Lise's Lens: February 3, 2022

In this week's edition of Lise's Lens, Lise shares a highlight from the recent AISNE Heads' Retreat, in addition to thoughts on Giveon, the recent threats against our nation's HBCUs, the Lunar New Year, and the wildlife that surrounds her home here in Weston. 


  • In this brief piece from Vanity FairEveryone's swooning for Giveon — I learned about Giveon, a newcomer to R&B. In thinking about our students and their anxieties about the future and stress around future success, I thought it compelling that Giveon had no idea that his opportunity was around the corner when it came to him.That’s the funny thing about life: we just don't know what's around the corner.

  • I had the pleasure of attending a reading and conversation with writer Gish Jen at last week’s AISNE retreat (read more below!), and was fascinated by this article she wrote for Scientific American back in 2020: What Social Distancing Reveals about East-West Differences. It reminds me about some data I learned about introverts and extroverts when reading the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.


  • I love nature and I feel so privileged to live on a campus that is surrounded by it. During the pandemic when campus was closed, it seemed like every living creature decided to claim its place. First there was the fisher cat living next to my garage. Then there was the adorable woodchuck that kept eating all my tomatoes! But my absolute favorite amongst them is an owl, yet to be spotted, whom I’ve come to consider as "my owl.” I've always wanted to hear an owl, and it finally happened last year! It hoots very late into the night in a deep and resonating way. Somehow it's comforting and it feels like we are connected.
  • At last week's AISNE (Association for Independent Schools of New England) Heads’ Retreat I had the great pleasure of listening in person to an author do a reading at a relaxing fireside chat. The author was Gish Jen, who read from her soon-to-be-released collection of short stories, Thank you, Mr. Nixon (Penguin Random House). The story she read to us was “Mr. Crime and Punishment and War and Peace,” which takes place inside a class at Harvard Law School. I found the story brilliantly written, witty, and creative. Gish astutely juxtaposes people who are from individualistic societies and those who are not, revealing the challenge of speaking from the “I” perspective for so many in our world.

    Gish noted that along her journey, the teachers who influenced her the most were those who provided warmth, giving her a sense of being heard and seen. This made me think of our students here at CSW, and the many chances they have to build relationships with our wonderful teachers and staff, as well as the many courses they are afforded the opportunity to take. Gish calls such opportunities “entry points” into passion

    It was an inspiring hour for me, to say the least!


  • I'm thinking about how awful it is that our nation's HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) have received so many bomb threats in the past three days.When I think of what the college experience has been like for the past two years with the pandemic, the last thing students need is another disruption, and just as we launch Black History Month. Black History Month should be a month when we both learn about the history of Blacks in America as well as celebrate the many wonderful accomplishments of Blacks and their communities in the United States. I hope we can all stand with these communities with resolve and determination to find the culprits and allow these campuses to go back to the great work they are doing.

  • I have been thinking a lot about the Lunar New Year and how hard it must be for so many in our community not to be able to celebrate in person with their families as they normally would — in some cases, for several years in a row. 


It was a delight to be able to join in the Lunar New Year festivities this week. We had a delicious meal in the dining hall to celebrate. Here’s a photo of some of the beautiful decorations in our Warren House dorm. Thank you to our dorm parents and families for helping to put this together. 


The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.