It’s not a common experience to return to your childhood school as a parent, but here at Spring Garden, we have several parents watching their young ones follow in their education footsteps. We talked with SGWS graduate, Hanna Brady, about her exciting career as writer and her transition from Waldorf student to Waldorf parent here at Spring Garden.
Q: Tell us a bit of background about what you’re doing now and how you travelled to this point in your journey?
A: I attended Kent State University, majored in English with a minor in creative writing. In university and afterwards, I traveled when I could. I worked a handful of minimum wage jobs before transitioning to being a freelance writer — and my first long-term gig was very luckily in video game writing. Since then I’ve mostly written stories for mobile games. Getting into the Cleveland game community from there was a natural step — which is where I met my co-author Jarryd. Over the last year and a half — along with continuing to write for video games — I have been working on the book Game Programming for Artists, which is out this October from CRC Press.
Q: What are you goals and plans for the future?
A: I’m excited and proud to see Game Programming for Artists out in the world, but I prefer writing fiction to non-fiction. After spending the last year and a half writing non-fiction, I’m turning my attention back to novels while also continuing to write for games.
Q: Do you feel Waldorf education had any influence on the answers to those questions (above)?
A: Certainly — I wrote my first long form story from a writing prompt in 8th grade at SGWS. The assignment required a page or two of writing. So I wrote that. Then went back to the prompt and wrote an eight or ten page version. Then I did that again and ended up with something closer to 25 pages. My main lesson teacher, bless her, read all three versions.
Q: Do you feel Waldorf Education prepared you well for your adult life?
A: I do. Along with the substance of my Waldorf education, it taught me how to learn. That’s invaluable — especially in an industry that changes as quickly as video games. The mythology comes in handy too.
Q: Is there anything about your schooling that you appreciate or find particularly valuable now that you’re older?
A: One of the things that stands out particularly to me right now is the value of a Waldorf trained memory. My work is almost always fragmented — split between multiple projects and across time zones. When you add the way technology pulls our attention in multiple directions all the time, it can be hard to stay focused, get anything done and be able to effectively change gears as a freelancer. Years and years of memorized stories and poems along with the constant work of translating information from a spoken main lesson to a main lesson book were helpful training to efficiently continue to work amid all that chaos.
Q: How is it now to be a parent vs. a student at SGWS?
A: I’ve gotten used to it, but for the first two years I kept waiting for a teacher to tell me off for loitering in the hallways. It’s also strange because, no matter how long I spend as a parent in the physical school building — I’ll always have put in more hours there as a student. I’m far more expert being a student at Spring Garden than I ever will be specifically occupying that space as a parent.
The best part of getting to be a parent at SGWS is how fast I know what my child is talking about — when he recites a Michaelmas line or has a tune stuck in his head or is assigned one of the projects that’s survived in the curriculum this long, we get to talk about what’s the same and what’s different. It’s wonderful to relate so closely to those experiences.
Thanks for talking with us, Hanna. We wish you great success with your book and your future writing projects. Do you have an alumni story to share? Contact Amy Hecky at firstname.lastname@example.org.