PSCS eNewsletter: March 2015
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Why the Smart Money's on PSCS

By Sieglinde
 
I watch TV. Not a LOT, but some and, although it's not all that hip to admit, one of my very favorite shows is Bones, a one hour crime procedural, (very) loosely based on the life and work of forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs.

Bones has always been a little bit cheesy, but it's main character, a science genius named Temperence Brennan (or “Bones” as she's nicknamed early on), borders on being my personal hero. She is brilliant, prickly, and complex, staunch in her belief in science, unwaveringly honest, independent, and courageous. Yes, Bones is a courageous woman who is unparalleled in a male dominated, fascinating field. She is also comically unaware of many basic cultural references and the nuances of acceptable social mores, which makes her seem more than a little aloof and detached (oh but she is so much more than that, y'all!). Paired with a hunky FBI agent (who is the yin to her yang), she and her team of forensic "squints" solve murders, put away the bad guys, and find meaning in molars!

I mention all this because in a recent episode the two lead characters—now married in the 10th season with one child—are working together to solve the murder of a high profile computer impresario(!), whilst simultaneously trying to figure out where to send their child to school that fall. I know. So much like real life!
 
Geometric drawing by Eli Kimchi

The parents are divided in their educational ideals, with one hoping his daughter will attend public school and thrive, as he did, in the free, local institution that his tax dollars pay for and that helped pave the way for him to become an adult (and a smooth talkin' government special agent!). The other assumes that her daughter will test into and attend one of many rigorous, expensive, college prep schools that she never had the opportunity, or the funding, to enroll in (although please note: she did manage to rise to the highest echelons of her chosen field anyway).

At some point early on in this episode, Bones is introduced to her new college intern: a chatty, sharp young woman, who, it is soon discovered (through various hazy plot twists) has grown up in a local, nonprofit, cooperative school run by a well known philosopher and scientist.

Our plucky hero is stunned that this new intern is smart enough to have been offered a position in her lab! She can't believe that this seemingly normal and hardworking woman is the product of “alternative education.” The look on Bones’ face and the very fact that cooperative schooling was mentioned for any reason on this particular show was already enough to keep me watching, but the community-educated intern is normal? Could it be so??

But normal she is. And, although the guest mentions more than once that she is "just a forensic anthropology intern" and many of her peers were "more successful" Rhodes Scholars and MacArthur Fellows, the whole episode ended up being an overt discussion regarding education that redefines... well, education.

Yes, this intern's school life has been college-focused but it only takes Bones one or two commercial breaks to note that this young woman is particularly spirited, courageous, and flexible. She is goal-oriented but group-minded, passionate, and excited about learning.

Suddenly, our single-sighted protagonist starts to question her own stubbornness and anxiety regarding the education of her daughter. After the murder is solved (work comes first, you guys), the two parents reopen the discussion of their options and their conversations become less angst-ridden. They relax and realize that their daughter is going to be fine. 

This episode is important for two reasons. First: The other school is not actually the weird school. Just like families, whether you are also an FBI dad and a forensic genius mom, two secret agent dads, two sets of co-parents, or ten sets, no family is an alternative to the norm, they just are.

And as such, independent community schools are no longer the "opposite of normal" or "alternative." Now, schools that offer families a different path are not the shady private school counterpart, they are officially part of the modern vernacular.

Second: The word is out. Small, community oriented schools—which foster human development and self-reliance, while eschewing anxiety and dispassion—are all around us. Even on FOX!

More and more families are discovering this fact, perhaps even watching the same TV show. Unfortunately, some of these families believe they can't afford a school like PSCS, that they are relegated to the aforementioned "set path." And they are wrong. PSCS is not for the wealthy and having choices should not be for an elite few.

Help us continue to build a tuition and program aid fund that has these families in mind. Kindness Matters, and so do you.

 

PSCS Morning Coffee

The PSCS Family Association will host a Morning Coffee for parents on Monday, March 9.

Come to Check-in at 9am and then join us for a special guest speaker (ANDY!) who will talk about the Kindness Matters Evening Event Series coming up at PSCS in April.

Series dates will be posted on the school calendar very soon—but Andy will be on hand to discuss what these evening events are about and answer any questions you might have. Email Heather Pope and let us know you're coming!

In this issue

• The Word is Out
• Comedy Night
• Margaux on KPLU!
• Au revoir, Manon
• Winning Bridge
• Keep PSCS Possible
• Calendar


Fri. 3/6, in the Pike Place Market Theater! Hosted by Stand Up class facilitator MC Peter Greyy and featuring PSCS student comics:
 
Jessie Bontatibus,
Sofia Martin, Simon Egan,
Joshua Darlington,
Kayleigh Bangs,
& Spencer Shaw

 
Plus:
Yoram Bauman, Jay Hitt &
Unexpected Productions, Xung Lam, Rodney Sherwood, Monica Nevi,
& Brad Upton!

