by Priya Phillips '20
From horror to romcom to feel-good—this list of films will surely make you want to curl up with a cup of apple cider, light a candle, and appreciate the autumn season.
Movie Franchises: The Twilight Saga and The Harry Potter movies
by Sophia Maguigad '21
Here is the Halloween candy list you’ve all been waiting for.
1. Hershey’s variety pack: This variety pack is true perfection. Do you like plain milk chocolate? You got it. Dark chocolate, maybe? The variety pack has got you covered. Also, if you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can have a Mr. Goodbar or a Krackle.
2. Payday: In all honesty, on the sole basis of taste, Payday wouldn’t make top five. Definitely top ten, though. However, my favorite part of this candy is its name, Payday, because roll Capitalism.
3. Kit Kat: There shouldn’t be much to say about this choice. Kit Kats are simple yet satisfying. The choice to split it in half or eat it all at once makes it incredibly versatile and is definitely a plus.
4. Pink starburst: The superior starburst flavor. It has a strawberry flavor that is strong and distinctive, unlike the others.
5. Twix: Twix offers you three things: the chocolate, caramel, and a crunchy cookie all in one. In my opinion, chocolate and caramel is one of the greatest-tasting combinations in all of existence.
6. Haribo: Who doesn’t like gummy bears? Not only does Haribo offer you bear shaped candy, which I am a huge fan of, but it also offers an endless number of flavors. My favorites are strawberry and pineapple.
7. M&Ms: Get ready for an unpopular opinion, because I really don’t love M&Ms. They are just chocolate covered in rainbow colors. In fact, the rainbow colors are extremely underwhelming. There isn’t even a purple M&M. They just don’t excite me enough to make it any higher on the list.
8. Candy Corn: Personally, I think candy corn is fine. I am not exactly sure what it's made out of or what it's are supposed to taste like. I just think of it as a sugary snack I eat every Halloween, and for that reason, I put it at number eight. I got some hate for this, but because candy corn is unique to the Halloween experience, it deserves a place on this list.
9. Swedish Fish: The only thing keeping Swedish Fish in my top ten is the fact that they are shaped like fish. Fish are my favorite animal, so at least they're fun to eat.
10. Skittles: Another unpopular opinion: I really don’t like skittles. They all taste the same, but they try and tell you that there are different “flavors.” How am I supposed to have a favorite flavor if they all taste the same?
Now for the worst candy — there’s a tie. I absolutely cannot stand Tootsie Rolls or yellow Starburst. Of all the Starburst, yellow is the most artificially tasting one, and it doesn’t even taste like lemon. As for Tootsie Rolls, they are the hardest candy to eat because they get stuck in your teeth and hurt your jaw from chewing them. Additionally, Tootsie rolls don’t even have a distinct flavor. They’re brown, so maybe they’re supposed to taste like chocolate, but they just don’t.
by Nisa Quarles '21
Megyn Kelly’s recent comments that justified blackface not only resulted in her show’s cancellation, but they also further fueled ongoing debates about the history of blackface and the “right way” to dress up as characters or people from different races and cultures. In her comments, Kelly not only failed to acknowledge the particularly high racial tensions that the Trump administration has ignited in this country, but she also failed to acknowledge the history of blackface and its direct ties to racism against black people in America. Beginning in the nineteenth century, blackface was a form of makeup where white performers called minstrels would darken their faces with burnt cork or black greasepaint. These minstrels then performed mockeries of black people that portrayed them as dense, clownish, and most of all, inhuman for the sake of comedy and upholding the superiority of the white race. Later on, when black performers were actually allowed to be on stage, they were forced to sacrifice their dignity and wear blackface to portray their own race in the same manner. Some may argue that this practice was one of admiration, but ultimately, the scar that blackface leaves behind is one of racism and racial stereotypes that continue to plague black people today.
Evidently, blackface is an upsetting and telling part of America’s racist history, so that it is exactly where it should stay: in history. Even though one may see blackface as a way to enhance a costume rather than a form of racism, blackface is inherently racist, regardless of the wearer’s intentions. This general rule applies not only to white people, but to black people and those of all other races.
