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A Year of Fear: Reflections on the Pandemics of Covid and Racism

By Mr. Adam Jewell, History and Social Sciences Department Head

A Year of Fear: Reflections on the Pandemics of Covid and Racism

The flash and noise of sirens, the rush of adrenaline and fear, constant fear, all-around you, rushing out the door, jumping in an ambulance, and racing off to the hospital, is scary, to say the least. In the winter of 2016 and 2017 and again in 2018 this was the norm for my family, my daughter, all of one year old, growing into being a toddler spent winters suffering from RSV to the point that going to the doctor’s office, would lead to a trip to the hospital, often the ICU, NICU when she was really young. As Covid began to overtake us, first through stories and conversations with advisees from China and South Korea, and then finally here at our doorstep, these fears that seemed to have disappeared as she got older came roaring back. We shut down our campus, public schools also closed, and the thought of even interacting with others became a daily fear, a fear that brought back the days of doctor’s visits and ambulance rides and the very legitimate fear that my daughter just could not breathe.

Juxtapose that with the reality of my black and brown friends, peers and students. Look around at the overwhelming fear of violence and even death that surrounds them. These did not start with George Floyd’s murder, nor did they start with my most visible memory of police violence from my life, that being Rodney King. Indeed, as an historian, the long, destructive impact of systemic racism, lynchings and chattel slavery are chilling realities of the African American experience I spent nearly thirty years of my life researching, learning, and talking about. Those words, “I can’t breathe” etched into our collective memory by Eric Garner and the very fact that my own daughter often could not breathe represent to me personally the twin pandemics we are faced with today: systemic racism and Covid.

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Fundamentals of Photography: A St. Mark’s Saturdays Course

By Waverly Shi, Celine Ma, Hudson Ramirez, Alex Chen, Emma Simon, JB Clarance, Tommy Flathers, Duncan McCarthy, Holden Leblanc, Elon Stefan, Trevor Neff, Peter Nelson

To view slideshow of student images and skill employed, CLICK HERE!!

Fundamentals of Photography: Syllabus

A. Making Great Pictures

  1. what makes a great picture
  2. understanding your camera
  3. selecting the right lens for your photo
  4. using shutter speed purposefully
  5. photo shoot – front circle: take a series of photos of something that’s moving and show how different shutter speeds produce different results

B. Aperture and Depth of Field

  1. understand the inverse relationship between aperture and depth of field
  2. sharing and critique of photos from previous week
  3. photo shoot – cemetery: use aperture to create depth of field

C. Lighting

  1. found or ambient light
  2. introduced light and flash
  3. the color of light
  4. sharing and critique of photos from previous week
  5. photoshoot – reservoir trail:use lighting creatively

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Deep Work in Practice at St. Mark’s (Part 3)

By Dr. Colleen Worrell, Director of The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Deep Work in Practice at St. Mark’s (Part 3)

Deep Work is a skill that the Center is hoping to build into each student’s “learning playbook.” The first two LEO articles (Make Deep Work Your Super Powerand Productivity, Neuroscience, & Deliberate Practice) aimed to introduce the term and core concepts to the St. Mark’s community. This third article focuses on deep work from the perspective of two St. Markers, 6th Former Sophie Haugen, and Classics teacher, Dr. Harwood. Each of them responded to the following questions:

  • What are some ways that you deliberately practice deep work at (or beyond) St. Mark’s?
  • What is the value of deep work?
  • What recommendations do you have for St. Marker’s who’d like get started with deep work?

Sophie Haugen, 6th Former:

I am not an expert on “doing” deep work, but I do try to practice it and I have learned about its importance, especially as a student at St. Mark’s where our schedules and lives are extremely packed and do not easily enable us to practice deep work all the time. Last year, I fell into a multi-month-long rut of frustration and lack of satisfaction from everything I was doing in my academic courses. I was putting in excessive time and what I perceived to be effort and hardwork but was not seeing the results in my grades or my actual understanding/engagement with the material. (more…)

Self-Paced Learning in Latin III and III Honors

By Jeanna Cook and Dr. Heather Harwood, Classics Faculty

Self- Paced Learning in Latin III and III Honors

The Classics Department is trying something new this year: self-paced learning. We kicked off this departmental goal almost accidentally as we planned for separate courses in separate places this past summer. Dr. Heather Harwood was working on revamping the Latin III Honors course to better support students who continue with the language in Advanced Latin Readings thereafter. Jeanna Cook was looking for a way to restructure the Latin III course to better serve incoming students who place into Latin III. In our first department meeting of the year, we realized that we were attempting to solve different problems, but that we had designed curricula that pulled from the same methodology. Self-paced learning, assisted by the module structure in our LMS, Canvas, offered a common means by which we hoped that we could achieve our individual course goals. (more…)

How the Adolescent Brain Works: In Annotated Diagrams

By Hannah Hassara, Katherine Gao, Kennedy Petties, Ryan Yang, Mary Flathers, Nathan Laudani, Cecily Bradley, David Ragone, Caitlin Lochhead, Teresa Meyer, and Steven Sinchi, V Form

How the Adolescent Brain Works: In Annotated Diagrams


Editor’s Note:
In the culminating assignment of the Biology 30 unit on Learning and the Brain, the students created Annotated Diagrams of their brains and how their brains learn new information. An Annotated Diagram is a formal sketchnote that aims to demonstrate understanding of the information by demonstrating how the information was processed. The following question was posed: “How might the fact that you are an adolescent help you craft learning strategies that work for you and are effective?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scroll down for large images of the Annotated Diagrams. (more…)

Drawing a Blank! Lessons from Studio I Art Class

By Mrs. Barbara Putnam & Her Studio I Class

Drawing a Blank! Lessons from Studio I Art Class

What is it like to see with eyes that learn to notice everything, including what is in between bits of information?  What about trying to draw with your non-dominant hand? These are two assignments for Studio I students. Whether you have never risked drawing or have taken many art courses, it is worth remembering what it is like to begin in any discipline.

Frances Hornbostel ‘21

In the first assignment,  “Hard Lines,” students learned that different line widths communicate differently in how we perceive  not only a shape but also how “gray” it is. Each student had to randomly pencil out areas to explore these line types while leaving several shapes “blank” or white. One of the areas needed to be drawn directly in felt tip pen with the non-dominant hand… which means that it will be permanent because pen is not erasable. Shaky lines remind us of what it was like when we first began to hold a pencil years ago and how your brain needed to communicate instructions over and over to get your hand to “work.” The white spaces tell us that a shape can be made by the end points of other lines, which is a concept lifted from Geometry. 

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