Students read, discuss, and respond to works of literature from the mid 1800’s up to the present day. A lot of writing – both creative and analytical – is created through brainstorming, free writing, drafts and revisions. Students choose the focus of the first semester; possibilities include studies of modern literature from Latin America, Ireland, Afghanistan or 20th Century dreams and nightmares.
ELECTIVE: EXPOSITORY WRITING
Students will develop fundamental writing skills, including good sentence structure, solid paragraphs with topic sentences, proper use of vocabulary, mechanics and transitional phrases. After reading short stories, articles and poems in class, students will work on writing clear summaries, comparisons, articles, critiques, essays and analysis papers. Particular attention will be paid to essay development so that students learn to advance an idea forward rather than merely restating it. Students will also practice editing and revising their own writing. In this workshop, enrollment will be limited so that students have ample opportunity to get individualized feedback on their writing skills. Students will be graded on their finished pieces, effort and participation.
ELECTIVE: DIGITAL JOURNALISm
Yearlong course exploring the theory and applications of different types of digital journalism. Students will analyze how the accessibility of the Internet has completely transformed the dissemination of information in society. Students will have the opportunity to explore different types of digital media hands on. They will create blogs and post journal and magazine articles. They will experiment with and analyze the effectiveness of different layouts, writing styles, and types of supplementary content (ie photo slideshows, video embedding) for each medium. Students will also consider how increased opportunities for reader interaction such as comments and discussion boards create different relationships between writers and readers from the traditional print media sense.
Seniors read a selection of Russian poetry and prose by authors such as Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, and Solzhenitsyn. Students also analyze these readings in the context of their authors' personal biographies as well as the prominent social and political discussions of the era. Each student presents a report on an area of Russian history or culture as the final project.
Transcendentalism, a nineteenth-century spiritual and intellectual movement, gave birth to American literature and allowed thinkers and writers to break free from their European forbears. Through examination of seminal American literary figures such as Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller and Whitman, this course introduces students to key concepts such as self-reliance, the oversoul, and presence of the divine in nature. Taking inspiration from Emerson and Thoreau, students learn the basics of argumentation and draft essays expressing personal core values.
During the week before graduation, the seniors present three performances of a play chosen by the class in conjunction with the director. Everyone participates in recreating a dramatic role as well as contributing to the technical aspects of production.