Lise's Lens: March 3, 2022

This week Lise lists some of the books in her "TBR" pile, reflects on the war in Ukraine, and shares a lifelong travel dream.


  • Sometimes I just don't have the time to read the books I have started, and I have to admit that this has been the case for the past ten days. However, I continue to add books to my TBR (To Be Read) list, because that in itself gives me great pleasure. I was particularly excited by the books recommended in this article from The New York Times. I’ve already purchased two of the French books included! 


  • Like many of you, I’ve found myself glued to coverage of the war in Ukraine, trying to educate myself and stay informed as best I can in spite of the pain, sadness, fear, and anger the situation evokes. Though I was raised Catholic, many of my beliefs incorporate Quaker tenets. My godparents were Quakers, I spent 13 formative years working in a Quaker School, and my children attended a Quaker school as well. One thing that’s stuck with me over time is the Quaker tenet of nonviolence otherwise known as the "peace testimony." For over 300 years, they have promoted ideals of pacifism and promoted peace, and that is a mission that truly resonates with me personally. War is not the answer, and seeing what is happening to the Ukrainian people makes my heart sink. 

    I am thinking of everyone in Ukraine, in addition to those in our own community with friends and family who live there. 

  • There’s a lot going on these days and we all have a lot of important issues on our minds. Still, I think it’s a healthy habit to let your mind wander and escape into a daydream every now and then. I like to plan epic travel expeditions — the more far-fetched, the better. My kids have a running joke about how many places mom has seriously planned on retiring to. 

    One such fabulous trip is one I've been planning and tweaking for over ten years now. Taking me from Europe to India via Africa, this trip would allow me to study the impact of colonialism on countries known for their rich traditions in cloth making. I would start in England and then the Netherlands, visiting museums with vast collections of fabric. Next I would head to Ghana and learn about their vibrant history of fabric making and couture, before heading to Zanzibar to lose myself in the markets. Then I would cross the Indian Ocean to the port city of Goa, before ending my expedition in Madras, another city with a history of fabric making

    Do you have a dream like this? Tell me about it:

Inspired by the work of Yoko Ono, students in Alison Safford's "From Venus to Guerrilla Girls: Women Redefining Self Through Art" course provided tags, ribbon, and writing materials for community members to contribute to a "Wish Tree," a string of art surrounding the stairs between the Garthwaite and the Art Building. 

Here's a clip from their note to the community: "We, as a class, would like to invite the CSW community to participate in one of her actions, the Wish Tree. We have been through numerous turmoils these past few years, often feeling beyond our control. Ono believed in the power of hope, of envisioning the kind of world we want to live in. We would like you to join us in doing the same."

Here is a photo of their project come to life!

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.