Monthly Archives: October 2014

Starting the House Cup Competition with Spirit at SAC Day

With the start of a fresh school year comes the inducting of new students into “Houses” and the beginning of annual House competitions. This year’s House season kicked off on Friday, October 10, with autumn SAC Day. Even before the Houses were set to convene on the patio, the battle for spirit points began. Signs, balloons, house T-shirts, and even a DJ were spotted all around the campus. By the time SAC Day was officially set to start, shades of red, blue, yellow, orange, green, and black filled SIA’s campus.

When our resident MC, Ms. Corigliano, took the microphone, you could barely hear her over house chants and cheers led by this year’s energetic House leaders. Once the students settled down, the first activity and teams were called. Since the first activity of the day, chosen by school president Akash Das ’15, was GaGa, the Houses headed over to the GaGa pit in what looked like a parade. Surrounding the pit, students pressed up against the outside of the wooden octagon with their Housemates lining the inner perimeter of the pit. The ball flew up, and in a matter of seconds, House cheers filled the air as players scurried around the pit trying to stay in as long as possible. In the end, it came down to one Partington player, Corinn Baggs, and three Methfessel players. You can figure out who won that one.

With everyone still hyped after that first event, the race for spirit points became even more intense. The chants got louder, the cheers got better, House members got more involved and by the end of the day, a few voices were lost and a lot of palms were red from applause. Following GaGa, events such as soccer, three legged races, water relay, tug-of-war, and the hula hoop challenge occurred. However, we cannot forget the most dangerous event of them all, musical chairs. I will never forget the look on Ms. Faust and Mrs. Hayes’ faces as House members screamed over calls. With last year’s musical chairs champ, Yvonne Boulay (of Merrick House), knocked out rather early, the competition heated up. Once again it came down between Partington and Methfessel, only this time the victory belonged to Partington.

At the end of the day, I think we all left laughing and smiling. It was a great day full of memories we’ll never forget. It was an amazing start to the House competition. With that said, we must commend Methfessel on their win of both the majority of the Spirit Points and the SAC day competition as a whole.

 

By Andrew B. ’16

Chemistry Counts in Girls’ Varsity Volleyball

This year’s Girls’ Varsity Volleyball season commenced with a succession crisis: a week before the advent of practices, there was no one available to replace last year’s coach. Mr. Novak, or “Snoop,” saved the day when he offered to lead the Volleyball program, forsaking his position as assistant coach of the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team. In a remarkably seamless transition, the multi-talented physical education instructor (he has backgrounds in soccer, baseball, swimming, track, and golf) tackled the position of Head Coach with effortless grace. We are all grateful to him for his commitment to SIA’s athletic program and his generosity of spirit.

Under his leadership, the girls had a successful season marked by hard work and a flair for the dramatic—often the team would play up to 5 sets, culminating in a 15-point tiebreaker. A schedule laden with away-games mandated frequent bus rides, sometimes up to four in one 5-day week, to and from Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. The bus, dominated by a battle between blasting rap and show tunes from the Broadway show “Heathers,” wasn’t exactly conducive to sleeping, or to the bus driver’s happiness. The bus rides were enjoyable nonetheless, at least for the girls. “They do a great job, considering we have so many games in a row without much rest in between. The team’s success shows how hard the girls worked before the season and that they are motivated to do well,” remarks Mr. Novak. The Volleyball team enjoyed a multitude of outlandish times while traversing the New York metropolitan area via school bus, like when the girls showed up at a Queens high school only to find out that the opposing team had just arrived at SIA. On a more positive note, Mr. Novak’s savory reward brownies (baked in collaboration with his twin brother) were demanded on every occasion.

The girls’ chemistry was reflected on the court: “They are all such well-rounded individuals. All seem to complement each other’s styles and skills,” says Mr. Novak of the girls’ teamwork. Setter Danielle W. ‘15, “a huge asset,” averaged four assists per game. “She’s everywhere on the floor and helps to bail us out and generate a good attack when we need it,” notes Mr. Novak. Colleen M. ‘16, a fabulous hitter and server with a great sense of humor, led in service points with eighty eight, while vivacious Veronica L. ‘15, “our leading attacker,” and “Princess” Madison B. ‘15, “a leader through her actions,” led in kills and “dinks”[1]. Claire C. ‘15, “the strong, silent type who lets her hard work speak for itself,” contributed to the effort with the most digs (throwing oneself onto the floor to save the ball). Newcomer to the Varsity team, sophomore “Coach” Kelly F., “very talented and a great asset to the team in the future,” wowed our opponents with a speedy serve and was a formidable force at net. Meanwhile, Emma M. ‘15 “the supersub with a deceiving serve”, and Veronica intimidated the opposition with raccoon skin hats, spastic dancing, and cheering. Alexa F. ‘16’s memorable serving run against Dwight and encouragement on the sidelines, and Maria V. ‘15’s focus on the court also complemented the team dynamic.

