Reflections Through Rose-Colored Glasses

I attended ICS beginning in 1993 from 4th – 8th grade.  I have very vivid memories of my time in these halls. 

PINK-Rose-Colored-GlassesI remember learning how to write thesis statements and research papers for Mrs. Lundahl, studying the art of diagramming sentences with Mrs. Merchant or better yet, discovering how fun and exciting history can be, debating if God could build a rock large enough that even He couldn’t move with Mr. Winslow, dissecting squid and learning the periodic table with Mrs. Hash.  As we all know, it’s easy to reflect with rose-colored glasses, but the memories I have inside the classrooms of this building are full of warmth, fun, energy, and an excitement for learning.

I was also involved in everything ICS had to offer outside the classroom as well. From theater and music to any kind of academic or writing competition.  I have a very vivid memory of a spelling bee where I misspelled the word caramel. I still feel deep shame today and blame my Texas upbringing.  However, my spelling bee efforts weren’t the least of my ICS challenges.  I was also on every sports team ICS had, which looking back is also pretty tragic. Those of you who knew me at that age, know that though I am extremely competitive, I’m not actually athletic.  However, Coach Davis, Bates, Oster and others were great at harnessing my competitive edge without allowing me to score for the other team more than once a season.

I also used my time at ICS to flex my rebellious side, never outrageously disobedient, but I was always looking for the little rule I could bend just enough in order to be assigned a five-page paper on the history of chewing gum or some other scintillating topic.

I tell you all of this, not just to navel-gaze about my awkward, yet formative years, but to illustrate three crucial elements about my time at ICS:

1.  Attending ICS gave me the opportunity to try everything.  With every possible sports team, golf lessons, drama workshops, sewing classes, SGA positions, music classes, and so much more, I was encouraged to discover my strengths and passions. I’m very certain that had I gone to the local public school, I would have had hardly any of these opportunities.  Not only was I encouraged to discover my strengths, but I was also allowed to find out what I was pretty bad at without any discouragement from my teachers, coaches, or even peers.  4th-8th grade was a really safe place for me to discover who I was and try my hand at everything.  I believe this played a huge part in my ability to walk into the giant, scary halls of Lake Braddock—though still timid and scared, but having a deep-rooted confidence in myself.  I am positive that came from the time I spent growing up in these hallways.

2.  The ICS classroom truly prepared me for high school and college.  When I was at Lake Braddock, math, science, and english all seemed like a review of my studies in 6-8th.  I already knew how to balance chemical equations, dissect disgusting formaldehyde dripping animals, study for an exam, and most importantly to me—I knew how to read and write better than pretty much all of my peers.  Even when I went to college, I was shocked at the number of people who didn’t know basic grammar and syntax.  But, no one taught them in high school and the truth is, no one taught me in high school either.  It was my time at ICS where I learned the fundamentals of reading comprehension and writing.

3.  I was loved and cared for by teachers and staff who were invested in me because of their love for the Lord.  Despite the times I was scolded for being a rule breaker or just the Chatty Cathy in class (you have no idea how many times my name was written on the board when I was younger. Or the number of chats I got to have with Mr. McNally), despite all of those, I never doubted that those teachers where in my corner.  I knew they cared about me.  I knew they loved me.  As an adult, I know that was because of their personal faiths and walks with the Lord.

More than anything else, the teachers and staff at ICS gave me a safe place to discover who I was while always, always pointing me to Jesus.  Yes, I was able to explore dozens of extra-curricular activities.  Absolutely I was prepared academically for high school and college.  But most importantly, I was surrounded by adults who walked the talk and had an eternal impact on my soul and walk with the Lord.  Yes, I learned how to diagram sentences and write excellent research papers, but I also learned how to follow Jesus, love His word, and serve His people well.

These words were shared on May 2 at our writing exhibition and fundraiser, WordQuest, by ICS Graduate, Hanna Easley.  Click to view a video of Hanna sharing her remarks.