National Puzzle Day

Today was National Puzzle Day! Not only did we have a fun new display featuring lots of puzzle-themed books, we also had puzzle pieces on our floors leading the way (Hansel & Gretel-style) to a couple of fun, albeit challenging, old-school puzzles.

Students and faculty were encouraged to drop by at any time of the day to add a piece (or 50) to the puzzle of their choice.

The evolution of the GE Foods Debate

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Every year, Dr. Whited’s biology class participates in a heated debate regarding genetically engineered foods. It all begins with research in the library–from websites, to databases, to books–students gather information and are divided into groups. This is where things get interesting! These groups consist of farmers, environmentalists, food processors/retailers, lawmakers, citizens, and scientists. Each group has to choose and then defend their pro- or anti-GE foods stance (sometimes members of a group may not even agree with each other.)

Sounds fun, right? Well, it gets better! On the first day of debates, each group has to give their opening statement in costume! We were delighted by the farmer hats and scientist garb in particular. One pair of citizens were a married couple (played by Aidan and Brad) who disagreed on GE foods although they both believed the foods should be labeled–this disagreement was handled in an interesting way in their opening statement video. A group of food processors brought in several brands of potato chips and asked the audience to guess which one actually labels the chips as GMO. The second day features a roundtable debate, with each group asking the others leading questions. The only rule is that there is no table-jumping/strangling allowed. It’s always interesting to watch!

Great job, guys!

January Book Club

Today’s book club was a little different–we had our standard (and delicious!) apple cider, but the homemade brownies were replaced by homemade cookies by none other than Ms. Melinson. And while they didn’t last long, the discussions were plentiful!

For the most part, everyone got to read the books they mentioned they’d wanted to read over Winter Break (way to go!). There was much talk about Dystopian literature, and Ms. Melinson recommended The Testing series. Anny sparked a discussion about levels of governmental control in The Hunger Games versus other dystopian literature (she finds it to be the least controlling).

Along the same vein of dystopia, Mr. Neukom brought up a few philosophical questions about materialism and the way big businesses control us by reading selections from Real England and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

For a complete list of books recommended during Book Club, click here for our Goodreads list.