HAPPY HOLIDAY FAIR!
On Friday our full community (including: volunteers, vendors, students, and a few gnomes and fairies too!) converged on the school to install decorations and make preparations for our school to be transformed into a magical wonderland for the children.
Our 45th annual Holiday Fair launched on Saturday on a warm welcoming day blessed with sunshine.
Click on the slideshow >>
Students, parents and their relatives and friends presented their talents at the fair. It was great to see them shine in musical performances, seasonal caroling, community sing-alongs & a few comedic interuptions too.
The opening welcome holiday sing-along was provided by father-daughter duo, Marlon & Ella St. John, followed by:
- 5th Grade Foolery; a recorder orchestra with some humor included!
- The Wildflowers featuring Jill Van Buren & Marianne Vincent, an old-timey stringed duo
- Lynne Mandarino (CWS Aunt) sang and played electric guitar
- Chance Schneider returned to the stage this year. This experienced 9th grade performer played guitar & sang
- The Snowflakes; Mieke, Sarah & Rebecca from the 5th grade sang winter wonderland carols
- Maia Powell, a 10th grader, sang acapella songs with a powerful, mesmerizing voice
...and finally, the grand finale was a “last waltz” style group sign-along, with many performers returning to the stage.
SOME ACTIVITIES AT THE WALDORF WELCOME ROOM:
Care to Share - This school-wide philanthropic initiative
raises funds to support Waldorf schools world-wide, They offered
handmade Waldorf items including: teething dolls, crowns,
felt dragons & doves, fairy wands, princess hats, capes, fairy
skirts, knight tunics, gnome hats and more.
Waldorf 100 Postcards - To celebrate the Waldorf Centennial, the Waldorf Association
had postcards that students, famlies and friends are decorating to send
to other Waldorf schools around the globe.
Mail A Star - A table was set to send gift messages to support children and Waldorf schools in this giving season.
Fair-goers also enjoyed shopping in the Vendor Village in the gymnasiym with many table vendors offering seasonal wares aligned with Waldorf values. And the heart of the Fair was the decorative tables where students, parents, faculty and staff could socialize, have meals, connect and chat with the many alumni, extended family members, neighbors and other friends of the school who were in attendance too.
If you enjoyed seeing these scenes of Holiday Fair above, THERE ARE MANY MORE! Click this link to see a large slideshow of over 70 beautiful photos of the fair that were taken by EC parent Kevin Gates. Thank you Kevin for sharing your lively & lovely photos of all the participants and activities of the fair!
SLIDE SHOW: Click on the image to enlarge it to full view, then use left and right arrows on the edges to navigate.
Big Thanks to CWS parent Kevin Gates who took many additional great photos in the linked library shared above.
The photos in slideshow at top of the article are by CWS Communications Director, Jason Greenberg.
This past Sunday was the day of Chicago Pride Parade, in its 48th year. CWS teachers, students, parents and staff marched to show Chicago our love for our school and to honor the strength and diversity of all our families in the Waldorf community. CWS is one of the founding schools to actively join in Chicago Pride Parade (along with Nettelhorst School we are the two longest participating schools). This will be our 7th year marching in the parade with a growing roster of independent & public schools, the Chicago Teachers Union, local High Schools and other educational, cultural and social service institutions.
slide show here >>
CWS marchers wore shirts, rainbow capes (hand-dyed by Waldorf students as is tradition at our school) and other parade swag and the students adorned themselves; some with rainbow facepainting and others with Waldorf temporary tattos that were a big hit when distributed to the crowds.
Kids used bubble machines, rode bikes and jumped rope all along the parade route. It was truly a crowd pleaser when the marchers could coax a parade monitor or police officer to join in the jumprope challenge and many of them obliged. High fives, noisemakers, confetti and well-wishes rounded out the crowd appreciation for our students and families who marched that day.
Overall it was a fantastic day complete with honoring ALL Waldorf families including our parents, students and community members from the LGBT community and its advocates and supporters. The parade demonstrates and reflects the great diversity and depth of people that make up our cosmopolitan city. On this day and in all ways, CWS is proud to SHOW OUR PRIDE of our community!
SLIDE SHOW: Click on the image to enlarge it to full view, then use left and right arrows on the edges to navigate.
Big Thanks to CWS parent Kevin Gates who took many of these great photos and the video.
Additional photos by CWS staff, Jason Greenberg and Madeline Fex.
