Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A tale of two authors (and one thesis)

Melanie graduated from Peddie last year, now attends Babson College, and has an amazing story of learning connections. Here it is, told in the form of correspondence with two of her Peddie English teachers, Mr. Roach and Mr. Bennett.

Hey Mr. Roach and Mr. Bennett,

Hope you guys had an awesome summer! I just started college; today was actually my first day of classes! Anyway, I'm emailing you guys because remember how I told you that The Circle was my summer reading? Well, Dave Eggers is coming to my college to give a talk about it!!!!!! I'm so excited!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like such a nerd saying that haha! I really hope I get the chance to talk to him personally. I wish I could give him my senior thesis!!

Anyway, hope you guys have a great year at Peddie, and I hope you're not too jealous!!! 



This is awesome! I'm sure it will be a great talk; let us know how it goes! If we were closer to Babson, we'd even attend! Thanks for sending that along, though, and hope that school's off to a great start for you!

Mr. Bennett

Amazing! Ditto everything Bennett wrote-- Please let us know how it goes. See if you can go talk to him and tell him about your thesis/ iLife...And enjoy your first month of college! Thanks for being in touch!



I just found out that the audience will get to ask him questions during his talk, so if you guys have any iLife/Circle (or any non-technological related questions) that you want me to try and ask him, let me know!!!! 
I just gave Dave Eggers my thesis......and took a selfie with him....and he signed my book......

This is ridiculously awesome. How was the talk???

Stay human, indeed. 


It was incredibly interesting!! He talked for the first 30 minutes and then the rest was q&a - he asked the audience questions too! I took some notes (on my iPhone, of course) on some of the interesting points he made. (It's more note form than it is actual sentences, and it's also kind of long but he had A LOT to say, sorry!!):

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Coming back: A big, beautiful circle

Kieren Van Den Blink '90 is an actress and writer. A graduate of Barnard, Van Den Blink debuted on Broadway in The Diary of Anne Frank and went on to become the voice of Rogue in the animated hit series Wolverine & the X-Men. Van Den Blink recently published Sniff, the first in a series of five children's books focusing on the senses. She returned to Peddie this week to guest-teach an acting class.

 Dear Peddie School,

Thank you beyond words for two days of teaching acting class - two days that reminded me of why I loved high school, why I love acting, and why a small, but beautiful part of all of us will always be 17. Because there's an openness, a vulnerability, a curiosity, that makes life so thrilling. So fresh. And sometimes frightening. I am forever grateful to have been able to return to my beloved Peddie. I've always loved this place. And now, it feels like a big beautiful full circle coming back to campus. Wow. The passage of time can be a little heartbreaking and very, very inspiring. Thank you too all of my Peddie friends - new and old - who made this experience so memorable. And thank you to the 11 brave students whose courage made me feel more alive. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Masters dorm - a home away from home

Soo Jung '16

Master's - a home away from home
My freshman year at Peddie was awesome. Even though it was my first time living fourteen hours away from my parents (I'm from Seoul, Korea), since the enviornment was very welcoming, and since Peddie kept us busy with many different activities, I couldn't be homesick after the first week in Master's. 

Mrs. Washburn, our dorm supervisor, was like our second parent. She told us rules that we should follow in Peddie, brought board games for us, and baked cakes for our birthdays. Prefects, upperclassmen who live in Master's who helps us with our problems, were also very welcoming. I would not only go see them for advice, but I will also visit them as friends. 

Master's was such a great dorm that I decided to live in Masters again my sophomore year. As a sophomore, I was very excited (and much less nervous) to start the new year . I looked forward to singing the "Ala Viva" and bonding again with my Peddie friends during Blair Day, watching fall and winter plays acted by my friends, and attending snowball fights in Kerr field during the winter. Each year, I miss the seniors who have graduated, but I'm glad to welcome new students joining our Peddie community.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chapel talk: Ask yourself, "Will it be worth it?"

Math teacher and Peddie alumnus Mark Gartner '84 has been giving a version of this speech for many years, offering a bit of very relevant advice to students at the beginning of the academic year.

You may not know me, but you've seen me on TV. For 5 of the past 6 summers, I've been a stunt double for Bryan Cranston's character, Walter White, on the show Breaking Bad

Not really, but that would have been sweet… In reality, I am Mr. Gartner, and I work here. I’m a Peddie graduate class of 1984. I teach math, coach winter and spring track, work in Trask, and live in Kerr South. 

My Chapel talk begins now. 

It wasn’t worth it. You probably know about the 3 rising sophomores at Council Rock HS who died a couple of weeks ago when the SUV they were in rolled over while driving back from breakfast with their friends. There were 6 kids in the car which was driven by a 15 year old who didn't have a driver’s license. 

That breakfast wasn't worth it. 

 Did you hear a few weeks ago about the USC football player who injured both ankles? He jumped out window from a second floor apartment to get to a pool where his nephew was drowning. It turned out that story was a fabrication. He was climbing down the drainpipe of his girlfriend’s apartment…and fell. Instead of missing the first few games due to injury, he has been suspended from the team. 

It wasn't worth it. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

I have some good news

Becky '15 is a contributor to "The Daily Dose," a student run e-publication. Recently she shared some "advice" for students as the newness of the school year wears off...

It’s the second week of school. You’re tired. Your tan is fading. You realize that you’ve forgotten how to annotate and factor and maybe even read. You have no idea how you’re going to make it through the next nine months of binders and textbooks and spiral notebooks. But I have some wisdom to share with you, some advice that’ll make everything ok. And here it is:
The key to academic success is
 P R O C R A S T I N A T I O N
Now, I know what you’re thinking, especially all you overachievers out there.
“Procrastination is terrible!” “Procrastination is evil!” Procrastination is ruining America’s youth!”
But you’re wrong. Procrastination is a good thing. In fact, procrastination is a beautiful thing. It is a shining beacon of light and hope and joy. Procrastination made me who I am today. I believe that true creativity can only flourish in times of procrastination. Once, while avoiding writing an abstract for my sophomore year research paper, I designed a car that ran entirely on iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Just this past week, instead of studying for my math test, I created a life-size replica of Mr. Quinn made entirely of jelly beans and Snapple caps.  Rather than rehearse my Spanish presentation, I actually spent the last two hours writing and illustrating a children’s book about the innumerable hardships of being a squirrel on Peddie’s campus.
Obviously, you get the point; procrastination leads to greatness. And you, too, can achieve that greatness! I guarantee it. Anything is possible when you put your mind to something, and then avoid it for 8 to 12 hours. So throw that math homework under your bed and toss that English reading out the window. The real work begins now.
And, I’ll let you in on a secret.  Instead of doing my work last night, I wrote the 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Home away from home: A special celebration

Dr. Jiang, Chinese teacher and Chinese club advisor, describes Peddie's celebration of the traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Chinese Culture Club and the International Student Organization co-sponsored a

Mid-Autumn Festival celebration to observe one of the most important Chinese traditional holidays in the Caspersen History House on Sunday night. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Illuminating center campus

Mecca '16 shares the spirit of center campus

My favorite place at Peddie is center campus, 
especially during the Fall and Spring. 

 I love seeing people working and playing there, enjoying the wonderful weather Peddie is always lucky to have. 

 Watching the boys play frisbee and the girls sit on the benches 
indulging in girl talk are a couple of the things that make center campus so lively.