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.