Here are a few things that have caught my attention over the past couple of weeks:
While in Amherst to see the University of Dayton Flyers Men’s basketball team (currently ranked #4) play UMass, we stopped at Amherst Books, a small, but smartly curated shop. I had not been there for about a year so this little machine was new to me:
I immediately began going through the bottom of my bag, and luckily found two quarters, enough to buy a “wicked short” poem which was quite lovely. It’s hard to count on people having coins with them, but if I lived in Amherst, I would collect quarters and drop by the store every day to read a few words.
I spent four days in New York City last week with our 8th grade Montessori Model United Nations team. It was more of a revelation than I expected it to be. I’ve been at Inly for 20 years and talked to many students who have participated in MMUN – including my son. This was my first time as a chaperone, though, and it allowed me to see our students from a different perspective. What I saw were students who instinctually join the conversation. They easily assume leadership positions, speak up in meetings, and comfortably work with others. Of course, I knew all of this before, but to watch them enter a conference with hundreds of Montessori students and responsibly devote themselves to their work and each other was a gift.
It also made me see my son’s journey differently. He is now interviewing for PhD programs, and part of the process is attending receptions with the other finalists for these competitive positions. A friend who went through this process a few years ago told him that the professors observe his interactions with the other finalists, and that his “collaboration skills” are an important piece of his application. My son reports feeling completely comfortable in these situations and at ease with speaking up in high pressure settings. After watching our students at Inly, I could see the foundation of these skills.
One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the United Nations during which the students were able to see both the Security Council Chamber and the General Assembly. I found an exhibit about the impact of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan especially moving. This statue of Saint Agnes was found in the ruins of a Roman Catholic cathedral which was located near the epicenter of the 1945 explosion.
After a busy but rewarding trip, I returned to school grateful for the opportunity to see the results of Inly’s emphasis on educating thoughtful global citizens.
Two more things:
First, a friend shared this picture she saw on an Instagram site called historycoolkids. Called The Walking Library, it was taken in London in the 1930s. Kind of a cool idea, but you would need a lot of Advil to carry so many books on your back! (photo credit: VSV Soibelman Syndicate News Agency)
Finally, I’m currently reading Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin and loving it. In fact, I’m going back to it right now!
Here’s a link to the glowing New York Times review: