A group of Upper School students have come together to share their passions and areas of expertise with one another through “NED Talks.”

NEDTalksNED Talks are Nueva’s version of TED Talks — the short, powerful talks that span a variety of topics, including science and global issues, and are shared in communities around the world, according to the nonprofit’s website.

US History of Science teacher Lee Holtzman said students were working on a project in her class when the idea of NED Talks came up.

“I said, ‘We can make that happen,’” Holtzman said. “They wanted to share what they love with other students. They know lots of their peers are experts about things and they wanted to get the expert lecture or the expert presentation.”

 

During the first gathering on Friday, students discussed music, Shakespeare, and Quest projects.

Eleventh-grader Josh R. sang a piece he composed called “Mateo” and then shared his thoughts on music’s purpose.

“I wrote this over the course of a meditation retreat I did,” Josh said during his presentation. “I thought about the point of writing music and making art in general. It doesn’t serve a purpose like a machine in getting something done ... but it’s certainly for some reason very fulfilling.”

He said he came to the conclusion that “music, rather than being an evolutionary adaptation, is an end in itself. It doesn’t have to have a purpose.”

While presenting on Shakespeare, tenth-grader Zoe L. discussed the different meters Shakespeare used in his work and the insights they offer into characters. For example, Zoe said 16 syllables are used to represent the pitter-patter of the heart in romantic scenes and feminine endings — such as the famous “To Be or Not to Be” monologue in Hamlet — demonstrate a character’s uncertainty.

In his presentation, ninth-grader Nico P. reflected on his Quest project: to turn Tom Stoppard’s radio drama Darkside into a play.

“My project is to stage a play like it was originally supposed to be,” Nico said. “It will be live.”

He added he’s learned about many aspects of producing a play, including set building, lighting, and stage-managing in this undertaking.

The talks are open to all students and faculty members are invited to present as well. The date of the next NED Talks is to be announced.

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