Thursday, May 28, 2015

Science Fair

8th grade science fair.  Oscar and his partners.

Party, party, party

There seemed to be a lot of reasons for a party.  Birthdays are a big todo, but so is wishing our friends farewell (boarding school always has new people to meet in the the fall, and friends to say goodbye to in the spring).
Felix as Hammer Bro at a friend's Mario themed party.

Zibby eating up all the watermelon at Felix's birthday party.

Capture the flag with the 3rd and 4th grade boys.

Scorpion, who is the killer?

 Zibby hosted a party to say goodbye to a good friend, Pippa.  The hillside (those not in boarding) 6th grade girls added Zibby to their group this year, changing their name from Apple, APPL (Aadya, Pippa, Paloma, Lily) to Apples, APPLZ (Aadya, Pippa, Paloma, Lily, Zibby).
Lily, Paloma, Zibby, Pippa, Aadya.

Zibby playing her new favorite party game with Sour Punks.

Swim Lessons on the Hill

Gregg and I volunteered our time this May to teach swim lessons at Woodstock.  Like most things here, the people are wonderful, the organization and communication are lacking, and the control of the process for those directly involved is nil.

So we did not have the lessons at a time we choose, and did not have control over how many students were enrolled.  We did have help from a couple teachers, so there were usually 3 of us teaching, and  a few high school students and a few middle school students that helped us as aids.

Despite the frigid water temperature, we had 180 enthusiastic students who became better swimmers in one of the 3 half hour lessons we taught 3 times a week for 4 weeks.  I passed my camera onto one of the parents to take some photos during our first group.  These were all EY (early year, aka elementary) students ages 3 to 10.  We did not get any photos of our grade 5-12 students since there were no parents and we were too busy teaching.
Gregg giving a safety talk at the beginning of the lesson.

Kerry teaching with Zibby and Gauri as aids.

Gregg's swimmers with Kerry and 2 high school aids in the background.  (Gregg took this photo as we stalled waiting for our third teacher to show up.)

Kerry's group in the foreground, and Claire with her group in the water.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Nainital- YRS Conference

Young Round Square (YRS) Conference India and Gulf Regional Conference was held in Nainital this spring.  Woodstock had 6, 11 and 12 year old students represent them.  Mark Windsor and myself were the chaperones.  Nainital is a hill station similar to Mussoorie, the difference is their lake.  

Opening night, students were required to wear their school uniforms.  Woodstock students came up with their uniform.

The conference was held at All Saints College, an Indian girls school for grades 1 through 12.  Part of my education at the conference was to see an Indian school.  At the opening ceremony, our group walked in at the back of the auditorium down the main isle to our assigned seats.  If I had had my eyes closed, I would not have know that the auditorium was filled with 500 All Saints students, it was so quiet.  The All Saints students were all in uniform, sat respectfully, and even their applause was in unison.  When they left, they walked in straight lines, 2 by 2.  As I passed students, I was greated with a, "Good morning, ma'am " or "Good afternoon, ma'am"  "How are you, ma'am."  The students are held to high academic standards.

 Botanical gardens.

 High tech lock at botanical gardens.

Displays in need of help at botanical gardens.

 At the conference, there were 2 environmental speakers.  We heard about musk dear, and the Himalayan environment.  The first speaker spoke about poaching of musk dear, and the need to have musk dear farms to increase the population.  She also included an anecdote about how a musk dear died because it was so sad.  The second speaker was a bit better with science, but included photos of poached animals (headless elephants), and people who had died in a factory fire.  He also was a bit bigoted toward Americans as he spoke of our consumerism as an indication that we are not good environmental stewards.

Students met in small groups after listening to each speaker.
Activism march through Nainital.

The students had some activities around Nainital.  We walked through the botanical gardens, explored some caves, participated in a activism march, tried to see the white capped mountains, ate lunch at the old boat club, and played basketball (the rain kept us off the lake).