Tradition &

High School Student Assembly Week 7: Weien Guo, Sophia Goebelbecker, Sara Keane

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, December 2, 2016

Senior Speech

wieienSenior Weien Guo delivered her Senior Speech last Friday, where she educated the audience on the history and form of Chinese calligraphy. Her speech sought to demystify the Chinese language and help other students understand the complex looking symbols.

In her speech, Weien explained the differences between a phonetic writing system (like English and other western languages), and a pictographic/ideographic system like Chinese. She displayed how many characters can trace their origins across history to stylized representations of objects or ideas. An early example she provided was the character for “have/posses” which derives from a picture of a hand holding an object. She even demonstrated how to draw many of the modern symbols by writing on an easel at the front of the room to show the characters for: tree, fire, and water. Weien also showed how the language has evolved over the millennia by demonstrating how the character for “moon” changed over 5 different historical periods.

Weien then explained how she has been studying Chinese calligraphy since she was in elementary school, during which time she took regular calligraphy classes for 10 years. She told the audience how, despite the difficulty, she never gave up on learning this traditional Chinese art.

“Learning calligraphy taught me to be diligent and to persevere even when things are difficult,” said Weien.  “It has also given me a deeper appreciation of my culture.”

We would like to congratulate Weien on her speech and wish her the best of luck in the future.

Junior Poemspoems

This week,  two juniors, Sophia Goebelbecker and Sarah Keane recited their junior poems. Their selections are below.

“Blowing In The Wind” By Bob Dylan
Recited by Sophia Goebelbecker

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, and how many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, and how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, and how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, and how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take ’till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind