The Eighth Page

A Typical Day My alarm goes off at 6:45 a.m., but I’m usually up by 5:00 a.m. Last night’s eleven hours of sleep feel good on my eyes. I have enough time to get dressed and have breakfast. I’m not late for history, which is great for me, because I prepared an extra presentation for today’s class. I enjoy my teacher’s monotonous lectures on World War II. Hitler was a bad man. All School Meeting grabs my attention and holds it for forty minutes straight. Those pews are so comfortable! I almost decide to sit there for an extra half hour, but I have to immerse myself in the diversity of this campus during a tasty lunch. Sports practice goes well, but since I’m never stressed out, the endorphins may have been wasted on me. I have enough time to do all my homework—twice! My roommate (not a jerk from Hong Kong who always smells like King’s Subs) is awesome. He helps me come to terms with my personal beliefs so I may present them to my friends in an appropriate forum. After a typical life-altering experience, I head off for some shut-eye. My words to live by: “In bed by seven, you’ll go to heaven!” Alexander & Anthony Alexander and Anthony are African American students here at Andover. Yes, you heard correctly, they are African American, and we here at the Admissions Office could not be more proud! They hail from the state of Indiana, but have roots along Africa’s western seaboard. Admissions and the PA community really appreciate how truly African these two boys are! Alexander and Anthony are the type of students who make Phillips Academy such a diverse place. Our secret committee on diversity scored them a 9.7 out of ten on the diversity scale, and while this is quite an astounding ranking, it is certainly not the highest ever handed out. Our diversity staff here at Phillips Academy has given some of our multiracial students scores well over 10, throwing our $100,000 Diversity Ranker 2008 machine into quite a frenzy. This data simply reiterates one of the great things about PA: nobody here is at all like you, and we are really, really, ridiculously diverse. With these guys around, you’ll never be special. -Billy Fowkes Ludwig Everyone at Phillips Academy is far inferior to the genius that is Ludwig. An artistic prodigy, Ludwig was composing on the grand piano at the ripe age of four months. When asked how he was able to read music at such an advanced level, Ludwig did not respond—he had not yet learned to speak. During the summer before his admission to Andover, at the age of nine, Ludwig was selected as a member of the Piano Orchestra for Outstanding Performers (POOP) for a terrific performance in which he played Pachabel’s Canon, painted the Mona Lisa, starred in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and sang the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air all at the same time. When asked where his remarkable talents come from, Ludwig shrugged and said, “I guess God likes me better than everybody else.” In his spare time, Ludwig enjoys participating in community service. Once every week, Ludwig holds a clinic in which he teaches elementary school children to play the guitar. “I remember when I was first learning to play an instrument,” says Ludwig. “It’s nice because I can kind of relate to them. No, wait. I guess I can’t.” A master in almost every single aspect of the performing arts, Ludwig now spends his days struggling to set goals for his future. “When you’re this good,” he admits, “It’s really hard to get any better.” -Greg Hanafin Ezekiel From the moment Ezekiel spoke his first word (“denominator”), his parents knew that he was destined for a life of home schooling. The rest is history. Ezekiel grew under the tutelage of his mother until he was fourteen, at which time he graduated to high school, which was taught by his father in the second floor den. “Being home-schooled really opened my eyes to how much time people waste doing stuff like ‘hanging out.’” In his spare time, Ezekiel says he likes to organize Lucky Charms marshmallows, calculate the value of pi and sit in his room playing chess with himself. When asked what his favorite sport is, Ezekiel replied, “Wait, what?” His parents believe that Ezekiel could be the President of the United States, but Ezekiel has different views. “I don’t want to be President because I’d have to talk to people and whatnot. What I really want is to become the best Lego architect in the world.” It is this type of commitment to the pursuit of knowledge that makes Ezekiel special. It’s what makes Andover special. -Will Adams Efner Coming in as a new lower from the far-away land of North Dakota, Efner McMurphy is adjusting well to his new Andover home. An experienced farmer, cattle brander and tractor racer, Efner brings diverse and special talents to our wonderful Andover community. Having a mother who weaves baskets for a living and a father who sells dried animal manure, Efner is a unique mixture of the two. Prior to Andover, Efner had been home-schooled since age 6. His vast knowledge of pluses, take-aways and North Dakota’s deep and inspiring history have helped Efner succeed in his new environment. Efner said, “I have adapted well to the school and have also managed to maintain my 2.0 GPA.” With this kind of wisdom and cunning, Efner strives to balance a rigorous schedule of homework and being from North Dakota. “North Dakota is the nation’s number one producer of sunflower seeds,” said Efner. Efner is a young man from a small town with big dreams, which is one of the reasons why he chose Andover. When asked what he wants to do with his life after school, Efner said, “I’ll probably go back to North Dakota.” -Ben Prawdzik Xiao Meng As a concert cellist, president of such clubs as the Andover Science Club, Andover Economics Society, Philomathean Society and Amnesty International, an internationally recognized chess grandmaster, contributor to Scientific American and Time magazines, and a Nobel Prize, Emmy and Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award Winner, Xiao Meng could be called quite a busy little beaver. But Xiao’s aptitude in so many areas was no mistake. She attributes her accomplishments to her parents, who pushed her to succeed from an early age. “When I was six years old, my parents bought me a cello and a chess set,” explains Xiao, “and they told me that I would be shunned until I could play Brahms’ Double Concerto and defeat Bobby Fischer in a game of chess at the same time. Even though it was a long three hours, I managed to achieve that goal and earn my parents’ respect.” Still, Xiao takes all her accomplishments in stride. “It’s tough, but I manage to get everything done. Mostly by not sleeping. I haven’t slept in 11 days. I can’t even feel feelings right now.” -B.J. Garry Akimoto Meet Akimoto (Aki) Smith from Ontario, Canada. A gifted debater, Aki is also ethnic. That’s right—Aki has more roots than a large pine. Being part White, Black, Asian, and Icelandic, Aki is very in tune with the diversity and culture of Phillips Academy (which ironically was founded by people who killed Indians for sport). But of course, her race means nothing to us—only her sexuality does. So, you might be wondering, “What else does Akimoto Smith do that shows her passion for knowledge, while also conveniently promoting the school’s diversity and social acceptance?” Well, she is also a very politically minded person. Andover’s focus on individuality allows anyone to spit out doctrine of their respective political party in order to seem intelligent, engaged and better than those around them. Aki often gets in heated arguments with her “close friend” Patti. They freely discuss race and sexuality, which are two subjects that our intelligent, diverse students often discuss here in our diverse, intelligent community. -Ben Nichols