Recorded at the upper school assembly of February 18, 2010.
Paulina Lake XC Ski, February 2010
An ambitious trip (with inauspicious beginnings) hits big!
This past Valentines Day, a group of eight students and three trip leaders met at Catlin for an adventure into the snow and wilderness. It started with a drive to Bend over Santiam pass. There was no snow on the road and we were concerned that there would be little snow at Paulina Lake. Fortunately, we were able to score some firewood from a dentist who served lemonade (long story).
We stopped in Bend to rent XC skis, boots, and poles (note for the future: purchase insurance--more later). We drove to Tenmile sno-park, 30 miles south of Bend where we donned our skis and headed off into the snow at around 2:00pm. There were, unfortunately, a great many snowmobilers. The students were not impressed by the snowmobilers.
We skied until near dusk on a fairly difficult trail. Though a couple of students were challenged, most of the skiers were successful, despite relatively heavy packs, and we made a decision nearing sundown about whether to continue. Our namesake was the deciding vote in pushing on, and we made easy mileage to the lake along the groomed trail. Once at the lake, we again had to make way over challenging terrain. Darkness was following and our leaders made a wrong turn and there was some heated debate as to how best to proceed. We turned around and made our way back to the lake where there was easy skiing along the shore. Once the going got difficult again, we decided to make camp in a gorgeous stretch along the frozen shore.
We made an extensive camp with tents, a kitchen, and a fireplace with benches. Food was warm and spirits were high. A few extra jackets and layers were distributed and everybody was warm. We debriefed and, though most lows were about our time on the wrong trail, students were happy. We went to sleep around 11pm with students assuring me that they were warm with hot water bottles, dry clothes, etc.
Monday morning was about 30 degrees and very pretty. It took nearly three hours (!) to pack up camp. We then skied back to the groomed trail and made a push toward the Paulina summit. Students happily self-distributed among like skill levels. There was a very competitve race to the highpoint. The trip leader did not win this race. We then all turned around and raced back down the hill. The trip leader did win this race, though the assistant trip leader believes that it may not have been as fair as she wold have liked.
A long ski down brought us back to the bus where we were once again greeted by the "power sledders." We drove back home over Santiam pass. The students were happy and excited the whole way home. When we got back to campus, we had the whole group help clean up the gear and put materials back in the OP shed. Students were dismissed at 7pm and all went home to warmth and coziness.
So put on a mix tape and watch the slideshow!
The moment you’ve all been waiting for has arrived. We have decided on a cell phone “policy.” Throughout all of our discussion, the experiments, and the survey, we have always sought a solution that would preserve and improve the social atmosphere on campus. We have also sought a solution that could be accepted by everyone and embraced so as to work not as a top-down rule that required enforcement, but as an organic initiative. We believe in the responsibility of students here and we also believe their opinions matter, because they define the culture of the school. When people wrote in the survey that they need their cell phones during the day in order to manage their calendar and call their parents and organize their carpools, we took that into account. When other people said that they enjoyed the decreased use of cell phones during the first experiment, we listened to that also. Combining all of these sources of input and keeping our original goals in mind, we came up with a policy.
First of all, there can be no use of cell phones in the classroom. This is already an established rule, but must be acknowledged and upheld by students in order to prove our level of responsibility with cell phones and also to prevent cell phones from interfering with the educational productivity of the school. There also are no cell phones allowed at assembly as a common courtesy to the presenter and to everyone present.
Cell phones also cannot be used in the library in accordance with the rules set by the librarians. The library is a place for studying and the potential of cell phones to disturb others is great.
Cell phones cannot be used in the science building either. The science building does not contain any common (lounge) spaces and so students in the science building are in class (where cell phones are not allowed anyway).
These four restrictions are not new, but they must be adhered to in order to preserve our responsibility for our own cell phone use. The new aspect of our policy is to restrict cell phone use at school to practical purposes only. If you need to use a calendar that’s okay, if you need to call your parents that’s also okay, if you need to find a friend who you’re supposed to be meeting with to work on your history project that’s okay too. However, cell phones cannot be used for social purposes. Don’t text your friends who are elsewhere when there are so many interesting, amiable people around who you can talk to face to face. Don’t abandon a conversation with the person in front of you in order to take a phone call from another friend who is elsewhere. And when you are utilizing your cell phone for a practical purpose, use it conscientiously. Don’t text your parents while you’re talking to someone else. Don’t talk on your cell phone in a place where people are trying to study or talk or sleep. Basically, don’t be rude. During the school day you can use your cell phone when you need to, but do so in an unobtrusive way that doesn’t hinder your own or anyone else’s ability to enjoy their surroundings and this school.
