Explore and Experiment

For nearly five decades, Lawrence Academy has embraced the idea of experiential education through Winterim. The two-week mini-term in March is a central feature of LA’s educational program, breaking students out of their normal routines and encouraging them to open their minds, bodies, and hearts to new experiences. For some, Winterim is a cool, fun, and unique experience; for others, a Winterim program will end up infuencing their chosen path of study in college or their future career.

Roughly 44 Winterim options are offered each year, with each course falling into one of ve areas: cultural immersion, academic eld study, service learning, crafts and skills, or outdoor adventure. Students can stay on campus and in the Groton area or venture out of state – or even out of the country – and are encouraged to take advantage of the diverse areas of study and explore a variety of options throughout their time at Lawrence Academy.


For Example: The Maripositas

As part of Winterim, Lawrence Academy students have been working with the Mariposa Foundation in the Dominican Republic since 2001. Spanish teachers Nate Cabot and Rob Moore lead the trip to the northern coastal town of Cabarete where, under the guidance of LA alumna parent and Mariposa Foundation Executive Director Patricia Suriel, students work with the 7-16-year-old girls, nicknamed “maripositas” (“butterflies” in Spanish), who are part of the program.

“These girls are so voracious and full of energy and optimism. Despite coming from extreme poverty, they want to learn all they can and fulfill all their dreams,” shares Rob Moore. While teaching, mentoring and playing with the Maripositas, Lawrence students “see the joy and happiness in these little girls and think deeply about what happiness is and what sources of happiness are.” They also spend time visiting some of the Maripositas’ homes, working to better the Mariposa Foundation’s facilities, and cleaning up plastic debris from the nearby Yásica River.

Experience It Firsthand...

In addition to the Lawrence Academy group’s vital work at the Mariposa Foundation, students also explore their surroundings and the Dominican culture through excursions to the Waterfalls of Damajagua and a trip to La Boca, where the Yásica River meets the sea. Although knowledge of the Spanish language is not a prerequisite for the Dominican Service Project Winterim, students in the program learn and experience the language in an immersive setting, and Spanish lessons at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels are taught throughout the two weeks.

“It’s one thing to hear about life in developing countries on the news and from other people, but it’s another thing to actually see it and experience it firsthand,” says Matt Noel ’19. “The students and the teachers alike seemed extremely grateful that we were there to help them, and I felt the same in return. It’s something special to be part of a community that cares so much about the betterment of the world and encourages its students to be good people.

Note: Individual programs are subject to change.


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Of Newspapers and Movies

On March 5, the Winterim News Team viewed the movie "The Post" as part of the "Web Reporting and Social Media" program...

The Post

by Viraz Mahanti ‘19

On March 6th, I went to see the film The Post at O'Neil Cinemas, the newly-built theater in Acton.

I sat down, not knowing what to expect. Leaving the theater, I can happily say that I enjoyed the film, and that it left me thinking. It brought up issues of the time, which can be connected to issues we face today.

One wonders, when seeing the opening scene of The Post, what the film is about. It opens in the jungles of Vietnam, with soldiers loading their guns and preparing for battle. This movie seems to look like a war movie, with an ambush scene showing up within the first two minutes of the movie. As with most of his work, Spielberg’s special effects are fantastic, showing the grit and grime one would expect in the battlefield.

Despite this first, initial outburst of action, this is a standalone event during the film. The rest of the film focuses much more on the drama and debates, leaving the battlefield of Vietnam and going overseas back to the United States. The first thing that’s made apparent is the "two-faced-ness" of the depicted politicians. You see “fake news” in the headlines, often being said by those in power. This movie offers a different spin on that contemporary issue. In this movie, the politicians are the ones being insincere; the liars. They say one thing behind closed doors, and when faced with the reporters and cameras, say the opposite, all while thousands of Americans die in Vietnam every day.  

Another major theme is the suppression of women in society. While this is still an issue today, it was even more apparent in the late 1960s. One of the main protagonists in this movie is Katharine Graham (played by Meryl Streep), the owner of The Washington Post.

Ms. Graham works hard for her company, trying to keep it afloat and successful to honor her father and her husband’s legacy. It’s also very clear that, despite her wealth and power, people ignore her, and look over her simply because she’s a woman. In all of the business meetings with investors, bankers, and board members, she is the only woman in a room filled with dozens of men. She is often talked over by the other men, and her points are ignored and only acknowledged when repeated by other men. It’s made apparent that the rough spot the company is going through reflects on her, amplified by the fact that she is a woman.

Conversely, there is a very poignant scene at the American stock exchange, where Graham goes into a room full of investors. All of the women, who seem to be family members of the men inside, look upon Katharine with adoration and envy. Eventually, Katharine, after speaking to her daughter, realizes that she has been drowned out her whole life, and that it’s time to take the reins, marking the turning point of the film when she finally manages to take control of the company that is, rightfully, hers.

She then makes her own decisions; not decisions influenced by investors or misogynists who doubted a woman could run the company.

Another important thing that I observed was that there were a lot of "one-take" shots. There are no cuts during the dialogue scenes, and when someone is moving from one room to the next, a camera usually follows them, giving the audience a continuous sense of immersion, and this is accentuated by the camera zooming in during moments of drama and tension, perhaps the most apartment during the phone call scene with Katherine trying to make a decision over publishing the papers.

I would give this movie 4.5 stars out of 5. While there are a few historical inaccuracies, and while some events are dramatized, the filming is top tier and the actors’ performances are excellent. I would recommend this film to audiences.

Posted by John Bishop in Story on Wednesday March, 7, 2018

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