Jon's Weekly Update 2-5-13

posted Feb 5, 2013, 8:54 AM by Cynthia Friedman
IMPORTANT DATES: 
Tuesday, February 5, 3:15-4pm: Uke Group Rehearsal
Tuesday, February 12, 3:15-4pm: Uke Group Rehearsal
Saturday, February 16, 5:20pm: Jessica, Satsuki, and Celeste perform with Iron Mango at the Asian Celebration
Monday, February 18: NO SCHOOL--President's Day
Tuesday, February 19, 3:15-4pm: Uke Group Rehearsal
Friday, February 22, 5-7pm: Direct Donation Drive/Spaghetti Dinner/Student Craft Fair
Tuesday, February 26, 3:15-4pm: Uke Group Rehearsal
Tues-Fri, March 19-22: MS Adventure Trip to the Snow! 

Dear Middle School Family, 

I don't even know where to begin, so I'll start with gratitude: Thank you Patrick McMullen for bringing in all the ingredients and gear for a fun, informal Japanese mochi pounding ceremony (Mochitsuki) this Thursday. You're a brave man! Picture this: large wooden pestle called an 'usu' (about 2 gallons?), kids wielding a heavy (15 pounds?) wooden sledgehammer called a 'kine', Patrick kneeling next to the usu, turning, by hand, the large glutinous glob of rice between hammer-strokes! I really need to start a Picasa photo-site for our class...   

The kids literally ate it up!   
Another exciting announcement: Iron Mango, a local ukulele orchestra that was instrumental in providing our school with ukuleles, has invited us to perform with them at the Asian Celebration. They've invited three students from each of the several schools who were granted ukuleles (there's limited space on stage!) Eighth graders, Satsuki, Jessica, and Celeste will be playing with Iron Mango at the Asian Celebration at 5:20pm on Saturday, February 16. Please come out and support them! 

Our Humanities Projects are in full swing. Our current events are dovetailing nicely with the students' investigations of the Middle East. There really are human beings living in these countries, with lives, and families, and struggles much the same as ours. And struggles far more difficult than ours. It's been a rich learning experience so far. Our kids are so compassionate! We have guest speakers coming into class next week from Lebanon and Saudi Arabia to talk about their experiences growing up in their home countries. 

Our Occupations Projects are finally clicking into action. Food Service starts their fundraising efforts this week. Our Stream Team has officially adopted the Amazon Creek between Fox Hollow and Snell. Our Green Team has re-certified Ridgeline as an Oregon Green School, and is in the process of getting our recycling and composting systems well in place school-wide. Our Design Bridge Team is working with the UO architecture students to finalize our building plans so we can start building after Spring Break... 

The Adventure Trip is locked in. Only 4 parents responded positively that their students were attending. I took a leap of faith, based on the students' raised hands, and sent in the non-refundable deposit check, anyway. The cost is $140 per student, including bedding, towels, bunkhouse, full commercial kitchen with student-cooked meals, big gathering space for evening events, activities, fun, community-building, memories. March 19-22. Three nights, four days. It's only an hour east of Eugene. Scholarships are available. Payment plans are available. If your student is definitely not attending, please let me know ASAP! If you'd like to help with our fundraising efforts please let me know. 

Report Cards were sent home with your student last Friday. There should be no surprises. Jupiter Grades tells a pretty complete, real-time story of your student's academic responsibilities, and how well they're keeping up with them. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact me ASAP.   

Have a great week,

Jon and Carrie
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