US Blazer Buzz 26 Jan

This week's highlight:Spanish Literature

In Spanish III, the students begin to tackle Spanish literature, beginning with the 16th century picaresque novel Lazarillo de Tormes.  Novels in the picaresque genre document the stories of rascals, of which Lazarillo is certainly one!  To bring his story to life, the sophomores recently took a trip to Meg-Art Pottery Studio to depict scenes from the novella on ceramic tiles.  Each student was charged with depicting a particular scene, and the endeavor had outstanding results.  Swing by Profe. Hayden's room for the full effect!

US Blazer Buzz 12 Jan

This week's highlight: Student Teaching Elective

January always bring new opportunities, and that's certainly the case at Woodlawn these days!  Juniors and seniors students enrolled in the second term "Student Teaching" elective spent all of December proposing and planning thematic enrichment courses with faculty guidance, and last week, they finally welcomed seventh and eighth grade students into their classes.

Now in its fourth year, the student teaching program allows upper school students to gain and practice critical skills in planning, collaboration, and leadership, while giving middle school students the chance to sprinkle some new and different classes into their schedules.  This year, pairs of upper school students are offering Baking Desserts, Visual Journaling, Music Video Production, Team Sports, Culture Indulgers, and Wilderness Survival.  Judging by drop-in visits last Friday, the courses are going swimmingly for teachers and pupils alike! 

US Blazer Buzz 15 Dec

This week's highlight: Capstone Projects

Last Friday, Woodlawn seniors lead their first collaborative team meetings to begin planning their Capstone service projects. Each year, the seniors complete the Capstone course, a yearlong independent pursuit of an area of interest.  Seniors conduct research, compose a substantial research paper, secure an internship, and execute a service project. This year, the Capstone course also includes the study and practice of leadership and entrepreneurship. These skills and concepts will be tested in the service project portion, during which each senior will lead a team of students in grades 8-11 to complete an entrepreneurial service effort. The teams will meet regularly over the next few months to plan, promote, and execute these ambitious projects. Examples of projects this year include rebuilding and coding a website for a local non-profit, hosting a music festival for Make-A-Wish Foundation, designing and building a wildflower garden on Woodlawn’s campus, and writing an original children’s book about the value of good sleep. Stay tuned for details about the final products, due in late April.

US Blazer Buzz 24 Nov

This week's highlight: US Humanities Night

The Upper School Humanities Showcase on Friday night was the culmination of integrated project work in English, history, art, music, and service over the course of the first trimester. Freshmen and sophomores used their English and Modern World History courses to investigate the theme of diaspora, and through research, reading, and discussion, took the option of creating either an original musical composition or writing a dramatic scene that was centered on the theme of the dispersion of people from their original homeland. In service, the 9th graders investigated the non-profit organization International Rescue Committee, while 10th grade learned about Doctors Without Borders. Each class used the Showcase as an opportunity to highlight these organizations and the work they do is helping groups that have been pushed from their homes into different corners of the globe.

Juniors and seniors worked in visual art, zeroing in on single works of literature that dealt with what the American Dream looks like from different points of view, and from the perspective of different communities. The literary pieces served as inspiration for sculpture, paintings, photography, and mixed media collages that students created over the course of several weeks, with assistance from Ms. Royce. The juniors used this project as an opportunity to learn more about and highlight the Davidson Housing Coalition, a local organization that seeks to assist families in obtaining that crucial component of the American Dream: a home one's own.

Students went to great lengths creating just the right atmosphere in the Lodge and in Woods Hall for the event, planning the organization of the exhibition spaces, prepping their works for display, and cooking up finger foods and beverages for guests. It was a pretty fantastic way to spend a frigid Friday night, so be on the lookout for the upcoming winter trimester showcase on February 27, 2015.

US Blazer Buzz 10 Nov

This week's highlight: Intermezzo

Improved access to freshwater resources for all was the issue at hand when the upper school United Nations convened over two days during fall intermezzo. Negotiations were off to a rocky start on day one as war broke out between several member nations, but bitter feelings were put aside and a resolution was passed by the end of Friday's summit. There were also chocolate chip pancakes, so the event was a win on all levels.

As is tradition, Intermezzo 2014 started off with breakfast on Thursday morning before students entered into a discussion on the goals, structure, and effectiveness of the United Nations. After all upper schoolers were divided into groups representing one of ten countries, all got to work researching their respective country's history, culture, economy, and politics and dividing up individual duties. Students barely had a chance to slip into their roles when war broke out, with countries splitting into two alliances and taking to the soccer field to settle their grievances in a game of Human Stratego.

On day two, countries were forced to put aside bitter feelings from the war as they sat down at the table together to address the challenge of providing all citizens of the world with access to uncontaminated freshwater. Negotiations were tense as countries sought alliances and lobbied on behalf of their own resolutions and for the benefit of friends and neighbors. Over the course of the day, ten resolutions became five, five became three, and after some fierce debate the resolution put forth by Pakistan and The People's Republic of Bangladesh won a majority of votes. Once again, in this our seventh intermezzo, our students showed themselves to be champions of collaboration and compromise.