Black women will always be too loud for a world that never intended to listen to them in the first place.
“A man’s character is most evident by how he treats those who are not in a position to retaliate or reciprocate. Be aware of how you treat others, even those who may have no impact on your life. Remember, what goes around, really does come around.”
“That is what this opportunity today is about: to give thought to my life, and to come to a realization about who I am, how I’ve changed, and about the realization of who my true friends really are, and what great influences these friends have on my life.”
“When I come up with a new melody that sounds great, finally get two different sounds to sound good together, nail a transition into the bridge on a guitar song, or finish writing and perfecting a song altogether, it feels awesome.”
“At the end of my freshman year, what I thought was dehydration turned into something so much more. I got hit with what I thought was a mountain: diabetes…”
“My first year here, no matter where I went, I always ended up ordering cheeseburgers and Coke. Looking back, nothing has changed after three years.”
I grew up in a military family. My mom and dad have served for a combined total of 49 years in the Army. Being a military kid wasn’t a big deal at first but there is one date, September 11, 2001, that changed many peoples’ lives, as well as mine forever. It was when I became a child of a wartime family instead of a peacetime family. In 2003 my family got the call that my dad would be deploying to Afghanistan to fight the war on terror. He was gone for two years. As a 5 year old I didn’t know what was going on but I knew everything would be different. Even with this crisis there was good to be found.
My grandfather, who I called Seanathair–Gaelic for Old Father, asked my mom to come to his house for the summer.
We had a lot of fun and he filled our days with many activities. He bought me a set of golf clubs and when he saw me swing he knew that he had to get me lessons right away. This was the start of an amazing relationship with him; we continued going to his house every summer and eventually my sister and I started going by ourselves. I would golf with him every day. He would give me pointers about my game and teach me about golf etiquette while giving me advice not only about golf but about life. He taught me to have integrity and to always be a kind and considerate golfer. When I started playing tournaments he would take me to every event. When I would do something well he’d cheer and if I did something bad he’d sigh. Afterwards we’d talk about what I did well and where I could improve. He always said he was proud of me and remind me that hard work pays off. We spent many hours in the car going to tournaments during our summers and he’d tell me about his past. One of his favorite stories was when he was a kid and he got in a fight and ran home because he was losing. When he told his grandfather what happened, his grandfather told him to suck it up and go and try again and my Seanthair did. What I learned is that when things aren’t going your way, never give up, you can always learn something in a difficult situation, and to never be afraid of my opponent.
He’d tell me about rocks and oil wells because he was both a geologist and an oil man; he would explain why the rocks were a certain way and how the oil wells work. Even if I had already heard it before, I would sit in the car as a little kid memorizing everything he would say because I looked up to him. As I would sit and listen I would learn about what type of man he was and as I got older I realized that his storytelling was his way of teaching me life lessons. He would joke that I wasn’t really listening but I was! Over the years my Seanathair’s heart began to fail and in April he had open heart surgery. In May, I returned to Ohio for the Joe Haase Cup, with my mom and Coach Mike as my caddie. When we got there I heard that my Seanathair was sick and that he would have to miss the tournament. I played and we won. Afterwards, my mom told me that we needed to get to the hospital right away and that’s when I knew it was bad. I went to his room and I saw him lying there looking very old and tired. A man that I had known as smart and who always loved to talk was lying there barely able to speak. I told him about the tournament. I also told him that I was okay with him going and that I was going to make him proud. That it is when he started talking and telling me to “Go and play the game!”
I knew he was talking about more than golf; he was talking about life. I told him I knew I had already made him proud as a golfer because he always told me even when I played poorly. But I knew I still had to make him proud of the man I will become and I know I have a long way to go. He told me he loved me and that he was tired and to go back to school. I went back because I knew this is what he would want. He always told me when he died I got only one day to cry and I should go on with my life because he had enjoyed a full life. I said goodbye and the next day, Monday May 11 while I was flying back to school, the man I hope to be like one day, passed away.
I was lucky enough to have 18 years with my Seanathair and I know that I will carry all his advice with me for the rest of my life. Thank you Mom and Dad for everything you’ve done, Caelin I know that I bug you a lot but I am your brother and know that I will always be there for you. And thank you Seanathair for being the most inspirational man in my life. I love you all!
-Shane Hoben ’16
If you have ever met my dad you know that he is a very nice Nigerian man with a very thick accent, and a very interesting taste in clothing. Nonetheless, he is still a man with a goal.
He came to this country with 200 dollars in his pocket. He worked at KFC for his first job, which is hard to believe because he hates KFC for some reason. My dad wanted a better life so he worked for it. He started his own cleaning company. Commercial cleaning isn’t a very easy business to get into because Janitronics was already a dominant force in the market. But that did not faze my dad; he put all of his time and effort into his company and worked day and night just to make sure that everything was perfect. Now my dad has a successful business that can almost run itself.
The reason his business worked as well as it did was because he cared. He cared about each and every person he got into business with. He made sure not to just do the bare minimum but to do more than what was asked. He never let any time go to waste and used every resource he had. I think my dad invented a floor scuff remover by putting a tennis ball on the end of a stick. He built his business from the ground up and is very humble about it. His story has not only inspired me but has inspired everyone around him.
Many people know that building a business is a very hard thing to do, which involves a lot of stress and decision-making. But somehow he manages to keep a cool head and a constant positive attitude. His attitude on life is so positive it’s scary. He is the type of person that always has a smile on his face and always looks happy, this is why you can always find me with a smile of my face and always happy.
He often replies to “How is your day?” with “Excellent!” because everyone always says “Good”. This always manages to put people off and makes them think for a second. “What is this guy doing that makes his life excellent and mine just good?” They are also probably wondering why he is so dressed up? Since he believes that you should dress for the job you want, he is always dressed to stand out. People are in awe when he is in just normal clothes. But hey perception is reality, right?
Little things like that shape my dad into who he is. All the things he has taught me about life are things that I hope to teach my kids one day. My dad has taught me everything that I know; without him I would not be here today and I would not be the person that I am.
Dad, every day I strive to become more like you. Thank you for everything that you have helped me accomplish. You are my inspiration.
-Leo Rabiu ’16
What comes to mind when you hear someone saying Colombia? Colombia with an O not with a U. People have asked me many questions when they realize I am Colombian, questions like: do you sell drugs? Is it dangerous to live there? Or even some interesting ones like: do you dance like Shakira? Are there mosquitoes in Colombia? Have you watched Narcos? By the way, I haven´t.
Let me explain to you what exactly a Colombian is and how we live. Colombia is located in South America. It is the 2nd most bio-diverse country in the world and has part of the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon. So yes, there are mosquitoes there. According to the 2014 Barometer of Happiness and Hope, Colombia is the happiest country in the world, despite its reputation as a dangerous drug-peddling place. It’s one of the most beautiful countries for its helpful, hopeful, and deeply endearing people. As a community we like to help each other, fight hard for our dreams, and give our heart to everything that we do.
Colombians grow up in many particular conditions that challenge us every day. In my case, I grew up in the interesting but chaotic capital Bogota. It has a serious security problem, mainly because of the forced home displacement, unemployment, and increasingly unbearable public transportation and traffic. Also, most of us find ourselves faced with a limited education. As an example, at the music school of the National University of Colombia we have to lock the music stands to the wall, so they are not stolen. We only have 10 practice rooms for about 300 musicians, and one little auditorium that isn’t big enough to house the student orchestra.
