Category Archives: Knightly Herald

The Blessing of Being Overwhelmed (Olivia Clement)

By | Faith, Knightly Herald, Uncategorized | One Comment

In an attempt to bring comfort to someone in a difficult situation, you have most likely heard someone say, “God never gives you more than you can handle.” The more I have thought about this statement, the more I’ve realized that it is lacking.

I know from firsthand experience. God gave me more than I felt I could handle when he led me to go to New York City on a mission trip in June 2017. God knows that my response to mission trips has always been fear. I am afraid of planes, the turbulence on the planes, and even the multitude of germs in the planes! I am afraid of approaching a Tibetan Muslim I have never met before to boldly share the gospel of Christ. I am afraid of being uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, I am certain that God is telling me to go, so I am going. Not because I feel like I can easily handle it, but because he is teaching me. Naturally, in my own strength, I sometimes approach God’s plans with fear, hesitancy, or anxiety. Yet I am reminded of one of Paul’s letters in which he encourages Timothy not to be ashamed of the gospel and reminds him of the salvation and calling that God gave him. Paul states, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim 2:7). Like Timothy, many of us fall into a spirit of fear. In our own strength, we definitely cannot handle the challenges of life and the often uncomfortable callings God has for us. This is why I believe that God gives us more than we can handle, so that we will realize our need for the Holy Spirit to give us power, love, and self-control.

Consider ways in your own life that you are falling into a spirit of fear. When you feel like you cannot handle something, it is probably because you cannot. But you can with the Holy Spirit, who makes us strong in our weakness. In reality, God does give us overwhelming situations, but only because he wants to remind us that he will never give us more than we can handle…with Him.

PSA: The Consequences of Anemia (Camilla Lemons)

By | Featured, Knightly Herald, Uncategorized | One Comment

My breath left me every time I walked up the stairs. Lugging around my backpack was a greater pain than usual. I got plenty of sleep each night but remained exhausted during the day. I dreaded cross country practice. My primary means of relieving stress had become a stress in and of itself. Even though I had been running consistently for several months, my legs still felt like bricks every time I tried to move them. It was not until my first race that I finally admitted something was definitely wrong. My time was over four minutes slower than my previous races, and I had felt miserable every step of the way.

I went to the doctor soon after, hoping and praying that this problem had a simple solution. I discovered that I was low on iron, or in medical terms, anemic. I began taking iron supplements twice a day as prescribed by my doctor to combat this deficiency. After a few short weeks, I felt a tremendous increase in energy with an added bonus of faster times in races.

Anemia often goes undetected even though one in four teenage girls have an iron deficiency. Shortly after I learned of this deficiency, two more girls on the cross country team discovered that they were anemic as well. If I, along with the other two girls, had known earlier about our iron deficiencies, then we could have avoided a painful and discouraging season. Awareness about anemia can help other teenage girls become and feel much healthier. If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms, consider consulting your family physician about possible anemia.

Running Crazy (Pierce Moffett)

By | Athletics, Knightly Herald | No Comments

Whenever I tell people that I run cross country, they tend to look at me in a funny way. It’s as if they want to tell me I’m crazy, but they don’t want to appear rude. So to avoid being mean, people always ask me “why?” They don’t seem to believe that it’s possible to run for fun. People cannot comprehend why runners run. To most, running is a punishment used in other sports, meant to inflict pain. But even during a tough, painful practice, I can still find enjoyment in it.

One of the reasons I run is to prepare for racing. Most people (especially myself) have a competitive spirit inside of them. Racing gives me the chance to let that spirit loose. And the feeling of satisfaction after finishing a race is unlike anything else.

However, the biggest reason I run is my team. Nothing builds a stronger bond than running. When you go through a moment of intense pain with someone else, you leave that moment better friends. For me, running has brought some of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life, but if I ever think back on those moments, I can distinctly remember who I experienced them with. No other sport creates the same type of relationship that this creates. Nothing can beat the bond that is made when two people experience excruciating pain. The bonds that I have made through running have honestly turned into some of my strongest friendships. Those friendships are the reason that I run.

But even after I try to explain this reason to people, they still can’t comprehend why I run. So I’ve given up explaining it to people. When they ask “why,” I just answer “because I’m crazy.”

