Hi all, and welcome to the first ever issue of Clay Magazine!
We are so excited to introduce all of this year’s columnists and editors with you and are so glad that you are joining us here. For everyone who missed the big announcement, clay is the successor to the beloved TPS ezine, The Cracked Pot. After years of service to the TPS community, we felt like it was time for TCP to get a little remodel, you can read the full story here.
First off, we wanted to take a few minutes to introduce ourselves to you before we throw you into the rest of our Meet the Staff articles.
Jack: As we mentioned above, welcome to Clay Magazine, TPSers; I’m honored to be a Senior Editor for the inaugural issue. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a Northern Virginia native with a passion for journalism, theology, current events, athletics, history, and economics–so I was thrilled to receive this fantastic opportunity to use my talents and resources to make you love this publication even more. If you want to reach out to me for any reason, from voicing compliments (or complaints) about the publication to meeting in DC, just email the clay email and I’ll get back to you.
Although only my second year on staff with the TPS online publication, it’s now my fifth year with The Potter’s School, and two of my younger four siblings have now joined me on GP6. I hope to graduate this spring (barring the freak accident of a lifetime), and double major in history and economics. I’m also very excited to work with the amazing staff we have this year, not least of whom are my fellow Senior Editors and veteran TCPers, Halle Kill and Raelen VanDuzer.
Halle: I’ll avoid giving you all a third and slightly unnecessary welcome and just jump right in. I’m Halle Kill, and I am so excited and honored to be heading up Clay Magazine this year with Jack and Raelen. I’ve recently returned to my native Pacific Northwest wonderland after living in New York City for seven years, and although I sure do love the mountains and the trees, anyone who knows me will tell you that my city roots still run deep and always will. This marks my eighth year with TPS and my fourth with the TPS ezine, and I am still in awe of how much both the school and the paper have grown and changed so much in (what feels like) my short time here. After high school, I hope to sign myself up for another twelve years of school as I head into the medical field and specialize in pediatric trauma, but for now, I take photos of really cute families and seniors and call it a job. Thanks again to all of you for joining us here, we can’t wait to hear your thoughts on clay.
Rae: I’ll avoid a fourth and majorly unnecessary welcome, also jumping right in, but not actually jumping right in because of this long sentence saying that I’m going to jump right in. I’m Raelen, also known as Rae and a variety of other things which you may find out over the course of the year. This year, I’ll have worked with TPS and TCP/clay for five years, and I love it. DFW, Texas is currently home, although I’m a fellow NOVA native with Jack and then a CO resident of six years (go Broncos!). I have a passion for learning, languages, the idea of photojournalism (the idea because I don’t have a ton of experience with the actual thing, but I fully intend to), missions, and above all, Jesus Christ. My family consists of three younger siblings, two of whom are fellow TPSers, my fantastic parents, and a super adorable and surprisingly not annoying terrier named Bennett (Pride and Prejudice holds a special place in my heart, not because it’s “so cute” or anything girly like that, but because it’s beautifully awkward, and awkwardness is the best kind of comedy). I’ll be heading into missions or college for linguistics/medicine next year, depending on what comes my way, and I can’t wait.
We’d love to hear from you on our Contact form this year, and maybe we’ll even get the chance to answer some “Notes to the Editor(s).” I hope you enjoy the production and have a school year filled with learning and growing closer to Jesus!
In order to more adequately and extensively introduce ourselves, we asked each member of the editorial team to send in a question for us to answer and they did not let us down! We hope you enjoy our somewhat-serious (but mostly just really comical) responses to these surprisingly difficult questions.
Makenzie Davis, Open Mic Editor: If you could travel back in time to any period in history for a week, when would you pick and why?
Halle: Quick disclaimer, the three of us have agreed to eliminate the lifetime of Jesus for this one. I would go straight to the 1960s for man’s race to space. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by this time of development for the world’s space programs and get excited just thinking about being alive to witness it all. This should come as no surprise to all my friends who see my giant NASA stickers on my water bottle and laptop every day.
Raelen: I have a few options. If I picked something simply for the wonder of it, I’d spend a week watching monks illuminate manuscripts in 1100s AD in Ireland. It’s a skill that simply amazes me and instills a sense of awe in my soul for the ability God has given man. If I picked something practical, I’d spend a week with August Francke, who was essentially a pre-George-Mueller George Mueller. I’d get to help in his orphanages and watch the ways God provided while being smack in the middle of the Reformation and maybe even meeting Count Zinzendorf for dinner.
Jack: Hmm, I’d have to say I’d go back to either the Early Church (2nd Century) period, or possibly America in the 1950s. As an admirer of history both ancient and modern, I would love to separate fact from legend both in what some have dubbed the golden era of America, as well as the early days of the Church.
Ian Hurst, Arts & Culture Co-Editor: If you had to force everyone on the planet to read one book (besides the Bible), what book would it be?
Halle: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin or the Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Emerson Coleman.
