Senior Girls Go “Glamping”

Written by: Taylor Tucker ’16

Our Senior Girls’ Camping Trip was an experience unlike any other. For the girls in the Class of 2016, this was such a unique opportunity to bond with each other. My classmates and I opened up to one another; we shared our high school memories and future dreams while we laughed and cried together.

On Wednesday, August 12, the senior girls of the class of 2016 rolled into the student parking lot, suitcases in tow, bound for Cape Henlopen. Dressed in outfits ranging from shorts and T-shirts to printed rompers, we soon donned bright pink “I heart Auks” T-shirts as we gathered around the fountain for a prayer before embarking on our three-day “glamping” trip.

IMG_0957

And… we’re off! During the drive down, we jammed to our favorite songs and throwback tunes from our grade school days. So many fun activities awaited us at Youth Camp #3! We relaxed on the beach with morning yoga, sat in silence under the clear night sky watching shooting stars, designed boards with our hopes and dreams for senior year, and bonded during our late night chats. We also shared a few laughs and tears as we reminisced and wondered about the lives ahead of us. Our final night we shared a pizza dinner and embarked on a one-of-a-kind scavenger hunt along the boardwalk in Rehoboth. The following morning we gathered together on the beach and watched the sun rise over the ocean horizon.

IMG_0977

On August 14 at 11 am, we said goodbye to Youth Camp #3 and hello to what will be one of the best years of our lives. The three days we spent at Cape Henlopen provided us with the chance to forge and strengthen our friendships that will see us through end of the school year and beyond. Go Lady Auks 2016!

For freshmen at Archmere, it’s a great time of year!

Father John Zagarella, O. Praem, former headmaster and current guidance counselor for the Class of 2018, shares his thoughts on why 2nd quarter is the most wonderful time of the year, especially for our freshmen. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Doesn’t that sound like a great opening line for a Christmas song? Ah yes, but drat the luck, I do believe that somebody already took it (namely Edward Pola and George Wyle when they wrote the song in 1963)! While they were certainly thinking about Christmas, they probably never dreamed it would apply to this time in the life of a freshman at Archmere Academy. You see, from my perspective as the Guidance Counselor of Archmere’s Class of 2018, it really is the most wonderful time of this particular year.

The flip-flops of summer are a memory, and so, it seems, are the flip-flops of a new Auk’s tummy as the thrills and chills of transition befell him or her like an emotional avalanche (or like confetti at a Lady Gaga concert). It stands to reason…new school, new teachers, new classmates, new schedule, even new school colors, for Heaven’s sake!   And a big, beautiful campus to figure out…with just four minutes in between classes to get un-lost! Then we need to figure out of it’s an A Day, an H Day or a D Day. Am I free this period or am I supposed to be in Honors Bio? Oops! I forgot my appointment with Father Zagarella!! OK, so that last one is still happening. But I am a counselor and I DO understand (and I DO run all over campus looking for them when they miss an appointment).

Yes, the first three months of life as an Auk are surely challenging ones. It IS a major transition for our students. But what a great place for our freshmen and transfer students to experience this new beginning. You see, Archmere is a happy place. The faculty, staff and students are happy (Mamma Mia, even the Principal is happy!)…and also are happy to help. Our new students know that from the minute that their parents turn onto Manor Ave that first day of school. You remember the scene…our seniors and faculty cheering the new Auks on with a warm and welcoming joyful noise. YES!

This time of year happens every year at Archmere, but only once in the life of a student. It is the most wonderful time of this year when our freshmen “get it”! They CAN excel academically and, at the same time, they CAN achieve athletically and/or artistically and at the same time they CAN figure out which class drops on an E Day! To be sure, from Labor Day to Thanksgiving the change within a new Auk is palpable…from blank stares to toothy smiles! They know they fit in and they do; they know they are in a safe place and that they are loved…and indeed they are! Go AUKS. Pietate et Scientia.

IMG_0092

Archmere is Thankful for Dedicated Teachers (and Students)!

Mr. Stephen Klinge has been teaching English at Archmere for 30 years.  Below, he comments on why he has dedicated his life’s work to teaching at Archmere. Thank you, Mr. Klinge, for three decades of inspiring and challenging English classes!

