Tuesday News - October 25, 2011

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Merriconeag Girls Win Western Maine Regional Class C Title!

And they did it in 41 points! Please see race recap below.


Fall Festival & Open House 2011


November 5, 2011, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

     Our Fall Festival and Open House is just around the corner, on Saturday, November 5. We are anticipating an increase in “first time” visitors to our campus because of all of the “Waldorf News” generated by the recent New York Times front page article in the October 23, Sunday paper. Link to article.

    The focus of this year’s Festival will be the work of the hands, with a number of craft demonstrations, craft activities for children and adults, and beautiful hand made articles from our parents, students, teachers and alums. This celebration highlights many of the aspects of Waldorf education at Merriconeag that are being recognized for their importance by educators and researchers around the country. Our outreach for this event will welcome new families to our school through a “hands on” experience.

    Though the volunteer staffing is different this year from years past, it is still a crucial element for the success of our Festival. From the ticket booth to the Café and “Steiner’s Diner” we will have countless opportunities to share our enthusiasm about Merriconeag!

    Please check the sign up list and add your name! Link to staffing sign ups. We need help in every area of the Festival, from games to ticket sales, from café to the “Tried and True Boutique.” Also, baking for the café or donating handmade jams, jellies, pickles etc., outerwear, books etc. will all help build a successful and festive experience for our families and visitors.

     Sign up today! If on line sign up is a problem…call Lisa Mainella at the Grade School office….she will be delighted to sign you up! The Fall Festival Committee

Fall Festival Updates:

Toys and Crafts needed for the Fall Festival:  We are still in need of any gently used toys and crafts for the Fall Festival. Please look through your playrooms, attics and closets for any treasures that are no longer being used. We would love to have items such as knitted and felted animals, board games and puzzles, doll clothes & cradles, toy trains and cars, small musical instruments, decorative crafts like mobiles, pottery, photographs, and hand-woven or embroidered linens. Now is your chance to lighten up! My parents saved many of our books, toys and handmade clothing for “the grandchildren” but to be honest, my kids hardly used any of these things and it’s taken me years to pass them along. Less is more! Caroline Norden, cnorden@maine.rr.com or call 847-3347.


Pocket Person: The Pocket Person returns to the Fall Festival on Saturday, November 5th! Please help to ensure a variety of treasures are found in his/her pockets. The Pocket Person is such a special part of the fair and we so appreciate your help in looking around your house for any items that would be perfect for this! Any small treasures and interesting items you may be able to donate may be left in any school office (please label your donation Pocket Person). Desirable examples include: foreign coins, candles, buttons, crystals/stones, keys, locks, feathers, old jewelry, marbles and molding wax. Thank you everyone for helping! Katie West


Fall Festival Parent-Made Craft Blitzes
Monday 10/31 and Tuesday 11/1, Community Hall, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
      We will be making MOSS GARDENS complete with mushrooms, furniture and trees - perfect for little fairies and gnomes. Basic skills - glue, a needle and thread and some imagination are what we will put to use.

     High School students will be available to watch children of crafters from 9-2pm. Outdoor play will be encouraged, so if you are able to spend some time helping at the blitz, and will require child care, please make sure your child is dressed appropriately. This is a fundraiser for the high school, so students will donate their time in exchange for donations to a common fund. This is a great opportunity to help make some crafts, let your children play with their friends (supervised by some of the older children) and attend your Parent Teacher conference. Hope you can make it! Susan Caron

Crafty Afternoons with Sandy Pearson (and others): Come join me on Wednesday’s after school from 3:15-5 for some fun and creative time together. Come once or come every week. No experience needed, just enthusiasm for using your hands. Anyone 4th grade and older are welcome- students, parents and friends. Please, sign up with Lisa in the grade school office so I can be sure to have enough supplies for each project. See you there! Sandy Pearson
All classes through Nov 2 are free as we will be making some special crafts for our Fall Festival.

Wed, October 26- “Treasure Boxes” Transform cardboard and fabric into a special place for your favorite summer shells, or the change that comes out of the washing machine.

Wed, Nov. 2- “Craft Kits” Help assemble some kits and take time to complete any unfinished Fair Projects.

Knitted Mittens - Nov 9, 16, 30 and Dec 14 In 4 afternoons, design and make a pair of knitted mittens for yourself or as a holiday gift. Yarn and needles included. Limited to 10 participants. $20.00



From the Development Office



Grandparents & Friends Day was Fabulous!

