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What to Read During Winterim & Spring Break

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We’ve got some great new titles…

At last!  You’ve got some free time, and we’ve got some great new titles as well as some old friends.  Here’s an overview of just a few of the new arrivals:

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
If you followed the Obama/McCain election with interest, you’ll love this zippy read.  Described by a reporter for the Associated Press as “the hottest book in the country,” (http://tiny.cc/dXAYC)Game Change will make the members of the History department giddy with excitement.  The book is based on numerous interviews with the political teams and candidates, with some dialogue invented to help get inside the heads of the participants.  It’s a book that falls somewhere between fact and fiction, and it’ll feed your curiosity.

Food Rules, by Michael Pollan
At last, a wise, commonsense little book by a well-respected writer about food. Pollan's advice is at times hilarious: "It's not food if it arrived through the window of your car."  Another chapter quips, "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."  This is a quick, bracing little book.  

Secrets of Eden, by Chris Bohjalian
Do you relish a good murder mystery?  According to a reviewer for Booklist, Bohjalian "drops bombshell clues...and weaves subtle nuances of doubt and intrigue into a taut, read-in-one-sitting murder mystery." ( http://tiny.cc/zSP5M )

Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld
Into Steampunk lit?  School Library Journal writes,"This is World War I as never seen before. The story begins the same: on June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated, triggering a sequence of alliances that plunges the world into war. But that is where the similarity ends. This global conflict is between the Clankers, who put their faith in machines, and the Darwinists, whose technology is based on the development of new species. After the assassination of his parents, Prince Aleksandar's people turn on him. Accompanied by a small group of loyal servants, the young Clanker flees Austria in a Cyklop Stormwalker, a war machine that walks on two legs. Meanwhile, as Deryn Sharp trains to be an airman with the British Air Service, she prays that no one will discover that she is a girl. She serves on the Leviathan, a massive biological airship that resembles an enormous flying whale and functions as a self-contained ecosystem. When it crashes in Switzerland, the two teens cross paths, and suddenly the line between enemy and ally is no longer clearly defined. The ending leaves plenty of room for a sequel, and that's a good thing because readers will be begging for more. Enhanced by Thompson's intricate black-and-white illustrations, Westerfeld's brilliantly constructed imaginary world will capture readers from the first page. Full of nonstop action, this steampunk adventure is sure to become a classic." (http://tiny.cc/YdHr3 ).

Cheever, by Blake Bailey
This new biography is receiving enthusiastic reviews from a wide range of critics.  John Updike writes for the New Yorker, "A triumph of thorough research and unblinkered appraisal."  Publishers Weekly exclaims that "This Ovid in Ossining, who published 121 stories in the New Yorker as well as several bestselling novels, has probably yet to find a definitive position in American letters among academicians. This thoroughly researched and heartfelt biography may help redress that situation." ( http://tiny.cc/dBBkw)

Get Me Out!  A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank,by Randi Hutter Epstein
The cover will make you laugh, but the contents will give you the shivers.  Health care and obstetrics have come a very long way over the centuries.  Kirkus Reviews describes the book as “[A] sharp, sassy history of childbirth…. The author’s engaging sarcasm, evident even in a caption of an illustration of an absurd obstetric contraption—’Nineteenth-century Italian do-it-yourself forceps. The fad never took off’—lends this chronicle a welcome punch and vitality often absent from medical histories. Roll over, Dr. Lamaze, and make room for Epstein’s eyebrow-raising history.”  (http://tiny.cc/IsMzt)

 

 

Stop by, and we'll help you find something to enjoy over the break.  --Sue

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Community leader, senior

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: community leadership, environment
Interests: Japan, food, running, Tae Kwan Do

“I am a co-leader of three groups: the Japanese Culture Club, the Environmental Club, and the Baking Club. I’ve been taking Japanese since 7th grade and have been to Japan twice. Joining the Environmental Club seemed a natural expression of my interest in environmental issues, especially pertaining to food. I eat less meat, garden, cook for my family, and buy organic or local food. For the International Day of Climate Change, other Environmental Club members joined me on a zero-carbon outdoor program trip to the Columbia Gorge, traveling on MAX and bicycles.
 
