Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sesquipedalia and Sewing

This past weekend Meeting School students were involved in the arts and crafts.

Saturday's forum featured Sesquipedalian Puppet Productions. Meeting School faculty Burrett and Rhu McBee, Sesquipedalian's founders and puppeteers, gave a lively lecture demonstration about their artistic journey, explaining the creative and problem-solving process behind their art before presenting the show, “A Medley of Children’s Stories.”

Sesquipedalian is Latin for “world of foot and a half tall creatures or things.” The 40 puppets in the troupe are mostly hand and rod puppets with some shadow puppets as well. Rhu designs and builds the puppets, props, and backdrops, while Burrett oversees the technical aspects of the show. Together they write the scripts, and Burrett directs the shows.

The event was presented in conjunction with The Meeting School’s Small Business Class, which is selling hand-crafted holiday ornaments (felted wool Earth globes) and fabric gift bags. To learn more and/or to place an order, contact the office at (603) 899-3366.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Parents Weekend at The Meeting School

It's Monday morning - and what a wonderful Parents Weekend it was!

Parents came on Friday to participate in the life of the School with the school community. On Friday about sixty people enjoyed an incredible pre-Thanksgiving dinner replete with turkeys from the farm, and homemade everything else - stuffing, rolls, pies, and green salad (with nasturtiums from the green house).

Following dinner and Parents Meeting there was a Coffee House in Hayden Room, which featured a puppet show, a performance from the theater class, as well as a visit from Lady Gaga. After the Coffee House, teacher Hannah Berardi's partner Dan performed with his amazing band, The Brothers McCann.

The small business class sold sheep and felt globes ornaments and eco-bags for wrapping gifts.

On Saturday morning parents and students attended Opening before taking part in classes that included physics, The Art and Literature of Theater, and Peace Studies.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the weekend. Have a fabulous Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Class Gets a Taste of the Performing Arts

Last Thursday The Meeting School's Art and Literature of Theater class visited Plymouth State University's Silver Center for the Arts, the major cultural arts center in central New Hampshire. Meeting School faculty member Burrett McBee, who is also an adjunct professor at Plymouth State, organized the trip. Students spent time exploring Hanaway Theater and extensively touring the performing arts center - in the photo they are holding line sets, the lines that control the many scenic units that come in and out of the fly loft, the space above the stage. A highlight was listening the the costume designer for the upcoming performance of "Little Women" speak about the pattern for a period costume that she was designing and building from scratch. Perhaps some students at The Meeting School could see themselves designing costumes one day!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Saturday forums at The Meeting School provide students with the opportunity to learn more about a range of topics that are not typically covered during the school week.
Held on Saturday mornings, a forum usually involves a guest speaker or practitioner, or travel off campus to a special event. Forums often have an applied, or hands-on component.

Students may also occasionally design their own individual forum. Last weekend Bennett, a Meeting School student, designed and participated in an alternative forum focused on the work of Andy Goldsworthy.

After studying his life and work, he created his own designs from the nature around him.

"I found this art project kind of calming," Bennett says, "but also kind of sad because it's so temporary and wears away in such a short time. This kind of art is more difficult than you might expect because the leaves don't stick to the rocks...there is a real materials challenge. Experiencing this challenge makes me respect Goldsworthy's work even more."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bibles and Empires

This semester a The Meeting School is offering a social studies course called Bibles and Empires, which takes a critical look at the tension between creation and empire that threads its way throughout the Old and New Testaments of the bible, and the theme of "forgetting" the importance of God's creation in the pursuit of empire.

The course's texts include God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now, by John Crossan, and Come Out My People: God's Call Out of Empire in the Bible and Beyond, by Wes Howard-Brook.

Today's class included an exploration of the different kinds of bibles and the conversation ranged from a discussion of the effect of the printing press and literacy on the the use of the Bible, and the consequences of no longer being in relationship with the bible primarily through an oral tradition, in which stories were passed down through the context of one's culture.

Teacher Landis Brown illustrated this point by quoting from theologian Stanley Hauerwas' book Unleashing Scripture: Freeing the Bible from Captivity to America: "No task is more important than for the church to take the Bible out of the hands of individual Christians." Hauerwas suggests that the bible has become so accessible that it no longer means what it once did, and has lost its power to communicate its prophetic call to care for God's creation.

