When I am asked about what the past four years of high school have meant to
me, many things come to mind. I am faced with memories of the good and bad, for
without both I have nothing. I remember when I came to L-S in my freshman year;
I made friends with some people, while others disliked me. I could tell you of the turmoil these
people caused, but why dwell on such sour stuff? Anyway, L-S means to me a time
of changing and finding myself. It was one of the many transitional periods in my
life, and I'm sure it's only one of many more to come. When I hear that these are the best
four years of my life so live it up, I often wonder where these people are coming
from - a barn? I've had some really great times, but the best four years of my life?
Well, not so far. Life is what you make of it. If your life needs meaning, then it's
up to you to find that meaning within you. That is what L-S means to me.
Freshman year I walked into school with my heart racing. It was my first day of high
school and I was as nervous as every other incoming freshmen. My only knowledge
of L-S up until that point was the horror stories I had been told by L-S alumni.
I envisioned walking down the hall and being stuffed into a locker or thrown into a garbage
can and forced to sing "I'm a little teapot." I then imagined walking into the bathroom
and being asked if I needed any drugs. Needless to say I was petrified.
These ideas dissolved quickly after I spent a few weeks at L-S. I wasn't mugged,
no one tried to sell me mind altering drugs, and I actually made it through break
time at the cafe. Life at school became easier as I came to meet people and actually
know my way around the halls.
Over four years I have been here I have developed friendships with many of the faculty
as well as kids my own age. Some of these relationships were with teachers while
others were with other staff members.
Two of the friendliest people I met were Bruce the Janitor and Cheryl from the cafe.
Cheryl helped to feed me so many times when I was a broke freshmen and sophomore
without a car to go out, that I think I'm going to have to take her out to dinner.
My first two years here, when I actually had a radio show on WYAJ, Bruce hung out with
me and made me laugh. It was hard for me to imagine this big guy with tattoos and
a tongue ring was actually a janitor and he even scared me at first. Gradually though,
I came to realize he was a cool person.
I also had some nice teachers along the way, who really inspired me to do my best
with their teaching methods or personality. Whether it was a unique exercise I was
doing in Postwar with Bill Schechter or listening to the craziness of Thomas Pulchalsky
or Karen Fritsche, these people made class enjoyable. Some others who stand out in
my mind are Sue Frommer, Virginia Blake, Nancy Errico, and Eileen Milner.
With all of the new fellow students I met from Lincoln and Metco, I had enough friends
to help me survive high school. As I prepare to leave for college it saddens me
to think of leaving all these people behind. They have helped to shape me over the
past four years, into to what I am today and I am thankful to all of these people.
When I reminisce about my days as a freshman, I realize how much I have changed throughout
four years. Ms. Notaro, my freshman English teacher, remembers me as a "shrimpy
little kid." In some ways I think I have grown up, at least physically.
However, the most important changes occurred within me. Only upon realizing the few
remaining moments that I have at Lincoln-Sudbury did I understand the total effect
of my high school years. I will always remember the teachers who passed on important
advice or helped me discover who I am. I will think back and smile at Mrs. Plott telling
me to exercise my mind so it doesn't get flabby, like Mr. Plott's stomach. Or Mr.
Puchalsky describing the horrors of being stupid. Or even Mr. Schechter showing
me that I had a voice of my own. I shudder to think of what I could have been had I
not taken his Post War America class.
I learned through my years at L-S that touchdowns cannot compare to revelations.
I discovered that poetry is wicked cool, and that my classmates could be accepting,
understanding, and even loving.
Most importantly, I realized that during my four years, I made some amazing friends.
People that I could share everything with and know that they understood. I met
friends who accepted me despite all my faults and for that I am grateful.
My years at L-S were more than learning math, science, and history. They were also
about meeting people who will live forever within my memory, and having some of the
greatest times of my life.
Well I've been wandering through out a lost head for the past four years, realized
there's too much out there, and decided I have no idea what I want to do with my
life. Sure, there are jobs, but honestly, besides money, what do they get you? I'm
sure there are many people asking "well what more do you need?" Well I'm searching too, because
I know it's out there and I know it's not in money.
I came without a thought of academics, went to drugs, and found exhilaration,
but they got to be a drag, so I needed something else, and happened to notice that
I had been going to school for two years, and decided to give it a try. School can
be good from the right perspective, but society shines a bright light in your eyes,
so don't stumble into some meaningless purpose and end up serving as another gear
from the institution to serve the machine. Well, that's what the light is for, to
blind you. I guess I'm saying I don't like society's materialistic shallowness, and I don't
want to be a part of it.
John Lennon's song "A Working Class Hero" captures what I'm trying to
As soon as you're born, they make you feel small
by giving you no time instead of it all
until the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be
They hurt you at home and hit you at school
they hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
'til you're so f*cking crazy you can't follow their rules
A working class hero is something to be
When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
then they expect you to pick a career
when you can't really function you're so full of fear
A working class hero is something to be
There's room at the top, they're telling you still
but first you must learn to smile as you kill
if you want to be like the folks on the hill
A working class hero is something to be
if you want to be a hero just follow me
Note on the last line he's just saying there's another way to live. This
can be taken in the wrong way, but the meaning is there. This may sound negative,
but I figured I was asked for the truth, and this is it in my eyes. And the truth
is neither negative or positive, it just is.
Basically, I'm saying there is another way, and people should stop viewing
everything so narrowly and be more accepting. Choose your own path, mine just isn't
on terms with society's values.
Thinking back on L-S, I doubt that it will be blue hall, or North house that will
come to mind. Instead I think it will be the teachers and friends who have made an
impact on my life and changed how I look at things. I'll also probably have memories
of the people who made high school a chore. The relentless teachers, never running out
of new assignments, always making sure that I never had time to get sufficient sleep,
and of course I could not forget my fellow classmates, who got great pleasure out
of being obnoxious and as juvenile as they could muster, for whom I made a sport out of
trying to avoid. I wouldn't want it any other way.
