Ninth Grade: A Semester in Review

My 9th grade English class tries to comport itself

My 9th grade English class tries to comport itself

Entering High School-truly a daunting prospect, if you choose to believe what the movies say. Expect packed hallways, unbearable classes, and friend groups formed by stereotypes. They’ll even tell you to watch your back if you’re a freshman, lest you end up shoved into a locker. Well, it seems that film expectations have truly fallen short this time. The Lincoln-Sudbury lockers are barely big enough to shove a growing 14-15-year-old into, and you may also be lucky enough to score an intriguing elective class at some point. LS advertises an array of opportunities for the student body, all readily available to the freshman class. But besides the expectations, what is LS really like, as a freshman? 

Let’s begin at the first two weeks of school. Two weeks is how long everything should take to figure out, two weeks for us to stop having to double check the signs that hang just beyond the doorways of the school. But what had many freshmen re-routing themselves in a hurry several times a day? Maybe it was the three massive buildings, or the four floors, or the disorienting feeling of walking one floor down and thinking you’ve ended up right where you came from. But almost two weeks later, confusion could be avoided and the fear of missing a class or coming in super late was a thing of the past. And with this new knowledge came also the discovery of everyone’s favorite classes, teachers, and schedules. 

At least my friend and I were fortunate enough to have our language blocks next. Despite the sometimes confusing material in language classes, LS language teachers are both helpful and considerate in their teaching. I currently take 2-1 French with Madame Samsi, and can attest to the fact that students in French and other classes are immersed not just in language but in the culture of the countries under study. 

We are all, of course, lucky to have access to classes that will teach us valuable and interesting information in order to broaden our understanding of the world. This can be applied to our freshman Modern World History classes, as well. We’ve so far covered the early empires of the world such as the Mali Empire, the Ming Dynasty, the Aztec Empire, and England and the Industrial Revolution. The list goes on. All is presented in furious and hand-cramping notes as the class follows along to Mrs. Murphy’s content-filled slideshows. One of my classmates, Remy Jang said, “I’ve found so far that although History is sometimes a project-heavy class, it has been one of the most necessary classes I’ve had in Semester 1.” 

It’s true that history is important for all, but it is definitely not the only class of interest. English 9 freshman classes are, in my opinion, the most engaging so far. I’ve heard from friends that English teachers across the board are teaching entertaining and (for the most part) stress-free classes. Big writing assignments don’t overwhelm, and we have so far read many books considered “classics”. Some may bore but many of these are famous literature and must-reads for anyone wishing to explore new authors or genres. Although these English classes sometimes veer off-topic, they are fun and have so far helped me personally expand my creativity. I feel that maybe I’ve gotten lucky with these three classes and teachers this year, and my standards have really been set high. I hope to have some classes such as these in the future that offer me respite throughout my years at LS.

Our new classes have definitely not been the only thing of note so far this year. One of the biggest changes we’ve all felt since middle school is the freedom that LS offers us. Free blocks are something we haven’t had before, as is the option of sitting somewhere else for lunch that isn’t the crowded cafeteria. We’re allowed to walk around the school as we choose and even order food to the A300s. Iniya Bhrathan, a classmate, says: “It’s taken me some time to realize that we’re allowed to use our phones sometimes during class. That, and the no dress code rule.” Many are excited about the new rules, but we’ve also had to be guided to learn self-control and keep up in class. We make decisions about our education, as well as on a personal level – getting to choose elective and Wellness classes was another new but not unwelcome liberty. I take ceramics with Mrs. Fine-Wilson, and it is a year-round course and probably the most relaxing one thus far. The ceramics classroom boasts pottery wheels, kilns, rainbows of underglazes and glazes, and buckets full to the brim with freshly recycled clay. The room is open during off-blocks to all students taking the ceramics elective, and it quickly became a favorite place of mine to do homework or just listen to music and work on my most recent piece. If anyone feels like they can’t figure out what to choose for next year’s elective classes, the ceramics class comes highly recommended. 

I would be lying if I said that high school hasn’t impressed me since day one. Semester one has been manageable for the most part and I personally haven’t had much cause to worry about new teachers or strict friend groups straight out of a film. Now, not everything has been this ongoing discovery of new topics and sweet freedom. I know my friends and I have had more than our fair share of stressful homework and demanding teachers. I can say, however, that the rush of meeting new people and getting used to being in a new school with a new way of learning has swept many of us up into distraction. As we adjust to everything, we remember that we have worlds of experiences yet to come in high school. For now, we face our second semester of freshman year with excitement and, yes, maybe even a hint of dread. Here’s to hoping we wrap up freshman year on a positive note!  Á la prochaine! See you next time!