Studio Space: Julia Hwang

Julia Hwang Pic

Julia Hwang, Sophomore Border from Seoul, South Korea

Mediums: Ink, Pencil, Charcoal

 

Tree of Life

“Tree of Life”

Life size Longo Project (1)

“Longo Self-Portait”

Art studio

“Art Studio”

Two Takes on Conferencing

Julia Hwang Pic        Butler-Wendy-History

Julia Hwang, Sophomore Boarder from Seoul, South Korea

Wendy Butler, History Department Chair & Teacher

Julia Hwang – Conferences with teachers at Westover are unique. When there’s something you do not understand well, or if there is something you want to go over with your teacher, you sign up for a conference. However, even if you just want to talk to your teacher or seek advice on a particular subject, teachers are enthusiastic and eager to spend fifteen minutes or more with their students. I once conferenced with my history teacher, Wendy Butler, and told her that I did not seem to understand the textbook well. Over the Christmas break, she lent me one of her personal books that helped me understand the subject better. Conference times are also flexible: teachers are always willing to come early to school or stay late after sports practices. Even during lunch or dinnertime, they gladly help out students who are struggling. Every time I have a conference, I feel as if I understand not only the subject, but my teacher better.

Wendy Butler – Conferencing with a student is one of the best parts of my job because I get to really focus on one student at a time. It is a great time to listen and to see what is happening with a student’s learning. From our point of view as a teacher in a class we think we know how our students are learning. In conferences we have the opportunity to see how learning looks from their point of view. That’s when it all begins to click together. We can diagnose, explain, elucidate, challenge, and, most importantly, listen. That’s when deeper learning happens.

 

Westover introduces a theme every academic year for its faculty, students, and staff to reflect on. Teachers are also encouraged to integrate the theme in ways that make sense within their curriculum. An introductory coverage of Human Rights led to a more in-depth investigation of our interfacing with others, when, in 2013-2014, we focused on the theme of The Face of the Other. Similarly, first we must be mindful of who we are and a patient, slowing down of our lives can lead us to the point where it is then necessary to look outward once again to reflect on our interactions with those around us. This shift towards a recognition of our interconnectedness with those around us brings with it a responsibility to one another and to our surroundings. We must not only be aware of this responsibility but also act on it. Justice offers a meaningful framework for how we can responsibly interact with the world around us. In 2015-2016, this will be done by an exploration of responsible action through the lens of the four Rasin Center programs: Community Service, Diversity, Environmental Sustainability, and Global Programs. We will deeply investigate the terms “global” and “justice” and delve into what it means to be a neighbor and to whom. Faculty and students will reflect on the theme year through this blog.

 

 

Second Perspective on Candlelight

Amelia Bell Pic

Amelia Bell, Senior Boarder from Lakeville, Connecticut

If you speak with anyone who attended the Sunday afternoon Candlelight service this year, hopefully they will tell you about a few things: the handbell ringers processing in and out of the chapel, a particular song they loved hearing, or the snacks in Red Hall after the service. What I doubt anyone will remember is me, standing in the front row, crying silently from “O Holy Night” all the way through leading the Glee Club out of the chapel at the end of the service. That moment is one thing I will never forget.

As a singer I have always loved Candlelight. It’s truly the highlight of being in Glee Club at Westover, other than singing “Blessing” at Alumni Weekend every May with a few dozen alumna. I remember freshman year, turning to my roommate and telling her how I could not believe that we “only” got to do Candlelight nine more times (three per year for three more years)- which ended up being eight more times when a Nor’easter swept in before the Saturday service my sophomore year. I was devastated this year when I realized I only had three Candlelights left.

Last fall, I started to consider running for Head of School. For those of you who don’t know, Westover has seven student heads of school- three Heads, two Athletic Association Heads, one Day Student Head, and one Head Proctor. Since freshman year I had wanted to be a Head of School, but I never committed to running because I knew that a Head of School cannot be a Glee Head as well, a position I desperately wanted. At the Candlelight service my junior year, I watched the three Glee Heads intently. The Glee Heads, along with the Chapel Heads, light everyone’s candles and then lead the Glee Club out of chapel while singing “Hodie” at the end of the Candlelight service. During the Red Hall reception afterwards, I turned to my mom and said to her,“See? This is why I can’t be a Head of School. I can’t NOT run for Glee Head.” To which she responded that although it was ultimately my decision, she felt I would be an excellent Head of School.

To make a long story short, I ran for Head of School and lost. Don’t get me wrong- I was crushed. Losing isn’t easy no matter what. But I was able to bounce back relatively quickly because within three weeks of Head of School elections, we held Glee Head elections.

Ultimately, I ended up winning the position of First Glee Head. I called my mom in tears the morning I found out to tell her my big news. I’ll share my entire elections story in the spring when we get ready to do the whole thing again with a whole new group of candidates but for now, here is the rest of my Candlelight story.

