The Chicago Waldorf High School Prom is a celebration for ALL the grades in the High School. Its a revelatory night: the seniors are focused on their future plans even as they reflect on all the past experiences that led them to this point. They enjoy this signature event marking their last days at CWS, while the 11th grade plans and hosts the event, the 10th grade observes and prepares for their hosting duties for the following year, and the 9th grade experiences the thrill of a new social introduction.
Capping the end of a beautiful and bustling May Fair, the students went home after staffing their shifts to prep and get ready for the prom. Much primping, preening and planning went into their "presentation of self," so here we are happy to present these photos of our High School students. All pride and smiles: it truly was a night for the students to enjoy...and one we will remember!
SLIDE SHOW: Click on the image to enlarge it to full view, then use left and right arrows on the edges to navigate
2017 Seniors' Graduation Plans-
Genevieve Antic – will be leaving Chicago and is excited to travel outside of the US to experience a refreshing change of scenery at Richmond University in London. Her sister lives in London, and Genevieve loves the city and appreciates knowing the language—though she points out that it’s still different! Genevieve is excited to be living in a country with a great culture and history and to experience what it’s like to live in society with a royal family and be ruled by a queen! Vivi plans to study fashion marketing and business and, though designing sneakers will always be her first love, she hopes to one day own her own bar (as it’s a historical occupation that runs in the family).
Allison Boshell – applied Early Action to Lawrence University and got in! She is happy that Lawrence has an “amazing graduate school acceptance rate” and excited about the opportunities for various internships and to do research. She’s also fond of the amazing food at Lawrence. She has found the people to be super nice; there are not a lot of divisions or cliques and it feels like a real community. Allison may major in Forensic Science (or some other science) and wants to minor in Studio Art; she may even make it a double major. “I’m an artist”, she says, and doesn’t want to drop art. Since coming to the Chicago Waldorf School in her junior year she’s also learned to love science and exploring how things work. Forensic science is attractive for finding out how things happen. This summer Allison plans to create a series of tiny canvases of sunrises or sunsets so that she has a regular scheduled time to make art, as well as visiting friends far away and working at the Farmhouse in Evanston, where she’s a hostess.
Max Claypool – felt a strong pull and decided to apply early action to University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana. He knew specifically that he was looking for a school which offers lots of choices and he’s very enthusiastic to be going to U of I. He notes the Champaign Urbana campus has a great athletics program that makes them a “Big Ten” school. His senior internship at a Media Marketing firm got him working on a number of political spots for candidates for the governors of Florida and New Jersey, suggesting a possible professional path and opening up new doors. His own interest is in the liberal arts approach to education. He’s enrolled in the “Division of General Studies” and intends to try many disciplines before picking a major.
Eden DeJesus – says that Parsons-The New School is a perfect fit for him. When he visited the school, located in Greenwich Village, he could totally see himself at the school and in New York City. He would be the first in his family to study design and it would be exciting to get away from Chicago. Eden appreciates the interdisciplinary nature of the school, the amazing graduates, and the opportunity to make powerful connections. He says going away to a design school is a bit scary, but “that’s how I know I’m going in the right direction.” Not knowing what to expect is good, because it gives him the freedom to learn all kinds of new things. 5/2/17 Update: Eden was enthusiastically surprised when he learned he had received a 4-year scholarship to attend Parsons for his fashion design work (which some of you may have seen presented in his senior thesis show: “Deconstruction: Fashion Unfinished”).
Saunders Ervin – is attending Parsons School of Design in New York, in the Fall. Her main goals at present are to focus on design, pursuing her interests in creative direction and editorial work; to find dedicated people who challenge and inspire her to do her best work; and to study in a big city environment with a mix of urban and international students. She is interested in that international perspective and also wants to travel abroad in the future (in a foreign school as part of a study abroad program). This summer Saunders is looking to travel, spend time with her friends, and relax at her beach house in Michigan. She is grateful for her Waldorf experience: “I wouldn’t be where I am without my Waldorf education.”
Dana Flores – has travelled before and wants an international perspective so she plans to continue that experience and is thrilled to be attending the American University in Paris which attracts a large international student body. She loves that it’s right in the heart of Paris (with a short walk to the Eiffel Tower and the Avenue des Champs-Elysées). She is impressed with the school’s liberal arts programs. She says “this year I broke out of my shell and got really into artistic, creative projects and really enjoyed having a platform to promote social justice issues. I’d like to work at a magazine or in journalism” so she’s enrolled in the Global Communications program at the university. She is ecstatic to be living in a thriving urban environment where “the city is your campus.” In reflecting on the college search process she says “Go for what you want, even if it doesn’t seem possible. There are always ways to figure it out.”
Lindsay Garcia – Is attending the Parsons School in Manhattan. She opted for NYC and its lively arts community. She loves painting and drawing and is eager to try new art forms and to engage in the arts community while living in an urban setting. She is open to many possibilities and would love to pursue a future and career that integrates her expanding creative skills. Her advice about the college selection process is: “Start early and be honest when you put yourself out there. Think about how YOU want to live your life.”
“Go for what you want, even if it doesn’t seem possible. There are always ways to figure it out.”
Sarah Gartner – applied Early Decision to Sarah Lawrence College because there is so much that speaks well of it. She’s excited to be going there with other CWS students including her longtime friend Jessica Kriho. She says it seems to be a very “Waldorf-like” program with lots of discussion at a beautiful campus outside of New York City. While her specific major is undecided, she loves acting and was attracted to the excellent theater program they offer in London. She might take a minor in education; and she is also interested in cosmology. Sarah appreciated the warm personal application process and even enjoyed writing her essay. “I tried so many versions that I didn’t like,” she states, “but once I wrote it for myself and abandoned what I thought they wanted to me to say, then it was a good essay!”
Sean Harper – will attend DePaul University this fall. He’s pleased to learn about all DePaul offers and glad that he will be going to school so close to home. Sean plans to major in marketing; he likes business and wants to “appeal to people by using words.” He’s also interested in law, following his internship in a civil rights attorney’s office where he read trials and wrote summaries. This summer he will work and plans to participate in DePaul’s Explore Chicago program.
“this year I broke out of my shell and got really into artistic, creative projects and really enjoyed having a platform to promote social justice issues”
Jessica Kriho – is excited to be attending Sarah Lawrence in the fall and is happy she will just have to pay for housing. To that end, she will work this summer to save money, though she would like to take a road trip to New Orleans. She’s looking forward to the small campus where she will be able to participate in theatre, music, and visual arts and other activities outside of her major. There’s even an equestrian team! Jessica appreciates the focus on discussion-type classes and that the campus is in a quiet setting and still close to New York City.
Elijah Marder – is dedicated to attending University of Illinois in Champaign. He has always loved the school and its connections run deep in his family with both his older brother attending and his parents having attended the school. Elijah is very excited about this large university and its broad scope of offerings. He plans to pursue his interest in science with a chance to enroll in their pre-med program after the first few years. He is also interested in the mix of the college town environment of Champaign and the smaller town experience in Urbana.
“Start early & be honest when you put yourself out there. Think about how YOU want to live your life.”
Kasper Marona – will be studying International Relations at American University in Washington, DC, this fall. He’s fascinated by politics and current events and enjoyed interning at his alderman’s office this spring; he hopes to be a White House or Capitol intern while in college. Kasper is concerned with how laws are created and applied, and he plans to become a US legislator – making laws and amendments to the legal code. Eventually, he would like to be a foreign ambassador.
Joe McRaith – plans to attend either Columbia College Chicago or Harold Washington College for a couple of years before transferring to a 4-year college. While he hasn’t declared a major at this point, he is interested in the humanities, art, design, and engineering. He enjoyed his internship with four different architecture firms where he was able to create 3-D designs, build scale models, shadow meetings, visit some sites and do research. Joe enjoys history and current events, especially “connecting the dots” in his reading, writing, and analysis. His plans may take him outside Chicago; he enjoys both nature and a great city, so places that encompass both – Seattle, Denver, the American Southwest, and the east coast – are a draw for him. Joe did not expect to be at the Chicago Waldorf School when he began high school, but he’s found the philosophy of learning here has been the best fit for him. In considering his plans for the future Joe says, “I know what I like, but there’s a lot more to explore!”
“I’m excited to move on to the next step!”
