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  4. The Golden Children

Once upon a time, there was a man. A very hated man, an exiled man. He was never understood by anyone, but he never tried to understand anyone either. As a child, he was treated as an outcast by the people in his town. As soon as he grew up, his father threw him on the dirty streets, lost and broken. The man hid in the woods. A place where no one could hurt him. The man considered the woods a safe place, a place he could call his own. It was indeed unusual that such a dark and twisted place could be called home. Nobody wanted to go there since many legends talked about men and women that even God himself was scared to see.

The man was just a child when he committed his first murders. It wasn't anything big, just an old blind rabbit and some baby birds that he could feed on during the long, cold winter nights. The warm blood staining his tight clothes and the rough meat of the victims hanging from his rotten teeth made him feel powerful for once in his life. Since then he called himself a hunter.

One beautiful day, the Hunter was looking for his next prey when he heard the sweet voice filled with innocence. The man’s eyes lit up like matches while he hid behind a tree, observing the little figure dressed in red. Her voice was soft and childish, just like her body. The Hunter was confused about his sensations, was it the little girl or the unexplainable feelings that made him feel a pit in his stomach? As he watched the golden girl, a crooked, hairy, dirty creature approached her. The being introduced itself as “The Wolf.” The hunter could see the terror in her eyes… her beautiful eyes.

“Good day, Little Red Riding Hood,” the wolf said leaning down, observing her and sniffing her soft, curly hair. “Where are you going so early?” 

“To my grandmother’s,” she whispered while clinging on to the basket filled with medicine and food. 

“What a sweet little girl you are. Where does your grandmother live?” the Wolf continued. The little girl stumbled a little, biting her lip and looking down at her small shoes. 

“A quarter of an hour’s walk from here; her house stands beneath the three oak trees, and you may know it by the hazel bushes,” said Little Red Riding Hood. The child moved away and tried to fake a polite smile, telling the Wolf she had to go. The predator blocked her way. 

“Just look at the pretty flowers growing around you,” he said, pushing her towards a muddy path with some daisies growing on its edges. “I am sure your grandmother would be happy if you made her a bouquet. Don't you think?” the Wolf whispered into her ear. The girl moved away from his strong grip and nodded, her eyes still fixed on the ground. 

The Hunter’s eyes filled with hate as he watched the Wolf walk to the grandmother’s house. Maybe if he followed him right away things would’ve ended in a nicer way… but c'est la vie. The innocence of the golden girl hypnotized him. While he admired each move she made, the wolf had gotten to the little wooden house, hidden among the three oak trees. The monster knocked on the door. 

“Who is there?” the grandmother’s weak voice echoed from behind the door. 

“Red Riding Hood,” he replied as sweetly and kindly as his rough deep voice allowed him to. 

“Lift the latch” cried the grandmother, not suspecting a thing, and he did as he was told.

That poor old woman. If only someone told her that her death would be so cruel, she would have ended it herself. As she layed in bed, weak and sick the wolf was sharpening his claws. One cut, there was blood on the white sheets, one rip and her skin was no longer her own, seven chops and the screaming stopped. The wolf was carefully sewing her skin on top of his own, using her gray hair as strings. He put on her clothes and hid her lifeless body under the dusty bed. He lay in bed and waited for his victim to arrive, dreaming of her soft, young and innocent flesh. 

After an hour, he heard a rapid knock at the door. “Come in,” the Wolf yelled, hiding a part of his face under the covers. The little girl came in and gasped. The woman lying in bed was pale and odd, as if the skin was worn by the wrong body. Red Riding Hood didn’t think much of it… stupid naive little golden child. So pure and innocent, so angelic.

“O grandmother, what large ears you have!” 

“The better to hear with.” 

“O grandmother, what great eyes you have!” said the girl backing away as she saw the figure standing up from the bed.

“The better to see with,” said the wolf, no longer imitating the old woman's voice. He smiled.  

“O grandmother what large hands you have,” said Red Riding Hood while bumping into the corner of the room. 

“The better to take hold of you and devour you!” and as soon as the wolf said that the child’s red hood was on the floor. The wolf, who’s cruelty could be only human was getting closer and closer to the little crying girl when suddenly the door flew open and a skinny figure ran in. The hunter was now on top of the disguised bastard, choking him and screaming with tears in his eyes “I AM A GOLDEN BOY AS WELL! I DON’T BELONG HERE! I AM A GOLDEN BOY!” He started ripping the grandmother's skin off of the Wolf, exposing his sharp cheekbones and beard. His skull was already crushed but the Hunter wouldn't stop “I AM A GOLDEN BOY.” He kept on screaming while the eyes of the wolf rolled on the floor. 

