Congratulations Senior Pilot Graduates!
May you continue to be empowered learners whereever the road may lead.
YOU GOT THIS.
Exhibitions begin in 9 days! Please see the schedule by clicking the button above, and save the date for our student presentations.
Have a great and restful long weekend. Sleep is an important part of caring for ourselves in this busy season.
some short and sweet weekly highlights for you...
It's really feeling like spring, finally, and a few students are starting to see new growth in their project work. This time of year sometimes starts to slow down a bit, but this year we're really getting going in some areas. Our highlights of this week include, but are not limited to:
Mentor Appreciation Night! It was great to see all the students from our personalized learning programs gather at this event to give thanks and praise to our mentors. Projects take off a lot when students get to work with a mentor in the community. Mentors are an essential part of our success. Thanks and thanks again to our mentors all those committed to showing up for their mentor and being grateful.
Iona Bristol taught her first of three lessons at Rumney Elementary to a class of first graders. She wants them to know more about climate change and what we can do to combat it. Her mission is to get them started early so that they can make small steps throughout their lives to solve the climate crisis. Iona also spent many hours with scissors in the past week making them all tote bags out of donated used t-shirts. They got to decorate them and take them home. I hope to see them at the farmer's market carrying their veggies home soon!
We learned a lot from the first graders, too. I learned a great deal about angler fish and deep sea exploration. Who knew there are 200 different species of anglerfish!? Turns out Owen and I have a shared love for documentaries that show us what we cannot see at the bottom of the ocean. It was great to see that they are doing some independent research in their class... future Pilot students!!
Iona will visit with a 3rd/4th grade class and a 6th grade class before the end of May. She's doing great work! I love seeing out older students connect with the younger ones in our district. I often feel that there is too big a divide between elementary and middle/high school. I would love to bridge the gap.
Cultural Diversity Day at U-32!
It's still happening! There are events tonight starting at 5:30 pm. Gräe did another version of their Microaggressions workshop. Ana Young, Dane Liebermann, and Madison Roberge are all home! Welcome back!! They got a chance to present about their experiences studying abroad in Morocco and India. Great traditional dress worn by all of them. The dance moves were also beautiful.
Neveah West found a writing mentor! She will be working with Josie Colt a former U-32 grad who had both Chris and I as teachers about 8 years ago.
Questions from Seminar:
The questions I asked in the Thursday Seminar this week were 100% inspired by the first graders. I was very excited about their enthusiasm and their honesty. Consider these:
What do you want to know more about? What is peaking your curiosity?
I am attempting to have you consider that there are things you don't know. Sometimes teenagers present an attitude of knowing it all. I want us to consider the ways that not-knowing might benefit the way we inquire about our projects.
What could you be more honest about, to yourself, or others?
These are life lessons... you see?
On Monday, the Pilot Art students will head to the Hall Art Foundation in Reading, Vermont. Remember to bring your own lunch!
And it's hard to believe but... exhibitions start in just over two weeks. The schedule will be coming out very soon.
From the Pilot Archives: May 4, 2012
As a reminder of the cyclical nature of life, here's some Pilot TGIF history written by Chris seven years ago, almost to the day.
“And, in a fitting analogy to the experience of school in this last mad rush to the end, it is already May as I write those words. Here we are, arriving back from break, saying hello, getting organized, and it’s already Friday. So it goes, the annual challenge to make the last six weeks of school as relevant and rigorous as the first six.
And in a side note, George pointed out yesterday how great it is to work in a field that has such clear starts and stops: our work comes to an end for the year, has a clear beginning in the fall, etc. This aspect of schooling is not only great for those of us who work in it of course, its importance is magnified a million times in the experiences of the adolescents that we work with. The chance to remake one’s life every summer, to grow and integrate the previous year’s lessons over a differently paced summer… and yes of course having a summer like our kids do in Vermont (featuring nature, slower pace, relative safety, the relative chance at decent employment) is a bourgeois luxury compared to the reality of way too many kids in our country who don’t have good summer options, but I will always fight for the existence of summer against the year-round school people (‘what we are doing isn’t working! Let’s do more of it!’). There need to be stops, changes, restarts. Not that I wouldn’t mind getting paid to work at summer theater camp for a couple of months in some sort of inbetween summer term kind of school… side note ends.”
I am better because of every. Single. Thing. That has happened to me because of this program. That’s my story. - Gräe Q3 Narrative
What's blooming soon?
Why update weekly?
