Tuesday, October 16, 2012

7th Grade Fall Trip

The 7th Grade headed south to the land of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virginia. They toured Jefferson’s home, Monticello, the University of Virginia, and nearby Luray Caverns. Middle School Communications Director Milan Sulibhavi shares her thoughts on the trip:

As we get into the school year, we kickoff the school year with fall trips! Fall trips are a wonderful time to bond with your grade. However, there is something special about this year’s fall trips, they were overnight! The 7th grade went to Charlottesville, VA.  At Charlottesville, we visited the University of Virginia, Monticello and Luray Caverns. 
On the first day of the fall trips the 7th grade had a long but fun day, as we visited the University of Virginia and Monticello. We studied about Thomas Jefferson. He was a great scientist and leader!  It was amazing how he designed the whole Monticello! 
While at Monticello, we saw a real archaeological dig happen right in front of us! A group of workers at Monticello are responsible for finding artificats and pieces of history onsite. They had a huge tent and were digging far into the ground to try to uncover a secret passageway from the kitchen (which was separate from the building) to the main house. Servants used the path to bring food to Thomas Jefferson and his family. As we were watching, they were just beginning to uncover the stone walkway. It was also unbelievable how much he accomplished.  
 At the University of Virginia, we were exposed to many different aspects of a college student's life. We saw academic buildings, dorm rooms, the campus library, a theatre and even learned about secrete campus societies. We felt welcome on the campus by everyone that we met. Not only is the school beautiful, but it offers so many opportunities to get involved with organizations and other students. It was great to connect the history we've learned about Thomas Jefferson to the buildings he designed at UVA. 

It is amazing that Luray Caverns is naturally formed and was discovered over 130 years ago. While on our tour, we learned the difference between stalagtites and stalagmites (which are different types of formations). Our tour guide took us on a 1.2 mile walk through the caverns. Many of the formations in the caverns have names such as the "ghost" which is a huge white structure that tourist see many times while in the cave. We saw an area where people can get married, and this area even has an organ that plays through the formations in the cave. After our tour, we raced through a garden maze and tried to see who could make it through first. We don't remember who won, but at least we all made it out!

 The 7th grade loved the overnight fall trips. Overall this was a wonderful bonding and learning experience! Below are some quotes from our class:
“They were fun and I loved bonding with my class!”  Heloise Germain
"The Luray Caverns were my favorite part. It was fun to see the caverns and learn about how they found it. Someone saw a hole in the ground with air coming up, and then a group of people dug a hole large enough to fit someone in it and send them in! Crazy!" - Amanda Fruman 
"Monticello was really beautiful. My mother had visited Monticello last year so we were both excited that I was finally going to get to see it. Visiting UVA was also fun- it was cool to feel like we were in college during the tour!" Hannah Reynolds
Click HERE to see the entire image gallery!
Written by: Milan S. & Mrs. Kelland
Photos by: Mrs. Mallonee & Mrs. Kelland

