Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Model UN at The Meeting School

"In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization's agenda. Students make speeches, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the conference rules of procedure - all in the interest of mobilizing 'international cooperation' to resolve problems that affect countries all over the world." - from the website of United Nations Association of the United States of America

On April 1 - 3, three students from The Meeting School participated in Dartmouth College Model UN Conference. Led by faculty member Frederick Martin, it was the second year in a row that the School has taken part in DartMUN.

Each of the three TMS students who attended DartMUN represented a different country. Simbi, a sophomore, earned the Honorable Mention (3rd place) for her committee at DartMUN representing Yemen. Saro, also a sophomore, represented the Czech Republic. Both were in the UN Development Program, in which one of the topices discussed was HIV/AIDS. By good fortune, their overnight host was Peter Wright (husband of board member Penny Wright), who is a Dartmouth Medical School professor and doctor who works for HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Haiti. Saro and Simbi learned a lot by talking with him.

Layla, a junior, represented Lithuania in a historical simulation of the League of Nations; she gamely jumped in with excellent research.

TMS also took part in the High Mowing School Model UN in March. Students had the honor of representing the United States in the General Assembly; however, it was a challenge because one topic was the International Criminal Court, which the US has still not signed on to.

Students have received an invitation to the by-invitation-only Bentley University Model UN, but won't be able to attend because it falls during graduation weekend.

Thanks to Frederick Martin for his significant contribution to this entry.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rise Up Singing!

On Friday, March 25, The Meeting School welcomed Peter Blood and Annie Patterson, editors of the popular Rise Up Singing songbook, on campus for an afternoon of singing and music education. Students and faculty belted out their favorites in the Hayden Room, including "500 Miles Away From Home," and learned about the social and political history behind a number of the songs. In addition to hearing about Peter and Annie's soon-t0-be released songbook, we also got to share our home-grown songbook of music not in Rise Up Singing.

In the evening, Peter and Annie performed with an enthusiastic crowd of over 100 people at the Peterborough Unitarian Church before in a benefit for The Meeting School. Many thanks to Peter and Annie for their joyful presence and to faculty member Sheila Garrett for her organizing efforts.

To learn more about Peter and Annie and their tour schedule, please visit their website.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Getting into college, getting into the groove

Bliss house went to ZUMBA last Thursday night as their house activity and everyone had a blast.
Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that blends international music with a step aerobic program. It is like dance fitness and the one we attended at the local YMCA also uses light and heavy weights alongside it. It was totally goofy and fun but also a really great workout.

Also, seniors Andrew and Amanda both got their acceptance letters to Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina. As you can see, they are both thrilled! Another senior, Tiana, has already been accepted early decision at Simmons College.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

2011 Intersession Adventures!

During the month of January, all Meeting School students left campus to pursue experiences in an area of special interest to them as part of the School's Intersession program. Intersession is an opportunity for students to find, design, and participate in a project with a cultural, vocational or service focus. After their return, students give a presentation and write a paper about their experience. Intersession is an integral part of The Meeting School curriculum.

This year student Intersession adventures were interesting and varied. They included travel to Japan and Costa Rica, as well as volunteer service at a NYC Catholic worker house, Human Rights Watch in NYC, a local hospital, participation in a bronzing workshop, and an internship with a jewelry maker.

Student Bennett Sewell chose to visit Japan because it "is on the other side of the world, a place completely different, and the birthplace of anime." While in Japan he studied Japanese and embraced Japanese culture, which included trips to the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum and a studio dedicated to the work of anime filmmaker Hayao Miyzaki. While Bennett reports feeling the influence of American culture, he also strongly felt the uniqueness of Japanese culture, especially the emphasis put on honor. When asked how the trip changed him, he said "I know I want to live there someday."

Maggie Zavgren and Liz Stillwell went to Monteverde, Costa Rica, a small town in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The town of Monteverde was founded by the pacifist American Quakers who left the United States in opposition to the Korean War. They chose Costa Rica because it had no standing army. In addition to founding a school, practicing agriculture, the Quakers founded the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. While in Monteverde, Maggie and Liz studied Spanish, absorbed the culture, and volunteered at a local library.

Tiana Withers spent her Intersession working with a jewelry artist in Massachusetts. During the internship she learned a great deal about color, the technical aspects of jewelry-making, and running a small business. She reports that she was "very excited to finally get a chance to work in an art studio, and experience the feeling of truly creating art for other people to enjoy."

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Important News From The Meeting School

Dear Friends,

There have been times in The Meeting School’s history when we have surmounted great challenges and the School has emerged stronger than ever. We are again on the cusp of one of these times.

For the past several years the School has actively confronted difficulties presented by the extended economic downturn and rising financial challenges. A careful assessment of the realities presented by declining enrollment and escalating financial aid need has led us to understand that responsible fiscal stewardship requires that we take a sabbatical year in 2011-12. The secondary school program will be suspended during this time. We will continue to offer our current students a quality educational experience for the remainder of this school year.

We are grateful for our generous donors and the many people who have assisted with student recruitment. We continue to be blessed with able and motivated faculty, staff and students who make us proud of our vibrant academic community. At the same time, shifts in the educational environment suggest that our educational model—as excellent as it is—may no longer be economically viable.

The Board of Trustees is investigating alternatives to our current program that include growing to a size that is attractive to today’s students, becoming a semester program, or some exciting possibility that is yet to emerge. We want you to join us in a structured visioning process on the weekend of April 1 – 3, 2011. We will host a conference for you and other members of the extended community to envision what our transformation might look like and what resources will be required. We will carefully explore the intersection between what we have to offer and the realities of the world today.

We ask all who want to participate to commit to staying for the weekend, which will begin on Friday with supper and end Sunday afternoon. All attendees will receive an agenda and preparatory material to read in advance; conference registration is required. Register online by Sunday, March 20, at You can call or email us at with questions. If you are not able to attend, you can register for the advance materials and contact us with your thoughts.

We are upheld at this challenging time by our knowledge that the Spirit that is alive in The Meeting School is not bounded by time or place. We are energized by the opportunity to bring The Meeting School mission into the 21st century in a way that the academic learning, the farm, and the loving Quaker community continue to nurture our young people and that is also economically sustainable.

We invite you to join us on this adventure.

Jeremiah Dickinson
Clerk of Board

Jacqueline Stillwell
Head of School