I realize that it’s been hard for me to get to these, what should be weekly, updates. And that after I’ve missed a few it feels overwhelming to even begin. Truly so much happens in a week, and I’ve missed a lot.
Why do just one thing?
Here we are, doing just one thing at a time, and when we don’t carve out time to report on those things they become a big pile. It’s hard to document and reflect on a whole pile at once. This is why part of spring cleaning is to remember to: do one thing.
Don’t stop yourself… give yourself a chance to start.
In the last two weeks, we have done some spring cleaning, ordered Pilot T-Shirts, Jed started working with a new mentor (Kristin, and environmental writer and graduate from Vermont Law School). CONGRATULATIONS to Izzy Poulson who won the people’s choice award at the Congressional Art Show for her painting, "Laughing Woman". Izzy will be showing a retrospective of her high school work at Local 64 in June.
Two important questions to ask (we reflected on these in Seminar this week). Who expects you to do well? Who holds high expectations for you?
We’re going into the final weeks of the school year, and aim to make it to the finish line strong, proud, and empowered in our learning. Consider the ways in which you are supported in your project work and answer these questions: How can you take it to the next level? Make more ambitious deadlines? Show up to all your meetings prepared and eager for feedback? Finish things? Do just one thing?
If you haven’t been able to hold yourself accountable… can you lean in and ask someone to help you?
In the next weeks we will be pushing to the finish line, welcoming back Dane, Ana, and Madison, planning exhibitions, and remembering to pause and appreciate the life that is growing all around us.
Some quick updates as we head off for vacation. Pilot students have been focusing on productivity and project management. We've been leaning in, doing the work, and finding the joy in completing things.
community and collaboration
Jed and Iona wrote a grant and got it! Iona explains, “I am now able to be responsible for work I am proud of, like the grant that I wrote to get reusable dishes for our cafeteria.” Way to go you two.
They also presented the changes they’ve been working on implementing with the Green Team in front of the whole faculty and the student body. We will be able to cut down on single use items significantly due to their work. As Jed says, “I want to stay [in the Pilot] because I can make a change where it matters. I love doing good things and the earth needs to be saved.”
These quotes are coming from student’s letters of intent and letters of exit that they’ve written this week to tell us if they would like to continue working in the Pilot next year. If they are graduating we ask them more about what they’ll do with what they’ve gained. For everyone we ask...
On the 18th, we will be looking at the first set of project deliverables. This work will spill into the next three weeks (not including a vacation) and that will take us to the end of the semester.
It’s going to go quickly. My hope is that by creating really pointed goals and focused questions we can stay on target and not let the time get away from us.
Feeling the need to do some weekly momentum planning? Try our planning pages:
<<<<<<< See here for the quarter 1 exhibition guidelines and narrative prompt. We will be reviewing this with students in Seminar on Monday.
"What I have experienced this year in the Pilot far surpassed anything I could have imagined or expected to get from it. My initial thought process was to better myself, by forcing myself into uncharted, independent waters I would have no choice but to swim. I have now come to realize that this wasn’t the case for me. I didn’t better myself, I became better at being myself. All that this means is that I don’t think that I’ve changed as a person, instead I’ve just learned who I am and how to live symbiotically with the world around me. In comparison to my prior harsh opposition to society and standardized education regarding my dispositions, this was a paradigm shift."
"In only one year of self-directed work I have become a more engaged and attentive learner. I feel a new sense of ownership over my work and a greater need to excel in my studies. As I write my final narrative I am certain that joining the Pilot was one of the best decisions I have made throughout high school."
"I can’t believe how much I have progressed in ASL this year. There is still so much to learn until I get to my goal but I am proud of what I have learned. I owe all my success to my mentor and generosity of giving me her time. Her eagerness to teach me is very admirable and shows me her love of ASL. If I wasn't in The Pilot in high school I wouldn't be going to college for the same degree I am now."
"One of my focuses with my english study was storytelling, and storytelling is life. That is to say, life is what all stories try to recreate, and is the reason we make stories in the first place. I experienced some of the highest and lowest points of my life this year, and gain tremendous insight on storytelling and comedy with that."
Noah witke mele
“And what Pilot has done for me is give me the tools to never stop.
“240. All Right then, let me try to rephrase. When I was alive, I aimed to be a student not of longing but of light." -- Bluets by Maggie Nelson
001. All right then, let me try to rephrase. When I was here, I aimed to be a student not of ending but of..
I do not need finish this.”