By Sydney Brown ’23
After graduating from The Winchendon School, Syd continues to work in the Marketing Department before heading off to Providence College in the Fall.
For the past two weeks, students have spent time immersing themselves in their ColLAB group as a way to hit the ground running on the interests or passions every student contains. These ColLABs set students up to learn new perspectives opening their eyes to the world around them while bonding with their peers.
The Spirit of America group ravaged the waters of the Boston Coast, learning about all things American. Run by a history fanatic herself, Tiffany Pellegrini, wanted her students to learn how to appreciate the detailed history of the attested houses that surround them and the archive that appears unnoticed. Through their journey, learning about the history that slowly uncovers Massachusetts, and going to Fenway Park, Battleship Cove, and The Whaling Museum are just a few to name. When you aim to take a glimpse at the students presenting during the symposium, you start to recognize a culture that embodies Boston, MA, and its neighboring territories. It isn’t solely an authentic landmark but a journey about those who came before us to create a beautiful adventure for generations.
Mental health and physical well-being are increasingly important elements of a person’s daily life, yet there’s a confronting barrier regarding what is “right” or the “best” way to effectively pursue it. Students participated in (hot) yoga and CrossFit while learning about recovery processes and nutrition that associates with an individual’s lifestyle. Symposium was filled with yoga practices that target certain muscle groups, how to roll out your muscles with a roller, and protein smoothies. Through talking with a student, she emphasized how she wants to become a child psychologist. She saw this ColLAB as an opportunity to gain experience while including her own perspective on the matter.
“Any Way the wind blows” is still singing through the school while the lovers’ bounty of Romeo and Juliet seems to be an ongoing debate of interpretation of what love looks like. The theater scene was very much alive in the student presentations at the symposium today with a photo booth from the play Hadestown, a timeline of Romeo and Juliet, and the occasional goat headbands the faculty leaders, Jacques Delorme and Bart Bollander were dancing about through the room. Most of the students who attended the Broadway adventure throughout New York are current members of our Theater Department, who continue to further their knowledge in their collective interest in the arts.
If you prefer not to sink in a boat and then have to swim through murky waters, the Boat Restoration ColLAB was a perfect way to avoid the misery of it all. Our Mathematics teacher, Marc Frushell’s boat needed an extensive fixing and a class of hands-on learners were ready to get their hands dirty. This entailed learning about the ins and outs of how a boat navigates the water while foraging from the basic level perspective of an engineer. Asking questions akin to what makes a boat float? What material is required to prevent breakdown or holes at the surface? These were only some of the questions students considered, as well as implementing a learn-as-you-go approach using intricate elements that fabricates a boat to its intention.
For all the coffee and sweets lovers out there, the Coffee & Confectioners ColLAB sought some popularity for the free drinks and treats they offered. Nonetheless, the bulk importance for students to master was the entrepreneurship spirit of the undertaking in making coffee and selling it. This meant researching funds, altering a client’s needs such as more options to apply to one’s coffee, traveling to different coffee shops, learning about the process of creating a delicious cup of joe, and the accurate efforts it takes to market one’s business to usher consumer demand. Witnessing the interactions between the coffee baristas and approaching students, Mizan and Ariana, were sure to give you a meaningful interaction with a precise focus on giving you the best advice on what to eat or drink before you hit the desk (or the office).
Looking for a career in sports? How about sports journalism interviewing the most popular sports influencers of today? John Hassan is an English teacher at the school who has had much experience at ESPN performing journalism work and has had the chance to form a network with the Vice President of Digital Media, James Heuser, and Skip Bayless, a commentator for his show ‘Undisputed’. Students were given the platform to ask questions through Zoom to these notable individuals. Students also took a trip to the Red Sox game at Fenway and the Revs game at Gillette. This gave them a chance to find meaning in the topics they researched as a result of writing a preview for the games and interviews they conducted. I had the pleasure to sit in on the call with James Heuser in which I was amazed by John’s accessibility to people who the youth aspire to be. Even how excited the students were to interact as Ryan Burke enthusiastically asked his question about James’s experience prior to his position.
Every single student has a basis to elicit their curiosity into making it a reality. ColLAB offers that platform for you. So, dive head first into endless possibilities; it’s up to you.