St. Cecilia Academy News
"Dr. Scherrer, you mentioned something about an anti-matter particle. Could you explain what that is?" This is not always the sort of question you expect to hear from a freshman, especially in the first few days after Christmas break. But that's the joy of Interim on campus at St. Cecilia Academy. While juniors and seniors have the option to pursue an off-campus internship or travel with the school (this year to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria), Interim life on campus for freshmen and sophomores is anything but dull. They get to choose from a variety of interesting options, from Reduce, Reuse, Retail! to Self-Defense to Tools & Cars to Explaining Einstein. There is a class for every interest, and it is all part of how St. Cecilia lives out its mission of ennobling young women, equipping them to excel, and inspiring them to lead lives of integrity.
In Reduce, Reuse, Retail!, teachers Ms. Robinson and Ms. Wehby teamed up to help students save the planet while improving their fashion sense. Students learned how buying and selling used clothes reduces landfill waste while actually earning them a little extra cash in their pockets. In this class, these two stylish teachers combined business strategies and entrepeneurship with their interest in fashion, introducing their students to various apps that facilitate a recycled wardrobe and wrapping up the class with a student-led consignment sale. Chic dresses and sweaters found new homes, and ten percent of the sale went to a local charity.
Back for a third year, Explaining Einstein is the brainchild of math teacher Sister Albertine. Sister Albertine says Interim week is one of the highlights of the year, adding, "One of the best parts of Interim is having time to delve deep into the questions that really matter in life, like why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing?" In Explaining Einstein, students with an interest in science and philosophy ponder the same great questions as did Albert Einstein, stretching their brains while awakening their wonder. Sister Albertine says the discussions also inspire her to find new ways to incorporate these deep questions into her regular classroom instruction.
Students who registered for Facilities Director Mr. John Wall's Tools & Cars class were excited to learn practical skills that would equip them be informed and prepared to address life's little emergencies. Right away, they felt empowered by learning how to change a tire and jumpstart a dead car battery. After some experience with basic tools like hammers, screw drivers, drills, and saws, the students built their own wooden boxes, complete with hinges. As one student showed off her box to another, her friend exclaimed, "You built that? You mean we can build things like that?" Participants in Tools and Cars universally emphasized that it was Mr. Wall's enthusiasm that really added to their confidence.
One of the required freshman courses is called "The Art of Living Graciously," a class that addresses various social skills from making introductions and starting conversations to table manners, classy fashion, and the importance of strong written correspondence. "Not every teenager learns these skills these days," said Becka Rosenblatt, St. Cecilia Director of Alumnae. "But these life skills are as important as any that a teenager will learn in high school. Good manners will always distinguish you, whether in a job interview, a relationship, or any life situation."
Overall, the students enjoyed the enrichment of the interim experience. Teachers, too, are grateful to have this week to share their expertise and wide interests in creative and practical ways.
Below: freshmen create thank you notes and visit with a make-up artist in "The Art of Living Graciously"