Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year from The Sanjo


The Sanjo wishes everyone a Happy New Year.

How to Spend Your Winter Break

It’s said that idle hands are the devil’s workshop and with this much spare time coming up for students at Andrews Academy, that could become a major problem.

While the temptation to spend the cold free days in bed or in front of the television is strong, there are a lot more activities available this vacation that involve more movement than changing the channel on your remote.

Though some students may not have the next few weeks completely off – for work or other reasons – not having school does free up some time to spend as they choose.

Unfortunately, this year hasn’t invited much snow on the ground and has therefore stunted some of the more popular winter activities such as sledding, skiing or snowboarding. But that may change over the break. In which case, if you’re a winter sports enthusiast, the amount of free time would be put to great use hauling out those skis, inviting a few friends, and hitting the slopes.

For those of us who are less talented on anything but regular shoes, there’s plenty of opportunity to spend the time with friends and family – that is, if you’re not already dragged half-way across the country to spend time with family and only family for the holidays.

You could drive over to a friend’s (careful of those roads!) and spend the day with them helping them wrap gifts, watching Christmas movies or just hanging out next to a fire.

And while you may have a major break right now, many parents may have to work over the break. You could help them out by finishing decorating for the holidays or just cleaning up a bit to make it more relaxing for them to come home to.

But really, who are we kidding?

We all know how teenagers spend their time off: the internet and/or sleeping. No article will change that.

But just remember to savor your vacation – school will once again rear its ugly head come January 3.

So AA students, have fun, stay safe, and Merry Christmas!


Andrews Music Programs Pack PMC, HPAC

For the first time in over five years, the Christmas music program “Feast of Lights” was coordinated by two music teachers: Mr. Graves and Mr. Flores. In addition to the Feast of Lights, this year marked the first Academy Christmas Pops concert, an evening of secular Christmas music which happened the following Saturday night.  Months were spent preparing the symphony orchestra, string orchestra, concert band, choir and silhouettes for the two concerts which, according to audience member interviews, was nothing less than professional.

This year’s Feast of Lights involved more advanced pieces for all the performers, including an eight-part collaboration between the Silhouettes and the string orchestra, with soloists Breanna Wood, Yewon Kim, Anhui (Annie) Jeong, Kelsey Robertson, and Bethany Goodwind. Both the string and symphony orchestras featured Gielle Kuhn on harp and performers from the Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra and the Andrews University Orchestra.

The Christmas Pops concert, held at the Howard Performing Arts Center, featured performances by the symphony orchestra, string orchestra, Silhouettes, concert band, a special music by John Henri Rorabeck, Cavan Miller and Jeshua Moore.

Drawing the evening to an exciting close, Mr. Graves conducted both the symphony orchestra and the concert band in the grand finale, Leroy Anderson’s rendition of Sleigh Ride.

The audience reaction to both concerts was very positive.  Many attendees admitted they were impressed with the complexity of the music selection, and although some students (privately) admitted mistakes made during the performances, this did not prevent them from captivating audiences and glorifying God.



Our Town Cast, AP History Students Celebrate


A few students this Friday had more to celebrate than just the end of final exams.  Mr. Baker and Mr. Sherman teamed up to treat Our Town cast members and last year’s AP History students to a pizza feast at Polito’s Pizza in South Bend.

A celebratory dinner at Tippecanoe Place, the Studebaker family mansion, has long been a tradition for Mr. Baker and the cast of his Literary Interpretation class.  This year he decided to try something different and collaborated with Mr. Sherman.

The “trip was to reward the class for their hard and diligent work last year,” Mr. Sherman said.  “I promised to do something nice, so I took them to my favorite pizza place.”

The group of approximately 24 students seemed to have a good time and enjoyed plenty of lively conversation.

Not surprisingly, Our Town Stage Manager Dillon Zimmerman offered some insightful commentary:  “As a group we have definitely bonded, and it was nice to meet for one last time.”

Our Town cast and crew enjoy good company and good pizza.

Build Them up, Tear Them Down, Eat Them up

Christmas Banquet took place, December 11, from 6 to 9.  Banquet began with smiling faces and picture taking. Students entered the Academy Commons to a welcoming warmth and an inside winter wonderland.  A snowy walk way led to a photo booth, while a frosty snowman sat in a different type of photo booth. The fire was slowly burning, and though no warmth was coming from its flames, the mood still seemed to be warming people’s hearts.

After opening prayer, attendees began to make gingerbread houses, which brought even brighter smiles to people’s faces. Some people on the other hand were just eating the parts to their houses and were asked to leave until the house was actually done – Mr. Overstreet.   The building process was especially fun for some people like Katie DeWind and Yuna Kwon.   Though few houses last long, the joy of building it was still present.

