Winterim is the centerpiece of Lawrence Academy's commitment to immersive education -- learning in the concrete and physical world of activity as a complement to learning in the vicarious and symbol-filled world of traditional classrooms.
Note: Individual programs are subject to change.
The Winterim program is an opportunity to explore a broader range of subjects and skills than is otherwise possible in a regular classroom. In that spirit, student reporters assist the LA communications staff in covering their classmates' experiences, while gaining some knowledge of their own.
For a more historical perspective, check out the 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015 Winterim Blogs (posted together below). You may also view 2014, 2013, the 2012 Winterim Photo Gallery, and the 2011 Winterim Blog.
Our hashtag on social media is #LAWinterim.
by Viraz Mahanti ‘19
"Quilting" is one of the many Winterims here on Lawrence Academy’s campus. It’s unique to Lawrence Academy and is a testament to our awesome education.
Winterim is something that has been going on at Lawrence Academy for almost 50 years. It involves two weeks of self-discovery, and an ability to get involved in something you love. Students are offered a tremendous range of activities, from board game design to building houses in the Dominican Republic.
While upperclassmen often end up getting the better pick of the international travel programs and coveted off-campus Winterims, there are still many excellent on-campus Winterims in which students can participate.
Our campus is as active as ever during Winterim, with the binders and pencils exchanged for wood and saws, chess-pieces, and quilts. As Tony Hawgood, LA’s Winterim director, says, “There are so many different things that make Winterim what it is. It’s getting kids outside of the classroom and realizing that the world is an incredible classroom. It’s getting kids to see adults getting passionate about different things, both our teachers and the leaders they see.”
Winterim is many things; it’s a break from the routine of the school year and a very, unique chance to indulge in your interests. It’s as much of a learning experience as it is a chance to enjoy yourself. It’s arguably one of the best times here at Lawrence Academy and not an experience one would be likely to forget.
In most Winterims, you end up creating something, whether it’s a canoe or a documentary; either way, you come out with more than you came in with, both literally and metaphorically. This is true whether you’re on campus or the other side of the world.
I got the opportunity to speak with Ms. Mosely, who, along with Ms. Bell, is in charge of the “Quilting Is Sew Easy” Winterim. Their base of operations is in the Schoolhouse, with all of the partitions between 3 classrooms being withdrawn to make a significant quilting center.
The room was abuzz with activity, with students each getting two tables to themselves to further their quilting ideas. They were all hard at work, moving quickly with their textile machines creating quilts in many magnificent arrays of color. Ms. Mosely was in the center of it all, helping her students if they had any questions, all while making a quilt herself. I asked her what she hoped, as a teacher, her students would get out of this experience.
“Our hope is to have them finish an entire quilt by the time they’re done, but also to have them learn how to make a quilt of their own, how to sew straight seams, and to gain the skill of persistence and patience and to enjoy the product when they are done,” she explained.
I then asked her what she hoped to get out of it as a teacher, seeing as this wasn’t a first-time experience for her, yet still, a very interesting one, filled with responsibility. She replied, “Well, I really enjoy watching the students learn how to sew, and I love looking at the designs they have created, and it gives me great satisfaction to see the look on faces when their designs start coming to life.”
Teachers not only get to explore their own interests but also enjoy seeing their students succeed. When asking Ms. Mosely how long she had been doing the Winterim, she said, “I feel like it’s been at least five or six years, I don’t remember; I have been quilting quite a bit myself for a long time, and so when I was first invited to join the quilting program, I was very excited.”
“It’s been fantastic,” she said of the overall experience. “The students are pretty motivated. The fabrics and designs they have chosen have been really interesting, and the work we have been seeing is really good.”
Students were following Ms. Mosely’s lead as they made their own quilts and put together their own pieces, with great results. All of the students were hard at work and had made great progress, and this was a great example of an on-campus Winterim where the students were fully immersed in their work.
Most Winterims involve a degree of creativity and building something. Personally, my Winterim experience has been terrific. Last year was my first year at Lawrence Academy, and I took the “Beyond Monopoly” Winterim. I had the unique opportunity to figure out the mechanics behind board games, and also worked with a group to make a battleship-esque game. It was indeed a significant challenge, and we had to master the mechanics of teamwork, along with board games to make it work. While it was my first on-campus Winterim, it never felt dull, and I always felt fully immersed in the program.
This year I had the chance to join the Winterim News Team, and this experience, although much different from Monopoly and Beyond, was just as rewarding.
The news team was comparable to quilting, in a way. The final products felt like tapestries, and they were interwoven between many different layers of challenges. We took many trips off campus and visited both Providence College and Harvard Square.
We were always immersing ourselves in the journalist’s world and were still busy filming B-roll, recording interviews, or even doing food reviews on the restaurants in which we ate. I learned a lot about video reporting and doing interviews, all the while -- and once again -- working with a team to make things work and found the experience highly rewarding once again.
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