Colin Friedman

What do you like best about St. Michael’s High School and why?
I first entered St. Michael’s as a 7th grade student. I was eager to start at my new school but was a little uncertain as to how I would be accepted as a Jewish student in a Catholic school. I am proud to say that I have met a wide array of people filled with acceptance and an interest in learning more about my faith.  I have made countless friendships with people from varied backgrounds and ethnicities. It is this kind of support and friendship that has always made me feel safe and welcome at school. There are always students willing to lend a helping hand or offer their cheers at a sporting event. It is this sense of community that I enjoy most about St. Michael’s High School. 

Are you taking or have you taken a class that you especially enjoyed or found especially challenging or rewarding?
As a freshman I took a Conceptual Physics class which I found to be challenging and enjoyable. My classmates and I worked diligently to solve a myriad of difficult but interesting problems. Also as a sophomore and junior I was enrolled in English Pre-AP and English AP. These English classes have allowed me to broaden myself as a person through interesting readings, critical writing, and insightful discussions. English has also helped my ability as a thinker, forcing me to formulate opinions and defend these ideas from the hard-nosed questions posed by both teachers and fellow classmates. This year I was also in a Humanities class. Humanities offered a reprieve from the rigor of core classes. Class often consisted of a philosophical type of discussion; there were not always right answers. These discussions in class allowed me to learn more about life itself and most surprisingly I was able to learn a lot about myself as a person.

Is there a teacher or teachers you especially enjoyed learning from? What made this teacher special?
In 7th grade I had Mr. Moon for Pre-Algebra. Mr. Moon mixed his unique sense of humor into class, creating a fun and enjoyable learning environment. Apart from teaching in the classroom, Mr. Moon doubled as my 7th grade basketball coach. Not only was he able to lay a solid foundation for the rest of my math career, but he instilled in me several valuable life lessons through his coaching.  In 8th and 9th grade, Mr. Janacek was my science teacher. He has a great ability at relaying information in a clear, concise manner. I also enjoyed his fun quarterly projects and challenging physics problems. Ms. Tapia taught me in both my sophomore and junior years; I improved my writing skills in Ms. Tapia’s sophomore English Pre-AP class. During class discussions I became more comfortable as a speaker, feeling free to speak my mind even on controversial matters. The discussions in Ms. Tapia’s Humanities class, often involving Aristotle, Socrates, or Plato, have broadened my interest and understanding of the great philosophers. As a junior this year I had Ms. Chitwood as my English AP teacher.  She has furthered my improvement as a writer, helping me to find my passion in writing.  She has also helped the class in our preparation for the AP English Exam.

What have you learned from your extra-curricular activities?
Sports have taught me a great deal about leadership. I have a responsibility for not only myself, but my fellow teammates. Sports at St. Michael’s are very time consuming. Playing athletics, while still focusing on my academics and taking various honors classes, has taught me to efficiently manage my time. In Mr. Ludiza’s Service Learning class I have received a wealth of experience. While feeding the homeless I have worked with alcoholics, drug addicts, and victims of the recession. These people have shown me, first hand, many of the global issues affecting the world today. Their stories have broadened my understanding of the world while also increasing my concern for those in need.