You can read more at Landis' blog.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Meeting School Means Business!

This posting comes from Moon, a member of our Small Business class...enjoy!

This year faculty member Craig Jensen is teaching a social studies class called Small Business here at The Meeting School. The class functions as a cooperatively run and consensus-based business. Part of the course's curriculum includes deciding on a product to create, market and sell through discussion and consensus.

We finished our first project about three weeks ago. The project acted as a sort of practice run in working collaboratively together and as an opportunity to learn and further develop a craft. The class hand made embroidered name-tags for all of the faculty working for the school. We presented the name-tags as a gift to the faculty during Community Meeting.

The name-tags were very much a collaborative effort, and each member in the class had at least a small part in each of the name tags. Everyone did at least some embroidery - even class members who had little or no experience with a needle and thread. There were many components in the making of the name-tags other than embroidery, including measuring and cutting cloth and sketching out lettering and designs on the cloth in pencil to act as a guide for the embroidery.

The class has started to move forward in the past week with discussions about what we want our business to be. We have started to draft a mission statement and talk seriously about what sorts of products we could make efficiently and well. The class continues to be full of lessons ranging from new crafting skills and cost and profit constraints, to the consequences of late work on the business and developing a sound business plan.

This experience is incredibly valuable. The class emphasizes accountability and a high standard of quality, as the success of our business depends on these factors. Students can use those skills in any situation that life may hand them in the future, even if they do not intend to pursue crafting or small business after the class.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Hamlet Is You

Last Saturday actor Christian Camargo and his wife, actor Juliet Rylance, starred in one extraordinary Meeting School Forum.

English teacher Burrett McBee commented that it was "an English teacher's dream" to have a professional Shakespearean actor in front of his students who could engage students, honor the text, and open up a larger world than existed before.

Christian deconstructed Hamlet's first soliloquy - it was much more than an analysis of the speech, and students got a sense of how hard one has to work to understand the depth Shakespeare.

One of the questions students had for Christian was "How to you keep a part alive?" Christian talked about the imperative to find oneself in each part - that if one is able to do this, the part will stay vibrant and true.

Please see the article below from The Monadnock Ledger Transcript.

And a postcript for all of the Twilight fans out there - Christian has been cast as Eleazar of the Denali Coven in upcoming "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2."

Sharing Shakespeare’s words

Actor Christian Camargo speaks to Meeting School students


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

RINDGE — Students at the Meeting School got a lesson on Shakespearean acting and a glimpse of the television/ film industry over the weekend.

Actor Christian Camargo, best known for his role as the Ice Truck Killer in the Showtime series “Dexter,” shared how he developed a love for Shakespeare with students Saturday morning.

“When I first read Shakespeare, I wasn’t interested at all. I really didn’t like Shakespeare, but then I became fascinated by it, then obsessed by it,” said Camargo.

The actor had been taught by Meeting School teacher Burrett McBee at the Harvey School in Westchester, N.Y. He said McBee introduced him to Shakespeare and even helped him with his audition for the Juilliard School of Drama.

“Its always wonderful; you never know where students will end up,” said McBee.

Most recently, Camargo has traveled worldwide to perform Shakespeare as part of The Bridge Project.

In Rindge, he performed a piece from “Hamlet,” showing the students how to appreciate and work with the, rhythm, expression and language in Shakespeare.

“You can’t be lazy about words you don’t know,” he said. “There is a texture to these words that we take completely for granted.”

He also spoke on developing as an actor in the entertainment industry, mentioning the dangers of being typecast.

“In Hollywood, when you play one part, that is all they see you as. You play a serial killer, you’re screwed,” he joked in reference to his role as a killer in Dexter.

His wife, Juliet Rylance, who is also an actor, was present and shared one of her favorite scenes of “Hamlet.”

Camargo told the students that acting was less about trying to be somebody else and more about finding the character within.

“Acting is about you, at the end of the day, Hamlet is you,” said Camargo.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Below the Bark

Last weekend, students enjoyed wonderful weather, hiking, a campfire, a cookout and camaraderie on The Meeting School's first camping trip of the school year in the shadow of Mount Monadnock.