Big THANKS and warm appreciation to all the CWS families, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends who joined our contingent marching in the parade. This year in our group of 40+ marchers we were lucky to have Early Childhood parent, Kevin Gates, because Kevin did a wonderful job capturing the spirit of the event in real-time, literally "street- level" video. The parade experience has different highlights every year... Enjoy watching this year's video of our school bus, the crowd reactions and even some of Chicago's finest jumping rope being turned by our students and parents!
Click here to see the video!
Sometimes a simple class assignment can have a deeper than expected impact. That's what happened when the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (or "German Wave") published a suite of Chicago Waldorf students illustrations to their website. CWS's advanced German language class (German IV) had an assignment for the Waldorf students to "visualize traditional German proverbs." The resulting whimsical, sometimes cartoonish, sometimes moody, images show the students' explorations of the nuances of language (allowing them to find both similarities with idiomatic English phrases and sometimes discover entirely unexpected new concepts specific to the German language and culture). Here are a few of their illustrated concepts:
Wer zuerst kommt, mahlt zuerst
("First come, first serve") by Caroline Livaditis, 17 (above)
The saying literally means "whoever comes first, mills first." In society, this idea is often taken to an extreme. I wanted to make it clear that being the first to the mill is extremely important to these two men, and as they race towards their destination, life passes them by. Accomplishing ones goals is worthwhile, but let this saying remind you to enjoy the ride.
Wer anderen eine Grube grabt, fallt selbst hinein
("Those who dig a pit for others will fall in themsleves") by Zosia Nowak, 17 (below)
I carved out the whited space from a piece of rubber and then used black and white ink to make a hand-made block print. The black and white represent the fight between good and bad. There often turns out to be a lot of gray spaces as well. We get to chose our deeds and should anticipate them coming back to us.
Here is how Deutsche Welle introduced the project:
Each week, DW has been publishing an original illustration by Antje Herzog of classic German proverbs.
In response to the collection, the 11th grade German class at the Chicago Waldorf School drew up their own original illustrations of German proverbs and sayings - borrowing a few from the DW series and adding several of their own.
"The challenge was to connect the literal with the symbolic and make both the superficial content and its deeper meaning visible" - Theresa Hermanns
German teacher, Frau Hermanns, added that this was a way for her students not only to internalize the German sayings, but also to gain a new perspective on their native language, English. "The students were able to develop understanding, joy and appreciation for the particular imagery and richness of both languages."
In the gallery of images, the students, aged 16 and 17, present their original illustrations along with a brief explanation of their visual approach to these famous German proverbs and sayings.
Their own grasp of wisdom, it seems, goes well beyond their years. ---
Ein Unglück kommt selten allein >>
("Misfortune seldom comes alone")
by Ultra Violet Archer, 17
I wanted to portray this proverb in a very literal sense. This led me to draw "Die Ungluckliche Bande," a group of thugs who bring bad luck wherever they go. I chose the cartoon style which gives this proverb a comical air.
1. Wer den Pfenning nicht ehrt, ist des Talers nicht wert ("A penny saved is a penny earned") by Andrew Chungbin
My proverb means that if you don't appreciate the small things in life, you don't deserve the big ones. This illustration is my iterpretation of a man who doesnt appreciate the little things like pennies. But as he wanders further on, he sees a great piece of gold. He attempts to grab the gold but he can't reach it. He's held back by his disrespect for the small things.
2. Das Auge isst mit ("The eye eats as well") by Helen Murray, 17
"The eye eats as well" means that how food looks also counts. If food looks disgusting, one is much less likely to want it or enjoy it. To visualize this I decided to draw a blindfolded man consuming gross looking food with delight while another man looks at him appalled.
3. Du siehst den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht ("You dont see the forest for the trees") by Levi Schneider, 16
For this picture I represented the proverb as seeing through the forest. It shows that you don't need to get distracted by details, but can see through the uncertainty, so the bigger picture becomes clear.
4. Schlafende Hunde soll man nicht wecken ("Dont wake sleeping dogs") by Aiden Zielinski, 17
If you wake a sleeping dog, you will be chased and attacked. I felt the proverb was amazing and needed a good analogy. You might say you'll get rabies from a dog if you are bitten. Similarily, when you wake up old conflicts, you will be infected with old pain and grievances.