This year, getting ready for Candlelight had a whole new meaning because it was my last one. My roommate, Deanna, and our great friend Katherine are the three heads and preparing for Candlelight with the two of them is probably one of my favorite experiences from my time at Westover. In addition to running our a cappella group, Undertones, and having the “O Holy Night” solo for the Friday night service, I was reading two of the lessons- the fifth on Friday and the seventh on Sunday. Honestly, the whole thing was a dream.

Candlelight 2016 #1

I was standing there in my red reader’s sash with my carnation on my collar on Sunday evening when I realized that I had blinked and seemingly missed the whole experience. I caught on just before “O Holy Night” which has always been my favorite of our carols. From that point on, everything we did became “my last…” and slowly, the tears started to well up. By the time the ninth lesson was read, I was on the verge of crying. I went to light my candle from the reader’s candle and then went to light the Glee Club’s candles. The first one I lit each night was my dear friend Lindsay’s. On Sunday I locked eyes with her and we both promptly burst into tears. From that point it was all over for me. I barely managed to light the other candles through my tears and when it came time for us to sing “Silent Night”, the chapel, lit only by our candles, I had to stop singing and compose myself. The sheer beauty of Candlelight is absolutely breathtaking but that last “Silent Night” was truly one of the most emotional moments I have ever had. Still crying, I lead the Glee Club out of chapel and didn’t stop crying until we finally stopped singing.

I honestly could not have asked for anything more in a last Candlelight. Except maybe for it not to be my last. But in reality, I think that the finality of it all made everything ten times more beautiful.

 

Westover introduces a theme every academic year for its faculty, students, and staff to reflect on. Teachers are also encouraged to integrate the theme in ways that make sense within their curriculum. An introductory coverage of Human Rights led to a more in-depth investigation of our interfacing with others, when, in 2013-2014, we focused on the theme of The Face of the Other. Similarly, first we must be mindful of who we are and a patient, slowing down of our lives can lead us to the point where it is then necessary to look outward once again to reflect on our interactions with those around us. This shift towards a recognition of our interconnectedness with those around us brings with it a responsibility to one another and to our surroundings. We must not only be aware of this responsibility but also act on it. Justice offers a meaningful framework for how we can responsibly interact with the world around us. In 2015-2016, this will be done by an exploration of responsible action through the lens of the four Rasin Center programs: Community Service, Diversity, Environmental Sustainability, and Global Programs. We will deeply investigate the terms “global” and “justice” and delve into what it means to be a neighbor and to whom. Faculty and students will reflect on the theme year through this blog.

We Came Together in Spirit

Julia Hwang Pic

Julia Hwang, Sophomore Boarder from Seoul, South Korea

Every year when Christmas is around the corner, Westover holds a Candlelight service of lessons and carols to celebrate the holiday. Last weekend was my first Candlelight and it was such a magnificent experience! I am not religious, so I was a little concerned what Candlelight would entail. However, Candlelight was not necessarily focused on Christianity; it was about reflection, celebration, and joy. With our traditional uniforms on, we sang the carols and enjoyed the merry atmosphere as a community. As the last part of the service, we passed around a flame to light up everyone’s candle. Each and every one of us had a smile, and only the candles lit up the chapel. Gazing at the candles in silence, I could see the rest of the community, who all have very different backgrounds and futures than me, come together in spirit.

 

Westover introduces a theme every academic year for its faculty, students, and staff to reflect on. Teachers are also encouraged to integrate the theme in ways that make sense within their curriculum. An introductory coverage of Human Rights led to a more in-depth investigation of our interfacing with others, when, in 2013-2014, we focused on the theme of The Face of the Other. Similarly, first we must be mindful of who we are and a patient, slowing down of our lives can lead us to the point where it is then necessary to look outward once again to reflect on our interactions with those around us. This shift towards a recognition of our interconnectedness with those around us brings with it a responsibility to one another and to our surroundings. We must not only be aware of this responsibility but also act on it. Justice offers a meaningful framework for how we can responsibly interact with the world around us. In 2015-2016, this will be done by an exploration of responsible action through the lens of the four Rasin Center programs: Community Service, Diversity, Environmental Sustainability, and Global Programs. We will deeply investigate the terms “global” and “justice” and delve into what it means to be a neighbor and to whom. Faculty and students will reflect on the theme year through this blog. 

A Whole New Term

Jovial

Jovial Karenzi, Junior Boarder from Kigali, Rwanda

Winter term is full of new experiences for me! I am taking two new elective courses and managing the Junior Varsity (JV) basketball team. Journalism is my winter term English elective and this hands-on course serves as an introduction to journalism. My teacher, Linda Pierce, encourages students to write articles targeting an audience of different ages, therefore challenging us to address an article in language both a teenager and baby boomer can understand. So far, I have learned

I am also taking Herstory: Modern American Women’s History as my American history elective with Wendy Butler. This course is about the status of women before and after the Civil War and the journeys of the women who brought gender equality to America. We explore different photographs, literature, movies, and readings in order to better evaluate the potential and power of women.

As I mentioned earlier, I also started managing the JV basketball team this term and it is very interesting as I get the chance to travel with the team and work with the coaches, track statistics, and manage team equipment. Right before we left for break, the team defeated Canterbury 40-11. It was such a great feeling to know that I helped contribute to their victory with managing the team!

