Term 2020-2021 | Issue 2 | October 2020
From what I can tell, the students are really enjoying our Wednesday enrichment activities, both those offered online and in person. Those who come to school are clearly happy to be around one another, to reconnect with friends and to get to know others they've only encountered in online classes. The masks, the ever-present hand sanitizer, and our gentle reminders not to cluster notwithstanding, I think being at school—or even off campus with a teacher—gives them a sense of normalcy in this crazy time.
And the teachers and staff love seeing students on campus. Taryn wrote to me after a Wednesday session of board games on the deck, saying, "I can't tell you how lovely it is to spend time with the kids in person while feeling safe to do so." And Joan was delighted to see older, more experienced players teaching volleyball skills to younger students in true New School fashion. By the end of the session, every kid was getting the ball over the net, and nobody was keeping score.
We're slowly bringing in parents to lead activities as well. To date, we've had parent-led science, woodworking and economics activities, and there are more to come. We have a diverse and talented pool of parents and guardians, and they have a lot of great ideas.
So far we've been incredibly lucky with the weather, which has allowed us to hold these outdoor activities every week. Our next move is to bring in a couple of patio heaters and a fire pit so we can keep the program going even as it grows chillier. If it snows? We're building snowmen and enjoying s'mores around the fire pit.
30th Anniversary Announcement
The 30th Anniversary Celebration is going virtual this February!
Thank You, Donors!
Dear New School Family,
Director of Development & Community Engagement
Student Government on Community
In an online setting, the aspect of student-life that gets hurt most is socializing with classmates. We have every class at the same table, in the same chair, on the same device. There’s no more walking from one class to another. We don’t have our friends beside us to murmur a joke during class. We can’t ask the new student in math class for their snap before Spanish because once “the host has ended the meeting”, the teachers, our friends, and the new students disappear. Student government realizes the importance of maintaining these social connections, so we have been working to make the online experience as sociable as possible.
We are happy for 30
Yet we are still "New".
(By Ethan Ocasio)
Observing Equal Pay Days
The United States doesn’t pay women enough. Unfortunately the “land of opportunity” is not an even playing field for everyone. Here, if you’re a woman, you are likely going to make less money on the dollar than a non-minority man. On average, a woman makes about $0.81 for every dollar a White man makes (Escobedo and Lee), and decreases dependent on race. Asian American women earn the most, with $0.90 on the White man’s dollar; White women are next with $0.79; Black women follow with $0.62. Native American and Latina women earn the least with $0.57 and $0.54, respectively (NPWF).
These gaps in wages have led to the creation of “equal pay days.” The “equal pay day” comes from a 1996 push for women’s equality made by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) to spread awareness of America’s wage gap. Every year there’s a date marked to represent how much longer into the new year a woman must work to reach what a White man earns by December 31.
The calendar will enlighten, and maybe dishearten, you as the wage gaps demonstrate oppression in the United States.
What a White man makes by Dec. 31, 20xx:
How can we all unite to dismantle this racist and sexist system? Let’s stand up against the injustices faced by the women, especially Natives and Latinas. Our voices and our votes can make a difference. There should not be a “man’s dollar” and everyone else’s cents- it’s time to make real change for the people who need it most.
(By Taylor Jones)
On the Presidential Election
Students in Henry and Eden's Afternoon Mod "The Presidential Election" reflected on their experience this month.
Erika Choi writes:
"As an international student, I haven’t had the opportunity to learn about American politics. Also, I had no interest, and didn’t know why I needed to know about politics. I had heard of some political words when I took a civics class in middle school. I worried that the presidential election was coming, and I still didn’t know how presidential elections worked. However, this year, I am so thankful that the school provided the presidential election class. We talked about the United States presidential election system and the Constitution. We also learned the history of the presidency in the U.S., and about the presidential candidates and each of their parties.
Before school started, I didn’t have any basic information about U.S. politics. After the first day of class, I was so confused about what to write for the reflection of the class because I did not understand what we learned. At first, I did not like the reflection that we needed to do after each class. I had to answer questions about what we’d talked about, list one thing that I learned that day, and ask questions. Yet, this reflection made me get into the class. Taking notes during class helped me understand a lot. Although I figured out some of my questions by taking notes during class, there were still some parts that I did not get. Satisfyingly, the reflection assignment relieved my confusion and helped answer any questions that remained after class.
