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China Hat Caving and Smith Rock Climbing Expedition

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Adventures in Central Oregon with the Outdoor Program

The sun was setting in dramatic fashion over the Oregon desert, and the clouds that had been hung up on the Cascades to the West had dislodged themselves and were threatening rain.  Half of our group had rappelled into the collapsed lava tube while the rest stood at the edge looking down.  None of us at the bottom had yet started exploring the pitch black cave that was our only way out of the sink hole.  We were in the middle of one of many of the adventures of a truly great weekend.  Impressive snow during the bus ride over the pass, pulled pork tacos next to a wood stove, and an abandoned, yet sunny Smith Rock State Park provided plenty of other memorable experiences.  Everyone in the group pushed themselves in many ways, and hopefully returned to Portland a little more adventurous.  Please enjoy some photos from our trip.

Winter Break with Good Books to Read!

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 Hi, everybody!

It’s just a few days before Winter Break, and I’d like to offer you some reading recommendations.  If novels and biographies aren’t your thing, we have books on programming in Python, codecracking, politics or history.  There are thousands of options, so stop by to find your perfect match. We’re open until 4pm on Friday, December 17th so you can find something good to read in your free time.  

Happy countdown to the break!


In a Strange Room, by Damon Galgut  
In this newest novel from South African writer Damon Galgut, a young loner travels across eastern Africa, Europe, and India. Unsure what he's after, and reluctant to return home, he follows the paths of travelers he meets along the way. Treated as a lover, a follower, a guardian, each new encounter-with an enigmatic stranger, a group of careless backpackers, a woman on the verge-leads him closer to confronting his own identity. Traversing the quiet of wilderness and the frenzy of border crossings, every new direction is tinged with surmounting mourning, as he is propelled toward a tragic conclusion. (from the book jacket).  This novel has received fine reviews, and was a finalist for the Man Booker prize, 2010.

Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert
If you like graphic novels, check out this gritty account of a Second World War soldier’s experiences during and after the war, both in the US and Europe.  Nik Hall recommended this book to us, so if you read it, be sure to talk to him about it!

The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert
“A graphic novel and photo journal that follows reporter Didier Lefevre on a dangerous journey through Afghanistan with the Doctors Without Borders mission” (US library catalog).  If you’re interested in the range of the graphic novel across genres including history, politics, and biography, here’s a good read.  Notice that it’s also by the author of Alan’s War.  

Linus Pauling in His Own Words, by Linus Pauling
“Pauling's scientific career spanned nearly the entire 20th century, from his revolutionary Nobel Prize-winning theories on the chemical bond to his controversial work on orthomolecular medicine and vitamin therapy, which continued up to his death in 1994. To many, however, he is best remembered as an ardent peace activist and a crusader for human rights, which brought him his second Nobel. Throughout his career, he was called a genius, a visionary, a Communist, and even a crank. Nothing about Pauling was simple or obvious.” (from a review in Library Journal)

Small Island, by Andrea Levy
This is the story of a young woman who “arrives in London from Jamaica in 1948 with her life in her suitcase, her heart broken, [and] her resolve intact.  Her husband, Gilber Joseph, returns from the war expecting to be received as a hero, but finds his status as a black man in Britain to be second class”  (from the book jacket).  This novel won the Orange Prize and the Whitbread book of the year prize.  


Diversity committee introduces affinity groups for parents

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Catlin Gabel’s diversity committee is pleased to launch cross-divisional parent affinity groups in January. We start modestly this year with three affinity groups for adoptive families, families of color, and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender people and their families. In addition to parents, participants may include school leaders, diversity committee members, and interested faculty and staff members.

Your children’s emotional safety and your comfort in our community are vitally important to us. Catlin Gabel is a place where every student should thrive and every family should feel connected. We seek your input and involvement to ensure that those core values are realized.

Affinity groups can play a variety of roles in a school like Catlin Gabel, and they have been effective on our campus in the past. At the outset, the meetings will be social events for parents to meet and talk about common interests or concerns. Later, each affinity group will schedule monthly or bi-monthly meetings that will include specific agenda items determined by the group or suggested by the school. Ultimately, we will ask the affinity groups to identify what Catlin Gabel might do differently or better. Your thoughts, especially specific recommendations, are an important source of feedback that will help inform how we can improve inclusivity and further develop our cultural competency as a community.

