Each week during Community Time (a forty minute block of time after lunch), students and faculty gather to listen to someone speak about an issue, cause, or educational experience or enjoy a performance or Open Mic.
Our Speaker Series today featured Margaret Ulrich, who spoke about her life as a solo world traveler and freelance writer. Margaret is a travel and wellness writer, meditation guide, and reiki master. She’s lived in South America, Turkey and Cambodia, but her favorite place is sitting on a crowded bus going anywhere. She’s especially curious about the future of healthcare and hopes to write about the convergence of all-natural, preventative methods and modern medicine. A recent resident of Charlottesville, Margaret also taught a mini mindfulness class to our 10th graders recently.
Dave Luebke, VP of Graphics Research at NVIDIA Corporation, captivated our Speaker Series audience as he talked about machine learning and video game graphics design. He provided our students exposure to the use of cutting-edge technologies and their applications, particularly in imaging and video production. It was both amazing and visually stimulating and the entire audience was completely engaged as he demonstrated wonder after wonder.
In the January 11 Speaker Series, nine well-spoken, thoughtful recent alums came to share their wisdom about college with Upper Schoolers. They spoke eloquently about how and why they chose their schools, and gave great advice about how to settle in and find friends, and how to organize your time. They answered many student and faculty questions about what worked for them at Tandem and what's working for them in college. Five alums spoke to 9th and 10th graders together - Tommy White (TFS '16), Kiley Weeks (TFS '17), Levi Schult (TFS '17), Phoebe Schuyler (TFS '17), and Emma Passino (TFS '17). Four alums spoke to juniors and seniors together - Dylan McAuley (TFS '14), Aslan Urushanov (TFS '17), Zoe Bearinger (TFS '16), and Saunder Boyle (TFS '16). Many thanks to these alums for sharing their time and their wisdom. This annual Speaker Series is always a favorite.
Tandem parent Marc Boston, a published children's author, gave a wonderful presentation to Middle Schoolers during today's Speaker Series. Marc is the author of The Girl who Carried Too Much Stuff and What About Me? Marc talked about the steps to writing and publishing a book, and how important it is to make any children's book relatable to all genders/ages/races. He spoke about his influences - family, the writer's group ImagineInk, James Baldwin, Bob Marley, Prince - and talked about how music, especially hip hop, influences the cadence and rhythm of his writing. He also talked about the writing processes of mirroring and windowing, and how important it is for human growth that we learn to celebrate all cultures. He read one of his books to the Middle Schoolers - it was a delightful presentation from start to finish. Thanks, Marc!
Today's Speaker Series guests were the Playback Theater Company of Charlottesville, which included familiar faces and Tandem community members Larry Goldstein (Development Director), Deborah Arenstein (current parent), Boomie Pedersen (past parent), Lydia Horan (MS Drama teacher filling in at last minute) and Michelle James. Mark Goldstein (US Music teacher) provided dramatic piano accompaniment. They entertained the community by re-enacting through improv the three stories that audience members came forward to share. It was delightful fun all around; it's always good to laugh out loud.