And maybe that’s the most truthful answer of all.

The Most Wonderful Three Months of the Year (Ann Marie Godfrey)

By | Culture, Knightly Herald | No Comments

Christmas in the early to mid-1900s looked a lot different than it does now in the twenty-first century. Most households did not put up a tree or decorate the house until a few days or even the day before Christmas. The holiday season has since been extended because of the commercialization of Christmas. Decorations appear on store shelves as early as October, and Christmas music begins playing on the radio around the same time.

For some, this is a major annoyance. These people tend to feel strongly that Christmas music and decorations should not be heard or seen until after Thanksgiving or even later. They think that premature celebration of Christmas causes people to overlook Thanksgiving.

Others, including myself, enjoy the music and all aspects of the season so much that we have no problem starting the festivities a bit early. In fact, once November rolls around, I begin to compile a playlist on Spotify with my favorite artists’ Christmas albums.

While some might think it strange to do such things, I believe that starting the Christmas season a bit earlier allows people to feel a certain joy that can be hard to find as cooler weather and gloomy days become more frequent–unless of course you live in Alabama, in which case the joy would allow you to cope with abnormally warm weather and lack of rain.

I still am able to enjoy the month of November and Thanksgiving with my family even with Christmas decorations up around the house. Though many still may be against the idea, I will always love listening to Christmas music and beginning to decorate in early November.

Tech Review: The iPad Pro (Heath Padgett)

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This December I purchased Apple’s brand new iPad Pro. The iPad Pro was the perfect addition to my Apple suite as it seamlessly communicates with both my iPhone and MacBook Pro. However, a serious question remains: is the iPad Pro a viable replacement for your computer?

The iPad Pro is very similar to the iPad Air except for two main differences: the screen is much larger, and it is compatible with the Apple Pencil. The screen on the iPad Pro spans 12.9 inches, which makes it nearly the size of my MacBook Pro’s 13 inch screen. This allows many of the applications to run more like a computer. For example, Safari can run full size webpages that look just like those in a Mac. There is no more need for the annoying mobile websites that limit the functionality of smaller devices. Also, the larger screen allows for a full size digital keyboard (or Apple’s Smart Keyboard attachment). I have enjoyed the digital keyboard and am able to type effectively on it even though it does not have the physical feel of an actual keyboard. If typing is important for you in purchasing such a device, I would recommend either an attachable keyboard or just going with a MacBook.

The biggest difference between the iPad Pro and a MacBook is the touch screen. The iPad Pro is complemented with the Apple Pencil which allows great creativity. The Apple Pencil is unlike most styli because it works together with the iPad to accurately sense force and tilt. This allows you to draw much more precisely and use many new techniques such as shading and proper calligraphy.

The bottom line is this: if you want a very portable, lightweight device that inspires creativity and allows for general use of typical applications, then the iPad Pro is a wonderful option. Although sometimes a real computer is necessary for more professional applications, I have consistently found myself using my iPad Pro more than my MacBook Pro. Weigh how you want to use your device, and your decision should be obvious.

A Poem by Katie Krulak

By | Arts, Featured, Humanities, Knightly Herald, Uncategorized | No Comments

 

Night.

A time for dark, dastardly deeds.

Light and warmth fades to cold shadows

While the wind picks up,

Running its icy fingers along your windows,

Setting them to rattling, clattering,

Before tearing the leaves from the trees

And driving them into the sky.

In this world human sound is forbidden,

A violation of the solemn peace.

The moon’s light washes everything

Silver and blue,

Struck by a deathly pallor.

Night.

When the mundane becomes extraordinary.

The mind distorts the world,

Projecting illusions onto the backdrop of darkness.

Dogs become wolves; each breath of air a ghost.

Shadows creep like living entities

Shrouding phantoms and ghouls from view.

Floorboards squeak and creak as whispered

Voices, half imagined, beckon you to wakefulness

Calling you to share in the mystery,

To lurk in the darkness, and howl at the moon;

To revel in the song that a church bell tolls,

To fade into oblivion.

Night.

 

Minutes Matter: The Importance of Atrium Chapel

By | Culture, Faith, Knightly Herald, Uncategorized | No Comments

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)

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.

New Teacher Profile: Mr. Brewer Ames

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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.