Morning meeting started, and as usual, no one had signed up for weekly notes. Anika announced that no sevies had stepped up yet and taken the roll. Still no one went ahead, they stayed hidden, including me.
Marina spoke up, and asked everyone,
“Do you have thoughts during the day?” “Do you see and hear what is going on?”
Of course, everyone said yes. Marina said it was that easy.
There was silence, I waited, giving the other sevies a chance, but nothing happened, and I didn’t want meeting to keep going that way, so I signed up and now here I am now telling you about a place I love, and I hope I can convince you to love it too.
Wren started by saying, over the weekend, she watched a video of a play she had been in, and she didn’t like seeing herself on tape. But she said it was a good thing she had watched it. The play was based on Alice Wonderland.
Angus told us about how he thought his old friends had forgotten him. But how over the long weekend, he got a text from one of his old friends, to come over and see a deer that he had shot. He told us It was good to know he was not forgotten. Also, they were all amazed at the buck his friend had shot. It was an eight pointer, and Angus explained about that. We started to talk about how few deer there were in Vermont, and how many there were in other places.
Marina’s anniversary of her grandfather's death happened over the weekend, too. She said her dad didn't say anything, and she spent the day cleaning. She knew they weren't going to talk about it, so she did what she could to make the day better
Tal told us all about about the coming class trip. He says we are going to leave for Boston on Thursday. We will first go to Walden, Juliette will tell us why it's important, and we all have to bring a special rock. Leaving from there we will be going to Boston, going to the ICA. He tells us his son went to ICA. This is what his son told Tal to tell us, “the John Cage scores are some of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.” Henry also tells us to think about the building— ICA is a spectacular building, be in awe of acoustics, and the shape of the building. There’s a giant window out to the harbor where you can meditate. Henry tells us to look at the exhibit as an NBS production or sculpture. He told us to look for the weirdness.
Tal says, “I want you to know what we're going into. A crazy but free place.” He tells us, we will be eating strange Chinese food, we will go to the Public Garden and see the ducklings. We will be going to the science museum, then we will head back. Erik says the most amazing part, for him at least, is going to see the ducklings, in the public garden.
Any questions, Tal asks us. Then he says, “Whose car am I going to be with?!!!!” “Who is going to be in my Room?!!!!!” In a little kid voice, imitating us, and we start to laugh. Eric says you need to bring 1 pair of underwear and socks and what you're wearing. Bring good shoes.
“Juliette,” Tal says.
Erik goes on,
“Wear warm clothing,” getting interrupted, Tal says
“NO BIG STUFFED ANIMALS, little ones are ok, but don’t bring anything big!”
Erik says we will be walking at least 50 miles, we need lunch for Thursday.
“Bring 10 dollars,” Tal says. “You need to look cool. Bring your sunglass Angus! get your Urban shit on. Wait. no, no, don’t do that. Be Vermonters. Any questions?”
Someone asks about bugs in the hostel. Tal says they ordered to have earwigs in the drawers so they can eat the cheese out of our ears. I could hear Will laugh behind me.
Anika says, she went to Albany and stayed in a hotel, with no earwigs.
“Boring,” Tal says.
Anika says, she got disappointed on the way home, because she didn’t want to leave. But her family got to eat a cheese cake, the traditional cheesecake factory was very close to where they were staying. She said, they also ate at her favorite Japanese restaurant, she had raw sushi.
Tal talks, and he says our brains are still being shaped by our thoughts.
We talk about how when most people go to museums, almost all take a photo with the artwork, and don’t even notice what's really there.
Henry tells us about how he was waiting for his mom to get out of the car. He saw a girl in a car next to them, her boyfriend had left. Henry was listening to music, he looked over at the girl, and she started making weird motions with her head and taking selfies. Henry copies what she had done, and Tal starts to laugh.
Wren tells us how she likes to smell the soups at grocery stores. Tal leans over and scrunches his nose like he was taking in the smells, and everyone starts to laugh.
We find out everyone liked the clay bowls we made for the Empty Bowl dinner.
Erik asks Rose, referring to the Vermont D-1 Football state championship: She tells him they lose.
“How was Chase?” Chase is Rose’s son, who was on the team.
“At the football game they were all really good, but it was rough.” “Rutland was just better.”
Tal tells us how they were standing in the middle of the Rutland jackasses who were saying mean things about how badly they were beating Middlebury.
