Alumni Survey Highlights
Alumni were asked a number of questions including these two.
How do you rate the quality of your life as an adult?
Above average 25.9%
Below average 0.0%
Would you want your children to have an education similar to what you received through EFL?
“I am delighted to share our experience of Living Wisdom School (LWS). As an educator in the field of early learning at Stanford University, I know that the future of our society depends on its ability to foster healthy development in the next generation…” R.P. -Parent (read more)
“I feel I’ve really found myself: mentally, spiritually, and career-wise. I believe I did it at a young age compared to most people my age.” Alumni, Keith Ross (read more)
“Each of my friends, from an Education for Life school, share two major things in common: a strong sense of self and an interest in giving back to the world.” Alumni, Gita Matlock
The school is like a home to me. It is full of amazing people. –H.S. Student
Alumni, Simon Hermann, graduated Summa Cum Laude from University of California Chico with a double major in Business and Economics. He now works as a bank examiner for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
“Living Wisdom High School has taught me how to be a compassionate human being in a material world. I learned how to transform stressful living into joyful living.”
Alumni, Ingmar Zahorsky, graduated from our EFL High School, studied at the Art Institute of California and graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Media Arts & Animation.
Alumni, Mirabai Commer, graduated from University of California Santa Cruz University with a BA in Astronomy. She now has a thriving business as a tango teacher and performer in the San Francisco area. (video above)
Alumni, David Kretzmann, earned a degree in Business Administration from Berea College where he was student body president for his final two years. He now works as an investment adviser for Motley Fool.
“Living Wisdom School is a place where my children are loved, supported, and nurtured. . Kindness is taught and modeled here. Different modes of expression and understanding are accepted and validated. Excellent teachers create a calm, gentle environment in which to instruct and inspire. Field trips are numerous and outdoor learning a given. My kids are growing and thriving here! Each is learning to think for herself, to be a good listener, and to be sensitive to others.” —H.U., mother of a second and third grader
“What I chose to take with me from my years with Living Wisdom High School is that, if you can learn to accept who you are and love yourself, you can face any challenge that lies ahead. The things you do (at Living Wisdom High School) and the people you meet will reside among your fondest memories. Even though my life now is far away from the people I met there, they are always in my thoughts, and I am sure that should we meet up on the street somewhere, it would be as though no time had passed at all.” A.R. Alumni
“My son has flourished in the preschool class. The teachers are centered, present, and loving with the children while providing a rich space & community support for each child’s unfolding. The focus on character and social skills development, as well as developing the gifts of each child is unlike any other school experience I have been a part of. Children feel safe and loved at this school, and with this foundation are able to learn and flourish.”M.B. parent
“My third-grade student was given a 3 x 3 grid whose numbers must add up to the same sum in all directions. He struggled for three days, then in the middle of class suddenly solved the puzzle. He exclaimed, ‘Yes! Yes!’ and kissed his paper. I then gave him a 4 x 4 magic square on which he struggled for four days. He finally solved it. A few mornings later, he was sick and debated whether or not to come to school. ‘Wait,’ he said, ‘Do we have math today? I need to go. My teacher needs me.” -Third-Grade Teacher
This survey was designed to allow Education for Life alumni to offer feedback about the education they received. The questions focus on the highlights of the Education for Life approach, especially with regard to their affect on people as they approach their thirties, forties, and beyond. To view all the survey results, click on any question below.
(The questions on Adventure, Service, Self-Discovery, and Personal Excellence refer to the four main themes of Education for Life.)
Describe an important lesson you received from your EFL education.
- The [teachers] were living the principles they were teaching which made me respect them immensely…. IZ
- Being there for someone who has less than you, and learning the joy of giving without expecting anything in return… MKl
- Spirituality is now a huge, maybe the most important part of my life…. everyone around you truly wanted your best and that gives a lot of grounding and support to develop, relax and “do your best” MKi
- Being kind to everyone who crosses your path can get you a long way. LC
- One of the most important lessons… was probably self-forgiveness. It is hard to forgive others, and harder to forgive yourself of your follies and mistakes. In hindsight, even the hardest life lessons can be some of the best we ever learn, and should be valued for what they taught us, not regretted…. TW
- Both Sharing Nature and Kirtan classes gave me the feeling of being part of a whole and of being able to enjoy every bit of life… NF
- When you have an argument you can’t just stop being friends, you have to work out your problems and see past your differences. AP
- I learned that my imagination is an incredible tool for manifestation. I learned that kindness is more important than popularity. I learned that I can make the world a better place and that it is my duty and great opportunity… GM
- I remember having the distinct feeling that adults were “people too”, which gave me the freedom to reach out to them in many different ways. KG
- Learning to really see and appreciate other people for who they are. Ananda School taught me to be open to life! It also taught me to say yes! MD
Rate the quality of your EFL education.
