3:15 p.m.. We could also maintain the weekly family style dinners and keep our school traditions distinct from other boarding schools in New England. Organ, Day Student: Family style lunches are a welcome addition to the experience of Westminster students, and especially appreciated by day students. Although the topic does seem to be controversial, it is evident that the day students benefit greatly from the new changes. Firstly, by eating at family style, we will be able to participate in an integral aspect of Westminster’s culture. This

allows the average day student to be able to eat dinner on campus every night without dealing with the occasional family style dinner. These dinners really throw a wrench in the plans of most day students regarding dinner on campus. The addition of the family style lunch makes after school hours better for the day student population. Another argument against the addition for the family style lunch is the assigned seating. Most people think this is a downgrade from the current system, but in fact it is an upgrade. It allows kids from all forms to get to know one another at an important social activity such as lunch. This in turn will allow the community to bond together in a way never before seen. All in all, the addition of Family Style lunches gives day students more freedom and allows the community to bond together in an innovative way.

Co-Editors-in-Chief Hyeonjo Jeong '17 & Jackson Andrews '17 Connor Seeley '18 Matt Cosentino '18

Technology Layout

Josh Cosentino '18 Nick Wee '18

Assistant Layout John Rao '17 Conor Seeley '18


Teagan Stedman '18 Mike Riberdy '18

Community Sarah Minella'16 Fiona Fan '16


Alex Aiello '17 Abigayle Hovey '18 Elena Lie '17


News Sports


Sean Ryan '18 Ryan Lee '18

Katie Kosior '18

Faculty Advisor Lawrence Court Claudia Morgan

Staff Writers Albert Gao '18

Eugene Kim '19

Donatella Mancinone '18

Contributors Sam Monte '17 Kate Lovas '18 Indira Marzbani '18 Spencer Organ '18 Sofia Morales '19 Annie Sherbacow '19 The Westminster News prints between 250 to 500 copies, issued six to eight times per school year. The News is offered for free to students (65 Third Formers, 110 Fourth Formers, 110 Fifth Formers, and 110 Sixth Formers), faculty and staff (150), and is also available online. 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. Articles

Geena Kim '20 Scott Lee '20 Henry Mitrano '20 Wes Oltsch '20 Justin Parsons '20 Vernita Zhai '20 are published at the discretion of The News which reserves the right to edit all submissions for length, clarity, or factual accuracy. Anyone interested in contributing to The Westminster News should contact Hyeonjo Jeong '17 or Jackson Andrews '17, or any member of the Editorial Board for information on how to submit writing, photographs, etc. The Westminster News is associated with the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

Contact Us: The Westminster News © 2016 Westminster School 995 Hopmeadow St. Simsbury, CT  06070-1880

THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 20, 2016


Community News New Faculty Interviews Continued from Page 1 Q:W here d id you work before arriving on the Hill? A: Last year I was working with special needs kids at Webster Hill Elementary School in West Hartford (Kindergarten and grade 3). I had a wonderful and very rewarding experience with amazing children! Q: What aspect about Westy speaks to you? A: The welcoming atmosphere of the Westminster community is something very unique; I immediately felt comfortable! Q: What do you like to do in your free time? A: I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, playing tennis, and going on big hikes with my dog Izzy. Q: What is something that no students know about you? A: Twenty years ago a good friend of mine and I wrote a children’s book in French that was never published. She did the drawing and I did the writing. Q: What was your favorite class back when you were a student? A: My favorite class was with Madame Enrici, my 6 grade French teacher in France. She always had a smile on her face, was always available, and I still remember some of her stories after all these years! Mr. Gomez: Q: What do you teach and/or coach at Westminster? A : I a m c u r r e nt l y a n Associate Director of Admissions. I will be coaching Squash in the winter and Track in the spring. Q: W here did you work before arriving on the Hill?

A: I was a member of Teach for America, working at a charter school called Democracy Prep in NYC. My first year I taught kindergarten and my second year I taught 2nd grade. Q: What aspect about Westy speaks to you? A: The close-knit community at Westy is something that has always attracted me to this campus. As a student here, I felt like I was part of a family and that was very important for me. Q: What do you like to do in your free time? A: In my free time I like to watch Yankee games, play pickup soccer, and play squash. I also love to hike and travel. You will also find me watching football every Sunday in my apartment in Alumni. Q: What is something that no students know about you? A: I use to crush tap dancing when I was younger. My dad use to tape coke bottle tops to the bottom of my shoes and I would dance away. Q: What was your favorite class back when you were a student? A: My favorite class was AP Comp Gov with Ms. Heckman or A P French with Madame Deveaux. Mr. Court: Q: What do you teach and/or coach at Westminster? A: I am teaching English, Chairing the English Depa r t ment , he a d i n g Field Hockey, and co-chaperoning for the Newspaper. Q: W here did you work before arriving on the Hill?

