Ice Climbing

By Calvin Grover ’22

To me, ice climbing has always been an “extreme” sport. Relegated to bucket lists, pipe dreams and watching youtube videos, it always seemed like something I would enjoy, but not something I would be able to do for awhile, without extensive research and preparation. This assumption was turned on its head when Mr. Tholen announced in a school meeting that there would be an ice climbing trip coming up on a weekend. I immediately turned to my friend Jacob and told him; “Oh yeah. We’re gonna do that.” Luckily, he was just as enthusiastic as I was, because we both share a passion for trying new things, and especially filming ourselves trying those new things. His face lit up, and his response was immediate; “It’s going to be an epic video.” 

A week and a half later, we stood in deep snow, with crampons strapped to our feet and sharp ice tools in our hands, in front of a looming ice slab. Jacob and I looked foolish, two buffoons with GoPro cameras gorilla taped to our helmets. We felt cool as we repeatedly completed the beginner climb, only stopping for lunch or to let someone else have a turn. Ice chips flew as we dug into the slanted face with sharpened steel, as our hands and toes went numb. Over the course of the day, we improved significantly, each climb making us more precise when we swung the ice tools, or kicked in our crampon front points. Our group was of a large range of climbing backgrounds, from experienced mountaineers to beginners who didn’t wear snowpants. We all had fun climbing, even though we were not able to progress onto any of the vertical challenging faces that surrounded us, because it was a crowded spot. I think we all went home tired, pushing ourselves in a sport that most of us, myself included, have never had the opportunity to try. For those of us who wanted to try more difficult stuff, there has been discussions of another, more advanced trip, likely next year!

Feminism in Today’s Media

“More feminist brainwashing.”

“Women just want to feel victimized because it makes them feel better.”

“Absolute garbage.”

“Enough is enough with this feminist nonsense.”

“I find this video repulsive.”

“You’ve lost my business.”

If you scroll through the comment sections of Gillette’s “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” and Nike’s “Dream Crazier” advertisements, these are only a tiny fraction of the hate manifesting there, hate towards four minutes’ worth of ideas proposing equality and responsibility and humanity. And above all, hate towards feminism.

What is feminism exactly? If you ask any random person if they consider themselves a feminist, chances are they’d say no because in our society the word “feminist” comes with such a negative, hated connotation. However, you’d probably be more hard pressed to find someone who truly disagrees with what the feminist movement actually stands for. Oxford Dictionary defines feminism as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”. There are many misconceptions that feminism means that women are better than men and they want to take over the world and oppress men (or something along those lines…). In reality the feminist movement is only asking for equality for all, regardless of your sexual orientation.

Gillette attempted to address the concept of feminism through the lense of toxic masculinity in their ad “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be”. An article in Independent Magazine describes toxic masculinity in this way: “harmful behaviour and attitudes commonly associated with some men, such as the need to repress emotions during stressful situations, and to act in an aggressively dominant way.” Gillette’s ad focused on the idea that has been ingrained into our society, giving boys a pardon for acting out in inappropriate ways, the idea that “boys will be boys.” It shared images of bullying, sexual harassment, catcalling, physical aggression, talking over women in a professional environment- things that women may do as well, but are typically attributed to men and are far too normalized in our culture. It addressed the #MeToo movement that has been taking the country by storm and asked men to hold other men accountable.

One of the main protests I have heard and seen in the comments is that “not all men” do the things in the video. And I, as a feminist, 100% acknowledge that as a fact. However, while the men in my life may not be sexual predators or misogynists, that doesn’t change the fact that there are men that are able to get away with these problematic actions because our society allows them to. If guys make sexist comments about girls, it’s brushed off as “locker room talk.” Too many white boys charged with rape have been let off more easily because a felony could “ruin their future,” with no regard to the fact that being raped has already changed that girl’s future.

No, not all men are the problem. But the issue is allowed to continue when boys are not held accountable. The whole point of the advertisement is when the narrator says “some is not enough.” Some men are good people and are not a direct part of toxic masculinity; however, if we want to change society and truly reach equality for all genders, men need to hold other men accountable. The ad shows the young children watching, and says that “the boys of today will be the men of tomorrow.” Men and women alike need to set good, healthy examples for the next generation if change is going to happen.