Joy Park – plans to attend Indiana University in Bloomington where she will begin her biology major. After her first year, she will transfer to the University of Washington to continue her pre-med studies with the goal of becoming a pediatric cardiologist. She looks forward to attending a large school and meeting a lot of people. There’s always a lot going on and Joy plans to get involved in photography and a sorority, as well as participating in intramural sports. This summer her family will visit from Korea; then they will all visit San Diego and Hawaii before returning home to Korea. Joy comes back in July to move to Indiana.
Augustus Post – at the point of this interview he was still deciding between two great school experiences: Parsons in NYC and Leeds College in London. Augustus wants to go into a fashion design program; he also likes Digital Music and has been composing music this way since he was 8 years old. He likes that the Parsons faculty are primarily professional practitioners in their fields and will be great contacts for applied learning opportunities and internships, or he may decide to go for the international experience of living in London with all its connections to the fashion industry. This summer he plans to travel to Amsterdam with his old roommates from his exchange program in Italy to continue his interests in travelling and exploring the world.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without my Waldorf education.”
Henry Rogers – will attend the University of British Columbia in Okanagan, Canada. He is eager to be joining a university in the fastest growing city in Canada. The school attracts a student body that is about 20% international students and has a campus out in nature that is only 20 minutes from Colona and offers scenic mountains for weekend ski trips and more nature explorations. Besides their great sports program and intramurals Henry was attracted to their “Faculty & Management” program which dovetails with his interest to be a business major with a focus on Sports Management. Of the college selection process he says, “I’m excited to move on to the next step!”
Eva Schmid – has selected Mills College in Oakland, California for her next step. While she will use her first year or two to explore a variety of interests, Eva would definitely like to learn Chinese. Her family is Chinese and her great-grandmother speaks Mandarin. Eva focused on schools that are small, liberal arts colleges where classes are discussion-based. This summer she will work at Camp Run-A-Pup, a doggy day-care where she interned this spring. She’s learned a lot about dogs and is looking forward to training Peabody, her Pom/Chihuahua mix whom she will take to college with her.
“I feel so excited to find my passion. I’ve been good at lots of things in my Waldorf education, but now I want to find out ‘MY THING’.”
Alexandra Schrepferman – wants to stay close to home so she will be attending Columbia College Chicago in the fall. There are a lot of opportunities for her to build her portfolio there; she will major in cinematography. Alex appreciates that Columbia will allow her to work constantly on projects outside of the classroom. This summer she interned with Kurt Gowan (our Parkour teacher); besides getting training in Parkour, she produced and edited a video for him to put on YouTube. This summer Alex will work in a movie theatre – she’s always enjoyed movies and chose cinematography because she is drawn to camera movement and how movies are framed.
Shea Shawgo-Manley – has elected to attend Connecticut College in the fall. She choose it because it’s an excellent, small liberal arts school that offers opportunity for further explorations in many fields that interest her, including: Business, Interior Design, Video Editing, and Psychology. Shea liked that Conn College offers interdisciplinary courses and takes advantage of a small student body size for a personalized experience. She likes that that enables the school to rely on an honor system and invest trust and responsibility in the students rather than issuing restrictions from above. Shea was attracted to the many classes being taught in roundtable discussion and seminar formats rather than as large lectern address classes. She reflected that, looking to her future, she feels “…so excited to find my passion. I’ve been good at lots of things in my Waldorf education, but now I want to find out ‘MY THING’.”
Cherokee Sperry – has been accepted into the Honors Program at the University of Illinois (UIC)- Chicago campus in the fall. He is committed to exercise and the martial arts and so plans to major in Kineseiology, with the goal of becoming a coach or strength trainer in professional sports. His passion for movement began when he was little with ballet and Mexican folklore dance classes, followed by Tae Kwon Do; he began doing Capoeira in the 7th grade. Cherokee wants to stay in Chicago and feels he will excel here – he “knows how it works” here, can have a car and an apartment more easily than in a larger city, and has family here. Other plans include growing his fan base in rap music; he wants to keep a balance between academics and the rest of his life. Cherokee owes much of his success to his upbringing; his single mother encouraged him to work extra hard and was the driving force behind him. She enrolled him at Waldorf for his early childhood years and he believes this helped him to separate from negative influences in his environment, by listening to NPR and avoiding the mass media.