I think to myself, “Our meetings go all over the place from movies, to football, to class trips, to jackasses.” “It’s a place where you can just be yourself, and say what you feel, you can be free.” Sam ends our meeting by reading a poem,
Daffodils - a poem by by William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Sevies always start the day with Rose. I feel like we have a stronger relationship with her now, and it’s always a nice way to start the day talking to Rose.
In Science Erik reads us Rosemary's poster, because it was a good example. She had her own flavor in it, and hadn't just copied and pasted, like I, and most other people had. We also started mapping out out Utopian villages.
During lunch we had the muffin contest. Who made the best tasting muffin? I took second place with my orange poppyseed muffins. Rose took first, with a blueberry, gluten free, crumble muffin, Juliette third with a gluten free pumpkin pie muffin, and Sydney fourth with a chocolate chip muffin. I spent the rest of my lunch playing a world cup soccer game.
Tal got mad at some people, because they had all weekend to do there homework, and it still wasn't done. We tried to talk to them, and help them find a way to get out of the hole they had created, by not doing their homework. After Tal read two place descriptions. Sam’s was the first. In listening to Sam's recent writing, I have seen a boy I thought I knew well, change into someone who cared, and loved more things than I knew. We also read Will’s. It was simple, but amazing. He wrote about things that to him, were home, the color orange, the number thirteen, and his dog Max.
Maxine starts meeting. She talks about her dad learning new things, and how It's good for him. Rose says how he told her he likes Maxine teaching him.
Angus, tells us how he started to play piano, and how different the two instruments were, that he played. Drums and piano. He says the high school jazz band was going well.
Tal interrupts. “Who brought this in?” He held up a, Read Banned Books, sticker.
Lean said her grandmother gave it to her, to give to Tal. Tal asks who Lena’s Grandmother is. But really, he knows. It is Cindy, who is on the board of trustees.
Tal asks us if we should put it in the big room. No one says anything, and Tal raises his voice, and says, “Don’t you have an opinion?”
He looks across to Sydney, and asks her what she thinks.
Sydney says, she thinks what Tal thinks, It should go up in the big room.
“We are reading a banned book right now, anyway.” She says.
Tal lifts up a piece of paper, with what looks to be something printed of a computer, in a fancy font.
“We all should wright like this,” he says. Pointing to the pieces of paper in his hand.
He tells us, ‘It’s real handwriting. It’s beautiful calligraphy.”
It was by his neighbor, wife, named Donna, who gave Tal gifts, with little notes (like what he brought to school) because Tal and Rose would give her family eggs.
Tal says, “I was thinking about your lit responses, and other things you hand in, and this it just a thank you note, written so beautifully.” Erik says the best class he ever took, was a calligraphy class.
“How did she do this?” Tal asks himself, then tells us what he had heard.
“She started doing it when she was a teenager,” he tells us. “Now her handwriting is amazing! From now on everything you turn in has to be like that. You need a jar of ink in front of you at all times and a Goose-quill pen,” Tal says.
Griffin tells us how his dad had had a rough day at work. He was working with a guy who flipped out, because he had a hard time knowing how to do this job. His dad got stressed. Griffin says his brother didn’t want to go to school today, and pretended to be sick. He tells us it’s good to know his dad can “hold him back.”
We ask him how his homework went last night. He says he asked his mom for advice. He says it's nice to ask for help, it’s better, and he got his homework done. He says it feels really good, and it’s easy to get side tracked, but It's better to get your work done, because you will have a better day.
Rosemary tells us about how her cat watched her do homework, and it was good to know there was someone/something with her, and she wasn't alone in her room. The cat waited til Rosemary fell asleep. She says, “It's a good feeling to feel that your pets care for you.”
Althea talks about her dog Murphy, and her family thinks he broke his leg/foot?
“He's cute when he's helpless. But it’s sad he got hurt.” She says. She tells us he's a big dog, and Althea’s dad ripped a shirt to use as a splint for his foot. She says her dad connects with animals well.
Tal tells us something's been on his mind, and if he doesn’t tell us, he will blow up. “Mind blowing facts,” he says. “Atoms are small!” He says, “In one cubic centimeter there are 45 Billion Billion atoms! True! in each and every cubic centimeter, in the entire universe, my watch, the air, me!” He says.
“The mind blowing part, is your body dies you become something else.” “When your body goes into the earth because it is not disappearing. Over a period of time you will be partly made up of possess other people's atoms.” Tal says loudly, “You could have Jesus or Buddha atoms in you. You possibly could be Shakespeare or Buddha, or anyone whose atoms have gone into different forms!” He tells us behind the width of one hair, there are 500,000 atoms standing shoulder to shoulder. We start talking about the solar system. Someone asks,
“How do you find out how many galaxies there are?”
