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Viola Vaughn from Sénégal to speak at Catlin Gabel on April 7

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Vaughn, a CNN "Hero," is founder & director of 10,000 Girls, dedicated to the education of girls

Viola Vaughn, founder and executive director of the nonprofit 10,000 Girls (http://10000girls.org) in Kaolack, Sénégal, West Africa, will speak at Catlin Gabel on Wednesday, April 7, at 12:45 p.m. in the Middle School Commons during her tour of the United States.

Dr. Viola Vaughn

Vaughn is an American with an Ed.D. from Columbia University who received a CNN “Hero” award in 2008. She is a social entrepreneur who has built 10,000 Girls from an idea to a vibrant program currently serving 2,567 girls in 10 towns and villages in rural Sénégal. She periodically tours the U.S., speaking and participating in conferences to raise awareness of her organization's success in helping West African girls succeed as students and entrepreneurs. During her time in Portland Vaughn will also speak at Portland State University.

Video of Viola Vaughn #1          

Video of Viola Vaughn #2            

Video of Viola Vaughn #3

Viola Vaughn and the 10,000 Girls Project from Memory Box Productions on Vimeo.

10,000 Girls has two primary programs: after-school education and skill-building, helping girls stay in school and complete their educations; and entrepreneurship, teaching a craft or trade and business basics to older girls who have already left school and need life skills to become self-reliant. The educational component provides tutoring and resources to help girls succeed in school. Older girls, who are no longer in school, learn sewing, baking, and other marketable skills, creating products such as dolls and table linens, which they sell locally and online. The girls also grow, harvest, and produce hibiscus, which they transform into tea and hope to export to the U.S. as Certified Organic. The girls in the entrepreneurial program have decided to donate nearly 50% of their earnings to the program, making 10,000 Girls entirely self-sustainable. In Sénégal – where 54% of the citizens live below poverty and 48% are unemployed  – 10,000 Girls transforms the lives of  participating girls and their families.

The dynamic Viola Vaughn, a long-time resident of Sénégal, dramatically describes the challenges and joys of running 10,000 Girls and speaks with passion about her organization's mission. She can relay fascinating stories, including how she convinced banks to open accounts for young girls, a first in Sénégal; why the girls chose to bake and sell cookies to raise money (like America's Girl Scouts); and the what poignant questions the girls pose at summer Democracy Camps in  Sénégal. 
 
In Portland, Violla Vaughn hopes to connect with individuals and organizations interested in the education of girls, as well as with businesses that might want to sell 10,000 Girls' products. She will also encourage individuals intending to volunteer for 10,000 Girls in Senegal.

 

Gambol auction festive, fun, successful

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Co-chairs Heather and Gina
Link to Gambol photo gallery

The 2010 Gambol at the Nines hotel offered something for everyone: mingling, shopping, bidding, dining, and dancing to music by the Upper School jazz band.

The event highlight was a moving speech by Derrick Butler, M.D. '86, who talked about coming to Catlin Gabel as a "fat little 7th grader from a single-parent household in an under-served neighborhood." Derrick, who became student body president his senior year, credits Catlin Gabel with giving him the confidence, sense of community, and academic tools to succeed in college and beyond. Today, Derrick is a family practice physician specializing in AIDS treatment in South Central L.A. His special appeal at the Gambol elicited a standing ovation and a frenzy of bidding in support of financial aid.

Thank you to all the bidders, donors, volunteers, and supporters who made the Gambol festive and successful. We'll have final figures in April when we finish accounting for expenses. In the meantime, enjoy the photo gallery.

Scholarship fund honors Clint Darling

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"Believe nothing of what you are told, no more than half of what you read—and never trust a bearded man." —Clint Darling

Dear Catlin Gabel alumni, families, and friends,

All campuses have their cast of characters, those idiosyncratic individuals who lodge in the mind, who transform through their teaching, whose lessons resonate years after the fact. Catlin Gabel certainly has had a few, including the author of the above quotation, Clint Darling, from his commencement speech to the Class of 2008.

Before retiring in 2009, Clint served this campus for 40 years as a French and English teacher, interim headmaster, head of the Upper School (for 13 years) and the English department, as well as a parent and friend. To honor his longevity and connection to our school, the Clint Darling Fund has been created in support of financial assistance, one of Catlin Gabel’s highest priorities. It is a fund dedicated to a permanent need about which Clint is most passionate.

This academic year, Catlin Gabel increased its financial award dollars by 40 percent, assisting 28 percent of our families. Given the state of the economy and the operating costs of independent schools today, these numbers inevitably will increase.

The goal of this initiative is to raise at least $25,000, at which point an endowed scholarship will be established in Clint’s name. What an extraordinary way to pay tribute to a devoted community member and ensure that Catlin Gabel students represent a “cross-section of American life” (Ruth Catlin’s philosophy, 1928).

To honor Clint, make a gift today: call 503-297-1894 ext. 302, or donate online.

Thank you in advance for your generous support,

Rukaiyah S. Adams ’91
John Chun ’87
Tom Tucker ‘66
Dave Corkran, retired Upper School history teacher

The Winter Caller magazine is now online

An Eye on the Goal

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Longtime soccer player Eric Watson '93 is now an award-winning coach
From the Winter 2010 Caller
By all accounts Eric Watson ’93 was a superb athlete at Catlin Gabel. But he knows he didn’t just go it alone, and that great coaches make great players. Now it’s his turn. A teacher and soccer coach since his college days, Eric loves working with his student athletes to realize their potential to become better players—and better people.
 
Eric had some fine role models at Catlin Gabel. “Mike Davis, Brian Gant, and John Hamilton were always there to inspire, instruct, and occasionally discipline me if my competitive desire got the better of me,” he says.
 
Eric concentrated on mathematics for his undergraduate degree from Williams College, and earned his master’s in leadership and sports administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. During summers he coached at Mike Davis’s soccer camps, which led to a job teaching and coaching at a private boy’s school in Connecticut. After a year there, Eric got an invitation from his coach at Williams: would he consider coaching there, at an 85 percent pay cut, with no benefits? “I jumped at the opportunity,” he says.
 
