Hamlet Soliloquies for Modern Times

Sir Laurence Olivier as Hamlet in the 1948 film
Sir Laurence Olivier as Hamlet in the 1948 film.

The seniors in AP English Literature are reading Hamlet. While Shakespeare’s language may be unfamiliar to the millennial generation, teenagers of any era can relate to Hamlet’s angst-filled internal debate. Teacher Chase Ferree asked students to compose and read aloud a soliloquy about a personal dilemma. Here are three examples, each reflecting a modern anxiety Hamlet might have trouble understanding. Continue reading “Hamlet Soliloquies for Modern Times”

“Molina Speaks” Visits CCSC

Molina Speaks at CCSC on Sept. 14
Molina Speaks at CCSC on Sept. 14

On Saturday afternoon, renowned spoken word and hip hop artist, Molina Speaks, shared his experience and talent with thirty-some CCSC students. The workshop focused on messages related to storytelling. Molina asked students to consider who tells their stories and to evaluate the representation of race, class, power, and the future within the “dominant narrative.” Continue reading ““Molina Speaks” Visits CCSC”

Slam Poet Jose Olivarez Visits

Jose Olivarez
Jose Olivarez

Slam poet José Olivarez led a workshop with CCSC students on May 20. Cambridge is familiar turf for the Chicago-based Mr. Olivarez, who taught a spoken word elective at CCSC while he was an undergraduate at Harvard. After graduating, in 2010, he joined MATCH Corps, and is now a teaching artist with Young Chicago Authors, which hosts the Louder Than a Bomb youth poetry slam festivals nationally. He is also a poet in residence at two Chicago high schools, and the coauthor, with Ben Alfaro, of a forthcoming poetry chapbook about basketball, violence, and how boys learn to be men in our society.

At CCSC Mr. Olivarez performed two of his own poems, and then read “Underneath” by Jeff Kass, which he asked students to use as a prompt in composing their own poems.

CCSC humanities teacher Seth Pearce, who along with learning specialist Ann Cheng, met Mr. Olivarez while they were students at Harvard, remarked, “Students who attended the workshop wrote some great poems about what was “underneath their heart,” the memories, people and ideas that shaped them. José coached them to use more specific details and imagery to make their writing more powerful. It was a great honor to have such a distinguished poet come through, and I think the students really enjoyed it.”

Watch video of Jose Olivarez performing one of his poems at CCSC.

Slam poetry workshop at CCSC
Slam poetry workshop at CCSC

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Katie Riser and Chris Duffy
Katie Riser and Chris Duffy

1,000 Words: Stories About Photographs is the title of a collection of stories and poems written by nine CCSC students and published in collaboration with Open Stories Project, a Boston-based literacy organization. The book contains illustrations by a dozen local artists who volunteer with the nonprofit. Open Stories Project was one of several new extracurricular activities at CCSC this fall. Continue reading “A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words”