Now you may be wondering how Colombia could be the happiest country in the world with all these problems. We are very grateful for every single thing that our country can offer us.What brings us together is the enormous love for our country. What makes us happy is to think that there is hope for a better future and that WE ARE part of this new change. There is nothing more exciting than dreaming of a future where we can all propose new ideas and opportunities in order to help the development of the country that made us who we are. There are problems to solve, among those, to overcome our drug reputation that we obtained many years ago. It was a dark part of our history and it is a past that we cannot deny, but every day true Colombians try to recover from it and fight to defeat the issue.
In order to change our country’s image, many of us leave our families and friends with one goal in mind: to represent our country with the best of our endeavors. Music has given me the opportunity to do this, to see the world from another perspective, it has opened doors for me and most importantly, it has given me the possibility to dream. One of these dreams is to one day help to share the young Colombian talent to the world and change children’s lives by giving them the opportunity to study music. Music led me away from Colombia, and only now do I truly realize the love I have for my country.
I would like to thank those people who have been like angels in my path, people that have trusted me and supported me so I can keep pursuing my dreams. Thanks to my family that has inspired me. From them I have learned to love my country and appreciate the little things that life gives me. Their love makes me stronger and gives me the energy to keep going.
Thanks to my friends who share these dreams with me and in different parts of the world give the best of them to demonstrate that Colombia is more than salsa music and good coffee. Finally thank you to my beautiful country, thank you for challenging me every day and giving me the inspiration to be better in order to one day help to make it better.
-Sara Aldana ’16
When I was 5 years old, I grabbed some small, colorful, dry-soil-like dust, and put it in my mouth. It tasted worse than durian fruit. Apologies to anyone who likes durian but I really hate it. What I put in my mouth was crayon. Please don’t ask me why I ate it, because I also asked myself the same question. However, I believe that this event was the motivation for getting interested in art. Because after that happened, I started to draw on every wall that I could reach with crayons. I remember that I also drew on my dog; he once had to get a new haircut.
I really loved to draw or paint. I would draw stupid monsters with 10 eyes, 3 noses, and 5 mouths, and some weird human beings that had 11 arms and one big eye on the back, but nothing on the face. I think that counted as a monster, but it was human for me at the time. However, that joy of drawing ended in my middle school year.
My mom and I got serious about my major when I went up to middle school. She suggested I try various things like music, dance, sports, or something else except studying, because when my mom saw my first grade scores, she knew that I had zero talent for academics. Thanks mom.
I tried music, like drums, guitar, or singing, but I gave up because I liked hanging out with my friends more than playing music. Dance? Nope. Not with this body. Athlete? I liked to play sports, but not in serious way. So at last, what I chose was art.
I started to attend art academy. And what they asked me to do first was to fill out A3-sized paper, which is twice as big as normal paper, in vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines to make me draw straight lines as if using a ruler. While I was drawing about 100 lines, I started to wonder why I selected art. I just liked to doodle, not draw straight lines. I felt, this was insane.
And things got worse when I got to 9th grade, and decided to go to art high school in Korea. I started to prepare for the drawing and painting exams for school. I had to draw 10 hours a day for half a year. And even though I got into art school, I couldn’t feel excited about the school. Because what they wanted was for me to learn how to draw perfectly, without meaning inside - just like a drawing “machine”.
So I decided to move out: to the United States, to Shattuck, to find what I really wanted to draw. And as I expected, this place helped me to find what I really wanted. And helped me enjoy art again. I especially want to thank Mr. Walker who mostly helped me to get from machine to human artist.
Lastly, thanks mom, for helping me out to find what I really wanted, for not forcing me to study, and for sending me here to follow my dream.
- Hee Rim Ahn ’16
From January 31 to February 12, SSM welcomed a group of special visitors on exchange from Guilin, Guangxi Province, China. It is the third time SSM held the exchange program between Shattuck St. Mary’s School and the Foreign Language School Attached to Guangxi Normal University. This year eleven students and one leading teacher from the International Department of Foreign Language School Attached to Guangxi Normal University joined this exchange program and came to the US from China. They stayed at SSM for about two weeks to experience American high school education.
To help the visitors have a better experience in SSM, eleven SSM student leaders were responsible for their study and lives. Their studies started on February 1 when SSM had a late start for student leaders to meet their students and introduce their schedules. There were a total of three sets of schedule for students to choose. Student leaders showed them their classrooms on the first day. In the evening there was a welcome party in the SMH StuLo. On February 6, they went to Medford Outlet Mall in the morning and watched the game between Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls at Target Centre. On February 7, they shopped at Mall of America. On February 10, they skated in the Old Rink. On February 11, they presented their Final Project Speech in WeCreate.
The WeCreate presentations were about the differences between the US and China from their perspectives. They divided into four groups to talk about the differences between food, festivals, education, and architecture. Later they had a Cookfest in SMH Dining Hall where they made dumplings for Spring Festival. On February 12, there was a Goodbye Party in US Stulo where student leaders and they enjoyed a big cake and said goodbye to each other. And then they went to the new rink to watch a hockey game. One student, Sharon, said, “It is a really interesting winter camp. I enjoyed skating and shopping.”
February 8 was Spring Festival, the biggest festival in China. Joining the exchange program meant these students could not have Spring Festival with their families this year. Explaining why they were willing to come to US during Spring Festival, Sharon thought spending the Spring Festival abroad was a special and cool experience. She experienced American education for this winter break, which was more meaningful than staying at home. Talking about the biggest differences from China, Nancy said they were food and the number of students in a class. Talking about the plans of future, most students said they were preparing to attend universities abroad, like in the US, the UK, Canada or Australia.
Next month, SSM will welcome a group of visitors from Japan. The exchange programs are beneficial for both SSM and the visitors to understand the different cultures and have the world vision.
–Kelly Zhou ’18
My husband Grant, my daughter Ann (7th grade at SSM) and myself are pictured. All three of us are very busy, but we still manage to eat breakfast and dinner together almost every day!
Mason Theodore Stafford, the newest addition to our family, recently celebrated his 1st birthday. This photo is him wondering whether Santa visits every day.
This is my family, the Canney family. My brother, Pat, is in motorcycle sales and lives in town. My mom, Mary, is a teacher and my Dad, Sean, is an HR consultant. We all live in town and like to get together for Sunday dinner. Not pictured: my Ray bans and my cat Pinkles :)
My room is my favorite view. With all of my things set up and with my great roommate. He has become like my big brother and my room has become my home.
- Alejandro Reyes Veya ‘16
During the holidays I am grateful for my family. I am grateful that I can go home to a roof over my head and more than enough food to eat. I am grateful for all the wonderful opportunities that I have been given. I am grateful that I am able to have some of my wants as well as all of my needs.
I am grateful for all of my friends that are there for me when I need them and even when I don’t. I am grateful for the wonderful school I attend and the new things I learn each day. I am grateful for my freedom and my country. Lastly, I am grateful for all the people that have helped me become the person I am today and that have helped me find my way through life.
- Morgan Lind ’19
During the holidays I am grateful for time I get to spend with my family. Although we fight more then we should, by the end of break I am really ready to go back to school, I realize that people grow up and less time is available to spend with each other.
My older sister is going off to college next year and I am actually nervous about how often I will get to see her when she goes away. I’m not sure if she will come home. I’ve realized that’s a part of life, I might not see her as much as I would like to, but family holds a special place in your heart.
