Sunday, March 28, 2010

Week of March 29--It's almost spring break!

Last week was a big week in the Upper School, with the Cabaret and the Art Show Opening in the Center. I am happy to report that we had a great turn-out at both events! Muchos gracias to those of you who took the time to come out to support our students. Last night, we had a warm and gracious crowd at the Cabaret. The entertainment was provided by staff and students from the Upper School. Below, you can see some of our students dancing to the tunes of our beloved Old 86. What a talented group of musicians! We are so lucky to have them in our community...and that they are willing to lug all of their equipment to many events at CFS. (Joe and his mom were the last ones out with Joe's drums and keyboard. Thank you, Susan!)

Emma (aka "Norma") and Eric were our fabulous mc's. Here you can see Emma/Norma as she performs "Alleluia." Eric and Miles are busy improvising a song/rap.

Speaking of improv, here are Jonas and Dan in a Ridiculous Improv scene.

Susan and I had fun doing a reading from Free to Be You and Me.
Jamie is always entertaining! Singing and playing the blues, he had us all shouting, "Let's Go Fishing!"

Morgan plays 2 tunes on her mandolin, "the greatest instrument ever invented."
I could listen to Drew all night. He was great playing and singing a Stevie Wonder tune.

We had a few representatives of the Quaker N'Oats--enough to perform I Feel Good, with Emma as our soloist.

Katie wowed the crowd on her clarinet.

Ella brought cousin Celelia to sing with her.

Samantha, Morgan, and Hannah did a cute SNL skit.
Emma, Miles, and Mariah started the show with a beautiful song.

Here is some of Danusha's artwork at the art show. The eye is very deceiving, depending on whether you are close up or far away.
Many visitors came to view the artwork and enjoy the snacks.

As we head towards spring break, our Jewish families will celebrate Passover, which begins at sundown on Monday. We wish them wonderful family time as they celebrate this important holiday. Grandparents Day is Friday morning. Our visiting grandparents will join their grandchildren in their classes. It's back-to-school for our grandparents! Friday is a half-day...and we head off for a well-deserved spring break. I'm not sure who will be first out of the building at noon on Friday--staff or students?! I wish you all a warm and restful spring break.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week of March 22, 2010

This week, the Center Building will host the Upper School Portfolio Art Show. Amelia's Portfolio class and independent art students' work will be showcased as the first in a series of art exhibits in the Center. The show is titled "Beyond the Obvious." You are invited to an open reception on Thursday, March 25th at 3:15 in the Center. The pencil drawing of the US steps is by senior, Hannah Kramer.
This haunting pastel is by senior, Kate Ingram.
Here are some colorful and playful works by sophomores, Emily Reif (rose) and Xixi Edelsbrunner.

This beautiful pastel is by sophomore Jessye Holmgren-Sidel.

We hope to see you at the opening on Thursday!
In a difficult year when the state of North Carolina was forced to cut their Governor's School numbers by 25%, when some schools received no acceptances as a result of these cuts, we are pleased to share the news that we received two acceptances for this summer. Emma Trisolini and Eric Whittier have both been accepted to the Spanish program where only 17 students were accepted from across the state. Congratulations to Emma, Eric, and all of our Governor's School nominees!
Math teachers Dave, Tim, and Gustavo traveled to Atlanta last week to attend the annual Texas Instrument Conference. As you might imagine, our teachers experienced the latest in technology as it can be used to teach math. Gustavo's eyes were shining as he talked about the many new "toys!" Sounds like there were long philosophical discussions during the ride home about best practice for teaching math--old school vs. new technology.
We hope that you have already marked your calendar and are planning to come to the Center at 7:30pm on Saturday for our Cabaret. We have lots of great Upper School talent already scheduled. We are happy to welcome parents who would like to share a talent, with or without your child. If you are interested, please contact Carrie asap. Desserts and beverages will be on sale. This is our one big fundraiser for End-of-Year service projects in Trinidad, Nicaragua, and Newton Grove. Bring your families and friends and learn about our service projects while we entertain you with song, dance, and comedy.
As the cat in the Mutts comic said this week, "SHPRING HAS SHPRUNG." I hope you are out enjoying the warm fresh air and beautiful new colors.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week of March 15, 2010

Every Wednesday afternoon, we have a 25-30-minute silent meeting. Every so often (about 3 times a year) and for different reasons, we have silent time. Silent time means that we must be on the US campus, but we can choose where we are and what we are doing as long as it is in silence. We can't do anything that creates noise (like play basketball) or that creates a distraction for others. Here, you can see the choices that some of our students and staff members made this week. Some are playing chess or observing a chess game, some are reading or studying, and others are just sitting outside enjoying one of our first spring-like days. Silence is an important part of our lives at CFS. I always find it a meaningful experience to share silence with teenagers, many of whom find the idea of stillness and silence challenging. When they actually settle into a centered, silent state, they find meaning for themselves.

