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Posted Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 

Seniors Nicola Zimmer and Eve Zelinger have been appointed the 2013-14 Dartmouth women’s basketball team co-captains, as announced by first-year head coach Belle Koclanes to conclude training camp.

 “Nicola and Eve are very positive, inclusive and committed people, all traits of a captain that our team deemed necessary for our leaders to embody,” said Koclanes.  “They each have an incredible work ethic and the maturity to guide our team in a positive direction.” 

Last seasons co-captain, Zimmer returns for her second stint as team leader after posting career highs in points per game (8.9), field goal percentage (.377) and three-point shooting percentage (.341). No stranger to leading her team on-and-off the court, the former St. John’s College High School star had the exact role in her junior and senior campaign. 

Zelinger, also a captain as a senior at Castilleja High School will look for additional minutes this season after playing in 15 games last season. A proven leader off the court, Zelinger will be asked to mentor the 11 underclassmen as they transition into the new system.

“It has been exciting to watch them develop as leaders of our program and I look forward to their inspiration as the season moves forward,” Koclanes commented.

dartmouthsports.com

 

 

Castilleja Basketball All-Time Leaders

Eve Zelinger, 2006-2010

#1 Points 1,875
#1 Assists 482
#4 Blocks 184
#1 Field Goals Made 724
#1 Three-Pointers Made 177
#4 Three-Point % .267
#4 Free Throws Made 250
#4 Free Throws Attempted 360
#3 Free Throw % .694
#4 Rebounds 849
#2 Steals 294
#4 Double Doubles 30
#2 Games Played 112

 

Statistics provided by Stephen Kauffman at castillejabasketball.com
 

 

Posted Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 

Each year, members of Stanford's incoming freshman class are invited to acknowledge a former teacher or mentor who played a significant role in their intellectual, academic, social and personal development, as part of the university's Teacher Tribute Initiative. Congratulations to Josh Genauer, who was recognized this year by Camille Townshend '13.

Posted Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013 

Six Castilleja alumnae came to talk to the eleventh and twelfth grade students as part of Alumnae Weekend 2013. The speakers--Alexis Ritchie Doucette '96, Samia Rogers '03, Andrea Coen '99, Roark Luskin '08, Rebecca Adamson Snider '96, and Abby Kojola '95--told their stories of positive networking experiences and changing career paths. They also reflected on their time at Castilleja (and its many benefits) and answered the girls’ questions relating to college. The girls appreciated the generosity and worthwhile advice these women offered, and overall found it to be an enriching and informative experience!

-- Kat Pavlidis '15
Posted Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 

The ACE Center and Alumnae Office have joined forces to try to add 25 new internships for either college-age alums or current juniors and seniors, to our database by December 1. It seems early to be thinking of summer internships, but December and early winter is prime time for companies to find summer interns!  

If you work for a company that has an internship program, would like to take on an intern, or would just be willing to provide the name of a contact at a company who might be able to steer us in the right direction, we'd really appreciate it!

Click to submit an internship

Click to submit a contact

Posted Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013 

As expected, former Sounders Women and University of Washington standout Kate Deines was among the four players signed by the Seattle Reign when free agency opened on Monday. The 23-year-old was joined by Welsh captain Jess Fishlock, Canadian international Tiffany Cameron and two-time All-American LIndsay Taylor.

The Reign were granted a fifth free-agent spot after the league learned that Amy Rodriguez would miss the entire season while pregnant with her first child. The Reign will also be without Megan Rapinoe and Teresa Noyola until June, as both are signed with European clubs. That extra spot won't be used, at least for now

Deines is probably the most recognizable of these names, being as she was a standout high school player in the area before going on to start at UW. She has played in the midfield, but was a center back with the Sounders last year.

The most accomplished of the group is probably Fishlock, who has 67 caps and 22 goals with Wales. The midfielder spent the last two seasons with Bristol Academy in the FA WSL and has also played for AZ Alkmaar, where they won successive Eredivisie titles.

Cameron is another midfielder who has three caps with the Canadian national team. The 22-year-old was a prolific scorer at Ohio State, scoring 40 goals in her career with 21 of them coming last year.

