A Good Day

Dear Friends,

Yesterday was one of those wonderful days when you are able to watch the essence of the Randolph School experience unfold before your very eyes. Early in the day, evan mentioned that the amphitheater was filled with leaves, which was a problem because we were planning to gather there at the start of our masquerade parade later in the afternoon. An hour later, the school was strangely quiet and the classrooms empty. Nearly the entire school had convened at the amphitheater for an impromptu clean up session. Groups of children of all ages were working together to figure out a system of raking, lifting, and carting that could get all those leaves out of the amphitheatre and dumped over the hill that leads to the creek. Work and play intermingled with a common sense of purpose. The fall air was filled with laughter, quiet advice, encouragement between friends, and a gentle scratch and swoosh as the children’s rakes, the blanket of leaves, and the stone of the amphitheater met together in a flurry of activity.

Later in the afternoon we all met in the cleared amphitheater, wearing masks, capes, headdresses, and wands that had been made in Alice’s art class over the last month. The theme for this year’s masquerade was “Forest Friends” and the costumes incorporated found objects from forest walks, and were beautifully crafted from paper mache, cardboard, and collaged hand-painted paper in the style of Eric Carle. The children proudly presented themselves to the assembled crowd of students, teachers, and parents: “I’m a bouncy bouncy Bunny,” “I’m a Wood Fairy,” ”I am part Fox, part Bird,” “I am a Unicorn that can climb trees.” And so they were. evan taught everyone the American Sign Language motions for applause, which is to gently wave both hands in the air, and we all became a quiet forest of hands after each introduction. A spooky song was sung and a scary story told, and then we were off on a parade, a pack of forest friends going to say hello to the people in our community who drove by the front of the school. We waved and hooted and hollered, and received some thunderous honks, surprised smiles, and energetic waves as people drove by our magnificent masquerade. Parents, teachers, and students mingled and chatted when it was done, until finally it was time to take off our masks and get back to class.

Oh, and by the way my costume yesterday was simply made of a huge smile. It felt like it took up my whole face at times, and I wore it the whole day.

Be well,

Ben


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