Ecolianers Return to School — and the Ski Slopes

Friday, 10. January 2014

by Daniel Davis Wood

Winter Term at the Ecole d’Humanité kicked off yesterday and today with new students introduced to the school community and with all students introduced, or reintroduced, to the ski slopes.

After returning to the Ecole campus on Wednesday night, students gathered in the Grossen Saal on Thursday morning for a special assembly to welcome them back to school. As was the case last term, the opening assembly was conducted by Sarah Hudspith and Alain Richard.

This time around, Sarah and Alain told the inspirational story of Dave Dahl in order to address the theme of ‘transformation.’ Born into a family of bakers in Portland, Oregon, Dahl grew up learning the family trade but turned to a life of crime in his adult years. When he was sentenced to fifteen years in prison, however, Dahl made an effort to transform himself into a better, more responsible, and more capable person, abstaining from drug use and working hard to develop musical and handwork skills. Upon his release, he created his own bakery business in Portland and then expanded it to a stage at which it now sells bread in a dozen American states. As Sarah and Alain put it, Dahl’s story illustrates the degree to which anyone can transform their lives when they decide to take responsibility for themselves, their wellbeing, and their abilities.

At the end of the opening assembly, following Ecole tradition, new students and new teachers were introduced to everyone else by name and welcomed into the Ecole community. Afterwards, students were given their first taste of what lies ahead for them this term as they were familiarized with the rules and regulations of the ski slopes. Then, shortly after they woke this morning, all students went up onto the slopes to test their skills at winter sports.

For one day each week this term, morning classes will be canceled so that the entire Ecole community can take part in winter sports up on the mountain. Students can choose to either ski or snowboard on these days, as well as receiving regular skiing and snowboarding lessons throughout the term. First, though, our instructors needed to observe the current abilities of each student, and that’s what happened today to help students get ready for the winter ahead.