Monthly Archives: November 2014

Searching for Sasquatch

By | Knightly Herald, Sciences | No Comments

By Maddie Hoaglund, Class of 2017

An ancient Native American legend. A ghost story at a camp fire. Whispers of a creature. An ape man. Otherwise known as the American Bigfoot or Sasquatch.

The factual existence of this creature has never been proven despite thousands of sightings, though this could be due to the fact that most of these sightings tend to occur in rural areas. Most Americans would contend that such a beast does not exist. However, there are a select few who claim to have witnessed the beast. Sightings range from a shadow on the road, to a hairy primate peeking in a window.

Some witnesses to these phenomenons consider themselves an elite group. They founded a group called The Bigfoot Researchers Organization (BFRO). The BFRO includes Sasquatch enthusiasts from all over the country who search for the elusive beast and report sightings regularly. The organization has a large data base of over three thousand Sasquatch encounters in the U.S alone since 1921. Recently, the BFRO has aired an instructive program on Animal Planet in which members search for Sasquatch and question enthusiastic civilian witnesses.

With all the publicity surrounding this elusive creature in recent years, many skeptics believe that a large number of claimed Bigfoot sightings are hoaxes. Since the early 2000s,  yearly Sasquatch encounters have dramatically increased.  Just a few decades ago, most Americans simply discredited any possibility of a large ape like man roaming the American wilderness.

Skeptics might ask, with so many sightings widely spread throughout the United States, why have bigfooters never discovered definitive proof of Sasquatch? The overwhelming majority of evidence found by Bigfoot enthusiasts is disregarded, despite the legitimate scientific authenticity it holds. Others are further fueled to achieve their dream of capturing this animal in the flesh. From the Yowie Yahoo in the dusty outback of Australia, to the Skunk Ape of the Florida swamp, this creature has somehow stomped its way into the legends of people and cultures all around the globe.

Poetry: To Define or Not To Define

By | Arts, Humanities, Literature | No Comments

By Mackie Benson, Class of 2017

Throughout time, people discover different stories: tales of sorrow, adventure, love, and religion.  They label the majority of these poetry.  So what exactly is poetry?  Webster’s Dictionary defines poetry as “writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.”  This definition seems to cover the meaning of this art, yet is there not so much more to it?  For example, Homer’s Iliad is one of the most famous poems of all time.  It has the elements of war, honor, mythology, and betrayal woven together into the tapestry of the Trojan War.  The tale has remained with humanity for years.

As much as this epic is beloved, the rest of  poetry cannot be confined by a definition formed with one poem.  With all of these differences among the poetic arts, there seems to be no way to cleanly define poetry.  Poetry is more complex than a few words used to constrict a style.  Good poems grasp emotions and bend them to the author’s will.  Some people find peace by telling stories from their own imagination.  Some of these people find a way to keep their art around for decades like Robert Frost, Homer, and King David.

Poetry paints a picture through its rhythm and words.  It lights a spark in the imagination, setting our thoughts ablaze with inspiration.  A little girl finds her escape and creates beauty.  The old man tells his stories that have been with him through the years on a small piece of paper with an old ballpoint pen for future generations.  Poems could be loud like thunder or quiet like a whispering wind.  They are for the young and the old, the hated and the loved.

So what exactly is poetry?  In the end such a beautiful art must refuse to be limited by any single definition.

 

New Teacher Profile: Mr. Brewer Ames

By | Humanities, Knightly Herald | No Comments

By Carter Lemons, Class of 2015
Over the past few years, and this year specifically,Westminster has grown significantly.

Fortunately, we are still a tightly knit community, but as I walk the halls, I find myself seeing students and teachers whose names I do not know. This is a problem because community is a key part of Westminster. The goal of this new column is therefore to introduce new teachers to the student body and help maintain the intimacy of the Westminster community.

First up: Mr. Brewer Ames. Until recently I had never spoken a word to him in my life. I approached him in the Atrium during lunch one day. He greeted me with a warm smile and a handshake. Originally from Montgomery, AL, Mr. Ames attended Trinity Presbyterian School, a school fairly similar to Westminster. This is the same school we compete against in soccer, track, and cross country. After high school Mr. Ames attended Auburn University, majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS). After this he attended Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and earned his Masters of Divinity. His hobbies include “anything and everything outdoorsy,” to put it in his own words. He especially enjoys hunting and fishing.

Next time your downstairs, take a minute to drop in an get to know Mr. Ames.

 

Digging Up the Family Tree

By | Knightly Herald, Student Spotlight | No Comments

By Sarah McDaniel, Class of 2017

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated with history in all its forms. But nothing fascinates me like the study of my own ancestry. This summer for my fifteenth birthday, my parents gave me an account to ancestry.com. After four months of research, I’ve been able to trace my family line back to 1303, and have found 399 blood relatives I had never known of. These include Lords and Ladies who lived in castles, immigrants who came to America on the Mayflower, and one of the original founders of New Haven, Connecticut. You may have heard of the infamous Winchester house, built in 1884 by Sarah Winchester? My ancestor.

As I have been researching, I have also been sharing the information with my family. My mom was fascinated by it all, as I was. My dad just keeps asking me, “Where’s all the money?”

I remember a game I used to play when I was little. I would pretend that I was the long lost daughter of some great queen (of course, what little girl did not dream of that). This summer when I found the first of many Lords in my family, I could not contain my excitement. I was running around everywhere shouting, “I found the money, Dad!”

Of course, there was no money, but it is fun to think that there once was. My favorite part of all my research is a feature on ancestry.com that will send a notification when they have found any of your ancestors in someone else’s family tree. You can see where your family line crosses with other family lines.

The most interesting aspect of this and of all my research is looking back all the way to my twenty-second great grandfather, Lord John Willoughby, and thinking that if any one thing had been different in my family line, I may not even be here. Long ago, even before Lord John Willoughby was born, God already knew my exact family tree. He knew exactly what had to happen in order for me to be here today.

What would my life have been like if I was born a century earlier? What if I was born back in 1303? Will my future twenty-second great grandchildren ever look into our family history and find me? History has always amazed me, and now that I have my own personal connection to it, it is all the more fascinating. Now to see if I can lay claim to my part in the inheritance of Lord Willoughby.