t WT, teaching and learning has never been constrained by time or space—resulting in experiences that resonate more deeply. In our recent history, this is most apparent with the impact of City as Our Campus on our learning models, but it has been evident for generations. We’ve asked a cross-section of alums (including two of our newest!) to reflect on the impact that questioning the typical constructs of time and space had on their learning experience.
Pat Maykuth ’69
President, Research Design Associates
“My time at WT was from 1966–1969 against the backdrop of a turbulent time: the Vietnam War; the impeachment and resignation of a president; and the violence of the Civil Rights movement including the assassination of numerous political and community leaders.
Space for me was not physical, it was educational space. The playing fields were often the space where ideas from classes consolidated. Pedagogy then at WT shaped understanding of content. It facilitated the development of human potential, actions, and judgments. It provided the context.
My time at WT brought forth in me a deep intellectual curiosity and belief that integrated information/deep knowledge can form a true basis for operation in the world as it presents itself.
This experience made me the agent of my own education, and it gave me the basics to use education to shape my life and those of others. I saw a 21st century version of this when I visited WT for my 50th Reunion.”
Margaret McKean Taylor ’74
Former Trustee, Former Director of North Campus, Alum Parent
“There are so many WT experiences that transcend four walls and a schedule bell! From a 1968 Middle School chorus class performing the children’s parts for a visiting opera company’s La Boheme at the Syria Mosque, to the fabulous art classes Mrs. Peters taught in the old bomb shelter. I also remember a social studies class, City and Culture—we explored Pittsburgh’s history and ethnic neighborhoods through meals at an Italian restaurant in Bloomfield, and a bagel bakery and a Greek restaurant in Squirrel Hill. Unforgettable!
As Director of the North Campus in the 1990s, I saw the outdoors as a perfect setting for learning. What could spark curiosity for children better than daily close observation of pond life, catching a frog in a net, or tossing egg contraptions from the barn loft?”
Noah Raizman ’95, M.D., M.F.A.
Hand, Upper Extremity, and Peripheral Nerve Surgery
“Every year, the Physics class would go to Kennywood Park, armed with a worksheet of problems based on measuring and timing the rides. Using the Thunderbolt as a model for free body diagrams reflects the openness of the campus, and its integration into the city. By the time I was a senior, my schedule seemed to be half at WT and half elsewhere around the city. I was able to take Neuroscience seminars and a Modern Philosophy course at the University of Pittsburgh, and I took Cell Biology at Carnegie Mellon University. I think that many of my mornings were spent at Arabica, a now-defunct coffeehouse, dilating my allowed off-campus time with study and caffeine. Then I would stop by the Upper School office to chat with Joan Franklin and Sue Hershey, and maybe then wander to the student lounge before returning to ‘actual’ classes before a late afternoon of sports or theater practices. As much as I enjoyed that freedom, and perhaps took advantage of it, it was accompanied by high expectations and bred a sense of responsibility that I hope I carry with me to this day.”
Felix Bhattacharya ’21
“March 14, 2018. Together we marched, hand in hand, one school, one community. Past the Upper School Building, Molloy Posner Hall, and Garland Field, together we stood hand in hand. There were students, parents, teachers, and staff uniting over one message. Candide Modo Fortiter Re—gentle in manner, strong in deed. We held signs saying “Not One More” and pleading for gun control. United we stood as one community. The WT Silent Walk for Our Lives taught me that we are stronger when we stand together as one, pushing for change. This is a lesson I continuously saw throughout my four years at WT.”
Maïté Sadeh ’21
“As part of my Environmental Literature class in my junior year, I had the opportunity to visit Carrie Furnace, a formerly functioning blast furnace. As we stepped off the bus, we were faced with an immense structure, which put into perspective how small the workers must have felt at the time. We saw nature overtaking the site after years of abandonment, learned about the site’s history and working conditions, and were able to appreciate the raw beauty of a historic landmark. With this, we were able to craft a personal response to the site through a short photo journal.
I am so grateful to have experiences such as these through the City as Our Campus program, because they afford me unique learning opportunities, which I would not be able to experience in quite the same way just sitting in a classroom.”