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Parent Update: April 16, 2019

Spring at the NMH Farm Is Sweet
On the NMH farm, the arrival of spring marks the end of six weeks of effort devoted to that most cherished New England ritual, maple sugaring. For generations, NMH students have collected sap from the sugar maples on campus in February and March, and then boiled it down to make maple syrup for the community. In the late winter and early spring — as the daytime temperatures creep above freezing, but the nights remain cold — the sugar maples begin to send sap from their root systems up to the trees’ canopy in preparation for the growing season.  

By inserting a small spout just an inch or two into the heartwood of the tree, sap is diverted into buckets or lines of plastic tubing. When the sap starts to flow, teams of students go out to gather it all and bring it back to the farm. Thousands of gallons of sap are collected at a time, and when enough is collected, the evaporator is fired up, and the sap is boiled down to make syrup. On a typical boiling day, you will see students stoking the evaporator’s raging wood fire, taking precise measurements of the syrup with a hydrometer, drawing off buckets of finished syrup, filtering it, and finally bottling it for sale in the farm store and online or for delivery to Alumni Hall.  

This year, students from six states and five countries came together for the common cause of making hundreds of gallons of syrup and memories to last a lifetime. Sugaring really is one of the sweetest parts of life at NMH!

NMH Holds “Day of Care”
NMH’s first Day of Care exemplifies that an NMH education truly is for the head, heart, and hand. The goal of the April 23 event is to highlight and celebrate the reciprocal relationship between caring for others and caring for ourselves.

NMH strives to empower students to live with humanity and purpose; these important lessons are the objectives of the day. Students will participate in different activities depending on their grade level. The 9th- and 11th-grade students will devote the morning to service activities such as cooking meals for a local community meals program and cleaning up the yards of our elderly neighbors, while the 10th- and 12th-grade students will participate in workshops that focus on wellness and care of the self, such as sleep hygiene, mindfulness, and orienteering. The structure of the day is designed to allow students to cycle through the service and wellness components each year as they progress from the 9th through 12th grade. 

The day will culminate with a talk by Dr. Wilfredo Giordano Perez ’04. Giordano-Perez will share his personal experience as a physician practicing global health and medicine and his own need to cultivate practices that support simplicity, balance, and time for reflection in order to meet others’ needs in the most optimal way.  Giordano-Perez will offer students the practical tips for stress reduction and relaxation that he shares with his own patients.

To end the Day of Care, the religious studies and philosophy department and the Student Interfaith Council will host a panel discussion focused on compassion. This will be an opportunity to hear  from various faith and non-faith perspectives. The panel will comprise six speakers who will share how compassion is understood from their perspectives and what the challenges are to living a life of compassion. The question-and-answer session will be moderated by Erick Jara ’20, a member of the Interfaith Council. 

Compassion Week to Feature Sand Mandala’s Creation

Seven Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery in India will create a sand mandala during their April 22–26 stay at NMH. Their visit is the centerpiece of NMH’s Compassion Week. It also features a panel discussion with representatives from several spiritual traditions, and a “Day of Care” keynote talk by Dr. Wilfredo Giordano-Perez ’04 titled “Walking the Camino: How I learned to Embrace Simplicity, Allow for Balance and Time for Reflection.” NMH students can participate in projects aimed at caring for themselves and others. 

The monks’ visit is part of NMH’s comprehensive world religions curriculum. In addition to forming important connections with our humanities courses, the wider NMH community will have the opportunity to talk about worldviews, spirituality, and relevant global issues. As with all academic and student-life initiatives that happen on campus, the school invites questions and discussion about the mandala art, the monks’ religious traditions, and other aspects of Buddhism. A visit to campus by Tibetan Buddhist monks a decade ago sparked similar conversations among students and their advisors and teachers.

Starting on April 22, the monks will create an intricate mandala dedicated to the bodhisattva of compassion. Millions of grains of sand will be painstakingly laid in place, one by one, on a flat platform, using a traditional funnel and rod to distribute the sand. The finished mandala represents the world in its divine form, and the monks believe creating it generates energies for global healing.

NMH students may interact with the monks individually and during class visits to Grandin Auditorium, where the mandala will take shape. 

On April 23, a 6:30 pm panel discussion on compassion will feature faculty and invited guests from faith traditions including Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism.

