by the Class of 2010
Every senior at RFH must complete a Philosophy of Life in which they consider, create and compose their beliefs in a 10-page paper. While daunting, many seniors use it as an opportunity to reflect, perhaps for the first time, on who they have become while at RFH, as well as what events and people influenced that development. Each senior has been molded and shaped by careful hands, and as they graduate on June 18, 2010, we will be sad to see them go, but will also watch them leave this school with pride and confidence in their future successes.
Below are some excerpts from this year’s Philosophy of Life papers. They detail outstanding values and careful reflection, and map the courses of success.
Congratulations, Class of 2010!
From her Philosophy of Life paper: Work Hard, Have Fun and Life Will Be What it Should
The third largest factor in my life has been high school. My experiences at Rumson-Fair Haven high school have played a large role in developing my philosophy of life. The curriculum, as well as the faulty, has given me the opportunity to realize my potential and the confidence to reach it. Jewelry making class has been the perfect forum to live out my philosophy of life. Throughout this past year, I have worked hard, definitely had fun and have been pleased with the resulting pieces of jewelry. My jewelry-making teacher, Ms. Okeson, has supported and encouraged me throughout this year. She has been the one to push me, challenging me to try new things and test my abilities. As a result, I have found that my work is more creative and I have the confidence to experiment with new mediums and designs. Not all of my projects were successful, but the failures were worth trying. Ms. Okeson is one of many teachers that I will remember as I reflect back on my experiences at Rumson-Fair Haven High School. She has not only lent me support while I have been a student in her class, but is the one who has always told me she is here if I need anything now or even later on in life.
From her Philosophy of Life paper: The Recipe of Life
I march to the beat of my own drum, and it’s obvious. I don’t care what the norms are in my community, let alone do I even know what those norms are. Because I am independent, I am open to new things, I can make my own decisions, and I can re-write my recipe for happiness as many times as I want. Independence is both the last and least ingredient on my list because it serves the same purpose as chocolate chips in a banana bread; you really don’t need a lot of them to perfect your bread, but they really bring all of the flavors together in a magnificent way. In reality, none of the other ingredients would make sense without independence. If I had no independence in my life, that would mean I would have to depend on others. I would have quit working at Ten Thousand Villages because my parents had asked me to. I would argue with my parents to allow myself to stay home on the weekends to “party” with friends instead of traveling to Vermont. I would never do art during my free time, but only when it was requested of me. I would go back to being an omnivore instead of an herbivore because I would have no reason to avoid meat. I would mindlessly watch television without satisfaction and would keep up with the news, even though it would upset me. I wouldn’t put any effort into dressing up anymore, and the amount of clothing in my closet would dwindle. Just the thought of what my life would be like without independence deeply upsets me. I have found that breaking tradition keeps me going, and that I am a leader of my kind, not a follower. My deviation from the original recipe of life has allowed me to become the person I am today.
Those of us without independence will find it someday. Independence is what makes us individuals; what makes our banana bread taste the best to us. Although we are presented with a recipe there is no reason for us to exactly follow that recipe. There is always room for deviation when it comes to cooking, just as there is always room to grow and develop over time. As we get older, we learn to make our own decisions. We discover the things that truly make us happy, and in the scheme of things, happiness is what we all seek in the end. It doesn’t matter what things make someone else happy, but only what makes you happy. Over time, you will discover what is right for you, and you will end up with the perfect recipe for your own happiness; your recipe for life.
From her Philosophy Of Life paper: How Will You Sing the Words to This Song
As we stand here alone we know the past is nothing more
Then the hope, then the light
to lead us through our darkest nights
Let the dust rise so it can close and lock this door
Cause we’re running from the dark
and clinging to the light
and hoping that tomorrow is bright
We’re breaking from the chains
and speeding through our veins
is the hope that we can make it right
This was one of the first songs I ever wrote, or that I actually finished. I sat down at my piano and without rhyme or reason the words flowed, as if subconsciously I knew exactly what I wanted to say and the words and thoughts just needed means of escaping. And its funny now looking back on these words that came from my pencil and realizing just how much they really define my life and who I strive to be.
I have never seen the point in holding grudges. Even in middle school when it was the cool thing to do, it would only take a couple of hours for me to realize that there really is no point in holding on to the past. And with this mind set I am always willing to forgive, no matter what the circumstances. Though this may make me vulnerable, because no matter what someone does to me I will always forgive them, I see no point in retaining feelings inside of me that are negative. I truly believe that forgiveness sets you free. Once you’re free, the past is the past and you can close and lock that chapter of your life, to be remember, to be referred to but never to hold you back.
Now sitting in my room mid May of my senior year, it seems all we can do is look forward with excitement and anticipation for our lives ahead of us. We look upon our pasts and laugh and smile and maybe even cry. We’re about to leave everything we are familiar with behind and break from the chains of teenage years into adulthood. And as I move forward it is with the notion that we are put on this world to play our part; to take a stand, to define who we are, and to make it right. We can hope for change in this world, or we can hope to change the world ourselves. And even if it is just through a simple melody, paired with my own free flowing lyrics I hope I can make a change.
Don’t get lost in time; don’t get trapped in fate or like dust to dust you’ll disintegrate
This is one big world that we’re living in and only one short life that we’ve been given