Guest Speakers Discuss Careers in Creative Fields

Paul Alexander with daughter Fay, a CCSC humanities teacher.
Paul Alexander with daughter Fay, a CCSC humanities teacher.

Our 10th grade career speaker series has carried over into 2015, with visits from two professionals in creative fields. On January 9, Paul Alexander chief communications officer at Liberty Mutual Insurance (and father of teacher Fay Alexander), spoke about his career in marketing and advertising, and on January 13, graphic designer and publishing entrepreneur Darius Loftis talked about his work. Continue reading “Guest Speakers Discuss Careers in Creative Fields”

“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

Springhouse Seniors Visit

Prof. Holton and Mr. Cook
Prof. Holton and his former student, Mr. Cook

We were honored to have five residents of the Springhouse Senior Living Community in Jamaica Plain visit classes at CCSC this morning. Our guests sat in on three humanities classes in the Lower School. In Mr. Seton’s room, they listened as 7th graders learned about the Revolutionary War. In Mr. Pearce’s 8th grade class, they heard a vocabulary review and an expository writing lesson (the students’ homework assignment is to write a blog post explaining the concept of Hindu concept of karma.) Finally, they watched Ms. Thayer lead a discussion on The Crucible with 9th graders.

The visit came about because one of the residents, Mr. Will Holton, was Upper School Principal Chris Cook’s professor and advisor when Mr. Cook was an undergraduate at Northeastern University. Mr. Holton, who has followed his former student’s career as an educator with pride, was an associate professor of sociology and anthropology at NU for 30 years, starting in 1973. The Springhouse group also included a retired French and Spanish teacher. In a discussion with Mr. Cook afterward, the visitors commented on how focused and engaged the students were in their classes, and on the teachers’ skill in fostering broad class participation.

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