Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Enhancing Settlers of Catan

Photo by Claire

Settlers of Catan, a German strategy board game, is popular with a number of students and staff members this year. Creative play has gone beyond figuring out the best strategies to win to creating custom tiles to enhance the game play. Joey, Robert and Mat have so far created five custom tiles, which are randomly placed on the existing board.
  • Volcano Tile: Gives any resource; when a 12 is rolled, everything around that tile is destroyed.
  • Fortress Tile: Provides protection against the robber to anything surrounding the tile; if a 2 is rolled, active player can destroy someone's unconnected road or lay siege to a city, unless the player under siege spends one wheat and one ore to lift the siege. Tile does not produce any resources.
  • Road Building Tile: Allows player to choose wood or brick when the number on the tile is rolled.
  • City Building Tile: Allows player to choose wheat or ore when the number on the tile is rolled.
  • Bazaar Tile: If player ahead of you rolls a double, then you roll a double, you can move the tile (a traveling port) anywhere on the board.

Have fun enhancing your game with these tile ideas. If you've never played Settlers, you can try it out online at Aso Brain Games.

Introducing Teared Taco

Lily (8), Max (9) and Arlo (9) are inventing a new language--"Teared Taco", which in English tranlates to Weird Language. They create words as they need them.

Words they've invented so far:
Upadam = car
Pap = means (verb)
Youp = yes
Ro = no
Yus = bus
Ucalami = cat
Poopydallance = allowance (this was the first word they invented with a meaning)
Pabay = a guy
Pa = a
Bay = guy
Pubby = hi
Teared = weird
Tibby = Lily
Cacks = Max
Cappy = cute
Tuddy = little
Nare = they're
Cubbia = kitten
Capcup = the
Ostondou = tree
Ameaklofo = house
Scotwudi = building
Twyake = fire
Usoomi = camp
T = we
Teed = need
Poo = to
Fydie = find
Adoe = Arlo
Taco = language
Ucypoop = I don't know
Kaday = rain
Littleoo = Shawna

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Computer

Mat installing Vista

The school got a new computer a few weeks ago, the result of efforts begun by the Computer Corporation last year. They got donations from Tucker's family, Javier and a Microsoft match. They ordered the parts online. Mat, Miles, Robert, Joey, Gabriel, Souren and Gabe put it together at the beginning of the year. They had to cut a hole in the case to fit the large fan required.

It is Clearwater's best computer, full of programs that would slay a lesser computer, and it is intended for drawing, music, video, web design, video game creation, and other multimedia creative projects.
Bob donated some Adobe CS4 programs, and Doug picked up Vista Ultimate at the company store. They still have a wish list; ask a member of the Computer Corporation what else they need if you'd like to contribute to the project.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What gamers were doing today!

I went into the computer room on Monday and decided to ask all the people what they were doing. These are the things people were doing.

Mat R. and James (17) were playing a battling game called Robot Arena.
Joey (16), Gabriel (10) and Cass (13) were all making maps for a game called Warcraft 3.
Caitlin (8) was playing a cute penguin game!
Leo (11) was playing a strange fruit game called Locoroca which I was informed was based off of a PSP game.
Maddy (9), and Meghan (10) were playing a game called World of Warcraft or WOW while Gabe(9) watched. (I do believe that WOW was based off of Warcraft).
Vera (6) was playing a cute little dress up game, while right next to her Kevin(7) played a shooting game.

That's a day in the computer room
-Chloe J.

Birthday Party at School

Often, students whose birthdays occur during the school year bring birthday treats to share with students and staff at school. Jacy (middle in black & pink floral print) recently turned 8. Jodi, her mom, brought in a yummy cake to share with everyone.

After a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday", the cake was enjoyed by many. Happy birthday, Jacy! Thank you, Jodi, for taking these photos.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Random Notes from Beginning of School year

  • Ivy (8) and Maddy (9) are in the house reading the dialogue to a game on Ivy's Nintendo DS. I remember how last year the two of them were so interested in forming reading classes, some of which I taught. Today, they read on and I walk on by.

  • James (17) just threw a touchdown pass to Gregory (11). Celebration! Today it's four on four in the parking lot.

  • I lob a long pass to Nici (7) and hold my breath as he runs toward it...he looks back, stretches out his hands as far as they can reach and YES, he pulls it in while running full stride! He turns to look back at me with a huge grin on his face. Celebration!

  • Nici, Gabe (9), and Kevin (7) are in the parking lot practicing football plays. It's amazing how fast they have improved in less than a week. On Monday, they barely knew the rules; now they organize their own games, make plays, and practice fundamentals.

  • Lily (8) and Verity (5) just left me at the recently formed "Club Camp." I am in communication with them via walkie talkie while they do a school patrol. Club Camp is a very cool place. There is a sleeping area and a nice big rock is used for putting out food to share. Club Camp is situated under a tree near the parking lot and has been a major hub of activity over the last four days. The tree and its surroundings have been carefully decorated with flowers, woven grasses.

  • Arlo (9) just got back from a trip to Greece, so I asked him how it was and what he did. "I hung out at the beach in Crete for a week," he said. "It was a nine-hour ferry to get there! In the morning we would hang out for awhile in the room because it was really big. Then we would go to the beach." He said the waves were medium small and were perfect for swimming. He and his family spent three days in Athens and a night in Santorini. He told me a few more things and then we were interrupted; he was dragged off to a game.

  • Lily is reading a book to Max. Lily is learning to read, Max reads very well. They laugh at the Dr. Seuss brilliance. When Lily doesn't know a word she points at it and Max readily jumps right in.

