Independent Study on Animation Impress at School Meeting

Last Monday, during the school meeting, George Nguyen ’23 presented his topic on animation for the Independent Study Program. The Independent Study Program, a signature program at Northwood that the Peak Pathways Program will replace in the next school year, is a year-long, honors-level course offered to rising juniors and above. As the name suggests, the Independent Study Program is a student-led learning experience where students design their course, do their study, and present their findings during the final school meetings or at a symposium.

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The process of applying for an Independent Study begins the year before, in which students brainstorm for their topic of interest, then present an outline of what they want to accomplish to the Independent Study Committee. Post-approval, students will use the summer to prepare the plan for the upcoming school year.

Once the school year begins, students are connected to a mentor in their field of research. George and his brother, Tam, were linked with Dave Palmer through Mr. Spear. Palmer, a producer with 25 years of experience in TV animation, is known for his role as creator of Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues and The Backyardigans. Palmer and the brothers held a weekly meeting on Fridays.

Outside of weekly meetings, the twins’ work schedule is flexible during the week. However, they aim for nightly 2-3 hours of animation during the weekdays. During this period, they work on creating backgrounds, characters, and storyboards, as well as studying the animation process. The most considerable portion of work was actually spent revising and iterating after the initial design burst, according to George.

One of the difficult challenges with pursuing a student-led course is time management. “Sometimes, I had to do 100 to 200 frames a night,” said Tam. “Sometimes, I get bored or tired, and I miss a day, which piled up the schedule rather quickly.” He also mentioned what it meant to him. “I learned when to draw the line and know my limit better,” Tam added.

In contrast, one interesting discovery Tam made while designing the storyboard is how it should be approached. “At first, I would draw the frames from start to finish for a scene; then, I learned how he drew a storyboard from my friend. Now, I start by drawing the first, middle, and last frames, and then I would draw the frame in between them and keep repeating that,” Tam explained, “Doing it this way gave the characters more structure, and I made fewer mistakes, which meant less time spent redrawing.”

When asked about their favorite part of the process, George replied, “I enjoyed the drawing aspect of it, especially when I get in the flow of drawing the motion and seeing how everything works out.”

“I enjoyed assembling all the parts together, namely the background and the animation,” Tam remarked.

The end result of their studies will be a 3-to-5-minute-long animation, respectively. The framerates fluctuate from 12 frames to 24 frames per second, depending on the scene.

Education in Jeopardy? The Emergence of Open Source Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the technology that has revolutionized how machines work, think, and learn. It is now an essential part of our daily lives, from voice assistants like Siri and Alexa to recommendation systems used by popular websites like Amazon and Netflix. Open source AI, on the other hand, refers to AI software that is freely available for anyone to access, use, and modify. This technology has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing developers to create new AI applications, collaborate with others, and contribute to improving existing systems. With open-source AI, the possibilities are endless, and the potential for innovation and creativity is enormous.

The paragraph above was written by ChatGPT, an open-source artificial intelligence chatbot initially released on November 30th, 2022. The prompt: “Write me an introduction paragraph about open-source artificial intelligence like a 10th grader.”

Across the globe, schools have undergone turmoil as they evaluate the potential, or severity, of open-source AI on education. Many allowed its use; others opted to blacklist it. This contrast can be seen between the New York City public schools, which opted for a 100% ban, and the International Baccalaureate (IB) system, which allows AI on papers as long as AI is cited as a source. Either way, its potency is undeniable. With only a sentence or two, paragraphs of words can magically appear out of thin air. For many students, this is a godsend.

“I think there’s no choice but to acknowledge that it [(AI)] exists and address it in some way. Pretending it’s not there, pretending that we’re not using it here, is definitely not the way forward,” commented Ms. Carmichael, Northwood’s Dean of Academic Affairs. “After all, I think one of the most important things we’re teaching students here is not how to write an essay about Romeo and Juliet: that is a tool that we are using to help them dig into themselves, their feelings, their thoughts, how they interact and make sense of the world, and create meaning.”

Ms. Carmichael then explained what that means for their duties as teachers: “We have to respond to the world that we are in, and if that’s our job, to help students navigate, make sense of, and express themselves in the world, we also have to help them navigate AI. I think we have a duty to help students make ethical and responsible choices and to help students truly understand the pros and cons,” she clarified. “You may use it; you may get away with it. What have you gotten out of that experience? I hope that our students will reflect on that level. I also don’t think it should just be a solely disciplinary issue because it’s a learning opportunity as well.”

