Publications and Summer Reading

Enjoying a brand-new yearbook in The Circle

Following up on last week’s post about young adult fiction, Friday we celebrated the written word with the publications assembly. An annual mid-May tradition, this assembly marks the time when we celebrate and receive copies of Echoes, MA’s literary magazine, and the 2012 yearbook. This year’s Echoes is a gorgeous publication (with a Planetary Purple cover) that includes work that stemmed from the group’s Lit Fest event, winter contest, and some “exquisite corpses.” The 2012 yearbook is a whopping 240-page book created between August and March that documents the history of the year.

Some of the yearbook staff shared their reflections with our yearbook advisor Connie Goldsmith:

  • “Where the memories of yester-year become the dreams of the future”
    —Francisco Kilgore
  • “Yearbook has taught me a lot about a variety of things from working in new computer applications to working in large groups and collaborating to have a successful/beautiful final product.” —Jessie Capper
  • “Though the yearbook assembly is, at times, labor-intensive and time consuming, the vibe at layouts and meetings is always relaxed and not stressed.  It is even fun!!”
    —Subei Kyle
  • “I like yearbook because you can meet new people when taking pictures of them, coordinating with other yearbookies, and having fun with people at layouts.”
    —Tai Hallstein
  • ”I’m a part of yearbook because, when I look back on high school in 30 years, this is how I will remember it.” —Ari Goldstein
  • “[The Yearbook staff] are the historians/documentarians of every school year at MA.” —Anna Cardall
  • “[Yearbook] requires hard dedication, and it’s a great chance to meet people from other grades.”—Maddy Suennen

The 2012 yearbook cover

The assembly also included an announcement from The Leek, MA’s humorous news source (think The Onion) as well as an announcement of our summer reading books.

According to librarian and Marin Academy historian Derek Anderson, MA has had some form of summer reading program for as long as he can remember. In the early 1990s, teachers assigned summer readings for their upcoming courses. From the mid-1990s until the mid-2000s, the school began reading one book in common. That shifted to one book per grade for a few years, and reading was not required. Then in 2010, we shifted to a model where juniors choose four or five books and then lead “book group” discussions in the fall.

Some of our juniors checking out potential books

The books are chosen in a process that is facilitated by our librarians, who say that the group of juniors is given a little direction and then the books are discussed, deliberated upon, and finally chosen by the students. So far it has usually been through a process of elimination: many titles are proposed and then the students narrow the results. Derek and Trevor ensure that there is a choice between fiction and non-fiction and that the selection is appropriate for different reading and maturity levels.

The summer 2012 books

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (Fiction)
Discussion led by Zane Morrissey and Anne Williams
Tells of a world where criminal psychopaths rule the night.

Paper Towns by John Green (Fiction)
Discussion led by Lucy Sogard, Erin Van Gessel, Tess Winston
Tells the story of a two high school seniors on an all-night road trip of revenge, pranks, and self discovery.

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (Fiction)
Discussion led by Lucie Flemming and Cora Swanson
Tells the story of a 10 year old Jewish girl who tried to protect her younger brother during World War II and how 60 years later she must come to terms with the past.

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt (Non-fiction)
Discussion led by Max Norman and Francisco Kilgore
Tells how Lucretius’ poem “On the Nature of Things” dramatically affected the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the world in which we live today.

World War Z by Max Brooks (Fiction)
Discussion led by Peter Schneider and Yasmine Eichbaum.
This oral history of the great zombie war documents the encounters survivors have had with the undead.

The cover of Echoes

I am excited to peruse these books and join in discussions in the fall, and encourage all members of our community to read along.

Congratulations and big thanks are in order for our dedicated publications students and their faculty and staff advisors.

Getting ready to distribute yearbooks

Checking out friends’ photos

Anayansi Aranda-Yee with her new copy of the 2012 yearbook

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About Travis

Head of School, Marin Academy.
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