9th Grade Visits MFA and Northeastern University

Students reflect on Kara Walker's "The Rich Soil Down There"
Students reflect on Kara Walker’s “The Rich Soil Down There” in the MFA’s contemporary art gallery.

The 9th grade class enjoyed a class outing on January 8. The field trip, organized by humanities teachers Katie Rieser and Heidi Thayer, included visits to the Museum of Fine Arts and Northeastern University.

At the MFA, students split into nine small groups, each led by a faculty chaperone, and fanned out across the museum’s sprawling galleries to track down a specific work of art that would serve as the basis of a challenging critical-thinking exercise. Once the group located their assigned painting or sculpture, they looked, discussed, and analyzed it in the context of the three essential questions that shape their study of humanities:

1. How does location affect who I am?
2. Who thrives in times of chaos?
3. What motivates us to reach our destinies?

Monet's "Waterlilies" informed one group's discussion.
Monet’s “Waterlilies” informed one group’s discussion.

Each student completed a written worksheet with his/her reflections on the assigned piece. Time permitting, the groups moved on to a second artwork and completed the same exercise. The assigned works spanned a wide range of genres and historical eras, from a European Renaissance woodcut (Albrecht Dürer’s Triumphal Chariot of Maximilian I) to an iconic 19th century American painting with a New England connection (Winslow Homer’s The Fog Warning) to a provocative contemporary mural on slavery (Kara Walker’s The Rich Soil Down There).

After a their morning at the MFA, the class walked to Northeastern University, where Upper School Principal and NU alum Chris Cook led them on a campus tour. At lunch they met CCSC graduate Sammy Gallegos ’12, now an NU freshman, who shared his perspective on transitioning to college.

Shout-outs to faculty chaperones: Heidi Thayer, Katie Rieser, Hallimeda Glickman-Hoach, Steve Henderson, Henry Schrader, Rachel Moody, Jessica DaSilva, and Erin Tucker—and to the 9th graders for being on their best behavior while representing CCSC off campus.

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