The Secrets of GFS

By Jesse Overholser

Throughout GFS there are many places that are hidden to the student body; Places that are restricted to students. I ventured into these places, peered around, planning to make them public. These are the many fascinating secrets I uncovered.

First, the Alumni Building used to be a YMCA. On the second floor, through the double doors was an open gym, there were no inside walls. In the basement there was a bowling alley. The lanes and bowling balls still remain. The paint on the lanes also remains. Today, it is used as a storage facility, but the bowling alley aspects are still noticeable. On the third floor there are tiled floors indicating locker rooms. The third floor is no longer used for classes so students are not allowed up there. There are also rumors of a ghost in the alumni building, which may have been made up for a movie, and also a snake in the basement. Next to the alumni building where the science building is now there was an abandoned post office. Next to the post office, where the Hargroves Building is now, there was a cafe, Duva’s ,where students with off campus privileges used to smoke.

One of the stories told here at GFS involves a snake and Cheryl Pinkus, or as many call her, Mrs. P. Mrs. P. is one of the first grade teachers. One day a snake from Geoffrey, one of the lower school science teachers, escaped from his room. It eventually found itself in the Cary building, undetected, who knows how. Then when it entered the building it must have smelled food in Mrs. P’s closet because it ended up there. One day Mrs. P opened her closet , looked up, saw the snake and screamed for Mrs. Shechtman. Another version of this story is Mrs. Shechtman was with Mrs. P. when she opened the closet.

The Little and Smith gyms, and the middle nursery building and the big nursery building, all are connected. The Little Gym used to be called “The Gym” because it was the first and only gym. The Little Gym turned into the girls’ gym and the Smith Gym used to be the boys’ gym. The middle nursery building used to be the boys’ locker room with lockers floor to ceiling. The big nursery was also a locker room, but for girls. It also had lockers floor to ceiling. Outside the little gym there is a circular metal object in the cement. It is believed that is where we store the oil for the heating. The boiler tanks are under the library and the giant steam pipes that transfer the heat stretch all across campus.

The name S-9 might sound very secretive and intriguing, but it’s not. Sorry to break it to you. Well here’s the story of it anyway.  Do you think that the Sharpless building was designed to only have one bathroom? If you said yes, then you are wrong.  S-9 was supposed to be a boys’ bathroom on the first floor of the Sharpless building across the hall from the 8th grade english room. It was decommissioned and used by Will Terry as a dark room for a couple of years. then Bob Miller claimed it as a graveyard for computers before they are recycled. That is what it is used for today.

There are many secrets at GFS, but it is no secret that there are many GFS teachers that graduated from here . Here are a few; Tom Levy, Dorothy Cary, and Kate Hanssen. All three have mothers working at GFS. Others include Jenny Stetzer Goldberg, the former 7th grade history teacher, and Ian Van Wert. Brandon Jones, and Michael Boorse from athletics also attended. Sally West Williams, Meg Cohen Ragas, Diane Mallery, and Stacey Minyard from development attended GFS.  Finally Kathy Paulmier attended GFS.

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Editorial: Should Your Teacher “Friend” You?

At GFS, many positive teacher-student relationships are generated.  GFS honors the Quaker principle that there is that of God in everyone and thus, we are all equal and there should be no titles like Mr. and Mrs.  Middle School teachers make themselves available to their students for help. Students can easily meet with teachers during study halls, or even after school. The fact that teachers make themselves available as much as possible is a valuable thing, not to be underused. We know that many students have called, emailed, or even chatted online with teachers if they needed help. These relationships are definitely useful and can help bring the community together, but they may also have a downside.  For instance, could the development of close student-teacher relationships, lead to favoritism?  Favoritism could certainly be a real possibility in such an environment and cause certain problems in a community.

Such closeness has a potential downside and can cause problems. If one is sitting in a class with a teacher that might has a good relationship with you, it could be very awkward if they yell or get tough with you. You might feel that they are being mean, overly harsh or critical, but really, they are trying to help you. If one compares this to a friendship, than one might think of it as ‘Okay, this person is yelling, but I will (hopefully) still be their friend’. Another con is that such close relationships could be used to the students’ advantage. If a teacher is particularly close to a student, he or she might also give a little curve to their grade. We don’t know of any scenarios where this has actually happened, but the possibly definitely exists.

