Sleep Challenge Winner Averages Eleven Hours of Sleep Every Night

Daphné Gatte ’16 prepares herself a cup of Tazo Earl Grey tea every morning. She allows herself one caffeinated drink per day, usually before 2:00 p.m., but she said she consumes herbal tea as a replacement. Her mindful consumption of caffeine is one of the things that she cites as a reason for her victory in Head of School John Palfrey’s sleep challenge.

Palfrey issued his sleep challenge for the entire month of October as a means of encouraging students to think about the amount of sleep they typically get.
“Can you get more sleep than I do? You are challenged: for the month of October, log your nightly sleep using any form of tracking — on a gadget or on a plain sheet of paper, it doesn’t matter. The honor system governs. I will also track my amount of sleep on a daily basis,” wrote Palfrey in an email to the student body.

Gatte averaged 11 hours and 10 minutes of sleep per night, earning her the title as the student who logged the most hours of sleep. Although Gatte felt as if she was not qualified to compete due to the fact that she spent a week in Isham and a few days at Lawrence General Hospital, Gatte typically tries to go to bed every night by 10pm and wakes up before 9am.

“I am a sleeping person. I go to sleep at 10, I have first free and I sleep as late as I can. I really think that my mood and my productivity is linked to the amount of sleep I get. I try to get as much sleep as possible but in a place like Andover, that’s kind of impossible,” said Gatte.

Gatte has a strict protocol before she goes to bed. She tries to avoid eating or exercising an hour before sleeping and turns off her devices 15 minutes prior to settling down in bed.

“I read and I like writing Chinese characters before bed because it’s a moment in which I can relax while being efficient. Since you’re focusing on the lines, your mind is already calm and it’s less active,” she said.

As a Post Graduate (PG) from France, Gatte understands that not everyone is in her position and that other students may have a bigger workload than she does. According to Gatte, she is relieved from the pressure that Seniors and other PGs may have about the college application process because she has already been admitted to a university.

“I think that to get more sleep, students have to think that sleeping is as important that their academic results. It’s difficult, though; Students have the pressure of their grades so I can’t say that because I have it easy… But even if you’re tired during the day, just taking a nap helps,” said Gatte.

At the end of the competition, Palfrey gave out two FitBits. As the winner, Gatte won a Fitbit of her choice. All students participating in the sleep challenge received gift cards and were entered in a raffle for the second FitBit. Justin Muchnick ’16 won the raffle.

“This competition just has to do with our emphasis on well-being and the fact that I believe that excellence in academics and other aspects of life can be consistent with getting enough sleep,” said Palfrey.

He continued, “[Getting more sleep] is something I work on all the time. I have a very busy job that pulls me in lots of different directions, but I feel like I perform better in every way if I’ve gotten at least eight hours of sleep, so that’s my goal for [the] month: to get eight hours of better sleep.”

Community Engagement Office Host First Open House Introducing Attendees to Programs

As music echoed around the Mural Room, members of the Andover community walked among tables lined with poster boards displaying various Community Engagement programs. Held on Tuesday evening, the Community Engagement Office held their first open house that introduced attendees to all 32 organizations affiliated with the office.

Each individual program, including The Boys and Girls Club, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Pen Pals, featured posters describing their program activities at their respective tables. In addition, student community engagement coordinators stood at their designated program tables to answer questions and share personal experiences.

“I think community engagement is just so different from any other interaction that you can have at Andover… You’re getting to work and learn with a bunch of different people and I think that’s a really great experience that Andover offers. And it’s just another way to learn,” said Lizzie McGonagle ’16, a coordinator of Bread Loaf Writing Workshop and Pen Pals.

In hopes of increasing awareness of existing Community Engagement programs offered to students on campus, the open house was an opportunity for students to learn about new programs in which they might be interested.

“We have 32 programs that meet on a weekly basis with hundreds and hundreds of students. We just wanted to share what our students are doing every week with our community partners, both to students and faculty as well… we just want students to see that it is possible to fit [community engagement programs] into [their] very busy lives,” said Monique Cueto-Potts, Director of Community Engagement.

