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World War I Primary Sources Collection at the Library

By Marion Donovan, Assistant Librarian

World War I Primary Sources Collection at the Library

As a librarian at St. Mark’s this fall, I have begun to “weed” through our history collection and have taken a deep dive into time travel. In the past, I was a history teacher myself, so the primary sources that bring the past to life call out to me. A particular section in the library especially rich in those sources covers World War I. Both of my grandfathers fought in WWI on the Allied side, one as a doctor and the other as an engineer, so I grew up with stories and artifacts of “The Great War,” as it was first known. When I applied to graduate school for history at the University of Chicago, I discovered that La Verne Noyes, an American inventor and manufacturer of agricultural equipment, book holders, and windmills, had left the bulk of his fortune to scholarships for Allied veterans of WWI and their direct descendants. These scholarships have now expanded to include 48 colleges. April 6, 2017 will be the one-hundredth anniversary of the United States’ entry into WWI. The European side of the war began in 1914, so many newspaper and magazine articles have already examined new and old perspectives on those events. More will be coming with April 6 in view. We at St. Mark’s are lucky to have an extensive collection of first-hand material (diaries, letters, memoirs, news reports, propaganda, art, photographs) from marshals and generals to privates and civilians on wide-ranging aspects of this war. (more…)

Competing in the FIRST Robotics Challenge

By Kate Sotir, VI Form

Competing in the FIRST Robotics Challenge

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Working in the basement level of the STEM building, using lots of power tools, and occasionally throwing out words like “kickoff,” “drivetrain,” or “STEAMworks,” we are FIRST team 3566, also known as Gone Fishin’.

Gone Fishin’ competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” The robotics competition, open to any high school student, was created in order to promote the STEM fields and offer a competitive yet collaborative atmosphere for robotics. In the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), teams are given a challenge, in the form of a game, and then have six weeks to build a 120 pound, $10,000 robot to meet this challenge. After those six weeks are up, teams compete in various regional events. The ultimate goal is to go to the world championship, held in St. Louis, where around 800 teams gather to play the game. (more…)

I Go Back to Limón Because of Love

By Sam Lauten, VI Form

I Go Back to Limón Because of Love

unnamed-2“Reading is just not a part of the culture here.” I blinked at the man standing before me, not quite sure how to respond. Five years, thousands of dollars, and dozens of hours on planes, buses, and on foot had been poured into building the “Learning Center” we now stood in. I had spent days drafting and rewriting my application to multiple grants, citing so many hopes and plans of how we were going to change so many lives bringing books and computers to the underprivileged children of Limón, Costa Rica. Now, there I was, standing in the embodiment of all of those dreams, being told that everything I had done was in vain. (more…)

Voice in Guitar and in Literature…and in Me

By Shep Greene, VI Form

Voice in Guitar and in Literature…and in Me

The guitar is an integral part of who I am. As my skill has progressed, I’ve seen my appreciation and understanding of music progress as well. Over this past year, I began to delve into a more abstract form of music in improvisation. Within this form of my guitar playing, I began to find striking similarities between music and literature. Imagine every note as a letter and every note coming together to form a riff, with all of the respective letters coming together as one word. By the end of a piece, just as by the end of a novel, you’ll have a powerful message to send out to your listeners and readers. (more…)

Rebel Without a Cause and Juvenile Delinquency Hysteria

By Harry Kuperstein, VI Form

Rebel Without a Cause and Juvenile Delinquency Hysteria

1706684Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean, was released in 1955, which was around the peak of the hysteria surrounding juvenile delinquency. Chapter 4 of Gilbert’s A Cycle of Outrage states that from 1953 to 1958, there was a spike in articles about delinquency. The Senate also heard cases of delinquency in 1953, some of which lasted over a decade. And, it soon became evident that movies about teenagers turning towards delinquency, likely propped up by famous icons like James Dean, became wildly popular. Over sixty films centered on the idea of juvenile delinquency were released in the 1950s (Gilbert 85). (more…)

Drawing on Our Brains: How Neuroscience and Art Can Teach Us About Learning

By Gabe Brower, VI Form

 

Drawing on Our Brains: How Neuroscience and Art Can Teach Us About Learning

I have yet to meet a single student at Saint Mark’s that has never crammed for an exam. They fill up their brain temporarily with information for an upcoming test in a vain attempt to not fall flat on their face the next day during their test. To be honest, it sometimes “works”, as defined by a good score, and I can speak from experience in this area. However, that doesn’t mean cramming is effective. It is the result of disengaged students and ineffective teaching methods that culminates in temporary information retention, and over the long run the crammed  information isn’t retained. Therefore, no valuable learning takes place. (more…)