A tradition in our family is that on Christmas Eve everyone on my mom’s side of the family gets together. We laugh, eat, and open presents. However, the holiday isn’t just about that. It is about appreciating what you have, who you share it with, and loving every second that goes by. I wish everyday was a holiday. It seems to make people have more open and kind hearts.
- Lisa Lilyerd ’19
I am grateful for my family and friends. Without my family and friends I would not be here at Shattuck. My parents have supported me the whole time along the way and they have given me the opportunity to succeed. My friends have also pushed me so hard to help me pursue my dreams. Also my friends and family have always been there for me no matter what. They have always been by my side during hard times and have always comforted me. Also my family has provided me a house to live in and food to eat.
- Robert Mastrosimone ’19
I am grateful for the opportunities that my family has given me. I wouldn’t be at this prestigious school and on such an incredible hockey team without my family’s support. When I am home for the holidays with my family, I let them know how grateful I am to have them and their support. My family means the world to me and I am so glad to know that they will always have my back. During the holidays, my family and I decorate the tree and gingerbread houses. My siblings and I have a competition with who has the best gingerbread house. Anyways, doing things like that with my family just makes every moment with them more special.
- Emma Kee ’19
During the holidays I am grateful for family. I am grateful for the off-pitch singing that accompanies the Christmas music. I am grateful for the times sitting by the fire drinking hot chocolate. One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting to see my grandfather at his cattle ranch.
I am grateful for the pleasant time I have there. I am grateful for the memories and stories that are lovingly told. I am grateful for when Dallas ices over, and my brother and I can turn our driveway into a hockey rink. I am grateful for the warm, loving feeling that envelops my home. I am grateful for the aroma of holiday-scented candles that occupies the house. I am very grateful for the amazing family that I have. I am grateful to able to spend the “Most wonderful time of the year” with the most wonderful people. Most of all, I am grateful that I have so many things to be grateful for.
- Ally Simpson ’19
Over the holidays I have a lot that I am thankful for. The most important is being thankful for what you have and spend time with your family. I am so thankful for having a wonderful family who loves a cares so much for me. I am thankful for having the opportunity to enjoy the holidays with the people that I love. Coming home and seeing your family is the most exciting thing in the world. The holidays are all about enjoying time with your family.
- Oliver Wahlstrom ’19
During the holidays, I am grateful for mostly the people around me. I am so very grateful for my amazing family and over generous friends that I have, at school, and at home. I believe that giving more greater than receiving, because the look on the persons face when they open a present you gave them is priceless, that is the real gift. I am also grateful for the hard work and effort into the meals that at least I have, hours slaving over the kitchen for a meal that is spectacular is an amazing blessing to have. This is what I’m grateful for during the holidays.
- JP Mella ’19
During the holidays, I am grateful for many things. I love the time that I get to spend with my family, decorating the tree, wrapping presents, and playing outside in the snow. I enjoy seeing all of my friends from back home, and exchanging gifts with them.
I am grateful for the trips that my family always goes on, and all of the interesting places that I get to see when I travel. I am also thankful for the holiday food, and the gifts that I receive over Christmas. Overall, I love spending time with the people that I don’t get to see at school.
- Ashley Kemmet ’19
During the holidays, I am grateful to be able to travel with my family. Every year, my father, brothers, and I travel to see some of my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and other relatives. Each year we go somewhere different.
This year we went to Houston, Texas. My family stayed with my aunt and uncles house. Their house has an indoor pool and movie theatre. The day before Thanksgiving, we had a disco party. On Thanksgiving we took a family photo followed by a large Thanksgiving meal. Beyond being tankful for traveling every year with my family, I’m also very grateful to be able to spend time with my family.
-Nina LeFlore ’19
During the holidays, I am incredibly grateful for my family. Family means the world to me. I’ve been at boarding school since I was thirteen and am not around them very much, so every moment that I spend with them I cherish and I never want to end.
My family is very supportive of me and is with me every step of my journey. When getting to spend time with my parents over different holidays it means everything to me. I am grateful for not only my parents but also my extended family. They are just as important to me as my parents are to me. They come down and watch my games with my parents and cheer me on win or lose. So when I am home for the holidays I am grateful for my family every second I am there.
- Grant Silianoff ’19
During the holidays there are many things to be grateful. You can be grateful for family, for food, for friends, and for the house you live in. The list can go on an on, but I am thankful for the opportunity I get to go to Shattuck St. Mary’s. There are barely any schools in the country that have ice skating as a school sport, so I feel honored to go to a school that allows such a thing. The hours may be many and the training may be hard, but the feeling of stepping out on the ice at a competition or event and knowing that you are representing your school is irreplaceable.
- Maggi Quigg ’19
During the holidays I am grateful for being with my family and friends. I am grateful for that because I love being with my family on the holidays. They bring so much joy to me it’s a blast. With the abundance of family activities and traditions we have, it’s impossible not to have fun. We usually go to my aunt and uncles for the holidays. My dad’s entire side of the family is there and we just socialize and have a great time every year. I am also grateful for the roof on my head and how lucky my family is we are so lucky compared to everyone in the rest of the world.
-Tyler Rollwagen ’19
A view can be ugly; beautiful, crippling or inspirational. My view that I particularly enjoy is the stoop’s entrance into the Red Carpet. I love it because it epitomizes Shattuck, the amazing place in which I can be a part of. In which I can grow, live, learn, and be myself.
-Ana Petropoulos ’16
Winter is coming. For me this winter brings on many different emotions and feelings. Unfortunately winter brings cold weather and cold weather means frost bitten nose, ears, and fingers. However there is nothing more beautiful in all of Minnesota than the Clock Tower crisp with fresh fallen snow, Parade Field flat with the sparkling crystals,and the trees slowly collecting the translucent glass like snow. It’s simply marvelous.
Although winter brings so much beauty and magnificence, winter also means no games. Soccer is off from the Development Academy. The December-February time period is when we’re on break and it’s the time of the year when every single player gets better because everyone works extremely hard.
Winter brings beauty and cold weather that I do enjoy; however, winter also brings the break from games and this is the time that every soccer player gets a little extra motivation, a time to push themselves to get better.
- Luke Haakenson ’16
A great view at Shattuck is standing on the 15th tee at Legacy Golf Course at night, being able to see the clock tower and the sun setting. This view is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen at Shattuck.
-Vincent de Mey ’16
A memorable view I have had throughout the years is at the Pilgrim’s Breakfast. All the girls in the school gather at a place to have breakfast together. It’s a fun tradition. At the end of the breakfast we all gather in a circle and hold hands while singing the St. Mary’s School hymn.
-Isari Rodriguez ’16
When I was a sophomore and before I realized I wasn’t allowed in the woods behind the School for the Deaf, I wandered into those woods. It was autumn and the leaves crunched under my feet. I sat down and looked at the ravine below, the sun setting around me, and the birds chirping in my ears. This place is inspirational to me because I was finally able to calm down from the constant movement on campus and just breathe.
-Shayna Kasdan ’16
Living in a dorm at school has many, many perks.
On October 30th, the 8th grade class went to the nearby Cannon River STEM School to help with the kindergarten class. Throughout the school year, they will build relationships with the kindergartners through ongoing visits to the charter school.
Here are some reflections from our 8th graders.
I have had the utmost pleasure of traveling the world. I have been able to see all corners of the earth and to enjoy these sights with my family, and for this I am extremely grateful. I have seen many things from ancient wonders of the world to third world countries. I have seen many things from St. Peter’s Basilica to Machu Picchu.