  • The football games continue to improve. We get in the bus, drive to the nice fields. When we get there we carefully mark the boundary with cones and warm up with some drills. We pick teams and play. It's so cool to see the older kids help the younger kids play. Even though the games are competitive, everyone is included. There are arguments, there are fights and intensity. We work things out, sometimes we are still working it out on the bus drive back to school....

  • Stuck in traffic on the bus ride home. I hear Gabriel (10) imitating Joseph Biden's V.P. debate performance. He is making fun of how Biden kept saying Bush's name. This leads to a discussion of Palin. No one likes her.

  • Delayney (13) playing piano while Sage (8) and I lie on the floor with our eyes closed and listen. I notice Delayney is using the sustain pedal to wonderful effect. She has little or no formal training but spends a lot of time experimenting. I mean, she really plays a lot. And it sounds good. Now she is talking of taking some formal lessons.

  • Robert (14), Gabe (18) and I have started a morning exercise plan. Everyday for the last week and a half we have met first thing and practiced a routine. It's a great way to start the day.

  • Michelle (13) let me read the first two chapters of the novel she is writing. It reminds me of Tom Robbins. She doesn't know who that is. Seriously, she is an amazing writer.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Claire's Diploma Presentation

On Wednesday, November 19, 2008, Claire Peckham was granted a diploma by the Clearwater School Meeting. Claire is our first graduate who has attended Clearwater since she was 5, beginning the same year the school opened.

Her presentation was attended by all ages of the Clearwater extended community—students, past graduates, parents, and life-long friends of Claire. She stood in front of a wall of her recent photography, and displayed paintings, collages and books she has created over the years on a nearby table. The reading of her paper was followed by a performance of three Hula dances—a discipline that she embodies, loves and has studied deeply.

As I watched the multiple dimensions she used to share herself with the community and demonstrate her accomplishments, I was deeply moved. There is a complexity of growing up, and a mystery of education, that cannot always be explained in words—but can be occasionally grasped in moments. Claire’s presentation was one of those moments.

So many of our youngest students intently and silently watched the presentation and asked Claire questions about her dancing, life and future plans. The coming together of our community to witness and mark Claire's transition speaks to the power and influence that each student brings to our community.

I was honored to be a member of her Advisory Committee and impressed by her desire to take in feedback and reflect on her choice to graduate. I am also honored to count myself as Claire’s friend. The grace she brought to her presentation reflects the very high integrity Claire brings to all that she undertakes in her life. We will all miss Claire and wish her the best in the next steps of her life. Copies of her diploma paper are available through the school office.

Photo of Claire

Photo Thursdays

Audience at Claire's thesis presentation

Drawing by Elizabeth

Full size (1000x1000)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hey, tires again.

Photo Thursdays

I always end up with more photos on Thursdays than I can use. Here is one:

Music Room

Clearwater's Chickens

Hard-Hitting Interview with Lily, Max and Justin about Clearwater's Chickens

KH: Tell me about the chickens.
Lily: you want to know their breeds, or what do you want to know?
KH: Tell me about the breeds first.
L: I know the school has a Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, the Appenzell Spitzhauben which is a crazy chicken which originally came from Switzerland.
Max: Isn't there an Arucana?
L: Also known as an Easter Egg Chicken.
Justin: What about the rooster?
L: I'm pretty sure he's a normal black chicken.
KH: OK, what about their names?
M: you have to write down everything we say? This is supposed to be about chickens.
L, M, J: Nightshade, Sunlight, Um..Kawinkeyakink, Pheonix, Aria, which is an Arucana, Wink, Kawinky, Snowball, Snowflake, Peanutbutter, Rhodey the Rhode Island Red, Cheetah......

KH: What else about the chickens?
L: Nothing really is about what I have to say.
J: They really like when we feed them snacks.

Note top photo, where Delayney has the rooster eating out of her hand, which is totally amazing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Introduction to Michelle

My name is Michelle, or Eddy. I'm 13 and have been at this school for about 2.5 years. Furthermore, I can post to the blog now, and there's nothing you can do about it!
I will now proceed to menace and terrorize you with a cranberry sauce recipe I developed last Thanksgiving in Cleveland. Eat it and despair, for it is delicious and may very well cause diabetes in large amounts.

But wait, I'm not done yet! Here's a more recently-made cookie recipe:

Apple-carrot-granola-raisin cookies!

2 apples
1/2 cup baby carrots
1 cup Golden raisins, cranberries, or both
1 stick o' butter or equal amount of margarine
5 eggs or package-directed equal proportions of egg substitute
2 cups flour
1/2 cup pumpkin granola (or any other kind of granola you prefer)
1/2 cup turbinado sugar or agave nectar
Baking soda
Core and peel the apples and grate them finely (or not-so-finely if you like them that way) along with the baby carrots.
Toss together and set aside.
Carefully melt the butter in the microwave, then fold it into the flour in a biggish bowl until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the granola, then the sugar, then the apple-carrot mixture, then the raisins, then the eggs.
Add a teaspoon each of baking soda and vinegar.
Mix in any way you see fit until the whole thing is of a uniform consistency.
Grease a baking sheet and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Get the biggest spoon you have in the house, unless it's a soup ladle. In that case, get the second biggest spoon.
Plop cookie dough onto the pan, making sure to leave enough room between them for them to spread out.
Bake for 15 minutes, then check to see if they're done, then bake for 5 more minutes just to be sure.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Introduction to Chloe!

Hi all! This is Chloe J. , I am a former student at Clearwater. I attended for four years and I am doing an internship at the school. I am eleven years old and am the daughter of one of the schools lovely staff. I have two little sisters, one who used to attend Clearwater and she is four, and the other is around a couple months old. I will be helping with the blog so you will probably see more things being posted by me.

PS. Happy election everybody!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Things to do with tires

Make a barricade or something (photo by Chloe)

Sit in one during School Meeting