Page 1




Milz Cain pages 4-7


, ,, 1 .,

Leighton Clements pages 8-11

Sera Elizabeth Davidson pages 12-15

Shelby Doffing pages 16-19

Sarah Edwards pages 20-23



Austin Jones pages 24-26

Gray Long pages 28-29

Anna Matthews pages 30-33

Peyton McPherson pages 34-35

Sam Potter pages 36-39

Included in this issue are two selections from the Junior Advanced Placement Language and Composition Class at St. George’s. This talented and creative class chose just two selections from their varied writings this year. These writings ranged from research papers, analysis and synthesis literature reviews to studies of current environmental concerns and fascinating possibilities in the scientific field. -Susan Hendricks & Ellee Hilley 3

The Vietnam War & The Civil Rights Movement by Milz Cain

Both the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War created a time of great passion, controversy, and intensity in the American life. The Civil Rights movement, led by Martin Luther King, aimed to end segregation between races in America. Just a few years after the beginning of the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War began. The war drafted young men from all over America to go fight in Vietnam. The Vietnam era and the civil rights movement of the 1960s were very similar in the sense that both of these events were very controversial and a violation of human rights resulting in a nationwide rebellion against the government. The Vietnam War, which began in 1955, was one of the most unpopular wars America had ever fought. The war in Vietnam started when communist North Vietnam tried to reunify with South Vietnam (Brown pg. 3). South Vietnam, which was one of America’s principal allies, fought back against the communist north. This was a time in which America was still very much involved in the cold war and was trying to contain communism. America was quickly divided between people who supported the war and people who didn’t. However, in order to contain communism and to try and prevent the domino effect, America declared war on North Vietnam in 1971. The Vietnam War draft created lots of controversy during the 1960s and caused many protests within America. When the Vietnam War began, thousands of young men all over the United States began to get drafted to go fight. Many people who were drafted tried to escape to Canada or Mexico. According to Stilwell, over 40,000 men escaped the draft by moving to Canada or Mexico (Stilwell, pg. 2-4). These people strongly believed that America shouldn’t be fighting in this war. America almost instantaneously became divided between people who believed in the Vietnam War and people who didn’t. Many people who didn’t believe in it began to protest the war, like the students at Kent State and the anti-war protesters in Washington. After the Kent State shootings, Richard Nixon exclaimed, “Those few days after Kent State were among the darkest of my presidency”( James, pg.1). It was a tragedy that these people were shot because of what they believed. They preached about the morality of war and how this war had nothing to do with America. “I saw courage both in the Vietnam War and in the struggle to stop it. I learned that patriotism includes protest, not just military service”(Kerry, pg. 6-7). Even with many protesters and a country divided, the government still drafted thousands of young men to go fight in Vietnam (Shlenger, pg. 11-13). The Vietnam War went against the beliefs of many Americans and left soldiers completely different than they were before the war. The actions of soldiers in Vietnam went against their human nature and destroyed their sanity. Marcus Cicero said, “in times of war, the law falls silent”(Cicero, Pg.1). The laws of nature do fall silent when we are forced to kill our own kind. About 60,000 men died and the rest came home with psychological and physical problems. Many men came back home facing posttraumatic stress disorder, flashbacks, loneliness, and depression. The Vietnam War went against our basic human nature and destroyed soldier’s lives. The civil rights movement, like the Vietnam War, also created controversy in America and went against basic human rights. The Civil Rights movement began in the 1950s when African Americans began to stand up against racial injustice and discrimination( Janken, pg. 4-6). The civil war ended slavery, however, discrimination remained especially in the south. Many southerners created Jim Crow laws that allowed segregation and encouraged it. The movement to end this discrimination got its momentum when Rosa Park refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955. After the incident, she explained her actions saying, “I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free”(Parks,pg. 1). Shortly after, the Supreme Court ruled segregation unconstitutional in Brown vs. The Board of Education. After these incidents, many blacks began to protest the discrimination that still remained in America. Martin Luther King is the most famous for leading the Civil Rights movement because of his peaceful protests that ultimately ended the injustices against the African Americans. He once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”(King, pg. 1). The Civil Rights, which began in the 1950s, 4

continued for many years and eventually ended the injustice and discrimination against African Americans. The Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War had many similarities in history. During the Civil Rights movement, African Americans were forced in to segregation. They believed it to be unjust, however, the white southern governments still enforced it. This movement, like the Vietnam War, also split the country in half. Many people believed segregation was completely legal while others believed it was unconstitutional. The Africans began to protest against the way they were being treated. Some of the protests were peaceful, such as protests led by Martin Luther King, while others were harmful. Martin Luther peached peacefulness saying, “In spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace”(King, pg.2) People protested until African Americans were granted the same rights as the white man in 1968. Like the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement created lots of controversy and protests in America during the 1950s and 1960s. The Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War were also violations of human rights. In the war, people had to go against what they believed and kill other people. Like in the war, African Americans were stripped of their rights during the civil rights period. After the civil war, white southerners created Jim Crow laws, literacy tests, poll tax, and segregated buildings to prevent the Africans from being treated as equals. Finally, in 1877, the last of the Jim Crow laws were outlawed. The Civil Rights movement was started to end racial injustices and segregation that went against human rights. The Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement were very similar events that took place in America during the 1900s. The Vietnam War forced people to go to war or try and run away to Canada or Mexico. The Civil rights movement also forced African Americans into segregation. Both of these events divided the American people and sparked many protests. These protests started with the belief that the war and segregation went against the rights of all people. The Vietnam era and the civil rights movement were very similar because they both went against human rights while also creating lots of controversy and protests in America.

Works Cited: Brown , James H. “Vietnam War.”, A&E Television Networks, 2009 ,Pg.3 Blake , James P. Kent State Shooting . 4 Feb. 2015, Pg.1 Janken, Kenneth R. “The Civil Rights Movement: 1919-1960s.” Freedom’s Story, TeacherServe©. National Humanities Center. January, 25 2018. Pg:4-6 Kerry , John F. “Vietnam War Quotes.” BrainyQuote, Xplore, 25 Mar. 2015, Pg. 6-7 Kulka, R. A., Schlenger, W. E., Fairbank, J. A., Hough, R. L., Jordan, B. K., Marmar, C. R., & Weiss, D. S. (1990). Brunner/Mazel psychosocial stress series, No. 18. Trauma and the Vietnam war generation: Report of findings from the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study. Philadelphia: Brunner/Mazel.Pg.11-13 Marcus Tullius Cicero.” Quote by Marcus Tullius Cicero: “In Times of War, the Law Falls Silent. Silent ...”, 23 Sept. 2014, (Pg.1) “Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes.” Xplore Inc, 2018. 1 February 2018. jr_122559 Pg.1-2 “Rosa Parks Quotes.” Xplore Inc, 2018. 1 February 2018. Pg. 1 Stilwell , Blake. “11 Ways People Dodged the Vietnam Draft.” We Are The Mighty, 20 Sept. 2017, Pg. 2-4



Stem cell research is a very controversial topic in our world today. There are many arguments over why it should or shouldn’t be legal. I found the article, “Stem Cell Research: It’s About Life and Death, Not Politics,” to be incredibly persuasive. This article, by Peggy Ross, immediately starts off with a Pathos approach. The author appeals to the reader’s emotions by saying she only has six month to live. This really appeals to the emotions of the reader because readers begin to feel sorry and feel the need to help the author. Ross then explains how she is dying of brain cancer that has no cause or cure. She says that stem cell research is her only chance to survive. She explains in her article that stem cell research is ethical because it doesn’t kill babies and fetuses, but rather saves people from terminal diseases. She believes that this type of treatment is the only way to help her defeat cancer. This article, however, does not include very many statistics and facts that are apart of logos. The first article, “First Principles,” has a lot of logos and ethos to help develop his point. Doerflinger uses politics and examples to help explain why stem cell research isn’t ethical. He includes examples from hospitals where stem cell research has used many fetuses and attacks the principles on which people believe the treatment is ethical. “First Principles” didn’t appeal to my emotions the same way the first article did. This article was filled with facts and examples, but the first article had a personal touch that really convinces the reader. I believe that more people in this world are persuaded by their emotions and not on facts. Both articles were very persuasive on why stem cell research should or shouldn’t be used, but the first article included a lot of pathos that helps persuade the reader.


“What we think is ethical today, we may not have thought ethical five or ten years ago. Cloning, stem cell research? However we feel about those things today, we may feel differently 10 years from now.� -Mary E. Pearson


Comparison Essay by Leighton Clements From the 1950s, until the 1970s, the core of America’s government, politics, and daily life was changing and undergoing many new challenges that tested the stability of the entire country. Two of these destabilizing events were the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam war. These events began during the formation of the media age – so these events were, for the first time, readily accessible to the public eye. Due to this immediate mass exposure, these tragedies sparked works in literature from many up and coming authors and influential figures. Tim O’Brien wrote about his own experiences in the Vietnam War in his novel titled The Things They Carried. Just a few years prior, Martin Luther King, who led the Civil Rights Movement, wrote about his struggle for racial equality in a letter titled, “The Letter from Birmingham Jail”. While the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam era are two immensely different events in America’s tension filled decades of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, King’s and O’Brien’s focus is on the injustice of a collective, controlling government and the struggle for individual determinism. The Vietnam war was a time of trouble for people overseas at war and for people living in the United States. The largest contributor to all of the stress in young men in the States was the draft, as well as the war. The draft was the required participation in the war by young, able-bodied men. Tim O’Brien wrote a book titled The Things They Carried in which he describes his troubles with the draft. In his book, he had the opportunity to flee the country in order to escape the draft; however, he decides to be a good citizen and go to the war for his country. While at war, he wrote about his comrade’s hard times mentally and physically. In O’Brien’s book, there is an underlying tone that displays his hate for the war. In his writing, he uses his tone to show his hatred for the war. “A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done.” (O’Brien 63) Here he defines a war story, implicating that war stories that other people tell are not true. He points this out in order to demonstrate that his war story – that includes a tone of brutal honesty – is written in such a way that is most correctly displays the scope of the war. The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s was an extremely hard time for African Americans, as well as other minorities, in society. African Americans had been treated as lesser than their fellow white man since their coming to the Americas in the 1700s. Finally, after centuries, they began to fight for the rights they deserved. Martin Luther King, Jr. is known as the leader of the Civil Rights movement in America at this time. He spent his life peacefully protesting with marches, rallies, speeches, and even sit-ins, in order to help Americans to recognize the severity of the treatment of African Americans based solely off of their skin color. While protesting, he was arrested and taken to a jail in Birmingham, Alabama. While in jail, he wrote a letter in response to clergymen who were demanding that he stopped protesting. He responded with a powerful message in which he talks about the harshness of the treatment of African Americans in the time. But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of you twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to you six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she sees that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking, ‘Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?’; when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night 8