If everyone embraces this idea of having a healthy social community, this plan will be a success. So only use your cell phones when you have to (for non-social purposes), use them discreetly, and encourage your friends to do the same.
Thank you in advance, everyone, for making this endeavor a success.
(Catlin Gabel Student Association)
The Information Technology department now has an Amazon Kindle available to families for overnight checkout to evaluate whether or not they might wish to purchase one. The IT office is located in the upper level of the Vollum Humanities Building. Please email IT@catlin.edu if you wish to reserve the Kindle.
At this time, we do not anticipate formal school adoption of the Kindle or other electronic book reader, but we would like to support families that are interested in them.
Some Kindle features
The Kindle and other e-readers use a new kind of screen called "digital ink." As opposed to conventional display screens, digital ink screens do not use a backlight. The screen is easier on the eyes than a laptop screen and remains visible in bright daylight. Because the Kindle is not backlit you can't use it in the dark without an additional light source.
The Kindle does a good job increasing text size, changing screen direction, and altering the number of words displayed per line.
The Kindle can store up to 1,500 books at one time. It can display documents in the Amazon, Word document, HTML, text, and PDF formats. It can also play MP3 and Audible files. Some file formats require conversion through Amazon's email system.
The Kindle can read the text on the screen aloud but it does so poorly and really isn't useful as a text-to-speech tool.
The Kindle includes some bookmarking and annotation features.
Note taking was difficult. It was uncomfortable to use the small keyboard to add text.
The battery lasts a long time—up to two weeks if you don't make extensive use of the wireless browsing capabilities.
The Kindle includes a web browser and wireless connectivity that uses the same 3G network used by cell phones. There is no charge for the wireless connectivity at this time. The Kindle must be registered in order to use the wireless capabilties.
Books sold by Amazon for the Kindle are sold in a proprietary format that can only be read using Amazon software. Currently, that software is available for the Kindle, Apple's iPhone, and Microsoft Windows. Amazon is working on software to read Kindle format books on Mac OSX and Blackberries.
Once you register your Kindle device with Amazon, you may purchase additional texts with one click. This could be a liability if you lend your device to someone else.
Some colleges, including Reed, have experimented with using these devices in their instructional program. We do not yet know whether these colleges are planning large-scale adoption. Read about Reed's experiment.
Other e-readers include the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Sony eReader. Reviewers suggest that they each have their pros and cons.
The Kindle may prove useful to students who seek the convenience of an e-reader or benefit from the additional features such as changing text size. These devices are an example of an emerging technology, and we will watch their capabilities as the technology matures.
Larry Hurst will deliver the Esther Dayman Strong Lecture on this topic on Tuesday, Febraury 16, at 7 p.m. in the Cabell Center. Free and open to the public.
On Saturday Catlin Gabel’s Science Bowl team won 2nd place in the BPA Regional Science Bowl. Our team of Yale Fan (captain, senior), Brynmor Chapman (senior), Benjamin Streb (senior), Vighnesh Shiv (junior), and Terrance Sun (freshman) lost a closely fought final to the winner, Sunset High School, which will go on to the National Science Bowl. The Catlin Gabel team beat out 59 other teams from all over Oregon and Washington and pushed Sunset to three games before conceding. In addition, Yale Fan was one of seven students (out of more than 250) to be honored as an "All Star" for answering the most questions during the first four rounds of the contest. Congratulations to the team from Sunset, and congratulations to all our team members for excellent game play and grace under pressure!
Winter Overnight in a Fire Lookout, January, 2010
Arguably too much fun. Dufur. "Power Sledding." Off trail. The Lookout. Group photo. Dumbwaiter. Adventure. Our version of "Power Sledding." Jumping over trees. Or almost. Chopping wood. Fear. Bananachocolatemess. Snowball ambush. "Just Married."
