Category Archives: The Curious George

Students Don’t Mind Minding The Light

Curious George Poll: Students Bring Quaker Values Into Their Lives

by Julia Carrigan ‘20

The George School Mission Statement claims that Quaker tradition is the school’s “touchstone”–the testing point for any discussion of values or policy that goes on here. Quite simply, at George School, Quaker values are essential, including Quaker practices and, especially, attendance at Meeting for Worship.

George School’s website claims, “We don’t try to turn students into Quakers,” but the importance of Quakerism at George School was reaffirmed by students themselves recently, when sixty-six percent of students polled by The Curious George said their desire to be involved in some way in Quakerism has increased since attending George School.

One student even stated that the strong Quaker vibe at George School was “one of the major reasons I chose to go to here instead of Westtown.” Overall, it is clear that George School’s strong Quaker program has influenced the spiritual lives of many students.

However, George School is not the Bodhi tree, and let us not pretend that every student has been spiritually enlightened sitting on the firm wooden benches of the eighteenth-century meetinghouse.

What is important is that every student has sat there.

During the school year, day students spend thirty minutes a week in Meeting for Worship, and boarding students usually spend an hour and fifteen minutes. In addition to Meeting for Worship, we often pause for moments of silence and use Quaker consensus in meetings. In addition, many of our religion classes also focus on Quakerism.

Overall, it is pretty fair to say that Quakerism is central in the lives of students during the school year, but how does it affect their lives during the summer?

Fourteen percent of respondents told CG that they attend meeting over the summer. Even more significant, about a third of students take time out of their summer to practice Quakerism on a smaller level. For example, they might pause in their day to take a moment of silence.

This is incredible given the busy lives of teenagers in the summer, the relatively low number of Quaker identifying students, and the growing rate of non-religious teenagers. According to a recent study done of teenagers in Chicago, for instance, thirty-six percent of teenagers are “religiously unaffiliated.”

The approximate third of the George School student body who practice Quakerism in different smaller ways throughout the summer shows that while they may not be able to drag their families (or themselves) out of bed every Sunday morning, “Quaker tradition,” as the Mission Statement puts it, has a profound spiritual effect on them.

Although a hundred percent of those who answered the survey attend a Quaker school, only six percent attend or work at a Quaker camp over the summer. Some Quaker camps George School students spent time at over the summer include Camp Dark Waters, Camp Onas, and The George School Day Camp, which “emphasizes Quaker philosophies.”

Three George School students also attended Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s annual session, a gathering of all Quakers in the Philadelphia region.

While George School does not try to “turn students into Quakers,” apparently the school does a good job of exposing them to the values and practices of Quakerism. The students themselves decide how much of it they want to bring into their lives outside of school.

That’s a win-win proposition!

 

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Colleen Crowley: A Woman of Many Hats

This is the first in a series of articles in which Curious George staff writer Julia Carrigan interviews some of the behind-the-scenes people at George School–dining room staff, grounds crew workers, environmental services, and plant personnel; the people who keep us up and running day-by-day, year-by-year.

by Julia Carrigan ‘20

“Steady. Quiet. Good.”

These are the three words Colleen Crowley uses to describe her life.

Working at George School for over seventeen years, Colleen has served as barn manager, emergency services officer, assistant self-defense teacher, and Culinart team member in the Dining Room. Though often overlooked, down through the years Colleen has made extraordinary contributions to the George School community. And George School is all the richer for her hard work, her friendliness, and her playful sense of humor.

“I grew up in Vermont,” Colleen replied when asked about her early roots. “My parents divorced when I was five. I did see my dad during my childhood, but it was my mom who raised us. I went to college in Pennsylvania and was really surprised to find out that spring break was actually spring break, instead of freezing my butt off. I enjoyed it down here—so my first job out of college was in Pennsylvania as well, in Allentown, and then George School had a position open and they wanted me to give it a shot. So I did.”

Ever open to new experiences, Colleen helped teach a self-defense class last year. “It was learning for me, as well as helping [Doug] out,” she noted. “I would tease him and say that I was his test dummy, but at no time was I harmed, hurt, or anything. It was learning for both the students and myself.”

She felt the importance of knowing self-defense tactics lay in the fact that we are all vulnerable. “Anybody can get attacked, anybody. So it’s important for us to be able to get out, get away, be willing to put them down, and run like crazy.” She added that some of the more physical techniques can be especially useful for people who are not naturally loud or fast. “I don’t have a good scream; that part of my defense doesn’t work,” she said.

