Every senior at Dublin School delivers a senior presentation in Morning Meeting during their senior year. They are asked to share some aspect of themselves before answering questions from the audience. It is one of my favorite community building traditions at Dublin.
This morning a senior named Michael delivered a mesmerizing talk about his experience with narrative. Lamenting the diminishing emphasis on “story” in literature, video games and film and television, Michael shared his experience with developing his own fictional worlds and characters. The audience of students and faculty seemed most impressed by the lengths Michael went to in creating a language and culture for the worlds his characters inhabit. To create these elements Michael engaged in an intensive study of linguistics and based his new language on what he learned about the Sumerian language system. In his new language, which emphasized close familial ties, nouns could be “verberized” into verbs to reflect the culture of this new world. He discussed how language and culture operate both in his world and in ours.
As I was walking out of the Shonk Recital Hall I heard students saying words like “brilliant,” “impressive,” and “fascinating.” These presentations, speaking in front of over 200 people, are not easy for our seniors and are part of their educational experience at Dublin. Faculty volunteers work closely with each senior to help them with both their speech content and delivery--well before they make it to the podium. I am so proud of the Class of 2015 and thank them for their wonderfully informative and heartfelt presentations.