Here is the full portfolio of student work on the Deutsche Welle website
Submitted on 6/28/2017 by:
Theresa Hermanns / Middle School and High School German Teacher
Chicago Waldorf School / email@example.com
The Chicago Waldorf High School Prom is a celebration for ALL the grades in the High School. Its a revelatory night: the seniors are focused on their future plans even as they reflect on all the past experiences that led them to this point. They enjoy this signature event marking their last days at CWS, while the 11th grade plans and hosts the event, the 10th grade observes and prepares for their hosting duties for the following year, and the 9th grade experiences the thrill of a new social introduction.
Capping the end of a beautiful and bustling May Fair, the students went home after staffing their shifts to prep and get ready for the prom. Much primping, preening and planning went into their "presentation of self," so here we are happy to present these photos of our High School students. All pride and smiles: it truly was a night for the students to enjoy...and one we will remember!
SLIDE SHOW: Click on the image to enlarge it to full view, then use left and right arrows on the edges to navigate
2017 Seniors' Graduation Plans-
Genevieve Antic – will be leaving Chicago and is excited to travel outside of the US to experience a refreshing change of scenery at Richmond University in London. Her sister lives in London, and Genevieve loves the city and appreciates knowing the language—though she points out that it’s still different! Genevieve is excited to be living in a country with a great culture and history and to experience what it’s like to live in society with a royal family and be ruled by a queen! Vivi plans to study fashion marketing and business and, though designing sneakers will always be her first love, she hopes to one day own her own bar (as it’s a historical occupation that runs in the family).
Allison Boshell – applied Early Action to Lawrence University and got in! She is happy that Lawrence has an “amazing graduate school acceptance rate” and excited about the opportunities for various internships and to do research. She’s also fond of the amazing food at Lawrence. She has found the people to be super nice; there are not a lot of divisions or cliques and it feels like a real community. Allison may major in Forensic Science (or some other science) and wants to minor in Studio Art; she may even make it a double major. “I’m an artist”, she says, and doesn’t want to drop art. Since coming to the Chicago Waldorf School in her junior year she’s also learned to love science and exploring how things work. Forensic science is attractive for finding out how things happen. This summer Allison plans to create a series of tiny canvases of sunrises or sunsets so that she has a regular scheduled time to make art, as well as visiting friends far away and working at the Farmhouse in Evanston, where she’s a hostess.
Max Claypool – felt a strong pull and decided to apply early action to University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana. He knew specifically that he was looking for a school which offers lots of choices and he’s very enthusiastic to be going to U of I. He notes the Champaign Urbana campus has a great athletics program that makes them a “Big Ten” school. His senior internship at a Media Marketing firm got him working on a number of political spots for candidates for the governors of Florida and New Jersey, suggesting a possible professional path and opening up new doors. His own interest is in the liberal arts approach to education. He’s enrolled in the “Division of General Studies” and intends to try many disciplines before picking a major.
Eden DeJesus – says that Parsons-The New School is a perfect fit for him. When he visited the school, located in Greenwich Village, he could totally see himself at the school and in New York City. He would be the first in his family to study design and it would be exciting to get away from Chicago. Eden appreciates the interdisciplinary nature of the school, the amazing graduates, and the opportunity to make powerful connections. He says going away to a design school is a bit scary, but “that’s how I know I’m going in the right direction.” Not knowing what to expect is good, because it gives him the freedom to learn all kinds of new things. 5/2/17 Update: Eden was enthusiastically surprised when he learned he had received a 4-year scholarship to attend Parsons for his fashion design work (which some of you may have seen presented in his senior thesis show: “Deconstruction: Fashion Unfinished”).
Saunders Ervin – is attending Parsons School of Design in New York, in the Fall. Her main goals at present are to focus on design, pursuing her interests in creative direction and editorial work; to find dedicated people who challenge and inspire her to do her best work; and to study in a big city environment with a mix of urban and international students. She is interested in that international perspective and also wants to travel abroad in the future (in a foreign school as part of a study abroad program). This summer Saunders is looking to travel, spend time with her friends, and relax at her beach house in Michigan. She is grateful for her Waldorf experience: “I wouldn’t be where I am without my Waldorf education.”
