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By Helynna Lin, VI Form
Counterculture & The Graduate and Its Soundtrack by “Simon & Garfunkel”
The term Counterculture refers to a set of movements, ideal, and practices that emerged in the American culture between the 1960s and the 1970s. The counterculture was largely a response to the Cold War’s effects on the American society, and there were four core beliefs. First, advocates for counterculture rejected capitalism, for they believed that western corporates used Cold War politics to expand their markets worldwide and gain a larger profit. Second, in response to the rise of uniformity, counterculture rejected conformism and encouraged individuals to break the shackles of society’s expectations. Third, the rise of individualism caused an emergence of sexual liberation and experimentation as a movement against the traditional family model. Finally, the counterculture was mainly supported by the teenage generation, who came up with the slogan “don’t trust people over 30”. 
Mike Nichol’s The Graduate (1967) is a bildungsroman that illustrates the transition from teenage years to adulthood of the protagonist, Benjamin Braddock. The movie’s soundtrack features many songs by “Simon & Garfunkel”, a folk-rock duo formed by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. (more…)
By Emma Viens, IV Form
Creating an Online News Source in Writing Workshop
Editor’s Note: For this assignment, students were tasked with creating an online news source format in a personalized genre/style/theme. It required seven articles, including an editorial, MLA citations, and sections. A title with a pun on their names was encouraged (hence Emma’s title!).
By Helen Huang, Reese Hornstein, and Aditya Mynampaty, IV Form
School Schedules’ Impact on Teenage Brains & Adolescent Sleep
Editors’ Note: In the IV Form Writing Workshop course, students responded to various prompts after listening to a podcast on adolescent sleeping patterns and the brain.
With the early start times and little free time, the current St. Mark’s schedule ineffectively addresses how teenagers get their sleep. Sleep is essential to functioning efficiently throughout the day. Why do teens, whose brains are developing and growing, subject themselves to sleepless nights on a regular basis? Schools like St. Mark’s have tried to account for the little sleep teens get by starting classes at 8:00 or 8:30 am, but kids still arrive to class tired and mentally unprepared from insufficient sleep. The St. Mark’s schedule ineffectively addresses how teenagers manage their sleep pattern. Teenagers do not start waking up until around 9:00 or 10:00 am, and until then, their bodies and minds are not fully alert and ready to absorb information (Rogers 5). Therefore, changing the start time of classes by an hour may not be enough to help adolescents get an adequate amount of sleep. (more…)
By Katherine Ewald, V Form
Finding My Voice: Detaching from Anorexia
My sister Addie once shoved her sweat-infused, post-lacrosse tournament sock in my mouth just to shut me up. I can still taste that sock to this day. She didn’t do this because she was a jerk, rather because I was an extremely obnoxious child. Ever since starring in my first musical at my London preschool at the age of three (literally – I played the role of “Star of Bethlehem”), I have been a singer. Between voice lessons three times a week, chorus twice a week, an endless string of musicals, and my countertop Madison Square Garden-esqe renditions of whatever song was stuck in my head, my sisters never caught a break. Ergo, sweaty lacrosse sock in the piehole.
Most likely to get a much-needed break from the sound of my voice, my sisters eagerly headed to the east coast for high school. Since then, I’ve known that I wanted to do the same, and I did. Having had parents, sisters, and many an extended family member who attended prep school in New England, I expected a seamless transition to my new way of life. This was far from the case. (more…)
By Kyle Rubin, VI Form
Newton’s Law of Synchronicity?
Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion, which reads, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,” can be applied outside of the scientific realm and into the philosophical realm in that every action is done for a reason. With this in mind, synchronicity exists in that one thing can provide context for another, whether they have a direct correlation or not.
Synchronicity provides context for how or why some things occur. It explains how two things, whether physical or conceptual, may seem related even though they have no discernable connection. Newton’s third law of motion covers similar bases to synchronicity, in that the third law gives insight into the opposing side of an action. Newton provides the reason for why a reaction will happen, similar to how synchronicity describes why events appear similar even though they may not be explained by conventional standards. (more…)
By Mary Flathers, V Form
Belonging in Cunha’s “A Study of Homeland in Displacement” and Alexie’s “Honor Society”
Belonging is a widely discussed topic in the present day. Whether it is belonging to a certain race, religion, or gender, a sense of unity is created among people who share a common aspect in life. Within Fernanda Cunha and Sherman Alexie’s short stories, respectively entitled “A Study of Homeland in Displacement” and “Honor Society,” the element of belonging is explored in depth. In both of these stories, the narrators struggle with family ties and their identities. However, in Alexie’s story, the narrator focuses on creating a future and leaving behind a home, while in Cunha’s story, the narrator holds onto her past by maintaining the home in her mind.
These stories are similar in a multitude of ways, and the most prominent similarities appear in the narrators’ management of family and identity. In Alexie’s story, the love and respect the narrator has for his family are evident when he begins to “sing and drum with [his] mother and father” (Alexie 1). Though he does not believe in the “God” they sing of, he is willing to overcome the pride he has in his own ideologies to respect the beliefs of his family. Similarly, in Cunha’s story, the narrator has fond memories of a loving community. She recalls her grandfather as a man who “smokes a pack a day and laughs the way [she] remember[s] like he’s invincible” (Cunha 1). Though at times the borders placed around her family by the nations they live in seem too large to bear, as seen when the narrator tries “to better [her] [native language,] Portuguese, soften it so it is less jagged” (Cunha 1), the attachment the narrator has to her family allows for her to overcome these obstacles. Through studying this vital aspect of her memory, the narrator maintains her past identity. (more…)