“You can get lost in the music for hours, honey.”

And you can, if you happen to be listening to the second album released by Seattle indie-folk band The Head and the Heart.

The first single, “Shake” was released in October.  The band performed the song on The Late Show with David Letterman, with Letterman making jokes about joining the band on tour.

The 6-part group: Josiah Johnson(vocals, guitar, percussion), Jonathan Russell(vocals, guitar, percussion), Charity Rose Thielen (violin, vocals), Chris Zasche (bass), Kenny Hensley (piano), and Tyler Williams (drums) released their self-titled album in 2009.

The band received a cult following, going from selling self-burned CD’s in denim sleeves to signing a contract with Sub Pop in 2010. They spent the next two years touring the US and Europe, opening for Vampire Weekend, Iron and Wine, and Death Cab for Cutie, among others.

If you haven’t heard the first album, go listen to “Rivers and Roads” and “Lost in My Mind” right now. (You’ve probably already heard them, “Rivers and Roads” was used in season 7 of How I Met Your Mother and “Lost in my Mind” was used in the trailer for Silver Linings Playbook.)

The band’s folkesque style continues in Let’s Be Still with the melodic vocals, captivating violin and guitar parts in “10,000 Weight in Gold” and “Cruel”.

Yes, it may be “sad hipster music”, but it’s really good sad hipster music. So snuggle up in your thrift store sweater, brew a cup of organic Rooibos tea, and play Let’s Be Still out of your speaker system.

Standout Songs: Let’s Be Still, Homecoming Heroes, Fire/Fear, Gone, 10,000 Weight in Gold, Cruel.

For Fans of: Gregory Alan Isakov, Passenger, Mumford and Sons, Ben Howard, City and Colour

Buy Here

Written by Katy Perry and many others over the last year in Stockholm and Santa Barbara, the singer’s third album is definitely less bubblegum pop than 2010’s Teenage Dream, but not entirely a return to her “above the status-quo” ballads on One of the Boys, her first album released in 2008.

Perry has not been withholding her inspiration for PRISM; her divorce from Russell Brand is the subject of “By the Grace of God”, and her new relationship with John Mayer is rumored to have inspired many songs on the album.

Don’t worry, though, the album still provides some of the girl-power anthems Katy Perry is famous for: the #1 single “Roar” and “International Smile”.

The one collaboration on the album, “Dark Horse” with Juicy J, has an interestingly “Trappy” beat and a rap portion, something different from the rest of the album.

All in all, if you are needing a new workout jam or song to slave through calculus with, PRISM might be for you.

Standout Songs: Roar, Dark Horse, Birthday, Spiritual, By The Grace of God, Unconditionally

For Fans of: Taylor Swift, Ellie Goulding

Buy Here 

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“Let’s get there at 5:30. No, 5:20. No, 5:15. No, 5:00. Yup, let’s get there at 5:00.”

These words were on the tongue of every single student as they eagerly awaited Chef’s Table: the annual dinner where Bon Appetit chefs from various other schools and colleges join the Thacher kitchen staff in order to host one of the most celebrated events of the year.

Whispers of Chef’s Table filled the air over a week before the actual dinner. By Sunday, it was the biggest and latest news around campus.

I can’t speak for the other students around, but I’d been looking forward to Chef’s Table since I arrived on campus in September. The creme brulee that Robin had made last year was burned into my mind. Every other week I would stare at the online menu. When was Chef’s Table going to come?

To my delight, Chef’s Table was announced for November 12th. I prepared to go early. In fact, by the time I sat down with my first dish, dinner technically hadn’t started.

Food Service Director Richard Maxwell works with local farmers, like Robert "BD" Dautch, to ensure Thacher maintains its commitment to sustainability in all forms. In addition to Chef's Table, the Bon Appetit staff have helped plan events like "Eat Local Challenge" from earlier this year.
Food Service Director Richard Maxwell works with local farmers, like Robert “BD” Dautch, to ensure Thacher maintains its commitment to sustainability in all forms. In addition to Chef’s Table, the Bon Appetit staff, as part of their company’s mission, have helped plan events like the successful “Eat Local Challenge” from earlier this year.

