Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bonaire

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by Jedd Tam ’18

Today we went back to Washikemba to clean up more trash. It was different from the first time we went because the tropical storm altered the terrain. The dirt road we originally took was blocked. I could tell there was flooding from the storm because there was a large area of flooded dirt with a border of trash. Instead of the trash being concentrated in a dense pile on the beach like the first time, the trash was now spread out over a large area. The trash at Washikemba consists of plastic water bottles, Styrofoam, shoe soles, children’s toys, and more. A lot of the stuff that I find there was still usable at the time of disposal because they made it to the beach in okay condition. Other stuff, on the other hand, crumbled on contact. This is a testament to the long journey the trash has gone through. During that journey, the elements corroded the plastic. While our work was helpful in reducing the amount of trash in the environment, it is far from the solution. More trash will replace the trash we removed. What we need is to change our attitude with consuming resources and disposing trash. When we responsibly dispose of trash, nature can be beautiful again.

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Bonaire

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by Zoe Valdepenas-Mellor ’18

Today at Bachelor Beach we all hung out with the kids from Jong Bonaire as they swam for a couple of hours in the afternoon. At first, I was a little nervous that they would not interact with us and just interact amongst themselves. Nevertheless, after a couple of minutes one kid approached us and started to play Frisbee with us and it was so much fun because suddenly all of us were playing with the kid, and it was so nice to have all of us playing to together. After playing Frisbee died down a little bit, we were inspired to get on each other’s shoulders and do chicken fights with one another. One kid came over, interested in what we were doing, and then another one came over and then another and then all of a sudden we had a whole bunch of kids wanting to get on our shoulders to chicken fight each other and this lasted the rest of the time at the beach. This type of service, simply playing with the kids, made the service not feel like service because it was not manual labor, it was just enjoying the time with children from different places. I learned that even though we all come from different backgrounds and have a slight language barrier we are all able to have fun with one another.

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Why I Said Yes to GS

2017-02-20-07

Bea, seen here in her Oxford University Sweatshirt, works with another student on the Curious George. 

By Bea Feichtenbiner ‘19

George School is so much more than I thought it would be. In seventh grade, I began thinking about colleges. I know that is early, but I have always been hyper focused on my future. During this time, I wanted to major in English and obsessed with England. I decided that I wanted to go to the University of Oxford in Oxford, England, and I would do anything necessary to get there. I learned of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma from a family friend and I looked it up. Only two schools within an hour of my house offered the diploma. I knew this would help me get into my dream school, so I convinced my mom to let me look at them. The first school, Harriton High School in Lower Merion School District, was the closest to my house, but I would have to move to attend school there. George School was the second closest.

Neither my mom nor I felt any harm in applying, so I started the application. I went for a tour in October and I loved it. It just felt right. I finished my application and anxiously awaited a decision. The portal said decisions would be posted at midnight, so I planned to stay up. When the clock hit twelve, I logged in and sure enough, my decision was there. “Congratulations,” I read.

The next morning, I logged on again at 6:30 a.m. “Congratulations,” I read again. I ran upstairs to wake my mom up. She was excited, but we both knew what this meant: we had to decide whether or not I should go.

After I pondered it for a couple of weeks, I convinced myself that I needed to say yes to GS. I made a PowerPoint of pros and cons and presented it to my mom. We accepted the admission a week before it was due.

Then I had to tell my friends and my family. Some were shocked and some were not, but for the most part, everyone supported me. I got many comments about how I was “brave” or “crazy.” I didn’t understand this. Going to George School felt natural, I didn’t need to be brave or crazy. I felt like I belonged. That didn’t stop the butterflies in my stomach when I actually got ready to go though. For the first few hours, I was convinced I hated it. But then it got easier and I made new friends.

I am not going to lie, even now, three months away from my junior year, I sometimes feel like I made a terrible mistake. I miss my family and my friends, I miss my old life. But I don’t really regret it. I have my moments of doubt, but it has been a great opportunity and I am not going to waste it wondering about what might have been. George School is one of the best things to ever happen to me—it has a way of making you belong, no matter who you are.

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France March 10

by Paul

Today was a big day for us as we were going to explore one of the biggest landmarks of Paris and France — the Eiffel Tower. But before we did that, we had to get ready. I woke up feeling well rested for a change (don’t know if i can say the same for my friends), and we all went down for a really good hotel breakfast.

We then were off to the Louvre! It was just about the biggest museum that I had ever seen and if you wanted to see everything that the Louvre had to offer, it would supposedly take one three months day and night to fully explore this wondrous museum. For a few hours, we all walked around together exploring, of course, the Mona Lisa (because what else would you do at the Louvre besides possibly the thousands of other exhibits). We explored Italian paintings, French paintings, some very old and very valuable table settings, and jewelry. We then spent one more half hour to look at these two wonderful open courtyards with some very interesting and strange sculptures. It was an amazing experience, and our day was not even half over!

We set off for some lunch and all of us found this small sandwich shop which combined with a small cafe. We all had a really good lunch with paninis and pasta. We then took the metro (subway) to a Main Street in Paris which ended with L’Arch de triumph (The Arch of Triumph). This monument houses the burial site of a soldier who represents all the soldiers who died during WWI.

Finally we were off for The Eiffel Tower! We got off the metro and were greeted with a wonderful view of The Eiffel Tower and we took a group photo. We walked down towards the Tower and stopped by a merry-go-round which had two tiers. Of course we wanted to ride this, and we did, which was awesome.

Then we walked right up to The Eiffel Tower. It was stunning and was especially elegant when we walked right under it! I was so glad to have seen this as I had learned a lot about this Tower through an 8th grade project, and I finally got to see it in person.