A: I have taught at Oundle School and Eton College in England, Collegiate School in R ichmond, VA, and Hopkins School in New Haven, CT. Q: What aspect about Westy speaks to you? A: This school is similar in size and ethos to the high school I attended as a student. That means that it feels comfortable in all ways. Q: What do you like to do in your free time? A: I like to read, fish, hunt, and spend time with my family. Q: What is something that no students know about you? A: I once worked a whole summer cleaning dishes. It was great fun. Q: What was your favorite class back when you were a student? A: English was my favorite class. I particularly enjoyed Shakespeare and writers like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Hardy, Conrad, Ibsen, Chekhov, Hardy, Lawrence, and Yeats. Ms. Walsh: Q: What do you teach and/ or coach at Westminster? A: I teach fourth and sixth form English and coach Varsity Ice Hockey and JV Girls Lax. Q: W here did you work before arriving on the Hill? A: Before coming to Westminster, I worked at a small day school in Danbury, CT called The Wooster School. Q: What aspect about Westy speaks to you? A: As an alum, there’s a lot about Westminster that speaks

The Intelligent Coalition

Ms Sisk: Q: What do you teach and/or coach at Westminster? A: Two precalculus classes. Q: W here did you work before arriving on the Hill? A: I was actually a math tutor for 10 years at Westminster as well as a long-term substitute math teacher at Northwest Catholic High school. I also worked as an underwriter for the Chubb Group of Insurance. Q: What aspect about Westy speaks to you? A: The students. Through my tutoring at Westminster, I have enjoyed working with and getting to know some wonderful students over the years. Q:What do you like to do in your free time? A: Watching my children’s sporting events and hiking with my dog. Q: What is something that no students know about you? A: I was planning on studying to become a doctor but I kept passing out at the sight of blood. Q: What was your favorite class back when you were a student? A: A P Calculus with my favorite teacher, Mr. Charmers.

Rand Richards Cooper and Sarah Minella Impress at the First Friday Night Reading

by C onnor S eele y '18 NEWS EDITOR

Globa l For u m prov ide s Westminster students with the opportunity to discuss pressing domestic and international affairs with both classmates and faculty. Participants in Global Forum represent the entirety of the political spectrum, from far-left liberals to hard-right conservatives. The environment produces intense, though well intentioned, conversations. Every member of Global Forum, regardless of age or experience, an equal opportunity to participate and hold their own in the group. This year’s Global Forum coheads, Artur Szopa '17, John Kuzminskas '18, and Emmett de Kanter '19, are tasked with delivering an exciting year of discussion topics. They started off on a strong note, moderating a discussion focused on the rising tensions between the US and

Mr. Curtis: Q: What do you teach and/ or coach at Westminster? A: I teach Global History. This fall I’m helping coach football and in the spring I will be the head lacrosse coach. I also am one of the college counselors. Q: W here did you work before arriving on the Hill? A: For the last ten years, I have been the head men’s lacrosse c oac h at t he Un iver sit y of Vermont. Q: What aspect about Westy speaks to you? A: The Community; you feel right away that this is a special place. Q: What do you like to do in your free time? A: Play with my kids and dogs. Q: What is something that no students know about you? A: I lived with an indigenous

tribe in the Ecuadorian Amazon for a week. Q: What was your favorite class back when you were a student? A: Geometry and History.

Friday Night Reading

Global Forum North Korea. Preparing nights in advance, students came to the first meeting with opinionated views on North Korea’s nuclear capability, the future of leader Kim Jong Un, and the mounting humanitarian crisis in the nation. Some students advocated for immediate military action, while others said that the US should turn its attention to Kim Jong Un, deeming their nuclear missiles as “empty threats”. Even extreme proposals, such as an elite, “Interview”-esque task force to assassinate the leader, were entertained. Regardless of where any individual stood on the topic, the debate was fierce, yet remained intelligent and civil. The second meeting of the year revolved around the crisis in Syria. Most of the conversation focused on the humanitarian and military issues there. All members

to me. Mostly, I believe all of the faculty and staff that work here truly care about each other and the students more than anything else. Q: What do you like to do in your free time? A: In my free time I like to play sports, read, write, and hang out with my friends. Q: What is something that no students know about you? A: I have a fake tooth. Q: What was your favorite class back when you were a student? A: My favorite class was Mr. Eckerson’s Moral Philosophy class; it was one of the classes that first inspired me to become a teacher!

agreed that the situation was dire, but the question, “To accept refugees or not to accept refugees?”, was hotly disputed. Whether or not to promote US intervention in the stalemate, multi-faceted fighting on the ground in Syria was also a topic of hot debate Westminster’s Global Forum program is an oft-frequent watering hole for Westminster’s most active political minds. It provides a diverse, international group with a safe environment to discourse on the issues of the day. It also serves as a place for the Model United Nations team to hone the debate skills that are so crucial for the trip to Yale University in February. Regardless of political view, form, or debating experience, Global Forum is an inclusive and thought provokinh place to be.

by A nnie S her b acow '19 CONTRIBUTOR

On Friday, October 7th, Rand Richards Cooper was the featured guest for the school year’s first Friday Night Reading Series in Gund Reading Room. The Gund Series provides a chance for locals, as well as members of the Westminster community, to listen to the work of talented authors and students. Cooper is an accomplished writer who has been published by the New York Times, along with many other magazines. He briefly spoke about his career and read one of his many personal essays - a description of an experience he had in a hospital while shadowing his neurosurgeon father and how it impacted his perspective on life. The following day, a number of Westminster students were fortu-

nate enough to attend an English class with Cooper, where they had the opportunity to ask questions and gain a deeper knowledge of his work. Sarah Minella, a sixth form day student, also read. She was the recipient of the 2016 Brian Ford Writing Award last May. The award required her to compose a piece over the summer to read at the first Gund event of the year. She is already an extremely accomplished writer, and this was her second time reading at a Gund Reading event. Both Rand Richards Cooper and Sarah Minella did an excellent job starting off the new year of Friday Night Readings in Gund.

THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 20, 2016


Community Black Light Dance

A Perfectly Wild Rave to Cap-off a Festive Start to the Term by geena k im ' 2 0 & vernita zhai ' 2 0 CONTRIBUTORS


On September 17th, less than two weeks into the school year, Martlets from around campus gathered for the highly-anticipated ‘Blacklight dance’. With the theme of ‘bright and tight’, many students were extremely creative (albeit revealing) in their approach, with some even ‘DIYing’ their outfits. During the disco, everyone got groovy and ‘lit’, thanks to a diverse array of music, which included everything from iconic EDM tracks to 2000’s throwback songs. Overall, it was both a valuable bonding experience for new students and a fun way to kick off the new year for returners.

Swedish ASSIST Student Johanna From Sweden to America, Adjustment to the New Culture by I ndira M arz b ani '18 CONTRIBUTOR

in America is bigger, which I quite like. The portions are bigger, the coffee sizes are bigger, and the fruit and vegetables are bigger too. Also, people are nicer and generally more friendly, even strangers.”


Johanna with her roommate Becca and Johanna back in Sweden. self.

Q: Tell me a bit about your-

A: “My name is Johanna Hultin, I am eighteen years old, and I come from Sweden. I have a younger brother and two dogs named Ritva and Harriet. I live twenty minutes outside of the Stockholm CBD in Bromma, which is a small bordering part of the city.” Q: What is life in Sweden

like? How is it similar/different to America? A: “Living in Stockholm is very different to Simsbury; there is always something fun to do and places to explore. On weekends, me and my friends take the train into the city and go to museums, concerts, or ‘fikas’, which are nice cafes that we are very famous for. America is very different to Sweden in so many ways, and especially in size. Everything

Q: W hat is your favorite thing about America? A: “My favorite thing is definitely how friendly people are. I like that strangers will just come up and talk to you and that people are interested in your life even though you may never see them again. People in Sweden are a lot more reserved and shy, and wouldn’t simply approach you and start a conversation with you. I also really like the food here because although there is a lot of junk food, if you want to be healthy, you can.” Q: What is your least favorite thing about America?

“I guess what I don’t like about Simsbury, specifically, is how far away everything is. I’m used to walking to places, which I really miss. Here, things are very spread out.” Q: How was your school different to Westminster? A: “Back home, I go to a public day school in the city. I take a train there everyday, which is very different to living on campus, but I quite like it. Also, all education is free, so we don’t have private schools. You have to be more independent in Sweden, because the workload is less, but harder. Here you are more tutored and more monitored.” Q: Do you ever get homesick? What do you miss most? A: “Yes, I miss my friends the most, along with the comfort of knowing everything and the security that comes with familiarity. I

miss constantly being in my comfort zone.” Q: What about your country do you think would surprise Americans the most? A: “We have a lot more influence on the world than people think. There have been many situations where people became extremely surprised when I mention that something popular and well-known in America is actually Swedish, such as Spotify.” Q: What would you change about America? A: “In Sweden, there aren’t any of the crazy scandals that happen in America. In Sweden, people are more trusting of the political system and government. Maybe it would be a good thing if people were more trusting of them here in America.”

THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 20, 2016


New International Students A Look into the Lives of a Few Students from All Over the World Profiles of 10 of the new international students by F I O N A FA N '18 & K AT E L OVA S '18 COMMUNITY CO-EDITOR & CONTRIBUTOR

International Students who live in Edge. Natalie Fay '19 Natalie is from the British Virgin Islands. She has two older brothers, four dogs, and two cats, whom she misses a lot. She lives in Cushing and particularly enjoys Westy’s welcoming nature and sense of community. During the afternoon, she is either rehearsing for the play, swimming, watching Netflix, or chatting with friends. She looks forward to meeting lots of new people and continuing to transition into life at Westminster. Hayden Fox '19 Hayden is from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He is currently on the Varsity Football team, but


lacrosse, which he enjoys playing in his free time, is his main sport. His favourite part of Westy is how lit the stud parties are, and he doesn’t miss home at all because “#westy4life”. He has also been “spending racks” on food - specifically Brookside - which isn’t much of a surprise. Geena Kim '20 Geena is from Seoul, South Korea. She has a younger brother as well as a twin brother. What she loves about Westy so far is how nice all the teachers are; and the fact that ice cream is served every day in the dining hall. Although she enjoys the dining

