Henry H. is a junior who enjoys playing basketball, reading historical non-fiction, and spending time with friends. His favorite subject was, is, and will always be history. Henry’s favorite book is Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and his favorite movie(s) are Star Wars.
Henry’s School Day
I usually wake up at around 6:45 a.m. to get ready for school (if it is an in-person day). Do not tell anyone I said this, but for virtual days I usually wake up right before my class starts and throw a hat on to contain my crazy hair! I do often find the time, whether in-person or at home, to make myself some tea before my classes start. Having that one thing that brings you joy and encouragement before embarking on the school day is quite helpful.
Once I have finished taking a shower and dressing myself in my usual attire – khakis and a sweatshirt – I get in my car and am on my way to school. I often listen to podcasts, such as Revisionist History (I highly recommend), to get my brain stimulated before sitting for my first period. And then that is it. The school day has begun.
AP English Language and Composition
My favorite classes are those that involved discussion. In AP Lang, we have discussions on a variety of subjects: racism, education, gender inequality, etc. Although we have read tons of books, I feel that the most learning I have gotten from this class is from these discussions.
One discussion I remember in particular was about the use of racial slurs in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I started by stating my opinion that schools should have the right to block the reading of the book because of the offensive language. I have been in some discussion environments where the whole class acts as one mind—everyone thinks and acts the same way. But at Bear Creek, students feel comfortable disagreeing and debating complex topics. Some of my peers pointed out that the words highlight the racism within the time of the text and so without them, some of the book’s message would be lost.
Today, we presented on our antithesis speeches. Earlier in the year, we submitted the thesis for our final speech topic. Once the teacher approved our requests, he had us write a speech on the opposing view of our final speech—by doing this, we could understand both sides to topics and therefore become more informed debaters.
Not only was it interesting to learn about the passions of my classmates, but I also became informed on a wide variety of issues that I have never learned about before. I heard topics ranging from the electoral college, effects of video games, and child foster care. I chose my speech on nuclear energy. I have been passionate about the environment for as long as I can remember, and I am quite the supporter of nuclear energy. Here are my presentation slides.
We have many days when we just get to have fun with microscopes: looking at a variety of organisms, big and small, and just take in all their intricacies. The great thing is that we get our water samples from the pond right behind school. The class really brings out your curious side and makes you appreciate science.
I remember one specific lab where we were looking at diatoms (microscopic organisms found in most bodies of water) under a microscope. I was expecting to see a harmless little speck under the light, but instead what I found was a monster. It looked like the Sarlacc (from Star Wars), and I got so spooked that I leaped out of my seat! But at least now I can tell people what diatoms look like up close. Experiments like these are not only genuinely fun to do but teach you a lot about the world around, even the smallest of creatures.
AP U.S. History
Today we were talking about the role of government. I mentioned how I believe it’s the government’s role to educate the youth, even if the youth are disinterested in being educated. Some people disagreed with me—they felt that education is not a human right, and therefore it is not the government’s role. Your worldview and beliefs will be challenged at Bear Creek, which is a good thing because those kinds of experiences are what make you grow as a person. The best kind of classroom environment is one where you can discuss key issues with your classmates in a judgment-free area, and this class is definitely all about that!
My favorite days in this class are often the days after tests. The teachers understand that we need some mental rest after preparing for days for a big assessment. So, we always take the day after tests to play fun math-related games and just enjoy each other’s company. My teacher this year is Mr. Wood, whose passion for his students is evident every second. We would often hop onto a Kahoot! games after tests and just spend an hour laughing and getting to know each other better.
Ms. Huston always has fun and unique activities planned for us in choir. Some days, we will be singing a new song in our sectionals, another day we will be practicing with hand bells. This class is really refreshing after a long school day. This year we have been working on some Christmas classics such as O Come All Ye Faithful and Sing We Now of Christmas.
Unfortunately, we are not allowed to sing when we attend choir in person due to COVID-19, and instead spend time playing bells (equally fun in my opinion). But at home is where Ms. Huston has been working one-on-one with her students to make sure that they can grow as a singer and as a student.
Today we learned about imperfect verbs. Imperfect verbs are verbs that are used to describe actions in the past that happened repeatedly. For example, “I used to work at McDonalds,” is an imperfect sentence where “used to work” would be the imperfect verb. I had been struggling to understand how they worked, but I remember one class where I just asked the teacher to explain them again. I remember the pieces clicking in my head as I finally began to understand.
Ms. Paramo is extremely warm and friendly with her students. She will give us assignments where we must work with our classmates and tackle Spanish-related problems (like imperfect verbs) together. And she is always ready to give us a game to play, whether it be Spanish Bingo or Basta! (word guessing game).
Overall, Bear Creek is a place where each class will challenge you and make you grow. But at the same time will be energetic and engaging. One thing I know for sure is that green and gold will always run through your veins once you have been through the doors of Bear Creek. Go Grizzlies!
- Student Blog
Emilia Ifrim '21
Wisdom, Compassion, and Courage: three words you hear often but cannot be emphasized enough. These three traits we stand by, combined with each individual and his or her own talents, results in the community we have grown to know and love.