Students can be apathetic, and I wanted to take leadership roles to help counter that. Sometimes young people feel that they don’t matter, and that’s the hardest thing. But people do care. Teachers and school administrators do listen to us if we seize opportunities when we can.
 
I spent spring semester away my junior year, working on an organic farm at a school in Vermont. This renewed my passion about the environment. It also helped me appreciate Catlin Gabel more when I returned, and I became more involved than I had ever been before.

I love what I have right now. I love baking, I love Japan, and I love Catlin Gabel. I don’t do what I do just to look good on college applications. People stress too much—I know I will go to college and make it great, wherever I go.”

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Robotics engineeer, junior

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: robotics, engineering
Interest: oldies music

“Robotics is my consuming passion. I’ve taken it upon myself to learn every job on our robotics team to see how they interrelate. Knowing how everything fits together is a huge advantage in figuring out more quickly what part is broken.
 
I learn best when I’m forced into a big situation and have to throw myself into it. I spent 250 hours in six weeks in the robotics lab during build season. I have no regrets. We built that robot according to specifications, and it hardly ever failed. That’s how I know I had done my job right.
 
I did some work last summer with the elephants at the Oregon Zoo. Three seniors had fixed some systems there for their senior projects, but there was still work to do. My mission was to build an apple launcher to help the elephants stay healthy and give the public a spectacle to watch. It was a difficult job, and I ended up building four prototypes. The best thing was that I got to learn in depth the process of engineering, from paper to the final design, including building it and seeing if it works. I thought about every decision in depth.

I would like to work in mechanical engineering, and I am interested in the automotive field. But I don’t want to work for a big company. My dream is to work for another company at first and then create my own start-up."

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Synchronized swimmers, 10th grade & 7th grade

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: Synchronized swimming
Interests: rock & mountain climbing, dance, gymnastics

K: “When I was 7, I took a synchronized swimming class and they asked me to be on the team. When my sister was 6 she came to watch me practice and by the end, the coach had her in the water. Synchronized swimming became a passion for both of us. Competition is really fun. We both make friends from all over the country and sometimes the world.
 
E: “Synchronized swimming is the ultimate team sport. We have to work together, and we depend on each other. It’s a ten-month- a-year sport, but has a lot of rewards. In the end it all pays off. We travel a lot for training and competitions with our family or our coaches, and we don’t always go to the same place. It’s crazy. We spend a lot of time in airports.
 
K: I’m trying out for the junior national team and hope to make it in the next couple of years. You need a lot of strength to be a good competitor. Training includes weightlifting, dance, Pilates, gymnastics, and yoga. Core strength is everything. My sister and I do lots of cross-training on weekends.
 
E: I’ve learned how to make a group effort and cooperate with others, and that’s helping right now in our collaborations in 7th grade world cultures class.”

K: Catlin Gabel’s arts program, especially theater, has helped me realize how I can better get across emotions, which is important in our sport. I’ve learned dedication, focus, and good time management from synchronized swimming, and that really helps me here in school, too.”

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Tango & aerial dancer, 10th grade

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: aerial dance, tango

“I started aerial dance classes in 2nd grade and now perform with AWOL, Aerial Without Limits. I love aerial dance because it’s creative, and I love music and combining it with movement in trying to convey a message. I particularly like to choreograph: I listen to music and imagine movements for a long time before I feel ready to put it together and try it out with my peers. I also like that it is a physical form of art— it takes strength and skill, and I have to constantly challenge myself. I see myself doing things I never thought I could.
 