That opportunity paid off for Eric. He moved on from Williams to a coaching job at the University of Richmond, then finally got his big break: the position of head men’s and women’s soccer coach at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. “I was fortunate enough to have a very talented and dedicated group of players,” he says. The team advanced to the NCA tournament twice during his five years there, and Eric was voted Coach of the Year in 2005.
 
Another great chance came his way, and although he had loved being back in Oregon, Eric moved to New Paltz, New York, where he is now the men’s soccer coach at SUNY New Paltz. He lives there with his wife, Paola Gentry, and their children, Aracely, 7, and Oliver, 4. He also serves as assistant coach with the United States Under-23 Women’s National Team.
 
Eric says it’s never felt like a job to him to make a living in soccer, a game that has always been his great passion. “I feel that I can show my players how to best approach a passion of theirs, whether it is athletic or academic, and then use my position as a coach to help them reach their goals,” he says.
 
“The challenge of trying to make my players, my team, and the overall program better keeps me going back, day after day. Certainly there are days, especially after a loss, that make going back more difficult, but as long as there are still games to be played the team can improve and we go back to work. In the end the real job I have done won’t be measured in the four years I have direct contact with my players, but in 5, 10, or 15 years after they leave the school and forge their lives out in the world.”

Over the Waves

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Cruise director Don Fluke '74 keeps the folks happy at sea
From the Winter 2010 Caller
Singing and dancing was always in Don Fluke’s blood, even when he was growing up on a remote cattle and grain farm in tiny Airlie, Oregon. As he got older he found ways to entertain people, even in places where musical theater was a scarce resource. As a Catlin Gabel student he produced an unforgettable ’40s variety revue, “Fluke’s Follies,” that sparks gleeful memories for faculty and alumni. Now, as cruise director for Celebrity Cruises for almost 30 years—and considered one of the best in the business—Don provides entertainment and joy every day to thousands of shipboard passengers.
 
Don lives and works on a cruise ship seven days a week, for four-month stretches. As a high-ranking senior officer of the ship, he’s in charge of all passenger movement, activities, and what he calls “everything except steering, cooking, and cleaning.” The chief communicator on board, he issues a daily bulletin and even hosts a TV talk show featuring the lecturers and entertainers booked for that cruise. It all comes back to Don’s love of performing when he emcees the evening show, sometimes sings, and always acts as the warm and welcoming figurehead of the ship.
 
“In my early days as a cruise director, I was speaking to two ladies off stage, and they said I seemed more homespun than when I was on stage. That bothered me. So I try to carry myself naturally. It’s not so easy to come across as sincere when you’re talking to 1,200 people a day, but that’s who I really want to be,” he says.
 
Don’s talents were honed in many venues over the years. Before, during, and after his time at Catlin Gabel he performed frequently in community musical theater—even during his senior year in Guadalajara, Mexico, where his parents had moved. He went to the School of Performing and Variety Arts at the United States International University in San Diego, then graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. Besides singing and dancing, he worked as an announcer for a trivia show on Financial News Network, a songwriter and recorded singer, and a jingle writer for and actor in commercials. His life became what it is today when an agent asked if he’d like to perform on a cruise ship. “And I never had a regular job again,” he says.
 
It’s not an ideal life for most people, he says. “The novelty of being on a ship wears off. I can’t wait to get back home so I can read the morning newspaper, make my own coffee, watch David Letterman, and go to the supermarket to see new products. Being on land for me is like being on a cruise ship for others. After I’m back on the ship I’m not so excited to ‘take a cruise.’ But after five days I get an adrenaline rush: ‘I love this! This is so nice!’”
 
“Cruises are a really just a different angle of show business,” he says. “Theaters in cruise ships can seat more than 1,000 people in more professional venues than in many cities and towns. This aspect of entertainment was the role I played in 'Fluke’s Follies' at Catlin Gabel (with many thanks to the tolerance and care of teachers Sid Eaton and Pru Twohy!). I put together a show, handled the technical aspects, and cast the show and performed in it. I didn’t know anything about cruise ships when I was in high school, but I’m essentially doing the same things now.”  

 

Alumni News Winter 2010

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We Are Catlin Gabel.
From the Winter 2010 Caller
More than 4,000 people are Catlin Gabel alumni. Alumni are defined as those who attended or graduated from Catlin Gabel or any of its predecessor schools—Miss Catlin’s School, Gabel Country Day, and Catlin-Hillside. Catlin Gabel alumni are active participants in their communities. As educators, entrepreneurs, professionals, parents, athletes, scientists, artists, and more, our alumni are extraordinary people who live and work around the globe and right here in Oregon.
 
The office of alumni and community relations and the Catlin Gabel alumni association work together to “promote the interest and mission of the school, to strengthen loyalty to Catlin Gabel, and to provide opportunities for fellowship among the membership.” Catlin Gabel alumni remain connected to the school and to each other through publications, e-newsletters, the school website, online networking groups, campus visits, the Gambol auction, and a series of special events. We host regional events around the nation, and annual campus events including Homecoming and Alumni Weekend.
 
Alumni Weekend is coming up soon, and alumni have been telling us how much they look forward to seeing their classmates. Class party planning is under way, and preparations for a community celebration party in the Barn on June 18 will start off the weekend festivities. We look forward to seeing you.
 
Our experiences at Catlin Gabel continue to nourish us long after our student years. As always, we welcome hearing your stories and reminiscing about your days at Catlin Gabel. Please call or drop by anytime.
 
Lauren Dully Hubbard ’91
alumni and community relations program director
503-297-1894 ext. 363
 
Lesley Sepetoski
alumni and community relations officer
503-297-1894 ext. 423
 

Please Join Us!

2010 Alumni Weekend

Friday, June 18
All are welcome to attend the community celebration party with a presentation of annual alumni awards and Joey Day Pope ’54 Volunteer of the Year award.
Saturday, June 19
Class reunion parties celebrating the classes of ’45, ’50, ’55, ’60, ’65, ’70, ’75, ’80, ’85, ’90, ’95, ’00, ’05
 
 

Call for Nominations for Joey Day Pope ’54 Volunteer of the Year Award

This award is given each year to a Catlin Gabel community member who personifies volunteerism within our community. The person should have longevity of service to the school, bring enthusiasm and commitment, act as an ambassador of Catlin Gabel, provide the gift of talent, and have qualities of character and responsibility. Nominations are open until April 1. Please send nominations to the office of alumni and community relations or call Lauren Dully Hubbard ’91 at 503-297-1894 ext. 363 for more information.
 

