Vanguard revisits its history

Michael Kahn ’74, Associate Editor of The Vanguard, Volume One

To celebrate the launch of Volume 50, The Vanguard is digging deep into its archives and uncovering some of the voices we have preserved
in print. Read on for perspective and articles from Michael Kahn and Chester Beattie (both ’74), two editors of this publication’s first volume.

What was it like living and writing
during the event you covered?

The school had already started experimenting
with different co-ed classes years before
the merger. I took Russian, for example,

starting in the ninth grade, and that was co-
ed then, but most classes were not. Single-
sex education, like everything, has its pluses

and minuses. I think for both the girls and
the boys it was much more distracting.
Before co-education, for the boys, you did
your Latin homework, played football, and
went home. Co-education made things more
complicated, but in a good way. The merger
provided for a more normal social life.

What advice do you have for high
schoolers today?
I’m a great believer in rereading. Just read
[a piece] over and over again until the sound
really gets in your head. And then you’ll
know, when you’re writing, if it has the
right sound or not. It’s almost like music.
How does this sound? If you read good
writing enough, you get the music in your
head, and you’ll know what’s good, what it
should sound like, or when it’s getting dull
or boring or too fancy or too plain. And
then you can modify your own writing so it
has the right sound.