Dana Flores – has travelled before and wants an international perspective so she plans to continue that experience and is thrilled to be attending the American University in Paris which attracts a large international student body. She loves that it’s right in the heart of Paris (with a short walk to the Eiffel Tower and the Avenue des Champs-Elysées). She is impressed with the school’s liberal arts programs. She says “this year I broke out of my shell and got really into artistic, creative projects and really enjoyed having a platform to promote social justice issues. I’d like to work at a magazine or in journalism” so she’s enrolled in the Global Communications program at the university. She is ecstatic to be living in a thriving urban environment where “the city is your campus.” In reflecting on the college search process she says “Go for what you want, even if it doesn’t seem possible. There are always ways to figure it out.”
Lindsay Garcia – Is attending the Parsons School in Manhattan. She opted for NYC and its lively arts community. She loves painting and drawing and is eager to try new art forms and to engage in the arts community while living in an urban setting. She is open to many possibilities and would love to pursue a future and career that integrates her expanding creative skills. Her advice about the college selection process is: “Start early and be honest when you put yourself out there. Think about how YOU want to live your life.”
“Go for what you want, even if it doesn’t seem possible. There are always ways to figure it out.”
Sarah Gartner – applied Early Decision to Sarah Lawrence College because there is so much that speaks well of it. She’s excited to be going there with other CWS students including her longtime friend Jessica Kriho. She says it seems to be a very “Waldorf-like” program with lots of discussion at a beautiful campus outside of New York City. While her specific major is undecided, she loves acting and was attracted to the excellent theater program they offer in London. She might take a minor in education; and she is also interested in cosmology. Sarah appreciated the warm personal application process and even enjoyed writing her essay. “I tried so many versions that I didn’t like,” she states, “but once I wrote it for myself and abandoned what I thought they wanted to me to say, then it was a good essay!”
Sean Harper – will attend DePaul University this fall. He’s pleased to learn about all DePaul offers and glad that he will be going to school so close to home. Sean plans to major in marketing; he likes business and wants to “appeal to people by using words.” He’s also interested in law, following his internship in a civil rights attorney’s office where he read trials and wrote summaries. This summer he will work and plans to participate in DePaul’s Explore Chicago program.
“this year I broke out of my shell and got really into artistic, creative projects and really enjoyed having a platform to promote social justice issues”
Jessica Kriho – is excited to be attending Sarah Lawrence in the fall and is happy she will just have to pay for housing. To that end, she will work this summer to save money, though she would like to take a road trip to New Orleans. She’s looking forward to the small campus where she will be able to participate in theatre, music, and visual arts and other activities outside of her major. There’s even an equestrian team! Jessica appreciates the focus on discussion-type classes and that the campus is in a quiet setting and still close to New York City.
Elijah Marder – is dedicated to attending University of Illinois in Champaign. He has always loved the school and its connections run deep in his family with both his older brother attending and his parents having attended the school. Elijah is very excited about this large university and its broad scope of offerings. He plans to pursue his interest in science with a chance to enroll in their pre-med program after the first few years. He is also interested in the mix of the college town environment of Champaign and the smaller town experience in Urbana.
“Start early & be honest when you put yourself out there. Think about how YOU want to live your life.”
Kasper Marona – will be studying International Relations at American University in Washington, DC, this fall. He’s fascinated by politics and current events and enjoyed interning at his alderman’s office this spring; he hopes to be a White House or Capitol intern while in college. Kasper is concerned with how laws are created and applied, and he plans to become a US legislator – making laws and amendments to the legal code. Eventually, he would like to be a foreign ambassador.
Joe McRaith – plans to attend either Columbia College Chicago or Harold Washington College for a couple of years before transferring to a 4-year college. While he hasn’t declared a major at this point, he is interested in the humanities, art, design, and engineering. He enjoyed his internship with four different architecture firms where he was able to create 3-D designs, build scale models, shadow meetings, visit some sites and do research. Joe enjoys history and current events, especially “connecting the dots” in his reading, writing, and analysis. His plans may take him outside Chicago; he enjoys both nature and a great city, so places that encompass both – Seattle, Denver, the American Southwest, and the east coast – are a draw for him. Joe did not expect to be at the Chicago Waldorf School when he began high school, but he’s found the philosophy of learning here has been the best fit for him. In considering his plans for the future Joe says, “I know what I like, but there’s a lot more to explore!”
“I’m excited to move on to the next step!”
