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What did you read/watch/listen to over spring break?

Posted on March 31, 2017 by

We asked and you answered!  Thanks for all your responses!

Class IV Dean and English Teacher E.B. Bartels ’06:
I rewatched Edward Scissorhands on a thirteen-hour plane ride back from Japan. I hadn’t seen it in about ten years, and I forgot how depressing it is, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Remember Johnny Depp pre-Pirates of the Caribbean? He’s actually a good actor. Who knew!?

Classics Teacher Mark Harrington:
“Travelers” on Netflix–Season 1 is 12 episodes–time travelers, so you have to be into that, but great characters and premise.

English Teacher Thomas Forteith:
I read and enjoyed Fools by Njabulo Ndebele.  It’s rather depressing but also a very powerful portrait of a corrupted teacher and impoverished township in South Africa under apartheid in the 1960s.

Bronwyn Jensen ’20:
I watched “The OA” and it was really good but sorta messed with my perception of life as we know it. Also, major cliffhanger at the end.

Director of Technical Theater Jon Bonner:
Listened to The Martian again on Audible… so good! It’s so much better than the movie. There are so many details and things that they change… book all the way!

Director of Admission Brooke Asnis ’90:
News of the World by Paulette Jiles. Incredible, haunting book. My favorite in years.

Summary: “1870, North Texas, rainy and cold. Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels from town to town giving readings from the latest newspapers, bringing the news of the world to isolated towns on the Texas frontier. In Wichita Falls, he is asked to return a captive girl to her relatives near San Antonio, 400 miles to the south. The old man and the ten-year-old start out on a hazardous journey, no less risky because the girl considers herself now a Kiowa and does not have the slightest desire to return. Bandits and Comanche raids and violent weather make as many difficulties as the ten-year old girl who can’t speak English, eats with her hands and knows how to use a revolver. In the end, he finds he must return her to relatives who don’t want her, even though he and the girl have become trusting friends.  A story of courage and honor and the truth that these two things are often the possession of even the unlikeliest people.

Katie Giordano ’17:
I finished watching “Weightlifting Fairy,” which is a Korean Drama. It was really interesting, and the characters were funny and flamboyant and goofy, portraying college love and exploring gender stereotypes.

Science Teacher Bob Kern:
I saw the movie Hacksaw Ridge, the true story of a conscientious objector who served in WW2 as a medic and without carrying a gun. It was well done and well acted and a great lesson about sticking to your beliefs in spite of all circumstances.

Assistant Controller Rachel Weinstock:
I’ve binge-watched “Call the Midwife,” a BBC TV show based on a memoir by a midwife based in London’s East End in the late 1950s. It chronicles the lives of young lay women living in a convent as they try to provide the best healthcare possible to the very poor.  It’s funny and poignant and beautiful, and also a really fascinating period show…and season six premieres on April 2!

Kiara Curet ’17
I watched the live action Beauty and the Beast movie over break and as you know it was amazing! I also watched the Vampire Diaries.

English Teacher Alden Mauck:
I read a John D. McDonald detective story featuring Travis McGee, The Deep Blue Goodbye … that was for fun and distraction; I also reread The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood featuring Offred… that was less fun and less distracting.

History Teacher Jenny Carlson-Pietraszek:
Kaffir Boy is an autobiography written by Mark Mathabane, a Black South African who grew up during apartheid in a homeland called Alexandra.  Trevor Noah’s autobiographical short stories compiled in Born a Crime provide insight into the same time period in the same country – even into the same homeland – from the perspective of a mixed-race South African.  Interesting paired reading/listening.

Casey Goldstein ’19:
I watched Moana on the plane ride back from China…definitely one of my favorite Disney movies! Crazy good soundtrack, and was pretty unique in terms of animated adventures. Also super funny!

Librarian Talya Sokoll:
I read Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, an amazing, quick read, that felt like a combination of The Chronicles of Narnia and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The students at the boarding school in Every Heart a Doorway have all traveled to different, fantastical worlds and now, upon their return, want nothing more than to go back.  Nancy, the newest student, is just like those children, but her arrival at the school brings certain truths to light, and exposes certain horrors that had otherwise been ignored.

Head of Upper School Michael Denning:
Madeleine Albright, Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937–1948
Autobiographical Prague Winter is based on Albright’s recollections of growing up as the daughter of Czechoslovak diplomats during the period from the fall of the nascent Czechoslovakian Republic through Nazi Occupation to life behind Stalin’s Iron Curtain. As the child of prominent Czechoslovak leaders, Albright had a front-row seat from which she witnessed the terrible suffering that unfolded in her country during this period. As a person who lost many family members in the Holocaust, not to mention her country, Albright uses her experiences, and those of her family and fellow Czechoslovak citizens, to warn us of the democracy’s fragility.

Director of Academic Support Gia Batty:
I listened to the book Idaho by Emily Ruskovich. It is a story told through many different voices of a heinous crime and its effect on those involved. The mountains of Idaho’s panhandle is the backdrop, and the description of the landscape and the family home on the top of Mount Lily was beautiful. The narrator of the audiobook had a very strange voice, so I would recommend reading this book, rather than listening to it!

Bookstore Manager Amy McHugh:
Over break I read two books: Truly, Madly, Deeply by Liane Moriarty. This fiction book was about three different families and how their lives came together through one tragic event. I thought it was a page turner and it really showed you just how unpredictable life can be. You think you have your life all planned out and in the blink of an eye it changes!  I also read, Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. A great read, however this book was not what I expected, but I really enjoyed it. You will read about race, family, how people view other people and their upbringing.

Librarian Emily Tragert:
I read Ted Chiang’s short story collection Stories of Your Life and Others, which was amazing. Chiang is a technical writer for a software company, and you can see aspects of that in his writing–his stories are methodical and intricate–but he is also a master of plot. His stories build subtly and quietly to an emotional climax that somehow feels inevitable and surprising at the same time. One of the stories in this collection was the basis for the movie Arrival, which came out last year.




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