Welcome to Heads Up, a blogging experiment that aims to:
- connect the people, parts, and principles of Durham Academy;
- share ideas about learning and human development;
- spotlight a few of the many wondrous things I get to see every day at Durham Academy.
Thanks for reading the posts below — and sending news, links and ideas worth sharing.
Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School
How to Change the World (thoughts from Dan Kimberg and members of Student U's class of 2013):
Julian Cochran (US Technology Coordinator, Computer Science Teacher, and Varsity Boys Soccer Coach) shared an interesting article from yesterday's New York Times. It includes some thoughts from John Palfrey, the current Head of Phillips Academy who presented at DA a few years ago (while serving as the Director of the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society at Harvard). An excerpt from the article:
Zack Davenport '08 spent a lot of time doodling in the back of my Spanish 3 class. Now the DA alumnus is a graphic designer in New York City. For the past month, he and a friend have been visualizing data to tell the story of Citi Bike, New York City's first-ever bicycle share program. Click here to check out the project.
Just this morning Zack's work was featured in Fast Company's co.Exist blog. See the story here.
Click "read more" to see Zack on DA graduation day. Or check out his website and Dribbble page. Thanks to Zack for teaching an old fogey what a Dribble page is.
I taught 9th Grade English at DA for nearly a decade. Among the novels that seemed to press the deepest into the memories of my students (the one to which they most frequently refer in emails even now): Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five.
It's been years since I read or taught the book but I think Vonnegut's staying power grows in part from his combination of irreverance and reverence - the latter toward the most humane aspects of our culture and consciousness.
Today my colleague Gib Fitzpatrick (MS math teacher and soccer coach) shared this letter - written from Vonnegut himself to a group of high school students in New York in 2006. An excerpt:
Our Lower School teachers typically send weekly newsletters to the parents of their students. This week, 1st grade teacher Rosemary Nye sent a "Special Edition' video recap of the week. Click here to see the "Nye Ninjas" explain about reading, writing, 'rithmatic, and resources. Extra credit if you can watch without saying "awwwwwww."
The Hill Center was featured in WRAL’s “Go Ask Mom” blog on Wednesday - more good exposure for the state's best resource for parents and students with learning differences.
Congratulations to Elizabeth South (PS Music and LS Drama Teacher), whose new single “Run Away With Me (Cinderella Song)” was just released on iTunes.
Click here to hear, buy, and/or comment on the song at iTunes.
Or here to read more from the News and Observer about Elizabeth’s recent duet with country legend Vince Gill.
Or here to read even more about that experience from the DA web site.
Or here to see Elizabeth's website.
As part of their ongoing community service efforts, the 6th grade advisories of Susie Hoercher, Julie Williams, Wanda Moore and Patti Donnelly gleaned sweet potatoes yesterday afternoon. In less than two hours, they gleaned 4,230 pounds -- all donated to New Focus Community Mission in Enfield, NC and other families in need. Click here to see our students in action.
Jeff Parkin, MS Counselor and one of the planet's gentlest souls, shared (with me and the Middle School Advisors) a great article from Sunday's New York Times. In a world of bickering polititians and fear-soaked media, "paying it forward" is something that ought to go viral.
“The people ahead of you paid it forward,” the cashier will chirp as she passes your food through the window.
Confused, you look ahead at the car — it could be a mud-splashed monster truck, Mercedes or minivan — which at this point is …
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