US Blazer Buzz 3 June
This week's highlight: Junior and Senior Trips
The 11th grade class had an amazing time visiting and touring St. Augustine. It has been 500 years since Ponce de Leon first set foot in La Florida, which is known for being the oldest continually occupied European settlement in the continental United States. Upon arriving in St. Augustine, we took part in the History, Mystery, Mayhem & Murder tour to get acquainted with the city as well as gain a grasp of some of the history with introductions to Henry Flagler and the Castillo San Marcos. The second day of the trip was dedicated to the history of St. Augustine. We toured the oldest jail and colonial quarters before taking a citywide tour led by a Spanish professor from Flagler College. She took us to some of the lesser known gems of the town, including a live archeological dig and a rare Picasso exhibit. We concluded our second day by touring the interactive Pirate & Treasure Museum.
Day three was highlighted by a visit to Fort Matanzas and the famous Castillo San Marcos. We also visited the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, where the students saw animals from all over the world, including a 17-foot salt water crocodile named Maximo. We were lucky enough to be there during feeding time — not so lucky for the chickens. We finished the day with dinner at a Columbia restaurant, a fusion of Cuban and Spanish style dishes. The restaurant has been around for more than 100 years as it was established in 1905. On our final day, we relaxed on the beach for a few hours and played touch football and wiffle ball. A Spanish galleon had sailed into port earlier in the week and was finally ready for visitors, so we took the rare opportunity to board a ship that would have been a frequent visitor to the St. Augustine port several hundred years ago. The juniors bonded over a competitive game of putt putt before packing up to return to North Carolina.
The seniors enjoyed their final Woodlawn overnight in the sleepy hamlet of Edisto Island, South Carolina. The small group filled the days with preparing and eating meals, puzzling over impossible puzzles, working on a creative film project and making the most of a surf-happy beach! The gang also ventured into Charleston for a day and left with fancy hats and shoes - and bellies full of Hyman's famous seafood. All in all, the leisurely week was a magical end to senior year; they're already planning an Edisto reunion in May of 2014.
Contributed by Jordon Burton and Beth Helfrich
US Blazer Buzz 27 May
This week's highlight: 9th and 10th Grade Overnights
The ninth graders got their fill of sand and sun (and rain and bugs) during their three days studying coastal biology with Sound to Sea on the NC coast. The group studied the ecology of the beach, maritime forest, pond, sound and salt marsh. The students waded in Bogue sound and identified fish caught in hand nets while also crawling through a model of a turtle exclusion device for fishing nets. During the trip, the ninth graders had the chance to dissect three marine species of fish, test water quality parameters in both the sound and a nearby pond and search for the FBI (fungi, bacteria, and invertebrates) in a maritime forest. The group did some team building as they navigated a low ropes course and enjoyed the sunshine while swimming in the Atlantic.
The tenth grade class had a rewarding three-day trip to Atlanta. The voyage began at Turner Field where the Atlanta Braves offered up a grand slam in honor of Woodlawn's visit! College visits to Emory, Georgia Tech and Furman were mingled with museums, shopping, restaurants, dairy plant tours, live theatre and other local attractions such as CNN and Coke.
US Blazer Buzz 20 May
This week's highlight: Blazer Ball 2013
The evening of Friday, May 10 found the upper school student body dressed to the nines for the fifth annual Blazer Ball: A Night on Mt. Olympus. The gods and goddesses in grades 9-12 put on their most dashing attire and spent the evening dancing, chatting, taking pictures, sipping Shirley Temples and updating statuses on various social media sites via omnipresent iPhones. Highlights included the costume photobooth, majestic views from the sweeping back deck and a three layer chocolate fountain with strawberries, pound cake and Rice Krispie treats for dipping. In keeping with the Woodlawn tradition, every student in the upper school community came to prom. Many of them hit the dance floor for the duration, but guests also mingled in the lounge and even took turns on the resident baby grand piano. Many thanks to the parent and faculty volunteers who decorated and chaperoned the event!
Contributed by Beth Helfrich
US Blazer Buzz 13 May
This week's highlight: AP Spanish Language
Advanced Placement (AP) tests signal that the end of school is near for Woodlawn upper school students. Much of the AP Spanish language course is dedicated to honing skills, especially speaking and listening, in order to prepare for the exam. Over the final month, the intensity of this work has increased as the exam date draws near. One of the highlights of the course begins with watching a movie based on the true story of Ramon Sampedro called The Sea Inside. It provides a well-balanced argument as the main character fights for his right in Spain for euthanasia. The students then pick sides and prepare themselves with facts and vocabulary to debate. This year the students did an excellent job in their preparation and presentation of their research and opinions of the topic.
Contributed by Jordon Burton
US Blazer Buzz 6 May
This week's highlight: Chemistry
The year may be coming to a close, but the tenth grade chemistry class is still working hard! As a part of our equilibrium unit, students had the opportunity to gain understanding about reaction systems through a color demonstration in the lab. What you can see in this photo is a reaction that is happening in two directions: The forward, or "normal" direction for a reaction, and the reverse reaction, its opposite. As a reaction moves in the forward direction, the cobalt in the solution turns to a dark blue color; as it moves in the reverse direction, the solution turns pale pink. This demonstration illustrates the delicate balance that exists both in reaction systems and the biological systems that rely on equilibrium.