Page and Epistle

The student-run newspaper of The St. Paul’s Schools

FEATURE: The Eclipse: Just Keep on Looking
  • Feature

Science is a series of observations that one must continuously reconcile with pre-existing knowledge. Amateur and hobbyist astronomers spend their lives chasing observations and sorting them into extensive lists. These albums of 400 or 500 observations of the natural world are used in competition with each other — whoever has seen the most things more accurately than anyone else wins.  

One such observation is the solar eclipse, which happens once every 18 months or so, though not in the same place on earth. While an eclipse is witnessed in Africa, North Americans may not be able to experience this solar phenomenon for another 300 or 400 years. There are plenty of scientific explanations for this, the simplest being that the alignment of the sun, the moon and the earth is just right in different locations around the globe every year and a half, causing the moon to completely block the sun from the earth’s view. However, the eclipse still takes everything we know about the universe and flips it on its head for four or five minutes while the light in our little corner of the earth disappears. The sun is 865,000 miles in diameter, while the moon’s diameter measures 2,160 miles. The earth is somewhere in between, with a diameter of about 7,918 miles. While a multitude of theorems and calculations account for such a strange phenomenon, it ultimately tells a story of the underdog eclipsing the big guy for just a few moments, questioning the basic reality we had previously accepted.

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SPORTS: St. Paul’s 1st Annual Ping Pong Tournament: The Story Behind This New Tradition
  • Sports

What’s more exciting than NCAA March Madness fever sweeping the nation? Introducing – the first ever – St. Paul’s Ping Pong Classic! Avery Shao (’25) made St. Paul’s history this Spring as the first upperclassman to earn a coveted spot on the Golden Paddle. Ironically, the championship match on April 9, 2024, at St. Paul’s came just one day before the 53rd anniversary of “Ping Pong Diplomacy,” marking the opening of relations between the United States and China. Time Magazine called it, “the Ping Heard Round the World” when in 1971 the U.S. ping pong team accepted an invitation from China, marking the first time an American had set foot on Chinese soil since the Communist Party takeover in 1949.  This opened the door for improved relations between the two countries.  The game of ping pong originated as “table tennis” in the early 1800’s and brought fun-filled competition to the St. Paul’s campus throughout the months of March and April.

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OPINION: Catcalling: What is it, and why is it an issue?
  • Opinion

It first happened to me when I was 13 years old. I remember it like it was yesterday, even after all these years. I was driving with my older brother with the window rolled down, when two 20-year-old men yelled that I looked “so sexy!” They giggled as I shrunk in my seat, praying for the light to turn green and trying to understand what I did to deserve this. I was told this would happen when I got older that I should be careful of walking alone at night in provocative clothes. But I wasn’t alone, I was in a car, it was daylight, I wasn’t wearing provocative clothes, and I was only 13. I thought I did everything right. But it didn’t matter. All it took was two people to completely shatter any sense of security I thought I was entitled to. I wasn’t “asking for it” and yet I got it.

Catcalling, like many female-centric issues, is deemed controversial in our society. While some people advocate against it, victims are more commonly blamed, and the issue is seen as a normal part of womanhood. But if you have experienced it, you understand the hidden threat behind every syllable, the objectification in every “innocent” phrase, and the fear that it doesn’t just end with a comment - that maybe you will become like those girls on the news.

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FEATURE: Singing Valentines at The St. Paul’s Schools
  • Feature

Did you know that The St. Paul’s Schools has 2 A cappella groups? Route 81, at the St. Paul’s School for Boys and 7th Avenue at the St. Paul’s School for Girls. 7th Avenue made its debut several years ago and consists of 10 SPSG students who range from freshman to seniors.

Co-presidents of 7th Avenue, Anousha Joeseph ’25 and Natalie Kim ’24 plan and organize rehearsals and coordinate performances. They worked together to choose songs and arrangements for this year’s Singing Valentines, which is 7th Avenue's biggest event of the year. This campus-wide event, occurred on Tuesday February 13 this year (since Valentine’s Day fell on Ash Wednesday), and featured separate performances from 7th Avenue and Route 81, who visited classrooms across campus to deliver a personalized musical message.

Singing Valentines were purchased by students and faculty leading up to the event, to send performances by one of the two groups to someone special in the St. Paul’s community. Audiences recognized 7th Avenue singers by their all-black attire, while Route 81 donned sports tuxedos for the day.  7th Avenue performed a total of 48 Singing Valentines, they sang a song or two dedicated to the individual in that classroom and delivered a flower or a treat with handwritten cards. The songs performed by 7th Avenue were “To Make You Feel My Love” by Adele, and “I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys, both arranged in 3-part harmonies.

Singing Valentines from Route 81 and Seventh Avenue is one of the most memorable traditions at The St. Paul’s Schools. It is always a treat to hear each group perform and we commend all students involved for their hard work this year.

