Photos By Ellen Swanson
Ping Pong Club
Senior Carl Young unfolds the two ping-pong tables stowed against the wall at the end of the fourth floor hallway. It’s right after school Monday, time for an afternoon of “friendly” ping-pong matches, sometimes matches get a little competitive. The club presidents Camille Moore and Bria Foley retrieve the crate of miscellaneous ping-pong paddles and nets that have been collected over the years.
Ping-Pong Club has been at East for seven years and meets every Monday after school. At every meeting, there is an average of 10 people that come to have friendly matches according to senior Carl Young. The club can currently play two matches at a time but hopes to have a third one soon after it gets fixed.
“I go to Ping-Pong Club for a few reasons,” senior Will Seitz said. “I really enjoy playing the game and challenging myself to become better, I have a lot of fun spending time with my friends, and I love the sense of community since its a pretty small club”
Recently, Ping-Pong Club has started to organize tournaments with other schools that play ping-pong. On Feb. 14 there was a tournament against Kansas City Christian played in the East cafeteria. The posters around the school about the tournament have brought more ping-pong players to the fourth floor meetings.
“We are currently working with other schools such as St. James and St. Thomas Aquinas to schedule more tournaments,” Foley said.
According to Foley and Moore, they run the club to give people an enjoyable place to get away from the stress of school. Everyone who comes to Ping-Pong Club shares a passion for playing ping-pong and hanging out with fellow ping-pong players, but anyone skill level player is welcome to join in on the ping-pong matches.
“Different people have different ways of getting through stuff. For me if i’m stressed I can go and play ping-pong and I feel a lot better. Young said. “It’s about finding your place in high school because it’s really important to have all these different options for people to see where they fit in.”
In room 522 the staffers of the Freelancer begin to file in. It’s a Thursday, time for the weekly Freelancer meeting. Seven out of the usual 25 staffers sit in the room discussing the new up and coming books and latest controversial NPR articles. They are waiting for the rest of the staff to join them and start work on East’s arts and literature magazine that is published at the end of the year.
At the beginning of the meeting, the head editors, seniors Greta Miller, Yashi Wang and Meredith Finley, stand at the front of the classroom, hoping to determine where the magazine will be headed this year. This specific meeting is important because they are voting on what the theme for the final book will be. The magazine published last year was themed Elements.
The Freelancer is a collection of original student artwork, poetry and literature and is celebrating its ninth year being published. From October to February, the Freelancer accepts submissions from the students. Last year, the magazine received over 95 submissions. The staff goes through all of the submissions one by one to determine which pieces make are published in the final book.
“In the end, our desire to choose pieces that have strong artistic merit and that fit our vision for the magazine helps us make those choices without too much trouble,” English teacher Amy Andersen. “Occasionally, our staff has split and heated opinions on a piece, and that’s fun!”
English and Creative Writing teacher Amy Andersen has been the club sponsor for the past seven editions. Earlier this year Andersen traveled to the different English classes to talk to students about creative writing and how they can help on the Freelancer.
“I love creative writing and all forms of art!” Andersen said. “I have loved writing and working with other writers since I was a little girl so getting to head up the creative writing program at East by sponsoring the Freelancer and teaching Writer’s Workshop has been a fun niche.”
When February comes to an end Miller, Wang, Finley, and the rest of the staff will start working on the design aspect of the Freelancer once all submissions are finalized. Last year over 800 copies of the Freelancer were distributed throughout the community.
“I think the freelancer gives people an opportunity to be engaged with that rather than just hear about and see what a real life situation working in the arts whether that is designing, curating, or submitting work anything that an artistic professional would do,” Miller said.