in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading ‘white’ and ‘colored’; when your first name becomes ‘nigger,’ your middle name becomes ‘boy’ (however old you are) and your last name becomes ‘John,’ and your wife and mother are never given the respected title ‘Mrs.’; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of ‘nobodiness’ – then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. (King 268) As one could see, Tim O’Brien and Martin Luther King are clearly men of different backgrounds, situations, and men fighting for different causes. While the surface of these plights may contrast greatly, they are still similar in many respects. Both of these works were written for a purpose. The purpose of King’s letter was for people to strengthen his protest. The purpose of O’Brien’s novel was to share a true war story. Within each work there lies a tone which strikes a feeling in the audience that these men are fighting for a cause that is greater than they. O’Brien was writing against war, while King was writing against the oppression of African Americans and other minorities. Tremaine Sails-Dunbar wrote about how King was fighting for a cause that he knew that he could prevent. He explains that King was fighting against the oppression on the grounds that it inhibited African Americans’ human rights (Dunbar 143). O’Brien writes his book due to the fact that the war violates all participants’ human rights. O’Brien was attempting to complete what King was successfully acting on here in the U.S. Dunbar explains how King completed this task with the statement, “King was able to educate other oppressed people and assist them in recognizing their potential to over-come situations that limited their [rights],” (Dunbar 143). O’Brien did not need to educate the oppressed minorities; however, he strove for individual determinism in deciding whether to fight in a war in which one did not believe, and touched on the true nature and horror of war. In conclusion, Tim O’Brien and Martin Luther King Jr. were two authors who emerged from a time of struggle in our country. Their works were unique yet similar in some aspects, while synonymously incorporating topics that occurred on two different sides of the Earth. One similarity between their works: The Things They Carried and “The Letter from Birmingham Jail”, was that they both were writing for an audience with the purpose of resolving an issue. O’Brien writes about how war is not good for us, while King’s purpose was educating the oppressed people in the U.S. as to as how to best and peaceably combat their oppressors. Both of these works were very interesting and well written by very experienced authors; while successfully leaving a lasting impact in our country.

Works Cited: King, Martin. “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” The Language of Composition, edited by Karen S. Henry et al, Bedford/St. Martins, 2008, pp.284-285 O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. Thorndike Press, 2017. Sails-Dunbar, Tremaine T. A Case Study Analysis of the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”: Conceptualizing the Conscience of King through the Lens of Paulo Freire. Pursuit: The Journal of Undergraduate Research at the University of Tennessee. 8, 1, 139-148, Jan. 2017.


The Neighbor by Leighton Clements

It was October 30th, 2017 when a new neighbor began moving in to the old house around the corner. Sally would sit and watch the movers as they attempted to rush the ancient furniture from the truck to the house in an attempt to keep it dry. It was a rainy day. After about half an hour had passed of blank, meaningless watching, Sally’s neighbor caught her staring at him through her bedroom window. Now he knew where she slept. She immediately darted away from the window and closed the curtains with hopes that he had never noticed her. She did not like the intimidating look that the stranger gave her when their eyes met, for it made her stomach queasy as if she was sick. It seemed as though he was watching her while she was watching him. She wanted to get her mind off of the man, so she went to watch TV with her dad. They sat and watched TV for hours, and when Sally’s mom entered with food for everyone, it had startled Sally – she clearly wasn’t at ease due to her recent scare. After dinner, Sally’s parents asked her if everything was okay, but Sally dismissed their attempt to start a conversation with her. Sally was unhappy with her parents due to their planned absence the next day. Sally would be staying the night all by herself for the first time in her life on Halloween! Needless to indicate, the presence of a new – rather strange and daunting – neighbor had caused unease with Sally. She was determined not to let anyone know though, because she knew she would be forced to stay with her grandmother should any problems arise before her parents left. Considering the grass was not greener on the other side, Sally cleared her head and imagined all of the riches she would receive the next day, and promptly went to bed. Right before bed – per tradition – Sally dropped her hand by her bed to have her bulldog, ironically named Gurley, lick her hand. Gurley made her feel safe when she woke from nightmares or couldn’t sleep. She knew he would protect her. Sally woke in a great mood on her favorite holiday of the year. She hurriedly ate her breakfast and went off to her friend’s house to play all day until it was time to go trick-or-treating. As she walked to her friend’s house, she passed old, newly inhabited house belonging to her new neighbor. He was a very pale, skinny man. He was young, though his mannerisms indicated those of a decrepit elderly man. He did not have many attractive qualities. His hair was jet black and patchy, as he had a few nasty bald spots. He wore jeans and and a t-shirt as he worked in his yard. When sally had reached the intersection between his driveway and the sidewalk, she tripped and scraped her knee. The man turned to see Sally hurt on the pavement, and proceeded to keep to himself, minding his own business. He continued to garden as Sally watched him – astounded – as he completely disregarded an injured child! She got up and collected herself before she continued to her friend’s house. When she arrived at her friend’s house, she patched her leg up and went outside to play. Finally, it was time to trick-or-treat, and Sally could not have been more ecstatic to go collect pounds of


candy. Sadly, the most lucrative route for candy loot included the old – formerly abandoned – house recently occupied by that eerie, spine-chilling neighbor. As Sally’s group of princesses, cowgirls, and cheerleaders all passed the dark, ominous house they noticed a sign that was staked into the lawn reading, “No walking on the lawn! No candy!” It reminded Sally of the look in the man’s eyes. It threw chills down her whole body. She soon lost the thought when they reached the next house supplying candy and other treats. The night with her friends had ended and Sally went home to organize this year’s haul from her neighborhood. When she went home, she turned off all the lights in the house so that people wouldn’t knock on the door for candy. She and Gurley sat and watched cartoons while eating her candy. The clock turned to midnight, and Sally decided that it was time for bed. She searched the house for every door, window, or even vent. All entryways into the house were locked. Sally went to her room to climb into bed with Gurley down next to her. She dropped her hand next to her bed and felt Gurley’s warm, safe lick. She then went to sleep. All of a sudden, Sally arose from her deep sleep with an abrupt scream. She was sweating, and her heart was racing as she sat in the silent dark. She dropped her hand beside her bed and felt Gurley. She got out of bed and went to the window and noticed a few boys throwing toilet paper everywhere. She did not think anything of it. As she watched, she heard a noise coming from the bathroom. It was a faint dripping noise. She pondered while calmly watching the precisely orchestrated toilet paper attack against her friend’s lawn when she came to the conclusion that it must have been a leaking showerhead. She got back into her bed and felt for Gurley. With the comforting lick from Gurley, Sally went to sleep again. Yet again, Sally woke up in a panic. She had another nightmare. This time it was extra cold in her house. She was unusually uncomfortable and missed her parents. She wished that they had not left. When she woke for the second time, she noticed the dripping noise once again, yet this time she decided to abandon the comfort and safety of her bed and go to the shower to fix it. She felt for Gurley and when she received confirmation of her safety, she got out of bed. She had to walk around the bed to get to the bathroom. As she walked around her bed, she stepped on Gurley’s collar. She picked it up and immediately received chills. She leapt to the bathroom to turn on the light. As the lights came on, she discovered the source of the dripping noise. Gurley was sprawled across the bathroom counter in a pool of blood. That instant Sally felt a piercing stare coming from behind her, which raised the hair on her neck and nearly caused her to faint. She slowly turned her head and shoulders to find her neighbor politely sitting on the edge of her bed. Their eyes had met before, though this time Sally wasted no time to break the gaze as she darted for the door. Locked. All the while the neighbor sat on the edge of her bed. She then looked back at him as her eyes filled with tears and the neighbor began to rise from the edge of the bed. He spoke four words, “Humans can lick too.”


a Look at Persuasion in Emerson's Education by Sera Elizabeth Davidson

Art is one of the most applicable umbrella terms of modern speech. Most anything can be art--a strain of music, an elegant painting, a thought-provoking sculpture. Writing is one of the least reliable art forms--or perhaps it would be better to say, writing is one of the art forms which can rely least on people to appreciate it as art. Most “artistic” writing is poetry, poignant fiction, graceful prose… Less likely is a nonfiction work to be viewed in such a manner, and even less so something argumentative. The defense of a position is less of a performance and more of a construction. Enter here an exception--the careful persuasion of Emerson’s Education. The art of building an argument can be seen in his style; an exemplary passage being that paragraph of the essay which begins “Now the correction of this quack practice is to import into Education the wisdom of life.” Already with this initial sentence he has taken a bold stance, and he goes on to defend it with the use of his structure, syntax, and devices in an impressive manner. This paragraph is a strong explanation of one of Emerson’s points and, generally, his view on how children should be approached. Emerson believes that a truly natural approach should be taken, not a stiff or “military” one, and as such he feels there is a lot to be learned from those who study nature and plenty to change about adult behavior in order to improve that of children. The first part of his argument is that the solution to the issue at hand (that issue being established in previous paragraphs as, basically, the hurried administration of the education system as a whole) is obvious in “the wisdom of life.” He then goes on to explain what this means and how to implement it. Children need lots of patience and time, he says, and in addition they need good role models. He directs his audience to not only be tolerant and give children space to grow, but also to teach by example with their own language and self control. Clearly, he views the actions of adults and the wisdom the natural world has to offer as essentials in young people’s’ development. The logical arguments of this paragraph themselves are compelling, but the backdrop of the message meant for the conscious mind is the message for the subconscious, a steady pattern of sentences throughout the passage. In the first half of the paragraph Emerson fluctuates between sentences that are quite short (“Her secret is patience”) to ones that are quite long (“When he goes into the woods the birds…”), back to short (“They lose their fear”) and then even longer (“By and by the curiosity…”). He gradually works back and forth between these extremes to build a rhythm. At some point after the pattern has been established, the questions begin; Emerson clearly neither expects nor wants an answer, and so his queries-- “Can you not baffle the impatience and passion of the child by your tranquility? Can you not keep for his mind and ways, for his secret, the same curiosity you give to the squirrel, snake, rabbit, and the sheldrake and the deer?”--make Emerson’s ideas seem like the most obvious and straightforward solution. Nearing the end of the paragraph, he adds an interrupter and an exclamation, building the excitement of the passage; finally, he much more calmly reaches a conclusion, even going so far as to tell the reader what to do (“Have the self-command you wish to inspire...Teach them to hold their tongues by holding your own. Say little; do not snarl; do not chide; but govern by the eye”). The impact of this is almost like hearing a speech, and the subtle but defined changes draw the reader into Emerson’s impassioned mood so that they might also agree to reach his conclusion. While the tactic of manipulating structure and syntax is used to subtly reinforce Emerson’s argument in this paragraph, use of various literary devices are used to openly support it. A big part of this is the analogy that makes up a large portion of the paragraph. He introduces the analogy saying “Do you know how the naturalist learns all the secrets of the forest, of plants, of birds, of beasts, of reptiles, of fishes, of the rivers and the sea?” and goes on to explain how naturalists must be patient and calm in order to learn about nature. Emerson then compares the skills of a naturalist to the skills that should be used by those who deal with children, and at the same time compares children to the easily-spooked creatures of nature. This emphasizes the idea of the intrinsic natural being which he views children as being, as well as giving an easy-to-understand parallel to working with 12

"I believe that our own experience instructs us that the secret of Education lies in respecting the pupil." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

children. With this analogy, he gives specific suggestions as to how a naturalist’s behavior can be applied to children, restates their need for and deservingness of patient nurturing, and makes it almost an academic challenge to approach children with this mindset. Emerson also uses juxtaposition to make the point that these concepts apply to every child. “Talk of Columbus and Newton!” he begins, “I tell you the child just born in yonder hovel is the beginning of a revolution as great as theirs.” This allows him to drive home just how much potential can be seen in any one child; Columbus and Newton, these great figures, though they are in obvious contrast to any given poor young boy, can be set equal to (or even lesser than) that same boy when one takes into account his potential under good guidance. Much of Emerson’s Education can be considered artistic; brash insults, poetic imagery of a child, striking descriptions of a successful adult--his language is precise and inspiring, his arguments compelling and challenging. In this paragraph alone we see several of Emerson’s strategies. The use of syntax and structure sends a subtle message throughout the selection. Drawing various comparisons makes the argument increasingly strong, persuasive, and comprehensible. Not only is this passage interesting to the student, useful to the teacher, and striking to the lover of literature, but it is exemplary of the little-known fact that even a sophisticated argumentative essay can be art.


Gatsby's Paradox by Sera Elizabeth Davidson

Though F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is a novel that centers around the enigmatic being of Jay Gatsby, the truth is that his character is not so obscured as one might believe. Even as the mystery of Gatsby’s origins, motives, and mind is used as a major focus in the narrative, if one looks carefully enough, these same things are explained and interrelated by the narrator Nick Carraway. Perhaps the most discernible of these connections is made in the thick of the story, in Chapter 6, where Carraway writes a rather weighty analysis. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God – a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that – and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end. (Fitzgerald 98) Here, however, is Gatsby laid out in full for us to understand; how he came to arrive at the life he currently lives, why he did what he did, and how much truth there is in his character. A key revelation in this quote is the idea of the “Platonic conception.” This is a reference to the Greek philosopher Plato and his theory of Forms. In the theory of Forms, Plato argues that every concept or object as we understand it in this world was modeled after the perfect, purest version of that concept or object in the world of Forms. In saying that Gatsby “sprang from his Platonic conception of himself ” is to say that he created himself according to his own ideals of what the perfect Jay Gatsby would be like. The insinuation is that one day, 17-year-old Gatsby decided that he was going to become his own ideal--the ideal of a romantic-minded teenage boy distanced from the upper class of society--and from then on, he lived it. As we see later in the book with the discovery of a self-improvement agenda (Fitzgerald 173), this was something of a process; the way Fitzgerald has it explained, however, suggests an almost instantaneous change. This premise raises new questions about Gatsby, of course. How genuine can such a seemingly rapid transition be? This personality seems rather contrived, rather forced; which person is Gatsby really? In truth, this duality is essential to Gatsby’s character. He is at once invented and convincing, both legitimate and a facade. On the one hand, Gatsby made up a character for himself, and at times this shows. Fitzgerald reveals how self-made Gatsby is at various points throughout the book; at times Gatsby’s speech is described as absurd (48), he is unable to register social cues (103), and he is singled out for having “new money” riches rather than coming from “old money” wealth. Suspicions about how he made his money and his loss of reason during passion will weaken the strength of his caricature somewhat, and his motives are questioned even in this quote, with a reference to “meretricious” ends that are of less value than they seem. However, arguably every person is the person they have made up for themselves, an invented character to which we have been loyal--perhaps Gatsby just chose a great one. He seems to be genuinely kind and caring, so not full of himself that it surprises Carraway when they first meet (48), and his smile and mannerisms, even in casual situations--very challenging things to fake--always seem to bring a general pleasantness that puts people at ease. Gatsby seems to actually be a good, though perhaps overly passionate, person; he invented this character, perhaps, but then he truly became it.


It is this conflict that makes Gatsby’s failure so compelling. He adopts this idealistic personality, and when he sees Daisy he sees the pinnacle of romantic potential, a glamorous, poised appearance and lifestyle that perfectly complements his goals. Daisy is poetic, beautiful, wealthy, kind, wanted… possibly the most outwardly romantic character of the book. Immediate infatuation occurs, and from that moment on he fixates on Daisy as the perfect completion of his carefully created perfect life. Though she reciprocates his affection and perhaps even some of his obsession, circumstance and his own restrictive perfectionism draws them apart. When she starts falling away from him, his entire construction unravels. Despite his working so hard and assimilating so completely into the life of Jay Gatsby, everything slips out from underneath him and he ultimately fails. It seems almost unfair that Gatsby’s “love story” goes uncompleted, and even more so that his personal story, his dream, fails despite his best efforts. Beyond the thematic mystery of Gatsby is the thematic just-short-of-success Gatsby, a discourse on self-reliance, perhaps, or on how little we can really control in life. Perhaps it is something less cynical, but if even the strongest romanticism and idealism cannot save us, do we have much to lose in our analysis?



The word “individualism” is defined as “the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual.” Individualism is a common topic of belief among many philosophers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Plato. It is thought that some of Emerson’s beliefs are derived from Plato’s ancient beliefs on individualism. Plato and Emerson were both well-known philosophers, thousands of years apart from each other; however, they still shared similar beliefs about individualism and happiness. The ancient philosopher, Plato, lived from 428-348 BC in Greece. Plato had many thoughts on the idea of individualism and happiness. As Dr. Tom Kerns states in his article, Plato believed there are three parts to the human soul; reason, spirit, and appetite. He observed that reason is considered to be, “the ability to acquire knowledge; spirit is the acquired desires like respect for oneself; and appetite is an instinctive desire (Dr. Tom Kerns).” Plato thought that reason should take prestige over spirit and appetite because reason has “the wisdom and foresight to act for the whole (Dr. Tom Kerns).” He thinks that everyone is very complex and consists of many different, functioning parts, having their own individual roles. (Republic 436b) Plato also believed that the morality of people and their happiness flow from an internal ordering of the soul. He thought that people should do things on their own and make decisions on their own. He believed that a person must do what they want to do, not what others want, in order to achieve happiness. Plato once said, “The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depends upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and of wisdom (Goodreads).” Plato believed that human well-being should be the main thing everyone should strive for. He thought that the only way to achieve pure happiness is only possible to the people who go through life using reason. Plato believed that there are two ideal states, one being where the whole community achieves happiness, and the other being where everyone is rational. Plato also had the belief that people spend their entire lives trying to make all things perfect to have an “ideal” existence. Ralph Waldo Emerson, also known as the father of Transcendentalism, lived from May 25, 1803 to April 27, 1882, aging 78 years. Emerson believed that the soul exists; however, humans can’t define what exactly the soul is. In Emerson’s essay, “The Over-Soul”, he talks mainly about the inner soul of humans and what the soul does within us. He talks about the existence of a human soul, the relationship between a person’s ego and his/her soul, the relationship between one soul to another, and the relationship of the soul to God. Within this essay, he mainly says that a person’s being is contained within his/her soul and that it is made one with all others, unity. Emerson thought that each person has the ability to choose his/her own happiness (The Over-Soul). He believed that for a person to be truly happy, then they have to make their own decisions based only off their own desires. Emerson believed strongly in the idea of people being confident in themselves and their decisions and beliefs. He once said, “Nothing at last is sacred, but the integrity of your own mind (Michaelasmommy).” Emerson was also a strong believer in God and that God is found all throughout nature. He believes that God is found within everyone and that God is found within everyone’s soul. Emerson said, “Meantime within human is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal One (Craig Pearson).” He also said, “God enters by a private door into every individual (Craig Pearson).” Unlike Plato, Emerson believed that the main idea in life is to pass into “higher forms” (Alcott, Amos B.). Plato and Emerson, philosophers from two separate times in history, had many similarities; however, they also had many differences. The main similarity between the two is their belief about decision-making. Both Emerson and Plato believed that for people to be completely satisfied with themselves and their lives, then they must make decisions based off their beliefs and what they want to achieve, not what others desire of them. The two philosophers also believed that there is an existing soul, but they 16

had different beliefs about the purpose of the soul and what it consists of. For example, Plato believed that the soul consists of reason, spirit, and appetite while Emerson believed that there is a soul, but we do not know what exactly the soul is. It is believed that some of Emerson’s thoughts and beliefs are based off Plato’s beliefs, like his thoughts on how people should make decisions. Emerson once said, “Plato is philosophy, and philosophy, Plato.” This helps show that Emerson looked up to Plato and admired his philosophy. What is remarkable about these two philosophers sharing common beliefs is that they lived in times so far apart from each other, yet the beliefs of Plato still had a considerable influence on Emerson’s beliefs. It has been proven that Plato’s beliefs were passed down to many philosophers that came after him, especially his student Aristotle. Aristotle taught Alexander the Great and from there, Plato’s beliefs ended up impacting Emerson’s beliefs thousands of years later.

Works Cited: Bailey, Jesse. “Emerson on Plato: literary philosophy, dialect, and the temporality of thought.” Humanitas, vol. 29, no. 1-2, 2016, p. 79+. World History in Context, Accessed 8 Dec. 2017. Cliffs Notes. “Emerson’s Essays.” Paragraphs 1-3, 2016, Kemerling, Garth. “Plato: The State and the Soul.” Plato: The Republic 1-4, 17 Aug. 2011, Kerns, Tom. “Plato’s Three Parts of the Soul.” Plato’s Three Parts of the Soul, 6 Oct. 2015, Michaelasmommy. “‘Nothing Is at Last Sacred but the Integrity of Your Own Mind.’” Michaelasmommy’s Blog, 22 Mar. 2013, michaelasmommyblog. Pearson , Craig. “Ralph Waldo Emerson – Within Man Is The Soul Of The Whole; The Wise Silence; The Universal Beauty.” Transcendental Meditation Blog, 27 Sept. 2010, Plato Plato. “A Quote by Plato.” Quote by Plato: “The Man Who Makes Everything That Leads to Happ...”, 7 Nov. 2009, Emerson, Ralph Waldo


Transplant Cells, NOT Organs: Susan Lim by Shelby Doffing

Stem cells have been a common topic of discussion among researchers recently. A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell of an organism that can produce more cells of the same type, and produce more cells using cell differentiation ( Surgeon, Susan Lim, from Singapore has done extensive research on stem cells and their abilities. She has had many accomplishments with surgeries including the first successful liver transplant in Singapore in 1990. In Susan Lim’s TED talk, she explains that there are simply not enough donor organs to fill the constant need for transplant organs. Lim says, “In the United States alone, 100,000 men, women and children are on the waiting list for donor organs, and more than a dozen die each day because of a lack of donor organs” (Lim 2:00). Lim’s idea was that we can use adipose tissue, or fat, which contains adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells. The only problem with this is that these adult stem cells have already been restricted to do only certain tasks. However, it has been discovered that these adult stem cells can be reprogrammed back to embryonic stem cells which can they be differentiated into other much more needed cells (Lim 10:03). There have also been many studies and experiments that have shown that this does work and is reasonable. “Reprogramming holds great potential for new medical applications, because reprogrammed pluripotent stem cells (or induced pluripotent stem cells) can be made from a patient’s own cells instead of using pluripotent cells from embryos” (Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology 1). If these advances in the knowledge of stem cells can be accomplished successfully, then we could find cures for many diseases that can be life threatening. “37 million people worldwide are blind, and 127 million more suffer from impaired vision. Stem cell-derived retinal transplants, now in a research phase, may one day restore vision, or part vision, to millions of patients with retinal diseases worldwide” (Lim 12:51) Susan Lim is only one surgeon among thousands that is conducting stem cell research. Imagine the day when these doctors and scientists discover a cure for cancer or blindness using adult stem cells. Using adult stem cells to cure diseases would help the world in so many unimaginable ways. As Lim said in her TED talk, 37 million people suffer from being blind. That is 37 million people suffering from just one disease. 37 million doesn’t include the people suffering from heart disease, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, and so many more. Think about how many people’s lives would be saved if these advancements were made in the area of stem cell research.


“37 million people worldwide are blind, and 127 million more suffer from impaired vision. Stem cell-derived retinal transplants, now in a research phase, may one day restore vision, or part vision, to millions of patients with retinal diseases worldwide.� -Susan Lim


COMPARISON OF THE PROTESTS during the Civil rights and vietnam eras by Sarah Edwards Looking at history, one of the most horrifying times in America was the latter part of the twentieth century, specifically the 1960’s and 1970’s. This time was filled with fear, death, and protests. During this time, many people wrote down what happened, whether it is through letters to loved ones or novels, and these documents show what life was like. Two of the many writers during this time were Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tim O’Brien. Although these authors wrote during the same period, they wrote about different topics, the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. These periods, as described by Dr. King and O’Brien, were very similar in many ways, containing such factual information as the number of deadly protests that occurred, and how different parts of the country felt about these. Martin Luther King, Jr., is said to be one of the best Civil Rights speakers of the Civil Rights era. Dr. King and his followers strongly believed in what they were protesting, and unlike the protests about Vietnam, they fought for something to happen in America that had not happened before. During the Civil Rights era, nonviolent protests played a central role in victory for the movement, but also were supported domestically and internationally (Nimtz 2). Civil disobedience, or nonviolent protesting, was first seen in the world in India, and was led by Ghandi when he worked to free the people of India from the British government in the early twentieth century. These nonviolent protests began with the emergence of Dr. King, who mixed racial equality with moral urgency. He 20

understood that if he were going to disobey, he needed to be nonviolent in order to be seen as someone fighting for freedom and equality (Auerbach 9). Another way that the protests by King and his followers were different than those during the Vietnam era was the opposition. In the Civil Rights era, protests were met with opposition from other civilians, especially in the Southern states. On a few occasions, there was opposition from police forces, but these were normally sent from the local police station, and almost never from the federal government. As well as being one of the most renowned leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King was also a prolific writer and speaker. In Dr. King’s I Have A Dream speech, he states, “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.” (Whitaker). In this passage, Dr. King is telling his followers to never become physically violent in protests, even if the opposition becomes violent. Tim O’Brien is one of the most well known authors from the Vietnam War era, having written several books about his time in Vietnam. Based on his works, as well as the works of several other writers, one can tell that there are several differences in the protests. One difference is why the people were protesting. The Vietnam War was most likely one of the most controversial wars in American history. The government

went to war because of the Truman Doctrine that was signed after World War II, but the majority of Americans disagreed with this and resented the fact that America was fighting a war that didn’t even affect them. Most parents, as well as students, felt that they should not be forced to fight a war half way around the world. This feeling led to an increase in student led protests on college campuses. “Furthermore, the continual combat footage from Vietnam is believed to have influenced public opinion of the war so negatively that continuing the intervention became impossible for the American government.” (McClancy 50). Also, different from Martin Luther King, the opposition that met the Vietnam protestors was the federal government. An example of this is the outbursts after the Kent State University shooting. On May 4th, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a peaceful crowd of Kent State University students that were protesting the Nixon administration and the invasion into Cambodia. Four students were killed and nine were injured. The event triggered a nationwide student strike that forced hundreds of colleges and universities to close (Lewis and Hensley 1). The shooting at Kent State University created almost a ripple effect that covered the entire country. Four days later, a group of Vietnam protestors met at Wall Street in New York City to protest the invasion into Cambodia. Even though the attack at Kent State was just four days before, an estimated 20% of colleges nationwide were shut down and over 50% of those still open had some type of protest to the war. “Over the next few hours, joined by people working in the financial sector and still more workers from the World Trade site, these anti-antiwar protesters roamed the streets of lower Manhattan, attacking those opposed to the war. Some bystanders also got in the way. Seventy people were injured.”(Joseph 272). The National Guard was dispatched on numerous occasions to put down protests during the Vietnam War, yet during the Civil Rights Era, it was only used to help protestors against their opposition, who were often very violent, using fire hoses and pipes to attack Martin Luther King and his followers. During the Vietnam era, thousands of men were drafted to fight in the war, and many wrote about their experiences; one of these was Tim O’Brien. In O’Brien’s book, The Things They Carried, he discussed what he went through while serving in Vietnam and what he thought when he was drafted. O’Brien, according to his book, ran away and almost made it to Canada before turning around and going to war. “In June of 1968, a month after graduating from Macalester College, I was drafted to fight a war I hated. Young, yes, and politically naïve, but even so the American war in Vietnam seemed to me wrong.” (O’Brien 38). This shows what most men felt when they were told they were going to war. Also, O’Brien writes about how difficult it was for him and his platoon to adjust to regular life when they returned. The Civil Rights Era left the protestors feeling overjoyed because they had won, even though it would later be seen that segregation and racism still existed in the South. But the majority of veterans of the Vietnam War suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder and the protestors felt like they had failed in helping the soldiers, although they had helped stop the war. The late twentieth century was a time of protests and turmoil. First was the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, which was led primarily by Martin Luther King, Jr., a prolific writer. In the 1970’s, the controversy over Vietnam War caused many violent protests and was documented by many authors, including war veteran, Tim O’Brien. These men were two of hundreds that wrote about the horrors of the time. Protests were one of the many things that was similar between these two times, although the reason why the protests occurred, the federal government’s role, and the what has been written by people who experienced these events first hand are very different. Works Cited: Auerbach, Jerold S. “Means and Ends of the 1960’s.” Society, vol. 42, no. 6, 2005, pp. 9–13. Joseph, Paul. “Resister: A Story of Protest and Prison during the Vietnam War Hardhats, Hippies, and Hawks: The Vietnam Antiwar Movement as Myth and Memory.” Peace & Change, vol. 40, no. 2, Apr. 2015, pp. Lewis, Jerry M., and Thomas R. Hensley. “THE MAY 4 SHOOTINGS AT KENT STATE UNIVERSITY: THE SEARCH FOR HISTORICAL ACCURACY.” THE OHIO COUNCIL FOR THE SOCIAL STUDIES REVIEW, vol. 34, no. 1, 1998, pp. 9–21., McClancy, Kathleen. “The Iconography of Violence: Television, Vietnam, and the Soldier Hero .” Film & History, vol. 43, no. 2, 2013, p. 50. Nimtz, August H. “New Political Science.” Violence and/or Nonviolence in the Success of the Civil Rights Movement: The Malcolm X–Martin Luther King, Jr. Nexus. , vol. 38, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1–22., Galileo. O’Brien, Tim. “On The Rainy River.” The Things They Carried, Mariner Books, 1990, pp. 38–39. Whitaker, Morgan. “Dr. King Almost Didn’t Use the Phrase ‘I Have a Dream’ in His Iconic Speech.”, AOL, 16 Jan. 2017, dr-martin-luther-kings-i-have-a-dream-speech-full-text/21655947/.


