We have been talking a good deal about the Danish concept of “hygge” around campus this winter. When winter brings the dark and cold, we respond by celebrating it’s arrival by focusing on coziness, bundling up and going outside, sitting by the fire, playing games with friends, curling up with a book, drinking hot cocoa and making the most of the season we are currently enjoying. Hygge encapsulates the spirit of the season for which we strive. The seasons at Dublin define us, teach us, and add texture to the life of our community. As an example, Friday night a good percentage of our students were out ice skating on the hockey pond, drinking cocoa and standing around a makeshift bonfire. Others were baking cookies and watching the movie Selma. Still others were at our house playing a board game one girl had brought with her from Germany. With everything going on in our world and with everyone seemingly complaining about “teenagers these days” my heart felt warmed by the images of these young people relaxing and playing together after a full week of school.
Speaking of a full week, last week provides a great example of the energy we experience around our campus in the winter. The week started with our celebration of the life Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. Somali led a group of students reading a letter from Dr. King’s widow before our own Dr. Horton spoke about his own experience marching to Selma during the Civil Rights Movement. Tuesday we celebrated what many people refer to as the most depressing day of the year (yes, people actually believe there is a most depressing day of the year) by adding a little hygge. In order to cheer everyone up we relaxed the dress code, had a “clash” clothing contest, ate delicious comfort food for lunch, set up a sundae bar at dinner, and had study hall in the cozy dorms as it dumped snow outside. As a special bonus, Cam had his Senior Presentation that morning and sang and played guitar for us, sharing his love of music with the community. On Wednesday morning I announced that our solar array was now tied to the grid and that all of our electricity on campus was coming from the sun!
Adding to the excitement of our girls’ basketball team beating their rival Stoneleigh Burnam the week before, our Alpine and Nordic ski teams had an historic day on Wednesday, with Dublin skiers earning three first places (out of four possible) on the day. Ninth grader Mya is our first Alpine victor since anyone can remember.
Dean of Students Simon McFall launched the “Winter Warrior” challenge as part of his effort to encourage students to get outside and enjoy the beautiful environment here. Students must complete at least sixteen of the twenty challenges in order to earn a Winter Warrior shirt or hat. Within days students were building snowmen, borrowing skis, lacing up skates and heading out into winter.
Thursday morning started with our Poetry Out Loud festival where five student finalists competed for the chance to represent our school at the regional competition. The students were absolutely incredible and Destiny brought the house down in winning the competition. On Friday morning former Dublin English teacher Nicole Sintetos returned to campus to share her research on Japanese Internment Camps. It was great to see her and hear about her adventures at Brown University. Later that morning we live streamed the inauguration and students and faculty came and went throughout the day to watch the proceedings.
On Saturday a group of students who had organized the trip traveled to Boston to participate in the Women’s March and had a great experience. Work Gangs chopped wood for people in the community and helped put up trail signs in the Beech Hill Conservation area abutting campus. Poetry, winter fun, music, sports, friendship building, learning, historic experiences, hygge, memories; not a bad way to start 2017!