Lawrence Academy

Head of School Dan Scheibe
The Head's Blog:

Some Assembly Required

by Dan Scheibe

Click here for a full (and lengthy) backstory of the title.


Founders Day 2014For a school that is 222-or-so years old, Lawrence Academy wears its traditions lightly. Certainly the campus itself has a historic feel, and the “1793” date of the school is firmly founded beneath Omnibus Lucet on the school seal. But there are few relics, cornerstones or monuments on our daily paths literally or figuratively taking us back to the school’s origins.

Our access to the past needs to be more by way of spirit, and on Founders’ Day we attempted to capture, remember, and celebrate the “founding spirit” that strengthens the school even today. We find that spirit in present members of the community, both students and staff. We find it in exemplary figures like this year’s Founders’ Award winner Ann Conway, who has helped to guide and sustain the school in recent generations.

We also have access to that founding spirit in looking back on the actual history of the school and the events surrounding its inception. I share the …

Posted by jbishop on Thursday October 30 at 09:22AM
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This one sort of speaks for itself. As will become clear to anyone who presses the play buttons below, I have a weakness for spoken-word/freestyle. And by weakness, I mean, it’s a problem, and I could use some professional help.

In trying to create excitement for next week’s J. William Mees Visiting Scholar, Lin-Manuel Miranda, I followed a quick clip of his Tony Award acceptance speech...

With my own advertisement...

I provide the following notes to self and to you to help explain or apologize, as the case may be:

Note 1: more eye-contact please, and it’s not really freestyle if you write the whole thing out

Note 2: reference to “Mariachi” and “Emergency Drill” in first line very “meta-textual”…see last week’s blog.

Note 3: my dad did actually teach Lin-Manuel Miranda at Wesleyan

Note 4: I have no idea why I affected some strange accent to rhyme “theatah’ and eatah’”

Note 5: remember…

Posted by jbishop on Tuesday September 30 at 10:49AM
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Regular and Irregular Rhythms

Veronica Robles & her Mariachi Band kicked off Hispanic Heritage month.Each day and each week at a school brings a sweet-and-sour mix of monotony and chaos. On the one hand there is the predictable rhythm and meter of routine, the lulling cadences of a daily schedule of classes and sports—if it’s Friday lunch, it must be ice cream sundaes and thus an E-Block glucose crash.  And on the other hand, there is the unexpected and unexplained: were we actually doing a mariachi accompanied wave in assembly at 8:18 am at the insistence of a guest performer at the beginning of Hispanic Heritage month? Sure as Friday sundaes, we were.  

It takes some composure and some endurance to make sense out of it all.  But that is what we do. Here’s one way of making sense of it all that I shared in the 45 seconds to spare between club announcements and Mariachi-Wave in assembly. It is a quotation by the writer, Annie Dillard, and I read about 80% of it to students and faculty:

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. …

Posted by jbishop on Monday September 22 at 03:35PM
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