civil/human rights museum field trip review by Sarah Edwards

Civil/Human Rights Museum Walking into the museum, I had no idea what to expect. To the left, there was a big, modern looking staircase that led to the upper floors, and to the right, there was a gift shop. It honestly looked like a typical museum. Straight ahead was a gigantic mural of people of all races and a peace sign. Again, not that unusual for a museum. But it was also unnaturally quiet when we entered; I assumed it was because we were the only people in the museum at the time, but I later found that it was because no one was talking that much. It was as if they were being a little quieter in memory of those who were persecuted during these events. Throughout the museum, I enjoyed looking at the different exhibits, but my three favorites were the mirrors, the map of the world, and the sit-in simulation. The first thing I saw when I reached the top of the stairs was a room full of mirrors. Being the curious person I am, chose to enter that room first. When I entered the room, the mirrors reflected off each other, making it look like there were six or seven of me in the room. But these weren’t just regular mirrors; each had the story of someone who was persecuted at some time during his or her life. My personal favorite was a South African woman who wanted to become an actress, but due to her race, this was not an option for her. She recounted the stories of how she and friends used to put on shows in her garage, but of how she always wanted to be on the stage. I kept walking for a while, but unlike some other students, I didn’t feel like talking. To me, talking, laughing, and making jokes didn’t make sense while hearing the stories of genocides and persecutions. After the room of mirrors, I kept walking and exploring the museum. At the other side of the hall, there was a big map with countries painted in different colors. Since I love learning about the world, I was instantly drawn to it. When I reached it, I read the key at the bottom: yellow means free, orange means partly free, and red means no freedom. With the exception of Mexico and a few South American countries, the Western Hemisphere was all yellow, or free. But the rest of the world was drastically different. Western Europe was also yellow, but other than India, Myanmar, Mongolia, South Africa, Lesotho, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and Australia, the rest of the world was red and orange. I had no idea that so much of the world did not have simple civil rights. This exhibit really opened my eyes and helped me see that the world is not as perfect as I believed it was. Later on, I walked back downstairs to the Civil Rights part of the museum. After waiting in line for a while, I was able to take part of the sit-in simulation. When it was finally my turn, I moved all the way down to the last seat, put my headphones on, put my hands on the table, and closed my eyes. The simulation started out with a man speaking in a kind way, but it was too kind, almost as if he were trying to distract me. Then the yelling, threatening, and stomping began. All at once, my seat began to jerk back and forth, I had a man yelling in my ears, glass was shattering all over the place, silverware was clattering on the ground, and someone was being punched on my left. Was that a gunshot in the background? It was as if I were there. And suddenly, it was all over. I quickly took off my headphones and jumped off the chair. I couldn’t imagine going through that in real life. I was terrified in just a simulation; there’s no way I could have handled being treated that way. Civil rights are something that should be given to every person on the planet, but in actuality, only a small percentage has these rights. This museum not only showed me what it was like during the Civil Rights era in America, but also it taught me about all of the other genocides and persecutions that have happened in our world’s history. I thoroughly enjoyed this museum, and I hope to go back soon.


The field trip to the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Pictures


How is Transcendentalism rooted in Greek philosophy? by Austin Jones

Transcendentalism, as a whole, traces its roots back to the writings and thoughts of the three most influential Greek philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, in the sense that the focus should be on what each individual person knows about himself and what comes from within rather than what society has come to accept. This is evident in the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson on beliefs such as the individual vs. the collective body of the Government, his views on education and how society can corrupt the purity of an individual. His beliefs, while, not completely identical to these concepts, by these philosophers, do show similarities between the Socratic method, teachings from Plato’s academy and his theory of forms, as well as Aristotle’s philosophy of logic, and how each of the three philosophers’ teachings and viewpoints on certain aspects of life aligned with the core beliefs of Transcendentalism. Socrates, the first of the Greek philosophers was the first to truly begin to lay the foundations for modern thought and philosophy in the West. His philosophies differed from that of most Greek philosophers at the time because Socrates was more concerned with how people should behave and treat themselves rather than how the world around them works. This belief in how the individual should act is the first similarity between transcendentalism and the thoughts of the Greek philosophers. Transcendentalism is a movement with the idea of individuality as one of its core factors. Socrates had similar views to this as he focused more on the person rather than the world around him. Socrates is also known as the creator of the Socratic Method, which is widely used even today as a process of coming to conclusions based on rational thought and deductive reasoning. At its simplest, the Socratic Method has a person breaking down a problem or topic into a series of smaller questions and using deductive reasoning and logic to answer those questions to provide a clearer answer to the bigger picture. This involves the questioner and the person being questioned looking into the basis of the other’s opinion to encourage rational thinking and the formation of new and better ideas. This is another example of Socrates’ thoughts coinciding with that of Transcendentalism. The Socratic Method makes people really look at a subject and use their own knowledge to come to a conclusion. They are trusted to be able to figure out how to make their own assertions based on their own thoughts and knowledge, instead of letting someone else make those assertions for them. In other words, it encourages individual thought and reasoning. A good way to sum up the similarities between the Socratic Method and the core ideas of Transcendentalism is a quote by Socrates that was recorded by his student Plato. In this quote Socrates asserts: “To find yourself, think for yourself ” His ideas did not always align with that of Transcendentalism however. Going back to the Socratic Method, at its core it is still a process using logic and deductive reasoning using facts to base one’s argument rather than figuring things out by themselves, which goes against the ideals of Transcendentalism.


Another important philosopher whose ideas aligned with the practices of Transcendentalism is one of Socrates’ most notable students, Plato. Plato probably differs the greatest from the ideas of transcendentalism out of the three Greek philosophers. His philosophy is usually centered around ideas of an established form of government as well as beliefs in polytheistic religion. For example, one of Plato’s most famous works, entitled, The Republic, He states that Justice can be broken down into categories. He states that there are two types of justice: political or societal justice, and there is the notion of individual justice. (Source: The Republic, Book IV, 419a-434c) He defines political justice as an established society where each person does what they are best suited for instead of just whatever they want, a virtue that goes against transcendentalism almost completely. He also puts a high regard on the importance of education. He says that it is so important in fact, that it is imperative for the most educated of people to rule a city for it to be truly perfect. Again, not very close to the virtues of Transcendentalism at all. Evident in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay on education where he all but denounces the educational system on the grounds that no person should have to teach a younger person on what is true and not true but instead they should teach themselves the ways of the world through their own curiosity of nature and the world around them. (Source: Emerson’s Essay on Education) While most of Plato’s philosophies go against Transcendentalist beliefs, there is one that does follow rather closely to those ideals. That being his famous Theory of Forms. In it he explains that there are actually two separate planes of existence, the physical realm, and the spiritual realm or as Plato calls it, the Realm of Forms or Ideals. In this Realm of Forms reside the ideals that most accurately represent the world. Such ideas as Justice, Happiness, and even things such as Redness and Light. The Realm of Ideals is unchanging and perfect throughout. Whereas, the Physical Realm, the one we reside in and where things we can see and feel also reside, is always changing and always imperfect. There is a similar belief within Transcendentalism in reference to the Universal Soul. It is a belief in Transcendentalism that acts as a sort of explanation as to why they believe every gender and race should be considered completely equal. It also is an explanation as to their belief in a sort of afterlife, which is similar to the Realm of Ideals mentioned earlier. This is possibly the one instance where Plato’s beliefs about life align with the ideals of Transcendentalism albeit only slightly. Almost all of Plato’s other teachings almost completely reject the ideas of Transcendentalism and align with a more pragmatic or realist viewpoint.

Works Cited: SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Republic.” SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 3 Feb. 2018. Timmons, Greg. “Socrates.”, A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017, “Theory of Forms.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Feb. 2018,


Do Stem Cells Cause Cancer?

by Austin Jones

Before discussing whether stem cells can cause cancer, we must first understand what they are and what they are meant to do. Simply put, stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can constantly make more cells of the same type. It is also a way for the body to make more cells for a specific part of the body through specialization, the process by which cells are given specific jobs in the body. These stem cells are also made artificially in labs. They are grown by scientists to help with clinical studies on how to manufacture cells that can differentiate into virtually any type of cell. This practice is still in its infancy however, and research has made little progress toward the goal of being able to manufacture regenerative cells. In the future, this research could help counteract the loss of cells in cancer or other diseases. As advantageous as this research could be in the future, there have been records of certain lines of stem cells used to treat certain illnesses housing cancerous DNA in them. Despite the practice of using stem cells to treat illnesses for a little less than two decades, scientists have only just discovered this DNA within stem cells a less than a year ago. As a result, research into prevention of any tumors from arising in these cells is very limited. Scientists as of now can only try and identify which lines of stem cells have cancer-causing DNA in them. According to a study by scientists led by Kevin Eggan and Steven McCarroll, they identified about five lines of stem cells out of 140 that were approved for clinical application with cancerous DNA in them. (Source: Study at Harvard University on cancer-causing mutations in stem cells). And while this may seem like a very small chance, it probably wouldn’t matter if one got some form of cancer. While the so-called, Regenerative medicine revolution has been underway for about 20 or so years now, the identification of these cancer-causing mutations in stem cells have been a thing since the early 1800s. However, it was only until about 10 or so months that scientists have been able to selectively locate individual lines of stem cells with the mutation. Eggan says the main problem with the application of the cells grown in labs is these cells have the tendency to acquire the same kinds of genes found in cancers. “And the research into the subject is currently too young to attempt the removal of such a gene.” Other experts, such as Dr. Scripps Loring, have said “there is no reason to assume that the sky is falling.” “However, we cannot rule out the possibility of other cancerous mutations found in these cells.” Experts, like Loring and Eggan have said in the past that the discovery of these cancerous genes being present in stem cells shouldn’t completely throw out the practice; but they do need to be warier of other cancers that could live in these stem cells.

