The Shapes Of Thoughts: Field Notes From The First Month

Student Art 1
Student Art 1

How does a mind grow?

How does a person become a person?

Sometimes the best measures are collages, as thoughts take shape before our eyes. In no particular order, then, here are some things we’ve seen and heard in this, the first month of our twelfth year at Fairhaven School :

The twelve-foot swings arc all day. So does the forest tire swing.

Staff and students debate and modify a complicated policy about attendance sign-out. New voices emerge at School Meeting.

Board games proliferate.

Macbeth is cast for a  Halloween production of the creepy “Scottish play.”  Rehearsals take place on the covered porch under the watchful eyes of the director. Leaves turn as cast members hone their fight scenes.

Oak trees drop more acorns than any year in recent memory, many thunking on the metal roofs.

JC sentences a student to remove acorns from the driveway circle flower bed.

The Pr Committee launches a new website and tables at two festivals.

Half the school field trips down Route 301 to the corn maze and pumpkin patch.Entering Maze

A student crafts cute yarn critters for her new friends in the Lyons Den (the Art Room.)

New students discover the perimeters of behavior by way of JC and School Meeting. Peers weigh in on every judicial decision.

Many classes start; some continue.

Day after day, dozens try to capture the flag on the field.capture-flag-4091

Computers, computers, computers.

Students play “Hunters and Prey” in the woods.

Some of us follow the strange saga of “Balloon Boy” live on a computer, horrified when the homemade helium craft crashes, relieved the next day when it turns out  he is alive and well at home.

School Meeting elects JC Clerks and alternates. The wheels of school justice turn and turn.

Corporations elect their executives as well. These students  run the meetings that will manage the computers, the art supplies, the Macbeth production, the kitchen, the shop, and other aspects of the daily life of the school.

Alumni visit, checking in about their lives after Fairhaven while reliving the singular experience of being here.

Conversations outnumber even the acorns.

A new young boy trots by and says to his pal, “You’re a bad dog, and I’m a bad dog.”

Still running, his fellow canine says, “No, I’m a good dog.”

Dog boy 1 regresses, saying only, “Woof.”

And so it goes!

Mark McCaig

October, 2009

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