Day in the Life: Seth Berke - Grade 12



Morning -  Swimming Practice
My alarm wakes me up at 5:15 am before the sun is up, I get ready for practice at the Duff Tyler Aquatic Center. As I pull into the campus, I wave to the Security Guard who greets me each morning with a smile. I walk onto the pool deck at 5:30 and put on my goggles and get ready to swim. My training begins with warmups, then “the main set” and continues with drills that are meant to elevate my performance to the next level. I always look forward to the moment we take each practice to watch the sunrise in the distance - it is literally one of the most picturesque spots on campus. After I shower and change, I head to breakfast at Mariani Great Hall. 
 
A Period – Ethics 
It is one of those classes that is really important. It’s not often in life that you discuss the morality and ethics of everyday decisions. The class helps my classmates and I develop our moral compass. I say good morning to Mr. Toth and then wait for the story or ethical problem we will tackle that day. The class is often organized using the Harkness Method which is a way of learning that encourages students to facilitate discussion in an open-minded format that involves idea-sharing and active listening. 
 
B Period – IB English HL Year 2
I love Dr. Payne - my English teacher. Her passion for the subject is infectious. We discuss the prior night’s reading or practice a skill that will be useful on the IB exam. We analyze prose and poetry and identify techniques the author uses to make their writing effective. André Aciman’s contemplative memoirs have really pushed me to consider my own perspective and the reality of others. 
 
 
C Period – Multivariable Calculus/Post AP Mathematics
I’ve had Mr. McCullough for two years now, and it’s truly special to walk in each day and have familiarity and sense of comfort with my teacher and peers as we tackle some of the toughest mathematical concepts that any high schooler encounters. It’s amazing each day, not only learning math but understanding the proofs behind each concept. One exploration we are doing today involves delving into Kepler’s laws and the reason behind his mathematical theories.  
 
Lunch
The first thing I do is look for my team when I walk into Mariani. Then I head over to the salad bar and fill my plate with food I know will the best fuel for competing. As a leader on the swim and water polo teams, I look forward to building camaraderie of my teammates during lunch. We talk about how our day is going, but also bond over looking ahead to upcoming events and meets. We spent three weeks plotting and planning ways to make our upcoming trip to States memorable as well as successful such as all wearing light-up shoes. It worked! The girls team got runner up in the State overall, and the boys placed in the top three in relays - all super successful outcomes. 
 
D Period – AP Biology
I love Science. It’s amazing to learn about the science behind life. Today we are learning about cellular respiration, and basically how we convert our food into fuel for our bodies. Every day that I’m in AP Biology, I consider a field down the road in medicine. 
 
E Period – IB Spanish HL Year 2 
Profe Seiden is amazing. I look forward to this class every day! The small class size really brings us together and allows us to be completely immersed in the Spanish language and culture. I use what I learn in this class during practice and when I hang out with my Spanish speaking teammates from all over the world - one from Spain, two from Mexico, one from Peru...
 
F Period – Free Period
There’s so much I try to accomplish during my free period. As a member of the Honor Board, I use this time to hang up posters or meet with Ms. Gettig. Last week was Honor Week which is a big deal on campus. It often is a time for me to connect with my coaches and strategize for upcoming events. But it’s also a time for me to get ahead on homework and free up my weekends for competitions and extracurriculars. The Dr. Albert Cohen Family Center for Entrepreneurship is a great space for studying.    
 
G Period – AP Computer Science 
Now that I’ve been accepted and committed to Johns Hopkins, I am considering taking advantage of their dual major option. In addition to medicine, I am thinking of majoring in Computer Science, which is one reason I look forward to this class every day. I enjoy being able to code and understand the science and principles behind the digital world. We are learning java as a coding language - and by the end of the year, I will be able to digitally generate anything I can imagine. 
 
Afternoon – Honor Board Meeting 3:30-4:00
 As a member of the Honor Board, it is my job to assist the school to uphold a core value of honor. The 16 students members of the Honor Board and I create videos, plan future events for assemblies and advisories, and discuss ways communication between teachers and students. One of our major goals is to teach students while in their high school years the importance of honor and integrity in their academic pursuits so that they learn these important lessons now before they enter the high stakes environment of college. 
 
Strength Training - 4:00-5:00
I meet up with my teammates and we each open our “Bridge” Training Application on our phones. This app allows us to input our physical state including daily hydration, nutrition and hours of sleep so it can design personalized work for each athlete. Today is a test day for me. I have to complete as many push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups as possible in one minute. 
 
Water Polo Practice - 5:30 - 7:00
I walk on the pool deck and greet my coach, and every day give him a firm handshake. He tells us the plan for practices, which usually consists of swimming and drills. We work on our shooting and passing technique and game IQ. As an attacker, I develop strong plays that result in a high volume of goals for the team.  I always look forward to the competitiveness of the games and the celebrations after big wins. 
 


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