How MICDS Revealed Exciting Plans and Goals for Senior Kat Kosup ’19

To help paint the picture of what academics are like at MICDS, senior Kat Kosup ’19 took to the stage at Curriculum Night. She spoke to prospective students and parents about her experience at MICDS. Here’s what she had to say:

My name is Kat Kosup, and I am a senior at MICDS.

This year, I am taking four AP classes, leading three clubs, playing two sports, and proudly participating in my first-ever musical. As you might expect, it’s a lot of work.

I speak to you all today from the eyes of a student who has attended MICDS since the 3rd grade. Since the good old days when the words “plans,” “goals” and “future” were just that: words.

Presenting at Curriculum Night

As I grew older and those daunting words gained meaning, I found that MICDS is not just a school. Rather, it is an institution with the teachers, facilities, and opportunities that can make those three words, “plans,” “goals” and “future,” not scary but exciting.

I have found that students here who take advantage of the available resources are able to find a path that not only introduces them to new passions but also teaches them the tools to not replicate the work of the teachers, but instead, innovate work of their own.

I wanted to share with you how MICDS supported me in finding and exploring those areas which I was specifically interested.

It was in 8th grade when my teachers encouraged me to run for a position on the Honor Council, a student-run council specific to MICDS. The Honor Council is responsible for investigating, holding hearings and recommending corrective action for student honor code violations. I am currently the Co-Head of this council. In my opinion, the Honor Council is one of MICDS’ greatest initiatives.  This Council has given me the opportunity to bring a student perspective to what very well could be an adult-conducted process. Through this position, I am given a platform to help Upper School students gain the study strategies, knowledge and faculty support to confidently act with integrity. The way that MICDS gives their students the opportunity to have a genuine, positive impact on the school is truly unique.

SculptureEqually unique at MICDS is the art department. In AP Sculpture, I am currently carving a seven-foot-long, six-inch-thick wooden sculpture using at least three different power tools (definitely my most thrilling class of the day). This year, I will also create 19 other pieces of three-dimensional art. This seemingly impossible task became possible with the help and encouragement from my AP Sculpture teacher, Mr. Heinemann. He places an emphasis on the process rather than the product. There are no boundaries and, most importantly, no established process: it’s just you, the piece and all the problem solving that comes with manufacturing a vision. I have watched my classmates laser-cut metal mobiles, electronically program kinetic sculptures and I myself even had the opportunity to collaborate with professional sculptors on a piece displayed at the St. Louis Art Museum. I took sculpture in the 9th grade for fun. This fun taught me about creativity, time management and problem solving; problem solving where there is no one right answer and, trust me, many wrong.

My experience with the language department was also unexpected. I have never had an aptitude for language. In fact, in the 6th grade, my family had pretty much deemed me hopeless; English it was. This changed when I began taking Latin. My teachers, Mrs. Griffon and Dr. G., replaced memorization with pattern recognition and practice. Finally, I began to grasp the seemingly impossible grammar and so much more. I learned mythology and art history and how Rome impacted everything from the layout of this auditorium to roughly 60 percent of the words in this presentation. I learned how to translate 80-page poems and determine their meter. I even learned some Greek. Because of the new approach of my teachers, I found a passion where I absolutely never thought I would.

Here, I also found passion in English. MICDS’ English department is truly one of a kind. In Middle school and freshman years, students build a foundation of knowledge. Then, freedom of thought and style are integrated into the curriculum. I am now capable of developing an original thesis and confidently supporting my argument with more than 10 pages of evidence. That is my favorite thing about English here: I have gained the tools to develop my own ideas. There is something specifically rewarding in creating something entirely by yourself, and that is one focus of this English department. We learn how to be independent, how to read a novel and recognize the literary language not for the plot but for the subtext underneath, for the true messages of the novel and for the messages which sometimes only you can see.

MICDS is special because only you can choose your path. Before winter break, I tried out for the musical just because I wanted too, and I don’t know why, but I’m just really excited, background part or more. I’m excited for the 300-page yearbook I have been overseeing this year to be published. I’m excited to learn about more current events in AP Government, do more experiments in AP Psychology and learn more real-life applications of AP BC Calculus.

MICDS allowed me to choose my path, and because I chose, I am excited about everything I am doing this year. Earlier I spoke of three looming words: “plans,” “goals” and “future.” To me, MICDS is a special school because it has given me the tools to create my own plans, discover my personal goals and ultimately, feel secure in my future, a future I know I will be prepared for.