L-S is not a place to me, but a group of people. Almost like
an oversized family, with the teachers always trying to keep us in line, always the
over concerned parents, ready to scorn us, but only because they cared. All the students, a bunch of brothers and sisters, who may not always get along, even to the point
of beating on each other once in a while, yet always having that connection as part
of the Lincoln-Sudbury community.
Thinking back on my state of mind and maturity entering L-S,
and how I am as I leave, it's quite easy to see how my life has changed. The lessons
I learned were not limited to the classroom. For all the Dostoyeskvy I've read, and
Spanish I learned, I gained experience in life of equal importance, be it through helping
a friend with a family crisis or living in Germany through an exchange program. High
school has opened many doors for me, and is
something I can look back on with no regrets. If there's one important lesson I learned
it's that it's easy to wallow in ignorance, but knowledge is what's really rewarding.
Today, May 17, was my final sports event ever to be played on Lincoln-Sudbury's
campus. Picking up my dusty softball glove just before walking off the field, I
felt an unexpected pang in my heart. Before today, I had been at a loss for words when I sat down to sum up my four years of high school on a couple of pages
of paper. But now I see what it was that pulled me through these times - athletics.
I could tell everyone about my disappointments, my family life, or my overall achievements, but instead I want to attribute my experience at L-S to the sports teams I have
been a part of over the years.
Some people found their niche in organizations like band, the yearbook, clubs, or
the computer room; these places brought friends and a sense of security. For me,
I found my place in athletics. I vividly remember my first day at the high school,
during fall tryouts. As a freshman, I was so nervous trying out for the field hockey team.
I ran my heart out, proved that I had in strength what I didn't in weight, and generally
made a fool of myself. When I made the team, it was at that point I decided what path I was going to follow for the next four years. By the first day of school,
I already had a uniform with the L-S colors and logo; I was already a part of the
school. The team was a place where I belonged. After a day of accidentally wandering
into wrong classrooms, or simply feeling small, at three o'clock I could start all over
again. During the darkest weeks, when I felt like I was a lost soul amidst my teachers
and friends, I could translate all my frustrations and energy into playing my hardest. When I played hard, I felt my best.
L-S sports were just as valuable to my education as were my classes. Through athletics
I learned about people. Our basketball team would have never made it as far as we
did this year with only raw skill. The strength of friendship and respect for others, I discovered, are half the ingredients for success of any group. Being captain
of a team challenged my compassion and my leadership qualities. I remember, as a
sophomore, seeing the softball team's excitement after a shut-out game on the field,
and then going back into the locker room to see the broken heart of the second string pitcher
who never got a chance. As a senior captain, I wanted to see both sides of the team,
to be both sympathetic and understanding while at the same time setting a standard of excellence.
In my four years at Lincoln-Sudbury, I found balance. Sports were my trampoline,
helping me rebound from day to day stress by giving me an outlet. In turn, I always
did better with my academics during the three seasons. Working with teams has given
me an invaluable lifelong lesson about people, and how to get along with the worst of
them. Not everyone's experience at the school involved sports, but I think I can
speak for most of the graduating seniors when I say that there was always one thing,
perhaps different for every person, which helped them make it through high school.
Moriah McSharry McGrath...
When I was just one of the little kids at Haynes school, I always
thought that L-S was a special place. I feel the same way now that I am graduating.
When I was seven years old, my esteem for L-S was based on the fact that all the
cool older kids went there. Now that I am
one of those older kids, my reasons for feeling this way are a little different.
Unlike many of my classmates, I actually made a choice to come to L-S -- after spending
two years at a public high school in New York. From the start, many people, including
my parents, questioned my motives. In New York, I went to a school that is "one of the best in the country," a school that spends about eleven thousand dollars
on each student every year. But I was dissatisfied with the education I was receiving.
I was getting good grades, I was involved in extracurricular activities, I had plenty of friends. Yet I had trouble dragging myself out of bed every day. It seemed like
the only thing I was learning how to do was spit out the answers that my teachers
wanted to hear. I felt like I was being told that the most important thing about
me was my GPA. My classmates only cared about applying to Ivy League schools.
I thought that if I came back to Sudbury, things would be different. In a lot of
ways, I was right. My two years at L-S provided me with a lot of what I was looking
for. My classes were stimulating; I finally got excited about learning again.
I was overjoyed to once again have knowledgeable teachers who cared about their students.
And although L-S may seem like a pretty white place to some of us, it's a practical
United Nations compared to my old school. I doubt many students at my school in
New York could even pronounce "African Diaspora Luncheon", and many would be hard-pressed
to identify Black History Month. This, and the diversity of personalities in the
L-S population, are two things I really appreciate.
The staff and students have treated me with respect and kindness from the first day
I got here. To this day, I am very impressed that no-one laughed at me during my
first days at L-S when, as a junior, I was unable to find science hall. I found
a lot of new friends here, as well as meeting up again with my closest friends from elementary
school. I know that I will always stay in touch with these people, even if we end
up living on opposite ends of the world.
To me, L-S was an important change in my life. I honestly believe that I have learned
a lot of things here that will help me not only in school, but in the Real World
(if I ever get that far).
During the last four years I have learned about much more than such subjects as calculus
and literature. L-S is a place where we spend the last four years of our life before
moving on to a major life transition of either going to college or finding a way
to spend our life outside of school. For me, this experience helped me to decide
how I want to spend my future and how I want to live my life.
L-S has teachers who are only classroom teachers, however there are many more with
whom I can talk with on any subject. I took some boring classes, but I took many
more which taught me to think, or sparked an interest in a new subject. I considered
it important to work hard for my classes, and to learn what I could from my teachers,
however, attending L-S has also been an experience beyond schooling for me.
There are so many activities offered at L-S, that it is hard not to get involved in
some, although I often wish that I had been able to be a part of more of the many
service oriented clubs at L-S. Sports were a very important part of my L-S experience,
balancing out the academics and presenting new friends and challenges. From freshman
to senior year, many friendships changed, but I believe that on the whole at L-S,
we all made many friends while losing very few.
