Griffin, Scientist & Artist

Class of 2021

Griffin Lovato is a student that has a huge range of interests. From learning about the human body in Anatomy & Physiology to making his own artwork in his free time, Griffin is someone who always seems engaged in what he does. 
 

Even while taking four AP classes, he is one of the friendliest people in the Upper School, and always makes time to have a little fun with his friends.

The Sage Ridge day is split into 6, 1-hour class blocks with a morning break and mid-day lunch placed evenly between. Students take 8 classes and drop 2 each day. 

Arrival
On a normal day, Griffin wakes up at 6:20 am. Though Griffin is organized, and never in a rush during the morning, making breakfast and getting ready takes time. Soon, Griffin is on his way to school. 

8-9 AM | AP United States History
The Advanced Placement U.S. History survey course covers American history from pre-contact to the present. Using chronological and thematic approaches to the material, the course exposes students to extensive primary and secondary sources and to the interpretations of various historians.

When Griffin arrives at school on one of these days, his first period is AP US History. Learning about information that is so relevant to our daily lives is super interesting for him, and the class is one of the more enjoyable because of it. As lessons have become closer and closer to our current time period, they have become even more engaging for Griffin.

9-10 AM | Anatomy & Physiology
This year-long course focuses on the structure and function of the human body, using organ systems to integrate concepts of anatomical location and physiological function. The class is taught with a hands-on approach using resting and exercise physiology labs, videos/films, in-class and off campus activities, animal dissection, human cadaver labs, field trips, individual and small group research projects and discussions, and oral presentations.

Since Griffin is very interested in going into pre-med during college, this class is really engaging for him. Although it’s very hard to decide what you want to do in the future as a junior in high school, Griffin certainly feels interested in medical technology, or in becoming some kind of doctor. As this class focuses on the human body, he feels that this class could be very useful when understanding proper anatomical location, and it might even allow him to get a feel for how doctors see the human body.

10-10:25 AM | Break
During break, Griffin often tries to get some homework done. If he isn’t doing homework, Griffin will often be found playing volleyball or basketball with his friends. Even when it’s cold outside, the Great Space is a good place for students to play sports.

10:25-11:25 AM | Honors Chemistry
This course explores major themes in contemporary general chemistry with emphasis on the connection between seemingly abstract molecular interactions and human-scale, observable and often measurable processes.

For Griffin, this class is really interesting, and a great combination of both complex math and science. Students are learning about the world around them, and it is therefore one of his favorite classes. 

11:25-12:25 AM | Study Hall
F period is a study hall, and Griffin often uses it to do homework, including his Spanish work. His Spanish class drops today, but he is really enjoying learning the language. He says that learning Spanish is really rewarding because it gives him "the ability to talk to most of [his] family relatives who speak Spanish as a primary or only language.”

12:25-1:15 PM Lunch 
Griffin normally eats lunch in the Loft with his friends. On a nice day, Griffin will soon be outside of the Loft with other students, who often are playing Spikeball, volleyball, football, or even just eating outside.

1:15 PM - 2:15 | AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus AB is roughly equivalent to a first semester college calculus course devoted to topics in differential and integral calculus. - College Board

Griffin thinks this is a hard class, but he enjoys having Mr. Johnston. Mr. Johnston incorporates things from his own life into math, such as his dog, to make problems more relatable to students. For many students, having a way to see the concepts they are learning apply to real life is very important. Teachers, therefore, can be the most important part of any classroom, and Mr. Johnston is no exception.

2:15 PM - 3:15 | Fitness Elective
Students will learn the basic fundamentals of strength training, aerobic training, and overall fitness training and conditioning. Course includes both lecture and activity sessions. Students will be empowered to make wise choices, meet challenges, and develop positive behaviors in fitness, wellness, and movement activity for a lifetime.

Fitness is really fun and he is glad that he picked it. It is really interesting to learn about new sports such as handball, especially with friends.

Additional Classes
Two classes are dropped each day, but here is a glimpse at what else enriches Griffin's experience:
AP Language and Composition 
Using as its backdrop a survey of American literature from the colonial period to the present, AP Language and Composition examines the complex and manifold relationships among thought, language, and action as it pertains to the development of American culture. Reading authors such as Franklin, Douglass, Hawthorne, Emerson, Twain, Fitzgerald, and Ellison, students gain an understanding of the forces behind each literary period and the discourse between authors in successive generations. 

New stories are “very interesting and fun to read” in Mr. Sloyan’s class. Edgar Allan Poe, for example, is read near the beginning of Grade 11, and Griffin has had a lot of fun being able to analyze these works for himself.

AP Spanish Language and Culture
The AP Spanish Language and Culture course is designed to help students be successful in advancing their abilities to communicate in Spanish, and more specifically to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to do well on the AP Spanish Language and Culture Examination. The program provides a solid framework for students to develop language skills through the analysis and discussion of engaging and culturally-relevant texts. 

After School
After school, Griffin does a lot as well. He is on the soccer team this year, which is new for him, but he is learning a lot and having a lot of fun. In other seasons, Griffin has played basketball and has even been on the Sage Ridge debate team. 

Griffin is also very passionate about art and photography. A self proclaimed “sketcher,” he loves drawing, and he uses many different mediums to create art that connects him with others. In the past, he has even created art for others, such as posters to ask their date to JA. He also loves using photography to connect with family and friends. Though Griffin isn’t taking an art class at Sage Ridge this year, he said that they are typically “a great place to practice your art skills and go headfirst into new styles of art with interesting projects.”

With all this on his plate, Griffin can be really busy a lot of the time. Homework can be a lot, especially since he is taking four AP classes. Though he considers himself more organized than many, it is still hard to keep consistent for any student who does as much as Griffin. Griffin rises to the challenges of Sage Ridge life and take it with a smile on his face the whole way through.


- Interview by Kira Romberg ('22)
 

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