Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Covey for Teens

By Dewey! Another pick from the 100s:

This book was a great idea! While teens can read Stephen Covey's original "7 Habits," his son Sean has adapted it for teenagers today. The book is immediately gripping, with real life stories of successful teens, cartoons and quotations. The seven habits are the same: Be proactive, Begin with the end in mind, Put first things first, Think win-win, Seek first to understand and then to be understood, Synergize, and Sharpen the Saw. They're applicable to all of us, and this book for teens presents them in such a lively and interesting way that anyone could enjoy and prodit from this book.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Can't Wait for Iorek!

St. Dunstan can't wait till he sees the movie -- opening Friday! If you can't wait either, then here are links to the top two fansites and another great page of resources:
Horn Book HDM Page, with links, interviews, and more

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Waiting for "The Golden Compass": The Date is Set!

The much-awaited film version of The Golden Compass, the first volume of His Dark Materials, is opening in less than a week, and the very next week we're going to see it! That is, the eight graders, Mrs. Morrison, Mr. Uhler, and Mrs. Hyde are all going to see the movie in Asheville. Why? Because we're all reading The Golden Compass for the 2008 North Carolina Battle of the Books. Our first team, some years back, starred Ms. Tillett's son Aaron (now a graduate of Brown), won its local championship. Since then the trophy has been in other hands, but we always read and we always take part in the Battle!

This year's 8th graders are an especially perspicacious group, and we have high hopes for them in the spring.

What better way to kick off the battle training season and the holidays than by seeing this sure-to-be-fine movie?

St. Dunstan suggests that each of you get a copy of this book -- a terrific adventure set in an alternate Oxford,England, and involving gypsies, polar bears, children, sinister adults, witches, zeppelins and one Texan balloonist, all involved in a fantastic and breathtaking adventure. Believe me, this story will entrance all ages. But don't believe me -- go see the movie, and read the book!

Friday, November 9, 2007

By Dewey! New in the 100s


Grollman, Earl A. Straight Talk About Death For Teenagers: How to Cope With Losing Someone You Love, Boston: Beacon Press, 1993

Earl Grollman has written many books on coping with death and has traveled all over the country, speaking with groups of young people on the topic. he also writes about parenting for USA Today. This book for teens is also recommended for parents, teachers, counselors, ministers and youth leaders.

Some young people have yet to face the death of a loved one, but many of them have experienced the sudden, tragic death of a friend in an accident or from illness. Many teenagers lose grandparents, and some have to cope with the loss of a parent. This book offers practical and supportive words that speak directly to teens without condescension. Grollman talks about losing a friend to suicide, losing a sibling, death by violence or by accident, and death after an illness.

He discusses all the possible reactions to death and ways of coping. One of the main points of the book is to let the teenager know that he is not alone in feeling the way he does. He talks about the experience of attending a funeral and about what to face when returning to school and getting on with one's life.

Highly recommended for all who must face death -- and that means all of us, at some time.

Monday, November 5, 2007

By Dewey! First in a Series Featuring New Books at SDL

Melvil Dewey was a cranky old guy who believed in spelling reform, among other things, and his Dewey Decimal System is not loved as much as formerly, but school and public libraries still find it useful for our materials. I'd like to feature some of our new books by Dewey categories.. For today, we'll look at the first category, 000-099, called "Generalities." This is where books about computers go, since Dewey presumably had never dreamed of such things.
Our new book in this section in Tim Berners-Lee's Weaving the Web: the Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web By its Inventor. (HarperSanFrancisco, 1999) Besides being the inventor of the Web, Berners-Lee is a professor at MIT and a MacArthur Fellow and was named one of the100 greatest minds of the 20th century by TIME Magazine.
For a little perspective on the Web: our current students have never been aware of a world without it. On the other hand, when I was in library school at UNC in the early 1990s, the Web was so new that PhD candidates in Information Science were giving lectures on it to us Masters' candidates. Now we all take it for granted and use it without thinking about it.
This promises to be a fascinating account of a force that pervades our personal, work and academic lives. Especially now that we are at a point where commercial forces and government entities rattle their spears over possible control both content and access, while true Web believers are adamant in their desire to see it remain free and open, it's good idea for those of us who care about open access to information to understand what's behind it all.
Highly recommended for anyone concerned about the future of information.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Seven buses and activity vans took 220 boys and assorted faculty to the Asheville School on a brilliant October Saturday afternoon. Warmed by the sun cooled by the crisp breezes, and fueled by tons of tailgate feasting at home, fans were dressed in green, painted green, glittering in green, carrying banners and flags and a blue skeleton waiting to be hanged or hatcheted. We cheered, we yelled, we schmoozed, we held our breaths (though the suspense was only for play, since we knew we’d win). At the end of the game we rushed the field, then returned to school tired but happy. In the evening we danced under swirling colored lights to the primitive beats of the sound system. Boys and girls mingled, boys danced alone, girls danced in groups, boys and girls dances in lines and together. It was an evening for young energy. The island boys laid down fancy moves, Asian boys met Asian girls, a mysterious well-rounded apparition in a bathrobe and flipflops proved light and agile on his feet and blew us away, little brothers danced and teased and mingled in, a quiet boy found a girl who thought he was fascinating and they talked all evening, ping pong balls got squashed underfoot, and chaperones prowled the perimeters, some bored, some tsk-tsking, some cheering on the Red Sox on the silent TVs overhead. Four hours of dancing, and it was time to say good bye for another year and to start looking to the winter.
P.S. On Sunday I asked one of the Korean boys how he had liked the dance. He said, "I went, but I didn't stay very long. The dancing they were doing wasn't like the etiquette dinners. I thought it would be more like that."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Stage is Set

