Thursday, November 30, 2006

Community Meeting received a minute from the Board of Trustees this fall regarding ecological sustainability, and its place at TMS. The minute reads:
Earlier this year the Board of Trustees set a goal to renew focus on sustainability in the school community especially as it relates to the physical plant, land, and purchasing. We reaffirm that it is important for us to bear this in mind, and keep it as an active conversation. While the Ecological Sustainability Committee is still being formed, we also need guidance from everyone as we shape its agenda.
Therefore, we ask the Board and the school community to address these questions:

  • What does Ecological Sustainability mean?
  • What would it mean for you to live sustainably?
  • What would you need to learn, in order to identify and take the next step toward that goal for yourself or for the school?
  • Why is it so hard to talk about this?
When these questions are discussed, we ask that some record be taken, and then shared with the Board and school community.
Since receiving this minute from the Board our community meeting has talked about ways to answer the broad questions best. We plan to continue working at answering these questions and have a minute we can agree on to send to the board for their next meeting.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Students have shown interest in learning how to help out with the milking process at school recently. Not only does this help free up faculty members to do other things, but it’s a great opportunity to learn a skill that most of us in the wider word would never have the chance to. In response Megan, our farm manager, has trained and plugged some of these students into the regular rotation. The afternoon shifts seem to be more popular than the early morning for good reason, but one student would rather wake up early for the chore. Right now three students are in the rotation with others showing interest. One student said, “ My hands still aren’t used to it, and they cramp up quick.”

Monday, November 20, 2006

This fall the Research and Performance Art class put together a festival of the arts with a focus on reflections of place. You may have read an article in the Monadnock Leger Transcript leading up to the event with a big picture of the class on the front page of the arts section. The festival, called: Four Day Café, was a Wednesday to Saturday event in downtown Jaffrey, NH at the Women’s Club, and across the street at the Civic Center. Both buildings had events scheduled for each night, which were all organized and put on by the class.
Wednesday the Women’s Club was open to view local artist’s work that was set up around the room, including some projects done by members of the research and performance art class, the drawing class, and faculty.
Thursday night at the Women’s club several speakers presented papers to an audience of Meeting School students, and local visitors. Frederick, our history teacher gave a paper on Thomas House, and its history before being a part of The Meeting School. Alex, a member of the Research and Performance Art class read his paper about his experiences and observations of place in and around The Meeting School. The final speaker’s were Howard Mansfield and John Harris talking about their book,” Where The Mountain Stands Alone: Stories of Place in the Monadnock Region.”
On Friday night the Women’s Club provided a meal of soup and bread made by Meeting School staff with ingredients from the farm. Following the meal was an open mic which turned into a concert later in the evening when Lunatic Fringe took the stage. Over at the Civic Center several singing groups performed including the Jaffrey Grade School, All Saints Choir, Franklin Pierce Gospel Choir, and Monadnock Chorus Chamber Singers.
Saturday at the Women’s Club there were performance art pieces and a featured performance by Kazu Nakamura. At the Civic Center Dan Hurlin, performance artist, presented six performances of "The Day the Ketchup Turned Blue", a 12-minute toy-theater piece followed by discussion.
On top of planning and running a smooth show each night members of the Research and Performance Art class did their own project that reflected on place. Andy researched the program Second Life and its effect on people and their place. Alex wrote a paper about his experiences with place and the woods of The Meeting School. Devin made a card game that is based on the research of early civilizations. Olivia put together a collection of short clips that played during the Four Day Café, and helped Scott in the management of the event. You can check out the MySpace page that the class put together as part of advertising for the event.

Friday, November 17, 2006

This years Fall Gardening class has been hard at work all over our campus, and it shows. The flower beds are edged and mulched, we have over 300 feet of new strawberries planted for next year, the vegetable gardens are being put under for the winter, and our greenhouse is alive with greens, herbs and flowers for the long winter months. Thank you Fall Gardening!!

Biology class made a bird feeder from galvanized pipe, and hung it in the woods behind Helios House. Their objective is to observe how the Red-Breasted Nuthatch stashes seed for the winter. Although the Red-Breasted Nuthatch is what the class is looking to observe, many different species can be seen collecting seed from the feeder throughout the day. The class is just beginning to collect data from observations, and hopes to check in with their results later.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Saturday Night Activity this week went to the Secret Hideout in Keene, NH for Worldwide Game Day 2006. Game day is a chance for people from all over the world to get together in gaming stores, and many other venues to play Dungeons and Dragons all day and into the night. There are prizes, and a scoring system for players to compare themselves with another player who could be playing in Argentina, or Japan. Students didn’t quite get to play for the entire day as the “Game Day” title would lead you to believe, but they did fight a long four hour battle. The game was hard fought, and TMS students were outmatched in the end by a Hellcat (inset) while trying to save a Monastery controlled by a Fire Cleric. One student described the game as, “The most intense D&D I’ve ever played!”

Saturday, November 04, 2006

For Forum today students and staff took part in a fruit harvest. Picking up apples and pears from the ground and all that could be shaken from the tree. It was hard to believe how much fruit our trees had produced. In all we collected over 14 bushels! After lunch all the fruit was brought over to Darling Hill Community Farm in Greenville, NH to be pressed for cider. We are excited to have our own press this year with only apples from the school. Everyone looks forward to drinking the cider for the Thanksgiving meal at Parents Weekend.