Student Persuasive Writing Brings Ceramics Monthly to Library

The Power of Persuasion

Student Voices add Ceramics Monthly to Library

As part of Grade 9 English with Faculty John Isaacson, Lyssa ’26 wrote a persuasive essay which convinced the school to add a new publication to the library. Read her essay here! 

When was the last time you stood in the checkout line at a grocery store and, instead of seeing magazine racks full of The Week and Time, all politically biased magazines, you saw magazines which centered on your hobbies and passions? Magazines like Ceramics Monthly, a monthly magazine with information on ceramics, techniques, tools, and how ceramics are impacting the world around us are becoming fewer and further between. When asked if he thought interest in magazines was dying, Daniel ’26, a student at Midland School responded with the question, “Were they ever alive?” He then went on to expand on the digital age and its detrimental effect on magazine popularity. However, maybe it is time to consider the reason for this decrease in popularity is not just because people prefer electronics, but because the magazines available simply aren’t what people want to read and that they would prefer reading about art or science.

Midland students share their ceramics work

Midland students share their work in Faith Nygren’s ceramics class

Ceramics Monthly has more information than one would imagine, if only they picked it up. Of course, not everyone will, but those who have an interest in ceramics, and those who do not share that interest may not. However, those students who immediately dismiss this magazine on the basis of being uninterested in ceramics would be surprised to learn it has other information too. This magazine will not just inform its reader of the newest ceramics techniques or give you information on famous ceramicists, it will also give you articles highlighting the effects of ceramics on topics such as history or science. For example, one article in the February 2022 issue is subtitled “Researchers are advancing the study of proteins found on ceramics to understand more about ancient communities” (Ceramics Monthly). This makes it an interesting read not only for those who like ceramics, but also those who like history or science. Some people would argue that even if Ceramics Monthly has things for both history and ceramics lovers, its audience is still too small to really be a worthwhile investment for the school. However, the reasons Midland should carry it do not end here.

Ceramics Monthly should be carried by the Midland School library because Faith Nygren, the ceramics teacher, values its presence. Nygren says it helps keep her informed about new ideas and techniques in ceramics, which she tries to implement into her teaching and introduce to her students. She also said that she occasionally sends students down to the library in order to find inspiration in the magazine when they are working on a project (Nygren). This makes Ceramics Monthly a helpful tool for the ceramicists at Midland. Though some people believe that if people have to be directed to the magazine instead of just reading for their own enjoyment then it is not a worthwhile investment for the school. However, this is not necessarily the truth.

It is clear that Midland should keep Ceramics Monthly because it is an informative tool with interesting articles. The magazine supports the learning already made in ceramics class and it covers some topics surrounding pottery. Even if Ceramics monthly does not cover the vast array of topics some other magazines do, that is not necessarily a bad thing, as it allows avid ceramicists to enjoy a magazine made specifically for them, and because many Midland students do take ceramics, it would make sense for a large number of students to have an interest in ceramics. Though many people are unaware of many of the magazines in our library, and indeed, many of the books, some students embrace the knowledge available to them, and once informed of a magazine’s presence, seek it out. Jules ’26, a student at Midland with little ceramics experience, was recently informed of the existence of Ceramics Monthly and expressed great interest in reading it. Although not everyone who is interested in ceramics will read this magazine and many people have to be directed to it before becoming aware of its existence, they will all benefit from its existence and the knowledge that Faith Nygren gleans from it. It is clear that Midland’s students benefit greatly from the existence of this magazine.

In conclusion, Midland should subscribe to Ceramics Monthly because of its valuable information on ceramics and interesting historical content. However, when Midland receives a new copy each month, instead of adding the old copy to a large box with a pile of other magazines, Midland should give them to Faith Nygren so that they are more readily available to the ceramics class to look through and take inspiration from during the school day. Midland may also wish to discover the classes and teachers that correspond best with many of the other magazines and do the same thing with them so that our used magazines do not simply end up in a bin to never be read again and so that they may still be enjoyed even when not being used by the library.

Midland School art studio

Midland School art studio

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