Coming of Age
Abby Becker, Features Editor
April 26, 2011
Filed under Features
Sweet 16, car keys, freedom, and independence. Liberated 18, moving away from home, and going to college. Sixteen and eighteen years old are considered to be the years when kids become “of age.” These years bring significant changes and signify becoming an adult. The sophomore English classes are currently researching how the coming of age is celebrated and recognized in other countries.
“We wanted to tie a topic with an idea that fits the age group,” said Sara Keeton, sophomore English teacher.
“By researching non-Western cultures, students have a chance to explore the way that individuals across the world develop into independent adults. In doing so, we learn to appreciate each other, instead of making immediate judgment calls that are simply based on what we know in our culture,” added Laura Pettay, sophomore English teacher.
Analyzing other cultures and comparing them to that of the United States is a valuable exercise. The goal of this project is to learn and appreciate other cultures.
“I want my students to understand more of the diversity of God’s Kingdom, by starting with an understanding of how people go about their daily lives in different cultures,” said Pettay.
While this is another major project for school, students are enjoying learning how unique other cultures are.
“I think that it is interesting to learn about culture in other parts of the world and even how drastically the culture has changed in the last 100 years,” said Mattie Drury, sophomore, who is studying Austria and Hungary.
On the other hand, while students enjoy the concept, the execution of the project is a struggle.
“I like researching another country and learning about their culture, but to me, the thesis of coming of age seems too broad, and I would’ve preferred a different thesis,” said Katie Boesch, sophomore, who is researching China.
Other students do not find the topic applicable.
“I don’t find the relevance in researching how teens of other countries come of age,” said Reagen Dykehouse, sophomore, who is researching Burkina Faso.
Since this is the first year of the project, there are struggles with the format, which will be revised in the future. Sophomore teachers, Pettay and Keeton, are confident that the project should be continued with improvements.
“As usual, Miss Keeton and I will tweak little parts to continue to make it the best project possible, but we are excited about how it was worked out this year,” said Pettay.