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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vanderbilt Visit

As a final event for our Island Readers & Writers work with Vanderbilt University, we were lucky enough to have two prominent scientists, a husband and wife couple, Julie and Billy Hudson, come for a visit and present on their work with the university medical center. Billy is doing cutting edge Diabetes research and is beginning to work with strange creatures called water bears. They are microscopic organisms that are nearly indestructible and they will hopefully help him with his work with the effects of Diabetes on the kidneys. We might be partnering up to help him by growing water bears in petri dishes for his lab next year. Amazing stuff.
July and Billy awarded the kids certificates for their participation in the IRW/Vanderbilt lessons.

Thanks to Billy and Julie for coming all the way out to our little island. Tune in for more updates about water bears!

After Party

After the Fun Fair, we have developed this tradition of a balloon popping contest. It's a reward after the massive clean up that the kids do (never once complaining!) following each Fun Fair. We save all the balloons to the side and then the popping commences, with lots of hilarity, of course.
Sometimes there are some misses, or belly flops, but always lots of cheering and...photographers?
Peter from the Island Institute was visiting our island fellow and getting some pics of her at work. Since she's done work with the kids at the school, they came down to see if they could get some shots of her with the kids. Well. This is what was happening. So, yes, true to Jessica fashion, she joined the kids in the balloon popping contest. I guarantee no other island fellow will have pictures of themselves sitting on balloons.
As Bradley came in he clapped his hands in glee saying, "This is my favorite part of the Fun Fair!" Definitely a tradition to continue.

3rd Fun Fair

During the last week of school we had our Fun Fair, the annual fund raising event that the students concocted two years ago. This time we added a new element, based upon the science Polycom on animal adaptations we had with Vanderbilt University recently. I called it the "Chopstick Challenge" and it was a big hit. While a time keeper kept track of the one-minute constraint, several challengers tried to collect as many beans as possible into their cups. It was a heated event.
Our old standbys: bean bag toss
Bake Sale
Pin the Tail on the Lobster
Lobster Fishing
Balloon Darts
Cody and Dylan were in charge of selling tickets at the door. They had the week off, since they had graduated the previous Friday, but we had them come back to work the Fun Fair as it was the source of their 8th grade trip funds. I think they were pretty happy to get a last go at some of the games.
Then, true to Fun Fair tradition, we had the Pie in the Face. Every student had their jars out with a picture of them making some face on it. The jar with the most tickets at the end of the fair would earn the pie. The first fair it was Cadin, then Jayde (with a stand-in by sister, Saylor) and this year...ta-ta-ta-tum! Mr. Finn. Yup. And who got to do the honors?? Myron.
Maybe I'm looking a little too gleeful as I encourage Myron to really load that whipped cream on there? Look at the crowd of kids egging him on. This is a rare treat in one's life...not every day you get to pie your teacher.
And with a deep breath, Myron plunged forward and really ground that sucker in there!!
The kids of course thought this was the most hilarious thing in the world. Even Myron, who had a poker face to beat the best of them, couldn't stop laughing.
Mr. Finn was a good sport and posed for pics before washing his considerable beard.
I think he'll remember this one.

Tea Party

Things were pretty, ah, hectic, at the end of school and I didn't get around to finishing up the blogging for the year. Seeing as we don't have internet connection at our house in Cherryfield, I've been unable to upload all the fantastic end-of-year activities. We're out here on Frenchboro for the day, taking advantage of the new double ferry on Wednesday, to do a little schoolwork and prep for next year. Shall I start with finishing up for LAST year?!

One of the great things the kids did at the end of the year was host a tea party. This was the brain child of Jessica, our ceramics instructor. She's finishing up her island fellowship this year (sniff, sniff...sigh) and wanted to have a culminating event that showcased all the kids had been working on for the past two years. She set her heart on a formal tea party, fancy dress and all.
It just so happened that it was an all-boy tea party, due to some absences, so Mr. Finn broke out the big guns and filtered through his tie collection for the kids. There was some serious tucking of tie tails into pants, but these boys were rockin' the sophisticated look.
The parents and community members also dressed up and were good sports about affecting a certain 'air' as they sipped their tea from handmade cups. There were lots of teas and special treats like cucumber sandwiches and spanakopita that Jessica had concocted for everyone to enjoy.
On one side of the school people could gather to sample the teas and goodies, and on the other side was a showcase of student ceramic work they had completed over the past two years.

Myron all spiffed up with a tie that had little green turtles on it that just so happened to match his shirt. Lovely.
Check this guy out. Love the specs and chili pepper tie.
Jessica posing with the boys. I told them, "Pinkies up!" for this shot. They are such good sports!
And here with our two graduates! We'll be missing these three next year.
Over at the art show, there were some discussions happening about the year...
...and the students could answer questions about their pieces.
It was a fantastic event, thanks to all the work of the students, Jessica, and of course everyone who showed up to enjoy the day.
Ready for their opening in New York City, I think.
Well, maybe not quite yet.
This is my favorite. When told to act like models and strike a pose. Love, love, love it!