Moses Brown Versatones perform at Gloria Gemma 5K

November 13, 2016

By Abby M. ‘17.

I have been singing with the Versatones, Moses Brown’s student-led a capella group since my freshman year, and I am now a senior. We had the opportunity to perform the National Anthem at the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Awareness 5K in Providence, RI. I can remember doing this same performance four years ago, as a freshman. I recall being so nervous but very excited to be a part of this tradition. We sang sophomore year again, and when one of my fellow leaders helped organize it this year, that same excitement returned. I saw this elation in the new members of our group, and witnessing it was a moment of immense pride.

4Breast cancer is an illness that has affected many people and their families. Two women in my family have been diagnosed with breast cancer, so to attend this race and to see the camaraderie between those who participate is compelling. Those who are still battling breast cancer, survivors, or family members who have lost loved ones come together in an incredibly inspiring way, in pink workout gear, to celebrate their lives.

To be a part of such a positive custom, celebrating incredibly unyielding survivors and families during my final year here at Moses Brown, was an honor.


“I Side With…” Part 2.0


“My 10th graders also took the “I Side With” survey. I asked them if they felt that the election connects to Modern World History, if anything surprised them about their results, and if they would want to vote. Here are a handful of responses.” – Sarah Mc Shane, Upper School History”


“I was definitely a bit surprised with my result after taking the test on, however, was not entirely shocked by it. I did not think that I would get such a high percent with one person (99%!). I definitely sided with a particular candidate during the duration of the election but didn’t think that I would be so far on their side. I knew I completely disliked one candidate, but I just figured that the other candidate was just a better option than the other and I didn’t question any of their ideas as not to dislike them as well because I knew that many people also had a problem with their ideas and policies. I really didn’t think I would side with the candidate as much as I did because I didn’t bias any of my answers and didn’t really know where each candidate stood in economic or environmental policies. In the past, I’ve done more research about presidential debates, even when I was very young, in 2nd grade, figuring out who I sided with. I never really sided with much of my family and often had debates with my friends on who should win, so the presidential elections have always been a pretty big deal to me (I skipped lunch in 2nd grade to watch Barak Obama be inaugurated). This year, I’m going to Washington to see the inauguration (or maybe just the parade) for myself, and I would be really excited. However, I am worried about the possibility of a certain candidate being chosen. I have always found one to be a role model to me (even if I wasn’t sure that I agreed with their policies), and have always wanted them to succeed (the other I watched on tv and liked their show, but never imagined them running for president in a serious manner). I really wish that I could vote in this election because I feel that there will be a serious problem if one of the candidates is elected, and I worry about the state of our nation if this occurs. As I’m growing up and going into college, I want to be influenced by somebody that I believe in and led by somebody that I have confidence in, that I know will stick up for my rights and do what is just for their time as president. To be honest, I feel that only one candidate is suitable for the presidency and that they have been working up to this point for their entire lives, and I would be very upset if they do not win. I know that in 4 years, during the next election, I’ll be able to vote and I’ll have a say in what happens, but for now, I want to do anything possible to bring forward change and make America safe.”

“This election shows us a lot about the people in our country and how we feel about what we have now, both positively and negatively. I had taken this survey before and answered all the same questions and got the same results. The first time I took it, my results showed that I supported Hillary a significant amount more than Trump, and my results were consistent this time around. I was not surprised by my results, as I am a strong supporter of her and like what she stands for. I could not imagine any of her opponents being in office. I wish I could vote in this election. I know many people who are saying they are not planning on voting because they don’t like either candidate. In my eyes, it is an American privilege to be able to vote, and those who don’t, in this election, are essentially voting for Trump. I am not a fan of Trump at all and feel that all votes matter. A vote for nobody is a vote for him in this odd type of election”


“This election connects to modern world history in many ways. This election is for the U.S.A. which is a big part of earth’s modern world. I have heard lots on NPR about people all around the world who tune into the election and some who even have come to the US to campaign for one candidate because they know it would affect them even in another country, or just affect other aspects of the world they care for. I do wish I could vote in this election for a couple reasons. In this election, it is one of the first elections that I have known enough about the world to understand what is happening, and throughout this election it has really made me think about what I want. I have drastically changed my political views over the past year. One year ago I didn’t really know or care much about the government and politics, and just followed my parents as Democrats. But over the last year and watching the presidential race I have grown also to want a change as many other people do. I disagree with my parents and would love to vote and show them the world, and my other surroundings, how I feel.”

“After taking the survey, this election connects to modern world history because overall all the parties involved, and who stands for what, are all so chaotic and jumbled. For example, after WWI when the world was in an unstable place, radical political parties formed- creating drastic effects. We saw that after WWI since Germany was struggling in all ways, the people of Germany looked to a stable, confident leader to believe in to bring the country back to a better state. Now, our world today is not like the world was after WWI, but our world is certainly not perfect. That being said, these presidential candidates, one more than the other, go to more drastic measures in order to catch the public. Also, not implying that we are responding to it the same way the Germans did.”