Past Recipients

2008 Nell & Bob ’73 Bonaparte
2007 Kim Carlson
2006 Sue Spooner
2005 Dale Yocum
2004 Betsy Miller
2003 Peg Watson
2002 Jim Reese
2001 Debbie Ehrman Kaye ’73
2000 David ’76 & Carolyn Cannard
1999 Carole Long
1998 Jane Howard Mersereau ’38 & Jean Poole Hittner ’43
1997 Leah Kemper & Jennifer Sammons
1996 Lois Seed
1995 Rummage Wednesday Club
1994 Sid Eaton
1993 Fletcher Chamberlin
1992 Joey Day Pope ’54

 

 

 

 

Catlin Gabel News Winter 2010

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

NEWS FROM AROUND HONEY HOLLOW

All Kinds of Minds named Catlin Gabel a School of Distinction. Among other criteria, the school won the honor for “implementing a wide range of creative learning concepts that take into consideration students’ strengths, affinities, and challenges.” . . . Albina Head Start honored Catlin Gabel for its 16-year commitment to volunteer service at its early childhood education center. . . . Lauren Reggero-Toledano’s Spanish V Honors students presented their research project, “The Hispanic Presence in Oregon: From the Great Depression to Today,” to the Latin American studies program at Lewis & Clark College. . . . Retired teacher Dave Corkran accepted a Regional Forester’s award this fall from the Mt. Hood National Forest for Catlin Gabel’s many years of volunteer work restoring degraded land, through the Elana Gold ’93 Memorial Environmental Restoration Project and other student volunteer work. Since 1991, Catlin Gabel students have contributed more than 15,000 hours of labor.
 

FAREWELL!

Upper School counselor George Thompson ’66 will retire at the end of the school year. “There is never a good time to leave a vocation that one has loved, but this is as easy a moment as any. I will miss Catlin Gabel and plan to stay in touch with the good friends I have made here,” he says. Also retiring is Bob Kindley, Upper School math teacher. “The teaching of mathematics has always been interesting and exciting for me. I enjoy seeing students understand something for the first time and like hearing their new and interesting questions. I will miss the classroom and Catlin Gabel but feel that it is now time to pursue other things,” he says.
 

HONORS TO KEVIN ELLIS ’10 AND YALE  FAN ’10

Kevin Ellis ’10 and Yale Fan ’10 were named finalists in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search in January, two of 40 students nationally receiving the award. They received an all-expensepaid trip to Washington DC in March to compete for more than $500,000 in scholarships. Kevin and Yale were also national semifinalists in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology, sponsored by the College Board. Kevin also won a Best of Category award in computer science at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2009 in Reno, Nevada, and he presented at the International Symposia on Implementation and Application of Functional Languages IFL 2009 conference at Seton Hall University, along with graduate students and university professors from around the world. 

OUR AMAZING STUDENTS

An op-ed by Lauren Edelson ’10 on college tours was printed in the New York Times on December 5. . . . Joey Lubitz ’10 won a Golden Key, the highest regional honor in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program, and his artwork will be part of the national judging. . . . Artworks by Claire Rosenfeld ’17, Layton Rosenfeld ’19, and Will Attig ’20 were selected for the “Super Hero” exhibition in the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum in Eugene, on display through May. . . . Megan Stater ’12 placed first in the recent Oregon Music Teachers Association Classical Piano Festival. Michael Zhu ’11 took first place in the association’s Piano Romantic Festival, after placing third in their Chris Tapang Scholarship Competition. . . . . Middle School robotics Team Delta won 3rd at state championships, with the Green Dragons winning runner-up Champion’s Award and Team Echo winning second in research.
 

FALL ATHLETICS and SPORTS ROUNDUP

Both the boys and girls soccer teams were finalists at state. The girls cross-country team won second at state. . . . . McKensie Mickler ’11 was named an Oregonian athlete of the week in October after she had “27 kills to power the Eagles to a four-game victory over Vernonia” in volleyball . . . Students who recently placed high in state and national competitions in sports outside of CGS included Conner Hansen ’15 in Tae Kwon Do, Anna Byrnes ’11 in competition with her horses, Neil Badawi ’12 in soccer, and Ashley Tam ’15 in swimming.
 
Intel Science Talent Search photo of Intel's Bill MacKenzie with Kevin Ellis '10 & Yale Fan '10 courtesy The Oregonian

 

Best Buys Over the Years

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Reponses from campus community members to "What was the coolest thing you ever bought at Rummage?"
From the Winter 2010 Caller

Collected by Zanny Allport '10 and excerpted from CatlinSpeak, the student newspaper

Allen Schauffler
Beginning School teacher
My engagement ring. There’s a good story to go with it.
 
Kent Hayes ’10
Antique all-brass forest firefighting pump.
 
Len Carr ’75
Middle School dean of students
A 1988 VW Jetta that was in perfect condition, donated by former science teacher Lowell Herr, who had kept it up perfectly and meticulously.
 
Nance Leonhardt
Upper School teacher
Three identical hot-pink and white wooden signs that say “Merry Christmas.”
 
Karen Katz ’74
Communications director
Hundreds of dollars worth of Brio wooden trains and tracks I bought for about $35 when my sons were little guys. I am saving the Brio for grandchildren.
 
Keenan Jay ’10
Air Jordan 5s circa 1990. Freaking tight!
 
Hannah Whitehead
Head of the Beginning School
A folding kayak we bought in the 1980s. It was in pieces and no one knew if all of them were there, so we got it at a bargain price. It turned out that only the rudder was missing, so we made one, and had many happy hours on the Willamette with it.

