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A Novel of Reaction: Larsen’s Passing

By Charlotte Wood, V Form

A Novel of Reaction: Larsen’t Passing

W.E.B. Dubois wrote that “all Art is propaganda and ever must be…” He thought that artists and writers should try to make the world a better place through their work. Nella Larsen, the author of Passing, would not agree. Her novel centers on two light-skinned black women, Clare Kendry and Irene Redfield, and their respective decisions to pass as white or not. I believe she wrote this novel not to persuade the reader of something or to convince them to enact change, but rather to reflect the world how she sees it. The book is a reaction to society, not something for society to react to. Passing itself is portrayed as something that simply is, not wholly good or wholly bad. Both characters participate in it, and so the reader is not meant to side with one over the other. The relative passivity of its message is reflected in the passivity of its main character, Irene. Because she is not active, the intention of the novel is not active. Lastly, the ambiguity of the ending leaves the reader, like Irene, with more questions than answers. (more…)

A is NOT for Asian

By Rosanna Zhao, III Form

A is NOT for Asian

What did you get on that test? How did you do on the essay? What’s your average right now?

A for Asian. An A on that test, an A on the essay, and of course, an A for my average. The world accepts nothing less. It has been set into our heads through generations that every single Asian around receives a perfect grade automatically. Displayed through short videos, television shows, books and movies, the “smart Asian” has become one of the most stereotypical stereotypes there is. I am bound between that definition of being an Asian. There was no time where the realization snapped into me – it had always been a looming shadow that followed wherever I went. There were high expectations set for me since the beginning, and as I grew older, those voices of expectations that I heard became the ones echoing in the back of my head. (more…)

On Knowledge and Knowing God

By Natalie Novak, VI Form

On Knowledge and Knowing God

At the heart of any civilization lies a fundamental core centered on religion. Many great empires have risen and fallen, while maintaining their devotion to some kind of transcendent being or reality. Ethics, morality, governing laws, and codes of conduct all stem from some kind of religious or higher rule. However, the being that has created these ideals always comes into question when one is deciding whether to follow these “rules.” This brings about the discussion of God’s existence. Is it possible to know God? Can we prove his validity? Is this knowledge truly sound? What even is it “to know?” The question of God is a complex one, furthered by the complexity of the phrase to know. To fully grasp the notion of knowing god, it is essential to comprehend the notion of knowing. (more…)

The Quest to Improve the Teaching of Electricity in the St. Mark’s Introductory Physics Course

By Jacob Backon, STEM Faculty

 

The Quest to Improve the Teaching of Electricity in the St. Mark’s Introductory Physics Course

Abstract

In response to research indicating significant conceptual misunderstandings of basic electrical concepts, the physics teachers at St. Mark’s incorporated the CASTLE curriculum into the introductory physics course. Over the past few years this curriculum has met with two significant challenges: delivering efficient feedback in response to student model building, and the time it takes to move through the curriculum. Canvas modules were used to address these challenges, and a concept test was administered before and after instruction to gather data on the effectiveness of these techniques. Preliminary data with a very small sample size indicates the CASTLE curriculum and Canvas modules did result in higher scores on the concept test than data reported from a more traditional style of instruction. (more…)

Development of the Bohr Model of the Atom

By Nathan Cunningham, VI Form

Development of the Bohr Model of the Atom

7e36f52c7ed30222c3a3fbcbceedce24Around the turn of the 20th century, physicists became increasingly focused on examining the most miniscule of physical interactions. The concept of quanta—the smallest piece of something, e.g. the American cent—led into the evolution of quantum mechanics, the fundamental study of the components of matter and light. This piece will explore the various experiments, discoveries, and theories at the quantum level of world interactions which led up to the development of the Bohr model of the atom. (more…)

The Second Amendment Debate

By Joey Lyons, VI Form

The Second Amendment Debate

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.– Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

In the 1960s, the assassinations of renowned public figures, such as Martin Luther King and President John F. Kennedy, sparked an intense, national debate over gun control. The debate between gun control supporters and gun rights advocates continued into the twenty-first century and continues in the present day. Gun control supporters argue that unrestricted gun rights cause avoidable atrocities and that the Second Amendment does not guarantee an individual the right to bear arms. Gun rights advocates believe the right to bear arms is not only necessary for self-defense, hunting, and security against tyranny, but is also protected by the Second Amendment.

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