Posts Tagged ‘october 2012’

What Kinds of Music Are Beneficial to Students?

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

by Graham Glusman

Is music beneficial to studying? Students have asked this age-old question over the years, particularly in modern-day schools. Where workloads are particularly heavy and homework can stretch over a period of several hours, like at the Academy, students seek some sort of relief from the tedious work.

A common way to efficiently do homework is to listen to music while working. One can continue to work, without passing out from boredom or exhaustion. However, the question remains as to what kind of music is in fact helpful to learning.

A study done by Stanford University uses brain imaging technology to pinpoint what parts of the brain are functioning while listening to music. The music used was that of an obscure 18th-century composer. This music activated the part of the brain that focuses on paying attention, making predictions, and cognitive ability.

On the positive side, this shows that listening to music can improve memory and understanding of concepts. On the negative side, who listens to obscure 18th-century composers?

Another study conducted by the Center of New Discovery and Learning found that listening to classical or jazz music while studying can increase learning ability by five times.

However, music such as rock, pop, rap, blues, and country lull the aforementioned part of the brain to sleep with their repetitive meter. So unless you’re into Thelonious Monk or Brahms, you’re out of luck.  •

Encore Weekend’s 10+ Is a Roaring Success

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

by Kelsey O’Connor

Imagine laughing and crying until your face is streaming with tears, all in a matter of minutes. JC Svec’s Encore Weekend piece 10+ provided for both.

The collection of 10-minute plays was diverse in its entertainment value. The medley included five comedies: “Day’s Last Appointment,” “The Understudy,” “Have a Holly Jolly,” “Mr. Bloopers,” and “The Bloody Cow;” and two dramas: “The Girls and Mrs. Meyers” and “3:38.”

In the comedy “Have a Holly Jolly,” Santa and Mrs. Claus plot to exterminate the corporation that has taken over the North Pole by faking the deaths of the reindeer. There is tangible comedy in this piece, as well as in others, that left the audience laughing out loud. However, underneath the accents, the jokes, and the ridiculous situations lies a deeper message about what our       society is coming to.

In “The Bloody Cow,” a man tries to order a hamburger, but is thwarted by the inescapable path of technology. He cannot make a purchase without first creating an account, and he has to give his name several times. He cannot order exactly what he wants because he has to order only items that have codes.

These plays are funny because they are truthful; it’s really a dark humor.

The dramas, presented after an intermission, changed the tone of the collection entirely. J.C. both established and resolved a rape-murder story, a story about a girl who indirectly caused her parents’ death, and the story of a man who lost his child in ten minutes. These had some people in tears, but all were in shock at the 180-degree change in tone. (cont’d on p. 2)

Deetjen veterans Sarah Finn, Heather Milke, Sam Cleverley, and Kristina Bylancik, along with Thea Flurry and Matt Skolnick, both making their Deetjen debuts, seamlessly brought these stories to life. The group only had two weeks to put the production together, but you would never have known.

Each actor played two, three, and sometimes more roles, often with very different personalities, but each character had been well explored and wholly personified. The actors employed their vocal talents, including Sarah Finn’s hilarious Mrs. Claus impression, Krissy’s more-than-perky “The (cont’d on p. 3) Bloody Cow” adaptation, and Heather Milke’s nasal New York accent in “Mr. Bloopers,” not to mention Sam Cleverley’s enchanting voice, which will probably be its own accent one day. Perhaps the most poignant characters were Jenna (Sarah Finn) and Paul (Matt Skolnick). Each actor presented his or her character with a clarity that allowed for deep exploration in a short performance time.

Overall, 10+ was incredibly well-put-together. Every weekend should be Encore Weekend!

Gender Diversity at MKA: Trick or Treat

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

by Alex Stern

I remember Halloween being one of my favorite holidays when I was a kid. I’d dress up in a costume and run from house to house with my friends as we collected candy and other goodies. Then we’d go back to one of our houses and compare our respective hauls.

But once you reach high school, Halloween changes from a fun night filled with trick-or-treating, into a night of parties and mischief. However, one thing that’s stayed the same is that, no matter how old you are, people still like to dress up in costumes. When we were kids, these costumes were often superheroes and princesses.

