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MADDY KIEFER ‘08

Most seniors remember the mixed grade advisories that were disbanded in September 2005. Upon our promotion to the upper school in 2004, we were put in advisories with upperclassmen, which, although daunting at first, was eventually an experience that many of us appreciated. Older students provided us with all sorts of advice for surviving high school, from choosing class to prioritizing our responsibilities. Mixed grade advisories gave us the chance to hear first-hand about the stress of junior year, the complicated college process that followed, and the ultimate decision of choosing which college to attend before we had to experience it ourselves. They weren’t trying to scare us, but, rather, to prepare us. When questioned about what it was like when multiple grades were represented in his advisory, Peter Gow, the Director of College Counseling, who has been working at Beaver for over twenty years, recalls, “I remember some great examples of good advice and important lore being passed down in those meetings from older students to younger ones.” He does believe, however, that “same-grade groups can be great ways for advisors to work together on issues related to grade-level concerns.”

A year later, however, few were happy to hear that new advisories were separated by grade. Toph Tucker, a senior who was in a mixed-grade advisory until last year, says, “I know that the administration worries that older students will intimidate freshmen or some such thing, but having some representation from higher grades was one of the best things about my advisory.” Toph and I, who were both in Mr. Whitten’s advisory for three years, had such an amazing time in our mixed-grade advisory that we were furious that the incoming freshman didn’t get this opportunity. Instead, they were essentially being cut off. We knew that keeping all of the freshmen apart from upperclassmen was a mistake. The freshmen, however, considered themselves lucky. The idea of having to spend half an hour with the “big kids” every week wasn’t appealing, so there were no objections from them. When asked his opinion on being in an all freshmen advisory, Willy Tucker, Toph’s younger brother, states that he was “pretty happy” about being separated from the older students. As a reply to this comment, Toph remarks, “He just doesn’t know what he’s missing.”

One of the benefits of having older students in our advisory was that we were able to make friends in other grades and connect weekly. Mr. Gow recalls that he “certainly saw inter-grade friendships develop.” These days, the only interactions that most freshmen have with other grades are in extracurriculars, where they tend to isolate themselves and simply stay with the other students in their grade. By contrast, we could more easily branch out from the seventy or so people that we had class with every day and enjoy time spent with these other students. Since the end of the mixed-advisory era, there has been an increased separation between the grades. Hopefully this separation won’t reach the extreme that it has with the middle school. For a school that preaches a community without divisions, such separation in advisories is counter productive.

Currently, the only normally scheduled time that upper and middle school students are together is at All School Meeting once a week. Aside from that, upper schoolers occasionally visit the middle school wing to use the computer labs, but high school students are not even supposed to be in the first-floor middle school hallway. We are almost at the point where they might as well be two separate schools.

Although the Middle School is not involved in the current Upper School advisory problem, and although it hasn’t yet reached the tipping point, these issues are becoming a pattern at Beaver. It is important for the school to recognize the negative effects that these changes are having on the student body, and for it to make strides to correct them. The first two lines of Beaver’s school song read, “Stand we now to hail thee/Beaver, loyal and united,” but the unity of our school is at risk of deteriorating. If the school administration continues to make these choices to separate the grades even further, however, the only occasions that the grades at Beaver will mix will be in the hallways. If it reaches that point, our small school will seem all the more lonely, and our close-knit community as we know it today will cease to exist.

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MADDY KIEFER ‘08

Most seniors remember the mixed grade advisories that were mostly disbanded in September 2005. Incoming freshmen used to be put in advisories with upperclassmen, which, although daunting at first, was eventually an experience that many of them appreciated. Today, this system is almost entirely phased out. For more information, read the editorial, “The Fall of the Mixed-Grade Advisory.

DANA SPIGELMAN ’08

In a season where Beaver returns only one starter and two rotation players from the previous year Beaver answered a lot of questions with a big win on Friday night at Concord Academy. With an 8-0 run right out of the gate Beaver set the tone from what would be an up and down game. Due to a barrage of three pointers from star guards Ephraim Herskovitz and Logan Furr and commanding point guard play from Chris Quinn Beaver jumped out to a 20 point lead early versus Concord. However, the game settled down at the end of the half, with Concord shaving the lead to 15 points.

In the second half the shooting touch went cold and Beaver started to play sloppy, committing six fouls in less than five minutes of play to open the half. The mistakes resulted in foul trouble, forcing backups Cam Bloy, Arian Fararooy and later Jahrad Delossantos into big minutes. With Concord cutting the lead to nine Beaver was never rattled and fought back. Among other big plays Logan Furr was fouled twice beyond the arc, making 5 of 6 free throws to help secure the victory. In a 74-62 victory, Beaver showed a lot on opening night, not only getting 38 points from Ephraim Herskovitz and 19 points from Logan Furr but also getting key contributions from starters Deon Bragg, Justin Conway and Chris Quinn to supplement the two scorers and put away a scrappy Concord Academy team.