Students and faculty split into two groups and hiked Mount Monadnock on either the White Dot and White Cross trails or the Pumpelly Trail.

For some students, it was the first time ever putting on boots to go hiking or camping out overnight in a tent.

Not only was the camping trip a new experience for some, but students and faculty trip leaders also played a game new to many: Zoogle. Zoogle is a game that involves standing in a circle, a stick (that one wants to catch below the bark), community decision-making (if one catches the stick while touching the bark), and a whole lot of fun (not adequately captured in this description but fully present during the game).

Many thanks to our campfire musicians and trip organizers!

Monday, August 30, 2010

TMS Connections with the Cathedral of the Pines

The Cathedral of the Pines is an interfaith outdoor chapel and war memorial located here in Rindge, on a hilltop with beautiful views of Mt. Monadnock, like the one pictured above. It's one of the tourist destinations that puts Rindge on the map, sponsoring events throughout the summer. As students return to campus, the Meeting School will be co-sponsoring an event at the Cathedral called "Ghandi: the Man and His Teaching" by University of New Hampshire professor Donald Johnson. Our Peace Studies teacher Landis Brown expects it to fit perfectly with his course plans. It's on September 9th at 7:00pm, and the public is invited.

Last weekend, TMS history teacher Frederick Martin spoke as a representative of the local Quaker Meeting at the Cathedral's 65th anniversary service. An interfaith celebration with representatives from eight diverse religious traditions, the event was filled with moving prayers for peace and reconciliation. Frederick's prayer was "that we will honor and compassionately remember all those who have worked and fought for that better world, in their own way -- since all have that Spirit, that seed of goodness within them." His full remarks can be found on his blog. Seen below is Frederick speaking next to the Cathedral's alter, with religious symbols from five of the religions represented.

Introducing New Faculty -- part 3

Faculty have been hard at work all summer preparing their courses, and Hannah Berardi has been bringing quite a flair to her planning. She will be teaching math and science courses -- Pre-Calculus, Calculus, and Geometry, and Physics in the fall. Hannah holds a BA in Mathematics from Northeastern University, and worked in their Academic Assistance Center tutoring mathematics while she was an undergraduate. Even better, she taught math and science for two years at The Island School in the Bahamas, and most recently was an instructor at the Ferry Beach Ecology School in Saco, Maine. As we've been working together, we've seen her infectious enthusiasm and excitement for hands-on experiential learning that's also brainy and intellectual -- the perfect combination! She is particularly happy about living on TMS's farm, where she can pursue her interest in environmental sustainability in education, and she's looking forward to leading backpacking and canoeing trips. Even though she's been here half the summer already -- welcome, Hannah!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Help Increase the Peace Workshop

The Help Increase the Peace Project is a workshop series for high-school aged youth offering training in leadership for reducing violence, building community, and addressing prejudice in schools and other groups. Developed by the American Friends Service Committee, it is now widely offered in schools, churches, and community organizations all around the country.

We were excited to host a HIPP workshop as one of our summer activities. Organized by Molly Messenger at the New Hampshire AFSC office, and featuring Will Hopkins, Iraq vet and director of New Hampshire Peace Action, the weekend was a great success! In this photo, attenders listen to a presentation by one of their fellow participants in the School's Hayden Room.
For more information on HIPP, click here.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

TMS's weekly "technology sabbath" -- ahead of the curve?

A recent NPR segment on Morning Edition interviewed author William Powers about his new book Hamlet's Blackberry, which questions our society's need to be connected 24/7 to the online world of Internet, texting, iPhones, and all. He began to see how information overload --too much screen time-- affects our relationships and our emotional and mental centeredness; he concluded that "connectedness serves us best when it's balanced with a little disconnectedness." As a result, his family has an "Internet sabbath" over their weekends as a way to slow down and reconnect with each other.

We agree! The Meeting School has had a "technology sabbath" since 2006, when a class in Appropriate Technology brought a proposal to the students and faculty in Community Meeting suggesting that we turn off all the computers for 24 hours each week (Tuesday night to Wednesday dinner-time). Of course, exceptions happen as needed for schoolwork, but teachers try to assign homework for Wednesdays that doesn't require a computer. Living in Thomas House last year, this blogger found that students and faculty talked to each other more on Wednesdays, and students would plan events to happen on Tuesday nights --and ended up socializing more!

