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Dr. Palmer's Update: April 2013
April 4, 2013
Last week brought a foot of snow, resulting in an unusual post-spring-break snow day. Spring is inevitable, however—and so is graduation. Yet we still have much to do before celebrating our graduates in the first weeks of May.
Spring season athletic teams are off and running, hitting, catching, and throwing. School and College spring break trips to Florida and California helped prepare tennis, baseball, softball, and soccer teams. Boys’ tennis and girls’ soccer at the School started with victories. At the College, rugby and women’s lacrosse began their seasons with winning home openers—and track and field athletes continue to break personal and College records.
As the School prepares for tonight’s first performance of this year’s spring production, Singin’ in the Rain, the College just finished presenting the World War II drama Hiding in the Open.
Just last week, our student-led Public Affairs Conference was held at the College and focused on youth empowerment. The numerous workshops and terrific speakers included an opening talk by Erin Grunwell (whose story was the basis of the feature film Freedom Writers). On campus prior to the conference, keynote speaker Ronny Edry (founder of the Israel Loves Iran movement) met for the first time with Iranian Majid Nowrouzi (who launched an Iran Loves Israel campaign in response to Ronny’s message). Check out the Euphrates Institute website to get the full story. Clearly, this was a fruitful, inspiring event for all involved.
It’s Parents’ Weekend at the College, and we will be hosting the Annual Cardboard Canoe Regatta in the Crafton Center Natatorium since the late spring has left the Mississippi River inhospitably cold for disintegrating vessels.
On April 11 at 7:30 p.m., we will host Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, as this year’s Ernie and Lucha Vogel Moral Courage Lecturer. The talk will be available live on Principia Internet Radio for anyone unable to attend.
EdTech magazine recently recognized the College’s 21st Century Classroom for contributing to training the next generation of “renaissance technologists.” We remain grateful to the 50th Reunion Classes of 1962 and 1963 for making this high-tech classroom possible through generous donations.
Our state-of-the-art classroom is just one example of how Principia is adjusting to meet changing conditions—a requirement for progressive education as defined by Principia founder Mary Kimball Morgan (see Education at The Principia, p. 5).
You can be part of this progressive education with nothing more high-tech than a basic computer and Internet connection. Sign up for a May online seminar, and you can dive into the lessons of U.S. involvement in Iraq with former CIA analyst Janessa Gans Wilder or study the science and politics of climate change with Christian Science Monitor science reporter Pete Spotts. Get the details on these seminars and upcoming educational trips at www.PrincipiaLifelongLearning.org.
This is a great time of year to remember the deeper meaning of commencement—it’s not just finishing something, but the beginning of a new chapter. In the meantime, we are relishing each moment while finishing the current academic year alongside a remarkable group of students, faculty, and staff.