Taylor was a highly touted prospect when she came out of Stanford in 2011, and was the sixth overall pick in the WPS draft. She scored 20 goals as a senior and led Stanford to a NCAA Championship, playing alongside future Reign teammate Noyola.


Posted Monday, Jan 28, 2013 
During the Dartmouth women's basketball team's trip to Florida earlier this season, junior guard Eve Zelinger(Palo Alto, Calif.) reflected back on the state of the Dartmouth women's basketball team and summed it up with these words, "Dartmouth women's basketball is on the rise"

Zelinger, who has seen action in 50 career games and is averaging 2.5 points, counts her favorite moments as getting to know her teammates.

"My favorite series of moments have been getting to know my teammates, says Zelinger. "Bonding with them and getting to know them over the course of the season. We're already so close and it's been really fun getting to spend time with people you enjoy being with, especially this year. We have a solid group and we really all enjoy each other."

Zelinger, one of just three upperclassmen for the Big Green, has been tasked, along with fellow upperclassmen Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) and Nicola Zimmer, (Chevy Chase, Md.) with bringing a group of seven freshmen and four sophomores together both on and off the court.

            The California native takes that very seriously and works really hard to make the underclassmen feel like they are a part of the team both on and off the court.

"It's a fun group," said Zelinger. "Faziah, Nicola and I are all really close, in fact, we all live on the same floor and we have been able to spend a lot of time together. As far as the underclassmen, they are just a great group and we're very fortunate to be able to play together."

            During the preseason, Zelinger and her fellow upperclassmen paired off with the "littles" and showed them around Hanover, with stops at Hanover staples, Lou's, Shyrl's Diner and Ice Cream Fore You. Just one example of how Zelinger, along with the rest of the veterans, have taken on leadership roles with the Big Green's young team.

            "When you have such a large group it's important that everyone feels included and we have really tried hard to incorporate everyone into the family, so to speak."

When looking back on her collegiate career, Zelinger will count Dartmouth's trip to California during her sophomore season as one of the highlights.

"Without a doubt, playing in California in front of all my friends and family was great and something you don't get to do much at this level," said Zelinger. "I will say that this year's trip to Florida was pretty sweet too, I think it might have something to do with the warm weather."

            Despite the current record, Zelinger believes that the Big Green squad is coming together and has it's best basketball ahead.

            "Our current record may not show it, but we are coming together and this team is very different from the past two season on the floor and even off the floor. We move better, the flow is better and the chemistry is better and I think that it's going to start showing up in the win-loss column very soon."

            The past two seasons Dartmouth has been unlucky in the win-loss category, but Zelinger thinks this group can be the group to change that.

"We haven't had the best records the last two seasons, but I believe that we can turn that around with this group. We all really enjoy each other and I believe that this program is on the rise."

            Zelinger, who has had the pleasure of having games on her birthday the last two seasons, is again looking forward to taking on three-time Ivy League champion, Princeton, at Leede Arena on her birthday this season.

"I'm really looking forward to that game," said Zelinger. "It's my birthday and it will be Senior Day for Faziah. It should be a fun weekend." Last season, Zelinger posted a career-high 16 points in a Big Green win over Columbia, the day after her birthday!

            If you know anything about Eve Zelinger, you know that there are two things that she is big on, anything involving crime and Jelly Belly sports beans!

In fact, Zelinger hopes to turn her fascination with crime into a career. During her high school days she was a Palo Alto Youth explorer, tagging along with the Palo Alto Police Department and even doing a few ride-a-longs and sting operations. She's also interested in the FBI and anything related to criminal justice. As for the sports Jelly Bellies, they can be found in her game bag. She always likes to eat a few of the blue ones before a game for a little burst of energy.

            No matter what she's doing on the court or off the court, Zelinger does it with a smile and puts 100 percent into whatever it is she is doing. She lives her life based on the following quote, "Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard."

            "I've taken this to heart," said Zelinger "And I try to give my best effort both on and off the court, I owe it to myself, my teammates and coaches."

Posted Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 
Harvard senior captain Taylor Docter from Castilleja has been named to the All-Ivy League women's volleyball team. Docter was tabbed by the conference's coaches as a first-team selection.

