Marks, Tess

Interviewer: Jean McMillen
Place of Interview: 51 Chatfield Drive
Date of Interview:
File No: 15 Cycle: 4
Summary: SOAR Programs

Interview Audio

Interview Transcript

Tess Marks Interview

This is file # 15, cycle 4. Today’s date is July 8, 2019. This is Jean McMillen. I am interviewing Tess Marks, who is my youngest interviews. She is going to talk about the program SOAR and the 17 different programs that she has participated in. First we are going to start with a very difficult question.

JM:What is your name?

TM:Tess Marks

JM:What does the word SOAR mean?

TM:Seek, Originate, Aim and Reach

JM:I could not remember the R for Reach. When did you start taking SOAR programs?

TM:Like 2nd or 3rd grade.

JM:Do you enjoy them?


JM:How many have you taken?

TM:16 or 17

JM:Have you taken something all through the year?

TM:Yes like fall, winter and spring

JM:Who teaches the classes?

TM:A variety of different people (from the community Ed.) They bring in people from all over.

JM:So they bring in experts for the various classes.


JM:About how many student are in each class?

TM:Like 10 to 12

JM:Now we are going to go through and talk about the individual program. The first one that I have is “Kids on Broadway” what was that?

TM:That was a musical revue.

JM:What do you mean by a musical revue?

TM:We sang a bunch of songs from shows on Broadway.

JM:A medley of songs?2.


JM:#2 was “Musical Milestones”

TM:That was another musical revue>

JM:#3 “The Wizard of Oz”

TM:That was a regular play.

JM:What parts did you have?

TM:I was an apple tree, a lollipop girl, and a bunch of other things.

JM:Were you a munchkin?


JM:#4 Then you did ’Cinderella”.

TM:I was the evil stepsister.

JM:Oh good, I like that. You had different directors for these plays.


JM:Was Michael Berkley one of the directors?


JM:Did he do a good job?


JM:#5 Imagine That!

TM:That was a play that Michael might have come up with. It was really good. I was the narrator/Tami, the sister.

JM:#6 you said you did cooking.


JM:Now that was not at Salisbury Central; where did you go for that?

TM: We did that at the Congregational Church.

JM:what are some of the things that you made?

TM:We made pie, we made pizza, we made a cake, and we made scones.3.

JM:Did you make a whole meal?


JM:did you get to eat it after you made it?


JM:Was it a balanced meal?


JM:#7 what was the Model U.N.?

TM:We learned about the United Nations and we did a mock meeting. We all got to be a country. This was during the Venezuela Crisis.

JM:What country were you?

TM:I was Peru.

JM:Did you have to do any research for customs, costumes and anything like that?

TM:We had to research on how our country was involved in the Venezuela Crisis.

JM:#8 then came Yoga

TM:We learned about the Chakras which are the energy sources in you.

JM:#9 then you did something with henna. What is henna?

TM:Yeah that is like a plant but they turn it into a dye that you can do designed on yourself like a tattoo. We blended the henna and designed some patterns and did it.

JM:Did you design your own tattoo?


JM:What color is henna?

TM:It’s like brown.

JM:Is it a kind of reddish brown?


JM: The lady that did that class, was she Asian Indian?

TM:Yes, she was from India. She had learned how to do it there.4.

JM:What came after that?

TM:#10 Spin it is an exercise like on a stationary bike. We also did weights.

JM:Where did you do that?

TM: At the Lakeville Studio.

JM:It used to be the old fire house – What is Shark Tank #12

TM:That is when we pitch our own inventions, as entrepreneurs. We actually watched a couple of shows to see how the people on “Shark Tank” did it. We learned about how to balance money and profit.

JM:What did you invent?

TM:The Lazy Mama is an invention for mothers so they can walk around with their babies.

JM:Who were the judges?

TM:There were a bunch of people, entrepreneurs form town. Jon Higgins was one.

JM:The lady who runs Petpourri was also a judge. (Stephanie Pellegrino Ed.) What is #13 Stop Motion?

TM:We used clay and we made a story, then took a bunch of pictures and moved the clay each time to make a stop action.

JM:That is like the old Disney amination slide for something like “Cinderella”.

JM:Next came #14 Basics of Sewing.

TM:That is how I got into sewing. Now I do a lot of sewing. We learned basic stitches, how to make pillows.

JM:Where did you do that?

TM:That was at school.

JM:Did you learn how to use a sewing machine?

TM:No it was all hand sewing.

JM:#15 Food, Farming and fun- where was that?

TM:that was at the Hotchkiss farm (Jack Blum’s Fairfield Farm on Rt. 41 toward Sharon. Ed.) We did it with Hotchkiss students. We planted potatoes, and a bunch of other vegetables.

JM:Carrots, beans5.

TM:Yeah we got to see their pigs.

JM:I am assuming that was in the spring. Will you go back in the fall and harvest what you grew?


JM:#16 then you did an art and science course?

TM: We blended the art and science. We investigated things under a microscope and then we drew a picture and water colored it of what we had seen.

JM:That is what you do when you are doing biology. You are dissecting something and then you have to draw what you have seen. The one that I am most familiar with is the Connecticut History Day contest. Tell me about that one.

TM:A friend and I did one about Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. We made a voting booth for it. It was really fun. The SOAR class helped us collaborate with teachers who taught us the rules of the contest.

JM:With your voting booth, you actually had people vote which was really good.


JM:You both went off to the Torrington District contest in March.

TM:Yeah we did.

JM:Did you enjoy it?

TM:Yeah it was really fun to see everybody else’s project.

JM:Were you pleased with how your project matched up with the others?


JM:Do you think you might do it again next year?

TM:Oh totally

JM:What is the Maker’s Space? Tell me about that one.

TM: That was an in-school activity. You do engineering things. We built a mini catapult to launch a ball into a basketball hoop. There were a bunch of things on engineering.

JM:By engineering you are using math and science in order to make the proper projection or whatever.


JM:Is there anything else that you would like to add to this about the SOAR program before we close?

TM:I don’t know. I think I just like having a lot of different activities so anybody can take the classes. It doesn’t matter what you like or anything: they have something of everything.

JM:So you have a little taste of everything.


JM:Thank you very much Tess.

TM:Thank you.