发现社区

This article was originally printed in the Spring 2023 威斯敏斯特公告

通过教堂讲座,一位教员
找到她在社区的立足点

作者:莎娜·拉塞尔P ' 26
Associate Director of 大学咨询, John Hay Society Advisor, 教堂 Coordinator

When I was first invited to interview at Westminster for a college counseling position in early March 2020, I spent the days leading up to my interview watching several 教堂 Talks on YouTube to get to know the school, 学生和社区. 

While I was originally intending to watch these talks as a way to figure out how to harness my expertise and make a case for why I would fit into this community, I found myself drawn to the incredible maturity of these students and the courage it 太k to share their stories. 有些演讲是悲伤的,有些是有趣的,但它们都鼓舞人心. 我立刻意识到我想成为这个社区的一员.

到2020年8月我到学校的时候, 我们正处于COVID的中期, 我一天的大部分时间都在上网, 教授五年级英语,并主持学院咨询会. Most introductions to my colleagues and students were either through a computer screen or from behind a mask. I desperately needed a way to connect with those around me and feel like I belonged at Westminster. 

在社会上找到立足之地, 我又开始看《皇冠2021app下载地址》了, and I felt like they allowed me to understand and grow into life on the Hill.

然后, 在今年年初, I had the honor of becoming the faculty advisor to the John Hay Society, 这是一个由大约25名来自第四学院的学生管理的项目, 负责管理安德鲁斯纪念教堂的五年级和六年级学生, from straightening the hymnals in each row to directing students into the chapel and being the heart and soul of the candlelight service every winter. The 教堂 Talk program would not be what it is today without the commitment of the students in John Hay and our school’s culture of kindness. 

虽然很多学校都有学生演讲项目, 我觉得我们的教堂会说话, 逢星期二及星期五举行, 更亲密、更引人注目——而且远没有照本宣本. 给 a chapel talk can be a significant rite of passage in a student’s Westminster career because it highlights his or her courage, 写作和演讲技巧. 每个学生都特别努力地准备他们的演讲. 谈判没有一个公式或模板. 学生可以就任何话题发言, 但许多人选择在国会山讨论他们的成长. 他们通常包括最喜欢的歌曲和名言. Some feature musical performances by friends; this year, several students read poems.

我们的学生在威斯敏斯特感到宾至如归, so they are compelled to share their stories and to make sure others feel at home, 太. 这就是归属感, 相互支持, understanding and compassion that gives each of our speakers the courage to tell their unique stories.

作为约翰·海的顾问, I work one-on-one with student speakers to home in on the message they would like to convey and how best to address their fellow students. 有时这个过程很容易, as with Sixth Former Tia McDonald’s beautifully written and performed chapel talk in January about the death of her cousin and finding her place on the Hill. 有时需要花更多的时间来写作、重写和练习. That said, chapel talks are a beautiful representation of who students are and who they have become.

Sixth Former Maggie McCarthy’s talk at the beginning of the school year is one of my favorites this year. 作为约翰·海伊协会的主席, 校园里最古老的学生组织, 她谈到安德鲁斯纪念教堂是她快乐的地方. 而麦琪总是活泼而健谈, her talk was more measured when she spoke about how the chapel has grounded her in her most difficult moments on the Hill and lifted her up during some of her happiest moments. 

我的前任, 艾米史蒂文斯P ' 07, ’09, ’12, did an incredible job growing the chapel program into a hallmark of the Westminster experience, 我也有义务照料她栽种的花园. 我很荣幸能监督这个项目,它让我觉得我, 太, 属于这个社区. 


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