“Are we a civil society?”, “Is the United States Government in its current form sustainable?”, and “What is the true nature of man?” are the three essay choices that Portland English and Drama teacher, Chandra Polasek, has assigned her Junior Honors’ English class this fall.
Polasek, who has taught Honors English for the past five years, requires all students to read William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” and then to write a comprehensive, researched essay using one of the three assigned choices. Lord of the Flies is generally regarded as one of the hundred most influential English language novels of all time. Written in 1954 it is about a group of boys stranded on an island and their failed attempts to govern themselves.
The purpose of the assignment, according to Polasek, is to “help students prepare for college by thinking and writing on a college level and to explore the relevance of what we do and its relationship to the world we live in. There are twenty-four students, all juniors, in Polasek’s class.
The Beacon approached Polasek about regularly publishing the best of the student essays over the course of the year in The Beacon. But, Polasek felt that all students should have the opportunity to be published. “We need to empower these students to become our next generation of leaders”, Polasek told The Beacon. “This will showcase these students as citizens and demonstrate to them that they are worthy of sharing their voice and being heard”.
If you have not yet met Chandra Polasek, these student articles will give you an opportunity to experience one of Portland’s excellent teachers. Her desire to help her students maximize their abilities and potential is exemplary and reflects the commitment of our Portland teachers to help develop and nurture our greatest asset…. the children who live here.
Beginning this week, the student essays will begin to appear in The Beacon, under the student’s own byline. The Beacon is thrilled to use its connection to the Portland community, as the emerging leader in local news and information, to highlight the fine work of some of our best and brightest citizens.