The editors and staff of The Page & The Epistle are delighted to introduce our first issue of the 2022-2023 school year! As SP and SPSG’s joint upper school newspaper, The Page & The Epistle strives to empower student voices and writing and inform The St. Paul's Schools community about a variety of topics.
We are honored to serve as the Editors-in-Chief this year. Following our arrival at SPSG in ninth grade, we have appreciated the guidance and admired the expertise of previous editors and are ecstatic to continue to foster students' voices. Between us, we have published articles on a wide range of topics, from President Clark Wight’s office to Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the United States Supreme Court. Our prior experience as staff writers at The Page and the Epistle has solidified our passion for writing and more than prepared us for our role.
Our staff this year is quite talented, and we are excited to help share their ideas with the larger community. We also plan to deliver news and features via podcasts and video this year. We invite students interested in our work to contact us, and we encourage everyone to read and interact with this year’s articles!
Natalie Kim ’24 (email@example.com) and Erin Verch ’24 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Co-Editors in Chief of The Page and the Epistle
Faculty Advisors: Mr. Brooks Binau & Mr. Charley Mitchell ‘73
On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwestern Florida. In the blink of an eye, millions of lives were changed forever.
This massive storm qualified as a rare Category 4 and came close to Category 5. A Category 4 storm must have sustained winds of at least 130 miles per hour and capping at 156. In comparison, Hurricanes Irene and Sandy ranked as Category 3 storms. They also cause catastrophic damage, often destroying well-built structures such as houses and office buildings. Ian was, unfortunately, a perfect example of this.
Sanibel Island, a small vacation town, suffered a devastating blow. Sanibel, while beautiful, is isolated. With one highway connecting the residential areas to mainland Florida, residents fear the threats of hurricanes. Interstate 75, the highway in question, was ravaged. For hours, winds surpassing 120 miles per hour slammed the bridges and beaches while surges upward of seven feet flooded the roads. A shell of an island with an unsalvageable exit was all that remained.
Other vacation hotspots such as Charleston, Fort Myers, and Naples found their streets flooded with several feet of water. In Naples alone, 55,000 buildings were severely water-damaged and left uninhabitable. Alligators swarmed the streets, confining terrified residents to their dismantled homes.
Ian struck Cuba as a slightly less fearsome Category 3, though power lines were destroyed, causing millions to lose electricity. Homes were flattened and streets were erased. Many residents, caught off guard, were unprepared for such ferociousness. For days, residents Cuba struggled alongside Americans as the floodwaters rose as one question loomed: what would come next?
It would be easy to ignore the situation in Florida, but community and hope can prevail. Below is a list of foundations/organizations who are helping on the frontlines. Whether you decide to make a contribution or spread the word, remember that anything helps.
The Gulf Coast Community Foundation: The GCC directly supports and aids the victims of Ian, providing medical care and hospitality to those most in need.
In our fast-paced world of pressure, competition, and a never-ending news cycle, chronic stress can overtake even the best of us. According to the National Library of Medicine, stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension caused by events or thoughts that make you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Not having a plan to cope with stress can lead to muscle tension, headaches, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, a weakened immune system, difficulty sleeping, and depression. Yet rather than become victims of the stressful world around us, we can combat stress by fortifying our bodies and spirit with fitness and faith.
The Harvard Health Letter cites many benefits of exercise to increase our resistance to stress (www.health.harvard.edu). Exercise reduces stress hormones and increases production of endorphins that are the chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. Getting your heart rate up changes the brain’s chemistry by increasing anti-anxiety neurochemicals such as serotonin, and it activates both the frontal regions of the brain responsible for organization and the amygdala, which enables us to react to threats to our survival. In addition, fitness leads to improvements in strength, endurance, and energy, which have the secondary benefit of improved self-image.
In our search for sense and stability in a chaotic world, faith can help ground us by creating meaning and purpose. The Mayo Clinic, in its column entitled “Mindfulness,” explains that the practice of some religion or spirituality can aid in stress management. It can help you cope with many perplexing and distressing questions that surround the meaning of existence. As religion focuses us on values of love and kindness, it lessens stress-producing feelings of anger and aggression.
