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By Sydni Williams, IV Form
Ely Prize for Public Speaking
Editor’s Note: Sydni Williams is the recipient of the 2019 Ely Prize in Public Speaking. Originally given by a member of the Class of 1982 in honor of his mother, the Ely Prize is presented each year to the student who gives the best speech in the Global Seminar Public Speaking Competition.
In 1995, Hillary Clinton said: “Human rights are women’s rights–and women’s rights are human rights.” Two months ago, I had never heard this statement. However, as I did my research paper on violence against women, my viewpoints changed greatly. Now, I appreciate safety and opportunities, and I don’t take the minuscule, yet beautiful, parts of my life for granted.
As I started my research, the horrific and deadly crimes perpetrated against females struck me. I constantly found myself completely shocked and horrified by the information that seemed too terrible to be reality. For example, one in three women across the world is a victim of intimate partner violence. Meaning, ⅓, or 33.33%, of women in the world are assaulted by their partners. Brides in India and China may be killed by their husbands if the dowry their families are forced to pay isn’t valuable enough. All over the world, females are killed or driven to suicide for various acts that are considered shameful. More than 500,000 girls in Latin America are kidnapped, transported, and exploited through sex trafficking. Young girls are killed before they are five years old because they are deemed less valuable than baby boys. These are all facts that I didn’t know before I started doing research.(more…)
By Charles Brookby, III Form
Ugandan Human Rights
Editor’s Note: In The Global Seminar classes, each student wrote a research paper in February and March that was used as the foundation for a 4-5 minute speech presenting an argument (direction and specificity) relating to the following question: How does the global community respond to the abuse of human rights? And how should the global community respond? This speech won the Ely Speech Prize (founded in 1890): an annual competition for Third Formers.
In 1961, a man by the name of Joseph Kony was born. As a child, Kony grew up in Odek, Uganda where he was well educated, and in his adult life became a healer in his ethnic tribe of the Acholi people. As he grew up, Kony was exposed to horrific terror on his people conducted by the Ugandan government at the time. Kony joined an organization known as The Holy Spirit Movement in 1986. He quickly climbed the ranks, and became one the leaders, then ultimately took control and changed the party’s name to The Lord’s Resistance Army. For over 25 years, countries and the UN have been, frankly, oblivious to the horrendous actions of Joseph Kony and the LRA. Ugandan children have been taken, used, and killed at the hands of Kony and his men. Eventually, the International Criminal Court and UN peacekeeping programs have gotten involved in an attempt to stop the LRA. Though progress has been made, the LRA is still active and in power near northern Uganda and neighboring countries, and justice towards their actions has not been dealt. (more…)
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
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 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…)
By John Warren, Head of School
Optimism About the Power of the Book
Immediately after learning of our impending grandparenthood, our conversations with daughter-in-law and son, Caitlin and Ethan, turned to books—their recollections of favorite childhood books that had been read to them and that they had read to themselves, and our recollections of favorite books that we had read to Ethan and to our daughter, Amanda. From Ethan and Amanda’s infancy right up through much of elementary school, my wife and I had a nightly ritual of reading to them, and memories of those times are among our happiest. We have been pleased to learn that these memories are among Ethan and Amanda’s happiest, too. (more…)
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…)
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…)