By Eddie Friedman '10
From the Spring 2010 Caller
There are bad days and good days in and for the Catlin Gabel Student Association, the CGSA, of which I am president this year. On bad days the CGSA seems to me like an appendix. It started when the school needed a group to process and carry out the tasks of the community that other student or faculty organizations could not. On bad days, the CGSA feels a little vestigial, and like a sharp abdominal pain above the right hip of the (student) body.
Eddie Friedman will attend Brown University this fall. He admits that he may have taken a few liberties with the facts of the actual functions of the various organs he mentions, for the sake of beauty and aesthetic unity.
From the Spring 2010 Caller
Catlin Gabel is the standard I have set for a great independent school and is the backbone of my vision for being on the board of Cascades Academy of Central Oregon. I cannot think of an experience that has had a stronger influence on the way that I hope to help my community through nonprofits, education, parenting, and business. —Danielle Easly Nye ’87
Volunteer award recipient Bob Noyes and distinguished alumni Henry Dick '65, Sally Bachman '75, and Rachel Cohen '90 were honored at a Friday evening gathering followed by dinner in the Barn. Saturday activities on campus included the alumni soccer game, a picnic in the Fir Grove, and a luncheon for the classes of 1945, 1950, 1955, and 1960 in the Jame F. Miller Library.
Click on any photo to view slideshow.
By Alma Siulagi '10
From the Spring 2010 Caller
As my childhood years faded into the past, the conviction that I would one day change the world dissipated. With the slow creep of reality reducing my options, I resorted to crossing my fingers in hope of stumbling upon another fabulous passion.
By Leah Weitz '10
From the Spring 2010 Caller
I’ll admit it—when I found out that my Spanish V Honors class had required community service hours, I was miffed. I had essays to write, classes to teach, tests to take—and geez, now this? But our teacher, Lauren Reggero-Toledano, insisted that to supplement our class focus on the Hispanic presence in Oregon, each student should go out into the larger community and engage in community service with an organization catering to Hispanics.
Leah Weitz ’10 chose to intern at Bienestar for her senior project. She will attend the University of Puget Sound this fall.
We are grateful for the outstanding efforts of Faculty-Staff Giving Committee members Kathy Qualman, Lynda Douglas, Ginny Malm, Kate Grant, Ron Sobel, Chris Balag, Chris Woodard, and Spencer White.
Thanks to everyone who made a gift to the 2009-10 Annual Fund. Your contributions directly support our students and our school.
Two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins will return to the Catlin Gabel campus this fall, as a Karl Jonske Memorial Lecturer. His last visit was in 1999, the year of Karl Jonske's graduation, as a Jean Vollum Distinguished Writer.
The date for the Karl Jonske Memorial Lecture will be announced in late summer. Due to space limitations in our theater, this event will be open to Catlin Gabel community members only.
Upper School students will prepare for the lecture by reading Collins' Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems (2001) this summer. This volume will soon be available in the Catlin Gabel bookstore.
We also highly recommend Collins' latest collection, Ballistics (2008) to those who might be interested in his most recent work.
The "Billy Collins, Action Poetry" website, which offers a series of animated versions of his poetry, is a flat-out hoot: http://www.bcactionpoet.org
The Poetry Foundation has a bio and links to several poems and audio files: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poet.html?id=80600
Publication history for Collins can be found at http://www.billy-collins.com
The Karl Jonske '99 Memorial Lecture Series honors a devoted student of English and lover of the written word. Karl graduated from Catlin Gabel in 1999, where he was a National Merit semi-finalist, a member of the varsity tennis team, and a captain of the varsity basketball team. He went on to attend the University of Chicago, where he was active in community service, sports, and the Model United Nations.
His many interests included reading, writing, scuba, and travel. He had a passion for working with young people and volunteered with middle school youth as a math tutor. He hoped to become a professional writer. In addition to the lecture itself, the memorial has provided for the acquisition of 687 titles to date by the Upper School library.
Past lecturers have included poet and essayist Ted Kooser, journalists David Lamb and Sandy Northrop, photographer Anne B. Keiser, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder.
By Middle School head Paul Andrichuk and communications director Kitty Katz ’74
We’re going to cut to the chase and announce the What’s Next plan, then we’ll review how we got here. After months of consensus building, research, and input, we are excited to launch the Catlin Gabel Service Corps: Multigenerations Working Together for the Greater Good. The Service Corps preserves many of the best attributes of Rummage, is sustainable and doable, and is consistent with the mission of the school. We are not replacing Rummage, which had become unsustainable. We are doing something new.
The Catlin Gabel Service Corps initiative will take time to grow and become an institutional tradition. After all, Rummage began when one parent organized a small secondhand sale to meet the Catlin-Hillside School’s budget shortfall in 1945. The sale was not immediately embraced as an annual ritual: it grew over time.
