Tuesday News - September 25, 2012

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Upcoming Events


Michaelmas 2012

The days shorten, shadows lengthen, and the
Harvest is gathered. Morning mists are caught in spider webs,
Meteors streak through the night skies.
We wonder at the blaze of leaves set afire by summer’s heat
Preparing our hearts to meet the
Dragon of winter’s cold.

On Friday, September 28th, we will celebrate Michaelmas. This festive time of year marks the end of summer light and warmth, and calls upon all of us to find the strength and courage to bear that light, warmth and truth within ourselves.

     As adults, we can take comfort in the following verse that Rudolf Steiner gave for the Michaelic Age:

We must eradicate from the soul all fear and terror of what comes toward us out of the future.
We must acquire serenity in all feelings and sensations about the future.
We must look forward, with absolute equanimity to everything that may come and we must think
only that whatever comes is given to us by world of direction full of wisdom.

It is part of what we must learn in this age; namely, to live out of pure trust,

without any security in existence.
Trust in the ever present help of the spiritual world.
Truly, nothing else will do, if our courage is not to fail us.
And let us seek the awakening from within ourselves, every morning and every evening.

     To celebrate this event, the whole school will gather for singing at the first bell, (8:10) to sing our traditional Michaelmas songs. The grades 1 – 12 will all have their morning lessons on this campus, and at 10:45 the trumpets will sound for a short pageant on the playing field. This will be followed by work crews of older students and faculty, improving the trails in the woods, weeding and mulching gardens, roasting potatoes and pressing cider. Weather permitting, students will gather to share their lunch time outdoors.

     In the afternoon, Grades 6-12 will hear an inspiring modern day Michaelmas story and the younger grades will gather with Michael Fenderson to hear the legend of St. Michael and the Dragon. Challenge games will end the day of celebration and work, just before dismissal at 3:00.

     Parents are warmly welcome to join us in the center of campus for singing at drop off. If you are interested in helping with trail work or mulching, please sign up with Lisa Mainella in the office, arrive in time for the 10:45 pageant, and bring tools, gloves, waterproof boots etc, as we must always anticipate a “soggy” site! (In case of extreme wet weather, the event will be modified for indoor celebration.)

     Students are encouraged to come to school in bright autumn colors!
* Please make sure that all are warmly dressed with water proof footwear and outerwear.

* Everyone will need snack, extra water, lunch, and work gloves, as well as a backpack to carry everything to their worksites. Christine Sloan


Fall Festival Planning Meeting, Tuesday Oct. 2, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.,

in the Farmhouse

All welcome - (EC parents join us as soon as you are able)
This year, our Fall Festival & Open House is on Saturday, November 3rd.
In a remarkable show of community spirit and generosity, each fall, Merriconeag parents pull off one of southern Maine’s most delightful fall festivals, right here on our campus. We ask every parent to play a role in this wonderful community-building and outreach event, by working a shift on the day of the event, baking for the café or helping buy supplies needed for the lunch stands, and donating materials or items that makes our festival so memorable. We also rely on our tremendously creative and talented parents to help us envision and coordinate this event, and are seeking volunteers who, along with a supportive team,

can be responsible for a specific (and manageable!) piece of the Festival.

    If you are able and interested in helping at a coordinator level, or you just want to find out more about the Fall Festival, please come to our first meeting, Tuesday Oct. 2nd in the farmhouse (8:30-10) or contact one of us on the Fall Festival Steering Committee:

Lynne Espy, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 ext. 116
Christine Sloan, administrator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 ext. 102
Lisa Mainella, officemanager@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 ext. 100

As always, snacks will be provided!


Wednesday is Handcraft Day at Merriconeag!
      Every Wednesday up until the Fall Festival (Nov. 3) our handwork teachers will be offering free handcraft classes in our beautiful new Handcraft Building on the main campus. Everyone is welcome - whether you are a novice or a very experienced hand worker (knitting, sewing, felting, crocheting), a new parent or returning parent, this is a wonderful way to connect with other parents, deepen friendships, learn a new skill and get instructions and patterns for a new project. The items you make in this class will be sold at the Fall Festival, so on top of all these other reasons to come, you will feel good about supporting Merriconeag!
Fall Fair Crafts

Wednesday, September 26, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. or 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.: Let Aly introduce you to adorable tiny petal babies in an assortment of fun colors. All materials provided. Aly Fullagar, morning and Sandy Pearson, afternoon.



