Kate is currently a junior at Bear Creek, which she finds to be terrifying and fun (but mostly fun!). Her favorite classes are AP United States History and art. Additionally, Kate is an active member in a variety of clubs including Key Club, National Honors Society, Eco Club, and the Community Service Committee. Her favorite part of Bear Creek is attending sports games with friends to cheer on the teams.
Kate’s School Day
AP United States History
Today I learned about Andrew Jackson and his presidency. In class, we discussed the controversy around Jackson and his identity as the “President of the Common Man,” discussing both sides of the issue. One of the main arguments against this was the Indian Removal Act which allowed Jackson to remove the southern Native American tribes to federal territory west of the Mississippi River in exchange for the creation of white settlements on their ancestral lands. An argument for Jackson as the “President of the Common Man” is that he did expand democratic participation and limited the federal government. By the time the bell rang, we still hadn’t come to a definitive conclusion. During class, a friend and I also had fun talking to Ms. Wilson about possibly continuing a yearly tradition of reenacting the Battle of Bunker Hill outside with water balloons.
Athanasius is the best house (don’t let anyone else tell you anything differently). Last week all the Houses made fun videos to create a strong sense of community and normalcy. For our video, Athanasius danced to a Kanye West song. In the beginning of our video, a few seniors gave a small introduction to Athanasius before shifting to a recorded clip of our entire house dancing. I had so much fun seeing the creativity of the other Houses, and I was even more excited to hear our House video had gotten second place!
AP English Language and Composition
To begin class today, we read two documents from Harper’s Weekly entitled “Patriotism” and “The Slavery Question.” Our main focus of the subsequent discussion was to find the classical argument structure and SOAPSToneS of each article. Classical argument structure following this format: introduction, narration, confirmation, refutation/concession, and summation. SOAPSToneS is an analysis technique which allows us to analyze documents by identifying the speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, subject, tone, and style of a piece.
At lunch, Dr. Howell played jazz music, and we ate in silence for a while. Eventually, everyone finished eating, and we ended up discussing the life of a fly and what it would feel like to be an insect.
Art was such a blast today! Over the past week, I had been sketching the outline of the skull, and so today I began shading it in. It was extremely fun to observe where the light was hitting the skull, and I loved learning how to shade the different values. Below is a picture of my skull after I partially finished the shading. I am really enjoying this project because it is pushing me to become a better artist, and it is teaching me how to incorporate two principles of art (balance and contrast) into my work. While sketching, I was able to successfully incorporate balance by making the skull symmetrical. Currently, I am working on creating contrast by using different values throughout the skull.
Chemistry was incredibly fun today—we finished a lesson on hybridization (when atomic orbitals mix to form a new atomic orbital). Next we did an awesome lab about molecular geometries and their corresponding angles. Molecular geometries are what a molecule “looks like” when the lone pairs (non-bonded electrons) are treated as empty negative space. Instead of simply drawing the molecular geometries and angles, I was given marshmallows and toothpicks to create three dimensional shapes. Being able to build each of the geometries was extremely helpful because I was able to fully understand what each type of geometry looked like. Not only was this activity extremely fun, but it also helped me learn about each of the molecular geometries in greater detail.
Today, we learned about C.S. Lewis’ objections and responses to morality. Before this class, I had only known C.S. Lewis as an author, but it was interesting to hear about his moral arguments as well. Mr. Urban shared with us Lewis’ three moral arguments for the existence of God: people agree on objective moral truths, moral laws are quite unlike natural laws, and finally, that there is intelligence behind our natural intuition of objective moral facts. It is important to note that C.S. Lewis did not believe a division between faith and reason was necessary. He believed faith leads us to a greater understanding of the natural world and the laws of the universe.
Today, I had an amazing day—all of my classes were interesting and enriching. In Upper School, both the faculty and students have created a tremendous sense of community, friendship, and positivity. Every morning (even when the weather is terrible), our teachers stand outside and welcome us into the building with a huge smile and a friendly greeting. In class, the teachers create an environment for students to learn, make mistakes, and ask for help. Not once have I ever felt like I could not talk to my teacher about an upcoming test or an assignment. My favorite part about the teachers is how they make a conscious effort to get to know us students and mentor us. Not only do the faculty act like this, but the students do also. The students at Bear Creek are always extremely friendly to one another, even to those they do not know. My favorite part about the student body is watching everyone come together to excitedly cheer on our sports teams. There have been times when people have lost their voices from cheering so loudly! As a Bear Creek student, I am so incredibly grateful to experience and contribute to the positive and communal environment in the Upper School.
- 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.