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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 
info@sonomaacademy.org
 

Sonoma Academy is...

The only 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.