October 2009: Marin Academy Voice - [PDF Document] (2024)

Volume XVIV, No. 2 Thursday, October 22, 2009 San Rafael, CA

The New Faces of the CaféPages 6-7

Back to front, left to right: Max Ku Manzanero, Miguel Tapia, Gina Royall, Dae’ Janique Harris, Seann Pridmore, Lise Eisenberg, Juan Rico Garcia, Erendira Lugo

Sports jerseys from yesteryearPage 12

A different look at HalloweenPage 9

The status of ISEPage 2

Graphic by Sarah Strand

N e w s2 October 22, 2009

End of ISE shocks communityJulia Herbst

Features Editor

This year, the administration made the decision to not continue the International Studies Emphasis (ISE) program.

ISE was an optional, co-cur-ricular program for juniors and seniors that provided the opportu-nity for a more global educational experience. These students were exposed to a variety of interna-tional issues through a number of speakers and discussions at forums such as the World Affairs Council and the Commonwealth Club. Seniors who had attended at least four off-campus events each year, selected courses with a global bearing, and completed a final project would then be able to graduate with an International Studies Emphasis recorded on their diplomas.

The program began 13 years ago with the goal of expanding students’ views of the world.

“I always thought that the programs at the Common-wealth Club and the Interna-tional Affairs Council offered such a wealth of opportunities for people in the Bay Area, and I wanted to be able to share that with young people and allow them to have the chance to sit down and talk about it afterward,” said part-time Spanish teacher and long-time Director of ISE John Petrovsky.

Along with Petrovsky, ISE has been co-led by three different teachers, including, most recently, history teacher Dave Marshall who began helping lead the program last year.

“It was a really cool program and a great way to get outside of the MA bubble,” said Marshall. “I had such a great time doing it last year.”

Although the ISE program was popular, with 12 seniors and 21 juniors participating during the 2008-2009 school year, a number of unrelated factors led to this year’s decision to end the program. Among these decisions was the re-cent change made to the required English curriculum.

“ISE played a transformative role in the curriculum,” said Aca-demic Dean Joe Harvey. “It was influential enough in our thinking that we actually shifted American Lit. to the junior year and [made it] only one semester, with some other electives that follow.”

However, this switch to re-quiring students to take American Literature for one semester junior year made it more difficult for ju-niors and seniors to take the par-ticular classes ISE required.

Another reason the ISE pro-gram was ended was because of a lack of a full-time faculty member interested in running the program.

“John [Petrovsky] is a won-derful, outstanding leader of the program, but he retired and only does a section of Spanish a year,” said Harvey.

Petrovsky concurs that a full-time teacher is needed to run the program.

“I did it for two years after I retired,” said Petrovsky, “But it’s [better if] there’s always someone on campus, if the person who is always going to the events is the one who can make the an-nouncements at assembly and be there when someone says at the last minute that they can or cannot go.”

The conclusion of ISE was sud-den; no announcement was made either to last year’s participants or the community at large. For many students who participated in ISE as juniors last year, this lack

of communication has led to both frustration and confusion.

“I didn’t actually [know that ISE was ending],” said senior Jessica Fields. “I signed up for it as a two year program, and I was expecting to continue it during se-nior year. And then I just stopped getting emails and I guess it disap-peared.”

Despite the confusion, students who participated as juniors will get credit for the work that they did during the 2008-2009 school year on their transcripts.

The administration concedes that more communication is neces-sary, although questions about who should be notified have arisen.

“We need to reach out to the students who were in it last year,” said Harvey. “It’s hard to know exactly who to tell. We could pull together a meet-ing of everyone who would have been interested in ISE. But in terms of the wider com-munity, it was hard to know who to send a letter to.”

Petrovsky and Marshall were initially cautious about speaking with the Voice. How-ever, Marshall said that there was nothing behind this hesi-tancy except an uncertainty about the path that interna-tional studies will take at MA in the future.

“I recognize that some people were disappointed or frustrated, especially the current seniors who had put in a year,” said Marshall. “It’s a little unfortunate how it happened and how people found out about it.”

The administration is, however, hopeful that ISE will continue in some modified form in the future.

“I don’t know if [the future ver-sion of ISE] will be something that will show up on kids’ transcripts; I don’t know if that will come back. And whether there will be an end of the year project, I don’t know what form that will take,” said Harvey. “But in terms of it being gone forever, I don’t think that’s the case.”

Anna K


Additional reporting by Andrew Miller

Riley Champine

News 3October 22, 2009

Lauren ThomasStaff Writer

From the field to the stage, Marin Academy students prove time and time again just how spir-ited they can be in support of their school. So why is this spirit always lacking from the event that should act as its pinnacle, the culmination of a week entirely designated to spirit: the spirit dance?

Although freshmen and sopho-mores are usually well repre-sented at the dance, the percent of students per grade at the dance appears to drop off significantly after sophom*ore year. Dean of Students Lynne Hansen estimates that about 85-90 percent of fresh-men and sophom*ores attend the spirit dance each year, while only about 65 percent of juniors and seniors attend.

One of the main reasons upper-classman attendance of the dance is so low is that students are afraid of being one of the only people

Students’ expectations run high for spirit dancefrom their class to show up.

“Last year I didn’t go [to the spirit dance] because I didn’t think other people would go,” said junior Maddy Scheer.

T h i s s a i d , Scheer plans to attend the dance this October.

“I think that this year it’s go-ing to be differ-ent,” she said. “The senior class has so much more spirit that I think there’s going to be way more attendance than there has been in years past.”

Apart from the fear of the awk-wardness an under-attended dance could bring, some of MA’s rules and restrictions cause potential dance-goers to find a different way to spend their Friday night. In a

poll, 89 percent of students named the teacher chaperones as their least favorite part of the dance.