Abigail St. John – After a full summer caring for her sister, working for her family’s company, volunteering at the library’s summer reading program, and babysitting in Indiana, Abigail will head off to one of three schools. She is still deciding between the University of Edinburgh, Wittenburg University [Ohio], and St. Olaf College [Minnesota]. Wherever she ends up, Abigail has a lot she wants to do so she plans to double major and have a minor – which will include some combination of English, Creative Writing, Music, Education and Philosophy. Whew! She is still exploring what she wants to do as a career; ultimately, she wants to leave an impact and hopes to use her work to give voice to those whose stories are not heard.
Maya Tarasiewicz – is a “Waldorf lifer” who is looking for something new, now that she has a good foundation from her Waldorf education. She definitively states, “I’ve been waiting a long time and now this opportunity is right around the corner!” She has chosen to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan this fall. Some of the factors in her decision are the appeal of a large university within the vibrancy of New York City, and a chance for new opportunities by getting out of the Midwest. She choose F.I.T. because of her preferences for a school with a focus on creative thinking and additional opportunities to pursue her interest in music. Maya is considering a major in Business, Music, or Psychology. She says, “I’m extremely excited for a new chapter in my life.”
Grace Walters – will attend Emory University in Atlanta this fall. She was attracted to Emory because of its strong writing program and the opportunity to pursue her diverse interests in their inter-disciplinary degree program. She plans to pursue Creative Writing and Political Science (partly inspired by her recent experiences at the University of Iowa International Writing Workshop). She is happy to be in a vibrant city, and to explore the foreign culture of the Southern United States.
Ben Weingarten – is excited to be heading to Boston this fall to begin studies at Emerson College. He’s looking forward to the many opportunities open to him: access to lots of travel along the East Coast, a possible semester in L.A. or the Netherlands, and combining his love of theatre and sports. Emerson was appealing because it’s a small school with a city campus and because if offers broadcasting. After his spring internship at WGN, where he got to edit stories and do his own podcast, Ben hopes to get into Sports Communication or Broadcasting. This summer he will perform in “Twelfth Night” at Evanston’s outdoor Shakespeare theatre before attending his uncle’s wedding in France.
With gratitude for our Graduates...Fare Thee Well!
All* portrait drawings by senior, Saunders Ervin, class of 2017
(* her portrait was a collaborative sketch by the other seniors).
Interviews conducted by Barbara Wahler and Jason Greenberg
Post edited & published by Jason Greenberg in mid-April, 2017
The Class of 2017 pose for a final portrait at the stone sculptures corner of school campus
This year at Chicago Waldorf High School, twenty-three of our graduating seniors have applied to a college or university. The schools below have accepted our graduating seniors as of 4/15/2017. Merit scholarship offers have been generous as colleges attempt to lure the most qualified students.
In high demand: in 2016-17 the seniors amassed
$71,575 per student in merit scholarship offers!
A number of colleges/universities are new to our list when compared with the last few years. These schools include American University in Washington, DC; Connecticut College, Hampshire College, Seattle University, and Wittenberg University, as well as universities in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Paris. College familiarity with CWS continues to expand with each graduating class. Congratulations to our seniors and their families!
Schools that accepted CWS students from the Class of 2017: *
American University, DC
American University in Paris
Beloit College, WI
Columbia College Chicago
Concordia University, Montreal
Connecticut College, CT
DePaul University, IL
DePauw University, IN
Eckerd College, FL
Emerson College, MA
Emory University, GA
Emmanuel College, MA
Eugene Lang College – The New School, NY
Fashion Institute of Technology, NY
Hampshire College, MA
Immaculata University, PA
Indiana University – Bloomington
Knox College, IL
Lawrence University, WI
Leeds University, United Kingdom
Lewis and Clark College, OR
Loyola University Chicago
Marquette University, WI
Norwich University, VT
Pacific Northwest College of Art, OR
Parsons - The New School for Design, NY
Pratt Institute, NY
Richmond University, London
San Diego State University, CA
Savannah College of Art & Design, GA
Sarah Lawrence College, NY
Seattle University, WA
Stetson University, FL
St. John’s University, NY
St. Olaf College, MN
University of British Columbia
University of Edinburgh
University of Illinois – Chicago
University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
University of Iowa
University of Maryland, MD
University of North Carolina-Asheville, NC
University of Puget Sound, WA
University of Victoria, British Columbia
University of Washington – Seattle
Washington State University, WA
Wheaton College, MA
Wittenberg University, OH
* Listed as of April 15, 2017
Tonight's presenter at the Family Action Network (FAN) speaker series is Adam Alter, Ph.D. who has just written a new book called "Irresistible:The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked." In this Saturday's New York Times, an editorial by Ross Douthat entitled "Resist the Internet" featured both Adam Alter's main critique and called attention to Waldorf schools as models for having adopted a conscious approach to "slow media" by maintaining controlled exposure to--and use of--the internet and portable media. Douthat goes on to say:
Resist the Internet
New York Times, Sunday Review | Op-Ed Columnist Ross Douthat | March 12, 2017
So far, in my ongoing series of columns making the case for implausible ideas, I’ve fixed race relations and solved the problem of a workless working class. So now it’s time to turn to the real threat to the human future: the one in your pocket or on your desk, the one you might be reading this column on right now.