hall, she has ordered a lot of food from local favourites like People’s Choice, Sakimura, and Main Moon. Michelle Kim '20 Michel le is f rom Seou l, South Korea and lives in Edge. She enjoys listening to music during her free time, and plays on thirds soccer for her fall afternoon program. Her favourite part of Westy is that proximity of good restaurants, as well as the Starbucks downtown. She has already spent a lot - almost too much - on Sakimura, Main Moon, Starbucks, Popover, and many other restaurants. She misses her friends at home. Andrea Kostic '18 Andrea is from Serbia. Her twin brother is Nicola Kostic '18. Volleyball is her main sport but this season she plays on thirds soccer. She was surprised at how friendly and welcoming everyone has been, which has made her transition much easier than she anticipated. Although she misses her friends, family, and the food back home, she is eager to learn about new cultures and to be a part of such an inclusive community. Scott Lee '20 Scott is from Seoul, South Korea. He has a younger sister

and an older brother, Ryan Lee '18. For his afternoon program he plays on fourths soccer, and is making lots of new friends. One thing that was surprising to him was the “mysterious sport called lacrosse”. He has ordered three times from Attilios so far, but really misses food from home because Korean food is delicious. Myrrha Lemiere '19 Myrrha is from France. She has one brother. This autumn, she is part of Dramat. She loves that everyone here looks after and helps each other. She misses her friends and family back home, as well as the food. However, because she really likes Asian food, she’s been able to order Chinese and Japanese multiple times this year. Angelesia Ma '20 Angelesia is from Shanghai, China. She has been dancing for eight years and really loves it, so she chose it to be her afternoon activity. She has found that the students and faculty of Westminster are very welcoming and helpful in adjusting to a new environment. She already feels at home here! However, she does miss her old friends and family, the sounds of city life, bubble tea, and Chinese food in general. Something that no one really

knows about her is that she is very clingy. Dorka Nagy '19 Dorka is from Hungary. She is helping out the tech crew for the play. Her favourite part about Westy is how kind and helpful everyone is, and she likes how there is never a dull moment on campus. She misses her family the most. Something she keeps hidden from them is her extensive knowledge of curse words in different languages (such as Bosnian) because she has made so many friends from all over the world. Her favourite kind of pizza is tuna pizza, which she loves even though everyone else finds it gross. Vernita Zhai '20 Vernita was born in Australia but grew up in Shanghai, China. She is more artistic than sporty, so she is doing tech for the play in the afternoons. In her free time, she likes to watch YouTubers, catch up on TV shows, read, and listen to music. Her favourite part about Westy is that cereal is available for all three meals, but she misses seeing skyscrapers everywhere, and city life in general. She has a lot of nerdy quirks, such as being able to answer any trivia question about Marvel superheroes or Harry Potter.

Student Travels Experience and Reflection Shaping Perception by V ernita Z hai ' 2 0 CONTRIBUTOR


Pictures taken by Vernita during her travels.

When I was nine, I traveled to Greece, the cradle of Western civilization. Upon stepping foot in Athens, I was immediately spellbound by the city’s rich cultural persona. Not only was I mesmerized by the juxtaposition of iconic ancient Greek architecture with the dynamic bustle of city life, I was also deeply fascinated by the city’s history, spending hours in museums sketching the marble statues of gods and goddesses or learning about the fantastical tales of the Olympians. In Santorini, I was in awe of the idyllic scener y: white buildings topped with cerulean domes and scintillating oceans awash with the crimson splashes of dusk. It was also there that I tried kokoretsi for the first time: a surprisingly delicious range of lamb organs compressed together. Although this may sound like just another fun family trip, it was truly a significant milestone for me. It was during this trip that I

discovered my love for traveling, which, in turn, has instilled in me an appreciation for the wider world. While traveling has allowed me to appreciate some of the most spectacular sights in the world, it has also opened my eyes to another facet of society. The media often provides distant glimpses into environmental and humanitarian issues, but traveling has allowed me to see, and even experience, some of these issues first-hand. In 2013, I went on an unforgettable trip to Tanzania. The image of Masai children begging for food is still indelibly engraved in my mind. Our tour guide told us we should not respond to them as it would create a negative dependency on tourists to provide food and water. Although it was a valid point, not being able to help frustrated me. In retrospect, I ca n say that many of the memories I hold nearest and dearest to my

heart were made while traveling: sketching Neuschwanstein in Bavaria despite the freezing weather; walking through the resplendent halls of Versailles; crawling up the seemingly endless steps of Potala Palace in Lhasa; reading in the bookstore at Har vard Square; learning about the history of the papacy in Vatican City; singing songs by the bonfire underneath the starry night sky of the Serengeti. Traveling binds. Traveling enlightens. Traveling inspires. Traveling is a privilege. It is a catalyst for personal growth and a means of self-discovery. It has developed my perspective and removed many of my prejudices and preconceptions. Whether you are a natural explorer or a formerly hopeless homebody like me, you will undoubtedly find something invaluable, gratifying and broadening in the act of traveling.

THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 20, 2016


Technolog y How Necessary are State Space Programs?