Faith can provide hope and acceptance, and it encourages a sense of optimism and hopefulness, which teaches us to accept what does not work out and what we cannot control. Faith unites us with others; belonging to a religious organization can put you in contact with others who are less fortunate. This allows you to play a helping role, which shifts the focus from your own stresses to someone else’s. Finally, prayer and contemplation can result in a range of physical changes that reduce stress.
Standing strong against the many worries and stresses that block our way can seem impossible. But if we take that first step in the right direction, we can begin to feel some small amount of control over our response to stress.
Take active charge of your life and make a plan of action. We cannot control the events and demands around us, but we can be optimistic about the fact that moving our bodies can unlock positive brain chemistry, improve well-being, and increase energy. We can also turn to our faith to help us remember what is important and guide us toward peace. Take a breath, say a prayer, and focus on something beautiful. The burden is not ours alone. “In this world you will have trouble; but take heart, I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
On September 13th, 2022, a 22-year-old young woman in Iran, Mahsa Amini, was arrested for wearing her hijab incorrectly. The Iranian government has a strict policy requiring women to wear headscarves or hijabs, which symbolize modesty, morality, and privacy. The rule states that women must wear a head covering in public starting at the age of nine. The Morality Police—the widely feared enforcers of Iran’s veiling laws—arrested Amini, stating that she was improperly dressed. Amini subsequently died in police custody.
According to government standards, this could have meant Amini had a single strand of hair peeking out of her hijab. Amini was taken to a center where she would be “re-educated” on how to properly wear the hijab. However, three days later, she was found dead after being admitted into a local hospital in a coma. According to some witnesses, Amini was tortured and abused prior to her death. Since this event was popularized by the media, mass public protests have occurred throughout Iran, where women are burning headscarves, chanting phrases such as “Death to the dictator,” and cutting their hair, while some of their male counterparts join the protests by providing consistent support. This has created conflict with Iran’s traditional mindset that is rooted in fundamental religious customs of modesty versus Iranian female citizens begging for an ounce of freedom.
The Morality Police
The Morality Police are a segment of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces that enforces standards set by Islamic Sharia Law. The five main goals of this law are to protect the peace of religious practice, life, sanity, family, and communal wealth, although the Morality Police will also ensure that women are dressed appropriately in public to respect and honor their male counterparts as well as Allah. Not only must women wear hijabs in public, but the hijab must cover all hair, not be loose, and worn traditionally.
Results of the Protests
The protests in Iran have become violent. Security forces have reacted aggressively, using shotguns, assault rifles, and handguns to kill and injure hundreds of protesters, including many women, daily. As of this writing, sixteen videos showing graphic images of police openly firing at groups of women cutting their hair have been released. As many as 400 deaths have been confirmed, 23 of which were girls under the age of ten. Claiming fear of foreign influence, Iranian authorities have cut off citizens’ access to social media and the internet, to prevent the news of protests from spreading.
Although the fight for freedom in Iran has been brought to our attention recently, the truth is that Iranian women have been fighting for freedom for 150 years. Protests have been taking place for decades, as more than half of Iran's population disagrees with the strict religious laws. Many are fed up with women's lack of liberty. With anger and rage, the women of Iran are demanding change. During this time, Americans should stand with Iran as thousands of individuals risk their lives daily to finally be free.
Most people are expected to follow the norm. Because humans are social creatures by nature, we adapt to what most people around us do and believe. Our slang, music, food, clothes, and how we carry ourselves are affected by the people we are around. Thus, stereotypes are born.
If you have a certain amount of money, you are associated with a particular group. If you walk a certain way, talk a certain way, and even look a certain way, you are categorized. This tendency to categorize people in separate groups because of our “first impression” of them causes us to focus on one characteristic about that person and ignore others that make that person unique.
