By Xin Lin ‘18
Over 40 world languages are spoken by students and staff of Midwood – making it a uniquely diverse and multicultural community. As a way to celebrate the school’s cultural richness, the World Languages and ENL (English as a New Language) Department has introduced Rapport Magazine.
“Rapport Magazine is an excellent way to learn about other cultures,” said Ms. Maria Feehan, faculty advisor for the magazine. “It is an opportunity for students to connect with each other.”
The goal of the magazine is to bring people of different backgrounds together by sharing different experiences. While we all live in the same world, we perceive and experience it differently.
“The magazine allows people to be creative with languages,” said Ms. Susanna Sala, a Spanish teacher. “Students can show how proud they are of the diversity of their language.”
Rapport is distinctive and extraordinary in that all student writings are published in English and in another language. Furthermore, the magazine includes graphics and multimedia pieces that celebrates Midwood’s cultural diversity.
“Rapport seems like an amazing opportunity to share your experiences with others,” said Betty Wu ’18. “It embraces and encourages diversity all while promoting unity.”
Although the magazine has been around for several years, it was just recently published online for the first time. The magazine is managed by Ms. Feehan, the faculty advisor, Reem Hassan ‘17, the editor in chief, and Anastasiya Gofman, the illustrator. According to Ms. Feehan, the hardest part of the publishing process was creating the website. Once they were able to rectify the glitches and acquaint themselves with how to operate a website, the editors were successful in making Rapport public.
“It [The website] is a big turning point,” said Ms. Feehan. “People can access the magazine more easily now because it’s online and updated.”
Since Rapport is published online, it is easier to expand and is significantly less expensive when compared to printing a physical copy. Students can access the website at rapportmidwood.com.
Currently, there is only one edition available online. “Memories” – the first online edition – consists of expository pieces submitted by students that describes their most meaningful memories and why they cherish them. The edition features nine languages: Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Filipino, French, Haitian Creole, Italian, Russian, and Swedish. Each piece of writing is written in English and then translated into another language or vice versa. Many believe it’s beneficial that students are allowed to express their thoughts in other languages.
“Sometimes it’s easier for someone to communicate their ideas, usually ideas about their personal life, better in a language they are more familiar or comfortable with,” said Daniel Shamailov ’18.
In the upcoming edition, “My City”, students are asked to write about what city they grew up in or feel most connected to. They must explain why they feel connected to a certain city and what they love the most about it. All students that wish to contribute to Rapport should send their work to email@example.com. The magazine accepts a variety of works: poems, stories, videos, drawings, audios, etc. The only requirement is that all submissions have to be made through email and all writing pieces have to be in English and another language. The deadline for submission is April 7.
Students who prefer to work behind the scenes can contribute by becoming an editor, translator, or an illustrator. If anyone is interested, they can send an email that mentions what they would like to do for the magazine.
Rapport Magazine captures the cultural diversity of the school and offers a glimpse of what Midwood is all about – learning from the experiences of others. It creates a connection between people with different perspectives and backgrounds. The magazine hopes to unite people and enhance a culturally diverse community like Midwood.
“It is a wonderful thing,” said Ms. Teresa Fernandez, Assistant Principal of the World Languages/ENL Department. “I hope it continues to grow.”