By Cooper Sarafin, VI Form
An Analysis of Alienation: The Natural Estrangement of the Individual
Alienation is a natural state of human beings. We are set in an environment that leaves us with a sense of inadequacy and ineptitude and no matter what extent to which we alter our facades and wear a mask of falsity; we will never be able to cross the glass ceiling that is our expectations. From the very moment we are conceived, we are being classified and divided among throngs of opinions, preferences, and expectations. We are expected to live up to this normality of society, the ever prevalent quest to “fit in”. To be amidst the general populace and succeed in a manner relative to the ideas of said society and government that preside over our specific demographic. We are expected to succeed in the realm of capitalism and to move further up this hierarchy and supersede the ranks of the proletariat in turn for the bourgeoisie. We are expected to develop social relationships with everyone we meet and to be liked by them. We are expected to achieve great things and to do what has never been done before. In the aftermath of all this expectation, what is left for us to expect for ourselves other than that which has been told to us? In that we are governed by these (more…)
By Abby Peloquin, VI Form
Patriotism Is My Life and Flag: I Support the Troops
Patriotism, to me, is far more than saying “I am an American” or putting a flag on your front porch. To be a patriot is to understand the past and present of this country, both good and bad. It is learning the history of our nation, from the pilgrims to George Washington to WWII, and accepting that even the greatest countries have their faults. It is seeing a veteran in Walmart and, although you’ve never met them, saying thank you. Patriotism is putting your hand on your heart for the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at 8am, even when you don’t quite understand the words yet. Being a patriot is a lifelong journey, and the people who understand that more than most are the members of our armed forces. (more…)
By Tony Banson and Tommy MacNeil, V Form
What Is Cancer: Looking Through the Multiplex Lens of Immortality
Cancer is a disease that has touched the lives of many around the world (Figure 1). It is a disease that afflicts both the young and old, and the rich and poor. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the United States in 2017 (Cancer Facts & Figures 2017). Biologically, this disease arises from one’s body when normal, healthy cells begin to grow uncontrollably. Because of genetic and environmental factors, the subset of cells no longer cooperate with evolution’s safety controls, bypassing important regulatory checkpoints of the cell cycle. With the advent of technology and medicine, humans are living longer and the cells that make up our bodies have more time to mutate in ways that can cause havoc.
From a personal standpoint, cancer has touched the lives of many of our loved ones. (more…)
By Tom McKeown, V Form
This I Believe: Let’s Get Realigious
Religion comforts many people and has for most of human history. However, an omnipresent and omniscient being is inconceivable to some, while it frightens others. Religion offers answers to questions that cannot yet be answered through human conception like, “What happens after death?” However, I don’t believe a person needs religions to live a satisfied life.
As a child, I was taught that I would be satisfied with my life if I pursued something that I am passionate about. This always left me asking myself the question which passion is the right one? I was raised Roman Catholic and went to church every Sunday. I attended Sunday school after mass and often went to church functions during the week. I was surrounded by people sharing the same belief, and after my childhood I realized how many different religions were practiced and had existed. This epiphany made me feel small and significantly unsure of the lessons I had been taught. (more…)
By Ms. Casey Pickett’s III Formers
20% Time (Genius Hour) With Freshmen: Civic Action
Editor’s Note: In Ms. Casey Pickett’s III Form English classes, her students pursue 20% Time (or “Genius Hour”) projects. Below are Ms. Pickett’s instructions, a student’s reflection, and several artifacts from the experience. Please keep scrolling!
The purpose of the project is to give you time to pursue something that you are passionate about, interested in, or something you’ve always wanted to do. It is a time for you to be creative and to take ownership of your learning AND your education. If it is important to you, it has value.
What does it mean to be a citizen (global, local, digital)?
What are civics? Why is it important that we are civically engaged?
How can I be a voice for and/or create social change?
A Reflection by Paige LaMalva
As a student, I feel as though there isn’t enough time after academics and athletics to pursue something a student is interested in. At a school like St. Mark’s, for example, we are in class from 8:30am-3:00 pm and then at sports from 3:30-5:00 pm, which is followed by a short period of time to relax before study hall at 7:30 pm. With the 20% Time project, my fellow classmates and I were permitted to explore a topic of our interest. For me, I chose to research pancreatic cancer. Without the 45-minute block per week working on this, I wouldn’t have learned why pancreatic cancer is called “The Silent Cancer.” (more…)
By Charles Brookby, III Form
Ugandan Human Rights
Editor’s Note: In The Global Seminar classes, each student wrote a research paper in February and March that was used as the foundation for a 4-5 minute speech presenting an argument (direction and specificity) relating to the following question: How does the global community respond to the abuse of human rights? And how should the global community respond? This speech won the Ely Speech Prize (founded in 1890): an annual competition for Third Formers.
In 1961, a man by the name of Joseph Kony was born. As a child, Kony grew up in Odek, Uganda where he was well educated, and in his adult life became a healer in his ethnic tribe of the Acholi people. As he grew up, Kony was exposed to horrific terror on his people conducted by the Ugandan government at the time. Kony joined an organization known as The Holy Spirit Movement in 1986. He quickly climbed the ranks, and became one the leaders, then ultimately took control and changed the party’s name to The Lord’s Resistance Army. For over 25 years, countries and the UN have been, frankly, oblivious to the horrendous actions of Joseph Kony and the LRA. Ugandan children have been taken, used, and killed at the hands of Kony and his men. Eventually, the International Criminal Court and UN peacekeeping programs have gotten involved in an attempt to stop the LRA. Though progress has been made, the LRA is still active and in power near northern Uganda and neighboring countries, and justice towards their actions has not been dealt. (more…)