We went back to our hotel for some much needed rest, and we then went back out to have a wonderful dinner of cheeseburgers (very French) and chicken burgers which were much different from American burgers and were amazing! We ended our day with a wonderful view from the top of the Tour Montparnasse, which ended our day with an amazing view of all of Paris and, of course, The Eiffel Tower!

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France March 9

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by Cynthia

This morning Julia and I awoke around 7:30 and were downstairs at 8:30 for a breakfast of bread and jam, Nutella, and coffee.  Then we rushed out of the hotel and down the street to see the Musée d’Orsay.  I was simply blown away and instantly in love.  I worked my way from the top floor (the Impressionists, my favorite) to the bottom to the central sculpture hall.

We were soon off to our next adventure: Notre Dame.  Again, this was stunning; we all really loved the stained glass windows.  It was fantastic.

We had lunch and then headed to the Grande Mosquée de Paris that allowed us to visit the interior.  The geometrical tile designs and traditional horseshoe archways were very different from the traditional Paris architecture. There was a symmetrical garden with teal tiles that were instantly striking when you stepped through the front doors.  After walking around and admiring the tranquil space, we then proceeded to the Tea room that is an adjunct of the mosque. There we rested our legs in the agreeable atmosphere of the tea room.

That night we had dinner and went to the Huchette Theater and saw the Ionesco play La Leçon.  The show was strange but funny and we all enjoyed it. To finish the night we went to Place de la Concorde and rode the Grande Roue (giant ferris wheel), and could see the entire Parisian skyline which was breathtaking.

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Sky Report

by Joey Cifelli ’19

February 27, 2017

Sorry gang, today just was not a great day to look at the sky. Just kidding, it always is! There was some slight overcast today, but that is no reason to dislike it. A seasoned veteran will know that an overcast sky just needs to be examined more. For instance, you will notice that fledgling cloud in the lower center frame. Ordinarily, that would not be anything special, but the plainness of the backdrop really brings out those darker notes. A cozy sky to kick off exam week, what could be better? 6.8/10

February 28, 2017

The tiny wisp of a cloud we observed yesterday appears to have matured into a full-blown specter. Little bit more color this time around, along with a hint of checkering near the top. The continuous flow of the vapor mass creates a lively sense of motion, enough so that the image may look like a babbling brook to the right eyes. It gently ebbs and flows, nestling up against the trees that form its bank, wandering into someone else’s photo. 7.5/10

March 1, 2017

Quite a turbulent sky we have had today. I do not know if anyone watched it for a bit, but boy, were they moving. By the time I checked to see if this photo had come out okay, that large formation coming in from the top left had already gone out of frame. Despite the blistering speed (or maybe because of it), today’s sky was cool and refreshing. The central piece of this portrait is that dwindling Northwest formation; the one I mentioned earlier. Accompanying are several smatterings of misty clouds, which give the image of ducklings following a mother goose. Very nice. 8.1/10

March 2, 2017

Much as the anxiety and nervousness of exam week leads to the euphoria of spring break, the gray masses that have been haunting our sky chose to go elsewhere, leaving behind a radiant blue. I am not certain of the exact nature of that color gradient, but dubbing it “Inverse Ocean” seems appropriate. Also, readers may be interested to learn that when you flip the picture, the sky looks like a mountain. Neat! I’ll be away for break, but expect to see more of our beautiful celestial ceiling when we return. 8.2/10

February 27 2017

February 27, 2017

February 28 2017

February 28, 2017

March 1 2017

March 1, 2017

March 2 2017

March 2, 2017

 

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Arleigh: Our Second Day at the Special Needs School

 We started off once again on our favorite bus. The bus was full of cards, laughter, and always sleep. The ride is never long enough as we pulled up to the special-needs school that we would be helping out at. Everyone was tired, but as soon as we saw the students we met the day before, our spirits were lifted. Today, we would be cooking with kids we had not yet had the chance to meet. My spirits were high, but I was nervous about the students ability to cook and my ability to help them. As we walked into the dining hall, the students had huge smiles on their faces and were filled with excitement.

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Learning about Traditional Gender Roles in Navajo Culture

by Brenda ’17

Today the group and I went to workshops designated for learning about Navajo culture, specifically about the traditional roles of Navajo women. The first woman we listened to talked about her experience growing up in a time when being Navajo was looked down upon and shamed so much that Navajo people sent to “boarding schools” were stripped of their native culture and language. A white man’s idea of making the indigenous people more Western and modern. The woman, also Miss Navajo 1977, talked to us about the traumatizing times she encountered nonchalantly. She merely laughed at the idea of being forcefully made to clean the bathroom with a tooth brush and made to write “I will not talk Navajo” over and over until her hand ached. Continue reading

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Destiny Talks about Service in China

by Destiny ’17

We all did our own usual routine – wake up, eat breakfast, meet up – but things, at least for me, did not end up so usual. Today we met up with third & fourth graders, who were surprisingly more cooperative. I thought about what good it was doing for us to play games and talk to these kids when there was so much else to do as service. Then, we had a gift exchange celebration. They performed songs & dances & you could smell the pride in the air. They were actually honored to be in our presence. It’s crazy how just being there in the moment can affect someone’s day so much. You could see it in their faces that it was really meaningful. Continue reading

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Reflections on the Group IV IB Science Project

by Ralph Lelii, IB Coordinator and English teacher

In the Theory of Knowledge titles for May 2016, one question asks about the value we assign to knowledge based upon its application in the world, and conversely, to what degree is it diminished absent that. The title is more subtle than at first glance because the terms “application” ” value” and “diminished” need to be carefully delineated. When talking to my students about the prompt, I referenced the possible utility of considering the Group 4 science project in their responses. Continue reading

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