But, of all the interesting and fascinating places I have visited, one stands alone.
It may sound silly to say I enjoy Faribault, MN more than London or Rome, but it is true. No place I have visited excites me the same way coming to Faribault and to Shattuck does. The Gateway Arch or Arch of Triumph, while beautiful seem meaningless compared to the Arch here at Shattuck. Big Ben is marvelous, but does not mean the same as our clock tower because our clock tower tells more than just time. This is because Shattuck is a place where I’ve met people I will remember the rest of my life and do things I will never forget.
Zip-lining across through a Rainforest was amazing but I will always be grateful the night sophomore year my worst enemy became my best friend as we stayed up until four a.m. studying for chemistry to hardly pass. Horse backing riding in Iceland was astonishing, but I will never forget spending eight hours writing a DBQ to find out it was only a completion grade. Climbing up the side of a volcano in Italy was incredible, but I will never forget some of the profound conversations I have had with a coach, who is not even mine.
I could travel my whole life through and experience a thousand more things and I would never find a place that I enjoy as much as Shattuck. That is because I found a second home here, and met some the greatest friends I could ever ask for. I am not saying that I am not grateful or value those experiences, but on a daily basis, I would take the little Shattuck experiences rather than the grand vacation experiences. I have to thank you of all you listening and for making my time here great and I can’t wait to see how many more unforgettable experiences are yet to come.
- Caitlyn Krahmer ’16
One new view I find particularly inspiring and memorable is the view as one is walking into the Arch. I think back at all of those who have walked through that Arch and where they are now, what they have achieved in life, and what they have failed at in life. All of them were in some way impacted by Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
- Val Turgeon ’16
- from Don MacMillan, Head of School
A new tradition will begin with this year’s commencement ceremony. The newly graduated seniors will shake hands with the faculty along the Community Walk and arrive at the end of the line near the Arch. Graduating seniors will than pass through the Arch to be greeted by fellow alums, family and friends. The symbolic nature of the journey first begun by entering through the Arch and ending by exiting by the same path is fairly self-evident. What might take a little more time to sink in for the new alums is that leaving is part of their education, and that while they will always be welcome at Shattuck, they will never again be students here. In essence, the value of their education is only truly known once they leave and become disoriented by new circumstances, new people, new obstacles and new opportunities. How will they respond, what choices will they make, how will they think about themselves and how will they treat others? How will they draw upon what they have learned to navigate their new existence? And so our job as their teachers, coaches, advisors and mentors is to guide them back to the Arch and ask them to no longer be our students, but to take their place among the alumni body and get busy answering these questions. Congratulations to the Class of 2015!
I have several favorite authors, but the one I return to most often is Kurt Vonnegut. In fact, I am such a fan, I have a framed poster in my office that features his image and a quote from his novel, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater:
“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
I could go on and on about how Vonnegut’s word choice is deliberately shocking in the context of the novel—after all, the character is speaking to twin babies at their baptism—but I won’t, because that is not the reason I have it hanging in my office. It’s hanging in my office to remind me that there is only one rule.
Each time a school year ends, it is important to pause, reflect, and look forward. When we do these things—when we shut out all the hullabaloo that accompanies these periods of transition—we take time to ground ourselves in our core values. Our mission is to transform all SSM students into “citizens of integrity in an ever-changing world” because we know that no matter the changes that occur, we will always need integrity.
And in order to have integrity, gosh darn it, “you’ve got to be kind.”
From Ricky Wang ’15
One thing in particular that I’ll miss about Shattuck is the PAVA office. I think I’ve spent all the time outside the classroom in the office, sitting on the sofa, taking a nap, and even learning Spanish on Duolingo. Usually, people say that when they belong to a certain place, they feel it–a feeling that cannot be articulated and only exits emotionally, but stronger than any other written facts. For me, the PAVA office, PAVA teachers, and my peers in both the Vocal Performance Program and Pre-Conservatory Program are what make me feel like home. Artistically, we are very different, but the experience that we have makes us affiliated to each other and understand each other on a level that nothing else can compare. Even writing about this makes me emotional. I guess it is really the soft spot in my heart.
From Chloe Xu ’15
I will miss weCreate at Shattuck because I have done many projects there. I will miss and appreciate people who helped me in the past. I will miss my dorm life in both Saint Mary’s and the Rectory. I will miss all the activities I have done here and I will miss all teachers who helped me. I will miss the Arch. I will miss the School Store. I will miss advisory. I will miss everything at Shattuck.
From Ira Talkachova ’15
I will miss the Snack Bar most about SSM next year.
From Josh Han ’15
The one thing I miss the most about SSM is the brutal but beautiful winter. I especially remember the one night when I spent two hours outside looking at stars, despite a temperature below 20.
From Jackson Shanley ’15
One thing that I will really miss about SSM is all of the people here. From the times on the bus with the boys, to hanging on the parade field throwing a frisbee around with a large group of people. All these times were made so special by the people surrounding me.
From Anh “Kim” Do ’15
I’ll miss daily goodnight from the dorm parent. I always go to bed after the dorm parent goes to my room to check in and say good night. It’s a little sweet thing that wraps up my lengthy day. I’m sure that I’ll miss it a lot!
I remember sitting in study hall being hungry many times. Also it was fun spending so much time with all of my teammates. - Connor McQue ’18
I remember the differences between my first year at Singing Hills compared to my second year at Singing Hills. My first year, I knew nobody and not a lot of people talked to me. My second year, I tried to talk to everybody so they wouldn’t feel the way I did. - Lindsey Trotter ’18
I remember the good times on the camping trips, capture the flag and having headmaster holidays. I will miss the Marzetti Cup events. I will for sure miss this place next year. - David He ’18
Having Mr. Groess as an advisor and making school more fun because he teaches and has fun. He made me do engineering when I first didn’t want to but I am happy I did. - Darin Rott ’18
I remember running from the MS to the US in the freezing winter after I would miss the bus. I remember this because while my hands and ears were freezing, the winter was nice because it’s peaceful yet somewhat deadly. - Alessandro Milesi ’18
One thing I remember was going to Denver with my hockey team and winning the championship in a shootout. I also remember “Coach O’Cheat” trying to cheat and get Tony out illegally in Shark Attack at Eagle Bluff. - TJ Walsh ’18
I will remember Mr. Frankenfield chirping me for missing an assignment. I will always remember his chirping. - Jack Hickey ’18
I will remember Christmas Dinner because it was a lot of fun working with the freshman class and doing something together. I also learned how to serve appropriately. - Alyssa Hedricks ’18
I remember on Valentine’s Day when Givanna and I watched the movie together and Mr. Groess brought a bunch of ice cream and Mrs. Dineen made brownies and it was really fun. - Patty Wentworth ’18
I will remember serving Christmas Dinner and going to the dance after because it was fun. - Givanna Foglia ’18
Meeting new people from all over the world was really cool this year. It was awesome to make friends from different countries. I learned so much of the other cultures. Everyone was so nice and funny and I’m glad I got to meet all of them. - Payton Sender ’18
My favorite time at the Middle School was playing dodge ball in the gym with my grade. It was really fun because it was a fun time to spend with my classmates. - Max Zingler ’18
I am going to remember all my friends that I have made this year and last. I find it so remarkable that I have friends from Korea and China, and I can now say a few sentences in each language. - Alexandra Gilbertson ’18
I remember Mr Groess jumping on the desks, throwing white-board markers at everyone, and dancing with a trash can. It was really funny and a little scary. - Amanda Cooper ’18
Middle School is like a big family, and we all live and participate in this community. We have a lot of fun. Every single teacher in the Middle School is responsible, all of them give good lectures and teach us, but most important, they help us in daily life. - King Liu ’18
I remember the first time I saw snow here (I live in a coastal city like Florida) and Payton, Amanda and many people told me they already hate the snow… I was so shocked but then after the whole winter I finally understood them. It was so much fun in the winter. - Aiqiao Chen ’18
I remember Mr. Groess making up a song about me. It was really funny. He sang it for the rest of the year. I also remember meeting Ms. Dineen for the first time. I called her “Ms. Biology teacher.” - Rodrigo Del Valle Sierra ’18
What I will miss most about the Middle School is the friendly and caring atmosphere. This place a year ago welcomed me and now two years later I am leaving a more grown up young man. This place changes you because it forces you to be accountable and also pushes you out of your comfort zone to help you grow. I think that the Middle School really is where you develop into who you are going to be in life. I am going to miss this place because it will always remind me of where I grew into who I am today.
