Speech Night 2016

Part 1

“The Doctor’s Office” by Stephen Lozano     Transcript     Audio

“American Politics Today” by Isaac Linton    Transcript     Audio

A is for Apple Class Recitation

“The Lord Will Provide” by William Cowper
Students Reciting (in order): Amalyah Callahan, Elizabeth Drennen, Rose Kocher, Trevor Livezey, Jason Bushra, Kaleb Murdoch     Audio

A Morning Song by Isaac Watts
Students Reciting (in order): Amalyah Callahan, Elizabeth Drennen, Rose Kocher, Trevor Livezey     Audio

“A Chill” by Christina Rossetti. Students Reciting (in order): Amalyah Callahan, Elizabeth Drennen, Rose Kocher    Audio

“May” by Christina Rossetti
Students Reciting (in order): Jason Bushra, Kaleb Murdoch     Audio

“Alone” by Miriam Shera    Transcript     Audio

“Are You Angry?” by Zipporah Ellis    Transcript     Audio

“The Ax” by John Kocher    Transcript     Audio

“A Computer Problem” by Sam Bushra    Transcript     Audio

“A Cursed City” by William Livezey    Transcript     Audio

“Clutter” Annie Ghrist    Transcript     Audio

Five-minute Intermission; Part 2

Final Rounds of the Poetry Bee

Vice and Virtue: Bridget Haselbarth, Monica Levis

Foundations: Sophia Burrowes, Felicity Crippen, Elise Lengkeek, Anna Rose Walter

Survey: Jacob Louie, Isaiah Chen, Anna Lozano

Narrative: Irene Thomas, Joshua Noble, Maria Dierkes

“Entertainment Gluttony” by Antonia Milani    Transcript     Audio

“Keats and Cooking” by Elsa Pearl Walter     Transcript     Audio

“The Suburbs” by Grace Mox    Transcript     Audio

“Great Expectations” by Joshua Louie    Transcript     Audio

“Take Me Home, Country Roads” by Marisa Sankey    Transcript     Audio

Performance of Winning Poem of the Poetry Contest    Transcript     Audio

Five-minute Intermission; Part 3

B is for Birds Class Recitation

  1. George Herbert’s “The Elixir” Recited by Jane Stalnaker     Audio

  2. Isaac Watts’ “Against Idleness and Mischief” by Emily Garecht     Audio

  3. “Now Shall My Inward Joys Arise” by Jesse Maio     Audio

  4. “Seasons” by Lila Murdock     Audio

  5. “The Little Joys” by Cecilia Volpe     Audio

“Homeschooling: Inside and Out” by Maria Thomas    Transcript     Audio

“On Confidence” by Grace Ellis    Transcript     Audio

“The Labors of Arthood” by Rachel Drennen    Transcript     Audio

“How to Board an Airplane” by Haley Garecht    Transcript     Audio

“Distracted” by Lia Welch    Transcript     Audio

About Speech Night 2016

Every other year, our literature classes host a poetry bee in which students demonstrate their knowledge of poetry, poetics and poets. The preliminary rounds for this year have already been completed, and there are now only twelve of the fifty or so students remaining for the final rounds.

    Memorizing poetry is a major part of our language arts curriculum, as it is an extremely valuable teaching tool. First, it provides the student with vocabulary in context and ideas to draw upon for thought, reflection and writing. If the material memorized is spiritual or moral in nature, it is likely to influence his affections and hopefully steer his heart towards God. Memorization also exercises the mind in a very em-powering way and increases the student’s ability later in life to memorize. Lastly, it provides a pattern (especially when the material is poetry) for musical rhythms, syntax and phrasing.

    In addition to recitations, Speech Night 2016 will highlight oratory. Students of the Classic Works of the Imagination class were assigned the following essays to read in preparation for their speech: George Orwell’s “How the Poor Die”; Stephen Leacock, “How to Live to Be 200”; Christopher Morley’s “Sitting in the Barber’s Chair.” Orwell’s essay concerns the poor treatment of the underprivileged in a Parisian hospital; Leacock’s essay is a humorous satire on the health food craze; and Morley’s essay keenly and humorously observes a common event in everyone’s life—getting a haircut. Each student wrote an essay using one of the essays as a model for his own work, such as one that gives a serious account of an experience that suggests an observation on life (such as Orwell’s); one that humorously satirizes some American custom, institution or fad (such as Leacock’s); or one that talks about a common experience or observation (such as Morley’s).

    A major component of the Drama, Writing and Speech Class involved studying formal composition, and in particular speech writing. Students began by reading essays, analyzing their themes, word choice, structure, and technique, and then applying what they learned to their own essays. Essayists included Charles Lamb, Christopher Morley, Henry David Thoreau, G. K. Chesterton, Joseph Addison, Stephen Leacock, Edward Verrall Lucas, Eliot Gregory, William Hazlitt, E. B. White and others. Students then moved on to a study of oratory by examining a wide variety of famous speeches, from the war orations of the Greeks to modern day political rhetoric. Speeches included those written by Cicero, Demosthenes, Douglas MacArthur, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Daniel Webster, John F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and many others. Students learned a large vocabulary of rhetorical techniques (antimetabole, epistrophe, epizeuxis, hyperbole, scesis onomaton, etc.), and were trained to recognize the techniques in the speeches that they read and apply them to their own writing. See if you recognize the rhetorical devices in tonight’s speeches!


“Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.”

—G. K. Chesterton