Each April, after the Patriot’s Day week, Waldorf High School students head out into the world. Every two or three years, the whole high school travels—German students to Munich, Spanish students to Colombia or Peru (or possible another Spanish-speaking country; stay tuned for news of next year’s travel plans). Other years, students stay closer to home. Eleventh and 12th graders complete internships and projects, and 9th and 10th graders work together as a group. In the past, 9th and 10th graders have volunteered at Camphill Copake, worked on a local farm, or helped to make naturally fermented sauerkraut.
This year, eleven Waldorf High School 9th and 10th graders hiked the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, a fifty mile trail that links Mt. Monadnock and Mt. Sunapee in southern New Hampshire. Students planned, packed, and hiked together, cooking meals in small groups under the direction of Krista Palmer, Kroka Outdoor Expeditions leader Lisl Hofer, and Mrs. Palmer’s son, John, Steiner School Class of 2002. The first night had a low in the 20s, and one night brought rain, but otherwise the weather was good. The group stopped each day mid-afternoon to set up camp. Some campsites had lean-tos, but these were not large enough for our group. Those not in the lean-tos strung a large tarp and created a huge nest of pine bows on which to lay their sleeping bags. This trip extends the school’s outdoor education program, which includes a week each September for 12th graders, camping on Hermit Island, Maine, to study tidepool zoology.
While the 9th and 10th graders were on their hiking trip, 11th and 12th graders completed projects and internships that took them out into the “real” world. This year, projects and internships included building a guitar, helping to rehabilitate wild animals, working at a large commercial stable, working for a fashion photographer, writing and producing a radio play, tanning hides, working for a coffee roaster, building and maintaining hiking trails, working at the library, and assisting a documentary film crew. Students commented on how frequently their adult supervisors and mentors gave them real work to do, trusting them as young adults. These projects and internships offer a way to investigate an interest, even a passion, that a normal school day would not offer.
Students returned to academic classes the last week of April full of enthusiasm and stories, ready to tackle the last six weeks of calculus, evolutionary biology, the U.S. Constitution, soapstone sculpture, and the many other subjects that fill their days.
Journalism students at the Great Barrington Waldorf High School studied interviewing techniques, news writing vs feature writing, layout and design and many other aspects of journalism in their Journalism Elective class.
The fall issue of the student newsletter, The Globe, includes stories about the seniors’ trip to Hermit Island, orientation at Camp Hi-Rock, a creative writing contest (with a prize offered!), and a welcome to a few of the new teachers this year.
Soccer season is over, and Waldorf’s record is 7 wins, 3 losses, and 2 draws, both against Simon’s Rock College of Bard. Our small but mighty co-ed team, under the cool hand of Coach Bart Elsbach, beat White Oak twice, Woodhall twice, Monument thirds, Mt. Everett JV, and Hawthorne Valley. We lost to Buxton, PVPA, and Kildonen. High scorer for the second year in a row was sophomore Kosta Koufis.
The Waldorf High School Chorus and the 7th and 8th grade Chorus from Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School presented a joint concert on Thursday, May 31st. Both choruses performed selections from Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and contemporary composers, displaying the year’s work in choral music.
Thornton Wilder’s Our Town presented by Great Barrington Waldorf High School on April 12th, 13th, 14th –7PM and April 15th — 2PM @ Berkshire South Regional Community Center, Crissey Road, Great Barrington. Tickets: $8 Students, $15 Adults, $35 Family. Reservations Recommended — Call 413.526.8833.
The Great Barrington Waldorf High School is proud to announce…TENNIS
Interested High School students will begin tennis clinics with Coach Bart Elsbach on Monday, April 2, from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Kilpatrick Athletic Center’s courts.
Clinics will run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while school is in session, until June 1. (No tennis the weeks of April 16-20 and 23-27; no tennis on Memorial Day, May 28. We’ll let you know soon about April 9-13, the week of final play rehearsals…)
Students need a racquet and appropriate clothing and athletic shoes. (If you don’t own a tennis racquet, we can find someone to lend you one; if you have one to lend, please let us know.)
Students should plan to attend all clinics, and should let Coach Elsbach know well in advance of any that they will miss so he can plan practices.
We will provide transportation from the High School to Simon’s Rock at the end of the school day, but students should arrange their own transportation home after practice.
Our hope is that these clinics will lay the foundation for a tennis team to compete next spring, 2013.
Please call the high school with any questions.
The Gradual Climb
By Robin Graney and Samuel O’Brient, Waldorf High School Class of 2013
As rivers flood and glaciers melt
Cards are laid and hand is dealt
We seem to seal our tragic fate
Let’s win this battle before it’s too late
To save the earth we endeavor to change
Our choices and habits we rearrange
Students should always accept one another
Everyone is a sister or brother
Families bind us as past crumbles
Ideals hold sway as society stumbles
We can survive this turbulent time
If we all stand together for the gradual climb
Comfortable in the status quo
We keep burning bridges, nowhere to go
We are running out of resources to exploit
We are pushed to the edge, to the breaking point
We take our place as children of the earth
As we approach a creation and rebirth
More trees could be planted, the earth could be greener
The air that we breathe could forever be cleaner
Snowflakes will fall and eyes will be clear
Our minds no longer consumed with fear
Thoughts and ideas will soon come to light
To give out blind eyes the power of sight
Racial prejudice will cease to exist
While corruption and evils dissolve in the mist
Unfazed by the media, united we stand
Racing from uncertainty we return to the land
No streets will flood with the tears of our young
Their cries go no longer forever unsung
No more innocent lives taken in battle
No more hear we war machines rattle
Cries of the past vanish into memory
As we escape the caves of Plato’s allegory
As we raise our glasses to the health of mankind
We move forward, our enemies far behind