I tasted almost every dish, excluding the flatbread. By the time my friends and I stumbled back to our dorms, we were so full that we were sure we’d all put on another ten pounds. Satisfied, we went happily to rest our full bellies.

Felicia Jiang ‘14 commented that she loved the desserts. “They had excellent desserts, and it is the best dinner of the year besides the holiday banquet.”

In a recent survey of Chef’s Table, most students were extremely satisfied with the event with 53% of respondents giving a score of 5 out of 5. Most seemed absolutely delighted with the food turned out by both our usual staff, headed by Executive Chef Ismael Martin and Director Richard Maxwell, and the guest chefs who came over from other schools. An overwhelming majority of students clamored for Chef’s Table more frequently, including myself. I know it must be a tiring endeavour, but the amazing food produced is incomparable.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” Maxwell commented, “but the excitement that fills the Dining Hall during the Chef’s Table makes it fun. It’s also the one night when using a tray is cool!”

While most students appeared satisfied, a few complaints had to deal with the variety of food. Some students lamented that the quality of food had been decreasing through the years.

“It was better last year,” was a sentiment echoed by several students.

I certainly felt more hyped up for Chef’s Table last year and this year as I lay on my bed recovering from the feast, I didn’t feel quite as satisfied.

Still, Chef’s Table remains an outstanding idea that I will continue to look forward to each and every year it occurs. Hopefully as the next two years come to pass, Chef’s Table will continue to improve, both in variety and quality of food.

Until then, I’ll just have to keep hoping (along with the majority of the school population) that somehow, miraculously, Chef’s Table comes back more than once a year.

By now, everyone knows about the typhoon that swept through the Philippines.

Though sympathetic, the students at Thacher are clearly distanced from the destruction left in the storm’s wake. What fewer people know is that the typhoon in the Philippines much more clearly impacts those in Thacher than we may understand.

Jasmin Arculli ‘17, a freshman at Thacher, hails from the Philippines.

Her parents currently still reside in the Philippines and while the disaster still remains far away for her, it is very real for her parents, who are currently helping with relief efforts through volunteer work and relief packs.

“Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do at Thacher,” Arculli admits.

The infamous Thacher bubble has a tendency to close students in and they are often late to realize the significance of important events. As the end of the trimester draws to a close, there is very little that Thacher students can still do before heading onto break.

Arculli suggests that a snack bar in the winter trimester might be the best way for Thacher students to raise money.

While Typhoon Haiyan may be thousands of miles away on the other side of the world, it’s important for Thacher students to go the extra mile to be up to date with the news and try to help where they can.

We don’t have to always be completely closed off to the world. To learn how to help, see Ana Levy’s report below.

Debris lines the streets of Tacloban, Leyte island. This region was the worst affected by the typhoon, causing widespread damage and loss of life. Caritas is responding by distributing food, shelter, hygiene kits and cooking utensils. Photo Credit Eoghan Rice - Trócaire / Caritas / CC BY 2.0
Debris lines the streets of Tacloban, Leyte island. This region was the worst affected by the typhoon, causing widespread damage and loss of life. Caritas is responding by distributing food, shelter, hygiene kits and cooking utensils. Photo Credit Eoghan Rice – Trócaire-Caritas / CC BY 2.0

5,000 people are dead or missing. 4 million have been displaced. The destruction left two weeks ago in the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan is overwhelming. While sometimes it may seem that from  inside our Thacher “bubble” we are powerless to help in times of tragedy, this is not one of those times.

Sometimes it seems like the money that we donate to causes may not always help the people in need. You may be worried that in the Philippines, a country famous for corruption, your funds will find their way into a politician’s pocket instead of a refugee’s.

In response to these worries, the Philippine government launched the online Foreign Aid Transparency Hub, or FAiTH. FAiTH is an online portal that allows users to see exactly where funds are coming from and where they are going – giving you some assurance that your money is going to the right place.

