Please join us for a journey through the Geography, Diversity and Anti-Bias work at Hilltop Montessori School. This year, we will focus on the Geography curriculum that has been a key component of the Montessori curriculum for 100 years. We have materials and lessons at all levels that celebrate the commonalities and differences of people and places across the globe. We have further enhanced these areas recently though our lens of “anti-bias”
Starting at 9 am with a tour of the campus and classroom observation. At 10 am teachers and students will be on hand to answer your questions and share their experience.
This is an adult only event.
All Parents, All Programs are invited to learn about the upcoming year, curriculum topics, expectations and building student-parent-teacher relationships. Parents play a critical role in their children’s education.
Toddler, Children House and Lower Elementary
4:30pm Family Welcome, 5-6 pm Classroom Teacher Presentations
Upper Elementary and Middle School
5:30pm Family Welcome, 6-7 pm Classroom Teacher Presentations
This evening will provide:
- greater understanding of academic work and social development
- ways for you to be involved in your child’s education and create consistent expectations and experiences!
Tuesday, May 8th
Tour of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
with Barbara Sahli and students of Malik Academy
Lunch at café with students of Malik Academy
Meet with Brother David Vryhof from the monastery of the Society of St. John
Eucharist Service, Society of St. John the Evangelist
Last Supper in Harvard Square
My favorite part of the visit to the ISBCC was the call the prayer. The chanting was just extraordinary, and everyone worshipping Allah side by side rang so beautifully of peace and connection.
Today I did something I’ve never done before: go to a Mosque. I studied Islam, but seeing it in practice was enlightening. We started by putting on our hijabs. But putting it on, I suddenly felt part of something larger than myself. Instead of feeling oppressed, I felt connected to those millions of women proudly wearing them all over the world.
It was so great and beautiful to meet with the kids from Malik Academy. I have said that you don’t fully know a religion until you meet with people from the religion, but now I think you can’t fully know a religion until you meet with people of your own age from a religion.
A Story from the Islamic Society of Boston and Cultural Center
When my hijab came undone, Anisa fixed it for me. I made a friend. The end.
It is one of the most amazing feelings in the world to hug a group of people goodbye who you only met that day but already love. I wish we could have spent some more time with the Malik Academy students. They made me feel comfortable, even though I was wearing a hijab and was in a place I did not know. I feel sooooo lucky to have had this experience and I will never forget it. It’s amazing that people from different backgrounds and with different beliefs can have so much fun.
The monastery made me want to try out the monastic lifestyle. There was a welcoming a feeling all throughout the church. All the brothers seemed very happy and kind. Out of everywhere we’ve been, this has been the closest one to my religion.
Call to Prayer at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
Saturday, May 5th
Morning Shabbat and Bar Mitzvah at Temple Ohabei Shalom
Lunch in Coolidge Corner
Thousand Buddha Temple
Dinner at Eataly food court
The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence by Step Afrika Dance Co.
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre
Today was the first day I ever went to a Bar Mitzvah. It was a long and harmonious service for a boy named Zach. Throughout it, I could feel the love, stillness, and calmness of “a young patawan growing into a promised Jew.” I now feel very attached to the idea that the celebration of a Bar Mitzvah is the Jewish “everyone has the chance for enlightenment.”
[The Thousand Buddha Temple] a lot more alive than the other Buddhist temples we visited because people were visiting and practicing. I kind of felt bored during the slow walk meditation but it was fun to do the fast walk meditation. I felt so relaxed during the breathing meditation. I liked how the chant was so simple but powerful.
Our last stop of the day was going to a step Afro performance. I thought it was a beautiful example of dance theater that triggered an emotional response from both Alabama and our odyssey in Boston. The performer’s truth flowed toward the audience in kinetic, electric waves. Using humans as a living, breathing, and malleable art form created such depth and perspective.
The class walked to a dance musical called The Migration. It was so energetic and everyone acting was so talented. It reminded me of what somebody said at The Crossing that connecting and participating in a rhythm can bring everybody together.