The decision to hold the open house came after the department changed its name from the Office of Community Service to the Office of Community Engagement over the summer. Along with the new name change, the Office of Community Engagement plans to focus on promoting education regarding the importance of engaging a community.

“We wanted to think of the work that we’re doing less as service – something we’re going to do to other people – and more about engagement where we’re learning… from other people as they are learning from us… It’s more about working with each other than us going and bestowing our goodness upon others,” said Cueto-Potts.

McGonagle feels the office name change is an attempt to create a bigger and more inclusive Community Engagement presence on campus.

“I think a lot of what the office does is think about campus outreach and how we can work with other places – not necessarily work [with] other places as a service but work with them in [a way where] we’re trying to collaborate and learn something from the people,” said McGonagle.

“We want to feel like we’re not going into communities to help them or serve them, but rather to engage with them and learn from them ourselves,” added Jenny Huang ’16, a coordinator of the Youth Development Organization Acting program.

According to Julia Howard, Fellow in Community Engagement, the Community Engagement Office also hopes to make their office, currently located in the basement of the chapel, more visible and available for students on campus.

“[Something] that we’re working on this year is to make our office more visible on campus because we do all these fantastic programs and so many students participate in them every year… hopefully [this open house] will bring these programs more to life for everyone in the community,” said Howard.

The Community Engagement Office believes that the posters, quotes and pictures at the open house effectively showcased the different programs on campus.
“The posters [at the open house were] a good demonstration of the school’s community [engagement],” said Warren Christopher ’18, an attendee of the event. “The Andover Bread Loaf Society is doing some great work… I would like to join the service in the future.”

‘KidSpirit’ to Provoke Discussion on Sensitive Topics around Campus

Upon coming to Andover, Skyler Sallick ’17 was amazed by the wide variety of discussions about beliefs and cultures on campus. Witnessing this dialogue inspired Sallick to bring “KidSpirit,” a magazine and website focusing on issues related to race, gender and religion, to Andover this year.

With satellite editorial boards in New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Maryland, California and New York, “KidSpirit” allows young people to explore topics pertaining to spiritual development from a variety of perspectives, according to the publication’s website.

Sallick said, “[‘KidSpirit’] creates this inclusive forum for people between the ages of 11 and 17 to talk about life’s big questions and to explore spiritual development in some ways… it’s very much personal experience [because] you’re writing about making connections with what happens in your life and what happens in other people’s lives,”

Sallick first found out about “KidSpirit” from her brother, Greer Sallick ’14, who was on the board of “KidSpirit” at his middle school. Through discussions with her brother, she became increasingly aware of the wide variety of issues that students around the world face.

“Once I figured out that what we were talking about on campus was something that was similar to what ‘KidSpirit’ was talking about, and they kind of went really well together, I reached out to the founding editor,” said Skyler Sallick.

Sallick believes that “KidSpirit” will encourage students to open up and talk about issues both within and without the Andover community.

“We [still] have a lot of different things that we can talk about with ‘KidSpirit’ that really, with Andover, we don’t really talk about… for example, a few weeks ago I was at a conference and we did a panel and talked about… why it’s important to be involved in discussions about interfaith, which is something we don’t really talk about around campus,” Skyler Sallick said.

In addition, Sallick also hopes that the global nature of “KidSpirit” will offer Andover students a wider range of perspectives: in the last issue alone, the publication’s writers hailed from over 15 different countries.

“What we talk about is different than most of the world because ‘KidSpirit’ is so global and so inclusive so that there’s all these different perspectives that you wouldn’t otherwise see because of the Andover bubble issue,” she said.

As both the ambassador for the club and an editor for the magazine on campus, Sallick helps with the organization of everyone’s articles, plans the monthly meetings and reads through the articles before they are submitted to the magazine. When suggested themes are brought to the main editorial board stationed in New York for consideration and are later approved, the club at Andover writes about how the issue relates to problems on campus as well.

So far, Andover’s branch of “KidSpirit” has contributed several articles to the magazine and two of the articles have been published in “The Huffington Post,” Sallick said.

“I think that what we have going so far is really working. It’s giving students voices in something bigger than just Andover,” she said. Sallick said that more Andover students will become involved and provide new opinions and beliefs for “KidSpirit.”