Color Association as a Predictor of Gender
Imagine Ryan, a boy who is attending his first day at middle school. During art class, the teacher tells the students to draw a knight, but only using one color to do so. When Ryan chooses pink because that is his favorite color, he is questioned by some students as to why his favorite color is pink instead of a “boyish” color like green or brown. Ryan replies, “I don’t know, I just like pink better.” When his classmates asked the question, they'd associated color with gender, though color is no indication of gender.
An investigation by Claudia Hammonddepicted differences in women’s treatment of babies. When given “the exact same babies,” women treated them differently, “depending on whether they were dressed in pink or blue. If the clothes were blue, they assumed it was a boy, played more physical games with them...whereas they would gently soothe the baby dressed in pink.”
The reason we associate color with gender might not just be a social one, but a psychological one. Many Americans want to know the gender of their baby before they’re born, and once they do, they buy things for the baby in colors that we associate as “boyish” or “girlish." This cycle continues with the generation after, causing a social bias about what we think is “boyish” or “girlish.”
Once we realize that color doesn't have any correlation with gender, we can eliminate the harmful effect of stereotypes, such as people forcing themselves to like certain colors to make themselves appear more masculine or feminine.
Name and Gender Workplace
In a recent study, the National Bureau of Economic Studies found that stereotypically Black-sounding names reduced the probability of employment by 2.1 percent compared to white-sounding names. Some of these gaps were worse depending on the company. For example, this study found that in firms with the most racial discrimination, half of the Black applicants with stereotypical Black-sounding names didn't receive a call for employment from the firm during the experiment. Likewise, when it came to gender, depending on whether the firm favors male or female applicants, there was a 2.7 percent difference in the probability of employment.
A Canadian research report found that applicants with Asian-sounding names and foreign educations were 29.7 percent less likely to get employed on first calls compared to applicants with Anglicized names. If the Asian applicant had a mix of Canadian and foreign experience, then they were 46.1 percent less likely. If the Asian applicant only had foreign experience, then they were 62.5 percent less likely.
Thus, you could have the same qualifications, or better, as someone else but have a lower chance of being offered a job because of your name. For example, a man named Bill would most likely have a better chance of employment than a man named Jamal. This bias not only causes emotional damage to the applicant; it can have a long-term negative effect on a company’s productivity and success. Companies most susceptible to gender and racial bias won't improve since an applicant’s potential is overridden by the perception of their name.
Color association with gender and name discrimination have affected many cultures for far too long. Knowing that these biases will limit the diversity of cultures which strive for improvement and growth in their communities, it is best that we tackle this bias sooner rather than later. Success will help our workplace culture and businesses thrive.
Kiera Thomas ‘25 has reached the ranking of a “national kickboxer.” This is an impressive achievement for a woman, especially at just 14. I recently spoke with this nationally recognized athlete to learn more about her experience with the sport and how she got to be where she is now.
Kiera was a club lacrosse player until her father, Brandon Thomas, showed her a UFC match on television. Kiera fell in love with the sport first as a viewer and then decided to try it. She began her kickboxing career toward the end of 2020 as she started training at “American Muay Thai,” a gym in Parkville, Maryland.
Kickboxing is a form of martial art that has Asian origins as it developed from Japanese, full-contact karate, and can be traced back to Thailand and the art of Muay Thai Boxing as well. It is effectively a combination of the two martial arts that has risen in popularity in the U.S. in recent years. It is defined as a highly competitive sport where two fighters battle to receive a higher number of points before the round ends. Some ways to gain a point are landing a kick, punch, jab, or sweep on your opponent without it being blocked.
Kiera works out at the gym three to five days a week for 2-2 ½ hours per session. She notes that running, weightlifting, and biking have helped her endurance and strength in the gym. These long hours of training and perfecting skills have gotten her to the competitive level she is at today.
Kiera also shared that kickboxing has helped her gain extreme amounts of confidence: “It has helped me to find who I am and to be an all-around better person,” Kiera says. “I feel that I have grown into a much calmer and relaxed person by being able to take my anger or other emotions out. This sport has taught me that you can have lifelong friends and support systems, but that it is also okay to be alone. Sometimes you just need the comfort of yourself.”
