Smoke wafted from behind room 310 last week. If you have been at HT either as a student or faculty member for more than a year, you would know that it’s that time of year again, and Mrs. Rodby is doing another raku firing with her Ceramics I students. Rumors for those not in my classes start flying because students think I am roasting “raccoons”!
The firing process that we know of as Raku was developed somewhere between the late 1300’s and the 1500’s (depending on whose history books you are reading) by Zen Buddhist Masters as part of their tea ceremony. This way of firing their pottery suited the Zen Masters because it exhibited the belief that all creation is beautiful – even the rough surfaces and glaze cracks that occur in the Raku firing process. The name Raku means enjoyment, contentment and pleasure.
Posted in Education, The Arts
Tagged brevard, ceramic, education, florida, holy trinity episcopal academy, htea, melbourne, pottery, private school, raku
This past winter break a small group of seventeen HTEA high school students took a trip of a lifetime to the Galapagos Islands. I was one of these lucky few. I went with an interest in nature photography in mind. How many other places on Earth could you go to take snapshots of nature completely unadulterated by human influence? The Galapagos is a cluster of islands formed over a hotspot in the Earth’s crust. It consists of hundreds of islands of all shapes and sizes. They lie about 700 miles West of the Ecuadorian coast, a short plane hop from Guayaquil, the main stop before anyone enters the islands.
It had finally happened: 32 students are staring at me. Each of them is dressed in a traditional dobok. They are standing perfectly still and arranged in rigid lines. My palms are sweating and my stomach is turning in knots. It’s the first week of my summer vacation and I’m wishing I could transport myself back to the beach I was at just hours earlier. I’m looking around the room and I can barely catch a hint of a patch, the South Korean flag, on each of their left sleeves. I had been dreading this day. I knew this day would happen eventually, but I didn’t realize that this moment would change my life. I was nowhere near realizing it then; I was just trying to make it through the next 60 minutes without making a complete mockery of myself.
From the contextual clues, you might have guessed what’s going on; but then again, Tae Kwon Do isn’t exactly the most well-known sport in the United States. I guess I could have started by saying that I am a martial artist. Continue reading
Posted in Athletics, Career, Education, Summer
Tagged 21st century, brevard, discipline, education, florida, holy trinity episcopal academy, htea, integrity, jr. olympics, martial arts, master, melbourne, olympics, perseverance, private school, role model, tae kwon do, teacher