By Jake Oblak, IV Form
The Absurd Act of Looking for Meaning in Camus’ The Stranger
What is the meaning of absurdism? How are absurdist people perceived by others? How can someone be impacted by this lifestyle? These are all questions that arise from The Stranger by Albert Camus. This philosophical novel follows a man named Meursault through a portion of his adult life. His experiences in the book range from his romantic relations with his girlfriend Marie to being sentenced to the guillotine after being convicted of murder. Throughout these events, problems emerge as a result of Meursault’s absurdist lifestyle, and personal values. Consequently, Camus delivers an eloquent introduction to absurdism and negative impacts of believing in a counter-cultural philosophy, but based on his own logic looking for a message in his writing would be ignorant.
Absurdism is an uncommon philosophy compared to modern day ideologies, but its outlook on life is unique. Absurdism is defined as “a philosophical perspective which holds that the efforts of humanity to find meaning or rational explanation in the universe ultimately fail (and, hence, are absurd) because no such meaning exists, at least to human beings” (New World). As this definition explains, absurdism is based on the idea that life has no meaning and is completely arbitrary. As a result, looking for any kind of meaning in life would be considered futile. Through an absurdist lens partaking in events in order to fulfill a requirement created by society is ridiculous. This is a common theme which occurs repeatedly throughout The Stranger. Absurdists believe in doing what feels right to them, rather than doing what is right in the eyes of the norm manufactured by society. (more…)
By Edna Kilusu, VI Form
A Journey More Than 7347 Miles: From Tanzania to the United States for High School
I am always smiling! However, so much that is hidden behind the smile on my face.
I was born in a traditional mud wall house in a Maasai Boma village, surrounded by bushy mountains of rural Northern Tanzania. In the fall, brown dust fills the air and blankets are blown everything. Despite the beauty of the Maasai community, I had to walk long distances on dusty brown roads to get to school, to get to town, and to get to the market.
At home, the girls work on the farmland, do all the laundry by hand, cook, fetch water, collect firewood, and clean the house. Girls do not have enough time to study or prepare for the national exams, so they are often considered to be not as smart as boys.
Four years ago, I made the tough decision to leave my friends, my family, my culture, and my country to attend St. Mark’s School. At that time, my dad was sick, which made the decision more difficult for both my parents and me. I was the first person in my community to leave and study abroad. As a child, I never thought of attending school after grade six because most of the girls in my community were forced to marry as teenagers. Going to boarding school seemed like a dream. (more…)
By Sarah Bechard, III Form
American Sign Language to “Youth” by Troye Sivan
Editor’s Note: In the St. Mark’s Saturdays’ course “American Sign Language,” the students found resources and learned the signs to perform one whole song in ASL. The goals of the assignment were to learn ASL vocabulary, understand how to sign songs, understand ASL word order, and practice sign fluency. The subtitles reflect ASL word choice and grammar, rather than spoken English grammar.
By Reina Wang, Maya Scully, Michael Fisher, Arthur Gao, III Form and Grace Zawadzki, V Form
Spread No More: The Effect Global Aid Has on the Spread of Tuberculosis
Editor’s Note: The Global Seminar teaching team works with all III Formers on an infectious disease project. This is a complex project that involves group work with other members of the III Form and with V Form biology mentors. The final result is exhibited in a poster session, allowing for visitors to do a gallery walk and have questions answered by the poster’s creators.
ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that threatens health and life throughout the history, but with the help of global aid, there has been a solution to decrease the number of contagious people, especially in developing countries. It is a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is a bacteria mainly attacking lung surfaces since it spreads through air. Latent and active tuberculosis are two types of the disease, in which latent tuberculosis does not show any symptoms while active tuberculosis does. The most common treatment is a prescribed combination of isoniazid and rifampin, but it only works if the patient completes the procedure and takes the medicine regularly. With the assistance of global aid, there have been many non-governmental organizations (NGO) dedicated to the treatment of tuberculosis worldwide. They offer treatments and technologies to developing countries which does not have access to them. Even if the volunteers who work at the NGOs have the possibilities to carry the bacteria when traveling and spread it to other places, global aid has made huge progress in dealing with tuberculosis. Global aid will influence more and more countries so that tuberculosis will slowly be dissolved in the near future.
By Danny Ciccarello and Helen Huang, V Form
Explaining Length Contraction
Editor’s Note: In “Modern Topics Physics,” students created videos to explain different topics associated with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. The aim of the assignment included explaining the chosen topic in simple terms while avoiding the use of complicated equations.
By Clara Hua, IV Form
Annotated Diagram: Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Editor’s Note: The “Biology 30” class zoomed in to examine the cellular (and sub-cellular) impacts and zoomed out to consider some of the economic, geo-political, environmental and cultural factors that have an influence on the spread of this disease. An Annotated Diagram is a formal sketchnote that aims to demonstrate understanding of the information by presenting how the information (the full story of HIV/AIDS) was processed.