Freshmen, sophomores, seniors participate in LIFE assemblies


Ashley Jiang

Seniors listen as Harker alum Sheridan Tobin (’15) speaks about her college experience. The seniors gathered in Nichols Auditorium for their LIFE assembly, while the sophomores were in the auxiliary gym and the freshmen in Nichols Atrium.

by Zoe Sanders and Jin Tuan

Freshmen discuss digital citizenship

The freshman class gathered for a LIFE assembly to discuss digital citizenship with Learning, Innovation and Design Director Diane Main today in Nichols Atrium.

Main introduced discussion topics including the teenage brain, proper sleep, screen time, cyberbullying and both digital and offline citizenship. Main gives this speech to each year’s freshman class to introduce them to the upper school’s expectations.

“One of the things we aim to do as ninth graders join our upper school community is that we want to make sure that we establish some community norms,” Main said. “It’s sort of a way of helping ninth graders as they enter the community to kind of understand what they expect.”

Even if they had previously learned about digital citizenship, students were reintroduced to the topic and the repercussions of not being careful online.

“Although most of the information conveyed to us in this speech was prior knowledge, it was important to be reminded of the things that she said, like being aware of what you post on social media and making sure that you get a full eight to nine hours of sleep,” Lisa Barooah (9) said.

Sophomores review course planning

Sophomores met with Academic Dean Evan Barth for a LIFE meeting on course planning today in the auxiliary gym.

While the main subject was course planning for junior year, Barth also talked about the increased workload in the coming years of high school, PSAT scores and summer opportunities. At the beginning of the assembly, students were given a silent reflection time to first settle into the meeting.

Barth mainly encouraged students to focus on what they want to do rather than what they are capable of doing, emphasizing how this mindset should extend from course selection and balancing out work during the school year to deciding on summer activities.

“If you can focus on the here and now and making sure you’re happy, you’ve got that good challenge, you’re pushing where you want it, [colleges] will work out,” Barth said.

Barth also reminded the sophomores to create College Board accounts early to facilitate the process of receiving their PSAT scores in December but also noted that sophomore year scores are simply a data point to track personal growth and will not be sent out to colleges and universities.

For summers in between school years, Barth advised students to participate in programs suiting their own interests rather than follow a formula of internships or research.

At the end of the assembly, students met up in advisory groups to discuss the silent reflection responses they wrote down during the beginning of the session.

Students’ finalized plans for their course selections for the upcoming school year are due mid-January.

Seniors video chat with Harker alumni