The Unfortunate Decline of Public Space Programs Amidst the “Private Space Race” by T eagan S tedman '18 OPINION EDITOR

For all NASA has achieved, from the first manned orbital Earthescapades, to the Voyager probes in interstellar space, and everything in between – from precision GPS, to Curiosity, to memory foam – public and legislative opinion on the program has been anything but sympathetic. In recent years, with budget cuts slicing deep into programs, the persistent question dominates popular conscience: Why spend money up there when we could spend it down here? Meanwhile, a new kind of space race has emerged. Not one fueled by brittle geopolitical tensions, but one fueled by science-fiction-madefact dreams and investors trying to find the new frontier for their capital. Billionaires’ fresh-faced pursuits like SpaceX and Blue Origin now contend with aerospace giants like Boeing and the in-betweener, Virgin Galactic. The first checkpoint of this race is clear: Mars; more specifically, a manned mission to Mars. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg announced early in October of 2016, taking a jab at SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s recently revealed plans for Mars colonization, that he was “convinced the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there in a Boeing rocket”. Both companies are developing heavy, reusable first and second-stage rockets (rockets which detach in orbit or earlier from the spacecraft). Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s company Blue Origin has also produced a reusable rocket booster. Given SpaceX’s only ten-year progress from infancy to a fully-fledged aerospace powerhouse, the pace of this space race will be nothing but blistering. As goals broaden from space exploration and science to more extraneous pursuits like space tourism, the field will only evolve faster. So what is the future of state space programs around the world? For now, NASA is developing impressive craft with what little budget the United States government allows the organization, with the manned missions to Mars always on the queue – these include the Space Launch System, currently the world’s “most powerful rocket”, and the Orion spacecraft, which will bring NASA astronauts to Mars in coming years. Taking this into account, it seems that NASA still has a dominant position in all things space – and yet, NASA’s contracts with SpaceX reveal its growing hollowness. Not only does NASA rely on SpaceX for ISS resupplies, but with the space shuttle long defunct, American astronauts must reach the ISS through Russian Soyuz rockets, launched from Russia. In an era of increasing hostilities between the US and Russia, this is a precarious position, giving Russia the upper hand in certain geopolitical landscapes. It is wholly possible, should the taxpayer funding continue to wither, that the tables might soon turn between NASA and private space companies, where private companies begin to clearly lead the charge and NASA plays only an auxiliary role. Other space-superpowers have not yet been so affected by this duality of public and private, such as Chinese and Indian space programs, which have experienced marked leaps forward in recent years; these countries remain unchallenged by any private space companies within their nations, and Russia’s space program remains strong enough with the same lack of private competition. It is only a matter of time, however, before this same situation carries over to these countries, leaving public space programs in the dust. That said, it is important not to overlook the fundamental merits of public space programs, especially in the long-term. For one, they are primarily rooted in exploration and science; there is a certain benevolence in that which could foster a much more cooperative final frontier in the future. Public space programs are also directly accountable to their respective governments, and while this unfortunately binds them to any future international conflicts, it also ideally safeguards future efforts at colonization, exploration, and science from the cold razor that is a company’s bottom line. Public space programs simply offer a safety of ideology that private companies will find hard to guarantee. All this considered, despite all the rapid, blazing glory that private space companies have demonstrated to the world in the past decade or so, a future where NASA and other state space programs shrink into obsolescence would be a grim and unsettling one. Although the US congressional budget committee might stand to differ, state space programs still have a crucial part to play in the next space race, and that saga is only just beginning.

The iPhone 7 Stinks, and Apple Doesn’t Care Why iPhone 7 is the Worst Apple Product by H enr y M itrano ' 2 0 CONTRIBUTOR

With a new school yea r comes the release of a brand new iPhone, and your annual reminder that people will buy nearly anything that has the iconic Apple logo on it. The new f lagship device has created a lot of buzz in the tech community, but for all the wrong reasons. The iPhone 7’s omission of the headphone jack (amongst other inherent design flaws) has infuriated consumers, who have taken to various internet platforms en masse to voice their complaints. The lack of the traditional slot used to connect headphones to the device forces people to either purchase wireless Apple AirPods for a costly $159, or use the Lighting to headphone jack adapter that comes with the phone. However, this adapter makes it impossible to charge the iPhone while listening to music, a problem that can be solved by purchasing either the aforementioned AirPods, or yet another adapter. This one costs around $40, splits the Lightning port to both a charger and a headphone jack, and causes your iPhone to charge slower. The usual changes to the camera will have similar repercussions in regards to phone cases; despite the iPhone 6 and 7 being the same dimensions, the size and

location of the rear facing cameras are different. This means that the majority of iPhone 6 cases won’t fit the iPhone 7, a minor issue to people with relatively inexpensive cases, but this is highly problematic for those with more expensive ones, that serve as an external battery for example. The highly touted “water resistance” of the iPhone 7 is misleading as well. In the description of the feature, Apple notes that the resistance could potentially “decrease as a result of normal wear”. As if that weren’t telling enough, water damage itself is not covered in the devices standard warranty. Finally, people looking to purchase their iPhone 7 in its newly unveiled “Jet Black” shade should think again, as Apple explained that at the cost of its sleek appearance, “its high shine may show fine micro-abrasions with use.” There is a common theme amongst all these changes: they save money. The cost of AirPods, adapters, and cases will obviously benefit Apple, but there’s also the manufacturing cost of the headphone jack itself that has been eliminated. At the end of the day, Apple is a for-profit organization, and their primary goal is to make money. It’s reasonable for them to make changes that aid

