On one of the last sunny weekends of the Summer, a group of 14 Middle School students, accompanied by 6 Upper School student chaperones visited Bumblebee Organic Farms.
It was two days of fun, two days of laughing, a campfire beneath a harvest moon, a grape eating contest, amazing food, a pair of sheep (or were they goats?), tractors, barns, sleeping through an incredibly loud rainstorm, amazing farm-fresh pancakes, and learning about life on a small, organic farm.
We met at Catlin after Saturday morning's storms had passed and loaded into an activity bus. A drive toward the mouth of the Sandy river took us into Troutdale, home of Bumblebee Organic Farm. We played a couple of challenge and team-building games before we broke off into three teams (Wolf Pack, Inner Power, and Firebirds) to be farmers for the rest of the weekend.
We performed farm chores such as harvesting grapes and tomatoes, working rows of beans, and shucking corn before it was time for dinner: an amazing pasta and salad night from produce straight off the vine.
Some exciting campfire skits were a highlight of the evening before we tucked ourselves into cozy (and dry!) tents before a midnight rainstorm took us through the night. We woke up to clear skies and huge pancakes on Sunday and worked our way through a pumpkin patch before heading home in time to spend the rest of the weekend with our families. It was sad to see the trip come to an end, but we walked away as friends, having learned so much more about farming, and more connected to the food we eat.
Last night at back to school night . . .
We had an enjoyable time visiting the various classes that our sons and daughters move through everyday. Hopefully, it gave you a sense of their experience on an ongoing basis at Catlin Gabel—a taste of the intellectual life. I often say I want the Back to School Night phenomenon to leave you with the feeling that you want to go back to high school. At the end of the evening, as we were saying goodbye to everyone, one parent came up and said, ‘Sign me up, I want to go back to school!’ I hope most of you felt that way.
In my opening remarks last night I offered you a small part of a speech I gave to the students in our opening day assembly. As promised, here is a link to the whole speech I did as a podcast (to download click here or scroll down to listen below). As I say in the introduction, I hope you find it engaging.
With kind regards,
Upper School students rocked the Rummage Contest on Saturday, October 3. The weather cooperated despite threatening skies in the early hours of the day. Thank you, Blue Team and White Team captains for organizing a great event. Thank you, Upper School students and teachers for collecting and sorting an awesome collection of items to sell at our last, best Rummage Sale.
Click on any photo to start a slide show.
George Thompson, US Counselor and faculty advisor to the Peer Helpers, shares this May, 2008 news article about peer helping:
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a dilemma between two of your friends with nobody to help solve it but yourself? Have you ever noticed how often your friends come to you for advice or consolation? Have you ever asked yourself why you are being singled out for this purpose? Do you know the difference between a problem, a crisis, or an emergency?
This spring, the Catlin Gabel Peer Helpers are observing their twelfth anniversary, and the event has snuck up on them! Although alert and outgoing by nature, Peer Helpers are unaware of their own success as an organization, or their impact on the Catlin Gabel Community. Given the nature of what they do, This is probably as it should be.
In these past twelve years, Catlin’s Peer Helpers and their faculty advisors have dedicated themselves to the welfare, morale, and safety of their friends and schoolmates, and they represent virtually every social and interest group in the School. To fulfill the goal of supporting their friends, their presence in the school community has been a quiet one. The volunteer attracted to peer helping has been a person who wants to become a good listener, a solver of problems, and someone in whom others can safely confide.
Peer Helpers are self selected, and to join one has simply to commit to the time necessary to train with a weekly group for the year. These regular training meetings convene according to the schedule chosen by the six or seven people who comprise each small group. The whole membership varies between thirty-five and forty students from all four classes, and it meets regularly for the October Retreat, occasional planning meetings, and two annual evening sessions. Volunteers understand that to become Peer Helpers, they have merely to be who they already are and the training they receive involves the refinement of skills they naturally possess.
