Friday, March 18, 2011

Home Stretch and Slide . . .

The final movie/slideshow at the assembly today was made at Animoto. The song that was used in the slide show is called "Good Life", by OneRepublic. We are not able to use a copyrighted song for the public blog, so we chose to use one of the songs from Animoto. The song used for the slideshow below is called "Faith, Hope, Love" by Beckah Shae. RUaDN learned that teamwork is key. If you are focused while working with a partner, you will be able to accomplish anything. Enjoy this final look at Winterim 2011!

The "So What?" of Winterim

Most students have expressed their Winterim experience in a positive way, with the exception of a few students who had a negative experience. Next year we hope they get a Winterim that allows them to see the positive. Here are the words we heard LA students use most often to describe Winterim:


While Winterim is coming to an end we hope that this will continue in the LA community. We are so happy that it was a success.

Statistics: The Final Countdown

This year, the RUaDgtalNativ group performed significantly better than last year in terms of blog popularity and posts. In the two weeks of Winterim 2011, as shown by the graph, the blog got 8296 page views. During last year's Winterim, the blog was viewed only 7496 times. In addition, after lots of hard work, our group produced 101 blog posts, which is ten more posts than last year's 91 posts. Most of our traffic came from the Lawrence Academy website. We also had a lot of traffic from our Facebook page, Google, and the individual RUaDgtalNativ blog. The two most popular blog posts on the Winterim 2011 blog were, respectively, "Winterim, Sharp Freedom", "What will the masterpiece be?", and "Making Best Friends Out West." Overall, the blog stats have projected increased success and more interest from last year. :)

Regarding the statistics of our other accounts, we've made good progress in those areas as well. Our Youtube account had 15 videos this year, the most popular of which being the Hit Single Machine Discussion Video, with 125 views. We tweeted 122 times this year and got 16 followers on Twitter. On the LAWinterim Picasa Web Albums account, we have uploaded 378 photos in total this year.

"Summa Summarum."

On the last day of Winterim, here is a summary of the many accomplishments of the individual groups:

All Creatures Great and Small - students communed with Mother Nature by studying the daily lives of our nearest neighbors: animals.
Andes and Amazon Adventure - students learned about a variety of unique ecosystems and conquered the heights of the Andes.
ARC Volunteers - students helped mentally and physically disabled people, bringing joy into their lives.
Baking Basics - students learned many techniques of baking and sold their baked goods to raise money for the rescue efforts in Japan.
Byways and Waterways of Costa Rica - students experienced the magic of the natural world in Costa Rica and learned about its ecology.
Chess - students learned the tricks of the renowned masters of this old game and challenged opponents from LA to Harvard Square in Cambridge.
Clay and Kiln - students covered a lot of different pottery-making techniques and are now capable of making a primitive pot for everyone in LA.
Digital Photography - students studied the importance of the transposing of light and now understand the idea of how to best capture reality digitally.
Dominican Service Project - students helped with the process of renovation of a school and worked with the local kids and community.
Fashion Statement - this group tried their hand in the hard field of design and created one-of-a-kind accessories such as handbags, vest etc.
Florida Camp and Kayak - students relaxed in the sunny waters of Florida and enjoyed the peacefulness of lagoons around them and they also fished and snorkeled. They can't take the beaches and warm water with them, but their memories are forever.
HeadStart - the group joined the important national organization - Head Start - they helped children in poverty and assisted a teaching team in the schools of local low-income areas.
Hit Single Machine - the students of this Winterim tried to succeed at one of the hardest trades - creating and selling music. Now students know the priceless knowledge about music making, recording and mixing. All money earned will be donated to LA.
Iron Forging - students experienced the daily life of a blacksmith and succeeded in understanding the techniques of the craftsman's work and learned the long history of iron forging.
Kayaking in the Caribbean - students learned kayak paddling strokes and enhanced their navigation skills. Student may now consider themselves native Garifunas.
Martial Arts - students will test today for a belt level and perform for the school. Moreover, these students are now the strongest and most mentally-stable students at LA - they are the followers of the secrets of Karate.
Mask Making - students created a full face character mask and learned the techniques of mask making and the art of character performance.
Mountain Biking in Arizona - students explored the trails of the Sonoran Desert and built biking skills as they increased their daily goals from moderate shake down rides to an excursion of 20 miles.
Objection Your Honor - students learned about the American legal system and worked on a mock trial which they acted out Friday mornday at the Ayer District Court House.
Quilting - students learned basic sewing and design skills and completed a final quilt which will be displayed.
RUaDgtalNativ - students wrote articles,took and collected photos, and videos about all other Winterims and maintained several social media sites to keep the LA community informed.
Sports Journalism - students traveled to many sporting events in and around New England and they wrote blog posts and game writeups.
Stained Glass - students learned the techniques of stained glass and then completed an individual project.
The Horror! The Horror! - students worked very hard to terrify us with their silent horror movie. This masterful piece of art will be presented to the LA community.
The System - students learned about the Judicial System, how it works, and problems facing lawyers, lawmakers, judges, and politicians in administering our system of law and justice.
Total Mountain Experience - these students learned all of the skills of managing a recreational ski mountain, including how to rescue those in trouble.
Turn Baby Turn - students were taught the art of woodworking and studied ancient techniques.
Underwater Discovery - students completed a three part training course in scuba diving and then explored the coral reefs of Belize.
Watermedia - students created art using watercolor and other mixtures of water-soluble media.
Yoga - students developed a full understanding of yoga culture, the physical benefits, and better discipline.