But once you get older, the costumes get more substantially more inappropriate. Girls now take Halloween as an opportunity to dress as sexually as possible. What was once a witch has now become a “slutty witch.” If girls want guys to stop objectifying them, a good place to start might be dressing more respectably on Halloween. •

Library Leadership Reveals New Goals for This Year

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

by Ariana Puzzo

Despite its founding last March, until writing this article, I knew very little about the Library Leadership or what it entails. Deciding I should get some background knowledge on why it was created and what the group’s goals are, I paid a visit to Jill Maza, the Head Librarian and leader of the group.

After discussing the group’s intentions with her, I learned that the focus of Library Leadership is to not only allow the library to have a greater student role, but to also make the library a more inclusive environment where students can go and read for pleasure.

In an effort to better publicize their group, as well as the library, the Library Leadership group has three sub-categories, each with different directions and goals. The first group’s objective is to work on a greater community outreach, which they do by collaborating with Brookside, MKA’s Primary School.

The second group focuses more on event planning, such as the “Book to Movie” screening they had last year, and how to make better use of the library’s space. (If you are interested in joining the Book to Movie screening this year and watching “Hugo,” it will be shown on November 7th at 3 p.m.) Last year was, as some may recall, this group surveyed students about which magazines we would like the library to order. The third group’s mission is to make reading a bigger priority throughout the community and to learn from us what books we think should be stocked in the library.

This January, freshmen will be allowed to apply to be part of Library Leadership, a position that, thus far, has only been offered to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. So if any of you are interested, come 2013, speak to Ms. Maza or one of the other members about what you can do to join this growing group. •

Point-Counterpoint: Does the New Lunch System Contribute to MKA?

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Lunch is Still a Win: Gen Hughes

Imagine you are stranded in the desert. All you can think about is something delicious to satisfy your cravings before you die of hunger. MKA’s lunch system does this job. It offers sufficient amounts of food that will diminish your appetite. The new lunch system originally had some quirks, because students typing in their ID codes caused extremely long lines. But now that all the students know their codes, and have their student IDs, all the bumps have been smoothed out.

The new lunch system also prevents theft. Students can no longer simply walk out with food without paying. If a student forgets his lunch or simply desires something to eat, he no longer needs money. He can simply type in his code, or swipe his card. Lunch can’t get much easier. Junior Emily Greenberg expresses her love for the new system by saying, “Oh yeah, the new lunch system rocks.”

The Dining Hall also did away with all paper, styrofoam, and plastic. Now instead, all the utensils and plates are real. It really makes it feel like a real dining room. And it is very environmentally friendly. Everything is reusable, so MKA’s carbon foot print has contracted. All soda was removed from the cafeteria as well: students can no longer drink empty calories. They are forced to choose a healthier drink, such as water or juice.

Overall, the lunch system has proven to be highly successful and beneficial, as the basic need has been met and surpassed: students can get mouthwatering and healthy food for a fair price when they are hungry and enjoy it in comfort and style. •


Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: Preston Park

This isn’t sleep away camp. This is independent school lunch. Lunch shouldn’t be so difficult; however, the initiatives set forth and the changes made make lunch a hot, sloppy mess best served never and nowhere. But let’s just break down the new lunch to appreciate and savor the hot, steaming flaws.

First, there are the new plates and silverware. Hey, I’m a fan of sustainability, but I’m really not a fan of water stains and food residue on my cutlery. Nor am I a fan of setting my entire meal down on some offshore location to grab a fork, knife, and sometimes spoon whilst my teeth (I carry my utensils that way because I don’t believe in trays) and cuticles (reaching for a metal fork or knife these days is like reaching into the mouth of Jaws) suffer.

The new cups are really, really small. Not only has cup size shrunken, but the selection of drinks has also diminished. Dessert has lost the luster it once had. Meals are more herb-centered and vegetable-driven. Fruit water hasn’t yet died out. Pizza and quesadillas disappear quickly, and I can only take chicken salad sandwiches for so long, which prompts me to ask: Where’s the sloppy joe love, where are the hairnets, where’s the carbonation, and where are the lunch ladies?!

I think what makes “new lunch” the worst is the goopy finale in which we all take part everyday. Forks go in the fork pile, knives in theirs, cups are placed upside-down and cannot be stacked, and plates have no space? Okay, reach and bend down and stick it in there somewhere. My fingers get little bits of food on them, and I feel a little sick when I get a whiff of the hanging, black cesspools of food and drink.

