Mountain Day and Candlelight are often cited when you ask seniors or alumni about their favorite MacDuffie traditions. (And a few might say Senior Sleepover, which caps off the day.) This year’s events took place on a beautiful, unseasonably warm October day.
After climbing Mount Holyoke and enjoying stunning views in every direction, the community had dinner together. As dusk fell, we made our way in silence to the bonfire in the field, formed two circles, and lit candles. The inner circle of new students and faculty then joined the outer circle, symbolizing that we’re no longer new or returning–just one community at MacDuffie. The evening concluded with CIRCLE value reflections from students and the Head of School and the singing of “Summer Suns” and “The Magnolia Song.”
Summer went by in a snap, and the opening of the 2017-18 school year is underway.
To begin, we welcomed new international students and their families to campus. We have students from 26 nations in the MacDuffie community this year. Some of the nations represented by new and returning students include Brazil, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Nigeria, Russia, Rwanda, South Korea, Turkey, Vietnam, and the Virgin Islands (St. Croix).
Also this week we had registration, ice breaking activities with Playfair, and the annual Ice Cream Social for parents, students, faculty, and staff. (For the flavor-curious: choices included chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, black raspberry, coffee, and cotton candy.)
And now we’re ready for the school year!
Commencement exercises took place on Saturday, June 10, at Abbey Chapel on the Mount Holyoke College campus. We bid a final senior farewell to 79 domestic and international students.
“How do we make an impact in this world?” asked Head of School Steve Griffin in his opening remarks. “Do to the next generation what you wish our generation would have done for you. How do you treat people who haven’t even been born yet? If that’s not a rhetorical question, then my answer is this: take care of this earth, and think and innovate to make this a more peaceful place.”
Our students are off to colleges and universities throughout the US and beyond. We wish them every success!
The International Festival is easily the tastiest MacDuffie tradition. Each year, our international students come together to make and share food from their culture, and the result is a panorama of flavors, languages, and colors. China, Turkey, Korea, and Russia were just a few of the nations represented…and the photos don’t do it justice. The best way to experience International Festival is through your palate.
Why do people prefer the left side of a face in a photo?
Could antibacterial hand gel work on plant fungi?
And colors: Which is best for reading retention, and which is best for portion control?
These are just a few of the questions posed at this year’s Science Fair, which featured projects from both Middle and Upper Schools. In addition to judges within the MacDuffie community, we also had area STEM professionals serve as judges (asking students questions and speaking with them in-depth about their projects). A special thank you to physics teacher Mr. Stella for coordinating the effort!