Global Education Week 2018

This May, Solebury School hosted its first-ever Global Education Week! The week was designed to share various cultures and perspectives with students and faculty, with the goal of developing a deeper understanding and awareness of the world around us.

Every morning, Global Education Director Nicole Mount emailed all staff and students a trivia question, as well as a 360-degree view of something remarkable in another country (like this panorama of The Emirates).

The week was embraced in other ways, such as this display in our library created by our librarian and Isaiah, a sophomore working on his Global Education Concentration. And our English Department hosted a school-wide poem-writing activity; the result was a beautiful, global ed-themed poem read by several of our English students and teachers at assembly this week. Read the poem here.

Monday, May 14

We hosted a video chat with Katherine Kunhiraman (Kakie Siebel '62), who studied Indian classical dance and started a dance school, Kalanjali: Dances of India, with her husband, KP Kunhiraman, in California after living in India for 12 years. Katherine spoke about her experiences, what multiculturalism can mean for people who straddle more than one culture, and the unique pressures to act as an ambassador for multiple cultures.

Tuesday, May 15

We offered a screening of the film Girl Rising: The Fifth Anniversary Edition. Girl Rising spotlights the unforgettable stories of girls living in the developing world, striving beyond circumstance and overcoming nearly insurmountable odds to achieve their dreams.” Watch the trailer below.

Emily Brown, MD, spoke to students from our Global Education Concentration (shown), as well as students from one of our Spanish and science classes. Emily earned her degree from the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba, and is now preparing for her residency at UMass with plans to eventually practice family medicine. While in Cuba, Emily had to learn Spanish (with a heavy Cuban accent) and adjust to "cultural whiplash" when traveling back and forth to the States, among other challenges. However, she received an incredible hands-on education in medicine (in part due to Cuba’s less litigious society) and left with a love for the Cuban people. Our students were prepared with many terrific questions for Emily that ranged from adjusting to life in Cuba to her work as a med student to learning the language.


At lunch, we hosted several World Language Tables, where students could stop by and learn common words/phrases from other students who are fluent in languages from Arabic to Thai, Urdu to Spanish, Portuguese to French, Korean to Twi. (Shown: Elizabeth, a freshman from Ghana, hosted our Twi table.)

Later that afternoon, some of us watched Atlético Madrid
defeat Marseille during the UEFA Europa League Final!

Thursday, May 17

Our 2018-19 class presidents hosted an International Food Exchange at lunch! They served delicious homemade Chinese Red Cooked Pork (that's what's in the Crockpot), Irish Soda Bread, Australian Lamington Cake, and French cookies.

We also hosted a video chat with Logan Wheeler, who works for the State Department as the Political and Economic Section Chief for the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay. He's also worked for the State Department in Russia, Tanzania, and in the real Situation Room. He spoke to us about government, diplomacy, and how those have changed since the 2016 election. Since no devices with cameras are allowed in his workplace, he actually needed to have a tech team set him up in a special containment room to talk to us!

Friday, May 18

On this final day of Global Education Week, we hosted Solebury School parent Molly Naughton P'19 '21, who spoke with our Spanish classes about language fluency and multilingual careers. Molly stressed the importance of listening to native speakers and shared her history and travel experiences. She is fluent in five languages and is the Founder and CEO of aiaTranslations.

History teacher Angelo Coclanis also shared his experiences traveling abroad with students. Angelo encouraged students to take advantage of study abroad opportunities, engage locals, and appreciate the culture and history of the places they visit. Angelo has traveled to more than 30 countries, including many in Central and South America, and Europe. He's taught English in Ecuador, was stationed in Costa Rica with the Peace Corps, and lived in England for graduate school.

International Movie Night capped off the week! We watched Oscar-nominated short films from around the world while snacking on crepes and Pellegrino and lounging on pillows and blankets beneath sparkly lights to replicate the night sky (we had to movie it indoors due to rain).

School-Wide Poem

At the start of the week, students were emailed a poem for inspiration and were given this prompt: Engage your five senses to write on the themes of voices, home, and memory. Below is the excerpted, collage compilation of our school-wide, global ed-themed poem that was read at assembly on Thursday. (Shown: English teachers Sarah Sargent and Zack Arrington, with junior Jacob Potter, who helped edit everyone's stanzas into the poem below.)


by Solebury School students, Spring 2018

Sunshine falling through a window to frame a black cat,
The little cluttered desk giving way to beds and kitchen tables,
The screaming of my father slowly fading away into nothing.

Seven years old tastes like cherry soda and cigarette smoke
Tastes like Halloween and feels like walking with sticky shoes.

Red tinted lips
Whispers of raspberry bushes
Wide landscape eyes
I am from the ponds and Calla Lillies
Divorces and death
Hours of pink and orange sunsets
From the fields which hosted vultures
The chemical reek of burning plywood
The gritty texture of concrete dust in the air
An endless expanse of rubble.

I can still remember the droning hum of the AC
The ground too hot for our bare feet,
My sister’s sunset red hair,
The sound of beeping hospital machines.

Sweet singing voices bouncing from the windows,
Old gray voices teaching, moving slowly,
Moving with us through time.

You hear engines, you hear movement, but
You can also just stand there.

Be still.

A bell rings
Clear in the crisp air
From the soles of my feet
As we sing to the west.

The smell of a storm
of salt and foam

Home, a place for me
Where the bridge between two worlds meets the weeping willow.
Even if they are lost with no hope of living,
Passing through the air vents.

How long has it been since I left you?

Childhood is orange tic tacs
Eaten on the shore of the Delaware
Watching the boats float lazily by
While sitting on my mom-mom’s lap.

Home are the tulips
blossoming in my front yard
From sprout to flower
The vibrant colors growing.

Home, the sound of the blender
Warm cookies from the oven
In a room full of painful love
Begging for more time to listen to your sweet shaking voice.
The cold skies of London
Rain down on my true home.
I can still remember the rippling chlorine
The air was fire.

When you find your heart, place it
That will become your home.

Brownies and buttercream
I can smell the leather of the gloves,
The smell of spoiled cheese from cafeteria cheesesteak,
Cool mist breeze from the broken air conditioner.

Quick paws, deep purrs,
Dirt covers our hands,
The scent of turpenoid and perfume on my mom,
Lentil soup
Nights spent reading
Wind carrying leaves
People in the streets
The many trees swing
Grass brushing my knees.

The taste of oatmeal before a long day of school
The dull roar of a house fire,

Scenes barely visible through thousands of smudged windows.