Search your feelings, you know it to be true: You are enslaved to the internet. Definitely if you’re young, increasingly if you’re old, your day-to-day, minute-to-minute existence is dominated by a compulsion to check email and Twitter and Facebook and Instagram with a frequency that bears no relationship to any communicative need.
Compulsions are rarely harmless. The internet is not the opioid crisis; it is not likely to kill you (unless you’re hit by a distracted driver) or leave you ravaged and destitute. But it requires you to focus intensely, furiously, and constantly on the ephemera that fills a tiny little screen, and experience the traditional graces of existence — your spouse and friends and children, the natural world, good food and great art — in a state of perpetual distraction.
Used within reasonable limits, of course, these devices also offer us new graces. But we are not using them within reasonable limits. They are the masters; we are not. They are built to addict us, as the social psychologist Adam Alter’s new book “Irresistible” points out — and to madden us, distract us, arouse us and deceive us. We primp and perform for them as for a lover; we surrender our privacy to their demands; we wait on tenterhooks for every “like.” The smartphone is in the saddle, and it rides mankind.
Which is why we need a social and political movement—digital temperance, if you will—
to take back some control.
“Temperance?” you might object, with one eye on the latest outrage shared by your co-partisans on social media. “You mean, like, Prohibition? For something everyone relies on for their daily work and lives, that’s the basis for our economic — hang on, I just need to ‘favorite’ this tweet …”
No, not like Prohibition. Temperance doesn’t have to mean teetotaling; it can simply mean a culture of restraint that tries to keep a specific product in its place. And the internet, like alcohol, may be an example of a technology that should be sensibly restricted in custom and in law.
Of course it’s too soon to fully know (and indeed we can never fully know) what online life is doing to us. It certainly delivers some social benefits, some intellectual advantages, and contributes an important share to recent economic growth.
But there are also excellent reasons to think that online life breeds narcissism, alienation and depression, that it’s an opiate for the lower classes and an insanity-inducing influence on the politically-engaged, and that it takes more than it gives from creativity and deep thought. Meanwhile the age of the internet has been, thus far, an era of bubbles, stagnation and democratic decay — hardly a golden age whose customs must be left inviolate.
So a digital temperance movement would start by resisting the wiring of everything, and seek to create more spaces in which internet use is illegal, discouraged or taboo. Toughen laws against cellphone use in cars, keep computers out of college lecture halls, put special “phone boxes” in restaurants where patrons would be expected to deposit their devices, confiscate smartphones being used in museums and libraries and cathedrals, create corporate norms that strongly discourage checking email in a meeting.
Then there are the starker steps. Get computers — all of them — out of elementary schools, where there is no good evidence that they improve learning.
Let kids learn from books for years before they’re asked to go online for research; let them play in the real before they’re enveloped by the virtual.
Then keep going. The age of consent should be 16, not 13, for Facebook accounts. Kids under 16 shouldn’t be allowed on gaming networks. High school students shouldn’t bring smartphones to school. Kids under 13 shouldn’t have them at all. If you want to buy your child a cellphone, by all means: In the new dispensation, Verizon and Sprint will have some great “voice-only” plans available for minors.
I suspect that versions of these ideas will be embraced within my lifetime by a segment of the upper class and a certain kind of religious family. But the masses will still be addicted, and the technology itself will have evolved to hook and immerse — and alienate and sedate — more completely and efficiently.