For more information about TMS's Community Meeting, click here.
To hear NPR's segment on Hamlet's Blackberry, click here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Piano Moving!

At TMS students and faculty work together to keep the campus running. It's real work, and fun can be had! As new faculty moved into their houses, we decided to move this piano from Helios House to the Hayden Room so that we'd have more music options where we sing every day. Well, moving a piano takes ingenuity, teamwork... and a bit of craziness:

(Yes, this is a posed picture... proper safety procedures were observed while the piano was actually in motion. But Thomas Road has seen its fair share of rolling music -- like Jack Stewart '09 skateboarding down the road while playing his accordian.)

Introducing New Faculty -- part 2

Our next installment in the introductions of new faculty focuses on the farm, and by this time in the summer none of them are really "new" at all -- and some of them are veteran TMS folk already!

Ben Casiello has been a whirlwind of activity on the farm since he began as Farm Manager here in the spring. He comes to us most recently from Hardwick, Massachusetts, where he was the herd manager for a grass-fed beef cattle farm, the Rotokawa Cattle Company, which was featured in a Time Magazine article this past January about how grass-fed cattle farming can be sustainable and carbon-friendly! He has also been the camp coordinator at the Heifer International Summer Day Camp in Rutland, Mass, and holds a bachelor's degree in Animal Science (Livestock Management) from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ben is excited to be taking leadership of the TMS farm, where farming and education are so well integrated.

His wife Cathy Casiello will be houseparenting with Ben in Thomas House. She works in the Athol-Royalston (Mass.) public school district as a speech-language pathologist. She is sharing the work in the gardens this summer, and looking forward to sharing her hobbies of folk-dancing, contra-dancing, and singing with the TMS community come Fall!

Lauren O'Donnell will be our Farm Intern for the 2010-2011 school year, and started up this summer. She is an airplane mechanic and automobile mechanic, and holds a Student Pilot Certificate: she was an apprentice aviation maintenance technician at Sandhill Aviation in NH. She has also been the repair shop coordinator at a lumber store, the cheerleading coach and choreographer for the Derry Demons Youth Football Association, and all sorts of jobs in between. She is excited to learn about farming, ecology, and business management here at TMS as she contributes her numerous maintenance skills!

Our other summer farm intern is Devin Green, TMS class of 2007 and a rising Marlboro College senior, who can be seen speaking about farm wisdom at an earlier age in the TMS video of 2006. As we were haying the Bartlett Fields in June, Devin was driving the truck pulling the big hay wagon, and I spotted a dog-eared copy of the philosopher-critic Michel Foucault on the seat next to him -- part of Devin's preparation for his senior independent work. It sparked a conversation about the difference between deconstructionists and post-modernists, as we tossed hay bales. It's good to have Devin back around the place.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Introducing New Faculty -- part 1

We are very excited about our new faculty for the 2010-2011 school year -- talented, experienced educators who bring tremendous gifts and strengths to our school community. Since late June they have been settling into campus life and planning their classes for the fall, working with the returning faculty. The first installment of introductions:

Burrett McBee will be teaching language arts. Burrett joins The Meeting School from Plymouth State University, where he has been an adjunct professor of English since 2006. Burrett has a wealth of experience teaching teenagers in an independent school setting. He has taught high school English and theater at Germantown Friends School, Tilton School (where he was the chair of the English and theater departments), and The Harvey School (where he was the chair of the English department and theater director). He will be living in Helios House with his wife, Rhu. Burrett earned his BA in English from Utica College of Syracuse University, and a MA in Theater from the University of Illinois.
Rhu McBee is our new Admissions Director and will be overseeing marketing. Rhu comes to The Meeting School with more than 16 years of teaching experience in independent schools. Rhu also has expertise in independent school admissions, marketing, and college counseling. She has also been a library assistant. Rhu will be living with her husband Burrett in Helios House. Rhu earned her BA in Communications from Northwestern University, and her MEd in Integrated Arts (Secondary) from Plymouth State University.

