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The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Student of the Week: Maggie Zeiger

Maggie+and+her+parents+at+the+beginning+of+the+IHSA+State+Golf+Final
Maggie Zeiger
Maggie and her parents at the beginning of the IHSA State Golf Final

This week’s Student of the Week is senior Maggie Zeiger. Outside her conversations with The Forum, Maggie can often be found playing sports, participating in Latin in Rwanda, or chatting with friends in the locker bays.

Scarlet Gitelson (SG): What’s your favorite movie and why?

Maggie Zeiger (MZ): My favorite movie when I was little was definitely “Toy Story 2,” and I don’t really know why I loved it, I just really did. It was one of the movies that my friends and I in preschool would always watch, and so I guess that’s still my favorite movie because it just holds such fun memories.

SG: If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be and why?

MZ: I’m going to be basic and say a dog. I have a dog named Ernie—he’s named after Ernie Banks and he’s my favorite in the world. He’s just so funny. He’s slightly overweight, but I think it makes him cuter.

SG: What’s your favorite Latin tradition?

MZ: I think the fun thing about Latin is that there [are] so many fun, unique traditions, and so it’s really hard to pick one.

SG: What would be your advice to a new student at Latin?

MZ: I would say make the most of your time at Latin. I’m nearing the end of my four years, and as I look back, I am just so grateful that I took advantage of so many different, fun, and unique opportunities. I would encourage incoming students to do the same thing, because you never know what you’re going to enjoy doing in high school, so try as much as you can and try to figure out what makes you happy. Just getting involved in so many different ways has made my four years really fulfilling.

SG: What has been an experience that’s been particularly influential in that sense?

MZ: One of the things that’s been most fulfilling is my experience being a part of the team for Latin in Rwanda. It was such a unique opportunity being able to go to Rwanda, experience another culture, and be fully immersed in the culture and history. We ran a two-week summer camp for kids with HIV, and it’s continued a 13-year partnership, but I think it’s so much more than just going to run the camp—it’s making relationships with the campers, it’s immersing yourself in the history and really having genuine conversations about difficult topics like the Rwandan genocide, and just being open and willing. It was really impactful because we were able to experience another culture firsthand, and I never really had that opportunity before, and I think it changed my worldview in a way that few other things have.

SG: Are there any particular lessons you feel like you learned from that experience that were really important?

MZ: I learned that it’s really important to have difficult conversations. I remember the first time Ms. [Upper School history teacher Ingrid] Dorer introduced us to a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, I was really intimidated. I didn’t totally know how to go about that conversation. Obviously, I haven’t personally experienced a genocide, and so I didn’t know what was appropriate to ask [or] what wasn’t. And I realized that people are always really willing to teach you if you ask questions and you show a willingness to learn, and so I try to bring that into my experiences every day. Just realizing that asking questions and engaging in conversations with other people can teach you so much more than even a day in class can.

SG: What has been your favorite moment of this year so far?

MZ: I just love hanging out with my friends in the locker bay. I know that’s not one specific moment, but as my time at Latin comes to an end, I’m realizing that I’m going to miss the people the most. Every moment I get [to hang] out with my friends in the locker bay or another area, I just try to treasure it, because the people have made my experience at Latin so special, and so that’s what I’ll cherish the most, and so I’m trying to make the most of all my time left.

SG: What’s a memory that you wish you could hold onto forever?

MZ: There are so many. Sports have been a big part, just being on a team. I’ve been a three-sport athlete for all four years. I’ve played basketball, volleyball, squash, softball, and golf. All of those team environments have been really incredible, and I think that’s something I’m really going to miss, because I’m not going to be playing competitive sports in college, and so having that team camaraderie has been really incredible, and I hope I hold onto those memories for as long as possible. And then, to also reiterate what I said earlier, being here every day with friends has been really special. I always joke I want an extra year just to hang out in the locker bay because I feel like that’s probably the memory I want to hold onto the most.

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About the Contributor
Scarlet Gitelson, News Editor
Scarlet Gitelson (‘26) is delighted to be serving as one of this year’s News Editors. Within her writing, she seeks to explore and understand Latin’s community, and she hopes to enable other writers to get to know the school through their work. Covering content as far-reaching as Marvel movies, History classes, and college rankings, Scarlet isn’t afraid to step outside her comfort zone to reach the heart of a story. When she isn’t writing for The Forum, Scarlet can be found competing on Latin’s math, scholastic bowl, robotics, and ultimate frisbee teams, playing snare drum and marimba, re-watching Spider-Man for the fifth time, or diving into a good book.

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    Mr. McArthurMar 4, 2024 at 11:05 pm

    Great interview, such deep answers! (Maggie, I wanted to name our son Ernie — after Ernie Banks — but I was outvoted 1 to 1 on that one.)

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