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Poetry: Pouring Myself into the Pages

By Kendall Sommers, III Form

Introduction from the Poet:

I enjoy writing poetry because using words creatively is an art form that acts as an outlet for me. Depicting my emotions with strings of words allows me to be more in tune to my inner self and helps me to explore different forms of expression. I am often inspired when reading my poems over again. I thoroughly enjoy seeing myself grow emotionally as a writer and as a person. The fact that there truly is always room for improvement in writing is fascinating for me. This understanding of poetry is what drives me to keep pouring myself into these pages. In addition, I also explore poetry by reading the works of other people, whether these are poems in books or magazines or the portfolios that my friends have me read over. I learn something from every line I read, and I am inspired by how open and unique every word and every writer is. I especially love the creative genre in which I write: free verse. I choose to write in a narrative tone because it allows for the story I always have to shine through. Some of my stories are emotional, some are funny, and some are seemingly meaningless, but I use all of them as a method of exploring my thoughts and seeing how they appear to other people as text. 

Below are some of my poems with explanations of how I crafted them. (more…)

My Mind’s I(sland)

By Justin Zhang, VI Form

My Mind’s I(sland)

Editors’ Note–The assignment in the VI Form elective, Getting LOST: TASK–Create a visual display in the form of an island: your Mind’s I(sland). The island will be a visual representation of what constitutes your identity (“Mind’s I”) as an individual through five regions: Family; Friends; Home; Body; Your Character.


Size: 4 ft. x 3 ft.


Leadership from All Directions – The Collaborative Effort of Lion Term

By Liz McCulloch, Director of Lion Term and French Faculty


Leadership from All Directions – The Collaborative Effort of Lion Term

Editors’ Note: This piece originally appeared in the gcLi’s Leadership blog on 2 April. You can further seek the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute on Facebook by clicking here.

Last Spring, our entire community experienced the first ever St. Mark’s Lion Term, a two-week experiential education program that ends the school year. During Lion Term, each grade has its own unique focus and all 10th grade students work with local organizations to promote community engagement. We adopted a modified version of the African Leadership Academy’s BUILD model, a form of design-thinking adapted for social entrepreneurship. The ideas were iterated and tested first, and students came away with the confidence that working together, they can play a role in their communities.

One of my favorite stories from last year’s Lion Term involves a group of 10th grade students who worked at Daniel’s Table, an organization committed to ending hunger in Framingham, MA and beyond. After volunteering to serve meals and talking to the founders and clients at Daniel’s Table, our group recognized that it would be helpful to list the ingredients in multiple languages for those who do not speak English or who are not familiar with the local produce. The group decided to make laminated cards with ingredients in English, Spanish, and Portuguese on one side and recipe ideas on the back. In working to understand the needs that the organization was meeting, our students were able to offer a solution that helped the organization to improve its service. (more…)

Finding My Voice: Detaching from Anorexia

By Katherine Ewald, V Form

Finding My Voice: Detaching from Anorexia

My sister Addie once shoved her sweat-infused, post-lacrosse tournament sock in my mouth just to shut me up. I can still taste that sock to this day. She didn’t do this because she was a jerk, rather because I was an extremely obnoxious child. Ever since starring in my first musical at my London preschool at the age of three (literally – I played the role of “Star of Bethlehem”), I have been a singer. Between voice lessons three times a week, chorus twice a week, an endless string of musicals, and my countertop Madison Square Garden-esqe renditions of whatever song was stuck in my head, my sisters never caught a break. Ergo, sweaty lacrosse sock in the piehole.

Most likely to get a much-needed break from the sound of my voice, my sisters eagerly headed to the east coast for high school. Since then, I’ve known that I wanted to do the same, and I did. Having had parents, sisters, and many an extended family member who attended prep school in New England, I expected a seamless transition to my new way of life. This was far from the case. (more…)

On Being American, Latina…On Being Me

By Lauren Menjivar, VI Form

On Being American, Latina…On Being Me

I am a first-generation American. I am Latina. I am a child of a mother and a father who each came to America for unique reasons. I am Lauren Menjivar.

Being first-generation American is a trait I value dearly, but it also has been a challenge. Because I am the eldest child and a native English speaker, I have acquired a huge responsibility to attend to important matters for myself and my family. At the start of my education, my parents helped me learn the alphabet and count, but as I progressed through school, my parents’ ability to assist me dwindled until they never checked if I completed my work. They fully trusted that I finished each assignment to my best capability. When my younger brother enrolled in school, my parents relied on me to assist him with his homework because I had completed that grade. I have become their “secretaria” in completing paperwork and translating conversations. When my father took the American citizenship test, I was the one to help him study and quiz him on questions. When my mother does the same in three years, I will take on the same role. Whenever the school sent papers for my parents to fill out and sign, I would fill them out. I never complained about it once; in fact, I actually enjoyed filling out forms, and I understood at that point that I was the only person capable of doing it. I learned to handle responsibility, by doing things on my own, and through that I gained independence from my parents. (more…)

26.2 & My First (and only) Marathon: The Struggle is Real

By Veronica Barila, School Counselor

26.2 & My First (and Only) Marathon: The Struggle is Real

Most people would argue that coming in 31,897th place is nothing to brag about. When you run a race and finish a hard three hours behind the the winner, I can see how some folks would feel disappointed by their performance. However, finishing the Chicago Marathon, my first (and only) marathon, was never about winning, timing, or even competition. Instead, I embarked on a journey to cross the finish line healthy, to feel every step, and to accomplish something that always seemed impossible.

One of my favorite running songs by Ryan Mountbleu, “75 and Sunny”, boasts the lyrics, “You better believe I’m living for the moment, but my moment is the whole damn thing.” This refrain became my motto as I trained, reminding me that this experience wasn’t just about the joy and pride of finishing the race. It was equally about the pain, frustration, and disappointment that comes along the way. Throughout this process, I anticipated and relished the moments of suffering, knowing that those emotions were equally important to the positive ones that balanced everything out. (more…)