Additionally, Colleen added, learning self-defense is fun. “It’s good to know and it’s fun to do. I would have loved to see more kids do it.”

Teaching self-defense, though, was just the latest of a long list of jobs Colleen has performed at George School through the years. “Basically, I’ve had three hats. My first and my longest stint, was down at the barn teaching horseback riding lessons. I was the community lesson person, and my title ‘Barn Manager’ was just a fancy title for getting the crap done that has to get done—the non-glamourous stuff. So I did that for sixteen years here. Then I got tired of dealing with the horses, and it just wasn’t any fun anymore.”

Colleen is always trying to re-invent her “place” at George School. “George School has been good to me,” she noted. “Doug [Walters] was the first person who said to me, ‘Are you interested in working security? Do you want to try it?’ and I said, ‘Sure!’ and I do like it. I do. I pray we never have an incident, but I do enjoy it. I like hanging out. I like wandering around helping out the kids as needed.”

Unfortunately, Colleen noted, the security position is part-time. “I had to find something else, and again through somebody who knew me. I knew him [Joe Ducati, Food Service Director] through his wife Kate, because she worked down in the garden. We were all the earth girls down there. The dirty girls, all covered in dirt and never paying attention to it. And Kate said, ‘Do you want to try this? They need some help,’ and I said, ‘Okay.’”

So, Colleen started working a second job with the Dining Room staff, and she likes that position, too. “I do like talking with the kids and visiting with the kids and stuff like that. I like that interaction. I don’t enjoy the messes. It’s not bad, though—it’s good.”

Colleen Crowley at The Renaissance Faire.

All of Colleen’s memories seem positive—happy memories that may explain why she is such an upbeat and optimistic person. “My family has always been supportive,” Colleen said when asked about her childhood. “When we were younger, I think I was thirteen, my dad took us on a cross country trip. I don’t know how we didn’t kill each other. The whole summer, we drove along the exterior states, you know, exploring things.”

Colleen’s tightest bonds, though, are with her sister and her mom. “I’ve always had good memories with my mom. It’s my sister, my mom and I. We’ve always been pretty close. We harass each other constantly. I have a nephew who looks like me so my sister can’t say I’m adopted anymore.” She laughed. “You know, the sibling thing.”

Teaching for Colleen is all about long-term rewards, and not the material kind. “I love it when I’ve taught a kid, then they go on with life, then they see me again, and it’s like—huge hug! ‘Oh my god. Thank you.’”

“For most people, you affect people, you help people, but in the back of your mind, you don’t see yourself as a huge part of their life. You don’t see yourself as a huge factor. I’ve had parents come back and they say, ‘Thank you for believing in my child.’ That hits me here [gestures towards heart]. I’m not a big, crazy, out-there-in-the-world person, but I like to know that I’ve had some influence, some effect on someone in a positive way.”

Asked if she would change anything about George School, Colleen waxed philosophical, in a down-to-earth way. “The big thing that I would love to change about George School,” she said, “is that it’s a bubble. It’s this community, it’s different from the real world. There’s this mentality that ‘it’s not going to happen to us,’ and that scares me.”

As anybody can tell from just talking to Colleen, respect is a big part of her life, and she would like everyone to show more respect for themselves and others. “We should be respectful of each other,” she says. “Be respectful of property. Respectful in every way you can look at it. Respectful towards the earth, towards people, towards animals, towards everything. I’m a big proponent of animals. Senseless violence makes me angry.”

For George School students in particular, Colleen has pointed words of wisdom. “There is no such thing as being entitled—no one’s entitled to anything. The world is not fair—it doesn’t give you things because you did this the right way. You want to try to make it as fair as possible. Do right, do good, no matter who’s watching, but at the same time I know that not everybody is going to do that. You want to try to change that, but you can’t expect everybody to do that.”

Although she claims that her life “hasn’t been as adventuresome as some other people’s,” and although she may never have climbed Mt. Everest, or starred in a Broadway musical, or worked as an FBI agent, Colleen has led her own uniquely individual life that is exciting in its own ways. She dares to be an earth girl and dress like a pirate at the Renaissance Faire. She dares to tame horses and she dares to learn to defend herself. She even dares, when exam week comes around, to stop a hungry high-schooler from grabbing six chicken fingers instead of the allowed five.

Although Colleen’s life may be summed up as “steady, quiet, and good”—that sounds pretty adventuresome to me.

