Twelfth Night at Bridge School

Curtain CallBy Laurie Atwater

Visit Bridge School in the early morning before class, or after school, and you may find that you’ve been transported back to Shakespearean England by enterprising thespians and their intrepid director Leslie Colby.  Long after Lexington lost its elementary theater specialist, Ms. Colby has kept theater alive at Bridge.  For fourteen years, her Shakespeare Troupe has been staging an abbreviated version of Twelfth Night or What You Will.

“It started out as a class project,” Ms. Colby explains.  But when the curriculum began to move to quickly to accommodate in class projects of any scope, Colby was undeterred.  Giving generously of her own time, she actually expanded her little Shakespeare experiment to include all Bridge 4th and the 5th graders who wanted to audition.

The Bridge Shakespeare Troupe was formed with the goal of presenting one yearly production that was true to the text and the spirit of the original.

And Ms. Colby knows her Shakespeare.  She earned her BA and Masters in theater education and has directed and acted in many adult productions over the years. Her husband Robert (Bob) Colby is the director of the elite graduate program in theater education at Emerson College.  Together they have theater in their blood.  Most recently Ms. Colby was the recipient of an LEF Summer Fellowship Grant which she used to study drama in London at the Globe Theatre.  “I did some workshops there and I did a lot of work with Shakespeare.”  Work that she’s putting to great use at home in Lexington. Colby tells me that the sets for the play are modeled on the original Globe Theatre sets for Twelfth Night.

What’s great about this story is that I would never have known about Ms. Colby or this Twelfth Night production if it were not for one parent who wanted to highlight this great educational experience in town.  She reached out to me because she realized that special alchemy was happening at Bridge school—that moment when teaching and learning were combining to create the magical potion called education.  This isn’t test prep, drills or CORE requirements, this is the education that inspires and reaches deep within students to foster real joy in learning.

Colby is a big fan of this special joy.  She would have to be.  With the demands of modern curriculum requirements, Ms. Colby no longer has the classroom time to devote to Shakespeare.  All of the work for the production is done on her own time, but she is quick to say that her enthusiasm for the project has never waned.  And she credits the Lexington parents for helping to keep it going.  “We would never be able to do all of this ourselves for so many years,” she says. Even with her husband’s help, it’s a challenge to manage everything that goes into the production.  “We have one family that has let us use their basement for storage,” Colby says laughing. Indeed the Edelman family on Middleby Road has saved the Bridge School Shakespeare Company.

Because the school does not let them store any of their materials on site, they have relied on the kindness of these neighbors whose children have been Colby thespians over the years.  Andy, the youngest Edelman just performed in Willy Wonka at the middle school and is planning to attend Walnut Hill to pursue his passion for the arts.  Over the years hundreds of parents have sewn costumes, applied makeup, painted sets, gathered props, and gotten their children to rehearsal.  The children never forget their experience. “Once they are part of the Shakespeare Players,”Ms. Colby says proudly, “they come back year after year to support the new kids and see the play.” And of course to see her.

The reward is worth the effort for Ms. Colby.  “I have children who have all different skills and abilities, but they all learn and grow,” she says.  “You can see their improved confidence—they learn to work cooperatively and master a task over time,” she says.  Theater is a lot of work. Children not only memorize their lines but they have to understand the context of what they are saying and refine their delivery. The have to be accountable to the other actors—learn their blocking and their cues, hit their marks and become part of the company.  It takes cooperation, self discipline and teamwork.

Parents are thrilled to see their children performing in public and developing those skills that will be important as they grow. “It’s really such joy and excitement,” Ms. Colby says, “A feeling of accomplishment that they don’t get from a short little paper or a worksheet.  That joy—it’s why I wanted to teach in the first place and it seems to be diminishing every day.  When the curtain goes down and the company takes a bow, Leslie Colby always sheds a tear or two, but only for a moment because next year she will begin anew! [Read more…]

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Sunday April 27 – Reception celebrating this year’s winners!

Tricorne Hat Reception Notice

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Here Comes the Old Guard

Old Guard at the White House. Courtesy of the Old Guard.

Old Guard at the White House. Courtesy of the Old Guard.

 

By Digney Fignus

Since I was a kid growing up in Lexington I have always loved Patriot’s Day. It seemed like it was Lexington’s own special holiday, our first official spring celebration heralding the warmer weather to come. Long before it became a state-mandated “Monday” holiday, all the kids in the neighborhood looked forward to April 19th as a day off from school dedicated to parades and old-fashioned fun. It was something that made you proud to be from our little town that usually made the evening news for at least that one day every year. No matter what the weather, Patriot’s Day in Lexington has always been a great time for families to relax and reconnect with their neighbors after the long winter.

This year we’re getting an extra special treat to help Lexington celebrate Patriot’s Day. The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps is coming to town! They will be easy to spot in Monday’s parade with their bright red regimental coats, white wigs, black tricorn hats, and period uniforms dating back to George Washington’s Continental Army. And in a double-dose of good fortune, lucky fans will also get an outdoor concert Saturday, April 19th at 12 noon. This is a must-see event for any fife and drum fanatic. Come early, because there is sure to be a crowd on the Battle Green for this special performance. The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps along with the US Army Drill Team, and the Commander in Chief’s Infantry Guard is a show not to be missed.