But what if we decided that what’s good for the Silicon Valley overlords who send their kids to a low-tech Waldorf school is also good for everyone else? Our devices we shall always have with us, but we can choose the terms. We just have to choose together, to embrace temperance and paternalism both. Only a movement can save you from the tyrant in your pocket.
The New York Times editorial can be found in its entirety here at its source.
The Chicago Waldorf High School Boys Basketball team, led by five seniors, made history in the 2016-2017 season. For the first time, the high school boys went undefeated in Lakeshore Athletic League conference play, capturing the conference title and the tournament championship under the leadership of Coach Cole Hunton.
Despite being Coach Hunton’s first season with the team, he immediately brought some big changes to the table. He knew he would have to ask a lot of the team if they were going to have a strong season. “From that very first practice at 6:00 a.m. in November, all 10 players bought in and found a way to understand what it was going to take each day for us to be successful,” Coach Hunton emphasized.
The team’s hard work paid off when, on February 21, the Waldorf boys won the Regional quarter-final game of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) State Tournament. They then moved on to the semi-finals, winning in a thrilling battle against rival Ida Crown, 51-47, to advance to the Tournament Regional Championship Game against #1 seed Luther North. Although the team ultimately fell to Luther North, senior Henry Rogers expressed how proud he was of his teammates, many of whom have been playing together since they were in 6th grade. “It was a great season. We practiced hard with two-a-day practices. It was a great way to go out and we’re proud of what we did,” stated Rogers.
Prior to this season, the Chicago Waldorf School's basketball team had never won a game in the Regional tournament, and never competed in an IHSA Regional Championship game. Senior Elijah Marder believes this is the new blueprint for the program, stating “We went into the season with an underdog mentality, trying to prove ourselves, and we did. I think this sets a new standard for the team in the future.”
Coach Hunton echoed Marder’s sentiment on the hard work and dedication that was put into this season, claiming “while every day was not easy and we went through our fair share of highs and lows, they stuck together and grinded all the way to the end. To have the most successful season in Chicago Waldorf basketball history is special, and something they should be extremely proud of every day. They successfully laid the foundation for what will be our goals and expectations next season and beyond.”
The CWS community is proud to celebrate this historical season, while looking excitedly ahead to the future of the High School Boys Basketball program.
Waldorf High School Seniors, as culmination of their studies, take on the mantle of educators!
You are warmly invited to attend these public presentations of the seniors’ culminating course of study. Based on the "TED Talks" model, these academic, cultural, civic and experimental topics of interest chosen by each student, are preseted to demonstrate the student's independent research, observation, theoretical analysis, and artistic explorations. The projects arise as an area of specialization for the student that has grown out of their studies in the High School.
High School Senior Projects Week
Monday - Friday, March 6 - 10, 2017
Presentations are in the CWS Auditorium at 1300 W. Loyola Avenue. (Map & Directions)
Please come at the beginning of each morning, afternoon & evening session.
Monday, March 6
10:50 am Welcome & Opening Remarks
11:00 am Ben Weingarten -
The Design of the American Ballpark
— Lunch Break —
1:00 pm Max Claypool -
Tied Up with Strings: The Theory of Everything
Lindsay Garcia -
Who’s There? The Case for Extraterrestrial Life
Tuesday, March 7
11:00 am Allison Boshell - Eat To Live
— Lunch Break —
1:00 pm Saunders Ervin - Why Put a Ring on It?
The Past, Present & Future of Marriage
Grace Walters -
What’s Going Around: The Aesthetics of Disease
Wednesday, March 8
10:00 am Jessica Kriho -
Musical Notes: A Series of Colorful Compositions
Shea Shawgo-Manley -
Video Art: My Exploration in a Contemporary Art Form
— Lunch Break —
1:00 pm Henry Rogers - Experimental Learning:
Pushing Your Limits and Building Resilience
Augustus Post - How Music Shapes Fashion
Thursday, March 9
2:00 pm Genevive Antic - Doctors Without Borders
Kacper Marona - From the Collapse of Germany,
The Birth of the Free Waldorf School
5:00 pm Abigail St. John - The Magic of Stories:
Why We Can’t Break the Spell
Alex Schrepferman - Cinematography Techniques
and Their Influence on the Audience
Sarah Gartner - Collapsed Stars
Friday, March 10
2:00 pm Elijah Marder - The Concussion Epidemic:
Tackling Brain Trauma Head On
Maya Tarasiewicz - Synesthesia: The Superpower
of the Senses
5:00 pm Sean Harper - Marching On: A History of
Racial Injustice in America
Cherokee Sperry - Native American Warriors
Dana Flores - Restorative Justice: Justice That Heals
Eden De Jesus - Deconstruction: Fashion Unfinished
9:00 pm Closing Remarks
Parents, family members, alumni and members of the public are warmly invited to attend.
