Life at Ripon — Sara Driebel ’16

Chapter 1: Preparing for the Semester and the Future

[Editor’s Note: Chuchen Tan ’16, Sara Driebel ’16, and Jacob Sahr ’16 are writing rotating monthly entries for the Ripon College Newsletter chronicling their senior year experiences. We hope you enjoy their perspectives on Life At Ripon!]

As summer is drawing to a close, I am struck by the craziness that this year will be my last at Ripon College! It doesn’t seem real that this is the last time I am packing my bags to head back to Ripon early to serve as an Orientation Committee day leader. I received a postcard from one of my recently graduated friends, and he gave me some advice for my final year here: don’t stress about it. As I embark on my final undergraduate adventure, I am thankful for this advice, and I know that it will definitely be on my mind every day!

My summer flew by as I wrote lesson plans for preschoolers, painted something new every day, and planned the philanthropy event for my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, for the upcoming semester. Art was a massive and amazing part of these few months at home. Every summer I come home and build stock for an online shop that I use to sell small sculptures and paintings, and I used every day to build my skills and make more! Even though my focus here at Ripon is history, education, and English as a second language, art is incredibly important in my life. Thankfully, my family is incredibly supportive of my passion for art and often crafts along with me – even my dog! Although, his contributions are usually chew marks on sculptures and paw prints in the paint…

To me, doing art and competing in sports are very similar. As a captain of Ripon’s swim team, I make it a goal to use every practice to build my skills in becoming a better, faster swimmer. Art is the same – each piece is another practice to improve myself in becoming the best artist I can be!

Besides sculpting, painting, and drawing, I spent every weekday teaching three-year-olds at a preschool near my home in New Berlin, Wisconsin. Teaching history to high schoolers will certainly be different than teaching small children about dinosaurs, but this job has prepared me so much for a future of education! Every week had lesson plans, and I had a blast decorating the classroom for our very own preschool Shark Week! It has been a rewarding experience, and seeing the milestones that these children have reached this summer will be something I always remember.

Working with young children was the perfect preparation for my upcoming student teaching semester this spring. My stay at the preschool made me realize how much I love education and, though my classes at Ripon have prepared me for high school teaching, how many tools I have gained here for my future as a teacher! I won’t be teaching my history students how to roar like a dinosaur, but all that I have learned will help me have fun and spread some fun history knowledge to my future students.

Now it is time to get back into the groove of being a student myself! With only one semester left of classes before I student teach, I plan on appreciating all that Ripon has to offer even more. With swimming, Greek life, clubs and organizations, I’ll have a full schedule that I intend on making my best one yet! I cannot wait to see where this semester takes me. I am going to make it a point to find the positive in every day here, as I am incredibly thankful to be a part of this Ripon family. It is odd to think that at this time next year, I will hopefully be preparing a classroom for my own students rather than packing for another year at Ripon!

Sara Driebel ’16

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