Sunday, November 16, 2014

Falling into Winter as BEHS's 1st Trimester Ends

That's right.  They have TRI-mesters.  That'll take some acclimating, but I'm adjusting.  What it means, is that this trimester is nearly over--on Thursday, to be exact, and grades are due.  So much to do, and winter seems impatient to crowd its way in. Snow fell for the better part of 2 days, and now the mountains are white.  Took this photo from my front window this morning.
Despite how long I've been in front of the computer, owing to the fact that I'm home with very little vocal capacity at the moment, I want to post somethings about this amazing school.  
IF there's any way you can make it to this performance of Les Miserables, do it.  I don't even LIKE this story in musical format, usually--not even the original Broadway version.  I LOVED this! The staging, scenery, vocals (particularly the choral numbers), acting...there are no words.  Not a static character on the stage at any time.  The child actors wowed everyone too!
BEHS's musical director, Melanie Day, is a genius!
Kate Olson was my favorite soloist.  With a rich, clear and controlled excellence, 
she stole the show every time she sang.  
Now for some clips from what my 10th and 11th graders have produced over the Tri.
After reading The Alchemist, the 10th graders were to write a narrative and produce a Dreamboard for their lives, tying in their goals and aspirations--what matters most to them--in with what they learned in this novel.  Here's one happy, bright-themed version.
Here's another--both of these, quite aptly fit the personalities and thinking patterns of each student.
In early Autumn, the 11th graders went outside to explore an excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson's Nature, chose one sentence to use in a narrative essay.  To further aide in connecting with this author, they chose wallpaper and a leaf pattern, cut it out and wrote their sentence on it, placing it wherever suited them on the wall in the classroom.
"But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars."  
In response to this Emerson line, here's part of what Troy Sterner wrote, "If a man walks alone at night, he will look up at the darkened sky.  he will glance up at the white light that sprinkles over the ancient glow, a friend to man, that has aged unimaginably...he will lose himself in thought.  Glancing at the many dots will bring him a sense of peace and longing for company.  
He will stare at the night sky, and time itself will seem to stop."
"I am a lover of untamed and immortal beauty."  
McKell Halladay, feels a kindred connection with Emerson's statement that 
"All natural objects make a kindred impression, when illustrate mind is open to their influence."  She shared an experience from visiting a mountain canyon at sunset as it reflected on Willard Bay;
"The blues, oranges and pinks seemed to melt together in a beautifully painted scene...almost surreal, yet it felt like home.  To this day, I go to that spot for comfort and the sunset fades into a glowing night sky, where the lights in the valley and the stars overhead are almost mirror images.
It is a comfort that cannot be provided by human hands.  It is simply natural."
The narratives were inspired.  
"'The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are always inaccessible." ...Emerson doesn't just mean stars, but nature in general...I spent many nights...watching the stars...always felt like there was something there with me...It was a very humbling the woods and when I saw a deer, or a flower, a squirrel, or a leaf...this thought kept coming to me, "if only I could sit here and watch this forever...Maybe then, and only then, I might understand a millionth of all this."  I think that even though nature on earth is easier to reach than the stars, it still is just as inaccessible to us.  Though we can walk right up to most of it and touch it, we still can't even imagine the full beauty of nature." --Jaden Stevenson
Next we studied Edgar Allan Poe and the students chose and created 
one of many multi-media responses to his work.  
Landon, here, is Death in "The Masque of the Red Death."  
We had short silent films, amusing skits, power points and story boards presented over
the course of a week or so.
One young artist, Naomi Ross, successfully chose a different option.
She drew Poe with a gentler expression and then found images on line to add which
illustrate the dark stories which came out of a troubled mind, which,
she explained, were a form of catharsis. 
Another girl blew our minds with a poetic folk song she composed and sang--
a love song to Edgar.  It was exquisite.  (Yes, she's in Les Mis, too!)
Ok, tomorrow is the first day of the last week of this trimester, and I'm hoping I have a voice.
Most of all, though, I hope most of these students are in my next or 3rd trimester, too.  
I'm just getting to know them and want/need more time with them!
The made-up young lady on the left, Sadie Hyde, wrote and put together a delightful skit for class, told from the executioners' point of view in The Pit and the Pendelum.  She's incredibly talented!
On a more homey note, I've discovered a couple of fun facts:
My rabbit, Ginger, likes to chew on slippers just like a puppy!  He's always trying to chew on my socks while I'm wearing them, so I let him keep and take into his cage, 
this old slipper from Asiana Airlines.
However, I think it made him a little sick.  
He also LOVES to be petted, licks my hand and snuggles his soft face into my palm.
And finally, creating a guest room takes only minutes, blowing up a $50+ air mattress!  
There are definitely some advantages to modern ideas.  I love this!  So simple and much cheaper, as well as comfortable, than the old sleeper sofas!
Stay warm and have a very happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Beautiful, as always, dear Joanna--and a warm and happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  2. Thanks, Susan! Will you be in town through the rest of the year? Hoping to make it down to Provo at some point!