Halloween and El Día de los Muertos was a cause of much celebration and quite a bit of learning at Hillside.
The 5th and 6th grade took advantage of the ready availability of pumpkins to do a little math. Their “Pumpkin Explorations” has them estimating the weight of the pumpkin and then testing their answers, estimating the number of seeds in each pumpkin and determing how close their prediction was to the actual answer and finally calculating how many seeds each student would get if they were distributed evenly.
Not only did they do some fine math but at the end of the day they had a jack o’ lantern as well.
The Spanish Class celebrated the Mexican holiday, El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) which is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.
And of course there was the annual Halloween Party. Replete with great costumes, games, and sweets.
December’s Yule Ball was a delightful celebration full of light, music, dancing, and games, both for current students and their guests. We are grateful to Seniors Alex Nolan and Riley Miller who organized students and parents to send out invitations, to decorate the upper school with festive lights, and to feed us a feast of meats, cheeses, crackers, cookies, and more. Everyone came dressed in holiday best and wearing masks that made one feel as if we were at the Carnival in Venice. Kevin Mills played enchanting and contemplative music on his beautiful harp. Kathy Frugé-Brown taught and called contra-dances and kept us laughing and lively throughout the evening. We jigged around to the Eastern European twang of klezmer bands in a wild game of musical chairs—and, in a limbo challenge, Isabel Wallace and Jack Alford flexed further below that broomstick than anyone else. After some final notes from the harp and a few more dance steps, everyone pitched in to clean up before taking off for the winter vacation. The entire evening was a joy and a pleasure.
Although slammed by the recent surprise January snowstorm, we boldly stride forward into February and hope for the best! Events this month include our 5th/6th grades’ amazing, futuristic production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, another Open House for families unable to come because of the snow, and Hillside’s first-ever full-week February winter break. Please read closely for details; we have changed our calendar significantly to accommodate our recent snow days.
We are delighted to announce our Summer Discovery Program 2012!
Hillside’s Summer Discovery Program offers youth, grades 5 – 9, four weeks of opportunities to explore (wilderness near and far), design (theatrical sets), create (sculpture, visual media), cook (delicacies), duel (with sabres), act (on stage), and survive (the outdoors). Please see our website for details. Come join the fun!
Join us as we travel back to the future for a unique evening celebrating one of Shakespeare’s great comedies. Our heroine, Viola, finds herself shipwrecked on the planet of Illyria, where her adventures take her, disguised as a man, to the court of the noble Duke Orsino. Will she ever find her lost twin brother Sebastian? Will the Duke win the hand of the beauteous Countess Olivia? Will the Countess’ roguish Uncle Toby amend his drunken ways? Will Toby con exuberant-but-dim Sir Andrew out of his inheritance? All these questions and more will be answered in our sci-fi version ofTwelfth Night. New February 5th/6th Twelfth Night performance schedule: Sunday, February 12: Mandatory Dress Rehearsal, 1:00 – 5:30 pm Tuesday, February 14: Morning Performance, 10:00 am All students arrive at 9:00 am. Wednesday, February 15: Evening Performance: $10 ticket 6:30 pm performers’ call 7:30 pm performance Thursday, February 16: Grades 5-6 only: NO SCHOOL during school day Evening Performance: $10 ticket 6:30 pm performers’ call 7:30 pm performance Friday, February 17: Grades 5-6 only:NO SCHOOL (Play recovery day)
In the event of an emergency in which cell phone and land lines are down in this region, we ask that parents contact Jim Chartier, Karen’s brother, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona to get messages to us. His phone numbers are (602) 505-3111 (cell phone) and (602) 953-3856 (landline). In an emergency or disaster, he will serve as the central hub for communication between Hillside students and staff and our Hillside families. Please note that between cell phones, texts can often get through when calls cannot; always try both methods on a cell phone if one method does not succeed.
