Keystone Law Firm September 2019

Trust Matters SEPTEMBER 2019


After Class Lessons From Our School Days

The kids are headed back to school, and I find myself wondering where all the time has gone. Zach and Sophia are headed into the second and fifth grades, respectively, while Gabe and Bella are starting their last year in elementary school. It seems like only yesterday we dropped the twins off at kindergarten for the first time. While I may have some trepidation about the whole thing, our kids are more than ready for this next chapter in their lives. It sounds strange, but they all really enjoy school. Not only do they get to see their friends again after the long summer but they also genuinely enjoy their classes. This is thanks in large part to their teachers challenging and empowering them in novel ways. Our kids go to a K-12 school focused on leadership. What that means in practice is that students are required to show their understanding on any given subject through speaking events and presentations. From the time they were very young, our kids have been speaking in front of live audiences, using PowerPoint presentations they built themselves. This was very different than my schooling experience; that’s for sure. I attended a Catholic grade school, where their latest innovation was not smacking kids with rulers anymore. Other than this “modern” adaptation, the experience was very traditional: nuns with black and white habits and all. But I think even in these kinds of very formal schooling settings, kids find ways to let their interests shine. For me, this happened in art class. At first, I viewed this twice-weekly period as a nice break from“harder” studies. I could just relax and draw, something I came to love more and more. Then, one day, I found myself drawing a mountain landscape, and I started really thinking about the process — shadows, shading, the scale of the trees — how could I make this place look and feel real ? When I came to see art as more than just lines on a piece of paper, I knew I’d found a passion for the rest of my life. Now, spoiler alert: I didn’t become a famous artist. Heading a law firm with four kids at home doesn’t exactly leave a lot of time for anything more than rough sketches and doodles. But, when the twins were young, I took the time to paint an ocean scene in their bedroom and had a blast. Capturing that sweeping horizon and the way the water broke around surfacing whales took me right back to those early challenges I loved puzzling out in art class. Leaving that mural behind was the hardest part of moving out of our old house.

The first day of school for the Sirvent family!

While I’m willing to bet you’re way past your own school days, my challenge to you is this: Think back to your time in the classroom. What activities did you enjoy most? What hobbies or skills have you had to put on the backburner for your career or your family? If you’ve been worrying you’ll have “nothing to do” in retirement, I think this little exercise will put your mind at ease.

Here’s to another year of learning, laughing, and loving!

-Francisco | 1

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