Appetizers were served while houses were still going up.  The appetizers were composed of salad and cheese with crackers.  Christmas songs danced around the room while we ate and dinner couldn’t have come soon enough. Cavin Miller and Jeshua Moore played the piano toward the end of the evening. After, cheese cake was served for desert. We listened to Divine Harmony, a group of Andrews Academy girls, who sang “Mary Did You Know”.  We ended with closing prayer, after which many people began to mingle about and take pictures. Overall it was a fairly good Christmas banquet/party.

Bye Bye Banks

There are teachers, and then there are teachers who become a part of students’ lives in significant ways. The beginning of the school year was a bittersweet moment: Mrs. Banks was back to teach, but only for one semester. Considering finals are here, there is only a short amount of time to show her love in return for everything she’s done for this school.

Mrs. Banks began her teaching career by instructing fourth graders in Buffalo, New York, where she stayed for three years. She then moved on to Adelphian Academy where she taught physical education. Finally, she moved to Berrien Springs where she worked at Ruth Murdoch Elementary teaching kindergarten for seven years, and then fifth graders for another seven years. She eventually came to Andrews Academy where she has taught health, home economic and physical education classes for eight years.

Banks will be moving to Loma Linda, California, with her husband, John, who is starting a new job at Loma Linda Medical School.

During her time at Andrews Academy Mrs. Banks has not only taught, but created friendships with many students. Many of the students in her classes have made it clear that if it was up to them, she would delay her move to California until they all graduate. In fact, some of the students wanted to show their affection:

“Mrs. Banks is one of my favorite teachers. She is really awesome to talk to and always has a funny story to tell. Mrs. Banks keeps all of my classes interesting and a lot of fun with all of her rants on stupid shoes, John Banks, and people eating in “her” kitchen.  She is still one of the most loved teachers in this school,” said Brandon vonDorpowski, a junior at Andrews Academy.

“[I am going to miss] her laugh, silly comments, attitude, singing in classes.., well, mostly everything about her,” stated James Joo, a sophomore at Andrews Academy.

Sergio Francisco, a senior at Andrews Academy, smiled as he shared, “When I was a freshman, I remember I told her that I was going to be in her class next semester.  Her only response was ‘Don’t threaten me’. But it’s alright; we’re cool now!”

“A couple things I learned from Mrs. Banks are how to make a pie, the social food chain at AA, and also how to argue. I hope she has a fun time in California and learns what a beach is,” remarks Jeremy Faehner, a senior at Andrews Academy.

Although she is very excited for the big change and the company of her youngest daughter, Kirsten, Mrs. Banks is going to miss the friendships with the students the most. She will be spending her extra time working on her old Victorian house and laying by the pool, while her husband, John Banks, will be working as an anatomy professor at Loma Linda.

This week, Mrs. Banks has been giving her last few thoughts during chapel time, using the holiday classic The Christmas Story as an example. Not letting your pride get in the way, and keeping your eyes on the big picture are some of the life lessons she has shared, though she gives much more during her classes.

She’s a wonderful teacher and an even better friend.  Its safe to say that she will be missed by all.

Poll: Gymnastics Program at AA

Black and Blue Friday

"Once inside the store, holiday spirit seemed to fade out quickly."

Lines form and anticipation rises as the minute hand on the clock ticks down closer to opening time. Finally the doors open, and people seem to flood in from everywhere. Clothes are thrown around along with shoes, jewelry, make up, children, anything that has a reduction to the normal price tag.

My experience on Black Friday started at 9:00 A.M at the Springfield Missouri mall. My mother and I had decided to grab a few things for a trip to Holland in January, a time when the weather will be in the colder range, so coats and boots are needed. My brothers were reluctantly dragged along to help hold the shopping bags after our purchases. We had no line to contend with to get into the store, but once inside the Holiday spirit seemed to fade out quickly.

Claws began to fly as people frantically tried to secure the last fur coat on sale while boxes were cast aside to find right sizes and colors. Pushing and shoving was suddenly acceptable, and in awe I watched as adults turned into their Kindergarten counterparts, kicking and punching to get what they wanted.

I’ll admit that all the deals are exciting, but are they worth clocking a stranger in the mouth just to save a few bucks? No matter the incredible savings that are taking place, I think a person can still give a smile and wait their turn in line patiently. That way, Black Friday would go by more smoothly and less bruises would appear.

Is the mace really necessary? Possibly if your going to be tromping through the African jungles and need protection from the wild hyenas. Or maybe if your going on a 4 A.M run through the Detroit downtown area. The main purpose for mace is to protect yourself in a life-threatening situation. Losing that blue cashmere sweater to a fellow shopper isn’t a good reason for you to whip out your pepper spray and go crazy. Hitting with canes, pushing people down escalators, shoving, and breaking ankles are all unnecessary.

