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My Voice In My Art

By Rory Colburn, VI Form

My Voice In My Art

I love to draw.  Drawing allows me to express my identity and opinions as an individual in a seemingly homogeneous world.  After three years and many long nights spent working on Studio Art homework, I have developed a creative process that not only produces technically proficient drawing, but also gives me a voice in my school.

When I begin a piece, I search for every detail in the composition, while my right hand makes seemingly crude marks with a light colored pencil on my paper. I slowly build these ghost lines, which layer to create a two-dimensional representation of the objects in front (more…)

Changing Society and the Lives of Black Men

By Jammil Telfort, VI Form

Changing Society and the Lives of Black Men

Fifty-eight.

That is the percentage of incarcerated American youth who are black.

Fourteen.

That is the percentage of the United States population who are black.

According to the aforementioned trends, most black men are destined to lives of crime, preventing them from becoming upstanding citizens of the United States. As I transition into adulthood, I am haunted by these ominous statistics that tell me that by next fall, I should be in a prison cell and not in a college dorm. Despite having the odds stacked against me, I have challenged this idea through my very existence. (more…)

More Important Than My Fear

By Payton Nugent, VI Form

More Important Than My Fear

Do you really think anyone cares?

During my announcement to the school, I hear this lone internal voice.

What you’re trying to do is stupid and doesn’t matter.

I have tried to shake this voice from my head, but it keeps coming back. During every announcement I make for the Gender Sexuality Alliance, that voice represents every student who is rolling his or her eyes. That voice represents every student who thinks issues of gender identity and sexuality are nonexistent because “there are no gay people at St. Mark’s.” For some, I will never be able to change their minds. Whenever I make these announcements, I wonder why I run for head of the GSA if this voice is always pestering me. (more…)

Remembering Through the Kids’ Toothy Smiles

By Sarah Robertson, VI Form

Remembering Through the Kids’ Toothy Smiles

There are few places in the world that astound me. Places where I look around and am suddenly filled with every emotion, yet I am incapable of mustering words to describe them. My heart pounds with joy, my mind is ablaze, and my entire world is suddenly filled with life. I first felt this feeling peering out the towering glass windows of the CN tower, my mother tracing a map of her life for me along the panes. I felt it as I stepped onto the streets of New York City for the first time, breathing in the passion, life, and movement all around me, contrary to the aura of my sleepy town. Most recently, these inexpressible emotions were blazing on my trip to Haiti. (more…)

From Classroom To Lab: My Work With T Cell Therapy

By Lilly Drohan, VI Form

From Classroom To Lab: My Work With T Cell Therapy

FullSizeRender-4This summer, I traveled to Seattle, Washington to work in the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. My biology teacher presented me with the opportunity, and I immediately got my hands on it. Studying cancer at the microbiological level in Advanced Biology my junior year really challenged me and stimulated my curiosity, but what I experienced during August turned my attraction into almost an obsession. Dr. Michael Jensen, the director of the lab, takes an approach to pediatric cancer therapy that not many take: using the body’s own immune system to fight off the cancer. Dr. Jensen and his team reprogram immune cells called T cells using virus technology to give the cells specific properties that help them proliferate and target specific molecules expressed on cancer cells. This form of therapy is incredibly innovative and creative, and it was so captivating to be at the forefront of the further development of the treatment for just a brief month.
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Overcoming the Challenges of an Introverted Entrepreneur

By Abi Smith, VI Form

My heart thumped as I walked onto the stage in front of thousands of people at the White Privilege WPCConference (WPC) in Seattle. I was one of four students from St. Mark’s School selected to attend the conference; WPC examines concepts of privilege and oppression and works to promote a more equitable world.

“Break a leg,” I whispered to myself as I maneuvered my way to the front of the stage. As I stepped toward the microphone, my foot became tangled in the wire. I stepped backwards, which unfortunately made the problem worse. (more…)

The Pain Cave

By Ryan Haarstick, VI Form

“Last five-hundred! We are three seats behind. Power ten. Here we go!

One.two.three.four,” barks the coxswain from the bow of the boat.

I need to make sure my pulling is hard. I am exhausted. I must clear my mind, stop thinking, and keep my eyes in the boat. My shins are paralyzed; I cannot lift my feet. I have to push through it.

Since ninth grade, I have been rowing with the St. Mark’s Varsity Crew Team, working my way from the fourth boat to the second boat, and finally to the first boat. Now is not the time to give up. I took my teammate Alex’s seat at the top, and as the youngest member in my boat I have to prove myself. I focus on (more…)

Fighting To Get My Life Back

By Brendan Dawson, VI Form

Cancer tried to defeat me, but I fought back. In the summer of 2011 I became thyroid cancer’s latest victim at the young age of 14. I experienced a wide variety of emotions throughout the next year. An enthusiastic, confident, active eighth grader vanished, and a mortified, timid ninth grader emerged. My uncertain future was now in the hands of the various doctors at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Life as I once knew it had abruptly ended, and I fought the challenge of a lifetime to win it back. (more…)