Class of 2014

Some may think the Class of 2014 has come to Denison to simply soak in lessons from the Denison faculty before setting off to change the world. But around here, we consider education more of a give-and-take affair rather than a series of lectures dished out from the front of a classroom. So when the '14ers arrived in August, we looked to them to show us a thing or two.

Class of 2014

Anna Apostel is a biology major from Columbus, Ohio, who has been boxing for just over a year. She dislocated her knuckle the first time she did a heavy-bag workout and learned from the experience, so take her advice when it comes to hand positioning.

Tip: Remember that your knuckles should be the part of your hand that actually makes contact–not your fingers. Always keep your knuckles loose and your fingers toward the floor when you punch. A bad hand position is the surest way to break or dislocate a knuckle or finger. Trust me.

How To: Throw a Killer Punch

  • 1 The perfect hook is a full body affair. It all starts in the legs. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and slightly bent. Your left foot should be about half a step in front of the other and angled just slightly to the left.
  • 2 Next, rotate your body so your right shoulder is behind your left, giving you more room to accelerate your punch as you swing. To get maximum power, your legs and abs should do just as much work as your arm. As you swing, your whole body should twist at your core, adding momentum to your swing.
  • 3 As for the swing itself, your arm will come up, cross your face, and run parallel to the ground as you make contact with your target. Always keep it bent, with your elbow in line with your hand. In a good follow-through, your elbow would be the next thing to hit your target should you keep the momentum going.
Class of 2014

Alex Baldeon is a biology major from Quito, Ecuador. He has been juggling for five years and only recently gave glass bottles a shot. He has yet to break one.

Tip: You will not learn to juggle on your first try, but once you have mastered this pattern (known as a cascade) you can start juggling clubs, rings, cell phones, fire, even chainsaws. But I’d recommend a lot of practice before you get too fancy.

Class of 2014

How To: Juggle Anything … or at least a couple of tennis balls

  • 1 Start out with only one tennis ball, or any other soft object that won’t hurt if it hits you on the head. I started with TY Beanie Babies, but I have also seen people practice with paper crumpled up into small balls. Now, with your elbows next to your body and bent at a ninety-degree angle, throw whatever object you’ve chosen from one hand to the other, imitating the trajectory of a parabola. Don’t try to reach for the object–just wait until it falls into your hand.
  • 2 Once you have mastered this motion, you pretty much know how to juggle. All you need to do now is add more objects to the line-up. Try it with two tennis balls (or paper balls or stuffed animals). Place one in each hand and start out by doing exactly the same thing you did before. The trick here is that once the first tennis ball begins to fall, you throw the second one back to the first hand. This likely take more time to perfect than step one, but don’t give up.
  • 3 The final step is to include that third ball. Start by placing two in your dominant hand and one in your other hand. Toss the ball from your “strong” hand and as it begins to fall, throw the one from your other hand toward the first hand. Catch the first toss. Then as the second object begins to fall, throw the third one back to your “weak” hand. Just keep in mind that there always has to be a ball in the air and one in each hand.

Nina Vlasic is from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. She has yet to decide on a major, but a few more hours of alone time in the woods might help her sort it out.

My high school offered student leaders a 10-day wilderness program, hiking and camping in the Smoky Mountains. About halfway through the trip, each student went “solo,” meaning that he or she would set up camp and spend 36-48 hours alone. We were asked not to eat or drink anything except water for fear of attracting animals, so this trip was mainly about surviving boredom, the rain that fell that first day, and the fear of being alone in the woods.

How To: Survive 36 Hours of “Alone Time” in the Smoky Mountains

 

  • Never underestimate the power of a tarp and a couple of trash bags. We set up make-shift tents using a tarp and the surrounding trees. We slept with garbage bags underneath our sleeping bags, and we wrapped most of our belongings in bags to keep everything dry.

 

 

  • Sleep.

 

 

  • Reading material is a bonus. Our school has “solo” letters that our friends gave to us prior to the trip. I’d read one every once in a while, and it helped to pass the time. A novel would have been a total luxury.

 

 

  • Go for a Walk.

 

 

  • Don’t dwell on the animals who may be sharing your living space. I was nervous about seeing bears, but the trip was in March so they were hibernating. You have to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, but spending 36 hours worrying about hibernating bears would have really taken away from the experience.

 

 

  • Unplug and reflect. In the Smokies, we didn’t have our cell phones or laptops, and we were forced to be isolated with our own thoughts. It all taught me that I need to continue to challenge myself and persevere through life’s rough patches.

 

 

Moriah Ellenbogen is a philosophy and English double major from Olney, Maryland. She spent three years in high school serving as a peer mediator for the school’s counseling department.