All and all, teacher-student relationships have more upsides than down. One positive aspect of the closeness is a certain level of comfort when interacting with each other.  This way, students can speak their minds and seek advice from teachers about issues outside of the classroom. Teachers may make themselves more available for questions when you have a strong relationship with them. For example, someone with a strong relationship with Rhonda may be more likely to receive a computer pass than someone who has a weaker relationship with Rhonda.

GFS generates strong teacher-student relationships, which have many pros and cons to them.  These relationships allow students to be more successful but sometimes can create tough or awkward situations.  In the overall picture, these relationships are a unique tribute to GFS.

~ The Corner Editorial Board 2010-11

What’s in your locker?

by Emily Beiser

Equality is a Quaker testimony, but at GFS, we have inequality in the assignment of lockers. Why should some people have bigger lockers than others?

It’s Monday. A student comes in to school and opens up their locker. It’s about a foot and a half wide cube. He moves books around from his backpack to his locker and puts his coat in. He jams his sports bag in too. Then he attempts to put his squash racquet in his locker, but sighs as it is too long for the locker, and brings it into his homeroom.

Downstairs, a girl opens her four-foot tall, eight inch wide locker and hangs up her coat. A door above her head opens to a compartment of a one foot wide cube. She stashes her unnecessary books and hangs her squash racket next to her coat. She attempts to put her sports bag in the locker too, but the locker is too thin, and she sighs as she brings it into her homeroom.

Examining these two dilemmas of the lockers: Too thin and too short, I wonder: Which locker is better? In the tall thin lockers, like this girl has, she can easily fit her coat in her locker and access her books at the same time, while in the square locker like the boy has, he has to remove his coat if he wants to access his books again. In the tall lockers, there is also space for sports equipment, like a squash racket or a field hockey stick.

The square lockers do have their advantages. The boy can fit his sports bag in his locker, if he squashes it in, but the girl’s locker is too thin. He can also fit larger items, like a box of cupcakes or a soccer ball. But how often do you bring that in? And why leave cupcakes in your locker?

Examining the real estate of the two lockers, the tall, thin lockers seem to have more space, with 10,101 cubic inches, while the square lockers have 3,712.5 cubic inches. In theory, the tall thin lockers have more space to store things, and are better overall. Plus, they’re way bigger.

It’s time for sports. Two girls go into the locker room. They both open their lockers- one has a full locker, while the other has a half-locker. The girl with the half-locker pulls open the door and a pair of shorts and a basketball shoe fall out. She dumps her stuff on the bench, and changes. When she’s done, she puts her school clothes,(including the nice shirt she had to wear for an orchestra concert that day) sneakers, her coat and her lunch bag in a heap in the locker, and slams it closed before it all falls on her. She leaves her backpack on the floor outside the locker, and runs downstairs, before remembering her water bottle. She runs back up, opens her locker. Her coat falls on the floor, and she moves it to the side. She removes her clothing, (her shirt is wrinkled) sneakers and lunch box from the heap they make in the locker, and finds her water bottle in the bottom. She sets it on the bench and begins to stuff everything back in. Finally, she slams the locker closed and locks it, and leaves the locker room.

Meanwhile, the girl with the full-length locker unlocks and opens the door. She changes and hangs her clothes and coat up on the hooks. Her boots go on the floor of the locker, and her lunch box and cell phone go on the shelf. She can’t fit her backpack either, but she sticks it under the bench. She locks her locker and begins to go downstairs, when she realizes she forgot her water bottle. She goes back to her locker and opens it up. Her water bottle is on the shelf, next to her lunch bag. Her shirt isn’t wrinkled, and she can probably get away with not having to wash and iron it before the next concert. She grabs her water bottle, closes the locker, and goes downstairs.

We all know who the winner is here. The girl with the full length locker is clearly at an advantage. Her clothes stay neat, her stuff doesn’t go everywhere when she opens her locker, and she can get ready much faster than the other girl. It seems like there are plenty of lockers in the locker room. Why do we have small ones? In fifth grade, we were told we had small gym lockers because the older students had bags and more stuff. It seems like we have plenty of lockers, and lots of people don’t use or even know they have lockers assigned to them. Why should they have lockers that somebody who uses their locker wishes they had? And how is it practicing equality to have such different facilities for different people?

