How I Survived Freshman Year

by Colin Bock

Let’s just say freshman year was an adventure.

I made it through the brutal English 9, along with my math and science courses, and my history iBook writing is just about done. However, the ride to complete every assignment and to try my hardest each and every day has been quite a difficult task — especially when I don’t always know my path.  

I guess that the fact that I don’t know what’s going on and that I don’t know what’s going to happen is what has been frightening me the most.

Throughout the year, I had a variety of different works of literature to read — mostly coming from English and occasionally History 9. In English, I often struggled with some of the key detail in the literature, making the class harder for me.  

However, as a grammar enthusiast, I was able to level out my grade by continuously demonstrating my excitement for the grammar material.

While each English book was rather challenging in its own right, I believe that the Ramayana was by far the most challenging in that I failed most of my nightly reading quizzes on this book. But after improving my recollection of the material, I was able to pull through and write what I believe to be a killer essay (Art Ward can agree or disagree).  

History, while often exciting, was sometimes a challenge — but I was able to pull through and find my way just like in English class. Upon completion of the iBook project, I found that my writing has taken a major step from the start of the year. I can credit two people for that: Art Ward and John Holloran.  

This year, John has taught me how to write beautiful historical narratives while conveying different rhetorical techniques. In addition, I now center my writing around three common focuses: Ethos, Pathos and Logos. John has truly given me major keys to life, and in a way, this has helped with every class I’m taking this year.

Honors Algebra 2 with Mr. Edge is definitely the most challenging math course that I have ever taken. Among many units, we have studied functions, graphing using transformations, polynomials functions, exponential functions, logs, rational functions, inequalities and inverses having to do with each of the other above topics, and we have written a 30-page report on the stock market.

Now, although I have struggled in this class, I feel that the material that we learned is highly useful and important, and it is actively motivating to students such as myself.  This class has taught me how to budget time and effort, and has taught me how to learn.

Honors Physics with Catherine Molloseau is also an extremely difficult class.  As a person greatly interested in Physics, I am always eager to learn something new each and every day, and that constantly motivates me to work harder. After completing a research project on a topic of my personal interest, I found science to be very enjoyable.

Of course, let’s not forget about the fun that is Dana Lewis’s Spanish III. Foreign language is truly my passion, and has been an interest of mine since the sixth grade.

I find that challenging myself and learning as much as possible from the linguistic opportunities at Oregon Episcopal School really encourage my own personal growth as a human being.

Last but not least, my arts and electives. In the fall semester I took Music and Technology with Adam Steele. Although I personally wanted to be in his choir class at the time, Adam is a great teacher and person.

However, I found in Music and Technology that there were so many different ways to express myself with music, and in the end I made around five songs that were each different in their own way.

I can’t say whether or not the quality of the music is any good, you’d have to ask Adam or listen for yourself, but it sure was fun to take part in.  

And this semester, I am currently enrolled in Life in Community with the great Joel Gray. I have found this class to be very interesting and engaging, but overall, given the interests that Joel and I each share, I have developed a connection that has helped me grow.