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Fox Lane High School's Kaitlyn Hardy Recognized by New York’s Italian Heritage Culture Committee
Just before the school year ended last June, Fox Lane High School Italian teacher Vittoria Buzzetto told her advanced Italian classes about an essay competition for students in the tri-state area. The annual contest is sponsored by New York’s Italian Heritage Culture Committee and required students to write about one of Italian director Federico Fellini’s films.
Kaitlyn Hardy not only took up the challenge, but she was recognized for her excellence.
“I want to applaud Kaitlyn for taking the time to attempt this task and showing such motivation during the end of a stressful school year,” Buzzetto said. “Aside from her responsible work ethic during the entire year, Kaitlyn’s willingness to take part in this shows the maturity and determination of a thoughtful young lady who was willing to delay the start of her summer break to devote time to a task she considered important and meaningful.”
Passionate about film and intrigued by the prize (the first place winner, a student from Hendrick Hudson High School, received $200), Kaitlyn knew she had to take part in the contest. She decided to write about Fellini’s 1963 film, “8½.”
“I wrote about his use of the oneiric film theory, which interprets films as a parallel of one’s dreams and uses dream-like visuals, concepts, and themes,” Kaitlyn said. “Throughout my essay, I analyzed the ways in which Fellini displays this and how he parallels his visuals with the plot and themes of his story. “8½” is about Guido Anselmi, a self-absorbed filmmaker who is trying to make his latest movie, which seems to be based on his life. The film splits between scenes of his life and daydreams, demonstrating his growing rift between reality and fantasy as well as truth and lies.”
The topic would be impressive enough in her native language, but Kaitlyn wrote her essay in Italian.
“I’ve been taking Italian for seven years, since the sixth grade,” the senior said.
Described by Buzzetto as “sweet, humble and responsible,” Kaitlyn said she was pleasantly surprised to be recognized by the committee.
“I am sometimes reluctant to be proud of my achievements because I think that, in the greater sense of things, they’re trivial or unimportant,” she said. “However, this accomplishment is one I am truly proud of because it reflects my passions.”
A lover of film, Kaitlyn is also enamored with Italian culture, both past and present.
“It’s extremely interesting to see the similarities and differences of our culture and theirs,” she said. “I love learning about the different ways in which Italians express themselves and their culture, whether that's through food or extravagant celebrations. Everything seems so lively and vibrant.”
While Kaitlyn is taking AP Italian this year, her last in high school, she plans to continue studying Italian in the future.
“The Italian language and culture has such a rich and deep history,” she said. “While we’ve delved into many facets of it in my classes, I’m excited to see what else I can learn.”