Next Black Friday don’t be the face on the news that was kicked out of a store for being too aggressive.

Remember your manners and take your turn.

Christmas Around the World


Santa, stockings, large dazzling trees, warm fires crackling in the fireplace while frost gathers on the window pane, peppermint dancing through the air, hot food steaming on the table, laughter and joy echoing throughout the house. All the presents pile up and dreams run high. Everyone knows that I’m talking about a traditional American Christmas, but what is a traditional Chinese Christmas, or a traditional French Christmas like?

Chinese Christmas traditions are somewhat like the American traditions in the way that a tree with lights are put up along with stockings, and the children await Dun Che Lao Ren to bring them their presents. Dun Che Lao Ren means “Christmas old Man.” The Chinese New Year is a bigger celebration than Christmas is. The Chinese New Year is brought in with presents, big feasts, new clothes, and fireworks.

A French Christmas is quite different than the Christmas that you and I are accustomed to celebrating. Instead of a Christmas tree, mangers are set out and mistletoe is strung from every possible hanging place because it is thought to bring good luck. Stockings don’t take up the fireplace hearth.  Instead, rows of shoes are set out in hope of presents. Children don’t expect a plump jolly fellow to come sliding down their chimneys.  They look instead for a slim, tall man wearing a long red coat trimmed with fur. This is their Pere Noel, “Father Christmas,” gift giver to all of France.

Christmas in Italy lasts three weeks and starts eight days before Christmas. This period is called Novena. Children go around from door to door reciting Christmas poems and singing. Some children dress as shepherds, play musical instruments at door steps, and are paid to buy presents. A large feast is held twenty-four hours before Christmas Eve and every person receives one present. At noon on Christmas day the Pope gives his blessing to all. On January 6th, Epiphany, Italian children get the rest of their presents. According to the Italian tradition, all presents are delivered by a kind, ugly witch on a broomstick named Befana. The story goes that she was told by the three Kings that the baby Jesus was born, but she was delayed visiting the baby. She missed the star, lost her way, and has been flying around ever since, leaving presents at every house in case the baby is there. She slides down the chimney and leaves her goodies for the good children. The bad children receive lumps of coal.

Christmas in shorts, with Santa arriving on a surfboard, is how Australians celebrate Christmas. A big lunch is served on December 25th, midday, consisting of ham, turkey, pork, and Christmas plum pudding. Each batch of pudding holds a special treat baked within it, and whoever finds it is said to have good luck for a year. Instead of a Christmas tree, Australians surround themselves with the native plant called the Christmas Bush. The Christmas Bush is a small plant with little red berries on it.

Christmas in Antarctica? Christmas comes to Antarctica in the austral summer. Most people are too busy to celebrate Christmas because they are preoccupied with scientific advancements, or they are on a cruise to a more inviting climate.

In Zimbabwe most of the residents are Christians and celebrate Christmas with reverence and high spirits. Their Christmas falls in the summer. They celebrate the typical European customs, with fancy food, gifts, and most people’s favorite part, school closing and shops staying open 24/7.

In Argentina toasting  is a big part of Christmas. On Christmas Eve people gather together to dance, sing songs, and make a toast. The next day a variety of food is placed on a table to enjoy.  Everyone makes a toast again. After everyone has made a toast, the family gathers around to enjoy some chat time, while some of them play games. Their Santa is called “Father Christmas” and boots are placed on every door for him. The houses are decorated with white and red garlands.  Lights and ornaments are placed on every tree.

This Christmas, as you gather around your table to enjoy your feast with your family, think of how your neighbors across the world are celebrating. Even with all of our diversity, we still have a lot in common, more so than some might think.

AA Hosts Children’s Christmas Party

It is rare to find anyone who will babysit for free – especially on a weekend.  Yet the SA Children’s Christmas Party had students doing just that – and having as much fun as the hyperactive children.

Three school days before the party, nearly thirty AA students signed up to bring gifts and spend time with fifteen K-3rd graders from area schools.

The evening began with myriads of small children anxiously rushing into the commons where SA member Hannah Mbungu directed them to their respective AA student sponsor. Shortly thereafter, the youngsters and students swarmed into the gym for rounds of group games like freeze-tag, monarch, and duck-duck-goose.

When the games in the gym ended early due to an unforeseen AU Jr. Cardinals practice, the hungry partygoers spilled into the commons for a supper consisting of pizza, cookies, and other hyperactivity-inducing junk food.

After the last cookie was consumed, an ear-splitting squeal erupted from the commons as a pillow-padded, santa-suit-clad Dillon Zimmerman ambled into view, where he was promptly climbed upon by all fifteen children who were eager to tear into their gifts. Once all the presents had been dealt out, there was a time for pictures and playing with presents as the children slowly filtered back to their parents, ending an exhausting, but exciting, Christmas party.



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