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Fifteen years ago today, my youngest son came into this world. Kicking and screaming and not intended to have a “T” name like the rest of us, he arrived. Before he left the delivery room, he did acquire the “T” name of Tim. He completed the circle of our family. It has been wonderful to watch this little one grow into the young man that he is becoming. My heart has swelled with pride so many times with things that Tim has done that I’m surprised it hasn’t exploded. In the words of his brother, he has the voice of an angel and I could listen to him sing all day long. He is our actor and our singer. He has given us hours of entertainment, from his earliest “animal action” dancing to his most recent serenade of “Breakfast at Tiffanys” at this year’s bistro. One of my favorite things is that he never minds that I want to take his picture.
As he embarks on his next year, I know he has lots of good things ahead of him.
Happy Birthday Tim, we love you!
Tim decided to update our side door. He wanted to put a flower bed in next to the stoop. Here is the way that it looked BEFORE.
After a few hours of digging up the driveway rock, moving dirt and topsoil, separating and replanting host this is the AFTER
It is certainly nice having him around. I love the new bed!
Last night I got to do something that I’ve missed out on for the past three years. Every year when the Celebration of the Arts comes around, Tim and I are on a plane, or on our way to a plane or getting off a plane for Odyssey. He misses his “final exam” concert and I miss the delight of watching him sing. This year, due to the lack of Odyssey in our lives, Tim got to perform and I got to watch. It was a wonderful night of vocal music following a wonderful night of instrumental music. Both nights included an entire library full of visual arts from the various art classes and I got to see some of the really great pictures that Tyler took during his digital photography class on display.
Here are some of the pictures from last night. It was a very emotional evening for them, since it will be the last time this group of students performs together, particularly for Tim’s chambers group which will be losing the majority of its members to graduation. Lots of singing, lots of wonderful music and lots of tears.
This is a picture of the entire group of vocal students who comprise the junior and senior chorus at the school. They performed a mass choral piece to open the concert which was fabulous.
Our choral instructor with the graduating seniors during the last performance of the evening – a song performed by the underclass vocal students as a send-off to their graduating members.
It was a busy weekend for us. Tim was performing in Bistro, an annual dinner concert event sponsored by his school’s music program. I was on the Bistro committee and we had our entire families up here to see Tim perform. Having never been exposed, we were pleasantly surprised. The kids put on three performances – two dinner performances and a luncheon which brought the house to its feet every time. We were very proud of Tim and his solo performance and his fellow vocalists and the jazz musicians that performed were all amazing.
The audiences were treated to a fantastic performance, a lovely dinner and some truly wonderful music.
Talk about proud. I cannot even tell you how much my heart swelled to watch my baby perform a high school solo in the Men’s Ensemble as part of the Winter Vocal Concert at his school. The video that I post here doesn’t even do the performance justice. The good news is that he will be performing it live at Mill River’s Bistro in March — hint, hint.
On Friday, Tim participated as part of his Chambers Music ensemble in the Mid Winter Madrigal Festival Concert in Burlington. He and his ensemble performed wonderfully. The church hosting the event that evening resonated with the sweet sounds of 250 high school chambers singers. Each group sang individual programs and then they all joined together for a 250-strong chorus to perform the final songs of the evening.
We spent the afternoon and evening up in Burlington in order to finish up some Christmas shopping and enjoy the concert. It was well worth the trip.
This Wednesday is the MRU winter vocal concert and Tim has a solo performance. We are very proud and looking forward to listening to him sing.
Here are some pictures from the Madrigal Festival.
It’s not everyday that you open the newspaper and see a picture of your child smiling back at you. At least I don’t think it happens for many people. But it happened for us this morning. Tim and his Odyssey teammates were front page news in the Rutland Herald with an article lauding their achievement at World Finals this last weekend.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, it does. Just when you think your heart can’t swell any bigger with pride, it does. Magical….just plain old magical.
Here’s the entire article from the Rutland Herald:
By Cristina Kumka
STAFF WRITER – Published: June 3, 2011
A group of local high school students recently got a one-up on their careers — with the help of 28 mousetraps.
The Mill River Union High School Odyssey of the Mind clinched second place in the world for conquering Odyssey’s “Extreme Mousemobile” vehicle engineering challenge.
The 33rd annual global competition forced students to work together as a team. The goal was to harness each student’s creative thinking skills in order to solve divergent, long- and short-term problems in fun and creative ways. The results were then presented before a panel of judges.
This year, the Mill River team figured out how to re-engineer the mousetrap’s metal loop, which is designed to catch a mouse, into a device that propelled a “Pi-Rat” ship through one challenge and over the next.
While many engineers have tried making mousetrap-powered cars, the team’s vehicle earned such a high ranking because of its creativity — using the energy of multiple mousetraps and the leverage and shape offered by bicycle wheels to move a ship long and short distances. In addition to movement, the ship also could drop an anchor and raise a flag, among other tasks, according to team leaders.
Through trial and error, the team of youngsters used bike wheels as big pulleys and made the most of a long string by figuring out to use the full amount of force provided by the mousetrap flap, according to Tim Vile, the team’s coach and engineer.