It’s thrilling and a little bit scary. I can be up in the air 30 feet holding on to a piece of fabric without any nets or harnesses. I’m just on my own and have to be able to focus. Oddly, I’m a little bit afraid of heights, but that just makes it more fun!
 
Working in aerial dance has raised my self-esteem. At the beginning I knew nothing, but now I can actually help teach others, which is fun.

I also love tango. I’m going to Argentina this summer to study tango. I will also work with an aerial dance company to learn their style of aerial dance, which uses bungee cords. I am interested in how to creatively combine the two kinds of dance. I love both of these arts for similar reasons. Musicality—it’s fun to play with music, and tango is all improvised. You’re silent when you dance in tango or aerial, but there’s a lot of connection.”

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Scout, community enthusiast, 10th grade

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: Scouting, campus cross country trail bridge project
Interests: piano, cross country, golf, mock trial

“I transferred to Catlin Gabel last year. I love the beautiful campus and the friendly community here. There’s so much here that I enjoy being involved with, including clubs, sports, and extracurriculars in general. I decided to do my Eagle Scout project for the Catlin Gabel campus. Grounds crew supervisor Mike Wilson gave me permission to replace the eroding cross country bridge at the northeast side of campus (uphill from the track and field).
 
The dirt bridge needed work because it was eroding and had no basic structure. Construction of the new bridge took me and 20 fellow Scouts almost eight hours. We replaced the old bridge with boulders, drainage rock, and concrete, which will stop the erosion and provide a flatter surface for the runners.

I love so much about Scouting, which I’ve been doing since 1st grade. I mostly like it because of the outings we do, which I learn a lot from. I’ve also made plenty of lasting friendships with other Scouts. As the senior patrol leader, I’m in charge of my troop from this fall until early spring. I’ll stay involved for a couple more years, till I’m 18, which is the age limit for Scouts. Scouting has taught me to do my best in everything I do, and to lead others by example.”

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Installation artist, senior

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: creating art installations, outdoor exploration
Interest: track & field

“For my first art project I hung an old picture frame with a picture of a galaxy set into it on the big, inviting blank wall of the science building, hung to appear like a window of the building itself. Another time I set up a spider’s web of wires, with tin can phones on the ends, connecting six trees in the campus forest. You could hear the sounds of the trees groaning in the wind through the wires.
 
I have two projects right now of trees wrapped in string. There’s almost nothing more stereotypically organic than a tree, and the strings contrast as a straight line you don’t often see in nature.
 
Art is a key facet of how I see myself. I enjoy the outdoor program just as much. I’ve been to truly amazing places not many people know of, and seen many wonderful things. These trips are a source of inspiration, and I think about these places every day.
 
My art is a product of wanting to explore methods, tools, and ideas—and wanting to do something different for the first time. It’s realizing my daydreams and not always about other people seeing it. It’s very personal.

Sometimes something clicks and I think about an idea a lot. The vast majority of ideas I come up with are things I’ll never do, but that’s not an unfortunate thing. Is that art? Thinking about it, for me, is as important as the actual creation.”

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Computing researcher, senior

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passion: computer science
Interests: robotics, Go, mycology

“My research in computer science is an evolving project. At the end of my sophomore year I found a book in teacher Andrew Merrill’s office. I devoured it in a few months, and it changed how I thought about computer science and algorithms. So the beginning of my junior year I got interested in starting serious research on functional programming. Andrew let me do an independent study so that I could focus on my research. We meet once a week to talk about my research. He gives great suggestions on new directions.
 
I began to explore the practical applications of functional programming, and this turned into my science fair project. I showed how to use something called effect types to convert a program that doesn’t use parallel processing to one that does. I ended up publishing and presenting my research at the International Symposium on Application and Implementation of Functional Languages.
 
I work a lot on my computer but as much time in my research notebook, doing proofs and sketching ideas. I like working on the robotics team, writing software. I like to play Go for the social aspects of the game. I like to solve problems.
 

