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Ways of seeing: Hidden in plain sight

Posted on July 26, 2018 |
By Alice Leeds



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A unique community of 10,000-15,000 Vermonters is scattered throughout our state. Its vibrant culture centers around its engaging language. However, this community is often marginalized, misunderstood and forgotten. Its young people can be particularly isolated. Deaf Vermonters, whose contributions help support our state, would benefit from greater acknowledgment and allocation of resources.

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Ways of seeing: More than skin deep

Posted on May 24, 2018 |
By Alice Leeds



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Sometimes as a child I would lie in bed and stare at the speckled wallpaper, lights from passing cars moving across my bedroom, and I would think of Mrs. O’Connell. As beams glided across my face, my bedspread, the wooden floor, I had a feeling she knew The Secret.

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Letter to the editor: CCV should pay its workers more

Posted on May 9, 2018 |
By Alice Leeds



When I retired from a long and satisfying career as a public school teacher, I was excited to return to teaching part-time at the Community College of Vermont in Winooski. Student diversity, wonderful colleagues and a lovely work environment make CCV a positive place to teach, and the paycheck supplements my retirement income.

However, instructors who have made a long-term commitment to this important educational institution and who depend on that CCV paycheck for their livelihood are struggling.

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Ways of Seeing: Lessons of a father's unknown past

Posted on March 22, 2018 |
By Alice Leeds



Leeds, Alice -Ways of Seeing.jpg

Abi Sessions recently wrote a Ways of Seeing column about her father, who would have turned 100 in February. This got me thinking about my dad, who would have also become a centenarian this month. I share a reflection on his life that seems relevant today.

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Ways of Seeing: The Roods' presence graced their town

Posted on January 25, 2018 |
By Alice Leeds



The year is 1991. Burnham Hall is packed. A small grey-haired woman wanders onstage in hiking boots and khakis, binoculars glued to her eyes, peering intently into the audience. Following close behind is a similarly dressed small gentleman. “Has anyone out there seen a bluebird?” he questions the audience as his partner continues peering about, both improvising the opening scene in our elementary school performance, one of my first as a teacher at Lincoln Community School.

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Ways of Seeing, Alice Leeds: Home garden teaches life lessons

Posted on September 7, 2017 |
By Alice Leeds



When we moved to Bristol 24 years ago, I had never lived in a small town. The 19th century homes on our block are close set, divided by driveways leading to former horse barns, but the land behind them stretches back spaciously.

I felt overwhelmed by the huge spruce hovering so close to our back porch. It obscured this view. I suggested cutting it down.

“You don’t move into a neighborhood and start cutting down trees,” my husband warned.

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Ways of Seeing, Alice Leeds: Starting the day off on the right foot

Posted on June 15, 2017 |
By Alice Leeds



I am not and have never been an athlete. I do not have quick reflexes. I was never a runner or a member of a high school team beyond the oratory club and the flag twirling squad. When my classmates divvied up for a game of kickball at recess in elementary school, I was the last one chosen. Eventually I stuck with the jump rope crowd. I do have a good sense of rhythm.

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Ways of Seeing: Building bridges in a young girl's life

Posted on October 31, 2016 |
By Alice Leeds



Village2Village began as an alliance between the village of Bristol, Vt. and a village in Serere, Uganda. Its mission is to provide comprehensive, empowering, respectful and compassionate care for vulnerable children and their families, one life at a time. I became a sponsor in 2009.

My first letter from Bridget arrived. It was handwritten in a tidy yet animated script on a lined sheet of white paper. I searched this brief introductory note for a clue to the person in the photo I received of a sweet-faced girl with sensitive eyes and a reluctant smile.

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Opinion: ANeSU governance plan would reduce local control

Posted on October 6, 2016 |
By Alice Leeds



I will vote no on the ANESU ACT 46 Proposal on Nov. 8. Here’s why: Tax savings will be minimal and short-term, and they will be offset by an increase in our statewide education tax. Direct community input will be reduced when a single 13-member board is responsible for all six ANESU schools. It will be far more difficult for this large single board to closely consider the needs of each individual school.

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Ways of Seeing: Practicing inclusions

Posted on May 19, 2016 |
By Alice Leeds



In my English Composition class at the Community College of Vermont, I have worked with students from China, Japan, Vietnam, Iraq, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Nepal. These students struggle to simultaneously learn English and adapt to our culture while navigating the demands of college assignments.

To support my work with international students, I recently attended a workshop called “The Culturally Responsive Classrooms.” The facilitator, Dr. Marie Terese Claes, is an expert in intercultural communication.

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