While the number of teach-

ers cannot be reduced for safety reasons, Hansen points out that teacher chaperones, and some of the rules they have to enforce, are not by any means unique to MA. “It’s not any different [at MA]

than it is at other schools,” Hansen said. “There is a battle that every school has to fight around appro-priate dancing.”

In addition to teacher chaperones, students said that they were often dis-pleased with the venue of the dance. Hansen is confident that this year’s spirit dance, which will be held at the MYC in San Rafael, will solve many complaints that students have had about dances in the past.

“The MYC [is good] for a dance of a school our size,” Hansen said. “The room is big enough to ac-commodate everybody, but it also doesn’t feel like

you’re in a huge gymnasium or auditorium, like some of the other dances we’ve had.”

Many will also be pleased that the MYC has adjustable lighting, so although there will be some

lights on for safety, as is required, students can expect the room to be darker than it has been in years past.

Although it may have its faults, students look forward to dancing, being with friends, and dressing up to this year’s fun and unique theme as some of their favorite aspects of the spirit dance.

“Last year was particularly fun because all of my friends dressed up,” said senior Emily Bell. “For the [spirit dance], it’s fun when people are enthusiastic about it and go for it and really dress to the theme.”

This year’s spirit dance, which will have a fluorescent jungle theme, will be the class of ‘13’s first real high school dance expe-rience, and many freshmen have high hopes.

“Middle school dances were fun,” said freshman Tom Ogden, “but [I’m expecting high school dances to be] much better.”

Combating the flu: school’s response to swine flu threatSarah TillmanStaff Writer

It is that time of year again when Americans trudge to their lo-cal pharmacies and doctors’ offices to receive their annual flu vaccina-tion. This fall, however, Americans will need not one flu vaccination, but two, or possibly three, as it is unlikely that the seasonal flu vac-cine will offer protection against the new and highly contagious H1N1 virus.

The H1N1 virus, commonly known as the “swine flu,” ap-peared last spring in the United States and did not disappear over the summer. There has been a great increase in influenza activity around the country this fall, mainly in children and young adults. Ac-cording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 99 percent of current flu viruses are the swine flu.

Thus far, the symptoms of the swine flu are similar to those of the seasonal flu. In most instances, the severity of the swine flu is compa-rable to that of the seasonal flu and

people recover without significant medical treatment. Nevertheless, the number of deaths and hospi-talizations attributed to the swine flu are slightly higher than those of the seasonal flu for this time of year.

Health organizations affirm that there is no better protection against the swine flu than a vaccine. Swine flu vaccinations are now available in the forms of nasal spray (“Flu-Mist”) and regular shots. There have not been any adverse side effects with the H1N1 vaccine beyond what has been experienced with the seasonal flu vaccine.

Apart from vaccination, the best ways to stop the spread of all strains of the flu are to wash hands frequently, to cough into a tissue or sleeve, and to avoid touching the eyes, nose, or mouth. Marin Academy has stationed Purell dispensers at locations throughout the campus to help people disinfect their hands.

“We are focusing on preven-tion,” said Travis Brownley, Head of School. “We are very much in touch with the superintendent of

Marin County schools [regarding preventative measures].”

MA hopes to avoid school dis-missal in response to a swine flu outbreak. Brownley would only consider closing MA if a majority of students were sick.

To limit the spread of the virus, the school asks those with flu-like symptoms, and especially those who have been diagnosed with the swine flu, to stay home at least five days after symptoms first appear.

“We would prefer that people err on the side of staying home a day longer rather than spread the disease,” said Lynne Hansen, Dean of Students.

MA implemented a new policy on Oct. 7 stating that if a student is absent for three days due to ill-ness, the school will contact and reassure the student’s family re-garding how the student can make up missed work.

“We are committed to being flexible,” said Academic Dean Joe Harvey. “Missing multiple days of school can present quite an obstacle in terms of the amount of material that one can miss in that

time. We’re going to try to relieve as much pressure as possible.”

Teachers will allow students who are absent for long periods to skip less important work and to complete only the most essential assignments and tests. They will also allow students extra time to complete this work.

I n a d d i t i o n , students who stay home can access course materials, assignments, and sy l lab i th rough emails or teacher blogs and can sub-mit their work elec-tronically.

“ We ’ r e s t i l l growing in terms of the technologi-cal advancements that would allow us to have a more dynamic onl ine experience,” said Harvey. “We don’t know what the de-mand for it will be. If a whole section of

English were out for illness, and yet could still do work, [we might] post an online discussion about a piece of literature.”

Students and faculty can be confident that MA is committed to supporting them as they return to school after an absence due to illness.

Sarah Tillman

Samantha Abernathey

Students dancing at Winter Formal, Feburary 2009

A&E4 October 22, 2009

Jackson WolfStaff Writer

The circle is alive with the sound of music. This year’s re-vival of the Marin Academy circle by both the spirit cap-tains and the budding Marin Academy Picnic Association has brought a new energy to lunch. On any given day, you can hear the pulsing bass line of electronic music resound-ing from the 12 inch, 500 watt bass amplifier of junior Gabe Beaudoin, and watch tens of students grooving to the tune.

The circle has been the center of campus since the 1930’s when the old cafeteria was put into Foster Hall. We spend our

lunchtimes where 70 years ago, cadets performed military exer-cises. In 2007, the construction of the Bodie Brizendine Leadership

Center drew the many students’ attention away from the circle.

The current senior class, the

last class to have experienced the “old circle,” is now spearhead-ing the movement to bring it back. Spirit Captains Joey Upjohn

and Frank Gibbs have worked with Tennessee Mowrey, leader of the MA Picnic Association, to streamline efforts to both bring students back to the circle and provide a place for them to enjoy themselves.

“It’s a space to let your hair down, to relax, to get the pressure off your shoulders,” said Mowrey.