Infamous Writer Kurt Vonnegut Leaves the World Remembered

Kurt Vonnegut Biography
by Nick Dahl

Kurt Vonnegut was a writer in the 1940’s all the way up to as recently as 2007. He was a very influential American writer, in genres such as science fiction, black comedy, and satire. He was also the author of many great essays, which have now been put into great collections. He wrote all the way up until the day he died, always a great role model to all sorts of writers and celebrities today from Bill Bryson to Douglas Adams. Honorary head of the American Humanist Association and writer of such great books as “Slaughterhouse 5” and “Cat’s Cradle” this is a basic overview of his life and career.

Kurt Vonnegut was born on November 11, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Kurt Vonnegut Sr. and Edith Lieber. His older brother was named Bernard Vonnegut who later grew up to discover artificial precipitation. With his grandfather and father in architecture, they wanted him to major in the study of architecture to take over his dad’s company, Vonnegut and Bohn. Not wishing to do so, he went to Shortridge High School. After completing his time there he decided to go to Cornell University, at which point he was majoring in chemistry, the following fall. Despite his classes being more in the sciences there he was also the Managing Editor of the school published newspaper, The Cornell Daily Sun. Even though he was a decent student, Vonnegut decided that he would enlist in the army, instead of staying the course at Cornell University. The U.S. army then transferred him to Carnegie Institute of Technology and, after he finished that the University of Tennessee so that he could now major in Mechanical Engineering to assist him in his stay in the army.

Now being ready and trained properly to be in the army, Kurt was sent of to be in World War II. Upon arrival he was set up in the 423rd Infantry Regiment. After a few successful missions he and his crew went to the Battle of the Bulge. After the backup of Kurt’s regiment were cut off and ran away from the battlefield, they were alone and forced to fight. The 423rd regiment was captured and became prisoners of war, stuck in Dresden by the Nazi’s.

Because of his knowledge of how to speak German, Kurt was elected to become the leader of the POW’s. After taunting the guards about what was going to happen when they were saved he was beaten and was forced to resign from his position. They were then stored in the basement of an old slaughterhouse, which the Germans referred to as “Slaughterhouse Five”. This whole nightmarish experience was later the topic of his best selling novel “Slaughterhouse Five” and many other books that he wrote in his career. The Americans, not knowing of the prisoners being held there, bombed Dresden, the city where Kurt Vonnegut and his allies were being held. It was taken apart to rubble and almost all of the civilians died, but being trapped in the basement of a sturdy meat house, Kurt and his buddies survived. The Germans, needing someone to gather all of the dead bodies, put them to work breaking into buildings and taking away the corpses. Finally, after more suffering and torment the Red Army Troops saved him from capture. He was later awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery in the horrid situations he found himself.

After leaving the army he returned to school to get a degree so he could rebuild his life post World War II. He attended the University of Chicago while writing for a local newspaper, the “City News Bureau of Chicago”. He wasn’t given any big stories, just the ones to fill in the space between big ones. Some teachers were saying that he was not good enough and that he couldn’t make a living off of this. Continuing study for his school, he moved out to the city of Schenectady, New York. There he worked with General Electric because his brother worked in the same company and was able to get him a job.  In his spare time worked as a part-time volunteer fireman for the station right by his house.  After a while of not taking books Vonnegut had previously written for publication but would later on be publicized such as Player Piano and The Sirens of Titan. His school, the University of Chicago, accepted his book “Cat’s Cradle” and gave him the M.A. degree that he wanted in the year 1971.

Kurt Vonnegut very briefly worked with the magazine “Sports Illustrated”, where he got bored, goofed off, and quit his job. After considering very strongly quitting writing altogether, he was offered a job at the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop. After taking it, he continued writing in his spare time and produced such great hits as “Slaughterhouse Five”. He then again moved to Narnstable, Massachusetts where he managed a Saab dealership. Kurt continued to write such novels as Deadeye Dick and Breakfast of Champions and, after a failed suicide attempt he continued and wrote many science fiction books. Many of his later books either had him incorporated into the book or a character, which was supposed to be him named Kilgore Trout. He would often have the characters talk to him, as thought they were saying how they didn’t like how the story was going. In 1997, after the publication of his book Timequake, Kurt said that he was retiring from writing fiction books. He wrote a few non-fiction books and then retired for good after teaching at Harvard University for a short spell. He passed away on April 11, 2010.

