Seniors and sophomores unite with Eagle Buddies, juniors and freshmen attend LIFE sessions


Kathy Fang

Freshmen discuss the course planning website at their LIFE session on Friday. Academic Dean Kelly Horan spoke about how to maintain a balanced course load.

by Helen Yang, Columnist

Seniors and sophomores met with their Eagle Buddies for the first time this school year, while juniors and freshmen attended their respective LIFE meetings last Friday during lunch.

After seniors and sophomores received and sent handwritten letters to their Eagle Buddies the previous week, they donned their special Eagle Buddies t-shirts on Friday in preparation for meeting their lower school buddies.

Seniors waited for their lower school Eagle Buddies to arrive on Davis Field, where an assortment of activities had been prepared: football, bean bag tosses, frisbees, giant four-in-a-row, horseshoe toss and more.

About half an hour into the event, seniors and their buddies lined up for lunch of chicken or veggie tenders, turkey or veggie corn dogs, watermelon, cookies and chips.

Meanwhile, sophomores travelled to the lower school to meet their Eagle Buddies in person for the first time, spending an hour bonding with them and enjoying a lunch of veggie or beef burgers, chips and cookies.

Upper school math teacher and head of the LIFE program Jane Keller leads the Eagle Buddies program and has organized the events for four years now.

“We have activities for [students] to do on the fields to interact with their buddies and their other friends’ buddies, and to have fun: put your phones down, close your computers, stop thinking about college applications and actually be a kid for a little while,” Keller said.

While seniors and sophomores spent time with their Eagle Buddies, juniors and freshmen participated in LIFE sessions for their individual grade levels. Juniors listened to youth advocate Charis Denison, owner of Prajna Consulting, explain sexuality as a teenager, including methods for setting boundaries, the importance of having open discussions and how to maintain a healthy relationship in the Nichols auditorium.

“High school is like the transition between you being with your parents and adulthood, and [LIFE] is for getting you prepared to handle things on your own and without your parents,” Emma Li (11) said. “For example, if you’re a girl, you’re expected to always say ‘I’m sorry’ and stuff, and for boys, they are more motivated to shut everything in and not tell anyone—to just endure, instead of really trying to address those problems.”

At the same time, Academic Dean Kelly Horan led the freshman LIFE session about course planning over the next three years in the Nichols atrium.

“I found the LIFE session pretty helpful, although I did know most of the information already, like when they told us not to take the hardest courses available,” Austin Wang (9) said. “Even though I probably won’t be using the planner website a lot, it seemed pretty helpful for [planning out] classes.”

Seniors, juniors and sophomores will have additional Eagle Buddies sessions and students of all grades will attend different LIFE sessions later in the school year.