I know that I will have positive memories of L-S in the future. Classes which convinced
me of the stupidity of some subjects will linger in my mind but classes which inspired
me to learn more will form more prominent memories. Friends that I met in so many different capacities including classes, sports, and extra-curricular activities
will certainly come to mind. I will remember graduation ceremonies from each year
and my changing emotions towards them. Only this year have I realized how close
graduation is throughout high school, and that L-S prepares us for it by preparing us for
life and for new experiences. Hopefully L-S has taught us all to think, and we will
use this ability in whatever lies ahead.
It puzzles me when I hear people speak so enthusiastically about departing from high
school. Maybe it's because the feeling is so foreign to me. In fact, it is so unfamiliar
to me that whenever I think about leaving Lincoln-Sudbury I get a pain in my heart. This probably has something to do with my regretting a lot of the actions I
made, or didn't make, over the last four years. This is unfortunate. I know the
pain comes from the realization that the relationships I built, from freshmen year
to late in my senior year, will soon diminish and deteriorate until people who I considered
my good friends, will be no more than acquaintances. I have memories, but to my
soul, memories won't suffice.
The past four years of my life have been most eventful, and I can thank L-S for most
of that. I've gained knowledge, while at the same time become very confused. Not
the dazed confusion, but the confusion that causes me to want to understand more.
I've had my share of bad times, but those aren't the times that standout when I look back.
It's no match. The good times out weigh those times by far. Looking back, I can't
remember when I first met Cheryl or Mr. Gould, because it seems like they've been
with me all my life. Like family. I'm gonna miss this place.
L-S has been a time in my life. I can't say that it's been THE time in my life, because
who knows what I've got to look forward to, but it has definitely been a time.
A time when I made some of the best friends I will ever I have. A time when I did
some of the most amusing things I will ever do. A time when I laughed harder then I
may ever laugh. A time when I learned so much about myself. A period of realization
about who I will become. About what I want to become. About who I don't want to
become and what I don't want to do. It has left me skeptical about the future of this world.
About the future of my generation. About the future of myself.
L-S has been four years of metamorphosis. It has been four years of hard work.
Four years of disappointment. Four years of excitement. Four years of confusion.
Four years of convoluted emotions. The last four years of my childhood as accepted
by society. A social learning experience. An experience that will make me feel inexperienced.
An experience that I will somehow benefit from, even though I have not figured out
how exactly. An experience.
L- S has introduced me to interesting people. To uninteresting people. To books,
theories, and mathematical calculations. It is now introducing me to the rest of
L-S has been a time that I will look back on and think, 'what a time.'
Four years have come four years have gone, but not without plenty of memories to look
back upon. There was that fateful boys basketball game that was lost at the old
Boston Garden, a surprise visit by Roger Clemens to our softball field, a sudden
speech by a Nobel Laureate in the lecture hall, and the tragic passing of our beloved Coach
But of all the memories, I think that the most vivid images are of those faculty members
that were constants within the school day, and thus made the school's atmosphere
so special. While they were always in the same place physically, their influences
reached far beyond. For instance, who will forget the image of Mrs. Pearson sitting
at her desk in the main office, or of Cheryl standing behind the counter in the cafe,
or of Mr. Gould and Mrs. Abelson smiling in South House. What would school have
been like without all of them?
In fact, what would we all have done without the faculty of L-S? During my four year
journey, I have been lucky enough to have been taught several courses that are not
even offered at some other high schools--like Mr. Johnson's Economics course (in
which I learned about supply and demand,) and Mr. Dias's Advanced Physics class (in which
I learned about motors.) However, there was also Mr. Puchalsky's Russian Literature
course, which taught me to be cynical and thus question the basis of the above mentioned two classes.
Upon deeper reflection, I look back upon my years at L-S with a smile and a teardrop
in my eye. I always felt right at home there. The building even seemed to shrink
as the years went on, from a gigantic place that was filled with strangers--to a
small community in which friendships could be made that will endure a lifetime.
L-S was a place that offered us plenty of opportunities to explore, and to find the
right path for each of us. Now, it is up to all of us to make use of the time that
we spent there, and to realize our potential during our future challenges and transitions.
Zachary Logan Driscoll...
When I think back on my four years at Lincoln-Sudbury I think of many things. The
thing that I think about most is not the classes or what I was taught in the classroom,
but rather the way this institution taught the students history, math, science and
language, never concentrating or acknowledging the fear held by most people in the
school to express their real self. I see many people every day talking and enjoying
themselves, and that is a big part of high school, but not many people ever really
got together with others and talked about what really mattered to them. One of the reasons
for this is that if someone did show their real face, the face beneath the painted
camouflage that hides their real self, and said that they had problems or fears in
life, they would be laughed at and called "weird" by some people. Throughout life, the
paint goes on layer by layer and you quickly forget or learn to ignore your real
face beneath the painted mask. The truth is though, that everyone has problems in
their life. If it is not at home it is in math and if it's not in math it's with relationships
and the list could go on forever. Sometimes the problem is just your own mind confusing
you about everything around you. But we also all have solutions. If we just realized that we could all benefit from each other by just simply admitting that everything
is not always all right, that sometimes we all need help and support, then we could
slowly scrape the paint off our faces and see each other as we really are.
If there is one thing I will leave knowing, it is that I am just the same way. I
have not scraped the paint off my face, but finally I have come to the realization
that we all have troubles and we all have answers to those troubles. It takes a
strong person to stand up for themselves. Now that doesn't mean standing up for your group
of friends or your girl/boy friend, I mean standing up for yourself.
This school is filled with faces painted thick, layer upon layer of all the ways they
wanted to look, all the people they wanted to be and all the things they wished they
could be. But the most beautiful faces in the school are the ones that have the
least amount of paint on their face.