Archmere’s a good place for students; it’s also a good place for teachers. I started teaching here in 1984, twenty-three years old and fresh out of grad school. I’d gone to grad school because I wasn’t sure what to do with a college English major. I’d left grad school because I became more interested in teaching than in pursuing the politics of Ph.D.-level academics. I loved literature and liked writing, and I was eager to live in a world where I could share that appreciation with others.

Archmere turned out to be a perfect fit. I found mentors and role-models inside and outside the English department, teachers like Dave Barnard and Pat Appleton and Don Staley, Paul Clemens and Paul Pomeroy and Lou D’Angelo. I found a school with bright students who expected challenges, which meant I had to challenge myself. Or, more appropriately, which meant I could continually challenge myself.

I’m teaching Hamlet now in my junior classes, and I’ve taught it almost every year I’ve been at Archmere. The play still fascinates me, but what I find more exciting now is sharing the experience with bright students encountering it for the first time. And I love talking about good writing, both in literature and in student papers. Although I don’t want to think about the hours I’ve spent grading essays (those hours surely add up to months of my life by now), I believe in the value of what I do, which keeps me going when I resent the time grading all those research papers every year takes. (Note to my students: I wrote “even when I’m resentful of the time” and just revised it, omitting one to be verb and condensing the language. Revision helps. I believe that.)

Archmere’s a good place for a teacher to devote a life to for many of the same reasons it’s a good place for a student to devote four years to. It’s a supportive community that values learning, fosters creativity and promotes excellence. It’s a good place for teachers in part because it’s a good place for students.

And vice versa. – Steve Klinge

20141125_104451

Lady Auks climbed the mountain as a family

On November 10, 2014 Archmere Academy’s Varsity Girls’ volleyball team won the state championship after a 28 year drought. They didn’t win because they had a ringer. They didn’t win with power hitters. They won because they worked together as a team, as a family, and because when Auks fly together, they accomplish amazing things. Emily Dentinger, a member of the team, reflects on the win with a week’s worth of retrospect. 

 

The ball hit the ground.

It wasn’t like in the movies, when a moment of complete silence pervades the gym. It was just noise. So much noise. We had just won the State Championship, and we were screaming.

Looking back on the season, I don’t recall any signs of a championship team. We never spoke of the state title because, frankly, we did not think that we had a shot. Don’t get me wrong- we wanted to win. We just didn’t think we could.

On August 18th, the first day of practice, Coach told us that we had a mountain to climb. That statement meant that a.) the season was going to be a trek, and b.) we should all get on the end line to run a revised suicide, aptly called a ‘mountain.’ Our early practices were filled with high hopes, passionate determination, and, of course, tons of conditioning drills. As the season went on, something became very apparent. Not only did the players realize this, but so the coaches and other teams. We were not the best volleyball players in the state. We were athletic. We had heart. But we didn’t have a hitter that could put the ball away. We didn’t have power.

Attending a school with an extremely rigorous curriculum and extremely high standards taught me, above all things, that I have to acknowledge my weaknesses (and I have to manage my time, but that’s a different story). I have to acknowledge that integrating trig functions and finding the impulse of an elastic collision is not my strong point. I can’t pretend that I know what I’m doing. I can’t fake my way through a class.

That was the attitude of our team. We acknowledged that we had a fundamental weakness in the front row. We knew that we were not as strong as many of our opponents. I strongly believe that our acknowledgement of our weakness was the key to our success. Because we acknowledged this shortcoming, we were able to adapt. We didn’t accept our weakness, we worked through it.

That being said, the real strength of our team wasn’t a skill or a specific player or anything actually volleyball related. Our strength was our commitment to each other and our relationship as a team, both on and off the court. We are Auks. We are family. We trust each other and we need each other. Playing with this group of girls was easy in the sense that we had good chemistry on the court. Archmere is a haven for passionate people. I don’t think I could have asked for any more heart or dedication; each and every player was so invested in and devoted to this team and its success.

I mentioned at the beginning that every player on the team was screaming as the final ball dropped, resulting in our victory. Well fifteen screaming girls doesn’t account for the extremely high decibel level in that gym. Archmere is a family, and it was our family that was screaming from the stands, drowning out any and every other sound. Community isn’t a strong enough word to describe the Auks, it isn’t powerful enough to capture the essence of Archmere. When we didn’t believe that we, as a team, could win the state title, we had 600 fans and friends to believe for us. That is family.

— Emily Dentinger ’15

Vball