Tuesday News - November 8, 2011

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High School Information Night

This Wednesday, November 9, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

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! For more information and to register contact Lyn Baird, 207-865-3900, ext. 103 or admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org.



Fall Festival & Open House 2011


  The Fall Festival - A Day Full of Fun and Celebration!

      November 5th sparkled for our Fall Festival! We all know that the weather plays a huge role in the success of an event on our campus, and this year, the sky was especially radiant! But it wasn't just the sun shining that made this event so much fun.

     Putting the spotlight on "the work of the hands" touched every aspect of our celebration. The "Community Made Crafts" had contributions from teachers, parents, grade school and high school students, and Waldorf alums. The social gatherings to make crafts happened at school, in homes and at a local supportive business - a true community enterprise!

     Though the outside vendors were missed by some of our visitors, there was much more talk about what was still part of the Festival. More games than ever before - old favorites like fishing at the castle and "dragon toss" and new additions like Frisbee golf and broom ball! The "Tried and True Boutique" and expanded Outerwear sale were wonderful additions to this event. They were busy little market places that were enjoyed by our Merriconeag community and visitors alike.

     In addition to the beautiful puppet show presented by the Early Childhood teachers, the Seventh Grade Marionette show demonstrated a delightful progression of the work of craft and performance throughout the school. First in the hands of the teachers, and years later in the hands of the students! And everywhere there was music! Strolling musicians, duets, solos, quartets and choral arrangements continued to "pop up" in every building throughout the event. The best outreach is done by our students as they share the gifts of their education in song, verse, handwork and conversation.

     Squirrel's Attic and the much loved children's crafts had packed rooms, and in addition, the faculty, parents and alums led wonderful demonstrations - the foot powered lathe, blacksmithing, weaving, spinning, natural plant dying, print making and felting.

     Then there was the food! German Sausages, French Crepes, American Chili and the yummy desserts in the Cafe! All presented in a way that was charming, gracious and delicious!

     The open house space in the second grade was another feast, this time, for the eye! Our students work from first grade to twelfth was artfully displayed to lead a visitor around the circle of experience with Waldorf curriculum, and then meet a teacher ready to share more about what happens in our classrooms, ask questions and possibly take a tour to the Early Childhood Center.

     Everywhere you looked, the community of parents, teachers and students went hand in hand to shape an event that celebrated our commitment to handcrafts and the work of our Waldorf School. Thank you all for joining in the celebration. Christine Sloan

Fall Festival and Open House 2011

     In our third year of combining the Fall Festival with an Open House, it is clear that this event is a tremendous outreach event, as well as a celebration of our wonderful community and school. Each year we try to listen to your feedback and make appropriate changes, while giving the team leaders creative license to keep it fresh. This year, with the portable gone and one building under construction, we really had to rethink the event's goals and vision. Parents and faculty alike wanted to shift the focus from buying crafts, to making crafts. The changes were significant, and we had to accept the possible risks of making less money, alienating those who missed the fair of the past, and the organizational chaos that can come from change. While there is always room for improvement, and we do encourage you to send us feedback, we are so proud of the way in which our parents, faculty and students ALL helped make this newly envisioned Fall Festival so surprisingly fresh, fun, and still reasonably lucrative. As always, there are so many of you who contributed to the success of this event. We thank our talented activity coordinators for their courage to take a leadership role and their devotion and willingness to lead all of us as we created our new Fall Festival:

Signs, Posters, Postcards   - Lisa Bossi
Community Made Crafts  - Susan Caron and Sandy Pearson
Indoor Children's Crafts - Victoria Stefanakos and Melisa Walker
Waldorf School Supplies  - Mandy Andreson and Mary Martin
Cafe   - Carina Wishman Freedner, Melissa Hoy, and Carol Wishman
Outdoor Games - Adrian Bossi, Will Johnston, David Beringer, Michael Fenderson,

                                 Robert Pennington and John Saccone
Pocket People   - Katie West
Squirrel's Attic  - Aly Fullagar and Vanessa Farr
German Currywurst - Oliver Kinzer and Ingrid Merrill
French Crepes  - Regine Whittlesey and Lucie James
Rudolf's Diner (Chili) - Hans Gundersen
Outerwear - Greta Parsons, Rosita Moore, and Joanna Lavan
Gently Used Books - Heather Aguiar
Used Crafts and Toys - Caroline Norden and Lois Beardsley
Blacksmithing - Jeremy Colson, Scott Libby, Will Hight, and Curtis Bohlen
Foot-powered Lathes - Bob Thurrell, Mark Saxl, and Kris Carr
Weaving - Julie Pennington and Deirde Barton
Wool Dying and Knitting - Sandy Pearson and Clare Murphy
Printmaking - Rose Mary Burwell and Laura Ghedina
Felting - Lisa Edge and Anna Deutsch
Spinning - Briana Robillard, Aldona Shumway, and Adams Carney
Puppet Shows - ECC Faculty and Assistants
Marionette Shows - 7th grade class and Lynn Thurrell
Musicians - Nancy Roderick, Jordan Seavey, Richard Francis and many students
School Information - Phyllis Hill and Lyn Baird
Alumni Outreach - Deeda Burgess and Gina Sawin
Compost - Lucy Ahearne

     Our gratitude extends to all of you - parents, students, and faculty - who, in the midst of your extremely busy lives, contributed hours, food, goods, physical strength, busy hands, and goodwill to the success of this year's Fall Festival and Open House.
      Just when we start feeling like our lives are too hectic, and we don't have time for one more event, we are reminded of all that we have here. A visitor, who came to our campus for the first time, to see her niece in the Marionette show, said afterwards, "I feel so well cared for here. We had the BEST day!" On Saturday, our community worked together and the children and many visitors benefited from our efforts.
With gratitude, Lynne Espy, Lisa Mainella and Christine Sloan
Feedback: What did you think of the new Festival? Send us feedback or come share your thoughts at our last meeting, Tuesday November 15th at drop-off, in the Farmhouse.
Lost and Found: if you brought food for the cafe or lunch, and left the container or utensils, please retrieve it in the Community Hall.


