Tradition &

High School Student Assembly Week 4: Anastasia Zaintz & Daniel Zhuang

Every Friday the Waldorf School of Garden City High School gathers in the student room for the weekly Student Assembly. Most Student Assemblies consist of (1) an extended speech by a senior on a topic of particular interest to them, and (2) the recitation of a poem, either existing or original, by a junior. The Senior Speeches and Junior Poems are a rite of passage for Waldorf students and are a required part of the high school curriculum. This series of articles seeks to highlight their efforts.


 Senior Speech: Anastasia Zaintz

azaintz2In her poignant senior speech, Anastasia Zaintz, reflected on her adoption from a Russian orphanage at the age of 5 and shared she her insights with the high school. She explained how her unique and personal experiences have helped her to appreciate the small moments in life, even during challenging times. Her first few months in the United States were eye-opening as she visited grocery stores with aisles and aisles of food, and was given her very first birthday party that included her first taste of cake! While there were many challenges in adjusting to life in the United States, including learning English, Anastasia is grateful for the life she has been given and she is especially grateful for her adoptive family. We wish her the best of luck in the future!

“Adoption, while rough, has given me a family that has supported me and been there for me through the toughest of times, and I could not be more grateful” ~Anastasia


dzuang-2Junior Poem: Daniel Zhuang

We had the pleasure of listening to Junior, Sihan “Daniel” Zhuang  recite “I Knew a Man by Sight” by Henry David Thoreau.  His  selected poem is below:


“I Knew a Man by Sight” 
by Henry David Thoreau

I knew a man by sight,
A blameless wight,
Who, for a year or more,
Had daily passed my door,
Yet converse none had had with him.

I met him in a lane,
Him and his cane,
About three miles from home,
Where I had chanced to roam,
And volumes stared at him, and he at me.

In a more distant place
I glimpsed his face,
And bowed instinctively;
Starting he bowed to me,
Bowed simultaneously, and passed along.

Next, in a foreign land
I grasped his hand,
And had a social chat,
About this thing and that,
As I had known him well a thousand years.

Late in a wilderness
I shared his mess,
For he had hardships seen,
And I a wanderer been;
He was my bosom friend, and I was his.

And as, methinks, shall all,
Both great and small,
That ever lived on earth,
Early or late their birth,
Stranger and foe, one day each other know.