Kiera has shared that the stereotypes of boxers as angry people are untrue, claiming she has met some of the kindest and smartest people at the gym. She has found that everyone is open-minded and looking for the positive in each situation—which has really stuck with Kiera. “I believe this sport will always be a part of my life, it has influenced my personality and has profoundly changed my life forever,” she noted. “I have made friends that will always affect my life, and I have bonds with my coaches that are truly incredible. I would love to continue the sport in the future, but I want to see where my life will take me.”
Kiera also spoke on one of her proudest moments, a victory after a long and challenging match: “My proudest moment is when I won my second fight—it was an extremely emotional moment. It was one of the first victories for my gym since we had been on a losing streak. I gave her [Keira’s opponent] a bloody nose, which was something to be proud of because of my power and skill. The judges awarded me a unanimous decision. It was a moment where all the challenging work, the long days, and the horrendous diet were worth it. It felt like I was finally at peace, like I was doing something that was worth it.” This was one of her two wins in 2021.
The SPSG community is behind Kiera, and we are excited to see where her summer matches take her as the school year comes to a close!
* Editor’s Note: This is the second of two articles on the history of The Page and the Epistle student run paper. The first article, documenting the origins of The Page and its original history as The Monitor, can be found on our website.
Welcome to the second part of “Behind The Page,” a feature on the history of the St. Paul’s school newspaper, which dates to the 1940s.
The Monitor, the predecessor to the modern-day school paper, The Page and the Epistle, featured news, sports, advertisements, gossip, and more. This paper highlights the evolution of a small journalism group that managed to become an integral part of the school community.
But, The Monitor is only a part of the history of St. Paul’s student newspaper. I interviewed former Page faculty advisor Michal Makarovich to gain answers and insight into The Page and its history. Why was The Monitor discontinued? What came before it? How did it become The Page? And what is the legacy of this nearly one hundred-year-old newspaper?
To pick up where I left off, The Monitor had eventually transformed into a literary magazine, focusing on short stories and writings, rather than news and reporting. However, this changed when Michal Makarovich became its advisor in 1973. Michal suggested to the editors, who wished to publish news alongside the regular contents of The Monitor, that they go forward with this desire and include an article or two surrounding the news in each publication, dubbing it The Monitor Page.
The editor of volume 1 of The MonitorPage was Andy Cohen, and it was published in October of 1976. While Andy lost interest in it shortly after, another editor, Ed Weber, picked it up in May of the same year, shortening the paper name to “The Page.” Ed continued The Page, gaining new editors to work on the project, and, eventually, The Monitor disappeared entirely in favor of an exclusively journalism-based publication, opting to document events and news, rather than stories and other types of content.
The Page increased in popularity by the day and even won more awards than The Monitor in its prime. It also sold more ads in its pages. In addition, the paper included the discussion of more topical issues, such as music and gaming. This made the paper quite unique as other local school newspapers, such as those of the Gilman and Boys’ Latin schools, were focusing exclusively on global issues and sports. This popularity led many to wonder what The Page’s secret to success was. The answer was simple: The Page covered topics that appealed to students.
Of course, other schools already had newspapers of their own, mostly reporting on various happenings on and around their school campuses. Yet, The Page was different. Every other school newspaper in the area wrote about sports or generic news. School administrations decided what was written and what wasn’t; thus, any sort of criticism or controversy surrounding the articles published was nowhere to be found. The student writers of The Page staff, on the other hand, wrote what they wanted to write. Articles like “Public vs. Private,” with pictures of a St. Paul’s student and a Dulaney student arguing and calling each other snobs and dirt bags were published (pictured below). The Page garnered major public attention as its student staff dared to broach many untouched topics, like pieces reviewing albums, video games, and other modern media, as well as critiquing school policies like the demerit system.
The issues of The Page were not only controversial and full of hot topics, but were also very local, focusing on the St. Paul’s community, rather than just musing over global issues. This paid off immensely as The Page became incredibly popular. Many alumni at the time talked about how The Page was vital to the school atmosphere, so much so that each new issue would bring a crowd to pick up paper copies.
