March 2, 2017

The Gorilla Reader, January 2017

In January, a new edition of the Secondary School’s student newspaper, The Gorilla, swung onto the Oakwood campus. With stories on national and global topics such as the presidential turnover, feminism, political resistance, and journalistic integrity; pieces on local happenings such as Oakwood town meeting and Immersion; advice on how to handle a dinner party; and reviews of movies and comics, this issue of The Gorilla has something for everyone!

Below find highlights from just a handful of the 21 student writings in this most recent edition.

Hannah, a current 10th grader, focuses on the opposition to the new president in “Protesting the New Regime,” a piece that is at once a lament, a reassurance, and a call to action. “For those who are now in a state of fear and anger due to the political climate, you are definitely not alone,” she writes. “The many protests, marches, and walk-outs are a material testament to that.”

In “Goodbye to our President,” 11th grader Maya bids Obama farewell, noting his presence as a consistent backdrop to her youth. She writes,

In our journey from childhood through adolescence to adulthood, Obama was a stable influence when everything else in our world was changing.

Officials of a much more local constituency, 12th graders and Oakwood student body presidents Ella and Jake appeal to the student community in “Prez Thoughts on Town Meeting,” reminding us all of the importance of this unique, Oakwoodian tradition: “This space is as fragile as it is precious.”

In “Feminism Today: Personal or Political?” 11th grader Charlotte gives readers an insider’s look at her conversation with 80-year old Ann Tickner, distinguished feminist international relations scholar. Tickner’s provocative ideas and personal anecdotes shed an important light on the feminist movement at this point in our history. She says,

In order for [equality] to work we have to remove the barriers that make it possible for a woman to act like a man.

A photo from the Immersion course Death Valley Photography.

January’s Gorilla also dedicates ten of its writings to Immersion reflections, offering a wide range of snapshots from this special time at Oakwood that happens every December. For instance:

9th grader Alexander on his immersion class, “Freedom Fighters: A Civil Rights Road Trip”: “Everybody has a story to tell. The deep South is full of deep stories that need to be heard, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to listen to a few of millions.”

Ari, a 12th grader who took History and Production of TV Game Shows: “[Game shows create] a powerful bond that has allowed me to find community in unexpected places, like when I recently spontaneously engaged in an animated conversation about Deal or No Deal with my Uber driver.”

Claire, 11th grade, on the ongoing, larger goal of “The Pad Project” course: “The purpose of ‘The Pad Project’ is to educate a wider audience about the importance of girls’ education and to remove the stigma surrounding menstruation.”

11th grader Elle, who fell in love with New Orleans during her immersion, “NO/LA”: “Instead of hearing blaring car horns and constant construction, like we are so accustomed to in Los Angeles, the ‘white noise’ in New Orleans is a melody of unapologetic drum beats and brass bands that you cannot resist dancing to.”