Thursday, January 19, 2017

Making the Mural: Art and Community at Round Lake High School

By Lyanne Santana, RLHS Scholar Coach

“People may perceive the mural as simply a tree with a bunch of books at the bottom with a sunset as the background, but it is so much more than that.” 
–Esmeralda Mendoza ‘17

From September to January, Round Lake Scholars have been working together to create a mural that brings life to our new resource room. I directed this project as a part of Artists After Hours, RLHS’s Schuler-run after school art program. Over the course of 10 sessions, thirteen Scholars conceptualized, designed, and painted a mural to decorate the new resource room. The mural features the silhouette of a Schuler tree against a sunrise gradient, with two figures representing Scholars using the tree as a support. Beneath the tree are books ranging in topics that are important to the development of a Scholar, such as REP, camp, and APB. We used a mixture of materials for the piece including latex wall paint and primer, acrylic paint (including a glow in the dark color for the stars), glitter, and chalkboard paint for the tree and the figures. The result is a vibrant and interactive art piece that will last.
While the final result reflects Schuler Scholars and provides opportunity for lasting engagement, the process itself was a display of the strength of this Schuler community. As the leader of this project and program, I am very proud of how they have grown as artistic collaborators. It was an incredible opportunity to support Scholars in implementing a vision that makes the resource room their own and invites others to continue creating. Read on to hear from the artists and take a peek at our process.

Scholar Reflections:

“Originally, I was incredibly hesitant to even get close to the mural in fear of messing it up (I am not as artistically inclined as the others helping out), but wow! The sessions were incredibly fun, the environment really relaxed and so despite my inability I was able to make a contribution and feel a part of the project. That alone I believe is the idea of the mural, that sort of togetherness and community that the Schuler Program maintains and so it is definitely a huge addition to the environment.” -Nadia McPherson '19

“The process of painting the mural went really smooth it was very relaxing and fun. I personally enjoyed it and I think that all the scholars did great overall and the final result was amazing." — Daisy Alcantar ‘20

“The whole process of painting the mural was fun overall even though we face a couple of obstacles. Something we tripped over was blending the right colors to paint the sunrise gradient. When we first began making it we placed the primary colors and blended a lot to mix the colors but that didn't work because it dried too quickly. We found a solution to it eventually, a really great one, which was to paint the main colors and then mix colors using different proportions in between them and blend. I really enjoyed painting the mural because we all worked together and had fun, destressed ourselves, which is great. If given the chance I'll totally do it again, who knows maybe someday we can make one in the other Schuler room.” — Danny Sanchez ‘19

 “I enjoyed the process, especially because with time, more people showed up to help with the mural. Only a few of us were present for the brainstorming process, and it was interesting to see what everyone came up with. The best thing was that at the end, we all had to collaborate in order to synthesize these ideas. So, the end result is really special, because it preserves the collaborative effort of Schuler Scholars. I think that by having this mural it will embody the spirit of the Scholars.” — Emily Luna ‘19

“During the making of the mural I wasn't really a part of it until the painting started, but that goes to show how the Schuler community helps each other out. Certain people created the design and then others added on to it to make it as great as it can be.” — Ashley Rodriguez ‘20

Mural Making Process:

Priming the wall

First attempt at blending the gradient

Laying out the background

After a long painting session

After successfully blending the gradient


Nadia having fun painting the chalkboard tree

Working on the details

Final product!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

LMSA's Stress Relief Friday

Last month, Schuler staff at Lindblom Math & Science Academy hosted a Stress Relief Friday for Scholars. For one day the Schuler room transformed into a stress relief sanctuary to give Scholars a chance to relax with each other and staff. We had healthy snacks for Scholars as well as stress relief activities, such as coloring and games. The back room, which is usually the library, was a Zen room for the afternoon for Scholars to relax in. Our Scholars work incredibly hard throughout the school year and its important to take time to relax and recharge. We hope that all Scholars and staff had a restful winter break and wish our Scholars luck on their finals these coming weeks!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Importance of Setting Goals

By Tiffany Herrera '19, Richard T Crane Medical Prep

Earlier this year, the sophomores participated in a Goal-Setting STEP every Tuesday after school. During goal setting, we’d think about our goals and then share them aloud and discuss them with the whole group. We talk about short term goals, long term goals, and SMART goals.

Short term goals are goals that can be accomplished in a short period of time; long term goals are goals that need a lot of steps in order to be accomplished and require more time; SMART goals are goals that you want to accomplish, but you make a plan to be able to get there.

During this time, we did some activities related to our personal goals. This included goals we had accomplished and the goals we still want to accomplish. We made a rollercoaster of highs and lows of our goals. My rollercoaster had mostly ups, but also a couple of downs. For the downs, we had to think how we could fix them.

We also talked about personal, academic, and family goals. We had to write down our goals and how we could accomplish them. Writing my personal goals on paper was harder than I expected because it is one thing to have goals in your mind – we all have goals – but the hard thing is thinking about how you will accomplish them. This means making up a plan and following through because there’s no reason in having goals with plans if you’re not planning on following through.

This goal-setting has really helped me put my mindset on a higher level. It made me realize that when you really want something, you will try your best to accomplish it. In my opinion, when you try your best, the outcome is beautiful.  

It’s been a couple of weeks since we had goal setting and I’m doing great in school, it helped me keep up the good work in school. I have straight As, got a good score on my PSAT test. Goals setting has had a very good impact on me in school and even at home with my family.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Fall Roundup: Scholar Creative Writing

Throughout high school, Scholars have many opportunities to write creatively. In weekly REP sessions, Scholars use books, short stories, poems, and plays to prompt their writing. We're proud to share a small sample of our Scholars' create writing. Enjoy these two poems and a short stories!

by LJ Eslit, GWCP '20
Inspired by "Non Stop" and the beat from "Broccoli"

Hey, how you doin you can call me Mr. Islit
First name 2 letter, yet they never get it right.
I was born in a city, you can call it Dapitan.
A lot of my time is spent working in the night.
I remember the old days, they were never that much fun
All my parents want is to get me through my life
Little do the know I’m not sure where I’m headed
I’m not trying to go rush things got much things up ahead
I just wanna take things slow and get things my way
Yet I got 10 people tryna tell me what to do.

In the middle of 9th grade, already struggling
I do not want to fail it’s for my future
Never got so tired it’s cuz of homework

Voices in my head sayin to graduate


The Imaginary
By Angel Penate, WHS ‘20
Inspired by No one belongs here more than you., collection of short stories by Miranda July 

I thought you cared. I let you in when no one else was listening. Everyone else neglected me. But you were different. You seemed so different. The way your eyes sparkle and the green apple scent from your hair. You knew I loved green apples. You started buying new green apple fragrant conditioner because you knew I loved the smell. That’s what you told me. You knew everything. You knew exactly how I laughed, smiled, and sounded. You knew my emotional patterns and how my mood changed since I was a bipolar child. I remember that every secret I had was also yours to keep. Don’t you remember? Yours to keep, I said that very specifically. You were always a good listener. You listened when I went on that 3 hour rant about how my mom took away my crayons and told me to stop talking to myself, when clearly I was talking to you. You listened to everything I had to say. When I kept telling you about that new Mortal Kombat game and how it got cancelled for 6th generation consoles and how upset I was. So why did you stop? Why did you stop listening? I mean you always cared enough to listen, right? Wait, did you? I don’t know how to feel. Sadness, Anger, Fear… what emotion is this? You know… we’ve talked for so long I
actually started to think that we could’ve been best friends. No. Nevermind. You were too good. You said it yourself. You always seemed too good to be true. Its better off that you stay away. I don’t know how to feel right now. But it's common for some people to believe that it's just a phase. ButI knew damn well you were too good to be a phase. You were a part of my life. And now you’re gone. I honestly hope you’re doing well. I forgot I'm still in the stage of denial. They said grieving is a 5 stage process. But with you gone I don't think I'll ever recover. I miss you. I can't stand the fact that you’re in a better place now. The best place you could be is here, with me, but you're gone. And you aren't coming back. Goodbye my dearest and only friend. They say you weren’t real but you will always be in my heart.