 

Rummage Memory Pages

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We posted giant pages at the last Rummage Sale for shoppers and volunteers to add their memories. Here are some of their responses.
From the Winter 2010 Caller
“Walked through Rummage while starting labor contractions. Continued on and got all shopping accomplished. Daughter born 11/4/01 and now attends 2nd grade at Catlin Gabel.”
— Rummage shopper and CGS parent
 
“The Journal Building—laughing in the paperback book section with Debby Schauffler ’70 and Lynne Cartwright ’69, in 1967 or so.”
— Erik Bergman ’69
 
“My kids are 23 and 31. We’ve been coming here since they were 1 and 7. They have grown up in Catlin Gabel 'specials' and learned how to shop carefully here. Thanks to you for the place where they could make mistakes cheaply.”
— Rummage shopper
 
“Running with the bulls!”
— Luke Mones ’10
 
“We don’t have a lot of $$, and we were able to get a ton of racks and a display case for our store. Thank you so much!”
— Annie and Carlee, Fat Fancy
 
“I’ve been to most sales and still have treasures from the first one—especially a dress I bought for 50 cents and got lots of compliments on! Sorry to see it end."
— Lou Layko, 82, Brush Prairie, Washington
 
“There’s nothing like wearing a Catlin Gabel roustabout hat or working here as a cashier with your friends. Thanks for all the memories!”
— Esichang McGautha ’12
 
“The end of the annual rummage sale will leave a big, gaping hole in my fall events calendar, but as George Harrison taught us so long ago, all things must pass. Goodbye and thanks to all for your hard work and beautiful, friendly spirits.”
— Rummage shopper
 

A Rummage Farewell

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A longtime teacher and sale announcer bids goodbye to Rummage
From the Winter 2010 Caller

By Sid Eaton

I married into Rummage. When I married Margaret (Meg) Shepard Patten ’58 in 1964, I became son-in-law to her mother, Elsie Failing Shepard Patten ’29, a 24-year volunteer for the Catlin Gabel Rummage Sale. In fact, during my first fall at both Rummage and Catlin Gabel, I was invited to attend a luncheon in Elsie’s honor, the venue for which was the then sorting center at the corner of NW Thurman and 28th Avenue. It gave me a preview of coming attractions, of the care so many put into the project known as Rummage.
 
My previous hints of what I was getting into were four in number. First there was Schauff, Manvel Schauffler, then headmaster of Catlin Gabel, who spoke so often and warmly of Rummage during his many visits to my previous employer, the Charles Wright Academy, up in Tacoma. He never had to say, “Sid, you have to come and see the Rummage Sale.” So tantalizingly did he speak of the Sale, I wanted to come and see it in action, invited or not.
 
Near the end of my 10 years at Charles Wright, I got the chance to see a bit of the Sale in preparatory action. The Sale was still at the Journal Building down on what is now known as Tom McCall Waterfront Park, but it was not yet in session. Caravan Day had occurred, and the spoils of that year’s collection were everywhere. Silent though the building was, I could sense the growing excitement. I still recall Elsie and Meg talking about one of the off-duty policemen serving as security who would honor the Sale by serving as a cashier during the early moments. Thus was my second preview of coming attractions.
 
Third was Meg, who had virtually grown up at Rummage, not quite like a waif out of a Dickens novel, but to the manor or manner born, the highlight of her early life being when she was asked to sort buttons or something of that sort all by herself in the sewing department: complete responsibility at an early age, something she did again during Alumni Night on the Tuesday preceding this year’s final sale. She loved it!
 
Fourth was working in the Rummage Truck during my first student contest. I remember Eddie Hartzell, my colleague from a previous teaching life at the Cate School, and I were unloading a load of plywood table tops when the load shifted, just missing Eddie’s head by a non-existent hair. Rummage could be dangerous, exciting, hair-raising.
 
Then came loading week, an entire week committed to loading up some 20 semi trailers; Caravan Day, an entire Sunday devoted to unloading them over at the Coliseum, just days before the Trail Blazers would open their season; Pre-Sale, the nervous time during which parents and alums would eagerly await the arrival of the school’s fleet of buses, loaded to their windows with eager shoppers; finally the sale itself, which opened at 10 a.m. the next day with a swarm of humanity charging through the doors after waiting in line outside for many hours.
 
I had to tend shop my first year at the school (four English classes in the Upper School), so I missed the sight of this human tsunami, but I heard enough about it that I managed to be present thereafter at the official start of each succeeding sale. Someone had asked me to serve as the Sale’s announcer. It was chaotic, happy madness. No one had warned me of how many shoppers would ask their party to meet them in front of the snack bar, nor that one had to broadcast their requests in the order received or face intimidating stares from the denied populace.
 
There were light moments, to be sure. I remember one of our workers coming over from Housewares to ask me to ask the lady who had bought some bed pans to come pick them up. With all due seriousness I made an announcement about the bed pans, made it several times in fact as the buyer hadn’t shown up yet. The worker then reappeared with the same message, and again it went over the PA system, to the amusement of all in the building. Finally we discovered that the worker, who had a strong Balkan accent, was referring to bread pans.
 
There are many stories, and that’s just one. Come to think of it, maybe we need a Rummage reminiscence reunion, annually perhaps, where and when all associated with Rummage over the years can gather, share their memories, small and large, and say farewell to Rummage as it deserves and as we knew it. Something will be missing when Rummage ends: the bargaining in Hardware, the mental game of knowing what items to sit upon waiting for the next bag sale vs. not holding a bag sale too soon, the sheer pleasure of finding something one wasn’t seeking, and the experience of interacting with the public and the Catlin Gabel family. This was a two-way experience. This is what I hope so deeply the school, via a series of meetings being planned for this winter, will find ways to match. I shall miss the Rummage Sale very much, but I’m sure the school will find a way to extend all of its positives into the next 65 years of Catlin Gabel School’s existence.
 
Sid Eaton retired in 2001 after serving as admission director and teaching Upper School and Middle School English at Catlin Gabel for 30 years.

 

What We Would Have Missed

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Thoughts about the Rummage Sale
From the Winter 2010 Caller

By Debbie Ehrman Kaye '73

We almost didn’t have it!

In 1945 a rummage sale did not appeal to some members of the Catlin-Hillside Mother’s Club. They wondered if they couldn’t just write a check to buy library books and cover other expenses for the school (Rummage would support financial aid exclusively after 1950), never imagining that their efforts would yield $8,864. Thankfully, with their huge success, they were hooked!
 