The result of the survey didn’t surprise me too much, I ended up siding with Clinton 95% and Trump 28%- which did surprise me a little bit. I really liked this survey because I think it was interesting to see how I side with by answering questions. It made a lot of sense to do it this way because I find myself really unsure knowing who I side with/believe in but this was a great way to see.”

Do you wish you could vote in this election? Why or why not?  

I really am torn with this question, I would usually want to vote because I think it’s important to vote. But, these two candidates don’t grab me very much, in any way, so I don’t wish that I could vote this year. But, in the future (because I will be 18 the next time there is an election) I will definitely vote. But as of right now in the circumstances of the election, I don’t wish to be voting this year.”

“This election reminds me of how twisted politics has become. It reminds me that politics is no longer for the well-being of the people but the well-being of a certain party’s wealth and authority. Congress is no longer united. It’s all a competition. Goals and decisions are no longer aimed for the people but for individual parties. The politics of America have become too selfish and messed up that Donald Trump is able to run for president AND he might become president. These twisted politics of America can spread to the whole world, causing many conflicts (like WW2). American politics can be seen as America’s weakness to the world, giving many of our enemies the chance to strike back on us, leading to a possible WW3.”

“I am very surprised that I got Jill Stein, for I had no idea she was running for president. Campaigns and commercials for the election have been taken over by the Trump campaign and the Hillary campaign, both with the most money. Money should not give others advantages in time like these. Money hides who they really are and hide other great minds apart of this election. I wish I could vote, maybe it could make a change.”


“After taking the survey, I realized how much this connects with what we are learning in history right now.  To us, it seems bizarre that a man like Hitler would have been able to have so many supporters, but Hitler’s rise in power probably looked a lot like our election. The survey covers many of the controversial topics that our country’s leaders have to make the tough calls on, but there are still many more. In Hitler’s time, there were probably many as well. People looked towards the strong persuasive candidates, who have very specific and unwavering stances on these topics that they can follow and trust, which is what people look for in candidates now. I was surprised about my results because as my parents are not citizens of the US, we don’t follow the election/politics as carefully as other families, so I really didn’t know what candidate I had similar views with. I do not wish I could vote in this election, because I do not know that much about this year’s election, so I don’t think I would be able to make a good decision.  When I am able to vote, I would definitely follow the election more carefully.”

“After taking the survey on, I noticed that there are so many more aspects to picking a future president than what you see or hear on T.V regarding their beliefs. This is similar to modern world history because most people vote on someone based on their public view in society and how strongly they present themselves. I initially came into this survey thinking I was going to get 100% for voting for Hillary, but I got 76% Hillary and 26% Trump, which is really surprising because I would never imagine myself supporting the same topics as Donald Trump. This election, I’m glad I cannot vote because I realized that you cannot fully side with one president because each candidate has values I support, which makes it really difficult because you have to prioritize which values mean more to you than others.”







“I Side With…” MB students take on the election

Recently in our Modern World History classes, MB sophomores took the “I Side With” survey and responded to the following prompt: “After taking the ‘I Side With’ survey, reflect on how this election connects to Modern World History. Did anything surprise you? Do you wish you could vote in this election? Why or Why not?” Here are several of their anonymous responses:

“The “I Side With” survey I took in class assessed me as siding with Hillary Clinton on 99% of issues. I was not particularly surprised by my results, as I am and have been an avid Clinton supporter. We agreed on nearly everything but our foreign policy strategies, she being more forcefully interventionist while I believe in exercising all attempts at imgresdiplomacy before armed conflict. I sided with Trump on 12% of issues, most of which were very general and primarily economic, such as minimum wage. I found it particularly interesting that many of the topics exhibited in the survey had been touched on in our class, whether directly or loosely correlated. I do wish that I could vote during this election because the candidates’ mentalities and rhetoric are so starkly divided. There is little that I agree with Trump on, and I believe that Clinton, whatever her flaws may be, will be viewed by history as a solid leader and groundbreaker.”

“The election connects to how many countries handled their policy and funding choices during the war and depression when the issues were even more pressing. It surprised me how complicated each category is, and how most of my answers affect other answer choices. I do wish I could vote in this election, but I also have hope that the candidate I side with and support, Hilary Clinton, will win the election.”

“I don’t know much about this election and have not really been following it. My survey results truly surprised me with how much I agreed with my top candidate. So much has been fed into my head through social media and what I am hearing from my parents and the news that I have never really formed my own opinions on the candidates. I just believed what I was hearing. This quiz was the first time I really compared my beliefs with those of the candidates and the outcome truly did shock me. Personally, I am glad that I am not voting in this election. Even with the results of this survey, I would not be able to get out all the negative connotations that come with the candidates out of my head. This would cause me not to be able to think straight, and I would not want to contribute to the nation’s fate without knowing 100% that who I am voting for will be better for our country.”


“I wasn’t surprised by the results. The questions I answered strongly agreed with were on the topics of security and economics, and my answers went along with what Republicans think. Like having more security on the border and having thorough backgrounds checks on immigrants even though some Republicans don’t want any immigrants to come. I think of myself as in Independent because I believe in same-sex marriage, but I also believe in a lot of what the Republicans believe in. I originally thought I would want to vote, but after taking this survey, here are a lot more issues that I don’t know about like increasing property taxes or environmental issues. So, I think it’s best that I am not voting this year because I still have a lot to learn about how our country works.”