JVBB1516

Westover introduces a theme every academic year for its faculty, students, and staff to reflect on. Teachers are also encouraged to integrate the theme in ways that make sense within their curriculum. An introductory coverage of Human Rights led to a more in-depth investigation of our interfacing with others, when, in 2013-2014, we focused on the theme of The Face of the Other. Similarly, first we must be mindful of who we are and a patient, slowing down of our lives can lead us to the point where it is then necessary to look outward once again to reflect on our interactions with those around us. This shift towards a recognition of our interconnectedness with those around us brings with it a responsibility to one another and to our surroundings. We must not only be aware of this responsibility but also act on it. Justice offers a meaningful framework for how we can responsibly interact with the world around us. In 2015-2016, this will be done by an exploration of responsible action through the lens of the four Rasin Center programs: Community Service, Diversity, Environmental Sustainability, and Global Programs. We will deeply investigate the terms “global” and “justice” and delve into what it means to be a neighbor and to whom. Faculty and students will reflect on the theme year through this blog. 

Plates of Doritos

Lauren

Lauren Stebbins, Junior Boarder from Middletown, Connecticut

Two weeks ago our freshly renamed LGBT alliance club, Spectrum, organized a potluck with similar clubs from New Milford, Danbury, and Newtown High Schools. Our club has not organized an event like this in the past so everyone was a little nervous, but very excited about how the event would go. So on a Friday night, we filled a small bus with fourteen of our club members and arrived around six o’clock at Newtown High School. Walking in, we were immediately surprised by the number of students that chose to come. Although we all flocked to the table of food for the first ten minutes of the event and snacked for another five minutes to acclimate to the environment, we all dispersed and met other students and were able to build new friendships quickly through our mutual interests and ideas for our clubs. We laughed over plates of Doritos and shared stories all night. It seemed that we never ran out of things to talk about and were always ready to share our opinions and experiences confidently and comfortably. There was an amazing variety of political topics and pop culture themes that students were excited to talk about and I think our club realized that Spectrum is already a unique club, but the people in it are what make it really special. The experience of walking into a room of strangers and only a few hours later walking out with an entirely new group of friends was incredible and we plan on attending another group event next term!

 

Westover introduces a theme every academic year for its faculty, students, and staff to reflect on. Teachers are also encouraged to integrate the theme in ways that make sense within their curriculum. An introductory coverage of Human Rights led to a more in-depth investigation of our interfacing with others, when, in 2013-2014, we focused on the theme of The Face of the Other. Similarly, first we must be mindful of who we are and a patient, slowing down of our lives can lead us to the point where it is then necessary to look outward once again to reflect on our interactions with those around us. This shift towards a recognition of our interconnectedness with those around us brings with it a responsibility to one another and to our surroundings. We must not only be aware of this responsibility but also act on it. Justice offers a meaningful framework for how we can responsibly interact with the world around us. In 2015-2016, this will be done by an exploration of responsible action through the lens of the four Rasin Center programs: Community Service, Diversity, Environmental Sustainability, and Global Programs. We will deeply investigate the terms “global” and “justice” and delve into what it means to be a neighbor and to whom. Faculty and students will reflect on the theme year through this blog. 

“Good Job, Julia!”

Julia Hwang Pic

Julia Hwang, Sophomore Boarder from Seoul, South Korea

Cross country is one of the most physically and mentally demanding sports. My legs feel heavy, I get out of breath, and I start feeling dizzy; sometimes it is easier to just give up. However, bearing the pain and continuing to run ultimately allows me to be stronger. Although this is somewhat obvious now, this is often forgotten while I am running. When I am deep into running, the only thing that wakes me up from my exertion is the, “Good job,” my teammates give me. The high-fives after races, short encouragements exchanged during practices, and my coach’s, “Nice run,” always motivates me to continue running and to push myself harder. The people running next to us in life are often the most supportive and compassionate people; we ought to start recognizing our neighbors and appreciating them for their support.

Cross Country.jpg

Westover introduces a theme every academic year for its faculty, students, and staff to reflect on. Teachers are also encouraged to integrate the theme in ways that make sense within their curriculum. An introductory coverage of Human Rights led to a more in-depth investigation of our interfacing with others, when, in 2013-2014, we focused on the theme of The Face of the Other. Similarly, first we must be mindful of who we are and a patient, slowing down of our lives can lead us to the point where it is then necessary to look outward once again to reflect on our interactions with those around us. This shift towards a recognition of our interconnectedness with those around us brings with it a responsibility to one another and to our surroundings. We must not only be aware of this responsibility but also act on it. Justice offers a meaningful framework for how we can responsibly interact with the world around us. In 2015-2016, this will be done by an exploration of responsible action through the lens of the four Rasin Center programs: Community Service, Diversity, Environmental Sustainability, and Global Programs. We will deeply investigate the terms “global” and “justice” and delve into what it means to be a neighbor and to whom. Faculty and students will reflect on the theme year through this blog.