A sad thing, though, is that the outside world, the "real" world, appears to be in
the same state as L-S. So many people continue hiding under the mask so that they
can go through life without really facing themselves. They get themselves consumed
in their jobs, or in their money and forget, or a better word, ignore the fact that they
have gone far in life, but don't ever really know their own self. They feel uncomfortable
when talking about their dreams and their fears, but it is those fears and dreams that make up their real self. This school has not helped me see myself any better,
it has only made me see what I have been doing for the past four years and that is
putting layer upon layer of thick paint that makes up what all of you see. It's
not really me, it is just what you wanted to see.
"You have two real eyes" -JH
As many students look at Graduation Day as their chance to "Pass Go and collect $200,
so they can "move on," or go on to "bigger and better things," I believe we must
take a deeper look at what we've been through together.
When we began nursery school, all of us stood on level ground. We treated each other
equally. None of us had developed a reputation, and we started with a clean state.
Most of us have been together for practically our entire lives. We went to nursery
school together, we played Little League, we joined Cub Scouts, we even went to
Ball Room Dancing. These activities and all the other things we did during our childhoods may seem insignificant right now, however, it is the many small lessons we learned
together which have gotten us to where we are today.
Whether it was being a part of "The Wizard of Oz" in the third grade, spending a week
in the wilderness with our sixth grade class, or sticking up for a friend in a fight
at Kid Space, we have had many opportunities to work as a team while growing up.
These early lessons of cooperation taught us well, as we continued to help each other
through high school. On the athletic fields, outside of school, or in class pulling
off thirty current events on the last night of the term with lab partners, we learned
to make ends meet, while at the same time we grew in character.
After more than twelve years together, our slates are no longer clean. They have
been littered with all the things we have done and what people's interpretations
of us are. However once we cross the podium and head toward our next endeavor, we
will all have a fresh start and a clean slate. Though we will be on equal ground with our
new classmates, the only thing which will originally be on our new slate is the fact
that we are Lincoln-Sudbury graduates. It is my hope as we meet in times to come,
that we may look beyond our differences of the past and help each other in our futures.
When people begin their adventure through high school, their journey begins with an
aura of uncertainness. No one knows quite what to expect, so they prepare by expecting
I can still remember my first day of high school. I awoke early and forced down breakfast
trying to subside the fluttering of butterflies in my stomach.
When I arrived at school I was surprised by both the size of the school and the size
of the students. The seniors were so big! To say that I was intimidated is an
understatement. For the first time in my life I was unsure of who I was and who
I was going to turn out to be. Previous to entering high school I had heard all of these
rumors about hazing and what not and I was uneasy at the prospect of being openly
As the year progressed my uneasiness began to fade. I began to meet new people and
try new things. I had found my niche. High school no longer seemed as scary as
before. I was still afraid of certain things, like walking into the caf by myself
and I walked with my head down averting any eye contact that could subsequently result in
any form of teasing. I never was harassed in any way except by my big brother who
was a senior and to a certain extent that is to be expected.
Sophomore year was a lot less stressful. No longer did we have to worry about being
the "new kids". People were becoming more confident about who they wanted to be.
Lincoln-Sudbury has always fostered a be what you want to be type attitude. Kids
are able to express themselves in any form they deem appropriate without having to worry
what others will think. This liberal attitude is the polar opposite of that of children
in Curtis Middle School. There it is difficult to stray from the norm and build
your own identity because kids are much less likely to accept change and difference.
Sophomore year is a fun year because the whole college process seems so far in the
future that it is only a small concern usually pushed to the back of the head where
it hibernates until the middle of junior year. Take any given sophomore and any
given junior and it is easy to tell who is who by looking at the stress lines on their faces.
Junior year. The journey is half over. We are now officially upperclassman, whatever
good that does us. We can finally get max ed cards. Too bad everyone has been leaving
campus for the past two years without any severe consequences. The word that best describes junior year is stress. It's everywhere whether you are preparing for
SATS or trying to decide what college best suits you. Everyone always says that
junior year is the most important in terms of grades so even the biggest slacker
feels the need to put forth some extra amount of effort.
Junior year is also around the time that people begin to grow even further from their
parents. Most everyone gets their license so having mom or dad drive you around
is not necessary. By junior year people for the most part have begun their maturing
process and begin to resemble young adults.
By the time senior year rolls around most students are anxious to graduate and continue
on with the next chapter of their life. I say most because I don't feel anxious
or excited. The words scared and hesitant come to mind instead. I have gone to
school with the same kids for my whole life. It seems foreign to imagine going off to
a place where I know no one. Once again I feel those annoying butterflies coming
In some ways I am anxious to graduate because I feel that I am at a point where I
have matured enough to go on to the next phase of my life, but at the same time
I am sad at the prospect of leaving all of my friends, some of whom I have known
for up to 15 years. People seldom discuss how hard it is to leave for college. All you hear
about is how exciting it is and what a great time you'll have, but no one prepares
you for the heartache you experience at the thought of leaving the only world you
have ever known.
So as we seniors prepare to graduate emotions of all kinds are running rampant. One
thing is strangely apparent. We are all ready to end this adventure. The final
chapter has been written, so to speak. Or is this just the beginning? Only we as
individuals can decide that for ourselves. Good luck Class of 1996. It has been fun.
A month ago I declined admission to the university I had spent my childhood dreaming
about playing for in the Rose Bowl. At five feet, ten inches, and a 155 mammoth
pounds, I realized that I had better give up that dream or drop out of school to
practice place kicking on a regular basis, and my parents vetoed my initial decision on that
one. Fortunate are those who are able to pursue the dreams of their childhood.
It is in the launching of new dreams that I have grown through high school.
Most of the Class of 1996 entered Lincoln-Sudbury four years ago, through the main
entrance of the school, and today, they leave by walking across the stage erected
in the outfield of a softball diamond. Starting in the same place, the Class of
1996 forged over 100 individual paths. It was diversity in that the Class found unity. Every
member faced disappointment, hardship, joy, and triumph in different ways. I look
forward to reading the reflections of my peers more so than writing my own. I've
been down my path already.