Rae: Twilight. Just kidding, just kidding, we can burn them (I’ve never personally read those, for the record). I’ve just recently been reading Humility by Andrew Murray, and the concepts in it are so vital for truly understanding the Christian life. Of course, you can get every morsel in it from Scripture, but it enunciates the principles so well. A fiction option would be Madelaine L’Engle’s Time Quintet.
Jack: The Law by Frederic Bastiat. As dry as it sounds, the 58 page pamphlet is the most concise and riveting treatise on liberty and limited government.
Piper Boykin, Arts & Culture Co-Editor: If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what/who would it be for?
Halle: Ahhhh this is wonderful. Some of my very best friends are long-distance and I think it’d be so so fun to have everyone from all different areas and times of my life come together for a big party that lasts multiple weeks (Or forever? Heaven, anyone?).
Rae: Oh oh oh, this is so fun. I’d have mandatory attendance from all TPS students and teachers–but no one knows who anybody is. We have to figure out who all our fellow TPSers are by their voices, personalities, points of expertise, and other weird quirks. After everyone’s identities were revealed at the end of the day, we’d have a weekend retreat to get to know each other.
Jack: The best possible party to throw would be the one with all the Alabama Crimson Tide fans in the world. As my fellow comrades of the college football world, I’d love to cheer on the Tide to another championship win.
Halle: Anddd, once again, I answer first and have a way less cool answer.
Emma Waldvogel, News Editor: What’s a character/personality trait you have which you consider quirky and/or most people wouldn’t know about if they aren’t around you 24/7?
Halle: *insert nervous laugh here* Wellll don’t know if this is necessarily a personality or character trait, but I’m sure y’all will enjoy it. I used to openly mock all country music fans and make sure everyone knew that I’d never ever listen to it. However, over the summer I’ve somehow started listening to it regularly and have slowly grown to love it. But I’m so adamant about not exposing my new-found admiration for country music that I turn my Spotify session to private every time I play it.
Rae: I punch people when I’m scared or tickled. It’s completely accidental. And this is no little slug–it comes with a full force swing beginning in the shoulder and catches unsuspecting offenders in the ribs.
Jack: My disdain for physical violence and country music.
Rae: Also, my punching reflex tends to extend to people who are unnecessarily disdainful.
Hannah Lin, Theology & Worldview Editor: What one thing in your life are you most proud of having accomplished?
Rae: I was away from my family this summer for 12 weeks. During this time, I think I’m most proud of the fact that my roommate and I made it to Best Buy and back on the highway with minimal issues. My mom may or may not have helped us pump gas via the phone. Jesus was with us.
I also do sorta like my unweighted 4.0.
Jack: My biggest accomplishment has gotta be passing Chemistry. I honestly have no idea how I did it; like, I didn’t even know what the teacher was talking about by February, so in that regard, it’s gotta be my pinnacle of success.
Halle: Hopping in last so I can one-up Rae this time. 😉 My greatest & proudest accomplishment is hands-down managing to move to Oregon where it’s illegal to pump my own gas and someone comes up to my car to do it for me every. single. time.
Morgan Hirchert, Spotlight Editor: If you could spend an afternoon with one fictional character who would it be and why?
Rae: Nicholas Benedict from the Mysterious Benedict Society, I think. I’d love to learn how his brain works, but I’d also hope he didn’t plunge into a bit of narcolepsy too often. Aslan would be a bit more of a practical/Christian/homeschooler pick.
Jack: David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. Why? His hair, his personality, his fashion: all of it. I had a eureka just recently that as my role model in middle school, he probably shaped my personality more than any other person in my life, real or fictional. He brought me out of nerdom (a rare feat for such a program) and into my current self’s personality (ENFP for you Myers-Briggs geeks), and for that, I’m eternally grateful.
Halle: Just going to ignore the fact that Jack and Rae have stolen my two most favorite fictional characters and say Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus. I feel like we’d have fun together and I need some more of her spunk and spontaneity in my life.
Jacey Koo, Humor Editor: Imagine that you three suddenly find yourselves locked in a room one day with no visible way out. The only other object in the center of the room is a small glass vial containing a bubbling orange liquid. What do each of you do next?
Jack: Play a quick game of boggle, work on my pick-up lines, and maybe go for a light jog. After that, I’d probably google some random trivia and hit the gym. If all of that happened without any gaps in my memory, I’d realize it wasn’t Inception, and I’d call 911 and have them trace my call.
Halle: Clearly Jack didn’t read the question thoroughly (sending our apologies, Jacey). After a thoughtful discussion, Raelen and I have come to the conclusion that there are really only two scenarios that could take place in this situation. Either the liquid is bad to drink, or good to drink (with a side option of it being bad to drink and also explosive). Soooo either we all drink from it, or none of us do. We’re assuming that bad leads to death, explosive liquid is an option, and that being good could wake us up or get us out of the room, but it could also be “good” making us immortal, which we wouldn’t prefer, especially if we’re trapped in this room for that eternal life.
Rae: DRINK IT. But actually, to finish off Halle’s explanation, we first pour a drop on the floor and hope it’s explosive. Next, we either all drink the liquid or all don’t. Drinking it is probably a bit wiser, although I’d rather not live forever.