Recent Posts

Seniors on their way

Seniors are on their way off to a final month of internships before they return to PDS for the Senior Week and commencement in June. Today was the farewell lunch on the front porch of Kenyon House. Seniors were welcomed […] 

Life after the Holocaust

PDS marked Holocaust Remembrance Day last week with an assembly planned and led by the students of the Genocide central studies elective with the help of their teachers Bernadette Condessa and librarian Sarah Feldman. This assembly, Life after the Holocaust […] 

Financial Aid and College Options

From today’s NYTimes: Timely advice on paying for college: Calculating Financial Aid THIS week, members of the (college) Class of 2011 are coming down to the wire in deciding which colleges they will attend and, more often than not, their […] 

GHOTI spells “fish” of course, Everyone Knows That!

George Bernard Shaw was a great proponent of English spelling reform. Here is an example he used to illustrate the absurdity of some English spelling and pronunciation. Using familiar pronunciations here is how the letters GHOTI spell “fish”: GH as […] 

Those Apocryphal Flying Cats of Borneo: The Real Story

The flying cats of Borneo – apocryphal? Hyperbole? Fantasy? Jungle legend? Imaginary animals? In response to a request from a professor at The University of Iowa I provided one piece of the story of Operation Cat Drop backed by the […] 

Imaginary Animals


Choreolab North

Last Friday’s Choreolab concert of ten original dances was the culmination of a central studies (CS) elective. Choreolab started at The Walden School in the 1980’s and was further developed as a student-led and directed experience by the work of […] 

The Eagle Nation

The title and content of this entry have changed. The original title – A Challenge to Stephen Colbert – referred to the Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report where the grippy and relentless megamerican Stephen Colbert holds court. The show opens […] 

“Life on Earth” – an amazing multi-media musical

I had the great pleasure of attending Life on Earth – a student written, multi-media and very original musical by the students in a central studies elective. The script was impressive – witty, pointed and poignant. The modern day Olympians […] 

GHOTI spells what?

Quick, quick! – spell “yacht” New research on spelling and the brain English spelling and pronunciation are renowned for complexity and quirks. Spelling still matters and we all know how computer spell checkers can mislead**. So what goes on in […] 

From kindergarten to high school

Robbie sent me this picture of a high school student with members of her kindergarten class. As you can see from the background lights – this was taken the all-school winter festival event. A cheering picture for a gray day […] 

Detecting Tommyrot, Bunkum and Codswallop

When dealing with bunkum like the unsubstantiated and most unlikely claim of the 14,000 parachuted cats it would be good to have a handy little tool like the Quackometer. This tool provides an instant service for checking a website for […] 

The Great Cat Drop: Take this Test of Critical Thinking

We are all very fond of talking about critical thinking. But what does it actually mean? In the classroom, in reality, in our lives? And how is such a skill developed? Awash with information, how do we determine truth, integrity […] 

The Truth About the Flying Cats and the Cartons of Stout

What struck me about Operation Cat Drop – the flying cats of Borneo story – was not the unintended chain of events but the detail about the cats. Fourteen thousand cats! Where on earth would they be able to round […] 

Teenagers Incompetent and Irresponsible? Let’s Abolish High School

Let’s Abolish High School – it’s a link to an article in Education Week (April4, 2007) by Robert Epstein. Epstein provides some historical context to the educational warehousing of teenagers. Teenagers, he contends, are not inherently incompetent and irresponsible and […] 

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