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Lise's Lens: October 26, 2023

This week I am thinking about the power of music, the housing insecurity crisis here in the U.S., and our upcoming visitors from Japan!

WHAT I’M READING
 
  • If I’m being honest, which I really try to be, it’s been hard for me to focus on reading anything this week. I’m finishing up a novel for my class next mod but aside from that, my mind wanders. There are three big items weighing on me. I can’t stop thinking about the Middle East, the situation in Haiti (where I’m from), and the challenge of homelessness… This morning’s trigger for me was an article I read in The New York Times that highlighted a single mother with one child, in the state of Washington, earning $72,000 (ironically, as a social worker), who couldn’t find an affordable place to rent. She now lives in a parking lot that has been designated for those facing housing insecurity. I think this is such a shock and such a shame. 

    So, I am basically spending too much time in my “circle of concern” and need to reduce that time and follow my own advice, which is to hover more in my “circle of influence.” I am trying hard to practice what I preach! I wonder how you are all doing?  
 
WHAT I’M THINKING/TALKING ABOUT
 
  • I cannot wait for the arrival of our guests from Japan as part of the CSW Kakehashi (bridge) Project! One of CSW’s values is global engagement and to have this special opportunity for students from both of our countries to be hosts and receive one another on our respective campuses and countries is such an honor and privilege. I am grateful for CSW alum Adrian Vele ’07, and Pamela Torres for all their work to make this happen. And I’m thrilled to be one of the staff traveling to Okinawa with the students in March!

WHAT I'M WATCHING/LISTENING TO
 
  • Last Friday, I counted my blessings for being here at CSW as I shared the opportunity to enjoy a performance by pianist Sally Pinkas and the Apple Hill String Quartet. My assistant Sherrill and I went over to the Music Wing during C Block expecting to stay for a quick 20 minutes. Well, we simply couldn’t pull ourselves away! The music was incredible and we were even able to hear from the musicians directly. I got lost in their first piece, “Mishima,” by Philip Glass. Take a listen.  It will take you places. It was also at the end of a particularly painful week in the news and it made me really appreciate the power of music to provide solace through trauma and loss. It is a balm for the soul. It moved me to tears and to prayer.
 
WHAT CAUGHT MY EYE
 
A captivated audience on Wednesday as we all, students and adults, listened and learned from former CSW faculty member Steve Cohen, a senior lecturer at Tufts University, as he gave us a background on the Middle East.
 
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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.