from Misa Patel ’18
What is will miss about the Middle School is the sense of community form the people are me. I will miss Mrs. Dineen’s baking and her care. I will miss how it’s a small community where we know and accept everyone. I will miss the field trips to places like Eagle Bluff. In all I think I will miss it because the Middle School has become like my family.
from Isaac Carlson ’18
I will miss the small classes and being friends with everybody in the Middle School. Most of all I will miss the friendliness and support that is surrounding me.
from Bruno Fludzinski ’18
I will miss the small number of people in the Middle School, which makes everyone closer. I will also miss the Marzetti Cup games and all the fun activities we do as a group. Lastly, I will miss the small classes and the creative teachers who care so much for the students.
from Audrey Hong ’18
Even though I was here for four months, I learned a lot and I still want to stay in the Middle School. All the teachers and friends were nice and friendly for me to adapt in this new environment. I think the best part of the Middle School is to be one, together. I will miss the warmth of the Middle School a lot and I hope I can keep in contact with all of my middle school friends even we are part of a larger group in the Upper School.
from Nancy Jia ’18 -
This is my first year at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, and it’s also my first year in the U.S. Life far away from home is not as easy as it seems to be. Right before school started when I just got here, tears burst from my eyes as I was homesick. However, the first time I met all my teachers and classmates during the Singing Hills trip, things changed. All of them were being so welcoming and friendly.
The Middle School is so much smaller than the Upper School, but it indeed seems like a family, a loving family. I enjoy being part of this family and being loved and cared in this family. To me, the teachers are acting like my parents, they care a lot about all of us. I still can’t forget the time–not long after school began, it was my birthday. I thought it would just be a normal day as all the other days, but when Ms. Dineen brought the brownies she made and I received “happy birthday” from my friends and teachers, I was so happy and moved.
And I will never forget all the help and advice I received from teachers, even if it’s the criticism I got when I made mistakes, because I know they all wish me good. I really enjoy being here and I love the Middle School and this family, and I really want to say “thank you” to all of you–to all the teachers and middle schoolers.
from Christian Brune ’18
I will miss Marzetti Cup and all the fun times we had as a small group. I will miss getting out a week early. I will also miss Mrs. Dineen’s biology class.
from Jonah Kagen ’18
This year has challenged me academically and athletically more than I have ever been challenged in my life. It is a great feeling to be leaving the Middle School on a high note. I will miss the energy of my teachers and classes, Marzetti Cup, and the comradery of the Middle School as a whole.
from Steven Irick ’18 -
The thing that I will miss most about the Middle School is probably how small and close the community is. Even though the Shattuck Upper School is not very big, I still like how small the Middle School is. I will miss being able to know everyone’s name and see them almost every day. I will also miss how in the dining hall the tables are already made so different groups of people can interact with everyone instead of kids segregating themselves into groups.
from Kristina Raevskaya ’18 -
That was my first year at Shattuck and I loved it! Next year, I am going to the Upper School and I will really miss the Middle School. I never went to an international school before and now I have a lot of friends from China, Mexico, and all over the world.This was a great experience!
from Andrew Lane ’18 -
The one thing that I will miss most about the Middle School is the incredible sense of community that I feel here. All the teachers are very supportive, even if you are not in any of their classes. All the people are nice and making friends was very easy. I also am going to miss knowing everyone in the MS on a personal level, because there are not that many of us.
from Wyatt Palmer ’18 -
Overall, my experience at the Middle School has been amazing. The atmosphere of the Middle School is like no other. The greatest highlight is that everyone knows everyone. I will miss the ability of having a smaller class where everyone is close. I will also miss the great teachers and the help they give us to succeed. The Middle School is an outstanding place and should not be taken for granted.
Every year round about May, every middle school teacher becomes aware of how much the students have grown over the course of the year. The outside growth is very evident as our students have grown over a combined eight feet. The inner growth is harder to see at first glance. Much of the inner growth this year has come from our focus of “Character Matters.” Over the course of the year we have tried to focus on positive character traits and why being a person of character matters. Now it’s May and I sit here reflecting on the current Middle School student body and its character traits.
The 2014-15 middle school student body will be remembered by me as a group that was one of the most inviting groups of kids I have encountered. I was amazed and continue to be amazed at how mixed the student body became. The usual labels of “sports player,” “international student,” or “day student” didn’t seem to exist. It was amazing to watch these young people grow and mature while still being open to interacting with and being close with anyone and everyone regardless of what passion brought them to SSM. It seemed that the old predictable method of finding who was friends with who (on same team, from same state, etc.) didn’t matter this year and everyone was close with everyone.
The other amazing feature this group brought is their ability and willingness to try any activity or game. The best example of this came when I had to make up an activity at the 9th grade overnight trip to Eagle Bluff. Due to rain, our usual game of capture the flag had to be cancelled. In its place I told everyone to get a chair and sit in it. Without batting an eye the whole grade found a chair and soon the room was alive with intensity over the game “Sit in a Chair.” What could have been a rained out boring night turned into the highlight of the trip. The 9th graders’ willingness to try anything saved the night. I hope they never lose that.
Character can be shown in many ways and forms. I hope that this group of 6,7,8, and 9th grade students never loses their openness and willingness to meet new people and try new things. These traits have made 2014-15 a special year and have made Shattuck-St. Mary’s Middle School a special place. Hopefully these students can take these ideals and spread them wherever they go.
From Mia Tompkins ’15
One thing that I will really miss about Shattuck next year are my teammates and playing soccer all school year long.
From Khoa Tran ’15
Friends and dorm life
From Lucy Chang ’15
I think the one thing I would miss the most about Shattuck would be people I met here. There are a lot of teachers and nice students who have helped me a lot. I came here as a Junior and spent two years here. Though two years was short time, still a lot of things happened. Some are good and some are bad. However, I would never forget people who experienced those things with me.
From Oen McKinley ’15
I will miss all of the great friends that I have made here in the past three years. I have had my ups and downs, lost one or two along the way, but all in all it was a great ride.
From Assia Sidhoum ’15
One thing I will miss about SSM is being in such a close community.
From Siyu Xu ’15
I will miss the weather at the school. There is still snow in April!
From Rachel Villalta ’15
I will miss sitting on the red carpet at night in the big, comfy chairs and listening to everything at Shattuck that is happening. From the violins playing late at night to the 9:30 rush at snack. I will miss being in the company of my closest friends.
