BLAST FROM THE PAST: Quincey Tidey recalls writing award-winning story on homosexuals

Quincey Tidey Grieve, ‘86, was editor-in-chief during her senior fall semester. When Grieve was a freshman, she was on staff with her sister, Ashley Tidey, ‘83.  Grieve graduated from UC Berkeley and later taught middle-school English at SCDS. She was also middle-school head in ‘06-07. She now lives in Washington, D.C., and is associate director of middle school at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia.  


Q: What do you remember about Octagon?

A: Every edition, we would go to the Aardvark in Downtown. We were in a small room with Exacto knives cutting out the columns. Fels would get really mad if we sliced through a line of copy, so of course we tried our best to not have that happen.

When I was editor, (Octagon adviser Patricia) Fels was pregnant. Fels always had to sit down because her calves were swollen. One time we were extremely close to deadline, so I basically ordered her to a chair in a corner to elevate her tree-trunk legs and get out of the way so that we could paste up.

Days later, the phone rang in the early hours before school started. It was (Fels’s husband, Daniel Neukom) calling to tell my parents that Fels had unexpectedly had twins!


Q: How was SCDS different when you were a student versus when you were middle-school head?

A: The buildings located on campus changed majorly when I was middle-school head. When I was a student, the vast majority of my classes were in portable classrooms. The high school didn’t exist either; high school and middle school shared one campus. Where the high school is located now was just fields when I was a student. They also added the lower-school building while I was the head.


Q: What was having a sibling on staff with you like?

A: My sister was editor-in-chief when I was a freshman on staff. It was weird because we had completely polar personalities. She had a more quiet personality, and I had a more rebellious personality.

I guess I wasn’t as intimidated by her wisdom as I should’ve been, too.


Q: Did Octagon help you in college and your career?

A: Absolutely. The writing experience I gained made the first two years at Berkeley really easy for me. Octagon was also my first real leadership role, and after it I gained a lot of experience as a leader. I felt as if the leader role on staff came very easily to me, so I knew I would want to pursue a career where I was a leader.

It also showed me the importance of journalism in schools. The quality of the Octagon is what I expect from all the extracurriculars at the schools that I taught at and where I (now) teach.


Q: What were some big issues when you were a student?

A: Off-campus privileges. The school didn’t have the legal position to give us these privileges because of building and parking restrictions at the time. Going to The Gourmet, a sandwich shop around the corner from school (now Fins Market & Grill), was a big deal since we didn’t really have off-campus privileges.

But in the end, much to (former dean of students Daniel) Neukom’s dismay, we took the problem of off-campus privileges into our own hands.

Also, I remember being very up in arms about getting in trouble for going barefoot. I definitely pushed the limits on that rule!


Q: Have you kept in touch with alumni?

A: Yes, not many from my year but more from my husband’s (Tim Grieve, ‘82) and my sister’s years.


Q: What was your favorite article?
A: When I was a senior, I did a story about homosexuals with the help of a lesbian alumna who was attending UC Berkeley, Jane Sooby, ‘81. We went to San Francisco and visited gay bars in the area. It won some awards, although I’m not sure which (ones).


A shorter version of this story was previously published in the print edition on May 26, 2015.

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