|Excellent||Above Average||Average||Below Average||Poor|
|Working with the body||51.9%||40.7%||7.4%||0.0%||0.0%|
|Working with feelings||51.9%||37.0%||11.1%||0.0%||0.0%|
|Training the intellect||44.4%||40.7%||11.1%||3.7%||0.0%|
Describe an area of your life that the school has affected.
- Getting to know some really wonderful teachers… and getting inspiration from them. Stepping out of my comfort zone and saying yes to life. RP
- What hasn’t it affected? …I strive to live with spirituality in my life, and I strive to help others where I can and stay in service of those with less, while appreciating what I do have every day! MKl
- The biggest influence in my life so far in the positive direction! MKi
- I could not have asked for a more wonderful school to attend as a child and young adult…. CK
- The spiritual part, of course. I did not know meditation that well before, now I’m still using its power in difficult situations, e.g. before a big class test or an oral presentation. NF
- Today life is getting faster and faster and there is more stress, and I just stay relaxed in every life situation. SR
- I studied International Studies and am now working for an NGO due to my experience… traveling to Mexico to work in an orphanage…. GM
- I have a higher standard of schooling that I expect for my own children similar to the one I received at school…. HC
- I learned to appreciate others and their different qualities… this can be of great help when people work together AT
- Learning meditation and control over my emotions has improved my relationships with others….WP
- My experience at Ananda School has given me a standard to measure my other relationships… KG
- I’ve learned to do things on my own…. Even if I make mistakes, I’m okay about it. I correct myself, and do it better next time…. GP
- How I relate to other people and their realities, using willpower and determination to accomplish goals, learning for the love of it EG
- It affects my whole life. I learned that I can make my life happen the way I want to; I just have to be creative and exercise my will. So I made my own career and travel the world dancing. MD
How much has the school affected your life?
|One of the Biggest Influences||Quite a Bit||Some||Very Little||None|
Describe an important challenge you’ve faced.
- The problem of being picked on or bullied, but transcending that and learning that it is not ME, but it is the other person’s insecurities that makes them pick on someone smaller…. MKl
- Compassion, love for life and an appreciation for the beauty of this world – those qualities have always helped me in life and were definitely a part of my education at ananda NK
- With willingness and determination, you can find the solution to any problem, no matter the difficulty…. TW
- The social projects in town… helped me gain experience in matters of work with mentally or socially deficient people… NF
- There are so many things in life that bring you down but I learned to get up and don’t give up hope. SR
- Ananda School prepared me to find the commonalities between myself and my colleagues and understand the motivations behind behavior that may seem harmful. It has helped me resolve conflicts and work through all sorts of issues in the workplace. GM
- In expecting excellence of oneself, one then sees that potential in others. WP
- Right now my fiancé and I are unemployed and can’t seem to get a job no matter how hard we try…. I know that it’s just about being patient, keeping my chin up and keeping an open mind to accept the most unexpected. BD
- The interpersonal skills have been especially useful in roommate conflicts or other social situations….. KG
- I hated math growing up and often assignments would bring me to tears…by college I realized I had worked so hard at trying to overcome my weakness that it actually was one of my strengths. I became a full time bookkeeper…. SP
- I learned how to respect and live/work with people who I didn’t see eye to eye with, and was surprised to see how few other people have that same skill. SB
How well did the school do in preparing you for life’s challenges?
Excellent 44.4% , Above average 37.0%, Average 14.8%, Below average 0.0%, Poor 3.7%
How would you describe Education for Life to someone new?
