Monthly Archives: August 2013

Performing Arts – by Isabel

I have been playing the piano since first grade and have had the same wonderful teacher since then. Her name is Oxana Harlamova and she has been an ongoing inspiration to me. I have performed in many piano recitals and playing the piano has always been an important part of my life. In 10th grade I entered the Golden Key Music Festival for the first time and received the Super Bronze medal which included a performance at Lincoln Center, New York. Last center I entered the same competition and won the Silver medal and played in a recital at Carnegie Hall. I have played numerous pieces and this summer worked with Oxana on choosing a program for my performance at the end of the semester. It has not been completely finalized, but I plan to play two movements from Le Tombeau de Couperan by Maurice Ravel. I also began working on the first movement of a piano concerto by Fredrick Chopin. These are very difficult pieces and are quite a challenge to learn. I am really enjoying working on these pieces. Continue reading

Novel: First Submission

For my independent research project, I chose to work on finishing a book I’ve been writing for the past few years. Before I talk about the progress I’ve made this summer, however, I’d like to give a small summary on how my writing has gotten to where it now stands today. Currently titled Soul Twins, I started creating my fantasy novel during the summer after seventh grade. The only other experience I had with writing at the time was a couple of short stories and plays I had written for my enjoyment as a child. But as I grew more interested in the fantasy books I read, I developed an interest in using my own imagination to create not just a short story like I had done in previous years, but a novel with a plot line that would eventually expand into a series of books. Continue reading


The summer started out with the simple goal of writing as much poetry as possible.  As the summer progressed, I found myself writing at least one poem a day.  Each poem about something relevant to my mood that day.  Habeeb met with our mentor Harve almost a week into summer, but sadly I was not able to attend.  Each week Habeeb and I shared our poetry with Harve and he provided great feedback which we used to make our poetry even better. Continue reading

French Fairy Tales

This week I had the opportunity to speak with a member of my meeting who recently graduated from Colby College with a BA in Francophone Studies. She had written her senior thesis on French fairytales, so I was hoping to leave with some advice on how to get started and some suggestions for reading material. I was beginning to realize at point an exhaustive analysis of French society would be overwhelming, especially in the midst of the college process, and I wanted to narrow my focus somehow. I was strongly considering concentrating my research on gender dynamics, so I was pleasantly suprised when the young woman I met with introduced me to the salonniéres, a group of aristocratic french women in 17th century france who launched a feminist movement in their own living rooms and were pioneers in the craft of French storytelling. While Charles Perrault is considered the Father of the French fairytale, much of his material draws heavily on the work of the salonnières. Although stories such as “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Bluebeard”, and “Donkeyskin” are now shared and recognized on an international level, the story of the women behind it is one that is seldom told. Continue reading