“I think that’s something special that Andover can contribute to the magazine: the fact that we do talk every day and we are having all of these open conversations as a high school community… We can give a little something extra to the things that we write,” she added.

Teaching Fellows Supported By Faculty Members Through Orientation and Weekly Seminars

As summer drew to a close and students began planning for Fall Term, Teaching Fellows also began preparing for their year at Andover. For many fellows, this would be their first experience teaching at a boarding school. Just as systems are in place for supporting new students who feel nervous about beginning their Andover career, Teaching Fellows are aided in their transition to Andover by an orientation program developed by the Dean of Faculty’s Office.

Teaching Fellow orientation lasts several days and includes seminars, meetings and discussions aimed at preparing fellows to be involved in the Andover community. In these seminars, teaching fellows are trained on subjects such as syllabi planning and student diversity.

“I remember we had one event where we could just sit down and discuss syllabus and designing syllabi, and work within our department groups so that we could share ideas and figure out what it meant to plan a class… It was super useful for teaching fellows especially, because for a lot of us, it’s our first time teaching, and that discussion on the classroom really helped,” said Andrea Acosta, Teaching Fellow in English.

Teaching fellows are also assigned a department mentor with whom they can meet to discuss questions about their coursework. Although some fellows have official meetings with their mentors every few weeks, many others see their mentors on a daily basis. The frequency of their meetings varies from pair to pair.

“[My mentor, Peter Watt, Instructor in Physics, and I], our desks are right next to each other, so we talk to each other a lot… I bounce ideas off of him, see how he does certain lesson plans and use it as a guide… It’s a really nice feeling to talk to [Watt]. He’s been teaching Physics 400 for like 30 years, so he really knows what he’s doing,” said John Tortorello, Teaching Fellow in Physics.

In addition, Yasmine Allen, Instructor in Spanish, leads weekly seminars each Thursday for the teaching fellows. These meetings offer teaching fellows the opportunity to share their problems and concerns with each other.

“Every week, [the teaching fellow seminars] usually range. There’s a range of topics from technology in classrooms to the attitude that you should convince your students to have,” said Alex Djamoos, Teaching Fellow in Russian.

“I think that the week by week structure of [the seminars] makes sure that we’re supported and that if there’s any problems, then they’re addressed. If there’s something you can’t bring up with your mentor or is unrelated to your class [and] more related to your dorm, they have structures in place for those concerns to be raised and then addressed,” said Acosta.

As recent college graduates, teaching fellows had to adjust to life as a teacher for the first time, which includes a full schedule of new commitments.

“For me it was probably just that it was the first year out of college, first year not as a student. I don’t really think it would matter what my job would be. It was different and it was harder in many ways because you don’t live on a campus full of all your friends and… you’re more independent,” said Tortorello.
“Two things [were difficult to adjust to]. The first thing was buildings not having [air conditioning], and it was hot! I just moved here from Texas, so it was kind of weird for me not to have AC in buildings. Also, having a very full schedule… all these things happening. My head is always full with what I’m going to do,” said Djamoos.

Despite the difficulty of their sudden immersion into campus life, Acosta says that she, as a teaching fellow, is treated as an equal by more experienced faculty members in the workplace.

“The English Department is very conscientious about treating everybody – new faculty, old faculty, teaching fellows – as equals in faculty spaces… It is very apparent that they really want our opinions and our voices, because even though we’re younger and less experienced, we have the most recent scholarship and the most recent sense of how English is being taught at a university level right now,” said Acosta.

“They affirm time and time again that we are important and valuable, and should speak up to offer our opinions. I’ve never found any problems with that,” she continued.

PA-Stacios Grow Mustaches To Raise Awareness for Men’s Health

At the end of each November, Scott Hoenig, Instructor in Mathematics, shaves the mustache that he devoted the entire month to growing, taking photos as bits of his mustache are shorn off and the skin underneath is revealed. For the first time in a month, he is able to feel the breeze along his upper lip.
Hoenig is a member of the PA-Stacios, the first team at Andover devoted to Movember, a month in which males around the world grow out mustaches in support of men’s health.

