Nic Fort, ’16
Every Thursday afternoon, you may notice some people gone at lunch. Or maybe you don’t. It doesn’t really matter. Anyway, those people are either skipping lunch or they’re at a meeting of the staff of The Rubble, Tower Hill’s student publication, found with its new design at therubble.org. These meetings usually go the same way. They’re advertised in morning assembly with promises of donuts and pizza, and a few people, truth be told, are there just for the food.
When we stream into Mr. Scibilia’s room at the beginning of lunch, we each take a ceremonial robe and put it on, its thatched, multicolored fabric covering our school clothes. As we wait for the fellow members to arrive, we sit cross-legged on the desks and meditate while lightly humming “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees under our breaths. (One of our fearless leaders, Sam “The Bulldog” Barrett, briefly lobbied to change this song to “Float On” by Modest Mouse, but Tower Hill’s upper administration argued that this was not conducive to the element of creative production necessary for The Rubble to continue to produce.)
When all the members have filtered in, we dim the lights, draw the blinds, and gather in the center of the room, where Mr. Scibilia, who in his role as faculty advisor wears a leather fedora to denote his power, lights the Candle of Truth, a 6-foot monstrosity that illuminates everything in a dim, eerie light. (If you look closely at the carpet in the center of his room, you will notice the drippings of wax, spelling out the word “Rubb” on the floor (We haven’t quite finished the whole thing yet))
Under the eyes of the Candle of Truth, we begin moving in the clockwise direction, a ritual that would appear to the uninitiated as a conga line, but is actually quite different. We change speeds in a highly fixed pattern as dictated by the Codex, a thick tome bound in raccoon skin that states the laws of the Rubble. Those participating in the ritual are encouraged to imagine a drum beat in their head, and we always compare imaginary drum beats to make sure that ours is not the same as anyone else’s.
In the Circle of Truth, inspiration strikes rapidly and frequently. Almost every single article published in The Rubble experienced its genesis in the Circle of Truth. When an idea presents itself, their creator need only yell it out, and the meeting’s selected secretary will quickly translate it into Morse code to prevent enemy school publications from stealing it, and the article is written.
Now, you may ask, who are these people conducting a mystical, ancient ritual that frequently exhibits elements of the supernatural every Thursday during lunch? The Rubble has many dedicated contributors, but nothing would be done without our editors, who tirelessly operate the printing press in Tower Hill’s basement in order to get articles out every day. Sam “The Bulldog” Barrett, is best known for self-deprecation, and has previously been the guitarist for Vampire Weekend, The Chainsmokers, and the Beatles (although that was rhythm guitar, so you decide if that counts). He is the man behind both editions of the “Indie Update.” Catherine Habgood, who has already taken every class Tower Hill offers, and is actually working as a teacher this year, has an unpublished novel that will be published serial in The Rubble this year, so be sure to watch out for that. Also, she once wrestled a bear.
Then there are the journalists, tireless in their search for the truth, and unyielding in their hard-hitting questions. Paritosh Raval, perhaps the most well-networked man in the state of Delaware, and the author of Stock Watch, a bi-daily financial column (never have derivatives and futures been this exciting, although that isn’t exactly saying that much). Blair Isken, who frequently writes about plays and staff, is really big fan of plays and stuff, and is very heavily involved in plays and stuff, which is a very fun fact.
Matthew Santos and Neil Godbole spent the entire summer on assignment in Tibet, where they both became monks, lived on a single loaf of bread for two months, learned the ancient art of palm-reading, and got quite a story to tell! Expect their account of their time abroad in the next few days.
Then there’s John Updike, who brings great experience to the staff and contributes ingenious ideas in each meeting. The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and famous New Yorker critic, who passed away in 2009, recently joined our writing team, and we couldn’t be happier about his unique prose.
I could go on and on about The Rubble staff. There are many more on our staff, from our Washington Bureau chief, to the people slogging away in the mail room, getting in on the ground floor on their way to the big leagues. All of them work exceedingly hard, but none as hard as me, The Rubble’s most prolific writer. Yeah, I’d say I’m the most important.