Up until this year, not that many students spent time in the circle. Attempts to “bring back the circle” over recent years

Circle revival has student body in a state of celabrationhave been numerous but futile. Individual efforts have proven suc-cessful for a day, but never had any lasting effect.

The jury is still out on whether the circle is back for good, but as evidenced by the masses of stu-

Students dance during lunch Emily Bell

dents that pour into the circle every other week, the circle is beginning to show signs of life.

However, as Mowrey and our spirit captains graduate this year, students have expressed concern that the organization and spirit that has made the circle such a popular place to spend time this year may leave with them.

“Future years will depend on the commit-ment of other grades to keep the circle alive,” Gibbs said.

As for this year, the current coordinators of the circle gatherings are looking forward to a year full of circle parties.

Mollie Vitale paints Jazzy Hulett’s face Sarah Strand

TeacherTravis Brownley

Sarah Houghteling

John Hicks

David Lecount


The Wire




Teacher’s Favorite TV Shows

A drama about the survivors of a plane crash who are forced to live with eachother on a re-mote island.

A drama on the Baltimore drug scene with perspectives from both dealers and law en-forcers.A drama concerning average people who wake up one day with special abilities.

“For all my adult life I have detested TV,” said Lecount. “TV is the scourge of our time.”

A&E 5October 22, 2009

Nishant BudhrajaEditor in Chief

MA is the home to all things new and trendy, from the new computers we get every two years, to student-proliferated fashion trends that have not yet surfaced in the mainstream world. To put it simply, we always seem to be ahead of the pop culture curve.

Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, the MA campus is also the up-and-coming music capital of California. We were jammin’ to MGMT before “Electric Feel”, we were groovin’ to RATATAT before they hit iTunes, and we were all about Drake when he was on Degrassi. Not to mention all of the other bands, duos, and rappers that we are listening to now that will probably become big on the national level.

But what does this all amount to? I find it great that MA students have such a knack for determining future musical genius; it speaks to the cultural awareness that our

community embodies. However, when our favorite underground artists go big, we abandon them in search of the next big thing.

Our strange reaction to main-stream media is indicative of our obsession with being trendsetters. What we forget is that, in do-ing so, we sacrifice the things that we truly ap-preciate in music just to remove ourselves from the “mainstream” label.

I understand that this is highly a general statement, and that there are many members of the MA community that listen religiously to their favorite bands, mainstream or not.

However, I think there is some-thing to be said for the anxiety teenagers face with regards to music choices. Online music downloading has not only turned the music industry upside down, it

has made it much harder to keep up with the latest music.

In this “information age,” songs and albums become passé a mere week after they are released. A per-son who listens to “generic” music

is viewed merely as a follower, one who simply treads behind others’ music choices.

Mainstream or globally re-nowned artists are looked down upon within our community as be-

ing sell-outs or merely the popular choice. As a result, students find the need to keep moving from song-to-song or artist-to-artist in order to keep with the latest trends or the latest underground musi-

cian. If this means sacrificing some of our own auditory well being, so be it.

In fact, some peo-ple are so worried about fitting into this aspect of MA culture that they listen to music not because it sounds good to them, but because it’s con-sidered “indie” or “un-derground” or “cool”. Anything else is sim-ply cast aside, or in a rare case is labeled as

“guilty pleasure” music.I have come to question our

philosophy. At the base of this idea lies a need for individuality. People try to find the newest, most unique music in order to maintain a certain

amount of freedom of expression. In this atmosphere, being a fan of a famous artist is simply following the crowd.

So why is it that, when our fa-vorite new artists become spotlight heroes, we desert them? Does this not go against the very idea of indi-viduality that we first had in mind? If we truly like an artist’s music, surely we would continue to fol-low him/her regardless of public opinion. And why must we judge others for not having supported an artist from their roots? So what if their interest developed a month after an artist’s new album?

These are the questions that run through my mind as I look around to a community that prides itself on being a group of pioneers, al-beit ones who will often leave our older interests behind on a whim. In doing this we allow our interests to fluctuate to the point where we lose our sense of identity.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Taylor Swift to listen to. Don’t judge me for it.

Why student body shies away from mainstream music

Sara Morgan

What to wear: a look at fashion trends this fall seasonSara MorganA&E Editor

Most high school girls wake up in the morning and throw on some variation of an Abercrombie & Fitch tank-top, a sweatshirt, flared jeans, and a pair of flip-flops. This however is not the case for many MA girls. We stick out like one fabulous thumb from the Ugg-and-Juicy wearing masses.

Another great aspect of MA fashion is that it always seems to be evolving. For example, two years ago, our school was like a live ad campaign for American Apparel. Now it seems that many students have turned towards the indie grunge look supplied by stores like Urban Outfitters.

1. Denim Cutoff ShortsThese light wash, baggy bot-

toms have become ubiquitous on campus. With a vintage worn in feel these shorts are effortlessly chic.

Tip: Pair with a form-fitting tank to balance out the wide silhouette on bottom.

2. Vintage T-ShirtsWhether it be an old concert

or print tee, these shirts look great tucked into a high waisted skirt or over jeans.

Tip: A great place to find such shirts would be at Wasteland and other vintage boutiques in the

Haight district of San Francisco.

3. Bows and FeathersDainty bows and feather head-

bands are popular with female students. Both of these accesso-ries look great with different hair colors and textures and help add a little extra pizzazz to whatever you are wearing.

Tip: Keep jewelry simple when wearing feather accessories. They are enough of a statement when flying solo.

4. MidriffsThe clothes you wear make a

statement. However what skin you show also makes a statement. In particular, shirts that show off some midriff are in vogue.

Tip: Show midriff within rea-son. You don’t want to defeat the purpose of wearing a shirt.



