This week which actually began last Friday was varied, productive and rewarding. On Friday we had a delightful and informative visit from Victor Ransome, an 88 year old Tuskegee Airman veteran who spoke to the older class. Unfortunately I was unable to hear him speak as I had visiting parents. I spent time with him and his wife at snack while they ate birthday cake provided by Rondi in celebration of Victor’s birthday and found we had a lot in common with regard to philosophy and educational goals. We also share Lori Goldschmidt as a mutual friend since Victor worked with Lori’s husband Carl years ago at AT&T and also they are all members of the Unitarian Church with which we have many connections through parents. A big thank you to Rondi for arranging his visit.
Also on Friday we had parents visiting whose daughters will be visiting in the middle and younger classes respectively after the break.
I finished reading War Horse to the older class this week and partly intrigued partly horrified them by telling them that I had learned that if an English horse died in the war the soldier had to take out all its teeth and take them back to England to prove that the horse had died not been sold. We learned this from a postcard sent by my cousin in England showing a mosaic made from hundreds of horses’ teeth! (Another thing to add to the list of bizarre things the English do.) Talking of which Rachel has been doing a marathon of nail polishing and she did mine rainbow colors planning to add it to her list of “You’ll never guess what my elementary school principal did!” to share with her buddies when she goes to high school next year.
Also with a few older classers I worked on their essays on Of Mice and Men. Melody is planning a yearbook to go out in June and Isabel organized a funeral for her fish attended by younger classers on Monday. I also met with the graduates to discuss our ideas for moving up week in May. We will plan activities outside of the older class to alleviate the pressure of numbers in that space and to give them some special activities as a group.
My session with the middle class this week was a follow up to the You’re a Bad Man Mr. Gum book collecting adjectives to describe characters and objects in the book writing a haiku about one of the charters and drawing pictures I plan to start reading the second book in the Mr. Gum series after the break.
Kathey, Jay and I had a meeting with Helen on Tuesday and discussed an end of the year music program as a culmination of the work she has been doing this year. Helen is an amazingly creative person with lots of ideas and we are so appreciative of the time and energy she gives to us, not to mention her sunny, humorous nature. Helen has always been and continues to be a very strong New School supporter. This was evident with her input as a member of the building committee at yesterday’s meeting when she declared her mission was to get our addition build not only before her children graduate but in time for them to enjoy using it! The building committee has only just reconvened since our 40th anniversary in 2010 so Helen that’s quite a mission but definitely not Mission Impossible. More about this in next week’s bulletin.
Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who responded so generously to my email about the illness of former New School parent and forever supporter, Alan. I am always so moved at how much New Schoolers care about their “family” members and whenever I feel a bit discouraged by the world in general, this love always renews my faith. Mick and I are seeing Alan tonight and I will give everyone an update in next week’s bulletin. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.