Of course, simple doesn’t mean easy. While The Page’s approach to journalism may have resulted in massive success and acclaim, it also caused constant struggles between the staff and school administration about the issue of censorship when it came to difficult topics. The St. Paul’s administration didn’t approve of many of the articles featured in The Page as various student writers discussed controversial topics and would often direct criticism toward members of the St. Paul’s faculty and administration itself.
However, The Page’s faculty advisor, Michal Mccarovich, was there to keep the peace between the administration and the students. Michal’s philosophy as the advisor was that the students wrote what they wanted to write, although he did believe in the importance of respecting the boundaries of the school faculty and staff. This created a kind of truce between the two parties, and allowed for a compromise between them, maintaining the position of The Page as the citadel for student run and student written opinions and thoughts.
This legacy of the golden age of The Page is still remembered today as the paper has taken on a digital format. It also merged with SPSG’s newspaper, The Epistle, becoming a single body later in its life, as it is today. Despite this, many of the articles written during the 80s and 90s were more topical and related to school issues than those published now, and it could be argued that The Page was more popular back then than it is currently. Nevertheless, looking back at the paper’s complex and turbulent history and realizing the success it gained while enduring these challenges and shifts brings inspiration to the current staff to continue to speak their minds and write articles that pull readers to the website by catering to student interests.
After doing a bit of digging in the archives with Mr. Mitchell, we discovered something: an article written in 1929 under the name of The Goldbug, stated to be the very first publication of a St. Paul’s newspaper. The Goldbug didn’t last long as the printer went up in flames after a few issues, causing its death almost as soon as the paper started. That issue of the Goldbug is probably the oldest piece of journalism in St. Paul’s history. This should’ve been in the first article, but it wasn’t discovered until after it was published, so I’m inserting it here. Thanks, Mr. Mitchell.
April 22nd, 1970, marked the first Earth Day celebrated in the USA. It was created by former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and activist Dennis Hayes to raise awareness of the declining state of the world’s environment. Starting humbling at a small college, Senator Nelson soon created a committee of 85 people to spread and nationalize the celebration of Earth Day; and in a brilliant stroke of marketing, the first Earth Day coincided with the release of Kalso’s Earth Shoes.
Anna Kalso, a yoga instructor and shoemaker, created Earth Shoes and released them on April 1st, 1970, three weeks before the first official Earth Day. Although the likelihood of the shoes being directly related to the first Earth Day seems farfetched, the day influenced the shoe’s popularity. Trapezoidal and blocky, the Earth Shoe was constructed to mimic that of a human foot. Based on a footprint in the sand, Kalso noticed how the heel left a deeper imprint than the rest of the foot. This observation led to the Earth Shoe’s definitive feature, the “negative heel.” This heel was thinner than the rest of the shoe sole, to improve the wearer’s posture and overall health.
Even though the claims of health benefits are sketchy or even with the shoe itself being frequently described as “ugly” and “hideous,” they became extremely popular. The shoes were in high demand; stores could barely keep them on shelves. Kirk Leyba, a high school student at the time of the shoe’s release, recalls that “at one point the popularity of Earth Shoes rivaled that of sneakers.” The Kalso Earth Shoe, as they are sometimes called, became a staple in many closets during the early 70s, largely due to its connection with the first Earth Day.
Many assumed that Kalso Earth Shoes were related, as they were released right around the same time as the first Earth Day caused many unaware people to think they were connected. Many kids first heard about these shoes in the classroom, where their teachers included the shoes in their Earth Day presentations.
The Earth Shoe has gone down in history as an oddity. It became so fashionable, although continuously characterized as ugly, all because they were released at the right time. Although perhaps at the time the Kalso Earth Shoes overshadowed the Earth Day celebrations, now that is not the case.
We often neglect the Earth. From the rise of deforestation to the polluted streams and rivers in the Delmarva peninsula, we collectively need to do better; Earth Day is a good reminder of that. Still, we should not only care for one day a year. We need to continuously care for the Earth year-round. Do your part in conserving our world, as, unlike the Earth Shoes, it is undoubtedly beautiful, and we cannot live without it.