Lyla Wilton rocks this shorts style Gwen Muren is darling in a bow

Lily Spitz sports a Deep Puprle t-shirt Maya Rhine keeps it cool in a midriff

Here is a look at some trends that have appeared recently at MA:


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A majority of the faculty members fi nd Epicurean’s food fl avorful. “It is funny,” said English teacher Sara Houghteling, “One of the things I love about my

job is that the food is free. It is not every day you get to eat various regional cuisines free of charge!”

However, plenty of students are able to fi nd fault with an aspect of the new café: the small portions, having a server, and dissatisfying food to name a few. History teacher Dave Marshall suspects that high expectations are the root cause of the problem.

“We are fortunate enough to be in a privileged community, but I can tell that Epicurean has been working hard to determine our preferences; I have been very impressed with their fl ex-ibility thus far,” said Marshall.

Features6 October 22, 2009

This year, Marin Academy’s café is experimenting with a new food provider: the Epicurean Group. This food service is a company based in Los Altos that caters for 24 different schools around the Bay Area. Seann Pridmore, chef manager at MA, now faces the challenge of changing and adapt-ing his food within company binds for the MA community. “I’m trying to fi gure out the best way to make everyone happy,” said Pridmore “but the owner likes it a certain way.”

The search for a new food service began last year after various complaints about last year’s Acre Gourmet arose. The food service was criticized for being too expensive and the relationship between the MA community and the chefs from Acre was weak. The food however was rarely criticized, 100% organic, and incredibly sustainable.

Epicurean came to MA with a detailed mission statement that would help to inform all aspects of the catering. “We believe that fresh, delicious food and environmental respon-sibility go hand-in-hand. We use the freshest, seasonal fruits and vegetables that are grown and harvested in an environmentally responsible manner. This includes using meats from animals raised on healthy grains and grass instead of processed feed and hormones, and organic fruits and vegetables from local farmers. The Bay Area is home to some of the best organic farms in the world and we intend to take full advantage of this blessing.”

The cost does not seem to be dramatically different from the previous year. In trying to fi nd a food service that met the needs of the MA community, it seems that cost was prioritized lower than quality. “If your going to center or transcend a societal trend that is either unhealthy or inconsistent with our values here at MA,” said biology teacher and head of Eco-Council Mark Stefanski “there is going to be a cost.”

While Epicurean strives to be eco-friendly, both students and faculty’s awareness to the issue leave them objecting to some of the actions of the food service. Senior and member of Eco-Council, Margot Reissner, voiced her unhappiness with the desserts, bagels, and other items are wrapped in plastic wrap. However, Pridmore explained that it is a temporary solution to the lack of sneeze-guards required by the health department.

“It scares me,” said Pridmore “that somebody would eat my food and then get swine!” While this is not the only complaint from the eco-council and the other environmentally

conscious at MA, Epicurean’s commitment to improving their sustainability was demonstrated when Pridmore attended an eco-council meeting in order to get feedback and answer any ques-tions that the group had.






Intro to Epicurean


Faculty Reactions

Max Ku ManzaneroMiguel TapiaGina RoyallDae’ Janique Harris

Seann PridmoreLisa EisenbergJuan Rico GarciaFrendira Lugo

Writing and Reporting:Sam Pritzker and Katie Eiseman

Remember These Names

Features 7October 22, 2009

One common complaint of last year’s Acre Gourmet service was the high-cost of food. This year though, a similar complaint has been noted, with students fi nding Epicurean’s fees just as costly. Mike Joyce, the Chief Financial Offi cer said,

“The costs of the programs are about the same. There is a difference, though, in the kind of service that we’re getting. In particular, we had a hard

time getting Acre to do any of the other catering that MA needed on a regular basis. We were looking for a service provider that could do more than just serve lunch.”

Last year, Acre Gourmet made an announcement, claiming it to be the last year they would serve MA unless the school found a way to include the cost of the lunch in its students’ tu-ition.

“There are a lot of benefi ts to a provider in that regard because they know exactly how many mouths they’re going to feed. It is an effective way of cutting down on waste and scal-

ing the service provider’s meals accordingly. Overwhelmingly though, we noticed students liked the option of being able to bring a lunch into school or go off campus on a nice day, and we did not want to take that alternative away,” said Joyce.

Selecting a new catering company to serve MA was a lengthy process. Last year, the school advertised that it was in need of a food service program, and quite a few companies submitted bids. The business offi ce evaluated these bids and narrowed them down to the two services they felt best met MA’s demands. Lynne Hansen, the dean of students, felt it was not only a considerate, but comprehensive method of selecting a new company:

“My sense was that everyone at Marin Academy was well represented; the interview process involved meeting with a group of administrators and students. These groups as well as others reviewed the proposals and made the decision on the company that we felt best met the needs of the school,” said Hansen.






The Selection Process

Economic Impact

The students eating in the MA café appear to still be adjusting to Epicurean’s ways just as the members of the new food service are adjusting to the patrons’ demands. The various complaints have been consolidated into a suggestion box. An actual suggestion box is soon to be installed in the cafeteria. Pridmore emphasizes Epicurean’s commitment to pleasing the customer and making the necessary changes in order to satisfy as many diners as possible.

While many of the criticisms from the MA students are valid, some appear to be caused by a lack of communication between Epicurean and its patrons. Students, for example, protested the portion size and Epicurean’s style of serving the customer. Many students resented no

longer being able to shovel as much, or as little, onto one’s own plate. “Portions are not consistent for everyone,” said junior Mason McDowell “I am a soccer player

and I need more than that tiny little portion.” Pridmore however shares that if you are still hungry after the initial portion, you can go

back and get seconds with no additional cost. Environmental sustainability is at the root of this policy.

“We are trying to avoid the waste when somebody’s eyes are bigger than their stomach,” said Pridmore.

