In our first high school forum of the year, students had the great honor to welcome Passamaquody Storyteller, Allen J. Sockabasin, author of An Upriver Passamaquody and of the delightful children’s book Thanks to the Animals. Mr. Sockabasin started by showing our high schoolers a 30-minute film on the history of Native Americans, particularly of the Passamaquody people of Maine, stressing the importance of language preservation. The Native Americans for centuries lived in villages that depended on subsistence living through gathering, hunting, fishing and working in the woods, with an emphasis on sharing and helping one another. They met many hardships through racism and dubious “progress” that brought an end to their traditional way of life, especially their language, their religion and their self-governance.
Mr. Sockabasin’s spoke with great sadness as he talked to a subdued audience about his life-long struggle to try to preserve the traditional language and cultural way of life of his Passamaquody ancestors.
After an hour of reflecting and answering numerous questions asked by the high school students, who seemed very moved and keen to understand his struggles, Mr.Sockabasin grabbed his mandolin and invited our students to join in an impromptu musical fest. Although we had very few instruments at the High School on Thursday, as it is not our instrumental music class day, we had enough so that Jack Pierce, Phineas Samuelson and Tim Morse grabbed fiddle and guitars while Liza jumped to the piano. They all joyfully improvised to accompany Mr Sockabasin in some country songs in English and in the Passamaquody language, including a rendition of Elvis Presley’s “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Houndog”! After sitting for two hours, all students were happy to jump to their feet to sing along, clap hands or … dance the Hokey-Pokey in Passamaquody! No more sadness in the air! The forum ended in joy, bringing this ancient language again back to life for the benefit of our willing young crowd.
After accepting our thanks and a Merriconeag School hat, Mr. Sockabasin left us on his way to Portland to receive the Fourth Annual Sampson Center Catalyst for Change Award from the Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine. Mr. Sockabasin is officially recognized for “his tireless work for his community and the State of Maine. . . ” and for his great “contribution to civil rights and social justice in Maine.”
Merriconeag Waldorf High School is very grateful to have had the honor to meet and learn from Mr. Sockabasin. Special thanks go to high school parent Marianna Tupper, who brought Mr. Sockabasin to our attention and helped organize this Forum. Submitted by Régine Whittlesey
The Wind in the Willows - Grade 8 Play:
The Wind in the Willows performed by the 8th graders.
Wed, Apr 16, 1:15 pm & Thurs, Apr, 17, 7:00 pm, Community Hall, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport.
Open Friday - Bring a Friend Day!:
Open Fri, Apr 18: This special guest day is on a day when many local schools are closed but we aren't so it's a perfect opportunity for your child to share Merriconeag with their friends. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or learn more.
School is Closed for Spring Vacation:
Mon - Fri, Apr 21 - 25.
School is closed for Spring Vacation. Enjoy!
Tues, Apr 29, 6:30 pm
Senior Project Presentations:
Wed, April 30 & Thurs, May 1, 6:30 pm.
All welcome! Please come out to support our oldest students and also to catch another glimpse of some of the gold that awaits at the end of the Waldorf journey rainbow.
7th Annual Merriconeag Poetry Festival:
Sunday, May 4, 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Community Hall, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport.
The event is free and open to the public, but due to limited seating, registration is required: Click on the link below to register
Ongoing: Tea & Play Sessions :
Tea & Play Sessions for Prospective Parents.
Wednesdays, Apr 16, 30 & May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4.
Early Childhood Center, 60 Desert Rd, Freeport.
Prospective parents: Bring your child, share
a cup of tea with us and learn more about our
programs for young children. Storytime at 9:30.
For more info & to register: 207.865.3900, Ext 163 or