CLASS OF 2015 In this issue, we are featuring the four Edith Hamilton Scholars from the Class of 2015. Every year, the Edith Hamilton Scholars Program gives several seniors the chance to complete a yearlong independent study project on a topic of their choice. Projects are ungraded, and each girl presents her work to the Upper School student body in a convocation near the end of the year. Below, the Class of 2015 Scholars detail the interesting and diverse topics they tackled this year.
Samantha Silverman For her Edith Hamilton project, Samantha Silverman spent the year studying the work of poet Allen Ginsburg, a seminal author from the Beat Generation – the counterculture of the 1950s. Working with Professor Tree Turtle of Goucher College, Samantha developed a 32-page paper exploring herself through the lens of Ginsburg’s work. Below are a few short excerpts from her convocation.
I first met Allen Ginsberg one snowy afternoon in my eleventh grade English class. For someone who has always wanted to be a writer, I have a very hard time figuring out what to say, and throughout the first 16 years of my life, I had been an avid lover of literature, but not particularly one of poetry. After reading Ginsberg’s “A Supermarket in California,” however, I realized poetry did not have to be specific words shoved into little boxes in order to fit a certain form, rhyme scheme, or meter. Raw, free verse poetry is an extension of the soul. It is a reminder that feeling hopelessly alone can create and expose such extreme beauty in the world. My first reading of Ginsberg’s “Transcription of Organ Music” came around the same time I was beginning to realize that I could not just learn when and what I was told. Otherwise, I would never move past simply being an observer of the beauty of the work of others. I had to create and I will create. Sitting in the soft glow of Professor Turtle’s office, I was asked the question, “what is the accompaniment of your life?”
My music is found in silent conversations, in early morning spring drives to school with the windows rolled down, in falling in love over and over again with books, with people, and with specific shades of the color orange. This is what I hope to imperfectly transcribe, to allow poetry to be a deep exhale. Everything I will ever write lives inside of me, it is just a matter of when the right music will need to be transcribed, and when I will allow poetry to create itself. I hope to find poetry in everything I do, for poetry does not stand on its own. Poetry is the result of witnessing the first purple buds of spring, of falling in love for the first time and becoming forever indebted to the universe’s power of serendipity. And I will leave my doors open, and my flowers in the sunlight, and my being “open to receive” the universe. Love, the acceptance of love, and all of its attached vulnerability, is how I will become a writer. That is how I will sing. Samantha will attend Colorado College.