Stationed in Fort Meyer, Virginia, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps is unique as the only unit of its kind in the armed forces. Part of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, an official representative of the U.S. Army, the Corps averages 500 appearances a year and has performed for millions. They not only appear at all the official White House Arrival Ceremonies for visiting Heads of State, the Corps have been featured performers at every Presidential Inauguration since President Kennedy in 1961. Besides their official functions, the Old Guard has performed at NFL events, NASCAR, the Kentucky Derby, the Indianapolis 500, and the Tournament of Roses Parade — to mention only a few. In addition, they serve as good-will ambassadors and representatives of the United States Army overseas performing at international competitions, known as “tattoos,” everywhere from Australia to Panama.

The Old Guard is at the top rung in the Fife and Drum Corps world. Even though it is an ultra-exclusive group, I was surprised to find that anyone can audition for an open position. There are only 69 members in the Corps. Openings are few, so if you are lucky enough to be asked to Washington to audition for a spot, you’d better be good. The Corps uses 10-hole fifes, handmade rope-tensioned drums, and single-valve bugles which according to their website “bring to life the exciting sounds of the continental army.” Only the best musicians get a chance to audition. Although they are currently full-up, last year there were openings for a bass drum player, a fifer, and a bugler. So keep rehearsing, it’s a great gig if you can get it.

I had a chance to talk with Corps member, Staff Sergeant Heather Tribble, a fife player and eight-year veteran of the Old Guard. She is one of many men and women who join the army specifically to serve in the Old Guard. She reflected, “I was performing in a Fife and Drum Corps at the EPCOT Center in Florida. There were a lot of ex-military in the group, and I found out about the auditions from them.” If you pass the audition, only then do you need to commit to the army. After you go through normal basic training you have a guaranteed spot in the Old Guard. Unlike some jobs in the military that require a lot of moving around, people tend to stay put in the Old Guard. It affords the soldier-musicians and their families a little extra stability, a chance to develop long-term relationships, and an opportunity to put down some roots.

 

 

Old Guard at FDR Memorial. Courtesy of the Old Guard.

Old Guard at FDR Memorial. Courtesy of the Old Guard.

Being a musician myself, the more I talked with Sergeant Tribble the better the Corps sounded. I was tempted to start practicing my own big bass drum to see if maybe I could get an audition for one of those coveted open spots in the band. Unfortunately, I think the geezer-factor might kick in if I started competing with the rest of the mostly 18-year-olds in basic training. I wish I’d found out about this dream job sooner. Imagine, 500 guaranteed shows a year! All that, plus military benefits, and a steady paycheck? Obviously, I made a mistake when I decided to learn to play guitar instead of the fife.

The Fife and Drum Corps is a real family. A bass drummer with the unit, Sergeant Scott Danley sums it up, “The kids don’t just have a mom and dad, they get 60 aunts and uncles too.” Sergeant Danley, an eight-year veteran with the Corps, is a native of Alabama. He joined the Fife and Drum Corps in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Scott had just finished his tour of duty with the Marines. He served from 2001 – 2005 playing the tenor drum in the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. He reminisces, “I had always thought the Fife and Drum Corps was a re-enactment group. But just before my enlistment was up with the Marines I attended a twilight tattoo on the ellipse by the White House in Washington. I saw those rope drums going to town. I’d never seen that style of drumming before.” Danley was so impressed with the musicianship of the performers that when he learned there was an opening for a bass drummer in the unit, he knew he had found his calling. He consulted with his wife and with her blessing sent a video audition tape to the selection committee, hoping to re-enlist with the Army Old Guard. To his disappointment he didn’t make it the first time.

After his enlistment was up in the Marines, the ex-soldier and his family returned to civilian life back home in Alabama. Things couldn’t have been worse. It was only a few months after Katrina, homeless refugees had flooded the area, and housing was nearly impossible to come by. The family was in a real quandary when Scott’s wife noticed that almost a year after Scott had been turned down, the army was still auditioning for the bass drum position. In Scott’s words, “My wife suggested I try to audition again and I told her ‘they don’t want me’ but she said I should give it another try. This time I got called to Washington to do a live audition.” On his second try he passed with flying colors. He laughs, “It’s funny because the first tape I recorded was in a big hall and the second tape I recorded in my living room!”

Last year, along with many other programs, the Old Guard was a victim of the government sequester. They were originally scheduled to perform during Lexington’s 300th Anniversary celebration. Unfortunately, because of the untimely budget limbo, they were not able to attend. Thankfully, this year they’re back and better than ever, and they’ll bring along some very special reinforcements. The Fife and Drum Corps is a real spectacle, colorful, precise, and extremely well-tuned. The 69 members of the Corps are usually deployed in marching groups of 21 soldier-musicians, a Drum Major, and support staff. This allows the Old Guard to perform at multiple locations and more than one show at a time. Look for the drum major as a quick way to tell the Old Guard from the other ceremonial Fife and Drum Corps marching in the Patriot’s Day Parade. He will be distinguished by his tall black leather hat covered in bear fur (a light-infantry cap), a white leather sash (called a baldric), and a long 18th century infantry officer’s weapon called an espontoon that he carries to issue silent commands to his marching Corps.

Old Guard at Pocono 500. Courtesy of the Old Guard.

Old Guard at Pocono 500. Courtesy of the Old Guard.

