Aurian M. is part of the BASIS Independent McLean founding 8th grade class. Aurian's passion and drive for success are truly inspiring. Outside of school, Aurian loves to play basketball, and film and edit movies with his video camera. He enjoys watching comedy and action movies, and wants to be a movie producer when he grows up.
Aurian joined BASIS Independent McLean from a local public school and views our school as very different from his prior school. In comparing his previous school with BASIS Independent McLean, Aurian replies, "Here at BASIS Independent McLean, the teachers know their material, and the teachers offer me so much help I don’t even need a tutor. I had a tutor with math and English last year, but this year the teachers are better at teaching so you don’t need to get extra help. They actually have student hours. For example, if I need help in English, I can see the teacher every Friday."
A Day in the Life
by Aurian M., Grade 8
I get to school at 8:20 AM unless I need to come in for extra help. I go to my locker and put my stuff away then I go to English. Dr. Vicks is my English teacher. She has a PhD. A lot of teachers at this school have PhDs. I wonder why they’re teaching. Ms. Vicks really knows about Romeo and Juliet. I feel like she’s read it a billion times. When she tells us to annotate in our books she has the whole page in her book covered up. Usually we work on two different things, grammar and whatever book we’re studying. We just finished Romeo and Juliet and we’re getting ready to start a new book Sophia Petrovna. I didn’t like Romeo and Juliet at the beginning. I thought it was really weird, but then I started reading it and I thought it was really cool.
My second class is Latin with Dr. Grissom. In my elementary school we had these little Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) pullouts where we did a little bit of Latin for a month. We didn’t really learn that much, except to say “Hi.” Dr. Grissom is a really fun teacher. He’s one of my favorite teachers because he makes the class so energetic. He only speaks to us in Latin and I think that works. Instead of saying “this means this” he just talks to us and it makes us understand. We have to respond in Latin. I feel like I’m learning so much.
Next is World History with Dr. Hight. World History is my only AP class this year. I can't believe we’re taking an AP class in the 8th grade! The AP exam is optional at the end of the class. I do get help sometimes, but I know I should go once a week every Thursday to meet with Dr. Hight to review content. I make flash cards out of the study guides.
In Physics we’re studying momentum with Ms. Najolia. This class is really cool and complex because how the math works. I feel older because I’m learning all of this new material. Momentum has to do with mass and velocity. Our previous unit was power, work and energy.
In Biology we’re doing cell division and cell growth. What we’ve done so far is chromosomes, chromatids and chromatins. Different teachers have different ways of explaining things. In this class you write down by listening. This school is harder than my previous one and you really have to listen, but Ms. Mccormick makes it easier for us because she explains it really well.
In Algebra I/Geometry we do a new lesson every day in our textbook. Then we have homework that’s associated with that lesson, a problem set with 30 questions. Ms. McCullough is my math teacher. She’s nice and good at putting concepts in her own words.
On most days we have lunch and Academic Enrichment where we get to go outside. Some days we have lunch for 50 minutes and then go to Chemistry right after.
In Chemistry, Dr. Hartman is really helpful. She gives us notes for our Communications Journal (CJ) and suggests that we come every week to get help. All of our teachers are like that. We cover a lot of things. Right now we’re doing stoichiometry. Chemistry is one of my favorite sciences. The elements are cool!
My next class is Economics, one of my hardest classes. Mr. Biemesderfer teaches it well. He makes it easy to take notes because he underlines what we should write down. In the beginning I used to get extra help from him a lot but I don’t need it now. We just finished our introduction to inflation. Right now we are learning about unemployment.
P.E. in the 8th period is my favorite class of thday. The teacher, Coach Sample, is like our friend. At the beginning of the class we run and do warm-ups, then we do ladders, which are little blocks you have to step in, kind of like a more coordinated hopscotch. Then we do arms, which is like doing bear-crawls in different patterns. I feel like I’m getting a lot more coordinated and a lot stronger. By the end of the year we’re going to do a handstand push up.
When I was on the basketball team on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I would stay after school. Now that the basketball season is over, when I get home I play basketball. Then I do homework until dinner. My homewok now is about two to three hours. I think homework will help in the future. I’ll be fully prepared to do hard work. I’ll be able to manage. Every single year is harder than the hardest year in a public school, so when I go to college, it will be easy. I’ll be prepared.
BASIS Independent McLean is a preschool-12th grade private school located in Tysons. To learn more about our acclaimed liberal arts and science program, please register for an upcoming informational event. We are currently accepting applications for the 2017-18 school year on a rolling basis (Rolling Admissions).