The idea of having a machine that can exhibit intelligent behavior was very exciting to me, and it’s the main reason I became interested in computer science. Creating a thing that has creativity, intelligence, and knowledge is like creating life.”

Mt. Hood ski extravaganza

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The perfect weekend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a flawless weeek ten students from Catlin Gabel school took the Nordic ski challenge and skied from Timberline Lodge down to Government Camp.  Twice!  With ideal snow conditions, these students, many of them new to the sport of cross country skiing skied down the Glade Trail all the way to Government Camp.  It was so much fun they decided to do it again.  Admittedly on the first run there were a few falls, several per minute actually, but soon everyone got the hang of it and they made the 2000 foot descent with style and whoops of laughter.  That night everyone stayed in the Huckleberry Inn and wandered beneath the stars through this Alpine village.  On Sunday the group completed a ten mile ski tour in the Bennett Pass area east of Mt. Hood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Last sign of Alex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Actor, researcher, senior

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: theater, scientific research
Interests: journalism, teaching & mentoring

“I’m co-editor of CatlinSpeak, our student newspaper. Working for the paper is always fun, and I love when we hear from others that our writers are doing something valuable. My hope is to pursue a senior project in journalism. I’d like to work for a college paper someday.
 
Acting is a great challenge. When you’re doing it right—and this has only happened to me a few times—you forget anyone’s watching. In the big triumphs, you walk off stage and feel like you’re still on because you’re still that other person. Acting is a chance to study the life of someone else. I learn something each time I play a role.

I have an internship at Shriners Hospital, which is a part of OHSU. I found a niche in a lab that studies structural protein in connective tissue, and its relation to symptoms of Marfan syndrome. I study mice for connections between genetics and physical appearance, and even made a discovery over the summer. The moment I looked at a slide I had made and realized I was seeing something no one had ever seen before was thrilling. It’s wonderful to know I’ve helped with research that has the potential to help people. The science community is full of quirky, intelligent people, and I get to talk with the people I work with about things I couldn’t learn from anyone else.”

 

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Singer-songwriter, artist, senior

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: guitar, singing, visual art

“I like songs that tell or imply stories. It’s a form of communication, a different language. When you’re playing with others or singing together you establish an understanding that’s hard to find anywhere else. Once a week on campus about seven of us eat lunch, talk about music, play, and sing, which I love. I’ve also done some performing locally.

 When you play something crisp and simple, someone will remember it more than a blazing guitar solo. Last summer I went on a creative binge and wrote and recorded 20 songs that were sort of folk-bluegrass-rock. From the first song I wrote to the last, they got quieter, more delicate.
 
I’ve also become more prolific visually. I’m getting more into sculpture, have done a lot of drawing and painting, and have started throwing pots after school. I consider it a constant experiment. I like working with layers and layers as I figure out the medium.
 
It’s hard to separate visual art and music from each other. They inform each other. If I can’t communicate something on paper, I can turn it into a song.
 
More and more I like working with people. This is my first year as a peer helper, and learning to listen is important. It’ll come to my generation to communicate to people. Whether you’re communicating through music, or learning a language, or interacting with others, there’s so much to be gained and nothing to be lost by making a connection and trusting someone.”

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Computer scientist, junior

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: computer science, game development
Interest: robotics

“Last summer I did programming at OHSU in the radiation oncology department, which deals in cancer research and treatment. I worked side by side with a medical physicist from China, Dr. Junan Zhang. I was the main programmer on many small projects that would contribute to cancer research in some way.
 
My main work involved the CT scanner, which produces a series of images of the patient in slices. I wrote a program to help researchers and doctors view this image data, which before was not easy to use. I found a way to convert the files to a picture format they can view, and I developed the user interface design that made it easier to see and use the images. Among other work, we also wrote a program that made it significantly faster for the image data to compile, because before there was a very long delay before cancer researchers could get the results.
 