Below are two links to ways you can donate to the victims of Haiyan (UNICEF and World Food Program have both received 4 out of 4 stars by Charity Navigator).

unicef_donation_typhoon-help-philippines_detail

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This fall, the Thacher school showcased their theatrical talent through the production of the renowned play Our Town, written by Thacher (kind of) alum Thornton Wilder. Directed by Mr. Jake Jacobsen, head of the English Department, the play ran for four nights in a row, improving with each performance.

The cast began rehearsals in mid-September, allowing for almost ten weeks of practice to perfect the famous drama.

Kathryn Lynch '16, Bailey Cypheridge '15, and Laura Kirkland '15 perform a scene from Wilder's Our Town.
Kathryn Lynch ’16, Bailey Cypheridge ’15, and Laura Kirkland ’15 perform a scene from Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Wilder attended The Thacher School and began writing plays while at The Thacher School.  Photo Credit Dana Vancisin

Laura Kirkland ‘15, who has appeared in every fall play since her freshman year, commented on the production as a whole:

It was really amazing to see how far we came over the many weeks of rehearsal. The cast and crew worked so hard throughout the entire process, but we couldn’t have done it without the amazing technical support of Mr. Jensen and the wonderful direction of Mr. Jacobsen. They made the production into a truly unforgettable experience!

Mr. Cal Jensen, CdeP 2006, though involved with numerous Thacher performances, was inducted only this year as a faculty member, making his official technical debut this month with the production of Our Town. Along with the rest of the crew, the light, sound, and stage managers displayed a well executed performance, allowing the audience to focus on the acting and not technical mishaps.

This rendition of a classic tale not only pleased the people involved in the show, but also the audience members, as students and teachers alike were enthralled by the haunting tale of life, love, and inevitable death.

Cassandra James, ‘15, stated that, “The play was eye-opening in the sense that it made you stop and evaluate your life; you were forced to observe all of the things that you take for granted, especially the little things.”

Stella Frank '15 plays the role of young Wally Webb. Photo Credit Dana Vancisin
Stella Frank ’15 plays the role of young Wally Webb in Act One of Wilder’s Our Town. The minimalist stage setting emphasized the characters’ lines and the play’s storyline.  Photo Credit Dana Vancisin

Director Jake Jacobsen was the Drama Director from 1991 – 2002 and directed both the fall play and the musical for those eleven years, plus taught Introduction to Drama and Advanced Acting in addition to two classes of English. He directed the play approximately 20 years ago at the outdoor amphitheatre.

Of this most recent production, Mr. Jacobsen said:

The cast has embraced the play in ways I had hoped but didn’t dare to expect. As always, my favorite part of the process is watching the players discover the truth and beauty behind a playwright’s words. As the weeks progressed and the actors grew more comfortable in their roles, I started to hear the play in a different way—and am more convinced than ever that Our Town is, as Edward Albee said, ‘probably the finest play ever written by an American.’

Overall, Our Town, proved to be a huge success, as students and teachers came together to demonstrate the often overlooked artistic and theatrical talent of the student body.

The end of the regular cross country season has arrived and both the Thacher Boys and Girls Varsity Cross Country teams are headed into postseason.

The girls’ team is ranked fourth in the Southern Section and ninth overall in state by PrepCalTrack, a website that maintains information about high school running. The boys’ team similarly ranks third in the Southern Section and fifth overall in state by the same website.

The Toads ended their season with a big win at home on November 6th (results), finishing first in the Condor League led by captains Isobel Hayne ’14 and Simon Novich ’14.

The Thacher Girls' Cross Country Team runs in a tight pack. The team fininshed 2 - 8 to score 20 points and win the league championships. Photo Credit Chris Land
The Thacher Girls’ Cross Country Team runs in a tight pack. The team fininshed 2 – 8 to score 20 points and win the league championships. Photo Credit Chris Land

Beatrice Land ’14 took second place in the girls’ race and second place overall, while her teammates together took the third through eighth spot with only a 32 second spread.  Sophie McMillan ’14 and Isobel Hayne followed Land in third and fourth place respectively. Following close behind were Georgie Becker ’15, Reade Rossman ’16, Sarah Voss ’16 and Marissa Lopez ’15. Their success proved especially impressive considering standout runner Arianna Finger ’15 was unable to finish the race.

