I went to work Monday and had a regular day. Tuesday morning my colleagues and I headed up to Vershire, VT, to Milton's The Mountain School (TMS). Basically, high-school juniors from all over the country can study for a semester at TMS. It's a working farm, so in addition to studying (and the curriculum, classes, and grading are no walk in the park), the students shear sheep, milk cows, cook, wash dishes, harvest crops, and learn outdoors stuff like orienteering and survival skills. The experience culminates in a three-day-long "solo" out in the wilderness. They cannot use any electronics and have to last three days in the wild with nothing to do but a notebook and stuff to read.
Anyway, we go up to do some college counseling for the kids to make sure they don't fall behind while they are up there. The kids are so fascinating, it's a great time. Plus the food is absolutely amazing. The salads use lettuce that is grown right there on the farm and is harvested just a few hours before you eat it. I've never tasted anything there over the past two years that wasn't delicious. We arrived Tuesday on time for lunch, prepped folders, and then had a group meeting (I had to meet with 6 kids while up there) and four individual meetings. Then we had dinner and drinks with the head of school. Then we were off to the Devil's Den in Chelsea, VT, where Rhoda (4th or 5th generation Vermonter) took good care of us. Rhoda is a hot ticket!
When we woke Wednesday morning, there was snow on the ground and it was freezing. Actually it was worse than freezing: 22 degrees! Here's what the mountain school looked like:
The dining hall is really cool. They have couches in the middle of the room, and they have brief meetings before meals. Before dinner, we heard a teacher and student perform. The student played the guitar and sang, and the teacher accompanied him. It's such a cool place!
The place is very sustainable. They have compost toilets (but running water), borax for soap, and they use bandanas for napkins--no paper.
After we finished at the mountain school around 11AM on Wednesday, we drove home and stopped at Simon Pearce for lunch on the way home. That restaurant (I think it's in Quichee, VT?) has got to be one of my absolute favorites. Plus, everything tastes better because Milton's paying and I can order what I really want! I had the best salad I've ever tasted in my entire life. I googled the salad and Simon Pearce and came up with the recipe! Have to try it!! They use malt vinegar in the dressing--I never would have thought of that!
We didn't get home, because of traffic, until around 5:45PM, and then I hit traffic on rte. 24, too. I just made it home in time to see the boys before they went to bed.
Thursday I went to Milton but chaperoned senior skip day, which turned out to be a trip to the Big Apple Circus in Government Center. I hate circuses, and I was probably under 10 years old the last time I went. I hate the idea of them. But I have to admit, this was pretty cool! They had horses and dogs, and that was the part I could do without. I think it's terrible to have horses in the CITY where they can't run around. Anyway, it was a fun morning.
Friday was a busy day because I was making up for lost time in the office. I was so glad when the weekend rolled around!
Today we didn't have music class because it's April vacation (although not for us!). We had banana pancakes for breakfast and then Carlos took the boys to Mini's house while I went to the dentist and headed for the laundromat. It turns out our washing machine needs to be replaced...the new one doesn't come until next Saturday! While the boys napped after lunch, I did some raking in the back yard. It was hard work because the leaves were pretty wet and it made it hard to drag the tarp filled with leaves to the back of the yard to dump. But it looks better! Unfortunately, we still have a ton more yard work to do.
When the boys woke, we headed to Bird Park in Walpole. It's a huge park with paths that run through it. They also have a basketball court/paved area where they have a bunch of cozy coupes and tricycles out for people to use. The playground is for 2-5 year olds (perfect size!), and it's pretty big. I took the boys there last summer, but this was the first time Carlos had ever been. The boys loved it!
Busy day tomorrow, too. I'll post about it and take as many pictures as I can!