Literature Lives

The 20th Century Literature III class went to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa for a character creation and animation workshop. We observed and analyzed original drawings by Schulz, developed comic versions of ourselves, and made stop-motion animation videos using some of the themes from our course: the tension between truth and design, the outsider experience, and synthesis of past and present.

See their stop-motion movies:

Award-Winning Poet Javier Zamora '08 Returns to Campus

We were thrilled to have award-winning poet and alumnus Javier Zamora '08 return to campus on December 8. He joined Livingston Miller's American Lit IV Honors class, where they discussed his poem June 10, 1999 . He then spoke at Assembly. 

His book of poetry, Unaccompanied, was reviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle. He was the subject of Jonathan Blitzer's article in The New Yorker on September 19.

Javier, who recently won the 2017 Narrative Prize, is a 2016-2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and is a 2016 Ruth Lilly/Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow. He holds fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University (Olive B. O'Connor), MacDowell, Macondo, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Yaddo. In 2016, Barnes and Noble granted him the Writers for Writers Award for his work in the Undocupoets Campaign.

 

After studying the Academy Award-winning documentary OJ: Made In America, the students of African-American Literature II Honors had the opportunity to design individual projects that addressed the following question:

What is my thesis about the development of race relations in Los Angeles over the last 75 years, and how do I want to communicate that learning?

Using strategies from Project-Based Learning models and Stanford's Design Thinking Workshop toolkit, students designed a series of projects ranging from mapping analyses to interview-based podcasts to interpretive art projects to game design to film and music analyses.  

 

WORD events pull students together three times a year. WORD is a community sharing of original writing, organized by teacher Livingston Miller. As described by Sydney Westley “WORD is a bunch of your peers and friends reading really smart, interesting, funny, eloquent, and/or poignant pieces of original creative writing. It's a great opportunity to share your work (everyone is super supportive of everything read), hit the community with some real talk, and to simply to enjoy some good writing and times with the community.”

 

Renee Donovan's Short Story class had a great Skype conversation with Adam Johnson, whose story "Fortune Smiles" they read for class. Adam is the author of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Orphan Master's Son, and the 2015 National Book Award winning collection of short stories, Fortune Smiles. Following a class discussion of symbolism, narrative structure, and perspective in his story "Fortune Smiles," students asked Adam about his writing process and how he incorporated the elements of craft and style that they have been studying. 

English Teacher Giles Scott had an essay about teaching reading to high school students published onThe Millions website. The Millions is an online magazine offering coverage on books, arts, and culture since 2003. An excerpt from his essay:

"But in a high-school English class, the skill of reading as an intimate, assertive thing stands as the thing I’m more interested in—the premise being that if reading were less of a spectator sport maybe we’d inhabit a world better informed, more critical—and critical in a reflective rather than a reactive sense—a world shaped more collectively by thoughtfulness, by magnanimity."

Read the essay