Monday, October 15, 2012

6th Grade Fall Trip

 I was standing fifty feet in the air on a small platform. All that was keeping me from falling to the ground were two carabineers.  I was supposed to jump off, and I wasn’t really very keen on that idea. 
“Are you okay over there?” Layla was already on the other platform, and was waiting for me.
“Um…fine…” My response was muffled. I had put my hands over my face, so as to hide the fact that I was blushing.
“Well, what are you waiting for?” She asked. I asked myself the exact same question. I couldn’t come up with a good excuse. I felt slightly foolish for being afraid.  And with an inward scream, I jumped off the platform.
I let out a real scream as I was ziplining over the treetops, hurtling along towards the next platform.
 I think I am getting ahead of myself a bit. The aforesaid situation occurred during our fall trip at Sandy Springs Friends School.   We had an amazing trip, where we learned from and about one another, and came together as a class.
We began the day with a bus ride. It was an unusually subdued ride, perhaps as a result of the fact that it was 8:00 in the morning, and most of us had woken up early to get to school on time. We arrived at Sandy Springs around 9:00.
After dropping our lunches off, we headed for a big field. While we were there, we played some games, to get us moving. (Oddly enough, they all involved rock, paper, scissors…?). We then broke into groups for low ropes.
The first time, we only got about seven people through. We regrouped, and tried once more. This time, we got everyone through.  It involved lifting several people through holes four or five feet off the ground. I was very afraid.  I just didn’t trust that my group could lift me through a hole without dropping me. I was proved wrong, and gained much more confidence in every person in my group.  Trust is not something that I give to people readily, and this exercise made me realize that perhaps I was being a bit stingy. People deserve trust from the beginning. Once they have shown their true colors, you can choose to revoke trust. It’s your decision.
 After lunch, we headed for the high ropes.  This was what I had been looking forward to all day! This was what I was there for! I heard only half of what we were supposed to do with the carabineers attached my harness (thankfully, someone had been listening, and told me what to do).  There was the predictable stampede to start climbing, but I made it onto a course and started.
I climbled across the first bridge, ended on a platform, and that brings us back to the beginning of this story. But after the zipline, nothing could scare me. The rest of the three hours went by in a whirlwind. The last few stragglers came off the course, and we headed for the bus.
One hour (perhaps more, the event is very fuzzy in my mind) later, we made it back to school. After dinner, the sun set, and we were ready to play capture the flag.
This was probably the most fun I had all day. It was dark, no one could see where anyone else was, and everyone had the same goal. It was all about stealth and hiding.  We played a few rounds of the game, and then we walked over to the pond for s’mores. I was very happy about this, and I think that was the attitude shared by most of the class.
After getting our fingers sufficiently sticky, we headed back to the middle school to watch a movie, which turned out to be The Goonies. I watched some of it, but it was a bit to creepy for my taste. We headed to bed afterwards. For a half hour we whispered to one another, but I fell asleep quickly.
 The next morning we woke up around 7:30. We got into the minibuses after breakfast, and headed to Potomac State Park to plant trees. I had a really good time doing this. How often are you going to be able to get covered in dirt? We planted a lot of trees, and I felt good about the work we were doing. 
 We went back to Garrison, and our trip was over.I talked with a few other girls about our trip, and their favorite part was the high ropes. I couldn’t agree more. A few said that they wouldn’t ever forget the feeling of flying on a zip line. Some learned things about themselves. Some learned things about others.I learned… a lot. I learned about acceptance, and what we really want. I learned not to expect too much, but not to set your expectations low. I learned how to find the big dipper, and what someone else thought about the stars.  I met someone I had known for a year. It set me on the right track for the year ahead.I probably won’t remember this trip forever. How can I know right now? I think that I’ll find though, in the year to come, that the important lessons I learned on this trip will stay, even though I may not remember being afraid to zip line.
CLICK HERE to see the entire image gallery!
Written by: Lily D.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What Kind of GFS girl are YOU?

Click HERE to answer a few questions and find out what type of GFS girl you are!

Created by Becca S. & Chelsea K.

Middle School Survey Results

Please watch our video to see the results from the Middle School survey. Thanks!

Created by: Nia T. & Leanne G.

Mid-Autumn Festival Review

On Saturday, September 29th, Garrison Forest School hosted a Mid-Autumn Festival in honor of the largest moon of the year and China. There were supposed to be telescopes set up to view this large moon. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy and we were unable to set up the telescopes. But, this festival did include a special lantern parade, puppet shows, musical performances, and delicious foods. The special performances were by:
  • Johns Hopkins University Dragon Dancers
  • Han Pan Korean American Drum Troupe
  • Ling Tang Dance
  • Garrison Forest Middle School Music and Shadow Puppeteers
  • Garrison Forest Middle School Chinese Class Music (Mallory Higgins playing the harp and Julia Connor playing the guitar)
  • Garrison Forest Upper School Chamber Choir Music
  • Fan and Ribbon Dance.

All of the performers did very well and we hope to have another fantastic Mid-Autumn Festival again next year!

Written by Emily F. & Lauren W.
Photos by Emily F.

Pictures of the homemade laterns at the parade
Han Pan Korean-American Drum Troop
Ling Tang Dancer

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Teacher Profile

We did a teacher profile on Mr. Trinh.  We decided to do Mr.Trinh because he is the Dean of Students in the Middle School and new as of last year.  We interviewed him and decided to put his answers into a video.  We hope you enjoy!  

Video by Amanda F. & Gillian M.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall 2012 Soccer Team News

Garrison Forest Middle School just got our new teams and we already feel like a family!  A and B team are both already working hard to win their first games of the season, which has just begun.  Coach Lahat is already pushing A Team to be the best they can be, while Coach Cline is trying to review the technical things through the game of World Cup, Knockout, and other drills!

Perspectives from A Team:

A team is kicking along very fast.  We are having so much fun getting to know each other and all of us are quickly getting better.  Everybody is striving to be the best they can be. Coach Lahat and Coach Rommel are making A Team possible and making practice super fun. We are all coming together to be the best A team Garrison Forest soccer will ever have.  By our first game on September 27th, A team is playing Bryn Mawr and we are going to be ready to WIN!

A Team got ahead of the game and chose their captains, Kayla B., Mia M., and Nina K. Middle School Soccer captains make announcements at Morning Meetings, take care of secret “supporters”, and do the coin flip at games.  Being a captain is a big responsibility, but it is really fun!