In the spring we will form a diversity committee that includes parents from each of the affinity groups as well as other interested community members. Paul Andrichuk, chair of the faculty-staff diversity committee, will facilitate this parent diversity committee, which will regularly update the administrative leadership and the PFA.

We seek affiliated parents to attend the affinity group meetings. Follow-up meetings will be scheduled by the people attending the initial meetings.

Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Families Affinity Group

Thursday, January 6, at 7 p.m.
Beginning School Well
Facilitators: Sue Phillips, US librarian, and Mary Foulk, annual giving officer

Families of Color Affinity Group

Tuesday, January 11, at 7 p.m.
Beginning School Well
Facilitator: Zalika Gardner, 2nd grade teacher and alumna

Adoptive Families Affinity Group

Thursday, January 13, at 7 p.m.
Beginning School Well
Facilitators: Astrid Dabbeni, executive director of AdoptionMosaic, and Nance Leonhardt, US art teacher

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Paul Andrichuk. Questions about the specific affinity groups can be directed to individual facilitators.

Catlin Gabel receives multimillion-dollar gift

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Philanthropy News Digest article, November '10

Video of state championship goals

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Highlight reel shot by Jennifer Davies, parent of alumni

The girls defeated St. Mary's of Medford, 2-0, to win the 2010 title. » Read the Oregonian story

The boys beat St. Mary's of Medford, 1-0, in double overtime. » Read the Oregonian story


Boys win state soccer championship!

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Yee haw!

The Eagles beat St. Mary's of Medford, 1-0, in double overtime.

» Read the Oregonian story

Jubilant Eagles celebrate their double overtime victory

Girls win state soccer championship!

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The Eagles beat St. Mary's of Medford, 2-0, to win the 2010 title.

» Read the Oregonian story

Weather-related school closures

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Catlin Gabel's winter weather plans

When school does not open in the morning or opens late due to inclement weather, we notify the media before 6:45 a.m. and the school website is updated.

We do not notify the media when school runs on a normal schedule. However, we will post a news flash on the Catlin Gabel website alerting families that we are open when conditions are uncertain. The school avoids mid-day weather closures whenever possible.

Catlin Gabel does not necessarily follow the decisions made by Portland Public or Beaverton Public schools because our students come from a wide geographic area.

Catlin Gabel bus service may be suspended even when school is open. We will post a news flash as soon as the decision about buses is made. If the buses are canceled in the morning, they are canceled in the afternoon regardless of weather improvements.

Lark Palma and facilities director Eric Shawn make the decision to close school or delay opening based on conditions on campus and throughout the Metro area. The safety of students is our primary concern. Parents should make personal weather-related safety decisions for their families. If it does not seem safe where you are, keep your children at home. If conditions deteriorate in your neighborhood during the day, you may pick up your children early (making sure to notify the division administrative assistant).

Students in CGS urban studies program impress Portland's mayor

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When students from several area high schools in Catlin Gabel’s PLACE (Planning and Leadership Across City Environments) program recently presented their summer project on the redevelopment of Holladay Park, they caught the ear of Portland’s mayor, Sam Adams.

The students talked about their work, which they did on behalf of the city’s  Bureau of Planning and Sustainability at a development workshop co-hosted by the City of Portland, the Portland Development Commission, and the Oregon Department of Transportation. They explained the plan they created to improve one of Portland’s most underrated and misperceived public parks to the public and government officials who attended the event.
After he heard the presentation by Catlin Gabel’s Reid Goodman and Samme Sheikh, and Stacey Abrams from Lincoln High School, Mayor Adams spent about 10 minutes asking questions and teasing out solutions. He said he was impressed with the scope of PLACE’s work and the students’ dedication to making the park a jewel of the community. He also mentioned that their work should be featured on the City of Portland website. 
Some of the officials attending the workshop encouraged the students to continue pushing for a better Holladay Park at the center of a redeveloped inner east side. The students left the event exhilarated that their efforts are paying off in real influence at the governmental level in Portland.
For more information, email place@catlin.edu
More on the web:

Girls and boys soccer teams advance to state finals

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Go Eagles!

