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Looking Thanksgiving 2020 right in the eyes

Looking Thanksgiving 2020 right in the eyes

When I was an undergraduate, a band called Poi Dog Pondering gave a fantastic spring concert.  In the middle of it Adam Sultan, one of the guitarists, took over the vocals for a single song, one he had penned himself.  I’ve used it around this time in classes for years because of the way Sultan reframes the […]

Historical, Not Political

  As a non-profit, the law tells us we must avoid taking political stances, specifically avoiding endorsing candidates for office.  And ethically, we know the importance of apparent impartiality, given the multiple levels of power dynamics intrinsic in educational institutions.  As my faculty must necessarily be protected from me telling, encouraging, or insinuating to them whom they […]

On Community

On Community. This coming Friday is Grandparents and Grand Friends Day, a yearly tradition we keep, recognizing and celebrating the irreplaceable and essential influence of our community’s Elders on our lives.  While every child’s learning is a path of discovery based on moments of clear and uninterrupted observation and connection with the world, always a […]

Fall into Winter

The childing autumn, angry winter, change Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world, By their increase, now knows not which is which…      -Titania, Midsummer Night’s Dream   You know the seasonal change is upon us when you have to start checking the weather for snow predictions when planning school activities!  That’s good news […]

On Democracy and Compassion

     Two themes are on my mind this week:  Democracy and Compassion.      Democracy for two reasons.  The obvious one is of course the upcoming election.  Regardless of where your political inclination lies, every major election cycle in our country serves as a reminder of how important participation by every one of us is.  An […]

School in the Time of Coronavirus

       Fall is here at last.  October rains, change of leaves, the golden hour before sunset.  Whenever the weather happens to be good, it’s the time for getting that hike or bike in, a stroll by the water or the neighbor’s yard.  Any chance to be out in the warmth is a chance […]

Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ama Ata Aidoo, and Tsitsi Dangarembga for the Nobel

Each year around this time, the Nobel Prize committee prepares to announce this year’s laureates in the various fields for which prizes are awarded.  Given my field in academia—English—and areas of specialization—historical rhetoric about Africa primarily, and cotemporary African Literature secondarily—I take a keen interest at the beginning of October in who will win the […]

After Apple Picking

       I’m just back from apple picking at Shelburne Orchard today, just the start of the harvest.  The warm afternoon sun and the strong but not cooling breeze remind me this is the beginning of things.  We’ll be picking apples for weeks, watching the leaves change and fall–which is just starting–play out its […]

Scholarship. Community. Global Responsibility.

At Vermont Commons School, our goal is to engage students with their world. We achieve this through programs and a curriculum grounded in local and global involvement.