Please contact Leslie Howells at Leslie@hillsidesc.org to make your appointment for the upcoming Monday, March 5, conferences by Monday, February 6. Conferences begin at 3:30 pm. Every effort is given to accommodate parents’ wishes in scheduling; please contact Leslie early if you need a specific time and she will do her best schedule your conferences accordingly.
With the addition of this Wednesday, February 8, make-up date, Animation Club will run three consecutive Wednesdays, 2/1, 2/8, and 2/15.
Please help spread the word about our snow make-up Open House to your friends, neighbors and co-workers. We have our fingers crossed, and are counting on better weather this time!
We applaud the performances of all Hillside’s participants in the Poetry Out Loud competition, including Alex Nolan, Matthew Coopersmith, and Paul Pfenning. Come support Paul Pfenning, Hillside’s representative at the regional poetry recitation competition. The Puget Sound Regional Finals will be held Saturday, February 11, 2012 at the Tacoma Public Library, 1102 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98402. Directions to the library can be found here. All students, teachers, families, and friends are invited, and there is no charge to attend. Here is the February 11 schedule for our Regional Final.
1:00 Students arrive & check in 1:15 – 1:45 Student workshop/ warm up on stage 2:00 Program begins 2:10 – 3:00 Round One 3:00 – 3:10 Short Break 3:10 – 4:00 Second Round 4:00 – 4:30 Presentation of awards, Q&A with participating students Two students will be selected from Puget Sound Regional Final B to participate in the State Final held on Saturday, March 10, 1-5 pm (the National Final is from Sunday to Tuesday, May 13-15, in Washington, D. C.). For the regional competition, each student must memorize and perform two poems from the Poetry Out Loud anthology. For more information about this national competition, go to the Poetry Out Loud site .
Please contact Leslie Howells at LeslieHowells@hillsidesc.org to make your appointment for the upcoming Monday, March 12, conferences by Monday, February 13. Conferences begin at 3:30 pm. Every effort is given to accommodate parents’ wishes in scheduling; please contact Leslie early if you need a specific time and she will do her best to schedule your conferences accordingly.
Please note: Extending the date of the drama production two weeks means that Fencing resumes two weeks later. The new price for Term II is $160 due to the reduced number of classes.
Please note: The later date of our Twelfth Night performance, combined with our mid-February week-long winter break, results in our intermediate grade students’ having fewer than two weeks of regular classes before the previously proposed March 6 conference date. Make-up conferences for the March 6 conference date will be held in early April, TBA. Parents may contact individual teachers at any time and arrange a meeting if they have specific concerns.
Our Snow Make-Up Days have been changed to regular school days to make up for the class time lost during our snowstorm.
Our Snow Make-Up Days have been changed to regular school days to make-up for the class time lost during our snowstorm.
Thursday, February 2: Block IIC: 7 – 8 Washington State History 9 – 12 Western Civilization from 1600 Friday, March 2: Block IIIA: 7 – 8 American Literature and Composition 9 – Art 10 – 11 Biology (Lab) Monday, March 26: Block IIIB: 7 – 8 General Science 9 – 11 Western Civilization from 1600 Tuesday, April 24: Block IIIC: 7 – 8 Art 9 – 11 Literary Criticism Wednesday, May 16: Spring Electives Begin
Snow began falling on Sunday up at Hillside, continued through Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and built up to six enchanting inches on Tuesday. Today (Wednesday the 18th) the powder has been piling up all day to well over a foot. After my morning run (yes, I’m crazy), I took an afternoon stroll through the woods to catch some photos of them—and as Frost says, they “were lovely, dark, and deep”.
The cedars and hemlocks drape down in tents around their trunks, white cushions soften the benches in the garden and the chair in the field, icicles fringe the gym roof, and the mossy maples reach like green and white candelabras for the sky. I’m very tempted to take my sled and hike high up Cougar Mountain to slide a mile and a half down its trails—but there might be school tomorrow, and I have “miles to go before I sleep”. I hope to see you soon.
Warm blessings to you all.