them financially, but when the cost of theses changes is customer satisfaction, it becomes a problem. Gauging this line has been a recurring dilemma for Apple, dating back to their highly controversial switch from a 30 pin to Lightning charger in 2012, one that ultimately angered consumers and increased prof its. However, it is irrational to think that Apple will start prioritizing what the people want over what will make them money, because they do not have to. A report conducted by research firm comScore earlier this year showed that iPhone’s make up 44% of smartphones used in the United States, followed by Samsung devices at a little over 28%. Whether it be as a result of device compatibility with Macs, superior marketing techniques, or the brand’s overwhelming popularity, Apple currently dominates the American smartphone market, and as long as they aren’t pressured by Samsung in sales, they will have no motivation to improve their product and appeal to buyers above all else. Getting rid of the headphone jack may have filled a hole, but it only widened the gaping void between Apple and its increasingly dissatisfied consumers.

The End of the Human Driver? How Companies like Uber are Reinventing the Daily Commute by S ean R y an '18 TECHNOLOGY EDITOR

At t he Tesla Factor y in Fremont, CA, over 100,000 electric vehicles are produced every year; by 2020, that number is expected to rise to half a million, thanks to a massive Gigafactory in Nevada. As Tesla cars become more widespread and affordable, autonomous driving is sure to become more popular. Newer models are equipped with exterior sensors that allow them to drive autonomously in certain conditions. Software updates and other improvements are rolled out very frequently, so this technology will constantly improve. Overall, their goal is to create a safe and effortless driving experience, and as the number of Tesla cars on the road begins to increase, so does the number of people that commute to work or school without manually controlling their vehicle. Concurrent ly, t he popular ride-sharing service Uber is developing their own self-driving taxis. Over the summer, the software start-up partnered with Otto, a company specializing in

autonomous trucks, as well as the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, a university that has developed automation technology since being founded in 1979. The object is to create completely autonomous cars to shuttle people around cities, like subways or other modes of public transportation would. At the moment, small f leets of these taxis have been deployed in a handful of cities. Ultimately, the road systems in these cities could potentially be transformed into an intricate network of smart, autonomous vehicles that can communicate with each other to ensure maximum safety and efficiency. It would be essentially impossible for an accident to occur, and traffic would continuously flow, since the communications between vehicles would replace traffic lights and stop signs. Howe ver, bot h of t he se developments are not without controversy: there have been a handful of accidents, one being fatal, involving Tesla models

while using the “Autopilot” feature, a semi-autonomous driving mode which controls steering and acceleration but still requires the driver to be alert. In spite of this, It should be noted that these accidents occur at a much lower rate than ones involving regular cars. Uber is experiencing some issues with their taxis, too. Their autonomous vehicles are reported to make occasional mistakes, such as going the wrong way on a oneway road. Fortunately, this has only resulted in minor accidents, and as a safety precaution, there is an actual driver behind the wheel who could assume control if necessary. The autonomous driving industry is undoubtedly still in its infancy, and traditional cars are expected to remain widespread for quite some time. Regardless, recent projects by these tech giants offer a glimpse into a safer future where there is no traffic, no driving, and most importantly, no human error on the roads.

THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 20, 2016


Sports Westy Sports Soccer at Westminster



First Boys Soccer in action.

Soccer is one of the most popular sports around the world. It is also the most popular sport for boys and girls in the fall, here at Westminster. First Boys has yet to secure their first win, currently sitting at four losses and two ties. However, their support around the school remains sturdy. A substantial number of the students cheered and supported the First Boys during their night game at Hovey Field. Second Boys are having a great season so far. While their first six games last year were one win, four ties, and one loss, they stacked three wins already alongside two losses and one tie. They currently have a 58.3% win percentage, which is quite impressive. Thirds boys soccer is also doing extremely well compared to their previous season. They have won and lost three games each. Fourth Boys, on the other hand,

currently have won one game and lost four. They are still recovering from the devastating loss they suffered at the hands of Deerfield and their extremely obnoxious fans.

four gold medals, which is a world record for Women’s g ymnastics at a single Olympic Games. Biles won gold in individual, allaround, vault, and floor and her Women’s gymnastics team also won gold in an event. In addition to these gold medals, Biles also won bronze on the balance beam. Having won a combined total of nineteen Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles is the most decorated American gymnast in history. L a st, but c er t a i n ly not least - especially in his races - is Jamaica’s Usain Bolt. Bolt added to his olympic legacy, once again

winning gold in the Men’s 100 meter and 200 meter races, as well as the 4x100 meter relay. This was the third Olympics in a row that Bolt has won gold in these three events, which likely will never happen again. All in all, amidst a firestorm of domestic and international controversy, Brazil managed pulled off a pleasant and festive 2016 olympic games in which the United States excelled and Usain Bolt stood out.

