Dear Alumni and Friends,
One of the pleasures of being a part of the LA community is seeing our students give their all in so many different ways and grow as a result of taking academic, athletic, and personal risks. Whether in the classroom, on stage, on the field, court, rink, or during Winterim LA students find the courage to step outside of their comfort zone and deliver. This past Tuesday, the Senior Spoken Word Poetry Slam was an example of just such an occasion.
Inspired by two poets and performers who came to Lawrence Academy as part of the J. William Mees Visiting Scholar Program, Taylor Mali (2013) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (2014), the English Department started the Senior Slam to teach the seniors about spoken word poetry and to have them experience composing and performing their own work. Every senior in Honors Writing and Senior Seminar creates an original poem and performs it in class. Each class then votes on a representative to present his or her work to the rest of the seniors, and guests.
Two of my advisees were in finals of the Senior Slam this year, and I am so proud of them. One of them has found his place and passion in our theater program and his performance was one of the many pinnacles of his success in finding his academic voice. The other has been extremely quiet for most of his LA career. You know this kid. He’s the one who resists speaking up in class for 9th, 10th, and most of 11th grade, and then somehow miraculously comes into his own, develops confidence, and suddenly is reciting resonant spoken word poetry with passion, commitment, and poise in front of over a hundred of his peers and teachers to rousing and sustained applause! Be sure to check out this link to the poetry slam [ watch on YouTube ]. Spoken Word poetry has become so popular at LA that two of our English teachers will be offering a Spoken Word Winterim this March.
As we head into the holidays, looking forward to 2016 and the midway point in the school year, we are seeing so many of our students realize potential, turn things around, and exceed expectations. I send the very best for the holidays.
From the hillside,
Assistant Head of School
BTW: Before we know it, it will be time for Reunion 2016 on June 10-12, which will feature classes ending in 1 and 6. Be sure to cast your nominations for our three spring awards: the Athletic Hall of Fame, the Alumni Faculty Appreciation Award, and the Greater Good Award, when you have a chance.
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