Posted on November 21, 2015
Thanksgiving. Of all the holidays the U.S. and Canada observe, this is one not having Hallmark origins and commercial exploit. I like that the only "gift" attached to Thanksgiving is the giving and receiving of gratitude. The tradition of a thanks-giving celebration has been part of the cultural practice among Native Americans of the Great Plains and many native cultures. George Washington in 1789 and Abraham Lincoln in 1863 both reminded an infant nation about the importance of reflecting on giving thanks for all -- the persons and circumstances that give meaning to our identity and purpose. Not a day goes by when I think of who I am in the context of my role in our Mid-Pacific community. Standing daily in morning autoline greeting each child gives me simple joy. The highlights of the week captured in my weekly blogs are expressions of the appreciation I have for the many gifts I experience in my work. Some examples:
First and second graders in Michele LeBlanc's class learned about the Cinderella theme common to many countries -- nearly 300 versions of the classic tale. Children wrote their own clever adaptations with original characters. In the photo below, one student reads his Chinese adaptation of the fairy tale.
The Kindergartners showed their appreciation for the senior citizens at the care home near campus. One group of Kinders took their paper turkeys to share with friends, while another group of Kinders carried art materials to make holiday decorations with the preschoolers at University Baptist center.
Mid-Pacific celebrated International Education Week! Students from Chris Ferry's high school class of English Language Learners (students from China, Japan, and Korea) visited several elementary classrooms to practice their conversational English speaking skills. In small groups, the older students shared photos of their home, family, and friends.
Dr. Chris from Geotrac wowed students and faculty at a recent presentation. This federally-funded research program is conducting studies of water movement and chemical traces at the North Pole by collecting water samples Several of our classes are participating in the study with wooden boats they marked and have been floated at the North Pole to determine the movement of ocean currents. We learned that there is an ocean gyre because of satellite tracking using the students' boats. We were especially enthralled by the video of the research vessel and the different kinds of work it takes to conduct this study. Take note of the questions our students posed to Dr. Chris about the North Pole study, especially the third question! Yes, we believe in Santa.
My personal favorite experience of the week was a visit from a Honolulu Symphony string quartet. Rachel Saul, who teaches violin and cello in our Extended Learning program, invited colleagues to join her in sharing their gift with the children. Click on the link for a few seconds of their musical performance.
From our faculty and staff, we wish our families and friends of Mid-Pacific a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are grateful for the opportunity to learn with your children.
With deep appreciation for your children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.