John Muir Middle School Hosts Annual “Around the World” Event

By On March 17, 2012

Performers Michael John and his wife Nancy demonstrate sword play. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

On Friday, March 16, seventh graders at John Muir Middle School were both educated and entertained at the school’s annual “Around the World” event.

More than 400 students — many of whom wore costumes representing their own culture — spent the day viewing performances by the Imperial Knights Joust Company, the Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble, the Incan Musical Ensemble, the Taiko Japanese Drummers and a stunt team that took the students through the history of swords.

Student volunteers were often pulled out of the audience throughout the day, giving many of them some hands on experience and the opportunity to impress their classmates.

Giving a demonstration on different weapons used hundreds of years ago is Julie Clark and her competitor Jess Abbott. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Science teacher Heidi Sasaki coordinated much of the event in conjunction with all seventh grade teachers at Muir. Sasha Gorbach, a special education teachers at the school, and Bob Martin. an English teacher, shot hundreds of photos throughout the day and revealed them to students during a slide show the last twenty minutes of the school day.

Math teacher Brad Frank awaited unruly students in “the dungeon,” but he had a lonely day.

“I was all by myself,” he said. “All the students behaved remarkably well. I think it says a lot about how great the demonstrations are and how much our students look forward to the event.”

The school also hosted a “Shrew Day” in January for 8th graders following their reading of the William Shakespeare play, “The Taming of the Shrew.” Next month, 6th graders will enjoy “Greek Day.” The programs are largely funded by the school’s PTA. Principal John Paramo says they bring to life a component of each grade level’s curriculum.

“Our teachers work hard to arrange these days for students, ” he said. “They always bring the curriculum to life with the amazing lessons they develop for their classroom, but the group experience of these events really make it memorable.”