We left Catlin Gabel at 8:30 am. Our original plan to ski in and out was foiled by almost complete lack of snow. We cancelled our rental skis and just walked in our boots. A couple of eager students examined the map (with a questionable degree of success) and decide how we would get there. The initial route took us through some deep snow in the flats near eightmile campground. Once we started up the hillside we beat our way through brush then wandered over to the old growth forest. I think it took less than two hours (with lots of stops) to get all the way up to the lookout.
Once at the lookout we suddenly found ourselves with an entire afternoon to fill, and an egergetic group of kids. We went on an adventure, hugging the ridgeline west of the lookout. Only two of our students had ever chopped wood, which is an abomination that needed remedy. We had a clinic and safety talk about chopping wood. Then we chopped an enormous amount of wood. We spent the rest of the evening playing games and making dinner. Cleanup was a little long and difficult. We prepared a lot of warm water from snow. A lot of warm water.
That night three girls slept on the bed (winner of rock-paper-scissors) and one on the cupboard. Three boys slept on the floor, one on the deck, and one kooky leader slept wonderfully under a tree next to the lookout. It was roomy and warm inside, though our porch-sleeper experienced wind and cold and did not sleep well.
On the second day we had a leisurely breakfast, cleaned the cabin, and headed back to the bus, sneaking up on the third group for a snowball fight. The pictures are good, but somewhat incriminating. Check out the slideshow!
In his plot for Noises Off, English playwright Michael Frayn plays on the concept of a play within a play, in this case a dreadful sex comedy titled Nothing On—the type of play in which young girls run about in their underwear, old men drop their trousers, and many doors continually open and shut. Nothing On is set in "a delightful 16th-century posset mill" that has been converted to a modern dwelling for which renters are solicited; the fictional playwright is appropriately named Robin Housemonger. Each of the three acts of Noises Off contains a performance of the first act of Nothing On. (Wikepedia)
Click on any image to start a slideshow.
Science News, February 13, 2010
(photo courtesy of the Oregonian)
CONTACT: Bill MacKenzie
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.
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
All interested teens and parents are invited to a Summer Adventures Fair on Wednesday, February 3, from 3:45* to 7 p.m. at Catlin Gabel School, 8825 SW Barnes Rd., Portland (next to St. Vincent Hospital). Meet with representatives from a wide variety of summer programs for teens, including summer camps, travel abroad, outdoor adventures, local internships, and academic experiences.
Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Julie McMurchie at 503-348-7149.
After you attend, we would appreciate your downloading and filling out the evaulation form below, and emailing it to email@example.com. Thanks!
*Catlin Gabel families are invited to attend the fair early, starting at 3:15 p.m.
What started out as a cross-country ski trip turned first into a snowshoes trip before finally becoming a backpacking trip, but what a trip it was! We met at Catlin Sunday morning, loaded up the bus and drove to Hood River to rent a few pairs of snowshoes. While in Hood River we ran up what looked (and felt) like thousands of steps to discover a playground before we got back on the bus.
When we arrived at the Billy Bob Sno-Park we distributed group gear and left our little yellow bus, heading up the road towards the Five Mile Butte fire lookout. It was drizzling heavily, and our packs were heavy. We continued up the icy road for a ways before taking a break and munching on candy peach rings.
As we were putting our packs back on, several students proposed the brilliant idea to go straight up the side of the hill to get to the fire tower instead of following the road around to get there. We consulted the map and everyone agreed this was a good idea so we started walking up the muddiest slop imaginable—there were literally rivers of mud flowing down the hillside. Eventually everyone made it to the top, and we celebrated with more peach candy rings before the last push to get to the lookout tower. It was pretty exciting to finally see the tower in the clouds.
We climbed up the narrow, steep stairs and into our lookout tower to start a roaring fire in the wood stove and peel off soggy layers. The tower swayed gently when the wind gusted and the clouds and rain created a very isolated feeling, but it was warm and cozy in our little 15 ft. x 15 ft. room, perched 40 ft. above the ground.
Several of the students stayed down on the ground to start building a giant wall of snow. The rest of the group got settled in the tower. Everyone played an endless, silly game of Uno. Several of the students elected to run around in the snow/rain in just their shorts, which evoked barrels of laughter from everyone.
