Written by Ms. Berman
There are some things in life that I know to be true with the upmost of certainly. One of them is that the students at I.S. value the sense of community (frequently referred to as the I.S. family) to the highest degree. When there is a perception that their safe haven is going to be reckoned with, many students cannot tolerate the thought of this potential disruption. The School of International Studies feels like home for many adolescents, and has become the single aspect of their lives that they know they can count upon.
We are going through a period of adjustment at SDHS, no doubt. It is no surprise that the financial turbulence that has affected our nation has ultimately impacted San Diego High School. As an educator and club advisor, I have difficult decisions to make as to whether to shelter my students from the turbulence or involve them in the problem solving process. The reality, however, is that our students are incredibly savvy, and have a keen sense of the climate at I.S. even when we aren’t aware that they are watching and listening.
In the end, this is what I hope students will take from the experience. Adults sometimes get frustrated when they can’t do what they want to support their students, but, at I.S., there is an underlying code of conduct that is ultimately followed. We stay united, we do our research, we use proper protocol, we garner community support, and we navigate through challenging times with dignity. The important lesson learned, as an I.S. parent stated, is “not that doing the right thing always leads to the ‘right’ result, although that is what we hope for, but more importantly, that we continue to do what is essential to maintain integrity and justice regardless of the circumstance.”
As always, good arises from every difficult situation, and in this case, the upheaval has forced me to take a step back and evaluate what is creating so much angst for our teens. This is essential if I am to properly support my students. This turmoil is not solely about money, policy making, or regulations. It is about the feelings that are associated with dedication, protectiveness, and camaraderie and the fear that stems from feeling threatened. These are, in fact, all positive qualities about our students that we need to recognize and cherish at this time. This is the essence of I.S.
The I.S. Benefit Showcase is more than a fundraiser; it is a commemoration of our community. It is an evening to forgo our concerns over policy making and procedural doctrines, and enjoy watching the culmination of this collaborative effort of our magnificent students. It is a night to ignore calorie counting and indulge in the homemade delicacies that our students will manage to produce in the midst of all of their school work. It is a time to enjoy the many talents of the students on the stage.
After all, the I.S. family is created by, and for, the students. As long as they remain, so will the magic.
This I also know to be true: Nothing can take away the magic! Why else would I.S. Alumni be flying into San Diego to attend the I.S. Benefit Showcase? On March 23, 2012, at 6 pm, they will be a poignant reminder to all of us what it truly means to come home.