Welcome to the Middle School Newsletter of 2019-20! My name is Sydney and I’ll be your Middle School News Correspondent for the year. Being the News Correspondent is my occupation for this school year, and I promise to inform you all of the big and exciting things happening around the classroom and the school.
As you may have read about on the Quest blog, the Middle School students went on a beginning of the year Odyssey Trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, more specifically Pinkham Notch. We stayed at the AMC lodge there, and we had so much fun!
We hiked up to Square Ledge, the start of Tuckerman Ravine Trail, and of course the Glen Boulder Trail! Unfortunately some of us were not able to make it to the actual boulder because of complications in the weather including thunderstorms and pouring rain. We sang songs, played games along the trail, did trust-building activities, and had “trail spice” snacks! (Trail spice is the hiking version of the five-second rule, just a little more than five-seconds.) On the odyssey trip we were able to further our experience in the outdoors and build friendships along the rocky path.
Middle School Occupations
Soon after returning from the Odyssey trip, we began our Occupations for the year. As you may know, Middle School at Quest is not only education, but also life experiences, such as the ongoing microbusiness projects. Occupations are a way to prepare for later in life: job applications, practicing responsibility and productivity, and balancing work in the time you have. A few weeks into school, we wrote applications that explained our strengths, experience, and what we hoped to learn from that job . A few examples of the Occupations are Greenhouse Facility Manager, Microbusiness Accountant, Service Project Manager and Middle School News Correspondent. Each Middle School student applied for three Occupations, and then it was up to our persuasive and writing skills to help the teachers decide what we got. We all have been working so hard, and we are glad that everything is underway and we were able to receive the occupations we desired.
Quest Cross Country
Another exciting thing this year is Cross Country! Cross Country has recently started up again, including Upper Elementary and Middle School. Our first race was at the Westerly school course, at a length of 1.9 miles, and CONGRATS to the runners for doing an amazing job and finishing the race strong! Since then we have had the Goddard Park race, and the Narragansett meet was rescheduled for Monday, October 7. Practice officially started September 24, and the team is continuing to work as hard as they can in the unpredictable conditions every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. The next meet will be Monday, October 7th. Good luck!
Aaaand there’s more! The Robotics Team (still unnamed) has started as well! Every Monday and Friday the team works on robot design, missions, project development and core values. The team recently had a visitor from the URI Graduate School of Oceanography come to tell them about climate change, sea level rise, and future hurricanes in relation to their impact on cities. They are also working hard to build the board and come up with mission and project ideas! We wish them good fortune throughout the season.
In art, we recently finished our color presentations. Everyone was split into groups and was assigned a color or two to research and learn about. We learned about the history of colors, brands that use those colors for different purposes, and the actual meanings and communications of the colors themselves. Colors like red and orange can be portrayed as love or strength, but also as anger and stubbornness. Yellow might be seen as happiness or warmth, but can also be irritation and unfashionable. Green could be seen as fertility or luck, but maybe could be seen as sickness. Blue or purple, maybe tranquility or calmness, but also luxury and royalty. I think I speak for everyone when I say it was very fun and educational to learn about how these colors were created and used in ancient times.
Speaking of work, the Middle School classroom finished the Peace Studies unit and has moved onto Humanities! We have started a simulation involving the road to the American Revolution. We were able to pick out colonial names, but we were given jobs and political views, such as Patriots, Loyalists and Neutralists, and most importantly, we are given a salary every class we are able to attend. Unfortunately, we are also taxed just as the colonists were, and many of us have protested those taxes. We were also able to go on not one, but TWO field trips this week!
One field trip was to the John Brown House Museum in Providence where we learned about the Trans Atlantic slave trade, Moses Brown and the Quakers, and The Sally and its hardships. Many people died aboard The Sally due to sickness, disease and other things that could happen. The voyage of The Sally was also unusually long, so food and goods grew scarce as time wore on. There were also many interesting things about the rooms or artifacts themselves, such as the Washington wallpaper room and the handcuffs in a glass display.
The other field trip was a walking tour around Newport. We learned about the use of the harbor and the many old buildings and houses strategically placed around Newport. There were many battles, hardships, protests, and other acts of Patriots versus Loyalists, or Neutralists not wanting to be involved. We learned about the Quakers and how Rhode Island was founded partly on the idea that everybody was free to worship as they wished. While walking in the frigid air, we heard about the British and their motives to leave New England to keep the south, and the French joining the side of the United States. We also saw many amazing things such as the oldest tavern in America, still there since 1673, and Washington square. Overall these two trips were incredibly educational, and very intriguing for the whole class.
This year has gotten off to a great start, and I can’t wait to keep working on the newsletter throughout the year!
-Sydney C., your Middle School News Correspondent