Haiku-ish by Solomon
Drums, bright lights
Friday, May 4
Head into Boston
Ramakrishna Vedanta Society
Lunch in Harvard Square
The Pluralism Project at Harvard University
Dinner in Coolidge Corner
Conversation with Reb Moshe Waldoks of Temple Beth Zion
Kabbalat Shabbat at Temple Beth Zion
At The RamakrishnaVedanta Society I had a feeling of peacefulness right when I entered the building. I was struck by the smell of incense, then was welcomed by a friendly monk who I really liked by the end of the visit.
After our conversation with Reb Moshe, we had Shabbat. I was looking forward to it because I had hoped it would be like home. It was nice, but it was very different from what I do at home. It was hard for me to keep up with the prayers and songs. It must have been crazy for all the others. Even though it wasn’t what I was used to, there was something powerful about the words. After the service, I felt lighter.
At the Pluralism Project we were able to laugh at topics usually frowned upon. This is what the world needs to get through disagreement. We need to be able to sit down and have a conversation and share stories, concerns, hopes, and then be open to all.
The drum and the pure force of [Reb Moshe’s] voice brought meaning to words I had no meaning for. I especially liked when we stood in a circle around the alter. I felt so connected, so alive, so clueless and vulnerable, ready to accept anything that came wholeheartedly. As we walked on the streets on the way home, I began to notice the sheer diversity of Boston. Hijab’s blended in with Yarmulkes and t-shirts. I sat and ate red bean paste filled buns at a table less than a foot off the ground, the sound of laughing and rapid fire Chinese filling my ears.
It feels so nice to go to all these places and feel myself and the class becoming a part of the culture and community there. I feel that we are helping to create ties of friendship and community spirit that can last for a long time. Everyone has been so welcoming and opening. I have not figured out if there is a religion that I prefer, but I have been very pleasantly surprised by the kindness shown by all the people we have visited with.
Thursday May 3rd
New England Peace Pagoda
Wat Boston Buddha Vararam (Thai Buddhist Temple)
Lesson, chant, and meditation with monk from Theravada tradition. (questions)
Friendly Crossways Hostel
Drop off luggage and get tour.
Head into Boston
The Crossing – Cathedral Church of St. Paul.
Dinner, service, and conversation with Reverend Marsha Hoecker
Return to Friendly Crossways – journal, sleep
The place that really spoke to me today was the Buddhist temple. I think the very reason I felt closer to this place was because the monk was speaking a different language. I can’t quite explain it but it was as if his words flowed over me. I felt his teachings rather than hearing them.
..But nothing really compared to The Crossing. I really enjoyed the connection I felt. This may be because Christianity is familiar, I don’t really know. I felt super engaged throughout the entire service. It was very welcoming and not as strict as what Im used to. The way they gave a time for people to do their own thing reflected how their community works, letting people come and go, welcoming anyone who is willing to listen.
I think that there is a sense of wholeness and completeness from singing, especially about God. The sense of trust and faith that everyone at The Crossing had was a feeling that I noticed.
I have found that, so far, the two biggest messages or parts of the places of worship has been rhythm/music and social action. At The Peace Pagoda they have their peace walks, and many of the people at The Crossing were involved in social action and one even said that you can not be Christian without social action. On the rhythm/music front, The Peace Pagoda had the drum and gong. At the Thai Buddhist Temple, the chant had a certain melody to it. And The Crossing had a huge focus on music and some said music helped them feel closer to God.
Extra thoughts from Hazel:
1.) The cross as a symbol for the intersection of God and human
2.) Religion is an art, not a science.
3.) The term “stranger danger” and many other western culture thinking reflects on one of the major differences with Buddhist thinking.
Just a few days now until the Middle School heads to the greater Boston area on their River of Spirit Odyssey. During their seven day journey students will participate and observe 15 different spiritual services as they try to understand the nature of spirit and how it is integral in so many people’s lives. Just one more piece in the driving question of what it means to be human.