OES Upper School Voice Newsletter

A Message from the Division Head

by Asha Appel

Need to Know for Friday, November 15-December 6

  • Auditions for the All School Musical happened this week, with kids of all ages flocking to the Great Hall to sing, dance, and run lines from the in-house adapted version of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. In addition to the 25-35 actors, the crew is looking for musicians of all ages and skill to play in the live band. 
  • Yes, the 'Varks are going to States! Both the girls and boys varsity soccer teams will be playing for the state title this Saturday at Liberty High School in Hillsboro. The girls start at 10:30 am, and the boys at 1:00. And if you can't make the action, you can tune in for the live commentary from parent Todd Mansfield, whose play by play stream is the next best thing to being there. Click here to access. And for soccer photos of last week's games, click here for girls and here for boys
  • The Upper School instrumental and choir concert is Tuesday, November 19 at 7 pm in the Chapel. If you're able, this will be an evening of lovely music. 
  • As a community, we are lucky to have amazing food available to us all. For day students, lunch, of course, is included in tuition, but breakfast and dinner are not. Lately, a large number of day students have been eating breakfast at school without signing in. Our kitchen plans service for those meals based on the dorm students and the projection as determined from sign-ins. When students eat without signing in, there isn't enough food; on several occasions in the last week, dorm students didn't get breakfast because it was all gone by the time they got there. Please help us fix this problem by reminding your child to sign in if they plan to eat breakfast in the cafeteria
  • This week's Chapel was the annual stories and stuffies, for which adults and kids shared their favorite childhood books and many brought in beloved stuffed animals. Thanks to the organization of Community Board, many folks opted to spend the day in PJs and slippers, which added to the coziness of the day. 
  • The Women in STEM group is excited to offer a special tour to Collins Aerospace for students on the afternoon of Dec.13th. Interested students should contact the allyship group leaders. 
  • The first trimester of Activities is winding down. Among the many offerings for the second trimester is the opportunity to join the collaborative OES and Beaverton Tutoring group, which works with neighborhood middle school students. 
  • Music Monday began with an incredible piano solo of a Gershwin piece. 
  • A representative from the semester program Alzar, a language, outdoor, academic experience for 10th and 11th graders in Chile, was here this week to meet with students. 
  • Thanks to the Parent Partnership Reps, today was the first-ever all Upper School Parent Partnership meeting. Following guest speaker Joy Ellis's talk on the legalities of parenting a teenager in 2019, folks convened in small groups to talk through challenging scenarios involving substance use and social media. An engaging and meaningful morning of education and connection. 
  • Sponsored by student groups SAFER and CIA (Citizens in America), kids engaged this week in a complex discussion around the impact of the #metoo movement on issues of consent. The equally as curious and involved Junior States of America club will travel to Seattle this weekend for a conference of engaged student-citizens. 
  • Conferences begin next week and continue through November 26. In preparation, students have been reflecting during class on their growth towards the learning goals of each course. They will share out their insights, including how they plan to improve, during the conference, where you'll also hear from teachers about how your child is progressing as a learner in their classes. Advisors will take notes, which will be posted in the Portal in early December. Please recognize that while students are not in classes, teachers are working very long and busy days.

Jelly Rec: Book Recommendations from Librarian Erika Jelinek

Exile From Eden, or, Escape from the Hole by Andrew Smith

Exile from Eden takes place fifteen years after the cataclysmic events of Smith's award-winning tale of apocalypse via giant praying mantis, Grasshopper Jungle. Society as we know it has irrevocably changed, and our main characters, Arek and Mel, are the children of the few Grasshopper Jungle characters who survived the apocalypse by hiding out in a vast underground silo. When Arek's fathers, Robby and Austin, disappear on a foraging mission in the world above, he and Mel decide to emerge from their underground lair in order to find them. Now, Grasshopper Jungle is one of my all-time favorite books; it's bonkers, fast-paced, endlessly tense, and resonant. Exile from Eden is a very different kind of book. While still extremely weird (this is Andrew Smith, after all), it is quieter and feels deeply personal. Instead of the terror of looking the death of civilization in its monstrous eye, we experience the horror and exhilaration of witnessing the world in its empty entirety for the first time. Impermanence is a recurring theme, and the idea that rather than ending the world, the apocalypse changed the world is a strangely comforting thought in this current climate of uncertainty.

We're in This Together: Resources for Parenting Teens