The Exp Summer Daily

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The Experimentory Blog

Our year-round blog describes our program, values, and plans for next year.

The Exp Summer Daily

Our summer news consists of daily updates while we're in session -- giving a window into past years.

Tim Schaffer

Mr. Schaffer is a hat rack: he dons so many different rolls here at Deerfield Academy–Experimentory Program Coordinator, Medical Chaperone, Store Clerk, Test Proctor, and Greeter–that you never know where you might bump into him on campus. Before Deerfield, he could be found working for an insurance company, destroying things people don’t want any more, or helping college students ponder the mysteries of life. On the creative side he writes: he contributes to his family’s storybook, keeps a personal blog, and works on a speculative fiction novel. He also reads, doodles, daydreams, teases, tells stories, and cuddles with his cat.

Big Changes, Big Trees, Big History

Posted by Tim Schaffer on Jul 26, 2019 4:54:52 PM

"In most history classes, we talk about one specific thing -- like 'the South Sudan Civil War,' or 'issues in the Middle East.' Here we cover 13.8 billion years." 

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Something New: Student Publications

Posted by Tim Schaffer on Jul 17, 2019 1:13:22 PM

Student Publications started in a staff brainstorm. If we want to grow in our creativity (and we at Exp definitely do!) trying something new can be a good starting point.  So we asked: how might we try to tap into our students' interest in writing and publication during co-curricular time? A yearbook club? A newspaper? Contributions to this blog? We decided to give the group loose parameters:...

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Page and Screen: A visit to comics and film

Posted by Tim Schaffer on Aug 3, 2018 2:24:35 PM

Session 2 Showcase Day is here! In anticipation of the big day, Ian visited our French Culture, Comics and Film course. Here's what he learned!

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Grand Designs: Principles of Urban Design

Posted by Tim Schaffer on Aug 1, 2018 2:31:42 PM

Most of us take urban design for granted. Individual buildings grab our attention--they are landmarks--tourist attractions--even wonders of the world! But we often only notice the space between those structures when it isn't working right, and even then we might not be able to say exactly why a skyline looks off, there is always a knot of traffic downtown, or the location of a store is...

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Marshmallows and Pasta: Session 2 Engineering Night

Posted by Tim Schaffer on Jul 30, 2018 1:10:43 AM

This past Tuesday night was another engineering night here at the Experimentory! Mr. Wilson--our special guest from Session 1 returned with some fun, new character-and-creativity-building challenges. 

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Sitting in on a Sit Down

Posted by Tim Schaffer on Jul 29, 2018 12:27:38 AM

Me: If you could have any animal trait or ability, what would it be?

Josh B: Fly like a bird!

Me: But if you were to fly like a bird, you'd have wings instead of arms... Are arms worth giving up for flight?

Josh B: Oh no... I take that back. [He returns to thinking]

Lucy G: A turtle! I'd be a turtle!!

Me [perplexed]: A turtle? What trait are you getting from a turtle?

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Transition Weekend: New Friends

Posted by Tim Schaffer on Jul 26, 2018 7:31:00 PM


Our four week students have been maximizing their character this week by helping our two-week Session 2 students into the program. Read all about it in today's second post!

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Transition Weekend: Down the Deerfield

Posted by Tim Schaffer on Jul 26, 2018 3:16:16 PM

Today's twin posts look at the transition between Session 1 and Session 2. First, let's hear from Ian about the Four Week students' whitewater rafting adventure on the Saturday after one group of two week students had left and next had not yet come. 

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Taking Home Session 1

Posted by Tim Schaffer on Jul 24, 2018 3:57:12 PM

It is our earnest hope that the Experimentory is not just a summer program, but rather something longer-lasting. Perhaps their visual literacy will be sharper from Comics and Film, or they'll have a new passion for squash from co-curriculars, or they'll see their own leadership potential for the first time. And we definitely hope they'll have formed lasting friendships with other curious and...

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Double-Feature: Sustainable Growing and Urban Design

Posted by Tim Schaffer on Jul 20, 2018 1:00:02 AM
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The Exp Summer Daily provides news and updates while we are in session in July and August. The rest of the year, check out the Experimentory Blog for posts feature our students, teachers, classes, values, goals, and plans for the coming year.