Letter from an Alumnus

Friday, January 09, 2015


To the Waldorf community and faculty,

My name is Jerry Qu, class of 2014, and I am very grateful for everything Waldorf education has given me. Out of all the private schools in Vaughan and Richmond Hill, I chose the Toronto Waldorf School because the students and its environment made me feel at home right away.

A couple of weeks ago, I completed the first semester of my foundation year at Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, NY. I scored straight A’s on all four of my studio classes, and believe it or not, Waldorf played the largest part in my success.

In Light and Colour Design, the professor’s first assignment was to have everyone go outside and analyse the colours of the flora around the campus. We were to record our analysis with coloured pencils. During the post-class critiques, my professor asked if I had had previous experience with coloured pencils. I explained that I attended a school that required students to design their own textbooks as the course was taught, and plenty of border shading was involved using coloured pencils.

On the first day of my 3-Dimensional Design course, my professor asked the class if anyone knew how to work with wood and metal, both manually and using machines such as the band saw, I was the only one to raise my hand. I ended up giving the rest of my class a tutorial on the band saw and the belt sander, and none of this would’ve been possible had Waldorf not taught me how to make bowls, candle holders, stools, clocks, spoons, and many other projects. After class, the professor asked if I had ever tried bringing down a tree at a lumberyard, I answered “yes, but only once, using the wedge technique.” And he replied with a laugh that he had upgraded to chainsaws.

About a month into the semester, we began to study and draw from nude models in 2-Dimensional Design and Drawing. Every so often, the professor would say something like, ‘pay attention to the angle of the humerus from the scapula, and its distance from the clavicle’. And a classmate often would ask what and where the scapula was; every time this occurs, I think back to Lucas Sorbara’s pain-in-the-behind anatomy main lessons, and realize how helpful they were, even in art.

Toronto Waldorf School Grade 12 Artchitecture Main LessonLike Waldorf teachers, Pratt professors are given the material and left to themselves to teach it to the students, in their own unique ways. My drawing professor taught us to look at organic shapes in the form of boxes, as a matter of fact; most of the work throughout the semester was focused on different types of perspective drawing. My classmates often called me an overachiever, and my work was often praised during the post-class critiques, because Leed Jackson’s geometry and architecture classes had already taught me the basics; all I was doing was to make the drawings more interesting. Furthermore, in my English class, the professor recommended a list of books that she thought were must-reads for anyone interested in looking at the world from a different viewpoint. Plato’s Republic, 1984, and Dante’s Inferno were among the five books typed in bold for highly recommended.

So on behalf of all the Waldorf graduates, I would like to remind you how large a part you have played in our lives, and how you can inspire us and guide us even after our physical presence has left. Thank you. 


Attention TWS alumni/ae - We'd love to hear from you! Tell us what you have been up to since graduating from TWS and send us your current contact info to keep in touch. Please email your details to Michelle Huppeler, Alumni/ae Coordinator. Join our Alumni/ae Facebook page and connect with other graduates!