The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps perform a diverse repertoire of traditional field music. Drawn mostly from the 18th and 19th century, it includes familiar favorites like “Yankee Doodle,” and Fife and Drum Corps standards like, “Washington’s Artillery March,” the “Downfall of Paris,” and the “Duke of York’s March.” In addition, according to the official website, “performances include a breathtaking drum solo that is a real show of professional dexterity.” With just two opportunities to see them Patriot’s Day weekend, new converts and hard-core fans are sure to be left wanting more.

Along with the Fife and Drum Corps, the Commander in Chief’s Infantry Guard is also coming to Lexington’s Patriot’s Day weekend celebration. They are the infantry version of the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps. They dress in traditional Continental Army blue and generally accompany the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps as a support group for parade and pageantry performances. They will be marching in Monday’s parade as well as appearing at the Battle Green on Saturday. Created in 1784, the Infantry Guard is another part of the 3rd Army Infantry Regiment. They hold the distinction of being the oldest active infantry in the United States Army. It only seems fitting that they assemble on our Battle Green on April 19th to honor the hallowed ground where the first shots were fired in the American Revolution.

Besides the Fife and Drum Corps and the Infantry Guard, Saturday’s event on the Battle Green includes a special appearance of the US Army Drill Team. As official good-will ambassadors, the Army Drill Team puts on a spectacular show. They expertly perform choreographed routines with bayonet-tipped 1903 Springfield rifles. Tossing around the heavy rifles with death-defying precision, these highly trained specialists are guaranteed to wow the crowd with their daring and complex maneuvers. Balancing vintage weapons with razor-sharp steel blades is no easy task. Courage, dedication, coordination, and a dead-calm demeanor are all necessary requirements before being admitted to this talented group. It’s a tough competition for a spot in the squad. According to the Drill Team’s Mission Statement, “Soldiers are selected for this elite unit after six months of rigorous and competitive drill practice. Trim military bearing, strength, and dexterity are mandatory prerequisites for qualification to the Drill Team. For those selected for the team, the rigors of training never stop. To execute their complicated routines as close to perfection as possible, the team practices constantly.” The routines are far too dangerous to be done while marching so the Drill Team will only be performing Saturday at the Battle Green and will not march in Monday’s parade. Take my advice and mark your calendars for noon, April 19. You don’t want to miss this show.

The Corps fact sheet proclaims, “The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps is America in retrospect – rekindling the ‘Spirit of ‘76’ in today’s Army.” So don your tricorn hat and take advantage of the opportunity to see this uniquely talented and entertaining group of the Army’s finest on Saturday and Monday during Patriot’s Day weekend.

 

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Faces of Our Revolutionary Heroes

Header Photo

As we rouse ourselves from the warm comfort of our beds in the pre-dawn darkness of Patriots Day and make our groggy way to the Battle Green we may wonder why we decided to do this, again. But as we approach the Green, the sun rising, the anticipation building, and we merge with so many others who have decided to do this, again, or for the first time we remember why we came. Twenty first century Lexington fades away as we are taken back to a singular moment in time, April 19, 1775, that changed history.

For the members of the Lexington Minutemen Company bringing that moment in time to life is a year round commitment. As the Company marches onto the Green we are not looking at our neighbors and friends, but at the faces of 1775 Lexington. And that transformation comes with a strong commitment.

The re-enactment unfolds as a carefully choreographed scene, but behind it is a dedication to authenticity and to the men who risked everything that we, as observers, may not recognize in the early morning light. Members of the group take the Minute Man Oath to heart, “We trust in God, that should the state of our affairs require it, we shall be ready to sacrifice our estates and everything dear in life, yea, and life itself, in support of the common cause.” The re-enactors who appear on the Green to meet the British regulars each portray an actual member of the Lexington Militia that took that oath. Each member researches his adopted ancestor and it is his responsibility and his honor to make their story part of his own. Through uniform, rank, and manner the Minutemen bring these everyday farmers and citizens of Lexington to life.

The modern company of Minute Men goes back quite a way. According to Captain Commanding Bill Poole the group coalesced in a new way as the bicentennial approached, “Starting in the mid-1970s the commitment of the company to the re-enactment strengthened, resulting in increased research into clothing, equipment, and the events of the day.” And that commitment is obvious as we meet three members of the Lexington Minute Men who each bring a different perspective to the group.

Watch for these members when you rouse yourself this year. You will appreciate their commitment and those of their brothers in the Lexington Minute Men just a little bit more.

 

Jedediah Monroe

Portrayed by Bill Rose

Bill Rose

Bill Rose

A costume is skin deep. A uniform goes all the way through. You could say that is the motto of re-enactor Bill Rose of Bolton who portrays Jedediah Monroe, a farmer from East Lexington.

Rose’s interest goes beyond what happened on one day in April. He has researched how these men and women lived, what they wore and how it might have felt to be a farmer in 1775. He brings all of this to his portrayal and shares what he’s learned with the other members of the Lexington Minute Men. “I really liked the material culture, understanding why a person did what he did; in his life, in his clothing, in his horse or his house. All that sort of thing,” says Rose. He began researching the fashion of the time, yes, fashion. Rose points out that even though these men were mostly farmers they followed the fashions of the times just as we do today. “You look at the newspapers, look at the wills, see what kind of clothing they had and you go, ‘Whoa, this guy was a farmer but somehow he made sure he had leather britches.” And part of their fashion sense came down to practical matters. “The clothing had to be extremely robust. You’re a farmer so you’d be using extremely good cloth. The tightly woven broadcloth would be almost waterproof. Remember, they got rained on just like we do and they didn’t like to get wet either.”

