Read the MMS memories of past students as well as the stories of where their years post-MMS have taken them.
Co-dependence: A Community of Thinkers
Author: Alumnus, Sam Scheurell
It’s been many a year since I walked the halls of Milwaukee Montessori School, but I remember with fondness the time I spent there. MMS and the education I attained hold a special place in my heart even now as I prepare to begin my second term of college. MMS’s Mission Statement indicates that the school strives to create “independent thinking students of knowledge, courage, personal integrity, and compassion” and I truly believe those values have been instilled in me. The words “co-dependence” and “community” do not feature in the above statement, but nonetheless MMS also nurtured in me a strong sense of equality with my fellow students and a desire to belong to and engage with a like-minded group of independent minds determined to seek their betterment, intellectually and spiritually.
As my high school years passed (mercifully) into dust and ash I remember reflecting on the experience and being comparatively underwhelmed. I don’t intend to demean Marquette University High School, because academically it did much to prepare me for my transition into college and I certainly appreciate the opportunities it has afforded me and respect the school for its rigorous curriculum. However, something was missing from the experience. I did not feel the sense of belonging I felt at MMS. In class I often felt that my fellow students could care less about learning and simply came to school to pass the tests and achieve a higher letter grade. My peers seemed to think that knowledge was a contest, something to be won and bragged about rather than marveled at and shared. I couldn’t have disagreed more.
A true lover of knowledge surrounds himself with others who love it as much (if not more than) he does. At MMS, I was surrounded by such a group, and even if we the students did not always enjoy certain, specific lessons and educational experiences, our holistic experience molded us into independent thinkers who appreciated the Mission of MMS and the rare opportunities such a unique education offered us.
My time at Marquette University High School made me realize something invaluable about my Montessori education: Not only had MMS taught me how to think for myself, it had taught me how to interact with a community of people who thought for themselves and further, to actively seek out such a setting. I maintain that this quality, to desire a socio-educational experience independent of classroom instruction, is one of the highest values of a Montessori curriculum.
I have recently finished my first term at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois and am overjoyed to have found an institution that contains a community of thinkers similar to the one I was a part of at MMS. I am considering pursuing a degree in either Creative Writing, or English Literature and my classes thus far have been stimulating and engaging, but more than that my interactions outside of class have been enlightening and in many ways revelatory. Although we are all independent thinkers, we depend on each other for new information and topics of discussion. We are co-dependent, driven by a desire to better ourselves and have new experiences. I can’t help but be reminded of my time at Milwaukee Montessori School and the memories bring a wistful smile to my face.
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