What a great opening weekend at school. From the Hypnotist to the Opening Party to the Seawolf Games, we had a great time getting to know each other and having some fun together. Now, as the name games and relay races recede into fond memories, we will use our first Saturday School Day to move toward learning a bit about our place.
Tabor, nestled in the lovely, small village of Marion, exists in a broader, more complex community called the South Coast. There are all sorts of people and professions, cultures and religious traditions, that make this area special. From aquaculture to scalloping to deep-sea fishing, fishing is still a way of life for many on the South Coast. New Bedford hosts the largest fishing fleet in New England and was once the richest city in America. Today, some of the best marine science research institutions are in our back yard in Woods Hole, not to mention the many marine technology companies who are bringing wind farms and other imaginative energy technologies to life. There are the boat builders who have been here since the early days, some keeping the wooden boat tradition alive, while others are building the next generation of America’s Cup competitors. Even the sustainable farming movement has taken root here in many of the beautiful farms from Dartmouth to Westport. These various industries, many now transforming into more modern versions of their historic past, have attracted people from all around the world to fill all sorts of jobs within these industries, bringing their perspective, expertise, culture, and energy with them. There is so much growth going on right here in our back yard!
This Saturday, our students will make a trip out of Marion, some for the first time, to begin to experience this history and vibrancy. The freshman will enjoy a day at Round the Bend Farm to learn about sustainable farming practices. The other classes will head into New Bedford to these twelve cultural, historic, or scientific sites of interest:
1. Haskell Gardens
2. New Bedford National Park (downtown walking tour)
3. Acushnet Sawmill
4. Co-Creative Center- a successful mixed-use development featuring art, education, and workspace
5. Architecture Walking Tour
6. Working Waterfront Walking Tour
7. Whaling Museum
8. Rotch-Jones-Duff House: a whaling merchant’s home
9. Explore Public Art Downtown
10. Fort Taber-Rodman
11. Buttonwood Park Zoo
12. Tour Laura Parrish’s Home: a historic home once owned by Herman Melville’s sister.
As the year goes on, many of our students will continue to venture into New Bedford and the surrounding area to interface with residents, employers, public officials and more as we strive to learn from our environment and to participate as servant-citizens where we can.
We hope that through our Saturday program and ongoing contact with our broader community, our students will begin to get a sense of the rich history, cultural diversity, and future opportunity that drives this unique area of Massachusetts. Through that orientation, students may begin to better understand their potential role in community life beyond Tabor.