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Remote Student: An Emulation of Kincaid’s “Girl”

By Yolanda Zhou, III Form

Remote Student: An Emulation of Kincaid’s “Girl”

Editor’s Note: In Writing Workshop, III Form students read and analyzed Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl.” They then composed their own emulations of the story to capture life as a St. Mark’s boarding, day, or remote student while employing the style of Kincaid’s writing. This piece describes Yolanda’s experience as a remote student during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wake up at nine or ten in the morning, do your morning routine: brush your teeth, wash your face, eat breakfast, and then do your homework; make good use of the time zone difference: assignments due 12am there is next day’s 1pm your time, so be sure to sort out which ones you’re doing first; don’t leave your stuff till those three to four hours because you’ll be sleeping late at night and won’t get much time to do them; but do use this time effectively if you feel overwhelmed; use the “Modules” function and “Week Overview” in each course on Canvas to sort out every assignment in the week using the academic planner; it shows you everything that’s due this week so you don’t have to waste time or miss assignments; color-code your planner: use red for unfinished homework and black for completed ones; don’t procrastinate, it does no good to you; focus on one assignment at a time; eliminate outside distractions; get everything done as quickly as possible so you have some free time for sports, instrument practice, or relax; How am I supposed to balance all these things with so much homework?; you’ll have plenty of time to do so if you listen to and follow instructions; don’t miss your classes, don’t forget to do your homework; email your teacher and explain if missed your class; create alarms on your phone and calendar if necessary; make sure your Wi-Fi connection at home is stable for your online class; install Zoom and log in with your St. Mark’s email address and password, that is where you go to all your classes; install multiple VPNs on your phone and computer before school starts so you’ll know which ones work and which ones don’t; set up everything your teachers ask you to set up in the beginning of the school year; use passwords and accounts that are easy to memorize, you don’t want to forget your login information the first day of school; this is how you interpret your schedule; this is how you deal with internet issues; this is what an asynchronous class look like; this is how you find the links to the synchronous sessions; this is how to find the replays after classes; this is how you explain to your teacher if you missed your class; this is how you write an email if you submitted your homework late; this is how you should reach out to your advisor; go to bed immediately after class, your classes will end early in the morning; don’t do your homework after your last class, you won’t be able to wake up the next day; do your homework earlier, don’t save them till 1 o’clock in the morning; play sports and work out every day, it helps alleviate pressure and keeps you in shape; look for something to motivate you if you feel bored, like watching Formula 1; treat your homework seriously; don’t submit things later than they should be; But what if I submitted an assignment only a few minutes late?; you think anyone is in the mood of caring whether you’re late for a minute or an hour?; late is late, don’t find excuses for yourself; there’s no guarantee that submitting things late will leave bad impressions to your teacher or if they’ll deduct points in your work, so you’d better get them in on time; maintain high quality and efficiency when you’re working; take a 5-minute break for every hour of work; push yourself so you can learn; balance it with relaxation and exercises so you don’t go crazy; reach out for help whenever you need them to whoever can help you; good luck in your time at St. Mark’s!


Ironic Joy in “The Lottery”

By Avery King, III Form

Ironic Joy in “The Lottery”

Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery,” uses juxtaposition to show the town’s darkness through the beautiful summer day, the contrast of character’s names, and the difference in behavior between the adults and the children. “The Lottery” begins with a description of the beautiful summer day, which makes the reader assume that a joyful event will take place. The setting of summer implies a sense of hope and happiness because the day “[w]as clear and sunny with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green” (Jackson 1). Often, the setting reflects the content of a story, but this is not true here. The characters’ names also show a contrast between darkness and light, for the name Mr. Summers is almost always closely followed by the name Mr. Graves to remind the reader that not everything is as light and good as it may seem. When Mr. Summers makes his first entrance with the black box, Mr. Graves comes in closely behind: “The postmaster, Mr. Graves, follow[s] him, carrying a three-legged stool, and the stool is placed in the center of the square, and Mr. Summers set[s] the black box down on it” (Jackson 1). Jackson deliberately chooses the last names of the characters to reflect the irony of the event. While the summer is supposed to be jovial, something grave and dark can ruin it. This “dark event” is precisely what happens to the town every summer when the Lottery occurs. Concurrently, before the town convenes for the Lottery, the children are happily running and playing because it is summertime and they are innocent. As the adults filter into the scene wearing somber expressions, the mood changes, and one begins to wonder why they are so sad while the children are happily collecting stones. In fact, “Bobby Martin ha[s] already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon [follow] his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones” (Jackson 1). While initially, the stone collection appears to be a fun game, the stones ultimately are used as weapons against Mrs. Hutchinson.  Jackson contrasts innocence with harm and evil, even when initially it seems harmless. Jackson’s purpose is to show that everything has a balance in contrast. Through the description of the beautiful summer day, the contrast in the characters’ names, and the children’s game, Jackson shows that this Lottery is a corrupt event, for even the happiest of moments can contain darkness. Contrast allows Jackson to convey that the Lottery is not something to be celebrated. 


The Sun Shines on the Mood: Mood in “All Summer in a Day”

By Joel Lawore, III Form

The Sun Shines on the Mood: Mood in Bradbury’s “All Summer in a Day”

Instructor’s Note: Students were tasked with writing a concise, clear, analytical paragraph on a topic of their choosing in response to Ray Bradbury’s “All Summer in a Day.”

In “The Lottery,” by Ray Bradbury, the sun coming out for the first time shifts the mood from gloomy to joyful through the use of buoyant words and the reaction of the children. Bradbury carefully chooses certain words and phrases with bright connotations to shift the mood. An example of this occurs when he writes that the children were “feeling the sun on their cheeks like a warm iron” (Bradbury 3). Here, Bradbury uses jovial words such as “warm” to describe the sun. Bradbury’s diction creates a positive mood, shifting the overall atmosphere from dismal to radiant. In addition, Bradbury goes into detail when describing the children’s reaction to the sun to emphasize the joyful mood. For example, when the sun comes out, the children “ran for an hour and did not stop running” (Bradbury 4). They did not stop running because they were ecstatic that the sun had come out. The bright words that the author uses to describe the positive reaction of the children help to shift the mood from morose to merry. Ultimately, Bradbury’s word choice to describe the sun as well as the description of the children’s reaction to the sun shift the mood.


“It’s Complicated”: Relationships in “Interpreter of Maladies”

By Marcus Permatteo, IV Form

In the short story “Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri, both Mrs. Das and Mr. Kapasi have complicated relationships with their families. Each has a spouse and several children, yet show unfaithful qualities toward their families. Due to these unfaithful traits, their love for their families is questionable. As the characters reveal their feelings in the story, however, it is clear that Mr. Kapasi loves his family more than Mrs. Das because he makes continuous attempts to save his marriage, he is faithful to his wife, and he continues to love his children. Mrs. Das does none of these things. Mr. Kapasi tried to save his relationship with his wife, while Mrs. Das did not. Neither Mr. Kapasi nor Mrs. Das have loving relationships with their spouses. However, it is clear that Mr. Kapasi tried for a long time to make things work (more…)