I feel obligated to share the two greatest disappointments along the way, not to set
a dreary tone, rather because my personality gave me the ability to mask disappointment
from observers, and therefore gave others the false impression that I do not feel
a great sense of loss at such times.
The day I wrote this, I watched 30 of my best friends cram together in front of the
camera to be commemorated as the members of the Cum Laude Society. Somebody asked
me why I wasn't standing with them. I shrugged, forced a smile, and replied, "Slacked
off a little too much freshman year." When I entered L-S four years ago, I was still
coasting on the intelligence I was blessed with throughout my earlier years. I had
a lot of growing up to do, but I was not ready to admit it. It would be unfair for
me to say that I could have done better than so-and-so if I had applied myself, because
the truth is, I didn't, and they did, and right now , nothing is more expensive than
The second great disappointment of my four years at L-S deals with the loss of another
boyhood dream. I must have been seven years old when I told my parents I would be
a state champion when I was in high school. Despite amassing 92 wins in high school, about 20 more than any wrestler in L-S history, I will graduate with a third place
medal and a lifetime's worth of bittersweet memories. I have made friends I would
have never met without wrestling, traveled to places like Niagara Falls, and grown
as a competitor through wrestling. It is a part of me.
It may surprise people to know that I did not always plan on attending L-S after graduating
from Curtis Middle School. I had doubts as to whether my potential as a wrestler
could be reached at L-S, not historically known as a powerhouse. I looked elsewhere for an established program; I even considered Acton-Boxboro and Concord-Carlisle
before remembering that I already had a middle school education. I was a phone call
away from attending another high school, a phone call that never came. (My mom hates
it when people don't call her back.)
I am very grateful today that the phone call was never made. I would not trade my
experience at L-S for anything. the friends I've made, the times we've had, there
is nothing like going to high school at L-S. One thing I have noticed as I wander
the halls efficiently utilizing my seventy-five minute free blocks is the number of teachers
who I have become friends with despite never taking a class with them. Even Mr.
Puchalsky comes as close to learning my name as he does to learning those of his
students. The faculty is an integral part of the school; they have played an enormous role
in each of our lives.
As the Class of 1996, we will leave L-S after having traveled many different paths,
yet each of us has given something of themselves to the school and received something
in return. This supportiveness captures the essence of the Class of '96; a caring,
helping community that looks out for you when you're down and celebrates you when you're
up. Special memories will always include Senior Dress-Up Day, and the day after
the AP Exam in BC Calculus, during which no fewer than six cans of silly string were
emptied on an unsuspecting classroom.
Maybe we did not accomplish everything we set out to do when we entered high school,
but if we did, that would show a lack of ambition on our part. Congratulations Class
of 1996, may our paths cross again.
As an eighth grader in Curtis Middle School, my only exposure to life in high school
was through movies like Back to the Future
, Bill and Ted's
and whatever that movie was where the nerdy kid buys a dress for the pretty girl
to win her affection. I did have a sister attending Lincoln-Sudbury, but she's not
too much like me, so high school was different for her. Because I was never much
of an athlete and I wanted to be a rock star, I always related to the kids on the outside
like Bill and Ted or Marty McFly. So the way I saw high school was as a place where
the so-called jocks rule the school and the so-called freaks, like me, are always
the focus of ridicule. When I started hearing about L-S, I became excited at the prospect
of attending a liberal, modern-thinking high school, where kids like me would be
encouraged. I have to be honest. After four years, I'm more than a little disappointed.
When I arrived as a freshman, everything at L-S was incredible. From the Taco Bell
in the Caf right down to the upperclassmen doing drugs at the end of blue hall, everything
was so cool to me. It wasn't like school, really it was more like a movie. Maybe because I was a freshman and way too caught up in the whole "grunge" thing, I didn't
realize the hypocrisy that embodied what I now see as L-S.
I think the funniest thing about L-S is the way that it is hyped as a diverse school
that caters to all different types of students. Maybe some students just don't qualify.
Is it any coincidence that the Amnesty International concert was almost canceled last year due to too many kids doing drugs and drinking, but at the same time football
games are alcoholic havens every Friday night? That would lead me
to think that it is more important to showcase the prize athletes of our community
than to expose the rock and roll underbelly of our fine school. One might argue
with me that the concert was held after all, but not before meetings with our superintendent to determine a drug-free way of having it. Has anyone ever tried to cancel the
drug-infested football games? Have there ever even been meetings to determine a
way to cut down on the consumption of illegal substances at the games?
This leads me to another question: who is our superintendent? Would he recognize
any of us on the street. I'm sure there are students who wouldn't recognize him.
How can someone govern a school, or any institution, without having regular contact
with the students? Did someone say "fascism?"
What bothers me most, though, is the music program. I am a musician and I did play
in the jazz and concert bands for four years, but I also play in various groups outside
of the high school. I am annoyed that there is no support from the music program
for musicians outside of the program, itself. Once, I was talking to the drummer in
one of the bands that I have played in and he said that he was not allowed to use
the music room to practice because he was not enrolled in the music program. What's
the point of having a music room if musicians can't use it? What's the point of having
music teachers if they don't encourage musicians. I understand that there are types
of music that just could not be taught in school, but there is absolutely no reason
to write those types of music off-- especially if you are a music teacher. The idea in
our music program is that music that isn't taught isn't music.
Now, it's easy just to pass me off as the brooding cynic who has to write something
negative just to get attention. It goes beyond that, though. I would like to think
that I did what I could to change some of this, and maybe, with the new administration, more good will come. After all, aren't children supposed to be the future? Teach
When adults tell me that this is the beginning of my life, I'm very bothered. Belittling
my high school experience is not something I look highly upon. My experience at
Lincoln-Sudbury has been a small adventure in my journey. I have taken from this
place and these people all that I could have taken, and I have learned much about social
dynamics, hypocrisy, and the institution. I've decided that the idea of an institution
is a nasty, brain sucking vacuum for imagination, and that too many people are getting thrown in the rubbish after spending their lives in a vacuum bag.
