Assisi Scholars: Friends and Cohort Learners
When four students spend most of the day together in classes over the course of four years, they are likely to create a strong bond and make many memories. In addition to attending most Advanced Placement classes together, seniors Lily Petrey, Grace Nonnamaker, Jessica Kern, and Erin Backs meet every day during Bell 4 to work with Dr. Luebbe on their Assisi Scholar Capstone presentation scheduled in March of 2018.
These four students along with all Assisi Scholars are cohort learners—students who work together in classes to enrich their understanding and skills through collaboration and information sharing. Being in the same classes at the same academic level makes these students confident that they understand the challenges that each is facing. They experience joys, triumphs, and challenges together. Since Assisi Scholars are usually involved in many extracurricular activities, they also enjoy many of the same leisure and service activities.
Some might think this closeness results in over exposure to the same people, but not these ladies. They never seem to tire of each other. They have learned to separate work and play, and they know when to encourage a friend to let up and enjoy life or to stop and get back to work. They take care of their friends and respect and rely on the talents and techniques of their friends to teach them or to help them when they need it. This is what friends and cohort groups do.
While seated in upholstered chairs their usual meeting place in the Information Technology Center, this small-group Lily, Grace, Jessica, and Erin shared their thoughts.
Jessica Kern: “Being a part of the Assisi Scholar Program has not only created a constructive learning environment for me but one that I enjoy being a part of. I respect the kids that are part of the program with me, and I bond with them every day.”
Lily Petrey: “During our pilgrimage to Assisi, there was this time we hiked down a mountain after spending some quiet reflection time on the forest trails and seeing where St. Francis died. We walked along the road down to the city of Assisi at our own pace, taking in the sunset from the amazing view. During this time, we talked about our lives and learned a lot about each other.”
Erin Backs: “The Assisi pilgrimage helped me to bond with my classmates who have been by my side in the same classes all along. It also helped me to see just how special they were in being able to make it this far.”
Grace Nonnamaker: “My favorite memory as an Assisi Scholar was in Assisi, Italy. Each night the group would walk into the main plaza, just several yards from our hotel. Groups of friends would walk to different gelato bars. Outside in the cold October wind we would sit around small tables and eat our gelato in laughter, and we would relish the memories with excitement for the days approaching.”