More Notes November 5, 2009
Issue No. 4
The Busy World Questions and Answers: Robert Sim
Robert is always thinking. And that’s a good thing; his role at High Mowing touches
of Mr. Sim every student, staff and faculty member. So, he has a lot to think about. More Notes
wondered what currently occupies his mind as the school year swings into high gear:
Q: What is your role at High Mowing?
A: I have a few roles here. First and foremost, I am a teacher. I teach blocks and
track classes. This year I am teaching the following blocks:
Robert Sim Grade 9: Permutations and Combinations (math)
Academic Dean Grade 10: Surveying (math)
High Mowing School Grade 11: The Divine Comedy (humanities/literature), Parzival
(humanities/literature), Projective Geometry (math).
And the following track classes: Algebra 2 (math),
Trigonometry (math), Intermediate German, Advanced
German (Foreign languages).
In previous years I have also taught: History through
Language and History through Science (blocks) and track
classes in Euclidean Geometry, Statistics and the History of
I am the advisor to eight students and a mentor to the
I am also the Academic Dean. My task is
to ensure that students fulfill their potential
in the academic realm. In this capacity I co-chair
the Academic and Educational Support Committee.
In addition, I am on the Admissions Committee, helping to
assess applications from potential students. I also sit on the
Tuition Aid Committee. And I am part of the Leadership
Team, the five person group that helps to run the school.
Finally, I am a trustee and sit on the Board Finance Committee.
Robert Sim Q: What drew you to High Mowing?
continued A: I have been a Waldorf teacher for 28 years. I spent the first 11 years teaching
English to all grades in the Freie Waldorf Schule am Bodensee, Germany. This
was followed by 14 years as a class teacher, in Germany and at Pine Hill. I felt
that I needed time as a high school teacher after my class teacher experience. I
had known about High Mowing for many years, and my two youngest children
graduated from this school. I felt that my experience could be helpful to High
Mowing in meeting the challenges of the future. It is truly a place of extraordi-
nary beauty, with some wonderful traditions and I am happy that the opportunity
opened up to become a teacher here.
Q: What is your biggest challenge here?
A: My biggest challenge is to keep my teaching as fresh as possible in the face of
the demands on my time. One way I have done that is the decision to teach at
least one new subject per year. I do not want to simply repeat what I have done
before. I firmly believe that the enthusiasm one has for a subject is an essential
ingredient for successful teaching.
My favorite moments are generally in the classroom.
When students come through their struggles to
understand a concept in mathematics, I am truly happy.
When we have a deep discussion on the nature of
morality while reading Dante’s Inferno then I know why
I am a teacher. Experiencing transformations
in students — what could be more exhilarating?
— Robert Sim
More Notes from High Mowing School | www.highmowing.org | November 5, 2009 | 2
PARENTS WEEKEND from the Executive Director
In spite of the rainy weather, Parents Weekend
2009 was a great success. Parents had an
opportunity to meet each other as well
as our teachers, staff members and their
children’s friends. We had receptions, a
Parent Association meeting, a gathering
with faculty and staff and meetings with
class mentors. Of course, there were also
many individual conferences with teachers.
The students’ music and eurythmy perfor-
mances were inspiring. And, although the
scheduled soccer games were rained out,
the men’s and women’s soccer teams
were able to scrimmage.
As one of our faculty members said, “The
school community always feels much more
complete after Parents Weekend!”
Parent Survey Reminder: If you haven’t already done so, please take
a moment to complete our online Parent Survey as part of
the accreditation process. We will be collecting respons-
es until Monday, Nov 16. Click on this link to weigh
in with your thoughts and opinions about our school:
Please take the survey only once! But remember: each parent in a family
is encouraged to participate. Thanks for your insight and support!
www.highmowing.org | November 5, 2009 | 3
The men’s and women’s soccer teams continue their strong seasons! Unfortunately
Jazmin Ment — High Mowing several games were rained out, including the ones planned for Parents Weekend.
cross country participant —
took first place in the meet at
This past Saturday, the women played Dublin and won 6 to 0! Similarly, the men
Vermont Academy on October
21. Jazmin ran the 5 kilometer participated in the Small Schools Soccer Tournament
course in 23:58, winning the hosted at the White Mountain School and won the
event which included com- tournament for the second year in a row. The
petitors from five schools. outstanding player award went to Co-Captain
Brian Schmidt. Matt McLean deserves rec-
ognition for playing shut-out goal keeping
through the entire tourney.
A sports award ceremony will take place on
November 18 for the soccer season. This will
be a “dress up affair” starting at 7:30p.m. and
will take place in the Big Room.
More Notes from High Mowing School | www.highmowing.org | November 5, 2009 | 4
Naturalist students have been busy preparing for winter – just like the rest of the natural
Naturalist world. And, their activities have been just as eye-catching as the autumn foliage! Begin-
News ning students have been exploring the mystery of fire, testing their hands at the age-old
use of flint and steel before advancing to the challenge of friction fires. Intermediate
students have been making capotes (French for “cape coat”— introduced to the Americas
during the French and Indian War) and possibles bags. Possibles bags date back to the
days when we spent more time wandering the deep woods. They get their quirky name
from the early explorers who used these bags to carry the necessary items that made life
possible in the woods. Our students will also place the many little things they make into
these bags, when they have their own encounter with the wilds later in the season!
Last but not least, our Advanced students placed
the final touches on the wigwam exterior before
moving onto the interior design and construction.
Their hope is to have a museum-quality structure
for the Admissions team to show prospective stu-
dents when they visit High Mowing. It is often dif-
ficult for visitors to go into the woods to see the
wonderful projects that our students undertake.
Hopefully, this project will offer an easily-acces-
sible example of what the Naturalist Program is
about, while providing students an opportunity to
explore the ways in which indigenous cultures in-
terfaced with their environment.
To the right,
Seamus Conley ‘11
and Erika Oliver
‘11 make possibles
bags. Seamus works
on his bag while
wearing a newly
made capote. Above,
Peter McColl ‘13
blows a tinder
bundle into flames
after using flint and
steel. And, a group
of students attach
thatch bundles to a
More Notes from High Mowing School | www.highmowing.org | November 5, 2009 | 5
Reflections on the AWSNA conference
fROM THE ACADEMIC DEAN — Robert Sim
Two weeks ago Keith Badger and I attended the AWSNA fall conference entitled, The Awakening Self:
Sleeping and Breathing in Adolescence. Almost fifty Waldorf high school teachers spent the weekend
pondering the tasks we are facing as educators today. Both of us felt inspired and invigorated by our encoun-
ters with colleagues from other Waldorf schools. Conferences such as this one are an important aspect of
professional development and an essential component of one’s renewal as a teacher.
What are the primary tasks that face us in the education of adolescents at the present time? There was a
consensus amongst the participants that we have a responsibility to help our students find meaning in the
world. There are too many examples of disenfranchised young people who fail to connect emotionally. We
must teach in such a way that we strengthen the students’ relationships to the world around them. We also
have the responsibility to help them nurture their ideals. Our graduates should go into the world wanting to
change that which is unjust. Our task is to empower them with the feeling that they can make a difference.
It is truly inspiring to consider such over-arching aims as these. We are responsible for ensuring that each
student realizes his or her full potential at school. A great deal is demanded of students in the course of each
day and many of them appear tired. This begs the question: what constitutes a healthy rhythm for students?
Are we giving our adolescents the optimal nourishment for their development? How can we help them deal
with the flood of impressions they are exposed to each day? Perhaps an answer lies in Rudolph Steiner’s
characterization of the task of education. In the first course for Waldorf teachers in 1919, he said the aim of
education is to help students to sleep and breathe properly. The participants of the conference departed with
the feeling that research into this issue could provide a significant direction for our pedagogy.
from the A Consultant Visits High Mowing
On September 28, Executive Director, Doug Powers, Admissions Director, Pat Meissner
Admissions and Enrollment Committee member, Patrick Gillam met with Educational Consultant
Marylou Marcus. Marylou came to High Mowing to offer advice about the educational
Office consulting world and ways to spread the word about our school in the independent school
sector. Following our meeting, Marylou toured our campus. Her enthusiasm for our school
Several days later, Marylou posted a blog about High Mow-
ing on the AdmissionsQuest website, in which she described
her impressions. AQ is an organization that connects families
and schools. It serves as a community hub for families asking
questions and learning about boarding schools. Follow this
link to see what Marylou had to say: http://www.admission-
squest.com/onboardingschools/ then type in High Mowing
School in the “search this blog” field.
www.highmowing.org | November 5, 2009 | 6
Updates High Mowing Goes on the road with the NH Supreme Court
On October 21, the Government and Economics classes attended the 11th annual New
Hampshire Supreme Court on the Road. This is the first time High Mowing has been in-
vited to this unique event and we joined four hundred students to witness oral arguments
in the appellate process of two cases.