Think what we would have missed:
* 5 years of positive connection with the greater Portland community
* 8 million in financial aid (2009 value), enabling thousands of students to attend Catlin-Hillside and Catlin Gabel
* All that recycling of usable goods
* Extracurricular, experiential learning by thousands of students
* Community participation in an “all-for-one & one-for-all” experience yielding friendships and connections among the diverse elements of our school
* So much FUN! and all those stories about merchandise, customers, trucks, buildings, and each other—shared experiences building community.
 
Because my parents were involved with Rummage, so was I (and my siblings). My volunteering began when I was four—my job: separating hangers. By the time I was 10 in the mid-sixties, I got to help in women’s accessories, stapling 2 x 2-inch price tags onto hats, gloves, handkerchiefs, and scarves. Kelly Puziss allowed me to price them; hankies generally cost 5 cents. Althea Williams in women’s sportswear taught her daughters (Leslie ’73 and Terra ’76) and me how to distinguish women’s from men’s shirts and how to display merchandise. Soon after, the Treasures ladies (Mrs. Hammer and Mrs. Wise) invited me to work with them and even to sell and cashier. I learned the value and power of taking responsibility and doing what I said I would do. These generous people taught me life skills I use to this day, such as leadership and “followership,” organization, interpersonal and intergenerational relations, finding the fun, and how to listen to, respect, and have compassion for colleagues and customers. Many parents and teachers taught all of us that together we could move a lot of rummage, and that the sum of our individual work was huge. I later worked as a buyer and floor manager for a Brazilian department store in Santiago, Chile, using every one of these skills! Recently, it has been a great pleasure to engage with students at Rummage, encouraging them to find their niche, to identify and enhance their skills. That kind of experiential learning must be integral to what we do next as a community.
 
During Rummage season, our family—and our mother, Pat Ehrman, particularly—were at the sorting centers and then the Journal Building all the time. With early November birthdays, my brother and sister did not have timely parties so, as compensation, their special days were announced over the loudspeaker. We were among those legions of children over the years who would see a toy and say, “I have one just like that!” and have their mother reply, “Not anymore, dear.” One year Mom was so busy at Rummage she forgot about Halloween—she called Dad at dinner time and told him to send us out in the oldest white sheets!
 
The Rummage Sale involved students from the beginning. The contest always brought in a lot of rummage, often treasures. Students found many opportunities for cooperative learning and for fun. Team leadership offered additional skill building (Go Blue!).
 
We almost didn’t have it. Recently, with 1,000 volunteers working 12,000 hours serving 11,000 customers every sale, consider how many people have participated in our annual community gathering—a wonderful and immensely beneficial event for 65 years. So “thank you” to those courageous and generous women who chose to have a rummage sale. Without them, think what we would have missed!
Debbie Ehrman Kaye ’73 is a member of the alumni board and the wife and mother of alumni (Ted ’73, Mason ’04, and Rob ’07). She served for many years as Rummage volunteer coordinator.

 

 

A Tribute to Rummage, A Look Ahead

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

This past November was Catlin Gabel’s final Rummage Sale. Forces that include changes in the way goods are sold in the digital age, the growth of second hand and discount retailers, and the shrinking pool of volunteers eroded the ability of this cherished 65-year tradition to raise the funds Catlin Gabel needs for financial aid. After the sale, it was time to find new ways to bring people of all ages together the way Rummage did, and to teach our students the lessons they could learn outside the classroom from Rummage. The Catlin Gabel community— students, teachers, staffers, parents, alumni, trustees, and friends—began working together to figure out What’s Next? at a meeting on January 23.

The group of more than 100 met in the Barn for most of the day to figure out what was important to them and to the school and wider communities through self-reflection and a series of group discussions led by past trustee and parent Mindy Clark. In addition, the event was streamed live on the website, and those off campus were able to participate online. Every idea and contribution was given respectful consideration at all times as the group worked towards final consensus at the end of the meeting. From smaller to larger groups, and then to the group as a whole, participants brainstormed ideas for what’s next, given a set of basic parameters. The final products were a list of events or activities that all agreed on, a list of what was agreed to be common ground, and a list of ideas that not every one agreed to, but that were important to some. No idea was thrown away, however—all ideas were captured and will be kept for future consideration.
 
Common ground—values that all thought should undergird what’s next— included attributes of multiple generations, physical activity, a learning component, a local connection to the community, a service component, financial sustainability, ability of students to run or organize the activity, and a way for the school community to bond or connect.
 
Projects, activities, or events that drew consensus were something to do with gardens, farms, or growing food (what one called a “Honey Hollow Farm resurrection”); a “Barn Raising” as a metaphor for building and working together on a specific project on or off campus; one specific event; a Catlin Gabel service corps; and an annual Campus Day connected to a worldwide day of service so that those who don’t live nearby can take part.
 
The day’s discussions are available online for everyone to see and to comment on. Members of the What’s Next steering committee will consider all the input and come back to the entire Catlin Gabel community with proposals for consideration. Whether it be one event, or many, or what shape it will take, remains to be seen. But what’s definite is that the community will decide, and try it out, and see what works. A new tradition may be born, or it may take time, but we will do it together.
 
We’ll never forget Rummage and the memories we have. Two stalwart volunteers reminisce here about what the Sale meant to them, and think about the directions we can go from here.

 

Winslow Corbett '98 has made a name for herself in theater

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Gretchen Corbett 63's daughter Winslow Corbett ’98 has made a name for herself in theater. She’s acted in New York and throughout the country and appeared in a Lifetime TV movie. Gretchen reminisces about Winslow’s first professional acting job, at age 15 in “Arcadia” at ACT in Seattle: “Some people remember seeing their child go into 1st grade. But for me it was walking down the street and stopping a block from the theater, watching Winslow walk down the block alone.” She says that Winslow is quite different from her mother: “She’s good at playing roles I could never touch. She has femininity, humor, and a lightness of spirit. We’re good friends.”

 

 

Dreams are Powerful

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Celebrated actress Gretchen Corbett '63 was destined for a life in the theater, and a Catlin Gabel teacher gave her the background for success
From the Winter 2010 Caller

By Nadine Fiedler

One evening at the theater set young Gretchen Corbett’s life on its course. She was in Ashland with her family to see the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, as they had done for many years. They would sit in Lithia Park in the afternoon reading that night’s play, and then they would go to the performance. That night’s play was “Hamlet.”

