Sunday, May 19, 2013

Arts, crafts and Ithaca

Lisa is the handwork teacher at the Ithaca Waldorf school and she showed us around their newly built school (right beside a biodynamic farm where the children participate in the gardening activities) and showed us the beautiful projects she does with the first to 6th graders. She has all the grades plant dye the wool they will use for their different projects at the beginning of the year, so they really own the project from beginning to end. 

We were quite impressed with the program she offers her students! She has her 1st/2nd graders make gnomes with the wool, the 3rd/2th graders make beautiful embroidered bags and 5th/6th graders make really nice socks.
And Ithaca really, really pleased us! It's a University town (Cornell) and the locals like to call it 10 square miles surrounded by reality! It is a very liberal community and there is a big homeschoolers coop with more than 100 members, a great primitive pursuits program for my wildcrafters, tool crafters and wilderness cooks. There is an awesome local food movement, great people and great parks and trails around it to hike, run and ski. Yup! We could definitely see ourselves spending more time here! Did I mention there is a place called Dennis where the owner went to study how to make artisan ice cream?... Oh! It was sooo good!

We camped for 3 nights at Treman State Park right beside Ithaca and had pretty much the campground to ourselves. Jamie came to visit with Banyan and I was so involved in my conversation with her that I did not even took photos... There were fruit trees in bloom everywhere and the girls built a beautiful fairy garden with all the flowers. While they were there, we spotted a huge Gartner snake right beside our campsite! I was glad Banyan could identify it and tell us it was not dangerous!

We also went out to the Thai food restaurant for lunch with Jamie and Malaya on another day. It was so great to get to know her and her sweet children in person.
 :: JF made Mémé's crêpe Suzette twice for breakfast. Lisa made strawberry rubarb filling and whip cream from amazing local cream. Such a treat! ::
 :: And there was more beautiful violin practice before the recitals. They even kept us in for one night when it was freezing outside (litterally freezing. Lisa lost most of her herb garden... and there was snow in the morning...). We even got to take a bath. A bath! The last bath we took was at the hotel in Albuquerque for the unschooling conference. In December. It was such a bliss. ::

It was hard to say goodbye. It felt like home. It felt like we could have kept on talking and eating and visiting for ever. It's a good feeling to find such friends. We definitely will be back.

7 comments:

Francesca said...

Cornell University used to be my aim when I was studying anthropology because of their department of Andean studies - makes sense that it'd be a wonderful place, and that they'd offer a primitive pursuits program. The artisan ice cream though? Does one really need to study how to make ice cream from genuine ingredients?

Francesca said...

btw, fantastic Waldorf course - my sister in law is a Waldorf teacher, and whenever I visit her school and classroom I'm partly envious, partly in awe, and partly enchanted (in equal parts :))

Fatimah said...

Catherine,
ça fait un bout de temps que je suis ton blog...j'aimerais te poser quelques questions sur le métier de traductrice. Ça fait quelques années que je suis maman à la maison de mes 4 enfants. J'aimeraise commencer une carrière de traductrice à la maison, et j'accepterais volontiers quelques conseils...
Serais-tu disponible pour qu'on s'échange quelques emails?
Merci
Lisa

Gen said...

My husband went to kindergarden in Ithaca. He has wonderful memories of his guitar playing teacher, his classmates, and the llama who lived in the park. Ça n'a pas vraiment changé on dirait!

Catherine said...

Really Francesca? I knew Cornell was a great University, but had no idea about the Andean studies. Wow! How interesting! And about the artisan ice cream, American do need to learn how to make it from scratch. Scary, isn't it?

Fatimah, ça me ferait bien plaisir. Tu peux m'écrire à cforest(at)hotmail(point)com

Gen, c'est vrai? Une belle gang de granos!!

Joanna said...

WAW mais je CAPOTTTTE sur ce primitive pursuits... on dirait mon école de rêve ca!!! et toute cette gang grano, connectée à la forêt et waldorf et tout... serait-ce le paradis sur cette terre ithaca?
qd tu vois des places comme ca, vous vous dites pas, prquoi on reste pas se poser ici pr tjrs???
au fait cath, question totalement hors contexte et t'es pas obligée de répondre sur ton blog :O) je me demandait: comment ca fonctionne ds une roulotte pr avoir du temps romantique, genre... faire l'amour??? nous ici avec deux enfants on trouve ca pas évident de trouver un mometn alors je me demande comment ca marche sans chambre fermée avec 3 !
on a très hâte de vous revoir, faites moi signe qd vous avez des dispo!

Lisa said...

Please come back and visit us again soon Catherine!