The first case involved a woman who was stopped under suspicion of driving while in-
toxicated. She alleged that the policeman who detained her failed to perform the sobriety
test properly and gave two different accounts of the incident—one in the initial report and
another on the stand during the trial. Due to these inconstancies, the woman was appeal-
ing the case, as the evidence was circumstantial and unclear.
The second case involved a man accused of assault. Although he was acquitted of the
most serious charge, he had been found guilty on a lesser charge and sentenced to two
years in jail. He was also required to pay restitution for the victim’s medical bills. He
claimed that the facts of the case were circumstantial, making the sentence and restitution
inappropriate to the findings of the first trial.
Prior to hearing these cases, the Government and Economic classes at High Mowing
were briefed by an attorney from the State Public Defender’s Office. The students were
able to ask about the laws in question and how the State Supreme Court works. At the Su-
preme Court session, students were given the opportunity to pose questions to the lawyers
involved in the two cases.
After both appeals were argued and the justices recessed, students were able to ask the
Judges about their lives and careers, so long as their questions did not involve any current
cases. The opportunity to speak directly to NH Supreme Court Judges was enlightening.
CoNtINUed oN tHe NeXt paGe
deaN of H1N1 flU Update
We are grateful that the HMS community has been almost entirely “flu-free” this school year. We are
keeping our fingers crossed that this trend continues. We are following the communications from the
report Department of Health and are aware that cases statewide are likely rise in November and December. Of
course, we continue to stress good hygiene. Many students have been seen coughing into their elbows —
an important practice during flu season! Please remember to keep your child home if he/she is not feeling
well. If you are the parent of a boarding student you may be asked to come and pick up your child if he/
she is displaying symptoms of the flu. Let’s hope we all stay well.
More Notes from High Mowing School | www.highmowing.org | November 5, 2009 | 7
at NHHeaf NetWorK
CeNter for ColleGe
Free college information webinars
designed for students and par- Classroom Updates While on the job, all were in their element, firing
ents. Registration is required. Go continued questions and attacking both sides with logic
to http://www.nhheaf.org and
click on information for students and observations. However, while answering the
or parents. students’ questions, each of them changed their
demeanor and we were able to see that they were
Filing the FAFSA/CSS Profile real people. They encouraged us to ask questions and they made sure we understood that,
Wednesday, November 11 to become something, one must be determined and balanced in all that one tries. It was a
3:00-4:30 p.m. great honor to be invited to such an event. —Jessica van Dam ’10
The Write Stuff (essay)
Wednesday, November 11
5:00- 6:30 p.m.
College Costs and Funding freshman Block performance Scheduled
Strategies The freshman class and Judy Wachler invite all parents to an evening of comedy
Monday November 23 and tragedy on Thursday, November 19 in the Big Room at 7:30p.m. The class will
perform pivotal scenes from Sophocles’ Oedipus and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer
Night’s Dream. This performance is the culmination of their Comedy and Tragedy
Junior families are encouraged to
attend as well. block which began October 27. They have been learning about the birth of drama
in ancient Greece as well as developing their own skills in speech, movement and
gesture. Please come and witness their enthusiasm and budding talent!
ALMOST GOT IT!:
Students participate in the
after school ultimate frisbee
group lead by Cedar Oliver.
More Notes from High Mowing School | www.highmowing.org | November 5, 2009 | 8
Student News High Mowing
for New Hampshire
Jazz all-State Music
On October 24, three
students auditioned for
the New Hampshire
noteworthy? Jazz All-State Music Festival. The event, hosted by the New Hampshire Music Educa-
tors’ Association, will be held at Pinkerton Academy in February 2010. Roughly 100
students—including the members of two jazz choirs and two big bands—are accepted to
tell us! the Festival. More than 500 students audition for the event. Michelle Crocetti ’10, Caitlin
Gillam ’12 and Ellie Davis ’12 joined their ranks at Nashua South High School.
highmowing.org While only Ellie was ultimately accepted to the Festival, all three girls worked hard on
their preparation (with the help of the David Anderson Music Fund), braved a tough audi-
tion process, and represented our school beautifully on October 24th. Please congratulate
all of them! —Elise MacDonald
REACHING NEW HEIGHTS:
Rose Durnan ‘11 and Sam
Bernstein ‘13 enjoy after
school rock climbing at High
Mowing, under the tutelage of
Upcoming Events November
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Event Details driver’s education at High Mowing
Scenic Driving School will begin their annual driver’s education training on Janu-
for more ary 14. This class will go through March 2010, and will take place on Tuesdays and
calendar items: Thursdays from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at High Mowing. The cost is $475 for in-state driv-
ers and $625 for out-of-state drivers. This price includes driving time which is part
of the course offering, but not the additional 40+ hours of driving that all students are
required to do outside of formal instruction times. Please notify Keith Badger if you
are interested or if you have further questions: 603 654-9408 ext. 108 or athletics@
More Notes from High Mowing School | www.highmowing.org | November 5, 2 009 | 10
IS opeN oN tHeSe
Event Details parent association Meeting
The next Parent Association gathering will
Veterans Day continued
November 11, 2009
be held on November 12 from 6:30p.m. to
9:00p.m. The evening will begin with a potluck
Martin Luther King Day supper. Please join us at the home of Amy and
January 18, 2010 Michael Conley, 102 Elm Street, Milford. All are welcome!
