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By Grace Gorman, VI Form
Facing the Big Bad Wolf
My mom has always described me as “fearless.” To some extent, when she recounts my fearlessness, she is referring to my willingness to try new, courageous things. However, I also possess another kind of fearlessness – the determination to face whatever comes with strength and bravery. The way she retells it, she first recognized my fearlessness during a family trip to Busch Gardens amusement park.
That day, I was unable to go on many rides with my siblings because I was too small. However, this all changed when we arrived at The Big Bad Wolf. This ride was notorious for being the fastest and most thrilling at the park, and no matter how much my mom tried to convince me that I should not go on it, I was determined. Despite measuring tall enough to ride, right before stepping into the suspended seat, my stomach dropped, filling with fear and uncertainty. Nevertheless, I proceeded and, with my mom sitting next to me, we climbed the long, steep track. As we were hurled through the air, my mom screamed, “Gracie, are you okay?” I joyfully hollered back, “I want to do this again!”
From that moment on, I have been considered the most adventurous child of my family. At four years old I gleefully jumped off the high diving board at a local pool, at eight years old I began riding horses, and last year I snorkeled in the middle of the ocean, where I swam right next to a Barracuda and touched stingrays. While my mom might use these examples to describe my fearlessness, these are not the moments during which I consider myself to have been the most fearless. My most fearless times were after my sister died. (more…)
By Lexi Schumaker, VI Form
The Thin Blue Line of Family
“Cops in the U.S – especially in Texas – are savage animals that will shoot you whenever they please. Now in Dallas is payback time, pigs.”
This tweet, shared to me by a classmate, is what I woke up to the morning after the Dallas shooting. I read it repeatedly until tears swelled up my eyes. I could not comprehend the fact that someone would want my father, a brave cop whom I look up to, dead. I called my father immediately and asked him what I should do and how I should feel. He simply told me to ignore these kinds of comments because not many people view the police force the way my family does. If it does not bother him, it should not bother me either. So, why did it? (more…)
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…)
By Gabriel Xu, V Form
Make Peace With the Day to Enjoy the Evening: Remains of the Day
There’s an old Chinese idiom that roughly translates to, “The person on the spot is baffled, the onlooker sees clearly”. Surely, this applies to the case of Mr. Stevens. As the aged butler in Remains of the Day travels farther away from the house he has been in service of for decades, he starts to see the truth of his former employer more clearly — a truth so dark and ugly that Stevens has tried very hard to escape. Although Mr. Stevens is forced to learn the tragic truth about his former lord and consequently his own small, yet undeniable contribution as butler to the evildoing his master was conducting, the meeting with Ms. Kenton, a former housekeeper, allows him to see value in his decades of service, to make peace with his past, and eventually to move forward into a hopeful future. (more…)
By Veera Korhonen, VI Form
“Just” An American
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
I’m just an American. Or so I thought. Growing up overseas, I was always associated with other multi-cultural kids who had a parent working for the American Embassy. As a result, I was an American and only an American. This was despite the fact I had spent more of my life out of the States than in it and I had a bi-racial background of being Finnish and Indian. When I decided to attend a small boarding school in Massachusetts, I figured I would have no problem adjusting to a new community in America. Since I was moving from Saudi Arabia, a country with a demanding set of religious laws to live by, I thought I could adapt to fit even the most extreme conditions. I had no idea that moving back to a country that I considered my own would be the hardest transition of my life. (more…)
By Hans Zhou, VI Form
Willing to Empathize with Another’s “Otherness”
“Come on, those chicks must be super proud to be portrayed that way,” a boy dismissively interrupted me during a class discussion while I was criticizing the eroticized female images in a magazine that objectifies women for commercial gains. Astonished and silenced, I could not believe what I had just heard. It was my first year in the United States. For a Chinese boy who longed for open-minded conversations in the United States, the all-male school atmosphere was not ideal. Identifying as a feminist only made things worse. I was publicly ridiculed for spreading “stupid feminism” and lacking masculinity. Admittedly frustrated, I was above all baffled. Why would people easily hold on to their prejudices without trying to listen to another perspective? (more…)