Category Archives: Culture

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.

Minutes Matter: The Importance of Atrium Chapel

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Throughout my years in the Upper School, a lot has changed. I have seen teachers come and go. I have experienced what it was like to be the youngest and now the oldest among all grades. I have gone from modular classrooms to a beautifully designed, spacious building. Before the move to our current building, one tradition I always loved was the monthly Upper School chapel.

These days the logistics of over a hundred students crossing Cahaba Valley Trace has made having our traditional chapels more difficult. However, we now have what are called “atrium chapels.” As the name suggests, these occur in the atrium. They are held every Wednesday at the very beginning of tutorial and consist of a prayer, song of worship, reading from Scripture, or brief message of encouragement. But not everyone sees the value in this.

Because these chapels are very short compared to what we have done in the past, many wonder if it is even worth having them. Are we simply wasting study time just to stand in the atrium for a few minutes to sing a song?

Adapting to change over the years has allowed me to realize what is truly important in life. My answer to the question concerning atrium chapels would be this: While the time is brief, the fruit can still be abundant. If it is our aim to cultivate a love for truth, beauty, and goodness to flourish, how can we not spend time listening to the Word of our creator?

Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works not neglecting to meet together…” This verse should push us to take a step back and realize why we are having these chapels. They are an act of praise, worship, and admiration of our King. As a school with a foundation of faith, we must realize the responsibility we have to cultivate an environment where our faith can thrive.

The mere fact that these chapels are only a few minutes should not take away from their significance. 2 Peter 3:8 states,”But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” The potential issue of time that we see is not a concern to the Lord. His concern is for our hearts, and by spending time in prayer and worship, we are able to remember what is truly important.

My hope is that these chapels will no longer be seen as a waste of time. My prayer is that they would allow us to be known as a school that enjoys praising God, even if just for a few minutes.

-Olivia Godfrey (Class of 2016)