According to Rose the fashion of the time called for tightly fitted jackets. This was a nod to the practical side. High quality broadcloth was extremely expensive. Labor was cheap. Fitted wear called for less fabric and was more affordable.

Rose wanted to take his research on the material world of these men a step further and began creating his own clothes that were more true to the times that those that could be purchased. “If we are going to honor the people that died on that green and then died elsewhere for the last 230 years then we need to look as much like those guys as possible. So, I’m one of the guys that makes everything,” says Rose. He picked up a lot of tailoring skills from other Minute Men and has developed many of his own. Now he shares those skills with his fellow re-enactors and encourages them to make the investment. Rose is convincing, “It isn’t hard to do and the results are worth it. You were a hard charging, robust individual. And you put these clothes on and you invested the time to make them. You really understand what these guys went through.”

Jedediah Monroe, who Rose portrays, proved himself to be a hard charging individual on April 19, 1775. According to Rose, he was a farmer in East Lexington, probably in the mid to lower class of Lexington society. His family had come to the new world from Scotland after defeat at the Battle of Worcester in the 1650s.

Fifty-four year old Jedediah answered the alarm that morning and joined his fellow Minute Men on the Green. He was shot in the arm during the early morning skirmish. Rose tells the rest of the story, “He mustered the courage to soldier on and was killed later in the day at Parker’s Revenge. He’s a pretty cool character to do because he gave everything. He actually had an excuse to walk away but he didn’t. That’s why I take it pretty seriously.”

 

John Smith

Portrayed by Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

“I like to learn about history. It’s a good first hand experience and you get right down to it. I think it’s pretty cool.” Eighteen year old John Smith of Lexington may not have recognized the phrasing in 1775, but eighteen year old re-enactor Randy Wilson has the sentiment right. Randy has been involved in reenacting with his entire family since he was just six years old. It’s a way of life for him.

He’s already made his own history by becoming the youngest member of the Lexington Minute Men. Randy was active in his hometown with the Acton Minute Men, and the Lexington group as well. But at sixteen he wasn’t old enough to become a full member, until the Lexington Minute Men dropped the age limit. “I didn’t know the change was happening. I was just waiting for the chance to join. So, when it dropped down that was my opportunity,” says Wilson.

This Patriots Day Wilson will be the same age as his character, John Smith, was on April 19, 1775, something that adds to Wilson’s appreciation of portraying a real character from history. “The personal connection to a person in history has given me the feeling that I am actually re-enacting for something and someone, and it gives me the determination to really put some effort in the acting.”

According to the Lexington Minute Men’s history, John Smith was born to second generation colonists in Cambridge Farms on August 21, 1756. Following the skirmish on the Lexington Green Smith continued with Captain Parker to the afternoon ambush known as Parker’s Revenge. He continued his militia service through five additional postings from aiding the Colonial Army during the siege of Boston to Ticonderoga and back to Cambridge with members of the Lexington Militia. He left the military on April 18, 1780, almost five years to the day after that first skirmish on Lexington Green.

John Smith returned to Lexington and married. In the late 1780s he and his family left Lexington and the Battle Green behind and moved to Randolph, VT where they settled for good.

After this year’s Patriots Day re-enactment Randy will also leave the Green behind as he heads west to the University of Montana where he plans to study Wildlife Biology and Forestry. “When I go off to college in the fall I think that the primary thing that I will take away from re-enacting is the appreciation of where I grew up and the unique place that it holds in relation to the rest of the country,” says Randy. That’s a powerful lesson to take away, one that John Smith probably couldn’t appreciate in the early days of the new Republic.

 

Prince Abattoirs

Portrayed by Charles Price

Charlie Price

Charlie Price

Re-enactor Charles Price and Prince Estabrook both became accidental Minute Men. Neither asked to march onto the Lexington green, centuries apart. “He was a slave, for whatever reason he was out there on the green April 19, 1775 facing the British. It really wasn’t his fight,” explains Charles Price. Price has recreated Estabrook’s role in the morning’s face off for the last thirty-nine years.

Price himself was looking for a lawnmower, not a role in the Battle of Lexington back in 1975. “My lawnmower broke. I went next door to borrow one from my neighbor,” recalls Price. The neighbor may have seen an opportunity; he told Price it was too hot to mow anyway and drew him in with a cool drink and the Red Sox on TV while they waited for the sun to drop low in the sky. “He kept talking Minute Men, Minute Men, Minute Men. ‘Why don’t you just come down for a meeting?’ So I did. And here I am thirty nine years later.”

Prince Estabrook played a unique role among those men on the Green. As a slave he did not have to serve in the militia. I ask Price if Prince Estabrook found himself there because the family sent him in as a surrogate, to protect their own sons. “That’s one of the reasons we think he may have been there. It was the classic example of a no-win situation. If the Minute Men win, he’s still a slave. If they lose, he’s a slave that fired on the King’s troops,” explains Price.

But slavery in Massachusetts in the 1700s was not the same as we know it in the south during the 1800s. There was a way out for Prince Estabrook and as time went on he established himself as a soldier and a free man.

