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By Steven Li, VI Form
To the 2017 Graduates of Elite High Schools
For seniors, graduation is approaching us faster than we think. In addition to celebrating the payoff of our hard work, our departure from elite schools, particularly independent schools, also means we are about to enter the society that it has sheltered us from. This society is not very friendly and accepting. Truth be told, it has never been this divisive since the Vietnam War and never this irrational since the Red Terror. Disagreement escalates into hatred, frenziness replaces reason, and worst of all, we as a society struggle to find a common moral standard.
In such circumstance, people criticize the elites of our society, blasting them for not caring about voices of general public, being selfish in their decisions, and to sum up, causing all the social disorders from their high ground in Capitol Hill, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley. Secretary Clinton calls “Wall Street Elites” a threat to the “Main Street” for ordinary American people. And, President Trump criticizes the rigged political system since the first day of his campaign. These voices have definitely raised society’s hatred toward elites. And the US is definitely not alone in this case. Back in my hometown, Beijing, it’s impossible to get a taxi ride without hearing the driver complaining how his livelihood is ruined by selfish elites. In my second hometown, Hong Kong, tens of thousands of anti-establishment protesters set up camps on the main street of Hong Kong island, right outside my dad’s office building. Because of that, by the way, he was forced to walk 30 minutes everyday to work. Surrounded by nothing but bad news, he was somewhat reassured by losing some weight. All in all, there are different causes behind these people’s discontent, but the common ground is that they attribute the wrongs of our society to the failure of elite leadership. (more…)
By Drew D’Orsi, V Form
Video–How to Sell the Story: St. Mark’s Beyond the Classroom
In my fall St. Mark’s Saturdays course, “How to Sell the Story,” the Admission Office assigned the class a project to create a short admission video. Throughout this experience, we learned how a school sells its product of education and how it engages prospective students and families in order to “sell the story.” My group approached this project by thinking about what sets St. Mark’s apart from other prep schools. What immediately came to mind was the people of St. Mark’s and the opportunities that we have outside of the academic curriculum. Therefore, we came up with the idea of “St. Mark’s: Beyond the Classroom.” My group members (Lizzie Provost, LaQuan Mckever, Kaela Dunne, Jeff Koo) and I were pleasantly surprised that just within our small, five-person group were were able to discover such diversity and to have each member articulate a different aspect of our school community.
By June Seong, IV Form
I and Other: Thought to Address, with Nods to Kant and Sisyphus
It is of ever more pertinence to address the striated homogeneity, be it through race, sex, or socioeconomic background, that divides the boarding school community. Upon closer observance, it would not be a stretch to conclude that such phenomena in schools is directly representative of the striations that exist in American society today. Andreas Wimmer directly hits at this in his study, “Beyond and Below Racial Homophily: ERG Models of a Friendship Network Documented on Facebook.” He states that such homogeneity, or better phrased, homophily, a principle that states that “birds of a feather flock together,” “might be produced by micro mechanisms other than the psychological preference for same-race alters, including and most importantly the segregation of everyday lives into different domains, which reduces opportunities to meet individuals” (Wimmer 3). (more…)
By Mo Liu and Jamie Lance, V Form
Letter to the Editor: Native American Policy
Dear Editor Jackson,
It occurs to me that there is much attention raised among the general public regarding our government’s policy towards Indians, and therefore in writing to you, I, as a member of the Board of Indian Commissioners, want to clarify my position. Indians cannot be entirely excluded from our picture as a nation. However, the Indian society is not a cultivated society likes ours. One of my colleagues, who is experienced with Indian affairs and always provides us with elaborate information about the Indians, says their tribes are corrupted by “idleness, improvidence, and indebtedness”. The lack of private property or land and the underdevelopment of laws mark the Indian society as barbarous and inferior to ours. Because of this difference, since 1871 Indian tribes are no longer considered sovereign nations. Governments before us circumvented the Indian dilemma by relocating and establishing reservations west to the Mississippi River, yet now with a closed frontier and western migration, conflicts between settlers and the Indians are inevitable. The issue is pressing. (more…)
By Katie Hartigan, Nick Hadlock, and Anderson Fan, VI Form
(In)Visible: The TV Pitch Project Winner
Unified in isolation, six strangers’ morality is put to the test when taking a pill makes them invisible to everyone but each other, but what they don’t know is that they are part of a social experiment and are constantly being watched.
(In)Visible is a two-season television show falling under the category of sci/fi, drama, and thriller. It is about six main characters that participate in a seemingly risk-free drug trial by Osiris Pharmaceutical that leaves them invisible to everyone except each other. They must cooperate in order to overcome the challenges presented to them and the mystery of what happened to them. Little do they know, they are being watched by six “monitors” behind the operation who are observing the behavior of people who think nobody is watching. Themes of cooperation, isolation, and leadership emerge as the characters find modes of survival and uncover the mystery. Season One ends with the six participants transitioning into monitors, and thus inheriting the responsibilities of monitors. New participants are introduced as the six monitors give them different moral tasks as part of the social study. Season Two ends with the new participants discovering how to escape the cycle: do the right thing.
By Kate Sotir, Cooper Sarafin, Anderson Fan, Shep Green, VI Form and Mo Liu, V Form
Math Modeling: Using Math for Flight Path Safety
The problem at hand is to create a model, a rating system, that would inform potential flyers of the safety of a particular flight. Our solution includes a mathematical equation that gives us a number between 1 and 100, depending on the inputs. Although the values themselves indicate the safety level of flights, we do not want to our audience to read into the numbers: a flight with a safety index of 63 should not be considered a more dangerous flight than a flight with a safety index of 67. Therefore, to make our model directly presentable to our audience, we classified the possible outcomes into ratings. A safety index ranges from 1 to 20 would have a rating of ★, from 20 to 40 would have ★★, 40 to 60 would be ★★★, 60 to 80 ★★★★, and finally, 80 to 100 would have the highest rating of ★★★★★, and flights that fall under this rating would be the safest choice based on our model. (more…)