About Gold-medal Grad

I’m 18 years old -- the oldest of four girls, and I’ve lived at the Community of Jesus for my whole life. I enjoy music, sewing and design, and cooking. Most of my life up until now has been dedicated towards schooling,(for the last 7 years -- home schooling). With graduation in June, that part of my life has come to an end. I’m in Spirit of America Band, and I play the marimba. Last fall, we traveled to South Africa, working with kids to start bands and learn instruments. It was one of the best experiences of my life. The following winter, we shared that experience in our Winter Percussion performance. The WP season was a blast, and as a bonus, we won the title of gold medalists! As for where I go next with my life…who knows! The possibilities are limitless.

Uncomfortable Isn’t Always Bad

Change. I hate it, but I love it. You know how one goes through phases in their life when they feel steady, confident and stable… Well let’s just say I’m not in one of the phases. Most everything I’m doing now is new, and even the activities that are old friends have taken unfamiliar twists. I’m slowly coming to realize though, that feeling uncomfortable isn’t always a bad thing. In fact I think it’s great. It keeps me living on the cutting edge and prevents me from falling into complacency or boredom. So if you, like me, feel nervous about new, unfamiliar things — seize and embrace them!   

Brunch for a Bunch

My friends and I, who graduated this spring, planned different “thank-you” meals for people that were influential through our lives and schooling. When I stepped back and thought about all the people in the Community that I felt so close to, narrowing down invitations became a challenge. Even though I made a few hostessing mistakes, everyone at the brunch had a really nice time, and I certainly loved  planning the details for an event that was able to give back a little bit of everything I have been given. I know that in this crazy, exciting, and terrifying new phase of life, I will still have those people to turn to for help.


After 13 Years of School

I am sitting right now next to my best friends in my last home-school study hall ever, madly finishing my math project, and scribbling away at an English paper. But then I sit back and think, life is bigger than this one English paper, so I quickly turned to Google to find an inspirational quote about graduation. I thought this one from Aristotle was a good fit. “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” 

School has been hard, it has required dedication, and hard-spent time. There’s been those awful times when you get a paper back with a bad grade and the teacher asks you what happened, or that guilty feeling that you’ve rushed through a math test. But then, there’s that great sensation when you see that 95 and you know you’ve done your very best, or when you study so hard you think your brain will fall out but the work pays off.  I can’t wait to get that diploma and realize I’ve done it. That’s the sweet fruit. In the end I’m grateful for school. It has prepared us for the future — it’s taught us life lessons, it’s given us a feeling that when you work hard, you can achieve great things. So even though school can be hard, the tassel’s worth the hassle.


From Singing to Styling

This weekend was full of excitement! I sang with the choir in Evensong and Eucharist Pentecost services, marched in a Fife and Drum Memorial Day Parade, finished one of my last weeks of school, and helped with Elements Theatre Company’s  performance of  “The Dining Room”. I styled hair with my mother and sister (hence the salon name we gave ourselves, “Tingley’s Tresses” or “Tingley sTresses” depending on the situation). It actually went a lot better than I thought — given that it’s a mother and her two teenage daughters. I learned more about the play, about stage hair dressing, and about the ins and outs of behind the scenes work. I hope I can help with the next play.

Hidden Passages

So, after living in the community for the only 18 years of my life and after going to the same church for 12 years…. ever since its beginning, I thought I knew everything there was to know, and had seen everything there was to see about our amazing building — boy, was I wrong! Our Christian Ed class had an under and upper ground tour of the church. We started out by going underground to see the control center of the huge fountain in the atrium. Next, we went up in the attic of the church and saw the giant electrics that provide heat and circulation for the entire building. After that we climbed down to an underground maze. The ceiling was about 3 ft high. Pipes and cement were everywhere, and lighting was scarce. It was super interesting to see the unfamiliar foundations of a very familiar space! Our class now knows how to turn on heat in the font so the babies are comfortable at their baptism. We also know where the hoses are kept in case of flooding and which switch to turn off if town flooding occurs. The last place we went was the organ loft. There were more electronics, as well as hundreds of organ pipes ranging from very small pipes to a pipe large enough for a small child to crawl through. It was such an adventure to experience a different side of the church, the side I had never seen. It brought things to life in a new way and it enlightened my day!