PA-Stacios started in 2012 under the leadership of Hoenig and Mark Cutler, Instructor in Spanish. The team, which has evolved over the past four years, now boasts 16 members, all of which are are committed to growing the best mustaches they can this month to support men’s health.

The PA-Stacios are part of an international organization called the Movember Foundation. The Movember Foundation donates more than 650 million dollars to over 1,000 international programs aimed at treating prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and physical inactivity in men, according the Movember Foundation website.

The goal for the PA-Stacios is both to raise money for the Movember Foundation and to raise awareness for men’s health within the Andover community.

Cutler said, “When you’re part of a team, there’s the added benefit of being able to raise money and awareness for men’s health—supporting public messaging and research for prostate cancer, mental health, obesity, etc. That’s the most important aspect of Movember, in my opinion.”

“One thing I like is that Movember helps get men talking about health issues – sometimes it seems like men shouldn’t talk about stuff like that – especially mental health issues – but it’s so important to create an environment where men do feel comfortable talking about it,” said Hoenig.

Hoenig was first asked to participate in Movember in 2011 by his college friend who lived in Bordeaux, France. Before starting PA-Stacios, Hoenig was part of the Bordeaux Mustache Factory, another team who also engaged in Movember. Though Hoenig was not living in France, he stayed connected to his team through the Movember website and through Facebook.

Hoenig said, “Since I was the only faculty member on campus growing a mustache from scratch, I got a lot of questions and a lot of odd looks. Several colleagues and friends said they’d like to do it the next year, and that’s how the PA-Stacios got started.”

Over the years, Hoenig and Cutler have enlisted the help of others interested in the cause around campus, including Donald Slater, Instructor in History and Social Science.

“I am a huge hockey fan and was first introduced to Movember while watching a Boston Bruins game years ago. I was accustomed to playoff beards, but was at first confused by the mid-season mustache,” said Slater.

Encouraged by Cutler and Hoenig to join the PA-Stacios in 2012, Slater has been an avid participant ever since.

“Camaraderie and a good cause drive my participation in Movember,” said Slater. “Certainly the most enjoyable part of Movember is participating in the event with a bunch of great guys at Andover and comparing mustache progress at meetings, Commons and on campus pathways.”

The members of the PA-Stacios affectionately refer to one another as Mo-Bros. According to Hoenig, members try to complement each other rather than compete for the most impressive mustache.

“The most challenging part is rocking the mustache itself. Truth be told, I think I look pretty goofy with a mustache,” said Slater.

Another member of the PA-Stacios is Stephen Silversides, Associate Director of College Counseling. Hoenig and Cutler recruited Silversides to the team during the first year of PA-Stacios. Silversides recalls seeing Hoenig with a mustache five years prior to the formation of the team, a memory that interested him in the cause.

“It certainly piqued my curiosity as I knew nothing about Movember at the time. After learning more about the movement, I committed to growing a mustache every year as a means of supporting the cause,” said Silversides.

Part of the PA-Stacios pledge is to participate with full effort in growing the best mustache possible; no beards or goatees are allowed. During Movember, participants are permitted to groom their mustaches – while some men use wax, Hoenig uses shampoo – he has not gotten into the fine art of waxing, he said.

“It’s itchy when you grow it from scratch and it takes longer to shave in the morning,” said Hoenig. “Movember is officially just during the month of November, but I typically keep my mustache through mid-to-late December. Once you put that much time and effort into growing it, it’s tough to let it go.”

Rather than feeling worried about how his mustache will look on him, Silversides seems to be more concerned with how his mustache will be styled.

“Every year, I hope my hair follicles will enable me to grow an epic mustache, the likes of those sported by Clark Gable, Rollie Fingers or Tom Selleck. I would also settle for upper lip stylings of Ron Burgundy or The Monopoly Man,” said Silversides.

Members of the PA-Stacios gather at the end of every November to commemorate their participation in the Movember challenge. Their celebration is accompanied by multiple boxes of pizza; the events of the night all leading up to the grand election for the “Man of Movember,” the one member of the team displaying the best mustache.

“It’s been a great way to get to know colleagues in a different way, to raise some money for a good cause and to have fun looking a little ridiculous,” said Hoenig.