The spring power from the mousetraps powered the wheels and moved the vehicle, Vile said.
The finished ship was revised by the team four times prior to the world competition and it looked completely different than any other mousetrap-powered vehicle, Vile said.
Mill River’s winning Odyssey team is composed of ninth-grader Rowan Dubin-Masuck, ninth-grader Sarah Osmer, eighth-grader Ian Dansereau, eighth-grader Tim Heffernan, eighth-grader Anjelica Carroll, and eighth-grader Elizabeth Bushey.
The team was coached by Vile and parent Nan Dubin.
The accomplishment not only resulted in two awards for the team, but also drew recognition from the University of Vermont’s School of Engineering.
Educators there say the team is comprised of the exact group of students the college is looking for.
Jeff Frolik of UVM’s School of Engineering said America’s workforce needs students like them now.
“To solve a problem, you are going to need more than one point of view,” Frolik said.
Frolik said today’s mechanical engineering field is morphing into something more consumer-friendly and students in his school need to learn how to communicate and present the highly technical information they have mastered to the average audience.
Math is at the core of engineering, but today, communication also needs to be a critical factor, Frolik said.
Graduates of UVM’s School of Engineering have gone on to work in the industries of aerospace, manufacturing, composites and carbon fiber. Graduates also have had the opportunity to work in renewable energy or electrical engineering for state-sponsored projects like Smart Grid installation.
Dawn Densmore, a director of outreach and public relations for UVM, said the Odyssey competition caters to the best and brightest – exactly what the college wants in its engineering program.
“We are interested in hands-on application and students learning creatively,” she said. “We want those students at UVM. Businesses are clamoring for applicable knowledge – how do physics and math apply? … Not just book knowledge, but a tangible way to solve a problem.”
Companies seeking to hire graduates want to know that students understand why they are learning what they are learning, Densmore said.
“The thing that doesn’t work in a given project is what you remember the most. And it’s critical in our world to work in a team because nothing is done without one,” she said.
A team from Stowe Playhouse also earned second place for its “Full Circle” theatrical performance about how different parts of our brains store and recollect memories.
Tim and his fellow Odyssey of the Mind teammates, Anjelica, Ian, Rowan, Elizabeth and Sarah brought home a Second Place Trophy and the coveted Renatra Fusca Creativity award for their Mousemobile problem solution at Odyssey World Finals at the University of Maryland this past weekend.
We are so very proud of them and all of their hard work!
Here is a video of their award winning performance (note their 28 mousetrap powered vehicle).
Here are videos of the team receiving their Renatra Fusca award
MRU’s Stage 20’s performance of Mr. Fantastic Fox premiered tonight. Guess who was Mr. Fantastic Fox?
Tim and the entire cast did a wonderful job. We are proud of him. A lot of hard work and practice went into making a fantastic show. Everyone gets a well deserved pat on the back. Good work Mill River!
I must say that it has been a good birthday. I had a nice breakfast out with my hubby and then a delicious dinner cooked by Tim and his friend, Ian. He made Fettucine Bolognese with a Chocolate Cake for dessert.
The cooks hard at work…..
Tim made a meal totally Uncle Lou style – enough to feed a small army…..
And to top it all off a great cake….made with lots of chocolate and lots of love —the best combination!
It’s hard being a mom sometimes. You second guess yourself and then you second guess your second guessing… and well, you get it. You see things in your kids that they might not even see and you want things for them that you swear that they don’t even know that they want. Tonight was the high school auditions for Bye Bye Birdie. We “encouraged” Tim to go. The boy honestly has talent, he is a born entertainer. No stage fright, he morphs into a character in an amazing fashion. Auditions were open to 8th through 12th grade. Usually middle school is not part of the high school productions so this was a bit of a big deal. Tonight, we walked into the gymnasium and into a sea (okay so not quite a sea, more like a gaggle if indeed teenagers can be called a gaggle) of high school kids. Tim walked in, looked back and gave me one of those “Thanks for throwing me to the sharks, Mom” looks. My heart froze “what had I done?” His friend had promised to go with him to auditions, but he was nowhere to be seen. At a glance, my little, youngest, baby 8th grader was in a room of high school kids. So what did I do?
I left. Seriously, sounds horrible but I left. I had to leave to drive my middle son somewhere and honestly I thought that he would be less self-conscious if I wasn’t the only mother (or parent) in the auditorium (which at that moment I was). Bad enough that the poor kid was thrown to the sharks, but did Mom have to bear witness?
I am happy to report that when I returned I got a “thumbs up” from the little man and I sat for a while (there were a couple other parents there by then) to see him sing and perform. As I suspected he was great, wonderful – totally in his element.
The long and short of it was that he came away from the audition with a good feeling. He thought that he did his best and he’ll have to wait to see if he gets a part (and if so, which one). I hope that he does, since I know that this is where he belongs – where his talent shines (and not just coming from his mom). The “sharks” turned out to be a great bunch of kids, very welcoming and very encouraging -to Tim and to each other. And he turns out to not be the only 8th grader there, which was also good.
Now, we sit and we wait for the cast sheet to be posted. Hopefully, when he comes home it will be with a smile on his face.