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Issue 23 • Nov-Dec Holiday 2018

Humans of The Tavern

Information: Interpretation & Action

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“Students on campus are not great consumers of information in the outside world, such as current events. This is because information is usually delivered to them through a push-based platform, which tends to be closely aligned to their political ideology or information they looked at in the past. It is not just a problem at Brooks; it is a national issue about how information is now being received.”

- Tote Smith, Brooks School

Interview by Nicole Li
& Hongru Chen

“In my opinion, as a boarder, I feel I have a more restricted access to understanding current events. To begin, while at Groton, I have very little knowledge of what is going on around me in the world. I just don’t have the time to read the news or turn on the TV to find the major headline of the day. On the occasion that we do talk about current events as a school, but I also feel that this is restricted. The same viewpoint is constantly reiterated, limiting understanding and knowledge of current events.”

- Grace Travis, Groton School

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Interview by
Katie Renevo
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"Since our community is such an integral part of the boarding school experience, there is a bit of a bubble that separates us from the “real” world. As such, people tend to be heavily influenced by the opinions of their peers, filtering their own views through how they believe other people would view the issue. I think this herd mentality exists not just in boarding schools, but high school in general, as students are often afraid to be perceived as too different, especially in regards to politics. People too easily lose track of what happens outside of school and get stuck on the difficult balance between interpreting information in their own way and allowing their views to be shaped by the community as a whole." 

- Ira Sobchyshyna, Milton Academy

Interview by Miriam Zhou

“I'm not concerned that the system restrains us about expressing unpopular opinions, but that it implies certain views and ideas. Some might feel unwelcome about sharing their points of view or even raising specific issues. A good example is the "Gender Hierarchy." I would much rather talk about differences between genders and ways, in which we can achieve gender equity, not equality. I think one of the crucial parts of any discussion is the ability to express your thoughts, in a way that you will be respectful. Unlike debate, the point of the discussion is to build upon different opinions, not crash them against each other.”

- Alex Litovchenko, NMH School

Interview by Max Alphonso
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“We receive news from other people like any other period in history but how that comes to us can be through spoken word, print media, social media, or television and radio. Any time we receive information, I think the natural response is, ‘Is that really true?’ In the process of consuming information, it’s good for students to be aware that they have to double check and fact check in this day of fake news and fake accusations of fake news. We use the information we consume to make decisions in all aspects of our lives but also just to know where we stand in the world. How do we feel about what is going on? Do we feel secure? Do we feel anxiety?  I think knowledge imparts freedom to some extent, and that’s why we crave it.”

- Donovan Marion, St. Mark's School

Interview and Photograph by Katie Park

“I don’t really like bringing up topics of the news unless there has been an ongoing conversation, or I am with a group of people I know will respect each others’ opinions. As a boarder I think I have more inclination to look at current events. Before I was at boarding school I had really no opinion on the news, since coming I have broadened my outlook on them.”

Madden, Tabor Academy

Interview by Lilly Earley

“I get most of my news from word of mouth and social media. I think that this gives me a broader perspective on different sides of a situation, but can distort the truth of a situation sometimes as people change facts to fit their own viewpoint. I try not to project my version of the truth onto other people as I am afraid of my secondhand perspective being incorrect, but when I am incorrect, I do try and change my take on a situation immediately and if I hear someone making the same incorrect assumptions as i did previously, I will correct them. If I don’t understand a situation, I will ask both my parents and my friends for their perspectives.”

Rosemary McIlroy, Phillips Exeter Academy

Interview by Emma Reach
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