Works Cited: Begley, Sharon. “Cancer-Causing DNA Found in Stem Cells Used in Some Clinical Trials.”STAT, 5 May 2017, stem-cells-cancer-mutations/. Hicks, Jesse. “Scientists Found Cancer-Causing DNA in Stem Cells Given to Patients.”Tonic, 28 Apr. 2017, Vertes, Eva. “Meet the Future of Cancer Research.” TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, transcript.


writer [rahy-ter] noun 1. a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., an author or journalist. 2. a person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc. to writing


Comparing the works of King and O'Brien in the Civil Rights era and the Vietnam War era by Gray Long

Martin Luther King Jr. once said “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” (King, 265) These words embody the spirit of the people of the United States. American people, especially young Americans, have always had a sense of moral obligation to stand up for what’s right. Two examples of this are the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. These movements have much in common such as the stance the protesters took and the results of their protest. Without the bravery and leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. and soldiers like Tim O’Brien, our society would not be the place it is today. The United States would be closer to a dictatorship than a government for the people. The Civil Rights Movement was a fight for racial equality that took place during the 1950’s and 60’s. There were many leaders that helped spread the movement but the most impactful leader was the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King was a Baptist preacher and helped found the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. King preached for equality among all people. (King, 125) Dr. King was opposed to rioting and believed in loving your enemy and spreading love not hate. He delivered many historic speeches such as his “I Have A Dream” speech. Dr. King also impacted the Civil Rights Movement with many of his writings. During a peaceful protest in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. King was arrested and put in jail. While imprisoned he wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” He addressed some clergymen who questioned his purpose for protesting. Martin Luther King’s philosophies have had a lasting impact on American society that continues to impact people worldwide today. He is a perfect example of someone who saw an issue and saw how wrong it was and took a stand. It would’ve been a much easier path to sit back and not bother taking a stand. King took the unpopular stand and sacrificed his life for an important cause. If society did not have influential people like this, the United States could have become closer to a dictatorship than a free republic. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” The Vietnam war was a war fought between North and South Korea between November 1955 and April 1975. North Korea was supported by Communist countries like the Soviet Union and China. South Korea was supported by the United States. The war was to stop the spread of Communism. This war was not only fought on foreign soil but also at home in the United States. The war was very controversial to Americans, and it split the country in two. Many Americans believed that the United States had no authority to meddle in this war while others believed the United States had to stop the spread of communism at all costs. There were many protests by young Americans who opposed 18 year olds being drafted to fight in a war for a cause that they didn’t believe in. One of these fresh faced 18 year old drafted soldiers was Tim O’Brien. After coming home from the war, O’Brien published many works of literature about what he and his fellow soldiers endured during the war. His most famous book is “The Things They Carried” which is a collection of war stories. O’Brien once said, “blood was being shed for uncertain reasons.” This quote speaks volumes to the attitude of many Americans. People did not understand why the United States was in Vietnam. It is a truly deep and personal book where he shares with the reader the guilt and pain he suffers from the war. The United States would be a much different place if not for the bravery of writing like Tim O’Brien. It is difficult for veterans to discuss the horrors they experienced in battle but because of books such as “The Things They carried”, we are able to understand what soldiers go through and see the troubles of forcing young men to fight a war that they do not support. (Clarke, 134) Today, the United States military has become a full volunteer program. Now men are not drafted but rather volunteer. The protesters took a stance and opposed the government. This made a difference and led to the American soldiers finally being pulled from Vietnam and returned home, but not before thousands of American lives were lost. This is a unmistakeable 28

example of the vigor of the American people. They saw an issue and took a stand. Through the American People and brave men like Tim O’Brien and MLK, we are able to learn from our mistakes of the past and not shy away from them and to better life for Americans for years to come. We can all learn things from what these brave people in American history have taught us. King taught us that the time is always right to do what’s right. (Miller, 421)King taught us that if you stay true to what you believe and you spread love, not hate, then you can make a lasting impact. Martin Luther King Jr. died fighting for the equality of people everywhere and his legacy has lived long into the future. Tim O’Brien shared with us his war stories which helps us to understand our past and learn from our mistakes. Tim O’Brien is still alive today and touring the country sharing with people his experiences. The Civil Rights era and Vietnam war era were two extremely difficult times for the United States and if not for the bravery and leadership of these Americans and others like them the United States may have never rebounded from these difficult times. Works Cited Clarke, Michael Tavel. ““I Feel Close to Myself”: Solipsism and US Imperialism in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.” College Literature, vol. 40, no. 2, 2013, pp. 130–154., doi:10.1353/lit.2013.0018. Darda, Joseph. “MLK at the LA Riots: Civil Rights, Memory, and Neoliberalism in Charles Johnson’s Dreamer.” Twentieth-Century Literature, Mieder, Wolfgang. “Behold the Proverbs of a People: Proverbial Wisdom in Culture, Literature, and Politics.” Project MUSE, University Press of Mississippi, Miller, Keith D. “On Martin Luther King Jr. and the Landscape of Civil Rights Rhetoric.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs, vol. 16, no. 1, 2013, p. 167., doi:10.14321/rhetpublaffa.16.1.0167. Pasternack, Donna. Keeping the Dead Alive: Revising the Past in Tim O’Brien’s War Stories.”. 7719&CID=100E42ED2F5660713D9B496E2EF961D5&rd=1&h=JozqZLio2ZEj43Z9y9oqmGxs4Tf6sHUxFR6NaDhr-y4&v=1&r=https%3a%2f%2fwww.,5068.1. Renee H. Shea (Author),‎ Lawrence Scanlon (Author),‎ . “The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric 3rd Edition.” The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric: Renee H. Shea, Lawrence Scanlon, Robin Dissin Aufses, Megan Harowitz Pankiewicz: 9781319056148: Amazon. com: Books, Vanderwees, Chris. “Resisting Remasculinization: Tim O’Brien’s “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong”.” Feminist Studies in English Literature, vol. 17, no. 2, 2009, pp. 191–210., doi:10.15796/fsel.2009.17.2.007.

Stem Cell Research by Gray Long “Stem Cell Research: It’s about Life and Death, Not politics” was a truly impactful paper to me. I have studied the science of genetic mutations and cloning in school for many years. I understand how the process works and the risks and rewards of exploring these studies. I have always been opposed to this because of the moral issues it presents but, after reading this article I have become conflicted. Hearing Ross’s use of Pathos, Ethos, and Logos have convinced me to reopen the argument and get a fresh look at the topic. The most impactful to me was Ross’s use of Pathos. Ross writes this article as a man pleading for his life. He knows the clock is ticking on him and he knows he may not be saved but he wants future generations to not have to face what he is going through. This really pulled at me because this was not a article by a doctor in a medical journal

instead, it was a man who is living and dealing with this disease everyday. He is forced to sit by and watch his body decay while the President of the United States argues against the very thing that could save his life. Ross uses Ethos to make himself a reliable source. Ross is reliable because he is living and coping with the disease. Ross can paint us a vivid picture of what he his living with. Ross’s uses Logos to help drive his point home. He states that “20,000 Americans per year will get the same kind of brain cancer I did.” Ross does a fantastic job of calling people to action. 20,000 Americans will die as we sit by and don’t attempt to do anything. It is our American duty to do everything within our power to save and protect all Americans.


ARISTOTLE vs. emerson by Anna Matthews

Happiness is known as the state of being content, satisfied, and joyful. Many believe that happiness comes from material items like money and popularity. Humans often think that our happiness is reliant on the society and the people that surround us. This philosophy is challenged by Aristotle’s and Emerson’s beliefs. Emerson and Aristotle, who were both well-known philosophers during completely different times, believed in the same idea concerning the nature of happiness and that an individual has the ability and right to be happy. While Emerson learned and obtained knowledge from past philosophers, Emerson’s main belief focused mainly on the principle that each person must live according to his own life and that the world around him is for the purpose of his own education. According to this belief, Emerson believed that the state of society and past history corresponds to our life, but it should not determine our own choices. (Emerson 2) Emerson once stated, “He should see that he can live all history in his own person. He must sit at home with might and main, and not suffer himself to be bullied by kings or empires, but know that he is greater than the geography and all the government of the world” (Emerson 64). Basically, Emerson said that we can use the past history to make our own happy life that we create on our own. We can create our own happy life by using our own thoughts and beliefs and not allow the government or society to overrule. In order to be educated and live a life based on our own insight, Emerson suggested that the education of the scholar is through nature, books and action. Emerson realized how reading books is one of the most useful tools. Emerson’s beliefs reflected on the usefulness of books, but he also believed that they were only useful if the reader kept his own creativity throughout the book. Emerson’s opinion on schools is still relevant today. He once made the point that schools taught boys to be the average man, when they should be teaching them to be the best version of themselves, and not live up to the standard of others. Students need to be taught to work hard and achieve everything they are capable of instead of being held back by standards. At times, students are taught to strive and model themselves to be like someone who had already accomplished greatness, but Emerson’s view of education stated that people need to be taught to achieve their own creative greatness and be different. (Emerson 4) Emerson believed that no teacher can teach you how to accomplish greatness and success. As humans, we have to use our ability and knowledge to become the best version of our self. Emerson best explained this through a quote that states “I believe that our own experience instructs us that the secret of education lies in respecting the pupil. It is not for you to choose what he shall know, what he shall do. It is chosen and foreordained and he only holds the key to his own secret.” (Emerson3) Looking into and learning what Emerson’s beliefs consisted of, it was obvious that by allowing a child to have their own perception, inspiration and to search for one’s own truth is a crucial part of growing up. It is well known that practice makes perfect. Therefore, Emerson stated that giving students practice in action would help learn accuracy and precision in their own beliefs. These points in training are referred to by Emerson as Genius and Drill. (Emerson4) According to the belief of Emerson, the correct education and one’s desire to use their own creativity and knowledge to achieve greatness will inevitably lead to happiness. Emerson accurately compiles all his beliefs through a quote that states, “The beautiful nature of the world has here blended your happiness with your power. Work straight on in absolute duty, and you lend an arm and an encouragement to all the youth of the universe. Consent yourself to be an organ of your highest thought.” (Emerson 4) Similar to Emerson, Aristotle believed that happiness depends on oneself and one’s decisions. Aristotle devoted most of his time to the topic of happiness more than other thinkers during his era. A key question Aristotle strived to answer throughout his work was “What is the ultimate purpose of human existence?” Aristotle preached that happiness was the end goal and the ultimate purpose for human existence. Aristotle and Emerson both agreed that people seek happiness from material items, but Aristotle and Emerson both believed that happiness is always an end in itself. Happiness does not come from material goods in this world, but from how you choose to live your life. “He is happy who lives in accordance with complete virtue and is sufficiently equipped with external goods, not for some chance period but throughout a complete life.” (Aristotle 3) Having a good moral character is key according to Aristotle. Aristotle referred to a good moral character as “complete virtue”. Just like Emerson stated, Aristotle also stated that happiness consists of achieving and succeeding over a whole lifetime. Striving to be successful 30

in everything one does is the best way to achieve happiness. Decision making has a major role in success and happiness. All decisions determine happiness including educational decisions, health decisions, and who you decide to surround your life around. Aristotle simply said “We will not achieve happiness simply by enjoying the pleasures of the moment.” (Aristotle 4) Happiness comes from the exercise of virtue and how one acquires a moral character. Aristotle and Emerson both explained that others do not determine our future or happiness. All in all, both philosophers believed that happiness depends very heavily on whether one displays the virtues of courage, generosity, justice, friendship, and citizenship of one’s life. Emerson once said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” (Emerson 1) While Aristotle did believe that life’s end goal for everyone should be happiness, Aristotle and Emerson were both very similar on their thoughts of happiness. They both expressed that the purpose of happiness is not to feel good about yourself in certain moments, but to live your whole life pursing knowledge, health, wealth, and good morals that will lead to success and allow you to live a happy life style full of happiness.