GFS MS Winter Sports- A Season to remember

Over the past weekend. Germantown Friends School was very well represented by all sports teams in their various tournaments.

One of these teams was the Middle school wrestling team. The team had a very good beginning to the season starting 6-0. They finished the season 7-2, and were ready for the upcoming annual Springfield Tournament. This was where 6 public and private school wrestled to win trophies in their weight class. Every person on the team took home a trophy. Whether it was a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place trophy everyone on the team received one. Seventh Grader Tony Verruto won first place for his weight class and 7th Grader Josh Berg took second. 8th grader s Andrew Wilson and Peter Jarka-Sellers battled back from early losses to win 3rd and 4th place trophies in their respective weight classes.

Another sport that was successful was boy’s squash. They went to the nationals over the weekend that were located in New Port, Connecticut. They won an easy first-round match against Edgewood School. In the second-round, they suffered a tough loss to Chestnut Hill Academy. They later redeemed themselves with wins against Pingry and Middle School 45 in New York City. They ended up taking fifth place, meaning they were the fifth best team in the Nation, which is pretty amazing.

Boy’s Basketball also had a very sucessful weekend. They visited The Philadelphia School for a tournament with four schools. IN the first round they beat Friend’s Central easily. After that, came the finals. They had to face The Philadelphia School at their court. After support from all team members, they won a very close game and took home the trophy!!!

This was a very great winter for GFS sports teams. Everyone ended up taking home some medals.

Sports Exemptions at GFS

By Andreas Bezahler

Sketch by Sammy Randall

At Germantown Friends Middle School you are required to take one sport per season. In some cases though, you can get exempt for a season or in some cases even the whole year . There are many different sports or various activities that can qualify you for a sports exemption.  It may surprise you to know that at GFS there are currently about 25 exempt students.

Some of the outside sports which are exemption approved include horseback riding, ballet, ice-hockey, swimming, martial arts, Irish dancing, cheerleading, fencing, tennis, table tennis, travel soccer and hiking. I decided to interview some people who are exempted from sports.  One person with an exemption who I interviewed is a current 7th grader named Alexandra Rhoads.

Me: Hi Alex

Alex: Hey

M: What sport are you exempt for?

A: I swim indoors at Cheltenham High School

M: Is there a reason why you didn’t choose a sport at GFS?

A: Because, I really wanted to swim and it wasn’t an option for middle schoolers at GFS

M: Do you think that GFS should broaden their sports to include swimming?

A: Yes, but I think it would cost a lot of money and there may not be enough people to make a team.

M: Do you think that GFS should make it a priority?

A: Yes, I think it would also make GFS a more attractive school.

M: Well, thanks for your opinion and I enjoyed talking with you.

A: You’re welcome

In conclusion you can see that a lot of children are exempt because they want to play various sports not in the GFS middle school athletics program.  The majority of children though love and enjoy playing for our school, and think our athletics program is a great asset for a school.

Homework Tastes Like Chicken!

By Elizabeth Wallace

An overabundance of seemingly pointless homework (also known as “busy-work”) is a problem for many middle-schoolers. No one wants to do homework, especially the assignments that seem useless. So, how do we get rid of it? One answer: give it to the dog. Although almost any young dog, puppy, energetic or excitable dog will gladly scarf down any piece of paper in their sight, some dogs will not. Take my dog, BlackBear, a five year old Westie/Havanese mix, for example. I wouldn’t say she’s terribly well trained, and she loves eating little bits of smashed-up who-knows-what off the sidewalk, but when presented with a perfectly repulsive homework assignment, she’ll barely even stop to sniff it. So, here’s what I’ve come up with to get any dog to eat a homework paper. (Don’t have a dog? You can borrow someone else’s.)

FOOD. For most dogs, this seems to be their one favorite thing. To get a dog to eat a piece of paper, try smothering it in peanut butter or cream cheese. Dogs love both of these. If you have a small dog, you might have to cut up the paper so they don’t just lick the peanut butter or cream cheese off, although this does kind of defeat the purpose of having the dog eat the homework, because you have just destroyed it yourself.

Another solution is to use the homework sheet like wrapping paper and wrap up a tasty, strong-smelling piece of food in it. If you’ve ever given your dog a present, you probably know how this works. The dog tears through the paper to get to the food, and in the process, the paper is destroyed. In my opinion, (and my dog’s) this gets better results and is more fun than just putting peanut butter on your homework.