First and Thirds Girls are not having the best of seasons currently. Although they have each suffered five painful losses, they still have several games remaining and it is crucial for the community to support them. Second Girls had an amazing three game winning streak. However, since the start of October, they have lost three, two of them being extremely close. There is still an opportunity for them to carry on their last season’s legacy of eleven wins and two loses with Grit and Grace.

Rio Olympics Highlights What Happened in Rio over the Summer? by josh cosentino SPORTS EDITOR

The 2016 Rio Olympics was a great success for the United States and, to nobody’s surprise, Usain Bolt. Michael Phelps, 34, is the greatest olympian swimmer of all time and arguably the greatest olympian of all time. He won his 23rd gold medal in his fifth olympic games, an all time record. In 2016, Phelps won gold in nearly every event in which he appeared, winning five gold medals and one silver. Phelps won individual gold in the 200-meter individual medley and the 200-meter butterfly, while taking silver in the 100meter butterfly. He also won team

gold in the 4x100 and 4x200meter freestyle relays, along with the 4x100-meter medley relay. Rio 2016 marked the fourth summer olympic games in a row in which Phelps won the most medals. Phelps is now the most decorated olympian of all time. He has won the most medals (28), the most gold medals of all time (23) and the most gold medals in individual events (8). Phelps made it clear though, that this would be his final Olympic games. Katie Ledecky was another U.S swimmer that had an unbelievable olympics in 2016. Ledecky won gold and set the

world record in the 400 and 800 meter freestyles, winning the 800 by eleven seconds. She was practically done toweling off by the time the other competitors had touched the wall in the 800. Ledecky, who is only going into her freshman year at Stanford, will certainly add a few more gold medals to her resumé in future olympic games. On a side note, Simone Manuel became the first African-American female swimmer to win gold in an individual event. She did so in the 100 meter freestyle. Simone Biles was a star in the 2016 olympic games. She won


World Cup of Hockey in Toronto by ja k e sz y kown y & r y an sz y kown y CONTRIBUTORS

When: Regular games began Sept. 17th and ended Sept. 22nd The championship games took place on Sept. 27th and 29th Who: Group A: USA, Canada, Czech Republic. Group B: Sweden, Finland, Russia, North America Where: Canada was the host nation, all games played in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs Quick Facts: Last time the tournament occurred was in 2004 (Canada won, Finland in 2nd). Only the third time in history the tournament has been played. New teams include Europe, North

America, Russia. German players now play on Team Europe. All players on team North America had to be under the age of 23. At the end of a two week span, in which the best hockey players in the world competed for the honor of their countries, two teams emerged to decide who would be crowned the World Cup of Hockey Champions. Team Canada, a perfect 3-0 in the preliminary stage, was the heavily favored team in the matchup versus Team Europe. Canada and hockey go hand in hand, however, many

were shocked when Team Europe, 2-1 in the preliminary stage, upset a world class team from Sweden to reach the championship. Nobody could have guessed this veteran team would pull off such a performance. However, despite their strong showing in the tournament, upsetting Team USA in their first game and Sweden later on, they were most certainly the underdogs as they came into the matchup vs. Canada. A miracle story would not be written this time, however, as Canada dominated both championship games. Game 1 went to the red and white in a convincing 3-1 fashion, and many

expected them to cruise in Game 2 for a repeat championship. Team Europe put up quite a bit of a fight in Game 2, the deciding goal coming from Brad Marchand with only 43 seconds remaining, sealing the deal for our neighbor’s up north. A fantastic tournament all around, the eight teams competed valiantly throughout every single game. NHL action picks up again Oct. 12th, so expect to see many of the same faces out there on TV soon.

THE WESTMINSTER NEWS, Thursday October 20, 2016


Features Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrating a Unique and Beautiful Culture by S ofia M orales '19 CONTRIBUTOR

September 15th to October 15th represents the thirty days set aside for celebrating Hispanic heritage. This “month” starts around the middle of September because September 15th celebrates independence day anniversaries for the countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico’s independence day falls on the 16th, with Chile’s on September 18th. This time is one of celebration, not only for the Latino and Hispanic population, but for anyone who shares an interest in the rich history it’s culture has to offer. Today, approximately 57 million people in the United States identify as part Hispanic and/or Latino. That is 18% of the U.S. population, all of whom share and celebrate a month dedicated to their heritage and culture. Hispanics and Latinos are a minority group within the United States. However, they are currently the largest ethnic groups in both California and New Mexico. Latinos are a minority group who are often overlooked. In fact,

some Latin cultures are more celebrated than others because they have a larger immigrant population living in America. Learning about modern day Latin/Hispanic culture, history, and people is crucial; most schools in the United States typically do not have courses dedicated to Hispanic and Latino culture. Various Hispanic and Latino leaders and celebrities do not receive enough recognition for their outstanding accomplishments. What these people have to offer should be recognized. It is impossible to stress how important the celebration of each and every Latin culture is. The Multicultural Student Union (MSU) has made an effort towards ensuring our school represents Hispanic Heritage Month. For the past several weeks, one may have noticed unique dishes served in the dining hall, one of several ways MSU is promoting celebration of the month. Among the dishes served were quesadillas, fried plantains, and burritos. Another one of MSU’s ideas was to place signs on the dining halls