I'm glad that I could spend my "high school years" at L-S in comparison, but don't
bother asking me where I'm going to college next year. It just doesn't make sense
to me. Being in one environment for so long has made me
realize that I need to be free, or as free as I can be in this society. I have learned
to follow my dreams, and to those of you who are doing the same, I'm sure I'll see
you on our journey...
"This must be Heaven," I said to myself. No more bathroom passes or sustained silent
reading. Those days are in the past. This year I am finally out of middle school,
and the ring of freedom is in the air.
These were my first images when I arrived at Lincoln-Sudbury as a freshman, along
with being overwhelmed by the number of new teachers and students. It seemed as
if I would never have enough time to meet everyone. Now, as I depart from L-S, I
realize what close relationships have been formed. When I walk down the halls, I have conversations
with teachers as if I have known them since elementary school, and I seldom see a
new face. After four years at L-S, the relationships I have made are ones I know
will remain forever. I reminisce of great times during my high school career and the
rough times as well, but the memories that stand out are the ones that put a smile
on my face. I often take for granted the learning and knowledge I have absorbed
and the college preparation that has been provided. That was the reason for being in school,
but there was so much more to learn about myself.
After I graduate, I ponder how I will be remembered. Will I just be another face
in the crowd, or perhaps only as an athlete in a picture? I would like to be remembered
as a person who has matured more in these four years of high school than one could
have possibly imagined. I would like to be seen as someone who was friendly to everyone,
and if anyone needed a friend, I would be there. And if I could be viewed as a hard
worker in Jim William's math class, my high school days would be complete.
As I depart beyond the realm of high school, there will be a piece of my heart left
at L-S. These have been four of the best years of my life, and my memories will
"Who is wise? One who learns from all people. Who is strong? One who is slow to
anger. Who is rich? One who is satisfied with their lot..." Pirke Avot
I remember looking around at the varied faces at the first poetry meeting last year.
Seeing people who I never would have expected to be sitting comfortably in the spotlight
with twenty pairs of eyes staring at them intently, twenty pairs of ears listening to their words. Some people read published poetry, but were highly encouraged
to read original work. And people sat in the front of the room and read pieces of
In between readers, I overheard someone whisper softly, "I'm in my element." The
meeting proved to be a powerful experience for me too. In the dimmed Forum office,
surrounded by strangers, we all felt comfort and respect for each person's uniqueness.
I learned that there is a place for everyone and that each person has something different
to teach if only we are willing to give up judgment and listen.
This experience among other revelations opened my eyes to all that L-S has to offer
if you take the time to become involved. By participating in theater, art, music,
and MLK--doing things with truth and creativity, I learned to take responsibility
for my own actions without scapegoating the environment, parents, teachers,religion, peers...Sometimes
adolescence and the process of "finding yourself" can lead to directing anger in
the wrong direction. Becoming involved opened my eyes to opportunities and people that had always been around, I had just been blind to the advantages of my surroundings.
Contentment exists in honesty and appreciation, not in geography.
I leave L-S feeling extremely wealthy. I leave with a good education, new interests,
the perspective that more exists outside of our small community, and incredible memories
of times spent with friends. Italy, plays, farming, dancing, parties, long talks... It is an amazing thing to truly connect with people. Not knowing what I did
to deserve this, I leave L-S, with an incredible group of friends. They are each
so wonderful and with a unique gift and talent to share with the world. They have
taught me so much. Most of the time, no matter what the situation, we balanced intensity
and fun and managed despite dramatics, not to take ourselves too seriously. I feel
extremely rich in their presence and the best is yet to come.
"On this road of animal faith, I take my stand. Close by the old road that eventually
leads out of this valley of paradox. Yes. Feet on earth. Knock on wood. Good luck to all."
Lincoln-Sudbury stands out because it's more live than dead. It's far from Paradise,
but high school is supposed to be a thinly-disguised Hell. What sets L-S apart
and I realize that I'm the 7000th person to say it is the freedom it gives to its
students. I don't mean time-clock free-block freedom, although that's a piece of it.
L-S lets its students go about as high and far as they want to with their ambitions
and ideas; if you've got a will, it's an institution that won't try to roadblock
you from finding a way. L-S leaves doors open. Step right through, if you've got the motivation.
If not, your usual high school masses and classes won't be much affected by those
who do. A healthy, productive philosophy.
I guess it's strange that I'm saying this, having spent as little time at L-S as the
rule-books would allow. Maybe my praise is an effect of distance, or comes from
the simple fact that the rule-books did
allow... but I don't think so. I met some exceptional people at L-S and I took a
few wonderful classes. I don't think you can ask much more than that from high school.
Above all, in my opinion, high school is a place to make some mistakes, to "by indirections
find directions out." Not intentionally make mistakes, of course. But the stakes
at this stage of the success game and, some of us would argue, at any stage really just aren't that high. It's a time and a place to learn. It's for this I
feel I should say a word about class ranking. If they'd had it while I was at L-S,
I would have gotten better grades and learned a great deal less.
To the graduates, and anyone:
I suppose you're all being sapped to death now, some spouting it yourself, but hell
I actually mean it: if you will, you can. Don't neglect your imagination; it's all
Freedom is something that a lot of high school kids feel they lack. It is also something
that many Lincoln-Sudbury students take for granted. Now that high school is coming
to an end, I ask myself if I took all the opportunities that were so generously handed to me. During my years at Lincoln-Sudbury, I took it upon myself to learn.
I used my freedom to experience life the way I wanted to. Lincoln-Sudbury has a
lot to offer its students, and like most things in life, it's what you
make of it.
Every student has their own dream and their own way of getting there. Some work hard
at securing their future, while other wander down a more turbulent path. I've found
myself at both ends of the spectrum throughout high school and am happy to say that
I am proceeding into the world with confident uncertainty.