To Every End There is a New Beginning

Today is the last day of Winterim. Some students are excited about going home, while other students are very sad because they won't be able to see their friends until after break. During this Winterim, we, RUaDN, learned a lot of blogging skills, photography skills, video recording skills, and communication skills. All of the photos were mostly taken by RUaDN, but others have sent us photos as well, which are all saved in a Picasa account. This Winterim at least for us has taken over out lives. We have bonded but even if it's over, our friendships will remain. We are all different people with different stories, and backgrounds facing the same Winterim challenge. We came together and ended with an amazing slideshow and the work that goes with it. This was amazing and we are ready for a good break. From all of us at RUaDN have a great safe break. Goodbye til next year....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our Last Day with Best Friends :(

Today we woke up to a sad thought. I (Sarah) said, "Oh no we are leaving tomorrow!" Ali said, "I'm literally gunna start crying." We took Richard, the cat that we took for a sleepover, back to CalMar. We listened to a pitbull talk - these dogs are not evil, that's a stereotype. Before having our last vegetarian lunch, we got to socialize with the dogs one more time. The last part of our day consisted of being scared of biting birds, although we made them toys and cleaned their rooms. I (Ali) even got the greeting bird, King O, to sing "I aint' nothin' but a birdy." Check out the King on Youtube - he's up to 112,000 hits.

After saying goodbye to the animals, we wrote our final thoughts on this Winterim - our thoughts were more like essays than a couple of words.

One time when we were working with the dogs, I (Sarah) walked a dog named Jingles. She is so adorable and is such a good girl. I said good bye to her today in her run when she was laying down on her bed. She loves to smile and is great with people. So come to Utah and adopt her!

Hope you all had a good Winterim!
Ali and Sarah

One vs. All

Yesterday the chess group played as a group against the leader (Lou Mcurry) simultaneously, and Lou beat them all! The Winterim leader Mr. Dawson lasted the longest out of the whole group. The group is in Harvard Square today playing chess on the public chess boards. The students will come off this HUGE loss from yesterday and hopefully redeem themselves with some victories against strangers in Cambridge today.

Second Week of Underwater Discovery

The second week of Underwater Discovery was the most interesting for the students of this group. It was not the week of practice but that of real work and investigation of the Caribbean Sea. On Monday students took a trip to a Whale Shoals. They also tried snorkeling and research at night for the first time. Tuesday was free diving day. On Wednesday they finished their marine project and summarized the data and materials. Today students of Underwater Discovery will pack up and have a big party to celebrate a great trip and an excellent time.
photo taken from here

Forever Young

LA students at both Head Start locations continue to play and learn with the kids. Their final days on the playground will be spent in the classroom where they've been working for the last two weeks. This week the LA students say they've become closer with the kids in their class and learned more about them. The kids at Head Start didn't have school Wednesday, so LA students took a trip to the Museum of Science in Boston. Having become so close with the kids at Head Start it will be sad to leave them but it was an amazing experience LA students won't forget.