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Talking in the Quiet Room (2009 Thesis #2)

Fairhaven School has just graduated seven students. As a way to celebrate the class of 2009, over the next couple of weeks, we will be posting the theses that they  successfully defended. Below is a brief description outlining how somebody earns a Fairhaven diploma, followed by the second thesis. Enjoy!

Students who have spent at least three years at Fairhaven School may earn a diploma by defending the thesis that they have prepared themselves to become effective adults in the larger community. Diploma candidates must declare their intent to graduate and answer questions at a special winter Assembly of parents, students, staff and public members. They also meet with their individual graduation committees, and defend their written theses before a Diploma Committee made up of three experienced staff members from other Sudbury schools. A majority of positive votes from the Committee is the final requirement of  the diploma process.

Talking in the Quiet Room
by Robbie Kronser

When I was younger, people would always ask, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I never had a solid answer because I had no clue. Fairhaven changed that; nowadays, with the experiences I’ve had and the knowledge I’ve gained, I have an actual plan for my future. I plan on taking the experiences I’ve had with me into college and beyond. I believe this will make me an extremely positive member of society.  Fairhaven taught me many things, including responsibility, leadership, an understanding of the judicial system and how to share all these things with others. Another big part of my experience at Fairhaven was the children.  I think it’s safe to say I spent most of my time hanging out, playing, and teaching younger students. This helped teach me more about accepting my responsibilities than anything else I did at Fairhaven . Hopefully you will agree that things like these helped Fairhaven teach me to be an effective adult.

When I think of an effective adult, I think of someone who lives a good, stable life and takes care of all his or her responsibilities. Now if you had asked me three years ago if I was going to be an effective adult, I might have said yes, but I wouldn’t have known what that was.  Fairhaven gave me the tools to teach myself responsibility, good character and how to work well with others of all ages.

The thing about Fairhaven is that because it’s such a diverse group, you can do about anything and learn from about anyone. That is true even if you think you’re the teacher. For example, a student this year was getting into a lot of trouble fighting with other students.  I asked School Meeting to give him a chance to work on his anger problems with a staff member and me. During most of our meetings, I planned on sharing my knowledge with him, but afterwards, I felt like I learned more from his experiences than my own. This just goes to show that you can gain knowledge from someone or something that you may not have expected.  I think that’s really what being an adult is all about, understanding that you don’t know everything and that you must always be ready to learn anything from anyone.

To be an effective adult, the most important thing is taking responsibility. Before coming to Fairhaven , I was very irresponsible. I never did my homework, or my chores.  As a matter of fact, I did very little of anything to show responsibility. Fairhaven changed all that.  Now I was in a place where responsibility means everything. For example, you have to make sure you get your five hours in each day and serve you Judicial Committee (JC) sentences.  Attending meetings, and clerkships, are just a few responsibilities I have had at Fairhaven . I have been JC Clerk and alternate multiple times.  I was the Chair of the Field Trip Corporation during the ’07-’08 school year.  I also started and ran the Sport and Fitness Corporation until student interest dropped and the Corporation fell with it. These responsibilities rubbed off on my life outside Fairhaven as well.  Before coming to Fairhaven , I had never had a job. I could barely even keep up with my chores. Last year, I had a part-time job at Giant Foods for a short period of time before basketball season.  This year, I have had a job at a pizza place called Three Brothers close to where I live for about 7 months now. I am planning on looking for a second job when the summer starts.

After leaving Fairhaven , I plan on attending Prince George ’s Community College for two years, then transfer to a four-year school to finish my degree in business. I hope to open up a retail clothing store after college. I also want to go back to school for my degree in law, which I honestly can say came all from my time spent in JC, no matter in what position. I am fascinated by the legal system, and definitely feel that Fairhaven showed me how much fun it can be. I would like to one day own a chain of clothing stores and be part of a respected law firm as a defense attorney. I guess you could say Fairhaven taught me to aim for the stars.

A lot of my favorite moments at Fairhaven were spent on the basketball court.  I remember during my first year there was a basketball game almost everyday. Then slowly we started to lose older students who were interested, and there I was, standing all alone shooting hoops.  One day a group of younger students came to me asking if I could coach them. We never got the chance to play real games, but it was one of the most rewarding things of my life.  I really enjoyed just being able to teach teamwork, responsibility, and to never give up.  This was important since those are things Fairhaven helped teach me.  A lot of my growth at Fairhaven came from spending so much time with the younger students.  Some of the games we played and the conversations we had really showed me how bright the younger generations are.  For example, a younger student and I often had conversations comparing different parts of the world’s cultures to one another.  I was amazed by his knowledge of other cultures.  It made me want to be the best role model I could be. Hopefully I can show a couple of students they can do anything they put their mind to, and that Fairhaven is the perfect place to begin the journey.

The past three years at Fairhaven have taught me many things. They have also given me the chance to prove myself. Hopefully my improvements have shown, my strengths have grown stronger and my weaknesses have become less obvious. I feel that Fairhaven has made me an extremely effective adult.  It has given me the tools to go on in life and never stop growing.