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Words, Legacy, and Memory: What We Can Learn From the Inscriptions on Civil War Monuments

By Mo Liu and Katherine Wass, VI Form

Words, Legacy, and Memory: What We Can Learn From the Inscriptions on Civil War Monuments

In the first month of History Research Fellowship, we looked at symbols and memories, specifically

Click image for full Piktochart

those tied to the Civil War. We were particularly drawn to the difference in sentiments in the North and the South in the decades following the end of the Civil War and how they are reflected in the monuments. With access to the monument database in Maine and North Carolina, we picked these two states to be the representative of the Union and the Confederacy, respectively.

Katherine and Mo’s fullInfographic can be found here (more…)

Belonging in Cunha’s “A Study of Homeland in Displacement” and Alexie’s “Honor Society”

By Mary Flathers, V Form

Belonging in Cunha’s “A Study of Homeland in Displacement” and Alexie’s “Honor Society”

Belonging is a widely discussed topic in the present day. Whether it is belonging to a certain race, religion, or gender, a sense of unity is created among people who share a common aspect in life. Within Fernanda Cunha and Sherman Alexie’s short stories, respectively entitled “A Study of Homeland in Displacement” and “Honor Society,” the element of belonging is explored in depth. In both of these stories, the narrators struggle with family ties and their identities. However, in Alexie’s story, the narrator focuses on creating a future and leaving behind a home, while in Cunha’s story, the narrator holds onto her past by maintaining the home in her mind.

These stories are similar in a multitude of ways, and the most prominent similarities appear in the narrators’ management of family and identity. In Alexie’s story, the love and respect the narrator has for his family are evident when he begins to “sing and drum with [his] mother and father” (Alexie 1). Though he does not believe in the “God” they sing of, he is willing to overcome the pride he has in his own ideologies to respect the beliefs of his family. Similarly, in Cunha’s story, the narrator has fond memories of a loving community. She recalls her grandfather as a man who “smokes a pack a day and laughs the way [she] remember[s] like he’s invincible” (Cunha 1). Though at times the borders placed around her family by the nations they live in seem too large to bear, as seen when the narrator tries “to better [her] [native language,] Portuguese, soften it so it is less jagged” (Cunha 1), the attachment the narrator has to her family allows for her to overcome these obstacles. Through studying this vital aspect of her memory, the narrator maintains her past identity. (more…)

An Analysis of Alienation: The Natural Estrangement of the Individual

By Cooper Sarafin, VI Form

An Analysis of Alienation: The Natural Estrangement of the Individual

Total Estrangement

Alienation is a natural state of human beings. We are set in an environment that leaves us with a sense of inadequacy and ineptitude and no matter what extent to which we alter our facades and wear a mask of falsity; we will never be able to cross the glass ceiling that is our expectations. From the very moment we are conceived, we are being classified and divided among throngs of opinions, preferences, and expectations. We are expected to live up to this normality of society, the ever prevalent quest to “fit in”. To be amidst the general populace and succeed in a manner relative to the ideas of said society and government that preside over our specific demographic. We are expected to succeed in the realm of capitalism and to move further up this hierarchy and supersede the ranks of the proletariat in turn for the bourgeoisie. We are expected to develop social relationships with everyone we meet and to be liked by them. We are expected to achieve great things and to do what has never been done before. In the aftermath of all this expectation, what is left for us to expect for ourselves other than that which has been told to us? In that we are governed by these (more…)

Patriotism Is My Life and Flag: I Support the Troops

By Abby Peloquin, VI Form

Patriotism Is My Life and Flag: I Support the Troops

Patriotism, to me, is far more than saying “I am an American” or putting a flag on your front porch. To be a patriot is to understand the past and present of this country, both good and bad. It is learning the history of our nation, from the pilgrims to George Washington to WWII, and accepting that even the greatest countries have their faults. It is seeing a veteran in Walmart and, although you’ve never met them, saying thank you. Patriotism is putting your hand on your heart for the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at 8am, even when you don’t quite understand the words yet. Being a patriot is a lifelong journey, and the people who understand that more than most are the members of our armed forces. (more…)

Moments of Significant Expansion or Contraction of U.S. Democracy

By Anthony D’Angelo, Sophie Haugen, Kaela Dunne, Rebecca Lovett, and Izzy (Minjae) Kim, V Form

Moments of Significant Expansion or Contraction of U.S. Democracy

The Shen Prize is a speech competition for V Formers responding to the prompt: What is a moment of significant expansion or contraction of United States’ democracy?

Below are links to the text of the speeches by the five finalists as well as the video of the actual speeches. The Shen Prize was bestowed upon Rebecca Lovett.

In order of appearance:

Anthony D’Angelo: The All-American Girl’s Professional Baseball League

Sophie Haugen: Xenophobia–Never the Answer

Kaela Dunne: Reclaim the Title “Home of the Brave”

Rebecca Lovett (Shen Prize): The Civil Rights Act of 1964–Greatest Expansion of Human Rights, Suffrage, Opportunity, and Democracy

Izzy (Minjae) Kim: Leveraging the “Soft Power” of the U.N. (more…)

Gun Control in America: A Nonpartisan Investigation

By Sam Lauten, VI Form

Gun Control in America: A Nonpartisan Investigation

For the entirety of my life, I have been taught that there are good politicians and evil politicians. I have been taught that there is only Democrat and Republican. I grew up in a firmly liberal household, in a liberal state, and attended liberal private schools from kindergarten to my senior year of high school. This is not a criticism of my family, nor is it a criticism of liberal education, rather a recognition of the fact that I have been exposed to very few people that are significantly different than I am. However, this year as I began to look onward to studying political science at college in the fall, there was something that I found deeply troubling about experiencing eighteen years of life without having my own political views truly challenged. Even so, I have always had firm opinions about nearly every issue, even those which I have not necessarily experienced the effects of first hand. An example of one of these issues is gun regulation. (more…)