As the sky grew dark we prepared dinner, which was followed by several rounds of Hide & Seek, made all the more exciting by the dark and the fog. When we finished we found roasting sticks for s’mores and headed back up the tower to savor our dessert and get settled for the night. We sat around in a circle and talked about the day. As the clouds cleared to reveal a blanket of stars, students were lulled to sleep with Edward Abbey’s description of life as a fire lookout ranger.
We awoke to the rosey golden glow of sunrise bathing Mt. Hood in warm light. The skies were clear all around and we could see the broad backs of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier to our north. Who would have guessed we would get a blue bird day after the storm the day before?
We started breakfast and soon the savory smell of frying Spam filled the room, accompanied by fluffy golden pancakes and hot cocoa. Although some of the students were hesitant to try Spam when it plopped out of its can onto the cutting board, most of them boldly stepped outside their comfort zone and sampled the crispy delicacy. And they realized it’s pretty good when you’re roughin’ it.
For our descent we opted for some variety and scenic views and walked down the road. Well, some of us walked and some of us slid down the ice. There were some bumps and bruises earned along the way. At the bottom of the hill we discovered a perfect sledding hill to slide down on the ice before making our way back to our little yellow school bus. A wand on our windshield, left by the Upper Schoolers, greeted us. It felt good to take off our packs and get on the bus. With a twinge of sadness that the trip was over we headed off down the road, back to our families.
Alumni, parents, students, and friends of Catlin Gabel are encouraged to join the workshop online.
To participate in chat, you will need to register a user account when prompted.
We also welcome you to make suggestions for how Catlin Gabel can keep the spirit of the Rummage Sale alive through a new activity. Post your ideas on our website forum.
Beaverton Valley Times article:
Seniors Kevin Ellis and Yale Fan were surprised today with the announcement that they had been named semifinalists in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search. They each received a $1,000 check this morning from a representative of Intel, and the school received $2,000 toward our programs in science and mathematics. They were two of five Oregon students receiving the award, out of 300 semifinalists named nationally. Kevin and Yale are now in the running to become national finalists, which will be determined later this month. More details are below in the Intel news release. Congratulations, Yale and Kevin!
U.S. Corporate Affairs
FIVE PORTLAND AREA STUDENTS NAMED INTEL SCIENCE TALENT SEARCH SEMIFINALISTS
Students to be surprised with announcements Wednesday, Jan. 13
HILLSBORO, OR, Jan. 12, 2010 – Five Portland area students will learn today that they have been named semifinalists in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) and may be on the road to becoming tomorrow’s elite scientists. The Intel STS is America’s oldest, most highly regarded pre-college science competition and heir to more than six decades of science excellence.
The students will learn of their awards at surprise Intel-sponsored Prize Patrols at their schools on Wednesday morning.
The local semifinalists include Catlin Gabel students Kevin Ellis and Yale Fan, Alexander McCarthy from Liberty High School in Hillsboro, plus Joshua Steinberg from Oregon Episcopal School and Franklin Zhao from Westview High School.
This year’s 1,735 entrants hail from 37 states and Washington, D.C. Each of the 300 Intel STS semifinalists receives $1,000 with an additional $1,000 going to their school, resulting in $600,000 in total awards at the semifinalist level. Intel implemented the school award in 2000 and since then has contributed more than $2 million to help improve math and science in U.S. high schools.
“Intel is determined to encourage and showcase America’s brightest young scientists,” said Aubrey Clark, Intel’s Education Relations Manager in Oregon. “Becoming an Intel STS semifinalist shows the world that a student has the potential to become one of tomorrow’s great scientists.”
STS alumni have received more than 100 of the world’s most coveted science and math honors including six Nobel Prizes, three National Medals of Science, 10 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, and two Fields Medals.
From the 300 semifinalists, 40 finalists will be announced on Jan. 27, 2010. The 40 Intel Science Talent Search Finalists will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC in March to attend the Science Talent Institute where they will compete for more than $500,000 in scholarships.
Their week-long stay will include an in-depth judging process, visits to historic sites and cultural institutions and meetings with leading scientists and engineers. Students will also have an opportunity to exchange ideas and insights with each other and prominent members of the scientific community.
The finale of the Science Talent Institute is a black-tie banquet honoring the forty finalists, which will take place March 16, 2010. The evening will conclude with the announcement of the top 10 Intel scholarship winners of the 66th Annual Science Talent Search, with the top winner receiving a $100,000 scholarship and others receiving a minimum of $7,500.