Wednesday, October 3, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. or 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.: Treasure bags with counting gems. All instruction and materials provides for sewing up colorful little pouches for your favorite secret treasures.



     No little ones in the morning sessions, please, but children in grades 4 and up are most welcome to attend the afternoon sessions with an adult or on their own. Please sign up with Lisa in the grade school office so we can plan our supplies.
      If you have a suggestion for a project or would like to lead a session please contact Sandy or Julie.
We look forward to working and laughing with you as we prepare for the fair.
Handwork Teachers: Sandy Pearson, spearson@merriconeag.org and Julie Pennington, jpennington@merriconeag.org.


Doll Workshops
We are pleased to announce two doll making workshops for the fall season! Come join us if you would like to make a very special doll for holiday giving or just enjoy the experience of creating these beautiful dolls. Made from sheep's wool and cotton knit fabric these dolls reflect the inner softness and warmth of both their maker and their little owner.

Julie Pennington will host a Heavy (millet) Baby Workshop

beginning on Wed. Nov 7, 8:30 - 10:00am

and continuing for 5 Wednesday mornings.

This doll is the 12", 3 lb baby in a bunting and is suitable for a young kindergarten child. The cost of the workshop is $45.00 with all materials and instruction provided. Limited to 10 participants. Contact Julie with questions or to register at jpennington@merriconeag.org



Sandy Pearson will host a Waldorf Dress up Doll Workshop

beginning Wed. October 3, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

and continuing for 9 Wednesday evenings.

This is a 16" soft doll suitable for older kindergarten and grade school children.

The cost of making this doll is $85.00 with all materials and instruction provided. Limited to 10 participants.Contact Sandy with questions or to register at spearson@merriconeag.org


Note: Some donated materials have made it possible for us to offer a few materials scholarships ($15.00)

to help defray the cost of the workshops. Please let us know if this would be help you attend.


From the Development Office

Grandparents and Special Friends Day:
      Grandparents and Special Friends Day is Friday Oct. 19 (10-12:30). We always get wonderful feedback from grandparents about this day; it gives them a rare glimpse into Waldorf education, as demonstrated through the delightful performances by their grandchildren and special young friends. Some out of town grandparents schedule their visits to their families around this day – and we love seeing them at this event each year.

     All grandparents listed on your families’ school information forms will receive an invitation to the Oct. 19 Grandparents Day. In order for your grandparents to receive invitations, their contact information in RenWeb must be complete. If a grandparent has moved or passed away, or if you prefer we not send them an invitation, we need to know this. Please review your grandparent information in the RenWeb database today.

     Also, if there is someone other than a grandparent who you would like to invite (aunt, uncle, surrogate grandparent, or even a neighbor who is a special friend of your child), please send us their complete name and address so we can mail them an invitation.

     If they do not receive an invitation by the end of next week, or if you have any questions about the address used, please contact Lynne Espy.

     Volunteers are needed for Grandparents Day; this involves helping with refreshment setup and cleanup, organizing nametags, and greeting guests. You would need to available to help from 8:15am – 12:30pm (includes watching the performance). Lynne Espy, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 Ext. 116


Waldorf Alumni Gathering in Boston

WaldorFest Boston! September 19th

     Lynne Espy and Deeda Burgess were pleased to represent Merriconeag at this exciting event in Boston last week. They were delighted to be joined by Lindsey Armstrong (8th Grade Class of 2004), Laura Seretta (8th Grade Class of 2000),  Tyler Callnan (Waldorf friend), and Jason Donahue (Waldorf parent). (Both Lindsey and Laura won raffle prizes as shown in the photos below!) Lynne and Deeda later learned that after they left Lucky's, Ross (8th Grade Class of 1998) and Lucy (8th Grade Class of 2003) Taliaferro stopped by and they were very sorry to have missed them.

