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Yvonne Eadon: Looking to the future as the end of high school nears

Posted: October 13, 2009 10:22 p.m.
Updated: October 14, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Senior year is a time for reflection as well as anticipation. The challenges lie in wait for my transition from high school to college, and I don't know what to expect.

It's so much more reassuring to look back on my previous three years of high school than to try to envision what might happen in my future.

I know the opposite of what I expect will likely occur, anyway, so I think that trying to force my future into an ideal template is futile.

I spent my first two years of high school in a small private school in Northridge.

Usually, when I tell people this, they ask whether it was hard to come from a "difficult" private school to an "easy" public school.

My experience, however, was entirely opposite from the stereotypical private-public school images.

The private school I attended was small, close-knit, expressive, and not at all academic.

We had at least four mandatory art classes per semester, plus a difficult-to-explain dance class called Eurythmy, all integral to the philosophy of the school.

This philosophy, based in the teachings of Rudolf Steiner (an Austrian philosopher) ­- allows each child to learn at his or her own pace, while stimulating the child's intellect - artistically and creatively.

For me, such an environment was perfect for junior high and the beginning of high school, but Hart High School has become where I truly belong.

Hart is at the other end of the educational spectrum.

Where my old school was small, homogeneous, laid back and private, Hart is big, heterogeneous, challenging and public.

I am still awed, though I've been a student there for over a year, at how many students attend Hart.

While Hart's enormous size and resulting diversity is certainly one of its most marvelous aspects, I find myself still slightly intimidated by the sheer numbers.

The average graduating class at my previous private school was twenty-five; at Hart it is 550.

The academics at Hart are likewise incredibly diverse - there is something for everyone.

The devoted teachers on this campus and the superb A.P. program presented me with challenges, and I met them accordingly, but with much trepidation.

Such a program prepares seniors for college more than we realize.

Contrary to the public school stereotype, that academics are often left by the wayside, both the AP and the regular classes I've encountered at Hart have stressed the interesting aspects of the subject, rather than what is required to pass a test.

This attribute of Hart is one of the many characteristics that make it stand out.

Perhaps I appreciate Hart so much because my first two years of high school were so different.

For college, I think a small liberal arts college will give me the best of both worlds (challenging academics, diversity and a close-knit community), and I don't know if I would have been able to recognize that had I not come to Hart.

Although beginning at Hart after several years at a small private school was an extremely difficult transition to make, it has given me many new perspectives.

I am immensely grateful to everyone at both schools for helping me define my high school experience.

Yvonne Eadon is a senior at Hart High School. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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