Home Port (Volume 1: Spring 2012)

An Interpretation of Lydia in a Loge by Peter Richenburg’s Grade 10 Art Students

Welcome aboard the Spring 2012 voyage of Soundings.  Our itinerary includes one port quite close to home –  a visit behind the scenes of the Sturgis International Baccalaureate “IB for All” program, where you will have a chance to meet some seniors and read reflections about their experiences with CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) and Extended Essay independent research projects. You will also have a chance to meet members of the  Sturgis Athletic Program, including Athletic Directors, coaches and student athletes, who reflect on their experiences with an athletic program that has a “no cut” policy and no  facilities.

The spring voyage will also take you far from home to distant shores. Our feature article on Sturgis Travels sends you to Peru, Quebec and Italy. In the Faculty Profile, Arthur Pontes guides you along his path from Somerville to Sturgis with side trips including Ecuador, Italy, Belgium and The Netherlands. In the feature Sturgis Trustee Cynthia Hall Heads to Work in Ghana, Cynthia  shares her path from Russia, Romania, Belgium and Cape Cod as she prepares to move to Ghana.  To sustain you during our voyage to ports near and far, we have collected a cargo of Sturgis news, research, book reviews, poetry and art.

As Sturgis seniors approach the threshold of graduation and start to count their remaining days here, we invite them to pause for a moment, look back and reflect on how their experiences at Sturgis have shaped them as students and as people. Reading through their reflections, I was frequently reminded of how Arthur Pontes describes the IB program as a “transformational experience.”  I was interested to see that many students initially questioned the rationale behind so  many demanding IB requirements. When seniors complete the requirements one by one, they begin to understand how the components of the IB Diploma Programme work together. Individual pieces of the IB Hexagon puzzle and the overall Diploma Programme start to make sense.  As Kierkegaard wrote, “Philosophy is perfectly right in saying that life must be understood backward.”

Mary Cassatt’s
Lydia in a Loge

The Gestalt art project pictured above is an interpretation of Mary Cassatt’s Lydia in a Loge by Peter Richenburg’s Grade 10 art students. This project serves as another example of the transformational process that can occur when pieces of a puzzle fall together and start to make sense. The project begins when each student is given a small square of a masterpiece and asked to reproduce it. Of course, individual students have unique styles and varying levels of artistic talent. As they work on small squares of the painting with their unique approaches, one begins to wonder how the painting will ever hang together as a whole. Once all the squares are completed and assembled together within the puzzle, the painting somehow miraculously works and takes on a life of its own.  It is certainly not an exact replication of the original but the collective work has a certain creative spirit and creative spirit can go a long way. Once again, the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.  (For more information and other examples of Sturgis Gestalt Art Projects such as  Lydia in a Loge, see the Creative Ventures- Art column.)

Many thanks to all our contributors and supporters. I especially want to thank the seniors for participating during their incredibly busy last semester. You are very close to the  finish line and will be greatly missed once you cross it.

Like the painting above,  Sturgis Soundings Magazine is a collaborative effort. Please send your comments, ideas and suggestions for future issues to:  soundings@sturgischarterschool.org

Bon Voyage!

Marion Weeks

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