Meet Commonwealth Students: Jason ’23, An Unconventional Eye

Kick off the guardrails and chart your own course. In soon-to-be graduate Jason’s experience, that’s when “you get to really think about how to develop your own story...push [your] boundaries and go in a new direction.” Perhaps an unsurprising point of view, coming from part of the creative team behind the Commonwealth blockbuster The Hellevator, a wonderfully off-the-wall short film blending Dante’s Inferno and cheesy action flicks that Jason made with several friends for their Senior Project. (But a different group of friends from those who helped him sculpt the giant ceramic penguin seen above.) Keep reading to see the world through the eyes of this senior from Sharon, Massachusetts.

Getting to Know You

What is bringing you joy right now? 

End-of-the-year classes are more relaxed. Teachers are just doing what's fun. And for the English final exam, one of the prompts is based on my Project Week movie [The Hellevator, a hilarious short film that turned Commonwealth’s school elevator into a portal to various levels of hell] meeting two characters from Moby Dick. So we're looking forward to that. 

What is your favorite book (or a book you’ve re-read)? 

Moby Dick!

What are your favorite comfort foods? 

Pepperoni pizza or ramen—tonkotsu or shoyu.

What was/is your favorite class (at Commonwealth or elsewhere)? 

Physics, either last year or this year. Both were very interesting. There was a lot of class participation. The teachers know what they're doing; they keep the classes fun. 

When do you feel the most enjoyably challenged?

With more creative assignments, like in English, where you don’t have strict guidelines and you basically get to take the assignment in any way you want. You get to really think about how to develop your own story. That allows me to push my boundaries and go in a new direction. 

What never fails to make you laugh?

My friends. I have a really good group of friends at Commonwealth. And we have so many inside jokes that anyone can say, like, one word and make us all laugh. (Piggy bank.)

What are people most surprised to learn about you?

I have a pet chinchilla.

Pen or pencil? 


Coffee or tea?


Fall, winter, spring, or summer?


Life as a Commonwealth Student (and Beyond)

Using metrics besides grades, how do you define “success” in your classes?

I think you just generally have a sense of whether you know the material or not, and that's more important than the actual grade. You might make a dumb mistake on a test or accidentally turn something in late, but if you know what's happening in class—if you're participating and actually engaged in the class—I think that’s a really good measurement of how you're doing. 

How do you spend your time outside of Commonwealth?

Hanging out with friends and playing the piano. I’ve recently been studying Edvard Grieg’s Piano Sonata op. 7.

When do you feel most connected to other students (or teachers/staff members) in our community?

Definitely Hancock. I don't even feel the urge to go on my phone. You can literally just find a group of people, whenever, wherever, and just talk to them. It's like a separate world.

What was your first impression of Commonwealth and how has it mapped to your experience? 

Well, before coming here, I'd always heard that it's a very tight-knit community, that academics are very challenging, and that sports are a little lacking. After coming here, I think the parts about academics and sports are true. The tight-knit part hasn’t exactly come to fruition in our grade—there are more distinct groups, and I think that could be because of COVID.

How has your Commonwealth experience colored the way you look at the world? How you plan for your future? 

After Commonwealth, throughout college and the rest of my life, I'll always know how to work through academic challenge and stress: just take assignments one at a time.

What’s your advice for prospective students considering Commonwealth? 

Definitely do a lot of research into every school you're considering. These schools are all very different, from the size to the location to the general atmosphere. Visit a bunch of schools, talk to your friends who go there, read up on the website, things like that.

What would you tell your ninth-grade self?

I would warn myself to not always take the hardest class possible!

Meet More Commonwealth Students