Tal tells us about pulsing stars, how they are dying stars. They can measure the distance by measuring the age of light. With a pulse star people can find out how many galaxies there are.”
We start asking crazy questions, wanting more knowledge.
“How do I measure atoms?”
“What does an atom look like?”
Merry asks, When atoms are put on different colors would they look they same?”
Tal says we are getting into religion and god questions. Tal says, “I didn't read about this on the internet, I read it in a book.” He was very proud of himself. Tal tells us how when he reads shakespeare, he can hear echoes in his body, so maybe Shakespeare is alive in him.
We talk about atoms rubbing off onto your hands. Erik questions us: he says:
“Think about what makes you you. It’s not just atoms. What are you? What makes you different than the person next to you?” “What makes you you? You're all made of the same stuff.”
What the hell, I can’t keep up, we are going a very far way. Who are we? What are we?
Wren talks about her mom's first rehearsal. She said her dad was home with her, and they don’t usually talk much. But last night they were making fun of the show they were watching, and it made Wren happy. She said, “I haven't done that with my parents in a while.”
Marina talks about someone in front of her when she was getting driven to school. How they had stopped to let a squirrel pass. She says it was scary, because everyone had to slam on there brakes. It wasn't a great way to start the day, she tells us.
Tal says, “Let's talk about food.” “Have we talked about death yet” “Birth?”
Tals starts talking about Win, Wren's father, came to talk about the yearbook.
“He's a pretty cool guy,” Tal says. He tells us Win is going to change our UnderCurrent, and make it beautiful. He is doing research. That it’s like an upgrade, but for less.
Kelsey says she couldn't sleep last night. She says she told herself,
“I’m gonna stay up all night and get sick. I said to myself, Suck it, universe! I’m gonna stay up all night.”
She said she lit candles, and was going to go outside. She tells us,when up at night, she thinks about what she's going to say tomorrow. But she never does. She wished she could take to the felling, so she can finally express her feelings to say in meeting, and conversations.
Tal says, “That's the good thing about writing,” and, “night thoughts can be better, and you can write them down. Sometimes there hellish, though.”
Maxine reads a poem: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes.
I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset.
I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I had lunch that day, and again, played a game of world cup.
We had a shorter All Tal. We talked about character sketches, then Tal told us someone had to tell everyone something, that he was scared too, but it would be better if we all talked about it. We did. Jack had been getting slide tackled during the soccer games, and people were saying he had a crush on someone. But he didn’t, and he felt like he wasn't a part of the school.
I was glad he spoke up, because from my own experiences, I have learned, it’s always better to say something, then keep it in.
Instead of starting the day with morning meeting, we went straight to classes. I started with math. Rose was not prepared, but she was ready to teach us. I watched Rosemary, Angus, Owen, and Sydney walk pass the math hallway. I hoped today would be a relaxing day.
Clean up was amazing, if only our parents could see us, they would probably say, "Is that really my child?”
Finally Morning meeting happens: Erik start out by telling us clean up went very well.
Tal, who I have found, can't stop talking, and has MANY thoughts. He asks,
“Who brought this monster ink pencil to school?” It was Juliet's brothers, and she accidentally put it in her backpack. Merry started talking. She was sitting right next to me, and could feel she was a little nervous, because her legs kept shaking. “I’m going to do a Christmas caroling after school “thing.” She says. She tells us about her plan, and every Monday after school, she, and who ever wants to join, will practice singing carols. She knew people were going to be afraid because they would think their voice wasn't perfect. Merry says,
“I'm not exactly pitch perfect, and were all pretty much bad singers, so you don’t have to be worried about that.”
She says before Christmas, the caroling group will go caroling around Middlebury, then come back to her house for hot cocoa.
Tal starts singing “Good King Wenceslas,” and Maxine, Leeya, and Marina all look at him with annoyed/humors exceptions, and Merry says to Tal,
“You can join.”
When Merry asks if anyone was still worried about their voice, only Tal and Griffin's hands go up. Then Mary asks, “Who’s interested?” Almost all hands go up.
Mary's legs start to calm down, and she tells us how sometimes winter can get “boring,” but listening to carols, can make your days happier, and makes winter have another meaning.