     We hosted 112 grandparents and friends for Grandparents and Friends Day last Friday with a reception and slideshow, a wonderful talk by our high school humanities teacher David Barham, delightful class presentations by grades 2-12, much-loved visits to the classrooms, and tours of the new Handcraft Building. It was wonderful to be able to express our gratitude for all that this generation does for our school, and their feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I heard from many grandparents that David Barhams’ talk explaining how we teach through the hands-heart-head approach was an articulate and convincing case for Waldorf education. The class presentations were impressive and entertaining, including a juggling lesson by the 4th grade and a moving medley from “Les Miserables” by the entire high school. Everyone who came felt welcomed and appreciated, and the campus and classrooms looked beautiful. Most important, we heard from our parents that this event deepened the grandparent’s understanding and appreciation of Waldorf education.

     An event like this does not happen seamlessly without a lot of background work, and I want to express special thanks to the dozen volunteers who helped pull together the many pieces Friday morning, to David Barham for his inspiring talk (which will be posted on the website), to the class teachers and special subject teachers who took a lead role in the terrific class presentations, and to the students for offering their very best work to these wonderful grandparents and friends.

     Tricia Toms, a Merriconeag parent and professional photographer who offers her photographic services to Merriconeag at no cost, took photos during the event. Tricia has offered to set up an online site, accessible through our Tuesday News, where you can purchase, at very reasonable rates, photographs of school events. She has generously offered to donate half of the proceeds to the school for tuition support, which will be a great fundraiser for the school. Check the website soon for this link!

Lynne W. Espy, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 Ext. 116


David Barham's Grandparents and Friends Day Address
How Meeting the Whole Child Allows the Child to Meet, Love and Transform the Whole World

     Visitors come to our school- parents, grandparents- and they fall in love with the beauty here. Beautiful, happy children with caring teachers in thoughtfully designed buildings doing meaningful, purposeful work and creating beautiful objects, singing beautiful songs, finding the beauty in number and measure and the progression of history, works of great literature- and amidst all this joy and beauty, we often get asked the question, but will the children be prepared to meet the real world?






High School News

Community Service

Merriconeag Mingles with Elders
      Last Monday, one of the three high school community service groups went to visit with the senior residents at the Falmouth by the Sea Nursing Home. This was a rare opportunity for all of us, because it is not often that we younger people have the chance to converse with the elderly and hear about their life experiences. When we first walked in through the doors, the nursing home appeared to be something like a hospital, a sterilized, foreign environment. When we met some of the people who lived there, many of us became unsure of how to behave around older folks. Were you supposed to talk loudly so that they were sure to hear you? Or were you supposed to talk quietly, so as to not wake up the people who were sleeping? Once we began to talk with them, though, we learned that they were all very friendly, knowledgeable people, who were glad to have someone to talk to. It was nice to hear the stories about their lives and their families.

    Many students played music while we were there, which many of the patients enjoyed immensely, but this led to an unusual moment at my table. A lady from West Virginia was sitting next to me, and we were in the middle of a conversation, when she said something that I wasn't expecting, What was that?" I asked.

    "I said, why don't they stop playing that awful music?" she said in a southern accent.

     This was hard for me to believe; what she had called "awful music" was actually Skyler and Ben playing a highly complicated classical piece on the cello and violin. This left me confused until Jack began playing the banjo. "Now that's what I call music!" she exclaimed, and I realized that she simply was not a fan of classical music.

     Overall, it was a great experience for all of us, and helped us to see a part of life that is not necessarily a part of our daily existence. We met some really wonderful people and enjoyed volunteering at the center.

Zachary Neveu, Grade 9

Lunch for 200?

Last Monday a group of high schoolers headed down to the Preble Street Soup Kitchen. Without hesitation we were let in and set to a task. Some of us sorted fresh basil, cut mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and prepared soups. Little time was left before we had to serve. Mr. Sloan's camera flashes and the steamy heat of the sink gave everything a more exciting and real feeling. We served over 200 people. We took turns dishing out salad, soup, burritos, casserole, bread, and desserts. After everyone (including us) was fed, we wiped down all of the tables, and swept the floor; and then we were ready to head back to school. It was a great feeling to leave the Kitchen knowing that, in a small way, we had helped out Portland's neediest population. Emma Dolan, Grade 10

Lifting More Than Their Weight

The high school students at the Good Shepherd Food Bank definitely lifted more than their weight on Monday, October 17. A group of students, collectively weighing only around 3000 pounds, hauled, sorted, and packaged over 7000 pounds of ice cream and other frozen goods with ferocious speed and efficiency, in one case unloading a shipment weighing approximately a ton in fifteen minutes. Another group was tasked with unloading meats to sort, which would then return to the freezer. The shipments kept coming for both of these groups - as soon as the contents of a pallet were sorted and loaded into boxes, another huge pallet would arrive from the cavernous storage areas, and the work would begin again. The students' hands got quite cold and sticky, as leaking and broken containers made for quite a mess at times. Another group had the responsibility of cleaning and weeding the perimeter of the facility, keeping it in top shape for inspections. At the end of their time volunteering there, the food bank was very grateful for the service, and the students were astounded that they could have such an effect. Andrew Hastings, Grade 10

