Every Friday the Waldorf School of Garden City High School gathers in the student room for the weekly Student Assembly that consists of (1) an extended speech by a senior on a topic of particular interest to them, and (2) the recitation of a poem, (either existing or original) by a junior. The Senior Speeches and Junior Poems are a rite of passage for Waldorf students and are a required part of the high school curriculum.
Friday, April 28th 2017
Cailyn Hobbs took the podium to discuss her connection to her cultural heritage. She explained how for a long time she felt like she did not have a true cultural history since her ancestors had their culture stolen from them during their time as slaves. She shared with the audience that this made her feel like she was missing out on the experiences of her peers that knew about the history and culture of their ancestors. She knew that her family came from somewhere but she felt detached from her family’s African roots because of their history.
Cailyn then went on to say how this changed when she became aware of the distinction between African culture, and African American culture. She discussed how she realized that her ancestors had persevered through their struggles and had essentially developed their own unique culture. She realized that even though it was a culture born of slavery, and fundamentally different than the culture of Africa, it was undeniably a rich culture with deeply held customs and beliefs. learning about this culture not only gave Cailyn a sense of community, but also made her proud to come from the culture she does, regardless of its origins.
Enyi “Arianna” Shang then stood up to deliver her Senior Speech. In her talk, Arianna discussed a subject that she knew was of interest to many in the audience, food. Arianna began by explaining that many of the foods Americans think of as Chinese, such as orange or general Tso’s chicken, are in fact not from China. Her stated goal was to explain to the crown not only the various differences between food in the various provinces of China, but also why certain ingredients and flavors were popular in certain regions.
Arianna accomplished this with the help of her fellow international students from China. She brought up each student’s province and china and explained the various historical and environmental factors that dictated local cuisine. She explained that coastal cities tended to gravitate towards seafood, while more humid areas would focus on spicy foods. Additionally she also provided a side by side comparison of popular Chinese food and an American dish with similar qualities. She even had some samples for her classmates to taste.
Congratulations to both students on their successful senior speeches.
Two Junior Poems recited at today’s assembly. To begin, Zhanming “Tommy” Zhang recited “Dafodils” by William Wordsworth which he recited besides a vase with the eponymous flower.
Next, Hao “Patrick” Liang changed up the formula by singing “Tangled Up in Blue” by Bob Dylan, accompanied by instruments played by his fellow students.
Thank you for all for your passion and candor!