It is noteworthy to mention that, in hindsight, this is not the first time the academic world has faced a breakthrough invention. Spin back a few decades, and the Internet was just created. Initially, many schools opposed the idea of the Internet since they believed it debilitated the idea of reading a proper book or searching for information using an encyclopedia. In the present day, the use of the Internet is integral to a modern-day school environment, whether for teaching, studying, or communicating. For instance, the readily available sources of information are a massive boost for students when it comes to information that cannot be found in a traditional library. Artificial intelligence shouldn’t be dismissed as the Internet was.

Predicting the future of technology is always a challenging task. Still, based on current trends and advancements in AI, it’s safe to say that we can expect to see AI integrated into almost every aspect of our lives in the next 30 years.

One of the most significant changes we can expect is the rise of autonomous systems and robotics. AI-powered robots are already being used in manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare, and we can expect to see this trend continue and expand into new areas like agriculture, construction, and even space exploration.

Another area where we can expect to see significant AI advancements is in healthcare. AI can help doctors and researchers to analyze large amounts of data to identify disease patterns, develop new treatments, and improve patient outcomes. In addition, AI-powered medical devices can help to monitor patients in real time, alerting doctors to potential problems before they become critical.

AI can also transform the way we interact with technology. With natural language processing and computer vision technologies, we can expect to see more intuitive and responsive interfaces, making it easier for people to communicate with machines.

However, there are also challenges associated with the widespread adoption of AI, including ethical and legal concerns, such as ensuring transparency and accountability, as well as data privacy and security issues. Overall, the development and implementation of AI will require careful consideration and collaboration between policymakers, technology companies, and the general public to ensure its benefits are maximized while minimizing its risks.

Did you catch it this time, reader? Starting at “Predicting the future…”, the segments describing AI’s role in the future were written by ChatGPT, which may have been a giveaway due to the out-of-place short bursts of paragraphs.

“We might be conducting classes in a very different way and doing assignments that look and feel very different, but five years from now, once we are accustomed to all this [AI], we will know how to use them in the larger world,” Ms. Carmichael expressed.

Ultimately, with artificial intelligence, education may face the dawn of a new age. However, it is still too early to grasp whether AI is malicious or beneficial in many aspects of human life. It is best to approach AI with an open mind and moral conscience for now.

STEM Research at Northwood

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) research is a program Northwood offers to engage in independent research. Northwood is proud to be able to provide such a program to facilitate students’ deep interest in the field of science. Students must research, hypothesize and experiment to come up with results that can be presented to the public.

Female zebrafish in the holding tank. Photo: AJ Etumnu ’25.

Christie Nelson’s ’23 project is to “analyze the effects of toxins on the development of zebrafish embryos,” she said. “I thought it would be cool because zebrafish and humans share 70% of the same DNA and 84% of the DNA associated with diseases and toxins, so I thought it would be cool to replicate the effect of toxins on the zebrafish embryos,” Nelson said. Her toxins of choice so far are Tylenol ( Acetaminophen) and caffeine, and early results have shown that 25 milligrams per milliliter of Tylenol in a solution kill zebrafish embryos.

Jazlyn Lluberes’s ’23 project is finding new antibiotics in soil bacteria. Her research pays homage to the first antibiotics produced. “I am following a project called the tiny earth project and Dr. Sarah Shoemaker from North Country Community College is helping me. She isn’t my mentor, but I didn’t know anything about it, so Ms. Walker reached out for help.” Early samples have found three different antibiotics fighting off Bacillus.

Amanda with her prosthetic arm. Photo: AJ Etumnu ’25.

Amanda Nelson ’23 is making a 3D-printed prosthetic forearm that makes gestures when spoken to. Her ultimate goal is to get it to do a handshake or peace sign without external help. She is using an open-source project with the help of Mr. Leblanc and Mr. Martin. “The structure of the arm is built, but when I tried applying the code it blew up, so it’s not quite a success yet,” Amanda said.

Students Honored with Underclass Awards

The Underclass Award Ceremony was on Monday, May 15. Students from the junior class won several awards. There were also several college scholarships given out to students who have been excelling the classroom. It was great to see so many Northwood students get so many fantastic awards.

The winners of the awards are listed below. Northwood congratulates the students who won these prestigious awards and encourages those who didn’t win an award to work hard in their studies and win an award in the future.


