Year graduated 8th grade: 2009
High School: Berkeley High School
College: Wesleyan University
EBWS: What did you do after EBWS? (e.g. did you go to school, take a gap year, work, etc.). Where did you go? etc.
Ava: After graduating from Berkeley High School in 2013, I attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where I double majored in English and Hispanic Literatures and Cultures. I continued to make time for my studies of photography and drawing, while also rowing Varsity Crew all four years. I spent my junior fall studying at Carlos III University in Madrid, a city which I moved back to upon graduating from Wesleyan.
Before moving to Madrid to begin my Master’s in Teaching, I spent two months traveling through India, Thailand and Vietnam.
EBWS: What are you doing now? And what do you love about it?
Ava: I am currently working as a teacher’s assistant at a public (bilingual) elementary school in Madrid, where I support the teacher’s in a variety of subjects, though I spend the majority of my time in English and Arts classes. It has been full of amazing moments, but most of all I love watching students discover the communicative aspect of language and how language can enable them to speak with people they would otherwise never be able to speak to. Another part of teaching that has been incredibly fulfilling is watching the relationship of mutual respect develop and deepen between me and my students. My second year has been markedly more successful because of this deeper mutual understanding and trust.
EBWS: Can you tell me something about your work that few people know?
Ava: Because my work as a teacher’s assistant is part time, I’ve had to find ways to supplement my income. I mostly do so by teaching private English classes after school, however last year I began to sell pies as a side business. Though it turned out to be a bit more work than it was worth, it was quite successful. The most popular pie was pumpkin (who knew?). I still bake a lot, though now only for family and friends.
EBWS: How would you say that your EBWS education has helped you in achieving your goals?
Ava: My education at EBWS instilled in me the importance of producing work that I am proud of (a drawing, an essay, the way I teach in the classroom) versus solely satisfying requirements or expectations. In working towards my own goals, whether short-term (such as applications, papers, lesson-plans) or long-term (professional and personal successes), these lessons in self-sufficiency have been invaluable.
EBWS: Besides your interesting work, is there anything else in your life that reflects your Waldorf education?