8th Grade Meet Us Mondays: Bemnet S.

We've launched our 8th grade "Meet Us Mondays" series so that you can better get to know the outstanding members of the ILS Class of 2018! Students have responded to a series of questions about their time at ILS, their favorite memories, and about their plans for high school, and we'll be sharing those with you each week. We hope you enjoy meeting our wonderful 8th graders, and we again thank them for taking the time to respond and share more about themselves!

Meet Us Monday: Bemnet S., ILS Class of 2018

1.    How long have you attended ILS? The greatest four years of my life. At my old school, I didn’t have the same community. ILS was suggested by our family friends and when we met Pastor Esget it was great. 

2.    To what house do you belong, and how have you developed as a person by being involved in it? The greatest house ever, Athanasius. I’m a second year captain of Athanasius. Being in my house has helped me developed leadership skills and taught me not to procrastinate. I am learning how to manage people in the right way: you have to be stern but nice. You have to let your house members do what inspires them and have a say, not just always assign them jobs. 
In 6th grade I wanted to be captain. I didn’t prepare a speech or do much of anything but when the time came to campaign for captainship, I said a few vague things about how I wanted to be captain. There were a lot of other speeches that were much stronger than mine. I knew that I wasn’t going to be chosen most likely, and I wasn’t. I had to prepare better before 7th grade.  Leading up to 7th grade, I spent the summer preparing a speech and rehearsing it, all about how I would lead my house if I could. I thought about it every day. One of my strongest points was that I determined that I would let house members help decide what jobs and work they would do in the house, and then I followed through on it. They were pretty happy about that. I was chosen as captain in both 7th grade and this year too.  I think it’s helped me build confidence and be more willing to speak to people rather than being shy.  Leading people involves making rules when necessary, making sure everyone does what they need to, and making sure they can say their opinions too.

3.    What was your favorite House competition? Maybe the shield competition we did this fall. It challenged us to create a house shield that described our house father and his beliefs, used our house colors, and our motto. Our whole house was pretty proud of it and felt good about it. When our house was sketching out ideas, everyone had the same sort of concept before we even talked about it: our colors, the ivy, the symbolism. We were kind of surprised we were all so agreed. 

4.    What is your favorite ILS memory? (Or, which ILS tradition will you remember the most?) The houses! They are so much fun and so much of our traditions come from them. When I came here, I was put into a house where I didn’t know anyone, but now we have bonds together and it’s helped me be more social. 

5.    Which event did you most look forward to during your 8th grade year? I think this is probably camp in the spring. I’m not really looking forward to graduation because I don’t want to leave. Camp is really fun because it’s a great time to come together. Marina and I have a plan to build forts. We have a campfire at the end of every day and play a lot of games. 

6.    What was your favorite class at ILS, and why? Art- I always have fun. Miss Davis always reminds us not to say our own art is bad or be sarcastic about our work. We had a huge discussion about it and finally Miss Davis told us to stop yelling about our art and being hard on ourselves. At the beginning of this year, we started learning about techniques and color theory. Our art portfolio project this year involves color theory and stroke techniques. We’re all doing the same project, but each one will look different and portray our own styles and techniques. 

7.    What was your favorite ILS field trip? Does camp count? If not camp, then I would have to say our trip to the Baltimore Aquarium. I was NOT looking forward to dissecting the squid, but in the end it was really fun. There were still some gross parts, but I learned a lot. 

8.    Where are you attending High School? I am still deciding but I got accepted to every school I applied to. I’m choosing between O’Connell and Bishop Ireton, but maybe West Potomac too. It can be very stressful to think about leaving ILS, and making new friends. I desperately need prayers. 

9.    What will you miss the most about ILS? Everyone. So many relationships I’ve made with my friends. Not seeing them every day of the week is going to be tough. My teachers are really nice. It’s hard to think about leaving, and my class has only had a few months in the new building. I haven’t even been allowed to go on the roof yet!

10.    What is something a teacher told you that you will never forget? So, funny thing: once Mr. Barnett walked in while Marina and I were working on our Peeps Dioramas (it was a house competition).  It was also right around the time we were getting ready for the Talent Show, and a lot of his students were singing "Hakuna Matata" all the time, which he said he was getting sick of hearing but it was stuck in his head. So, he would sing it, but make up his own version. Anyway, while Marina and I were working on a project, he threw open the door, raised his arm, and sang super loudly: “When I was a derp derp derp!!!!” (not, “When I was a young wart hog”) It was hilarious.