#1StudentNWI: Explore curiosity, and dive into tradition

#1StudentNWI: Explore curiosity, and dive into tradition
By: Ruby Congleton-Giancaspro Last Updated: November 28, 2019

La Lumiere held one of their most exciting, longtime standing events of the year: Marsch Madness. As the school enters a new athletic season, there's only one way to get the teams truly hyped up to play basketball. Marsch Madness is an event for the varsity basketball teams at La Lu. If you know anything about La Lu, the love for basketball is taken very seriously. 

Marsch Madness consists of an array of activities to welcome the new season. It starts out by welcoming all the varsity team members and manages for the year. Three varsity teams, being girls varsity, varsity blue and varsity white, enter the court with lights flashing and everyone cheering their names one by one. After everyone is called, the fun begins. The night starts out with a performance by the cheerleaders and the upperclassman. They all do a dance choreographed by the cheer coach. Next up we get into the baseball shenanigans. First up is the hotshot contest. Three guys, from both varsity blue and white, and three girls are called up to compete for a dress down day. If the girls win, all the girls at school will have a dress down day and vice versa. This year the girls got lucky and scored a free dress down day. Next up was the three-point contest. Two players from each of the three teams are selected. Whoever makes the most made baskets from five different spots on the court with five shots from each spot wins. This year the lucky winner was varsity blue starter, Joe Harkness. 

After these games, came the big scrimmage. All three varsity teams are split into teams of blue and white. The boys and girls scrimmage to show off their special skills and play with people they don’t usually get to play with, which for most is extremely exciting. The blue team came up on top, defeating the white team by only 4 points. After the big scrimmage comes a very exciting part of the night, the knockout tournament. Two girls, two guys, two teachers, and a special guest play the game for a teacher versus student dress down day. Sadly, the teachers won, but gracefully shared their day of causality with their students. Lastly, the most favored part of the night is the dunk contest. Four people from each HeadCup team are selected for the dunk contest. You show off your special skills of spinning into a dunk or jumping over three people to make an outstanding impression on the judges. This year’s winner was Jaden Ivey, winning for his HeadCup team, Bunting. 

What’s coming up?

One of the most honored traditions at La Lu, as well as the United States, is celebrating Thanksgiving. For a community as diverse as La Lu, the efforts to immerse as many cultures as possible is always important. Students coming from countries like China, Jamaica, Vietnam, Australia, and more don’t experience the American holiday of Thanksgiving. The duty of the school is to show how we celebrate and give thanks for the blessings we have been given, the opportunities worth taking, and the friends and family we love. Every year Susie Eguizabal, Kasey Leake, the kitchen staff, and the hospitality prefect organize a Thanksgiving dinner. This year was the first year where about fifty day-students were invited to join the gathering. The dinner starts with salads and bread, continues onto the main course of turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes and gravy, and finishes off the night with a choice of either apple pie or pumpkin pie for dessert. 

About midway through the dinner students, teachers, and faculty are brought up to say what they are grateful for. One way this dinner brings the community together is by hearing what others are grateful for in their own lives. This year is special because the headmaster’s son, Sorin Kronk, turned seven, so of course, the crew plans to bring out a special dessert for him. 

Thanksgiving is a special holiday that many people at our school do not celebrate. This dinner is one of the ways in which La Lu strives to bring together a community that soon forms a family. 

Student Spotlight: Quentin Funderburg

A special quality to have, especially nowadays, is to be truly and uniquely you. For most people, discovering yourself and your purpose takes time. For Quentin Funderburg, finding his passions came very quickly because of his constant curiosity of the world around him. He is the academic prefect for the 2019-2020 school year. His services include peer tutoring and setting up for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Along with being the academic prefect, Funderburg also takes part in Science Olympiad, Academic Super Bowl, Girls Rising Club, and cross country, placing first at all of his meets this past season. Quentin is also a co-founder of the Environmental Club. The Environmental Club eliminated the use of paper cups at school, as well as making sure we recycle as much as we can. 

From a very young age, Funderburg always found comfort in his friends, the environment, and music. He lives by the famous quote by Socrates that says, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Funderburg believes that life is only worth living if you stay curious. He has always strived to understand the deeper meaning about where we came from and how we can grow and build. When he was young, Funderburg was forced into playing the oboe for school. Despite hating it at first, he slowly started to appreciate and enjoy playing the instrument. He gravitated toward classical music in particular, always finding liveliness in it. His love for friends, nature, and music shaped him to be his unique self, one of which stands out to all his family members.

His mother says, “The thing that is so impressive about Quentin is how true he is to himself.  He doesn't bend to peer or societal pressure. He pursues any and all interests that spark his internal flame, and he is insanely intelligent without even realizing it. He is generous and kind and utterly inspiring.” His brother Logan says, “He is utterly himself. He doesn’t care what the world thinks of him. He is himself whenever, wherever.”

La Lumiere is a school that encourages those to bring their uniqueness to the community. Funderburg enriches the lives around him and leaves others with these words, “Stay curious, and keep exploring what makes you, you. It might surprise you to take a few leaps of faith and try new things. It shocked me and it could not have been more beneficial to me and my curiosity.”

Teacher Spotlight: Paulyn Church

Just like many other members of the La Lumiere community, Paulyn Church’s story does not start here in America. Church was originally born and raised in Jamaica. Since before she could even remember, Church has always strived to help people grow. It’s a passion of hers to help others in any and all ways she can. Someone who has impacted Church’s life immensely is her mother. “My mother is one of the single most important persons in my life because she taught me how to listen.” Church teaches AP Psychology at La Lumiere and is the director of inclusion, so listening has become one of the most important factors in her job, as well as her subject of profession. Her job for the school is to ensure that every student at La Lumiere has a sense of place. She is available to any student with an academic, social, adjustment or other challenges that cause him or her to feel out of place in any way.

Along with her mother, Church’s husband, David Church, also works at La Lumiere as the assistant head of student life. They have been married for thirty years, and do everything as a team. They have a daughter, Chelsea, who now lives in New York. Along with her family and job, Church enjoys classical movies, reading, and tennis. One thing she feels is extremely important to remember throughout life is, “One of the best gifts that I believe you can give to someone is that of listening to him or her without judgment, and in such a manner that the person feels heard. Also, gratitude trumps grumbling!”