Black Bear with the final product of Operation Eat Homework

Here are just a few extra tips:
1. Do not do this too often, or your dog could get sick, and that would be hard to explain.
2. Do not bring the remnants of your homework to school to show your teacher, because that is weird and disgusting. A picture of it is okay, but no slobbery paper pieces.
Although this does get rid of some homework assignments, most are also online these days, and it’s going to take more than a little peanut butter to get a dog to eat a computer.

Note: Please do not actually try these techniques unless you have so much pointless seeming homework that you think you might go on a rant and run into the wall. When you tell a teacher your dog ate your homework, you know who will probably get in trouble? No, not your dog. YOU, for letting your dog eat your homework and not doing anything about it, and I might get in trouble too, purely for writing this article. Also, even though an assignment may seem pointless, it is probably not.

There’s More to Chocolate than Hersheys

by Jessica Lu
Food Critic

Almost everyone thinks that Hershey chocolate is great, but it’s not very nice tasting in my opinion. Most of us only know of big companies like Hershey and Lindt. I think Lindt is better than Hershey, but it is still mediocre compared to some European chocolates. In the best chocolates, the taste dissolves quickly. This is because the chocolates that dissolve faster have smoother textures.

In this author’s opinion, Hershey chocolate is barely chocolate. If you tried melting a Hershey kiss in the oven it wouldn’t work, and it would just become dry and crumbly. If you tried just leaving it in your mouth to melt, without chewing it, it will not melt for a while. Good chocolate melts in your mouth within a minute.  You shouldn’t chew it unless there are nuts or caramel. Hershey mostly sells milk chocolate. So, if it is milk chocolate, dark chocolate from other companies should melt slower than their milk chocolate because it has milk and cream in it, but it doesn’t. Also Hershey’s “special dark” isn’t even dark chocolate, it’s just looks dark. Their “special dark” is sweeter than their milk chocolate. Good dark chocolate has just enough sugar and milk so that it’s not bitter, but not sweet. Hershey just makes all their chocolate so that they will please kids, who like sweetness. While doing this they stopped creating good, genuine chocolate.

Also, everyone says that chocolate is made of cocoa beans, when actually it comes from cacao beans. Cocoa is the powder used to make hot chocolate. Chocolate is made from Chocolate liqueur, chocolate butter, sugar, and milk. There are several types of chocolate unsweetened, semi-sweet, bittersweet, sweetened, milk, and white. White chocolate is technically not chocolate, because there isn’t any chocolate in it.

Here’s a table of well-known chocolate makers and how I rate their chocolate.

Hershey 3
Lindt 5.75
Dove 4.5
Ferrero Rocher 7
Ghirardelli 7

On the table above I rated Lindt as 5.75 because it’s a good  basic chocolate, but it doesn’t have the smooth texture of the finest chocolate. I put Dove as 4.5 because it doesn’t taste bad, but doesn’t melt well. Ferrero Rocher and Ghirardelli( both Italian chocolates) were even because Ferrero Rocher has good texture, and Ghirardelli melts quickly and tastes good.

Some ways that you can judge chocolate is by:
1. How quickly it melts
– In the oven
– In your mouth

2. How smooth it is
– Does the taste go away quickly, or just stay there

Now that you know a bit more about chocolate, go get a taste of chocolate and don’t chew.

A Wonderful Winter Break Survey

I decided to take a survey on what people did over their Winter Break- 2 weeks of no school to do what they want. Most of the results did not surprise me, only a few stuck out of the crowd. I surveyed 20 people and my results are below:

  1. Traveled: 9
  2. Lazed Around: 7
  3. Family & Friends: 6
  4. Skiing: 3
  5. Other: 2

Some people did a couple things, while most only did one. For some people, Winter Break was full of exciting times. For example, Rhonda had watched the whole first season of Dexter. Last time we spoke, she was up to season 5. Others did things such as visiting exotic countries, meeting new family, and even trips to the hospital.

It is disappointing how many people lazed around. Let’s try to do something more active this spring break. Then we can see how many people were able to do it!