To be clear, I am not at all saying that you cannot dress up as a black person or as a person of another race, but you should not change your skin color to do so. As a rule of thumb, if the character or person who you are portraying is human, your costume should not involve changing your skin color. However, if your character is supernatural or something along those lines, then changing your skin color is justified. For example, dressing up as Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games should not involve changing your skin color, but using blue face paint to dress up as Mystique from X-Men is okay. Jennifer Lawrence plays both characters, but Katniss is human, and Mystique is not.
Aside from blackface, it is important that everyone is mindful of the diversity on the Close and in the country when they select their Halloween costume. We all come from different cultures and backgrounds, and it is essential that we respect each other on Halloween and the rest of the year. So, as a general rule, if you think your costume may be offensive, DON’T wear it -even if it is meant to be funny. The insensitive nature of your costume will no doubt overshadow your attempt to get a laugh.
I hope everyone has a wonderful (and respectful) Halloween, and I can’t wait to see everyone’s costumes!
 CBS News October 28, 2018, and 9:53 Am, “Unmasking the Racist History of Blackface,” accessed October 29, 2018, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/history-of-blackface-unmasking-the-racism-reignited-by-megyn-kelly-controversy/.
by NM '20
Solvers of last week’s puzzle (in order):
1. Kate Ambrose
2. Maggie Wang
3. David Hla
4. Mr. Rick DuPuy
NOTE: Due to initial errors in the problem, multiple answers seemed to be possible, and hence multiple were accepted. My apologies for the error. Additionally, no puzzle was published week because the puzzlemaker was out sick.
Answer to and commentary on Puzzle #5:
Classification: Medium. The problem was intended to be the following:
Obadiah wants Ezekiel and John to guess his birthday, and gives these possible dates: May 15, May 16, May 19, June 17, June 18, July 14, July 16, August 14, August 15, August 17. Ezekiel knows the correct month, and John knows the correct day. Ezekiel says, "I don't know Obadiah's birthday, and I know John doesn't know." John says, "I didn't know at first, but I now know Obadiah’s birthday." Ezekiel says, "Now I also know!" When is Obadiah's birthday?
This problem is an adaptation of the “Cheryl’s Birthday” problem that went viral a couple of years ago. Here’s a New York Times article that goes through the steps of the problem, and which should suffice for an answer explanation here; https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/15/science/answer-to-the-singapore-math-problem-cheryl-birthday.html
NM (email redacted)
This week’s puzzle: Logic/Accounting. Jerome lives in Pumpkintown, South Carolina. With his four friends—Ambrose (Amb.), Augustine (Aug.), and Gregory (Gre.)—, Jerome wants to experiment with using pumpkin seeds as currency. So, one day, he, Amb., and Aug. decide to go to Gregory’s Jack o’ Lantern Emporium, where a local man called Basil is the cashier and Gre. is the manager. After perusing the Emporium’s shelves for a while, Jerome and his friend group decide to purchase one of the largest jack o’ lanterns, for which they pay 15 pumpkin seeds—5 each from Jerome, Amb., and Aug.. They hand the seeds to Basil, who starts walking over to the Seed Vault, where all pumpkin seed currency is kept. Gre. intercepts Basil and tells him to give 5 seeds back to the group because they’re friends of his. Basil obliges, but keeps 2 of the 5 seeds for himself—giving only 3 to Jerome, Amb., and Aug.. All go their separate ways, with Jerome et al. happy at the 3 seed rebate and Basil happy with his 2 seed plunder. However, Constantine, the store accountant, is baffled; having coyly watched the whole procedure, he realizes that Jerome et al. effectively paid 12 seeds (originally 15 minus the 3 seed rebate), and that Basil kept 2 of the 5 returned seeds for himself, summing to 14 seeds (12 for the Jerome group and 2 for Basil). However, the original payment was 15 seeds; what happened to the missing seed?
by Matthew Bruning '20
America is expected to spend $9.1 billion dollars on Halloween this year (The History of All Hallows' Eve). But for such a popular holiday, its origins are little known—so how did we get to the Halloween we have today?