Both the boys and girls soccer teams play in the state finals on Saturday at Liberty High School! The occasion is made even more momentous because it marks Mike Davis’s final game as boys head coach. He retires in June after 23 years at Catlin Gabel. 

A strong showing of Catlin Gabel fans at the championship games would be awesome.

Come cheer on the mighty Eagles as they play back-to-back games for the state championships.

State Finals

Saturday, November 20

Girls vs. St. Mary's of Medford at 10:30 a.m.

Boys vs. St. Mary's of Medford at 1 p.m.

Google map link to Liberty High School in Hillsboro

You can watch both games with the same admission price of $8 for adults and $5 for students.

Can't make it to the games in person?
Watch the action streaming live or keep track of the stats online

Girls stats: http://w3.osaa.org/scorecenter/gsc/10-11/brackets/live/3A-2A-1A
Streaming video:

Boys stats:  http://w3.osaa.org/scorecenter/bsc/10-11/brackets/live/3A-2A-1A
Streaming video:

» Link to highlight reel of Mike Davis's final home game. Thank you, Jennifer Davies, for taping, editing, and posting video.

Soccer semifinals on Tuesday.

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Go Eagles!

The boys and girls varsity soccer teams play in the state soccer semifinals on Tuesday, November 16.

The boys play at home against Boardman's Riverside School at 7 p.m. on our home field. This is Coach Mike Davis's final home game. He retires in June.

The girls play Rogue River High School at 3:30 p.m. The game will be played at Grants Pass High School.

OSAA admission fee $7 adults, $5 students.

Watch the Eagles score and soar

Thanks go to parent of alumni Jennifer Davies for posting exciting videos of Catlin Gabel goals made in the quarterfinal games.

Girls quarterfinals (final 2 goals v Blanchet)

Boys quarterfinals (winning goal v OES)


Thanksgiving Break is Better with a Good Book!

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The leaves are falling, and in a matter of days, all of the Upper School students will be enjoying Thanksgiving Break.

  Here's what we're featuring in the Upper School Library just now:

• The Karl Jonske '99 Collection:  Come browse your way through delicious works of fiction or a good biography.  The US Library honors the memory of 1999 graduate and voracious reader, Karl Jonske, whose family created the book fund as a memorial to Karl after his untimely death in a car accident.  Honor the memory of one of Catlin's brightest and kindest by enjoying the books that bear his nameplate inside their front cover.  There are hundreds of titles to browse. 

• The Poetry of Billy Collins:  Collins is this year's Jonske speaker.  We've got copies of several of his books of poems on hand, and have a Billy Collins poetry window just inside the front door.  Want a fun, visual approach to his poems?  Check out Billy Collins Action Poetry website.

We have new subscriptions to Outside and Seventeen magazine.  Come by for a browse, or to check out an issue. 

See you soon,

--Sue Phillips, US Librarian

Service Corps @ Food Bank Photo Gallery

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More than 75 Catlin Gabel community members worked together to pack food at the Oregon Food Bank.

Catlin Gabel News Fall 2010

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From the Fall 2010 Caller


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality named Catlin Gabel a five-star member of Fleet Forward, DEQ’s diesel recognition program. . . . . Upper School science teacher Becky Wynne won the University of Oregon High School Teacher Award in appreciation of the fine teaching that has prepared students for the university. . . . Upper School English teacher Art Leo was recognized by Stanford University’s School of Earth Sciences as a “Most Influential Teacher and Mentor.” He was nominated by Kate Johnson ’06 when she received a dean’s award for undergraduate academic achievement.


Congratulations to everyone for an inspiring fiscal year wrap-up on June 30. We reached our Annual Fund goal with 80 percent of parents, 92 percent of staff, and 100 percent of faculty participating in giving to the fund.


Upper School students earned a prestigious 10 gold, 12 silver, and 16 bronze medals along with 46 honorable mentions in the National Spanish Exams. In the “Grand Concours” national French exam, eight Upper School students placed among the top 10 nationally in three proficiency levels. For a full list of winners, visit the June 2010 All- School News page.