Tip: Ask your friends what they want out of the talk. The reality is that some individuals simply have no interest in being friends, and that’s fine as long as conflict is avoided. In other words, don’t walk into the argument expecting that in an hour’s time, your arguers will be skipping into the sunset together.

How To: Keep the Peace, Yo

Drama is nothing more than dead weight. We all have better things to do with our time, and yet that never stops arguments from creeping into our social lives. So what happens when two of your friends find themselves in heated dispute? It never hurts to step in and try to get the two to talk it out. Saying “it’s not my business” is a great excuse … unless you actually want it over and done with.

 

  • Set some ground rules. It may sound lame, but ask the disputing parties to speak in turn, to not curse, and to remain seated. Yes, it may sound as though you’re about to mediate a squabble between three-year-olds, but the fact is, when ten- sions are high, the smallest things cause uproar. One eye-roll can ruin everything.

 

 

  • Remain objective. The minute that Person A thinks you’re siding with him, he’ll start to get cocky, and Person B will get defensive. Start by asking one person to tell her side of the story, and when she’s finished, ask the other person to do the same. Then you can (gently!) throw in your two cents.

 

 

  • Try to get to the bottom of the argument–the straw that broke the camel’s back just isn’t going to cut it. More than once during a mediation in high school, following a good hour of exaggerated sighs and empty threats, I would ask, “What was the first thing that upset you?” And neither person could answer. There’s almost always a “he said/she said” element to an argument. If you can’t get past that, then you’ll only be able to put the fight on hold, not resolve it.

 

 

Nitya Daryanani is from Mumbai, India, and has been practicing “integral yoga” for six years.

How To: Change Your Attitude

Yoga has the power to change you. There is a noticeable link between the mind and the body– just think about the ways mental stress causes your muscles to tighten.

Yoga works to lessen that kind of negative influence and to replace it with a positive one. The mental reaction you have to a difficult asana, or pose, is said to be the mental reaction you have to a setback in life.

For example, if your method of dealing with a difficult pose is to give in and end the pose, you’ll also likely cultivate an attitude that results in giving up or avoiding, say, a confrontation at work.

But by persevering, you’ll recognize the pain or discomfort as something that is happening to your body not something that is a part of your body–and then you’ll realize that you can control it. Just as you slowly change your reaction to a physically strenuous pose, in turn, you can alter your response to stressors at home or in the office.

The practice of asanas is a way to use that mind-body link to create a positive effect. As your body grows stronger and more flexible through yoga, so does your mind, making you more likely to bend and not break in difficult situations.

Christopher Townson hasn’t decided on a major yet, but biology is a leading contender. He is from Sandy, Utah.

How To: Build a Fire From Sticks. Really.

When I was a junior in high school, I went on a trip with my Eagle Scout Troop to Superior National Forest near the U.S./Canada border. While exploring the woods, I became separated from the rest of the group. As the sun set, and I began to shiver, I realized that a fire would keep me warm and give the others a sign of my location. I reached down to my right pocket for my matches to find nothing but old flint. I reached over to my other pocket to find a cold metal pocketknife. I told myself, “I have to build a fire the original way.” It worked, and my troop found me within an hour.

 

  • Find tinder–anything that can catch a spark. Dry grass, leaves, moss, or wood flakes work well.

 

 

  • Gather kindling and firewood ranging in size from small to large. (When you manage to start the fire, you’ll want to light the wood from the smallest to largest pieces.)

 

 

  • Make a nest for the fire using the tinder you’ve collected, along with the small pieces of wood. Protect this nest, as it will become the heart of your fire.

 

 

  • Make a bow with a stick and piece of string. The bow is usually two feet long and the string can be any handy cord, even a shoelace.

 

 

  • Hold the bow horizontally, and stand a second stick against the middle of the string. Wrap the bow’s string around that stick once.

 

 

  • Place a “socket” on top of the second stick–a piece of wood or notched stone that you can cup in the palm of your hand and that will allow you to apply pressure to the stick and protect yourself as the stick spins.

 

 

  • Find a board of wood, about the size of a paperback book, and bore a notch in the center. Place the board over your nest, insert the vertical stick into the notch and move the bow back-and-forth, rotating the vertical stick against the board until friction causes an ember to form. That ember should fall through the hole you’ve created and into the nest. Fan lightly until the tinder catches. Voilà. Fire.

 

 

Monica Edgerton is a biology and Spanish double major from Akron, Ohio. Her parents surprised her with a cell phone as a high school graduation present, and she claims she is not addicted to texting–yet. Still, her cell-phone-free record is one of the best we’ve seen.

How To: Get by Without a Cellphone

As a middle-class teenager in the 21st century who survived high school without a cell phone, I realize I’m a rare breed. But living without a cell phone really isn’t that bad. You can do it too.

 

  • Use a pay phone: Believe it or not, those pay phones on the walls of public places aren’t just archaic relics of the past. Some still work.

