Category Archives: Student Essay

Great Day for a Race By Sophia Schaefer

Editor’s note: Read the article on this award-winning short story here.

“Up from the meadows rich with corn, clear in the cool September morn, the clustered spires of Frederick stand, green walled by the hills of Maryland.” My grandfather muttered this as the race horn sounded. Weaving in and out of boats, he skillfully drew the tiller back and forth to avoid a collision, a look of happiness and determination on his tanned, wrinkled face.

Sailing with my grandfather, surrounded by dinghies on this warm August Saturday, made me feel happy and safe. I was the first person he asked when he needed crew to race with him in his sailboat “Moby Dick.” The starting area was filled with a large fleet of dinghies, gathered for the weekly race. The small, one-sail boats were closely packed together as the horn announced one minute. His eyes gleamed as he spoke the last verses of the Barbara Frietchie poem, which took him exactly five minutes to recite. He said it at the start of every race, instead of using a watch, to know exactly the amount of time before the starting horn.

“Peace and order and beauty draw; Starboard! Starboard!” he cried, while positioning his boat on the line. I always stifled a laugh when he recited the “peace and order” verse during the start, the most stressful time in the race. “Round thy symbol of light and law; quick pull in the sail!” he shouted at me from the side of the boat. I rushed to grab the mainsheet as the five short beeps followed by a long beep, signifying the start, blared from the Race Committee Boat.

Continue reading

Baccalaureate Remarks by Elizabeth Calderone ’14

Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh

I’m Elizabeth Calderone, the senior class treasurer. Many of you know me as Liz. Williston has been a magical place for many of us. To best describe the time we’ve spent here, the allegory that comes to mind is the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Many of us know the movie The Wizard of Oz, even if we haven’t read the book. this novel was just the first of 14 in L. Frank Baum’s Oz series. Much happens after the movie is over.

In the Land of Oz, Dorothy and her companions had to deal with…
Lions, Tigers, and Bears (“Oh My”).
In our journey, we’ve had to deal with…
Homework, Papers, Exams (“Oh My”)
History, Calculus, English (“Oh My”)
Activities, AP Tests, and Mr. Gunn (“Oh My”)… and so much more.

But now, we’ve done it! Our yellow brick road is behind us. We have reached the Emerald City. We now have new adventures to look forward to. This is just the first in our series. How are we supposed to envision its end?

Continue reading

Brenna Quirk ’15 on Her Installation Piece for [SHOWCASE]

Editor’s note: Williston’s Brenna Quirk ’15 created a new installation piece for [SHOWCASE], a group art show in Eastworks on May 10-17, 2014. [SHOWCASE], which features the work of 23 Williston students, is being held in Suite 136 and is curated by Gabriel Jacobson ’15. Below, Ms. Quirk explains the concept behind her piece.

IMG_0119The piece I’ve created is a pretty big piece (almost 6.5 by 4.5 foot), which is actually made up of nine smaller pieces. I created silhouettes of the profiles of the faces of myself and eight other people who are important to me. I then filled the silhouettes with an abstract black and white design using pen and ink which varies slightly from piece to piece.

The silhouettes also each have thicker black lines extending to the edge of the page. Once these were all hung up, I used yarn on the wall running between the pieces to connect these lines, and each connection represents a connection between the people featured in the silhouettes.

I came up with my idea while thinking of the theme “human relationships.” Originally I planned only to create three pieces, but once I got going I was inspired to go further and create a much larger, more complicated piece.

I mainly wanted to include my art in the show because it was a new opportunity to show my art in a new place. I haven’t had a chance to display my artwork anywhere besides the Grubbs Gallery at the end of a trimester of Arts Intensive, so when this opportunity presented itself, I took it. I am excited to reach a larger audience with my work. I also created something different than what I usually create, so the whole experience was new and inspiring.

I hope that my piece makes the audience think more about relationships in their life. I’d love for them to ponder who they might include on their own abstract map of relationships. I want to evoke thought about the complexity and variation in relationships and in people, which I tried to get across through the varying design and the tangled web that the yarn creates.

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Incitatus Speaks

Editor’s Note: Evan Stark ’15 presented the following speech at Mount Holyoke College on Friday, January 17 during Classics Day, a high school Latin event. His speech and outfit won second place in the Costume Contest.

photo 1[4]Salvete! My name is Incitatus. I apologize if it is difficult to hear me, my voice is a bit horse. I’m afraid many of you may not have herd of me, so allow me to tell you a little about myself. I began my career as a race-horse. I was the reining champion. I was so good, I even caught the attention of the Emperor Caligula. No Roman emperor has ever ruled with such unbridled madness. What a nightmare! However I was fortunate enough to live a much more stable life.

Caligula was so pleased with my performances he made me a senator. He even gave me gifts. I was living it up in an ivory manger, with purple blankets, and a collar of precious stones. I even had a house with slaves and furniture and everything. The best part was, I got to horse around whenever I wanted.

Continue reading

Dear Williston: A Holiday Letter to the Community by Abigail Rogers-Berner ’14

Editor’s note: Abigail Rogers-Berner ’14 wrote and presented the following message during the Community Winter Banquet on December 17, 2013.

Dear Williston,

2013_holiday cardHappiest of holidays to each and every one of you! I found it difficult to single out just a few people for whom I am grateful—for I cannot imagine my experience without everyone as a whole. Each of you has changed my life for the better, substantially so, and I am so incredibly fortunate to call you my friends and teachers. More often than not, the two overlap.

We often reflect upon our blessings during the holiday season, and we should, for we are able to go home to our families, our other friends, and our warm homes and appreciate all that we have. This year, though, I have come to realize that what we experience at home during winter vacation is a pretty parallel feeling to what we have here, every single day. When I am at school, I am also at home.

You are my family, my rock, my delight, and even if you don’t even know my first name, you lift me up because you are a part of a community for which I care deeply, and by which I have developed into the person I am today.

As we go “home” on Thursday, be excited. But also think about how fortunate we are to be at Williston and to be in one another’s lives. Our time is not much longer here, with this specific composition of incredible individuals.

I, for one, could not consider myself luckier. Thank you for all that you do and for all that you are. Thank you for touching my life so powerfully.

All my love, both in the holidays and out,
Abigail Rogers-Berner ’14