Who is Doing What
VWS Alumni Corner Interview with George Hall, Class 2006
GH: After graduating from Waldorf I went to Capilano College and completed two years of undergraduate courses, mainly in Science. I then transferred to UBC and completed a Bachelors of Science my major was Biochemistry. For work, I was able to get hired at Children’s Hospital in the CFRI (Child and Family Research Institute) as a Graduate Research Assistant: I worked on Cystic Fibrosis and the superbugs that affect CF patients. I then transferred to the CMMT (Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics) where I was hired as a Histology Technician. The project was a drug trial for an experimental procedure to help Huntington’s patients.
VWS: What kind of work/study are you involved in now?
GH: I have now been hired by Agri-Canada as a Masters student at the University of Saskatchewan, I am working towards my Masters in Veterinary Biomedical Science. My research project works on the cryopreservation and transplantation of ovary and testicular tissue between poultry breeds, with the hope that we can get donor gonads to produce offspring from the original breed. I hope one day to bring this work back to Vancouver and work on rare and endangered avian species as currently, we have no technology for cryopreservation of egg-laying species.
VWS: What do you think are your greatest successes in life?
GH: Graduating with my Master’s from University was big for me as being a proud dyslexic was a struggle and I can remember my remedial teacher in England saying I was retarded and would never amount to anything …. well I can say crossing that stage at UBC felt pretty good! I also feel like when I die, I don’t really care if I personally have accomplished anything but I want to make sure that I leave the planet better than how I got it. I truly feel that my research now has the potential to save avian species from extinction, and to me, that would make my life a success.
GH: I think that Waldorf education is really good …. but I feel like we are a little light on the Science and Math departments. However, I think that fact actually drove me towards this subject. I left Waldorf School wanting more Science and very eager to learn more. English, on the other hand, I had quite enough of (haha)! I think it really taught me how to be a human being and be compassionate of others. This fact can make you feel quite alienated when you head back into the mainstream, that just wants to churn out students, and not young adults.
VWS: What are your fondest memories of VWS?
GH: Art class, my Grade Twelve project (Quantum Physics) and of course going to Costa Rica for our Grade Twelve trip. I really didn’t feel like I belonged in my class until that trip and now I feel like I am quite a strong piece. (For anyone who doesn’t feel like they belong I can tell you that at the end it gets really good because you are so unique, don’t give up and don’t get down on yourself.)
Editor’s Note: Since 2006, the VWS High School mathematics and science curriculum has undergone many positive changes, including offering post-secondary pre-requisite courses, splitting and streaming mathematics courses by level, and investing in teacher education. In addition, since 2008 VWS graduates receive the BC Dogwood diploma in addition to the VWS Graduation Certificate.
Interview by Ronaye Ireland, for Development September 2013
* The Vancouver Waldorf School provides an experiential, age-appropriate approach to education based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner that inspires students to love learning, to be creative, open-minded, and compassionate. With a curriculum that integrates all academics with the arts and social learning, Waldorf Education develops not only the left and right hemispheres of the brain but the whole human being. A child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual development is considered equally, supporting a conscious unfolding of the individuality within each student. Waldorf graduates possess capacities for empathy and clear, creative and independent thinking that enables them to carry out a chosen course of action with moral courage and social responsibility.