 “’Hamlet’ completely blew me away,” says Gretchen. “I could not sleep after seeing it. I was overwhelmed with the possibilities of a life in theater, and how moving and important the story that the play told felt to me.”
 
Her dream was to be onstage at Ashland. She got there, eventually. “Dreams are powerful, as everyone knows,” says Gretchen.
 
But before she got to Ashland, she received theatrical training at Catlin Gabel that she credits with helping her become the powerful, lauded actress she is today.
 
The much-beloved “Mrs. Jo,” Vivien Johannes, taught Gretchen English and theater. Mrs. Jo demanded energy, excitement, and passion from her students, and woe were you if you came to class without something in mind to discuss or debate. “If you didn’t, she’d tell you that you were just a pip on a log, and you should get out,” recalls Gretchen.
 
They worked on scenes in Mrs. Jo’s class for two or three hours a day, performing a play a year. Her eclectic repertoire included some pretty heavy going, like Euripides’ “Trojan Women” and Ugo Betti’s “The Queen and the Rebels.” Mrs. Jo’s space at first was a roped-off section of the Barn, until she and her students designed the Nutshell (the name, incidentally, from a line in “Hamlet”) and the school built it for them.
 
“Mrs. Jo required us to tap into our self-motivation and passion,” says Gretchen. “This has been essential to my growth as an artist.”
 
Gretchen won entrance to Carnegie Mellon University through an audition. She was almost immediately cast in Euripides’ “Electra” (which she loved: she had spent two years working on Euripides with Mrs. Jo). And her dream came true when she finally got to Ashland, performing during the summers. After two years Gretchen left Pittsburgh and returned to Portland, taking English classes at Portland State.
 
That didn’t last long. “This was the sixties, the Kennedy years, when the country believed in the arts,” she says. That fall a representative of a government-sponsored program offered Gretchen roles in “Romeo and Juliet” and “Our Town” in the Repertory Theater of New Orleans, playing to 2,000 high schoolers a day. That phase of her life lasted until she came to New York a year later.
 
Gretchen was in the city on her way to Europe when she met an agent. “I didn’t know about agents. I didn’t even know how to hail a cab,” she says. But he saw her talent and potential, and soon she was cast in a film, an off-Broadway show, and a Broadway show. “Thanks to Mrs. Jo I could handle heavy classical stuff,” she says.
 
“When I first played Broadway I walked on the boards as a very young girl with a lot of stage chops. It was unusual to be so young and hit the back of the house with your voice and personality. It was one of those things that has to be learned,” says Gretchen.
 
She spent 10 years in New York on the stage, in productions with many notable actors, including Alec McCowen, Julie Harris, and Irene Papas, and directors that included Michael Cacoyannis and Abe Burrows. She loved her life in New York theater, so much so that when Universal Studios offered her a contract for film and TV, she refused. The second time they offered, she decided to give it a try and went to Hollywood.
 
Her life became a constant whirl of roles in films and television, most prominently the unforgettable role of lawyer Beth Davenport in The Rockford Files with James Garner. She also appeared in The American Revolution, with Michael Douglas and James Woods, and a long list of TV series and episodes, including Marcus Welby, M.D., Kojak, and Columbo. She worked so incessantly on so many projects that it’s hard for her to recall everything she’s done, she says, explaining that TV filming takes only a couple of weeks at the most for each project.
 
And TV work is particularly crazy and demanding. “You do an astonishing amount of work in a day, shooting 12 hours with a script you may have gotten two days before if you’re lucky, and then you have to walk and talk so you don’t block anyone’s light and you’re in complete synch with the cameraman and the 150 people behind him, and you have to create a believable character and bring life and truth to the words you’re saying.”
 
She began losing her appetite for TV and film, and felt more pride in her stage work. “I didn’t own a TV and was making a living doing TV. Something was wrong,” she says. When it was time to enroll her daughter Winslow Corbett ’98 in middle school, LA schools were uninviting, and Gretchen looked back to the Catlin Gabel she had loved. She and Winslow moved back to Portland, Winslow entered 7th grade at Catlin Gabel, and Gretchen found herself at a loss.
 
Gretchen wanted to pursue stage acting in Portland, but the local theater community was a hard one to break into. She found other ways to express herself, including learning to throw pots, but that just wasn’t who she was. After serious soul-searching, she found a way to bring theater back into her life. Gretchen had served as resident director in LA at a nonprofit organization that nurtured new plays and playwrights, so she was familiar with nonprofits. She took a deep breath and launched the Haven Project, which paired underserved children with local theater artists to create and perform plays.
 
“I had no idea how to get the Haven Project going, but I like having a steep learning curve. I simply started writing grants,” she says. Thanks to Gretchen’s grace and determination, the Haven Project was a great success for its 10-year duration. In its day the Haven Project produced 90 plays a year, with over 200 Portland theater professionals touching the lives of 700 children. “I liked making a difference in kids’ lives, and I liked giving artists a way to give back, in the way they knew best,” she says. Her nonprofit venture brought Gretchen into the lives of Portland actors and playwrights, into the city’s public eye, and onto its stages—where she has received continual acclaim.
 
Gretchen has acted in many plays with several Portland theater companies, and is a core member of Third Rail Repertory Theatre. She will continue to act, and to awe Portland audiences. When you hear her talk about what it means to her to act on stage, you can feel in your own bones the intense physical and intellectual commitment she has to her art.
 
“I’m an intuitive actor yet it takes a long time for the character to set in my bones and heart, and for me to discover the character’s secrets. I’m curious about people, especially those so different from myself. I care about literature and the way a story is being told. I care about the brain that has created the words I’m speaking.
 
“I’ve played characters who have had wonderful senses of humor and a more positive outlook than I have. Recently I played a suicidal woman in “A Lesson from Aloes,” and it took me months to get back to myself. Now I consider more carefully. Acting is so internal that it becomes physical, and it can become difficult to stay healthy.
 
“At its heart the experience of acting is like any creative art form. What comes out of me surprises me as much as it surprises an audience. It’s as if I’m not in charge. At its best it feels like a religious experience. That’s the creative process. After you do all the work on a character you come to that place. I imagine the same is true for writers, musicians, and painters.
 