Beginning over 2,000 years ago in the British Isles, Halloween originated as the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sah-win), which literally means “summer’s end” in Gaelic (The Origins of Halloween). Samhain was one of four important festivals in the Celtic calendar, and like Halloween it was practiced on the night of October 31st (Samhain). The feast of Samhain was “an annual communal meeting at the end of the harvest year, a time to gather resources for the winter months and bring animals back from the pastures” (History of Halloween). The Celts believed that the coming winter was a time of death, and Samhain was a night where spirits returned from the grave to haunt the living (The History of All Hallows' Eve). The Druids, or the pagan Celtic priests, would build bonfires for the people to dance around to ward off the evil ghosts and to encourage the Sun to not vanish in the night (The Origins of Halloween).
The Romans later conquered most of the Celtic territory, and as a result the two holiday traditions fused. In particular, two Roman festivals around the same time influenced Samhain: Feralia, or “the commemoration of the passing of the dead,” and the festival of Pomona, the “Roman goddess of fruits and trees” (The Origins of Halloween). Feralia contributed to the importance of death, while Pomona led to the tradition of bobbing for apples (The Origins of Halloween).
Finally, as Christianity took root in the British Isles, the native practices once again were synthesized with the invading religion. The Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Mass, takes place on November 1st, with All Souls’ Day coming the day after. As a result, October 31st, the day of Samhain, became known as All Hallows’ Eve (History of Halloween).
From there, the history of Halloween becomes more complicated. Most of the popular traditions of the holiday now—trick-or-treating, dressing up in costumes, throwing Halloween parties—developed as American customs over long periods of time as a result of cultural mixing (History of Halloween).
Who knows? Maybe a few of the old traditions will arise this year, and we’ll have a few bonfires here and there.
by Schuyler Holleman '20
Not sure about any of you, but amidst the hustle and bustle of homecoming preparations, Halloween completely escaped my mind. It wasn’t until my Instagram feed was graced with thousands of posts of girls dressed as aliens and cats that I realized October 31st was drawing near. So, if you’re in need of a last-minute costume, fear not. I, a self-certified Halloween costume expert, have some amazing ideas to help you look your best for the spookiest night of the year.
Girls: Let’s be honest. The days of Disney princess and ladybug costumes are long gone. So, what’s the perfect, most original costume idea you can put together that will wow your friends and totally catch the eye of the boy you’ve been scheming? * Wink, wink * The secret? Grab your favorite tube top and slap on a pair of animal ears. Does it have to be a certain kind of animal you might ask? Of course not! The more unidentifiable, the better, because the longer it takes your crush to figure out what in the world you’re dressed up as, the longer the time he has to spend staring at you.
Boys: Some guys may find dressing up for Halloween as “childish” or “lame,” but let me tell you, there is nothing better than getting into the Halloween spirit. The best costume for guys? A sports jersey, duh! So simplistic, yet so versatile. Doesn’t have to be a team you like, or a team you’ve even heard of, just put on whatever you’ve got in your closet. People really appreciate the minimal effort and major bonus, it gives you a good conversation opener so you can drone on for thirty minutes about that player that you are absolutely obsessed with that no one else really cares about.
by Street Roberts '20
Last Friday, as rain drizzled onto the muddy grass field, the Bulldogs took the field against the athletic and gritty Landon Bears. After surviving the grueling end-of-the quarter week, the Bulldogs started out slow and were outmatched in the first ten minutes. Despite the lackadaisical opening period, where the Bulldogs struggled to overcome the chippy atmosphere, the ‘Dogs fought back through sheer determination. Although many chances arose, most of them courtesy of striker Mikey Brady, St. Albans failed to put the ball in the back of the net. This all changed in the second half.
Tired, cold, and frustrated, the Bulldogs poured their remaining energy into finding a way to win. They found their way through an amazing play between junior Mikey Brady and senior captain Harry Moore. Like a ping-pong game, the ball was crossed back and forth over the box several times between the two, each time barely missing the target. Finally, on the fourth ball back into the box, a lightning-quick Lincoln Cooper jumped in front of the Landon defender and pounded the low-driven ball into the bottom right corner. His ecstacy perfectly encapsulated the relief the Bulldogs felt, and, as he celebrated with the BEEF club, the ‘Dogs knew they had to put the game away. Stout defending sealed the deal for the Bulldogs, and they marched off the field to the triumphant cries of BEEF club members, as the ‘Dogs secured the second place finish in the regular season.
