Ron Wyatt at Williston’s Photographers’ Lecture Series

Sports photographer Ron Wyatt will present the next in Williston Northampton School’s ongoing lecture series on Thursday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the Dodge Room, Reed Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Mr. Wyatt was assigned by Kodak to photograph the Summer Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, and is a self-taught photographer. In his presentation, Mr. Wyatt will talk about his experiences covering the Olympic Games, as well as finding the right equipment and camera set-up, planning a shooting strategy, and the importance of knowing the game.

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“I Love the Way She Thinks”: Claire Rosen at Williston

"Up and Away," Courtesy of Claire Rosen

“I really love the way that she thinks” was the way that Fine and Performing Arts teacher Ed Hing introduced photographer Claire Rosen on March 28 for the latest in the Photographers’ Lecture Series.

As Ms. Rosen flipped through slides of her work—moving from self-portraits based on fairy tales, to antique dolls and taxidermy, to dioramas of objects around her home—what became clear was that her particular way of thinking was unlike any other.

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Williston Inducts Ten to Cum Laude

The Williston Northampton School chapter of the Cum Laude Society inducted 10 members from the Class of 2013 on Friday, January 11 at 8:30 a.m.

The Cum Laude Society, founded in 1906 and modeled after Phi Beta Kappa, honors scholastic achievement in secondary schools.  The society has over 350 chapters, with the majority in independent schools.  In 1921, Williston Academy became a member of the society, followed by Northampton School for Girls in 1951.  In 1971, a new charter was created for The Williston Northampton School.

The following students were inducted in the Phillips Stevens Chapel on the Williston Northampton campus.

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Luma Mufleh to Speak at Wattles Perry ’77 Lecture

Fodbold.  Fuβball.  Pêl-droed.  Sokker.  Zúqiú.  Soccer.

Soccer is an international pastime and Luma Mufleh has used it as a stepping-stone to foster harmony and order in the lives of Clarkston, Georgia’s refugee children; children who have witnessed the worst of our modern age.

Born in Amman, Jordan, Mufleh moved to Atlanta a year and a half after graduating from Smith College.  One day, as she drove down a street in Clarkston, she happened upon a group of young boys playing soccer in the street.  “They played without some of the most basic equipment–but they played for the sheer enjoyment of the game–something that reminded [her] of home,” she said.

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Christopher Benfey: Something Big on the Line

Chris Benfey described the pot as though it were an old friend. Made of red clay and with a type of glaze known as tobacco spit, the jug sat in his grandparent’s hallway next to the big, black telephone. At the top of the swooping handle was an indent where the potter had pressed his thumb like a signature.

To write his memoir, Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay, Benfey surrounded himself with such objects. The purpose, he said, was to ground his pockets of misty memories in reality.

“For this particular book, it was very important for me to have a world objects around me,” Benfey told his Dodge Room audience on November 8. “Doing a memoir is always about getting lost in the self—and objects keep you honest.”

Benfey, the fourth and final author in the 2012 Writers’ Workshop Series, said that it was almost impossible for him to separate out his two loves of literature and pottery. Those dual interests became more pronounced during his years at the Putney School, where they were reinforced by quirky professors and equally eccentric classes.

“There were two things I really cared about at Putney,” Benfey said. “One was pottery and one was poetry.”

Benfey was also inspired by people: his English teacher—who would threaten to dance on a table in pink tights if his students didn’t pay attention—was one; Potter Dave, an Edgefield slave in the 19th century who inscribed two-line poems on his enormous stoneware pots, was another.

It was Dave’s “short, decisive, enigmatic poems like lightening bolts in the night sky” that inspired Benfey as he was writing his latest book, he said. But while a poem could be a flash of lightening, a truer metaphor for memoir writing came from fishing.

“You have something on the line or you don’t,” Benfey said of the process. “And you hope when you write a book that you have something big on the line.”