Eliot Schrefer, the author of several highly acclaimed novels including Rescued, Endangered and Threatened, the first three novels in the Ape Quartet, visited with Saint David's sixth and seventh graders last week. In preparation for Mr. Schrefer's visit, each boy received a copy of Rescued.
Mr. Schrefer shared with the boys his writing and research processes, in particular his experiences traveling to the Republic of Congo to study primates, people, and the settings in which they encounter each other. The boys learned about Lola ya Bonobo, a sanctuary for the endangered Bonobo great ape species. They discovered that humans share 98.7 percent of their DNA with the apes, and that apes show affection by grooming each other (the balder the ape, the more popular!)
The boys enjoyed a fascinating discussion with this published author, courtesy of our Parents Association Author Series.
On Tuesday evening, Lidia Bastianich, award-winning chef, restaurateur, television host and author, visited Saint David's to speak to the Saint David's Alumni Parent community and current Eighth Grade.
Interviewed by Alumni Parent Dr. Joseph Haddad for our Alumni Parent Council Lecture, Lidia recounted her youth in Istria when the once Italian peninsula shifted to communist reign after World War II, her two years spent as a refugee in Trieste, and her experiences after her family immigrated to America when she was eleven years old.
The boys were fascinated with her discussion about her family's escape
from Istria and her life as a refugee and immigrant. She
expressed her everlasting gratitude
to the people who provided assistance to her family in Trieste and when
they first arrived in New York. "I can't talk enough about the goodness
of the people who helped us," she
said. "I am where I am because of them."
Former Navy SEAL and Saint David's Alumnus Bill Berrien '82 fascinated all during his Chapel Talk Tuesday morning to our seventh and eighth graders.
A SEAL for nine years, Bill was a member of two platoons in South America as well as part of a Joint Special Operations unit. He shared his SEAL Trident with the boys, talked about the intensity of training, and noted he remains close to many with whom he served.
Connecting his service to the values that Saint David's espouses, he encouraged the boys to always be students--curious throughout their lives, to find the best in everyone, appreciate setbacks, and to learn from failures. In the video above, he addresses the first.
He closed by planting these "seeds" for our boys to consider: that life is a journey to be embraced broadly with openness to a variety of opportunities; being a service leader is of utmost importance; the unknown should be embraced; and, finally, that the boys be their own best friend, compassi…
Eighth graders and their teachers have arrived in Rome and are enjoying the first day of the 10-day Italian Study Tour.
Their first stop was St. Paul's Outside the Walls, where Cardinal Harvey, Archpriest of the papal basilica, provided a tour. Later, the boys visited the Spanish Steps, and toured the Pantheon.
Over the next two weeks the boys will visit sites in Rome, Assisi, and Florence. They will see in person the paintings, sculpture, and architecture that they have studied in the interdisciplinary humanities class. Each day their understanding will be deepened as they write about the experience and sketch the various works in their journals.
This trip is an exceptional opportunity for our boys to augment their in-class learning, build experience as citizens of the world beyond New York City, and strengthen their bonds as a graduating class.
I can't wait to join the boys and their teachers later in the week!