“After taking “I Side With” survey, I was mostly surprised about my results and how similar my results were to Hillary Clinton’s ideas. I got a 97% match to both Hillary Clinton and Jill Stein, and although I know little about Jill Stein I’ve never supported Hillary Clinton unless it was just to disagree with Donald Trump. To connect this election to MWH, I think it is important to compare Trump to some Fascist rulers such as Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler. I do not support Trump in any way, but I do at least understand why many people do support him and think he is the clear choice for our president. Trump isn’t a politician, he is a businessman, and by funding his own campaign is able to say whatever he wants. Trump appeals to many people in this country because he is a candidate, unlike any past one who promises a businesslike approach to running our country. Like many Fascist rulers that rose after the Global Depression, Trump is appealing because he offers much more substantial and groundbreaking changes to the way our country is run and this does appeal to a lot of people. If I could vote in this election it would only be to submit a vote against Trump, but who I would vote for I’m not sure; I don’t think I’m familiar enough with the third party candidates to know.”

“After taking the “I Side With” survey, my answers resulted in me siding with Hillary Clinton 98%. This election clearly draws parallels to what we’ve been learning so far in Modern World History, specifically the topic of immigration. Hillary Clinton wants to continue to accept Syrian refugees into our country, with an extensive background search on all those being considered. I think this is really important to acknowledge the mistakes made by the United States in the past, by not accepting Jewish refugees, during the Holocaust, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. I wish I could vote in this election, because it is hard to stand by and watch the fate of the country I live in, in the hands of others.”

“In taking the “I Side With” survey, I realize how much will face the next president of United States. The amount of contentious issues is staggering. That being said, I believe that the election truly connects with many from the past. The problems in the United States, though they might change, they never go away. There will always be many issues that face the president, such as FDR during the Great Depression. We must trust the president to make the right decision with the situation at hand. This is one reason I am glad I can’t vote in this election. I feel neither of the candidates are worthy of that trust, and that neither of them truly deserve the spot. I do keep up with a majority of the political issues whether online or in the news. That is why not much surprised me from the survey.


“I was not completely surprised as to my results, however, the one thing that did surprise me was that I agreed with merely 10% of Donald Trump’s ideas. Also, the topics it said that I agreed with him on where immigration issues and the economy. I was shocked to see this because I thought that my view on immigration struggles was VERY different from his, especially due to many of the things he says in debates about the “bad hombres” coming from Mexico and creating a wall! When answering questions on immigration, I encouraged the US to admit more immigrants regardless of their background of country of origin. However, I believe that there should be background checks on most immigrants. This is not to stereotype or single any one race out, but it is important to protect our nation, and if there are statistics that can help us do that, then I suggest we do. I also believe that undocumented immigrants should not be immediately deported, but should have to face the same process that documented immigrants did for the safety and fairness of the process. I cannot say that I do wish I could vote in the election because I struggle with the candidate options we have. Regardless of how much I agree with their stances, I see many faults in both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.”

“It relates to what we are learning in MWH because in today’s world we have completely different situations than the ones we faced during World War II. Nothing surprised me, but when looking back through why I sided with Hillary Clinton, it made sense why she needs to win. I agreed 75% with what Hillary Clinton’s ideas were, and I was not surprised by it because she actually has a plan for America. I was extremely surprised that I sided with Donald Trump for 45% of his issues because most of his issues are either badly planned or impossibly expensive (i.e., the wall). When it came to the abortion law, that was one I sided with Trump because I think that it is completely wrong to kill babies regardless of the circumstances. Although Hillary did bad things in the past, I believe that due to her political experience she will have an edge over Donald Trump. The two candidates running are not good, but we have to either stick with that or a third party. I like my life how it is and when the time comes for me to be able to vote, I will have a better understanding of the policies the candidates put forth and how it will affect America positively or negatively.”

“Not much surprised me, but it was interesting to see how my opinions were similar to some of the candidates when I thought their views on a certain topic were slightly different from mine. I’m not sure that if I could vote, I would. Of course, I’d like to participate and to offer my opinion on the ballot. Although, as evidenced by the survey, I do not favor one candidate majorly over another. This election connects to Modern World History because the public’s opinion plays a major role in either choosing a new leader or president, as well as, engaging in war.”

“For me while filling out this survey, I noticed a lot of parallels mostly directed toward foreign policy, in particular refugees. I definitely felt the most comfortable answering these questions as I felt much more educated on them. I was surprised by how my best match at the end of the survey was Hillary. While watching the debates, I see myself often disagreeing with her stances, but when I sit down and look at them, they are indeed similar to mine. I realize that I seem to dislike Hillary not for her political stances but for her as a person. In a way this doesn’t seem right to me because choosing a president should be based mostly on policies, not them as a person. I am glad I am able to vote in this election because frankly, I cannot see either Trump or Clinton being the leaders of our country.”