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Mathemagic – The Perfect Combination

In an Amazing Assembly, Math Professor Squares Everything but the Circle

Arthur Benjamin, also known as the Mathemagician, mesmerized students at assembly this fall by being faster than a calculator.

by Bea Feichtenbiner ‘19

Have you ever been sitting in math class and your mouth just dropped open because you were so astounded by what you just heard? To be honest, this probably happens to me two or three times a week. And if it hasn’t happened to you, just wait. It will.

In fact, it might have happened a couple of times in assembly on Friday, October 27. That’s when Arthur Benjamin, a math professor at Harvey Mudd College and a total math savant, performed some really cool tricks.

Professor Benjamin has performed on the Today Show, CNN, The Colbert Report, and National Public Radio. He has been interviewed and written about in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Scientific American, Discover, OMNI, Esquire, Wired, People Magazine, and Reader’s Digest. He has given three Ted Talks with some enticing titles: “A Performance Of ‘Mathemagic’,” “Teach Statistics Before Calculus!” and “The Magic Of Fibonacci Numbers.” He’s also authored or co-authored a number of books on the art of mental magic if anyone wants to advance their math skills, as I probably should.

Professor Benjamin began his George School performance by squaring two-digit numbers faster than audience members could type them into their calculators. Then he squared three-digit and four-digit numbers. For his finale, he squared a five-digit number.

Mind you, he did all this in his head.

I can’t even subtract two-digit numbers in my head, and this man squared a five-digit number!

That’s a nine-digit answer!

Who can keep track of that many numbers—in sequence—in their head? Professor Benjamin’s mental math skills were astounding.

Having warmed up with squaring three- and four-digit numbers, he took one of the squares and had a panel of five people multiply it on their calculators by any three-digit numbers they could think of. That was 499 possibilities, mind you. Then he had the panel read out their answers in any order. From just that information, he could tell the audience the last digit in each sequence.

Max Malavsky ’18, one of Professor Benjamin’s onstage “guinea pigs,” remarked, “that’s crazy” when the professor got the last digit of Max’s answer right. Max certainly spoke for all of us.

But that wasn’t all.

The mentally prestidigitatorial professor made a magic square that featured junior Jenny McArthur’s lucky number forty-three (the number that her date of birth added up to) in almost every arrangement of four blocks you could think of. I was sitting in the front row as he started explaining the magic square. I turned to Camille Drury ’19, who was sitting next to me, and remarked, “It’s everywhere.”

I meant Jenny’s number, of course, and it really was. The rows, columns, diagonals, corners, and two by two boxes all added up to forty-three.

It was spectacular.

Professor Benjamin’s second-to-last trick, right before his finale, seemed to have little to do with math. He was able to tell audience members the day of the week they were born on from the date of their birth. He could go all the way from the time the Gregorian Calendar became popular to thousands of years into the future. He did explain at the end that he knew because of the way the numbers added up, but unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time for him to tell us exactly how.

This assembly was incredibly engaging. I have never had so much fun feeling so stupid. The most incredible part was that he did it all in his head. He never touched a calculator.

Some people are just born to do math! It’s in their genes, I guess.

The rest of us? We have to work at it.

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Why College Means a Lot to me

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Here is Bea in her Oxford University t-shirt.

by Bea Feichtenbiner ’19

College has a different connotation in every household. In some, it is a necessity. In others, it is uncommon. In my house, it is expected, but I knew I could make whatever choice I needed. But, I have always wanted to go to college.

Not only do I want to go to college, I want to go to a highly selective school. When I was around twelve, I got my heart set on Oxford University in Oxford, England. The school is globally ranked in many subjects and the more I read, the more I liked. I ended up at George School to get the IB diploma to increase my chances of getting in. Now, in my sophomore year, I think I want to stay domestic for my undergraduate degree and go to Oxford for my graduate degree. I am considering schools like Stanford, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins. I am working with a private college counselor to help improve my application.

College has come to mean a lot to me. I know I have the freedom to take whatever path I wish, but I want to learn. I want to do research and study. More than anything, college offers me a place to do that. I want to go to schools with globally recognizable programs. I want to be overqualified for any position I could possibly want. College is not my end goal, but rather the beginning of a hopefully successful future.

Schools like the ones I am looking at are considered lottery schools. Going into my junior year, my grades and courses are increasingly important. For me, this is just another lap in the race. For some, it is the start. It is time to go on college tours and talk to admissions officers. People are starting and joining clubs to boost their application. I am looking for job and research experience, but also leadership positions. And of course, I am trying to balance a social life as well.

The college process is by no means easy, but for some, it is the way to go. For me, I know college is the next step. For others, it might not be. Regardless of what people want to study, what kind of degree they want to get, or if they want to go to college at all, junior year is going to be a difficult and stressful time.

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Why I Chose the IB Program

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Teacher Kathy Rodgers helps with a class assignment.

by Bea Feichtenbiner ’19

When I was about twelve, I started thinking about college. I was not sure of much, but I knew I wanted to go far, possibly even outside the country. My mom has a few friends who live in California and the school their kids go to offers the International Baccalaureate diploma. I first heard of it over the phone when I was in seventh grade. I looked it up and was drawn into the information I found.

The idea of having six subjects and having an equal balance in each interested me. At first, I worried about the arts, but I figured out that I could double in a subject to replace it. After thinking about it for a couple of months, I talked to my mom about my findings. I was really interested in getting this diploma. I was convinced it would make me a better student and wanted the opportunity to engage in this deeper level thinking.

She gave me the green light to go ahead and research schools. That’s actually how I found George School. When I got here, I was not sure what would happen. I did not know if I would change my mind and drop the IB idea. But two years later, I am a likely IB candidate. I plan to take two standard level exams, Spanish and Economics, and four higher level exams, English, Latin, Math, and Biology. The rest of my classes are a sprinkling of APs. I am doubling in language and not taking an art.

I know this is going to be very difficult, but I am prepared. The IB diploma is something I have been working towards for three years now. I love the thought of learning to think critically. I am anxious for a chance to write essays of deeper level thinking. I want to learn, but I don’t want to focus in one subject. I want to be a well-rounded academic and I feel like IB offers me more resources to do that.

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Weekend Boarder Life

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Students build a snowman during a weekend winter snowstorm.

by Bea Feicenbiner ’19

As a boarding student, sometimes I am left wondering what I can do on weekends. Every weekend has a theme, but some have more activities than others. Weekends like Harvest Weekend and Student Council Weekend are jam packed with things to do. All of the weekends can be fun for the students, but some, like Alumni Weekend, have less activities than others.

Of course, my roommate is always there and I have friends in my dorm. On weekends, more often than not, I have a friend sleepover in my room or I sleep in hers. I can walk into Newtown to get some ice cream or go to Starbucks. Sometimes we will walk over to the shopping center across the street and get lunch before running errands to Giant or Rite Aid. Newtown Book and Record has a great variety of entertainment if I need something new. There is a lot to do around town on the weekends.

My personal favorite weekend is Student Council Weekend. SAGE, another club I am a part of, also has a weekend. We do fun activities that include bonding opportunities with members of the community that otherwise you might not have met. Harvest Weekend is super fun, especially for boarders. Day students are invited too, but for domestic boarders who do not get to spend as much time with their family. Carving pumpkins and making buttercream brings people together. For international students, the Harvest Weekend activities might be the first time they are experiencing these things. Other weekends are club affiliated. Umoja Weekend and Footbag Weekend happened not long ago and they both included events that were fun for the whole campus.

There are other things to do instead of weekend activities and day trips to Newtown. The Deans’ office is always open to hang out in and the SAGE room is open Friday and Saturday too. During the warmer months, there is four-square on Red Square and during the colder months, you can borrow sleds from the Deans’ Office and sled down South Lawn. If you’re looking for a quiet place to study, the library is open on both Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes dorm parents and prefects will host activities, like tea parties or clothing swaps.

No matter what the weekend is, there is plenty to do, so you should not worry about being bored.

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Sky Reviews May 22-26

May 26 2017

May 26

May 24 2017

May 24

May 25 2017

May 25

May 22, 2017

Today’s sky cancelled due to rain and forgetfulness. See you tomorrow.

May 23, 2017

Waves lap onto the cool shores of the lake. You squint at the mist, trying to pierce its dense foliage. It does nothing. Oh, the waves are getting higher now, perhaps you should move your seat. Do not want to get cold feet at a time like this. You push against your chair, attempting to move it farther away without getting up. This does not work, of course, and the soaked sand eagerly takes this opportunity to begin eating your chair. Well, you are in quite a pickle now are you not. The waves continue to rise.

