Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Posts Tagged ‘The Community School

Turkey Tracks: A Lovely Literary Evening

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Turkey Tracks:  June 23, 2013

A Lovely Literary Evening

Last Thursday, Sister-in-Law Maryanan Enright drive up from Boston to join me for a literary evening in Maine.

The Community School fundraiser was hosted by the CellarDoor Winery in Lincolnville, and the delicious food was prepared by Megunticook Market.  Richard Russo put together a panel of writers to entertain–himself, Monica Wood, and Bill Roorbach.  All three are recipients of recent literary awards, and all three live and work in Maine.  And all three have published recent memoirs, so the discussion revolved around the line between fact and fiction and the role of memory in our lives.

Russo you might know from the novel EMPIRE FALLS, which was made into a movie.  Russo had an enduring friendship with Paul Newman, as Newman starred in many of the movies made from Russo’s books.  Monica Wood is sublime.  I most recently read (again) her EARNIE’S ARK.  Bill Roorbach is new to me, but he has the most delightful sense of wry humor, and I bought his latest, which has won literary prizes.  Maryann went home with Wood’s recent memoir, WHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDY’S and EARNIE’S ARK.  We have promised to switch the books all around later in the summer.  I’m currently reading Russo’s THAT OLD CAPE MAGIC and will start Roorbach’s latest novel soon–LIFE AMONG GIANTS.

Here’s Maryann at the Cellar Door Winery’s front walk:

Maryann, Cellar door, June 2013

That stand of poppies is emblematic of how beautiful they have been this year in Maine.  Some people have scads of them around their houses–all nodding in orange splendor:

Cellar Door, poppies

Here’s the back view from the main building.  You can see a vineyard in the distance.  Maryann really wanted to go sit in those chairs:

Cellar Door Winery back view

We are at the solstice summer hump–so now the days will begin to shorten once more.  But for now, the evenings are long and lovely, and the chickens don’t go to roost until after 8 p.m. most nights.

The mother bird has rebuilt five of the front porch nests.  Two are pretty developed.  I still can’t see exactly what she is, and she does not seem to be actively sitting on a nest.  I’m suspecting a Robin mother…

The mystery continues…

Turkey Tracks: Karen Johnson’s Written Driving Test

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Turkey Tracks:  October 12, 2010

Karen Johnson’s Written Driving Test

Today was a red-letter day for Karen Johnson.  And, as an interested observer, for me.

Karen is one of the students at The Community School I worked with last year.  We worked on her writing skills and on English requirements in general.  For her Passages Project–a major school project needed for graduation–we made a quilt.  You can see Karen’s quilt in the May 2010 section of this blog.  It hung at the Center for Maine Contemporary Arts in a special student exhibit. 

Karen has remained in the Camden area, which makes me happy because I like her a lot.  It’s fun to watch her grow into–and recognize–her awesome abilities.  She’s a special person.

Young people trying to get a toe hold in life in rural areas are constrained by transportation needs.  Karen is no exception.  So, we are working on getting her driver’s license.  In Maine, if you are not 21, you need to get a learner’s permit first, which means taking a difficult written test.  After six months of driving, the student can apply to take the driving test itself. 

Karen sent for the informational booklet and scheduled her written test.  And, we began working on the material she had to learn.  Karen discovered that she has really good listening skills.  So, if I read information aloud to her, she could remember it.  And, she learned that she has really good visual skills.  If she could see a sign she had to learn or a diagram of a driving problem, she remembered it.  Learning how you learn is half the battle.

Karen has a vexed history with taking tests, and this morning she was a nervous wreck.  But, I kept reminding her that those memories were in her past life and that she is now in her future life, that she had worked hard, that she knew the material, that the only way she could experience defeat would be if she worked too quickly or let herself get too panicked.

Here is Karen watching her test being graded:



And here is Karen when she was all done:



Karen PASSED the test with flying colors!!!!

Karen can drive!!!  And in six months, she can take the driving test, which she will pass.

We had Homestyle Cafe’s famous “Cinnies” as a treat (grilled Cinnamon buns that are to die for), and, eventually, Karen drove me home and herself to work with me as supervisor. 

She will be a good driver, I can already tell.


Written by louisaenright

October 12, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Turkey Tracks: Two Quilts

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May 17, 2010

Two Quilts

John and I both volunteer at The Community School in Camden, Maine.  The C-School is a private alternative high school. 

This year, I worked with two students, both girls.  I have accompanied them through many academic endeavors, watched them grow and grow up, and celebrated with them their awesome success.  Both will graduate May 28th. 

Along the way, the three of us decided they would, or could, make quilts.  Ok.  I decided, and they went along with me.  They are both cool that way.  And, I was honored that they trusted me saying they could make a quilt, especially since neither of them had ever sewn, used a rotary cutter (VERY sharp, can cut off fingers), done fabric math, and so on.

Well!  After 5 months of working almost every Friday afternoon, their quilts are done.  And, on the spur of a moment, I took them to our April quilt meeting.  One of our quilters works for the Center for Maine Contemporary Art.  Later, she got in touch with me and suggested the girls and the C-School hang the quilts in the annual student show beginning May 1.

We finished their bindings, I put on hanging sleeves, John and I worked out hanging rods, and both of us worked on signage.  John did most of the signage and all of the hanging. 

Here are the quilts:


 I am so proud of both girls.  I wish for them all the best in this world.   I will miss them so much.  But, I know that they will always have these quilts and that the quilts will remind them what they can accomplish in life.   


Written by louisaenright

May 17, 2010 at 11:46 pm