Docter finished the season ranked third in the Ancient Eight in points per set (3.63) and was fourth in kills per set (3.12) while led the Crimson in kills for a third straight year.

The Los Altos native posted a career-best 12 double-doubles and also set career-highs in kills per set, digs (264) and digs per set (2.93). Her 23 kills at Dartmouth on Sept. 21 represented a new single-match high, while her 20 digs against Holy Cross on Sept. 25 were the most in her career.

Docter was named the Ivy League Player of the Week on Oct. 16 after averaging 5.00 kps and 2.57 dps while hitting .280 in wins over Cornell and Columbia and was named to the conference's honor roll four times. Additionally, the human developmental and regenerative biology concentrator was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District first team.

Docter will graduate in May as one of the most celebrated student-athletes in Harvard women's volleyball history. She is the first Crimson to be named to the All-Ivy League first team since 2004 and was also named to the second team as a junior a year ago. Docter ranks fourth all-time at Harvard in attack attempts (3,455), sixth in service aces (98), seventh in kills (980) and eighth in kills per set (2.67).
Posted Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012 

With the Class of 2012's first college midterms looming and homesickness setting in, the 6th graders decided to send them a little love: cookies from home! Each girl assembled a delicious packet of cookies, decorated a mailing box, and enclosed a hand-written note to Casti's most recent grads. Hopefully these care packages will brighten their day and give them a little boost. We miss you, Class of 2012, and hope you are enjoying your adventures beyond the Circle!

Posted Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 

After coming back from a one-set deficit against Dartmouth on Friday to take a 2-1 lead, the Harvard women’s volleyball team led 8-4 in the fourth. Unbeknownst to captain and outside hitter Taylor Docter, she was only one kill away from breaking into the Crimson’s top-10 career kills leaders.

“I hadn’t been following at all,” Docter said. “My mom probably follows more than I do; she probably had it on her radar, but I had no clue. I’m glad no one said anything because that would have maybe made me nervous.”

Docter didn’t look nervous as she leapt to play a ball from freshman setter Hannah Schmidt and dropped it between the Big Green’s defense, registering her 15th and final kill of the evening.

Docter’s tenth double-double of the season—she reached 15 kills and 15 digs—was instrumental in Harvard’s victory, its first win against Dartmouth since 2008 and the first of Docter’s Crimson volleyball career.

“Dartmouth has always been one of those teams we have been very evenly matched with, but it has been one of those games where we walk away thinking we should have won, which is one of the worst feelings,” Docter said. “It felt really good to finally feel like we performed the way we should have.”

Docter’s final kill gave her 922 on her career, tying her with Katie Turley-Molony ’07.

“It’s exciting, especially because we still have six games, so hopefully I can get in some more kills and move up the list,” said Docter, who currently trails Katherine Hart ’01 by 11 kills.

Since her freshman year, Docter has developed into the Crimson’s top offensive threat. She currently ranks fifth in Crimson history in attack attempts, sixth in service aces, and eighth in kills per set average. Despite now reaching the top ten in a fourth category, Docter is more concerned with winning games than personal achievements.

“She’s very excited about all of that, but she doesn’t want to be in the limelight,” Crimson coach Jennifer Weiss said. “She just wants the whole team to do well. She is very much a team player and it’s so genuine, which is refreshing to see.”

Docter credits her teammates for her success, especially Schmidt. Harvard plays with two setters on the court, but the rookie is the one who supports Docter in most of her kills because of her place in the rotation.

“She has been doing an awesome job,” Docter said. “A lot of the reason we are doing better recently is because she has totally sped up her offense.”

Friday’s game was a showcase of the Crimson’s attack, which led Harvard back after the team dropped the first set. The Crimson displayed a balanced attack in its 3-1 victory, with Docter, junior right side Erin Cooney, and freshman outside hitter Kathleen Wallace all registering double-digit kills for Harvard.

After going 2-9 to open the season—including a loss to the Big Green in September—the Crimson is currently riding a three-game winning streak, its longest of the season. Docter believes that her and the team’s recent success is a testament to teamwork.

“When you are playing with the same girls every year, a lot of it just comes from getting better at playing with the girls next to you,” Docter said. “They help me look good because they are improving as well.”