Editorial: iPods in Study Halls

Whose study hall is it? Why can’t students listen to iPods in their study halls? Study halls are a time to work independently. There are different ways of working just like different ways of learning.  This should be recognized like we recognize different ways of learning. Some students work with a pen, some with a pencil, some fast, some slow, just like some work listening to music, some without listening to music. If students listen to music quietly without disturbing others then aren’t they still working independently? Working quietly and productively is the only rule of a study hall. Some students feel that listening to music is relaxing and allows them relieve stress.  In some instances music is helpful in memorizing school related studies.  iPods in study hall can be useful or preferred.  If people use the them while obliging with the study hall rules there is no reason one should not be able to use them.

~ The Corner Editorial Board 2010-11

Where do you go?

By Emily Beiser
With help from Owen Chung and Elizabeth Wallace.

When you have to go, you have to go. But where? At GFS, not only do we have diversity in students and faculty, but we also have a diverse selection of bathrooms. Some are good, some bad, and some ugly, but don’t fear venturing into new and unexplored loos! We’ve done that, so read on for reviews of both the Ladies’ and Mens’

The rating is  done in rolls of toilet paper, out of five.
1- Awful
2- Quite Bad
3- Good enough
4- Nice
5- Great

Sharpless Building

Home sweet home. This bathroom, convenient for most middle schoolers, is functional and well-used. The soap dispenser is sometimes out, and the automatic paper towel dispenser is hard to use (which can be embarrassing). The facilities work well, though, and toilets are rarely clogged, if ever. The dark grout and lack of windows detract from the environment, but overall is fine.

Cleanliness: 4.5
Accessibility: 5
Overall Average:4.125

Not new, but works fine. No windows, ugly mustard yellow walls. Counter gets wet often.

Cleanliness: 2
Accessibility: 4.5
Facilities: 4
Environment: 2
Overall Average: 3.125

Alumni Building

This potty is not used much, so it is quite clean, and in a good location if  you are in the Alumni Building. It has nice, natural light from the window. The only drawbacks are the paper towels on the floor by the garbage can and the lock on one of the stall doors being fidgety.

Cleanliness: 4.5
Accessibility: 3.5
Overall Average: 4.5

Beware of the steps by the door of this bathroom. When you enter the room, you have to walk down two steps, which, according to Owen, he almost fell down. Overall nice and clean.

Cleanliness: 4
Accessibility: 4
Facilities: 4.5
Environment: 3.5
Overall Average:4

Main Building-By the Cafeteria

This restroom is a big improvement on what it used to be. The walls are freshly painted (last year the walls sported yellow wallpaper with giant pink and purple flowers), and the bathroom is clean. The floor dark red linoleum, so you can’t quite tell if it is dirty or not, but the bathroom overall is nice and well-kept.

Cleanliness: 3
Accessibility: 4
Facilities: 3
Overall Average: 3.125

Far away from the cafeteria, down a few hallways, so if you don’t know where it is, you had better ask someone, because you won’t find it on your own.

Cleanliness: 4.5
Accessibility: 1.5
Facilities: 4.5
Overall Average: 3.875

Field House Gym

Everything is new and clean in this loo. It’s well lit and nicely laid out so you don’t feel cramped or trapped. (It’s also easy to take a good photo of it.) If you’re in the Field House already, the bathroom is easy to get to, and it’s not a puzzle to find it.

Cleanliness: 5
Accessibility: 4
Facilities: 5
Environment: 4
Overall Average: 4.5

All right bathroom, the facilities are new and work. No windows and trash are drawbacks, but everything is clean and bright.

Cleanliness: 3
Accessibility: 5
Facilities: 4
Overall Average: 3.75

Smith Gym
This bathroom is Unisex.
The bathroom in the basement of the Smith Gym smells like sweat, probably because it is right next to the wrestling room. Even though it says Ladies’ on the door, nobody cares if boys use it, and most people don’t even know the sign is there. It’s a single-toilet bathroom, but is smaller than most, so don’t go here if you’re claustrophobic.  The yellow walls make the experience more unpleasant, and Owen claims he once saw a cockroach in it, even if it was dead. The bathroom also has a leaky faucet.

Cleanliness: 2
Accessibility: 3.5
Facilities: 3.25
Environment: 2
Overall Average: 2.6875

Loeb Lobby

This bathroom is used on certain occasions (like intermission of plays) by a lot of people, but is not used much, or at all, for long periods of time. The bathroom is clean and works well, but it has a bad smell of human feces. The venting is not great.

Cleanliness: 3
Accessibility: 3
Facilities: 3
Environment: 4
Overall Average:3.25

Loeb Basement
This Bathroom is Unisex

This is the scariest lavatory on campus. It’s probably where Myrtle spends most of her time. The lavatory, though only used by actors during  plays, is dirty and badly kept. The majority of the toilets are clogged most of the time, and the stall doors are western-style, so they lock in the middle. Some of the doors don’t even lock, so you have to have somebody hold the doors closed for you. The lavatory is also unisex, so it can be a bit awkward during intermission of upper school theater productions. Lisa Burns, the theatrical director, once broke her nose down there, so be careful. Since the lavatory is in the basement, the floor is concrete, and the lavatory is damp despite the fan. Nobody is actually supposed to go in the basement lavatory except for during productions, so thankfully, most middle schoolers won’t be going there any time soon.

This is probably Myrtle's stall. Best to stay away from here...

Cleanliness: 2
Accessibility: 2
Facilities: 1
Environment: 2
Overall Average:1.75

Festival of lights review

The Festival of Lights, a Middle School Tradition

By Gabe Buyske

When one hears the expression “festival of lights” it conjures up pictures of well…. festivals. But the Festival of lights here at GFS was so much more. Whether it was “Let it Be” performed on stage or “Lean on Me” or even the simple beauty of the decoration  that pulled it together. I for one enjoyed the speeches about the holidays and the many wonderful musical numbers. I would also like to point out that it seemed everyone performed. And they performed so well it made small mess ups funny. I literally laughed out loud when such comedies occurred like the pronunciation of Sleipnir (slap-ner).  Or when the cape of the eight dancing woman fell off in 12 days of Christmas. When I talk it sounds like there was only music but there was something for everyone. There were speeches, interpretive dances, and a magnificent finale of “this little light of mine”. I sincerely hope you agree with me on how wondrous this performance was. If you did see it you will definitely understand me and if you didn’t then you have missed a once-in-a-lifetime event….until next year that is!


by Elizabeth Wallace

One of the Quaker testimonies that GFS follows is simplicity. Simplicity is the state of being simple, or uncomplicated. In the book Faith and Practice of GFS it says, “We are encouraged to balance our work and school lives with our family, community, and religious lives, not letting busy-ness overcome us.” So is our school actually simple? Is GFS encouraging the teachers and students to live simply?

These days, what I consider a “simple” week is one where everything is normal. On a simple week I have the classes on the days my schedule says, and sports after that. Then I come home and do homework. On a day when I have a game for sports after school, another activity not school related, or even just an unusually large amount of homework, I feel overwhelmed. Usually, I feel overwhelmed about getting schoolwork done, because GFS is such an academically demanding school. Often times when I get home late and have homework to do, I don’t get time to do things with my family, or do anything else that I would like to do. In Faith and Practice of GFS the definition of simplicity is that “activities and possessions should not overwhelm us.” Another definition is that we shouldn’t let our academic and extracurricular activities interfere with the more important things in life, one of which is family.

Look at November, for example. The first week we had no school on Friday, and Wednesday was a Friday schedule. The second week was a full week, but we had open-house day on Thursday. On top of that, Thursday was a Friday schedule. But Friday was also a Thursday schedule. (Note to whoever scheduled that week: It makes no sense and it seems that the only point was to confuse us more.)  In the third week of November there was no middle-school on Friday for parent-teacher conferences, but the rest of the school didn’t have the day off. That makes it more complicated for parents, too. One parent reported that they “sometimes drive to GFS four or five times a day” because of their children’s schedules.

One thing to consider, though, is that one reason the school schedules are so complicated and often overwhelming is that at GFS students have a lot of freedom to choose what they do and don’t want to participate in. Different activities require different amounts of time, which makes scheduling more complicated.

A student or teacher’s life at GFS is often not very simple, but why is this? I think this is because GFS has a high academic standard that requires a large amount of homework. Also, because GFS offers so many extracurricular activities for students to participate in that require more time. Another reason could be that instead of having longer core classes to get more done, at GFS we get to participate in other activities, including art and music classes, gym class, Meeting for Worship (which, by the way, is meant to help simplify and un-clutter our lives), and project time activities.

A simpler life sounds nice, but is it really what we want? What do we sacrifice for simplicity?

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