Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Field Museum (Lauren Hoaglund)

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The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois is home to some of the most famous artifacts worldwide. Their collection includes: Sue, the most complete tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered; Lucy, the oldest known skeleton of a human being; a massive collection of Viking and African artifacts; and one of the largest collections of Egyptian mummies both animal and human.  My family and I visited this museum and many more in Chicago over Labor Day weekend.

I like to think of myself as something of a museum connoisseur because museums happen to be my first priority in visiting a new city. Though my mother had read the list of artifacts at the Field Museum to me several times before our arrival, I could not fully grasp their complete glory until I was standing in the replica of an Egyptian tomb with twenty mummies, their sarcophagi, and tablets of Hieroglyphics surrounding me. I was awed by the fact that the mummies were not only right in front of me, but also that they were so well preserved. They still had the jewelry and the papyrus scrolls with instructions for the afterlife in their sarcophagi with them. 

In the next room was a large wooden boat. Archeologists speculate that this boat was used in a funeral ceremony for a pharaoh or nobleman. I stared at this particular boat for about ten minutes trying to comprehend what I was seeing.

The Field Museum does a spectacular job of maintaining these artifacts and collecting more from different areas of the world. I would love to go back, and I would recommend it as a must see for anyone who is traveling in, to, or even near Chicago.

Senior Privileges (John Lusk)

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Seniors at Westminster have a number of privileges to enjoy their last year of high school. These privileges help distinguish senior year from the previous three years of high school. Though many of the privileges are small (and sometimes silly), they add to the daily life at Westminster by providing some entertainment and change throughout the day.

Being allowed to use the elevator is one of the most amusing privileges. Even though the short flight of stairs is no burden to walk, the elevator is a break from the halls and a short ride of quietness in a busy day. On the more practical side, seniors have the freedom to leave campus every day for lunch and tutorial. This is both relaxing and fun since a senior has the freedom to go home or just hang out with friends at a restaurant for the fifty-minute lunch period. Westminster seniors also have a senior lounge located in an empty classroom. It is a simple room with only one table and a few chairs, but it is great to have a place that will always be available to go with classmates and finish up schoolwork or eat lunch.

I am grateful of the effort the school has put into finding freedoms for seniors and believe it is a good choice by the school. Some people might argue that these privileges are open for abuse and the school needs to have more control, but I believe this shows the school’s trust in the students. More responsibility is part of growing older, and the school is helping this process by allowing seniors more freedom. 

Greater Than (A poem by Katie Krulak)

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Fingers fly across the keys,

     Playing a clattering staccato song,

Gazes glued to glowing screens,

     A shadows move from short to long.

Pictures scroll before our eyes,

     With lines of type below,

How different are the lives described,

     Compared to the ones we know.

Online we create an elaborate mask,

     Of what we want others to see,

But the person behind the screen,

     Is the true you and me.

Nobody’s world is perfect,

     Or completely put together,

Nor is it always easy;

     Free from life’s stormy weather.

Many have made their identity,

     Into a list of numbers,

And all these likes, retweets, and comments,

     Have given me cause to wonder.

Why do we care so much,

     About what others see us as?

Why do we treat each Internet post,

     Like a test we have to pass?

What if we stopped making,

     Our Internet selves a lie?

Perhaps our friendships would grow stronger,

     It wouldn’t hurt to try.

But in the end it doesn’t

     Matter if people like what you post,

Because your affirmation and your worth,

     Comes from the One who matters most.

Adaptation: Atrium Chapel (Jack Wilson)

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Chapel plays a very important and distinct role at Westminster. For the past four years, chapel has evolved and flourished into a new identity in the school. For the first two years, chapel was a meeting once a month to hear a talented guest speak to the school body for a short thirty minutes. As the years progressed, new additions have improved chapel’s influence. For example, the combination of the Lower School and Upper School student bodies has led to a greater surrounding of worship. The mood changes when upperclassmen have more people to be examples around.

Atrium chapel is a meeting once a week in the main area of the new Upper School building. Sometimes Mr. Hinton gives a short devotion on a passage; sometimes Mr. Knowles leads the school in worship. Personally, I have enjoyed partaking in worship with my friends in a song or listening to Mr. Hinton approach a passage with concise wisdom. Not only do I feel this way, but many other students and teachers feel the same way. After asking Mr. Knowles, he responded, “Atrium chapel has given the teachers a new way to influence the student body through worship and Scripture.” In the end, this new addition of Atrium Chapel has pushed our school closer to our end goal: to love Christ and be an example of him to others.

From Death to Life (Will Green)

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Growing up in a Christian family, I had the mentality that I had it all together. I had always known and been taught that God has a deep love for me and that he wants me to be a part of his family. However, I continued in the life I wanted and shut Christ out.

In the summer of 2007, I was a part of a Briarwood soccer camp, and my coach asked us to say a prayer alongside of him if we wanted to become a Christian. So feeling guilty, I prayed a prayer with no real affection or meaning to my relationship with God. Over the next six years of my life, I professed Christ as ruler of my life, but inside I was empty and hopeless, separated from Christ by my sin.

In the summer of 2013, I attended a Student Life camp with my church at Shocco Springs. It was at this camp that God came to me in my sin. For the first time in my life, I felt the presence of an almighty and saving God. I now have hope in Christ and strive to be more like Him in all that I do.

Paul writes in Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (ESV). If you accept Christ into your life, you are proclaiming to the world that Christ is worth more than anything this world can offer. You live your life trusting that God will provide and that he is all you will ever need.

So let us sense the urgency of eternity. Christ is coming back, and the world around us is dying. Let the Westminster family be more than just another private school; let us be light in the midst of a dark world.

So What is Cosplay? My Visit to DragonCon 2015 (Sara Hinton)

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As an otaku, wizard, demigod, whovian, and a member of multiple other fandoms, the place for me to be on Labor Day weekend was not in an arena watching the first football game of the season. No, it was Atlanta, Georgia, for DragonCon 2015. We dressed in costumes as our favorite characters. I was dressed as Rogue from the X-Men movies, but to my surprise most of the people there were dressed as characters from anime comic and cartoons. What was more surprising were the few people dressed as Disney characters, like Cinderella and Rapunzel. The practice of dressing up and acting as the characters is called cosplay and can be done professionally. I even had the luck of meeting a professional cosplayer dressed as Neo from The Matrix.

The day was long, and our feet became sore from standing in lines and walking around the four hotels that were rented for the event. But it was well worth it. We explored the two floors of the convention that were filled with vendors, selling everything from kimonos to Wolverine claws. I received a comic book for a really good deal, because the vendor cut the price for me. My friends bought some cool action figures. However, we were all most enthralled by the collection of swords from movies and TV shows.

The real treat was the walk of fame. Stars and costars from multiple genres took a break from photo shoots and panels and met with their fans. There were voice actors from American shows and Japanese anime. There were many Battle Star Galactica stars there, but the longest line was for the star of a TV show called Lost Girl. I was able to meet my favorite character from one of my favorite TV shows, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. I received an autograph and a couple of free hugs. We also got a recording of a voice actor speaking as his character, and one of my friends met the one who inspired her to want to become a voice actor.

In the end we found ourselves standing on a balcony watching all the cosplayers, and running after our favorites to get a picture. Riding the subway back to our car, we all agreed that it was well worth the ninety dollar tickets and began planning our costumes for next year. My dad, who accompanied us, claimed that next year he would be our costume consultant. I responded that if that was going to happen, we would have to have a father-daughter anime marathon. When I began listing all the anime that we would have to watch, he became very quiet. But one thing is certain. I can not wait for DragonCon 2016.