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."

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