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Stories From the Soil: Three Months on Joe’s Brook Farm

Henry Hirschfeld, VI Form

Stories From the Soil: Three Months on Joe’s Brook Farm

For the past four summers, I have had the opportunity to learn, live, and work on aimg_0101 twelve-acre organic vegetable farm in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. With five of the most honest, loving, and hardworking young adults I know, I grew, weeded, and harvested over fifty varieties of produces for nine hours, six days a week. This past summer, I was able to spend nearly my entire vacation working at Joe’s Brook Farm with my older sister Cora. With the generous Class of 1968 Fellowship, I went to the farm hoping to document my experience in order to share with family, friends, and St. Mark’s. (more…)

Sketches Under the Hot Sun

By Kennedy Petties, IV Form

Sketches Under the Hot Sun

Pencil Sketch, side view, I sat outside in the 95 degree sun for 3 hours a day for two weeks. The intricacy of the engine was my focus

I completed four sketches this summer on 18 by 24 paper, with 2 on black paper in color and 2 on white paper in shaded pencil. I worked on it for Studio 3 this year as a IVth Former. It was a concentration on globalization and how I defined it. I define globalization as the interconnection of ideas, people, and places. It’s like social networking for beliefs and worldly progress and history. I took things from my everyday life, in this case automobiles and their breakdown, and had to express them within the parameters of the assignment. The structure of a car, and how each part is from somewhere else and then put together to create something to take you anywhere else, is amazing to me.


Brantwood Camp: The Toughest Yet Most Rewarding Summer Challenge

By Lauren Menjivar, V Form

Brantwood Camp: The Toughest Yet Most Rewarding Summer Challenge

Have you ever imagined being a teenager and escaping from the world for sixteen days to take care of ten girls (or boys), live in a shack with them, and have your devices taken away in order to better connect with the people around you? The situation may seem unfathomable for some, if not, most millennials, but I decided to stow away my laptop and phone in exchange for books and a flashlight at the Brantwood Camp. (more…)

Make Deep Work Your Superpower: Deep Work and School (Part 1)

By Dr. Colleen Worrell, Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Make Deep Work Your Superpower: Deep Work and School (Part 1)

Want to learn complicated things quickly, be more productive, and generate higher quality work? Make Deep Work your superpower.

“Deep work” is a term coined by Georgetown University professor Cal Newport to refer to the ability to “focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task” (“Cal Newport on Deep Work”). In his newest book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (NY: Grand Central Publishing, 2016), Professor Newport argues persuasively that the ability to do deep work is the superpower of the 21st century. By training your ability to focus and by actively carving out time “for real intense focused work,” Newport argues that we can train our brains and cultivate habits that build a (more…)

A New Mantra in College Counseling: “Yes, and!”

By Eric Monheim, Director of College Counseling

A New Mantra in College Counseling: “Yes, and!”

I typically think of “Yes, and!” as a guideline for ordering food as in “Yes, I’ll have the steak and lobster.” Better yet, “Yes, I’ll have the brownie and the ice cream.”

The reality is that the idea of “Yes, and!” has long served as a foundational principle of improvisational comedy allowing an actor to accept what his or her partner has said or done and expand upon it.  Proponents of Design Thinking have more recently adopted the philosophy.  They argue that “Yes, and” allows for more out-of-the-box or beyond-the-status-quo thinking.

I would like to suggest that adopting the “Yes, and” mantra in the college counseling realm would do us all—students, counselors, and schools—a whale of good.  To get us to the point of putting the mantra into practice, however, we have to reflect a bit about the traditional notion of how we evaluate success in the college process. (more…)

Becoming a Musician at Interlochen Arts Camp

By Jason Hwang, V Form

Becoming a Musician at Interlochen Arts Campscreen-shot-2016-09-18-at-6-24-04-pm

Not many people recognize the beauty of classical music. I might not deserve to say this because I was actually one of them before this summer. Attending Interlochen Arts Camp was by far the most engaging and life changing experience of my life in terms of the depth of what I learned and how I advanced into a better musician. (more…)