 
• Directions
• Doors, 8pm/show, 8:30pm
• $10 students, $12 adults
• Pre-prder tickets
 
Come early for snacks and buy raffle tickets in support of Tuition Aid.

You could win: Sounders tickets, gift cards, Tiffany Thiele glasswork, organic lavender gift basket, Vitality Pilates gift certificate, wine, and more!

 

Margaux on KPLU!

Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.

The program is part of KPLU’s School of Jazz and this month's feature is PSCS student Margaux Bouchegnies!

Margaux has selected her favorite jazz tunes, including the Oscar Peterson Trio (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars, Cocorvado) and Al Jarreau (Take Five, the Live 1977 Version) and her segment will air during Evening Jazz with Abe Beeson on Thursday, March 5 (8-9pm).

Listen live on on KPLU!

 

A revoir, Manon!

Sadly, Manon has left us and returned to her homeland (France). Thus she will no longer be updating us all on her daily PSCS experiences via social media. However, one of our students, Joy Bergevin, has offered to take on our Insta-needs and continue our newest photo adventure!

Follow #capturePSCS and see what's what!
 

 

Keep PSCS Possible

MATCHING GIFTS
Chances are your company offers a matching gift when you donate to PSCS. Here are several we know of for sure: Google, Starbucks, Symetra, Microsoft, Boeing. We know there are more! Please contact Sieglinde if you have any questions regarding matching gifts for PSCS.

AMAZON SMILE
When you do your shopping via Amazon Smile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price directly to PSCS. Sign up here, bookmark the link, and support us as you shop!

PCC
Order your pre-loaded PCC scrip card for $50 from sieglinde and 5% of each dollar you spend helps us raise money for tuition aid.


What Would You Do With Popsicle Sticks and Glue?

On Saturday, February 7, the PSCS bridge-building team faced over 200 challengers at the 19th Annual ASCE High School Popsicle Stick Bridge Contest. Entries were judged for creativity and aesthetic appeal, and then tested to failure on a large hydraulic pressure machine. Thanks to an incredibly strong bridge and a dedicated team (Asher, Hazel, Xin, Grant, Spencer, Angus, and Sofia, and under the tutelage of equally dedicated teacher, Scobie), PSCS remains undefeated for the third year in a row.
 
This annual competition, held at the Boeing Museum of Flight, attracts students from
all over Washington State. Teams were subject to, as Scobie put it, smiling as he said it,

“...a fiendishly r
estrictive new set of rules that significantly lowered the potential strength of all the bridges in the contest.”  

Built using only Popsicle sticks and Elmer's white glue, this year's bridges had to m
eet 15 pages of strict regulations, including height and weight budgets, and the newest rule: all teams had to take into account an obstacle under the bridge.

This new rule ultimately made it impossible for any team to approach the weight capacity of bridges from previous years (remember our astonishing Metric ton from 2013?). 
 

 
Nevertheless, the PSCS bridge (weighing less than 9oz), failed at a peak of 889 lbs. and earned the title of 2015 Overall Champion—exceeding all other teams in both aesthetics and strength. This incredible score allowed the team to win with a huge advantage. The next closest competitor, a young woman from Port Angeles High School who built and tested multiple prototypes on her own, entered a bridge that held 555 lbs. (more on Jessica Zhu here).

The PSCS team takes engineering seriously. Because of this, the students who had worked on last year’s bridges, which broke at 1,636 lbs. and 1,388 lbs. respectively, were a little disappointed that this year’s bridge failed before the machine reached 1,000 lbs. However, Scobie was quick to point out that this year’s rules made it much harder to build a bridge that could support 1,000 lbs. With further analysis that took into account the new rules, restrictions, and other important factors, Scobie found that the team’s 2015 bridge was in fact the strongest bridge they have ever built.
 
Scobie is very proud of the team’s achievement. He was particularly proud of their comportment during the contest,

“They were great citizens, rolling along with all the unpredictable procedural changes, and being kind, curious and genuinely enthusiastic about all the other entries. PSCS students really appreciate what the other teams have done.”
 
As PSCS strives to be a less competitive and more collaborative school environment, from the beginning the team shared their ideas, notes, and progress via a blog.

 

March Dates

PSCS COMEDY NIGHT
Friday, March 6, 7pm
Live at the Market Theater!

MORNING COFFEE
Monday, March 9, 9am
Hosted by the PSCS Family Association

NO SCHOOL
Friday March 13
In-service Day

LAST DAY OF WINTER TERM
Friday, March 20

SCHOOL PLAY
Thursday & Friday, March 26, 27
Annex Theater, 7pm

SPRING BREAK
March 30-April 3
 

Save the Date

MUSIC CAFÉ!
Wednesday, April 29

View the full PSCS calendar here
              
KINDNESS MATTERS


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