Back to School! 2023

Alums from the Classes of 1952 through 2017 returned to 100 East End Avenue on the first of February for the beloved “Back to School” evening. Each became a student (again!) by pre-selecting one of four intriguing classes* to attend. After an hour of joyful learning, attendees and teachers gathered for a festive reception that spilled out of the Berendsen Room. Guests enjoyed catching up with one another, chatting about what they learned and showing off creations made in class! When asked about the event, attendees shared the following sentiments: “The best, best evening. Made me wish I was a Chapin student again,” “Loved the behind the scenes look at the current student experience,” and “Walking through the doors of 100 East End is like coming home. I loved catching up with my classmates and continuing my learning journey.”

*Below are the descriptions of the four classes alums could choose from:

Design Thinking in the Fabrication Lab, led by David Arnstein (Head of Upper School Science)
The Hayot Center for Innovation has various options for fabricating objects (laser cutting, 3D printing, CNC carving, vacuum forming) and CAD software for design (Adobe Illustrator, TinkerCad). You will begin this evening by constructing a variety of automata to see how they work and will then create one of your own designs. This process will give you an opportunity to face challenges, prototype possibilities, experiment with novel ideas and engineer solutions. With any luck (and new skills), you’ll leave with a piece of functioning whimsy.

“Sit by Five Hollyhocks” Creative Writing, led by Jenet Dibble (Head of Middle School Humanities)
When was the last time we flexed our creative writing muscles? As adults, we often write because we have to compose an email, a reply, a report or memo. In these 45 minutes, we will immerse ourselves, playfully, in words. And we will create together, leisurely, because we want to. (“Sit by five hollyhocks” from the poem “Accomplished Facts” by Carl Sandburg.)

How Ought the United States Respond to the Suppression of Free Speech? Led by Suzanne Fogarty (Head of School) and Jim Shapiro (Speech and Debate Program Coordinator)
Given the tendency of many modern and illiberal nation states to effectively muzzle free speech and freedom of political discourse, even in an era of worldwide access to the internet, how should the US government respond with its foreign policy? Join “President Fogarty” as she seeks counsel from everyone attending this discussion group who will be sworn in as advisory ethicists.

Individual Study Presentations, moderated by Ilana Pergam ’86 (Director of Academic Program)
Four Class 12 students present Individual Studies that they are in the process of pursuing. These includ Isabelle T. in Spanish, “COVID-19 and Language Barriers;” Chloe C. in History, “Silence and Discretion: Witchcraft, Religion and the Supernatural in Inquisitorial Spain;” Natalia L. in English and Art, “Black Poetics: How We Dream – An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Legacy, Freedom and Speculation through the work of Phillis Wheatley;” and Whitney P. in Latin and Music, “Cupid & Psyche: The Musical.”