News from SLHSO

eagle-projectI am working on my Eagle Project to build five risers for Seven Lakes Orchestra so the members in the back can be raised up to follow the conductor as well as be easily seen by the audiences.

I am so fortunate to get the opportunity of combining two of my favorite passions and be able to do something for both. However, getting to this point hasn’t all been so easy!

Flashback – I picked up a violin for the first time in the 6th grade and fell in love with it. Watching my friends the ‘Pan Brothers’ play with such proficiency was so inspiring, that I dreamt of playing alongside them one day.

At the same time in 6th grade, I started my journey for community service as a Boys Scout.

Coming into the high school, many of my peers and seniors strongly advised me to drop some of my activities warning me that it just won’t be possible to continue them at the same time especially if I didn’t want my GPA to suffer. Many of my friends dropped out of orchestra and tennis early on. With my normal teen attitude, my initial thought was also to drop some of the activities and just focus on academics but when I really thought hard, I realized that I wouldn’t be the person I was or wanted to be without these passions in my life. I just couldn’t give them up without putting in my best efforts to make things work.

I have to admit, over the years, the time commitment for each activity became significant but most conflicts could be managed with planning ahead of time. The biggest challenge came for me when I became Life Scout and started working on my Eagle Scout rank requirements which needed for me to attend weekly meetings as well as attend a number of campouts over weekends. Orchestra MNR conflicted with the Troop meeting time. I was very concerned and scared, that I might have to make a choice between the two of my passions, and most my friends advised me that it was impossible to find a solution. I decided to approach both the Scoutmaster Mr. Wojo and the Orchestra Director Ms. O to apprise them of the situation and requesting them to consider changing the meeting/practice day/time.

Whilst it was not possible for either of them to change the timing/day of the respective activity, to accommodate just one individual, nor was it possible for them to exempt me from participating in the required meetings/ practices, both were extremely supportive and interested to help me achieve my goals of attaining the Eagle Rank and continuing my growth with Orchestra.

Ms. O kindly allowed me to leave the MNR 30 min earlier than the scheduled time and Mr. Wojo allowed me to arrive 15 min later than the scheduled time. Thanks to their support and kind consideration, I am so blessed that I have been able to continue with both my passions and am able to link both of them as part of my Eagle Project.

I would like to just advise others dealing with similar conflicts – Don’t give up – Follow your passions and you will be surprised of how much support you will receive from all corners.

-Sid Ahuja, Violinist, Class of 2016