All-GTNS: Claudia Sloat
FAIRFIELD – The activities I enjoyed while at Fairfield High School are very diverse and include many extremes – from being doused in makeup and silly costumes on stage to being drenched in sweat while sprinting after a soccer ball, from singing my heart out in a microphone, to hiding in the library with my nose stuck in a book. Yet, even with all of my activities, I still somehow manage to find time to eat, sleep and breathe.
If I were to give the Fairfield High School a grade it would have to be an A-minus. Every high school has its flaws in its educational system, but Fairfield’s school system has very few. All of my teachers have provided me with every ounce of knowledge they could fill me with, and the classes available to me varied greatly. The scheduling, however, is what I always had trouble with in trying to fit in all of my desired classes. This is a problem for most schools, because they must work around the teachers’ schedules as well.
I think this is a weakness for every school though, nowadays, because not every teacher is available when you need them. However, they make sure to put the effort to talk to you as much as they can. With all of the classes I have wanted to be in for the past four years, it has been very hard to fit all of them in. Unfortunately, I was unable to take every class I wanted to, but I do not blame the school system for it. Having classes I still want to take is great, because I still have a college schedule to fill up soon!
One of the best teachers I have ever had and who helped me enjoy high school is Mrs. Septer. She has such a unique way of teaching that manages to include everyone in the classroom, which can be a challenge at times. She responds so easily to any comment thrown in her direction and can keep any student interested in her class. She is always there to help me whenever I have a question about class and even about life because she always has an answer. In addition to the help of Mrs. Septer, I would not be where I am today without my choir director, Mr. Reiter. Despite how awkward he says he is, I can talk to him with ease and enjoy talking about the nerdy things like music theory. He can change his persona from intelligent teacher to the Energizer Bunny.
He has helped me become a motivator to the choir and always keep their attention when needed. He helped me to be a better leader as well as a teacher to the Chamber Choir, and I am very grateful for his help. Last, but not least, Mr. Hosbond always believed in me and always pushed me to perform my best in Speech Team. He has put more work than required to make sure I enjoy every performance I am in and has made me the actress I am today. He has helped me in more ways than I can name.
The most important lesson I learned in high school is to not be afraid to talk to someone new. In middle school, I had a group of friends that I stuck with, but as soon as high school rolled around, I saw less and less of them. I hardly knew anyone else, and I realized this needed to change. Although it was very nerve-wracking for me, I began socializing with people I hardly knew and, to my surprise, they reciprocated. Now I am able to talk to anyone I see just walking down the hallways, all because I gathered the courage to speak up.
I cannot decide between two of my favorite memories of high school, one being on stage and the other being on the soccer field. In 10th grade, I was cast as “Anne” in The Diary of Anne Frank, and that was an honor by itself. However, it got even better because I got to perform in front of over 2,000 people at the Iowa Thespian Festival. To top it off, I also received the outstanding actress award and got a standing ovation from the crowd for it. My other best memory was on our home soccer field when I scored a goal in the first seven seconds of the game. In addition, I also performed my first hat trick, also known as three goals in one game. This was a great accomplishment for me as a player and my physical capabilities. I could not decide between these two because they are two very different parts of my personality. Although I can take on any role on stage, I will always have the role of determined player on the soccer field.
The best advice I could give for an incoming freshman at the high school is do not be modest, but do not be cocky, either. One of the biggest mistakes I made my freshman year of high school was that I was too modest and shy to try anything and show off my capabilities. I missed out on some good opportunities especially in choir, but gaining confidence paid off in my later years of high school. Although this is true, you should not boast too much about your talents, either. Bragging about your unique and perfect self does not get you anywhere in school and will not earn you any friends. You must have a good balance of being confident in your abilities while still remaining humble.
One teacher who has had the most influence on my education has definitely been Mr. Edgeton, my band teacher. Although I only have him every other day, he has managed to help me with every class I have had. He is very wise and has a witty comeback for every question thrown at him. He makes teaching fun, even on days when the band is playing poorly. He has helped me learn to look for the best in everyone and always give people second chances. In addition to Mr. Edgeton, I could not have survived without the help of my entire family. My parents have supported me through every decision I have made and have never missed a concert. They have influenced me to test my limits and take chances if they make me happy. And I could never forget about my siblings, Madeline and Darien (Max) Sloat. I am the baby of the family and am grateful I was, because they were able to tell me what to do and what not to do as I grew older. Their fantastic musical abilities were what persuaded me to join music because I wanted to be just like them. I still do because they have done nothing but improve more in life. I love my family and would not have survived high school without their help!