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Books Are Better Than People

By Maggie Nixon, English Faculty

Books Are Better Than People

Or, the more accurate and less eye-catching, Why I Read Books

Or, Bibliophage

UntitledWhen I was in first grade, my brother and I got a really cool gift for Christmas. Or for a birthday. Or randomly. I don’t really remember when we got it – but it was really cool. It was a “design your own plate” kit–you drew your designs on a white circular piece of paper, shipped it off to a company, and in a few short weeks, BAM, you had plates with your drawings on them. My brother and I each made two plates. His were the “My Mom is Great” and “Hamerhead Shark” plates. He couldn’t spell yet. The misspellings resulted from me trying to be a teacher. I also made two plates. The first was the “Hawii” plate where I drew a lovely picture of a beach and wrote about the 50th state. Jokingly, my father refers (more…)

The Double Entendre of “Shelter Crazy”

By Jessica Hutchinson, VI Form

The Double Entendre of “Shelter Crazy”

Becoming shelter crazy is not a myth. I have seen it happen too many times. Lily remained crouched in the back of her kennel, growling at anyone who came near her. After spending over a year at the shelter, Blitz would lunge at anyone he did not know, and after losing one leg, his other failed him. Goji stayed at the shelter for months before he was adopted but was soon returned. All three dogs were put down because they could not handle the stressful shelter environment. We invested our time and hearts in them, hoping the right person would come along and give them a good home. Unfortunately, all three were euthanized.

While I will remember the sad stories of Lily, Blitz, and Goji, I will also remember my joyous times at the shelter. A man came into the shelter with his two young boys looking for a playful
adult cat; they wanted to simultaneously rescue an animal and welcome a new family member (more…)

One Student, Two Artifacts of Education

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Students do not “specialize.” Students take five or six courses simultaneously and are expected to perform at a high level across the curriculum.  This LEO post includes two artifacts of work–one from a Latin III Honors course and one from an American Literature course–by Becca Shea, a V Former. This is simply a microcosm that evinces the impressive ability of a student to multi-task academically, which happens in educational realms every day.

By Becca Shea, V Form

Epicurean Somnium Scipionis (Latin III)

The aristocrat class of Rome divided into two philosophical factions known as Stoicism and Epicureanism. Somnium Scipionis is a story based off of the ideals of Stoics, thus if written from the perspective of an Epicurean, many details would be altered. Unlike Stoics, Epicureans did not believe in a heaven after life. Somnium Scipionis is a story of a man visiting his grandfather in heaven in a dream, so the start of the story must be altered slightly. Also dissimilar to Stoic beliefs, Epicureans did not believe the soul lived on: the soul, which was made up of composite atoms, died with the body. However, they did not fear death itself either. (more…)

Faith in the Leap–Religion and Life of Pi

By William D’Angelo, VI Form

Faith in the Leap–Religion and Life of Pi

The “Leap of Faith” scares many, as it has for eons. Everyone fears the fall, the drop into the unknown. Some enjoy the rush of the unknown. The unknown has infinite possibilities, something which is hard to find in a finite life. Faith requires this fear and this rush. Those are the doubts of the leap. Faith is belief in idea regardless of one’s doubt. If there is no doubt, it is not faith–it is fact. The excitement and fear of doubt are the obverse and reverse of the same coin. They sustain each other, building off of one another. As excitement wanes, fears build. As fear ebbs, excitement crashes over one like a tsunami. In Life of Pi, Yann Martel demonstrates on various levels that faith as well as doubt are what keeps Pi alive during his
ordeal. It is not just Pi that is aided by his faith and doubt, but everyone in the world as well. (more…)

A Failed Yankee Revolutionary

By Jackson Foley, V Form

A Failed Yankee Revolutionary

A revolutionary is someone who, in the name of revolution, sparks or is the center of a revolution that changes a whole society in a new and unique way. Hank Morgan, in Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, tries to stage a coup and win a revolt, but is not a revolutionary. Hank is not successful in the end. His revolt does not gain major public traction. He is just forcing new inventions and ideals on an uninterested medieval society. Also, Hank’s violent acts on the medieval English people are far beyond and unrelated to the name of revolution. This does not describe a revolution. (more…)

Falling Forward: Defining “Innovation”

By Jennifer Vermillion, Director of The Center for Innovation and Learning

Failing Forward: “Defining Innovation”

How do you know if something is innovative? If I asked you to name three things that exemplify innovation, what comes to mind? Innovation is certainly a prevalent topic these days. Universities have started offering degrees in innovation. A quick Amazon search for the term yields 1,158 books about innovation published in the last ninety days alone. Here at St. Mark’s, we have an entire center dedicated to innovation in teaching and learning. Innovation is essential for addressing complex social, environmental and economic challenges, but without careful reflection and discussion, the term can feel vague and even trendy. So how do we define and value innovation at St. Mark’s? (more…)