Ted Case ’10 toured this summer as pianist for the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, one of the premier high school bands in the country. . . . Eli Coon ’10 was awarded the Judge Nicholas A. Cipriani Outstanding Performance Award at the national mock trial competition in Philadelphia. . . . Professional musicians in the 13th annual “Hearing the Future” Young Composers Concert at Lewis & Clark College performed an original composition by 4th grader Aditya Sivakumar ’18. . . . .Larissa Banitt ’15 took second place in the Kay Snow Writing Contest for grades 6 through 8 for her short story “They Save the Worst for Last at Ol’ Dogwood,” competing against writers from around the country and abroad.


The 2009–10 spring season was a great one for the Eagles, with three state team wins.
The boys golf team won the state championship, and Matt McCarron ’10 was 1st in state, with a new school record.
The girls track and field team won state, and the 4 x 100m relay team came in 1st— Eloise Miller ’11, Mariah Morton ’12, Linnea Hurst ’11, Cammy Edwards ’12, and Fiona Noonan ’13. The 4x400m relay team won 2nd—Eloise, Mariah, Linnea, and Cammy. Leah Thompson ’11 was state champion in 3000m and 1500m, Eloise was 1st in triple jump and long jump, Mariah came in 2nd at long jump and triple jump, and Cammy was 2nd in 300m hurdles. In boys track and field, Nauvin Ghorashian ’10 was 3rd at state in 110m hurdles.
The boys tennis team won gold at state, and Peter Beatty ’13 came in 1st, Andrew Salvador ’12 was 4th, and Rohan Borkar ’10 was 3rd in state, with Reid Goodman ’11 and Will Caplan ’11 taking 3rd in doubles. The girls tennis team was 4th at state, with Kate Rubinstein ’12 winning 2nd.
Katy Wiita ’12 and her MAC Synchro trio team won gold at the U.S. Open Synchronized Swimming Championships in Irving, Texas, in July, competing against top national and international synchronized swimmers. . . . McKensie Mickler ’10 and her club volleyball team finished 2nd at the Emerald City Classic tournament in Seattle. She was one of six players out of about 360 girls in her age division selected for the All Tournament Team. . . . Miguel Gachupin ’17 won the bronze medal in the 12 and under foil fencing competition at the State Games of Oregon.