Maine Civil Liberties Union Conference, Thursday, September 20, 2011

     Each year in the high school, our ninth graders study US Government and take a deep look at the Constitution. In fact, they read and summarize every word of the text, giving them a deep and solid understanding of the foundational principles of our country. In tenth grade, we continue the study with the Bill of Rights and other key amendments.

     Last week, I was able to bring the sophomore class to University of Southern Maine in Portland to attend the Maine Civil Liberties Union's conference on the Bill of Rights. It was exciting to bring our eleven tenth graders- including two European exchange students as well as Lucie James, our French intern- to participate alongside 200 other area high school students from twelve schools. It is always great to get the students out into the larger world. Being among the lawyers, law school professors and civil libertarians was a rich experience for the students. It was clear our students were well prepared and ready and able to throw themselves into the constitutional debates that took place in workshops on the first, fourth and fourteenth amendments. These are tough and complex issues and the students were able to wrestle with the nuances well. Does the first amendment protect a student at a school-sponsored event in unfurling a banner reading, "Bong Hits for Jesus"? Does a principal looking into a student's purse for cigarettes and finding marijuana violate the fourth amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures? What guidance does the fourteenth amendment and all of the Supreme Court precedent setting cases give us today about using race and Affirmative Action for school admissions?

   I am so pleased with the way our students handled themselves in the various workshops and look forward to next year's conference. I have already been in touch with the coordinator of the conference with ideas and suggestions for next year and how the gathering could better support the work we are doing here at Merriconeag. The Bill of Rights is a powerful aspect of the American experience and a profound penetration of its history, meaning, application and controversies is essential for our students as they step up to take their proper place in American society.  David Barham

A Student's Response to the MCLU Bill of Rights Conference

     On Thursday, October 20th the tenth grade went to a convention on the Bill of Rights and other amendments, most important of which was the 14th Amendment. The 14th amendment protects our rights as stated in the Bill of Rights from being violated by state or local governments.
      We left the Desert Road campus around 8:15 to go to the Hannaford Lecture Hall in Portland and arrived around 8:30. We checked in and headed into the lecture hall along with several other high schools. In the lecture hall we were told how the day was planned out and then we were sent to our different workshops. There were many workshops including Bill of Rights 101, The 4th Amendment, Know Your Rights, Attorney Debate, and The 14thAmendment. I started out by going to Know Your Rights. It covered what to do if you have any interaction with a police officer involving legal matters. Since they were answering the majority of the questions I could tell that the Merriconeag students knew much more than the other students in attendance. I am certain this was due to listening intently in class of course and not from personal experience.

     After that I attended a workshop called Bill of Rights 101. The other Merriconeag students and I didn’t know this, but we could have skipped this one. It turns out, we had covered all of this material already in our Bill of Rights humanities course. When the second session ended we ate lunch (included for free with the conference- you see, there really is such a thing as a free lunch!) and then headed to our last workshop.

     The last workshop I had was Attorney Debate. In this workshop a court case was introduced to us and two lawyers defended each side. Then all of the students had to be a mock jury and come to a verdict. The room was packed and it was definitely one of the most interesting and energetic workshops of the day. After the final workshop we filled out some questionnaires and headed back to the Desert Road campus arriving back around 2:00. All in all, a positive event and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Sam Leavitt, Grade 10

Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Cross Country

Western Maine Regional Meet Recap

     The Western Maine Regional meet at Twin Brook in Cumberland on Saturday featured true cross-country conditions yesterday. The course, after several days of rain and other races, was well-churned and slick in sections. The weather was cool but comfortable and both the girls' and boys' teams responded well to the course.

     On the girls' side, the team worked together, packing five runners into the top fifteen (!) Zoe Chace-Donahue rebounded nicely from last week, starting out at a steady pace and working her way up to a 7th place finish. She was quickly followed by Sam Pierce (9th), Teagan Wu (10th) and Jesse Saffier (12th). Carlin Tindall closed a large gap in the last mile, picking off close to ten runners to finish 15th. This group effort ensured a very low score for the team. Emelie Chace-Donahue finished 33rd, displacing runners from all the other competing teams. Emma Dolan rounded out the seven Merriconeag runners with a steady run and a 55th place finish. Merriconeag girls dominated the meet, securing first place and the Western Maine Regional Class C title in 41 points (runner-up Waynflete finished with 90).