Image: Boys Varsity’s third game
Image credit: Toph Tucker

arts-acrosstheuniverse CARRIE WIDMER ‘10

The film Across the Universe is a story of young love in the sixties, narrated by the songs of The Beatles. Jude and Lucy, the two leads, are appropriately named and played well by Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood. (Jude, not coincidentally, comes to the United States from Liverpool, the homeland of the Beatles.) Jude and Lucy meet and fall in love unexpectedly. The film begins with disappointing and unimpressive song and dance numbers. However, just when the audience is ready to abandon the film, Bono makes an appearance singing, “I am the Walrus.” This colorful, psychedelic number depicts the Summer of Love (1967) wonderfully and is a turning point that saves this movie.

Instead of simply telling the predictable love story of boy meets girl, this film tries to illustrate the reality of being young in the sixties. It is an enjoyable twist on the typical love story. Once Lucy becomes heavily involved in the anti-war movement, her relationship with Jude becomes tumultuous. “Revolution” shows Jude’s frustration toward his girlfriend who shows more passion for the Vietnam War than for her boyfriend.

Two of the most fantastic and imaginative pieces in the movie, regard soldiers in the war. “I Want You So Bad” shows an Uncle Sam poster that literally comes to life and grabs the young men who are drafted. “Happiness is a Warm Gun,” another standout performance, shows the suffering of soldiers and the nurses who care for them. Other high points include “Falling,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” and the grand finale, “All You Need is Love.” These great numbers stood out in my mind because of their originality—I’d never seen anything quite like them.

Across the Universe has received mixed reviews. Ultimately, it’s a question of taste. This is a film strictly for those who love either over-the-top dance numbers or the Beatles. Otherwise, it would probably be a painful 131 minutes. If you prefer straight plays to musicals, you shouldn’t waste your time. If, however, the Beatles dominate your car’s mix tape, you will never want it to end.

Image from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Across_the_universe.jpg

TYLER STARR ‘10

Boys Varsity Soccer’s record is not an accurate indication of their season. They finished the season 1-9-5, with several close games that did not go their way. The team enjoyed only nominal luck throughout the entire season. Whether it was injury, poor officiating, or missed opportunities, Boys Varsity had no breaks this term.

The season began with Lamarre Rey’s departure from BCDS. His departure left a hole at keeper. Luckily, senior Chris Rush stepped up and became the new keeper for the team, doing a great job replacing Rey.

The team was plagued by injuries all season long. They started without Oliver Hunt ’11, who was lost for the season due to a knee injury suffered last summer, and Angelo Cabral ’11. Hunt was one of the top scorers at Shady Hill in 2006 and would have been a great addition to the team. Excluding Arian Fararooy ’08, every starting player has been taken out of a game due to some form of injury. Some could call it lucky that only a few starters have had to miss a game due to injury. Angelo Cabral ’11, Oliver Hunt ’11, Tyler Starr ’10, Marco Fabrizio ’09, Gabe Reich ’09, Will Searle ’09, Chris Rush ’08, and Zach Levandov ’08 have all had to sit out at least one game. Injuries varied from a sore groin to a partially torn MCL to a concussion.

The Landmark game may have been the worst game of the season for the team. Despite standing as the team’s only victory, four starters got hurt and three did not play the next two games. Ten minutes into the game, Tyler Starr ’10 suffered a concussion. “[Tyler] and the other player ran into each other then both toppled backward,” Murray Hershkowitz ’10 recalled. Angelo Cabral and Andrew Emmons ‘08 suffered foot injuries and came to practice the next day on crutches. In addition, Chris Rush sustained a mysterious arm injury. Andrew Emmons was able to play with the pain in the next game, and, fortunately, Chris Rush only missed the next two games. Unfortunately for starters Tyler Starr and Angelo Cabral, their injuries were season-ending.

The team also had several close games. They had five ties and three games where they only lost by one goal. While time was running out in their second game against Pingree, five shots were taken that either hit the cross bar or were deflected by a player. In their first game against Landmark, they fought back from a three-goal deficit to make it 3-4 and with one minute left missed a crucial free kick. In their second game against Bancroft, Beaver was winning with ten minutes to go but fell apart at the end and tied the game. Coach Cabral does have an answer for these close games: a month long trip to a soccer academy in Portugal during the summer. Whether or not that is the solution to the team’s problems, it is a start.

