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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…)

The Quest: An Original Composition for a Life Philosophy

By Helena Lin, IV Form

The Quest: An Original Composition for a Life Philosophy

At the end of my fall Roman Religion and Philosophy class, Dr Harwood assigned us a free-swim Screenshot 2016-02-16 10.22.41final project that asked for a creative presentation, in any desired form, of something we found interesting and meaningful in what we learned in class. After several conferences with Dr Harwood, I decided to produce my first music composition, which aims to demonstrate my understanding of Epicureanism and Stoicism, the two Roman philosophies that we studied. (Click right image!) (more…)

La Realidad de la “Democracia Racial” entre Brasil (En Español and English)

By Theo Bartlett, V Form

La Realidad de la “Democracia Racial” entre Brasil (En Español and English)

Our core objective in our Spanish IV class is to study Latin American history in order to understand how and why Latin America has been shaped into the region that it is today. Within our curriculum, we accomplish this task by doing case studies on many different countries in Latin America, in which we study the national history of the country and then connect it to recent publications regarding its modern day situation. Within these case studies, we explore the demographics, economics, politics, and social scene of a country by immersing ourselves in Latin American literature, political debates, documentaries, and movies, and we reflect on what we have learned in both classroom discussions and written responses throughout the studies.  Most recently, at the end of our case study on Brazil, we were asked to take the information that we learned in the PBS documentary “Black in Brazil”, which talks (more…)

Flipsnacking: Nourishing Food for Thought or Junk Food for the Brain?

By Dr. Heather Harwood, Classics Department Head

Let me begin with a disclaimer:  I am not a Luddite. I genuinely like technology. I own a smart phone, a laptop, and an ipad. I have both a Twitter and a Facebook account.  I read the New York Times online and love that I can watch the videos that sometimes accompany the stories. I have a Netflix account and I’d be lost without my GPS (literally); I even sometimes Skype with my parents. As an educator, I was an early proponent of using technology to facilitate student learning.  In fact, despite its stuffy, antiquated reputation, Classics was one of the first of the Humanities’ disciplines to jump on the technology train, and I have been using it effectively in my classroom for (more…)

Getting My Hands Dirtier Than Expected

Getting My Hands Dirtier Than Expected

By Jeanna Cook, Classics Faculty

Fig 1 {Figure 1:  Trench 1, 2014 Excavation Season at Binchester (Vinovium), Bishop Auckland, County Durham, UK}

“What will your students think when you tell them that you spent the summer in the toilet!” Quivering with hoarse laughter, Tony slapped his knee and grinned from underneath the visor of his white construction worker’s helmet. He posed, one foot planted up against the trench wall, one hand on his hip. In his other hand he gingerly twirled his “specialty tool,” the head of an archaeological pick superimposed on the longer handle of a garden tool. He and a fellow volunteer archaeologist at Binchester had designed this tool in the off-season, the perfect instrument for this dirty job.

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