Red Riding Hood ran out of the house of madness and got home as fast as she could. She told her mother about everything that happened but the only thing she has got in return was a burning slap. “Shut up!” her mother said while scratching the back of her head “What will the neighbors say? What will your father say? Do you really think someone will believe you? My daughter is acting like a madwoman.” The little girl cried “But I am telling the truth! Please believe me!” 

With bruises on her back and a bleeding lip,  Red Riding Hood went to sleep. As she was resting her eyes, a faint knock echoed from her window. She stood up in pain and walked towards it. As she grabbed onto the curtains, a chilling whisper came from the other side. “I am a golden child, just like you.” 

The girl froze.


Environment After CoVid 19
Chapter 1: The World Around Us

Opinion: A New Perspective on the Environment After CoVid-19

There are ducks in the Barcaccia, dolphins inquisitively approaching Italian harbors and weeds colonizing urban spaces where human feet no longer tread: nature reconquering lost spaces is one of the short-term effects of this pandemic.

By Jan Claus Di Blasio, Gardens and Sustainability Coordinator

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Chapter 1: The World Around Us

Some Notes from Isolation

Who else has begun to think of their lives as divided into the BC (Before Covid) and DC (During Covid) eras? Oh, those simple things we took for granted: catching some fresh air during a short afternoon walk in the park. Having a coffee at the corner bar. A long, leisurely weekend lunch with a friend. A spontaneous decision to go and see a movie. For that matter, a spontaneous decision merely to go and pick up milk and laundry soap at the grocery store.

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us

I’m 15 and Quarantined in Italy—You’d Be Surprised What I Miss

I was in Latin class when the Italian government announced the closure of schools two months ago.

By Anthony Avallone '23
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us

Romance in the Time of Coronavirus

Right-wing populists are romantics. I know; that sounds strange. You probably imagine romantics staring out over misty moors, their hair blowing at an attractive angle, but make no mistake—Orban, Trump, Bolsonaro, Salvini, Le Pen? They’re romantics too.

By Jen Hollis - Former St. Stephen’s IB History Teacher
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us

How a Virus Interrupted the Daily Routine at a Day and Boarding School

On Thursday, March 5th 2020, an unusual silence settled into the hallways, classrooms, and dorm rooms of St. Stephen’s School.

By Natalie Edwards '14 - RA and Dean's Office Assistant
Chapter 2: Creative Writing

Winners of the Keats-Shelley House Poetry Contest

In May, two St. Stephen’s students, Leila El-Zabri and Isabella Todini, won both of the prizes in the Upper School category of the Keats-Shelley Poetry Contest. This year’s judge was Jackie Kay, award-winning poet, author, and the current Scots Makar (the Scottish Poet Laureate). Ms. Kay was extremely impressed with the technical facility and emotional depth of our students’ work.

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
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Chapter 2: Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Ms. Egan is proud to present work that has been done in her Creative Writing Classes in the Fall and Spring Semesters. Enjoy!

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Chapter 2: Creative Writing

Children of the Red Dragon

By Ilaria Chen, Grade 10
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Chapter 2: Creative Writing

The Golden Children

By Sofia Ghilas '21
Chapter 4: Fall Trips 2019

Fall School Trips 2019

Welcome to our interactive Fall trips 2019 photo galleries. Click the albums for a visual journey through our adventures!

Chapter 3: Short Stories in Italian | Italian language

Viaggio intorno alle nostre camere

By Rossano Astremo - IB Italian Teacher
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Chapter 4: Fall Trips 2019

Why We Take School Trips

When students enter St. Stephen’s as 9th graders, they will attend eight trips in the course of their career. Trips are an integral part of our identity, and one of the most frequently cited distinctions when Head of School Eric Mayer speaks with parents and students.

By Cortile Staff Writer
Chapter 5: Departments | Molecular Genetics

Molecular Genetics, a Flagship Program

The Molecular Genetics program at St. Stephen's was introduced in 2018 in partnership with Adamas Scienze as a five-year initiative. Adamas Scienze is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo, Italy that specializes in bringing university-level science to high school students.

