Tag Archives: Westtown

Progress and Next Steps – Liv

          At this point in my research project, I am content with how far I have come and more excited than ever for continuing it through the rest of the semester. Initially, when this project began, I was still unsure on the path I was going to take, considering the broadness of the topic of “female aggression”. All I was aware of was my strong curiosity of the topic and my desire to be able to reflect on the culture around me and possibly help change it for the better. 

          Throughout the beginning of the school year up until now, I had been attending a weekly meeting comprised of great girls from grades 9-12. Although the format of the meeting was always casual, we met in order to discuss important and pressing issues regarding Westtown culture and what it means to be female in our modern society. Through this, an interest was sparked in me; I heard heartbreaking stories of my younger friends feeling not only targeted, but demeaned by older girls at our school. I had experienced something very similar during my first years of high school, and I began to question why females feel the need to assert their power in such a negative way once they become upperclassmen. Not only did that inspire me to begin a project, but I also made a promise to myself that I will do everything I can to ensure that younger girls no longer need to feel judged or attacked by older girls.

          As I began my research I came to find just how complex this topic is; there were hundreds of books and websites dedicated to just specific subgroups alone under the umbrella topic of “teenage female behavior”. So, I made the decision to start reading as much as I possibly could about various related topics. This included social media, self confidence and body image, hook up culture, perpetrators and bystanders, different types of bullying, and much more.

          Although my original schedule had devoted a substantial amount of time for initial research, I faced a struggle when I felt as though I still have so much to learn, and not enough time to do so. This required a change of mindset; I couldn’t expect to learn everything about everything before carrying out the next step.

          At this point in my research, it’s time to switch gears into observing and recording how my classmates feel about the presence of girl-on-girl aggression here at Westtown. I have compiled a set of questions that I will be sending out shortly in a survey to the entire student body in order to see some baseline information that I will then be able to refer back to later on in the semester. Formatted with open-ended questions and statements that students can agree with on a scale from 1-5, some questions include, “students who are new to Westtown are made to feel welcome by all ages”, “students display courage and leadership actively intervening when necessary to stop negative behaviors that are not supportive of other students”, and “what can students/student leaders/faculty and staff do to create a stronger and more supportive culture?”. Although most questions tend to be gender-neutral for inclusivity of the whole study body, there are questions that ask specifically about the behavior between girls.

          This survey will definitely be one of the largest and most vital aspects to fulfilling my research goals. However, it is what I do with that information that matters most to me. Assuming that I get a large enough answer pool on the survey and am able to observe an overall consensus, I will then use that information to begin my conversations with students at the school. These conversations (which will be conducted in a question-and-answer format but more casual than an interview), will allow me to get insight into specific experiences of behavioral aggression at our school, and attempt to come to a conclusion as to why that might be happening. These conversations will hopefully be conducted with people of all genders and ages. Hopefully, I will be able to find enough people that will be willing to share their experiences with me, just like the amazing group of girls that I have been meeting with before. If all goes to plan, I will be able to begin to pinpoint just what’s going wrong with Westtown’s culture, as well as what we’re doing right, in order to continue to change it for the better.

          Although I faced a small setback of falling behind in my schedule, it instead resulted in gaining more background information that will benefit me later on. I continue to learn through this research that there are so many different directions I could possibly take; and while it’s challenging, I continue to look forward to what it will result in at the end of the year.

 

– Liv

Accelerating to the Speed of Traffic – Sabrina

highway imageWhen getting onto a highway, you are told to accelerate to the speed of traffic. If you don’t, you’re going to be hit.  I am currently in the process of re-entering the highway and returning to my routine which is full of adrenaline and always followed by late nights.

So I’m going back to my lists and going back to my goals: I’m switching from collecting my content to creating a product, and I am left asking myself three essential questions: What do I have?  What is my plan for the rest of this semester? What do I need to change?

What do I have?

  • I have a fair amount of completed interviews (10), these interviewees have not signed and returned their release statements yet
  • I have 2 more interviews locked in and schedule for this next week
  • I am in the process of scheduling 10 interviews and that number grows every day
  • My logo is in the final stages
  • I have obtained an Innovation Grant from Westtown School
  • I have a graphic designer, a web designer, and a photographer
  • I have a rough idea about the format for my website

I have had to move up my timeline and accelerate the process of my project due to my rapid increase of interviewees. My previous list is what I hoped to have by the end of the semester, but I have far surpassed that. Now comes the harder part…

What is my plan?

  • Convert the stories that I have into full articles within the next two weeks using the software system Transcribe
  • Have a clear format for my website to give to my web designer so she can set up the website
  • Find more team members and continue to build my board of directors
  • Speak to a lawyer to discuss donations, release statements, and the like
  • Publish the website on April 30th

In preparing for this to-do list…I have to put my game face on. I need to remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint.

What am I going to change?

  • I cannot do this all on my own, that has been clear to me now, but gaining more team members is something I need to do
  • I need to listen a little less. Every person I consult with has an opinion on my project, but I also need to remember that I have the final say in my organization.
  • Somewhat contrasting to the previous point….I need to be less defensive of my project and remember that this will only be as great as it can be with the help of a team

So….I have completed what I wanted to do in a semester in a few weeks and my organization is taking shape…and I am accelerating to the speed of traffic.

 

Inspired by Acceptance,

Sabrina Schoenborn

Founder and CEO of Project G.I.R.L


Image Citation:

“Pan-American Highway.” Wikipedia, 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway.