Student Reactions

Typical SelectionGlobal Bowls Breakfast SandwichesSalad Bar Granola and YogurtPizza and Panini Fridays Guayaki and Izze (drinks)Grab-and-go boxes Cookies and Rice Crispy Treats

Writing and Reporting:Sam Pritzker and Katie Eiseman

Features8 October 22, 2009

Olivia PowersNews Editor

The McEvoy Faculty Sabbati-cal Fund and the Edward E. Ford Fellowship are two programs that allow members of the Marin Academy faculty to engage in i n - d e p t h p r o j e c t s too lengthy to attempt during the s c h o o l year. This past year, t h r e e o f M A ’ s t e a c h -ers were a w a r d e d t h e o p -portunity to t ravel to various countries in Africa.

T h e M c E v o y Sabbatical Fund, established in 2005, provides funding for MA faculty members who have served the community for at least seven years. Most recently, Marin Acad-emy science teacher Diana Cun-ningham spent the spring semester of the 2008-2009 school year on sabbatical in Kenya.

“I’m somebody that loves to visit other cultures,” said Cun-ningham. “I believe that world views are culturally determined so I really am interested in how other people live. I had always wanted to experience Africa and Kenya was a great country to go to.”

During her stay, Cunningham lived just southeast of Nairobi in a small village located in the Mua Hills. She spent the majority of her days cooking and keeping the small farm running with her host, Beatrice. In the afternoons, they sat with the neighbors and made-baskets.

“This was a really important community activity for women,” said Cunningham. “There’s a sense of support because women

Sabbatical and Ford Fellowship expand horizons have a pretty hard time in Kenya, especially single women. This was one way in which they could get some economic benefit, but also some friendship and support. They tell their stories to each other.”

On other days Cunningham

venured out of the Mua Hills to Machakos, where she guest taught at two local schools.

“I taught the kids about natural selection for their evolution unit. I spoke to all the classes on a va-riety of things and had all sorts of conversations with the kids,” said Cunningham.

Both the ABC Katelembo School and the Grass Valley Girls School are highly subsidized boarding schools. No more than forty students, who come from tribes throughout Kenya, attend each school. Their accommoda-tions are essentially sheet metal shacks and the school provides them with uniforms because they do not have enough money for clothing. However, Cunningham found that despite the lifestyle differences, teaching students in Kenya was not so very different from teaching at MA.

“The kids were just amazing,” said Cunningham. “They were just like [MA students]. Teenagers are teenagers. It was really interest-ing; I didn’t expect that.”

Although she found some as-pects of Kenya to be strikingly similar to her life in America, the experience taught her a great deal.

“It had a huge impact on me because every single day there

were mul-tiple times w h e r e s o m e -t h i n g w o u l d come up that would cause me to reflect upon my own life-s t y l e , ” said Cun-ningham. “It gave m e a sense of empower-ment that I c o u l d ac tua l ly do some-t h i n g

worthwhile that would help make a difference and would in fact ripple out.”

Marin Academy history teach-er Betsy Muir and MA English teacher Trixie Sabundayo also traveled to Af-r ica this past year. Each year MA receives a grant from the E.E. Ford Foun-dation, a national foundation locat-ed in Washing-ton, D.C., which MA then allots to two teachers for educational summer tr ips. The foundation, founded in 1957, awards grants to independent sec-ondary schools which are a part of the National Association of

Independent Schools. Marin Academy has participated in the program since 1993 and has grant-ed over 20 teachers the opportunity to broaden their horizons during the summer vacations.

“One of MA’s greatest strengths is the tenure of our faculty and the sabbatical program [and] the E.E. Ford Foundation, support that,” said Academic Dean, Joe Harvey. “[These programs] are wonder-ful opportunities for our faculty and we are very grateful to their founders.”

Sabundayo and Muir, MA’s latest recipients of the E.E. Ford grant, applied for the funding as a team, which was the first time that two MA faculty members had done so. The two journeyed to three of South Africa’s largest cities: Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town, where they spent the majority of their time.

“I think South Africa was sort of a no-brainer for us,” Sabundayo said. “Both of us teach a unit on South Africa to the tenth graders, and it’s one of our most enjoyable and successful.”

As part of their trip proposal, Sabundayo and Muir wanted to start a partnership with a school in South Africa.

“[We wanted it to] be based around a truly mutual, reciprocal relationship,” said Sabundayo. “If we could set up a partnership where MA kids could have real, live conversations with other kids, who aren’t from California, then they would understand the things they’re learning [in history and English] a little bit better.”

Besides meeting with teach-ers and visiting different schools while working on establishing their partnership, Sabundayo and Muir spent time exploring differ-ent historical sites, touring and tak-ing safaris, and even wine tasting. Both, however, considered the best part of the trip learning from the people who lived there.

“For me, the highlight was spending time with the South Af-ricans,” said Sabundayo. “Talk-ing about the complexities of life there didn’t compare to anything else for me.”

Above all, the trip proved to be an educational experience.

“The thing I really learned,” said Muir, “was the deeper com-plexity of South Africa, which you can’t really get from a textbook.”

Although the trip was an in-credible experience for both, it did have one disappointment.

“ T r i x i e never saw el-ephants,” said Muir.

“The e l -ephants hid the day we went on sa-fari, and they might be one of my favor-ite animals,” S a b u n d a y o said. “Which means I’ve g o t t o g o back.”

Additional reporting by Lauren Thomas.

Diana Cunningham poses with students at the ABC Kaelembo School.used with permission from Diana Cunningham

Trixie Sabundayo and Betsy Muir pause for a picture on Robben Island, South Africa.

used with perm

ission from B

etsy Muir

Opinion October 22, 20099

The unwritten book of high school hints

Halloween costumes, a bit more than scaryHossain Albgal

Staff Writer

Come the 31st of October, girls from all high school campuses reveal the knee high boots, waist length dresses and cat ears that would be deemed inappropriate on any day other than Halloween. Many girls at school use Hallow-een as an opportunity to explore the boundaries between revealing and disturbing.

Some will simply place the word “sexy” in front of ordinary occupations, allowing them to ex-press their career aspirations while still attracting whistles and stares from their male counterparts. They wear white fishnet stockings, white dresses stretching from their chest to their waist, and call themselves nurses. Some will attempt to transform into their favorite trashy celebrity, doing Amy Winehouse better than Amy Winehouse. And some will wear the most revealing outfit possible, and then simply place a pair of plastic cat ears on their head, forcing many boys to look at their pet cat in an entirely new way.

After three years of experienc-

ing, analyzing, and ultimately being left confused by high school Halloween, I bring the questions to our female readers: How should boys act when interacting with mini-mally clothed girls on Hal-loween?

I have experienced the same scenario countless times: My science partner comes to school on Halloween as a sexy schoolgirl, sporting a plaid skirt that barely surpasses her waist, and a button up shirt with the first five buttons un-done, making it nearly impos-sible to maintain eye contact. I am expected to achieve the intended academic goal of the project while maintaining a professional relationship with a partner who is half-naked. As I nervously wonder how to ask for the graduated cylinder without it sounding like a sexual innuendo, I can’t help but wonder: is this scenario fair? My partner’s only concern at this point is finish-ing the project, while my concern is finishing the project and avoid-ing offending my partner.

The current norm when inter-

acting with girls on Halloween is to pretend that they are dressed no differently than every other day. If I were, for example, to say to my sexy schoolgirl science partner that I liked her costume, I would quickly earn myself the title of creeper. My only alternative is to ignore my female companion’s revealing costume. I would gladly

pretend that girls are simply wearing the same thing that they always wear but one thing continues to remind me that my female comrades are not dressed normally: the laws of attraction.

As far as the costumes go themselves, every revealing costume has two components. The first being that it portrays a common person/character/thing. The second is that it portrays said character in as little clothing as possible. So, the dilemma is this: do I com-pliment girls on the character that they portray or the fact that it is revealing. The di-lemma occurs every Hallow-een, and every Halloween I have no idea what to do. A girl walks up to me and asks me how I like her costume. The

girl then shows off her tight short black dress with a half-piped shape neck line and furry cat ears. Do I say, “Wow, you make an excellent cat,” or do I say, “Wow, your lack of clothing is excellent.”

I am not the only one affected by this dilemma. Imagine a teach-er is at his/her desk grading papers

when an 18 year-old senior girl walks into the classroom dressed as a sexy cop. With her cleavage half-revealed and her undergar-ments clearly visible, she asks the teacher to write her college recommendation letter. It is a bit difficult for a teacher to maintain a respectful relationship with his/her student if his/her student is scantily clad.

So, I ask this question for any male, female, teacher or student who may have an answer: What are we to do?

Personally, I would prefer girls simply did not come to school dressed in revealing costumes. I can hear the boos of teenage boys already, but my disapproval is not based on the girls’ decision to dress revealingly, but rather their choice of setting. In an educational envi-ronment such clothing simply hin-ders people’s ability to focus.

So girls, plan ahead, call some friends, and make a weekend out of creating fun and clever cos-tumes to show off at school. Put the cat ears back in the closet and put some thought into this year’s costume.

Anna Kelly

Amanda LevensohnOp/Ed Editor

If high school was supposed to be easy, we would have been born ready. We would already know all of the answers and solutions to the adolescent mix of problems. There would be no stressing over colleges, clique related drama, or silly mistakes. Although we like to think that we know everything, I would like to point out that based on my track record, I still have much to learn. Life wouldn’t be half as fun if we actually knew half as much as we thought we did.

Although we may not enjoy it at the time, I think that teen angst is a valuable part of growing up. How-ever, I have found that we spend our high school days searching for a way out of the challenges we

are faced with. It is as though we are looking for a mysterious book that holds all of the answers.

Imagine this book did exist. The first page of the book would host a table of contents, rang-ing from “How to Get into College”, to “How to Move in on Your First Kiss.” You would turn the page and see the ins and outs of how to write a good essay. Slightly alarmed by the mass amount of informa-tion that you never realized mat-tered, you would continue to finger through the dense, yet comforting

pages. You would come across a section that read, “High School Identity Crisis,” here it would discuss the plague of cliques,

popular culture, and the dreaded journey of self discovery. This lengthy chapter book with its wide pages and small print would discuss music culture, how to dress, how to flirt, and how to run away from your fears. There would be step-by-step instructions on how to dance, how to be smart, and a discussion of when to walk away from a situation.

It’s time to face the fact that there is no source of all the

solutions. Who needs a book that solves the problems of high school when you can figure them out for

yourself. The book of high school hints

(that actually help) has never been written for a reason. Half of the high school learning experience is something that every student needs to face on his or her own both in and outside of the classroom. Hat-ing the homework, the drama, the stress, and then laughing about it later, shows us how much we have grown.

During one of the most pres-sured and stressful periods of my high school career, first semester senior year, I am trying hard to remember this through the best and worst of times. At a crossroads and full of questions, I think that the only experience that can prepare me well enough for college is fac-ing high school without any silly prescribed directions.

Sarah Strand

Opinion 10October 22, 2009

1600 Mission Ave., San Rafael, CA 94901http://courses.ma.org/voice/voice.html

The Marin Academy Voice is a student-run newspaper pub-lished free from faculty or administrative censorship or prior re-view. Unsigned editorials represent the views of the entire staff. Columns represent the views of the writer, not necessarily those of this paper.