In the spring of 1998, a group of Peer Helpers met to define the Group’s Mission. Following several meetings, the Group selected the following statements as an accurate description of our purpose:
Catlin-Gabel School Peer Helpers’ Mission Statement: Peer helpers are naturally caring people. They are trained to be good listeners, ready to adopt an attitude that is both alert and non-judgmental. Peer helpers are prepared to guide their friends and fellow students to find their own solutions to problems. They understand that to have this happen is preferable and more effective than for people to have advice imposed upon them. Peer helpers know when to refer a student with a problem to another source of assistance. They understand both the limits and requirements of confidentiality.
It's Banned Books Week! Titles from the Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood have at times been challenged or banned by individuals and groups of people around the country. Our students read many of these books, and often find them on their course reading lists. Catlin Gabel celebrates the freedom to read during Banned Books Week. Stop by and learn more about the controversies that have raged over these books. And yes, you CAN check them out!
On September 26, 2009, Dave Corkran accepted a Regional Forester's award from the Mt. Hood National Forest for Catlin Gabel's volunteer partnership with the Barlow Ranger District. The National Forest honored the school for our 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. Read more about the Elana Gold project.
OLA Backpacking in the Columbia River Gorge
As another amazing Oregon summer began to close its doors, a group of Catlin students from the Outdoor Leadership and Adventure class dashed out for a long weekend of backpacking and fun in the Columbia River Gorge.
We met in the Catlin lot and rocked an activity bus up to the Eagle Creek trailhead. Hiking up Eagle Creek, we saw waterfall after waterfall after waterfall. Punchbowl Falls, Oneonta Falls, Loowit Falls, Tunnel Falls, and High Bridge kept us excited and anxious to see what was around every bend.
We arrived at a secluded camp on the river, journaled, and made a home for the night. Waking up, we watched the sun gradually climb and bathe our gorge with light before packing up for our big day. Covering a huge portion of our loop, the trail took us up and around Tanner Butte, through old burn sites, over streams, up hills, through meadows full of blueberry and hucleberry to our beloved Dublin Lake, which we reached just as night descended.
After maybe too many laughs around a campfire and an amazing dinner, we headed into our tents and sleeping bags to enjoy a windy-but-clear night, full of shooting stars.
The next morning, we said goodbye to our camp and lake and made our way back to the bus... through one of the last hot days of 2009!
It was a great weekend of bonding, sightseeing, and getting away from the bustle of our school lives. We can't wait to get out again!
Click on a photo below to check out a slideshow from the trip.
Kevin Ellis '10 is presenting at the International Symposia on Implementation and Application of Functional Languages IFL 2009 conference at Seton Hall University. After winning two major prizes at science fairs last year, Kevin submitted his paper to IFL, and it was accepted. He is presenting along with graduate students and university professors from around the world. Take a look at the list of other presenters to get an idea of the company Kevin is keeping. Conference participants.
IFL brings together researchers and practitioners to present and discuss novel work on the implementation of functional and function-based programming languages and applied functional programming. This is a forum to discuss new ideas, preliminary results, work in progress, and publication-ripe material.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
- If you develop flu-like symptoms of fever, aches and pains, sore throat, coughing, trouble breathing, runny nose, or nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, you should contact your health care provider. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing and treatment is needed.
See TV and print stories online:
KPTV Fox12 news: http://www.kptv.com/video/21000918/index.html
KGW Channel 8 news: http://www.kgw.com/video/video-index.html?nvid=392262
Beaverton Valley Times: http://www.beavertonvalleytimes.com/news/story.php?story_id=125138855686978400
See the Zoo's video at http://www.oregonzoo.org/VideoArchive/CatlinGabelStudents.htm
Choose how you cruise
On this symbolic day, the Catlin Gabel community will join in an effort to empty the parking lot!