Wounded on April 19 Prince Estabrook recovered and rejoined the fight two months later at Bunker Hill. While still a slave he enlisted as a full time member of the Continental Army in 1780. Over the next three years he served from Dorchester Heights to Fort Ticonderoga. He was discharged from the Massachusetts 3rd Regiment in November 1783 as a free man. In July of the same year Massachusetts had abolished slavery.

Estabrook returned to Lexington and the Estabrook family. Working for the family now as a free man until 1803 when Benjamin Estabrook died and the family members went their separate ways. Prince Estabrook moved to Ashby with one of the sons, Nathan Estabrook, and remained there until his death. He is buried in Ashby.

Here in Lexington you can find a monument to Prince Estabrook just outside the Buckman Tavern. The likeness on the monument is of Charles Price. The two men joined by history and accident.

You can find more information on Prince Estabrook in the award-winning book by Lexington author Alice M. Hinckle, Prince Estabrook, Slave and Soldier.

 

The Lexington Minutemen in the UK. and They’re Brits!

The Lexington Minutemen in the UK courtesy of Pat Patrick

The Lexington Minutemen in the UK courtesy of Pat Patrick

 

Could there be a new revolution a foot? Minutemen taking up arms against Red Coats right on British soil? You might think so when you learn about The Lexington Minutemen in the UK.

The group was formed three years ago to appear at the English Heritage Kelmarsh Festival of History. Kelmarsh is a weekend long multi-period event that features encampments from Roman times all the way up through World War II. The Minutemen looked to educate visitors and themselves about the historical period surrounding the American War of Independence.

From there they have grown and matured. Clive Emerson, the group’s secretary, says they strive to portray not just the civilian militia of 1775, but civilian life as well, “We have a seditious priest who delivers genuine sermons of the period, a freed slave (who is also the company cook), a number of wives, girlfriends and children, a tailor, a doctor, a gunsmith and tavern keepers (of Buckman Tavern).”

Our own Lexington Minute Man Alex Cain has been corresponding with Mr. Emerson offering guidance on clothing and equipment that is helping the UK Minutemen raise their own standards of authenticity. The group’s company tailor has taken much of Alex’s advice to heart and has taught himself the skills necessary to create authentic clothing. As Clive Emerson points out, “He has learned his trade through handling original clothes of the time, then coming home and experimenting. His work is improving all the time.” Emerson laments that the Redcoat captains took notice and that improvement and the tailor has “spent the whole winter making redcoats for the Seventeenth.”

The Seventeenth, along with the Twenty Second and Forty Seventh of Foot are a few of the Redcoat groups against which the Minutemen skirmish at the five or six historical events they now attend throughout the UK each year.

Might we see an invasion of Minutemen from the UK here on Lexington Green in the future? Clive Emerson isn’t counting it out, “We have certainly thought about it, but financial and time constraints rapidly bring us back to earth. We know that it won’t be for a few years yet. It would be great to join forces with our brothers (and sisters) across the pond.”

For more information on The Lexington Minutemen in the UK visit www.lexingtonminutemen.co.uk/index.html.

 

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Stuck?


Stuck

Local therapist Pandora MacLean-Hoover of the THINK-diff Institute has some thoughts…

By Laurie Atwater

Feeling stuck in life is no fun. It can feel like perpetual failure and there’s nothing like the month of January to bring it all up again! In January we want to start fresh and fix what we perceive is out of whack in our lives. Lose weight. Clean closets. Quit smoking. Get a better job. Mend fences. Improve relationships. Go back to school. All good. But how can you transform good intentions into real change?Thought Equation

How about taking a fresh look at your thinking?

Pandora MacLean-Hoover of the THINK-diff Institute in Lexington says, “Personal Change begins with thought.”

“The science is just exploding around proving that the more you change your thinking and use your thoughts to think differently, you are actually rewiring the synapses and changing your brain chemistry,” MacLean-Hoover says.

The following four exercises may get you on your way to becoming unstuck!

 

Become Curious“Fear keeps us stuck in old thought patterns, holding on to old stuff and doing things the old way,” says MacLean-Hoover.

One of the keys to the THINK-diff approach is to reframe fear. “I invite people to become curious,” MacLean-Hoover says. “It’s much easier to get excited about change when you engage in curiosity rather than fear. Change is often blocked by fear. We owe it to ourselves to understand why we have fear. Where does it originate? How does it get reinforced?”

Excited about change

Along with curiosity MacLean-Hoover asks clients to “take a giant step away from the judgment they have about themselves and others.”  This allows patients to create what she calls a White Board—a blank slate of options.

Instead of approaching change from a “something is wrong with me” model, MacLean-Hoover uses visual exercises to assist in a process of self discovery. She often begins by drawing a simple timeline. On one end is a stick figure representing “me” as a child, on the other the word NOW representing “me” as a adult. She asks clients to look at the timeline and recall experiences that might be significant. The simple visual usually jogs the memory according to MacLean-Hoover. “I call it opening the information highway.”

 

 

Uncover your I StatementsMacLean-Hoover uses four circles to map these important experiences. “The first circle represents the story itself,” she explains. “To the right of it is a circle that represents the emotions around that story: does it make you angry, sad or anxious? Then I ask clients to carefully observe the physical sensations that arise around the emotions. That’s the third circle. Do they tremble, feel cold, hot, sweaty or is their heart beating wildly? The final circle represents the “I statement”—the core belief that is triggered by the memory of that event.”Square

The next time you have a heightened physical response to something or someone, pay attention and see if it brings up any of your own “I statements.” For instance ladies, the next time your husband makes a suggestion about your driving and you feel a familiar constriction in your throat, ask yourself – Does this relate to the statement: “I am not a competent person?”