As a whole, I think I made a perfect choice to take this class because I learned a lot about U.S. politics. After I took this class, I understood what the news was talking about. If I were not taking this class, I wouldn’t understand what’s going on in the world. I am so grateful for the school and teachers that provided this class this year."
Taylor Jones writes:
During this year, I was fortunate enough to be enrolled in a class titled, “The Presidential Election.” Ever since 2016, I have been enthralled by politics, the presidency, and all of the elected government’s inner-workings. Last election, I took a civics class that centered largely around the transition of leadership, so I thought it only fitting to continue the ‘tradition’ and find a school-based way to focus in on this presidential race. This election is especially significant for me because it is the first in which I can vote. In early March 2020, I got to experience voting for the very first time. I took my driver’s permit in one hand and my mother’s hand in the other as I walked into the quaint elementary school that housed the primary ballots. I checked a name and slipped my ballot into the box. All of a sudden, I felt the rush of political activism fill my system. I had no idea just how impactful this election would become.
About a week or two later, I sat in my house and googled, “When was the last global pandemic?” and, “How do we handle coronavirus?” I wished that President Trump would figure out a game plan, as confusion and apprehension flooded my mind. Admittedly, I didn’t have much faith in 45, and I’ve never liked him; however, I tried to remain optimistic. After I saw Trump fail to save the first 50,000 US residents, I realized just how imperative voting in November would be. This pandemic has been horrendous, and all the worst of it has been exacerbated by the lack of stable, sensible leadership. No matter what I believed before, watching our country fall into chaos pushed me to take this seriously.
Not too long after, tragedy struck again. Ahmaud Arbery was hunted down; Breonna Taylor was murdered in her sleep; George Floyd was choked to death. I was left crying, asking how someone could be so cruel. To sit on a man’s neck for 8min and 46 seconds, to end a sleeping woman’s life, to kill a jogger for jogging- I couldn’t comprehend it. Feeling heartbroken, frustrated, confused, tired, hurt, pissed, helpless was maddening, and the most painful part was realizing these people’s skin tones matched my family’s; the butchered, who bore a striking resemblance to my cousins, uncles, aunts, and family friends, were all members of my racial community.
That was the last straw for me, and this election became my last hope. In 2020, I’ve learned that voting is one of the most important duties of a citizen. When the NSNVA 2020-2021 course catalog was released, and I saw the class being offered, I jumped at the opportunity to understand the presidential election. After all, if I have to put my hope, and my vote into someone, I want to know what I’m doing.
For Ahmaud, Breonna, George, and countless others. Rest in power.
Spaß in der Klasse
Taking classes or teaching classes all day in front of the computer screen is not easy on any of us, so in my German classes we take short breaks from the normal rhythm every once in a while, especially after quizzes. This provides much needed interactive social time auf Deutsch and helps keep us all happier. Here are three of our most recent class “Wellness Breaks.”
My German 2 and Honors students love playing Skribbl.io with a word bank I made for them using simple nouns without Umlauts that they should know. I am the world’s worst artist on a touchpad or with a mouse, but enjoy having fun with them anyway.
For years now, UNO has been the first German game that my students learn. (Fun fact: this was originally a Depression-Era German game called Mau Mau, but the company that commercialized it in the 70’s called it UNO and created their own cards in order to copyright it.) Even the beginners can manage to call out 4 different colors, 10 numbers, and learn how to say phrases for the special cards. Back in March, we couldn’t find a free UNO game online that could be played in a private room. But last week, Joanna told me to check out the Houseparty app. And wow, they just added UNO! So this week I tried it out with all three German classes, and despite the time it took getting everyone on the App with their usernames and adjusting to Houseparty’s UNO variations, we had a blast. It’s already on the schedule for the last day of the quarter!
(By Virginia Palmer-Fuechsel)
What Do You Love About The New School?
To celebrate The New School’s 30th Anniversary, Diana, a Science teacher, shared what she loves about the school:
Send us your videos to celebrate our 30th Anniversary!
You could see them on the 30th Anniversary Virtual Celebration page and on Facebook.
Wednesday Enrichment Fun
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