The school is ready, the faculty's ready, the students are ready, the kayaks and tennis courts and soccer field are ready -- in fifteen minutes we have Convocation, to open the 2007-2008 school year!
Go Greenies, start on the new adventure!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spring Fiesta

The wonderful Parents' Council put on a festive luncheon for faculty and staff this Tuesday. We enjoyed the colorful decorations and the fabulous food. Thanks, parents! Enrique and Lupe (pictured here) were present, overlooking it all.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Student Artists

Several student paintings and photos created under the direction of art teacher Betty Weil were shown recently in the local "Artists of Tomorrow" show and are now hanging in Wetmore Hall. Here are a few, including an American flag treatment by one of our German students.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Summer Reading Bookfair

We're trying a new approach this year to summer reading. Based on a model used by other independent schools and shared with us by Woodberry Forest, here's how it works. Students will attend a book fair today in the Beaver Student Center to browse the books offered by sponsoring faculty. Each participating faculty member has chosen a favorite book for summer reading. Students will sign up with the teacher to read that book over the summer, and maybe share reactions through blogs or email. When school opens again in August we will have a series of social evenings during which a group of students will meet with the teacher to wrap up discussion of their book.

This year's choices include fiction and non-fiction, old and new titles, long and short, ranging from John Steinbeck's classic The Pearl to Michael Pollan's recent The Omnivore's Dilemma.

Here's a list of the available choices and their faculty sponsors:

The Omnivore's Dilemma: a Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan (sponsor Kirk Brown)

The Pearl, John Steinbeck (Vance Brown)

Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card (Dan Chase)

In the Heart of the Sea: the Tragedy of the Whaleship "Essex," Nathaniel Philbrick (Erich Cluxton)

Lady on the Hill (the story of the Cecil family and the Biltmore House), Howard E. Covington, Jr. (Scott Greene)

The Cruelest Miles, Guy and Leney Salisbury (Leigh Harris)

Angels and Demons, Dan Brown (Brandon Herder)

The Alchemist, Paolo Coehlo (Laura Hope-Gill)

Wolf Whistle, Lewis Nordan (Jane Hyde)

Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (Ryan John -- new faculty in English!)

Grievances, Mark Ethridge (Donna Kinney)

A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole (Mary Landingham)

Hardball, Chris Matthews (Jackson Mabry)

A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson (Bryan Martin)

Art of War, Sun Tzu (Jeff Miles)

The Road, Cormac McCarthy (Mary Jane Morrison)

No Excuses, Kyle Maynard (Duncan Parham)

Six Hours One Friday, Max Lucado (Bruce Stender)

The Legend of Bagger Vance, Steven Pressfield (Denis Stokes)

The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (Lyn Tillett)

Shoeless Joe, W.P. Kinsella (Craig Tredenick)

Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe (James Uhler)

The Manchurian Candidate, Richard Condon (Betty Weil)

This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald (Michael Zito -- new faculty in English also!)

A First Draw!

As you probably know, Matt Horwitz is our unofficial but undoubted campus chess champoin. Beating Matt is a goal of a lot of the guys, and one day recently, Marcus managed his first draw. Congratulations, Mmarcus!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Student Art

Student art is on display in the halls and lobbies of the school. Here are a few examples, snapped on the fly by St. Dunstan, as he hurried off to his post.
Christ School's Fine Arts Department inspires students each year to discover new talents and practice known interests, and the output is impressive, including drawings and paintings, etchings, pottery, weaving, and photography.
Look for some of the school's artists' work in this spring's Struan literary magazine. Results of the annual competition and publication date to be announced soon. Look for it here, as St. Dunstan keeps his eye out for interesting events.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The NEW New Oak

Last fall we planted a replacement to the old oak tree, under which generations had gathered to get on the bus for trips. St. Dunstan blogged about it but had to lose the first blog and its posts. We lost the first new tree as well, but it was recently replaced by a healthy young specimen. It stands on the site of the old oak. Christ School friends can continue to gather at the oak tree, hopefully for generations to come.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

A Boy's Best Friend

We had a Dog Day Morning today before leaving for our Easter holiday. I was able to meet Elvis, Bosley, Moe, Marley, Bosco , and more. If I missed your dog, let me know, and we can arrange a special visit. A blessed Easter to you and yours.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Touch of Home on Thursday

There's a nice touch of home coming to school tomorrow, Thursday, April 5. It's the last class day before the Easter Vacation, and I'm looking forward to the treat for the day. We'll be back in school next Wednesday. Happy Easter to everyone from St. Dunstan's.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Welcome to the new library weblog

This new weblog replaces the former "St. Dunstan's Notes" and begins here, in April of 2007. Check here (or subscribe to the blog's feed) for pictures of the campus and news of what's going on in the library and the school.

The picture is of the librarian action figure, available from Archie McPhee. It's modelled on Nancy Pearl of Book Lust fame. Nancy Pearl is a wise public librarian practicing in the Pacific Northwest and the author of Book Lust and the Booklust Wiki.

Your library owns one of these action figures, which is available for action by request at the front counter. The library, however, is not a "Shhhhh" place but rather an active place of learning, puzzle doing and chess playing. And lots of good books to check out.

Coming soon: the new "new oak tree."