If you have any questions or would like to receive The Voice, please send a request to [emailprotected].

m a r i n a c a d e m y v o i c e

The sun shone as students and faculty alike loaded their plates with pesto pasta, Caesar salad, and burgers hot off the grill during Epicurean’s inaugural lunch on the first day of school. The prospect of Marin Academy’s third food ser-vice in four years was promising. A select group of staff and students conducted a thorough search to find an equally green and afford-able alternative to our previous food service, Acre Gourmet.

Nine weeks later, the opinion of Epicurean is not as favorable. As the community has settled back into the school routine, Epicu-rean has settled into its own menu schedule. Global offerings, pizza, paninis, and calzones are offered weekly, but students are frustrated with the overwhelming occurrence of pasta. Many of the choices are full of starch, cheese, and garlic, usually remaining stingy on items like vegetables and meat. Though most students enjoy pasta, Epicu-

rean’s “Pasta Fun-gi” and tortellini (renamed by stu-dents as “Tortel-liquid”) has left many students v e n t u r i n g o f f campus in search of better eats.

H o w e v e r , not a l l Epicu-rean’s fare has left students with raised eyebrows. The afterschool smoothies and new variety of Guayaki flavors are a hit, and the packaged salads are quick and convenient. The rest of the “Quick Bites,” unfortunately, are not as popular. Those choosing from the salad bar are saddened by the lack of variety of toppings compared to those of Acre Gourmet; the absence of tofu, especially, leaves vegetarians’ stomachs emptier.

General consensus indicates the bagels are sub-par, something es-pecially noteworthy with the loss of the nearby Marin Bagel Com-pany. On the other hand, many students are thrilled with the wide variety of full-fledged breakfast options and generously cut des-serts. The salad dressings and fruit available are also well liked.

The lunch line in itself is a

w h o l e other is-sue. Many feel that b e i n g s e r v e d by some-one else makes the lunch line s l o w e r , and coun-ters MA’s philoso-p h y o f teaching s tudents

to be independent and respon-sible for their own actions. Having someone else control your portion creates extra waste while leaving others hungry. Many of the foods served come in extra packaging as well, something our school strives to eliminate even though wrappers are used for sanitary reasons. The prices of meals and extra items

Travis BrownelyGuest Writer

Whenever people ask me how Marin Academy differs from other schools, I always respond that there is an incredible sense of joy here. Lately, I have been reflecting on this notion of joy. What is it after all, and how do we create it? How do we know we have it?

From my vantage point, it seems to come from a couple of places. A sense of possibil-ity always seems to accompany a joyful state of mind. At MA, the idea that you can do something on your own, take advantage of an opportunity comes from explor-ing a subject you love in class or mastering a particularly difficult problem. It is not so much the dif-ficulty posed as it is the confidence to work through it. Around school, I observe the willingness of each of you to take on something because you believe that you can make a difference. Students here take on challenges because they have

confidence. This point of view motivates those who engage with the garden, who play on teams, who take challenging courses. I also see this joy in friendships that grow here everyday. When we greet each other, whether with a quick hello or the famous MA hug, we are genuinely interested in what the other has to say, or what has happened, or what we might hear and learn. There is a certain anticipation to these moments, and we are willing to be surprised.

I think that knowing we have a place and purpose also gives us joy. When we feel that our con-nection is meaningful, that we can make a difference and have a pur-pose, joy follows. Difficulty can still accompany these moments, but we are sustained by knowing that our engagement matters. Feel-ing included and knowing that we are important makes a difference. We are lucky enough to see that every day at MA. Student voice is evident everywhere, underscored

by the name of this publication.So what are the challenges to a

sense of joy here or anywhere for that matter? I often think about this issue of inclusion. What makes us embrace an idea, or a person, or a piece of work, or a different point of view? It seems to me that being flexible and being open matters. If we lack curiosity about the world around us, how can we feel joy? Ironically, being joyful probably requires some effort on our part; it isn’t simply a state of being.

The first quarter is about to end, and there’s a lot to get done between now and then. As these days unfold, keep a sense of joy in mind. What are your thoughts about joy? I’d love to know!

Epicurean, basta on the pasta

Standing on the corner

are within cents of those of Acre Gourmet, but many students find they receive less food since they are not able to serve themselves.

Though it is still too early to make lasting judgments on Epicu-rean, it appears that many of the problems students have with the service can be resolved through better communication. There are rumors of free seconds and added service fees that Epicurean needs to shed light on, and students should voice opinions to Epicu-rean instead of each other if they want change in their lunch (or breakfast). A good place to start would be installing a suggestion box, and posting or announcing policies on the amount of food and prices. But if the café wants to instantly win back the hearts – and stomachs – of many MA students, Epicurean should ditch its chocolate chip cookie recipe and let Lisa, veteran kitchen em-ployee, work her magic.

Editors-in-ChiefSarah Strand

Nishant Budhraja

News EditorOlivia Powers

Features EditorJulia Herbst

Op-Ed EditorAmanda Levensohn

Sports EditorMax Weiss

A&E EditorSara Morgan

Faculty Advisor Mary Collie

StaffHossain AlbgalNeha Budhraja

Riley ChampineKatie Eisem*n

Claire FoxAvery HaleRuby JamesJennifer KatzAnna Kelly

Marshall LevensohnOlivia Lloyd

Andrew MillerJamie Muresanu

Berk NormanSam PritzkerIsaac Scott

Eric SlamovichLauren ThomasSarah Tillman

Alec WhiteJackson Wolf

The Voice is looking to publish your stories on MA. If you would like

to submit, please contact Op-Ed Editor Amanda


Amanda Levensohn

Sports 11OCTOBER 22, 2009

ML: What are the goals for the girls’ tennis team this year?

JU: Our goals are to bring home the BCL title, make NCS, and to improve as much as we can as a team.

