Students Seek Answer to the Age-Old Question "What is Love?"

This semester, our 9th and 10th graders are tackling the biggest of all questions: "What is the meaning of life?" This theme weaves through their Integrated Science, World History and World Literature classes as they examine the meanings of life, love and death through all three lenses. They just finished the “What is life?” unit. In science class, they explored the characteristics of life, investigated the connection between form and function, and unpacked the molecules of food and cellular respiration. In English they explored expressions of life, liveliness, livelihood, and what it means to "truly live", through poetry, fiction, and short stories. History class focused on the quest for power (empires!) as the driving force behind our understanding of life, love and death. 

Now they seek to answer the "What is love?" component of the question. Science class will focus on the neurobiology behind emotions, hormones, neurotransmitters, how memories are made, emotion/memory connection, cell transportation, and more. (One project will be to create a dating profile of a hormone to determine who it attracts.) In English, they are reading the short story collection Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri and a selection of love poetry from ancient times to modernity, including works from Jalal ad-Din Rumi, Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, Margaret Atwood, Sappho, William Shakespeare, and John Donne. History classes will continue their study of empires and the pursuit of power, and students will write love letters between two historical figures (with entertaining pairings - think Genghis Khan and pretty much anyone).

The semester will conclude with a look at the death component of the eternal question "What is the meaning of life?" Whew! Big ideas...we can't wait to hear their answers.