On April 26 at 1:50 pm, the monks will dismantle the mandala during a closing ceremony, and deposit the sand in Shadow Lake. This act is a metaphor for the impermanence of life, and is believed to disperse the mandala’s healing energies throughout the world.

The monks’ visit to NMH is sponsored by The Ed and Ginny Brooks Speaker Series and the CDQ Charitable Trust.


Charlie’s Challenge: Don’t miss your opportunity to join students and NMH employees in supporting this challenge. Show the NMH community that NMH parents are all in!  Make a participatory gift today. 

New photos and videos of students: Recent additions to our Flickr galleries are class photographs, Intro Biology and Honors Chemistry classes,  the student art show, Cum Laude Society inductees, jazz concerts, campus visitors, a student-directed play, and golf, baseball, and softball players in action. Our social-media posts are always aggregated on NMH Social.

Commencement eve dinner reservations: Reservations for the May 25, 2019, Commencement eve dinner can be made here. Reservations are required, and the deadline is May 19. The dinner is held in Alumni Hall from 6:30 to 8 pm. Commencement 2019 is on May 26; details can be found here

Commencement flowers: Order a card and flowers for your graduate today! You can also purchase cards to thank teachers or others who have played an important role during your student's time at NMH. Orders are due by May 11.

Order “Hogger packs”: It’s time to place your order for “Hogger packs,” exam-time care packages. They are delivered to student dorms with a personalized note of encouragement from you. Please complete this order form by May 13 and contact Cris Ramirez with questions. 

Sacred Concert set for May: For 125 years, the school has gathered in Northfield for a performance of spiritual music. Join us for this beloved annual tradition! You are invited to join musicians for a special dessert reception in Ford Cottage on Saturday, May 4, at 7:30 pm. If you would like to attend this reception, RSVP by April 26. Learn more about this NMH tradition.

Academic honors announced: Congratulations to our new Cum Laude honor society inductees and the 2019 valedictorian and salutatorians. Learn who earned these honors

New rowing shells to be dedicated: Please join us as we dedicate new rowing shells, and recognize and celebrate supporters of NMH Rowing, on Saturday, May 4, at 2:30 pm on the south lawn of Alumni Hall. Learn the boats’ names, and RSVP, here
Summer Session at NMH: Space is still available for NMH Summer Session. Don’t miss this enriching opportunity.

Summer storage and shipping information: Need a way to ship your student’s belongings home from school or store them for the summer? NMH has made special arrangements with ​The UPS Store to ship worldwide or store items until the fall. Get details here. 

Athletes of the week: Congratulations to recent athletics honorees Connor Theriault ’20 (varsity lacrosse), Sara O’Keefe ’20 (Ultimate Frisbee), and seniors Jada Scotland and Richard Sturtevant (both track and field). Find out why each was selected. 

Debate team wins: The NMH Debate Society scored another victory March 31 in the third annual tournament hosted on the NMH campus. Read more about the victory here

Ask the doc: Let’s keep the line of communication open! We invite you to ask the NMH Health Center and Dr. Sara Rourke ’94 questions. Please submit your health and wellness questions using this form. Your questions will help shape future parent communications. 

Purchase a global graduation sash: All students graduating in May can purchase a global sash for commencement to represent their home country/ies or their study-abroad experience. To purchase a sash, submit this form and pay by adding funds to your student's NMH Card (Student Spending Account) at the NMH ePayment Portal. The order deadline is April 26 at 4 pm, EST. 

All-American wrestlers: In the final week of the wrestling season, NMH competed in the National Preps Championship in Bethlehem, PA. Congratulations to Noah Burstein ’19 and Aiden Hanning ’21, who earned All-American honors. 

Coding team is victorious: NMH's competitive computer coding team took first-place honors at a 24-team competition recently. Read more, and see the problems they solved.

Upcoming Events

4/18 The Wantman State of the World Speaker: Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA) (parents welcome to attend)
4/23 NMH Day of Care
4/25 Welcome celebration for Linda and Brian Hargrove in New York City
4/26-28 Spring Diversity Summit
4/28 Room draw for 2019–20
5/4 SAT test
5/4 NMH Rowing: boat dedication
5/5 125th Concert of Sacred Music
5/10 Food Systems Teach-In
5/22–24 Spring final exams
5/25 Commencement eve dinner
5/26 Commencement exercises

A bird's eye view


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