When my middle child was looking for a late night distraction from school work, he used to tiptoe into a website called “StumbleUpon.” I’m actually not sure how it worked, but it used a discovery engine that uncovered web content based on interests. Like Facebook and Google it deployed serious algorithms to spit out videos and articles to suit users’ tastes and preferences. My son spent untold hours on StumbleUpon.
But at SCH, you don’t need any sophisticated algorithms, or even hours. When you walk—with eyes wide open—you stumble upon some of the most extraordinary things.
There’s masking tape stretching along several feet of the carpet on the second floor of the Inn. I recently learned why when I stumbled upon robotics and engineering teacher James Martin and a Lower School boy tinkering with a Lego robot designed for the “Get the Soda” challenge. Program the robot correctly and it follows the tape around corners and into rooms. It might even fetch you a Coke!
Shortly after the Upper School students’ coffeehouse Cabaret, I stumble upon a video on one of our plasma screens. It features clips from literally every awesome performance at this student-hosted night, showcasing the amazing talent that runs deep and throughout our Upper School.
Just beyond the Crawford Art Gallery, I stumble past the large plate glass window in the ceramic studio where I can be a few inches away from students, three in a row, deftly working on potters wheels to shape fabulous future bowls. They make it look so easy!
I pass the CEL space and stumble upon 69 students who have taken the day to learn how to be authentic and appropriate facilitators when leading group activities. I spy them role playing. In skits, they are exploring the dynamics that exist in any group—and learning to monitor both those in the mainstream and the margins.
I am a fixer… I am a watcher.. I am an astronaut…. I am a dancer… I am a bookworm… I am a thinker… I am an athlete… I am smart … I discover 137 expressions of girl power on a Lower School bulletin board after an assembly prompted these stunning, water-colored assertions.
I find our Head of School Steve Druggan happily pulled away from the Inn to walk hand in hand with Lower School students on the track, logging their steps as part of the 1 Billion Steps Challenge
. Keep on trekking, kids!
Looking up as I walk down “Main Street” on the Cherokee Campus I discover mobile-like sculptures made of recycled materials hanging from the ceiling outside the Lower School auditorium that spin and twist and basically come alive as you walk underneath them. Simple circuit boards have been programmed by Kindergarteners to trigger this dance and delight the unsuspecting passerby.
And just today, walking back from the Cherokee Campus, I stumble upon a feisty Frisbee free-for-all on the Turf field across from the Commons. Really? How many kids can get their ya-yas out in the middle of the day by walking across the street and enjoying a pickup game of “Ultimate” with their friends?
Yep, this is a happy place. And don’t forget to keep your head up and your eyes wide open! Share what you stumble upon at #myschhappyplace.