The recent presidential election brought about an unprecedented level of vitriol, hate and anger in our country. As a history teacher I had to go back to the election of 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams to find such a divisive campaign. As an educator I am deeply disturbed by the number of stories coming from college and high school campuses that talk about students being threatened based on their race, gender identity, religion, sexuality and beliefs. Now more than ever schools like Dublin must engage in intense conversation and encourage active listening.
Acclaimed young writer, Allegra Hyde, visited Dublin School on Friday morning. She read two short stories from her recently published book “Of This New World” and then visited a number of English classes throughout the morning.
Caroline Robbins knows that, while she may be introverted, there are many new students at Dublin this year, and she would love to get to know them. “I like learning people’s stories and finding out what’s important to them,” she says.
“In those [getting-to-know-you] conversations, whether it’s a hello or people coming into my room during study hall or during sports, there are a lot of places I can get to know people and their stories.”
Caroline brought many stories to Dublin, herself, just last year.
On Sunday November 20th the first ever girls' NEPSAC all-star game was held at the Brooks School. It was a marvelous event as 50 girls from schools all across New England gathered for the festivities. I had the privilege of coaching one of the teams in the Class C/D game. Which, had the first two Dublin School girls ever named to a girls soccer NEPSAC all-star game : Imhoff '18 and Stella Davis '18. Both girls put in a great effort and demonstrated good form in the match.
Virginia Woolf writes that “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of [their] life, every quality of [their] mind, is written large in [their] works.” Our syntax, diction, the placement of a comma, the structural elevation of one idea over another: all of this shows the experience we carry, the qualities of our mind that are nourished or unconsidered. Our passions and dreams, the arguments that we have in our minds and with our loved ones—and the argumentative strategies that prove effective in those encounters: all of this shines through in the way that we write, not simply in what we write.
Writing is a process, then, that takes extreme vulnerability, courage, truthfulness, and intention.
One of the things that parents often ask teenagers is, “What did you do this weekend?” A common reply (if your teenager is like ours) might be, “I hung out with my friends….”
While that is a perfectly acceptable way of decompressing and blowing off steam after a busy week, it isn’t the end of the story. At Dublin, weekends are pretty busy. A range of activities and trips are offered so that “hanging out with my friends….” is far from the only activity that students engage in.
Six Dublin student athletes were selected by the River Valley Athletic League (RVAL) and New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) as all-stars this week. This is the highest number of Dublin School student athletes to achieve these honors in a single season. The NEPSAC selections will be playing in All-Star games as a part of the NEPSAC Championship Weekend.
Receiving these honors:
Stella Davis (Dublin, NH) - NEPSAC and RVAL All-Star
Joe DuPont-Roche (Peterborough, NH) - NEPSAC All-Star
Cam Harrington (Francestown, NH) - RVAL All-Star
Sabrina Hayden (Marlborough, NH) - RVAL All-Star
Joey Hynes (Dover, MA) - NEPSAC and RVAL All-Star
Bette Imhoff (Dublin, NH) - NEPSAC and RVAL All-Star
Diamond Miller studied Italian in grammar school and Spanish at Dublin during her freshman year utilizing traditional methods. Focused on conjugation and online and text based learning, “Learning a language that way is really hard. I had no idea what to say. It just didn’t work with my brain.”
The new World Language Program at Dublin has been a sea change for Diamond. Using the Organic World Language methodology, the focus is squarely centered on conversation. Combining total language immersion with movement and an ever changing range of group activities,” It’s just so much fun! There are games in the class that help us learn everything in Spanish. It is kind of like living in a foreign country… we just speak Spanish from the time we enter the classroom. Instead of simply learning a bunch of grammar, we are having a conversation.“
“One of my main goals this year is to feel confident speaking in Spanish in class,” says junior Henry White. “I feel confident talking with Ms. DelVillar one-on-one, but I want to be able to talk and make mistakes in group discussions.”