I will never forget my experience at Lincoln-Sudbury. I am glad that I never let
anything change what I believe in and that I was able to focus on subjects that I
love. There's nothing holding us back now. We are free to move on and discover
ourselves and out talents. I met a lot of unique and interesting people on my journeys and
I only wish that I knew the graduating class better. I wish you all the best in
whatever it is that truly makes you happy.
High school, the good old days. I guess this is probably what I will be saying several
years down the road when my life has become a stream of meaningless work to earn
money and half-hearted leisure activities. It is sad, but in America, I believe
that there are very few people whose true self and soul is connected to their work. I
see the businessmen of the world as unfortunate victims of modernization. The way
they spend their fifty hours a week is entirely unrelated to their own lives. Not
only do they produce a product which is unnecessary for themselves, but it is often unnecessary
for the world.
Fortunately, high school offers us all an opportunity to experience the joy of living
life. This is what I have loved about Lincoln-Sudbury: the true and unimpeded ability
to live freely and to enjoy the world. The ability to live freely is something that will become harder and harder as the years pile onto our backs. It seems inevitable
that some day we will be swallowed up by the world. I loved to run off to the woods
after school or ride my bike for several hours. I had no responsibilities other
than those which I set up for myself. Lincoln-Sudbury allowed me to develop by myself,
apart from other people. After having written that last sentence, It's pretty funny
for me to look at how much just like everybody else we all turn out.
I look at many teachers at L-S as people who have not been swallowed by the world
and who are intimately connected to the product they produce. The teachers love
life, studying and sharing life with us. By coming to work every day they connect
themselves to other people and spread happiness throughout the community.
Reading books allowed me to see various things about life which otherwise I wouldn't
have. That seems rather obvious, but by studying people and events from ancient
Greece, I became interested in all people and how events of today come to be.
It's actually very hard to write anything meaningful about the last four years of
my life. There is meaning to it somewhere, in some form; but to condense it into
words, a reflection, is a task.
My time at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School has been the most difficult four years
of my life.
When I came to this school, I had a ridiculous suburban dream of "success." The only
thing I wanted in life, literally, was to get into Harvard. I neglected my health,
my friends, and my common sense in pursuit of academic excellence.
My narrow-mindedness quickly caught up with me. Halfway through my freshman year,
I had an adolescent meltdown: one day I broke down in school. I had to go home and
I couldn't come back for a week; from there, my life completely collapsed. I couldn't
do school at that intense pace any more and it was the only way I knew how. If I couldn't
do it obsessively, I couldn't do it at all.
I became terrified of Lincoln-Sudbury: it was the place where I had pursued an endless
treadmill of schoolwork which I never quite caught up with. It seemed as if the
hallways were full of happy students who had an easier time of it than me. For a
few semesters I was barely here. My precious GPA descended into an abyss and my attendance
record was a joke. I effectively dropped out. I once took home a quarterly report
card with only one real grade on it: D. The rest were incompletes, no-credits, and
I spent the rest of my high school years recovering from that state of paralysis.
My whole identity, my whole belief system had completely disintegrated. My brain
was always active, brewing conspiracy theories and political diatribes indicting
the institutions of mandatory public education and American suburbia. However, I was really
Over the next few years, I completely rebuilt my life. I looked honestly at myself
and discovered what I really believed and what my true purpose in life was. Gradually,
I even accepted responsibility for my own existence and my own achievements and failures. In short, I emerged from adolescence.
The point of my story is that at Lincoln-Sudbury you are what you make yourself.
We are given incredible freedom here: we can choose the kinds of classes we take
and we choose how to do them. It is possible to spend four years fooling around,
or four years slaving away. I had to choose for myself what to do. At Lincoln-Sudbury, we
learn how to live by trial and error, not by submitting to the stern hand of some
I hope that this tradition can continue, because this was how thousands of students
have learned to be decent human beings, not merely obedient ones. I did some stupid
things here, but that is what made me learn how to live in the world. It would have
been much easier to go to a school which made my decisions for me, but not nearly as
educational. May Lincoln-Sudbury students always be granted such a wide range of
choices and may they always be held accountable for them. This is how one leans
about that perennial enigma, the "real world."
When I was asked to write a reflection for The Forum
on my years here at Lincoln-Sudbury, I made a pact with myself that I would not write
some cheese-ball essay about how wonderful a class we are and how we have come together
and other superficialities. So here's what I think it comes down to.
What we have taken away from our four years here is different for each and every one
of us; that is what makes this school a great place to be educated. This school
gives each individual student the opportunity to make one's education whatever one
For many of my friends and me, our time at L-S has provided us with the ability to
begin to determine who we really are, and what we are searching for in life. There
are very few things which can prove to be more important than the steep and rugged
ascent to one's own individual philosophy; the education I have received here has provided
the vehicle for this quest.
Alfred North Whitehead stated, "You cannot be wise without some basis of knowledge;
but you may easily acquire knowledge and remain bare of wisdom." Many of the teachers
here are not satisfied with providing their students solely with knowledge; many
strive to help their students see the light that lies in wisdom which transcends knowledge.
These are the teachers who have made an impact on my life and given me an education
in life, not in facts. To these teachers we all owe a great debt.
Thank you to those teachers of wisdom and life; you are what make the education here
the vehicle for the ascent of our lives.
Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. When I first heard the name of what was to
be my new high school, I had no idea what to expect. The realtor had driven my family
past it, but with only one or two brief generalizations about the school. "It's
a pretty big school," she said, "my nephew seems to like it there." Those comments could
give me no clue as to how my next three years of high school would be.
I moved to Sudbury with so many preconceptions in my head that I'm almost ashamed
to admit it now. More silent studies, more hall passes, more screaming teachers,
more uncaring students. I could see my freshman year repeating again and again,
only in a different setting. I was determined to remain a loner, not wanting to relive the
hurtful gossip, stereotypes, and apathy that were so common in the small town high
school I came from. I hoped to pass through the next three years unnoticed, with
neither friends nor enemies, just myself.