- Wholesome education that nurtures the body, mind and soul RP
- An experience in learning how to work, grow, and live with intention and with the whole body and spirit, focusing on inner development and honoring the unique qualities of individual students… CK
- EFL is what the name says; it is an education that will affect every part of your life, giving life lessons that will last a lifetime. TW
- A deep and joyful learning process that will always stay in your heart AT
- A safe, intelligent environment that will bring out the best in students MG
- Place where you can not only receive a quality education, you can receive an education how to deal with life’s challenges. DS
- It really does prepare you for life and life’s challenges. It’s not just about the academics- it about people, interactions, learning how to learn. SP
- An opportunity for children to explore their whole selves and to begin to relate to their own highest nature. EG
- Holistic education. They help develop every part of the little human beings in front of them. Not just their minds but their hearts, their vibrancy and their drive for life. MD
- Education for life… recognizes that experience can be a more important teacher than any text book. Rather than filling the brain with useless information it teaches its students how to learn and how to develop the attitude and mental strength to succeed in life. IZ
- An alternative schooling that teaches not only subject matter, but materials that help you face anything in life, how to be with people, communication, self awareness, etc… MKl
- It’s a school, that tries to show the students who they are, and teach them what they need to know to be prepared for life…. they try to… get you to think about things and not just go with the crowd…There is a lot of room for your own ideas… We didn’t learn facts, we learned about life! MKi
- An amazing experience that you can get no where else. LC
Adventure: How do your respond to change in your life?
- Change gives us the opportunity to experience new things, appreciate and learn from the past, and use our varied experiences to create a better future.
- The trips at this type of school have helped me become more flexible and open.
open-minded, confident, hopeful, excited
- I love adventures, everything new in life is exciting
- Pretty darn well…I go with the flow.
- With great adaptability!
- I welcome it, nothing is permanent.
- Excitement! And fear too.
- I respond positively, when the people are positive and kind. At this stage in life, I am not able to stay around the opposite kind of people. But otherwise, change is good. It makes me grow and learn so much.
- The only reality is that change happens – flow with it!
- I seek it out
- I think I respond pretty even-mindedly, and with an eagerness to learn
- I think it’s pretty good. I don’t freak out when things are transitioning…
- Though I am not entirely free from stress or worry, I do have the general attitude to see changes as opportunities rather than obstacles.
- I welcome change
- Change has made me the person i am today!
- It’s welcoming but sometimes scary
- I love adventure. Every day is a new one.
Service: How does the attitude of helping others express itself in your life?
- I appreciate and I feel grateful for what I have. I worked at the home for Alzheimer patients…
helping people it’s an important part of my work as a physiotherapist
- Nothing gives me greater joy than being able to help others in big or small ways.
- For me, helping other people means being a friend and a confidant to whoever needs me…
- It’s the center of my activities to the best of my ability – my work in nonprofit, my friendships, and my commitments.
- I am a bit over the top and need to remember to serve myself as well.
- I love to help others
- I try and help anyone who is in need of what I can offer.
- It [my service project] gave me an appreciation for work that was not associated with money
- Helping others, no matter what it is, always makes me feel good.
- It’s always been at the top of my list and I live my life helping and serving others.
- I still do service, because I know how good it feels
- I work with children and their families. I also volunteer in various capacities where I can. Service is also in the small things like greeting the checker in the grocery store, holding the door open for a stranger…
- I love seeing my students’ faces light up when they understand a new concept. It’s what keeps my love for teaching dance alive.
- I am connected to my friends, my family, the world around me through sympathy, compassion, service
I love to help everywhere I can. I am starting to notice, that it is a lot harder for other people to help without getting money for their work, than it is for me.
Self-Discovery: List any practices you follow to uplift your consciousness.
- Daily meditation at the school gave us an opportunity to slow down our minds, analyze our thought patterns, and help us get to know ourselves better. Learning the differences between positive and negative thought patterns was extremely valuable.
- Listening to chants, doing art, meditating sometimes
- going inside to achieve more calmness
- Prayer, laughter, smiling, meditation, energization, yoga, writing.
- Meditation, yoga, satsang with friends, nature darshan
- reading, yoga, meditation, connection with nature, dancing, friendship,
- remember how small I am in the grand scheme of things and try to focus on what will create an excellent life
- for me instead of other people’s expectations
- Buddhist & Yogananda’s Teachings, The Four Agreements.
