The Culinary Specialists of PA

by Noah Schmidt, PAW Writer

“They’re the hardest working people at Providence,” according to Mr. Brian Dudley. “The nicest people in the school,” according to Luke Tapani. They are, as Mr. Dudley insisted I call them, “the culinary specialists,” of Providence Academy, also known as the lunch ladies.

Lunch Lady Doris DOES NOT work at PA.  She's at the school down the street
Lunch Lady Doris DOES NOT work at PA. She’s at the school down the street

The culinary specialists have long days at PA, working tirelessly to ensure that the students can enjoy fantastic lunches every day. Mrs. Subielka, one of PA’s lunch ladies, said, “we spend most of our time prepping food, prepping the area, hand-wrapping the cookies, stocking the drinks, setting up salad bars, carrying out trays, plates and bowls.” This writer was extremely impressed upon discovering the time that goes into wrapping each and every sumptuous chocolate chip cookie.

When asked what the most annoying parts of her job were, Mrs. Huro, another culinary specialist instantly replied. “Marshall makes us peel potatoes, every single one of them just like your grandma does. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little annoyed when kids throw them away without eating them.” I wanted to figure out what we, as students, could do to make their jobs easier and more enjoyable. Mrs. Subielka and Mrs. Huro said, “I’m disappointed when students choose to help themselves to the salad bar when they order a la carte. They know it is stealing but they do it anyways. Other than that, excessive loudness can be annoying, messes on the salad bar are a bother, it can be tedious when students throw their trays at the washing station when they’re done without stacking them.” And last but not far from least, a lunch room sin the author of this piece has committed far too many times: the lack of a lunch card at the checkout line. When students queue to pay for their lunch, the lines grow excessively long and if a student forgets their card, the catering specialists are forced to manually search for the student’s account on the computer, slowing the process down like crazy. “Kids do it every day and it is always a pain, it’s better if they know their PIN number, but it is still not fun.”

The job is not all doom and gloom. There are some encouraging aspects as well; there certainly should be! “You really get to know some of the kids and their personalities which is really fun. Senehue (another server) likes to speak Spanish with some students, which is cool to watch. The kids generally have great manners, lots of thank you’s. Oh, and I really like to see kids excited about a certain meal. It makes it worthwhile,” said Mrs. Huro.

We here at Providence are treated to excellent lunches. We come to school and get to indulge in home-made chicken tenders, zesty fish tacos, flavorful stir fries, a variety of ice-cream flavors, succulent fresh fruit, hand-wrapped cookies, and hand-peeled potatoes among other fine dishes. And we have the women in white to thank for these delightful meals. Next time you check out of the lunch line, make sure to have your lunch card, and more importantly make sure to let our culinary specialists know that you appreciate their hard work and kindness.

Rolling With the Punches

by Noah Schmidt, PAW Writer

To quote J. Roddy Walston and the Business, “you gotta take it as it comes.” College admissions decisions are generally released at the end of March or beginning of April, and it is an incredibly stressful time for Providence Academy seniors.

It is not unheard of for an exceptionally bright Providence student to apply to several top tier universities, only to check their e-mails on March 31st  and read a string of rejection letters. The student glumly reads complimentary yet unhelpful rejection letter after complimentary yet unhelpful rejection letter. Harvard’s rejection letter says, “With so many more talented and highly qualified candidates than we could admit or even interview, the Committee on Admissions faced a very difficult task.” Most other schools echo the same sentiments.

Conversely, it could be a very happy day for a student admitted to their dream school. However, a lot of PA students end up somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Luke Tapani, a PA senior, received a mixture of acceptances and rejections. “It’s hard. I was disappointed with some of the school’s decisions, but at the end of the day I ended up with some great choices and spent a lot of time praying and talking with my family to finally decide on where I’ll be attending in the Fall.” Erinn McIntyre, another senior, only applied to St. Olaf, where she will be attending for the next four years. “Yeah I was a little nervous because if I didn’t get in I wasn’t sure where else I wanted to go, I’ve always wanted to attend St. Olaf. Thankfully it worked out and I’m excited about the upcoming years.”

Connor Killion, a PA senior who will be attending The University of California at Berkeley in the fall, had some very wise thoughts on the topic. “It’s a very Providence thing to obsess over how your college decision will affect your image, but in reality it’s the work you put into your education that counts, not the name on the diploma. Just remember that admissions officers are human, and whether you get into a great school or not comes down to a fair bit of luck.”

Loud Music Is The Devil!

by Noah Schmidt, PAW Writer

In the 1998 film, “The Waterboy”, starring Adam Sandler, the protagonist’s Momma, played by Kathy Bates, says that practically everything on the face of the earth, the Bible excluded, is the devil. I’m sure if asked for her opinion on listening to loud music, Momma would promptly exclaim, “Loud music is the devil!” And she’d probably be right, at least partially.





