Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Last Day of School - Our Picnic in the Park (Photos & Video)

Our picnic at Armitage Park on the last day of school was a time of celebration and reflection about the year together at Wellsprings. Our new yearbook was distributed and students and teachers enjoyed writing notes in each other's copy. Then it was time for games and eating hot dogs, cheeseburgers, veggie burgers, chips, and cupcakes for lunch. Teachers Bob and Tyler ably did the burger and foot-long hot dog cooking on the grill (with only a few mishaps involving burgers falling into the coals).

(Click a photo to enlarge for better viewing)

Following lunch, we had our traditional ceremony of gifting painted rocks to every student. Teachers paint the rocks with students' names along with a word or two that are symbolic of a particular quality the young person conveyed to the school community during the year. The presentation of a rock to each student brings rounds applause for everyone, lots of laughter, and many hugs between teachers and students (see the full 31-minute presentation in the following video):

Next came a battle between students and a couple of pinatas created by fellow students. Today, the pinatas definitely got the best of the baseball bat (see the video to learn how one pinata became a soccer ball and the other, a big baseball that got the best of the hitter):

All and all, we had a great time together on a beautiful day of sunshine mixed with a few clouds that kept us comfortably cool as our students and teachers. Tomorrow night, graduation time for 21 seniors. We'll miss them at next year!

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Friends Enjoy the Last Friday of the School Year Together

With school winding down for the year, students and teachers enjoyed Friday afternoon playing miniature golf together. It was a beautiful, breezy sunny day at Camp Putt in Glenwood. And there was lots of laughter and several "hole-in-one" cheers from the Wellsprings friends. Here are a few photos taken during the afternoon (click on photos to enlarge):

Everyone had a great time on and off the mini-golf course. Until next year . . . enjoy fun times with your friends!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

An Energetic Class Teaches Students About The National Sport of Thailand

When students learned that our teacher Dante was involved in Muay Thai, the national sport of Thailand, they asked if he would do a class this term to share his practice of the sport. He said "yes" and several students signed up for the course.

In contrast to so-called "soft" martial arts such as Aikido, Muay Thai is considered a "hard" martial art using force against force. It is referred to as "The Art of Eight Limbs", as the hands, shins, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art. The sport requires a high level of physical conditioning and skill.

For the class, Dante and his friend, Nate, focus on teaching students how to defend against attacks as well as demonstrate other elements of the sport and its traditions. Most weeks, the class meets at the Big Foot Gym (located a few blocks from school) where Dante and Nate are students of Khun Kru Mike Walrath.

While Dante says the class is likely a "one-time" offering because of the nature of the sport, students have enjoyed learning the structure and discipline it requires -- great lessons for their future lives.

Here is a video taken of a class lead by Nate while Dante was away for a week:

NOTE: Last Sunday, Dante and Nate passed their test to become teachers of Muay Thai. They are now officially Khun Kru teachers of the sport. Congratulations Dante and Nate!

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