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Valued Voices
Exciting Choices

Lydia Sweeney '21

University of Virginia

“I would like to think that my 2019 Fellows Fall Project demonstrated to my Bay Fellows that no project is too big to take on as long as you are passionate about an issue. I also hoped to demonstrate that connections with people and organizations matter, whether they be with groups in or outside of Norfolk Academy.” 

Chesapeake Bay Fellow, Varsity Sailing, Winter Musical, The Belfry (Editor-in-Chief), Varsity Crew

Three Words to Describe the Class of 2021: Resilient, Amusing, Energetic 

What has been your COVID silver lining? Spending more time on my hobbies, like playing the piano and drawing 

Most Meaningful Activity 
I have always loved the Winter Musical, as I have met most of my close friends through the production. Whether it is on stage performing or working backstage on set, the musical has allowed me to express myself. 

A Favorite Memory 
During the last day of my summer 2018 Chesapeake Bay Fellows trip, we traveled in upstate New York. I remember kayaking through the pristine waters of the Hudson River during a beautiful day. I felt at peace with the natural world. 

Reflections on Learning 
I loved the first semester of my junior year English class with Dr. Kidd. The challenging books we read forced everyone to think and bounce ideas off each other. 

The Academy Difference 
Norfolk Academy has provided me with multiple opportunities to experientially learn. My experiences in Fellows or my exchange to Argentina, for instance, have forced me outside my comfort zone, pushing me to learn and grow. 
A Quick Word About Lydia 
“In our course that fall... Lydia found herself to be very much in possession of a mind in the Enlightenment camp... she also saw the virtues possible in endorsing those wilder and darker energies of creativity. Lydia figured out a way to be rationally engaged with the dark, the witty, and the chaotic parts of creativity, and she found ways to add that to her logical and reasoned approach to her work. Those insights helped Lydia take her writings to the next level, giving her essays the brave freedom to pursue harder philosophical questions she had not yet fully resolved and to understand texts like the bizarrely postmodern novel The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. It was a joy to see Lydia read that novel so well, and it was a sign that her Enlightenment-driven rational mind had expanded itself to even greater capacities.” ~ Dr. David Kidd, Lydia’s English Teacher 

The thing that most makes me a Bulldog is… my love of learning.