Perspectives from B Team

B Team is a great opportunity for students that want to learn how to play soccer or are returning to the sport after a long break.  The first week has passed and we already are scrimmaging, playing games, and learning new ways to have fun while playing soccer!  B Team coaches, Coaches Burns and Cline, make scrimmaging an enriching and fun experience for all of us.  Our team members love being here and are very helpful and we are already becoming friends outside of soccer. On B Team, it is fun to meet students from all grade levels and learn more of the great game of soccer.  B Team learns new skills through games and other interesting ways that keep soccer fun. GO B TEAM!
B Team has chosen their captains, Paloma and Alexa C.  With their first game on Thursday, September 27th, B Team is working harder than ever to finish reviewing important skills that are both basic and advanced.  The Thursday game is at 3:45 and is home, a little after A Team’s game, and B Team is playing against McDonough School.

If you want to see our upcoming games go to http://www.gfs.org/athletics/scores.aspx

Written by Eve A. & Ashley W.

October Student Profiles

We decided to interview a student from 7th & 8th grade and ask them questions about their daily life at Garrison Forest. We did this because some people like to look through the eyes of another student so they can also get a feel for how their day is as a Garrison girl. We hope you enjoy reading what the students had to say!

7th grade: Chelsea K.
Who is your favorite teacher, why? Mr. Berdan because he is hilarious and a great teacher.
What is your most embarrassing moment that has happened in the middle school? Gillian M. and I made a robot for the musical, Honk. We tried to show the robot and how it worked. When we were presenting in Morning Meeting, our robot broke and everybody started laughing at us!                                                                                                                         Do you like Garrison Forest, why? Yes, because I like my grade. They were welcoming to me when I first started here.
What class do you most enjoy, why? Latin, because I love learning a new language, and I love the teacher Mrs. Mac. 

How many years have you been at Garrison Forest? This is my second year at GFS.

8th grade: Mia M.
Who is your favorite teacher, why? My favorite teacher is Mr. Darrell because he is funny and a great teacher, and I love his teaching style.
How many years have you been here at Garrison? 8 years
Since this is your 3rd year in the middle school, explain your favorite memory so far. Mystery Night because it is a great time to bond with my classmates. Mystery Night is one night each year where your grade goes somewhere that is a surprise. The class parents organize it and take us.
What is your favorite class this year and why? Latin, because I like to learn new languages.                                                                                                                         

What was your most enjoyable year and why? 6th grade because I was just entering Middle School, and I was very excited for the new experience. 
Do you feel you have made any new friends this year? Yes, they are really nice and I love all the new people in our grade.
Do you plan to attend Garrison Forest for Upper School? Why or why not? Yes, because I love GFS and I always will.

Interviewed by Lila Y. & Bridget G.

Kicking off Donald Bentley

The Donald Bentley Food Pantry’s goal is to provide food for families in need. They are located in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. Donald Bentley has been helping families for over 22 years. Garrison Forest has been working with Donald Bentley for many years. We have been holding fun challenges to raise money and visiting the food pantry . This year we will be coordinating Stuff the Bus, the Change Challenge, and other new, fun challenges in the school. For the Change Challenge, students should bring in coins to earn your light and dark points. We will have buckets set up in the lobby and you will put the change into your designated box. We will count it up at the end of the year and whichever side wins will receive a prize! Stuff the Bus is a  challenge that we do to collect cans. It gets lights and darks involved and is really fun! We are going to have a booth at Fall Fest so get excited to help Donald Bentley! You will have opportunities to go to the food pantry so go if you can! Contact Olivia, Raquel, and Gillian if you have any questions!  We are so excited for this year! Are you?

Some things we are going to be doing!

  • Have a booth at Fall Fest
  • Stuff the Bus
  • Change Challenge
  • Advisory challenges
  • Light and Dark 
  • Posting pictures  and videos
  • Reminders for bringing in cans of food
  • Updates on Middle School Donald Bentley contributions
  • Fundraisers


    Here is a video to learn more about Donald Bentley!

    Last year's stats...

    Donald Bentley
    L=160, D=185. TOTAL=345
    MS Forum
    Fall Fest
    Donald Bentley
    $39.68 + $100 donations
    Donald Bentley
    Donald Bentley
    Stuff the Bus Can Drive
    L=1067, D=1067. TOTAL=2134
    MS Forum
    Donald Bentley
    Pasta, Mac-N-Cheese
    L=132, D=59. TOTAL=191
    MS Forum
    Donald Bentley
    Stuff the Lockers Can Drive
    MS Form
    Donald Bentley
    Change Challenge
    Brooke F.

    Last year was really great! Let’s see if we can top it!

    Our first drive is coming up in mid-October. We are starting stuff the bus early this year so don’t forget it’s coming up and bring in cans! Everybody get excited! We will keep posting when we have definite dates for this drive and other drives!

    Written by: Raquel H. & Olivia H.