The boys also took seven of the top ten finishing spots. Simon Novich, Peter Callan ’16 and Spencer McCune ’16 finished in the first three spots, followed closely by Kevin Griffee ’15, Jack Richardson ’15, Jack Pierrepont ’16, and Ryan Jackson ’17 who finished fifth, seventh, eighth and tenth respectively.

The Thacher boys start fast to push the competition. Peter Callan (from left to right), Simon Novich, Spencer McCune, and Kevin Griffee finish in the top five to help Thacher win the league championship. Photo Credit Chris Land
The Thacher boys start fast to push the competition. Peter Callan (from left to right), Simon Novich, Spencer McCune, and Kevin Griffee finish in the top five to help Thacher win the league championship. Photo Credit Chris Land

Isobel Hayne, who hails from Marin, said:

“The season was greater than I could have hoped for, the girls all worked really hard. We worried that after losing the seniors last year we would have a rough time but new runners really stepped it up and we are going to prelims this weekend. I am really excited for postseason, its truly the best part of the season and we are looking forward to the competition.”

Thacher’s head coach Fred Coleman, or “Derf” as he is known to the students said, “17 boys and girls combined returned for Early Camp, having done significant training over the summer. Both teams have trained well throughout the season and going into the Sectional Prelims our goal is to exceed the predictions and show that we are finishing the season stronger than expected.”

The team will face tough competition at the Southern Sectional meet. The girls have improved their ranking throughout the season. After losing several top runners last year to college matriculation, the team began the season unranked. However, their summer training proved fruitful and they’ve exceeded the pre-season predictions.

The boys have consistently been ranked in the top 3 of the Southern Section since week one of the season. However, schools like Woodcrest Christian, Desert Christian, and St. Margaret’s are formidable opponents.

The CIF Southern Section preliminary races will take place this weekend at Mt. SAC, and if the Thacher teams do well they are poised to continue on to the state finals that will take place after Thanksgiving in Fresno.

It’s 7:30am on a Friday morning and I am wondering two things.

First, how on earth did Mr. Sohn get me to wake up and go to the pool at this ungodly hour (freshmen, after mucking is over any time before 7:45 is considered Satanic?) Secondly, why is everyone else here?

“Everyone” actually refers to Laura Kirkland ’15, Julia Girardoni ’15, Steven Jump ’17, Isabel Ouweleen ’17, and the head of this endeavor, Owen Yeager ’15.

Yeager took over the event from last year’s leaders Justin Myles and Will Muir, both CdeP 2013. He says:

“I view the plunge as an Olympic level event that tests all aspects of your physical prowess: it begins by challenging your resistance to the frigid water how quickly you can swim to the side. There is then an upper body section where you pull yourself out of the water. Finally, there is a dash where you have to challenge your frozen muscles to run as fast as you can to the locker room, where the last stage of physical tests lie waiting: how long you can endure the scalding heat of the showers.”

Students enjoy the morning Polar Plunge. Photo Credit Anasazi Levy
Students enjoy the morning Polar Plunge. Photo Credit Anasazi Levy

Before I myself witnessed this event, I shared the opinion of a lot of Thacher students about Polar Plunge.

“They are pointless,” says Colin Troughton ’16.

“It’s stupid and I don’t do it cuz [sic] why would I? Chlorine is bad for my hair,” adds Lexie Kirkwood ’14.

Arianna Finger ’15 wonders, “what will happen when it actually gets cold? I don’t like the weather.”

This morning however, my mind was changed. For one, it’s not actually that cold in the morning (my car thermometer said it was 50 degrees Fahrenheit), and it is very pretty; the sunlight on the mountains is very Insta-worthy.

Mostly though, it just looked like fun. That moment of anticipation before you jump into the water, the screaming of your fellow Polar Plungers as you swim across to the other side of the pool, the frantic scrambling for your towel, the laughing and yes, the complaining that it is cold.

So next Friday morning I might actually be among those that brave the waters of the Thacher pool.

If nothing more than to be able to shout alongside Laura Kirkland, “My feet are numb, but I feel so alive!”