The Joy of Math Club

Eagle Rock School’s Math Club started out with a small group of students hanging around after class to play some games — specifically, the students and I spent the hour before dinner playing code-breaking and multiplication games, and it soon became apparent that Set was evolving as the game of choice.

The game of Set pushes its competitors to discover patterns in sets of three cards at a time, and it quickly became an addictive pastime for my Math students. They began playing in the Lodge at mealtimes, then found themselves playing a few hands during class breaks. This soon spread to the evening hours with participants “practicing” in their houses.

Game Of Set

Turns out that, for the most part, these card-carrying Set players were also heavily involved in recruiting for the school’s Math Club.

Faith Kroma, who graduates this trimester, is the founder of Math Club. It was Faith who persuaded anyone and everyone she ran across that they should show up after class for Math Club, and what students soon discovered was a Continue reading…

Another Highly Anticipated Explore Week is Now Underway

From deftly dribbling a basketball to graceful salsa dancing, Eagle Rock’s student body is immersed in alternative courses this week during Explore Week, an event that occurs three times each year and is highly anticipated by students and instructors alike.

The reason behind this enthusiasm is the opportunity Explore Week presents to students to take on non-traditional courses that don’t necessarily fit into the mold of an academic curriculum.

This week’s event features courses taught by our own instructors, current Public Allies fellows, folks from our mountainside community, as well as noted experts in the courses offered.

Below is a list of courses — and a little about their instructors — from this trimester’s Explore Week, which wraps up Friday afternoon:

Improv Theater

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When you make something up on the spot, it’s called improvisation. In this Explore Week course, students are practicing improv theater through active games and exercises. They are learning how to control their Continue reading…

Developing Student Athlete Gifts for a Lifetime of Engagement

What is it about your talents that separate you from others near you and around the world? This is one of the questions I ask myself when I look into the eyes of each of Eagle Rock’s student athletes.

Could they be as skilled as Michael Jordan? Could they ever be good enough to play NCAA Division I basketball — or any other sport at the collegiate level for that matter? The answer to that question is unobtainable at the moment. But in my head, I’d like to believe that we have student athletes — especially here at Eagle Rock — who can obtain anything they set their mind to.

Eagle Rock School Basketball 2

However, if I believe — and if these student athletes believe — that such goals as playing collegiate-level athletics are unattainable and impossible, then maybe we’re asking ourselves the wrong questions. What we should be asking is how we can Continue reading…

For Some at Eagle Rock, Basketball is the Only Game in Town

One of the highlights of my time thus far while serving as a Public Allies Fellow at Eagle Rock School this year, has been being given the opportunity to start a co-ed basketball team.

Without getting into it too deeply, it was basketball that kept me from dropping out of my own high school. And it was basketball that provided myself — and my friends — with a safe place to not only learn the game, but to pick up life skills in the process.

Basket Ball at Eagle Rock School

I didn’t play basketball on my high school team in Richmond, Virginia, but I did join an Amateur Athletic Union team (AAU) during those years. Instead of quitting school altogether, basketball turned into a gateway to success because, in order to play, I had to attain certain requirements in the school setting.

Meeting these criteria was easier because many of my teammates also struggled with school, and they were using the game in the same way I was. Basketball was our escape from the day-to-day issues we faced, including Continue reading…

House Retreats Are All Fun and Games With a Side Dish of Seriousness

At the beginning of each trimester here at Eagle Rock School, student residents and staff of our half-dozen on-campus houses participate in informal house retreats that last the better part of two solid days. And fun is right there on top of the agenda.

In anticipation of another trimester of hard work and community building, these house retreats place an emphasis on fun, community building, and great food.

It’s also a time for students and staff members to work on relationships, conduct serious conversations about the trimester ahead, build community and continue to develop their house culture. But it’s also the final hurrah before attending classes, and receiving and working on homework assignments.

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There are house meetings to be attended, leaders and intramural captains to be elected and a no-nonsense discussion of the mission statement for each house. All necessary, considering these houses are, essentially, a smaller community within Eagle Rock that encourage and foster camaraderie and team membership.

In other words, what comes around goes around. And when we build a positive community within the houses, those aspects then spread to the Eagle Rock community at large. And not to neglect the fun part of these two-day events, students and staff do cook and share meals together, and reconnect through games, activities and one-on-one discussions.

Specifically, here’s what each of our houses have been up to this Monday and Tuesday… Continue reading…