It was a meaningful experience for me. I had never had a job before, and at OHSU I was in a professional environment with scientists.
 
I do computer science on my own time. I’ve been working on a 3D game engine, a graphics library for the GameBoy Advance, and a compiler for my own programming language, called Hayaku. I don’t know what the future holds. I may go back to OHSU during breaks to work on my projects some more. I’m still in contact with Dr. Zhang to help with any code I’ve written. I’m interested in math and science, but I’m not as passionate about them. My driving passion is for computer science.”

 

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Writer & explorer, senior

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: writing poetry and prose, outdoor exploration
Interest: environmental studies

“I’ve always been observational. I was quieter when I was young, and lines of poetry came together naturally. Writing is satisfying, a way for me to sift it all. I write precisely and slowly. Sometimes I’m frustrated because the ideas come but the words don’t, and I just sit there for 45 minutes. But eventually I get where I want to be.

Starting in 8th grade I got good feedback on poetry that I’d written and was pointed to entering contests. I got self-motivated from the contests that I won. But mostly I won because I kept on throwing stuff out there, and some of it stuck. I found out that poetry is not just childhood rhymes but is about seeing emotion in the world—and it’s an art form that gets to people.

Sometimes I can’t make sense of a situation until I write it down in poetry. I get the same release through words that I get in mountain climbing or rock climbing. The outdoor program has influenced my poetry. My recent poems have all been about nature and being outdoors. It’s a challenge: loads of people write about nature, so can I as a teenaged girl say anything new about it?

My class in environmental science and policy is really important to me now. I’ve changed my second choice of major to environmental studies. I see my role in poetry, but environmental studies is about the physical side of life. It’s affected my decisions about eating, shopping, how you get places. You can’t not pay attention to these things. My general job is to change.”

 

 

Robotics team wins top honor at regional competition, qualifies for world championships in Atlanta

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Catlin Gabel's Upper School robotics Team 1540 won the prestigious Chairman's Award at the Oregon regional competition for their extensive support of other teams. Check out the three-minute Chairman’s Award video created by Tucker Gordon and Henry Gordon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxPocQQC5Cs.

The Chairman's Award qualifies Team 1540 (the Flaming Chickens) to compete at the world championships in Atlanta, April 14–18. This is the fourth consecutive year Catlin Gabel’s robotics team has qualified for the world championships, the most of any team in the Northwest.

Junior Henry Gordon ’11, marketing manager, fabrication co-manager, and Middle School FIRST LEGO league coach, was one of two finalists for the Oregon regional FIRST dean’s list for student leadership and commitment to the ideals of FIRST, as well as for contributions to his team and community. Henry is in the running for one of 10 FIRST dean’s list awards granted at the World Championships.

Congratulations, Flaming Chickens!

Follow Your Passions!

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By Lark P. Palma, PhD, Head of School

From the Winter 2010 Caller

Five o’clock on a South Carolina summer morning. My rounds started early, for a young girl. First I took care of my horse, Cricket—feeding, mucking, a ride on the beach, then out to pasture. Then I attended to my 35 rabbits, gathered eggs from the six red hens that scratched around the house, and released the ducks to the creek. Finally I wrangled Thistle the collie and Ginger the lamb for walks on their leashes.

Animals were my first great passion—and my parents allowed me to have them if I cared for them well and showed responsibility. I was filled with the same passion when I first played school in my room, lining up all of my stuffed animals and dolls, assigning arbitrary grades from A to F and relegating some to smart status, some not so smart. At school I watched with rapt attention how my teachers would teach us. At home I would either try to do it the same way or try to modify the techniques that didn’t work for my little class.

It was not until I became a teacher myself that I understood that, as someone with a passion for teaching, I could go beyond what’s expected and work with students to realize their own personal goals and passions. I finally saw that the very best model for teaching and learning centers on the relationship between the student and the teacher. What happens collectively as a class is important, but the one-on-one time a student and teacher have together is the most critical element.