Joy Park – plans to attend Indiana University in Bloomington where she will begin her biology major. After her first year, she will transfer to the University of Washington to continue her pre-med studies with the goal of becoming a pediatric cardiologist. She looks forward to attending a large school and meeting a lot of people. There’s always a lot going on and Joy plans to get involved in photography and a sorority, as well as participating in intramural sports. This summer her family will visit from Korea; then they will all visit San Diego and Hawaii before returning home to Korea. Joy comes back in July to move to Indiana.
Augustus Post – at the point of this interview he was still deciding between two great school experiences: Parsons in NYC and Leeds College in London. Augustus wants to go into a fashion design program; he also likes Digital Music and has been composing music this way since he was 8 years old. He likes that the Parsons faculty are primarily professional practitioners in their fields and will be great contacts for applied learning opportunities and internships, or he may decide to go for the international experience of living in London with all its connections to the fashion industry. This summer he plans to travel to Amsterdam with his old roommates from his exchange program in Italy to continue his interests in travelling and exploring the world.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without my Waldorf education.”
Henry Rogers – will attend the University of British Columbia in Okanagan, Canada. He is eager to be joining a university in the fastest growing city in Canada. The school attracts a student body that is about 20% international students and has a campus out in nature that is only 20 minutes from Colona and offers scenic mountains for weekend ski trips and more nature explorations. Besides their great sports program and intramurals Henry was attracted to their “Faculty & Management” program which dovetails with his interest to be a business major with a focus on Sports Management. Of the college selection process he says, “I’m excited to move on to the next step!”
Eva Schmid – has selected Mills College in Oakland, California for her next step. While she will use her first year or two to explore a variety of interests, Eva would definitely like to learn Chinese. Her family is Chinese and her great-grandmother speaks Mandarin. Eva focused on schools that are small, liberal arts colleges where classes are discussion-based. This summer she will work at Camp Run-A-Pup, a doggy day-care where she interned this spring. She’s learned a lot about dogs and is looking forward to training Peabody, her Pom/Chihuahua mix whom she will take to college with her.
“I feel so excited to find my passion. I’ve been good at lots of things in my Waldorf education, but now I want to find out ‘MY THING’.”
Alexandra Schrepferman – wants to stay close to home so she will be attending Columbia College Chicago in the fall. There are a lot of opportunities for her to build her portfolio there; she will major in cinematography. Alex appreciates that Columbia will allow her to work constantly on projects outside of the classroom. This summer she interned with Kurt Gowan (our Parkour teacher); besides getting training in Parkour, she produced and edited a video for him to put on YouTube. This summer Alex will work in a movie theatre – she’s always enjoyed movies and chose cinematography because she is drawn to camera movement and how movies are framed.
Shea Shawgo-Manley – has elected to attend Connecticut College in the fall. She choose it because it’s an excellent, small liberal arts school that offers opportunity for further explorations in many fields that interest her, including: Business, Interior Design, Video Editing, and Psychology. Shea liked that Conn College offers interdisciplinary courses and takes advantage of a small student body size for a personalized experience. She likes that that enables the school to rely on an honor system and invest trust and responsibility in the students rather than issuing restrictions from above. Shea was attracted to the many classes being taught in roundtable discussion and seminar formats rather than as large lectern address classes. She reflected that, looking to her future, she feels “…so excited to find my passion. I’ve been good at lots of things in my Waldorf education, but now I want to find out ‘MY THING’.”
Cherokee Sperry – has been accepted into the Honors Program at the University of Illinois (UIC)- Chicago campus in the fall. He is committed to exercise and the martial arts and so plans to major in Kineseiology, with the goal of becoming a coach or strength trainer in professional sports. His passion for movement began when he was little with ballet and Mexican folklore dance classes, followed by Tae Kwon Do; he began doing Capoeira in the 7th grade. Cherokee wants to stay in Chicago and feels he will excel here – he “knows how it works” here, can have a car and an apartment more easily than in a larger city, and has family here. Other plans include growing his fan base in rap music; he wants to keep a balance between academics and the rest of his life. Cherokee owes much of his success to his upbringing; his single mother encouraged him to work extra hard and was the driving force behind him. She enrolled him at Waldorf for his early childhood years and he believes this helped him to separate from negative influences in his environment, by listening to NPR and avoiding the mass media.
