Stories and updates from around campus

“I Am Not a Turtle”

Translate the Brain's Andrew Watson Presents Strategies for Learning

2014 Eric Yates Andrew Watson Translate the BrainThere was just one phrase that Andrew Watson wanted students to remember after Upper School assembly on Friday morning. He had the students write it down:

“I am not a turtle,” they wrote.

Mr. Watson, of Translate the Brain, had returned to the Williston Northampton School for his second year to talk about neurological studies and how those translated into studying more effectively.

While a baby turtle is born with all the neural pathways it will ever used, or ever need, human brains are constantly evolving, Mr. Watson explained.

“During the time we’ve been alive, the way we’ve studied the brain has very dramatically changed,” he said, adding that scientists now understood that memory was not static, but growing and changing.

Continue reading

A Healthy Harvest Yields Surprises

Middle School Students Grow Over 50 Pounds of Veggies for Local Food Bank

2014 Jane Lucia MS Garden 1The eighth graders had trowels; the seventh graders were armed with clipboards. It was early on a Friday morning and the middle schoolers were on a mission to harvest the garden.

Last spring, the now-eighth grade had chosen seeds and starter plants—squash, watermelon, onions, potatoes, sunflowers, and Brussels sprouts—and then mapped out their plantings.

They decided questions such as: What needed sunlight? What needed shade? How big would the plants be as they grew? How did the plant beds needed to be spaced and oriented?

Continue reading

Williston Hosts Genetic Update Conference

For the second year, Williston Northampton School will host a Genetic Update Conference (GUC) with speaker Sam Rhine. The conference will take place in the Williston Theatre on Tuesday, October 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and is open to the public.

Mr. Rhine has spoken to high school students across the country and around the world about the field of genetics for the past 30 years, including at a similar conference that Williston hosted last year. According to his website, he excels in “taking biology out of the textbook and applying it to real life.” During his one-day conferences, Mr. Rhine covers such topics as genetic advances, the latest research, and career opportunities.

Mr. Rhine received a B.A. and an M.A. from Indiana University, was a doctoral candidate at Indiana University School of Medicine, and was a Lalor Foundation Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He received the Distinguished Hoosier Scholar Award, given to a native Hoosier for outstanding commitment to science education, by the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers (HASTI) in 2007.

Tickets for the conference are available at

The Grubbs Gallery 2014-15 Season

2014 Grubbs Gallery Marlene Rye, “The Ascent”, pastel on paper, 2014
Marlene Rye, “The Ascent”, pastel on paper, 2014

A slate of painters and artists who draw inspiration from the land and the air, from architectural forms and memories of childhood, will fill the Grubbs Gallery for the 2014-15 season.

The nine shows this season will include work by Marlene Rye, Lise Lemeland, David Marshall, Karen Iglehart, Rhys Davies, and Amanda Barrow and Co.

“It is going to be a year of very impressive exhibitions because they are all so talented with such distinctive styles,” noted Natania Hume, Grubbs Gallery director and curator, in an email about the upcoming season.

Ms. Hume, who also teaches ceramics, design, and drawing at the school, said she looked for artists who not only had exemplary work, but who could teach Williston students about techniques, materials, and the creative process.

“Although the Grubbs Gallery artists are mostly painters this year, they all get inspiration from very specific subjects and will all give very interesting gallery talks,” Ms. Hume noted.

The following are the upcoming slate of shows at the Grubbs Gallery for the 2014-15 season:

Continue reading

Writers’ Workshop Series Opens with Joan Wickersham

This year's series will feature lectures by George Colt, Jen duBois, and Anne Fadiman
Joan Wickersham. Photo by Michael Lionstar
Joan Wickersham. Photo by Michael Lionstar

An author who writes of heartbreak, regret, and unbidden intimacy will lead off Williston Northampton School’s long-running author lecture series, now in its 17th year.

Author and essayist Joan Wickersham will present the first in this year’s Writers’ Workshop Series on September 23 at 7:00 p.m. in the Dodge Room, Reed Campus Center.

Ms. Wickersham is the acclaimed author of a book of fiction, The News from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story (Knopf 2012); a memoir, The Suicide Index: Putting My Father’s Death in Order (Harcourt 2008); and a novel, The Paper Anniversary (Viking Adult, 1993).

Continue reading

Stories and updates from around campus