More Notes 11.05.09


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High Mowing\'s newsletter for parents, students and alumni

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More Notes 11.05.09

  1. 1. 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 Economic Thought. I am the advisor to eight students and a mentor to the junior class. 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.
  2. 2. More Notes 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 | | November 5, 2009 | 2
  3. 3. PARENTS WEEKEND from the Executive Director More Notes 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!” —Douglas Powers 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: 2f_2fkrQ_2b_2f5KCyvAT2kg_3d_3d%22%3EClick Please take the survey only once! But remember: each parent in a family is encouraged to participate. Thanks for your insight and support! | November 5, 2009 | 3
  4. 4. More Notes from the Athletic Director Soccer Update 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 Congratulations Jazmin! 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 | | November 5, 2009 | 4
  5. 5. More Notes 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. GREAT POSSIBILITIES: 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 wigwam doorway. More Notes from High Mowing School | | November 5, 2009 | 5
  6. 6. More Notes 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 was apparent. 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- then type in High Mowing School in the “search this blog” field. | November 5, 2009 | 6
  7. 7. More Notes Classroom 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 StUdeNtS 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 | | November 5, 2009 | 7
  8. 8. UpCoMING WeBINarS More Notes at NHHeaf NetWorK CeNter for ColleGe plaNNING 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 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 6:00-7:30 p.m. 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! —Judy Wachler for more college events: www. ALMOST GOT IT!: Students participate in the after school ultimate frisbee group lead by Cedar Oliver. More Notes from High Mowing School | | November 5, 2009 | 8
  9. 9. More Notes Student News High Mowing Students audition for New Hampshire Jazz all-State Music festival On October 24, three students auditioned for Done something 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. ntichanuk@ 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 Mike Wisniewski.
  10. 10. More Notes 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- www. 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 | | November 5, 2 009 | 10
  11. 11. HIGH MoWING More Notes IS opeN oN tHeSe HolIdayS 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! Memorial Day 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- 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 | | November 5, 2 009 | 11
  12. 12. More Notes 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 on the left. Geraldine ROSSE Mathews ‘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 Mar 22 Apr 19 Apr 5 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. 603 654-2391 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: Nancy Tichanuk 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 Development Director: at 603 654-6297 or email us at You may even want to Heather Cochrane 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 | | November 5, 2 009 | 12