Dear Kil-Jada-Renee-Patrick
by Jada Renee Kilpatrick, NCCHS ’19
Inspired by Hamilton: An American MusicalScholars created their own stories in forms of poems 

(Glenda) Born and raised in Chicago, a city that many people die foe.
(Jaylen) Moved from city to city, year after year; couldn’t really find friends so dear.
(Sherese) Didn’t used to be the smartest berry in the bunch, but never had cavities;
always a nice healthy lunch.

(Sheila) Got older and started to bloom, soon ended the childhood of doom.
(Jada) Started to love school, had a love for learning, I knew if I kept going down this road my future could really be something.
(Glenda) You're not gonna stop trying even if your life is aching; you’ll stop breathing before you think you aint gone make it.
(Jada) I'm just a girl, 16, trying to make it in this hard world or so it seems.
(Jaylen) You have to say to yourself, “I’ll never give up even if I become scared and start to hiccup.”

(Sherese) There are many obstacles in life but you have to learn to overcome them, make every moment bright, not dim.
(Sheila) I'm not saying focus only on the books and not live your life, but make good decisions and good choices, make sure their right.
(Jaylen) Don't let a distraction be boys, at your age your nothing to them but toys.
(Glenda) Bright, outgoing, smart, intellectual, and articulate are all things they call you, But do you believe that to be true?
(Pluck) Find your own voice, know what and who you are, knowing and loving yourself will truly get you really far.
(Honey) Remember where you came from and don't ever forget it, because when you're grown and all alone trust me you’ll miss it.
(Jaylen) Appreciate the small things in life, they’re very important; never EVER let the phrase come out your mouth that you can't.

(Glenda) ….And Jada Renee don't ever put yourself between a Kilpatrick.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

WTHS Scholar Book Recommendations

As many of our Freshman and Sophomore Scholars complete their first REP books of the year, Scholar Coaches at WTHS had Scholars reflect on their favorite books that they’ve read outside of REP. Scholars made sure to emphasize points of personal connection in their recommendations.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Review by Kelsey Lin '19

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is a YA novel with an explosion of fantastical elements straight out of myths - literally. I read the book when I was younger, but I still find myself going back. The book is like opening a box for a whole new world of stories like the history between Greek gods or Medusa; it’s like a matryoshka with many adventures within the adventure of the main character, Percy Jackson, that I found myself wanting to research and get lost in the world of myths. The characters are not relatable in that I believed that they truly existed, but I felt connected to the series because I wanted these people to crawl out of words, stretch their limbs, and go into the world and live. I recommend this book because it offers a more magical world to go and get lost within. 

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Review by Maryam Beverly ‘20

When I was in eighth grade, my desire to read an adventurous book was fulfilled once I’d read The Hobbit. This bestselling novel tells the tale of a hobbit who is persuaded by a wizard to embark on a dangerous journey with a group of thirteen dwarves in order to reclaim the dwarves’ stolen treasure and land. The story connects to me personally because the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, possesses similar traits to myself. He is initially portrayed as an individual who doesn’t seek adventure and lives a satisfyingly comfortable life as he is. However, Bilbo develops a liking towards danger and excitement in life as the story progresses. Ultimately, I recommend The Hobbit for readers who enjoy thrilling fantasy novels and relatable protagonists such as Bilbo.

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Review by Mufida Asmar ‘18

When I first started wearing the Hijab (Muslim head scarf), it was a big transition in my life. I personally chose to be closer to my religion and live my life modestly and wanted people to judge me for my mind and personality rather than looks. I came across this book when I had to do a book assignment in middle school, I fell in love with it because it encouraged me to embrace who I am. It is a about a girl who decided to wear the scarf and how she grew, learn and lived life knowing that she decided to be different. It showed how she was treated after  she started wearing it and how that’s okay and also taught me to keep my boundaries as a Muslim. It shows how in this day in age Muslims are looked differently but it all depends how you embrace and react to this change.