By Fiona Leckie - Science Department Chair, Chemistry Teacher
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Chapter 5: Departments | Classics, The Lyceum

An Archaeology for the Five Senses: A Lyceum Evening

On Monday evening, a group of students, teachers, alumni, and friends of St. Stephen’s gathered in the library to explore the sights, sounds, and, most importantly, the smells of Ancient Roman cities with Ann Kolosky-Ostrow, a Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Brandeis and recent Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Rome.

By Natalie Edwards '14 - RA and Dean's Office Assistant
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Chapter 5: Departments | International Baccalaureate (IB)

The Benefits of an IB Education

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is well respected and globally recognized as a very intensive, yet highly rewarding academic programme which is offered in high schools, like St. Stephen's. If you wish to pursue higher education in Europe, such as in the UK, Germany, or Finland, then the IB will be incredibly beneficial towards taking your first steps into university.

By David Rosales '16
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Chapter 5: Departments | Classics

Discovering Our City with the City of Rome Class

One of St. Stephen’s’ signature courses, Roman Topography, got an upgrade this year. The new course is called City of Rome. In the past, students were required to take either Roman Topography or Latin 1. Beginning in Fall 2019, all ninth graders take City of Rome and choose between three classical languages: Latin, Classical Greek, or Arabic.

By Natalie Edwards '14 - RA and Dean's Office Assistant
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Chapter 6: Student Life | Student Ambassador Program

Hi, I'm Sofia Peng, and I am a Student Ambassador!

I think that being a Student Ambassador made me grow so much. As a student, I concentrated mainly on my academics, yet I was never a talkative and outgoing person at school because I thought I wasn't a fluent English speaker. As it is not my first language, I have never really managed to speak comfortably around people other than my friends without feeling nervous about being judged. I always had a hard time dealing with my self-esteem and I doubted myself.

By Sofia Peng '22
Chapter 6: Student Life | Students Love Tech!

The iLab is the Place to Be at St. Stephen’s!

I think it would be safe to say that the Innovation Lab, the ILab for short, is my favorite place in the entire school. It allows for anyone with an interest in tech, design, or anything similar to enjoy themselves while also learning at the same time and pushing themselves beyond what they thought they were going to be able to do, ever.

By Valerio Pepe '22
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Chapter 6: Student Life | Students Love Tech!, Formula 1

Life in the Fast Lane

When you think of Formula 1, you probably don’t think of engineering, aerodynamics, economics, marketing, and design yet these are just a few of the components that go into building the sleek race cars that characterize the sport.

By Natalie Edwards '14 - RA and Dean's Office Assistant
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Chapter 6: Student Life | Student Clubs, Chris Smalling

Tackling Inequality

AS Roma defender and Manchester United legend Chris Smalling was invited to talk to students of St. Stephen's School about equality in sports, his vegan diet, and, of course, football, on 2 December 2019.

By Laith Zehni '20
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Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, 2020

Again this year, St. Stephen’s Creative Writing teacher Moira Egan is delighted to present the work of her students, who achieved wonderful success in the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition for 2020. This year, students in Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 garnered 10 Honorable Mentions, 6 Silver Keys, and 2 Gold Keys.

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
Grade 9 award
Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2020

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
Grade 10 award
Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2020

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
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Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2020

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
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Chapter 8: The Arts

Winter Arts Show

Enjoy a visual showcase of our Winter Arts Show highlights.

By Luigi Fraboni - Photography Studio
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Regenerative medicine (RM) is an emerging and very exiting multidisciplinary field aimed at restoring, maintaining or enhancing tissue and, consequently, organ functions.

By David Rosales '16
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Chapter 9: Alumni | Alumni & Friends, Health & Wellness

Alumni & Friends in Oman

Our fearless leader Dr Helen Pope lead in October our 5th edition of Alumni & Friends Trip. A group of 10 alumni followed Dr Pope in Oman, The Land of Frankincense.

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Chapter 9: Alumni

DC, NY & Boston Alumni Events

Images from St. Stephen's Alumni events across the North East last Fall.

Painting by Cate Whittemore 1972
Chapter 9: Alumni | Class Notes

Class Notes

Welcome to our first-ever digital 'Class Notes.' Enjoy the posts and images collated by Class Ambassadors from their respective years!