Then b-r-e-a-t-h-e. Awareness is the first step. Bringing these thoughts forward is lots of work. These beliefs come from the feeling part of your brain so it is important to observe your physical state and your feelings. Being mindful is key.

 

 

Go Shopping for a new Computer“It resonates with people to use the computer analogy and it engages them with some optimism because they have really done this,” MacLean-Hoover says.

We’ve all spent hours researching the perfect computer for our work and personal lives. Is it a MAC or a PC? How much RAM? How big a hard drive and a million other small hardware related choices we have to make before we buy. “But what happens then?” MacLean-Hoover asks. “You have to choose the software that tells the computer what you want it to do.” The software represents “I” statements.Computer

On this computer shopping trip she invites clients to picture a rack of software with names like: I’m a failure, I am stupid, I can’t trust my judgment.

“If we were looking at that software with the knowledge that this is a choice and we have to choose what we want the computer to do on our behalf, would we choose that software?” She suggests that as adults with a choice we would move on to the rack with these titles:  I am successful, I am smart, I trust my judgment.

 

I Statements

 

 

Install New Software“When we are children we don’t have a filter so everything gets in.  Parents, extended family, teachers—all of the ‘big people’ in our lives raise us in their own image into a world as they see it,” McLean-Hoover explains. How have you been brought up to see yourself, the world and the people in it? MacLean-Hoover works with clients to dispel the distorted beliefs about themselves that leave them unable to change.

“People are easily reminiscent about the sense of powerlessness in childhood,” MacLean-Hoover says. “But unlike childhood when you had no voice, adulthood gives you choice.”  Change becomes much more exciting when the idea of choice replaces fear. Getting unstuck can be a thrilling and fulfilling process according to MacLean-Hoover. “You can only control for you. Once you know why you think what you think and do what you do, you may choose whether you still want to think and do things the same way.”

Hero

 

 

PandoraPandora MacLean-Hoover of the THINK-diff Institute at 1666 Mass Ave., Suite F1 in Lexington.

Tel: 888.417.3159

 

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New Academy Of Creative Arts Opens in Burlington

 

Dr. Joshi with students (l to r) Aryan, Sara, Naveen, Anaya, Tanvi, Shrihan and Arth.

Dr. Joshi with students (l to r) Aryan, Sara, Naveen, Anaya, Tanvi, Shrihan and Arth.

Many Lexington residents may recognize Dr. Java Joshi (and her stunning artwork) from the numerous Lexington arts events that she has participated in over the years from her successful exhibit at the Cary Memorial Library to Lexington Open Studios where she has served on the organizing committee and as an exhibitor.

Three years ago Joshi formed Joshi Creative Arts in Lexington to share her passion for the creative arts with children through teaching art to children from 3 to 18 years of age. Now she is taking her dream to the next level with the launch of the Academy of Creative Arts which will offer classes in art, jewelry design and dance. The inaugural event for this new Academy was held on January 9th in Joshi’s Burlington studio.

“The vision for our Academy is to provide an atmosphere where creativity is encouraged and fostered,” Dr. Joshi says. “We hope that the Academy of Creative Arts will become an institution of choice for any and all kinds of creative and performing arts.”

At the opening event, Dr. Joshi was surrounded by her students and their beautiful artwork. Joined by her husband Hetel, Joshi radiated excitement for this new endeavor.

Born in India, Java earned a Masters in Fine Arts and Ph.D. in Drawing & Painting from India. Java also graduated from the Arts Institute of Atlanta with a degree in Multimedia and Web Design.

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Children’s Artwork from the new Academy of Creative Arts in Burlington                             

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Teaching Staff
Dr. Java Joshi-Art Instruction
Java (center) holds a PhD in Drawing and Painting from India and a Masters in Multimedia & Web Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta.
Irit Kaphzan Hamami-Jewelry Design
Irit (left) came to the U.S. fifteen years ago and taught Jewish Studies, but he passion for jewelry design grew until she decided to pursue it full time eight years ago. Since then she has exhibited her work in Lexington and Concord Open Studios. She hopes to combine her love of teaching and jewelry design in her classes.
Judith Ann Cooper-Observational Painting for Adults
Judith (right) taught in the Gloucester Public Schools for 29 years. She holds a BFA from BU in painting and education. Judith enjoys creating art from many different mediums.
Mona Mitra-Kathak Dance & Bollywood Fusion
(missing from the photo)
Mona is a classically trained dancer, with a “Vishared in Kathak with is one of the traditional Indian dances. She has been teaching Kathak and Bollywood Fusion in Boston since 2010.

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Call – 612.888.ARTS (2787) | Email: info@academyofcreativearts.com

Address: 128 Wheeler Road, Burlington MA 01803

www.academyofcreativearts.com

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Lexington Reads 2014!

 

Reads 2

COMMUNITY BOOK

Community Book

Community Book

2014 is a Year of Discovery at Cary Memorial Library, and so our Lexington Reads theme is Digital Me, an exploration of how science and technology affects our daily lives. In keeping with this theme, our Lexington Reads book  is Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson.