After playing front row as a freshman, Docter has put in the hard work to become a more well-rounded player. Each year she has seen increased playing time in the back row, and this year she is playing all six rotations.

“She has always been an impact attacker for us,” Weiss said. “She is diversifying her shots, and she has worked on the back row attack and the defense. [The record] is a credit to her hard work and belief that practice matters.”

Weiss credits Docter’s fitness level and focus entering the season.

“She was here this summer working in the lab but she was also working out,” Weiss said. “She’s very diligent about that so when we got to preseason she was ready to go. She has really committed a lot of time and energy to the team.”

And now Docter has permanently cemented her place in Harvard history. With six games left to play, she has ample opportunity to climb the all-time career list. Docter, who averages 3.19 kills per set, sits 53 behind seventh-place Kat McKinley ’09.

“Taylor is a gifted athlete and a hard worker,” Weiss said. “If you stay patient over time, good things will happen, and good things are happening for her.”

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Student Life
Posted 01/23/2015 09:00AM

The Winter Concert last Thursday was a resounding success. Student performers impressed the audience with a wide array of past and present pieces. The performance featured everything from traditional holiday music, to jazz and blues, to some pop tunes. Musicians hailed from the Middle School and Upper School music ensembles, the Upper School a cappella group The Sounds Sisters, and the world famous employee a cappella group Staff Inflection. Thank you to everyone who came out and saw the show-- the singers and musicians appreciated your support!

Posted 01/05/2015 09:10AM

The Junior Global Investigators are abroad! From France, to China, to India, to Guatemala, the girls are beginning to immerse themselves in the richness of the international experience. Here's what the Guatemala Global Investigators said about the beginning of their trip:

Exciting. Eye-opening. New. Rich. Beautiful. These were the words our fellow classmates used to describe their initial reactions to Guatemala.

The journey to our hotel on Lake Atitlán involved planes, bus, and even a boat ride across the lake. After a late-night flight and windy bus ride, we piled ourselves and our many suitcases into a little boat, catching the lovely breeze amidst the warm weather. Our beautiful hotel awaited us at the end of the lake, complete with papaya juice, warm beds, and a gorgeous view!

After settling we went into the lake town of San Juan. We met the youth at the  library and learned about the town’s history, and we enjoyed our first  Guatemalan meal, complete with beans, rice, and plenty of home-made  tortillas!

Today, we started off with a lovely breakfast and exposure to a parade in honor of Three King’s Day, where ambassadors from the local church travel from house to house bearing baby Jesus. Traditionally, he is kissed on the forehead by each resident, followed by a series of fireworks (which we have heard periodically throughout the city all day).

From the very beginning, Guate has been filled with vibrant sounds: festive music in the town square, roosters crowing in the morning, a trail of drums that followed baby Jesus about the village.

Fascinating for coffee-addicts and non-coffee-drinkers alike was our coffee tour. We learned that there are four different kinds of coffee plants, and even got to taste the coffee plant itself, which was surprisingly sweet! For the remainder of the afternoon, we prepared for skits about the environment to share with the community, and will later spend some time with the Guatemalan youth.

More on that later! Hasta Pronto!
Lea y Kiana

To read more about the Global Investigator Trips, click here.

Posted 12/03/2014 10:33AM

Embark Labs joined with Academic Tech in November to introduce young girls to coding. 6th Grade iPad Student Leads Lauren L. and Eliza G. facilitated this collaboration by assisting girls with the program Lightbot and supported the sold-out event. The event attracted girls ages 7-11 and many parents were delighted to see Casti students playing a role in helping younger girls explore coding. Embark Labs creator Jessie Arora was grateful for creating a learning experience where girls were engaging in peer-to-peer learning. In addition to supporting collaborative efforts like this event, Eliza and Lauren co-lead a group of 15 highly energized 6th iPad Student Leads. The student leads will also be creating an Apps Corner display window which will showcase student opinions of educational apps. The girls are not only facilitating collaborations, but also working on this space for students to share their voice in the iPad program. Great work leads!