Crafty Afternoons with Sandy Pearson

Knitted Mittens

November 9, 16, 30 and December 14
In four 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. 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





Parent Enrichment Coffee

Our first Parent Enrichment Coffee of the school year will take place on Thursday, November 17, 9:00 a.m. in the Farmhouse Conference Room.

The topic for this event will be Tutoring or Therapy? Student Support in a healing environment: How we work therapeutically with students to ensure lifelong success - with Barbara Richardson, David Beringer, and other educational therapists.



High School News

Dr. Sagaree Sengupta is the First High School Forum Speaker

of the New School Year: On Thursday, October 27th, Merriconeag Waldorf High School welcomed its first Forum speaker of the year, Dr. Sagaree Sengupta. Sagaree spoke in front of a full house at the high school, as the 8th grade class gave us the pleasure of their company and joined us for Forum and lunch.
      Sagaree Sengupta was born in India and raised in a Bengali family. She came to the U.S. as a child and currently lives in Central Maine. She has written poetry and after many years of teaching, is presently a writer. Sagaree is also a translator, specialist in Hindi, Urdu and Bengali poetry of medieval and colonial India and a textile artist who likes to use recycled fabrics.
      On Thursday morning, Sagaree introduced our students to the culture of the Baul Singers of West Bengal. For centuries, the Baul musicians have been minstrels going from village to village, singing their traditional songs inspired by their spiritual tradition mixing Hinduism, Sufism and yoga. Their music is their religion through which they hope to experience the ultimate truth. Their main instrument is a stringed drone Ektara, so named because it has only 1 string. The other instruments are simple and can be carried around.
      Baul music influenced Rabindranath Tagore, the most famous Bengali poet who received a Nobel prize in 1923.
We listened to a few pieces of Baul music, which at first sounded strange to our Western ears, including a poem by Rabindranath Tagore performed according to Baul music tradition.
      Sagaree Sengupta opened a new window for the students on the variety of music in the world, especially devotional music. I believe all students appreciated this unusual discovery. Madame Whittlesey


Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Ultimate

Merriconeag Scores Second Place in Maine's First Ever Ultimate Championship
      Merriconeag's Ultimate Frisbee team awoke early last Sunday to venture up the coast to sunny Northport for Maine's first ever Co-Ed High School Ultimate Frisbee Chanpionship. Six teams in all (Merriconeg, Freeport, Brunswick, Camden Hills, Cape Elixabeth, and South Portland) competed and at day's end Merriconeag came away with a strong second place finish, edged out in the final game by a great team from Cape Elizabeth.

     Superb weather and a most spectacular seaside setting added to this friendliest of competitions as the six teams cheered each other's efforts throughout the day. The level of play was impressive as most of the players involved have now played continuously throughout three seasons (regular Spring play, Summer League, and a new Ultimate season this fall with the advent of the Rising Tide regional team, where all of Merriconeag's players have played side by side with players from the several schools).

     As parents and spectators looking on the fast-paced and outstanding, hard-fought games, it was hard not to marvel at the level of comraderie and 'spirit of the game' conduct that flowed through the day's excitement. Highly skilled play, involving both boys and girls, and all officiated by the players themselves - it was a true pleasure to behold our team in its fourth year.

     Congratulations to the players who, with just one extra player, played four games and brought home a beautiful 2nd place frisbee made of wood!

     Sincere thanks from appreciative players and parents to Mark Leavitt for accompanying the team this Sunday, to the volunteer organizers of the event, and especially to Merriconeag's Coach Rich Young for his continued leadership and love of the sport. Submitted by Michael Fenderson



School Community Updates


Fiddle By Ear - Free Weekly Fiddle Workshop at Merriconeag Coming Soon:
My name is Jack Pierce, I'm a junior in the Merriconeag High School and I love to play fiddle tunes.
All sixth, seventh, and eighth grader fiddlers are invited to join me on Tuesday afternoons, in the seventh grade classroom, from 3:15 to 4:15 beginning on November 15th up to Winter Break. I will be teaching Irish, Celtic, and Bluegrass fiddle tunes without music or "by ear." Each week we will learn a new tune and practice some tried and true favorites. Any questions, contact me at jackhpierce@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!


School Photos: Proofs of individual photos for grades 1 - 12 and class photos for EC students were sent home last week. Orders are due this week to any school office. If you would like an individual re-take of your child's photo, please let Lisa Mainella (865-3900 Ext.100) know. Re-takes will be done in the morning on Monday, November 14th.



Exchange Meeting, Tuesday, November 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Grade 8 Classroom: This is for anyone (students and parents) who wants to know more about the international exchange program at the high school.


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 in the grade school office. Wreaths will be available for delivery early in December. To order:
- 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 appreciate your support!


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

Screen Time Higher Than Ever for Children
By Tamar Lewin, The New York Times, Published: October 25, 2011

Experts warn of harm to kids from secondhand TV viewing

You've heard of the hazards of secondhand smoke. Now here's another worry: secondhand TV.

By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY Updated 10/23/2011 10:36 PM




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