Though the team had a losing record, you have to look at all these factors to fully understand the hardships of this long season.

TOPH TUCKER ’08

Not all Beaver water fountains are created equal. In fact, they used to be downright erratic. Many of you must remember that before this year, the water fountain in the library was incredibly overpowered and super-sensitive. The fountain by the preschool used to be dismal. Ah, but remember the old one by Sawtell Gym? (I reckon very few of you do.) I was always a fan of that one, although I seem to remember a bit of controversy about that.

Since then, the fountains have become markedly more consistent. Here’s my roundup. Frankly, there’s not a lot to say. The water quality generally seems identical. But I include the peak stream height (measured from the point it leaves the faucet), accessibility information (according to the Americans with Disabilities Act), and some other interesting information. Most of you will know all this by now, but it’s critically important information for newer students.

Miscellaneous Trivia

All fountains are manufactured by Halsey Taylor, “Satisfying thirsts since 1912”–a mere 8 years before Beaver was founded!

These are all technically water coolers, not water fountains, because they do refrigerate the water. They are all intended to provide water at 50° F.

The brand name of the water fountain/cooler by the cafeteria is “Voyager.” Ironically, a painting entitled “The Voyager” hangs over the library fountain.

PC0300151st Floor, Arts Building [double set]:

OVL-II-SER-Q; meets legal accessibility requirements

Peak stream height: 8 cm (tall one) / 10 cm (short one); somewhat disappointing water; note that they cannot both run simultaneously, but instead are reduced to a slow trickle.

PC030037 1st Floor, by the “cafeteria-style dining hall”:

HTV8Q 1; meets legal accessibility requirements

Peak stream height: 8 cm; nice and cold and quite satisfying, but the whole unit is awfully low; buttons are easiest to press, but also easy to accidentally bump into.

PC0300361st Floor, by the preschool [double set]:

HAC8FSCBL0; meets legal accessibility requirements

Peak stream height: 10 cm; pretty good water; unlike the OVL series, both can function simultaneously without interruption.

PC030014 2nd Floor, Arts Building [double set]:

OVL-II-SER-Q; meets legal accessibility requirements

Peak stream height: 7 cm (both); essentially identical to set on 1st floor, except for stream height; again, they can’t run simultaneously.

PC030013 2nd Floor, Middle School Wing:

S500-5D-1* (*best guess); does not meet legal accessibility requirements

Peak stream height: 7 cm; all around, pretty average; an old favorite of mine from my middle school days; thumb-push button is not as easy as, say, the HTV Series; height can be an advantage for some and a disadvantage to others.

PC0300122nd Floor, Upper School Wing:

S500-5D-1; does not meet legal accessibility requirements

Peak stream height: 7-8 cm; all around average; sister fountain to the Middle School Wing one. It lacks the small stool that the Middle School fountain features.

PC030038 Library (“The Voyager”)

WM8AQ_1Q* (*best guess); does not meet legal accessibility requirements

Peak stream height: 9-10 cm, impressive but still a serious downgrade from last year; aside from height, the water is downright delicious; likely the best water fountain in the whole school; height of the unit is especially nice; button action is superb.

PC030039Outside the Library

WM8AQ_1Q; does not meet legal accessibility requirements

Peak stream height: 7 cm; sister fountain to The Voyager, but not nearly as good; still, a major improvement over past years, when getting more than a trickle out of it was nearly impossible

PC030040Language Wing / S5 [double set]

HACBL-A L/R; meets legal accessibility requirements

Peak stream height: 10 cm (both); can run simultaneously; sister fountains to the preschool pair

Conclusions

“The Voyager,” in the library, is the one clear standout in the crowd. Others are satisfying; some are disappointing.

Average quality has improved dramatically over the past few years. Of course, accessibility remains an issue, and quality could easily lapse again. I hereby call for a survey of the school’s water fountains every four years, in order to ensure that future generations can enjoy the same consistent water supply that we do today.

Personally? I recommend we get a few of Halsey Taylor’s Explosion Proof Coolers. You know, just in case.

P.S. I realize that I am missing the water fountains in the gyms. This is just for the main building, but don’t worry, that’s coming soon!

Update 6/Dec/07: corrected a couple things pointed out by Nick and Mr. Manning. (Unfortunately, the “cafeteria” language in the poll is already set in stone.)

Senior Kelly Kretschmar’s niece Marley has been chosen out of 860,000 submissions to be one of five finalists for the next babyGap model! Help her out–vote every day until December 15 at the follow site:

http://www.gap.com/castingcall