On Friday, September 7th, nine middle schools students ventured into Bunker Park for a quest of learning. They read maps, noticed cattails, leaves, grasshoppers, and types of trees and they also noticed a big chart sticking out of their guide's backpack.
After voyaging to a shelter to eat their rations for lunch, their guide told them it was time to unroll the chart. They sat at a long table, all facing her as she told them a very special story. The story told about how life developed on planet earth - how it began, how it changed, how it was nurtured and grew. The story told about the different eras and different ways each species adapted to the environment. The story ended on the last mammal that needs its own story to tell: the human.
After hearing the story and filling their eyes and minds with wonder, the adolescents ventured to collect specimens for research: butterflies, caterpillars, leaves, rocks, cattails, flowers, grasshoppers, and the like all came home with the adolescents, clutched in their hands or stuffed in their pockets.
As they left Bunker, one student said, "What a great day, I can't believe we get to do things like this at this school!"
Birthdays are a big deal in A1. The student is celebrated in the classroom (on a Thursday) and then are allowed to choose a restaurant for all of us to go out and eat lunch with them to celebrate!
This year, with the higher number of students, students will be asked to come together and decide on a restaurant as a team. Then everyone will go out once for those few student's collective birthdays. I will alert you as parents to see if you could join in the celebration - we will try to do them on Thursday afternoons. We will still celebrate each student individually on their own days in the classroom, however.
Thank you for all you do for your student, WOS, and the community. I am grateful to you.
Welcome new A1 and returning adolescent students and families!
This year holds so much promise and I am so excited to begin it with you. Please know of my prayers for you all over the summer and this weekend before school starts. Times of transition can be difficult for our human nature but I am hopeful we will all just slide into school with grace and ease and trust.
I have been working very hard on the classroom as well as on curriculum and planning for the year - I ask that you keep me in your prayers as well! Let me know if there are any questions.
Can't wait to see you all either Monday or Tuesday.
Last week the elementary and adolescent community came together to celebrate our big Thanksgiving feast. It was so beautiful to see the coming together. But there was a new component that I hadn't seen last year.
Following Father Ben's homily about a gratitude journal, I have been encouraging the adolescents to share what they are grateful for to the Lord during morning prayer. We discussed how if we focus on what we have been given, we are much more apt to be grateful for what is present in front of us. I saw small changes in the classroom that week - a slow, steady love, a deliberate choice to be kind, and anticipation of other's needs before their own.
I announced to the adolescents that they had been asked to serve the thanksgiving meal on Tuesday. Some grumbled, some were bummed they wouldn't get to eat until the end. However, I encouraged them that the last will be first and that its a good time to grow their servant hearts. What I saw that day was that their hearts grew three sizes that day! :)
Each time they dishes turkey, ladled mashed potatoes, or served pumpkin bread, I saw a smile of love, a joke cracked, and a leadership of love in each of these teenagers. It was incredible - they were so very themselves, developing their character by practicing virtuous service.
As I was taking photos and noting their attitudes, they didn't know that as they were serving the other students, they were making it onto my gratitude journal that night. How blessed am I, How blessed are we. God is good, all the time.
I pray you had a blessed Thanksgiving.
As the school year is coming to a close, we are finishing projects, cleaning, organizing, planning for next year, and all other things we need to do. We have all been hard at work these last couple weeks. We are finishing up our science and first aid study, while also wrapping up pre-algebra for this year. Research papers, summative essays, and poetry are all part of our last projects too. We also just finished our Mother's day projects. I hope our Mothers are happy!
With only one more week of school left, I have been kind of antsy, but also focused finishing my projects. The end of the year has called us to buckle down and focus. We have learned and developed so much this year. We have become better people and have learned not only academics, but social skills too. We are all very excited for summer and I hope you are too!
Instead of going on the Odyssey, I got to go to Rome! It was amazing to be able to view so many important items in our faith and history. We got to see so many basilicas, relics, churches, statues, paintings, mosaics, sites, and SO much more!! We were there for ten days, and every day was packed full of places to visit and things to see! I enjoyed it immensely. We had so many life changing experiences!
My favorite part of the whole trip was going to Assisi and San Giovanni. We walked in all of the places that Saint Francis and Saint Padre Pio walked. Thinking about that was so amazing! We saw Padre Pio's incorrupt body. It was amazing to think that he only died about 60 years ago! All in all the trip was a truly mind opening and life changing experience.
The Odyssey was such a fun week. We got to do many things which I will share about. On the first day, we went to the Basilica and the Cathedral. We got a tour of the Basilica and the tour guide said that the Cathedral was a lot bigger then the Basilica. We went to Eggys for lunch it was very good. On Tuesday, we went to Vertical Endeavors and went rock climbing. There was many walls and we went on most of them.
Wednesday, we went and cleaned windows at Missionaries of Charity. On Thursday, we helped E1 with their mother's day gifts, they made soap. Friday, we were supposed to go gardening but the weather looked bad so we went the following Wednesday. We planted peppers, onions, squash, cucumbers, and zucchini. We had lunch there it was very good. We learned so much at the farm. Over all, we had a great time on our Odyssey. Samuel Willems