Nike tried to set these good examples with their ad campaign, “Dream Crazier.” The video series focuses on a variety of famous female athletes who have achieved their dreams through hard work and commitment. The video starts by addressing double standards in women’s athletics, saying that women who stand for something are called “unhinged” and women who get angry are called “hysterical and irrational”, words rarely used when discussing male athletes in similar positions. It goes on to focus on the word “crazy” and how it is used in a negative, derogatory way. However, as it progresses the message is to take control of your own narrative, describing amazing athletic accomplishments by female athletes who were all called “crazy”. The ad ends in a similar way that the Gillette ad did: with close ups of young female athletes, and the line, “So if they want to call you crazy, fine. Show them what crazy can do.”

When I first saw the video, I knew there would be backlash, but I was (and am) not quite sure why. What I see in that minute and a half is a video empowering women to dream their craziest dreams and do what it takes to get there. Nowhere in it does it specifically call out men or involve men at all, in fact. So my question is why has it made so many men defensive and angry? One comment called it “feminist brainwashing;” another said that all they got out of it was that “women are crazy.” If that was how the interpreted it, then they clearly didn’t get the message. There should not be any controversy over women supporting other women in their dreams; in fact, it should be celebrated rather than criticised and ridiculed. The young girls watching this ad should take away that they can do what they put their mind to and that their dreams are not crazy or irrational- really, all women should be told that. Because just as in the Gillette ad, the children of today are the adults of tomorrow, and if we lift them up, then we’re securing them and the generations to come a better future.

Check the ads out in the links below! Let us know your opinions on these ads in the comments. How can we relate these topics to Hebron’s community and campus, whether in athletics, classes, or everyday life?

Gillette advertisement:

Nike advertisement:



Gillette. “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be.” YouTube, Gillette, January 13, 2019, 1:48.

Nike. “Dream Crazier.” YouTube, Nike, February 24, 2019, 1:30.


Scholastic Writing Awards

By Dr. Oakes
The Scholastic Writing Awards are one of the most prestigious prizes given to high-school writers in the United States. Hebron students have always done well in this competition, and this year was no exception. Seven Hebron students were recognized for their poetry, personal memoirs, and academic papers.
What is particularly remarkable about this year’s Hebron winners is that they faced stiffer competition than ever before. While in previous years Hebron students had competed against writers from all across Maine, changes to the contest this year meant that Hebron writers were competing in an “at-large” region that covered all of New England plus parts of New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Consider this: Last year we had a spectacular total of 8 winners chosen from entries from the state of Maine; this year our 7 winners came from a pool ten times the size!
Congratulations to our latest winners, and happy writing to all!
This year’s Scholastic Writing Awards:
  • Samantha Gumprecht ’20, Personal Memoir
  • Iman Shepard ’19, Critical Essay
  • Emma Skelton ’19, Personal Memoir
  • Alaina Bonis ’21, Personal Memoir
  • Sophie Chu-O’Neil ’20, Personal Memoir
  • Alice Dang ’20, Poetry
  • Ellena Frumiento ’20, Personal Memoir

Our Own Mini-Hebron

By Emma Skelton (’19) and Dr. Hillory Oakes

In this summer’s All-School Read, All the Light We Cannot See, the character Marie-Laure’s father creates models of the cities where they live to help his visually impaired daughter navigate through her world. Marie-Laure is then able to walk freely throughout the cities despite being blind because she knows everything about them from the models. Inspired by this, during this week’s Community Meeting, groups of about ten to fifteen Upper School students created a three-dimensional map of the Hebron campus. Groups had only 45 minutes and a bagful of assorted supplies to design a miniature version of a specific spot on campus, from the athletic fields to the dorms to the chapel. Each piece was then brought to the Science Lecture Hall where they were all assembled into a replica of the entire school. Students exhibited amazing teamwork and creativity with these models; we hope to display all of them at this spring’s Academic Expo. Please see the pictures below for a glimpse into our creative, little world…

Lepage Center for the Arts, with styrofoam columns and a dancing minion in the background:

