Thursday, January 28, 2010

Salinger Passed Away

One of the great names in American fiction, J. D. Salinger, passed away at the age of 91. Best known for his work The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger wrote many of his works about the dysfunctional Glass family. In the 1970's, Salinger stopped giving interviews. He lived secluded in Cornish, New Hampshire.

We created a small display to commemorate his work. Please come in and have a look.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The 2010 National Green Cup Challenge Is On!

Welcome back from the semester break!

It's time for the 2010 National Green Cup Challenge! Created by schools for schools, the Green Cup Challenge is the original student-driven inter-school energy challenge. Here at Governor's Academy, dorms also compete against each other, and we compete head-to-head against Brooks. We hear there is also a plan afoot to sell "green" carnations the week before Valentine's Day.

This year, the competition runs till February 22nd. Read more at the Green Cup Challenge web site, or come by the library to check out information about different energy sources and policies. We have plenty of materials, ranging from the policy decisions to solutions for the future.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Checking out the videos

Checking out the videos
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
VHS format was great in its time. Starting in 1976 we no longer needed to go to the theater to see a movie. We didn't need to wait for a television station to air old movies in order to see them. And if we wanted to watch the same movie over and over, we could do it as often as we liked. We could own the right to play a movie (for personal home use!) as often as we wanted for a nominal fee. Our recreational choices had expanded. The world would never be the same again.
The Actors Guild was outraged; they feared the loss of income from royalties and even feared that people would no longer go to see movies. Fortunately, everyone seemed to benefit from the advent of the VHS movie format. Movies are at least as popular as they've ever been. Move movies are being made all the time.
But, there was a problem with VHS format - after about 20 years, the tapes degrade and the movies can no longer be viewed.
We're in the process of converting our VHS tapes to DVD format. Not all of our movies are presently available to purchase on DVD, but we've been steadily replacing them.
In this picture, two students are considering the free VHS tapes that we recently replaced in our collection. We now own more than 95% of our entertainment videos in DVD format. It will be a bit longer before that percent of our educational videos become available in DVD format, but we're working constantly to ensure that we can provide the materials our student and teachers need for their educational and recreational fulfillment.

Monday, January 18, 2010

We All Have Dreams - What Are Yours?

After this morning's assembly, where we watched a tape of the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech, students attended their normal classes where each teacher incorporated the day's theme into their lesson. Mr. Werner's AP students will be researching the history of integration at the Governor's Academy. Mrs. Rokous's students will watch "The Human Family Tree" to see what science has to say about the concept of race. Each teacher has chosen something meaningful to him or herself to help our students understand what Martin Luther King day is about. The day will conclude with a coffeehouse assembly where students will perform their interpretations of the meaning of the day. The day's theme is "Listen!" and we hope to all be better listeners after today.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
In addition to the ever popular daily tangram, we now have several new puzzles to challenge our students.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Aid at TGA and Elsewhere

We've had some problems accessing our blog provider, but we're delighted to be back.

This week's big news is the massive earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Tuesday Jan 12th. The State Department has set up a telephone number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti. The toll-free number is 1-888-407-4747.

Several efforts are underway to send help to Haiti. President Obama promised the Haitians "will not be forsaken." Not all calls for help are legitimate, though. The FBI has issued a warning for Haiti relief scams. We encourage you to use well-known organizations (for example, the American Red Cross and Doctors without Borders) to channel your help.

At TGA, students have organized a Jeans day on Monday for Haiti. They're asking for a $5 donation. Look for Imogene and Mei Li, or check your e-mail for more information.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The boy who harnessed the wind

Last Friday’s convocation speaker was Chris Bradford, cofounder of the African Leadership Academy. He began by telling us the tale of William Kamkwamba, the subject of the book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. William came to the attention of Mr. Bradford after the news media spread the story of a boy without a high school education who used a library book to construct windmills. He used those windmills to provide electricity for his family and village. The founders of the African Leadership Academy are dedicated to helping those future leaders of Africa who show the determination act in order to solve the problems they perceive.
The Governor's Academy is looking forward to their partnership and student exchange being planned with the African Leadership Academy.

The boy who harnessed the wind photo Originally uploaded by afromusing

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Peak Performance and Emotional Balance

This week’s faculty meeting included a talk by Richard Ginsberg Ph.D.,designed to help us balance our students’ desire for peak performance with their need to grow up healthy and emotionally balanced. Dr. Ginsberg spoke about the adolescent body and mind and how it develops. He helped us understand what we should expect at various ages. He explained what top athletes experience during peak performance as well as helping us understand what psychology professionals consider to be an emotionally healthy adolescent. What he left us with, however, was a re-affirmation of our core values as a school and a commitment to work hard to enable our students to become young adults whom we will be proud to have taught.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Welcome back from the break! I hope your holidays were invigorating. Students are back at the library, and the campus is full of energy!

We here at the library have been busy right from the start. There are five new displays to check out.

The first, right by the circulation desk in the lobby, celebrates yesterday's convocation speaker Frank Shaeffer and his work. In the corridor we have two displays, one about the wild west and the other about short stories. The reference area hosts a series of videos on Martin Luther King, Jr., and human rights issues around the world. Lastly, we commemorate the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy with a display.

Please stop by and be inspired for the new year!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Frank Schaeffer Convocation Display

Today, Frank Schaeffer, author of Portofino, Crazy for God, and several other books spoke to our community. During his introduction he promised to tell us how he "commits spirituality." Regaled by tales of his life in a cult-like evangelical community followed by his involvement in big-time politics and the creation of the right-wing of the Republican party, he proceeded to explain his world-view. In brief, he said that "the most dangerous thing in the world is absolute certainty." He deftly clarified, when asked, that this is not only his view, but a paradox that fits into his philosophy that the question is the answer; the really big questions have no right or wrong answers. He advocated embracing paradox, considering that the question may actually be the solution.

What Mr. Schaeffer meant by the danger of absolute certainty is that insisting that everyone who disagrees with you is wrong, stupid, or evil leads to acts of hatred, war, and terrorism. He warned us of the danger of needing to be right, how it leads to an inability to see the complexities of the world for what they are. Those who write off everyone who doesn't think like them can quickly learn to view their verbal opponent as the enemy. It also leaves us easily manipulated by the power hungry.

Spirituality, to Mr. Schaeffer, does not involve being right about who or what God is. Instead it is about becoming the person who would make a good husband, grandfather, neighbor, or companion on a desert island. It was easy to see how Mr. Schaeffer's life led him to this conclusion. He grew up in a fundamentalist evangelical hippie community and was later courted by the powerful people searching to transform America into a myopic society. I look forward to reading his books.