Posted 11/12/2014 10:18AM

Congratulations to Lea S. '16, who traveled to Los Angeles to participate in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology and placed as a Regional Finalist! The weekend started on Friday, where competitors were given a tour of the campus by a Caltech "buddy" to whom each participant was assigned. That evening students presented their posters to the public, where the Caltech community as well as middle- and high-schoolers came to view the posters and ask questions about the projects. The weekend finished with the competitors making presentations and holding a question-and-answer session with around a dozen judges, as well as a celebratory dinner.

Lea says, "It was truly a special weekend. Most of all I enjoyed getting to know so many talented, smart, and interesting students from across the country. From hearing everyone else's projects in their presentations, to discussing a mutual love for English, to learning about new mathematical concepts, it will be a weekend I will never forget. It makes me want to continue to pursue science even more than before."

Academics
Posted 01/26/2015 09:57AM

On Thursday, January 22, Professor Jonathan Jansen made an encore Global Week presentation at Castilleja to Peggy McKee's African Studies class. With characteristic charisma, he engaged the students in a thoughtful, real-life exercise: which one of two applicants to admit to the Medical College of the University of the Free State in South Africa, of which he is the President? The two female candidates came from dramatically different backgrounds, one from a Black township and one from a middle-class Afrikaner family. The students wrestled, as had Professor Jansen, with the complex set of criteria and aspirations that each girl represented in post-Apartheid South Africa. The discussion touched upon issues of equity, opportunity, social justice, and social action, not restricted to South Africa alone. The class unanimously nominated Professor Jansen to be an Honorary Alum of Castilleja!

Posted 01/15/2015 01:57PM

7th graders in Evelyne Nicolaou's French class demonstrated their linguistic prowess by filming an end-of-unit fashion show. Using the green screen, students placed themselves on the "catwalk" using French vocabulary: nouns, gender, adjectives, and verbs, with a special focus on vocabulary from their clothing unit. As each girl strutted across the stage, her peers commented on her glamourous couture and accessories. To provide further guidance for fashion ingénues, they also designed fashion websites using Google sites as their end-of-unit projects. If you're ever in need of apparel advice, make sure to ask one of these students -- en français, bien sûr!

Posted 01/09/2015 09:22AM

While traveling on their Global Investigator Trips, juniors have been noting not only the differences between the United States and the different countries, but also the similarities. While visiting the Chinese village of Nanyaocun, both were brought into focus:

Today, we all woke up either because of the bitter cold or because of the crowing roosters and barking dogs. We all ate a hearty breakfast – many included eggs and fried dough. Breakfast was a great time to bond with our homestay family; we could talk about how we slept, our plans for the day, and how good the food was. After breakfast, we all met at Lily’s house (where the chaperones are staying) to debrief and to prepare for our trip to the local elementary school.

While we were walking to the elementary school, it started snowing! It surprised us because just an hour the earlier the skies were clear and blue. At the elementary school, we were welcomed by kids chanting, “Welcome! Welcome!” in Chinese. We were able to begin to bond with each other when we sang a repeat-after-me song in both Chinese and English. Some groups taught the kids some basic English (like colors, animals, actions, and weather), and others played games such as duck-duck goose. The kids liked to do charades – for example, when we taught them how to say “swim” in English, they all pretended to swim on the wood floor. They were a bit uncontrollable; many of them liked crawling on the floor, wrestling with their friends, pretending to shoot people, and banging their hands on the tables. We noticed that, in contrast to American kindergartens and the Shanghai schools, this school lacked resources and teaching staff. Although this was the case, both the kids and us were extremely enthusiastic and happy to be there. Overall, it was a very fun and humbling experience that we could share with the little kids.

We returned to our home stay families for a quick lunch where they welcomed us back with warm, fresh food (most of it is farmed in/near the village). After lunch, we all set out on a hike to Zhi Yun Si Temple. While we were walking, a cute German Shepard dog began to follow us and we named it Spencer (she ended up following us all the way to the temple). During the 2-hour hike, we enjoyed the picturesque scenery – tall, green mountains and a clear blue lake. The temple was breathtaking. It was built into the hillside and there was a perfect view from our path. Inside the temple, a ceremony was going on inside the Buddha Hall. Monks sat from most junior to most senior and they were playing a prayer song with many instruments such as drums, bells, and even some horns. We were all surprised when after the ceremony the young monks came into the courtyard we were sitting in and began to play soccer. The once foreign and different people became much more familiar and relatable to us. We then climbed the steps (there were tons) up the hillside to the part of the temple where the monks’ dorms were. We could see the entire valley and all the mountains in the entirety of LaShi Lake. On the drive back to the village, Spencer (the dog) tried to follow us – she was successful for a couple kilometers, but after a while, she sat down on the side of the road out and looked at us longingly (everyone was very sad).

