Monday, December 21, 2009

TMS Holiday Party Marked by Cheer and Goodbyes

Friday marked the end of the first semester at The Meeting School and was formally celebrated through the holiday party, the final Secret Santa gift exchange, and the Spiral Walk.

The final gift exchange held some surprises. Cole gave James his cape (yes, the cape he has been wearing almost daily for several years). Wally now has not only his intention but a t-shirt to live up to - Moon gave him a shirt with "I am a vegan" stenciled on it. Jackie and Victoria discovered they were each other's Secret Santa and Sheila made five-year-old Aidan a lovely hand-sewn apron so he can better help out in the kitchen.

After the gifts, Head of School Jackie Stillwell read departing Interim Assistant Head of School Bill O'Flanagan his "minute" (all departing faculty and graduating students receive a minute, which is an approximately 200-word tribute to the person and his or her time at The Meeting School that is "inked" on a sheet of paper with calligraphy and usually illustrated in some way).

Here is an excerpt from Bill's minute:

"We delighted in Bill’s Irish twinkle, humor, delicious smoothies and love for his grandchildren - particularly Flat Conner. We appreciated his astonishing skill at washing dishes. When we needed clearness meetings Bill clearly came through. He worked hard even with a weak back that lasted seven days. When we needed faculty for pottery class, Bill stepped up to the plate. He brought sunshine to Helios house. When anyone needed a break from our noncompetitive culture to talk sports, Bill responded with the passion of a Patriot and the faithfulness of a Saint. Bill took up tasks for our overworked Head of School. Thanks to Bill she is still well. Bill embodies servant leadership, seeking the views of others and making decisions sensitively. Sharing his decades of experience, he gave us his wisdom, care and his intention to make the world better wherever his arms can reach. We are fortunate to have been in his embrace. "

The Spiral Walk has held in Hindmarsh Dining Room after the party. The Spiral Walk began with everyone seated, as in silent worship. One by one participants got up, took a candle, and walked through a spiral bounded by evergreen branches. People were invited to dedicate their candle to a person or an experience if they chose. We wish all of our students and their families a restful and safe holiday and a very productive and exciting Intersession adventure in January.

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