Maker Mondays

We have started our new pilot schedule – a three week period where we are testing out the addition of some more experiential learning. Part of this is on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday where we have a “focus flex” time, during which students are encouraged to read a book, work with a partner on a project, play chess, or participate in any number of other activities.

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Sarah Carlson-Lier has been running a “Maker Mondays” lab in Front Court. She has the room set up with projects – from coloring books to a sewing machine to small-assembly motors and machines – it has been a very popular option!

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We look forward to another two weeks of our slightly-different schedule before breaking for a few weeks and catching our breaths.

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A Day in the Life

This is a guest post by Caroline Baxter, Waring class of 2000, currently a Senior Project Associate at RAND Corporation in Washington, D.C. Caroline was a classmate of mine, and when I wasn’t begging her to play one of her amazing piano compositions, I was marveling at her wit and intellect – something that thanks to the miracle of Facebook I am still able to do daily. Huge thanks to Caroline for letting us in on her high powered life for a day… (Becky Schaeffer ’00)

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0600: Alarm goes off.

—   : Hit snooze. Promise to partner, who is now awake against his will, I won’t do that again tomorrow.

0615: Drag self out of bed. Shower, hair, teeth, food, pack lunch, pour coffee into thermos.

0645: Leave the house.  Walk to the metro.  Listen to music.  Drink thermos-coffee.  Consider the lilies.  Avoid looking at BlackBerry.

0720: Arrive at the Pentagon.  Present badge to [hot/cold/under-slept/under-caffeinated/under-appreciated] security official.  

0730: Arrive at my office. Say hello to the Chief of Staff and the Military Deputy, who I will inevitably see chatting in the hall.  Turn on office lights in the bullpen.  Review to-do list while computer is booting up.  

0735: Review email, finally.

0745: Throw out and re-write to-do list.  Make another cup of coffee.  Prep for 0800 senior staff meeting.

0800: Senior staff meeting.  

1130: …lunch…?

1400: …gym…?

1900: Review email.  Make to-do list for next day.  Pack.  Leave work (if it’s a normal day).  

Between 0800 and 1900, I can be doing anything from staffing the Under-Secretary at an event, to drafting policy memos, to taking a meeting with a bunch of cost analysts on whether the Department of Defense can afford to do something.  On light days, I get to read a lot.  On busy days, I get to type and talk a lot.  No day is ever truly repeated.  That is what makes it so much fun.

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You might be wondering what it is, exactly, that I’m doing.  My full-time job is as a senior analyst at the RAND Corporation, which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in D.C.  I get paid to read, think, write, and solve problems on issues related to national security.  These days, though, I get paid to work directly for a particular office in the DoD.  I am on what’s known as a “detail.”  RAND sent me over to this office to help them execute a particular goal.  (And yes, I know I’m being vague, and yes, I know this is a classic D.C. move: watch the newspapers in the next month or two where you can read all about this.  I regret nothing.)  When my work in the DoD ends, I will return back home and keep reading, thinking, and writing.  It’s a great life.

People who enjoy working at think tanks are aggressively curious, committed to the truth regardless of the outcome, honor intellectual honesty above all things, and keep asking, “yeah, but, why?” The Waring education is brilliant training for think tank land. Keeping asking “why,” and one day, a paycheck will show up. Magic.

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To read about what other Waring Alums are up to, visit our Alumni Blog, maintained by Clare Stanton ’10. 

And to see Caroline’s gorgeous mug some more, watch Waring Then & Now, a production of Clare and Jack Lindsay (’05)’s 2015 Endterm. 

Thanks Caroline!

#goatscaping

Goatscaping: a green solution to managing poison ivy, invasives, tough inclines, stone walls, ledge, and overgrown areas.