Upon returning the village, everyone went back to their home stay families for a delicious dinner and some more time to bond with them. Many of us shared pictures of our own families with them and they shared their pictures with us; it allowed us to bond on a level extending beyond language. For those who don’t speak Chinese, and even for those who do, it was hard to communicate because their Mandarin is limited (most of them speak the NaXi language). Many even resorted to communication by charades and drawing pictures. Overall, it has been a wonderful and enlightening experience and we are all very excited for what tomorrow will bring.

To read more about the Global Investigator Trips in India, Guatemala, China, and France click here.

Posted 01/09/2015 08:51AM

After a week of very engaging and thought-provoking guests, the bar was high Thursday morning when students and employees walked into the Chapel Theater. As the President and CEO of Mega-Cities Project, which has worked to shorten the lag time between ideas and implementation in urban problem-solving since its founding in 1988, Janice Perlman’s knowledge and passion inspired everyone to engage with the topic of Mega-Cities as both learners and agents of change. A former President of Brazil praises Perlman’s narrative strengths: “She views the poor and their communities as bearers of skills and capacities. She looks beyond the apparent shortcomings to grasp the impalpable assets of individuals and communities.”

Students again spent a large portion of their day working on their grade-level projects. The 6th graders finished practicing and recorded their shadow puppet movies with the help of puppet expert Daniel Barash. The 7th graders visited Brentwood School, where they engaged with their buddies in the garden and in the classroom. In 8th grade, the students finished their art projects and presented them to each other, highlighting a memory or conversation that connected them to their elder buddy. Freshmen continued using the knowledge presented by Michael Moon to help them create interesting and engaging presentations for their year-long Vision and Voice interdisciplinary projects. Sophomores learned to use a new tool for creating visual images: Piktochart. Lastly, the senior class debriefed on their trip to San Francisco and took that knowledge to create concrete ways they can engage with their local community.

Posted 01/26/2015 09:57AM

On Thursday, January 22, Professor Jonathan Jansen made an encore Global Week presentation at Castilleja to Peggy McKee's African Studies class. With characteristic charisma, he engaged the students in a thoughtful, real-life exercise: which one of two applicants to admit to the Medical College of the University of the Free State in South Africa, of which he is the President? The two female candidates came from dramatically different backgrounds, one from a Black township and one from a middle-class Afrikaner family. The students wrestled, as had Professor Jansen, with the complex set of criteria and aspirations that each girl represented in post-Apartheid South Africa. The discussion touched upon issues of equity, opportunity, social justice, and social action, not restricted to South Africa alone. The class unanimously nominated Professor Jansen to be an Honorary Alum of Castilleja!

Posted 01/09/2015 02:54PM

On Thursday the 7th graders visited their kindergarten buddies at Brentwood Academy in East Palo Alto. While they were there they continued to create various-sized buildings using recycled materials like cracker and cereal boxes along with milk cartons. All of these buildings will go into a larger collection of buildings that will make up a cityscape. Kyli Arford, Sustainability and Middle School Community Action Coordinator, says, "This project brings the two age groups together while helping the kindergarteners to open up a dialogue with our 7th grade students about what kinds of buildings a city is made up of. Our students also tapped into their younger selves and ran around on the playground playing tag, hide and go seek, and building sand castles together."

Posted 01/09/2015 09:22AM

While traveling on their Global Investigator Trips, juniors have been noting not only the differences between the United States and the different countries, but also the similarities. While visiting the Chinese village of Nanyaocun, both were brought into focus:

Today, we all woke up either because of the bitter cold or because of the crowing roosters and barking dogs. We all ate a hearty breakfast – many included eggs and fried dough. Breakfast was a great time to bond with our homestay family; we could talk about how we slept, our plans for the day, and how good the food was. After breakfast, we all met at Lily’s house (where the chaperones are staying) to debrief and to prepare for our trip to the local elementary school.