Merry tells how she proposed doing this. “I was driving home one night. I wanted to do something on Mondays, to maybe start a club.” “ My mom said that won't work, so I asked Donna. Her answer was yes, but I needed a adult to stay with us after school. I knew Tal wouldn't want to, so Instead I asked my parents, my dad said yes!”
Tal says It was nice of Merry’s dad to do that. She said: “He said, my daughter wants to start a Christmas Caroling club. How could i saw no tho that?”
That's another great thing about our school, lots of people have ideas, but they don’t happen. Merry, and the other students at NBS, have the openness to keep going, and trying to make their ideas real, there's always a way, and NBS will help you find it.
Tal says, “Where there's a will there's a way.” HE says it in a corny voice, because he is saying a dumb cliche.
Marina says, “Don’t talk that. Don’t say that ,either.” Tal laughs/
Erik tells us how Juliet is learning to use her voice to sing. She was afraid to sing to people, but when Erik heard it, it was amazing!
Tal keeps talking to Merry, referring to her Caroling plan, and says, “It makes me remember your sister.” “When she only had half a friends, and was at a new school,” Tal says. “Before the holidays she tried to raise money for mosquito nets, to give to people in Africa, so they could sleep without worrying about getting Malaria. She was trying to do something good, and no one cared, no one did anything. But she knew there was something about Christmas that's greater than just presents. She wasn't afraid to do that.”
“And on that note, How dumb is the world?” asks Tal. “The company Starbucks, at holiday time, make their cups red that have a leaf/snowflake on them. They think they will make more money that way. They decided to just have a red background and name. But then, people said Starbucks was starting a war…Then I read that Tal The war of christmas is not the coffee company, that's how screwed up we are, the real war is the places int he world where Christians being killed for being Christians. It’s not about Starbucks,that’s just a paper cup, not the holy grail.”
Wren said she was talking about Bernie Sanders with her parents. She was thinking the next voting in 2020, she will be able vote. She said, “I thinks its cool, but it's weird, because it seems like such a big gap, I will be that age in such a short time.”
Rosemary tells us about watching a ted talk, and how she clicked on a different one about art that looks back at you. She said it was like gibberish when you read it, but when you hear it, you could understand it more. It was more repetitive then my ears had heard. It was a poem no one would get a poem out of unless someone else read it.
Art that makes you feel, she describes that more,”
“Like, What if looking at this painting will hurt me?” Tal says. “That's a kind of artwork looks back at you. People interacting with art, art really makes you think new thoughts. Art asks us questions. It asks you what this does, It makes you change how you see and think about things, It challenges your thinking.”
Tal asks us who wants to swim in the Walden Pond? Almost all of our hands go up.
Tal says, “We will all touch the holy waters.”
Leeya says,“If you don’t know, my grandma passed away.” “My house has been a stressful place to be lately. I have been going on lots of walks, and animals keep presenting themselves to me, hawks, eagles, deer, butterflies. I am thankful for the universe for giving me that.”
Tal asks Leeya if she sees her grandmother in the animals. Leeya says,
“I don’t feel like she's in the bald eagle, but It seems to be there for a purpose, it distracts me.”
Tal tells us how his son was born the day his son's great grandmother passed away, and how something was leaving the world, and new thing was being put back in.
Marina says she's excited for the class trip because she might get to see her aunt. We start to talk more about the school trip coming up. Jack says he does not remember going when he was nine, but supposedly he had. Marina brings up that people have been saying,
“Don’t take it for Granite.” Tal says, “Granted, not Granite.”
Jack starts writing down things he needs to remember for the trip, and Tal makes him do it in slow motion, so everyone can see, “Thats how its done.”
Merry says she's nervous she doesn't want to get sick, and miss the school trip.
We talk about how much fort Donna puts into making sure the trip will go as planned, and everything's already set. Marina says in her carpool, they talked about Erik spending all his time getting the school trip ready, and how little appreciation he got. Marina says, “Thank you.”
Leeya said she respected the sevie boys, and Jack for standing up for himself, it made her happy. Marina says, “It's good to see how close you guys are.”
Leeya reads a poem.
"Walk with Grandma"
I like to walk with Grandma,
she takes small steps like mine.
She never says "let's hurry-up!
she always takes her time.
I like to walk with Grandma,
her eyes see things like mine.
Shiny stones, a fluffy cloud,
stars at night that shine.
People rush their whole day through,
they rarely stop to see.
I'm glad that God made Grandmas
unrushed and young like me!
Rosemary reads another one.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.