In an interview that appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Brian Fligor, a Boston audiologist, stated that, “It is normal to lose some hearing as we age, but overexposure to music and noise can make that happen much faster.” How loud is too loud? Dr. Fligor recommends that, “people keep the volume on a device no higher than 80% of maximum… for 90 minutes of listening.”

The majority of Providence students seem to understand the risks of listening to loud music. Erinn McIntyre, a PA senior, said, “I listen to it not too loud, not too quiet, juuust right.” Although this response is Goldilocks-esque, this is certainly a healthy habit. Paul Stankey, a sophomore, stated, “It all depends for me. When I’m working out its really loud, but when I’m practicing (golf) I’ll have it on softly.” This way of listening shouldn’t cause serious damage. Dr. Fligor himself said that, “You can listen really loud for short periods of time safely.” Another senior at Providence, Connor Killion, member of the band “Bored of Education,” has experienced firsthand the pains of listening to music too loud. “I listen to music at different volumes depending on the time of day, but I don’t ever go overboard with a volume because it leads to a constant ringing in your ears. At concerts, especially punk concerts, they play super loud and I’ve been stuck right in front of the speaker stacks. I actually lost a bunch of hearing for a few hours thanks to a stupid metal band at the garage.” Students seem to be generally aware of the dangers of listening to loud music and thus listen cautiously.

Although listening to loud music in headphones certainly may be “the devil,” listening quietly is definitely not. Music is a beautiful form of art that can truly enhance one’s life. As Plato wrote, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” Bring some charm into your life in the form of music, just keep the volume down while you do it.

Valentinzzzz Day – A Personal Reflection

by Noah Schmidt, PAW Writer

Grandparent’s Day, Sweetest Day, Boss’ Day, Secretary’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day- what do all of these “holidays” have in common?

They were all invented by people who write cards. They are all “Hallmark Holidays,” they were brought into existence purely for card companies to sell cards celebrating a non-existent holiday. Consequently, Valentine’s Day, like these other Hallmark holidays, is a pseudo-holiday. At least that’s the opinion of the author, who is currently lacking a girlfriend (by choice, of course). As my Instagram news feed filled up with posts captioned, “My boyfriend is the best ever,” or “She’s so hot it’s hard to be cool,” or, “I don’t know what I’d do without him,”(Her grades would rise and she would be infinitely less annoying, that’s what would happen without him), I wondered what my fellow proud singles would be doing on this February 14th, a day just like any other. So, of course, I turned my curiosity into a story.


 Parker Loew– “I’ll sleep in and then I’ll be on Twitter checking out funny Valentine’s Day Cards and hanging out with my friends.”

 Michael Villifana – “I’ll be in NYC checking out colleges.”

 Megan Stewart – “I’ll be sitting on my couch watching Grey’s Anatomy, eating a bowl of Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream, with my cat Chloe.

 Charlie Kral – “I’ll watch a couple episodes of Friends, read a book, do homework. Just like I’ve done for every Valentine’s Day for the past 16 years.”

 Luke Tapani – “I hope my girlfriend doesn’t dump me by Valentine’s day.

After these interviews, it became more and more apparent that V-Day may be special for those with a date, but for the rest of us, it should be re-named “Zzz-Day”. It is simply an opportunity to catch up on sleep, be lazy, recharge our batteries, and get back to neutral. And for that, I believe we all owe Hallmark a thank you card.

The Real Scrooges of Providence Academy

by Noah Schmidt, PAW Writer

December is considered by many to be the most wonderful time of the year. However, there are some undeniably odd secular traditions associated with the holiday. PA upper School Students shared their personal gripes with the modern Christmas season.

Luke, Senior:  I don’t like that people lie about mistletoe.  It has never worked for me.

Erinn, Senior: I don’t need any Christmas gifts but it would be nice if my boyfriend would ask me questions about my day and my dreams for the future.  That would be a gift.

Ben, Sophomore:  It’s a lot of pressure.  Its hard to explain but its not like trying to solve world peace, its just the pressure of dropping hints of what I want and trying in advance to set expectations low for a thank you letter.

Cameron, Senior:  I love Christmas and everything about it, but I do wish we could expand wardrobe colors beyond green and red.

Paul, Sophomore: Santa is not always a good judge of character as evidenced by the most recent round of presents.  I don’t even know who to complain to about that.

Jordan, Freshman: I have been having these big thoughts about Christmas whenever I watch the Santa Tracker on radar.  If he can get down your chimney without being noticed you think he would have some stealth technology to avoid the radar, wouldn’t you?  If they could track all the unicorns you would think they would have a unicorn tracker but they don’t because they were too busy inventing stealth technology.

It seems as if every Providence student has his or her own unique and whimsical gripe with the Christmas season. However, even if every time you see a Santa in the mall you have flashbacks of panic attacks as a child, or feel like a Middle School girl for getting Taylor Swift’s “Last Christmas,” stuck in your head, let’s take time this December to remember the true meaning of Christmas.