ML: Why do you enjoy MA tennis so much?

JU: I love our tennis program because you don’t have to play year round and tennis is great to form friendships from playing doubles and bonding with our small team.

ML: Who are the leaders of the team?JU: Our captains are Erin Wilson and Mar-

got Reisner. They are extremely strong players and are constantly motivating our team to try hard and succeed.

ML: What has been the highlight of your season so far?

JU: Our team participated in a team tourna-ment early in the season, which was extremely fun, as well as a team bonding experience. We were able to beat a tough Cal High and ad-vanced to the finals.

ML: Does the team have any pre-game rituals?

JU: Yes, before every game, we do an MA chant in the deepest voices we possibly can to come out intimidating and ready to play.

Wildcats of the issue swing the racket, throw the ballConnor Flemming

C. Fox: How long have you been playing water polo and why did you start?

C.F.: I have been playing water polo for four years now - since fresh-man year. I wasn’t really planning on playing water polo since I didn’t have any competitive swimming back-ground, but my brother played so my parents kind of expected me to play. Then I fell in love with it after the first year. The seniors that year had a really big part in keeping me around, especially Jason Lee, the captain.

C. Fox: What is the best part about water polo?

C.F: The best part is the feeling between the two teams before they both get into the pool. I love the stares between the sides on the pool deck as each team essentially sizes up the other team. It’s pretty noticeable, but it’s fun.

C. Fox: What is the hardest part?C.F: The hardest part for most people is the swimming aspect. However, the hard-

est part for me is preparing mentally for games. I can’t help but get pumped up before super big games. But if I get too pumped up, my quality of play usually goes way down because I start to rush and water polo is a game of patience.

C. Fox: What are your goals for the team?C.F: We’ve beat two of the three teams in our league by one goal, so our goalis to go ahead and win the league. We are also going to put a big effort into improv-

ing the younger JV team so that they can carry on the team after the juniors and senior leave.

Marshall Levensohn and Claire FoxStaff WritersJosephine Ubben

Club introduces the ancient art of pingpong

Avery Hale

Neha Budhraja

Jamie MuresanuStaff Writer

Seniors Conor Flemming and Teo Pier have joined forces to create a new addition to Marin Academy’s already plentiful array of clubs: the Pingpong Club.

When asked why he chose to spearhead the Pingpong Club, Pier said, “I had wanted to start it a while ago ‘cause I’ve loved pingpong forever. I didn’t want to do it on my own… I mentioned it to Conor and we both were like, ‘Let’s do it.’”

The student body has recip-rocated their enthusiasm: the club drew a large crowd after its announcement at assembly, and over 120 students have already joined the “Pingpong Club” via Facebook. Despite the promising student support, Pingpong Club is

still facing some minor logistical issues.

“We’re look-ing on Craigslist to find a semi-cheap [p ing-pong] table, but we definitely need help, so we’re asking if people can give like two bucks. Because once we get 50 peo-ple giving two bucks, then the Senate will help us out with the rest,” said Pier.

Senate member Joseph Kind announced that the Senate will support the Pingpong Club’s goal to purchase a table.

“The original plan was that we were going to match whatever funds they raised under $100,” said Kind. “But I’m unsure of whether that number still holds true.”

Once a pingpong table is ac-

quired, the cur-rent plan is to store it in the fitness center, where the club members would be able to easily move it into the adjacent plaza for club sessions.

Lynne Han-sen, Dean of Stu-dents, weighed in on the club leaders’ ping-pong table stor-age plans.

“We’ve ac-tually stored a

pingpong table both in the gym and the fitness center before. It’s not ideal, in that its access is a bit of an issue, but if the leaders of the club plan ahead they shouldn’t

have trouble finding someone who can go up and open the space for them,” said Hansen.

While no concrete dates have been set for the club to convene, Flemming and Pier hope to make it a weekly occurrence.

“I think we would try and have some sort of meeting every week, like an official Pingpong Club meeting and that might consist of just free play, or some sort of orga-nized tournament,” said Pier.

The club is open to all students who wish to participate, regard-less of pingpong experience, but members should come prepared to compete. “I think it will be [competitive] because I think that everyone loves pingpong, and a lot of people, at MA especially, are competitive, said Pier. “So I think it’ll actually get really, re-ally intense.”

Jamie MuresanuConnor Flemming (left) and Teo Pier (right) show off their pingpong prowess

Sports12 OCTOBER 22, 2009

Ouch! Sliding home in those

shorts must have hurt!

Ouch! Sliding home in those shorts must have hurt!

Ouch! Sliding home in those shorts must have hurt!

Back in the day, the Girls’ Basketball shorts rivaled the volleyball


Ouch! Sliding home in those shorts must have hurt!

Ouch! Sliding home in those shorts must have hurt!






e in




s m



ve h



Back in the day, the

Girls’ Basketball sh


rivaled the volleyball


An MA player shows that

he doesn’t mind showing a

little thigh...as long as he

gets the rebound.

Ouch! Sliding home in those






e in








e in




s m



ve h








e in




s m



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e in



The MA striker attempts a

ferocioius shot--

Is that Lynne Hansen in the


Ouch! Sliding home in those Back in the day, the

Girls’ Basketball sh


rivaled the volleyball

Back in the day, the

Girls’ Basketball sh


Once the game starts, the

team strips off the pants and

starts to dominate.

Ouch! Sliding home in those

Is that Lynne Hansen in the

Ouch! Sliding home in those shorts must have hurt!

Ouch! Sliding home in those shorts must have hurt!

Ouch! Sliding home in those shorts must have hurt!

Is that Lynne Hansen in the

Before the tip-off, the boys show

some modesty...

Jersey throwbacks: a tribute to the short-shorts

October 2009: Marin Academy Voice - [PDF Document] (2024)


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