What Was School Like For Me? Our dtech staff give motivational talks and life advice!

Welcome Back From Spring Break!

The latest spring community meeting, on 4/10/2019, started off with students gathering outside after a three week break from school. Student Culture Coordinator Henry Lonnemann gave updates on notable student intersession achievements: Reinventing the Cav system, creating a skateboard ramp, light pollution research, and figuring out how the d.tech light switches work. "The more we know each other, the more we can support each other," Lonnemann explained.

Alexis Frost tells her story

A few brave staff members then gave us a glimpse into their past, and offered advice for us high school students. Math teacher Alexis Frost talked about how she was formerly Alexis Rodriguez, her Dad was Mexican, and navigating having him as a teacher and track coach at her school. Since the team was mostly African American, it opened her eyes to a demographic she hadn't been around before. Her advice from high school? "My dad was always right," Frost explains. "Parents are usually always right about things."

Hanan Faces Her Fear

Head of Business Operations Hanan Holloway has always been afraid of speaking in front of large crowds, but offers a bit of wisdom: "If you're afraid of doing something, go ahead and do it," Holloway says. Her parents were both immigrants, and she has a story of them showing up to the nightclub her sister went to. Despite their strictness, she empathized with them as a current parent: "It's in [parent's] blood to be protective and nervous, but give them a break."

Paul Cerra Reveals Wild College Days

Head of Tech Paul Cerra was a star in high school. "I can't make it a humble brag. I was good at high school," Cerra explains. But things took a first year at his dream college, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His roommates hid a keg of beer next door, and found at a way to tap it to their room. As a result, Cerra did not focus on his studies and earned a 0.2 GPA. Despite this, he was able to turn things around and ended up graduating. When things aren't going your way, Cerra explains, "Its never too late to make a change. You can start today, you can start tomorrow, you can fix it."

Dave Groat Offers Advice on Empathy

In high school, math teacher David Groat describes himself as "complacent". He had a very comfortable home life, was doing well in his classes, and didn't want to leave home. On February 10th, as the February 15th deadline to apply to Harvey Mudd approached, he still had not finished his application. Planning to take a gap year, his Vice Principal, also one of his best friends, told him he had to put himself out there. He went, but found it challenging. "I called the vice principal and said 'I need to go home'," Groat explains, "And she responded: 'No, you have to be there'." One of the most important things, Groat explains, is to "Find this advocate. Find this person. Find the person who knows you better than you know yourself."

d.tech Travel Program in Full Force

The d.tech travel program, lead by Julia Green, Anabelle Gutman, and Daniel Pang announced a multitude of trips the travel program is hosting this year, and urged students to sign up to go to the countries they are interested in. These include Singalore, Argentina, Fiji, Nepal, Costa Rica, Thailand, Puerto Rico, and Spain. Photographer and artist help is also appreciated!

Benji and Nathan Win the Egg Challenge

Junior Benji Chang (right, with the face paint) celebrates a victory in the egg challenge, which featured students illustrating each others faces. The master artist behind this face paint, Junior Nathan Wilson (left), shares the joy of this great victory.

That's it for this community update, but stay tuned for the next one! In case you miss anything, or want a reminder of what happened during the event, check back here to get an every week recap of community meetings and more here at d.tech.

Photos by Aidan Janzen and Natalie DeMeo. Written by Hezekiah Smithstein

Created By
Hezekiah Smithstein


Aidan Janzen, Natalie DeMeo

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