News - October 2009 Archives
Javen returned to New York City this past summer to co-produce and act in the Handcart Ensemble’s production of “The Odyssey,” from an adaptation by Simon Armitage. Javen played Antinous (the leader of the suitors) and Eurylochus (Odysseus’ right hand man who eventually betrays him). The show was very well-received, and the initial run sold out. It has now been extended through October with an option to continue through November.
Before Javen came to Waterford he was Associate Artistic Director of the Handcart Ensemble, which seeks out new translations and adaptations of classical works, including New York and/or world premieres of works by Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Paul Muldoon, Eamon Grennan and now Simon Armitage.
The poetically-named poet Harmony Button is entering her second year of teaching at Waterford. We feel lucky to have her here, and wanted to give everyone the chance to learn a bit more about her. Ms. Button grew up in Rochester, NY, where as a girl she dreamed of someday becoming a novelist, a dog-sled racer, and the person who names Crayola crayon colors. She did her undergraduate work at Middlebury College, and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Poetry from the University of Utah. From 2003-2008 she was a faculty member at the Philips Exeter Summer School. She has published critical and creative work in “a number of professionally respectable yet mostly unheard-of journals and magazines,” and can be heard from time to time reading her work at the City Arts series and other events.
How did you and Waterford come together?
Alchemy. Waterford has strange magnetic properties. If you’re attracted to certain intellectual characteristics, you eventually make your way here.
Already this school year, Waterford has hosted a number of prominent thinkers. Some highlights:
Dr. Cole Durham (see photo), is a Professor of Law at BYU and Director of the Center for Law and Religion Studies. He is an internationally recognized legal scholar. Dr. Durham presented a fascinating Upper School Lunch Lecture about international human rights and religious freedom law.
Dr. Andrew Biemiller is Professor Emeritus of Developmental Psychology at the University of Toronto and Associate Editor of the Journal of Educational Psychology. He is a widely respected expert in child vocabulary development and instruction. Dr. Biemiller spoke to Waterford faculty about his ongoing research promoting vocabulary and language development in elementary school.
Dr. Peter Fairweather is a Research Staff Member at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. He has a doctorate in psycholinguistics, and has served on the faculty at Northwestern University and the University of Texas. His current research involves matching the interaction demands of computers to the different abilities of their users. Dr. Fairweather met with Waterford faculty to share his expertise on conditions that affect teaching and learning.
By Nancy Heuston, Head of School
The beginning of the school year is a time to set young feet forward. It is a time for us as teachers and parents to set our sights for the year ahead. These will determine the trajectory of our work and define the quality of our efforts. The only mistake we might make is to aim too low.
With the memory of the light-filled days of summer still bright, we look forward to walking together as we teach our students to embrace challenge and to begin a lifetime of seeking to know and being changed by that which they learn.
In Lower Schools, we teach the students what is expected and how to do what needs to be done. In Middle School, they learn to choose more carefully and deliberately, and to accept responsibility for their duties. In Upper School, with maturing minds and social skills, the students enter the world of young adults, and begin to match their behavior against clear, absolute standards — in the classroom and within the community.