May 24, 2017

You try to contact the tower again, and for the fifth time receive only static. This damn mist must be interfering with the signal. Looks like you will be on your own this time, no problem. You guide your vessel with a strong arm and a steely eye, reckless confidence abound. Ha! And they made it seem so hard in academy. Metallic whips and bangs come from the edges of the hull. They mean nothing to you. You would like to see something get in your way. See how it fares when you come ramming through. That would be rich, ha! The noises from the hull cease. A looming form rises from the depths. The mist coils tighter.

May 25, 2017

You manage to climb up the ladder to your post. As if it would kill someone to have a few more people on watch. This is like, your fifth shift this week. Unsurprisingly, you cannot see more than a few feet into the lake. Even your fancy new binoculars are only able to provide a magnified view of the fog. Turning away from the lake, you decide to survey the surrounding village. Ugh, that guy with the Mercedes is driving off again. All he ever does is disappear into the forest for hours on end. You are not sure what he schemes about in there, but it is certainly nothing good. Disgruntled, you turn back toward the water just in time to see a glint of metal vanish under the surface. A car wails from the forest.

May 26, 2017

It is a new day. The mist has gone, the skies are clear, and everyone is enjoying the sunshine. You sit on the rickety old wicker chair on your porch, pondering. You have been feeling quite confused the last few days, for reasons unknown. Nothing out of the ordinary except for that odd vapor that rolled in the other day. Hmmm. You suppose it does not matter too much then, if you cannot even tell what bothered you. With a slight chuckle and shake of the head, you lean back and relax. Everything is fine, just as it has always been. 0/10

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Sky Reviews

May 15 2017

May 15

May 16 2017

May 16

May 17 2017

May 17

May 18 2017

May 18

May 19 2017

May 19

by Joey Cifelli ’19

May 15, 2017

This must be one of the best gradients we have had this year. Both in the drastic change of color, and smoothness of the transition. Often you will see nice color variation, but with shaky movement between those colors. Or a more subtle gradient with frictionless spreads but similar colors. Today we are fortunate enough to have it all. The blue begins almost as a white at the very bottom, which then gracefully completes the journey into a rich royal blue. Any trace of distortion is neatly covered by precise cloud placement. Excellent. 9.6/10

May 16, 2017

Today’s sky reminds me of a Bob Ross painting. I am sure a few of our readers remember Bob gently telling us how to make textured puffs of cloud, which he would then lightly blend back and forth, back and forth. It is really a shame that Bob is not with us anymore. I am sure he would appreciate this playground of wispy cotton tendrils in the sky (especially with them being titanium white). Those two streaks near the bottom left may seem like blemishes at first, but of course they are not. After all, we do not make mistakes here, only happy little accidents. 9.2/10

May 17, 2017

I had already taken today’s photo when I stumbled upon this scene. It is just the coolest thing ever, so I was compelled to go with this scene instead. Is this not a dragon breathing fire onto the cool waters of the sky? It totally is, which makes this sky one of the best realist scenes we have had this year. Unfortunately, we cannot view the entire head, but the mouth clearly opens out from the right; there is even a nice little crest on the upper jaw. And that fire manifesting across the entire stage compliments the idea of the dragon perfectly. Top reptile. 8.9/10

May 18, 2017

We have a unique cloud formation today; I do not think I have ever seen anything quite like it. There are not any identifiable shapes presenting themselves, nor any sort of particular texture. It is a stretch, but I can make out a crude steam train from this jumble. The stack puffing out of the top is what made me think of it, but the whole formation also slopes away at a smooth angle, like trains do. Well, that is my take on it. Hope you all had an otherwise interesting day in this blistering heat. 7.3/10

May 19, 2017

Another haphazard sky today, folks, though this one feels less crowded. The spattering of clouds across the light blue is reminiscent of a Jackson Pollock painting, if with less color. The lowest grouping has small clouds trailing behind the leader, which makes for a classic archipelago formation. This whole sky seems like a map, really. All the shapes contain the right coasts and are of a close size. They all surround a basin in the center, perhaps that could be this land’s ocean. Cartographers out there take note, these do not come around often. 8.6/10

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My Summer Plans

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Bea and her sisters on a 2012 vacation in Hawaii. 

by Bea Feichtenbiner ’19

Summer starts in just nineteen school days (twenty-six days total) and the Class of 2017 graduates in two weeks. As the school year comes to a close, it is time to start thinking about what I am going to do this summer. Now that AP exams are done, I just have the SAT subject tests on June 3rd and then Term 3 exams the week of June 5th to 8th. My sophomore year is almost over.