Abigail St. John – After a full summer caring for her sister, working for her family’s company, volunteering at the library’s summer reading program, and babysitting in Indiana, Abigail will head off to one of three schools. She is still deciding between the University of Edinburgh, Wittenburg University [Ohio], and St. Olaf College [Minnesota]. Wherever she ends up, Abigail has a lot she wants to do so she plans to double major and have a minor – which will include some combination of English, Creative Writing, Music, Education and Philosophy. Whew! She is still exploring what she wants to do as a career; ultimately, she wants to leave an impact and hopes to use her work to give voice to those whose stories are not heard.
Maya Tarasiewicz – is a “Waldorf lifer” who is looking for something new, now that she has a good foundation from her Waldorf education. She definitively states, “I’ve been waiting a long time and now this opportunity is right around the corner!” She has chosen to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan this fall. Some of the factors in her decision are the appeal of a large university within the vibrancy of New York City, and a chance for new opportunities by getting out of the Midwest. She choose F.I.T. because of her preferences for a school with a focus on creative thinking and additional opportunities to pursue her interest in music. Maya is considering a major in Business, Music, or Psychology. She says, “I’m extremely excited for a new chapter in my life.”
Grace Walters – will attend Emory University in Atlanta this fall. She was attracted to Emory because of its strong writing program and the opportunity to pursue her diverse interests in their inter-disciplinary degree program. She plans to pursue Creative Writing and Political Science (partly inspired by her recent experiences at the University of Iowa International Writing Workshop). She is happy to be in a vibrant city, and to explore the foreign culture of the Southern United States.
Ben Weingarten – is excited to be heading to Boston this fall to begin studies at Emerson College. He’s looking forward to the many opportunities open to him: access to lots of travel along the East Coast, a possible semester in L.A. or the Netherlands, and combining his love of theatre and sports. Emerson was appealing because it’s a small school with a city campus and because if offers broadcasting. After his spring internship at WGN, where he got to edit stories and do his own podcast, Ben hopes to get into Sports Communication or Broadcasting. This summer he will perform in “Twelfth Night” at Evanston’s outdoor Shakespeare theatre before attending his uncle’s wedding in France.
With gratitude for our Graduates...Fare Thee Well!
All* portrait drawings by senior, Saunders Ervin, class of 2017
(* her portrait was a collaborative sketch by the other seniors).
Interviews conducted by Barbara Wahler and Jason Greenberg
Post edited & published by Jason Greenberg in mid-April, 2017
The Class of 2017 pose for a final portrait at the stone sculptures corner of school campus
This year at Chicago Waldorf High School, twenty-three of our graduating seniors have applied to a college or university. The schools below have accepted our graduating seniors as of 4/15/2017. Merit scholarship offers have been generous as colleges attempt to lure the most qualified students.
In high demand: in 2016-17 the seniors amassed
$71,575 per student in merit scholarship offers!
A number of colleges/universities are new to our list when compared with the last few years. These schools include American University in Washington, DC; Connecticut College, Hampshire College, Seattle University, and Wittenberg University, as well as universities in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Paris. College familiarity with CWS continues to expand with each graduating class. Congratulations to our seniors and their families!
Schools that accepted CWS students from the Class of 2017: *
American University, DC
American University in Paris
Beloit College, WI
Columbia College Chicago
Concordia University, Montreal
Connecticut College, CT
DePaul University, IL
DePauw University, IN
Eckerd College, FL
Emerson College, MA
Emory University, GA
Emmanuel College, MA
Eugene Lang College – The New School, NY
Fashion Institute of Technology, NY
Hampshire College, MA
Immaculata University, PA
Indiana University – Bloomington
Knox College, IL
Lawrence University, WI
Leeds University, United Kingdom
Lewis and Clark College, OR
Loyola University Chicago
Marquette University, WI
Norwich University, VT
Pacific Northwest College of Art, OR
Parsons - The New School for Design, NY
Pratt Institute, NY
Richmond University, London
San Diego State University, CA
Savannah College of Art & Design, GA
Sarah Lawrence College, NY
Seattle University, WA
Stetson University, FL
St. John’s University, NY
St. Olaf College, MN
University of British Columbia
University of Edinburgh
University of Illinois – Chicago
University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
University of Iowa
University of Maryland, MD
University of North Carolina-Asheville, NC
University of Puget Sound, WA
University of Victoria, British Columbia
University of Washington – Seattle
Washington State University, WA
Wheaton College, MA
Wittenberg University, OH
* Listed as of April 15, 2017
Tonight's presenter at the Family Action Network (FAN) speaker series is Adam Alter, Ph.D. who has just written a new book called "Irresistible:The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked." In this Saturday's New York Times, an editorial by Ross Douthat entitled "Resist the Internet" featured both Adam Alter's main critique and called attention to Waldorf schools as models for having adopted a conscious approach to "slow media" by maintaining controlled exposure to--and use of--the internet and portable media. Douthat goes on to say:
Resist the Internet
New York Times, Sunday Review | Op-Ed Columnist Ross Douthat | March 12, 2017
So far, in my ongoing series of columns making the case for implausible ideas, I’ve fixed race relations and solved the problem of a workless working class. So now it’s time to turn to the real threat to the human future: the one in your pocket or on your desk, the one you might be reading this column on right now.