It was a breakthrough for me when I realized that and learned—thanks to Roland Barthes, John Dewey, and others—that children are not receptacles for knowledge from adults, but teeming petri dishes of their own ideas and imaginations. How little my teachers in the fifties and sixties understood that—although teachers in Ruth Catlin and Priscilla Gabel’s schools certainly did get it.

Catlin Gabel is a school where teachers are drawn to teach, and we select them to do so, because they understand how children’s minds work, and they want to be surrounded by colleagues who feel the same.

This Caller is filled with stories of alumni and students who have pursued interests, passions, and yes, even obsessions. Graduates who fall into this category are legion, and the students and alumni represented here are just a small sample. Why would a school of this size produce so many people who lead with their passions and know themselves well enough to do that?

For one, Catlin Gabel provides an unfettered, free-ranging approach to solving problems, approaching assignments, and celebrating process over product. I learned to be a good rider because I studied my horse, paying heed to her temperament and the look in her eye, and treating her in a way that reflects that knowledge. In the same way, the students profiled here, whether involved in a sport, an academic pursuit, or an art, learn the value of deep concentration and focused attention. For example, visual artists, like the ones you’ll read about, see relationships among all disciplines, in color and in shapes, and takes those elements to create an original. But mostly, we at Catlin Gabel encourage students fully and unabashedly to follow their passions. And of course, there is the child herself, who has the gift inside. Parents, teachers, and the overarching ethos of the school only undergird those passions.

Alumnus, alumna, or current student, their uniqueness binds us all together and makes for a very, very interesting place to teach. Enjoy these stories.

 

Girls Cross-Country Ski Trip

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 We set out for the mountain on a warm, sunny Saturday morning, ready for anything. We arrived at Teacup Lake, packed our day-packs, and slathered on sunscreen. Who knew summer arrived in February?! There were several beginner skiers and they all picked up the sport easily, quickly wanting to take the most difficult trails and ski down hills. The first big hill we went down was intimidating at first, but we all skied down it, and were proud of ourselves at having accomplished that. We lunched in a sunny patch with a spectacular view of the mountains.

After lunch we discussed our options. The girls had a choice between lots of short trails or one big long trail (the challenge trail), and they opted for the challenge trail. We started off, and although they claimed they were tired, the girls set a fast pace. When we got to a fork with a big hill or a flat section, they always chose the hill. We took several breaks along the long trail until we got to another fork where we had a big decision to make. We could go the short, flat way back to the bus, or we could go up a big hill (Screamer Hill), and then down a fast, steep hill. In the end, they all chose to go up the steep, long hill. Although this hill was a struggle, they all made it look easy, and were proud of themselves at the top.
 
We skied back to the bus and drove to the lodge. After storing our stuff in our room we went outside to build a lifelike snowwoman, sled, and “surf. As it got dark we came inside to warm up, and get cozy. We played foosball, pool, ping-pong, and Life before dinner was served. Lots of hot cocoa was sipped. After dinner we watched a VHS version of Mrs. Doubtfire before debriefing the day and settling into our sleeping bags.
 
 
 
 
 
We woke the next morning and ate breakfast before discussing the plan for the day. The girls wanted to ski somewhere where they could make their own trail and avoid groomed tracks, and eventually selected White River. The girls also wanted to pour maple syrup on the snow like they do in Canada, and so after a little cajoling, several of them went and asked for some syrup. After their sugary treat, they sledded for a while before we headed to White River to ski.
 
 
 
We made our way up the canyon with the girls leading the way through the trees. The snow was heavy and deeper than the day before as we were not on a groomed trail. At this point we came to a steep hill above a snow bridge over a small creek that the girls wanted to cross and continue into the trees. We explored this area for a while, not without a few tumbles, before skiing back to the open part of the canyon to find steep hills to slide down. We skied on a bit further and up a ridge before returning to our first slide. At the end of the day we piled into the bus and headed home, with a quick stop for doughnuts on the way.
 