Intel’s long-standing commitment to education is fueled by its mission to invest not only in its business and industry, but in the future of young people. Through education programs such as the Intel Science Talent Search, Intel works to inspire and educate children in communities around the world in the areas of science, mathematics and engineering.
Intel, the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom . Intel is Oregon’s largest private employer and its Oregon site is a global center for semiconductor research and manufacturing. Additional information about Intel in Oregon is available at www.intel.com/community/oregon.
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Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. * Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
Senior Kevin Ellis won a Best of Category award in computer science at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2009 in Reno, Nevada. Intel presented Catlin Gabel with a check for $1,000 in recognition of Kevin’s outstanding achievement. The funds are intended to further support excellence in science, math, or engineering education at Catlin Gabel.
Senior Lauren Edelson’s op-ed, “Taking the Magic Out of College,” was published in the New York Times.
Sophomore Megan Stater placed first in the recent Oregon Music Teachers Association Classical Piano Festival.
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. Kudos to seniors Sam Bishop, Kalifa Clarke, Abby Conyers, Becky Coulterpark, Lauren Edelson, Eddie Friedman, Ollie Garnier, Molly Hayes, Leslie Nelson, and Leah Weitz, and junior Josh Langfus.
Seventh grader Conner Hansen received his second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
All five Middle School robotics teams came home from the league tournament with trophies. Three teams are advancing to the state championships on January 17. Veteran 7th grade team the Green Dragons won the Champions Award, the top award at a local tournament. This award recognizes the team with the best overall score covering robot performance, robot design, research project and presentation, and teamwork. Green Dragons Maddy Bunnenberg-Ross, Claire Fitzgerald, Sophie Paek, Jillian Rix, and Chloe Smith are headed to state.
The other veteran 7th grade team, Team Delta, scored 305 points on the course (the highest of any Catlin Gabel team) and was the first runner up Champions Award winner. Max Armstrong, Evan Chapman, Conner Hansen, and Elliot Lewis are on their way to state as well.
First-time 6th grade Team Echo members Julian Baynes, MacGregor Beatty, and Jake Hansen pulled off the Young Team Award, which qualifies them for the state tournament.
The 6th grade Screaming Eagles with Harry Alterman, Anna Dodson, Alex Richardson, and Calissa Spooner won the robot performance award for the team with the highest scoring robot that didn’t qualify for state. The 6th grade team Catlin Gabel Champions with Nicolas Bergen, Jack Bishop, Justin Tung, and David Vollum brought home the Research Project award for the team with the best research project that didn’t qualify for state.
Congratulations to recent 6th grade Poetry Box winner Hayle Meyerhoff for her poem Lonely. (Click on poem title to read or listen to the winning poem.)
Twelve Lower School chess players participated in the annual Ridgewood Elementary fall invitational. Avi Gupta, 3rd grade, took second place in the overall tournament ratings. Grade level prizes were awarded to 5th grader Lila Reich–second place, 4th grader Ben Karp–second place, 3rd grader Avi Gupta–first place, 2nd grader Evan Karp–first place, and 2nd grader Jimmy Maslen–third place.
Fifth grader Claire Rosenfeld, 3rd grader Layton Rosenfeld, and 2nd grader Will Attig were among 50 winning contestants from all of Oregon whose art pieces were selected for the “Super Hero” exhibition in the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum in Eugene. There were well over 400 contestants. The winning art is on display at the JSAM through May.
Thanks to a generous anonymous gift from a Catlin Gabel community member, the entire 7th grade class attended a presentation by activist Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea. The class began the year by reading the young adult version of Mortenson’s book. Elayna Caron was inspired to write, “After reading Three Cups of Tea, I was really moved, but not as much as I was last night. Greg is one of the most amazing people out there. How he dedicated his whole life to changing these people’s lives — I don’t see how he can do it, but at the same time, it made ME want to go out and change the world. He was talking about the soldiers being more afraid of the children’s pens than of bullets. It really makes sense to me now, why they would be scared. This was an amazing, amazing experience.”
IT support technician Johny Nguyen completed CompTIA certification, the industry standard for computer support technicians. The international, vendor-neutral certification proves competence in areas such as installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security, and troubleshooting.
All Kinds of Minds named Catlin Gabel a School of Distinction.