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IB Highlights: “The Secret History”

Extended Essay Highlight: Senior Annie Sawyer’s EE research question in English A Literature is: To what extent does Donna Tartt use the pursuit of the picturesque to demonstrate the absurdity of higher academia?

Annie says “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt is one of her favorite novels, so she knew it would be a book she would enjoy rereading and diving into. There is a common theme throughout the book of the narrator searching for the “picturesque” but it is never fully delved into. So, she thought it would be super interesting to dive in, specifically into defining that and how it makes the rest of the story even richer.

Since Annie chose an English question, her main source of research is from the book and also from interviews from the author that gave Annie an idea about the author’s headspace and goals when writing the book. Annie is also doing research into the romantic movement and the Greek ideal because those concepts contribute a lot to what the “picturesque” is. That information is found in a lot of books related to the arts and in research papers she found online.

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students recorded this week included making bread, shoveling a neighbor’s driveway, playing basketball, participating in Santa Express, being a girls’ basketball manager, participating in the blood drive, coding and building in FTC Robotics, skiing, and making keychains for a memorial service.

IB Question of the Week: Is my student required to be a full IB Diploma Program candidate once they enter 11th and 12th grades?

Some students decide to be a courses-only candidate and not attempt to earn the full IB diploma. Remember, all SGS students, once having met SGS graduation requirements, receive an SGS diploma. The IB diploma is additional. Colleges and universities, if they award credit for IB scores in courses, give the credit regardless of whether a student is a full diploma candidate or a courses-only candidate. Some colleges and universities may give credit for obtaining the full diploma as well, and some, mostly European, may require the full diploma. Always be sure to check the specific college or university website for information on IB award credit.

The Diploma Program (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay (EE). Please refer to the IB Page on our website for detailed IB information or email Elizabeth Tender with any questions.