Yesterday at the Inside Outside School we baked little apple pies. Our cooks made a pretty fine pastry crust from scratch and chilled it while they chopped the granny smith apples into nice little chunks and packed the filling into the apple shells. Finally they wove the crust sections over the top of the apples and we baked them.
Later in the afternoon we flew paper airplanes in science class, and checked the gardens where we found a shy lizard. We tried having creative writing outside, but it really wasn't a productive writing time. The wind was dancing with our papers, and all in all it was just too hard to look down at a piece of paper when there was so much else to notice.
We spent almost every minute of the day outside today. This is our new outdoor easel that Tom build for us. Everything is greening. The canopy has emerged almost overnight. The creek flooded during the recent storm and Emily C. found some beautiful tracks in the mud during nature lit time. I love this school more leaf by leaf. We began during the drought and scorching heat. It is another experience entirely to be here now. Sachi's dad is making a video with the secondary students about how trash travels. Oliver Rajamani has joined our staff and is teaching drumming, cultural studies and cooking. We are falling in love with our new teacher Emily F. who stepped in when Lydia left for Australia, and is totally awesome. We get to do this! Do you?
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We have our first strawberries in the harvest basket bed that we made last
summer when it was 106 degrees (before it got really hot!) Other fruits are evident as well.
New students who came in the second semester are part of the whole
group this week. They play together rather than alone. Talking to other
directors of alternative schools in Austin we find this common theme.
Helping new students come in and find their place and assimilate into the
culture that is here is patient work. We have a different language here, with statements like, "I felt sad when you pushed me away," and "What can I do to help?" This week our dimension of Human Greatness focus is interaction. Each day I see the older students looking out for our youngest student, making sure he has a friend to sit with during lunch, asking him about what he made in shop and admiring his work. Ethan letting him know he has done a great job scattering wildflower seeds and pointing out a place where there is a hole to watch out for walking back through tall weeds. The fruit is sweet and the past months have not been easy, but it is so cool to see the kids playing together, running through the woods, popping up behind trees, dashing off to see something amazing that somebody found, a lizard, a fish, a little frog.