The Chapel, which even has a senior giving their last word on the inside:

The iconic Victory Bell:

The Hockey Rink, complete with players, sound effects, and a giant cup of hot chocolate:

The Creation of “Word Wednesday”

Written by Alice Dang ’20

“Word Wednesday” has officially become the new representation of Hebron’s enthusiasm for creative writing, more specifically, poetry. Being the initiator of this new program has brought me incredible joy as well as great responsibility. It all started with my love for poetry itself and the desire to bring it along wherever I go. Seeing Hebron had a specific “tradition” everyday like  Music Monday or Lumbergames, I noticed that a slot for Wednesdays was empty and an idea instantly came to my head! Spoken poetry performed well could really impact some conventional perspectives on poetry. I personally believe that poetry should not only be read, but also be heard; so it was a great opportunity for other poets to share their words out loud. After getting approval from the teachers and encouragement from friends, I was even more determined to bring this idea to life.

Clearly, there was hesitation and fear that the program would not work out or no one would be interested in joining. However, after introducing “Word Wednesday” and sharing a poem of mine, a lot of people were curious about this new “tradition”. Soon, one after another, more students and teachers started signing up for a spot; within a short period of time, we had the list filled up until the end of winter term! It was then that I’d realized the power of words, how they could bring people together within minutes and gather such an amazing community. The first few weeks of the program went surprisingly well, with readers performing their own work or a favorite of theirs. Aarti Singh was not familiar with the world of poetry, but knowing about “Word Wednesday”, she had volunteered to share her first poem. Christian Quinones also read a heartwarming poem for his sister, Eliza Quinones, on her birthday. I cannot be more thankful for all the people who have signed up to be the “poet of the week”! Poetry can sound intimidating or even tedious at first, but there are various categories and expressions that you never thought you would enjoy until you read (or hear) a really good poem. I would like to quote a saying I found on Tumblr that conveys my feelings for poetry. “I fell in love with you the way paperbacks fall down on shelves; slowly, and then all at once”. I do not expect every single member in Hebron to love poetry instantly, but it is my wish to gradually change people’s view on poetry and help them acknowledge how beautiful yet powerful words can be.

Due to the different schedules in each term, a new name will replace “Word Wednesday”. Stay tuned!

Update: It is now called “Pocket Poetry”!

Life Skills at Hebron

Written by Emma Skelton ’19

This February’s Saturday Event saw Hebron students learning a wide variety of “life skills,” skills that reach beyond the classroom. Faculty and students alike were involved in the planning of the event as well as teaching each of the seminars. Any students, teachers, staff, or parents were invited to share their abilities with students eager to learn. The final list of seminars ranged from “How to Tie a Tie” to “CPR Certification” to “Budgeting and Banking.” Students submitted their top five choices from the list to try to ensure everyone would be placed in a seminar that they were interested in.

Ms. Miriah Nadeau, one of the key organizers of the event says, “My goals for the  event were for students to go to workshops they were interested and to come out with skills they could use when they leave Hebron. I think the event was extremely successful!  The students I heard from really enjoyed the workshops they attended and learned some great skills. The teachers all seemed to really enjoy the topics they were teaching! Overall, the event seemed to be very well received!

Students also saw the event as a success. Most everyone seemed content with the workshops they attended. Teemu Hukkanen, class of 2018, even said he didn’t mind waking up early on a Saturday to go to it! Sophomore Ellena Frumeinto says of her experience in the Resumes and Cover Letters seminar, “I learned a lot about how to write a resume and a cover letter. I learned tips about what to do and what not to do. This was a very helpful and informative class and I will definitely use what I learned in the future.” The event appears to be one of the most well received of the year, and the students enjoyed learning important, new skills. I’d say it was a great success!


In Anticipation of the Play

Written by Sophie List ’19

The Hebron Academy Players are excited to present The Man Who Came To Dinner which will be playing in the Androscoggin Theater on February 23rd and 24th. The Man Who Came To Dinner is a comedy about radio personality Sheridan Whiteside who becomes an unexpected houseguest at the Stanleys’ home after falling and breaking his hip on their doorstep. The play follows the strange time during which Mr. Whiteside lives in their home and consequently turns their lives upside down.