Works Cited “Aristotle and Emerson on the ‘Ultimate End.’” Literature and the Environment, “Aristotle.” Pursuit of Happiness, 10 Sept. 2016, “Emerson’s Philosophy of Education.” Emerson’s Philosophy of Education by Sanderson Beck, Morton M. Sealts, Jr. “Emerson as Teacher.” In Emerson Centenary Essays., pp. 180-190.


ARISTOTLE's death and legacy by Anna Matthews Aristotle, who lived from 384-322 B.C.E, was one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Aristotle was born in the small Greek town of Stagiros. Around the age of seventeen, Aristotle joins Plato’s circle at the academy in Athens, Greece which is a school for philosophers. He remained at the school for twenty years. While Aristotle greatly respected Plato and even admired him, they shared many differences, causing a break in the relationship. Upon Plato’s death, Aristotle begins to leave his legacy through his teachings, school, and writings. Aristotle’s influence served as the basis in Ancient Greek and Roman times and continued to affect it thousands of years later. Aristotle began his teachings when Phillip II reached out to Aristotle to tutor his son Alexander. Phillip II wanted his son to study with the best therefore he sought out Aristotle. Aristotle inspired Alexander’s love for literature and taught him much about persuasion and motivation, which makes sense due to one of Aristotle’s great books “The Art of Rhetoric”. From Aristotle tutoring Alexander, he became known Alexander the Great which is a legacy Aristotle left behind. When people think of Aristotle they think of Alexander the Great and what he accomplished. It is known that that Aristotle encouraged Alexander towards eastern conquest. One famous example that of Aristotle is when he counsels Alexander to be “a leader to the Greeks and a despot to the barbarians, to look after the former as after friends and relatives, and to deal with the latter as with the beasts or plants.” Aristotle gave Alexander the confidence to explore, discover, and learn which left a major legacy for not only Alexander the Great but also Aristotle. Alexander would not have accomplished very he did without the tutoring and encouragement from Aristotle. For thirteen years Alexander led an army of Greek soldiers on a military adventure across Persia, Egypt and even into India. Aristotle’s passion for the natural world influenced Alexander greatly. While he tutored Alexander, and left a major impact and legacy, Aristotle also started a school where he taught many others leaving an impact. Lyceum was known as a Peripatetic School because it means to stroll and Aristotle liked to stroll through the school groves discussing and teaching philosophy and rhetoric to his students. Aristotle taught for twelve years leading his student to do great things just like he helped Alexander. While Aristotle spent his time teaching in Athens it is known to be the time he also composed many of his writings. His works consists of lecture notes or texts used by his students and only a few are still around but all his writings are a part of his legacy because it talks about physics, metaphysics, poetics, and a lot about science. People believe that Aristotle’s system of thought remains to be one of the greatest and influential one ever created by a single person and single mind. Aristotle is known to be the philosopher who has contributed so much to the enlightenment of the world. After Aristotle fled prosecution, he contracted a disease of the digestive organs and died. Right after his death, his works were put off to the side and were not used for a short period of time. They were later revived and laid a foundation of philosophy for more than seven centuries. His works influenced ideas from late antiquity all the way through the Renaissance. Works Cited Farrier, Marshall. “Aristotle.” Aristotle Legacy. N.p., n.d. Web. “Methodology.” Aristotle’s Triple Threat Legacy by Professor Julia Evergreen Keefer. N.p., n.d. Web. Shields, Christopher. “Aristotle.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 25 Sept. 2008. Web.


"Excellence is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle


Walking with my best friends by Peyton McPherson When I was six years old, there is a picture of me sitting in my grandparents’ yard with puppies in my lap. Every day I take my dogs for a walk as the sun is going down to my grandparents’ pond house sitting by a picturesque lake. Beautiful sunsets reflect on the water. As I am walking down the wooded path behind my house with my companions, I observe the beauty of nature that looks like it’s been painted on a canvas. When I watch the dogs lapping the water, I am reminded of the beauty of life. It is perfect when I look across the lake and see all the beauty going on. I could just lay in the grass at the pond house all day and look at the beauty that’s up in the sky or even try to guess what the clouds resemble. Walking down a path seeing nature, looking at the sky, watching my dogs run around the pond house brings a sense of calmness to my world. Just admiring my surroundings and taking it all in is so magical because I never know what I might find. The sky at sunset is so colorful as I lay in the grass all I say can about it is “wow”. The best part is when the dogs are tired and will come lay next to me while giving me a bunch of kisses on my face. While my dogs and I lay there in the grass looking up at the colorful sky, I begin to wonder how something can be so beautiful. The love that is shared between a girl and her dogs at sunset is irreplaceable. Watching the sunset at the pond is almost like a dream come true because it gets more beautiful every time I see it. The beauty in caring for my dogs as they are running around the field by the lake brings so much joy into life. Caring for my dogs is like caring for humans because both need certain essentials a day. For example, like going for a walk everyday with my dogs is good not only for me but for my dogs as well. Walking at sunset with my pals, we both feel the breeze blowing in our hair, which is the most calming and magical thing I have ever felt. There’s just something about being in nature while admiring its beauty all around you. The beauty from it while walking the dogs is like I’m in another world. Just being there looking up and thinking how this can be real life because it so pretty with the blues, oranges, purples, and even pinks. Watching the dogs run around the pond house having the time of their life is so magical. The dogs running up to you to drink water, their little beards wet and as they give you a big kiss, I ask myself what can be better than this? The answer is really nothing can be better than the height of my happiness to sit there and look up at the beautiful sky and to admire the beauty that’s around me. As the sun goes all the way down and I see no more color, I appreciate just how peaceful it is. In conclusion what could be more beautiful than looking at the sun go down with the best friends you have ever had by your side? Nothing can be better than to lie down in the grass as I look up at the sky as it takes my breath away each time I see it. It’s like I’m in another place where nobody is: just a girl living her best life with the best friends that she has ever had. These moments I keep as permanent photographs in my mind.


TED TALK by Peyton McPherson My Ted Talk person was Catherine Mohr and she talked about how the Da Vinci robot is one of the most innovative ways to perform surgery. She discussed the past, present, and future of the Da Vinci robot and how it will improve with future use. The doctor at St. Joseph’s hospital performing Da Vinci surgeries observes they are very effective because they are less scary because of efficiency and shortened time and less painful as well. This article tells about the doctor’s experiences and thoughts on using this method as well. A video showing the doctor performing surgery via the Da Vinci robot is fascinating. Catherine Mohr explains that she wasn’t always going into this field until she discovered it would utilize her love of “tinkering”. ‘I was going to be a chemistry professor but then I realized I was a tinkerer at heart” ( Mohr). This is how the Da Vinci robot came along. Catherine Mohr decided that her love of tinkering was more important than her love for chemistry. Her love of tinkering was taking things apart and being able to put it back together. The idea she says, ‘I felt like going into a chemistry major s a professor would make me give up the love I have for tinkering.” ( mercury The Da Vinci robot was named after Da Vinci because of his love of the human body as well as his study of Anatomy and Physiology. It is controlled by the surgeon himself, for every move that the surgeon makes, the Da Vinci robot follows his moves. This robot can perform surgeries such as cardiac, cancer and gallbladder surgery. Emory uses this in the Cardiac part of its hospital and the surgeon’s name is Douglas Author. “Emory hospital performs with the Da Vinci robot for a heart valve repair that needs to be taken care of.” (Douglas. healthcare The Da Vinci robot has been very successful in the means that it is able to perform surgery very effectively and in 3 days you can be out of the hospital. They have meetings about the da Vinci robot and what is the most effective way of using of the Da Vinci robot and what the Da Vinci robot is. There are people from Canada, UK, USA who come from different cities around the world to be able to have more Da Vinci’s robot all around the world. ( As far as the present and the future of the Da Vinci robot, Catherine Mohr plans on new developments over time. The present use of the Da Vinci is that it is performing multiple different surgeries such as cancer removal. The movement right now with the Da Vinci robot is very accurate in the means that it follows the surgeon’s movement that he or she makes. Mohr is now working on new technologies to eliminate any malfunctions using the robotic method. Another thing of the future of the Da Vinci robot is lowering more of the cost of the surgery. ( In conclusion the past, present, and future of the Da Vinci robot is important considering this robot is performing an increasing number of successful, less painful, and less costly surgeries. (The Da Vinci robot is performing all kinds of surgeries now like cancer removal and even gallbladder removal surgery.) The future of the Da Vinci robot is unlimited.