Search your feelings, you know it to be true: You are enslaved to the internet. Definitely if you’re young, increasingly if you’re old, your day-to-day, minute-to-minute existence is dominated by a compulsion to check email and Twitter and Facebook and Instagram with a frequency that bears no relationship to any communicative need.
Compulsions are rarely harmless. The internet is not the opioid crisis; it is not likely to kill you (unless you’re hit by a distracted driver) or leave you ravaged and destitute. But it requires you to focus intensely, furiously, and constantly on the ephemera that fills a tiny little screen, and experience the traditional graces of existence — your spouse and friends and children, the natural world, good food and great art — in a state of perpetual distraction.
Used within reasonable limits, of course, these devices also offer us new graces. But we are not using them within reasonable limits. They are the masters; we are not. They are built to addict us, as the social psychologist Adam Alter’s new book “Irresistible” points out — and to madden us, distract us, arouse us and deceive us. We primp and perform for them as for a lover; we surrender our privacy to their demands; we wait on tenterhooks for every “like.” The smartphone is in the saddle, and it rides mankind.
Which is why we need a social and political movement—digital temperance, if you will—
to take back some control.
“Temperance?” you might object, with one eye on the latest outrage shared by your co-partisans on social media. “You mean, like, Prohibition? For something everyone relies on for their daily work and lives, that’s the basis for our economic — hang on, I just need to ‘favorite’ this tweet …”
No, not like Prohibition. Temperance doesn’t have to mean teetotaling; it can simply mean a culture of restraint that tries to keep a specific product in its place. And the internet, like alcohol, may be an example of a technology that should be sensibly restricted in custom and in law.
Of course it’s too soon to fully know (and indeed we can never fully know) what online life is doing to us. It certainly delivers some social benefits, some intellectual advantages, and contributes an important share to recent economic growth.
But there are also excellent reasons to think that online life breeds narcissism, alienation and depression, that it’s an opiate for the lower classes and an insanity-inducing influence on the politically-engaged, and that it takes more than it gives from creativity and deep thought. Meanwhile the age of the internet has been, thus far, an era of bubbles, stagnation and democratic decay — hardly a golden age whose customs must be left inviolate.
So a digital temperance movement would start by resisting the wiring of everything, and seek to create more spaces in which internet use is illegal, discouraged or taboo. Toughen laws against cellphone use in cars, keep computers out of college lecture halls, put special “phone boxes” in restaurants where patrons would be expected to deposit their devices, confiscate smartphones being used in museums and libraries and cathedrals, create corporate norms that strongly discourage checking email in a meeting.
Then there are the starker steps. Get computers — all of them — out of elementary schools, where there is no good evidence that they improve learning.
Let kids learn from books for years before they’re asked to go online for research; let them play in the real before they’re enveloped by the virtual.
Then keep going. The age of consent should be 16, not 13, for Facebook accounts. Kids under 16 shouldn’t be allowed on gaming networks. High school students shouldn’t bring smartphones to school. Kids under 13 shouldn’t have them at all. If you want to buy your child a cellphone, by all means: In the new dispensation, Verizon and Sprint will have some great “voice-only” plans available for minors.
I suspect that versions of these ideas will be embraced within my lifetime by a segment of the upper class and a certain kind of religious family. But the masses will still be addicted, and the technology itself will have evolved to hook and immerse — and alienate and sedate — more completely and efficiently.
But what if we decided that what’s good for the Silicon Valley overlords who send their kids to a low-tech Waldorf school is also good for everyone else? Our devices we shall always have with us, but we can choose the terms. We just have to choose together, to embrace temperance and paternalism both. Only a movement can save you from the tyrant in your pocket.
The New York Times editorial can be found in its entirety here at its source.