From Jordan Klehr ’15
What I will miss about SSM are the friends I’ve made and the hockey.
From Jacob Mosher ’15
The one thing I’m going to miss the most about Shattuck-St. Mary’s is the teachers. It’s not only teachers that I have like Señora Rodriguez but also the teachers that I know such as my dorm parents, Coach Carp, and Mr. G. I know a lot of teachers very well and have great relationships with them. I don’t think it is like this at many other schools and definitely not in college. I will miss this the most.
From Melissa “Samo” Samoskevich ’15
The thing I’ll miss most about Shattuck is the family aspect as a whole. Moving away from home freshman year was tough, but having a second home like Shattuck helped tremendously. Shattuck is a very special place. Someone wouldn’t be able to understand what I mean by this unless they experience it.
From Cherry Wang ’15
The thing that will be missed most from Shattuck for me is people here. I’ve been here for three years and developed close relationships with many faculty and friends. Teachers are amazing here, always available to help. Many of them seem like friends to me. A busy boarding school in a quiet neighborhood setting encourages more internal interactions. I see the same people everyday, and some become my close friends.
From Sophie Hill ’15
I will miss the abundance of people in the immediate community who are readily available to help with anything the students might need.
I will miss the tradition and history about this place.
One thing that I will miss about SSM is giving out a nice 301 Blast! (DaSilva, Poppen, Scheper)
My roommate playing loud K-Pop music in the mornings and evenings.
From Coral Mao ’15
I will miss the Headmaster Holidays!
From Pairode (Kim) Jaroensri ’15
I will miss the music at SSM especially the US choir. It was the first choir I’ve ever joined. Everyone had fun in the choir. I will miss Mr.Yao’s funny faces, gestures, and smile. I will miss standing and singing with my friends on the risers on the stage. I will miss the beautiful melody and harmony that brought smiles to the faces in the audience.
We asked our seniors to answer this one question: “What will you miss most about Shattuck-St. Mary’s next year?” During the final weeks of school we will share their thoughts with you. We know what we’ll miss next year - our Class of 2015.
From Megan DuBois ’15
Waking up in my own bedroom is one of the most bittersweet moments I can picture. I go home for breaks, and as I sleep, my dreams are set at Shattuck. My teammates, roommates, and classmates star alongside me, because it is in Faribault, Minnesota where I have built my life throughout my tumultuous high school years. More times than I care to admit, I wake up in my own home in shock, unfamiliar with what should be most familiar to a seventeen-year-old. I expect to be nine feet off the ground in a room colder than it should be with my two best friends in their own lofts next to me. The shock takes a long time to disintegrate, and to me it is incredibly discomforting knowing that soon enough, I will never wake up in that accustomed, habitual space ever again. When I go home for summer, I will wake up disoriented and stunned for a while, but eventually my dreams will take place in my hometown, and familiarity with my “new” environment will wash over me. It scares me that one day, Shattuck will not be my home. To some people I will say my last goodbye, and one day I will greet my final Shattuck sunrise with those who have grown to become family to me.
We asked our seniors to answer this one question: “What will you miss most about Shattuck-St. Mary’s next year?” During the final weeks of school we will share their thoughts with you. We know what we’ll miss next year - our Class of 2015.
From Daryn Finkelstein’15
I spoke with an alum from the class of ’51 the other day and he said, “I don’t come visit here to meet my old friends or to see the place I used to call home. I come here to find the little 13-year-old boy I used to be, if I look hard enough I can always find him again.” I will miss the shy 8th grade girl from The Woodlands, Texas. I am going to miss the innocence - the moments I didn’t realize would become fond memories. All of those times I thought life couldn’t get any harder, and then it did… I will miss the 2nd time I graduated from the Middle School, feeling my heart shatter as I said goodbye to my lifelong best friends. I remember my first edge class with the figure skating team two weeks before school started, intimidated out of my mind to skate in front of the seniors. I remember making a fort with my roommate on a headmaster’s holiday. I remember waking up at 6am just so some friends and I could go to the coffee shop before finals. I am leaving that girl behind. I am going to miss her.
Life at SSM is great! I had no idea the weCreate would be so big and that it would have so much stuff to do. I spent the first term exploring the features of weCreate. That is my favorite part of SSM. - Corey Taylor ’21
What’s a favorite place in your hometown? Some of our boarding students shared their thoughts…
My favorite place from my hometown is a creek that I go to by my house. My friends and I go to the creek and we made a teepee out of wood and it fit four people. We would play and have imaginary games when we were there and play on rafts going down the river. When I left I was really missing this place and wanted to go back. Whenever I go on a walk with my mom we go by it and it brings back many memories from the days when I would stay there for five hours. - Grant Silianoff ’19
What’s a favorite place in your hometown? Some of our students shared their thoughts…
My favorite place in my hometown is the local Madeira downtown. I live in Indian Hill, (Cincinnati) Ohio (Neil Armstrong lived here). My town is very private and everyone knows everyone. In the summer, I like walking a mile to get to Madeira downtown. I hang out there with my friends because there are a lot of things to do and everyone lives near there. It is the center of teenage fun! There are coffee shops, make your own pottery, pool/park, ice cream place, a cute toy store, create your own painting, and etc.
Every sunny Thursday, they host a country thing downtown. It is like a culture event where they bring food and activities to try. If the country is Mexico, they sell Mexican food and have fun games. That is why it is my favorite place in my hometown. - Emma Kee ’19
My favorite place in my hometown is the Coffee Shop in downtown. It is always cold here in the winter and the coffee shop is a fun place to go with my friends. The staff is very friendly and the shop has a great atmosphere. This is why the Coffee Shop is my favorite place in town. - Maddie Hickey ’19
Why does every girl wear mascara or eye shadow? Sometimes even eye-liner! Even the 6th graders wear make up. I am not saying you can’t wear make up, I just really don’t get it. Why do we need to wear make up? Some people like it and that’s okay but why can’t we be just who we naturally are? I just do not get it. Why do we have to look good for everyone else - just so someone can like us or be friends with us? We should not need to look pretty for someone. All we need is to be us. - Emma Politoski ’21
What’s a favorite place in your hometown? Some of our boarding students shared their thoughts…
A favorite place in my hometown is Ocean City (New Jersey). This is one of my favorite places because I love to be with my family and friends at the beach. I have many memories of waking up early in the morning to catch the good waves to surf. I always remember going to the boardwalk as a kid, and going on the rides that they had. - PJ Demitrio ’19
My favorite place in my hometown is the movie theatre. It is not really a hangout area, but in Richmond there is not a designated “hang out” area. Back when I lived at home, my friends and I went to the movie theatre every weekend. I honestly think that the people who work there know who I am even though we have never talked. My friends and I like to people watch after the movies. We will sit on the bench that looks at the front door and we try and make up background stories for all the people who walk by. We mainly do this because our parents tend to be late, and we have learned to help make the time pass. Back home I saw almost every movie that had ever been in the theatre that I had been allowed to watch. I would call this my hang out area because of all the places in Richmond, Indiana, this is the place I have made the most memories. - Maggi Quigg ’19
What is one surprise you’ve had at Shattuck-St. Mary’s? We asked students to offer a response to this question…
One surprise that I had when I first came to Shattuck-St. Mary’s was how close and friendly everyone was here. Nobody really seemed to dislike anybody else. Two years ago in the sixth grade, it seemed that everyone had the same classes. That meant that we had more time to get to know each other. It also meant that we had more time to get sick of each other. No one really seemed to bother me, though I can’t speak for the other people in my grade. Since there was only one other guy in my grade, I reached out to the seventh graders. I completely segregated myself from the girls, because Mr. Groess always told us, “Don’t talk to girls.” And that was my first year at SSM. - Nate Hillesheim ’17
What is one surprise you’ve had at Shattuck-St. Mary’s? We asked students to offer a response to this question…
One of the surprises that I found that here at SSM, is free nights. This may be a little weird to some people, because everybody has heard about free nights. But I have never thought I would have freedom to be out of the dorms even when it is study hall. This amazes me because I would never had thought of the trust that goes into the students, and I believe that this amount of trust for the students to not do anything bad is tremendous. This is what has amazed me the most in this first year at SSM. - JP Mella ’19
What is one surprise you’ve had at Shattuck-St. Mary’s? We asked students to offer a response to this question…
Seeing snow for the first time. Coming from Florida I had never really seen snow before. Down in the south we would make “fake snow” during the cold times. Coming to Shattuck-St. Mary’s was a pretty big move, going from a low of 50 degrees to a low of -15 degrees in a matter of five months. Snow was one of the many changes I had to deal with. Everyone here didn’t really enjoy when it came. I was so excited. Not anymore!! - Haley Bajza ’20
From Ms. Sobol
I have always had a deep love of storytelling, and revel in being surrounded with such a diverse group of people with so many interesting backgrounds and stories to share. As we get buried in the busyness of our lives at Shattuck-St. Mary’s it is easy forget that there are other perspectives. Inspired by a project started two years ago by Mr. Cavellier (SSM Stories), and by the recording studio’s official entrance into weCreate, I want to record stories that capture the fabric of who we are. Stories do not need to be directly related to SSM, but can be about anything. If you are interested in recording for this project, please email me.
