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Race in Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God: an Infographic

By Haley Dion, IV Form

 

Race in Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God: an Infographic

We were given a project that instructed us to create an infographic on a key theme fromscreen-shot-2016-10-07-at-8-00-09-pm Their Eyes Were Watching God. My infographic focuses on the theme of race in the novel. It discusses the characters’ connections to race, the relationship between race with other themes in the book, and the presence of race throughout the chapters. I enjoyed creating this infographic because I got to look at the importance of a modern day issue in the 1920s/1930s time setting of the novel. The elements of the infographic are below or you can access the full infographic by clicking here. (more…)

Global Connections of Media and Skin

By June Seong, IV Form

Global Connections of Media and Skin

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Amidst the chaos that is my life – including the future I must decide upon, the necessity to be “special,” and my attempt to make this post somewhat grammatically correct – I am struck by my simultaneous privilege and ignorance. This privilege and ignorance is exhibited through myriad ways at this very moment: 1) this dull MacBook Air that I am communicating through and that was probably configured by an underpaid or unpaid laborer; 2) the whizzing air conditioning that is breathing on my neck so that I might not die from heatstroke whilst the world scales up a few sweltering Centigrades; 3) the immensity of the world that is within computer click’s reach via Facebook. (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…)

Make Peace With the Day to Enjoy the Evening: Remains of the Day

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…)

The Great Gatsby: Chapter 10

By Eric Zhang, V Form

The Great Gatsby: Chapter 10Gatsby_1925_jacket

(Editors’ Note: In Ms. Matthews’ American Literature class, this assignment prompted students to create a 10th chapter of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, utilizing Nick Caraway’s melancholic tone and including some type of closure for the characters)

It had been five years since the funeral, and I finally returned to this city that I once thought was haunted. Everything was so depressing. There were no sounds of the orchestra playing or shimmering sights of the girls wearing fancy dresses with decorations on their shoes. The city of New York had changed since that October in 1929, what was later called Black October. I wandered the streets of New York, and ultimately, I was pulled back to the Eggs and Gatsby’s mansion. What was once a (more…)

U.S. Historical “I am” Poems

By Samantha Sarafin, John Hart, George Littlefield, and Ginny Walsh, V Form

U.S. Historical “I am” Poems

Each of our United States History courses revolves around eight major themes prevalent throughout history. One of those themes is the question of “Who is an American” at any given time in the nation’s history. In keeping with our work and also trying to connect what we do inside our classroom to the broader St. Mark’s community and world at large, each class took their Community and Equity Day “I am” poems and looked at them from a historical angle. Each student was asked to look at an “I am” poem from the perspective of a figure from history. Some students were asked to be someone as specific as Alexander Hamilton, while others were (more…)