Yet from the beginning this was not to be. Even before the school year had officially
begun, Peer Helpers began inviting me to "new-comers" activities, and my field hockey
teammates volunteered to be my partners at pre-season practice.
It wasn't until the first day of school that I began to realize how truly different
L-S was from where I had come from. At the new-comers orientation, someone who I
had never seen came over to talk to me, and was genuinely interested in what I had
to say (she later became my best friend). After my first class, another girl, who had realized
I was new, stopped me in the hall, just to say hi and offer to help show me around.
I was awestruck that anyone would go out of their way for a new kid.
Then I began to look, not just at the students of L-S, but at the school itself.
At times when I had once been made to sit quietly and do work, sometimes being forced
to read the dictionary because I had completed all my assignments, I was now allowed
to choose how to use my free time. If I wanted to do work there was the library, but
if I chose to see a teacher, go to the art department, or even just talk with my
new friends, that was all okay, too. A school where the administration and teachers
actually trusted the students to think for themselves? It was like a dream come true.
The teachers, and students, too, made the school seem a relative paradise for learning.
The teachers actually cared about their students enough to leave the doors to their
offices open, literally inviting them to come for extra help or even just to chat. And students who would really go; finally, I didn't feel like I was the only one
who cared about learning. I discovered there were teachers that shouted out in happiness
or excitement, not just teachers who thought that if they yelled louder or closer
to your face, you would be able to understand the material better. In my freshman
year, I had one really good teacher; in my three years at L-S, I have had only one
To the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, I would like to leave these words of advice:
take advantage of your school
. It is such an intense, diverse, loving place, and you can always, always get more
out of it. Realize what these people are giving to you, what an edge you are getting
just from being here. I hear students quibbling about being able to take hot food
out of the caf, and I remember a school where no food was allowed out of the caf, where
having a stick of gum in class or wearing a baseball cap inside school doors could
get you suspended. I want to shake these whiny people and say, "Wake up! Don't waste
your time on little stuff. Take advantage of all the clubs, sports, and classes you
could be missing out on. Other students would kill to be in your shoes."
To my fellow seniors, I give this message: remember
. You've been through it all and now have the chance to do something with it. Remember
what it was like to learn responsibility; remember how it felt to make that new kid
feel welcome; remember how much it meant to be treated with respect. Remember everything, good and bad, and use it in your life.
It's amazing how four years can go by so fast. I can still recall my days as a ninth
grader when I felt intimidated and lost. Now that I am a senior, I look back upon
my times at this school fondly.
My L-S experience was defined by my choices. At L-S, there are so many opportunities
in academics and extracurricular activities that I decided early on, for my own survival
and well-being, to focus on certain things. I've gotten a taste of everything--music, drama, sports, DYAD--some activities more than others. Even though I've done
many things, I regret that I did not take full advantage of some of the opportunities
available to me. Despite this, I am satisfied with my L-S experience. I was a Philistine as a ninth grader, but since then my eyes have been opened and my intellectual
curiosities have been stimulated.
The people most responsible for my present state have to be the extraordinary teachers
at L-S. When I was an underclassman, the teachers seemed to have a special aura
about them. I could only know them in the classroom; the teacher-student relationship
was obviously one of superiority and inferiority. As I have gotten to know certain
teachers outside of the classroom, our relationships have changed to one of equals
and friends. Teachers at L-S truly care and are concerned about their students.
The teachers at L-S resemble Socrates; they do not tell their students what to think, but
engage them in conversation so that together they reach the answer.
Although my L-S experience has been phenomenal in many ways, it has had its drawbacks.
Despite the excellent academic atmosphere at L-S, academics in general are basically
ignored and neglected; it seems that sports are the first priority. Academic distinctions are rare at L-S; academic awards are given out annually and being named an
"L-S Scholar" means nothing. In the past, more than half of the school participated
in the music department. Sudbury will not fund a new theater even though the present
Roger's is a safety nightmare. I'm not looking for more recognition, but I feel that
in this anniversary year, Lincoln-Sudbury and its students need a re-evaluation of
their priorities; L-S is first a school, and next, a name for sports teams.
Overall, I am proud of my experiences at L-S, but I am astonished at the relative
lack of attention that some of the aspects of L-S are getting.
My four years at L-S suddenly seem a blur. I remember coming in a timid freshman
from Lincoln, afraid of losing my old friends and never making new ones--simply put,
dreading the idea of change as a whole. Don't get me wrong, I was sick of seeing
the same 33 kids each day of eighth grade, but the idea of re-establishing myself in a new
place made me nauseous. After four years of many mistakes, I feel I'm finally adjusted.
Backed by the security of my family, I was able to make new friends, keep the old, and find my place at L-S. In three months, I'll be embarking on a similar transition,
this time in a new city without the security of returning each day to the familiarity
of my home.
Although many judge their knowledge by their success, I've learned the most from my
mistakes and failures. Carelessly, I've hurt those dear to me and other times been
the victim, feeling the blow of selfishness. The sleepless nights, spent awake,
replaying events, analyzing why, have shaped my personality and taught me about me. I've
realized the best cure is to be sincere; there's no use being strong inside when
you're weak. The best way to get help is to ask for it; don't expect others to read
your mind. Finally, don't be embarrassed by your shortcomings because everybody has them.
One of my weaknesses is dealing with change. Although my education has merely begun,
I'm afraid of the transition to the next phase.
As graduation approaches, I feel like we live in a time bomb. On August 23 (the day
I leave for college), the explosion will alter life as I know it, stealing my friends
and my family. The worst part is no one else fears the bomb's power, only me. Lost amongst the majority's excitement of independence, I'm left alone to fear the change.
Although the routine of blue week, white week, blue week, white week, is repetitive
after four years, it's home. The other night, a good friend told me, "There's no
use worrying about stuff like that. Appreciate what you have, while it's here rather
than wasting time worrying about when it's gone." I guess it's time to stop wasting
time and tell my friends and family, "I love you." What you've taught me is immeasurable.