 

 

CG and Nepali students meet to talk about fast food

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Sattya Media Arts Collective presents Catlin Gabel youth media exchange

Invitation for young people in Kathmandu to meet with visitors from Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon, USA

If you have anything to say about the arrival of corporate food culture in our city, take part in a discussion with youth from the country where it all began—United States.  Exchange points of view and discuss the recent coming of KFC and Pizza Hut to Kathmandu with youth from Catlin Gabel, a high school in Portland, Oregon.

Portland is well known for being a progressive, environmentally conscious city where all things local, organic, and fairly traded thrive.  While fast food outlets exist there, a growing number of people actively support locally owned restaurants and farmers, as well as the globally renowned Slow Food Movement.
The Slow Food Movement was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.”

Is fast food something American young people support? What role does fast food play in their lives? What kind of food choices do their families make? What kind of image do fast food companies portray through advertising? Is fast food especially popular among their friends? Is it popular with any particular segments of American society? Would they like to work at a fast food chain?

On March 6, prior to the discussion, we will screen the movie, Food, Inc., which examines how today’s “food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.”

Since the recent establishment of KFC and Pizza Hut (both owned by Yum! Brands, “The World’s Largest Restaurant Company”), people in Kathmandu have quickly embraced them open arms, not addressing any of the major concerns voiced by people who have been eating fast food for decades. So let’s ask some questions.

Do Nepali consumers really know what they are getting? Why have people been lining up to eat at KFC and Pizza Hut? Is fast food cool?  Is it a status symbol? What does it mean to Nepal’s culture now that it is here? For our environment? For our health? For our local farmers? Who is making the profits? Why should we care? What can we do?

Join us on Saturday, March 20, 9 a.m.–noon, at Today’s Youth Asia venue at Babermahal Revisited for a fun, informative conversation with youth from the United States. If you are 15-18 years old and interested in taking part, email us as soon as possible at collective@sattya.org.

We will screen the movie on Saturday, March 6, at Crehpa (time to be decided). Nepali participants are required to attend the screening prior to the program on March 20.
 

Questions posed to Nepalese student applicants:

Do you know where your foods come from?

What is your diet like? What do you wish it was like?

What do you think about KFC and Pizza Huts’ presence here?

What is your perception of America and from where have you gathered this perception?

Which TV channels do you prefer to watch and why?

Making Global Trips a Community Experience

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Global trips have served as an extremely powerful experience for the lucky children and adults who get to go but have had limited value for the rest of the community. The students who traveled have an amazing memory that is difficult to explain to their peers. Their assembly presentations often feel disconnected, out of context in the daily life of the school. The students who stayed home have little understanding of what happened during the trip. Beginning and Lower school students are only vaguely aware of the experiences of their older peers. What if our entire school community could participate in each trip that goes out, even though they were not traveling themselves?

In recent years, Catlin Gabel’s global trips have become increasingly “academic,” with students seeking to better understand specific topics through travel. Students have studied history, culture, language, comparative religion, and natural history while abroad. The trips slated for 2010-11 make this trend more explicit and specific, exploring topics such as …

These topics provide experiential subject matter that directly relate to the current subject matter in many of our classes. What if we integrated the current year’s global trips into our courses? All students would participate in a shared, compelling learning experience. They would learn how the typical school content and skills relate to real-world issues in international locations. They would have first-hand contact with peers who travel to these destinations and either virtual first-hand or second-hand contact with individuals in those countries.

The traveling students would serve as school ambassadors for a collective learning effort, carry their questions to the destination country, and report back to the community what they discovered, either live or after the trip. They would experience their trip in the context of a schoolwide effort rather than in isolation.

We hereby invite you to integrate instruction on next year’s trips into your lessons, enriching your courses and our whole community through these travel experiences.
 

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.