Greece vs. rome by Sam Potter Civilizations have developed and then fallen over thousands of years. Hundreds advanced technology, art, and culture, while others seemed to only leave destruction in their wake. While both Greece and Rome did wage large scale battles, no other nations have had the same effect on the modern world as these two cultural (and often militaristic) giants. The Greeks, who preceded the Roman civilization, developed from the dark ages after the fall of the Mycenaean civilization. Subsequent to this fall, city states developed as their own independent nations and then coalesced into the Greek Empire. Though this empire grew quickly and gained vast swaths of territory, Rome, which developed as Greece fell, became one of the largest land empires this world has ever seen. While Rome assimilated much of Greek culture into their own, there were several significant differences between the empires, notably in their history, art, economy, religion, and government. Greece developed from the dark ages following the fall of the Mycenaean civilization and as it advanced, divided into several different city states due to the land’s geography. Each city-state was different, and though the inhabitants may have looked and spoken similarly, the underlying culture, power, and belief system differed immensely (Osborne, 187). However, in each area, land proved to be the most valuable resource, and all economic development hinged on its supply. Hundreds of Greek colonies sprang up from 750 B.C. to 600 B.C., and while some of the smallest communities consisted of a few hundred individuals, the grandest (Sparta) ranged over 300 square miles and contained vast amounts of civilians (Reynolds, 417). Over time, though, trade began to develop and new leaders grew. These “tyrants,” as they were called, often brought with them enlightened ideals, some of which led to the advent of democracy. After this, the era of Classical Greece began, where the nation flourished and fought off the extensive Persian Empire. After this, the most famous Greek city-state, Athens, reached the peak of its power, and finally the last stage of Greece, Classical Greece. After this period, Phillip of Macedon conquered the Greek city-states and ushered in the Hellenistic era, which is marked by Alexander the Great and his conquests. Ironically, possibly the greatest land general to ever walk this earth, Alexander the Great, was killed from a mosquito. When he contracted malaria and died, the empire he had labored to develop quickly began to fall apart. In 31. B.C. the last bit of the historic Macedonian empire fell to a relatively new and upcoming nation, Rome. According to Legend, Rome’s beginnings can be traced to two brothers, Remus and Romulus, the sons of the war god, Mars. After killing his brother, Romulus became the first king of the new empire named it after himself, Rome. Regardless of this tale’s reality, in 509 B.C., Rome transitioned from a monarchy to a republic. After this transition, Rome began to expand exponentially. After taking over all of the Italian peninsula, Rome continued its expansion into the Western Mediterranean, Northern Africa, and much of Spain in three conquests known as the Punic Wars. However, the mass growth led to inner turmoil, and gaps between the patricians and plebeians (commoners vs privileged) grew immensely. Even still, the victorious military leader, Pompey, returned to form the First Triumvirate with Marcus Crassus and Julius Caesar. However, it soon became clear that Caesar was becoming overwhelmingly powerful in both political influence and economic clout. A civil war soon ignited and at its conclusion, Caesar had emerged as the sole dictator of all of Rome. Soon after though, plotting enemies murdered Caesar, and Rome was thrown into turmoil. Caesar’s adopted son, Octavian joined forces with Consul Marc Antony and crushed those who had murdered Caesar. This led to the Second Triumvirate where Antony ruled in the East, and Octavian in the West. The triumvirate soon dissolved and another war broke out, pitting Antony and Cleopatra against Octavian. Octavian triumphed over Antony’s forces and became Rome’s sole leader. By 27 B.C. he had assumed the title of Augustus, and become the first true emperor of Rome. Rome then entered a period of about 200 years where peace and prosperity flourished. This was known as the Pax Romana, and in it Roman religion, art, language, and culture spread out over the world. Beginning with the reign of an inept nineteen-year-old named Commodus, the golden age of Rome concluded, and the empire began to disintegrate. Though the Eastern portion of Rome would continue for hundreds of years as the Byzantine Empire, the West fell into turmoil, and due to numerous factors (over-expansion, economic issues, barbarian invasions, Christianity’s rise, etc.) it fell in 476 A.D. to a German prince named Odovacar. When Greece finally fell to Rome, Rome adopted much of Greek culture. Due to this, much of Roman culture is quite similar to Greece. However, this does not mean that there were no differences. In fact, in terms of art, the two nations diverged significantly. For example, though both Greece and Rome employed the use of white marble, the Greeks focused on enhancing their statue’s features while the Romans were more realistic in their portrayals. The Romans also sculpted busts of their 36

senators which made them look more serious and masculine. Unlike the Greeks, which only painted large jugs (amphora), the Romans produced mosaics and large paintings. Similar to the sculptures, though, the Greeks focused more upon the idea of “making an image beautiful”, while the Romans tended to adhere to the confines of reality (Osborne, 187). Both Greece and Rome had economies based on agriculture. Past this, though, there are few similarities. Greeks believed the ultimate goal, or ideal life, was a “state of self-sufficiency” (Reynolds, 431). They believed trade to be a degrading and volatile practice, and it was highly discouraged. Rome, though, not only traded with several nations, but they became reliant on its conduction. Rome exported and imported various items throughout their Mediterranean empire, and because of this, a network of thousands of well-kept roads developed. While Greece and Rome both coined their currency, each’s system varied. The value a Greek coin had was mainly based on the value of the coin’s material, while the Roman’s debased their currency. By doing this, they were able to fund their extensive empire. It is a common misconception that when the Romans took over Greece, they simply adopted all the Greek gods. While it is true that the Romans did keep the same gods with their same duties, they changed the names of each one, and practiced religion in completely different ways. The Greeks loved the Gods and believed life’s primary goal was to keep them happy. Animal sacrifices were commonplace, and “religion was the pinnacle of focus for all people” (Csaba, 387). The Romans, however, were much less devout. Initially, the Romans simply worshipped deities of the natural elements (fire, earth, sea, etc.), but when they took over Greece, they quickly adopted the Greek gods as their own. Even after this though, the Romans only worshipped out of fear. They believed the gods were cold and formal, and religion was not the revered concept it was in Greek culture (Bay, 574). Though the two empires may have worshipped the same Gods, they did so in extremely different ways. The two nations also utilized very different governments. Though Greece consisted of several different city-states, all of which had varied forms of self-rule, the center of Greece, Athens, was originally ruled by kings (Reynolds, 429). Later, an oligarchy, where the city was controlled by a few militaristic leaders took over. Finally though, Athens developed democracy, and it is largely for this development that the ancient Greeks are so well remembered. Democracy is a form of government where citizens rule themselves through extensive voting. Similarly, Rome was established under a monarchy. In 509 BC, though, the citizens overthrew these Roman rulers and put in place a Republic. In this form of government, the people elect officials who then make decisions (the United States employs this type of government), and it is under this system that Rome flourished. Due to a period of murder, depression, and anguish, Rome reverted to an empirical nation before falling to pieces a few hundred years later. Greece and Rome were the two most impactful nations in history. Greece rose out of an era of turmoil and suffering to become not only mighty, but extremely cultured. Their values of literature and art, as opposed to simply the sword, created a legacy that has persevered into the modern era. Their development of democracy, though, proved to be their greatest achievement. This development, though not realized until one-thousand years later, ushered in golden eras of peace and advancement which continues today. Rome, though, was the greatest nation in human history. It recognized and took in much of Greek culture, but it also developed abundant original ideas, like aqueducts and sewage systems. More than their inventions though, the Romans ushered in an era of unheard peace and flourishment. Rome brought stability to vast amounts of land, and ruled with such strength and utter dominance, that their fall shattered the framework of the Mediterranean and the world. When Rome fell, the western portion fell into what is known as the dark ages. Rome’s absence created incredible hardship, and when the Renaissance commenced, it was in essence a restoration of old Roman ideals. Greece and Rome were two of the most dynamic and influential nations the earth has ever seen. The two nations ruled with authority and force, and their impacts were phenomenal. Though the two nations differed in several aspects, they molded history, and shaped the earth in ways that continue to have enormous effects today. Works Cited Bay, Carson. “The Homeric Gods: The Spiritual Significance of Greek Religion.” Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol. 23, no. 4, 1958, pp 573-575, Academic Search Complete Csaba, Szabó. “Roman Religion – Religions of Rome” Studia Antiqua et Archeologica, Vol. 20, 2014, pp 383-390. Osborne, Robin. “The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece.” American Historical Review. Vol. 121, no. 1, 2016, pp 187. History Reference Center, Reynolds, Roger. “Considering the Roots of JUSTICE.” Contemporary Music Review, vol. 34, nos. 5-6, 2015, pp 416-440


Algebra College Essay by Sam Potter

Algebra, the mathematical concept in which letters or other symbols represent numbers or quantities in formulae and equations. Sounds confusing right, well you aren’t alone. Though I like to consider myself a relatively analytical person, when my mom decided the time was ripe for my undertaking of this mathematical endeavor, I soon realized I was woefully unprepared. I was in the second grade, and as I ventured into the basement with my mother, I was excited. I loved to learn, and I was an excessively curious person. My parents put limits on the questions I was allowed to ask in an hour, and I still have scars on my abdomen from where I wondered, “How close can I get to this white-hot lightbulb without burning myself?” Still though, in my juvenile mind, I was ready to master this foreign concept of Algebra. As I took my seat beside my mother on the rusted seats, she placed a sheet of paper and some pencils in front of me and began to write. “Why are you putting letters in there?” I incessantly asked. “Just wait,” she told me, “and I’ll explain.” “Can I try now.” “Just wait like two minutes, Sam.” This of course was torturous for me. In my mind I continued to repeat, “Why, Why, Why,” as she continued to scribble down letters and numbers all jumbled together in what looked like an unorganized heap. Even with my confusion though, I was confident I could figure out the answer. I am extremely competitive, often to a fault, but I knew I could conquer this mess of weird symbols. Finally, after eternities of waiting, she put her pencil down and said, “Ok, go for it.” I lunged at first sight and began by adding all the numbers together. I received a nod from my mom, and thought, “Wow, I’m really good at this.” I continued and when both sides of the equation had only number and some weird other thing with numbers and letters together I proclaimed, “Done!” with a smug grin. To my surprise my mom simply shook her head and said, “No you’re not.” I was dumbfounded. How could I not be done. I had done everything that could possibly be done. All the numbers were added together and even two had been multiplied. That was the extent of math. I was sure of it. I hated failure though, and I was not about to admit I had no clue what do to next, so I stared blankly at the paper and said, “Uhhhh, oh yeah, ok, right, my bad,” as I picked up the pencil and began to aimlessly trace the graphite across the white sheet. This continued for almost ten minutes, and as I have now realized, my mom exercised extreme patience. Eventually, my mom saved me from my struggle and said, “Why don’t you try subtracting out one of the x’s on that side?” Enlightened, I exclaimed, “Oh! Ok, that makes sense!” and subtracted the x from one side leaving a solved equation… so I thought. “Almost,” my mother said as she brutally unraveled my accomplishment, “but whatever you do to one side of the equals sign you have to do to the other.” Thus commenced the most vivid memory of my childhood. “Why?” I replied. “Because that’s just what you have to do to solve the problem,” she told me. “But why?” I asked yet again. 38

“Because when you do that you can combine the x’s and can solve the equation,” she replied, yet again. “Why?” This continued for nearly twenty minutes, as if the conversation was on a replaying circuit, until we eventually reached the climax. “But that doesn’t make sense!” I cried out. “Just try it Sam!” she scolded, not even trying to hide her irritation anymore. “But I don’t know how!” I exclaimed, without even picking up my pencil. Eventually that day came to a close, and all that I could show for it was a fight with my mom. I had not learned algebra as I had been too confident and stubborn for her to show me how. I thought I could do everything on my own. I didn’t need help. Slowly though, over the next few weeks this began to change. I downloaded an app which taught basic algebra, and as I moved along I began to look to my mom more and more for direction. Though I still remain headstrong, not learning algebra that day was an essential part of my childhood development. It was that day I learned I couldn’t do everything on my own. I needed others more than I needed me. I was not an expert in really anything, let alone everything. To this day my mother and I still joke about it, but never in my life will I forget the terror, humiliation, and brutal growth, those ghastly numbers and symbols brought me.



Profile for St. George's Episcopal School

The Torch - May 2018 Publication  

St. George's Episcopal School High School Literary Magazine

The Torch - May 2018 Publication  

St. George's Episcopal School High School Literary Magazine