Welcome to TMS, Burrett and Rhu!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

2010 Graduation at The Meeting School

On Sunday, May 30, The Meeting School graduated four students. With beautiful weather and a campus in full bloom, it was a lovely close to a wonderful school year. What are our graduates' plans? Liv Berelson, of Doylestown, PA, is going to be taking a gap year in England. Victoria Kasilowski, of Pepperell, MA, is attendng Naropa University. Wally Kolenda, of Barre, MA, is taking a gap year for a cross-country bike ride before college. Stephen Budlong, of Ridgefield, CT, will be working with "Youth with a Mission" in New Zealand and Turkey before attending the University of Denver.

As the day's events came to a close there were hugs, laughter, joy and sadness. Have a great summer, everyone, and congratulations to our graduates.

To see more pictures from the day, please visit The Meeting School on facebook and...please send your best pictures from graduation to office@meetingschool.org in a high resolution format. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spring Has Come to TMS!

The fruit trees and lupins are in bloom and the garlic plants are stretching themselves tall - spring has come to TMS! Students spent last Friday's work study weeding and planting in the garden and moving couches between Bliss House and the lounge.

On Monday students enjoyed a surprise "beach day" at Sunshine Beach at Lake Contoocook in Jaffrey.

Seniors have now completed their academic requirements for graduation. This weekend is the all-school camping trip with graduation right around the corner on May 30!

See more of Liz Stillwell's amazing photos on our facebook page.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Boston Globe Movie Critic Speaks at The Meeting School

On Saturday, May 1, Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr spoke at The Meeting School in Rindge about the future of movies and moviemaking.

In his presentation, Burr suggested that the most exciting things happening in the movie industry today are with short films, telling his audience that filmmakers can go places with metaphor and message in short films not possible in full length movies.

Also, with the readily available cameras, editing software, and You Tube distribution, it is possible for many more filmmakers to create and distribute their work today. He says that “between the feet of the dinosaurs of Hollywood there is a new way of making films taking place.”

While Burr is adamant that filmmakers don’t need a big budget to create meaningful films, he does believe that “every major movie will be in 3-D in ten years.”

Burr talked a little bit about the economics of television. He said that essentially, advertisers are the "buyers" of television content - they are the ones who pay to have it on air. The consumers of television - us (or those of us who have televisions) - are the ones being purchased. The movie or television show is the bait.

Ty Burr has been a film critic for The Boston Globe since July 2002. For ten years prior to that, he worked for Entertainment Weekly as the magazine's chief video critic, and also covered film, music, theater, books, and the internet. He began his career at Home Box Office in the 1980s, where he helped program the Cinemax pay-cable service.

He is also the brother of one of our faculty members, Emily Burr.

(Blog photo courtesy of student Liz Stillwell)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Be a Happy Dog

This posting comes from guest blogger and faculty member Cynthia Durgan, who houseparents and lives in Thomas House with her poodle Paisley (Paisley doesn't houseparent, though).

Paisley has always been a sensible dog, and a contented dog, but she has not always been a very sociable dog. She was about eight months old when I got her, and had been kenneled up to that time. She never feared people but, apart from the individuals with whom she bonded, she hardly paid attention to people either; she didn't expect any good from people generally.

But at The Meeting School, Paisley has gotten used to notice and pats from every person she sees. She finds kind words and friendship from everyone in this little world. Now when we go out into the greater world, walking downtown in Keene or stopping in an unfamiliar town while traveling, she expects kindness. She approaches everyone assuming that they ought to be nice to dogs, and that she ought to notice them and be nice to them. People are charmed, and they respond. People are a source of joy to her now. Here she is, an old dog, and this community has taught her a new trick, a new world view.

The Meeting School is a place where everyone can do for one another exactly what everyone has done for my dog, because the way we treat one another is education. The way we treat one another issues a message, a lesson, an example, a good one or a bad one, about who we are and what the world is, and how much we can trust it and ourselves. We educate one another constantly. It is in every word, in every moment of noticing and caring.