 

In Smarter Than You Think, Clive Thompson explores how the explosion of technology available to the average person is forcing us to adapt and change our behavior.  Featuring both experts and everyday people using these tools in new and unexpected ways, Thompson shows how humans are using technology to create real change. Whether it is students using technology to protest a factory spewing dangerous chemicals or a group of gamers collectively solving a problem that puzzled HIV researchers for a decade, Thompson demonstrates that great opportunities arise from the digital world. Along the way, he stressed the importance of keeping the best of our old ways of life while embracing the new tech that allows for such collaboration and communication.

Throughout the month of March, Cary Library will host a variety of programs focused on the ways technology has become created a “Digital Me.” As 2014 continues, we will continue to explore issues related to science and technology as part of our Year of Discovery. Please watch the library calendar and local media for more information. Please join us!

Stop by or call Cary  Library (781-862-6288 x250) to pick up or reserve a copy of Smarter Than You Think.

 

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Author, Clive Thompson

Author, Clive Thompson

Sunday, March 9th at 3pm
An Afternoon with Clive Thompson
Battin Hall in the Cary Building,
1605 Massachusetts Ave.

Author Clive Thompson will discuss how technology is making us smarter, empowering people across the globe, and solving seemingly impossible problems. With a growing number of smart phone users, almost everyone has a computer and a camera accessible at all times. How we use these tools can and should combine the best of the old way of life and the vast opportunities presented by technology.  In this discussion, Clive Thompson will explore the many positive ways technology is changing our lives and impacting the world around us.
Clive Thompson is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Smithsonian, and a columnist for Wired. He has also maintained a science-and-technology blog, Collision Detection, since 2002 and speaks frequently on topics relating to the evolution and everyday use of technology.
Clive Thompson’s book Smarter Than You Think is this year’s Lexington Reads Community Book. Library copies of Smarter Than You Think may be reserved online or by calling 781-862-6288 ext 250. Copies of Smarter Than You Think will also be available for purchase and signing at the lecture. No registration necessary.

 

RETRO TECHNOLOGY FAIR

Saturday, March 1, 1-4PM   |   Cary Large Meeting Room

Explore the technological wonders of the past at our Retro Technology Fair! Technology isn’t only social media and big data—it is also rotary phones and manual typewriters! Everyday objects and iconic inventions will demonstrate how people entertained themselves and communicated before smart phones and streaming video. Bring the whole family and learn about the evolution of technology. Some objects may be available for hands-on demonstrations.

 

APPY HOUR

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Wednesday, March 12
Cary Commons
5-6PM

Sick of the apps you always use? Looking for something new and fresh? Join us at Appy Hour and learn about the best apps for travel, photography, art, gaming, and more. This will be a social, interactive event, so bring your tablet or smartphone and be ready to discuss with your neighbors. Wi-fi is available throughout the library. No registration required

 

 

SPEAKER

Garry Golden

Futurist, Garry Golden

 

Garry Golden
Sunday, March 31
Cary Hall | 3PM
What is the Future?

Join futurist Garry Golden as we look ahead to what the future holds for our digital selves. Technology changes so quickly—how can we adapt and change to integrate these technologies into our daily lives? Garry Golden will discuss how privacy, measurements of intelligence, and our relationship to our physical world might change. Golden is an academically trained futurist who speaks and consults on issues facing 21st century society, including those issues facing libraries. A short question and answer session will follow Garry Golden’s talk. No registration necessary.

 

 

 

 

SPEAKER

Blogger, Author and Librarian, Jessamyn West

Blogger, Author and Librarian, Jessamyn West

Jessamyn West
Saturday, March 22
Cary Large Meeting Room
10:00 AM-Noon
All About Blogging Brunch

Join members of the Friends of the Library as they host this annual event! The All About Blogging Brunch gives blog lovers and computer rookies alike an opportunity to discuss the world of blogging while eating brunch. This year’s special guest is Jessamyn West, an author, librarian, and community manager of MetaFilter.com. Jessamyn West lives in Central Vermont, where she works with small libraries with technology planning and implementation. She has maintained professional and personal blogs at librarian.net and jessamyn.com for over a decade, and speaks nationally on digital divide issues. We hope that all community members interested in communication and social issues attend; use of blogs is not required. Attendance is limited. Advance registration required.

 

 

TEEN TECH SEMINARS

gadgets-for-teens

Monday – Friday
4-5 pm in the
Cary Large Meeting Room

  • Monday, March 3
  • Word Processing
  • Tuesday, March 4
  • Websites you should know about
  • Wednesday, March 5
  • Facebook
  • Thursday, March 6Skype
  • Friday, March 7
  • iPhone and iPad/iOS7*

Lexington’s tech savvy teens will demonstrate how they use technology to keep in touch with friends and family, share photos and videos, and navigate the online world.  Each day teens will explain a new topic.

No experience is necessary. *You may bring your iPad or iPhone if you have one.

Teen Tech Seminars are presented by the Cary Memorial Library Teen Advisory Board. Please register for each day you wish to attend. Register by calling Cary Library at 781-862-6288 ext 250 or stopping at the reference desk.

 

 

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LHS Students Recognized in Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards

Forty Nine students from the Lexington Public Schools were recognized for their artistic excellence in the 2014 Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards.

Student artwork from grades 7-12 were selected by their schools, and many received Honorable Mentions, Silver Keys or Gold Keys. Of the 49 students whose works were selected, 29 Honorable Mentions, 9 Silver Keys and 20 Gold Keys were awarded. Gold Key Winners will be on display at Boston’s City Hall March 7 – March 30, 2014.