Soccer plays their first playoff game on Tuesday, October 30 at 3:00 on Steuart Field, and football faces a tough matchup in Georgetown Prep next saturday. Be there or be square. Until then, Roll ‘Dogs, Roll Beef.
by Liam Warin '20
Last Saturday, the STA and NCS Cross Country teams journeyed out to Derwood Agricultural Farm Park to compete in the IAC and ISL Championship Meet. On a cold and rainy day, the weather was not optimal; Mr. Findler said that the other teams wanted him to postpone the meet for a better day. Attempting to defend their titles in the Varsity B Race, the Freshman-Sophomore Seeded Race, and the Varsity Race, St. Albans knew what they had to do. Nick Maguigad ‘21 finished in first place in the Freshman-Sophomore Race to cap off a victory for the Bulldogs. Carl Mauro ‘19, Simon Palmore ‘19, and Henry New ‘20 came in first, second, and third place respectively, leading to another Bulldog victory in the Varsity B Race. Now for the main event. Damien Hackett ‘21 won the Varsity Race, with Jack Tongour ‘19 finishing in fifth; Jonathan Merril ‘19, seventh; Jack Kelly ‘19, ninth; and Ben Saint Germain ‘20, twelfth, to lead to the Bulldogs tenth consecutive IAC championship in Cross Country.
Being defending ISL Champions, NCS had a similar job to do. Unfortunately, the result was not the same. Sophia Hanway ‘21 finished first in the Varsity Race and led National Cathedral to a strong second place out of twenty competitors in a tough ISL conference. Theo Barassi ‘22 finished first in the Varsity B Race and helped National Cathedral to another second place finish.
Every runner gave their all against a very harsh and unforgiving course. Congratulations to both teams on excellent finishes to the IAC and ISL season!
by Martin Villiagra-Riquelme '20
I remember it as if it were yesterday. It was a cool day in Kansas. My family and I drove over to pack up my grandfather’s belongings because he had passed and we wanted to sell his house. I was about 5 or 6 years old, too young to understand the concept of death, so I always asked why grandpa wasn’t home, why we were packing up his stuff. Nobody had the heart to tell me. Tired, bored, and cold, I came back in from the house’s abandoned backyard and decided to head into the guest room in the basement. The only memories I had of my grandfather were down there and I figured maybe I could find him in the basement and he’d tell me a story. I remembered his warm smile when he told me bedtime stories, all the while tucking me into bed and closing the door behind him when he finished. In some vain hope of seeing him again, I lay down in that dark room and called out to him; to my surprise, he responded, but his warm and welcoming voice sounded gravelly and cold. “My grandfather” walked into the room and I felt so happy, but I asked him why he didn’t say hello to everyone; no answer. His lack of response to this question and his change of voice made me uneasy, but I shrugged it off and thought how great it was that he was here. I asked “my grandfather” to tell me my favorite bedtime story; he told me he’d do it, but not here. The man who I thought was my grandfather told me he’d tell me all the bedtime stories I’d want if I snuck out the house with him. My grandfather would never ask me to do something this weird and so I asked him only something he would know: what my favorite bedtime story was. The man said it was “Robin Hood,” but it was actually “Pinocchio.” Even at this young age, I realized that whoever this man was, he was not my grandfather. I turned on the light in the room and instead of seeing his warm face I saw a balding, decrepit, 60-something-year-old who only resembled my grandfather in size and figure. He was unshaved, with scars all over his face, and his eyes were a soulless gray. I ran out of the room and sprinted towards the stairs, but before I could make it to the top step and slam the door behind me, he grabbed my leg and started dragging me down. His sickening and yellowing smile widened and I couldn’t even scream; the only thing I could hear was his demented laughter. Flight turned to fight, however, as I used every bit of strength I to kick him square in the face with my free leg. I broke free and looked back before I slammed the door behind me; his two front teeth were knocked out and his mouth and nose were bleeding, his horrid smile transformed into an even more terrifying look of pure anger. My parents called the cops as soon as I told them what happened, but he escaped before the police even got to the house. Even 10 years later, I don’t know whether or not he’s been caught, but sometimes I can hear that demented laughter and see that same dark figure in my room as if he were still waiting for me to leave the house with him.