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The School of Athens’ Tableau Vivant . . . & Memes!

By Keely Dion, Cooper Sarafin, Dylan Sotir, & Charlotte Wood, VI Form and Reevie Fenstermacher, IV Form

The School of Athens’ Tableau Vivant . . . & Memes!

Χαιρετε! Over the course of this school year, we, the Greek II class have put together our Classics Diploma Project, an analysis and celebration of Raphael’s The School of Athens. Our inspiration for this project came from many different places. In class, we’ve read the works of great Greek writers, such as Aristophanes, Plato, and Xenophon, three authors who present different accounts of Socrates’ life. Charlotte Wood, one of the students in the class, had traveled to Rome in the summer of 2015, and while she was there she saw Raphael’s Rooms in The Vatican. She was awestruck by the scale, perfection, and beauty of each work, The School of Athens in particular. She then began studying the work in Art History, and her love for it grew. Once the class started learning about Plato and Aristotle, she shared her enthusiasm for the painting, and the class appreciated the work as much as she did. We then decided to frame the project around Raphael’s awe-inspiring masterpiece.
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An Analysis of Alienation: The Natural Estrangement of the Individual

By Cooper Sarafin, VI Form

An Analysis of Alienation: The Natural Estrangement of the Individual

Total Estrangement

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…)

Letter to the Editor: Native American Policy

By Mo Liu and Jamie Lance, V Form

Letter to the Editor: Native American Policy

Dear Editor Jackson,

It occurs to me that there is much attention raised among the general public regarding our government’s policy towards Indians, and therefore in writing to you, I, as a member of the Board of Indian Commissioners, want to clarify my position. Indians cannot be entirely excluded from our picture as a nation. However, the Indian society is not a cultivated society likes ours. One of my colleagues, who is experienced with Indian affairs and always provides us with elaborate information about the Indians, says their tribes are corrupted by “idleness, improvidence, and indebtedness”. The lack of private property or land and the underdevelopment of laws mark the Indian society as barbarous and inferior to ours. Because of this difference, since 1871 Indian tribes are no longer considered sovereign nations. Governments before us circumvented the Indian dilemma by relocating and establishing reservations west to the Mississippi River, yet now with a closed frontier and western migration, conflicts between settlers and the Indians are inevitable. The issue is pressing. (more…)

World War I Primary Sources Collection at the Library

By Marion Donovan, Assistant Librarian

World War I Primary Sources Collection at the Library

As a librarian at St. Mark’s this fall, I have begun to “weed” through our history collection and have taken a deep dive into time travel. In the past, I was a history teacher myself, so the primary sources that bring the past to life call out to me. A particular section in the library especially rich in those sources covers World War I. Both of my grandfathers fought in WWI on the Allied side, one as a doctor and the other as an engineer, so I grew up with stories and artifacts of “The Great War,” as it was first known. When I applied to graduate school for history at the University of Chicago, I discovered that La Verne Noyes, an American inventor and manufacturer of agricultural equipment, book holders, and windmills, had left the bulk of his fortune to scholarships for Allied veterans of WWI and their direct descendants. These scholarships have now expanded to include 48 colleges. April 6, 2017 will be the one-hundredth anniversary of the United States’ entry into WWI. The European side of the war began in 1914, so many newspaper and magazine articles have already examined new and old perspectives on those events. More will be coming with April 6 in view. We at St. Mark’s are lucky to have an extensive collection of first-hand material (diaries, letters, memoirs, news reports, propaganda, art, photographs) from marshals and generals to privates and civilians on wide-ranging aspects of this war. (more…)

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…)

The Importance of Classics in the 21st Century

By Riley Lochhead, V Form 

The Importance of Classics in the 21st Century

Editor’s Note: In Latin III Honors, the students wrote essays to submit to the Eidolon Essay Contest. The prompt called for an explanation and argument for why studying Classics is important in the 21st century. 

Studying Classics has helped me with many things such as SAT vocabulary, gaining a better understanding of the foundation of the English language, and having a better grasp on the history of ancient Rome. Although all of these skills are valid examples of the importance of studying the Classics, they are not what makes studying Classics most valuable in the 21st century. It is crucial to continue to educate students in the area of Classics is because Latin and Greek create opportunities for students to be independent critical thinkers who are able to produce their own ideas and to ask questions that provoke them to question their previous assumptions about the topics being discussed. This skill can be applied to many other disciplines and is crucial to development of a growth mindset. (more…)