This year’s play is different from those in the past for many reasons. Ms. Coleman, the director, decided it was time to switch things up and Hebron is doing a straight play as opposed to a musical for the first time in many years. Regarding this decision she said she hoped it would get other people involved who did not want to participate in a musical. She also said, “In both the professional world and college they produce more plays than musicals. So if students want to go on and do theater in college, having done a play is important.”

Additionally, many of the props have been built by Hebron’s art classes. Mr. Tholen’s3D art classes were tasked with building a cockroach farm, a massive animal crate, and an Egyptian sarcophagus. It is not just art classes that have been helping out with the production, but the entire community has been indispensable in creating the play. Students have volunteered on weekends to help build, paint, and put up the set. Also, many faculty members and student’s families have volunteered props or other necessities for the production. The drama crew would also like to extend a massive thanks to the folks at Maintenance, to Mr. Bill Anderson, and of course to Ms. Coleman because without her endless dedication to the cast and this production, none of this would have been possible.

Morgan Prentice ‘19, one of the leads, urges everyone to come see the play because, “The cast and crew and Ms. Coleman, of course, put a tremendous amount of work into this play and we would love it if everyone in the community would come to see our hard work.” She guarantees it will be worthwhile and promises: “fun, excitement, action, drama, and gossip.” If you enjoy any or all of these things in a play, make sure to come down to the Androscoggin Theater on February 23rd and 24th at 7:30 PM to see The Man Who Came To Dinner!




From Maine to Puerto Rico

Written by Benjamin Bryce ’18

During spring break of this year, Mr. Michael Tholen and Mr. Bill McNamara are taking seven Hebron students on a surf and service trip to Puerto Rico. Leaving March 8th, the group will fly out of Boston-Logan airport and land in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The group is staying in a Hostel and is excited for the warm weather and opportunity to help those that have been ravaged by the latest hurricanes.

Service-oriented work will be done throughout the week, but one notable service initiative will be beach clean-up on the island beaches. When not doing service work, the group is slated to practice surfing and engage in hiking and other outdoor activities. The students that are going are Ben Bryce, Delano Brown, Masataka Mita, Beks Alimov, Will Kline, Saga Stenberg, and Grace Keneally.

After School Art

Written by Brian Tobin ’18

I made the interesting decision to take after-school art as my fall term activity. Everyone had the choice at the beginning of the term to work on a project of their choice. Whether it was drawing, coloring, painting, writing, or even music, we were given the chance to try something new and improve our techniques.

When art starts each afternoon, people are pretty focused and not too easily distracted. I’ve asked a couple other members of after school art what they think about the program. Their responses were very similar, both mentioning that often it is relaxing and sometimes even fun when everyone is interacting with each other.

When I signed up for after-school art, I honestly thought it was going to be quite boring and even traumatizing because I am not an artist. However, what has made it more interesting for me was that going to a place where I do not normally go (the art center). I did learn to draw better and more freely, and I’ve made the best out of this new situation.

Fall Cohen Concert

Written by Bradley Sperl ’18

October 13th was the annual fall Cohen Concert. These concerts are thanks to the Cohen Chamber Music Series sponsored by the Saul B. and Naomi R. Cohen Foundation. Mr. Cohen was a graduate from Hebron Academy in 1951 and served on the Board of Trustees as well. These concerts are meant to engage students in world-class musical performances, something that not everyone gets the chance to experience. This specific concert was performed by Yevgeny Kutik, a Russian-American Violinist from Boston, and Dina Vainshtein a Russian Pianist. They are both well known and well educated musicians holding degrees from world-renowned music institutes and conservatories. The program for the evening featured pieces from Mendelssohn, Bloch, Debussy, Franck, and Ravel. Personally, my favorite was the “Baal Shem (Three Pictures of Chassidic Life),” which is a piece with three movements where each movement represents a part of life, one of which being marriage. About thirty people attended the concert, half students, and the other half faculty and parents. These concerts are a great way to get involved in the music program at Hebron while learning more about different music genres.