Parents' Day 2013

Sonntag, 17. November 2013

by Daniel Davis Wood

A cold spell gave this year’s Parents’ Day a decidedly wintery feel as mist enshrouded the campus while snowfall covered the ground in fresh white powder. Nevertheless, there were plenty of indoor activities to give parents a warm welcome as they arrived here to watch the Ecole in action.

Parents’ Day is an annual event that allows the families of Ecole students to see what Ecolianers get up to during term time. As well as inviting parents into their academic classes, students arrange exhibitions of arts and crafts and special music and dance performances to show off their extracurricular gifts.

Click here to view a selection of photographs of Parents' Day 2013.

Top: the snowy outdoors.
Bottom: the Folk Band performs inside the Grossen Saal.

After students and parents were comfortably gathered in the Grossen Saal, the day kicked off with a performance of traditional music from the Ecole Folk Band and opening addresses by Barbara Hanusa, Ashley Curtis, and Enrico Simen, the leaders of the school. Outside the Grossen Saal, the school’s Farmstand Group sold granola and muffins they had prepared using fresh ingredients while the Cheesemaking Group offered mütschli and soft cheeses made from the milk of the Ecole goats. Downstairs, parents and students browed through textile designs, decoupaged furniture, woodwork projects, jewelry, stone carvings, and artwork created by Ecolianiers in their afternoon courses.

Regular classes came next, with parents joining students for their morning lessons, and afterwards everyone walked a little way uphill from the school campus for a special banquet lunch at the Hasliberg Congresssaal.

The afternoon gave parents a chance to see some extracurricular workshops in action — woodworking, stonemasonry, blacksmithing, and silversmithing were all underway, and live music was pumping out of the band room — while academic advisors were also available to discuss students' progress in the classroom.

Textiles and decoupage on display for parents.

At the end of the day, students and parents returned to the Grossen Saal for a showcase of music and drama. The Singensemble performed a traditional Hebrew traveling song followed by a jazz tune from Brazil. Swiss Matura students taking a class in French Theater performed a scene from a longer play inspired by a poem by Guillame Apollinaire. A call for volunteers went out, asking for willing students to step forward and show their parents an impromptu folkdance performance, and then the Folkdance Performance Group took to the stage to offer something a little more polished. Finally, song sheets were passed around the hall so that everyone could take part in singing some of the school community’s favorite folk songs, and on that note the day drew to a close. Parents returned home enriched by having seen what Ecole students produce and accomplish, and students returned to their Ecole houses proud of having been able to share their work and their talents.