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Chadwick School - 26800 S Academy Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA - (310) 377-1543

Opinions

Volume 65 Number 4

The Class of 2015 ponders: Are we loved?

by Lindsey Waller - 2015-02-19


What is wrong with the senior class? That’s easy. Nothing is wrong with the senior class.

But obviously, every single Chadwick faculty member hates our entire class. They hate us for no reason. The faculty and administrators hate us because they are a bunch of fascists, and they don’t like it when we speak our minds. We don’t have to stand for this tyranny. This is a call-to-arms to all seniors: Let’s rebel and escape this prison!

Just kidding.

Maybe a better question would be: Is there something wrong with the senior class? Are we really the ugly stepchild of the Chadwick classes? There seems to be a common feeling among seniors that the faculty and administration dislike our class. I love Chadwick, and I love my teachers. In general I have extremely positive sentiments about Chadwick. But even I cannot deny that I feel like the faculty regards our class as somehow inferior to other classes. In December, I heard many of my outspoken classmates expressing these same sentiments, and I started to wonder if this feeling came internally from our class or directly from the faculty.

I sent a survey to seniors and asked them how they think the faculty feels about our class, and then I asked them to justify their reasoning. Many seniors cited “senior ditch day” as evidence that the administration does not like our class. I understand and respect the point of view of the administration that we should not get another ditch day because we did get the day off, but I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated. It was very frustrating to see my sister walk into my room blasting music and dancing because she got the day off, while I worked on college applications and homework.

I do not think, though, that this reason serves as proof that the administration has something against this senior class specifically. Their decision had to do with their definition of a ditch day, and nothing to do with our class.

Other than the ditch day, several seniors say that they believe the administration does not like us because we are the “experiment class.” Our class had been the first class to start many projects, including the PCB science curriculum and the notorious APEX project.

Similar to the senior ditch day, I feel as though these projects have nothing to do with our class. Moreover, I do not believe that teachers create these projects in a malicious attempt to make us suffer. Actually, they attempt to allow us to better succeed. I understand that some of my classmates do not like these projects, but even so, it seems evident that the intentions of the faculty and administrators who create these projects are all positive.

The most commonly cited reason for why seniors believe that the faculty dislikes our class is the way they talk about our class compared to the way they talked about other senior classes.

Specifically, students said that the faculty often compares the Class of 2015 to the Class of 2014 in a way that portrays us as inferior.

On numerous occasions, faculty and administrators have told our class that we have “big shoes to fill.” On its own, this statement seems pretty harmless. But with the tone in which it’s delivered, it seems as though the faculty doubt that our class will be able to live up to the legacy set by last year’s seniors.

In addition, many seniors say that they constantly hear the faculty praising the 2014 seniors, but more often than not, those same faculty members complain about our class. I acknowledge that all of these claims are very general, and I do not speak for the entire senior class. I am simply sharing the impression I get from speaking to my classmates and reading survey results.

One important exception to some faculty members’ portrayal of last year’s seniors as the “golden children” is their disappointment with the severe senioritis outbreak last year. At orientation, the college counselors read us letters from colleges to which students had been accepted that threatened to revoke acceptances if individuals from last year’s senior class did not improve their academic performance.

I have also had two of my five teachers give up class time to talk about how terrible the senioritis was during second semester last year. Both of my teachers said they did not think that they had anything to worry about with our class, but the intensity of the meeting at the beginning of the year and the follow-up meeting this year makes seniors feel like the faculty and administrators do not have faith in our class--whether that is their intention or not.

When asked how the faculty and administration feel about the Class of 2015, only 1 out of 30 seniors surveyed said that the faculty “adores” our class. When asked how the faculty/administration felt about the Class of 2014, on the other hand, 13 out of 30 seniors said that they thought the faculty and administration “loves” the class. This discrepancy reveals an underlying cause of the sentiment that the class of 2015 is “unloved.”

Granted, these survey results do not at all capture the sentiments of our class as a whole since the majority did not complete the survey. Moreover, students who felt strongly about this issue are more likely to answer a survey called “Are we loved?” than those students with more neutral perspectives.

Certainly, some of these feelings of inferiority come from us comparing ourselves to the 2014 class, but the frequency in which the faculty and administration rave about last year’s seniors makes it difficult not to feel like our value goes unrecognized.

In addition, in contrast to the seniors’ perception of how the faculty feels about our class, 21 of the 30 seniors said that they “adore” or “love” our class.

The only call to action I want to make is for the seniors to recognize that some of the excuses that we use are not entirely valid, and for the faculty to realize the impact of some seemingly benign comments.


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senior, class, chadwick, faculty, administrators, because, seems, administration, love, teachers, survey, asked, ditch, day, though, project, students, last, year, sentiment


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