US Blazer Buzz 18 May

This week's highlight: The Learning Collaborative

The 9th and 10th grade students went into Charlotte last week for their final service trip of the year. Earlier in the spring they collected donations of books, stuffed animals and writing implements to be used for the creation of literacy kits as the finale to their unit on education. We took the literacy kits to The Learning Collaborative in Charlotte to be given to their students. We also spent that morning volunteering with their Field Day. Our students led potato sack races, helped the students learn how to hula hoop and even did a little water balloon tossing. As one of our parents so aptly put it “the connection with the students that morning made their hearts swell.” These kids were great and we look forward to returning again next year. 

After our busy morning participating in field day, we drove farther into Charlotte for lunch at “The King’s Kitchen.” This restaurant uses 100% of its proceeds in order to hire employees that might not have the skills to gain employment elsewhere. The restaurant makes a one-year commitment to them and helps them grow their skills in a specific area of the restaurant business which might be of interest to them i.e. cooking, baking, customer service etc. It is a wonderful way to continue to grow and contribute to Charlotte in such a positive way. On top of that, the food is really good!

US Blazer Buzz 4 May

This week's highlight: Beauty and the Beast

With a cast and crew of nearly forty middle and upper school students, the Red Barn Players took to the stage for the final time this school year to perform Beauty and the Beast. An original adaptation set partly in the modern world and partly in the past, with a generous helping of Greek mythology and a dash of trans-dimensional travel, the story centered on the mechanically inclined Rosalita and the fierce Minotaur who falls in love with her: Freddy. Sophomore Kelsie Milburn and Junior Spencer Gazzaway played the two lead characters, with Megan Dailey and Taylor Loyd lending their own brand of support as their respective moms. When Rosalita's dad and would-be salsa magnate Stu, played by Mitch Porter, accidentally crash lands his jet pack in Freddy's labyrinth and insults his host, he sets off a series of events that threaten to topple kingdoms from Florida to Crete. Seventh grader Campbell Lindquist sparked a revolution as the rogue Princess Ariadne, while her classmates Ally Fleming and Lily Klett were the girls we loved to hate as Rosalita's snotty sisters Loretta and Denise. Under the musical direction of Ms. Rosen and with our first ever live house band made up of Senior Reilly Milburn and Freshman Tripp Berini, we've dropped the curtain on another distinctly Woodlawn musical that continues the trend of creating something new and even more exciting each year.

US Blazer Buzz 20 April

This week's highlight:Food Justice

The ninth and tenth graders are studying food justice this trimester in our Service class. Food Justice is the belief that all people should have access to healthy and chemical free food that is not only affordable but also near where they live or work. In service we have learned about food deserts and different organizations working to overcome the barrier that a food desert can be for people who reside in an area not within walking distance of a grocery store offering fresh and affordable food. Sow Much Good is one of these organizations working to bring local food to people in food deserts. They have a 4-acre farm in the city and a 5-acre farm in Huntersville called Hubbard Farm. The organization relies on volunteers to work in the fields and to help them bring the produce to the city where they sell it at an affordable rate. Last week the ninth and 10th graders spent their Friday morning hoeing the fields, picking weeds, pruning the vegetables, scything the fields and just having a good time outside. It was a wonderful opportunity to build a connection with this organization that is such a nice match for our study.

Blazer Buzz 13 April

This week's highlight: Spring Intermezzo

Adventure, mystery and magic were in the air as the upper school embarked on its Spring Intermezzo just before break. The theme? Amazingly enough, it took us nearly four years to finally tackle the world of Harry Potter. But with the help of some die-hard HP fans within our faculty (rhymes with "Rayden" and "San Vamburgh), Hogwarts came to Woodlawn in a quest modeled on the Tri-Wizard Tournament from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

After being divided into houses by the infamous sorting hat, students had to collaborate with their housemates solve a series of brain-twisting puzzles, and find their way to treasures hidden all over the Woodlawn campus. But solving the puzzle wasn't always enough...teams had to succeed in overcoming physical challenges before being able to leave a location with one of the treasure eggs. From choreographing a 6-second dance video to donning a frozen t-shirt, the journey to the final treasure egg was filled with daunting tasks and brushes with death. Along the way, houses came together to compete in tournament games to earn extra points. Some games, like Tanks, relied on a wizard's extra-sensory perception. Others, such as Quidditch, were not only a test of speed, agility, and strategy, but also called upon students to craft regulation brooms on which to compete. 

Another great Intermezzo in the books, and one that is bittersweet: our graduating seniors were freshmen when we held our very first intermezzo, and therefore have been a large and influential part of crafting this program since the beginning. Their creative and energetic contributions to the first four years of Woodlawn Intermezzo will be just one of the legacies they leave as they move on in June.

US Blazer Buzz 30 March

This week's highlight: Sophomore Seminar

The sophomore seminar class is one of personal development and self-reflection. Over the past few weeks we have been learning about mental health. The culmination of our work together was a mindfulness workshop led by Kelley Gardner. Kelley is the founder of The Bindu, a yoga studio in Cornelius. She still teaches at the Bindu and has been teaching yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years. During our time together, the 9th and 10th grade students learned about their individualize “Doshas” and a did a few mindfulness exercises to draw upon when they are stressed and need to clear their heads and open themselves up to learning. We also learned about Nadi Shonhana breathing which might be useful in preparation for an exam channeling the right side of the brain or sometimes the left side of the brain for a more creative endeavor. I think everyone enjoyed the opportunity to learn about themselves in new ways as well as to acquire different exercises to combat the challenges of the upper school years.