Following the close of the Massachusetts Regional exhibit, the selected Gold Key award winners from each national region will have their art works reviewed by a blue ribbon panel of judges at the National level in March. The National Jury will select “Gold Medal” National winners and call in their artwork to be exhibited in New York City during June. The National student awards ceremony will be held at Carnegie Hall in mid- June. Selected students will receive an invitation to this National event.

Raindrops-Emma Kaftan-Luckerman, grade 12

Raindrops
Emma Kaftan-Luckerman
Grade 12

A Meaningful Embrace_Colby Yee, grade 12, Gold Key

A Meaningful Embrace
Colby Yee
Grade 12

 

Convex Concave-  Elana Super, grade 12

Convex Concave
Elana Super
Grade 12

 Gold Key Winners will be on display at

Boston’s City Hall March 7 – March 30, 2014

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Saying Goodbye to Estabrook School

Principals 2

Estabrook Alumnus John Murphy

Estabrook Alumnus John Murphy

By Laurie Atwater

The mood was nostalgic as alumni and families took one last opportunity to stroll the halls of Estabrook School before its official closing on February 14th. The new building, which will open to students on February 24, is just a building, waiting for the memories of generations to come. The old Estabrook almost burst with the energy of 52 years’ of memories on Friday night as alumni, students, parents, teachers and friends reminisced and said goodbye.

Greeted by Principal Sandy Strach, folks grabbed from an abundant supply of Sharpies and searched for the perfect spot to sign their names. Was it the Library, the front office, the entrance of a very special classroom where they would leave their final tribute? According to principal Strach, it has been a “very sentimental time” for her and her fellow educators and administrators. “People have come from all over to say goodbye,” Strach said. “Alumni, teachers—it has been a multi-generational event with families that have attended the school for decades.” Indeed, the 52 year old structure has seen a lot of history.

Visitor and alumnus John Murphy who attended Estabrook from 1966-1971 recalled the day when his older brother along with all the other children were called into the auditorium and informed that President Kennedy had been assassinated. In fact, Murphy had memories every time he turned a corner and wistfully recalled that they were allowed to ride their bikes to school when he attended Estabrook. Estabrook has also become much more diverse over its 52 years. In his tribute next to the door to his 2nd grade classroom, Murphy scrawled a reference to how his class had voted for Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon in 1968.

Parents from many different cultures walked the halls with their children and took pictures. Fifth grade student Nicholas Tringale who is currently in Miss Silberman’s class and will transition to the new school, signed the wall with his mom Beverly who attended Estabrook from 1969-1975. Nicholas has mixed feelings about leaving his old school and his shiny green lockers! Nicholas will be happy to hear that all of the usable items from Estabrook will be re-purposed around the district where they are needed including the lockers. Several items will be contributed to the Lexington Historical Society: mid-century modern chairs and the original sign. Unfortunately, the much-loved mural was not able to be preserved, but it was photographed professionally and that photograph will be lovingly displayed as part of a special exhibit in the new school.

Back in the lobby, Principal Strach greeted family after family and at one point has a circle of Estabrook teachers around her with over 100 years in combined teaching time! Susan Orenstein taught Kindergarten, Elaine Hooper taught both 2nd and 3rd grade, Joan Pirrello taught grade 3 and Renée Sack taught 4th and 5th grade. Among them Len Swanton who went on to work with Carol Pilarski (who also attended) in the main office and has “great memories of this school.”

Principal Strach was not surprised by the outpouring of love for the school. “It doesn’t matter what decade they attended,” she said, “the ‘intangible’ at Estabrook is how much they were loved.” She describes it as “love balanced with progressive learning.” That is the quality that she is determined to foster in the new school as well. Principal Strach is excited that the new building is full of community spaces. “We’ve kept that as a priority.”

Strach is inspired by the rich history of Estabrook School and referred me to her speech at the groundbreaking for a little Estabrook education which I will share with you here:

Fifty-one years ago, when Estabrook School first opened its doors, it was famously known as the first team teaching school in the nation. For decades thereafter, professionals in education, research and architecture traveled worldwide to see the renowned Estabrook School in action. The school’s

progressive instructional vision, inspired by Harvard University and Lexington educators, was

complemented by an open and flexible architectural design. Cooperative learning, flexible multi-age learning groups and teacher leadership were the instructional cornerstones of the 1961 Estabrook School. These advanced best practices were not readily apparent in mainstream education until the 1990’s.

 

Excerpted from Principal Sandy Strach’s speech at the groundbreaking for the new Estabrook school

 

According to Strach the new school is designed to push the progressive learning model into the future while maintaining the vision of the past. The building itself will become a teaching tool as a LEED Silver building, it will be a living example to the students of environmental responsibility and stewardship. From the sustainable gardening practices and ecology education through the Big Backyard to a LEEDS Silver Curriculum created around the question: What makes Estabrook a green school?, Strach hopes to send informed citizens into the world. “By the time they graduate,” she says, “they will appreciate the evolution of ‘Green’ and can take it forward into the world.”

It’s part of what makes Estabrook such a special place Strach said—the “ecology” of the school where one person effects the other—the school itself is a metaphor for the community it holds so dear.

 

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DCU Donation to Aid Literacy Programs at Cary

DCU_Library

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