Photography and story by Kaitlyn Radoha, Class of 2022
Summer vacation. A time for relaxation, exploration, and most importantly a break from school. For most of summer vacation, the idea of school is like a leaky sink. You know it’s there, but you avoid and dance around the topic. This wasn’t quite the case for me.
I am an incoming freshman and during my time in middle school, I had been debating where I would attend high school. I had three choices by the end of eighth grade: public high school, the Chicago Academy for the Arts, or Timothy Christian High School. Timothy Christian was the clear winner. Although each school presented its own advantages and disadvantages, I couldn’t shake the feeling I was destined to attend Timothy Christian to continue my educational journey.
I had some experience with the Timothy Christian community prior to my choice. My brother Josh, now a junior, had been on the soccer and basketball team for his first two years at Timothy Christian. This meant that I would tag along to his games and get a chance to see the spirit and support the community put into everything. I also spent a day shadowing a student, which helped me get a feel for what an average day is like in high school at Timothy Christian.
Now that I had made my choice, I came to realize that I knew very few people my age who attended Timothy Christian. Nervous, I decided to sign up for a few summer classes to give me a chance to meet people before the start of my freshman year. For most of my life, I was trained in the art of arguing, all thanks to my older brother. I decided that trying Mock Trial would be enjoyable and might give me an edge when it came to going toe-to-toe at the dinner table. It included basic lessons of how a courtroom operated and how to find flaws in your opponent.
My first day at Mock Trial class was pretty relaxed and I learned a lot. We split into two teams — the defense and prosecution. We assigned roles to each member of the group and started to discover what each job did. For the rest of the week, we collaborated and discussed the phrasing of questions to gain the most valuable information from the witnesses. I focussed on writing the closing argument and learned about what can and cannot be written. At the end of one week, we held an “official” trial. It was fascinating to see the behind-the-scenes work of trials and how much effort and time goes into the construction of it.
I decided to try out another class this summer. As I was scrolling through my abundance of options, I came across a street photography class. Photography had always been in my family, in fact, it was how my parents first met in college. I took a chance and signed up for a two-week class that included trips to Chicago and short lessons on how to take photos.
Our first day we watched a documentary about influential street photographers. We learned that street photography, at its core, is about documenting the interesting and the exciting people who are living their everyday lives. The next day entailed adjusting camera settings and angles. Throughout the weeks we would take trips to Chicago and have a chance to apply the techniques we learned in class.
It was incredible being able to adjust our style immediately after we determined what we wanted to correct. I soon discovered that street photography is a lot of trial and error. Many times I would find myself disliking a picture when I took it from one angle, but loving it when taking it from a different angle. On the last day, we printed and displayed our images for friends and family to view.
Attending the Mock Trial camp and Street Photography class only reassured my decision to attend Timothy Christian. Both gave me a chance to encounter, for myself, what the community at Timothy Christian is all about. Photography peaked my interest due to the fact that I did not know much about the topic and the fact that I would be working with an award-winning professional photographer. In truth, both of these classes influenced me, but I was more thrilled to find that everyone at Timothy is welcoming and supportive. I am excited to spend high school with not only a marvelous faculty, but some marvelous peers as well.
All featured photographs were taken during the street photography camp.