Junot Diaz – Wednesday April 30th…

“In some ways I think that this book waited for me to become a better person before it wrote itself”
– Junot Diaz on The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Be sure to see Pulitzer Prize award winner, and MIT professor Junot Diaz as he reads, answers questions and works with Carol Morgan high school students on Wednesday. Junot was born here in the Dominican Republic and is this year’s “artist in residence”; the excitement and accolades that have recently been bestowed upon him for his work The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Have generated an amazing buzz on and around the CMS campus.

Tune in to our Ustream.tv channel and don’t let this opporutnity pass you by.

10:15 – 10:50 – High School Assembly (Reading & Q&A Session)
coming to YouTube soon…

11:05 – 11:50 -Workshop#1 – the sound quality is audible but low
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/383850

12:00 – 12:45 – Workshop #2- the sound quality is audible but low
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/383938

6:00 – 7:30 – Parent/Teacher Reading and Q&A Session
mp3 version of talk
coming to YouTube soon…
time zone – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic GMT -4

And all the while…construction continues:

April 25, 2008

img 1: http://www.thedeelirium.com/wp-content/uploads/screenshot3.jpeg
img2: with great thanks to Osiris

Junot Diaz, Pulitzers, Heart Care Dominicana & Construction…

“In some ways I think that this book waited for me to become a better person before it wrote itself”
– Junot Diaz on The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

It isn’t everyday you get the opportunity to meet a Pulitzer prize winner, it also isn’t everyday that he comes to do a workshop at your school. This novel was bounced around in Junot Diaz’s head for more then a decade and last night the jurors confirmed what anyone who has read the novel already knew – that the time spent polishing and perfecting was all for the betterment of the readers’ experience. A couple of months ago we reached an agreement with Junot Diaz to come as our artist in residence. Last night he was awarded the Pulitzer for Fiction. What an opportunity for the students! Something tells me the students who get to work closely with Junot will have the opportunity to learn about patience, revision and not settling for anything but their absolute best. Pending approval from Mr. Diaz we will look to broadcast some of his time on Ustream and on CMS Radio so stay tuned – i will put more details up here. (New York Times article, Slate interview).
On a personal note not only am i happy to see this award going to a Dominican but also my book club read this book in December and the discussion was one of the best that we have had.  When i asked one of the more well read members of the group to comment (for this blog) on the committee’s selection of Oscar, he responded with this:

The choice of Oscar Wao for the Pulitzer for fiction evinces a sensitivity for the peculiar by the Pulitzer nominating committee at Columbia (they chose Middlesex, too!). Oscar’s skewed narrative structure, delightfully esoteric pop-culture references, and hipper-than-thou wordplay cast it as a somewhat unlikely recipient for what will now assuredly be even wider appeal than it has achieved up to this point. The book’s increasing success is a great endorsement of the level of literary appreciation in the states right now. 

If you have yet to read it, go out and get it.

As for this week we have kicked off Heart Care Dominicana week. Last year we raised just less then 300,000 pesos this year we have a school-wide goal of 320,000 enough to provide 4 lifesaving surgeries to children in need. Our high school students have a wonderful service based relationship volunteering at the hospital but this annual even literally saves lives and is the stuff that makes a school community proud of its students. This student created video was shown at the launch assembly yesterday:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/8SDE-IYBDtY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

follow our progress through this page on our HighSchool Wiki

Wow lots going on here…and all the while construction of our new media center continues:


April 7, 2008

img from: http://www.republicaupdate.com/images/2007/09/03/junot_wao_cover.jpg

back at it…

The shortest distance between two points is under construction.
– Noelie Altito

Spring break is over, it was fantastic; relaxing, sharing time with family, unplugging and the week was really marked by some pretty massive waves and some good wind (despite being off-season) – in short everybody wins!

When is the last time you truly unplugged? For how long? I had this discussion with a number of seniors last week and the results kinda scared me. Then i looked inward to see the time that i am spending looking at a screen every day – yikes. After a full week away i must say that the screen break was nice and needs to be scheduled more regularly.

Well we were off on the north coast relaxing the school engineer was overseeing the real beginning of our new media center’s construction. It is pretty exciting stuff to see the footprint start to take shape. It is going to be a tangible expression of the link we at CMS see between library and technology and the fact that the new building will be located at the physical heart of the campus couldn’t be scripted any better. So with construction back underway i return to a weekly image to share our progress with you:


March 27, 2008

So as i slowly work through a weeks worth of posts to get caught up on i found these two particularly thought provoking and thought that you might too:

Diligence on the School of EverythingEveryone has something to learn, everyone has something to teach
Education 4 Well Being
‘s recent video on fear, original music, great quotes and the slick finish that is becoming synonymous with ED4WB’s postings.

Huge News!
Our Artist in residence program for 2008 is confirmed. It is one that is not going to be forgotten any time soon, Junot Diaz author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) and Drown (1996) will be working with our students and staff on April 30th. The opportunity for our high school students to work with a writer of Junot’s caliber is nothing short of incredible. The hard work of deputy head Ernest Peterson to bring Mr. Diaz to Carol Morgan while the “buzz” surrounding him and his recent work is peaking is nothing short of incredible! It is work that will pay off ten fold in providing students (and their teachers) with a learning experience far beyond anything they could ever imagine. I am looking forward to seeing him at work and attending the evening teacher/parent session. If you haven’t read Oscar yet, i highly recommend it (goodreads).

img src: http://www.nydailynews.com/img/2007/10/10/amd_viva13.jpg