Student Travel: Ancient Rome in Modern Europe

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Over March break, eleven Dublin students explored the remains of the Roman Empire in France and Italy with Dublin teachers Michelle Knapp (English and ESL) and Nellie Herman (Latin and Spanish). The trip grew from Ms. Knapp's experience leading student trips to Europe and Ms. Herman's passion for Roman history. Thanks to early enrollment, the students were part of the trip planning process, from hotels to destinations. The first week was spent day-tripping from our home base of Uzes, Provence to arenas, aqueducts, towns, theaters, triumphal arches and temples in Arles, Avignon, Orange, Nimes and St. Remy. Crossing the Alps in true Hannibal fashion, minus the elephants, we moved camp to Rome. The second week was filled with experiencing the grandeur of the capital city - Forum, Palatine Hill, Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Appian Way - and day trips to Pompeii and Ostia (Rome's port city on the Tiber). For the art lovers on the trip we visited sites important to Van Gogh (the cafe in Avignon and the asylum in St. Remy) and saw the works of Renaissance artists Michelangelo, Bernini, Botticelli and others at the Vatican, the Borghese Museum, and the Ufizzi and the Academy in Florence. We learned and practiced French and Italian, shopped at farmers' markets and cooked our own food in France, and developed a love for the food and culture of both countries.

 

Introduction to Robotics at Local Elementary School

On Wednesday, February 18, the Robotics team decided to leave our dark robotics cave after we tirelessly worked to finish our robot in time for shipment day. With the knowledge our team has gained over the course of the build season, we ventured down to the Dublin Consolidated School to teach the students  there all about robotics, using LEGO NXT Mindstorm kits. 

Our team member, Siyi helped us organize our trip to the Dublin Consolidated School, where our task as a team was to teach kids about robotics and motivate them to learn and eventually join one day. The team split up into two rooms, one dedicated to building and programming the LEGO Mindstorm robots built by small groups, the other room was dedicated to showing the kids what they would eventually work up to in FIRST Robotics by demoing our robot from last year.

 Robot drivers Adam and team leader Myles, alongside other members of our build team, taught kids how our robot  from last year worked. We kicked the ball into the air and to the kids as they played catch with the robot. The drivers let all of the observing kids drive the robot around the room for a while. Afterwards, when we surveyed the room and  asked who would join robotics when they got older, many of the young Dubliners raised their hands.

It was a great time all around for both the team members and the young students. Thank you to the Dublin Consolidated School for having us there.

The Next Competition is in Boston at Northeastern University, March 28th and 29th. We hope to see some of you there!

 

Behind the Stage: The Extreme Excitement of Being a Woman in Black

By Leah Star '15, Stage Manage of Into the Woods

    Being a techie at Dublin is a virtually thankless position. Stress is high and  light is low. We just recently finished our production of “Into the Woods” here at Dublin. I feel that this was the most technically taxing show that we have done in my four years here. Into the Woods brought something new to the Dublin backstage tech crew (a.k.a Juliette Valade and yours truly, armed with my  ginger locks and character-building nose piercing). Into the Woods brought endless costume changes and the necessity to  hand/collect/steal props from actors. There was not a calm moment in Into the Woods, on or off the stage.

    However, in the darkness of backstage, there is something captivating and exciting, something technicolor within the blackness The chairs that do not get used, the headsets you rarely have time to wear, and the fast paced heartbeat of a 30 second costume change, all of that draws me in.

       As Stage Manager, I had to know what was going on in all moments of the show. I had to know when the actors had to change into what costume, and how much time we had to do it. For this specific production, it was also important that I know what trees needed to be moved to what place in what moment. Even in that stress, what makes it special is knowledge. That knowledge is what makes one of the most thankless jobs one of the most rewarding jobs as well. I can't imagine a way that Into the Woods could have run without a tech crew. I know that actors would have been just as amazing, the songs would have been just as captivating, and the feelings would be just as strong, but there would be something missing, like clothes. The flow, the ease, the confidence the actors have in knowing that they don't have to worry about getting their next prop because there is a techie right there to hand it to them, that is what makes the job so amazing.  I am thankful for the amazing backstage crew I was able to work with.

       Into the Woods is most likely the last production I will stage manage for. It was also the best. I have now been a part of 5 serious productions in my life, 4 of them at Dublin, and 3 of them as a techie, and I would never go back on stage. There is a strength that one must have to be a techie, a confidence in oneself  and one’s partners. Before this production I barely knew  co-techie Juliette Valade and now I would trust her with anything (my well-loved dog, maybe even my life). Just as an actor bonds with his or her fellow actors, a techie bonds with the other techies. There is nothing else that I would consider doing in the winter. You see, even in the short days and snow covered paths, even in the dark hole known as backstage, that is where I see the light– and it fills me to the core.