The Plaque Project is an Alumni Ambassador driven initiative to create an informal history about the subject matter of certain plaques carved by Middlesex alumni. The Alumni Ambassadors have been in contact with members of the Middlesex Alumni Association since the beginning of the 2011 school year to discuss each of their respective plaques. Plaques are a time honored tradition at Middlesex, and it is a requirement for each senior to carve a plaque before he or she graduates.
Rhoden Monrose, MX '05, after moving from the small island of Saint Lucia to Harlem, NY, strived to fit in and mingle with other children in the district. Although he considered himself extremely lucky and happy for liberating himself from the rural confinements of Saint Lucia, he had difficulty getting accustomed to the new environment set forth by Harlem, NY. Rhoden however began to gain traction, for his accent began to fade by year 2 of his move and his mother endeavored to “Americanize” him and his sister. When Rhoden finally acquired the social acceptance that he direly searched for, it “backfired” as he started deliberately hiding his Saint Lucian identity and accent; so much so that he almost changed his full name, Rhoden Brad Monrose, to simply Brad Monrose. Indeed, he was having a great time at Middlesex with his new identity as the captain of the wrestling and rowing team, in addition to all that Middlesex has to offer. But it wasn’t until his senior year that he finally took time to reflect on the incredible and fortunate journey from Saint Lucia to Harlem to ultimately Middlesex. He recognized that the act of “Americanizing” himself was not the origin of his success but rather a superficial endeavor to socialize. His plaque, an emblem of Saint Lucia, represents his ultimate conclusion that the fundamental reason, unequivocally, came from his upbringing and cultural values from Saint Lucia. The plaque “is supposed to represent the immortal realization that I [Rhoden] have every reason to be proud of who I am and where I came from.”
Written by Mark Cho, MX Senior and an Alumni Ambassador