Meet our Wayfinders: An Interview with Camden Residential student Rose Piscuskas

Posted on Friday January 23, 2015

rose and cliff   A Wayfinder Schools interview with student Rose Piscuskas, Camden

WS: What made you decide to come to Wayfinder Schools?

RP: I had a hard time with public school, so I started home schooling, but because both my parents work, I couldn’t get as much support as I needed. I had the drive to keep learning but I needed a little more direction. My family knows Dora (Community School co-founder Dora Lievow) and she suggested coming here, so I did some research and decided, “That’s where I’m going next year.”

WS: What have you enjoyed most about your Wayfinder Schools experience so far?

RP: Everything. The support and the diversity and the relationships I’ve been building here. It’s pretty incredible. Being forced to live with people who are so different than you is incredibly hard, but one of the best experiences I’ve had so far.

WS: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far this year?

RP: Everything is interesting.  Learning about the college process is what I’ve enjoyed most. Evergreen is my first choice.  I’m also looking at Bennington, Earlham, New College in Florida, Cornell College (not the university), Southern Oregon University and Warren Wilson.

WS: What’s your favorite class and why?

RP: I’d say my favorite class is Diversity and Social Justice. I like that we talk about really current issues and that they’re things I can get behind.  Not like past text books-the same stuff our parents learned. I like being in the loop and being encouraged to think critically about the world.

WS: What’s the favorite meal you’ve cooked so far at school and why?

RP: I made crepes recently and that was really fun. It was something my mom had always cooked for me at home for special occasions and it was nice to do something special for the people here. It felt family-like.

WS: Where is your internship and what do you like best about it?

RP: My internships are at The Riley School and Merry Gardens. My work at Riley has given me an opportunity to speak up, even as an intern, and express my views. It’s been a really big growing experience for me. At my Merry Gardens internship I’m really enjoying learning how to work with older people.  It’s way outside my comfort zone but also kind of fun.  I get to sit and talk with them and I hope it’s helpful for them to have the energy and spontaneity of a teenager.

WS: What’s been you favorite trip at Wayfinder and why?

RP: They progressively get better because the group is tighter, but my favorite so far was camping and rock climbing at Acadia. I love camping. I also liked the Boston trip a lot.

WS: What’s been you favorite volunteer project and why?

RP: I’d say working at Merry Gardens. It makes me feel like I’m at home again. I grew up on a farm, and feeling like I know what I’m doing is pretty valuable.

WS: What do you hope to get out of your experience at Wayfinder Schools?

RP: To carry the relationship building skills that I’ve gained here with me.  Really everything I’ve gained here. It’s just so much. The diploma is definitely part of it but to me it’s more about the relationships. Just making sure I carry everything I’ve learned here into future life.

WS: What are your hopes and plans for after graduation?

RP: College. I’m hoping to follow my interests and act on some of my whims. I feel that I’m finally at an age when I can do that.  And then graduate school for alternative education. I’d like to teach middle school, and I want to reach people who want to learn.

WS: What would you like people to know about Wayfinder Schools?

I would like students to know it’s NOT the easy way out. I thought that way, too, only one year for a diploma, but it’s not easy. Also, my parents and I didn’t know how hard it was going to be emotionally, so for parents I would say just knowing that your child has to be in a stable place emotionally to make it.  What I would like community members to know is that the school has changed a lot. True, we are rambunctious teenagers, but it’s important to me that we work WITH the community. I want community members to say, ”Hey, I did this awesome thing with Wayfinder last year.”

WS: What would you like the world to know about you?

I’m always looking for opportunities to have an adventure.

Thirteen facts about you:

Where you were born: Waterville  

Your favorite color: Green. A very natural green.

Your favorite food: Salad. It’s always so interesting.

Your favorite sound or smell: Sitting around a campfire, people talking, the fire crackling, smelling the wood smoke and remnants of dinner; it’s the best feeling in the whole entire world.

 Your favorite hobby or thing to do in your spare time:  Play my violin and paint and write–journaling and writing letters.

Your favorite possession: The violin that I made.

Your favorite book or movie: Favorite books: Anne of Green Gables, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Harry Potter, and This is your Brain on Music by David Levitan. Favorite movie: Whiplash.

 Your favorite snack: Cherry tomatoes or cookies

One place you’d like to travel to: I’d like to go back to Paris.  And I’d like to go to Australia and Germany.

Something you’re proud of: Teaching last year at The Mill School, and the college process. Last year I taught music to twenty students age 4-13 at The Mill School. I came up with the curriculum and they approved my first draft. The kids played kazoo, accordion, piano, guitar, cello, mandolin, whistle and even pots and pans. We had five months to prepare an end of year concert and it was amazing.

Something new you’d like to try: Traveling more

Your favorite spot in Maine: Hoag Island on Lake St. George

The one thing you’re most passionate about: Teaching