But nothing is as bad as the engulfing, dishwasher humidity that steams out from the washing station—I really do feel bad for the guy in there washing our cups, I’ve had a conversation with him and he really needs a fan (both kinds).

To sum it up, “new lunch” is just not great overall–even the new napkin dispenser bothers me.  Lunch should be relaxing and pleasant, so can we at least have our plastic utensils back? •

MKA’s Actresses Become All the King’s Women

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

by Sarah Finn


It’s that time of year again, folks. Touchdown season. Changing leaves. Sweater weather. Apple-picking. And most importantly, MKA’s Fall Play. For any of you music lovers, rock-n-roll fanatics, or poodle-skirt, saddle-shoe-wearing 50’s souls, this year’s Fall Play, “All the King’s Women,” should not be missed! Written by Jersey native and multiple award winner Luigi Jannuzzi, “All the King’s Women” is made up of five one-acts and three monologues that span Elvis’ legacy, from the late 1940’s up to the present. Throughout the course of the play, the audience hears stories from a saleswoman who met Elvis when he was eleven years old, secretaries who work for President Nixon, art promoters who work for Andy Warhol, a modern couple that works in Graceland, and many more. “All the King’s Women” is chock full of hilarious anecdotes, various Southern and Northern dialects, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s fashion and hair, and of course, a soulful, hip-shaking soundtrack.

This year’s Fall Play is directed by the talented visionary JC Svec, and stars a diverse ensemble cast.  Starring freshmen Emma Asher, Audrey Lane and Peter Colbert; sophomores Krissy Bylancik, Heather Milke, and Sam Cleverley; juniors Emma Hart and Madeleine Colbert; and senior Sarah Finn, All the King’s Women is sure to please. In the words of freshman Emma Asher, who is brand new to the Deetjen stage, “I am super excited and honored to be a part of it all!”

The cast has been and will be working tirelessly until opening night, in the hopes of putting together a marvelously entertaining set of performances. As per usual, the show will be performed six times in the Deetjen black box theater in early November: Thursdays, November 1st and 8th at 7 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays November 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th at 8 p.m. Look out for the booth in the cafeteria in late October and early November, where students and faculty can reserve tickets.  Come support your fellow classmates and students, and enjoy what is sure to be a wonderfully fun and electrifying show! •


What Can We Learn From MKA Students’ Recent Sexist Blunders?

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

by Sarah Finn

In a special meeting held for seniors in mid-September, a gender issue was raised that left many girls and guys uncomfortable. In this meeting, students were informed that a Facebook group had been established last year by current senior boys, in which current senior girls were ranked based on attractiveness. After sharing this information, Mrs. Branigan stated her disappointment and her decision to not research any further into the group’s creators, as so many people were involved. For most seniors, the meeting was not the end of the discussion.

That night, I had a conversation about the rankings group with two friends, one male and one female. (The male friend was a member of the Facebook rankings group, though he never posted in it.) Our conversation began with my female friend and me discussing our initial shock about the existence of such a groupand our mutual fear that the list would be published and seen by girls. However, the discussion gradually became more personal, as we recognized that the list reminded us of something deeper.

My female friend and I started talking about the sexual harassment to which we had both become accustomed outside of school. We talked about things we had never shared before because we never really thought they were worth talking about, such as being honked at by strange men every time we go out for runs and getting heckled and hollered at by older men in public. We admitted that we both felt like targets every time we stepped outside.

After our conversation, my female friend and I realized that the Facebook rankings group brought the outside world in. Being ranked by men and feeling constantly subordinate and vulnerable were not new for us, nor were they new for most girls our age. We feel this sexism when men turn their heads around to watch us walk down a street. We feel it when men look at our bodies instead of our faces. I felt it when I was eleven  (cont’d on p. 3)      years old and a strange man groped me at a Yankees game. But this was the first time we felt this way at MKA, a place where we felt sheltered from that kind of treatment. A place where it was okay for us to have our guards down, because we trusted that we were being respected.

While the Facebook group did not physically or even verbally harass senior girls, we were being objectified and disrespected, and instead of by strangers, it was by our friends and classmates.