Presidents’ Day RSVP to the Conley’s house at 603 672-1744. Teleconference call-in time is
February 15, 2010 7:15p.m. EDT: 712 580-7700, password 444466. We also welcome late callers!
May 31, 2010
Katrina Kenison lewers lecture and potluck
Join us December 12 at 6:30p.m. for a potluck dinner followed by
Katrina Kenison Lewers’ presentation on her latest book,
The Gift of an Ordinary Day. In the words of Family
Circle, “This eloquent book is subtitled ‘A Mother’s
Memoir’ but that’s not giving Kenison’s chron-
icle of her sons’ increasing independence
its full due. It’s also about longing and
fulfillment, taking stock of failures and
achievements, a search for the elusive
‘something more’ of one’s existence—
and a reminder that life’s seemingly
mundane moments are often where we
find beauty, grace and transformation.”
Katrina is the mother of Henry LEWERS ’09.
Additional information can be found at www.ka-
trinakenison.com/. Details on exact location to come.
Uncle fran’s Breakfast to play at Studio 99
On November 13, Shea Vaccaro ’10, Seamus Conley ’11 and
Jonah Tolchin ’11, collectively known as Uncle Fran’s Breakfast,
will perform an 8:00p.m. headlining concert at Studio 99 in Nash-
ua. The band’s blues focus is well known at High Mowing— they
performed on the main Oval Stage at the Milford Pumpkin Festival
in mid-October. For more information on the band, visit: http://
More Notes from High Mowing School | www.highmowing.org | November 5, 2 009 | 11
More NoteS fOND MEMORY:
is published every other More Notes
week throughout the school published this photo
year by High Mowing School. of Mrs. Emmet, right,
If you would like to have an item in our last issue.
considered for publication, please We asked our readers
submit it via email to: to identify the student
firstname.lastname@example.org on the left. Geraldine
‘49 informed us it is
Submission deadlines: Deirdre O’MEARA
Nov 16 Humphrey ‘45.
Nov 30 Dec 14 Thank you, Geraldine!
Dec 28 Jan 11
Jan 25 Feb 8
Feb 22 Mar 8
May 3 Community Bulletin Board
May 17 May 31
from the Color Shop and More — Main Street, Wilton, NH
The Color Shop and More receives new seasonal shipments everyday...
✶ Little table witches and wizards ✶ Wizard and Pirate costumes ✶ Fairy Wings and
High Mowing School capes ✶ Seasonal books and art kits ✶ Beautiful felted pumpkins and ghosts or “felt
222 Isaac frye Highway your own pumpkin” kits ✶ Gifts for all occasions !! ✶ PLUS a wide variety of cold
Wilton, NH 03086 and flu remedies, including Boiron, Uriel Cold Care Kits and Burts Bees hand sanitizer.
We are so grateful to be in the position of promoting Waldorf Education and Anthro-
posophy to the public. Our door on Main Street gives us the opportunity to share the
philosophy and inform the public about what really happens on “the hill.” Customers
enter our store and ask us, “So.... what exactly is Waldorf education?” It is very exciting
to tell them about the enriching Waldorf approach to education.
Editor and Designer:
We continue to offer a FREE craft for families once a month—offering everyone the
opportunity to be creative. If you are not on our email list and would like to be, call us
at 603 654-6297 or email us at email@example.com. You may even want to
consider consigning some of your own crafts or having a class or discussion on a topic
that relates to Waldorf Education or art.
Beginning November 1: for every $10 spent you will have the opportunity to enter
one ticket towards a $100 gift card. A drawing will be held and the winner will be
posted at our booth at the Pine Hill Holiday Fair. Please come!
Coming November 4: Karine Munk Finser will teach a pastel class entitled “The
Longing of the Soul.” It is open to the public and the cost is $15 per person (maximum
8 people—sign up early). Join us!
More Notes from High Mowing School | www.highmowing.org | November 5, 2 009 | 12