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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Upper School Experience at Regional Science Fair

This March during Spring Break, I embarked on a brief bus ride to Oaks, Pennsylvania to participate in the Delaware Valley Science Fair. As I boarded the bus, one of my favorite teachers, Ms. Smith, stood at the front of the bus with a clipboard to take attendance.  “How do you feel?” she asks me as I pass her by.  After a few short grumbles and a roll of the eyes, I mutter “I’m not going to win anything. I’d rather be at home.”  Though I am not usually a pessimistic person, as a junior the competition of science fair goes to a whole other level.   Science fair, to put it plainly, is the war of the nerds.  Of course you are going to have a fun time meeting new people with similar interests, but when it comes down to competing, it’s a Pavlov’s dog eat dog world.

This year, I was in the environmental category.  My project aimed to create an anaerobic biomass digester by using 100% recycled materials.  And though I had made it to Delaware Valley – which is the level before the international level – I was expecting some tough competition.   As soon as I stepped into the room, I felt pretty confident, but by the time that I sat down, I was a little worried.   When I had finished adjusting my board, I looked to my left to meet a very smart young man who had created the most successful pathogen detector in history. But wait, it gets better . . . it was also cheaper than anything on the market.  At the science fair works the more successful your project, the greater amount of judges will approach you.  By an hour in, over twenty judges had met him, shook his hand, and offered him large amounts of money.  Each time that a group of judges came over, I was optimistic that that they were coming to talk to me, the boldly suited, glasses wearing, intelligent looking seventeen year-old, but each time I was let down.   As soon as I thought that I may have lost hope, a group of women approached.   After introducing themselves and asking for a brief explanation of my project, we had a conversation.  It was not about science per say, but it was everything in between and around what science meant to us.  As they walked away, it was if they had graced me with good luck, and a few more judges approached me before the competition concluded.  As for the boy next to me, it seemed as if he had gotten some bad news from the USDA judges.  Apparently, the pathogens that he was detecting were, quite frankly, not pathogens.

Though I did not walk away with any medal, I was awarded with a special award from the Women in Geosciences Organization, and as for my fairy godmother judges, who knows if I will ever see them again.  What was most meaningful about the women who had talked to me was that they were able to put in perspective the real reason that I had come there.  It wasn’t to risk my self-esteem at an intense competition of the sciences; it was to experience the inexperienced, to learn, and to grow.  It was those women who had allowed me to remember that, though I had been one of the few girls in the category, that what I was passionate about was of supreme importance. 

As I walked onto the school bus to head back to GA, Ms. Smith asked me how it went.  This time I smiled.  “Not so bad,” I said.  “Not bad at all.”

- Nichelle H. '15

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boys' Lax Takes on North Carolina's Toughest

The 2014 team started its season by traveling to North Carolina.

Over Spring Break, the boys’ lacrosse team went down to Durham, North Carolina. The trip ran from Wednesday to Saturday - four days and three nights.  Those days and nights were filled with a team bowling outing, team bonding on the long bus rides, and, of course, lots of lacrosse. We played two very competitive and challenging opponents: Cardinal Gibbons High School (NC) and Durham Academy (NC). The first game was streamed live on the internet, in primetime on Friday night under the lights. We took on Cardinal Gibbons, who at the time was undefeated at 9-0 and garnering national attention. We fought hard and had a lead at halftime, but ended up falling 8-4 in the game. The following day, we played a very strong Durham Academy team on the campus of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. We played very well and pulled out the 7-5 victory. Playing on the campus of UNC provided a great atmosphere that was definitely one to remember.

The experiences and memories built on the trip were ones that will last a long time. The talented teams we played provided much needed experience for some of our younger players on the squad that will prepare us for the very challenging teams we play in the Inter-Ac League. The team bonding memories such as hanging out in one another’s room, watching March Madness, or all the times when the guys would go out to dinner or grab lunch together bolstered the strong friendships which we already possessed.

- Hayes N. '14

Hayes captained GA's football team in addition to serving his second year as a lacrosse captain.

Editor's note: Hayes has been an outstanding multi-sport athlete at GA. Elected 1st Team All Inter-Ac as a quarterback, his football career will continue this fall at Cornell University.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Intro to Theatre Class Finds Their Lifeline

Recently in the Intro to Theatre class, students were assigned to collect and present in front of the class ten objects that comprise who you are. These objects help the class understand a deeper side of you besides the person that they already know. I found this project particularly interesting: being given the challenge to search for, let alone present some of my most cherished objects in front of my acting class. After days of searching for objects and asking myself repeatedly “Does this object express who I am?”, I finally found ten objects that actually do frame my life out. Some of the objects included were a painting that I made with my grandmother back in the 3rd grade, a CD that I produced with my friends this past summer, and a thank you letter I received from a family that CSO supported when I was in the 7th grade (I originally sent a sympathy letter to that family).
Brendan and his class worked on an assignment of self-reflection.

The Lifeline Project forced me to look back on the past fifteen (almost sixteen) years of my life and pick out the significant moments and memories that define who I am today. The project showed me how grateful I am for all of the little things in life, from having the ability to record my own music to knowing my grandfather for as long as I did. With this being said, I challenge you to find ten objects that comprise who you are; it’s an amazing way to reflect and remind yourself of what the important things in life actually are.

- Brendan C. ‘17

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Baseball in Myrtle Beach

Over two dozen GA baseball players traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina over their Spring break.
            My experience from the trip to Myrtle Beach with the baseball team was beyond amazing. We spent the majority of our time playing baseball, but the time we spent off the field was just as great. We got to spend lots of quality time with teammates and their families. A few team moms arranged a beach party for the team and players’ families. It was a great chance for us to get our minds off of baseball and to get a feel of that South Carolina water. On the field, I do not think we could have played any better. The five games we played were our first opportunities to get on the field. Due to all the bad weather we received this winter, we’ve been unable to use our field at GA for practice or play. All we have been able to do is practice inside the fieldhouse. Despite the fact that we hadn’t practiced on an actual field the entire preseason, our record by the end of the week was 4-1. And the one loss we had was our first game. We won four straight games! Overall, I could not have asked for a better experience. I had a great time playing baseball and spending time with my teammates. I cannot wait to do this again next year.

Evan-Eric L. '17

The Patriots baseball team before a game over Spring break.
Evan-Eric and his teammates had time to enjoy the sun on their trip.

Editor's note: Evan-Eric was also a key player on this winter's Inter-AC championship basketball team. Learn more about the baseball team, including its schedule, here.