“Some actors are attracted to theater because they like to have fun showing off, like kids. That’s not my impetus. I’m personally shy, an introvert. I open my heart in front of an audience so that we can share and learn together about being human.”
 

Places Please

By Gretchen Corbett ’63
 
Hamlet pondered
way out on the apron
That’s all it took.
I moved onto the boards
met my family out on the ice
found home in make-believe rooms
with no walls.
 
Years collapse. Cities merge.
 
All over the globe
rehearsal halls without windows
invite unexpected music
I walk down taped-on-the-floor steps
into the heart of a stranger.
 
Countless nests I’ve built
in backstage branches of tumbledown barns
sleek city centers
gilt-edged arenas
each dripping peonies and
pink powder
each pinned with reminders on mirrors
about flying naked
tight rope walking
the fat lady in the front row.
 
Places please. Places.
 
Move down secret, blue-lit corridors
past fly rigging and brick
to the edge of the boards
wait
and breathe
and wait
‘till a hush falls
and wait
then an oboe
inside my body
takes over
the stage erupts
spills exquisite light.
I step out into it.
Send life out into the darkness
 

Photo: Owen Carey
Nadine Fiedler is the editor of the Caller.

 

Chronicle of a Senior Project

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From the Winter 2010 Caller
Each year all the members of the senior class do a project of their choice out in the community, and part of their responsibility is reporting back to the school. Last year students worked in venues that included political and doctor’s offices, TV and radio stations, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and many more. Their writings about their experiences revealed how much they had learned—and how much they had taught others about themselves and about Catlin Gabel. Below is one student’s report on her project experience.

Participles & Pig's Feet: Shadowing an ESL Teacher
By Madeleine Morawski '09

If you had asked me three weeks ago what a noncount noun was or how American pronunciation differs from written English, I would have offered a blank look or shrugged shoulders at best. If you had asked me whether I ever considered becoming a teacher, I would have voiced a polite but very firm “no.” Though a lack of knowledge concerning English grammar and only minimal interest in teaching seem strange qualifications for three weeks shadowing an ESL teacher, I greatly enjoyed my senior project and learned more than I could have hoped about everything from stressed syllables to Korean idioms.

 I completed my project at the Portland English Language Academy (PELA), a small language school in downtown Portland. The school consists of a number of classrooms, a computer lab, a study room, and a student lounge. With a total enrollment of 65 students and a teaching staff of three full-time and three parttime teachers, the school offers a small community environment for English students from all over the world.
 
My mentor, Annae Gill, has taught at PELA for two years and previously taught English in Japan and ESL in Seattle. During my project I shadowed her while she taught classes on reading, vocabulary, pronunciation, writing, and grammar to groups of students with different levels of English proficiency.
 
Most of my time was spent observing class. While it may sound boring to sit and watch a class in a subject I am quite familiar with, I was surprised at how interesting I found each lesson. While English is my first language, there are many aspects, particularly of spoken English, that I take for granted. I kept a journal each day and recorded each activity from the lessons and followed along with the handouts and worksheets the students used.
 
I was able to participate in many classroom activities as well. The students frequently completed practice activities and conversation exercises in partners and small groups, allowing me to join in. From practicing dialogues about birthdays, to discussing the weather and playing language-learning games, I got to take part in many of the classroom exercises with the students. I was also able to offer them help and answer questions about everything from vocabulary to grammar to spelling.
 
The most important way I was able to help the students was by giving them a chance to practice their conversation skills with a native English speaker. Outside of class, the students do not always get enough opportunities to practice their skills in an informal setting with someone who will be patient and willing to help. In addition to time spent conversing with the students in class and during lunchtime, I led a weekly conversation group. I usually started with a topic such as where they were from and why they were studying English or what activities they had done over the weekend. After these initial conversation starters, the discussion usually flowed naturally based on topics the students were interested in. Besides giving them a chance to practice their English, the conversation groups were a great way to get to know the students and learn about their cultures. Our discussions ranged from the ISO system of standardization to Polish pronunciation to favorite television shows, giving each student a chance to speak up and often sparking rather lively debates.
 
One aspect I noticed that made me look forward to my project each day was the unique atmosphere of Annae’s classes. Because the students enroll of their own accord, unlike high school students completing a language requirement, all of the students I met were very motivated to learn English. Even those who did not come to class regularly were eager to ask me questions or learn new slang and idioms. Also, because the objective of each lesson was to improve the students’ English abilities, spontaneous and tangential discussions were encouraged, rather than avoided as in the high school classes I am familiar with. A simple practice sentence about car companies could turn into a discussion of the bailout plan, while another exercise led to a lesson on the slang words “homegirl” and “homie.” Compared to typical high school classes, the lessons are far more focused on what the students want or need to know, rather than a syllabus full of grammar topics and assigned readings. This type of environment allows for a great deal of interaction both among students and between students and teachers.
 
My favorite aspect of the classroom atmosphere, however, was the wide variety of backgrounds and experiences represented in one room. I met students from Switzerland, France, Russia, Poland, Turkey, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Libya, with ages ranging from 18 to almost 50. Everyone was studying for different reasons, some for university, some for their jobs, and others because they had recently settled permanently in the U.S. I met journalists, law students, doctors, and artists, each of whose experiences contributed to the unique classroom dynamic. Any normally boring topic can become interesting when you compare practices and viewpoints from so many different cultures. Sure, talking about birthdays can be boring, but did you know that people in Taiwan celebrate with seaweed soup and pigs’ feet?
 
Because I was able to spend so much class time as well as lunch and after-school time with the students, I got to know many of them quite well. They were all very welcoming and acted just as interested in me as I was in them. My favorite part of each school day was lunchtime because I got to speak with the students in an informal setting, hearing about everything from their weekend trips to their jobs and families. I loved watching students from such different cultures talk and share food. Everyone was eager to have their friends try their native dishes, and during my time at PELA I sampled everything from mole to borscht. Also, one of the bonuses for me was the chance I got to practice some of my own language skills. When not in class, many of the students speak to each other in their own languages, meaning I was able to test my Chinese comprehension and learn some Spanish slang. Though I enjoyed each class and learned quite a bit, it was the students that made my project so enjoyable.
 
