written by Leslie Ravencroft, Class of 2019
photography and video by Adrian Van Stee, Class of 2019
The classic high school cliché is made up of homework, caffeine, procrastination, complaining, waiting for the end-of-class bell to ring, and constantly wishing we were sitting at home instead of in class. And of course, the ever famous line, “I won’t need to know this information in life.”
Yet, this wasn’t exactly the case for me. Yes, there were late nights due to homework and many mornings filled with caffeine. Yet, I wouldn’t be honest if I told you that my classes were dull and that I didn’t feel like I was learning important materials. Yes, maybe I won’t need to know the Pythagorean theorem in the broadcasting industry, but maybe there was more than just mathematics that our Timothy teachers were trying to teach us.
I rapidly grasped a new respect for literature my sophomore year. Through Mr. McLellan’s zeal for literature, I quickly became captivated with the deeper meanings that each author was proposing. Instead of absorbing minimal advice from Tolstoy or Homer, I was taught to find the hidden message beneath each main plot. Each day, Mr. McLellan challenged his students with pressing questions that sometimes none of us knew the answer to. As we would continue through the story, eventually the answers would reveal themselves.
“Take out your notes.” If you have attended TCHS, you probably know this quote as Mr. Roelofs’ iconic opening line. Followed by this would be the day’s lesson, intertwined with compelling stories. Each day, as Mr. Roelofs would tell a story that had us on the edges of our seats, the bell would ring and we would be left wondering how the story ends. Did the defendant plead guilty? Did they get arrested?
Here’s the thing about Mr. Roelofs’ teaching style: It revealed to me that I enjoyed learning. History and U.S. Government classes weren’t solely about grades and earning A’s. Mr. Roelofs made learning feel less like a formality, and more like a privilege. I was taught to love learning and find the fascinating connections the material had to the real world.
Looking back on my years here at Timothy, Mrs. Tornow’s literature class will go down as one of my favorites. Every day we read in class, from Shakespeare to Harper Lee, Mrs. Tornow would exude a passion for literature and it was evident to all her students. As the students would read aloud their assigned reading part in class, I noticed how Mrs. Tornow excitedly and silently recited the words and lines from the book from her memory. As I saw how much Mrs. Tornow loved reading and teaching literature, she indirectly taught me to pursue what I love in life and to pursue it with my whole heart.
In ten years, I will remember that the Battle of Hastings was in 1066. I may never need to know that date in the real world, but our classes at Timothy are not just about memorizing names and dates. They are about learning to think deeply as a Christian. I know that the education I received from Timothy was anything but a cliché.
Leslie is a senior at Timothy and aspires to go into the film and broadcasting industry. She is part of the Chamber Choir and loves to film and edit. Leslie has gone to Timothy since kindergarten and has not yet decided on a college.