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FEATURE: King’s Vision Day at The St. Paul’s Schools: A Time to Reflect and to Celebrate MLK
  • Feature

On January 22nd, 2024, The St. Paul’s Schools held the annual King’s Vision Day (KVD). This day honored the legacy of the late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King symbolized racial integration and equality, nonviolent protest, and the belief that all people can equally share in the earth’s “beloved community”. He criticized economic inequality, U.S. foreign policy, and the Vietnam War, making him a target for threats, arrests, and FBI surveillance. Dr. King’s vision of social integration and a fair society challenged entrenched norms of racial segregation and discrimination.

On April 4th, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated by James Earl Ray while standing on a balcony outside his room in Memphis, Tennessee. His death spurred major outbreaks of racial violence, resulting in more than 40 deaths across the country and massive property damage in over 100 cities. While the nation marks Dr. King’s birthday with a national holiday every third Monday in January, The St. Paul’s Schools devotes a school day for students to reflect on related topics and issues that Dr. King spent his life spreading awareness for. Every year, KVD has a corresponding theme that relates to the current issues important to the St. Paul’s school community. Last year, the theme was DREAM (“Diversity, Reflection, Equality, Action, and Movement”), while this year’s theme focused on RISE (“Respect Individuality, Support, and Empower”).

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FEATURE: Beating Infinity
  • Feature

The digital game Tetris was built on infinite possibilities with no true ending. Released in 1984, no one has ever been able to conquer the saturated, fast-moving blocks. That was until January 2nd, 2024, when a 13-year-old player Willis Gibson, who goes by the name of “Blue Scuti,” finally did.

The battle of Man versus Machine has existed for ages; legendary tales like John Henry against the Steam Machine have been immortalized in history books. But most of these feats have never been filmed, and therefore never truly received the recognition they deserved. In our modern world ruled by high-speed technology, a game crashing before a human tires is virtually unheard of. Blue Scuti was the first to fully champion this idea.

There have also been similar cases, where competitive Pacman player Billy Mitchell had finally beat the iconic game at the high score of 3,333,360 points. Although impressive, Billy Mitchell’s fame was rather short-lived. Mitchell had been crowned the “Video Game Player of the Century” by the Godfather of Videogames, Masaya Nakamura, but his fame declined soon after due to him gaining large sums of money, and some controversy regarding the legitimacy of his record.

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FEATURE: Tips for Accomplishing New Year’s Goals
  • Feature

With the beginning of a new year, many people make resolutions and set goals for the upcoming year. While goal setting can be an inspiring and motivating way to begin a new year, it may be difficult to stick to these goals. However, to stay focused on achieving our goals in the 2024 new year, we can use various strategies and tips to help us stay productive. Moreover, the beginning of the second semester at the St. Paul’s Schools marks a great time for students to reset and focus on staying organized.

Here are 8 tips that will help you meet your goals in the new year and second semester:

1.     Organize: Staying organized can mean sticking to a schedule, decluttering your workspace, or writing to-do lists. In doing so, you can work more productively. Being organized also helps make it easier to meet deadlines and eliminates stress that comes from being disorganized and overwhelmed.

 

2.     Start Small: While starting to work towards a big goal can be intimidating, one of the best ways to achieve large goals is to break them into smaller ones. By creating smaller and more achievable tasks, you can accomplish more and stay on track. Additionally, it helps you feel less overwhelmed by the stress of a large goal.

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OPINION: Hard Work: Unlocking Its Hidden Rewards
  • Opinion

On the last Sunday of January, many in the Baltimore community gathered with great anticipation to watch their beloved football team, AFC North champions the Ravens, vie for a prized spot in Super Bowl LVIII. The culmination of a season spent hammering away on the field, in the gym, playing through injuries and adversity had led to this moment. The dreams of a team and a city were just hours away from fulfillment. And the rest, they say, is history – all that hard work with no tangible positive outcome. The usual Monday morning conversations from professional analysts and amateur critics, friends, and foes, have since faded into obscurity. Yet disappointed fans, coaches, players, even disinterested fans of Taylor Swiftcan look back and learn a valuable lesson about the true rewards of hard work.

Many struggle to embrace hard work without an end goal tied to an extrinsic prize, hard work seems tiresome, time consuming, and generally unappealing. Often, an aversion to hard work stems from a failure to see the greater value that leads to fulfillment. Many know the pain that comes with working day in and day out to achieve greatness only to fall short.  In fact, goals set with outcomes such as “winning” or “being the best” involve not only hard work, but also overcoming the efforts of competitors and the pitfalls of variables beyond our control. Hard work undertaken solely to reach an extrinsic goal may often lead to disappointment.

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Photo by Molly Mohler ’24
  • Opinion

Jean Jacques Rousseau, an 18th century philosopher, proposed that the world was divided into two spheres. The public sphere of state and commerce was inhabited by men, while the private sphere of family and domesticity was inhabited by women. The boundaries of these social realms could not be broken, nor did they allow for any exceptions. Practically speaking, Rousseau argued that the coexistence of men and women was impossible given their disparate values and social goals.

Read More about OPINION: When Worlds Collide: The Effect of Same-Sex Education on a Student’s Future

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