Ajay Allman and Miles Mann

Ajay Allman and Miles Mann

By Ajay Allman

Staff Reporter

Senior Miles Mann, more affectionately known as 8 Mile Mann due to his love for the music drama 8 Mile, is returning for his third and final year on The Yorktown Sentry as a Head Editor. 

“I have so many inside jokes tied up with a friend of mine about 8 Mile that it is probably the most important movie that I’ve ever seen,” Mann said.

Throughout his time on The Sentry, Mann has built up an extensive list of accomplishments, but his greatest one has been becoming Head Editor. 

“Becoming Head Editor represented a larger change when I started taking more ownership over my own learning and started pursuing leadership more,” Mann said.

Mann is excited to lead as Head Editor alongside senior Céleste Wetmore. His initial expectation was to lay low and carry out behind the scenes tasks while letting Wetmore handle the face-to-face interactions, but this mindset has recently changed.

“While I like making plans for things, I also like talking to people and making compromises,” Mann said.

The shift in his viewpoint was influenced by a leadership program Mann attended last summer at George Mason University, where he interviewed local leaders. Mann finds value in the interview process and the interpersonal skills it builds.

“Interviewing is super important, because if you see a potential conflict arise in someone’s statement or ethos, then probing that is a really valuable thing to do,” Mann said.

Mann exemplifies hard work through his substantive years writing articles for The Sentry and devoting his summertime to better his education. Still, a day off wouldn’t hurt. With his new senior privileges, Mann is looking forward to senior skip days.

“I’m so excited for the ability to just not come to school,” Mann said.

On these skip days and his free time in general, Mann would spend his time with his friends doing absolutely nothing.

“We would just go to someone’s house and spend the entire time just talking to each other and hanging out,” Mann said.

This hang out sesh would most likely be accompanied by Mann’s current favorite artist, the alternative R&B musician, Dijon. Mann describes one of the artist’s recent songs as an odd collection of sounds with occasional wailing added over the track. 

“It’s a dope song. It’s really cool, but just weird stuff,” Mann said. 

Mann will end his high school career strong as Head Editor, and there is no doubt that he will flourish as a leader. Mann’s drive for excellence and concrete beliefs will guide him to success in his years after graduation and thrive in whatever is next for him. His impact on The Sentry will continue to influence the class for years to come.

 

By Miles Mann

Head Editor

From my first conversation with him, it was easy to tell that sophomore Ajay Allman is all about family.

“My connection with my family is something I’m really passionate about, and I feel like sometimes people don’t understand that…. They might get annoyed with their family or find it hard to be around them, but for me it’s more simple to be with my mom and my brother. A lot of times, it’s like talking to a friend,” Allman said. 

Whether it is the company he keeps or the food he eats, Allman is most comfortable surrounded by what reminds him of home. 

“My mom is Indian, so I eat a lot of Indian food. I really enjoy chaat; it’s basically meat and a starch with yogurt and some kind of crispy chip,” Allman said. 

When out of the dining room and in the classroom, Allman’s academic strength secured him an admirable performance in English teacher Chrissy Wiedemann’s class. When asked how he maintained a high standard of work in a challenging environment, Allman’s response was characteristically humble.

“I’m going to have to credit my brother with that. My brother was in Wiedemann’s class two years before I was, so I learned a lot from him,” Allman said.

Though he is quick to recognize those closest to him for helping him reach his personal goals, Allman’s obvious intelligence stands on its own. The sophomore’s sophisticated tastes are nowhere more apparent than in his favorite show, a mind-boggling meta-exploration of a classic American franchise.

“It’s such a good show, and it’s embarrassing that I still watch it, but High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The first season is the cast recreating the musical, so it’s High School Musical the movie, as a musical, as a series. They go to the same high school as the original cast. It’s kind of confusing, but that’s the fun part,” Allman said. 

Despite the chaos of his favorite show, Allman exudes an unusual level of tranquility, his words and actions deliberate and measured. In conversation, the sophomore often takes the time to parse meaning from his engagements, offering a type of honest clarity that is difficult to find. With his thoughtful affect and well-honed writing chops, Allman will be an excellent addition to The Sentry.