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Finding the Self in Stories and the Forest

Erin Guydish Buchholz, PhD
We’ve all read books…ones we’ve loved and ones we’ve, well, less than enjoyed. Often what makes a story ‘good’ is its impact or connection to us. And the pieces studied at Grier are designed to help students find their voices.
Grier girls are often challenged to find themselves…but most don’t expect to stand on the shoulders of literary greats within the walls of their classrooms to do it.
During Senior year, the first marking period is devoted to discovering and articulating the self in literature classes.
As part of that journey, students in AP literature study foundational texts, such as “Sonny’s Blues,” “Everyday Use,” and “Barn Burning.” Often the ideas of place and family are emphasized as central themes of these works.
Similarly, on campus, our community establishes family- and place-based identities. We tend towards kindness, acceptance, forgiveness…. finding ourselves. As part of the study of these short stories, AP Literature students explored their identities and how Grier aides them in finding themselves, their Grier family, and reflecting on what Grier means to them. Students highlighted meaningful places around campus, clubs, and sports that promoted self-development. In short, they talked about the unique role Grier played in self-discovery. 
The short stories we study might fade with time. But the stories the students create about themselves, the memories they reflect on, and the work they share in these assignments will be the lessons that remain when after the caps are tossed at graduation.
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Grier School

2522 Grier School Rd. | P.O. Box 308; Birmingham, PA 16686-0308
Phone: 814-684-3000 | Fax: 814-684-2177