Henry contends that some of his best language-learning experiences flow from failure-rich opportunities. Some of the moments that have generated the most inquiry have been moments that have made him feel stuck, unsure, caught in that frustrating, half-bright moment of scanning his memory and collections of word roots for the right word.
Irshad Manji stood in front of the crowded conference hall, and she said, “My role as an educator is not to make you feel safe. It is to make you feel safe in your discomfort.”
She went on, those words projected behind her on the screen, to say, “Moral courage is doing the right thing in the face of your fears. It is being willing to say, ‘help me understand how that works?’ It is being willing to look outside of yourself and inside your own mind.”
This last week, RVAL conducted its fall championship week, crowning champions in boys and girls cross country and soccer. Dublin was in competition for the top award in each of the four categories. Dublin walked away from the week with one Championship and three runner-up awards. This was easily the most complete performance by any school in the league. For some of our athletes, this was still a disappointment (we love that they are only satisfied with a win).
That being said, our disappointment is a mark of how far these programs have come.
A full slate of winter term electives were announced this week.
Two Dublin rowers, Mat Coffin (Keene, NH) and John Scriven (Townsend, MA) are part of the Union College 4+ College frosh boat. They had a terrific weekend last weekend racing at the Head of the Schuykill Regatta in Philadelphia.
Union won the Frosh Four event over 23 other entries with a time of 15:41.4. posting the fastest time of the 23 boat field at the Head of Schuykill regatta. The next best boat finished with a time of over 7 seconds behind and the fifth place boat was over a minute behind.
Michelle Zhong would have described herself as “an artistic nerd” four years ago. Before she came to Dublin, that description seemed to fit. However, much has changed in Michelle’s time here.
“Right now, who am I? I am an athletic, artistic, friendly nerd,” she smiles. “Dublin is where I became myself.”
Sixteen Dublin sailors went to the Mystic Seaport this weekend for a weekend of specialized sailing instruction and nautical history. Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum’s collection of more than two million artifacts includes more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography in the country.
Taking ours seats, the auditorium lights dimmed, and Dublin senior Dieter Brehm took his place at the microphone stand. What followed was an enjoyable and quick-witted podcast-style episode in which Dieter portrayed various characters, delivered whimsical news announcements, and injected us all with his signature brand of humor. Dieter says that he started listening to the hit podcast Welcome to Nightvale during his freshman year. The podcast, ranked number one nationally, has been described as "the news from Lake Wobegon as seen through the eyes of Stephen King.” Each 25-minute episode features news stories, interviews, and vignettes of life in the fictional and town of Night Vale.
On October 21st, Bernarda Del Villar presented a paper titled "Transgresión e identidad en Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Inclusión de voces negras como discurso de autoridad.” [Identity and Transgression in Sister Joan Agnes of the Cross villancicos: Inclusion of Black and Indigenous voices as authority discourse at Colonial times.] at the Samuel G. Armistead Graduate Student Colloquium at the University of California, Davis. Ms. Del Villar was the only researcher of the 32 invited speakers not affiliated with a university.
The fall Nordic Ski Camp is designed to bring a non rushed, fun atmosphere of ski racing fundamentals and aerobic training to the Dublin School nordic ski team. This is open to all Nordic ski team members and is not mandatory. It will be held from November 18-20, 2016 at the Craftsbury Nordic Center in Vermont.
Under the umbrella of the Amnesty International Club, Dublin School has maintained a micro-lending account with kiva.org. Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Kiva allows lenders to make loans to people in developing countries to start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential.
Over the last several years, Dublin students have managed this lending account. Liam Kelly (Sandy Hook, CT) has been the managing the account this year after working with others for the last several years. He estimates that he has been involved in some 20 loans over the last several years. Altogether, Dublin has made 81 loans (which is in the top 97th percentile of lenders on Kiva) over time to borrowers mainly in Africa, Central America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.