Dartmouth Book Award

The Dartmouth Alumni Book Award Program has two goals:  to recognize and reward high school juniors who have excelled both academically and in their extracurricular activities; and to encourage these talented students to consider attending Dartmouth.  The winner is: KRISTEN KIGGEN ‘24


Williams Book Award

The Williams College Book Award encourages intellectual excellence and recognizes student achievement.  A book is awarded to the student who has demonstrated intellectual leadership and made significant contribution to the extracurricular life of their school. The winner is: ASHLEY GUEVARA ‘24


Brown Book Award

Brown University honors the junior who best combines academic excellence with clarity in written and spoken expression.  Language is the highest expression of our humanity; it defines what we are and what we aspire to be.  Those who use words effectively will be the leaders in the generation.  In them we invest our hope; to them we accord our respect.  With this award, we salute their potential.  The winner is: SOPHIA SCHUPP ‘24


Bowdoin Book Award

This award recognizes a high school junior who has demonstrated extraordinary service to the common good and an unusual passion for inquiry, discovery, and innovative thinking. The winner is:      PARKER ASBRIDGE  ‘24


University of Notre Dame Book Award

The Notre Dame Book Award recognizes a junior who is a creative, compassionate individual; who is curious, excels academically; and who seeks social justice and a way to make a difference.  The recipient is: BRIAN BRADY ‘24


University of Rochester Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award

A merit scholarship for a minimum of $5,000 per year to the University of Rochester is given to one junior with outstanding academic achievement in the field of science and math.  This year’s recipient is: COLIN KIS ‘24


Rensselaer Medal

This award is given annually by the Alumni Association of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to the student in the Junior Class who ranks highest in math & science and has the greatest interest in a science-related career.  This merit scholarship is for up to $120,000 over four years.  The winner is: TEAGAN WENTZEL ‘24


Clarkson Awards

The Clarkson University High School Leadership Award recognizes outstanding leadership qualities and academic promise.  This award carries a $100,000 scholarship over four years.  Northwood’s nominee is: BELLA NORRIS ‘24

The Clarkson University High School Achievement Award carries a $80,000 scholarship over four years. SHAYNA DEUTSCH ‘24


Augsbury/North Country Scholarship at St. Lawrence University

The Augsbury/North Country Scholarship was established in 1974 and serves to recognize academic and co-curricular leadership among designated North Country and Canadian high school students.  The four-year scholarship, worth up to $140,000, is awarded to three nominated students.  Northwood School’s nominees are: ELIZABETH CREIGHTON ‘24, OLIVIA LEVESQUE ‘24, and OWEN FLYNN ‘24


The University of Vermont Citizen Scholar Book Award

UVM recognizes exemplary students with this award for demonstrating active citizenship and service to their communities as well as outstanding scholarship.  Putting knowledge into action for the betterment of humanity is at the foundation of a UVM education.  This year’s award goes to: LEON BRODY ‘24


Saint Michael’s College Book Award

The Saint Michael’s Book Award recognizes a pair of juniors who exhibit the characteristics of an ideal Saint Michael’s student.  Awardees are candidates for the Cum Laude Society and demonstrate Social Conscience:  they show a sustained and sincere commitment to community service, issues of peace and justice, and concern for others.  This year’s winners, who will receive a scholarship to Saint Michael’s College of at least $17,000 per year up to full tuition, are: KATIE DEMERS ‘24 and SAM RUDY ‘24


St. Bonaventure BONNIE Scholarships

At St. Bonaventure, Franciscan values of community and service are cornerstones of their identity, mission, and culture. The Bonnie Scholarships, $80,000 over 4 years of study, reward students based on qualities that reflect the core values of the university, including academic excellence, community, integrity, wisdom, leadership, social responsibility, compassion, and an appreciation for diversity. SACHIEL MING ‘24 and NICOLAS CEDENO ‘24


Elmira College Key

Sponsored by the Elmira College Alumni Association, the Elmira Key has been awarded since 1935.  This merit award is bestowed upon an outstanding student in their junior year of high school.  The Elmira Key holds a monetary scholarship of $80,000 over four years upon enrolling at Elmira.  This year’s winners are: MORGAN SMITH ‘24


Alfred University Scholars Award

Alfred University offers a wide variety of scholarships to acknowledge the special abilities of new first year, transfer and international students.  One current junior from each high school will be eligible for this award. Based on chosen major, the selected recipient will receive up to $30,000 per year until graduating from Alfred University.  This year the award goes to: BENJAMIN PLUCINSKI ‘24


