Edgartown: The Island's quiet time

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How quiet the Island seems this week! I think that the week of February vacation is truly the quietest, slowest week on Martha’s Vineyard. Wouldn’t it be lovely if it was sunny and 85°? Think of the money families could save if we could all enjoy a week off in the sun and fun here instead of some warmer destination. The weather was nice enough to run outside a couple of times this week, which, after months of running halls and laps inside was a blessing. You take what you can get sometimes, right?

Personally, I am having a working vacation. I still do a little bookkeeping on the side for a few customers, so I’ve been working on that. I’m also working on the Edgartown Eighth Grade auction, with the help of some fabulous eighth-grade parents: Julie Hatt, Caroline Fenske, Judy Murray, and Liz Burnham, as well as a couple of eighth graders themselves: Kenny Hatt and Lukas Fenske. And then I’ve got some fifth-grade and sixth-grade projects to pull together before coming back into school next week. So I’m suffering a little vacation envy this week, especially since my kids are in Disney, which is one of my most favorite places in the world!

Now before you go hating me for my vacation envy, I know how lucky I am, to be sure. As a teacher, I don’t have formal work hours over the summer, which is amazing. And I often count my blessings for that. But we teachers do indeed work during vacations, including summer. Some come in and teach summer school. Most of us take courses over the summer, because we are required to continue our professional studies. And all of us study and research our own curriculum topics, creating lesson plans and projects to keep our students engaged and learning each year. Some of us even wait tables, clean houses, do landscaping work, and a hundred other jobs in the summer. I would really love to be sitting someplace warm this week, but I know I get to enjoy myself a great deal in July and August. Alas, I must live vicariously through others this week, as they probably do with me in the summer. It’s all a tradeoff, right? Overall, I’m blessed and I know it.

Ninety-six MVRHS freshmen recently visited the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, toured the archives, and chose a picture of children from the museum’s collection that spoke to them. Over the past six weeks, the students have used the pictures to inspire creative writing pieces that will make up the museum’s next Spotlight exhibit.

“Kids in the Archives— A Modern Perspective,” opening next month at the museum, includes the top 20 literary pieces, chosen by the students’ teachers, displayed with the photos that inspired them. Short stories, letters, plays, poems, and other creative pieces will adorn the walls of the Spotlight Gallery alongside the archival images. English teachers Kate Hennigan and Amy Reece had the tough task of choosing the top 20 for exhibition.

Museum education assistant Beth Seabourne worked with the teachers and students on the exhibition. “‘Kids in the Archives’ came about one day while I was digging in the museum’s photo archives for lesson supplements,” Beth said. “I came across a picture of a rooster pulling a small child in a wagon. There were quite a few of these oddly inexplicable pictures of Vineyard children, and together with education director Ann DuCharme, we decided we wanted to have fun with them.”

Ms. DuCharme said, “Kate Hennigan and Amy Reece were the perfect fit to help make the vision for the exhibit come to life. They brought all of the students to the museum to tour the archives and the gallery where their work would be displayed. The students were excited when they saw what they would be working with, and that the white walls were theirs to fill. There have been so many creative submissions, and we can’t wait to share them with the community.”

“Kids in the Archives — A Modern Perspective” will open at the museum on Tuesday, March 1, with a reception from 4 to 6 pm. Admission is free, and the reception is open to all. The exhibit will be up through April 30.

Congratulations to eighth grader Julia Gomes, who won the Edgartown School annual spelling bee last week. Julia obviously studied hard, and didn’t even seem to blink at the words she was given. Runner-up in the event was the learned fourth grader Nicholas Carpenter. Other participants included Clara Cabral, Alex Walsh, Jonathan (J.J.) Polleys, Amelia Craig, Desiree London, Isabella Osborn, Geovane Meikle, Kylee Fauteux, and Sara Creato. Congratulations to all the students for their hard work and great spelling.

That’s about all for this week. Have a great week. Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket!