Lawrence Academy

Head of School Dan ScheibeThe Head's Blog:

Some Assembly Required

by Dan Scheibe

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


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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Two Assemblies Worth

Opening Assembly
Young Dan...It was Mission Monday at Lawrence Academy. Assembly to-do list:1. introduce new faculty; 2. conduct necessary business; 3. read aloud and somehow animate LA mission; 4. sing school song. New faculty introductions—check (all present and accounted for and just a few new faculty anyway).  Necessary business—check (hello new math club!). Mission: check (wording of mission supported by awkward images and tales of adolescent self - see photo at right). School song: check (call and response this time—pretty rousing).

Our classes have started, our season is in swing, our performances have begun. We are assembling our mission as people and as a school day by day. How fortunate we are to have the freedom to do so and the support of an entire school and its legacy standing behind us.

Mountain Day Assembly
Over the years I’ve tried to find some clever ways to explain why we are sending a school up a mountain. A slightly squirmy, boot-clad, well-layered …

Posted by jbishop on Thursday September 18 at 01:15PM
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