My Years at Walden

June 21, 2012

On Thursday, June 14, the Class of 2012 made individual speeches at their Graduation Ceremony. We will continue to post those speeches here over the summer weeks. Walden School congratulates the Class of 2012 and reminds the newest alumni “Everybody has a story!”

My Years at Walden

By Isabella Canani
Class of 2012

Many people don’t realize what they could get from a new experience, such as building character by finding something new. Walden challenges you to push your limits in different ways, mentally and physically. How they do it is by taking us on field trips, doing projects that involve teamwork, and encouraging new friendships.

This reminds me of a story by Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland.” In Tim Burton’s movie, it involved most of what Walden teaches us about facing your fears and never giving up. It’s a story about a girl who goes on this amazing adventure, meets new friends, and in the end she has to face her fears and kill the jabberwocky. If we didn’t have challenges in life it would be too easy, dull, and wouldn’t be exciting.

This movie reminded me of a time where I had to face my fear of heights. In fourth grade when we went to Astro Camp, we went on the sky coaster on one of the last days. The challenge was overcoming twenty seconds of pure scariness after you were pulled up very high in a harness and then sent flying. When I was up next I was overcome by a sudden fear, but I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Walden gave me this opportunity and my friends were encouraging me to do it. After this time and many others, I got less scared. This new experience got me thinking that if after each time my fear gets smaller and my confidence bigger, then why not do it again? I would like to thank the people in my life that made my fears smaller and have supported me in my years at Walden. I wouldn’t be as far as I am now and had so many new experiences without them. They have also helped me to overcome my fears.

If you are willing to face your fears and try something new, you may or may not like the experience, but if we didn’t have choices we would all do the same things. This reminds me of the time when we went to the Tetons in Wyoming. The first time I went cross-country skiing, I would always fall down every two or three feet. Once I fell down so low that I couldn’t get up for some time. Originally, I thought it looked so easy, just gliding around, but in reality it took a lot of effort. Thank goodness [Walden School Science Teacher] Drew was there because he gave me a choice to either keep going or stay to build a kitchen out of snow. I had tried my best to ski but it didn’t work out as well as it did for the others. Yet I was happy that I did it because I would have never known what could happen for the better or worse. I am grateful I had Drew and others there to help me with this new experience. I want to thank Drew who has such an imagination and always has something fun planned. His activities are never boring, so thank you Drew for always being creative, outgoing, and cheerful.

Walden builds character by giving you the freedom to have a second chance when trying something new. This is useful because you can do better the second time. An unknown author once said, “When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.’” The point of not giving up is that you never know what will happen the next try. If we didn’t have the freedom to have new experiences then we wouldn’t get anywhere. This reminds me of the time in fourth grade when we were learning our multiplication tables and each time I would get most of them wrong. I started to practice much more than ever before. My mom and grandmother helped me practice at home and [Walden School Upper Core Lead Teacher] Sydni helped me in class twice a week after school. After I practiced for days and days, I took the test again and I only missed a couple. This made me feel awesome, like I could do anything. This opened me up to liking math, and then because of that I started listening in class and math became more interesting. As a result, math was easier to do because I was more into it. Because Sydni explained math in a way that others had not before, I was able to understand it. She led me to the path where math was no longer an enemy but became a friend. I hope she lives an awesome life so she can continue to help others find a new path to math.

This year has been amazing because of another person who helped me: Marcia.  She has been an amazing teacher and always reminded me when I needed something. Marcia is cheerful, smart, and has the most welcoming smile ever! I’d also like to thank Jose for taking me up a whole step higher in Spanish than I was before.

Walden gives you the freedom to open up to new experiences. It is true because at Walden my experiences are more than just fun; they have a purpose. Later the knowledge that you get may help you in life. Walden won’t hold you back because no matter what age you are they always respect you as an adult. Walden allows you to go as far as you want when testing your limits in trying something new. If you try something new, you may or may not like it, but it is still worth a try.

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