The Class of 2010

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Our grads, and their college plans and awards
From the Fall 2010 Caller
Zanny Allport
Tufts University
Jasmine Bath
University of Chicago
Erica Berry
Bowdoin College
Nat’l Merit Finalist, English Award
Sam Bishop
Hamilton College
Athletics Award
Rohan Borkar
University of Oregon Honors College
Reed Brevig
Boston University
Technical Theater Award
Ted Case
University of Southern California
Nat’l Merit Finalist, Music Award
Koby Caster
Skidmore College
Brynmor Chapman
University of Oxford
Nat’l Merit Scholar, Awards in Mathematics & Science
Priyanka Chary
Scripps College, Nat’l Merit Finalist
Kalifa Clarke
Smith College
Margaret Clement
University of Puget Sound
Thespis Award
Abby Conyers
Williams College
Eli Coon
Claremont McKenna College
Catie Coonan
Wake Forest University
Media Arts Award
Becky Coulterpark
University of Oregon
Lauren Edelson
Stanford University
Nat’l Merit Finalist
Christopher Eden
Colby College
Kevin Ellis
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Computer Science Award
Yale Fan
Harvard University
Nat’l Merit Finalist, Science Award
Lucy Feldman
Brown University
Theater Award
Eddie Friedman
Brown University
Nat’l Merit Finalist, School Ring, Outdoor Leadership Award
Sophie Fyfield
Mount Holyoke College
Oliver Garnier
University of Washington
Nauvin Ghorashian
University of Washington
Max Gideonse
Bridge year, Bennington College
Charlie Grant
Bates College
Pat Ehrman Award
Duncan Hay
University of St. Andrews, Scotland
Molly Hayes
Whitman College
Ceramics Award
Kent Hays
Oregon State University
Woodworking Award
Sara Hensel
Whitman College
Awards in Visual Arts & Modern Languages
Will Jackson
Bennington College
Keenan Jay
Rhode Island School of Design
Visual Arts Award
Donald Johnson
Evergreen State College
Joey Lubitz
Oberlin College
Visual Arts Award
Juliah Ma
Occidental College
Adam Maier
University of Southern California
Media Arts Award
Ian Maier
Pomona College
Matt McCarron
Williams College
Athletics Award
Carter McFarland
The University of Montana, Missoula
Matthew Meyers
Franklin College, Switzerland
Luke Mones
Occidental College
Japanese Award
Leslie Nelson
Pitzer College
Pat Ehrman Award
Rahee Nerurkar
Washington University, St. Louis
Photography Award
Maddy Odenborg
University of Washington
MK Otlhogile
Scripps College
Michelle Peretz
Emory University
Rose Perrone
Stanford University
Awards in Community Service & Science
Devyn Powell
Tufts University
Nat’l Merit Finalist
Jessica Ramírez
Macalester College
French Award
Emma Rickles
Williams College
Nat’l Merit Scholar, Mathematics Award
Luke Rodgers
Bridge year
Stephanie Schwartz
Santa Clara University
Samantha Selin
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Alma Siulagi
Reed College
Olivia Siulagi
Kenyon College
Ben Streb
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Kimmy Thorsell
University of Oregon
Jordan Treible
Davidson College
Matthew Trisic
McGill University
Chinese Award
Sam Tucker
University of Redlands
Athletics Award
Ingrid Van Valkenburg
Scripps College
Andy Vickory
Carnegie Mellon University
Maddy Weissman
University of Oregon Honors College
Leah Weitz
University of Puget Sound
Spanish Award
Christine Weston
Washington University, St. Louis
Andreas Wilson
Goucher College
Band Award
Yannie Wong
Pacific University
Tommy Young
Oregon State University
NOT PICTURED: Toby Alden, Whitman College; Irene Milsom, Oberlin College, Nat’l Merit Finalist, Creative Writing Award


Reflections on Reading: Bringing Progressive Ideals to the Adult Classroom

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One teacher spends her summers teaching reading, and it's not only her students who benefit

By Ann Fyfield

From the Fall 2010 Caller
Summertime is a chance for teachers to gain that much-needed balance that prepares them for a busy year back at school. Although many of us take classes or go on vacations, I return every summer to the community college where I first began my career as teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL). Now I use that background—and the progressive philosophy I bring from Catlin Gabel—to teach reading to adults of all persuasions.
After receiving my master’s degree, I began teaching again at the community college level, joining my new focus on reading with my love of ESL. I taught the lowest remedial reading classes, with students ranging from high school age to 55, from countries spanning the globe, and with many working full time trying to juggle school and families. Thanks to what I had learned teaching at Catlin Gabel, I soon realized that some of these students came with non-diagnosed reading or learning disabilities. For many reasons they had not fully learned the tools to decode words, or had not learned the important study skills that help students prioritize and persevere through discomfort. Many had been demoralized or fallen through the cracks in their teen years of schooling, yet still they had the fortitude to try schooling again.
Their fear or anxiety about education came out in a variety of ways. One young high school dropout looked at me sullenly on the first day, and said, “Don’t try to tell me what to do. I’ll always say no.” One older man pleaded with me to never ask him to read aloud in class, because he couldn’t pronounce the words. With John Dewey’s progressive philosophy in mind, I began allowing them to choose their own readings and used techniques of group work, the reading and telling of individual stories and responding to others’ reading. This paid off. On the last day of the class, I received a note from the sullen student, who wrote, “Thank you for letting me choose the book for the final project. Now I can love reading.” The man who hadn’t wanted to read aloud said his teenage children began reading a book after he told them about it.
At Catlin Gabel, teachers provide thoughtful commentary on a student’s progress instead of giving a grade. In community college level, a passing grade can mean the difference between receiving financial aid or not. But a passing grade says nothing about what a student has learned or not learned. Sometimes I hand back tests with no grade, but with comments in the margins. This leads to a lively discussion: does the grade motivate you, or does the learning? As the debate goes on, an authoritative response from a quiet Hispanic woman says it all: “I came here to learn, not to get a grade. A grade says nothing about whether I can speak or read English,” she says. At the end of one such class, a young man asked for his homework back, saying that he hadn’t put enough effort into it and wanted to do a better job. He became a different student after that class.
Spending time teaching adults renews my devotion to the belief that a strong foundation in reading and study skills during middle school carries on throughout life. It also affirms my belief that the progressive ideals we hold true at Catlin Gabel, those that value and build on a student’s interest and the rewards of effort and taking risks, can be brought to places outside of our privileged environment and ultimately understood and appreciated by everyone. That’s what I obtain from my strongly held belief in progressive education. That’s the balance I find in taking my teaching beyond Catlin Gabel.
Ann Fyfield is a reading specialist in Catlin Gabel’s learning center and teacher of 6th grade humanities. She has also served as Japanese instructor and worked in the admissions office.


