Our annual Diversity Day–26 years and counting!–promotes an exchange of ideas, hobbies, and culture through workshops and activities.
The morning began with Zeke Cohen, Baltimore City Councilman and former student of Mrs. Vachet, speaking on “Building an Equitable Community.” We then had more than 20 workshops led by both students and faculty, including: Desi for a Day, The Peace Corps, Unicycling, Lebanese Culture, Chinese Food and Culture, Cosmetology, Intro to Yo-Yo, Ecuadorian Culture, Zumba, Vietnamese Food, Civic Engagement, Harry Potter Trivia, Fun with Ukeleles, and more. We also had a yoga session led by Eric Love and a performance of Afro-Cuban music by Iroko Nuevo. To conclude the festivities, Khadija Gurnah of MomsRising spoke on “Diversity to Activism.”
So many workshops, so little time! We’ll just have to do this again next year…
Over spring break, 40 or so members of the MacDuffie community went on a memorable guided tour of Spain and France. It seems like just yesterday that Mrs. Vachet and Mr. Hillman engaged in a playful “Spain vs. France” Assembly skit to kick off the trip’s information session!
In Spain, students, accompanied by faculty and staff chaperones, stayed in Madrid for several days. Sites included the Reina Sofia Museum, the Royal Palace, a cooking school evening, Madrid Stadium, and the Prado Museum as well as side trips to Segovia, El Escorial, and the Valley of the Fallen.
Next the group flew to France, where they spent a few days in Bayeux and explored nearby Mont St. Michel and the D-Day Normandy sites. From there the group traveled to Paris, where they saw nearby Versailles Palace, the Eiffel Tower (at night!), Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre.
It was quite an adventure (and no word which country won in Spain vs. France…it must have been a tie). Scroll down to enjoy a few of the photos contributed by several travelers. Time to plan the next trip!
One of Ms. Tomkiel’s English 12 classes recently took a field trip to the Belchertown Senior Center. The students had just completed a unit on the literature of “origins and insights” and interviewed seniors on that topic. There were three WWII vets, a gentleman who brought his son (himself nearly a senior!) to assist, and a few former teachers.
Ms. Tomkiel said it was a lovely experience that gave students a chance to pair authentic writing with community outreach. The students will write up their interviews in prose and poetry and will present their works to the seniors as a thank you.
Our Extended Orientation Program (EOP) introduces international students to life at MacDuffie several weeks before the start of classes. This year, students had a chance to get settled on campus and explore the region through excursions such as Tanglewood, Hammonasset Beach, bowling at Spare Time in Northampton, spending the day at Six Flags New England, and much more. Also, we have a group of returning students from Indonesia who took part in the programming by helping their new schoolmates get acquainted with campus life and the MacDuffie community.
Welcome to MacDuffie!
We welcomed a new group of Residential Assistants (RAs) to campus with a week-long training program alongside returning RAs. In addition to team-building activities and a role-playing duty workshop (e.g., what action to take if a student is doing X), RAs engaged in First Aid and CPR training, bus training, IT training, to name a few. The RAs capped off the week with a dinner at the home of Mrs. Lyman, Dean of Boarding Life.