What’s a favorite place in your hometown? Some of our boarding students shared their thoughts about food favorites…
In my hometown, my friends and I really enjoyed going to The Malt Shop. Before I came to Shattuck, after school my friends and I would walk to The Malt Shop every day. We knew the majority of the workers, and they always gave us free fries because we went so often. The Malt Shop had the best malts ever and so many different flavors. My favorite flavor has always been cookie dough chocolate chip and cotton candy. I really miss going to The Malt Shop every day but every time I go home we always stop there and get a malt and fries. - Nina LeFlore ’19
Probably one of my favorite places in my hometown would probably be a restaurant called Pat’s Pizza in North Yarmouth, Maine. I started going to this restaurant when I was about four. They have the best pizza in the state of Maine. It has a bunch of TVs. It’s kind of a sports bar. Every single break I had this year, my first priority was to go and eat at Pat’s. It is a special place for my family. - Oliver Wahlstrom ’19
My favorite place in my hometown (Japan) is a park that is ten minutes away from my house. It is my favorite place because it is a great place to relax and play with friends. The color of the leaves of trees changes as the seasons change. In the spring, very pretty cherry blossoms bloom on the trees and I have a picnic with my family and friends. But in the summer, when the leaves are bright green, I would buy ice cream at the ice cream truck that always stops by and hang out with my friends. In the fall, when it gets chilly and the leaves start to turn orange and yellow, I just sit on the swing alone and just relax. And even in the winter time, my friends and I still play at the park, all wrapped up in warm clothes. - Sara Hasegawa ’19
My favorite place in my hometown is the park by my house. My friends and I would spend almost every day of the summer there. We would play games that we made up and just have fun. We would stay there all day and never want to leave the park. We would always be doing something and having fun, we were never bored. I had a lot of fun as a kid in the park by my house. I always go to the park and it gives me so many memories and makes me happy. - Nik Norman ’19
From Mr. Scheel
Phones can be a distraction in the classroom, so most of the time teachers at SSM have students put them away. However, they can have their uses. I often allow a student to quickly look up word on a specific dictionary. When studying Shakespeare or other writers from the British Isles, I direct students to use Collins or Oxford dictionaries. Merriam-Webster and American Heritage also have fine on-line dictionaries and, of course, dicitoary.com is a favorite among students. My favorite dictionary site, one I recommend to all plugged in word lovers, is Alpha-Dictionary which searches 1065 English dictionaries at once. It also features interesting links like Dr. Goodword’s “What’s the Good Word” - a word of the day that provides fascinating etymologies along with definitions, and amusing examples.
Students will also ask to use their phones to take a picture of a sketched map or graphic organizer drawn on the board. On Thursday, some of my 7th hour students asked if they might snap a shot of the MLA works cited example I had written, reviewing how to list a book with a translator. I acquiesced but couldn’t resist photo bombing Jackson Shanley who was sitting near the board.
Volunteering at the Easter Egg Hunt at SSM was a really cool experience. It was a chance to welcome people from the community into our school. There were numerous things that we had a chance to volunteer for, so there was always something to keep us busy. I volunteered for putting eggs together, stuffing eggs, and the actual Egg Hunt. Overall it was a blast! - Anika Kapoor ’21
Every year my family has an Easter egg hunt and I love it because we get to spend time with each other. Sometimes I help them find their eggs. It’s also funny when they can’t find their eggs. So I am glad that Shattuck-St. Mary’s has a hunt every year too so if my family doesn’t do an Easter egg hunt I can help out at our school. - Teagan Langevin ’21
One of my favorite things that Shattuck does in the spring is the Easter egg hunt. When I was little I would look forward to the community Easter egg hunt at Shattuck. I loved getting candy and having my face painted. Now, I can still enjoy those things because I help out with the egg hunt. This year I helped stuff the eggs in the student lounge, and I helped out on the day of the Easter egg hunt by painting little kids’ faces. For me, this was really fun, because I think back to when I was one of these little kids and I loved getting my face painted by the older kids. - Leah Ray ’19
During my time at SSM, I have been away from home for quite awhile, and I can’t help but to think about my home and the experiences I’ve had there in my downtime. I remember the lake, the dogs, the friends, and the schools. However, the most memorable thing from back home is the “backwoods.” I live in Mansfield, Texas, a small town south of Dallas. Behind my house, there are about six square acres of forest with winding rivers and tall trees. When I moved to my house at six years old, I never thought to go back there and I was even a little bit scared of it. The day I turned eight years old, my brothers and I were playing football and our ball went over the fence and into the woods. We first thought to abandon it, but we decided that we should go get it. My oldest brother led the way and we followed. What we found changed my childhood forever. We found that the woods were a beautiful place with animals, winding rivers, and space to do whatever we wanted. Over the next five years, we took full advantage of the back woods. We made tree houses, forts, played paintball, explored and overall really had a great time. As we grew older, we grew away from those woods. My oldest brother, who is 18, hasn’t stepped in those woods for two years. I still go back there from time to time and see constant reminders of all the good times we had. The back woods are by far my favorite place in my hometown. - Ryan Drkulec ’19
From Yanru “Griffin” Xu ’17
People like to ask why I picked my name as Griffin. As an official answer and the truth, Griffin was the first name I saw on a list of English names on the last few pages of a dictionary. Later I knew that Griffin is also the name of a monster, a technology company, and a famous basketball player, which is pretty diverse :)! Currently, my name is related to some objects like a door (you know why) and shoe because my last name is Xu, sounds like shoe in English. Though Griffin doesn’t come close to my Chinese name at all, I actually enjoy people calling me Griffin or sometimes Grif.