While we were walking to the elementary school, it started snowing! It surprised us because just an hour the earlier the skies were clear and blue. At the elementary school, we were welcomed by kids chanting, “Welcome! Welcome!” in Chinese. We were able to begin to bond with each other when we sang a repeat-after-me song in both Chinese and English. Some groups taught the kids some basic English (like colors, animals, actions, and weather), and others played games such as duck-duck goose. The kids liked to do charades – for example, when we taught them how to say “swim” in English, they all pretended to swim on the wood floor. They were a bit uncontrollable; many of them liked crawling on the floor, wrestling with their friends, pretending to shoot people, and banging their hands on the tables. We noticed that, in contrast to American kindergartens and the Shanghai schools, this school lacked resources and teaching staff. Although this was the case, both the kids and us were extremely enthusiastic and happy to be there. Overall, it was a very fun and humbling experience that we could share with the little kids.

We returned to our home stay families for a quick lunch where they welcomed us back with warm, fresh food (most of it is farmed in/near the village). After lunch, we all set out on a hike to Zhi Yun Si Temple. While we were walking, a cute German Shepard dog began to follow us and we named it Spencer (she ended up following us all the way to the temple). During the 2-hour hike, we enjoyed the picturesque scenery – tall, green mountains and a clear blue lake. The temple was breathtaking. It was built into the hillside and there was a perfect view from our path. Inside the temple, a ceremony was going on inside the Buddha Hall. Monks sat from most junior to most senior and they were playing a prayer song with many instruments such as drums, bells, and even some horns. We were all surprised when after the ceremony the young monks came into the courtyard we were sitting in and began to play soccer. The once foreign and different people became much more familiar and relatable to us. We then climbed the steps (there were tons) up the hillside to the part of the temple where the monks’ dorms were. We could see the entire valley and all the mountains in the entirety of LaShi Lake. On the drive back to the village, Spencer (the dog) tried to follow us – she was successful for a couple kilometers, but after a while, she sat down on the side of the road out and looked at us longingly (everyone was very sad).

Upon returning the village, everyone went back to their home stay families for a delicious dinner and some more time to bond with them. Many of us shared pictures of our own families with them and they shared their pictures with us; it allowed us to bond on a level extending beyond language. For those who don’t speak Chinese, and even for those who do, it was hard to communicate because their Mandarin is limited (most of them speak the NaXi language). Many even resorted to communication by charades and drawing pictures. Overall, it has been a wonderful and enlightening experience and we are all very excited for what tomorrow will bring.

To read more about the Global Investigator Trips in India, Guatemala, China, and France click here.

Posted 01/09/2015 08:51AM

After a week of very engaging and thought-provoking guests, the bar was high Thursday morning when students and employees walked into the Chapel Theater. As the President and CEO of Mega-Cities Project, which has worked to shorten the lag time between ideas and implementation in urban problem-solving since its founding in 1988, Janice Perlman’s knowledge and passion inspired everyone to engage with the topic of Mega-Cities as both learners and agents of change. A former President of Brazil praises Perlman’s narrative strengths: “She views the poor and their communities as bearers of skills and capacities. She looks beyond the apparent shortcomings to grasp the impalpable assets of individuals and communities.”

Students again spent a large portion of their day working on their grade-level projects. The 6th graders finished practicing and recorded their shadow puppet movies with the help of puppet expert Daniel Barash. The 7th graders visited Brentwood School, where they engaged with their buddies in the garden and in the classroom. In 8th grade, the students finished their art projects and presented them to each other, highlighting a memory or conversation that connected them to their elder buddy. Freshmen continued using the knowledge presented by Michael Moon to help them create interesting and engaging presentations for their year-long Vision and Voice interdisciplinary projects. Sophomores learned to use a new tool for creating visual images: Piktochart. Lastly, the senior class debriefed on their trip to San Francisco and took that knowledge to create concrete ways they can engage with their local community.

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