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By Jenny Shan, VI Form
Rebel with a Cause: Delving into Comic Books
Crammed into the tiny pocket of space behind the painting hanging in my study lies one of my greatest secrets: a magazine of weekly comics. As a child, I would purchase a new one from the local newsstand every week after school. On the twenty-minute bus ride from home, I would quickly consume the updated stories featuring young detectives investigating unsolved murder cases, or sentient toys mediating domestic disputes for maltreated children. My favorites were the grand adventures, in particular about the cursed pirate families searching for a place to bury their treasure.
Unlike those pirates, the treasure I would be burying was a bit more personal than gold. Every time I brought home a magazine, my immediate response was to conceal it: in the drawers, on top of the bookshelf. But these would all inevitably be found. When I noticed a secret crevice between the painting and the wall, it was as if the most perfect coastline had finally revealed itself from the mist. I could not let another one of my treasures fall into the hands of other marauders and hijackers, the most notorious of whom was my forbidding mother. (more…)
By Suha Choi, III Form
March 1st of 1919: A Big Step Towards Unity and Freedom in Korea
“A day goes so slow, but a week seems to fly.”
This seems to be a famous saying during the academic year. Time goes so quick, and the third month of the year feels like it flipped on the calendar soon after New Year’s Day. For many, March evokes thoughts about women’s history or the March Madness. For many others, the start of March signals the blessed Senior Spring season. To me, one more thing comes to mind: the March 1st Movement (or the Sam-il Independence Movement).
I ask my parents whether they have put up the Korean flag at our veranda back home yet. Then, I start wondering what my home country would have looked like just 100 years ago. I suddenly see my great grandparents and millions of my ancestors marching on the flat dusty streets of Seoul, where now countless tall and polished buildings stand. (more…)
By Sarah Bechard, Michael Ferlisi, and Sydni Williams, III Form
Project Based Learning in The Global Seminar: The Zamibia Presentation
Editor’s Note: All III Formers took part in The Global Seminar’s project to create a proposal to improve the state of the fictitious country Zamibia. The students collaborated in groups as United Nations Development Programme Sustainable Development Teams. The two artifacts below include the slide presentation that the students delivered to their classmates, teachers, and visitors as well as the video of the presentation.
By Grace Kingsbury, V Form
The Apple Does Not Fall Far From The Tree: On Cisneros’ “The Family of Little Feet”
Everyone has heard the saying, “the apple does not fall far from the tree,” but is there any truth to it? In “The Family of Little Feet” from The House On Mango Street, Esperanza plays a game of dress-up with her friends, Rachel and Lucy. They are given old high heeled shoes and strut around Mango Street, flaunting their beautiful shoes and long legs. The three girls are catcalled by many older men in the neighborhood, but they enjoy the attention. In the short story “Girl,” the girl is taught of chores that are expected of young women by her mother. Her mother stresses the importance of maintaining a positive reputation and looks down on promiscuity. Due to the differences in their upbringing, Esperanza expresses her sexuality whereas the girl suppresses hers as seen in their prominent accepted hobbies, varying feedback, and female role models. (more…)
By Jenny Tang, V Form
A $10 Billion Industry
In many communities of color in Asia, West Africa, and Latin America, fair skin is glorified, and skin-bleaching is as normal as applying lotion.
There is a multitude of causes. In some communities, colorism stems from classism: being tan means you work in the fields and are poor. According, having light skin indicates a wealthy indoor lifestyle and is desirable. In other communities, colorism has deep colonial roots: fair skin of European rulers symbolizes power and calls for worship. Whatever the cause, prejudice against dark skin harms many individuals, both on a personal level by causing shame and on a social level by increasing discrimination. Sadly, despite substantial evidence attesting to the health risks of skin-bleaching, an entire industry of skin-lightening products worth $10 billion continues to thrive today.
The three women in the artwork are Yanusha Yogarajah, Nyakim Gatwech, and Jella, who are all beauty influencers celebrating dark skin. Drawn as standing in solidarity, their confrontational gazes ask us, “What will you do about colorism?” (more…)