When I started this article, I was unsure how to address the daunting task of investigating the history of The Page, the St. Paul’s beloved School newspaper, the Page, and the St. Paul’s School for Girl’s school counterpart, The Epistle (which, which are now merged as a single body. When I learned of The Page’s ancestry, which dates to its founding in the 1930s, I was immediately filled with a sense of dread. After all, this article was meant to be an investigation of the history of The Page, which meant I’d have to follow a paper trail that was nearly one hundred years long. It wouldn’t be easy, and it certainly wouldn’t be simple, but I was determined to uncover any lost history this publication could be hiding.
I wouldn’t be alone in this search, though. One resource was the newspaper’s current advisor since 2013, Mr. Charley Mitchell ‘73, a writer and former newspaper journalist himself. He knows a lot about the history of St. Paul’s publications and was glad to help me with information. Another vital source was We Have Kept the Faith, a thorough history published in 1999 by a former editor of The Page, Angelo Otterbein ‘91. Otterbein writes about the origins of The Page and its predecessors, The Monitor, and provides vital details about its history and role in student life. With these sources and further research, we can finally investigate the incredible history of St. Paul’s beloved newspaper, the Page.
Prior to The Page was The Monitor, a name originally chosen by a schoolwide contest. Founded in 1932 by faculty advisor Beverly R. L. Rhett and editor Jason Austin Jr. ‘33, the publication was smaller and focused mostly on sports-related news and other important events happening within the St. Paul’s school community, such as senior speeches and debates. Despite its small start, it was very popular within the school, and quickly became a staple of the St. Paul’s experience. Not only was the newsletter popular within the school, but it won many high school journalism awards during its lifetime. Some of its most well-known accolades include first place in the Southern Interscholastic Press Association convention in 1950, 1959, 1961, and 1962 for school’s “200 students and under.,” meaning students.
However, The Monitor was not financially supported by the school, and for much of its life, its financial situation was precarious. To support itself, The Monitor sold ads from local businesses to help stay afloat. Even with this, The Monitor remained low on money, and frequently requested donations and continued support from readers.
One interesting feature about the early life of the newspaper was its columns. Specifically, Confidential Corner and Pot Luck. These short columns in The Monitor were, unlike the rest of the newspaper, opinion-based, and usually involved gossip and mockery of students and faculty. Making jokes, talking about controversial school issues, and interviews with St. Paul’s students and faculty were regular parts of these columns, which were hugely popular in their time. Pot Luck was originally written by Richard Owen III ‘56, with other writers taking his place however even after he graduated, other writers took his place, such as Dick Peterson ‘61 and Edward Martin ‘63 and Dick Peterson. Confidential Corner’s author was anonymous at the time, and to this day no one knows who wrote the column. (Perhaps with a little more research, we could learn the elusive author’s name.)
However, I hit a bit of a roadblock with these columns. In We Have Kept the Faith, the section about The Page claims that Pot Luck ran in 1956, while the Confidential Corner ran in 1943, without specifying whether they began or ended in those years. The problem is that older Monitor articles have Pot Luck articles written in 1950 and 1959, showing a contradiction in the sources. Confidential Corner also had a similar problem, as I was only found one issue containing it, from 1945. There are many similar inconsistencies, as researching a topic with such a long and complex history such as The Page is bound to lack some incomplete information; however, I’ve tried my best to make this article as detailed and accurate as possible.
Much of the history of The Monitor and The Page has been lost over time. Digging deeply, however, can yield surprising results. I never imagined such an in-depth history of what appears to be an ordinary school newspaper. However, learning about the students who worked tirelessly on these publications over the years tirelessly to create such a professional and unique product as a testament to our school’s history is truly inspiring. There is far more to this history left to be revealed. What happened to The Monitor? How did journalism teacher Mr. Michal Makarovich and his students create evolve into The Page? Who were some of the most defining voices of the newspaper? And what was the catalyst that skyrocketed it into massive school-wide popularity? These questions are difficult to answer in one, especially in a singular article, but stay tuned, as a sequel to this feature, further exploring the past of the Page, as well as its present and future, is coming soon.