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Artifact Activity, Coursework Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1477

Coursework

The school, Deep Run High, opened its doors to provide academic success to its students just eight years ago during the year 2002. The school believes that dedication to its students’ academic success and future is the key for facilitating learning. This is done through the innovation of modern technologies which are seen utilized in the classroom setting. Deep Run High values integrity among its students, faculty and staff. The school displays a high energy of school spirit and pride. This is seen through the modeling of every student who are committed to their work and endevours.

The artifact I have chosen is my school’s crest. The crest is a medieval shield with a faint blue border, the top is of wavy lines, and there are two horizontal lines going across the mid-section and the top section, one vertical line right in the middle, halting at the first horizontal line. In the section being separated at the top, the first third of the shield is an image of the school’s mascot, which is a wildcat. The cat is portrayed by blue lines, implying only a mouth, fangs, teeth whiskers and eyes. It seen as snarling. The middle section which compromises of four sections is alternately colored dark blue and white. In faint blue colors, there are words which reflect what the school is about. These words are:

  • Integrity
  • Dedication
  • Pride
  • Innovation

They are written using Old English font and are in all small case letters. Under the shield in a banner, which is folded on either end, revealing trimmed edges, this banner has a border of faint blue This has the words: “est. DEEP RUN 2002” in that same order. Deep Run is the name of the school, and 2002 was the year it began as an academic institution. The writing used for the banner is Old English, and the words “Deep Run” were written using all capital letters.

All colors are said to have meaning and symbolism. The only color used in the school crest is blue (Wissing, 2009). Blue is said to be the overwhelming “favorite color” of many.It is seen as trustworthy, dependable and committed. It is the color of sky and the ocean, blue is perceived as a constant and never changing, also it is the color which surrounds us.

This can be seen as representative in the school as an overall institution. It stands as constant and never changing in its aims, goals and overall objectives for its students.

Studies have found that blue is the collective color of the spirit, it invokes feelings of rest and can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming; however not all blues are serene and sedate, this is the case of the faint blue seen in the crescent (Wissing, 2009). Darker or more brilliant blues become dynamic and dramatic, an engaging color that expresses exhilaration.

How the color blue affects us physically and mentally:

  • Calming and sedate
  • Cooling
  • Aids intuition (Wissing, 2009)

This choice of color reflects Deep run’s vision school of providing education for students where they can be successful. This is seen in the particular characteristic of blue where it is said to aid intuition. The school’s vision is:

Deep Run high school will be an exemplary school where all students are successful.

We will be recognized nationally as a school of excellence.” (qtd. “Deep Run”, 2010).

Deep run is a successful academic institution, and does play its part in providing sufficient education for its students to ensure their success in life. This shows in the school’s overall test results and statistics. It had received a “Silver Medal” in U.S. News’s rankings and reviews under the category of Best High Schools (“US News Rankings”, 2010).Observed behavioral regularities in the school suggest that there is a very high consideration of school spirit displayed in the institution as well as by the students. This is seen in sporting events and the general respect students show during assemblies and other forms of student body gatherings.

The symbolism of blue can also be associated with water (Wissing, 2009). This makes me think of its connection with the school’s name, being Deep Run. The two words used can both be words to describe water. Deep water, describing water, and water run, describing the action of water being unstill. This can be seen in the schools norms; technologies are ever changing and they are not still. This is representative of the constant flow water can take in form.

Medieval Shields were developed to shield, or protect, a knight or soldier from the direct blows from the weapons of their enemies. The art of designing, displaying, describing, and recording arms is called heraldry. This is why the school’s crest is an important part of the school’s identity. There were many personal meanings behind the medieval shield designs and the symbols that were used to decorate them.

The school’s shield was designed in a way that the top part was a wavy line, this is said to mean the ocean or water (Wissing, 2009). This could be in connection with the color meaning discussed above. Or, it could mean cleanliness or purity. This is in connection with the school’s mission:

The Deep Run High School Community is dedicated to life-long learning, student success, and involvement in the total school program.

We are committed to a supportive environment fostering compassion, citizenship, respect for others, and school pride.

All students will reach their potential through differentiated instruction, innovation practice, and the effective use of technology Students, parents, staff, and the community are partners in this mission”(qtd. “Deep Run”, 2010).

The connection with water can be seen where it states that the school’s environment aims to foster compassion and respect, these are features which are said to be associated with water.

The words in the cross-section area of the shield also directly related to the school’s mission. This is where they state that the school aims for integrity, dedication and pride, which knights are known for and are symbols of, and innovation, which is seen in the goals of the school integrating technology in learning.

The shield of the school has a wildcat and words incorporated in its design. The Knights Shield were said to display a heraldic blazon which identified the Knight, this can be seen in the school’s crest, and however it is done in a less similar way (“Fleur delis meanings”, n.d.). The Shield was asymbol of Knighthood. The Old English font on the school’s cresent can be said to coincide with its theme of being medieval. Also, knights during that time would inscribe names on their shield as a form of recognition. The most famous shield designs featured the cross; this was adopted by the religious knights of the era including the Hospitallers and the Knights Templar who had fought during the Crusades. The Knights Templar order adopted the splayed Red Cross as their emblem (“Fleur delis meanings”, n.d.). The cross on a coat of arms often meant that the original bearer had been to the Crusades. The school’s crest has sort of a cross in the middle which is seen represented by the lines which are intersecting, creating the sections for the words. However, this does not mean that the school is religious because it is a public school.

The school’s shield represents its dominant values. It is a form of protection for the students, and something which the students can hold up with pride. This pride reflects upon the school’s achievement of a Silver Medal status in the United States News Ranking as stated above.

The wildcat on top of the crest is the school’s mascot. The cat has many meanings and holds a lot of symbolism interpretations depending on cultural perspectives. The cat can be seen as a symbol of liberty, vigilance, forecast, and courage; this brings us back to the words pride and dedication in the school’s mission. Cats are seen as animals of pride and fines. They roar with pride and stand tall, they are seen as powerful creatures which are swift and brave.

The overall artifact is the school’s culture embodied. It is innovative and representative of the utilization of technologies which the school uses to achieve its goals. The school values integrity, which is seen reflective of the students, faculty and staff; in their respect for others. Additionally, the emblem represents dedication in providing its students the utmost excellence in education. The mascot of the school is a wildcat, showing its pride in achieving excellence which is the school’s dominant value; the school colors, being blue, representative of water shows that the school is flowing with energy and innovation. It can be said that the high school is “Where the Wildcat Pride Runs Deep”.

References

Deep Run (2010). Deep Run High School: About Us. Retrieved from http://henrico.k12.va.us/hs/deeprun/602.html

U.S. Rankings and Reviews (2010). Deep Run High School. Best High Schools. Retrieved from  http://education.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/listings/high-schools/virginia/deep_run_high_school

Fleur delis meanings (n.d.). The meanings behind shields. Fleur Delis. Retrieved from http://www.fleurdelis.com/meanings.htm

Wissing, Krista (2009). Water Symbolism. Suite 101. Retrieved from http://www.suite101.com/content/water-symbolism-a129182

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