     Here's how AWSNA Leader, Patrice Maynard, summed up the event:

     Last Wednesday night at Lucky's Lounge in Boston we packed the house with over 70 attendees at the WaldorFest Alumni event. The food, done by Monadnock Waldorf School graduate, Luke Beardslee, was excellent and went fast, even thought getting to the table of food was tricky given the size of the crowd (large) and the size of the space (cozy). Everyone was having such a good time talking to each other, it was hard to give away the raffle prizes because no one wanted to stop talking to look at their tickets.

     Special thanks go to Marjorie Jean-Paul and to Jeannene La Bella from the Waldorf School of Garden City for inaugurating this event and carrying the work with help from our office to focus the event. But many thanks go to all the schools who helped sponsor and support this event. Even schools whose local alumni could not be with us, were all glad to know the event was happening!

     The social glory of a Waldorf Education was abundant in the room with talking and smiling and visiting at a high level all through the evening. It is simply great fun to meet up with people connected to Waldorf Education! Counting name tags is the best we could do with the press of humanity and the eagerness to get to our party. With a couple of mistakes on writing tags that happened we were down 78 name tags! Cape Ann Waldorf School, The Waldorf School of Lexington, the Waldorf High School of Massachusetts Bay, all from the immediate area were well represented by Alumni, teachers, staff and parents. Also memebrs of the communities of the Waldorf School of Garden City, Green Meadow Waldorf School, High Mowing School, Merriconeag Waldorf School, Waldorf School of Garden City, Hawthorne Valley School, Monadnock Waldorf School, Highland Hall Waldorf School, Kimberton Waldorf School, and Waldorf Institute of Southern Michigan had their loyal party-goers. Some schools had many come while others has an enthusiastic few.

     The next WaldorFest Alumni Event will be in San Francisco on December 21! Spread the word! These events are just plain FUN.


News from the High School

Last week was a wonderful week. The 12th grade spent the entire week at Hermit Island with over 100 other seniors from Waldorf schools as far away as Pennsylvania. The 11th grade spent four days in Québec City studying Acadian history. The 9th and 10th grade spent three days in Baxter State Park climbing Mount Katahdin, Maine's highest mountain. A big "thank you" to David Whittlesey and Jeff Tindall who volunteered as chaperones.

Trip to Quebec City: The 11th Graders are back from their wonderful trip to Old Quebec City where they could practice with great pleasure their French linguistic skills.

     After riding the van for six hours and driving through the Canadian border without any problem, most of us discovered Quebec City for the first time and set off on our big adventure. The Champlain’s Prediction activity helped us to become more familiar with the upper part of Old Quebec. The different museums and especially “Le Musée de l’Amérique Française,” showed us the cultural and political influence of France over Northern America throughout the last centuries. We did appreciate escaping from the city for a few hours and enjoyed hiking around Sainte Anne Canyon and its beautiful landscapes. The lower part of Old Quebec is lovely but might become very scary at night when you run into the guides of the Ghost Tour of Quebec and they start telling you about its authentic darkest stories.
      Fortunately in order to be able to deal with this four-day jaunt, we could rely on the delicious food we had in typical French Canadian restaurants and bakeries but also on Madame’s amazing picnic lunches. And of course, at night we made the most of the Quebec International Hostel to sleep tight and get ready for the delight the day after had in store for us.

     Thanks to this trip, I really enjoyed spending time with the students and getting to know them on a more personal level. I was pleased to walk around the city and laugh with them! I would also like to say a big thank you to Madame Whittlesey and her husband David for leading us in memorable Quebec and for their endless generosity and kindness! Amandine THEVENET, Amity French Intern






Athletic News - Sports Updates

Local Ultimate Frisbee Team (with five Merriconeag students)

was Third at National Tourney
Rising Tide, a local ultimate Frisbee all-star team comprised of male and female athletes from Cape Elizabeth, Casco Bay, Falmouth, Freeport, Greely, Islesboro and Merriconaeg, finished third in the nation in the U-19 mixed (co-ed) division in Minnesota back in August. Four recent Merriconeag graduates, Cyrus Fenderson, Haydee Jacobs, Sierra Jeffers, and Tyler O'Brien, as well as 8th grade graduate, Chloe Rowse, were on the team!

