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Morgan Bielawski

Class of 2015

One of the things I'm most invested in here is the music department, especially the spring concerts. I was lucky to get a vocal solo in my freshman year, and I’ve been involved in music ever since. In my sophomore year, I got to sing "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash. I was really able to identify with that song--both words and style. My voice is more Johnny Cash or Dylan-like. I'd had a few singing lessons before I came to Sonoma Academy, but it's here that I've been able to get a lot of practice getting in front of people--singing and speaking authentically. I've also gotten a chance to play guitar and piano here--not something I'd say I'm extremely good at, but I like to accompany myself when I sing.

The Senior Speech is an awesome part of school--it's something you start thinking about from the first one you hear in freshman year. I was always drawn to the ones where people were most vulnerable or took the most risks, so that is what I aspired to do in my own. The first time I got up in front of a bunch of people was a really big deal, but doing that here is comforting--because the environment is supportive.

For a while, I wrote a music column for the school newspaper, reviewing all types of music. I tried to cover a lot of different genres, including some foreign albums. Because I speak French, I wanted to explore the music of that language.

I really like school. I like being a scholar-type. One of the classes I've taken that people get excited about is Historiography. It was one of my favorite classes. We had to write a 25-page paper at the end of it--mine was on Existentialism and Absurdism. To be asked to do that in high school is pretty awesome--I had never done anything like that before, and it makes writing a 7-page paper seem like no big deal.

I took Historiography after I'd taken a course at UC Berkeley called Existentialism in Literature and Film. I was able to become good friends with the professor of that class, in part, because of the way that SA taught me to be comfortable talking to people older than I am, people with PhDs, or with more knowledge or experience. I've learned here that anyone can have a good question, and that confidence enabled me to engage in dialogue with my professor. 

I also practice Ashtanga Yoga religiously--that's something I was exposed to here. And now I've started Martial Arts in the exploratory that Marco teaches.

For the future, I'm interested in checking out philosophy, film, and cognitive science--maybe finding some way of combining them. I'd also like to live in a bunch of different countries and cities. Maybe become a sommelier in France for a while, to put my French to use. I'm applying to Brown, Vassar, Wesleyan, Dickenson, Bowdoin, Harvard, some of the UCs.

I know that I don't want to live a linear life.
"When you're a freshman here, you look at the seniors and they're all deep thinkers, critical thinkers, being kind and open-minded, so you set your sights on that. In that way, the culture here perpetuates itself"
2500 Farmers Lane 
Santa Rosa, CA 95404 
(707) 545.1770 

Sonoma Academy is...

The only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On its beautiful 34-acre campus nestled at the base of picturesque Taylor Mountain in South Santa Rosa, Sonoma Academy students are able to explore their interests and passions in a challenging environment that prepares them for college and life beyond.