 

 

  • Borrow a phone: Almost everyone has one. And most folks won’t think twice if you ask for a free call in a pinch. When I needed to call my parents for a ride home, I would simply borrow a friend’s phone. If my friends weren’t around, I took that as an opportunity to make new ones.

 

 

  • Exercise the mind: You know those phone and address books that are in all cell phones these days? I didn’t need one. Instead I tried a radical exercise for the brain called memorization. I’ve managed to memorize all my friends’ numbers and don’t have to rely on a gadget to conjure them up.

 

 

  • Exercise the body: One time I had to call home to get a ride to a flute lesson, but it was about an hour after school let out, so there were few people around. One of my good friends happens to live close to my high school, so I went for a walk. After knocking on the front door to no avail, I went around to the back because I happened to know that door was always open. I walked into her house and borrowed the phone. I don’t recommend breaking and entering, though.

 

 

Class of 2014
Class of 2014

Moriah Ellenbogen is a philosophy and English double major from Olney, Maryland. She spent three years in high school serving as a peer mediator for the school’s counseling department.

Tip: Ask your friends what they want out of the talk. The reality is that some individuals simply have no interest in being friends, and that’s fine as long as conflict is avoided. In other words, don’t walk into the argument expecting that in an hour’s time, your arguers will be skipping into the sunset together.

How To: Keep the Peace, Yo

Drama is nothing more than dead weight. We all have better things to do with our time, and yet that never stops arguments from creeping into our social lives. So what happens when two of your friends find themselves in heated dispute? It never hurts to step in and try to get the two to talk it out. Saying “it’s not my business” is a great excuse … unless you actually want it over and done with.

  • 1 Set some ground rules. It may sound lame, but ask the disputing parties to speak in turn, to not curse, and to remain seated. Yes, it may sound as though you’re about to mediate a squabble between three-year-olds, but the fact is, when tensions are high, the smallest things cause uproar. One eye-roll can ruin everything.
  • 2 Remain objective. The minute that Person A thinks you’re siding with him, he’ll start to get cocky, and Person B will get defensive. Start by asking one person to tell her side of the story, and when she’s finished, ask the other person to do the same. Then you can (gently!) throw in your two cents.
  • 3 Try to get to the bottom of the argument–the straw that broke the camel’s back just isn’t going to cut it. More than once during a mediation in high school, following a good hour of exaggerated sighs and empty threats, I would ask, “What was the first thing that upset you?” And neither person could answer. There’s almost always a “he said/she said” element to an argument. If you can’t get past that, then you’ll only be able to put the fight on hold, not resolve it.
Class of 2014
Nitya Daryanani is from Mumbai, India, and has been practicing "integral yoga" for six years.
Nitya Daryanani</strong> is from Mumbai, India, and has been practicing "integral yoga" for six years.

How To: Change Your Attitude

Yoga has the power to change you. There is a noticeable link between the mind and the body– just think about the ways mental stress causes your muscles to tighten.

Yoga works to lessen that kind of negative influence and to replace it with a positive one. The mental reaction you have to a difficult asana, or pose, is said to be the mental reaction you have to a setback in life.

For example, if your method of dealing with a difficult pose is to give in and end the pose, you’ll also likely cultivate an attitude that results in giving up or avoiding, say, a confrontation at work.

But by persevering, you’ll recognize the pain or discomfort as something that is happening to your body not something that is a part of your body–and then you’ll realize that you can control it. Just as you slowly change your reaction to a physically strenuous pose, in turn, you can alter your response to stressors at home or in the office.

The practice of asanas is a way to use that mind-body link to create a positive effect. As your body grows stronger and more flexible through yoga, so does your mind, making you more likely to bend and not break in difficult situations.

Christopher Townson hasn't decided on a major yet, but biology is a leading contender. He is from Sandy, Utah.

How To: Build a Fire From Sticks. Really.

When I was a junior in high school, I went on a trip with my Eagle Scout Troop to Superior National Forest near the U.S./Canada border. While exploring the woods, I became separated from the rest of the group. As the sun set, and I began to shiver, I realized that a fire would keep me warm and give the others a sign of my location. I reached down to my right pocket for my matches to find nothing but old flint. I reached over to my other pocket to find a cold metal pocketknife. I told myself, "I have to build a fire the original way." It worked, and my troop found me within an hour.

 

  • Find tinder–anything that can catch a spark. Dry grass, leaves, moss, or wood flakes work well.

 

 

  • Gather kindling and firewood ranging in size from small to large. (When you manage to start the fire, you'll want to light the wood from the smallest to largest pieces.)

 

 

  • Make a nest for the fire using the tinder you've collected, along with the small pieces of wood. Protect this nest, as it will become the heart of your fire.

 

 

  • Make a bow with a stick and piece of string. The bow is usually two feet long and the string can be any handy cord, even a shoelace.

