Posts in April 2013

  1. Day 131: Val, 12th Grader

    [ By on April 30, 2013 ]

    Today I learned that there is a lot I should've done. As a senior who has been at Riverdale for about six years, it hit me today just how soon my high school experience will be over. I was talking with a friend who is very frantic about prom planning. "What am I gonna do? I don't have a dress or a date!! This is terrible," she told me. In an effort to try and comfort her, I told her that I'd help her, but that she really had nothing to worry about because prom was in "like two months". Instead of feeling comforted, she gave me a wide-eyed look and said, "Um, Val, its more like one". Although freaking ...

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  2. Day 130: Irene, Middle and Upper School Science Teacher and Lab Coordinator

    [ By on April 29, 2013 ]

    This morning I was sitting in the cafeteria eating Russian rye with butter and mustard. Eating that kind of breakfast, which I do most days, brings back memories of when I was little. We came from a displaced persons camp in Germany and were assigned to be indentured servants for a farm in Sayer, PA, where my father worked in the fields and my mother did the cooking and cleaning. Food was scarce. The head of the household put a lock on the refrigerator--I remember that lock--it was a chain, so you couldn't get in there. We just lived on butter, bread, and mustard most of the time. After five years at the farm, my father got a job in ...

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  3. Day 129: Ellen, Upper School history teacher

    [ By on April 29, 2013 ]

    “Like the poor, Lyman’s grading will always be with us.” Thus did my grandmother (paraphrasing Jesus) account for the beginning of each holiday, as my dad, a college instructor graced with more than his share of Freshman Comp papers, invariably dragged a pile of student essays along. “Gotta get the grades in” set the rhythm of my family life. And here I am, carrying on the family tradition. My daughter has learned that “Mommy’s grading (groan)” shapes almost every weekend. Now that we're in Term Paper Season, I read dozens of thesis statements, outlines, and essays on the same topic. The. Same. Topic. Why not just get a computer to respond to them? The parts are the same, the topic is ...

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  4. Day 128: “Student on the Street” interviews

    [ By on April 25, 2013 ]

    What would you say if you were heading out the door and someone asked you, "Quick, what did you learn today or find interesting during school?" While you think of your response, here is what several 5th grade girls had to share as they were about to leave school. I learned that me and M. make a good team at soccer because we pass well to each other. I am better at playing soccer with my friends than with strangers. I've known most of my classmates since Kindergarten, so it's easier playing with them. I found out that I know pretty much every song in Les Miz because we sang them during Recess. I learned how to make a five-paragraph essay during Writing. I'm ...

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  5. Day 127: Malaika, 8th Grader

    [ By on April 25, 2013 ]

    During our trip to New Orleans, we visited the Akili Academy.  The Akili Academy of New Orleans is a charter school for students from kindergarten through fifth grade.  Similar to other large cities in the United States, New Orleans has many people living in poverty.  In 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit, many more people were living in poverty.  Many of these people included children who only looked to get through the day, rather than planning on what their futures would be like.  Children are not expected to choose their pat in life at an early age.  But, they are allowed to dream.  Living with very little made it hard for kids to dream and for a promise that these dreams ...

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  6. Day 126: Davidson, 12th Grader

    [ By on April 23, 2013 ]

    What I learned today was more of a reminder. We like to think that what makes Riverdale special is its academic prowess. I learn this at the beginning of every spring when the classrooms get muggy and people start regretting wearing jeans. What makes Riverdale great, for me at least, is in the springtime when in-between classes I get to enjoy the fresh grass and energizing sunlight. As a city kid, I was always drawn to Riverside Park; the swings, the fountains, the piers. Riverdale simulates this experience. Had I gone to say, Dalton, during my frees I would either be cooped up in the senior lounge or I would escape with a few of my closest friends to get ...

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  7. Day 125: Milton, Head of Middle School and Assistant Head of School

    [ By on April 22, 2013 ]

    The Middle School opened its doors at Riverdale Country School eight years ago.  The excitement of this event was somewhat tempered that September of 2005 as we all watched the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on our fellow citizens and friends in places like New Orleans (NOLA). On the first day of school, an RCS eighth grader at the time, Ben (now a junior in college!) approached me about organizing a Dance-A-Thon to raise funds for relief efforts. He then organized his friends and the new Middle School into action.  Over $25,000 was raised for such relief efforts such as the rebuilding of a Middle School that was severely damaged and did not reopen until almost two years later.  A ...

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  8. Day 124: Haylee, 6th Grader

    [ By on April 19, 2013 ]

    Day 124: Haylee, 6th Grader At the recent diversity conference I attended in Philadelphia, discussions zeroed in on bullying, acceptance, and society's expectations.  The stories and experiences covered a wide range of ages, races, differences, genders, economic class, and disabilities. There was one story that really stood out to me and that was about a boy with a disability (which caused him to be in wheelchair).  The boy with a disability was in a store just shopping alone when a boy who was with his mom started making faces at the kid in the wheelchair.  When the mom caught the boy making faces, she said that if he kept doing mean and disrespectful actions like that God would punish him and make ...

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  9. Day 123: The Dendrologists of 2V

    [ By on April 18, 2013 ]

    Overheard from the dendrologists of 2V as they planted the lettuce seeds sowed prior to March vacation in the Environmental Lab. Where do lettuce seeds come from? Do you think the plant will come back to life? Some of our lettuce grew. Some didn't grow as well. After planting the crop, the following predictions were made: Probably all the plants will spread out - stretch out. The ones that are facing down will not grow as well as the ones growing up. The ones facing up had a head start. The dendrologists of 2V are eager planters!

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  10. Day 122: Andrew, Ninth Grader

    [ By on April 17, 2013 ]

    Nothing pleases me more than seeing my English teacher’s eyes lighting up along with my entire class. We were listening to another student’s short story about what the term normal really means. The story discussed a man and his wife who live in the “ideal American suburbia”. They live in a ranch-house, and the man drives to a “cubical” job every day of the week.  The couple always seems to be in a quandary, but come up with a solution to them; they can’t have children, so they get a dog. One day, the man loses his job and the couple gets divorced (sad ending, I know). Today I really discovered what normal really means, and that by no means, is ...

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