Waldorf Alumni Reunion

By Samantha Eliot Stier, graduate of the Honolulu Waldorf School, class of 2006

Any former Waldorf student will tell you that returning to a Waldorf school -- ANY Waldorf school -- is sort of like returning home. There is an atmosphere of familiarity, creativity and imagination that fills the rooms of Waldorf schools all over the world. That magical quality can be felt especially when members of the Waldorf community gather together for an event. The Bay Area Waldorf Alumni Holiday Reunion at San Francisco Waldorf School was a perfect example of this.

On Friday, December 21, 2012, San Francisco Waldorf hosted a holiday alumni event for alumni, alumni parents, faculty and staff, and friends of Waldorf. Graduates from Waldorf schools all over the state attended the event.

The event began at 7pm, and by 7:45, the room was full of laughter and conversation. Alums reconnected with each other and with their former teachers, and were introduced to people they'd never met. There was a mouth-watering spread of hors d'hourves, and an array of beverage choices.

This was a wonderful opportunity to speak with some of the Waldorf graduates in various stages of life after Waldorf. It was a joy to converse with these Waldorf alums, all of whom I'd never met, whose lives have been so deeply impacted by their education at Waldorf schools. Here are some quotes from the evening:

"I'm grateful to Waldorf because I came from a public school, where they didn't have a music program. I never would have known I was any good [at music] if I hadn't come to a Waldorf school and been taught the clarinet in 3rd grade, which I still play. It's one of my favorite things in the world, and I thank Waldorf for that."

- Max, graduate of Highland Hall Waldorf School in Northridge, CA

"Waldorf education has inspired me to attend a reunion at a different Waldorf school eight years down the road, and has taught me to look for aesthetic value in everything I do."

- Daniel, class of 2004, Highland Hall Waldorf School

"Waldorf taught me that you can find art in anything. Literally. In math, you can see how the numbers make a pattern. I've learned Eurythmy, and I use it to calm myself sometimes. Waldorf has taught me to branch out and try new things that I may not be comfortable with -- like acting. I'd never acted before coming to Waldorf, and I got one of the lead roles in the senior play. I had no confidence, and I thought I'd forget all my lines. But when we performed, I remembered all my lines, and everyone thought I did a really good job."

Damen, class of 2012, San Francisco Waldorf School

"Waldorf has opened my mind to different ways of approaching my school work. I think about things in ways that other people don't. It's just second nature to me. I do think that there is a great amount of thoughtfulness and mindfulness that comes through Waldorf education."

- Rachel, class of 2010, San Francisco Waldorf School

By the end of the evening, a group of these former students were reminiscing, singing songs, comparing morning verses, remembering Main Lessons and performing lines from plays. Even though none of us had ever met before, we were good friends by the end of the night. It was a wonderful experience to be in the presence of such passionate, unique, intelligent individuals and seeing how Waldorf education has informed their careers, dreams, and life goals.