For more details call the Main Office at 773.465-2662
Top Image: Sam Liss presents his project, "The Psychology of Deception" in 2016.
Inline Column: Silvia Sukenic- Autism Spectrum Disorder: Burden & Blessing / Detail from Liza Kahn's- Understanding Beauty: An Exploration Across Four Cultures / Max Renton- Calder’s Universe: Changing the Face of Sculpture / Siubhan Stormont- Movie Makeup: The Art of Transformation
One reason many families are drawn to Waldorf education is its emphasis on experiential learning, or, as a Waldorf teacher might say, teaching that engages the will. In early grades this is easy to see in lessons that bring the whole class out of their seats in a variety of active exercises. In later years the engagement of the will is more inward, but still essential to learning. A student who observes a hydrogen gas light spectrum describes what she has seen and then, after reflection and discussion, including how this relates to stellar processes, appreciates the power of human thought and imagination in realizing the modern conception of electronic quantum energy transitions.She gains not only knowledge but capacity for reasoning and logical thought. As this project repeats itself students begin to cultivate their own capacities of imagination and to pose their own questions before the teacher does.
Ninth and tenth grade students take four science blocks each year – one for each of the major disciplines of physics, chemistry, life sciences and earth sciences. They hone their observational skills. They practice remembering and describing exactly what they have seen, and in doing this they uncover for themselves fundamental natural laws. A good example is the tenth grade kinematics block in which students derive the laws of motion.
In the junior year, the students move on to aspects of science that go beyond what we can experience with our senses. A true understanding of the forces of electricity and magnetism or the forces at work in the cosmos requires imaginative thinking. Each student must create their own inner picture of an electron, a photon, or of infinity, not arbitrarily, but in agreement with the events occurring in the natural and technological world we live in.
Seniors continue to exercise the imaginative thinking that is the hallmark of creative scientific thought. They are encouraged to bring ideas together from varied sources and experiences. For instance, in Modern Physics, they look at color phenomena from both experimental and historical approaches that compare theories of color, culminating in a discussion of the wave particle duality of quantum physics. A high point of the block is the field trip to Fermilab where students encounter modern technical achievements in leading-edge science. The visit always includes a conversation with a research scientist specializing in particle physics or astrophysics, and the students always have lots of questions and are impressed with the level of discourse.
Math classes follow a similar progression. Daily math classes emphasize strengthening fundamentals, but always encourage flexible and creative thinking. The math blocks allow even more scope for artistry and imagination. For example, the projective geometry block challenges students to imagine mathematical structures that truly only exist in the human imagination yet have complete logical validity. This type of geometry is the basis for the non-Euclidean geometries that have proved so useful in advanced physics and astronomy. We have one of the few high school math curricula that offer this engaging and relevant form of mathematical study.
Rudolf Steiner criticized the “dashboard” or surface knowledge which is all many of us have of the technological complexities of the modern world. He wanted students to understand the “how” and the “why” – not only the “what” of the machines we all depend on. Our high school goes “behind the dashboard” for students in many aspects of technology – and more exposure to technology in the classroom is planned for 2017. Next year there will be a computer programming elective. We will also be adding blocks in computer science that cover basic computer operation, proper internet use, mathematical aspects of computing and the fundamentals of programming.
Freshman photography is both an artistic and a technical challenge. Students work with film photography and learn how a camera works. Similarly, digital publishing for the juniors works with classic design principles and modern computer tools for digital photo editing. It is an excellent complement to the art block in book binding and students come away with a new understanding of how paper and electronic books are created.
Upperclassmen also have the option to pursue more advanced technical courses. Some students choose to take the science elective class which is project based; students are given assistance with the resources they need to complete such projects as building small prototype machines. Recent students have created 3-D printers, quadcopters and computers. Other students choose the technical arts elective in which modern digital tools are used to render two-dimensional forms artistically. Students have also taken advantage of the senior project to further scientific and technical areas of interest. A student recently set up an internship with Northwestern University in which he used state-of-the-art electron microscopes to study atomic-level properties of metals.