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Waring has a history with goats. When the move to Beverly happened in 1976, there were animals on campus, and this lasted, relatively uninterrupted, until a few years before the construction of the Forum began in 2000. Students helped in the care-taking of the animals (goats, cows and chickens over the years), were able to study them, draw them, or just sit with them. When I was a student in the late 90s, there was a goat shed where we currently have All-School Meeting. Sassafras and Juliet lived quite happily on the hillside in their shed, right in the middle of daily campus life.*

*I do not actually know which goats these are in the picture. There were many goats over the years, including but not limited to Sassafras, Juliet, Violetta, Mesquite, Kate, Blanquette, Alfredo and Renaude.

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This fall, for the first time since Sassafras and Juliet (et al) went their own way, goats returned to campus. To clear a number of invasive species on the hill behind the house, Dianne and Pavel invited four goats to live here for two weeks – and they ate their way through the plants – on the ground and above their heads – with speed and dedication.

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The goats probably didn’t fully grasp the historical significance of their presence (not enough time spent in the Waring classroom, most likely), but the rest of us enjoyed the fitting start to our 40th year on campus, even if the visit was a short one.

Enjoy the photo gallery below from the Beverly Citizen on the goats’ return to Waring!

Beverly Citizen Goat Photos

On Camping Trip

From the journal of a faculty member:

And then the first car turns up the driveway and the first kid climbs out, lugging a bag half their size and twice their weight and already forgetting something, probably the sleeping bag, so that a parent has to bang open the Volvo’s tailgate and fish it out and hand it over, slippery and overlarge and already escaping from its carrying case, not unlike the parental heart as the kid joins two, three, four other kids–maybe they met three days ago at their first preseason, maybe this preseason was their last and they’ve been in and out of each others’ business for (can it be?) six years–swirling and eddying up the School steps. And you watch the parents drive away and you hear the voices rise and you remember: oh yes, these people, the ones already scuffing the freshly-varnished floor, the ones making all this noise. These are why.

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You remember again on Camping Trip, a dozen times, none of them the ones you expected. When cross-country does their long run and the newly-minted senior paces you in easy companionship all the way to Wolfboro. When the impromptu dance line forms in the dining hall, right in front of the milk dispenser because where else would you get down? When the moons and loons and pristine night give way to bobbling headlamps and the howls of stubbed-toe teenagers, goofy with exhaustion now but quiet and steady when you pull them aside and say Hey, can you help me out? Can you soothe this homesick child, clean up this cabin, plan this class? You hand them new weights –a sketchbook, a notebook, a section, a team–and stand back as they lift, stretch, drop something, pick it up, move off into the trees. Should you warn them about the poison ivy? No, they’ve seen it. Keep your mouth shut: they’ll be fine. They’ll be fine, and in the evening a freshman will sing “I can’t help falling in love with you,” beneath the Rec Hall’s drooping Christmas lights and the whole school will sing back, almost under their breath, at once casting a spell and trying not to break it.

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You’ll remember when you say, “Stay together and close to the shore,” then watch, resigned, as the canoes string out and paddle like mad for the middle of the lake. Can you yell loud enough to make them hear, or more to the point, to command their attention? The barometer’s falling. There are thunderheads. The canoes make headlong for the spot where the sun still dances and the inlet broadens to the lake. They’ll never see you semaphoring, never hear your voice. You launch your canoe and paddle toward them, waving as you go. 

WaringBlog Landing!

Welcome to the new Waring School Blog!

The school year here on campus is well under way. We’ve come and gone from Camping Trip, our annual Convocation is in the books, and our visit with our professional goatscapers is over (#goatscaping).

Goat lunchtime

Goat lunchtime

Art class en plein air

Art class en plein air

We are hoping this new blog will serve as a regular window into what is going on here at 35 Standley, in our 40th year on the Beverly campus. We will have guest posts, teacher profiles, classroom happenings, essays, articles and photos. We want to hear from you and we invite you to come to campus – whether you’re new to Waring completely or have just been meaning to pay a visit.

All School Meeting

All School Meeting

Additionally, if you have any ideas for a post, would like to write an article, would like to say a public “hey y’all” or just want to get in touch, please let us know.

More soon! Stay tuned….