     After losing their opening game to a team from Seattle, Wash., they rallied back with wins over teams from San Francisco, Chicago, and Madison, Wisconsin before losing to Boston in the semifinals. The team was then able to beat San Francisco again for third place in the tournament.
Click here to read more.
Click here to see a short video of the tourney.

High School Cross Country

Sept. 22, Manchester Invitational Recap: We had an early, early start yesterday morning as the two Merriconeag vans made the long trip to New Hampshire for the Manchester Invitational. The weather changed from cold, wet and grey to warm and sunny by the time the first race went off. Despite the challenges of a week of travel (with some strenuous hiking for some of the athletes) and missing a few runners, the teams performed very well at the invite. Thank you to all the parents and relations who attended the meet, with special thanks to our drivers, Susan and Dan. Click here to read the rest on the blog. Coach Morgan Lake Adams   

Upcoming race: This Saturday, September 29, our team will participate in the Belfast Invitational in Belfast, Maine
For meet details, please click here.           

Full results, schedules and more information can be found on our Cross Country Blog..

Middle School Cross Country

     It was a cool but sunny day for the Middle School XC team's second meet on 9/20 and our first with the full team present. Meeting significantly larger teams from Greely and Cape Elizabeth, and a renewed Waynefleet team provided some stiff competition, but our girls and boys met the challenge. The girls worked hard, including Maya Andreson in her first race appearance, to bring in a solid third place finish for the team. Our 6th grade runners are having an immediate impact and looking great! The boys combined to take the top three individual times in the race and their second straight win.

     Yesterday (9/24), we made the long trek to Sacopee Valley in Hiram to take on the host team along with Lake Region, and Poland. We had another crisp day with fairly good conditions after some passing showers. Our girls and boys took first in team scores for their respective races, with the girls securing four of the top ten spots and the boys taking the top seven(!) individual times. We had a bigger cast of characters running in today's race, and celebrated Sarah Kinzer's and Chloe Olson's first race of the season and Tilli Munro's first race for the team.

     Coming up, we have the Greely Relays on Monday 10/1, which is a fun and casual one-mile team relay, followed by our next formal event on our home turf on October 4, when we host Freeport, Durham, Yarmouth, and Greely. The boys race at 4:00 and the girls at 4:30. We will be seeking volunteers to help at the race, so please be on the lookout for those requests. Hope to see you all on the 4th to cheer on the home team! John Olson

Click here for race schedule.



School Community Updates


Friday Pizza Begins Next Week: The 7th grade will again be coordinating pizza this year. The fall session is a total of 9 weeks beginning October 5th and ending December 14th. Sign up for pizza will be for the entire session only.
Pizza choices will be cheese, pepperoni, and mushroom and the cost will be $2.00 per slice. As in prior years, students in grades 4-8 and faculty will have the chance to participate during the fall session.
Students will have the option to omit or skip a pizza day in the case of a known or anticipated absence (i.e., Dr.’s appointment). Please provide the date(s) of known absences. Adjustments or refunds cannot be made for unanticipated or last minute absences.
To order pizza for the fall session, please complete an order form (click here for pizza order form)and return it with cash or check (made payable to MWS) to the basket outside the 7th grade classroom no later than Tuesday, October 2nd. Thank you from the 7th grade!


Part-time, Afternoon Assistant Position Available: Merriconeag Waldorf School is offering a part-time position for an assistant in the Nursery/Kindergarten afternoon program, Monday through Thursday, from 11:00 to 3:30. Prior background in working with young children and special interest in Waldorf education is necessary. Certification in a Waldorf Early Childhood program is not required, but would be a benefit. This position is currently available now through December 20, but has the possibility of continuing through the school year till June 5.
To Apply: Please send a letter of introduction, your resume, a brief biography, and two letters of recommendation to the attention of the Administrator, Christine Sloan at administrator@merriconeag.org.


