By Alan Gao, VI Form
“Das Brotchen”: The ‘Flouring’ of Culture All Across the Globe
I remember learning this phrase in one of my first German classes. This word could be separated into two parts, “Brot” for bread and “-chen” for referring to smaller versions of things. “Das Brotchen” just refers to little bread.
Yet when my German teacher, Frau Wells, told my class that word, it seemed to carry much more than the simple meaning. She told us with great excitement about her time in Germany when the sweet smell of the roasted fresh wheat flowed over the streets and the bakeries presented their newest baked bread. As an American who had no family relations with Germany, she amazed me with her love and passion for German culture. At the time, I was surprised how this daily word created such a deep impact on her.
Before then, bread, or pastry, didn’t mean much to me. Although Shanghai is a very international city with chain bakeries like Paris Baguette and Lilian Cake, I never paid much attention to them and bought them only in times when I’m rushing down subways and hurrying to classes, paying no attention to their characteristics. (more…)
By Lindsay Davis, IV Form
Survival With God: On Piers Paul Read’s Alive
Alive by Piers Paul Read, a survival story of a plane crash in the Andes Mountains, recounts how the survivors’ trust in God influenced their resilience during a crisis of life and death. In 1972, a plane carrying Uruguayan rugby players and other Uruguayan citizens crashed in the middle of the Andes. While the travelers suffered many injuries or died from the crash, the fight on the mountain came most from their will to survive and the actions needed to outlast the miserable conditions of the Andes. The rations of food, sleeping conditions, injuries, and pre-existing relationships affected the mental status of each survivor. Their bond with God helped them to make life at the Fairchild fair and optimistic. The survivors who boarded the Fairchild came close to death in the Andes, but their hope for survival and reliance on God pushed them through the mental pain and helped inspire their faith in physical recovery.
The survivors ate the flesh of their dead companions knowing that was their only way to survive. God had inspired the courage to engage in repugnant cannibalism. Over the course of the seventy-two days, while the survivors’ mentality fluctuated, food supplies ran out and the concern of starvation became apparent. The injuries and losses suffered by some of the Fairchild passengers would not matter if they could not feed themselves. Although most of the boys were expecting the point at which they would need the protein of their fellow dead friends and passengers, Canessa was the first to discuss aloud with the group. After eliminating the idea of eating the seat cushions and digging deep for grass, the bodies that surrounded them on and in the snow were the last plan. (more…)
By Jason Zhang, VI Form
An Examination of the Ethics of Examining with Hitchcock and Foucault
Surveillance requires two groups: those who are watching and those who are being watched, which brings up the morality of surveillance. Is it appropriate for someone to observe another person intentionally? Does a person’s behavior change if they know that they are being watched? How is a person affected when their privacy is stripped away from them? Both the film Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock and the essay “To Discipline and Punish” by Michel Foucault attempt to answer these questions. In Rear Window, Jeff is a brave man who has a history of racing sports cars and being in the military. Unfortunately, his adventurous life comes to a halt when he injures his leg. Jeff is forced to remain in his small, New York City apartment for weeks. Besides the occasional visit from his caretaker and his girlfriend, Jeff’s life is unbearably uneventful until he begins to watch his neighbors from the rear window. Likewise, Foucault’s essay “To Discipline and Punish” tries to understand the consequences of surveillance, but from the perspective of a prison’s architectural design. The prison cells of a Panopticon are arranged so that they all surround one viewing tower placed at the center of the circular building. Therefore, a person inside the viewing tower can see every cell and every person in a cell can see the person inside the viewing tower. Although it is never explicitly said whether or not surveillance is good or bad, both Rear Window and “To Discipline and Punish” come to the conclusion that surveillance is a powerful action. (more…)
By Kaley LeBlanc, IV Form
Global Influences On Artistic Expression
I am an artist. My love for art originated when I lived in Barcelona, Spain. I was around two years old when my family and I relocated there. While I do not remember much, I do recall how the next few years living there highly influenced my passion for the visual arts. I took art classes with my sister and visited stunning places with my dad such as La Sagrada Familia and the Louvre. I then moved to Shanghai, China at the age of seven. I was introduced to a completely new style of architecture and visual arts. While in Asia, my family and I visited floating villages, Buddhist temples, and the Forbidden City. Europe, I felt, was more industrial and Gothic, meanwhile, Asia was simplistic and filled with peace and nature. Both of these places had completely different styles of architecture and art. Only when I moved back to the United States did I realize how incredible these experience where and how unique they were to me.