Has Technology Changed How We Read?

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By Paul Andrichuk

From the Fall 2010 Caller
The scene repeats itself at coffee shops all over Portland; people staring at their computer screens as they move from site to site, document to document. It’s worse if you are a parent, watching your child avoid eye contact or other social cues as they “study, read, or research” (even as the music plays). We react as the cranky adults we swore we would never be.
That’s the emotional, personal reaction, but in the back of our minds we wonder if people are really reading and learning. Has Google made us stupid, as the Nicholas Carr article in the Atlantic suggested? He seems to come down on the side of believing the internet has rewired his brain, affecting his attention and ability to sustain reading:
“Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, and begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.”
You may be nodding to yourself in agreement, even as you curse technological breakdowns that suddenly make your life more difficult. You hate our reliance on technology and pine for the good old days without it, but it sure is great to find a restaurant when you are lost or Skype with your sister in Florida.
Here are my three basic thoughts regarding reading in a technological age.
* Books and computers are here to stay (short term), and young people will be reading from both.
* The brain is constantly evolving, including rewiring itself. Indeed, Maryanne Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, argues that we are not born to read. The brain will continue to change in response to new symbols, the speed with which information comes at us, and the myriad forms it will take.
* Critical thinking skills transcend how and where reading is done.
The evolution of the brain
The brain has been changing and adapting since the invention of language. That’s reading the symbols, but more importantly it’s about how the brain connects the meaning of words to the experiences and imagination of the reader. If our brains were able to begin this evolution with the advent of written language 6,000 years ago, surely it can adapt to the speed and scope of information, especially language, available on the internet.
Reading begins at infancy
One of the best indicators of reading is how much time children spend listening to adults who read to them. The gobbledygook on the page are words, and words will make up your son’s or daughter’s universe.
This point has little to do with computers and reading, but it’s an important one to make for three reasons. Books are not going away. Reading is a great family activity. Students often say they have always remembered their parents reading.
Finally (and it is a related point), always remember that you are your child’s first and most important teacher!
Reading means independence
Socrates feared that reading would make people too autonomous and, worse, would retard the brain’s capacity to infer, analyze, and think critically. He was mistaken. Images of the brain during fluent reading light up areas that indicate all of these things are happening.
If Socrates was incorrect about literacy, then perhaps we are mistaken in our assumptions about reading and technology. Young people understand that there are different types of reading, depending on its purpose.
Questions for Catlin Gabel
Schools like Catlin Gabel can be explicit in how they teach reading and use technology. Computers are here, they are not going away, and they are great educational tools. So what does this mean for the young people in our charge? What does it mean for parents?
Critical thinking makes stronger readers
Catlin Gabel students are critical and independent thinkers. It’s an aspect of the school culture that is celebrated, but more importantly, it allows students to be careful consumers of all information. Reading skills are guided, modeled, and practiced, regardless of whether the information is on the screen or in a first-edition novel.
I connect critical thinking to reading, but it’s equally important to connect critical thinking to a careful assessment of the source, especially internet sites. After all, if what you’re reading is inaccurate or false, it tends to affect the educational process.
The value of time and reflection
Getting lost in a book is a luxury, so is getting lost after you’re done with it. Just as Goodnight Moon allows you to see the connection of words to a child’s world, so does connecting ideas in a book to our notion of possibilities in the world.
Youth should be “multitextual”
Students are naturally making judgments about how to read based on the purpose of their task. A general survey of the news on the front page of the Oregonian, reading four pages of a biology text, and reading an online editorial in the New York Times require different levels of attention.
I’ve meandered a bit through this discussion of reading in the digital age. I was prepared to subscribe to Nicholas Carr’s viewpoint, but I simply cannot. Computers and technology are no longer luxuries but necessities, both in terms of our quality of life and our education. In addition, books and computers can coexist— and we will read from both. Those who worry that the internet may be rewiring our brains are correct, and the evolution of this vital organ continues, just as it has responded to every other substantial change in human history. What remains at the core of reading—from books and computers—is that we continue to value and teach the thinking skills beyond the symbols.
Paul Andrichuk is the head of Catlin Gabel’s middle school.

