Sisters Assemble

SCIENCE FAMILY As they examined their pink hard hats, the former daisies at the Hockaday Alumnae in the Arts and Science Assembly on Jan. 12 spoke fondly of JETS mishaps, the big-sis-little-sis program and other Hockaday memories. Photo provided by Charlotte Hoskins

During assembly period on Jan. 12, nine Hockaday alumnae sat before the Upper School student body, linked by their unwavering love of science and an even more vivid memory of Hockaday. Every year, the Upper School has an assembly called “HATS”—Hockaday Alumnae in the Sciences—where a few alumnae are invited back to talk about their Hockaday, college, and work experiences.

“I think it’s so important to show women who have gone out into the sciences and women that have been in your place,” science teacher and HATS coordinator Kirsten Lindsay said. “They were here and you are here, so there’s a connection that allows it to be a possible future for you.”

Each woman had the chance to look back on her experiences with Hockaday JETS, the Upper School robotics team, and even more fondly, on her time spent with Peter Lohstreter, a former Hockaday science teacher that has left a lasting impression on all of his students.

Every alumna began to recall successes and blunders that happened during JETS preparation and competition. Amy Patrick, Class of 2000, recalled a time when they completely forgot the “egg drop” activity in the robotics competition, but luckily, they thought on their feet and taped numerous bagels around the egg, winning the competition and leaving with a good story to tell.

“It was great to bring in all of these girls that participated in JETS, and it was nice to let Mr. Loh know how meaningful his contribution was,” Lindsay said.

In addition to talking about JETS, each alumna was asked to offer a tidbit of advice to the Class of 2012—something that has been important in their lives and careers. All of them overwhelmingly agreed on one thing: take risks. Whether it be trying something you’ve never done before or quitting a job to find the thing you truly love, the alumnae articulated their belief in taking full control of your destiny.

Many of the women had taken diverse classes that they were less comfortable in, like Art or Humanities, in addition to their scientific education. Priscilla Spencer, Class of 2003, studied a very avant-garde, interdisciplinary major in Digital Media Design that combined many different aspects of science and art.

This year, HATS was colored with a love for JETS, Peter Lohstreter, and, above all, science. Some of the alumnae were longtime friends; others had become friends via JETS; and some were even paired together in the little sister/big sister program for freshmen and seniors.

As a student, senior Katie thought that witnessing the indefinite reach of Hockaday was a humbling experience, but it was even more amazing to reaffirm that passion, courage and a little bit of risk create an opportunity for great things. She found especially noteworthy the long lasting relationships between big and little sisters.

“I organized the big sisters and little sisters this year,” senior Katie, Chair of the Student Relations Board, said. “So I thought that it was really neat to see how much they remembered each other.”

– Allie