The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

English classes connect the curriculum to culture at the Museum of Modern Art

Junior+English+classes+take+a+trip+to+the+MoMA.
Katherine Lian
Junior English classes take a trip to the MoMA.
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After a stressful AP season, students from AP English Literature and AP English Language classes were rewarded with a trip to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). 

Organized by English teacher Charlene Garklavs, students visited the museum based on their class; AP Literature students attended on June 3, while AP Language students visited on June 5.

Prior to the trip, Ms. Garklavs had invited a guest teacher from the MoMA to introduce an art project to the students, prompting them to make connections to the class and their identities. She said, “We thought that, especially after the AP test, it would be a great way to do something hands-on, help students make connections to other texts we’ve read this year, and think about who they are and their identity.”

Ms. Garklavs shared how her previous school inspired this collaboration and trip: “I had really good memories of having students experience museums, different sorts of text, and different hands-on activities, connecting to literature, so I wanted to do that [at THHS],” she said.

According to English co-teacher Katherine Lipinski, “Before the trip, Ms. Garklavs coordinated with a learning specialist at MoMA to [curate] a 75-minute tour that was related to the themes of [the AP Literature] course, [which] explore narratives about immigrant experiences.”

As a result of the thoughtful planning process, juniors from AP Literature and AP Language  expressed positive feelings about their museum experience.

“The trip was very enjoyable,” said junior Sehaj Gill. “We were able to share our own opinions on the paintings as a class and listen to multiple other perspectives [from peers].”

Junior Jing Lin said she“enjoyed visiting all the different exhibits and trying to interpret what the artwork [was] trying to convey, as everything [was] very abstract and completely [open] to interpretation.”

Junior Rodrigo Aquino commended the environment of the MoMA. “[The guide] was really nice and helpful and provided a lot of information about the paintings and exhibits,” he said.

After the initial tour, students were free to explore the rest of the museum on their own.

Sehaj expressed that certain works of art reminded her of her childhood. “I encountered Mike Kelley’s stuffed animal sculptures, which really stood out to me,” she said. “My inner child felt excited and very interested as I gazed upon the various colors [of] the dangling stuffed animals.”

Uttam Nath shared that he enjoyed traveling throughout the museum with his friends. “Some exhibits that [my friends and I] particularly liked were the famous Starry Night and the stuffed animal exhibit, as [they] looked modern and aesthetically pleasing,” he said.

Ms. Lipinski explained how the artworks she saw connected to many of the prevalent topics in her AP Literature course, such as home, family, culture, and identities. “In future years, I would like to integrate discussions about the artworks into our course curriculum,” she said.

“I feel like the trip was a success,” said Ms. Garklavs. “It’s a nice way to push people out of their comfort zone a little in a good way and do something beautiful in this city.”

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About the Contributors
Joyce Shen
Joyce Shen, Classic Business Director
Joyce is a senior at Townsend Harris High School. She enjoys reading fantasy and mythology, taking walks, watching survival shows, and playing board games, especially Weiqi (a Chinese strategy board game). She is also a big foodie, despite being very picky with what she eats!
Katherine Lian
Katherine Lian, Multimedia Chief
Katherine Lian is a senior at Townsend High School who enjoys taking pictures, dancing, and trying new things. Her favorite memory with The Classic was her trip to Albany with her peers.
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