My favorite place in Faribault is the public pool. I have so many memories. Every summer, my sister and I get a pool pass and we go every day of the summer. One time we brought our brother, and he stubbed and cut his toe on a broken toy there. It is something I will never forget. Another thing is that when I was there with my friends, we buried him in the sand pit and ran back into the pool leaving him there. So many fun and weird things have happened there, that I am pretty sure that even the lifeguards remember us! - Maddi Politoski ’20
My favorite part of my hometown is in downtown Faribault. It has a bunch of cool and old buildings. I was really sad because one of them closed down this summer. But there are still a bunch of other cool looking buildings. - Noah Carlson ’21
My favorite place in Faribault is the library because it is nice and quiet. The library is nice because there aren’t any large distractions. It is also a nice place to do homework without other people trying to talk to you. - Annie Sanders ’21
My favorite place in my hometown is the coffee shop downtown. In Faribault, the winters are long and cold. I go to Shattuck and after school it is nice to warm up downtown after walking from up the hill. The coffee shop is a cute little café to go to with friends. I enjoy hanging out there because it is nice, warm, cozy, and has a friendly atmosphere. The staff always has smiles on their faces and they greet people at the door with open arms. These are examples of why the coffee shop is my favorite place in my hometown. - Currie Putrah ’19
From Ms. Hayward
- I’d like to host a Quiz Bowl tournament on our campus. Most of the schools in QB have rather dull campuses – I’d love to see them encounter our school, and for the SSM community to get involved with hosting a Saturday tournament (reading questions/scoring/cheering/etc.)
- Climb to the top of the clock tower.
- Temporarily replace all photos in the school with pictures of me making silly faces.
- Have my students do a chapel service 100% in Latin
- Make a Latin video like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEMmbxAHycY and call it Nordica
- Have a French class end-of-the-year banquet
From Megan DuBois ’15
Upon returning to campus after the most recent break, there was an eerie sense of conspiracy looming in the antiquated corridors of Shumway Hall. Gazing towards the Admissions’ reception area, students were enticed and terrified by a bloody, ominous glow seeming to radiate from the sacred ground. Although I am a frequent inhabitant of the Red Carpet, I kept my distance from the distorted terrain, and I watched, one by one, as each of my friends conceded to the hypnotizing force despite my inhibitions and protestations.
They were lured in by the friendly plushness and intoxicated by the new softness, but the pull of luxury would not fool me. Countless victims, teachers and students alike, were sucked into the trap of first sitting on the benches, then transitioning into a seated position on the carpet, only to accept defeat when overcome by the overwhelming sense of drowsiness and comfort directly supplied by the mystical Red Carpet. Others took just one step into the plush, voluminous depths of the carpeting and sank like they were standing in quicksand, unable to relinquish the carpet’s grasp on their shoes and their sanity.
Some victims have reverted to a mesmerized state of calmness and drowsiness; unfortunately, they appear to have little will power to fight the allure of the comfy, new carpet. Those poor souls; legend has it that some of them are still being held captive by its elusive powers to this very day. Will they ever break the spell and make it to class?
Only time will tell …
Completing our “China Observations” series is this post from Dom Ang ’15
During the trip I noticed the similarity of Thai culture and Chinese culture. I noticed that the food in China is very similar to Thai food but has a very different taste. Chinese food is milder compared to Thai food which is very spicy and salty.
I also noticed the language similarities. For example, when I say “Saam hot dogs please” I get three hot dogs, yay.
By the end of the trip I learned a lot about Chinese culture and Chinese history and am glad that I signed up for it. I hope that in the future I get to go on more of these kinds of trips. I also hope the School continues supporting trips to China.
From Chloe Xu ’15
Planning the China trip, I was excited to let people from other countries see my home and know more about where I grew up. Coming to United States was a challenge for me. I realized that American students have some stereotypes about international students. Even though we learn history in school, it is not enough for us to know somewhere we have not been to. Some people asked me why didn’t I offer sessions to introduce China. I replied that words are weak, but experience is strong.
On March 1st in China, I prepared to pick the China group up. I held flowers I wanted to give to them and waited. However, because I forgot the time difference, I waited in the airport until 3am and realized that they would not be in my hometown until the next day. Even though this was kind of a hard start for me, things went very well afterwards.
At first, I thought students would be shy and it would be a quiet group. But I realized that I was wrong. It was a group full of excitement to know my country and they talked everywhere. We learned, smiled, had fun and as a result - changed.
Even though I planned the trip and I have lived in my hometown for 18 years, I still learned a lot. I learned about the oldest tradition to dye and make pretty fabric, called batik. Also, I learned from this bright group of students who have different interests. But everyone took care of each other as they tried to get out of their comfort zone.Last, I want to mention that this project is not finished yet. Because I hope all the School’s students can learn things about China, I will have other activities for the entire School by using my grant from ANNpower. We will still have some sessions to introduce China and have more Chinese traditional activities to do. I hope everyone can participate!
From Oen McKinley ’15:
My favorite memories from the trip were the performances we saw. There were collections of minority dances and songs, as well as a lot of drumming. This particular picture is from a show on top of “jade dragon snow mountain” (the snow-capped peaks in the background). The picture does not even begin to show the size and scope of this enormous spectacle of a performance, but it is a nice representation of how many different people would be doing things at once, all in unison. It was absolutely my favorite experience of Chinese culture on this trip.
From Shane Hoben ’16
The China trip was extremely fun and was a great experience. I felt it was really good to experience what it was like to be the minority because everywhere I have traveled out of the US before I was still the majority or could at least understand most of the language while I was there.
A couple exciting parts of the trip were when we fed the Siberian seagulls on the lake and when we went into the mountains and saw the Lijang dance performance with its large scale and the mountains in the background.
Overall I am really happy I decided to go on this trip and would go again if I had the opportunity.
From James Taylor ’16
Our trip to China was a phenomenal and amazing experience. My favorite part by far was when we were on the Lijiang River watching cormorants hunt for fish. While we obviously could not see the actual diving, we were able to see the efficiency and speed with which the birds were able to catch large fish. To our amazement, they managed to catch three fish in no more than three or four minutes. Those cormorants had been trained to dive with the simple command of yelling. To me, it was like underwater falconry, and just as awesome.
From Ms. Hannah Sobol
On our 10 day excursion to China, Chloe arranged for us to see breathtaking sites. Typically, we would be in a hotel that overlooked a lake surrounded by snowcapped mountains. We saw incredible performances, crazy birds (dead and alive), and ate amazing food.
But scenic views, and great meals aren’t my favorite part of being abroad. I love finding the tiny differences in our culture, like what snacks do Chinese rest stops offer? What exercises do school children do before they start their day? And perhaps the most exciting for me on this trip was noticing signage. Inaccurate translations offered many comic moments for us along the way, one of the best being “Racy Clable” instead of “Recyclable.”
As a person with an accent, I understand the perils of relying too heavily on phonics when it comes to spelling, but I really appreciated their fearless attempt. Native English speakers have the luxury/expectation that no matter where we go, we can use English. But I was humbled by a country’s generosity in making things accessible to visitors (like myself) who don’t have a background in Chinese - that they didn’t let the chance of an incorrect spelling, or wrong word get in the way of trying to open the doors of communication.
Like with anything, a sense of humor helps with the inevitable mistakes that we make when learning something new. The creative translations also offered me to see the world from a different perspective, the best gift of all.
I can’t thank Chloe and her family enough for their generosity in organizing this trip, and for Chloe’s wish to open horizons for her classmates, and for her school.