8th Grade Meet Us Mondays: Eliana T.

We have finally reached our final 8th Grade "Meet Us Monday" feature of the year! Graduation week has arrived, and we still cannot believe that we will be celebrating our Graduation Vespers for our Class of 2018 this Wednesday evening. We hope that you will join us as we recognize this class and celebrate another wonderful school year. It has been fun spending time reminiscing and reflecting with our 8th graders on their time they have spent at ILS, the friendships they have made, and the many experiences they have shared both in and out of the classroom along the way, and we hope you enjoy these glimpses into their ILS experiences!  See you at Graduation Vespers!

Meet Us Monday: Eliana T., ILS Class of 2018

1. How long have you attended ILS? This is my third year. I’ve enjoyed my time here.

2. To what house do you belong, and how have you developed as a person by being involved in it? I’m a part of House Irenaeus. I’ve learned a lot of people skills. I’ve learned how to be a role model. A role model is someone who shows people the light, so to speak. You have to reassure and guide people in the right direction. Since I’ve been here, sometimes the captains need help or make mistakes and I can help show them a different perspective and a helping hand. Now people sometimes consider me almost an honorary house captain, because I’m in 8th grade and I work hard for my house, even though it’s not an official title. The house system is a nice aspect of being an Upper School student and a lot of the Lower School students look forward to it. 4th graders come up to me sometimes and ask what house I’m in, and they tell me sometimes what house they hope they get accepted into – even 3rd graders do that. I try to encourage them to look forward to it.

3. What was your favorite House competition? The house ballad competition. So, this required every house to write a ballad about their house father. Each house wrote several different ballads and then voted on the best one. Some houses combined aspects of different ballads into a new one. Then, you had to perform the ballad. We did this in 6th grade, but it’s cool because these ballads will always be the ballads of our house forever. When new members get inducted into their houses at the start of the year, they already know a little about their house because of the ballad. Irenaeus has an especially informative ballad. We always recite them in induction ceremonies; really it’s kind of how we brag about our houses and helps get new people excited. Students look forward to house competitions because we bond more and it’s fun!

4. What is your favorite ILS memory? (Or, which ILS tradition will you remember the most?) Oh, Adventure Camp, definitely Adventure Camp. I bet a lot of people said that too. It’s a tradition, but also a great memory. It’s right before graduation with 7th and 8th grade, when we’re all getting ready for the 8th graders to head to high school. If you ever felt like you haven’t bonded with someone in your class, camp is where that happens. I found that helpful in 6th grade when we went to Science Camp, which is what 5th and 6th graders do in the spring. There is always something more to learn about people, and camp is a more relaxed way to do that.

5. Which event did you most look forward to during your 8th grade year? Oh, this is mostly camp. Actually, I am also looking forward to graduation. It’s very bittersweet because we can celebrate what we’ve accomplished –it’s a lot- but it’s hard to think of leaving. Graduation is your final mark; it’s a moment you just can’t go back to and relive so you have to really enjoy it now. Some day we will not be able to think “Oh, I have to remember to ask Miss Davis a question about literature” because these days will end. Graduation marks it.

Usually there is a graduation party, the weekend before our actual graduation, and it’s at an 8th grader’s house. This year it’s at the Csontos, and you should go even if you’re not graduating. 7th grade has to write a speech saying farewell to us and how much they’ll miss us, and Mr. Schultz also writes a speech for each and every one of us about how we’re growing up and it has our teacher’s favorite memories of us. Mr. Schultz usually talks about how much we’ve matured over the time we spent at ILS. I think it’s moving to the teachers to see how well we’re all doing. The 8th graders write speeches to present to everyone too. We talk about our years at ILS, our favorite memories, express thanks to our teachers and families and friends; it’s like a way to reflect on the fact that we actually are going to graduate. It’s hits you when you have to write your speech- nostalgia!

6. What was your favorite class at ILS, and why? My favorite class is literature for a few reasons: I really like to read for leisure in general and I really like how Miss Davis teaches. There is a lot of discussion (we just had one today). We often have to work with logic in our literature discussion to help each other or fix our idea errors and it gets confusing, but it makes for very interesting conversations. We get off topic a lot, but that’s our fault.  Miss Davis lived and taught Kindergarten in Korea before she came to ILS and she was homeschooled as a child. She tells stories about what it was like growing up in the California mountains. She’s really had an interesting life and is a cool teacher.

7. What was your favorite ILS field trip? In 6th grade, we went to the Capitol. That was really fun – oh wait! I’m torn: I have to change my mind maybe. Last year we saw a Shakespeare play and I really like the theater so that was great. It was the Merchant of Venice, which is a good story.

8. Where are you attending High School? I’m going to Oackrest next year and I’m very happy about it. I already have some friends there I’ve known for a long time. It seems like a really nice school. The process of choosing a high school feels tricky because you have to take the SSAT and write essays and have interviews. I felt a little nervous, but it’s all worked out so well and now I get to attend at Oakcrest! They have a lot of events for new students, and I got to sit in on Political Theory and AP history classes. There was a reception so we could meet the teachers and I already made a few friends. Next month there is another social. I haven’t met all the new 9th graders yet, but I’m looking forward to meeting my future teachers and more of the other girls, and I know my parents will talk to other parents.

9. What will you miss the most about ILS?  I’ll miss my class and friends. I have friends in other grades too – so I should just say I’ll miss everyone and the environment. ILS is one of a kind, and I owe a lot to my teachers. My teachers are so smart and always want the best for us; they work hard to help us do well. The atmosphere is so nice here and I know there are a lot of schools out there without good environments. It’s Lutheran and a good size and just altogether with my friends and teachers, there’s nothing like it.

 10. What is something a teacher told you that you will never forget? Miss Davis told me to try again and not to give up.  She told me that in art class, but I know it applies to life. This year I have just been getting frustrated with myself in art class and not happy with my work, which I know teachers think is not good. Miss Davis had a big talk with us about it. In one of our oration selections from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, it says that people just sometimes have more advantages, but the courts make them equal. That makes me think of me in art class because I wanted to quit and felt discouraged that I didn’t think I was as good as other people, but Harper Lee encouraged me to keep trying and push for doing the best. No one is really “bad” at art, but it’s taking me a while to learn that. There are some subjects that I just feel I have to work harder at, and that’s okay. Haha! I guess I can’t say the courts make us equal at art projects, but like Miss Davis said, I will try again and not give up.