Willow Pond Farm Apples are Back: Starting this Friday, September 28, apples will be delivered to Merriconeag's Early Childhood Center on Fridays before 11:30am. Orders must be placed with Willow Pond Farm (willowpf@aol.com) by Thursday at noon. Please leave payment in envelope in Early Childhood Office PRIOR to delivery.
McIntosh and Cortland Fancy: peck $11, half bushel $18
McIntosh Utility: half bushel $10.50, bushel $18
Cider- no preservatives, not pasteurized - Gallon $5.95, half gallon $3.75
Northern Spy apples available in October.
Jill Agnew, Willow Pond Farm, 395 Middle Road, Sabattus, Maine 04280, 207-375-6662


Parking Reminders: The speed limit in all parking lots is 5 miles per hour. If you will be getting out of your car, please pull into a parking space. Standing cars are not allowed as they impede the flow of traffic. A parked car needs to be in a parking space.
At the grade school campus, u-turns are not allowed. Only parents of first and second graders may park alongside the driveway by the lower school building. Please ensure your car is parked facing the correct direction.
The sidewalk below the Community Hall has been extended for drop off and pick up ease. There is no parking allowed along the sidewalk between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning, or between 2:30 and 3:30 in the afternoon. Please remain in your car when you are in line for drop off and pick up.
Parking and use of the barn lot is reserved for faculty and staff use only. When visiting the farmhouse, please park in the first lot on the ECC/Admissions driveway (60 Desert Road).
Parking lots are inherently hazardous places, and with the activity and congestion that accompany the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times we must all use utmost care, courtesy and attention while in these areas.


EC Parent Chat Room: Last January, a large group of our early childhood parents met for coffee with members of the Administrative team, to share their experiences of being new families in the school, their questions regarding the school’s culture and their wish to build a parent community. In response to your request for a regular, weekly meeting spot, we are creating a real “chat room.”

     Starting September 26, every Wednesday morning from 8:45 to 9:30, the Bluebell Room in the Early Childhood Center will become the “EC Parent Chat Room.” Michael Fenderson, the French Teacher for EC through Grade 8, and long-time Merriconeag parent, will be your host, welcoming you to stop to talk, share questions, get to know each other, and sip a warm cup of coffee or tea.

     Please join the conversation, learn more about your fellow parents and the school. We will be happy to bring in others to address topics of interest to your group, or just provide this weekly space for a friendly chat with friends.

     Hope to see you at this first gathering, Sept. 26!  Christine Sloan, Administrator


New this year at the Fall Festival: Merriconeag Marketplace - supporting our local artisans
     We are introducing a new concept at the Nov. 3rd Fall Festival and we invite you to consider participating. Merriconeag Marketplace will showcase the handwork of up to 12 members of our community (current and past parents, alumni students, grandparents, faculty) who have established themselves as artisans. The space, located in the center of the Community Hall, is limited, and the staffing of this cooperative display will be shared by the group. There are no table fees but 20% of each artisan's proceeds will go to the school (with a cap of $150). We hope to showcase a variety of media (knitted, felted or sewn items, clay, metals, wood, paper) and will jury the entrees if the interest exceeds our capacity. All entrees must be original handmade creations. We will work with you on displays, with the goal of having the entire display be visually cohesive and beautiful.

     If you are interested in participating in this inaugural Merriconeag Marketplace, we request that you send, by Sept. 26th, 3 photos that represent your work, with the approximate size, cost and medium, to: developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org. You will be notified by Oct. 1st. We have some good ideas about tracking sales, and can share this with you. Questions should be sent to this email address.

     If you are a budding artist, or only have a few items completed, consider donating them to the community-made craft table. Proceeds benefit the school - and all of our students.
     Let's demonstrate how handwork knits our community together! Submitted by Parent Volunteers


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

Bootstrapping A Child's Education - California's DIY School

Waldorf Education featured in Forbes!

Forbes / Logistics & Transportation / 9/19/2012



Back to School
As kids and teachers head back to school, we wanted to turn away from questions about politics and unions and money and all the regular school stuff people argue about, and turn to something more optimistic — an emerging theory about what to teach kids, from Paul Tough's new book How Children Succeed.
This American Life from WBEZ, Sept. 14, 2012



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