The University at Albany Multicultural High School Achievers Award

The University at Albany Multicultural High School Achievers Award Program honors the accomplishments of high school achievers from upstate New York and beyond.  Now proudly celebrating its 35th year, this program provides the University at Albany with the opportunity to recognize juniors who have distinguished high school academic records and who are involved in numerous school and community activities.  This year’s winner is: SAM KNAUF ‘24



Department Awards


English Prize

The English prize goes to a student for whom literature is a passport to all lands and ages for whom writing is an opportunity to convey worthy ideas with passion and grace. The winner this year is: KRISTEN KIGGEN ‘24


World Language Prize

The Language Prize is awarded to the student who passionately pursues skill in the speaking, reading, and writing of a foreign language. The winners this year are:

For French  –  LEON BRODY ‘24

For Spanish  –  SOPHIA SCHUPP ‘24


Mathematics Prize

The Mathematics prize is given to a student who combines talent with hard work, and whose curiosity and creative thinking provide a lively model for maximizing learning in mathematics. The winner this year is: DREW DONATELLO ‘24


Science Prize

The Science prize is given to a student who has demonstrated both

interest and achievement in the field of science. This student has a strong desire to understand scientific concepts and has an inquisitive mind. In addition, this student thinks about the topics beyond the scope of the classroom and completes every assignment with diligence and effort. The winner this year is: COLIN KIS            ‘24


Social Science Prize

The Social Science Prize is presented for excellence in the appreciation and understanding of issues in the Social Sciences. The winner is: OWEN FLYNN ‘24


Visual and Performing Arts Prizes

Creativity, passion, energy, and a zest for artistic excellence are qualities that describe the recipients of these awards.




English Learner Prize

The English Learner Prize is given to a junior who has, through engagement in the Northwood Community, demonstrated an increased mastery of the English language.  The winner is: ELISABETH CREIGHTON ‘24


Innovation, Engineering, and Entrepreneurial Prize

The IEE Prize is given to a student whose curiosity, creative problem-solving, and teamwork helped advance the development and growth of the Innovation, Engineering, and Entrepreneurial Studies program. The winner is: PIPER TEIG ‘24

Symposium Highlights Research and Independent Study

Northwood School expects a large turnout of students, faculty, parents, and members of the Tri-Lakes community to the annual Student Symposium on Thursday, May 11, from 4:00 – 6:30 pm at the Innovation Hub on Main Street.

The Symposium features academic work completed this school year by students in Northwood’s Honors Independent Studies, Advanced STEM Research, and Advanced Humanities Research programs.

The advanced, honors-level academic offerings allow students to explore their passions and interests through independent research, often partnered with a mentor in the field. Students work closely with faculty advisors to develop a research question, design a research project, and collect and analyze data. The Symposium, held shortly before Commencement, serves as the culminating event for students in these programs, giving them a chance to present their research to a broader audience.

The Symposium will showcase the culmination of Northwood’s Seniors’ research into subjects including designing and engineering a 3D-printed prosthetic forearm with auditory control, using Drosophila to explore how a ketogenic diet can reduce mortality rates after concussions, and exploring the career of sports medicine.

Northwood supports its students’ academic and personal growth by providing a challenging and supportive learning environment to explore their academic interests. Such independent work prepares its students for success in college and beyond, particularly in the age of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and other emerging technologies.

Article gleaned from a school press release.

Spring Mountain Day a Hit

On the 28th of April, Northwood held its annual Mountain Day, which had been postponed from the usual start of the year due to horrendous weather. Students were disappointed about the event’s postponement but were thrilled to get the opportunity to participate.

Mountain Day has been an annual event at Northwood for over 45 years. Retired teacher and outing club director Don Mellor, an expert in outdoor activities, started Mountain Day and is responsible for this remarkable event. The event allows the Northwood community to engage in the Adirondack experience as students climb and hike through the beautiful mountain range surrounding the school.

Bobby O’Connor is the current head of the Northwood Outing Club (NOC) at Northwood and was in charge of Mountain Day this year. “This year’s Mountain Day was a modified version. It involved smaller mountains because of the timing. The trail conditions in the spring limited us to peaks below 500 feet. All in all, it was a really good day, and all the kids were able to get out and enjoy the peaks,” O’Connor said.

Mountain Day was also a good opportunity for kids to experience the NOC program. NOC is growing at Northwood and has been embraced by many students over the years. “Mountain Day is definitely one of the staples of the NOC program and is something we look forward to every year. It originated with Don Mellor, who is now retired from the school, but had such a strong presence here and his influence has really made Mountain Day huge for us. It is like the Super Bowl for the NOC program,” O’Connor said.

