Menlo should have some new hipsters on board after this past Knight School. There were over ten “artsy” classes for students to choose from. Standouts include “African Music and Dance,” “Florence: Italian Art, Culture, and Language,” “Japan: Traditional and Contemporary Art and Culture,” and “New York: Theater and Art.” Led by our very own artists Ms. Linford and Jan Chandler, the African Music and Dance class immersed its students not only in the art of Dance but in African culture. They met a live drummer from Guinea, studied African art at the De Young Museum, and braved their taste buds with unique Ethiopian restaurant. According to Ms. Linford, “the chaperones loved it, but [I am] not sure the kids liked the different food!” The Japan trip journeyed to Osaka. They took a brush painting class, learned how to prepare a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, admired examples of modern Japanese architecture with, for example, a giant pumpkin sculpture. At the Pure Water (Buddhist) Temple, they learned how to dip a bamboo ladle into the pure stream water which is believed to bring wisdom, luck and purification. They also helped bring 16 giant boxes filled with handmade quilts that were donated to the tsunami relief in the villages in North East Japan. According to Ms. Ollikainen, “All our travelers did an outstanding job the entire trip respecting the culture and customs of Japan. They were also adept at racing through train stations, up and down stairs with luggage, and marathon shopping.” The New York trip saw 6 shows in 5 days, toured Edwin Booth’s old house on Gramercy Square, toured the Metropolitan Museum, toured NBC Studios, took Workshops in Musical Theatre & Improvisation, and of course had time for a snowball fight in Central Park.