Pat Thompson, parent of a Friends School of Minnesota 2008 graduate, was a guest in the 1st and 2nd grade Prairie classroom this week. She reflects on her visit:
When I donated a box of costume jewelry to Friends School of Minnesota, I didn’t expect to end up meeting with five 6-year-olds to discuss cameos and class rings.
It started out pretty simple. My daughter Ruby and I cleaned out her room this summer as she prepared to return for her sophomore year in college. “What about this jewelry box?” I asked her. “Keep or give away?”
She made a frowny face, but acknowledged that she didn’t really need to keep it. We decided to give it to Friends School of Minnesota, which she attended for nine years. Maybe they could use it in the dress-up area in Extended Day, or in art class.
A few weeks later, I got a call from Annamary, the school secretary. It turned out the first and second grade Prairie classroom was approaching their learning this year as detectives, and their teacher, Sally Wiedeman, had come to the office looking for something mysterious she could give the kids to investigate. The jewelry box was the perfect thing.
Isn’t that an amazing reflection of different types of learning and creative expression? Humanities and fiction, science and math, and history. Each one valued, encouraged, and allowed to run its course with support from teachers.
The five students in the “real story” group asked me questions: Why did I give the box? Where had it come from originally? Which one was my favorite piece of jewelry, or was my daughter’s favorite? Did I think any of the jewels were real?
The box contained clip-on earrings and rings, lots of rhinestones, a 60s-era enamel flower pin, a long strand of pearls, a black and gold cameo, and a 1982 high school class ring from Columbia Heights. Each piece was lovingly examined by the students, some tried on or untangled.
– Pat Thompson, parent of Ruby (FSM Class of 2008)