Medieval Chronicles Part II: The Major Sources for the Reign of Richard II -Gwyneth

As promised in my previous blog post, this week I will be discussing some of the most principle chroniclers active during the reign of Richard II. Of these, one of the most important and frequently cited is Thomas Walsingham (c. 1340 – c. 1422), a monk at the prominent Hertfordshire monastery of St. Albans. Although Walsingham is widely recognized as having been a prolific author, there remains scholarly debate as to exactly which of the numerous chronicles produced at St. Albans he contributed (Stow 69-70). Stow attributes the Chronicon Angliae, the Annales Ricardi Secundi, the Ypodigma Neustriae, and the Historia Anglicana to Walsingham. Although none of the books I have read cite the Ypodigma Neustriae, each of the other three sources are cited and attributed to Walsingham in at least two of my books, with the Historia Anglicana cited in all three books (Gundy; Fletcher; Saul). Thus it seems to me that these three texts can be said to have been definitively attributed to Walsingham by scholars. Continue reading

Polaris + Printing – Kevin

During this past week, I devoted the majority of my time to working on the next Polaris major release (codename “NX”). Among the numerous features that will be made available, “remote printing” is the most requested. It will allow duty crew members to print attendance sheets directly through the Polaris cloud printing service, eliminating the need for the driver take attendance by hand with the van sign-out form.

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Medieval Chronicles (part one) -Gwyneth

In my previous blog post, I mentioned that the next step in my research project is to look at primary source material. Therefore, I thought it would be useful to talk about primary sources a bit more specifically in this blog post. In regard to the different types of written sources from the medieval period, Joel T. Rosenthal, editor of Understanding Medieval Primary Sources, provides a useful breakdown of the material into three major categories: narrative histories, government records, and private or personal records (Rosenthal 1-2). Since the first category – that of narrative history – has arguably been the most influential in shaping analyses of Richard’s reign, as well as the most easily accessible to amateur historians such as myself (there is even a Medieval Chronicle Society!), it is here that I will focus my post. Continue reading

Social Behavior and Aggression of Girls Introduction – Liv

             The way in which people interact always fascinated me. Of course, during my early adolescence, I was just as confused as the next girl as to why my friends acted so mean at school. Beginning as early as second grade, our class was populated with cliques of girls who paraded around at recess and yelled at others for sitting on their slide, or wearing the same sparkly shirt as they did. Even at such a young age, the issue of girls fighting for power and social status was prevalent, and I wanted to know exactly why.  Continue reading

Morando -Mikehyojan

        Thanks to the long weekend, I had plenty of time to read and paint Korean folk art, Minhwa.

        First, I skimmed through five books that Teacher Betsy and I borrowed in university libraries. Before starting this Minhwa Project, I was slightly concerned about writing blogs every week because I first thought there are not many resources about Korean folk painting in English. Even while searching for books with Teacher Betsy, I was not sure whether they would be related to my project. So, I ended up borrowing five books. But guess what? Although two books focused on Korean ink painting, three other books dealt with Korean folk painting. I was very excited as I did not expect to find three relevant and useful books. Before the books came, I hoped even a single book would be helpful. In the picture below of five books, I have intentionally placed two books upward to show you that they are Korean ink painting books while three books with the cover facing you are the ones that are related to my project.

        This weekend, I read the tiniest book in the picture named “Handbook of Korean Art” that was from Drexel University Library. It introduces sixteen different genres of Folk Paintings. Interestingly, it does not include Hojakdo that I researched and posted in the Week 2 blog, but it includes Morando.

         I knew the book would explain Morando since it is the most popular and widely drawn Korean folk painting. Morando is the painting of peonies. As you can see below paintings of Morando that I randomly took a picture from the book, the peony blossom is charming and splendid. So during the 17th century, it was regarded as a symbol of wealth and longevity.

         Another interesting fact about Morando is its relationship with numbers. Morando symbolizes the number zero. Zero is regarded as similar to infinity as zero makes every number “even” especially when it comes at the end. Therefore, zero is regarded as auspicious when it is related to longevity and money. That is why it symbolizes long life and wealth. Meanwhile, it is highly recommended not to draw butterflies in Morando. The butterfly symbolizes number 80 so putting butterflies in Morando limits the wealth and longevity to 80 years. You want to live more than 80 years with wealth right? But you can sometimes see some Morando with butterflies. I guess those artists try to add beauty but they might not know the interesting story and facts behind Morando.

         Painters can be creative in expressing peony flowers. Peony flowers can be variously colored: red, white, rose pink, cinnabar red, blue, purple, or yellow. The direction of peony flowers can differ as well. They can face forward, upward, downward or even twisted sideways because of the wind. Also, there can be grass or rocks painted underneath peony flowers.

         I am painting Morando as well for my arts independent project. I drew oddly-shaped rocks underneath peony flowers. To add uniqueness, I will paint the moss, covering the rock. I drew the vase where five peony flowers are placed. I decorated it with the letter ‘W’ to symbolize Westtown. The vase color will be blue as the Westtown emblem is covered with color blue. The painting below is just the outline of my Morando.

        My peony flowers are as big as a vase. According to the book, common people who drew Morando during the 17th Century intentionally used extreme simplicity and exaggeration for Morando. Such techniques are to captivate the eyes and minds of viewers, bringing them into new dimensions of artistic beauty.

        Thanks for reading my blog and see you next week.

Citation: Yoon, Yeol-su, et al. Handbook of Korean Art. Yekyong Publishing, 2002.

How I Met Your Mother – Defying “The One” | Cynthia

As you can see, this week’s blog is going to be more of a tangent. I procrastinated a little too much last week so I have to do two blogs this week and I just don’t have the time or energy to write two film reviews back to back. (Learn from my mistakes people) I’m currently binge-watching How I Met Your Mother for probably the tenth time around and I thought it would be interesting to share some of my thoughts on the show. I’ve been writing about some pretty sad and heavy films so it’s nice to have a change of direction and talk about the theme of love in one of my all-time favorite comedy.

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