     On the boys' side, Jack Pierce took off at a punishing speed, spending most of the race in fourth until, after biding his time, he passed a Telstar runner to finish the race decisively in 3rd place. Zach Neveu and Tyler O'Brien worked together the entire race, maintaining a great pace and finishing 25th and 26th. Ben Tindall also worked hard, passing a number of runners in the last mile to secure 43rd. Regrouping from last week, Lars Gundersen stepped up to be the boys' fifth runner at 67th. John Burgess (75th) and Lincoln Samuelson (84th) rounded out the boys' finishers on the very muddy course. Merriconeag finished sixth overall, qualifying the boys for the State meet with 161 points.

     Congrats to both the girls' and boys' teams, who will be racing again at Twin Brook at the State meet next Saturday. Hope to see you there! Coach Morgan Lake Adams

The next high school race is on Saturday, October 29,  Maine State Championships at Twinbrook in Cumberland. 

You can keep up with cross country news, meet schedules and directions on the team blog: http://www.mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/


Middle School Cross Country

   The middle school running season came to a close last week with the CCC finals at Twinbrook. The race almost fell victim to the weather again as it had several times during the short season. The moment the runners lined up for the two-mile race, the sun came out and bathed the trees in a beautiful golden afternoon hue. The children still had to struggle their way through thick mud that made them look more like Rugby players than runners. I cannot stress the point enough that all the children did great and gave their best!

     Merriconeag runners have established themselves successfully among the big teams of the league. Coaches and teachers, parents and students from other schools have made it clear that Merriconeag created a beautiful race at our own campus. Our runners were among the fasted in the league, and they brought enthusiasm and exemplary sportsmanship to all the races.

    All of this could not have been possible without the outstanding support from parents and assisting coaches. My thanks and gratitude to Erin and John Olson, Greta Parsons, Shannon Combar, and John Saccone. Coach Oliver Kinzer



School Community Updates


Reminder: October 31 and November 1 - School is closed for Parent/Teacher Conferences

Wreaths and Candles from the 8th Grade ~ Mrs. Rackmales's 8th Grade is selling beautiful balsam wreaths and 100% beeswax taper candles. Candles will be available for pick up at the Fall Festival and thereafter in the grade school office. Wreaths will be available for delivery early in December. There are many ways to order:
- Complete an order form at the Fall Fair on November 5th.
- Complete an order form found in any of the three school offices.
- Complete the order form below and drop off at any of the three school offices.

Link to Wreath and Candle order form.
Be sure to include payment with your order. Orders will be taken until Friday, November 18th.
~All proceeds benefit the Eighth Grade class trip – we so appreciate your support~

Cross Country Ski Rentals: Yes, winter is coming. Grades 2 through 8 will be cross-country skiing as part of their movement classes from January until February break. Once again, the Maine Winter Sports Center out of Pineland Farms will be offering ski rental equipment. Packages cost $55 and include skis, poles and boots for the season. These are combi skis, both for skating and classic skiing and they need to be waxed.
On Wednesday, October 26 from 3 to 4PM, in the Community Hall, there will be a sizing and rental sign-up time. If you want to rent this equipment, you MUST come during that time. This year, High School students CANNOT rent this equipment. The rentals are only for elementary age students. Any questions, please email John Saccone at: jsaccone@maine.rr.com

You are welcome to list Cross-country Skiing equipment (selling or buying) in the notebook kept at the grade-school office. Tonight, at the Nordic Ski Team meeting, I will say a bit more about this. Tom Henze 725-6300

Wednesday, November 9, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. High School Information Night

- held in the Community Hall at our Freeport Campus
An overview for prospective parents and students. What makes the Waldorf high school experience so rich and rewarding? Our faculty and students will share insights and practical information. Learn why families are moving to Maine to attend Merriconeag!

Lyn Baird, admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org or 207-865-3900, ext. 103

New Community Member: Ron and Jennifer Jenkins are delighted to announce the arrival of their daughter, Evangeline Grace Jenkins. Evangeline was born at 2:59 AM on Wednesday, October 5th. She weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.



Read (Listen to or Watch) This

The following article was published on the front page of last Sunday's New York Times. It was their most emailed article that day!

Grading the Digital School: A Silicon Valley School That Doesn't Compute

The Waldorf School's computer-free environment has become a draw for parents at high-tech companies like Google.

By Matt Richtel,The New York Times, October 23, 2011


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