Choose how you cruise
- Carpool (link to carpool map)
- MAX or TriMet
- Ride the Catlin Gabel bus for free – one day only special
Beginning and Lower School parents: Ginny Malm has access to the online registration information so you don't need to call her if you sign up online by Thursday, October 7.
We invite you to join us at an upcoming Parents of Seniors Book Group meeting. We started this book group when our kids were in their sophomore year in order to provide parents with an opportunity to connect with class parents on a regular basis. Our meetings are part book discussion and part social. We’re pleased to say that we’ve formed some great friendships through this group and we encourage you to join us at a future meeting. Here’s what’s happening in the coming months:
Wednesday, October 7
City of Thieves, A novel by David Benioff (New York Times Bestseller)
Wednesday, November 4
Portland Noir, Edited by Kevin Sampsell
Wednesday, December 2
To be announced.
All meetings are from 7:00pm to 8:30pm in the Dant House faculty lounge. We hope you will join us.
Patty Barker and Jeanette Weston
Welcome! I hope you are looking forward to the 2009-10 school year as much as I am. Some fabulous new students are joining us in all four divisions. I know that returning families will join me in welcoming our new community members.
We are proud to open with full enrollment. We were able to increase this year’s financial aid budget by 41 percent, which allowed us to keep our community together despite the recession. This is a real testament to our board members and their commitment to making financial aid a school priority. While we have never been frivolous spenders, faculty and staff worked hard to trim budgets without negatively affecting the academic and co-curricular programs. The school’s long-term financial health is in great shape.
To our parents: sending your child to Catlin Gabel is a big commitment, and we deeply appreciate the trust you have placed in us. Your child will have a great year in school. Your daughter or son will be enthusiastic about learning and will grow in ways you do not expect. Our extraordinary teachers, librarians, counselors, and support staff members will work side by side with students to make learning engaging and challenging.
Teachers and staff members were busy throughout the summer preparing for students to return. The much-needed new coat of paint on the Barn symbolizes our approach to education: honor our traditions while making things fresh and new. We launch the year fully invested in all our students’ success at school.
Catlin Gabel teachers are extraordinary, as exemplified this spring and summer by four faculty members who received honors of note. The United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board honored two teachers with awards: Paul Monheimer, 7th grade world cultures teacher, was awarded a Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching to conduct research in Israel spring semester, and Cindy Beals, Upper School math teacher, received a Fulbright Teacher Exchange grant to teach in Turkey for the 2009-10 academic year. I am pleased to welcome 6th grade math teacher Nagame (pronounced Nah may) Karamustafaoglu from Turkey, who came as part of the Fulbright Teacher Exchange. Upper School English teacher Nichole Tassoni attended a seminar on Dante in Italy this summer sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The American Immigration Council awarded Upper School Spanish teacher Lauren Reggero-Toledano a grant for her project, “The Hispanic Presence in Oregon During the Great Depression and Today.” Read more about the awards that speak to the excellence of our faculty in the “Congrats!” article.
As the 2009-10 school year begins, I invite you to join Upper School students and teachers in reading Mountains Beyond Mountains. We are fortunate and thrilled to welcome the author, Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Kidder, to campus for this year’s Karl Jonske ’99 memorial lecture on Tuesday, October 13, at 11:30 a.m. in the Cabell Center Theater. You are all welcome to attend this special Upper School assembly.
I look forward to seeing everyone on campus again and finding out about your summer and your hopes for this new year. It’s going to be a great one!
Head of School
Send your kids to school on the Catlin Gabel bus! Riding the bus is good for the environment, reduces parking lot overcrowding, and saves you time and money.
The 2009-10 bus schedules are posted on the school web site on the Bus Service page in the Parents section.
Parents must print out, complete, and sign two 2009-10 required documents (Department of Education Regulations and Parent Guidelines) authorizing bus ridership for this year. The documents are posted as PDF files on the Bus Service page. Please return the completed documents to the administrative assistant in your child’s division.