The Modern History Intensive week gave us an opportunity to contextualize our discussions of the transatlantic slave trade and the views on slavery of some of our founding fathers. The Smith College Museum of Art hosted us on a tour in which we considered the connections between artistic representation and historical truth. Students were invited into the Cunningham Center for Works on Paper where they examined prints by the likes of Kara Walker and Andy Warhol. The David Ruggles Center in Florence also opened their doors to us for a special tour of the Underground Railroad. We learned about Ruggles, a one-time Florence resident, and his radical, fearless work for abolition. Back on campus, we watched excerpts of the award-winning documentary Eyes on the Prize, and discovered activists during the Civil Rights movement enlisting some of the very strategies Ruggles had used a century earlier. We concluded our week with a capricious grill and a festive cookout.   

9th Grade Modern History IntensiveDuring the 9th grade Intensive, we stayed at school and really dove in and focused on our Main Lesson block, Modern History. It was a nice experience getting “at home” with our new(ish) school. ~Caleb

I enjoyed watching a documentary on the Civil Rights movement, learning what was going on in that time. ~Isaac

For our Modern History Intensive we were able to get out of the classroom to see first-hand some of the things we had been talking about in class. ~Elias

The 9th grade class went to the Smith College Art Museum! We saw many paintings and sculptures that had to do with what we are learning in class, and the staff took out some pictures from the archive, just for us! ~Haley

The Smith Museum was amazing because we really got to talk about the art, not just look at it. ~Saylor

Also, 9th Grade Modern History Intensivewe went to Florence to see some houses involved in the Underground Railroad. It was very interesting to see important parts of history! ~Meadow

In Florence, we went to the David Ruggles Museum. The man who worked there opened it just for us. He knew so much about Ruggles and Sojourner Truth. We were lucky to experience that. ~Rachel

My favorite part about the intensive was leaning about Sojourner Truth and what happened during that time. ~Hannah

Although our field trip to Boston was cancelled (for hurricane Jose), I’m really enjoying our Modern History block…and I got to drink lots of coffee! ~Faith

We were all alone at the high school almost all week and I enjoyed having all the doors in the classroom open with it still being completely silent. We went on two field trips related to our block and ate at the Pie Bar on the way back one afternoon. I had an outstanding week. ~Laila