"Somewhere on this list is a book that will change your life."

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The personally transformative books of our young lives
From the Fall 2010 Caller

History teacher Pat Walsh recently sent a list to incoming Upper Schoolers of books that had inspired faculty and staff members when they were teenagers. This is just a part of that glorious list, in which J.D. Salinger reigned supreme, with Kurt Vonnegut a close runner-up. Maybe your inspirations will be found here, too.

Deirdre Atkinson, drama teacher

Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
William Goldman, The Princess Bride
Carson McCullers, Member of the Wedding
J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey

Chris Bagg, English teacher

Junot Diaz, Drown
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
Tony Kushner, Angels in America
Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies
Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

“If I were a rapper, I’d freestyle an ode to Crime and Punishment: I like big books. Dostoyevsky’s character arcs and setting transported me in a manner far more profound that any cinematic experience I’d ever had. I went from a child who wore a white bathrobe and braided her hair into Leia’s signature cinnamon rolls, to a young woman who spent an inordinate amount of time at the kitchen sink trying to wash the stain of Raskolnikov’s guilt from her own hands.” —Nance Leonhardt, media arts teacher

Nancy Donehower, college counselor

Robertson Davies, Fifth Business, The Manticore, World of Wonders, and The Rebel Angels
J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey, Seymour, An Introduction, and Nine Stories
Lincoln Steffens, Moses in Red, also his autobiography
Theodore H. White, The Once and Future King

Enrique Escalona, Spanish teacher

Issac Asimov, The Foundation Trilogy
Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones
Alan Moore, Watchmen (graphic novel)
Friedrich W. Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra
JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit

“In Mr. Blue by Myles Connolly, I was attracted to a uniquely American character who embraced the challenge of living a pure life in adherence to a simple set of altruistic principles. Mr. Blue is a radical idealist, a mystic, a poet, and his example has prompted me to think more deeply about the values implicit in many of the decisions I have made in my life.” —Art Leo, English teacher

Peter Green, outdoor education director & dean of students

Ray Bradbury’s novels
Albert Camus, The Stranger
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground
John Knowles, A Separate Peace
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
John McPhee, Coming Into the Country
Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

“I read Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find with a teacher who was passionate about her work. He introduced me to her writing as a comment on the human condition, and I was both shocked and completely captivated. It was a powerful and formative experience.” —Michael Heath, Upper School head

Andrew Merrill, computer science teacher

Richard Feynman, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman
Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
Douglas R. Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach
David Lodge, Small World
Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, All The President’s Men

Lark Palma, head of school

John Barth, The Floating Opera
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
Willa Cather, My Antonia!
John Fowles, The Magus, The Collector
Hermann Hesse, Demian
D. H. Lawrence, Women in Love
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
Emile Zola, Germinal

Sue Phillips, librarian

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, and all of her novels
Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler
John Donne, Songs and Sonnets
Nikolai Gogol, short stories
Proinsias MacCana, Celtic Mythology
Muriel Spark, Memento Mori
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One, Decline and Fall, Brideshead Revisited
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, Jacob’s Room

Peter Shulman, history teacher

Pat Conroy, The Great Santini
Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt
Richard Wright, Black Boy, Native Son

Nichole Tassoni, English teacher

James Baldwin, Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Becky Wynne, science teacher

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Robert Heinlein, The Door into Summer
Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
Larry Niven, Ringworld
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle
Roger Zelazny, Doorways in the Sand