Flintridge Prep: Literature & Taking It One Step Further

On a sunny morning in February, a contingency from Flintridge Prep braved morning traffic, and made their way to the Archer School For Girls in Brentwood. There, they participated in the 7th Annual “Literature &” Conference: a meeting of literary minds from a variety of independent Los Angeles schools.

Four Prep seniors participated, along with students from Poly, Archer, Marlborough, Crossroads, Buckley, Windward, Pilgrim and Marymount. The presentations were divided into six panels. Bryn McFadden 13’s analytic essay “D’Film = Film Itself” was part of a panel moderated by Prep’s own Mr. Mike Miley of the English Department. Austin Roy ’13 and Natalie Rose Schwartz ’13 both participated in the panel “Monsters, Crazies and Real People.” Austin discussed “The Underlying Sanity of Insanity” in the play King Lear and the film Cabaret, while Natalie Rose focused on the motif of eyes as a defining component of humanity in the films Blade Runner and Never Let Me Go. The final presentation of the day was Josh Haug ‘13’s “Five Ways of Looking at Cars in LA,” which was part of a panel entitled “Connecting and Disconnecting.”

All four pieces were initially written for first semester English classes. The conference provided an opportunity to revisit those essays, long since turned in and graded, to revise and rework. Said Natalie Rose, “We are told in class to always write as though the paper was for a conference, with the clarity and detail you would provide for someone who doesn’t know the work. Even after striving for that goal initially, it took a fair bit of editing to have it conference-ready.” As Bryn put it, “[Preparing for Literature And] exposed me to the last step of the writing process: publishing.”

“Literature &” was initially developed by English teacher and senior class dean Dr. Tyke O’Brien, who taught at Archer before coming to Prep. Reflecting on the day’s events, she said, “I am always proud of our students at this conference, and this year I was especially so. The four who presented were articulate, interesting, confident, and scholarly. Many teachers commented afterwards that Natalie Rose, Josh, Bryn, and Austin each did fantastic jobs. It was inspiring to hear what students at many different schools have been working on—but, of course, I’m biased toward my own!”

For more information, visit www.flintridgeprep.org.

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