Last week's PSA panel intoducing the Community Read was excellent, informative, and very thought provoking. Here, you can see moderator Susan Kincaid as she introduces Emily and AnnaLee, our student members of the panel. You are encouraged to take part in this community read by reading Paul Cuadros's book, A Home on the Field. Extra copies are available for borrowing in the Center.
Last week, Tim's physics class headed to Duke to see US parent and Duke professor Harold Barranger's physics demonstration labs. Our students were able to observe some labs and actively take part in others. Here, you can see them demonstrating a lab on angular momentum and torque.

This week, we welcome Andre Robert Lee to our campus. Andre will share his documentary film, The Prep School Negro, with the US community and 4th year MS students on Wednesday and then with the entire Carolina Friends School staff on Thursday for our staff development afternoon. On Wednesday evening at 7pm, there will be a public showing of the film follwed by a discussion with Andre in the Meeting Hall. When Andre was 14 years old, he received a full scholarship to attend one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country. In The Prep School Negro, Andre takes a journey back in time to revisit the events of his adolescence while also spending time with currect day prep school students of color and their classmates. We are very excited about this great opportunity to see Andre's film and to enter into important discussions about race, class, diversity, and inclusivity. We hope to see many of you on Wednesday night in the Meeting Hall.
Our girls soccer team will play Westchester at home on Monday at 4:00. What a great way to celebrate spring! Come out to the soccer field to cheer for our girls.
The date for our junior retreat has been moved from March 30 to April 13. We had mistakenly scheduled this important occasion on the second evening of Passover. The juniors and 4 staff members will leave school at 4:00 on Tuesday, April 13, and return by noon on Wednesday. They will stay at the Betsy Jeff Penn 4-H Center in Reidsville. This retreat offers the junior class a time to think ahead to their senior year. How do they want to lead as a senior class? What personal contributions do they plan to make? What are their hopes and dreams for life after CFS?
Please be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, March 27 at 7:30pm in the Center. Our annual Cabaret is our one big fundraiser for our End-of-Year service projects. This year, we will have service groups in Trinidad, Nicaragua, and Newton Grove. This is a family-friendly event. Desserts and beverages will be available for purchase. Learn about our End-of-Year program and enjoy the talent!
Thursday, March 18 at 7:30pm in the Meeting Hall. All are welcome!
Thursday, April 22 at 7:30pm, Elise is hosting this evening for any interested CFS parents. Dr. Steve Brooks, Executive Director of the NC State Education Assistance Authority will present on how to plan for, save for, and pay for college. This program is suitable for parents of children of ALL ages. US Meeting Hall.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week of March 1, 2010

As I visited classes this week, I found science in action throughout the week. Here, you can see Frances helping her students as they record information in preparation for writing their lab reports. These first few photos illustrate Frances's Advance Biology class (following the AP curriculum) as they conduct a lab on Diffusion and Osmosis.

Bob took his Astronomy class outside in order to demonstrate Galileo's method in determining the distance between the earth and the moon. On Monday night, Bob's class will meet to gaze at the stars together. I had fun visiting Bob's class this week and observing students who were as excited as he was about the constellations and what we might learn from them

Meanwhile, Frances's Biology freshmen were busy finding tiny organisms through their microscopes. Our admissions visitors (not seen here) had fun taking part in these experiments.

For seniors and their parents, the first of the lasts is about to take place. This Tuesday, during lunch, the seniors will meet with Anthony, John, and Laura from the Development office. The topic for discussion will be deciding on people to write their Essence Statements for the graduation program. This is an important decision for seniors and marks an exciting time for them and their families. Anthony will also be talking with the seniors about the possibility of a senior gift. Graduation is not until June 13th, but history shows us that it will be here before we know it.
Upper School students will be involved in 2 important events this week. On Wednesday, the PSA will host a panel discussion as a part of the Community Read program. The community has been invited to read our summer read from last summer, Paul Cuadros's A Home on the Field. Two of our students will join Cuadros, an immigration attorney, and the director of NC Immigrants Rights Program in the panel discussion on Wednesday at 6:45pm in the Meeting Hall.
On Thursday, Anthony and Susan will take 2 of our students to a Kiwanis luncheon for a presentation on Education in Action: Service Learning. They plan to talk about our Newton Grove partnership and other service projects in the Upper School. We are always so proud of our students when they can represent CFS in the community. They are our best ambassadors!