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American Exceptionalism and The Hunt for Red October

By Conor Brockway, VI Form

American Exceptionalism and The Hunt for Red October

imagesThe Cold War was a time period when America and Russia were threatening to attack each other, as both countries wanted to become the most powerful nation in the world. Tensions were heightened within America during the latter part of the Cold War, specifically during the early to mid 1980’s. American Exceptionalism became prevalent in the world, as the Americans were seen as having freedom and power within their country[1]. Also, the concept that Communism was a “virus” and could “infect” Americans and that Communists were a threat to national security within the U.S, as Communists were primitive, sneaky, subversive, and dangerous still lingered in the thoughts of Americans[2]. After World War II (WWII), the U.S. had the blueprint to build an
atomic weapon, which was a powerful weapon no other nation had. The U.S. also started building (more…)

Un jour typique

By Kitty Chen V Form, Stephanie Moon III Form, and Rosanna Zhao III Form

Un jour typique

French 2 assessments this year have been largely project-based, and following each project, students submit video reflections through Voicethread. After finishing a video project this fall, their reflections offered three pieces of feedback: 1 – “We’d like to do bigger projects over longer periods of time. Sometimes it feels like we just do one project after the next.” 2 – “Working with others is fun, but sometimes it would be nice to do our own projects.” 3 – “What if we had more choices in HOW we present what we know?” Armed with this information, all 16 students and Ms. McCulloch brainstormed. (more…)

Seamus Heaney: The Pen and The Spade

By Logan King, IV Form

Seamus Heaney: The Pen and The Spade

“The Forge” by Seamus Heaney expands upon the theme of strength that he first established in his poem, “Digging.” However, instead of exploring the similarities between using a pen and a spade like in the latter, in “The Forge”, Heaney examines the craftsmanship and beauty a blacksmith uses despite the force required to do his job. The bluntness of the short words used contrast with their meaning to create the image of a tough, rhythmic job that creates art. He does this similarly in “Digging,” where his word choice creates a non stereotypical image of farmwork, all underscored with the rhythmic act of digging. Linking both poems is not only the sense of wonder and appreciation the author holds for the two jobs, but also regret, because he can only recognize instead of participate in the art of their work. (more…)

Outcomes in Team Based Learning in Algebra II

By Mr. Scott Dolesh, Mathematics Faculty

Outcomes in Team Based Learning in Algebra II

My project compares the outcomes of students in Team Based Learning (TBL) Algebra II courses versus students in traditional teacher directed Algebra II courses. I had one Algebra II course that I used the TBL approach, and I had one Algebra II course that I used a traditional teacher directed approach. I also had a colleague who had two Algebra II courses that she taught using the TBL approach, and another colleague who had one Algebra II course that she taught using a traditional teacher directed approach. I compared the outcomes on our two common assessments that we give in Algebra 2: the first being the midterm exam and the second being the final exam. (more…)

Comic Books and The Profound Effect of Pleasant Surprises

By Sean Kim, VI Form

Comic Books and The Profound Effect of Pleasant SurprisesWatchmen_HC

As I was signing up for my VI Form English elective course, I knew exactly which class I wanted to take: the “comic book class.” Erroneously assuming that I would simply be reading comic books and answering shallow questions, I made a fool out of myself by hoping that the class would boost my GPA. After all, it was a senior elective. However, from Hamlet to Watchmen, the material of the class prompted us to explore thoroughly what it meant to be heroic or anti-heroic in both literature and contemporary society. Most of the class time was spent discussing heroic and anti-heroic qualities of characters. Simply put, the class was not what I initially expected it to be. It was so much more profound.


U.S. Historical “I am” Poems

By Samantha Sarafin, John Hart, George Littlefield, and Ginny Walsh, V Form

U.S. Historical “I am” Poems

Each of our United States History courses revolves around eight major themes prevalent throughout history. One of those themes is the question of “Who is an American” at any given time in the nation’s history. In keeping with our work and also trying to connect what we do inside our classroom to the broader St. Mark’s community and world at large, each class took their Community and Equity Day “I am” poems and looked at them from a historical angle. Each student was asked to look at an “I am” poem from the perspective of a figure from history. Some students were asked to be someone as specific as Alexander Hamilton, while others were (more…)