I want students to go out from this school with the expectation that they are worthy of regard and love, and willing to offer it. I want every student to leave here with the confidence of kindness. I want every one of them to go into the world and be a happy dog.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Stopping by Junior Writing on a Spring Morning

"If Romeo and Juliet had made appointments to meet, in the moonlight-swept orchard, in all the peril and sweetness of conspiracy, and then more often than not failed to meet - one or the other lagging, or afraid, or busy elsewhere - there world have been no romance, no passion, none of the drama for which we remember and celebrate them. Writing a poem is not so different - it is a kind of possible love affair between something like the heart (that courageous but also shy factory of emotion) and the learned skills of the conscious mind." - Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook

During Monday's Junior Writing Class, students considered the meaning, rhyme scheme, and diction of one of Robert Frost's well-knows poems and played with some meaty vocabulary words like concatenation and sybaritic. Thankfully, the poem's interior didn't match the our spring-like climate - students were able to enjoy class outside, taking advantage of the early warm weather and the sunshine.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

- Robert Frost

Monday, March 29, 2010

Save Your What?

Last Thursday the Radical Witness class (a Social Studies elective) visited Save your Ass Rescue (www.saveyourassrescue.org) in South Acworth, and The Sustainability Project (www.emersonbrookforest.org) in Gilsum. The purpose of the field trip was to give students the opportunity to see examples of positive change and direct aid that people might not typically think of as "radical witness," a term that many associate with mass social movements or direct action focused on an institution or unjust cause.

At Save Your Ass Rescue, students had the opportunity to meet with Anne Firestone, the founder of the organization. They experienced a sense of her deep commitment to saving asses - and the day-in, day-out effort it takes to work and fight their behalf. (When TMS Blogger asked students about what cause they would fight for, they replied "peace activism," and "fair trade."

The class then went to visit with The Sustainability Project and met with Valerie Piedmont. The project is part of Emerson Forest, which was created in order to provide a piece of land where people can go learn about sustainability, including wildlife conservation and permaculture.

Students came away from the field trip more aware of the many different acts people are engaged in daily, both as individuals and as communities, to make the world a better place.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend Wanderings

On Saturday, March 20, a group of TMS students stretched their activist legs and marched in the Keene peace demonstration that marked the 7th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

This upcoming weekend we have a number of activities in the making - the Model UN course will be visiting High Mowing for a conference, and former faculty Karl Wilson will be bringing his tuba to campus to play some music and have some fun with students.

On Saturday, April 3, we will have Barbara Keshen, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), on campus to talk with students and faculty about the death penalty, which is the subject of significant debate in New Hampshire, which currently has the death penalty. There are now bills in the New Hampshire legislature to both expand the death penalty as well as put additional restrictions on it. New Hampshire has one person on death row - Michael Addison was sentenced in December 2008 for killing Manchester police officer Michael Briggs.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Who is Tom Bombadil?

Who is Tom Bombadil? This question was the centerpiece of Thursday's literature class on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Tom Bombadil appears in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings as a secondary, quite mysterious being, in contrast to the exacting way used to describe the other characters of Middle-earth. Tom is portrayed as a somewhat provincial and joyous, and is the one character uncorrupted by the power of The Ring.

After considering student research, reading and examining a poem about Tom called The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, and listening to a podcast from a medieval scholar from Washington University on Mr. Bombadil, the class as a whole seemed to agree that he is likely a Maiar, which is like a lesser angel.

Tom Bombadil's character was considered within the larger themes of power, corruption and responsibility in Book I of The Lord of the Rings.

If you've seen the movie and have never heard of Mr. Bombadil, it's because filmmaker Peter Jackson omitted him from what would have been an even longer movie.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dan Rippe, Class of 2001, Dies

Dear Friends,

Dan Rippe, a TMS graduate from the class of 2001, died on Saturday, February 20 in Puerto Morales, Mexico. While we don't have many details, we understand his injuries were sustained from an accidental house fire earlier in the week. His family was with him at the time of his death. There will be a memorial for Dan in Mexico in a few days and another in New England in several months. Information, as it comes to us, will be available through our office at (603) 899-3366.

All Meeting School graduates receive a "Minute," written by other community members. We've included Dan's below:


Cruzin' in from Buxton to the quaint Meeting School farm,
sporting dreadlocks and a calm air,
you became the heartthrob
for the smitten female population.
You chanted down Babylon
with us in DC and Boston
eventually landing yourself in Quebec city
fighting clouds of tear gas,
side by side with your California girl (again reunited) strengthened by your knowledge of the FTAA.
This was revealed in the Quaker Meeting house even though you were at first hesitant.
You kicked off the year as the king of the pedestal,
but then your humble nature shone through
and you were soon known as
"the nice guy" (although we know you better).

