Lick-Wilmerding High School review by Cornell University student: Lick-Wilmerding High School is known for its extensive shop program (wood, glass, metal, art, architecture)-- and it is definitely these classes that make Lick's academic program the most worth while. Many of my friends went on to pursue these skills beyond high school (my pre-med friend works as a welder at a metal shop during the summers, another is in Stanford's industrial design / engineering program) and they allowed us all an opportunity to find passion in something that might not be just in books. Architecture (which I study at Cornell) is the obvious example: Lick's brilliant architecture program sends of a couple students each year to the best B.Arch programs around the country. On the other hand, the regular academic classes are comparable to other high schools, as most graduates do end up pursuing normal liberal arts majors. I think that all humanities classes are considered honors-status no matter what, and the required English class is AP-level to give some idea of difficulty. But what can I say, like any other prep school I learned how to write a 5-paragraph essay, balance chemical equations and do some basic calculus. My passion was elsewhere-- in architecture-- but I can't say that for everyone else.
Ah. Lick is located on Ocean Ave. It is a dangerous, beautifully dirty, cheap place. We had open campus and we ate really greasy fried from the place near the gas station during break. I went on dates to the parking lot of City College. We took the bus everywhere before we had cars. In this way, Lick is very, very different from SFUHS San Francisco University High School which is (picturesquely) located in Pac Heights land of the beautiful and wealthy. Not to say that Lick does not have students from that economic situation but the life we lived was pretty different. We took a lot of public transportation. It was a good time. In general, H&M was the clothing store of choice and Longchamp was the most expensive bag I saw in the hallways... but we really lived real San Francisco (not just near Ocean Ave. but on our walk / bus forays across the 7x7), and for that only, I miss high school. Going to Lick was being thrown into the city in a beautiful, fantastic sort of way.
I played tennis and soccer at Lick-Wilmerding. I was pretty terrible. We're decent at some sports... but in general, it was on an individual basis, e.g. Lick has seen some very good athletes go by (Ben Wildman-Tobriner comes to mind) but these people competed on their own and (as far as I could tell) played on school teams for fun. Lick has a million clubs. GSA was big and really involved. Some kids did a physics / astronomy project with Mark Horwitz that ended up getting funding from NASA. Clearly, there are opportunities but you have to find them for yourself.
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