Besides a successful record, the team, more importantly, got along well. Noting the abundance of returning players, Mr. Novak, also referred to as Snoop, states, “Having so many leaders on the floor at the same time who have played together before is exciting; they are comfortable with each other and can build on what they accomplished last year.” The girls’ familiarity with each other and Snoop’s coaching style molded a calm environment in which the stressed out seniors and juniors were able to take their minds off standardized testing and APs. The team dynamic was unique in that even after tough losses, neither coach nor team internalized blame; mistakes and shortcomings were forgotten the minute the girls stepped off the court. Finishing with a record of eight wins and nine losses in the regular season, the team enjoyed a smooth season after the initial secession mishap. Thank you Snoop, for stepping in and so gracefully spearheading an enjoyable season for us. Mr. Novak, you are “the real MVP.”

*All quotes are from Coach Shawn Novak (Snoop), who “has an IQ of 170 and can bench press 265 pounds.” Again, we are skeptical.

[1] Snoop claims that this is a legitimate, respectable term for “tipping the ball over the net.” We are skeptical.

 

By Emma M. ’15

A Tradition of Fun at Academy Day

This year, Staten Island Academy turned 130 years old and, like every other year in the recent past, the Academy held a day of celebration and fun. Each year on Academy Day, students, faculty, alumni, family members, and friends all come to the Academy on a Saturday to have a blast. From games to food to music to raffles, Academy Day has something that will interest even the pickiest people. If you don’t think that you will enjoy playing a game, you are always welcome to chat with friends or family or watch a faculty member get soaked in the dunk tank.

Academy Day was held on September 20th, 2014 and this year’s theme was called “Staten Island Academy Salute to the Troops” in honor of all the brave troops who go out to war and risk their lives to protect our nation. This meant that the majority of all the games provided from each grade had to relate with the army and war. For example, each grade’s game had a camouflage background, and those volunteering at the games were wearing camouflage t-shirts.

During the fun and excitement of Academy Day, the boys and girls varsity soccer teams had games against Friends Seminary. The girls’ team won 2-1 but sadly, the boys’ team lost 2-8.

On the patio, there was a mouth-watering smell filling the entire area. From hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and more, there was something there for everyone to enjoy. For those with a sweet tooth, “The Canteen” in the gym had hundreds of donuts, cupcakes, cookies and other sugary treats to spoil you with.

Inside the gymnasium, there were close to thirty raffles and in addition, there was an iPhone 6 raffle and a 50/50 raffle. The 50/50 raffle is when the winner receives half the money raised by raffles and half goes to the school. In the raffle baskets, there were prizes for anyone and any age. For the little ones, there were the latest toys. For the techie ones, there was a Samsung Galaxy 4, an iPhone 6, and and beats headphones by dr. dre. For the more mature, there were two handbags, a wine basket and a spa retreat basket. These are just a few of the many more nice items there.

In the gym parking lot, there was bungee jumping, really high slides and a boot camp-styled obstacle course. To make things even more fun out there, the dunk tank was placed there, too. Those who have been at the Academy for several years like spending time with their classmates who have left the school or those who are in a different grade and usually don’t have the chance of hanging out.

Academy Day always has a place for each and every person, no matter the age, to enjoy themselves, and this year was no exception. Only at Staten Island Academy’s annual Academy Day will people have fun at the level that we do. This year’s Academy Day was, hands down, a blast just like every other year in the past, and I’m sure that next year’s Academy Day will be as good as the ones that have already taken place.

 

By Sharukh K. ’17

Review: “The Cellar” by Natasha Preston

One thing that all students (and teachers) are exposed to at SIA is social media. Between Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, it’s a rather safe bet that everyone in the SIA community is “connected” somehow. Many TV shows even establish social media accounts and pages to get more access to their fans.

But have you ever heard of Wattpad?

Wattpad is an online “writing community”, where people can post stories, poems, and articles. It has over 35 million registered users and 70 million stories on its site. Both unpublished and published authors alike use or have used Wattpad. Readers can leave comments on their favorite stories; this enables authors to access feedback from their audience. Many people who use Wattpad and other sites like it say they love being able to reach hundreds of people all around the world with ease.

One “Wattpad Sensation,” Natasha Preston, published four books prior to one of her newest novels, The Cellar, which was released on March 1st, 2014. The story is a darker novel, not meant for the faint of heart. The novel follows 16 year-old Summer after she is kidnapped by the sociopathic Colin/Clover. Upon her arrival to the “Cellar,” the creepy and ominous area of Clover’s house reserved for his flowers, she meets Rose, Poppy, and Violet and discovers that she is no longer Summer; she is Lily. The days pass by and “Lily” no longer has any hope of being rescued.

The novel is heavy and heartbreaking while still managing to be quite interesting and thought-provoking. Although some characters are more evil than others, all are written in a way so that the readers can sympathize with them. The shifts in points-of-view allow the readers to see what it would be like if—even just for one day—they were a psychopath like Colin Brown.

Fans of darker novels like the Pretty Little Liars series, The Lying Game series and TV shows like Pretty Little Liars will love this novel. For readers not as interested in the murder and mayhem aspect of the book, don’t worry; there is also romance in the story. Though The Cellar is not an overly sappy novel, it may also be enjoyed by fans of dark romances, since romance is what binds the drama together. Natasha Preston is definitely on the list of YA authors to look out for. The publication of her stories proves that through today’s networking and various forms of self-publishing, it is possible to turn a hobby into a career.

 

By Cassandra C. ’17