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Studio Art Concentration: Interpretations of Snakes

By Rosanna Zhao, V Form

Studio Art Concentration: Interpretations of Snakes

Growing up as a devout Christian, I always found myself looking at snakes in a negative light; they represented sin and temptation, luring man and woman to take a bite from the fruit that ruined their lives forever. However, as I became increasingly fascinated by the fashion world, a new representation of snakes enlightened me. Wrapped around models and flashing in bold reds and yellows, snakes became a more regal and daring creature in my eyes. Inspired by the two drastically different images of snakes, I focused my Advanced Studio Art concentration on the distinct interpretations of snakes in different time periods and cultures.

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Hosting the NACLO National Linguistics Competition

By John Camp, English Faculty & Director of Student Enrichment

Hosting the NACLO National Linguistics Competition

Alternate title: “When a Freshman Stops By Your Office and Two Weeks Later You’re a Site Host and Proctoring a Three Hour Linguistics Competition for Seven Students!”

While toiling over thesis statements and parallel structure in the writing of my IV Form students, I heard a knock on my office door and saw a smiling student. III Former Clara Hua introduced herself to me and asked if I knew anything about the NACLO linguistics competition. I said no, and then Clara explained it all to me. She wondered if I, through my Enrichment position, could potentially make St. Mark’s a site host so that she could compete. Since I am fascinated by cool ideas and I love when students want to compete in academic challenges, I told Clara that I would look into it. Soon, I sojourned down a rabbit hole of links and queries through the world of linguistics. Through NACLO (the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad via http://nacloweb.org/), I learned how to establish St. Mark’s as a NACLO high school site and myself as a site coordinator. I emailed Clara to tell her, and while she set off to advertise the competition among students, I realized that I needed to know what the heck, in fact, a computational linguistics competition actually is! (more…)

Bee Keeping & Legitimately Fun Facts About Bees!

By Reily Scott, III Form

Bee Keeping & Legitimately Fun Facts About Bees!

Ever since kindergarten, I have been beekeeping with my mother, but we aren’t the first in our family. Our beekeeping tradition goes back four generations to my great-grandmother Charlotte Ames, but I am the first male beekeeper in my family. My sister, on the other hand, does not want to involve herself with bugs in any way. She will go days without using her bathroom if there is a ladybug somewhere inside.

 

I  have loved bugs all my life. When I was three or four years old, I would find stinkbugs, because my old house had an abundance of them, and stuff them in my matchbox cars and drive them around town. Though I couldn’t get my hands on bees to put them in cars, I still loved them anyway. (more…)

Creating an Online News Source in Writing Workshop

By Emma Viens, IV Form

Creating an Online News Source in Writing Workshop

Editor’s Note: For this assignment, students were tasked with creating an online news source format in a personalized genre/style/theme. It required seven articles, including an editorial, MLA citations, and sections. A title with a pun on their names was encouraged (hence Emma’s title!).

Click here or on any image to see the full News Source.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting LOST in Michael Giacchino’s Soundtrack Compositions

By Riya Shankar, VI Form

Getting LOST in Michael Giacchino’s Soundtrack Compositions

I’ve always loved exploring music. I can sometimes get lost on YouTube listening to classical music and finding those hidden gems that go on my music bucket list. A piece of classical music is something so deeply intricate and complex. Unraveling the melodies and harmonies by listening is sometimes just as exciting as playing the piece itself. The way a composer writes a piece (instrumentation, volume markings, tempo markings) often tells more of a story than the notes. By getting lost in the mind of a composer, you can discover more about the music than you expected.

When Mr. Camp asked me to listen to a few pieces that are on the LOST soundtrack and give my opinion as a “musician,” I was thrilled. While being in the class, this unique opportunity combined my love for music with my work in school. When considering classical music, although some pieces have a general storyline, I have never listened to or played music that is specifically written for a television plot line. Knowing that this music was composed for the show gave me a deeper perspective to try and understand what the music aims to convey. The melodies and instruments that composer Michael Giacchino employed to create the soundtrack are so different than what I am used to but somehow also feel so familiar because of my classical music background. Having taken some music theory, I used my knowledge in that area to give insight into how the mechanics of the composition are used to create a mood. Going further, I used what I’ve learned over my years playing ensemble music to understand how specific instruments were used to make the audience feel certain emotions. Classical music has much depth, and each part of a composition is uniquely important and intentional.  I wrote a small description for each of four pieces from the LOST soundtrack.

“Life and Death” (Season 1) click here to listen: The changing keys in the chord progression throughout the entire beginning stand out. The switch from major to minor (commonly made by changing just one note!) really evokes emotion because the striking change should hit the audience in (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…)