Finding your place on the farm and in the community, you became centered
and even found time in your life to mother a turkey.
We could hear you blasting Sister Carol night and day
happily drumming along while Merlin got down with the rhythm.
You enchanted us with your African drumming.
You are a warm sensitive soul with a listening ear,
ready to give, always open with compassionate arms.
You were the pied piper of the children in Kenya.
Remember the Thomas House laugh attacks,
chilling in the upstairs lounge.

Now, we are leaving you here as the farm chore elf.

We love you Dan.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gathering Alumni Together

On February 7, Joe Carson '58 held an alumni gathering at his home in Newton Center, Massachusetts. Guests included (in photo from left to right) Head of School Jackie Stillwell, Joe Carson, Chris King, Debka Colson '76, and Chitra (Yang) King '64.

The alumni on hand were characteristically diverse in their interests and work. The professions of the attendees ranged from work as the Head of Oncology at Winchester Hospital in Woburn, MA, to major gifts fundraising for the American Friends Service Committee.

On Tuesday, March 9, there will be another alumni gathering in the Philadelphia area at the home of Pierre Ravacon '64. All TMS alums are warmly invited to take part in the evening - for details and to RSVP, please email Anne Miller at anne@meetingschool.org.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Intersession 2010 - Reporting Back to the Community

Students have now been back on campus for a week and are in the middle of their Intersession presentations, after being off on their adventures for the past month. Here is a sample of the different Intersession projects students organized and participated in.

Senior Wally spent three and a half weeks in northern New Hampshire at the Loki Clan Refuge http://www.canineworld.com/lokiclan/ working with wolves and wolf-dogs who have been rescued and are at the Loki Clan Refuge as a last resort. Many of the animals have have abused or mistreated. In addition to cutting up a lot of meat scraps for the wolves, Wally also shoveled snow and performed odd jobs around the refuge. He reports having interacted with "a lot of cool wolves" and having demonstrated a strong work ethic.

Senior Victoria spent her Intersession in Ghana, working with children, many of whom are orphans. In addition to working with her students on various art projects and language skills, she also had a chance to learn a little of the local language Ewe and travel around the country, including a climb up Mount Afadjato.

Junior Liz and Senior Stephen spent their time at Koinonia, a Christian farm community in Americus, Georgia http://www.koinoniapartners.org/. Koinonia is the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity, the Cottonpatch gospels http://rockhay.tripod.com/cottonpatch/, Jubilee Partners, and the Prison Project. Stephen helped on the farm while Liz worked in the bakery; they both participated fully in the life of the community.

Junior James went to Key West, Florida to volunteer with Reef Relief, a global nonprofit environmental protection organization dedicated to education about the reefs and what individuals can do to help protect them and improve water quality. James helped to staff the center and gave tours of the facilities. While in Key West, James gained familiarity with the flora and fauna in the ecosystem of a Caribbean coral reef, and the pelagic zones of sea life and general water all across the planet.

Sophomore Hannah went to Charlotte, Vermont and worked on a project called 'What Is Art.' She did a week of photography and editing and learned the program Photoshop, a week of studying film making, and spending three days with three filmmakers. She then did a week of pottery at the Shelburne Art Center. Hannah ended with a week of working in a glass blowing studio. She reports "learning a lot about working with different kinds of people, and how to be flexible. Over all my Intersession was a good experience and made me really appreciate the different forms of art for what they really are. I hope to work more with different forms of what people consider to be art."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Where Are They Now?

No, not our students currently on Intersession (more about them and their adventures soon) but about former TMS students!

During a database update, TMS Blogger came across the phenomenal work of former student Sean O'Neil ('96-'97) who is now a professional artist and glassblower living and working in Seattle. He currently has a show in Seattle's Traver Gallery www.travergallery.com. You can also view the show on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/therightstuff/sets/72157623075910527/show/. If you have a few minutes, the beauty of Sean's art will be well worth your time.