Of course, the last day of school will be both filled with sadness and excitement. Sadness because I will not see some of my friends for the whole two months of summer. That is the hardest part of being friends with international students. They are too far away for me to visit them. My roommate is from Beijing and I know that it is going to be weird not seeing her every day until September 3 when we move back.

The last day is also going to be exciting because I have so many exciting plans this summer. The first week or two are going to be pretty boring. I am going to be running all over the place trying to make up for not seeing my family and friends. Then I start driving lessons. I turned sixteen in October, but I think I have driven a grand total of five hours since then. I am also self-studying Spanish 3 this summer, so I will be meeting with my tutor pretty often as well. The real excitement does not start until June 29.

I love traveling, and this summer my family is going to Greece. We leave at the end of June and will not be back in the states until July 12. We are going to see the Parthenon, visit Delphi, and tour museums and the city of Athens for a couple days before heading to Santorini. As a Latin student, I have been reading and translating myths surrounding the ancient history of these places. Next year, I have to write a paper on the classical time period of the Greeks and Romans. After a couple days history, everyone will be ready for a break. We are heading to Santorini for almost a week before heading back to Athens to fly home.

When I get back from Greece, I will have to resume my Spanish studies. But then I am enrolled in a summer camp called Camp Neuro where I will have the opportunity to learn a ton about neurology, which I am considering to be my major. I even get to dissect a pig’s brain! After Camp Neuro, I have another summer program for neurology, but this one is through the National Student Leaders Conference. I am headed to DC for nine days to stay at American University and participate in labs and lectures.

My family always makes a trip up to Traverse City, Michigan to visit my grandma at the end of the summer. While the twelve-hour car trip is not fantastic, snorkeling in Mickey Lake and sailing on Long Lake will be. If I get lucky, we might even head over to Lake Michigan for a day trip.

Once I come home from Michigan, I will have to start packing for school. I still have one more trip though. One of my friends at home has a beach house in Ocean City and my family will probably stay with them for a few days. Of course, I will have to be studying Spanish as well.

After I go to the beach, the summer is pretty much over. I will be studying for my Spanish placement test, finishing up the summer work I am going to be assigned, and packing up everything I want for my junior year. It is definitely going to be a busy summer, but it will also be fun… if everything goes according to plan!

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Sky Reviews

May 8 2017

May 8

May 9 2017

May 9

May 10 2017

May 10

May 11 2017

May 11

May 12 2017

May 12

by Joey Cifelli ’19

May 8, 2017

Continental plates colliding. The raw mechanisms of the Earth at their most base form. Grinding, mashing, twisting and churning they fulfill the purpose placed upon them. That is what we are dealing with here today. Three clouds of massive proportion are about to converge upon each other, resulting in what can only be described as a larger cloud. I am urging all of you to find a safe place to reside during this monumental event. It has become too dangerous for me to keep observing this phenomenon; protect yourselves and good luck. 9.3/10

May 9, 2017

Two main elements are the focus of this sky: symmetry and the wave. Those two clouds in the rising left are near perfect mirror images of each other. They evoke the image of a pair of wings; even their placement above the remaining scattered skystuffs is reminiscent of a bird in flight. The wave begins in the background of the wings, though it becomes more prominent further south. Defined edges lead to brushed wisps, which lazily lag behind until becoming flush with the blue. 8.4/10

May 10, 2017

Today’s sky reminds me of Albert Camu’s 1947 novel The Plague, in which a mysterious disease descends upon the fictional city of Oran. Fortunately, we only have these clouds settling down on our campus, though they too are mysterious. A brave band of clear sky is the only thing stopping the mass of clouds from completely enveloping our view. Perhaps it will survive, and tomorrow will be a brighter day. 7.7/10

May 11, 2017

Well that is what I get for being optimistic. Gray skies have now taken control of the entire celestial sphere, leaving us with a bleak monotone. There is a silver lining to this, however, which is that I managed to get a helicopter in the shot. I did not even notice until I started writing, but that tiny speck in the northeast quadrant is unmistakable. Zoom in on it and you can even see the pilot. What a pleasant gift on this dreary day. 7.9/10

May 12, 2017

Same gray color today, but much more texture. The slight turmoil within the clouds gives them the appearance of cotton balls, which is always satisfying to look at. Light coming in from above washes over the top and center, eventually trickling down to the treetops. The sides and those two mounds remain darker, acting as banks to the river of illumination. This is proof that colorless skies do not always have to be boring. 8.2/10

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