I did not and I still do not believe that friends of mine in this group, some of whom made this list, only saw me as a number, or an object of comparison. And I definitely do not believe that the boys who started this group are bad people, or equal to creepy predators. However, I do think that the group itself reveals an ignorance regarding the treatment of women in society.

I believe that the mistake of this Facebook group can and will be a learning experience for some of the boys in the senior class. As this is our last year together in high school, I have faith that we will recover communally from this blunder.

While it was an unfortunate way for the year to begin, especially given that the diversity theme for this year is gender, I believe that this incident gives girls the opportunity to have discussions, like my friend and I had. Girls, and I include myself in this, do not speak up enough, or maybe we’re not encouraged to speak up enough, about how we are made to feel in public.

Senior girls have been facing “women’s issues” since their pre-teen years, and yet they have been forbidden to talk about them. Now is the opportunity, and I hope that the senior boys will listen so they can become respectful men.

Doc Celebrates MKA’s 125th

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
Doc with cake

Dr. Houston celebrates MKA's 125th birthday with cake.

Maddie’s Study Playlist!

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Madeleine Colbert ’14

  1. Two Door Cinema Club – “Sun”
  2. Childish Gambino ft. Yeasayer – “I Can Hear Your Feet (Sunrise)”
  3. Up and Away ft. June – “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop”
  4. Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch – “Sweet Nothings”
  5. He is We – “Pardon Me (Go Periscope Remix)”
  6. Adrian Lux – “Teenage Crime”
  7. Passion Pit – “It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy”
  8. Yelle – “Que Veux Tu (Madeon Remix)”
  9. Two Door Cinema Club – “Settle”
  10. Citizen Cope – “Let the Drummer Kick That”

AP Art Students Take Art to New Heights

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Alex Amari ’13

During the first few days of school, a peculiar scent began emanating from the Upper School Arts Wing. Students proposed several explanations for the unpleasant odor, ranging from the building materials involved in the recently finished art hallway renovations to some sort of forgotten foodstuff that had somehow avoided detection during the summer months. As time passed, however, the smell became increasingly rancid, so much so that students dismissed even the worst Flik mishap as a potential cause of the odor. So what was the cause of the putrid aroma, you ask? We are happy to report that it was just Preston Park’s AP Studio Art project, which was discovered and promptly disposed of in the first week of school.

What is AP Studio Art? Who is taking it? Should we expect more disgusting Art Wing fragrances in the coming months? The Academy News has made it a point to find out.

When students taking the course walked into the art classroom on the first day of school, they were met with a mixed welcome from Mr. Cuneo: “Welcome to AP Studio Art. You are officially two months behind.” A short briefing ensued before the seniors began working on their summer projects for the class.

The summer assignment for AP Studio Art, introduced to students last spring, was described simply as BUGS! When we asked Preston about the concept for his summer project, he replied, “I basically just put roast beef in a water bottle and let maggots grow in it. I was hoping it could work somehow, but the art teachers threw it out, so yeah…” The prospective sculptor has recently been spotted searching for new organic materials for his project near the dumpsters behind the school.

Like other AP courses, AP Studio Art follows a curriculum loosely regulated by the College Board, culminating in a final examination at the end of the year based on the AP grading criteria. In the case of AP Studio Art, students spend the year working on a portfolio that will be graded anonymously by a team of College Board graders during the summer. Portfolios fall under three categories: 2-D Design, 3-D Design, and Drawing. Within each of these categories, students produce artwork for three equally weighted sections: Quality, Breadth, and Concentration. Due to the sheer amount of artwork required for the exam, AP Studio is considered a yearlong, major course.

So who are the students willing enough to dedicate such a considerable amount of time and effort to their artwork? Are they, as one student suggests, “a mindless rabble of hipsters looking for résumé boosters and writing expressionist plays at Panera in their spare time”? I can safely say that this is not the case.

While AP Studio is a class full of gifted artists, some students (myself, specifically) possess more imagination than talent. This is a class of ideas, and certainly a class with a sense of humor. Technical artistic strength in drawing, photography, sculpture and other art forms is essential for successful AP portfolios, but in and of itself will not guarantee a good score. Not all ideas must be as quirky as Preston’s, but students are encouraged to pursue originality as they put together their projects. Portfolios are most successful, Mr. Cuneo likes to remind students, when a sense of personality shines through, when an exhausted team of College Board graders finds something that makes them smile in a sea of repetitive high school art.