Another exciting development in our technology program has been the popular new robotics club. A group of 12 students has been working hard under the direction of Mr. Conis to build a robot. They are learning many facets of hardware construction and the complexities of computer program – and testing their ideas in the real world. They were thrilled to place fourth (out of 12) in their first competition, and more meets are planned.
Chicago Waldorf High School students have the foundation to succeed in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Our graduates have gone on to study medicine, physics, engineering and other STEM fields. They are valued not only for their technical capacities, but also for their creativity and sense of aesthetics. In fact a new acronym, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art+Design, Math) is gaining popularity as people come to realize the importance of intuition and flexible thinking. Our rich and varied arts program complements students’ work in the scientific and technical studies, helping them to confidently consider a variety of directions after graduation.
Special thanks to:
Dr. Kotz who wrote this article (Physics Faculty)
Photographs by Dean Conis (Robotics Club Faculty Advisor), Madeline Fex (Marketing Director), Jason Greenberg (Communications Director)
On October 4th, the Chicago Waldorf High School began a new tradition. Speakers from diverse backgrounds led students in various seminars. The Colloquium left no stone unturned, looking at all kinds of topics, from racism to black holes to improv. Although it passed by quickly in the hectic scramble of holidays and the yearly all high school camping trip, the planning of our first Colloquium was no small feat. Teachers Patricia Pierce and Sarah Wellington led preparations for months, and the result was an amazing, unforgettable day.
As Ms. Pierce put it, ideas had been “brewing for a while”. The planning for the Colloquium first began toward the end of last year, when it was discovered that a “free-floating day” was stuck between a three-day weekend and our departure for the camping trip. This sparked a conversation among the faculty. Ms. Pierce said, “We wanted to do something that would help connect the students to the world and the issues that spoke to them.” Ms. Wellington agreed, saying that the point of the day was to provide students with an outlet for their ideas. “This was an opportunity for students to have input into the process, to suggest topics they would be interested in exploring and speakers they would like to invite into the school.” With that, the teachers went their separate ways for the summer, allowing ideas for the day to percolate.
“We wanted to help connect students to the world and to the contemporary issues that spoke to them”
By the time we came back from summer vacation, a few seminars had already been identified: including three Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) workshops on racism, classism and sexism, and the Gender and Sexual Identity seminar, led by CWS alum, Avi Bowie, now Director of Programs at the Center on Halsted. High school student suggestions were then solicited and new contacts were added to the roster. They included documentary film-maker and director of the Youth/Police project, Chaclyn Hunt and Zoheyr Doctor from the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics whose lecture on black holes and gravitational waves had already inspired several CWS students.
Through a connection of Ms. Pierce's, ten CWS students were invited to visit the Kovler Center, a refuge for victims of politically sanctioned torture. Komlanvi Dalmeida, an asylee from Togo, West Africa, was asked to come and speak of his experiences and pose the question “What can I do to help?”. Yesenia Villasenor from the Climate Change Project offered to share information on the causes, impacts and possible solutions to our current environmental crisis, while poet, cin salach and improviser, Katelyn Woolcott, proposed asking the question “Who am I?” through artistic workshops.
The event was a huge success, in no small part due to wonderful speakers. Each one volunteered their time, agreeing that this day was too important to miss. They came and shared their stories, bringing new and exciting viewpoints to the students and opening up dialogue around essential conversations.
Ms. Pierce added that having these conversations would “help us take action and make sense of this world in a real way by meeting people.” She recalled one speaker’s message: "A smile to a stranger could change everything."
So now we are left with one question:
What’s the next step?
According to Ms. Pierce, “That depends on the students. It is the hope of the faculty that, in the future, these colloquiums will be even more student-led…this is a starting point.” Ms. Wellington agreed, “Having a voice is not just about having an idea…it is about putting that voice to work.” So, now we must put our ideas into words, and then put those words into action. Every journey begins with a first step.
Onwards to Colloquium 2017 and further Calls to Action!!
Special thanks to:
12th grader Abigail St. John who wrote this article (with faculty member Sarah Wellington)
Photographs by 10th grader, Seamus Scott