Thank you again for your patience and understanding last week as we navigated the unknown and unexpected. It seems a fitting, if unwelcome, end to a tumultuous year with many global and national conflicts emerging seemingly from nowhere. Over the past year, many of us have been looking at world and national events more closely to understand where we are and how we got here. Looking back at the passing year and ahead to new beginnings—our own and the world’s—requires candor, stamina, and hope.
While a year ago we might have felt stunned by the outcomes of our national elections, much work has been done in 2017 to reveal the interconnected histories and tangled roots of these political, economic, social, religious, and cultural struggles. After the break, I plan to write more about Turning Point School’s curricular and pedagogical innovations and implementations; one area of focus is our global curriculum, which integrates skills and content. With the increasing complexity of international markets, media, and migration, it is more important than ever that our students are skilled in the critical thinking and analysis that will be necessary to understand these complicated subjects and to resist the reductive ways they are often represented. To these ends, I have been compiling and reading some excellent global resources. With the break ahead, I hope to make some good headway.
While they are not the light holiday fare you may be craving, these highly regarded books will illuminate some subjects that have been mostly unseen; in this way, they resemble other holiday traditions that invite light into the darkest season. I invite you to read some of these and let me know what you think or to recommend others (thank you to parents and faculty whose recommendations are on the list below).
The Power, Naomi Alderman
American War, Omar El Akkad
Exit West, Mohsin Hamid
Pachinko, Min Jin Lee
Dance of the Jakaranda, Peter Kimani
Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie
The Half Has Never Been Told, Edward E. Baptist
The Big Stick, Eliot A. Cohen
The Future of History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, Masha Gessen
Age of Anger: A History of the Present, Pankaj Mishra
The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life, Lauren Markham
Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, Kevin Young
In the midst of the busy holiday season, I hope you all take some down time over the Winter Break to explore and reconnect with your personal values and beliefs in anticipation of a new year ahead. As always, I am curious and hopeful to find out what a fresh year will bring—for myself, for my family, for our school community, and for each of you.
Dr. Laura Konigsberg
Head of School