- meditation, journaling, yoga
- Meditation, being along in nature.
- mediation, yoga, long walks with my dogs, journal writing, being in and appreciating nature
- I meditate, walk in nature, and start my day off with exercise…
- Meditation, chanting, yoga, aikido, hiking, singing,
- I always try to see everything in the most positive light. Every day, almost all day long.
- Walks in nature, journal writing & meditation, pilgrimages to temples, shrines and interaction with spiritual
- meditation, alternative medicine, talking with people with similar values and consciousness
- I wake up with a smile.
Personal Excellence: In what ways does the attitude of "doing your best" affect your life?
- Knowing that you did your best gives one a sense of self-satisfaction and upliftment.
- In every way. Though I still slack sometimes but I manage to get on with it.
- I always strive to do my best, and know that in so doing I am living with integrity and intention, regardless of the outcome…
- In every way. When I know I’ve done my best, I find that I can let go of the outcome and feel good about my contribution
- I feel a bit hard on myself when I know I was not doing my best. but I also have a good sense of what my best is.
- Greatly, it is import for people to try to do their best, whatever that is… and then have no regrets.
- I think doing my personal best defines my life: I want to learn and grow and discover the best version of myself.
- Personal excellence is something I strive towards every day. In studies, as well as other aspects of life.
- One always strives to do their best regardless of how good or bad at something you are. It’s the act of trying that counts.
- I really strive for personal best every day, an attitude which helped me excel in college, and is setting me apart in the work force.
- It helps me to bring forward the energy I need to accomplish what is in front of me, and also provides me with a “safe place” when things do not go as I would hope.
- I think I’ve become a better dancer and a better person for it.
- “Doing my best” means to be to reach beyond my capacity towards my potential. This attitude has helped me to grow and to achieve goals that at first seemed out of sight.
- I always do more than my best in school and work. I strive to be the best in everything I do.
How much did the school help you develop these qualities?
|a major amount||pretty influential||some||very little||none|
Rate your strength in these qualities in comparison to others.
|a lot more||somewhat more||about the same||somewhat less||a lot less|
List three (or more) qualities that describe your life goals.
- My three top life goals are: To love, to be happy and content, and to be there for others.
- To excel in the field I love and to be a more compassionate and loving person.
- To be passionate, inspired, to have willpower and intention.
- To be respectful, laugh, and to have integrity.
- To develop curiosity (and open-mindedness), endurance (to achieve my goals), and to be friendly.
- Service, Satsang, Devotion…Samadhi 🙂
- To be creative. develop love, and gain enlightenment.
- To work hard and be joyful.
- To gain a PhD, teach philosophy, and understand what it is to be a human being.
- To understand others and myself, and to listen. To be happy within and gain more self-confidence.
- To feel connection, growth, and vitality.
- Qualities that describe my Life goals! ::: PASSION, STRENGTH, and PEACE. Also – NAUGHTINESS 🙂
- Compassion for others, Service, and Happiness
- Freedom, Bliss, and Peace
- Service, Inspiration, Understanding
- I want my life to be dynamic, energetic, and inspired!
- 1.Commitment to life long learning. 2. Promoting cultural understanding and peace. 3. Creativity. 4. Patience.
“My daughter can be herself at Living Wisdom School. When she was at public school, I felt she was trying so hard to find out who she was supposed to be that she missed noticing who she actually is. Now she feels secure and she knows no one is judging her. She’s no longer afraid to try new things.” Parent
“When you have such high-quality teachers and so much individual attention, learning happens naturally. The teachers know what is going on with each child, and because the classes are small, it’s easy to accommodate differences. It’s not boring for the bright kids, the way school often is. They can really excel and just zoom ahead as fast as they want.” -Parent
“We challenge the students [elementary through Jr. high] to participate in a yearly play. Because of their tremendous enthusiasm for the play, they are eager to master the challenges of a sophisticated script. The kids are thrilled to be involved in something profound, rather than the plays children often have to do. By acting they truly get the point of what makes a great person great: courage, dedication, selflessness, and love, and they remember it.” Palo Alto EFL Teacher