In November, we mentioned that the Washington State History Class took a field trip to meet Suguamish Tribal Elder, Ed Carriere on Bainbridge Island. You can click on that post here. The following painted boxes were inspired by that trip and the Native American Art that they saw.
School recommences at 9:00 am for a full day of classes.
Grades 7 & 8 General Science Grades 9-11 Literary Criticism
Intermediate Winter Drama Set-Up, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Grades 9 – 12 ‘Poetry Out Loud’ Competition at Hillside, 3:30 pm. Come listen to recitations of great poetry and cheer on the students!
Intermediate Winter Drama Set Painting, 12:00-4:00 pm
NO SCHOOL: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Teachers’ Meeting: 3:30 – 5:00 pm
Open House for Prospective Families, 1:00 – 3:00 pm Our last Open House was a success and we look forward to sharing our program with even more families at this one. Help yourself to the Open House post card announcements in the basket on the hall table, and share them with your friends and co-workers and at your neighborhood gathering places. You, our satisfied and supportive families, are our best advertisers. We encourage you to spread the good news about Hillside School!
Twelfth Night Dress Rehearsal 1:00 – 5:00 pm (grades 5-6 attendance mandatory)
Grades 7 & 8 Washington State History Grades 9-11 Western Civilization after 1600
5-6th grade class presents Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, 7:30 pm
5-6th grade class presents Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, 7:30 pm
Hillside Cavaliers Fencing Club sessions recommence for the Spring Term.
VIBES co-ordinator, Sue Hanlon, for Bellevue School District and she is looking for student volunteers. If any students are interested in volunteer hours, the person to contact is Janet Smith firstname.lastname@example.org at 425-456-4152. Contact information can also be found on the Bellevue School District website. They are looking for students in 9th grade or older.
“The Shrink Ray”, by students Alex Nolan, Riley Miller, Grace Madland, Matt Coopersmith, and Nathan Hunter, is a four-minute odyssey about four students (played by Alex, Riley, Matt, and Grace) who are shrunk by an evil classmate (Nathan) and must navigate the perils presented by the Stage Room in an attempt to escape his evil plot. Over the course of the adventure, they outrun the villain’s stomping shoe, scale a shelf, and fly a remote control helicopter to find Kathy and ask for her help. Grace even has a fight scene, in which she fences with a rat intent on eating the minuscule friends.
The video became extremely popular, “going viral” on June 29th, 2011. That’s when a video accumulates a lot of views, very quickly, usually because viewers send the video to each other via email. As more and more viewers do so, the views increase exponentially before settling to a lower, but often still hefty, viewership.
How “The Shrink Ray” reached fame is unknown–it’s likely that “Youtubers” first found it after accessing another video with similar “tags”, or keywords. One student has suggested that it may have been reviewed by a well-known Youtube vlogger.
The students who worked on “The Shrink Ray” haven’t let fame affect them. Grace, who was a senior when she made the movie, is now a sophomore at Gettysburg college. Nathan, the story’s villain, is a freshman at Whitworth College. Alex and Riley will graduate from Hillside this year, both leaving a legacy of claymations like “The Shrink Ray”; Alex is particularly well known for “Dragonprince”, Riley for “Don’t Litter: It’s a Crime”. Matt is in his junior year at Hillside and is also continuing his claymation career. This year he is working on a retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood”.
Alex Nolan started the Hillside Animation Club Youtube Channel in April, 2011. The plan was to have a single place where some of Hillside’s best animations could be viewed, both for the benefit of students wishing to share their work with others and for that of prospective students and their families trying to learn more about the wonderful creative programs that Hillside offers. It currently holds sixteen of Hillside’s greatest hits, from personal projects such as “Winter” and “The Baby” (by student Flora Whiting and alumnus Noel Sherrard respectively) to group projects and “pixillations” such as “The Mad Scientist”. Since its creation, the site has garnered almost 12,518 views. It’s an astonishing feat, especially given that 11,857 of those views belong to one video.
To learn more about the history of animation at Hillside, click here.