Several students were impressed with the experience and are looking to join the NOC program post-Mountain Day. Cedric Lemaire ’24 remarked, “It is hard to participate in NOC activities because of the rigorous soccer season, but now that the season is coming to an end, I am looking forward to potentially participating in NOC.”

Mountain Day is a great opportunity to experience the Adirondacks and a unique opportunity to get to know different people. It is usually at the start of the year, so it helps new kids settle in. A criticism of Northwood is different teams don’t often mix with each other, and it is a real problem. The athletic diversity in friendship groups is poor, as most athletes hang out with teammates from their own sport, which doesn’t create a family vibe within the school. On Mountain Day, the groups are randomized so people from all backgrounds and sports are forced to talk to each other. This was apparent this year.

“I usually don’t talk to many of the soccer kids on the U17 team, but I was in a group with two players on Mountain Day and I loved it,” Sam Rudy ’23 said. “I got to learn more about the hockey program and the people in it. I enjoyed the mixed groups and look forward to next year’s event,” Hamish Riddel ’26 said.

Mountain Day was a huge success this year. It is important to recognize all the hard work Bobby O’Connor and the other staff members put into the organization of the day. The Northwood community loved it and can’t wait for the next one!

Luxurious Prom Planned for May 18

The 2023 Northwood Prom will be held on Thursday, May 18th. The theme for this year’s Prom is “Masked in Luxury.” The Northwood Prom committee wanted a luxurious Prom with black, gold, and pearl decorations. The idea behind this theme was to have it look like a gala from the 1920s. It will be held under a tent on campus on the upper field.

There will be a photo booth for picture opportunities, food, and dancing. The menu for this year’s Prom will have a burrito station as well as a pasta station. The pasta station will have salad, pasta, and rolls. A playlist of students’ recommended songs will be played throughout the evening, along with Adam Stewart taking requests for song choices.

The Prom will start at 6 pm and end at 10:30 pm. Tickets are $60 per person. Day students will not be able to drive to or from the prom. This year’s Prom will be a fun evening and a great way to wrap up the year.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

It is now May at Northwood, meaning we finish the school year this month. It is also Mental health awareness month, established in 1949 to increase awareness and emphasize the importance of mental health in American’s lives. Mental health in society has always had a stigma, but we hope to break down that barrier here at Northwood.

The Mirror spoke to Nurse Judy, who shared five tips for students to protect their mental health this month as Aps and finals approach.

  1. Sleep is essential. A good night’s rest is critical. Rather than cram all night, set a schedule for studying and then get a good night’s sleep.
  2. Get some exercise, take a break, go outside, and enjoy the weather. That will do wonders for your mental health. If you can or have time, take a walk around Mirror Lake.
  3. Confide in someone. Tell your feelings and thoughts to a close friend or trusted adult. Talk to your teachers or upper-classmen.
  4. Don’t overthink the tests. They are not the end of the world. You’ll be fine.
  5. Finally, eat well. Your brain needs food to function; like any other part of your health, diet is linked to your mental health.

School Psychologist Ms. Tara Wright specializes in mental health. “Mental health is equally important to physical health,” Wright told the Mirror. “Being aware of your own feelings and focusing on well-being will positively affect all areas of your life,” she added.

Spring Art Showcase Entertains and Inspires

On Thursday, April 20th, we had our second to last formal of the 2022-23 school year. Even more important was what took place after the dinner ended. We had a spring art showcase that put together a culmination of some talented students performing and then all showing their art to the whole school for one final time this year. Here are some of the highlights.

I want to start off by saying how impressive it is that this showcase was directed by one of our students, Kiet Do ’23. He helped plan the show with the help of many students backstage. Not every day one of our fellow students gets to direct a show that the community gets to see. When asked about the showcase, Kiet said, “It was a great experience to direct a show for the school. It brought a lot to my understanding of a show experience, and it is something I’d love to look into it more in the future.” It’s excellent that Northwood provides these opportunities for students like Kiet to expand their interests in such specialties. As for Kiet, directing the show wasn’t the only thing he did to contribute to the showcase. He also produced a video that showed what the performers go through to prepare for the show. It showed a backstage perspective of each of the arts that were showcased. Kiet said, “It fits my goal to see what happens before the show and showing people the work and practice it takes for a performance to reach the stage.” It was an awesome video, and here is a huge shoutout to all the work Kiet put into the performance.

