Lise's Lense: January 20, 2022

In this week's edition of Lise's Lens, Lise discusses "purpose learning," MLK's legacy, an interview with the musician Cordae, and the TV series Abbott Elementary — among other topics.


  • It was my full intention to join a group of fellow citizens in community service earlier this week on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For a variety of reasons, this didn't happen. However, I wanted to mark the day for two reasons: to honor the sacrifices of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to engage in my own personal retreat on the very important questions he poses around action, accountability, and the status quo around poverty with all of its ramifications in this wealthy country. So I didn't leave the house to do in-person community service, but I filled it with my own readings and meditations — some of which came from Dr. Nyle Fort’s list of recommendations, compiled here by our library

  • NAIS Independent School Magazine is about to come out with their Winter Issue, which includes an article on “purpose learning.” Though difficult to define, this growing movement in education happens when “students develop a meaningful connection to someone or something outside of themselves—and they do something about it.” In reading this piece, I couldn’t help but think of our PACE program, specifically the Community Engagement part of it, which officially re-launches in Mod 4. I am proud of our school for being one of the leading pioneers behind this trend.


  • As I sought to expand my own personal understanding of the work and legacy of MLK Jr. this week (see above), I found myself gravitating towards content related to King’s concerns surrounding the evils of poverty and under- and unemployment. Here is one example of a great interview with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

  • On Saturday, I listened to an NPR interview with Grammy-nominated artist Cordae on his latest album, From A Bird's Eye View. I was particularly struck by his belief that every person has an “assignment,” or a “pre-assigned journey,” and his story behind the song “Mama’s Hood,” which he wrote after losing a friend. He talked about how writing the song was a form of grieving for him, which he found very therapeutic.

  • A friend from way back told me to watch the new series on NBC called Abbott Elementary. I’ve watched two episodes and so far it seems like it has great writing, it’s funny (it’s a sitcom), and it captures teaching well.

  • I have been thinking a lot about what transpired at the Synagogue in Texas over the weekend. In case you missed it, here are a few of my thoughts on the matter. I continue to reflect on all of the responses and suggestions Rosanna and I have received this week. Thank you to all who reached out!

We gathered all of our Affinity, Alliance, and Interest groups together to take photos for the yearbook yesterday during community time. It filled me with great pride to witness the diverse array of student-led offerings we have available to our students. It’s clear that these groups have already forged lifelong bonds with one another.


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.