Ariana Grande or Waka Flocka?

tables with facts about Hispanic and Latino meals. Westminster has taken strides to further represent the Hispanic and Latino culture by establishing two new clubs and holding an Hispanic Heritage Month chapel. Both clubs are run by Nathali Madrid. The first is an alliance group called the WLA (Westminster Latino Alliance). The second is an affinity group called HOLA (Hispanic Or Latino Affinity). If you wish to help spread Latino and Hispanic culture throughout Westminster, join WLA. If you identify as Hispanic or Latino, feel free to join HOLA. The Hispanic and Latino cultures are beautiful and special. Its people deserve a full month of recognition, which is not only reserved for them, but also for anybody who is willing to celebrate. In a country known as a melting pot of different people, ideas, and cultures; what is a better way to spread a little more diversit y than by celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month?

Your Daily Horoscopes by J ustin Parsons ' 2 0 & W es O ltsch ' 2 0 CONTRIBUTORS

Pisces (Feb 19 - March 20) - The upcoming weeks may seem like they’re going to be a challenge but they’re only going to get easier and easier as you get more used to the school year. Aries (March 21 - April 19) - There are going to be some bumps in the road but you will slowly increase the suspension of your life and ride through the bumps ahead like it’s a flat highway. Taurus (April 20 - May 20) - You will not get everything you want today. Being picky will get you nowhere. Accept others and yourself, and you will be truly content. Gemini (May 21 - June 20) - Today is going to be great, it may feel otherwise at some point but even the bad things you will experience will be something you can laugh at or be glad about in the future. Cancer (June 21 - July 22) - The next few days may be pretty bad but in the future you will be able to look back at it and laugh cause what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Leo (July 23 - Aug 22) - Today you will meet new people. By being yourself, others will notice what you’re about. Virgo (Aug 22 - Sep 22) - Your hard work will guide you through today. Just don’t give up. Libra (Sep 23 - Oct 22) - Your day will be great. You will make friends and will plow through the day like a snow blower. Scorpio (Oct 23 - Nov 21) - Close your mouth and open your ears. Learning comes through listening to others. Learn not only about BC Calc and AP Euro, learn about your community and what is happening around you. Sagittarius (Nov 22 - Dec 21) - You will be rewarded for your actions today, no matter how small. Capricorn (Dec 22 - Jan 19) - No matter what is thrown at you today, you will be able to tackle it. Your hard work will pay off.

Ask A Senior by S am M onte '17 CONTRIBUTOR

What Beats Are The Best Gym Beats? by J ustin Parsons ' 2 0 CONTRIBUTOR



There are two things that make working out more bearable: the satisfaction of your massive gains and the perfect playlist. Whether they keep you distracted or they keep your eyes on the prize; music can alter your workout flow completely. Playing the right song at the right time can be the key to reaching your peak performance. The only question is, what is that right song for you? To dive further into this investigation I listened to around forty workout songs. Twenty were hip hop and twenty were pop. After jamming to these two genres, I looked into what they both had in common. Something that persisted throughout every song was a fast and loud beat that stick in your head, but that was the only similarity. While most rap songs would boost confidence in yourself, pop songs would

do the exact opposite by creating a positive vibe. Most hip hop songs were simply unfiltered, but many pop songs had a substantial amount of autotune and other auditory effects. The final difference was that most hip hop songs were sung by male artists; however, most “workout pop” songs were performed by women. The perfect playlist depends on what you like to listen to. If you’re one who works out to vent uncontrollable anger and scores mad gains, then hip hop is your genre. However, if you exercise to feel good, then pop is right up your alley. One thing is for sure; whatever songs you listen to, it should be loud and catchy - to keep you distracted - and should have a bpm of around 130, to keep your rhythm consistent.

Q: Sam, I heard you’ve been a martlet since freshman year. What’s been the most embarrassing thing you’ve done in those four years? A: My first day of freshman year I asked a very attractive, but short PG, TJ Daigler, if he was also excited for freshman year. The second most embarrassing moment was during my first chapel, Leta Giordano '17 and I sat in the sixth form pews. In the middle of the chapel service we realized we were amongst a hoard of senior guys. We got up to leave and switch to the back rows where most of the freshmen were, and of course there were no seats and so we had to stand in the back. Q: Yo, Sam, tell us what Westy guy you’ve had the biggest crush on! A: My freshman year I sat next to Oliver Israel in my studio art class and had the biggest crush on him. A friend of mine at B.U., where Oliver now goes to college, asked if he knew me after finding out Oliver also went to Westy. He responded with “yeah, pretty sure she was in love with me”. I also have a huge crush on Manny Meltzer, but he knows that already. Q: Where do you want to go to college, and why? A: I’m hoping to go to University of Miami! The campus has such an awesome vibe and it would be nice to find my own path in a community that not many Westminster students attend. The city of Miami adds to the liveliness; in contrast the warm weather slows down the feel. I also love the diversity of the campus. Here we go U!!

Westminster News 10/20/16  
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