Another big part of the showcase was the dance performances. This was the last performance that the dance program would showcase their talents in front of the community because the dance program will not continue next year. Since this was the last school performance, I wanted to get the perspective of a senior dancer that performed in the show. “One of my favorite parts of dance is the performance, but dancing in front of the school is honestly more nerve-wracking than the other performances we have done,” Jazlyn Lluberes ’23 said. I don’t think that is hard to understand, because performing in front of your peers is always challenging. It requires being vulnerable for the whole school to see. Jazlyn reflected on the last dance performance. “It was a bittersweet moment… it was hard knowing that any underclass dancer would never be able to showcase their hard work to the Northwood community again,” she said. I’m sure we can all understand the pain she is feeling, but for now, we can congratulate the dancers on a successful few shows and wish them luck on their dance journeys.

Some of the best experiences were the singing and instrumental performances. It’s pretty awesome to watch students you see around school take on the challenge of performing in front of the whole community. It takes a lot of courage to get up on the stage, and I commend each of them for going out there and killing it. One of the performers, Hudson Dinapoli ’23, sang along with a band that had been practicing for months. Some of these students have never touched an instrument and are now on stage. It doesn’t get much better than that. DiNapoli is known for being an energetic guy; he and his bandmates didn’t disappoint with his performance. “It was a surreal experience getting to perform in front of the school and community,” DiNapoli said. “I had a lot of fun with the band, and it looked like everyone enjoyed the show.”

Jazlyn Lluberes ’23 (photos: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

Kiet Do ’23 

Hudson DiNapoli ’23 

Being in the audience, I can say that the show was a blast and it had something for everyone to enjoy.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the performers because they worked extremely hard to put on this show for the school. Again, I want to commend all the performers because getting on stage in front of the whole community is very impressive.

8 Ninth Graders Published in Teen Anthology

Students published in the Adirondack Center for Writing anthology of teen writing Wild Words pose with the book in Saranac Lake (Photo: Mrs. Carmichael).

On Saturday, April 22, the Adirondack Center for Writing launched its Wild Words Anthology, a collection of writings from students in the North Country region, which included eight students from Northwood’s class of ‘26. The book featured works by 70 authors in the North Country region. The works students submitted included poetry (4 students), memoirs (3), and one fictional story.

Mrs. Carmichael, the Dean of Academics and Integrated Humanities I teacher, expressed, “It’s a huge accomplishment—I’m happy with how things worked out and how the publication looks, and I’m very excited for next year.”

Throughout the school year, students in Humanities I focus on six main writing units: poetry, memoirs, and short stories. Each unit consists of two drafts per writing piece and a final version towards the end of the year. During the weeks leading up to the Wild Words Submission, the students did a mini-unit on revision, where they were introduced to six different revision techniques. Once they had picked one writing piece in particular, the students went through multiple revisions before submitting the final version for a grade. Note that the submission to the Wild Words Anthology itself is purely optional.

Revisions, of course, were no easy chores. Each round of revision was a deep delve into the writing itself and not a collection of small changes here and there. In addition, young writers may often feel that the work is most completed during the first draft, and the idea of revision—to throw what they had created away and restart—can hurt and give a sense of fabrication.

However, Mrs. Carmichael greatly values the importance of revisions. “Revision is writing. The first draft is necessarily writing: it’s creativity and sometimes brain dumping. The first draft is trying to articulate a thought or a feeling in a story,” she explained. “Revising a piece of writing reinforces said thoughts and feelings. To me, that is the craft of writing, and it is a challenge to be able to do deep revisions at their age,” she later commented.

Given the two initial iterations alongside the revision unit, students were able to put out expressive yet cohesive pieces of writing. Furthermore, they were allowed to pick any pieces of writing they had created during the year. Mrs. Carmichael attributed this to the engagement of the class, the willingness to go the extra mile to share their works with the broader community, and ultimately the sense of pride that came with what the students had accomplished.

This experience also goes to highlight the Integrated Humanities class at Northwood. As a project-based, double-period course, students are much better supported to create projects than traditional, in-class papers usually assigned in English classes. Also, the course offers connections to the outside world, as shown with the Wild Words Anthology. It is truly remarkable, the possibility of creating works in class that can be read by hundreds of people all over the North Country and beyond.

“I have received messages from many of the parents that, I assume, are very proud of their kids and excited that they had this kind of opportunity,” Mrs. Carmichael remarked.

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