I hoped this project would allow me to interact with people from other cultures and backgrounds, but it went far beyond that. I not only got to know a group of interesting and diverse people, I also learned an incredible amount about teaching English as a second language. I had never considered teaching to be something I would like to do in the future, but my time at PELA has caused me to reconsider. The dynamic classroom atmosphere and community created by such a diverse mix of students made for an environment that makes teaching seem fun and just as educational for the teachers as it is for the students.
Madeleine Morawski '09 attends the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

 

Mock trial team advances to state

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Both the blue and white mock trial teams had a great day at the 2010 regional trial. The Blue Team advances to state to compete against the best teams in Oregon. This year’s case, State v. Lane, is a criminal case where the defendant, a rap artist, is charged with inciting a riot and arson.

Congratulations to Catlin Blue team members Talbot Andrews, Conor Carlton, Becky Coulterpark, Eli Coon, Nina Greenebaum, Andrew Hungate, Grace McMurchie, Kate McMurchie, Megan Stater, and Leah Thompson.

Catlin White team members include Rohisha Adke, Amanda Cahn, Rachel Caron, Audrey Davis, Layla Entrikin, Brian Farci, James Furnary, Mira Hayward, Thalia Kelly, Jackson Morawski, Grant Phillips, Charlie Shoemaker, Henry Shulevitz, Curtis Stahl, Lynne Stracovsky, Terrance Sun, Karuna Tirumala, and Michael Zhu.
 

Students lead CG response to Haiti earthquake, community raises $28,000

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The world looked on in horror when the January 12 earthquake rocked Haiti. Immediately, Catlin Gabel students of all ages got to work organizing fundraisers to help the devastated island. Alumna Caitlin Carlson ’00, communications officer for Mercy Corps, came to campus to talk to about the essential need for cash in the coming months. We set up a web page aimed at inspiring students and consolidating our community efforts. Student-led bake sales and the Lower School read-a-thon raised $28,000 for Haitian earthquake relief. Our contributions will make a difference in Haiti: $16 provides a child’s "comfort kit” that includes a blanket, sketchpad, crayons and toys, $43 buys 110 pounds of rice, and $75 equips a Port-au-Prince resident for two weeks of recovery work.

What's Next? workshop advances community-building ideas

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What happened at the What's Next workshop?

The Catlin Gabel community—students, teachers, staffers, parents, alumni, trustees, and friends—began working together to figure out “What’s Next?” at a meeting on January 23. (Join the conversation on our website forum.)

The group of more than 100 met in the Barn for most of the day to figure out what was important to them and to the school and wider communities through self-reflection and a series of various group discussions led by past trustee and parent Mindy Clark. In addition, the event was streamed live on the website, and those off campus were able to participate online. Every idea and contribution was given respectful consideration at all times as the group worked towards final consensus at the end of the meeting. From smaller to larger groups, and then to the group as a whole, participants brainstormed ideas for what’s next, given a set of basic parameters. The final products were a list of events or activities that all agreed on, a list of what was agreed to be common ground, and a list of ideas that not every one agreed to, but that were important to some. No idea was thrown away, however—all ideas were captured and will be kept for future consideration.

Common ground—values that all thought should undergird what’s next—included attributes of multiple generations, physical activity, a learning component, a local connection to the community, a service component, financial sustainability, ability of students to run or organize the activity, and a way for the school community to bond or connect.

Projects, activities, or events that drew consensus were something to do with gardens, farms, or growing food (what one called a “Honey Hollow Farm resurrection”); a “Barn Raising” as a metaphor for building and working together on a specific project on or off campus; one specific event; a Catlin Gabel service corps; and an annual Campus Day connected to a worldwide day of service so that those who don’t live nearby can take part.

Members of the What’s Next steering committee will consider all the input and come back to the entire Catlin Gabel community with proposals for consideration. Whether it be one event, or many, or what shape it will take, remains to be seen. But what’s definite is that the community will decide, and try it out, and see what works. A new tradition may be born, or it may take time, but we will do it together.

Steering Committee

Susan Koe, co-chair, parent
Don Vollum '84, co-chair, parent, trustee, alumnus

Stephanie Broad, parent
Li-Ling Cheng, faculty MS, parent
Roberta Cohen, former faculty-staff, parent of alumni
Annette Cragg, parent
Spencer Ehrman '68, alumnus
Qiddist Hammerly, student
Herb Jahncke, faculty LS, parent
Karen “Kitty” Katz '74, staff, alumna, parent
Debbie Ehrman Kaye '73, alumna, parent of alumni
Ted Kaye '73, alumnus, parent of alumni
Art Leo, faculty US, parent
John Mayer, faculty LS
Heather Renjen, parent
Robin Schauffler '68, alumna, former faculty member
Colleen Shoemaker, parent
Tom Tucker '66, faculty MS & US, alumnus, parent
Peg Watson, former faculty, parent of alumni
Patrick Wheary, parent of alumna, current grandparent

Victoria Trump de Sabático en Peru y España

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Hola a todos!

Espero que les hayan disfrutado las fiestas de la navidad y el año nuevo. Les estoy mandando este correo con un poquitito de información sobre mi año sabático.  Estaré parte del panel de ex-alumnos sobre la vida después de CG, hablando un poco sobre mis experiencias en Perú y los beneficios de un año sabático. Viví en Urubamba (en la provincia de Cusco) por 3 meses con una familia que sólo habla español. Para mi trabajo, hice cocinas con chimeneas y filtros para agua sana (los dos de cerámica) para comunidades pequeñas y pobres cerca de Urubamba, hablando con la gente para enseñarles sobre las cocinas y los filtros sólo en español (y con un poquito de Quecha, el idioma nativo de Perú).

Para el próximo parte de mi año sabático voy a viajar a Barcelona para vivir con Guillem y estudiar (sólo un poco cada semana...sí pues, es un año sabático, ¡no un año más de la escuela!). Estudiaré "Cine Español" y "Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo" a la Universidad de Barcelona, Estudios Hispánicos, y Francés al Instituto Francés de Barcelona.  Mis dos cursos con la UB serán totalmente en español (¡y con ensayos también!) así que vamos a ver como hago...jajajaja.

¡Muchísimos abrazos!
Victoria