A Corps Core group of faculty, staff, and volunteers will work on the details and long-term planning for the CG Service Corps. The Corps Core will be composed of can-do people who have demonstrated leadership in community service.
How did we get here?
Readers of this newsletter will recall that early in the school year we announced that the Rummage Sale would retire after 65 years. The people closest to the sale had concluded that it was not a sustainable operation, when it raised only 7 percent of our financial aid budget and volunteer numbers were declining. After the final sale was over, the What’s Next process began. A steering committee with representatives from all school constituent groups led the consensus-building efforts. At a community-wide workshop on January 23, more than 100 people generated four ideas for the steering committee to consider. (People who could not attend were invited to send ideas via the website.)
• Expand campus days to include a bigger work force that would encompass parents and alumni. Out-of-town alumni would be invited to volunteer in their communities on the same day(s) in solidarity with the events on campus.
• Enhance the current garden projects to engage people of all ages year round and cultivate more produce to use in the Barn.
• Create a multigenerational Catlin Gabel service corps to volunteer in the Portland community as well as on campus. Again, out-of-town alumni would be invited to represent Catlin Gabel in their own communities. We imagine that Catlin Gabel volunteer T-shirts would be an important part of this initiative.
• Find opportunities for the community to “barn raise” on campus, such as building a greenhouse, painting classrooms, or replacing siding. The Lower School playground project is the model for this initiative.
The steering committee broke into four sub-committees to research the ideas and explore the feasibility of launching them. The committee members met again after spring break to report on their findings and determine what needs to happen, so that Catlin Gabel can officially adopt one or more of the big ideas. The ideas were brought to Lark, division heads, and department heads for their input and reaction.
School leadership response
All-School Campus Day
An all-school campus day was initially appealing, but further investigation and input from the grounds crew caused us to reconsider. The current campus days are very successful and provide important services (leaf raking and bark chip distribution). Finding work and managing larger numbers all on a single schoolwide campus day could compromise the success of what we currently do. Working toward increased participation from parents and alumni and adding a celebratory element are positive outcomes of this investigation.
Garden Project and Fall Festival
The garden project is taking off, which is a great thing for our community. As the garden expands there will be more opportunities for planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting. However, there is not enough work for masses of people all at once. The idea of a harvest festival is very attractive, but fall of 2010 may be too soon. Perhaps Spring Festival could include a homegrown food and garden component.
We are keeping our eyes and ears open to opportunities. However, there is not a large-scale on-campus project suitable for a significant crew of volunteers to undertake at this time. Building codes and safety regulations make this a difficult undertaking.
Community Service “Job Fair” (offshoot idea from the Service Corps subcommittee)
There was limited interest in a service fair and adding an event to our calendar. Students would not likely get this project off the ground without a great deal of supervision and staff support. However, if the Service Corps concept outlined below takes off, we can imagine adding a Service Job Fair to expand our reach and diversify our service.
Catlin Gabel Service Corps
This proposal gained the most traction with the admin team. It seems to best embrace the Rummage attributes we hold near and dear. The leadership team pursued the Service Corps proposal with greater specificity and looked for ways to combine it with other ideas such as campus day, the service fair, and a food festival or potluck.
Creating a Service Corps Committee (the “Corps Core”) of representative constituents was proposed. This long-term group will consider schoolwide themes, establish guidelines, and set school community goals that chart our progress.
What? Another committee?
Funny, yes. The What’s Next steering committee’s assignment is complete. They were charged with getting us to this point. Forming a new group to manage the Catlin Gabel Service Corps is essential for this initiative to successfully take root. the Corps Core will begin their work this summer. (It is premature to announce the members, but we have some great folks on the invite list.)
We are excited about the possibilities and know many Catlin Gabel community members will have great ideas for the Corps Core to consider. Here are a few suggestions the steering committee kicked around: How about a specific day when local community members and alumni around the world serve on behalf of Catlin Gabel? Drop everything and serve. Let’s kick off the Catlin Gabel Service Corps idea homecoming day – we’ll have a built-in celebration! Students could have a Rummage contest knockoff with blue and white teams collecting on behalf of the Oregon Food Bank or the Community Warehouse or Outside/In. We hope you are as enthusiastic as we are about the What’s Next: the Catlin Gabel Service Corps.
Urban studies student presentation impresses at PSU graduate school, come see for yourself at public forum
Students in the PLACE urban studies class have been working with Portland State University graduate students on a food security project involving Zenger Farms in outer southeast Portland. The students will report their findings at a public meeting for planning professionals and community members on Wednesday, June 2, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., at Portland State’s Smith Union, room 238. Food and drink provided. Come early to get a seat.
The audience raved about how well prepared and engaging our young community stewards were when they presented their findings and recommendations to professors and students in the PSU School of Urban Studies and Planning.
This is the first time high school students have collaborated with graduate students on an important community project. Come support our students and our city. For more information about PLACE, contact George Zaninovich at PLACE@catlin.edu.