Izzy J. is a sophomore who has attended The Bear Creek School since preschool. She serves as a House Head for Hildegard and co-captain of the girls varsity basketball team. Izzy’s favorite subjects are English and history, and she hopes to major in communications in college. When not at school (or at soccer practice), Izzy enjoys FaceTime-ing with friends, reading, watching shows, and listening to music. Izzy is most grateful for the friendships she has formed during her years at Bear Creek as well as the mentorship of her teachers. She says that Bear Creek “has truly shaped who I am today and helped me share God's light through my life.”
Izzy’s School Day
Today is Wednesday, so we get late start! Classes begin at nine, and my first block is Honors Medieval and Renaissance Literature.
Honors Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Dr. Howell always starts class with a quotation or verse to introduce the topic, today’s is “Dark clouds bring waters, when the bright bring none” from The Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyon. Right now, we are focused on reading The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spencer and talking about the Seven Deadly Sins. Today we watch a video of an analysis of the poem and are prompted to answer several questions and write a paragraph in response. Here’s the video link, the prompt, and my response:
Prompt: According to the video discussion, Spenser’s epic poem was written to instruct and delight, a verbal tapestry so that the reader’s heart might be trained to love what is lovely and hate what is loathsome. How does one go about training the affections one’s heart so that when sin is exposed it is found to be disgusting, and when beauty is unveiled it is discovered to be lovely?
Response: By completely revealing the vileness of sin, one can train their heart to turn away from evil and choose to love what is lovely. This is what Spencer’s goal was. His poem exposes sin for its true nature and shows readers how simply disgusting it is. This leaves readers with a sense of revulsion for evil things, guiding them instead to yearn for goodness. Many people in this world are blind to sin’s daily consequences and therefore have little care over their actions. When you display the most horrific and utterly despicable aspects of sin right in front of them, these people realize the weight of their choices. They turn away from sin, whether in fear or repulsion, leaving their path clear to follow what is good in God’s eyes. It is for this reason that Spencer’s poem is still making an impact. As we read, our hearts are turned against sin and subconsciously led to Christ’s way.
After a quick ten-minute break, next up is Systematic Theology. In our last class, we each formed questions on each of these four specific topics: Christology, Soteriology, Pneumatology, and the Trinity. Today we have the opportunity to pose our questions to Mr. Davison, Upper School Dean of Students, and have a full seminar. My question about Soteriology (the study of salvation) is whether or not our salvation would still be the same if Jesus had only died on the cross and had not risen on the third day. We all talked about our views on the subject, and although we didn’t come to one definite conclusion, is was really good to hear everyone’s thoughts.
AP European History
Dr. Sorenson begins by briefly going over our task for the period, producing our threaded discussion comments. Since we're not able to do in-person seminars, we've been reading and analyzing a text every week and posting a response to it in our group channels in Microsoft Teams. This week our text covered some different perspectives on the Industrial Revolution, including excerpts from Colbert and Turgot. Here’s what I submitted:
"A man of greater strength, more industrious, and more anxious about the future took more land than a man with the opposite character. He whose family was larger, having more needs and more hands, extended his possessions further; here was already a first form of inequality" (XII Turgot).
This text, written by Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, outlines the reasons why he believed agriculture was the foundation of the economy, and ultimately the source of all wealth. He includes arguments about the 'husbandman,' 'workmen' and 'proprietors' among other things. He also briefly specifies three different forms of inequality.
I found this quote very interesting because it highlights an aspect of inequality, not caused by one person's treatment of another, but by a person's state of being. As we all know, there are countless inequalities in this world, and a certain majority of them are caused by policies and social norms deeply rooted in antiquated prejudices. However, this quote focuses on an inequality caused by a person's individual nature rather than the opportunities and rights he or she is afforded. The two men in this example are given the same chance at land, but because of the ambitious nature of his character, the first man simply gains the advantage over the other. This sort of inequality can be directly applied to dealings in the business world, but should be regarded with caution when discussing other issues. Especially when discussing individual rights, we need to remember that humanity's worth is founded in Christ and Christ alone. Our differing personalities, preferences, clothing, and worldviews don't change the fact that we are all made in the image of God and deserve basic human respect in all circumstances. While the second man may come out of this initial situation less fortunate, it does not mean that he is any less valuable or equal to the first man. Each person has different strengths. The goal is for everyone to be comfortable with who they are and to accept how their own nature effects the way they live. If you are happy doing what you love, nobody can tell you you're not successful.
I log onto the call and quickly finish my daily warm up, which is analyzing the setting, composition, and category of the photo to the left. Mrs. Plourde asks us all to take our photos for our Mirror Image project and enter them into OneNote by the end of the period. The project is to take a photo of something (I chose a leaf) and edit it in Adobe Photoshop to make it have a mirrored, kaleidoscope effect. I grab my camera and take the flower pictures I planned out on my mood board the previous class. Once I'm happy with the photos I've taken, I make a contact sheet in Adobe Bridge and enter them onto my OneNote page. We will edit them next time we meet.
Honors Chemistry starts at 2:10 p.m., and I quickly answer Ms. Bell's opening question. Recently, we've begun every class with a short quiz over the Polyatomic Formulas. After that, we split into small groups and complete the POGIL (basically a worksheet). Today's POGIL is about Naming Molecular Compounds, and I'm lucky to have a fun group, so it's not hard. For the POGIL, we have to look at a covalent chemical formula (for example PBr3) and find the name of the compound (this would be Phosphorus Tribromide). We spend the whole class working on it, periodically calling Ms. Bell in to answer our questions. Once we've finished the worksheet, we're free to go!
Overall, today was pretty great! I was very productive, and I’m glad I got most of my work done, so I don’t have much homework to do later. I love the breaks and freedom Bear Creek gives us. The teachers are really supportive and always understanding. Without their steadfast leadership, I have no idea where I’d be! The Upper School at Bear Creek is an amazing place to cultivate friendships, learn about subjects you’re interested in, and ultimately grow your relationship with God (to become the individual He intends).
Bear Creek is a diverse community. International students are an integral part of our big family. Many students chose Bear Creek because of its Christian liberal arts education, and its powerful impact on shaping students. Some of our Chinese students volunteered to share their experiences.