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A Cake of Dante’s Inferno!

By William D’Angelo and Erica Christensen, VI Form

A Cake of Dante’s Inferno!

IMG_8399As the final project for our Independent Study reading and discussing Dante’s Divine Comedy, we baked and constructed a cake that featured the Circles of Dante’s “Inferno.” On the Saturday prior to Prize Day, during the Academic Showcase, we presented the cake.  If students or faculty wanted a piece of cake, they needed to read all nine of our descriptions for each specific Circle and write down what Circle they would be in according to Dante. (The cake is designed upside down strictly for balancing purposes!)

The Yellow section (First through Fourth Circles): Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed

The Pink section (Fifth through Seventh Circles): Wrath, Heresy, Violence

The Red section (Eighth and Ninth Circles): Fraud, Treachery

Below are our explanations for each Circle: (more…)

Civil Rights or “Cis”vil Rights?

By Anya Harter, VI Form

Civil Rights or “Cis”vil Rights?

Wars have been fought over as much. The right of every person to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is the cornerstone of America’s foundation. The American Dream, in which so many so ardently believe, promises a job and an education for those who work hard and deserve it.

From this same belief originated federal laws regarding discrimination in the workforce. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states: “It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer … to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” While, there is the workforce is not rid of discrimination, victims of this discrimination are protected under law. The reference to sex is even defined as including but not limited to “pregnancy, childbirth, or related
medical conditions” (Title). However, there exists a glaring hole. There is no mention of sexual orientation or gender in the anti-discrimination law. The term “sex” and “gender” are not equivalent. Sex = male and female ( biological differences: chromosomes, hormonal profiles, internal and external sex organs); Gender = masculine and feminine (sociological differences: characteristics that a society or culture deem as masculine or feminine)  (more…)

Unjustly Accused: The Knights Templar or Philip the Fair?

By Matthew Flathers, VI Form

Unjustly Accused: The Knights Templar or Philip the Fair?

(A Product of the History Fellowship)

On March 18, 1314, Jacques de Molay, the twenty third and final Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burned alive on a small island in the middle of the Siene.[1] Only a few years earlier, the organization under his command spanned across all of Europe and the Holy Land, and with the constant stream of donations pouring into the Order, there seemed to be no limit on what they could achieve. So the question remains: what chain of events could possibly have led to such a rapid destruction of an organization that once was a celebrated and glorious defender of the Christian Faith? (more…)

Against Birthday Celebrations

By Candice Wang, VI Form

Against Birthday Celebrations

Modern individualism has fathered many cultural phenomena. As the increase in society’s productivity promotes the quality of life, unnecessary personal luxuries have become an unquestioned part of contemporary life. Among these extravagances, birthday celebrations are the most ludicrous.

Contrary to popular belief, an individual deserves no merit for his or her existence. From the moment of conception to the last breath on the deathbed, a person’s life is a pure gift, and occasionally an accidental byproduct, from actions of other people. A baby exerts little effort in its birth; it is rather a miraculous feat on the part of its mother. As humans grow up, the sun shines, the Earth turns, and the plants perform photosynthesis to keep the them alive. The family and the society are responsible for feeding education to assimilate a new person into the cultural construct. Individual personhood is no more than a reaction to the course of nature combined with environmental circumstances. In the (more…)

Confession of My (Our) Ignorance: A Chapel Talk

By Julie Geng, VI Form

Confession of My (Our) Ignorance: A Chapel Talk

If there is one thing that I improved significantly over my senior year, it must be procrastination. When I received the chapel talk invitation from Rev. Talcott over the summer, I immediately signed up, and I picked sometime in April. I had the delusion that senior spring would give me more time to carry out some soul-searching. Uh, no.

I chose the date April the 7th to procrastinate, and I thought it was a brilliant idea, really. I could not imagine how my courageous classmates managed to craft amazingly inspiring chapel speeches during the college process. Again, I was wrong. Many topics that I wanted to talk about have already been extensively and successfully touched upon. I wanted to talk about my experience in a chemistry lab, but it would not be nearly as exciting as Liz Swain’s baby-delivering internship. I wanted to talk about my Chinese names (yes, there are two of them), but mine are not nearly as interesting as Winnie Yan’s “little buddha.” I wanted to talk about mindful eating and mental illness, but my words and story would not be nearly as compelling and powerful as Matt Flather’s or Jess Hutchinson’s. (more…)

Seize the Day: A Translation of Horace’s Book I Ode 11

By Henry Kim, VI Form

Seize the Day: A Translation of Horace’s Book I Ode 11

English Translation

O Leuconoë, you should not find that end (to know this is a crime) the gods will give to me and to you, and you should not try out Babylonian numerology*. How much better will it be to endure anything! Whether Jupiter assigns many winters or the final one, which now settles down the Tyrrhenian sea with opposing cliffs, may you be wise, may you strain wine and cut back any excessive hope within a short time. While we speak, an enviable life will have fled from us: seize the day, trust in little as possible things for the future day.

*Babylonian numerology was believed to be able to tell the future (more…)