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Studying the Wild Dogs in Zululand

By Mathilde Sauquet, VI Form

DSCN2913As a child, I held many dreams for my future. Although I never got my letter from Hogwarts, I had the amazing opportunity to make one of my childhood fantasies come true this past summer. It involved wild animals, the Savannah, and a big slap in the face.

Last spring, I was awarded the A.A. Jones Family grant to fund a dream I had cherished for years, inspired by countless hours (more…)

The Broken Pieces Made Into Germany

By Harrison Chapman, VI Form

In the spirit of No-Shave November, I feel inclined to honor some of facial hair’s greatest sponsors. Many leaders throughout history grew impressive beards and mustaches: Lincoln, Darwin, Roosevelt, Twain, and, of course, Chuck Norris. But, one man not only rocked a handle bar mustache incredibly well, but he was also able to unite the individual pieces of the broken Holy Roman Empire into what we now know as Germany. This man was Otto von Bismarck. (more…)

Fortitude Transpires Amid Devastation in the Philippines

By Camille Banson, V Form

On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines with 197mph winds and relentless floods that consumed homes. An estimated 5,000 people died, 18,000 injured, and over 1,000 still unaccounted for, but numbers do not fully describe the devastating situation. Corpses hung from trees and were scattered on sidewalks. Desperate residents in search of food, water, and fuel looted grocery stores and gas stations. People lost their lives, livelihoods, homes, children, parents. (more…)

Why Speech and Debate Matter

By David Eacho, VI Form and Jane Cho Watts, IV Form

Why does the United States Constitution’s First Amendment grant us the right to free speech if we don’t know how to use it? Up until the 1970s, St. Mark’s had mandatory Public Speaking class for IVth formers and form-wide debates and speech competitions across the entire school. Since then, oratory has been limited to a Third Form Seminar event. The quality of presentations across the school has deteriorated to the point where school meeting announcements cause dread among the student body. It’s time for all that to change. (more…)

Notes from a History Research Paper Purist

By Caitlin Jones, History Faculty

Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought to the value of the traditional history research paper. Has the shift towards instantaneous, accessible information made historical research skills obsolete or has it made the role of the historian that much more important in wading through the sea of information that is readily available at our fingertips? In all of this discussion about global citizenship and twenty-first-century skills, is the history research process relevant and valuable? (more…)

The Role of STEM in a Liberal Arts Education

By Michael Wirtz, Assistant Head of School and Dean of Faculty

“In my perspective … science and computer science is a liberal art, it’s something everyone should know how to use, at least, and harness in their life. It’s not something that should be relegated to 5 percent of the population over in the corner. It’s something that everybody should be exposed to and everyone should have mastery of to some extent, and that’s how we viewed computation and these computation devices.”  – Steve Jobs, from a 1996 interview with NPR’s Terry Gross

At St. Mark’s, a school with a proud and strong liberal arts tradition, there has been a fair share of head scratching and hand wringing about the role of the school’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education initiative in our future.  During the early evolution of this (more…)