 

 

  • Hold the bow horizontally, and stand a second stick against the middle of the string. Wrap the bow's string around that stick once.

 

 

  • Place a "socket" on top of the second stick–a piece of wood or notched stone that you can cup in the palm of your hand and that will allow you to apply pressure to the stick and protect yourself as the stick spins.

 

 

  • Find a board of wood, about the size of a paperback book, and bore a notch in the center. Place the board over your nest, insert the vertical stick into the notch and move the bow back-and-forth, rotating the vertical stick against the board until friction causes an ember to form. That ember should fall through the hole you've created and into the nest. Fan lightly until the tinder catches. Voilà. Fire.

 

 

Monica Edgerton is a biology and Spanish double major from Akron, Ohio. Her parents surprised her with a cell phone as a high school graduation present, and she claims she is not addicted to texting–yet. Still, her cell-phone-free record is one of the best we've seen.

How To: Get by Without a Cellphone

As a middle-class teenager in the 21st century who survived high school without a cell phone, I realize I'm a rare breed. But living without a cell phone really isn't that bad. You can do it too.

 

  • Use a pay phone: Believe it or not, those pay phones on the walls of public places aren't just archaic relics of the past. Some still work.

 

 

  • Borrow a phone: Almost everyone has one. And most folks won't think twice if you ask for a free call in a pinch. When I needed to call my parents for a ride home, I would simply borrow a friend's phone. If my friends weren't around, I took that as an opportunity to make new ones.

 

 

  • Exercise the mind: You know those phone and address books that are in all cell phones these days? I didn't need one. Instead I tried a radical exercise for the brain called memorization. I've managed to memorize all my friends' numbers and don't have to rely on a gadget to conjure them up.

 

 

  • Exercise the body: One time I had to call home to get a ride to a flute lesson, but it was about an hour after school let out, so there were few people around. One of my good friends happens to live close to my high school, so I went for a walk. After knocking on the front door to no avail, I went around to the back because I happened to know that door was always open. I walked into her house and borrowed the phone. I don't recommend breaking and entering, though.

 

 

How To: Build a Fire From Sticks. Really.

  • 1 Find tinder–anything that can catch a spark. Dry grass, leaves, moss, or wood flakes work well.
  • 2 Gather kindling and firewood ranging in size from small to large. (When you manage to start the fire, you’ll want to light the wood from the smallest to largest pieces.)
  • 3 Make a nest for the fire using the tinder you’ve collected, along with the small pieces of wood. Protect this nest, as it will become the heart of your fire.
  • 4 Make a bow with a stick and piece of string. The bow is usually two feet long and the string can be any handy cord, even a shoelace.
  • 5 Hold the bow horizontally, and stand a second stick against the middle of the string. Wrap the bow’s string around that stick once.
  • 6 Place a “socket” on top of the second stick–a piece of wood or notched stone that you can cup in the palm of your hand and that will allow you to apply pressure to the stick and protect yourself as the stick spins.
  • 7 Find a board of wood, about the size of a paperback book, and bore a notch in the center. Place the board over your nest, insert the vertical stick into the notch and move the bow back-and-forth, rotating the vertical stick against the board until friction causes an ember to form. That ember should fall through the hole you’ve created and into the nest. Fan lightly until the tinder catches. Voilà. Fire.
Class of 2014

Monica Edgerton is a biology and Spanish double major from Akron, Ohio. Her parents surprised her with a cell phone as a high school graduation present, and she claims she is not addicted to texting–yet. Still, her cell-phone-free record is one of the best we’ve seen.

How To: Get by Without a Cellphone

As a middle-class teenager in the 21st century who survived high school without a cell phone, I realize I’m a rare breed. But living without a cell phone really isn’t that bad. You can do it too.

  • 1 Use a pay phone: Believe it or not, those pay phones on the walls of public places aren’t just archaic relics of the past. Some still work.
  • 2 Borrow a phone: Almost everyone has one. And most folks won’t think twice if you ask for a free call in a pinch. When I needed to call my parents for a ride home, I would simply borrow a friend’s phone. If my friends weren’t around, I took that as an opportunity to make new ones.
  • 3 Exercise the mind: You know those phone and address books that are in all cell phones these days? I didn’t need one. Instead I tried a radical exercise for the brain called memorization. I’ve managed to memorize all my friends’ numbers and don’t have to rely on a gadget to conjure them up.
  • 4 Exercise the body: One time I had to call home to get a ride to a flute lesson, but it was about an hour after school let out, so there were few people around. One of my good friends happens to live close to my high school, so I went for a walk. After knocking on the front door to no avail, I went around to the back because I happened to know that door was always open. I walked into her house and borrowed the phone. I don’t recommend breaking and entering, though.
Published November 2010