If you read some who claim to know, you might hear that Thomas Pynchon is the greatest living American writer. I don’t have an opinion on that, though I am not a big fan. He does however play a large part in my library story.
Years ago, and I mean years – this is just post-college – I decided I should read Gravity’s Rainbow, his supposed great work. I bought a copy, began it, then soon put it down. Every so often I would pick it up again and soon again put it down again. One summer I decided to take a bike trip through northern Minnesota on my own. With no one to talk to, nothing to amuse me but the scenery, I figured this was the time to try again. I got as far as page 120 – I still remember the page number – and had to stop. I got home and threw out the paperback and threw in the towel.
Twenty years later now and I’m here in Olney and I get an idea: I’m gonna try again. But this time with a hardback copy, thinking with the bigger type, bigger pages, I can fool myself into thinking I’m progressing if need be. Those three-inch thick paperbacks seem to move pretty slowly, so maybe the hardback will make things go easier. Like setting the time on your alarm clock ahead ten minutes to fool yourself.
Not about to pay for the thing, I go to the Olney library to pick up their copy. There it is, right there on the shelf. I pick it off the shelf and when getting set to leave I notice that a couple of books away is Don Quixote. Odd. But immediately I realize: PYN…QUI. Makes kind of an alphabetical sense, if not literary. I start to move it to where it belongs, but the lazy part of me says “let them do it. You did the hard part – noticing.”
So I go up to the check-out desk and as the librarian is checking me out I say “You know, you have Don Quixote filed under the “Q”s. “Whaatt?” she nearly shouts. “Don Quixote. It’s filed on the shelf with the Qs.” “So??!!” this time she does shout. “It’s by Cervantes you know.” “What is?” At that point I quit.
So if you are looking for Don Quixote here in Olney you might check under the Q’s though maybe somebody noticed when the books got moved from the old library to the new.
If you’re looking for Thomas Pynchon, don’t bother.
The first day of the 2016-2017 school year marked the school’s first start before Labor Day. As students piled out of buses, cars, and the dorm, a contagious energy could be felt and smiles from old and new faces could be seen in every direction. It is remarkable how many new Upper Schoolers there are this academic year, but I think I speak for everyone when I say we can’t wait to introduce all the new students to the wonderful community that we are lucky enough to call our school.
- Fall Varsity Sports: Our sports teams are in full-gear with over a month of training and games under their belts. Men’s Varsity Soccer – captained by Erik Carneal (‘17), Ben Crooke (‘17), and Jordi Martinez (‘17) – won their first conference game of the season against the Field School. Women’s Varsity Soccer – captained by Olivia Murray (‘17) and assistant captains Lexie Leeser (17’) and Alex Polón (‘18) – is off to a strong start, with a current overall record of 5-1. Varsity Cross Country – captained by Marshall Lieder (‘17), Quentin Thomas (‘17), Emma Warnick (‘17), and Rachel Bartley (‘17) – competed in its first meet, with Thomas Fagiolo (‘19) and Ben Davis (‘19) placing quite well. Finally, Women’s Varsity Volleyball – captained by Grace Cole (‘17), Lauren Alozie (‘17), and Daphne Matyas (‘17) – has an overall record of 1-2 thus far, and is continuing to grow stronger and compete in all of their games. All of Sandy Spring’s sports teams are representing themselves and the school with pride, and are competing quite well. Good luck to all the teams for the rest of their respective seasons!
- The Arts: Upper School Play Production just announced their Fall Play: Twelfth Night. All members of the class are ecstatic to be putting on this Shakespeare classic that is considered a romantic comedy. The show is on November 17th, 18th, and 19th, so mark your calendars!
- Student Life: Our first All-School Assembly of the year took place on September 13th. Over 600 members of the community piled into the Performing Arts Center for the assembly, which was led by this year’s Clerk of the Student Government (Torch), Lindsay Richwine (‘17). The assembly featured a dance by Upper Schoolers, musical performances from the Lower School and multiple Upper Schoolers, a heart-warming speech by Head of School Tom Gibian, and of course the classic tradition of singing the George Fox Song. Looking forward, Spirit Week is September 26th-30th. The themes for each day are as follows:
- Monday: Fan Day (wear any sort of apparel that shows your pride for a team, musical group, etc.)
- Tuesday: Pajama Day
- Wednesday: Wacky Tacky Day
- Thursday: Class Colors Day (Freshmen- white, Sophomores- red, Juniors- blue, Seniors- black)
- Friday: Green and Gold Day
Additionally, on Friday afternoon, there will multiple home sports games, followed by the Homecoming Dance that evening in Westview from 8pm-11pm. Us Upper Schoolers can’t wait to show our spirit for our amazing school!
We are happy to back at school, and are excited for everything the year holds in store for, including what we will learn, where we will travel, and the connections we will make.