Published May 15, 2013How to handle five basic challenges involved in choosing a boarding school.
Alumni Review #12, Class of 2003
Published October 19, 2004
About the Author:
|College Enrolled||University of Oregon|
|Home Town, State (Country)||Eugene, OR|
|Years Attended Boarding School||4|
|Activities During Boarding School||Fencing, Track, Soccer, Cross-Country, Lancers, Junior class secretary, Sophmore class president, Batten Scholar, Choir, Student Admissions Organization, Computer Club, Drill Team, Peer Tutor, Model U.N|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The balance between a military leadership system and the academic system is done in a way that allows for creativity and rigorous studies while developing the leadership and life habits at the same time. I think it is this balance that is to credit for the high rate of successful alumni from Culver. Compared to the growth opportunity in public schools.. there is no comparison. Compared to other boarding schools, this balance is what makes Culver so outstanding. Cadets have to learn to become pro-active and take care of all the small problems before they become large. They become masters of doing things in a timely master and not leaving anything out. Yet at the same time they can focus on their studies. When CQ or class time comes, the foremost thought is education. There are many things beyond this at Culver, yet the balance between leadership and academics is what makes these boys become balanced young men.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I personaly feel that receiving a full scholarship to Culver was one of the most important events in my life. There are many regrets on reflection of opportunities I did not take advantage, yet even with those regrets, I still grew more as a person than I could have anywhere else. I was involved in several activities and had some proud accomplishments, yet graduating the academy is what I am most proud of. I see other students come from different schools that are not prepared for the responsibility upon leaving for college and working. The time management skills are alone worth the effort of a competitive school like Culver, and yet they are just a portion of the package.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Be enthusiastic about your opportunities. It is hard work to truly suceed, and as a freshman many students see themselves in high rank in two years, with several gold stars (academic awards) on their jackets. Those goals should be kept and are worth working for. Students have the opportunity to have some amazing experiences and grow from them, but to get the best rewards they have to be pro-active. The staff will help with any problems, questions, or idea, get to know them.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The alumni and faculty put an amazing amount of money and effort into making this school full of opportunities. I was lucky to find this school close to me before I got to high school. I would have not experienced many of the activities without going to Culver. I do not think, even if I had been rich enough to go anywhere in the world, that anywhere would have been as beneficial as Culver was.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
For any guys, Troop is the best unit to join. And it will be very hard at first, almost a culture shock, but do your best to learn what to do and make sure you do it right. Some people try to play the system, but they never become anything more than mediocre through that. It will be tough, but after a few months, so will you be.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The ability to get advanced classes and the support through teachers and counselors, these were incredible. There were many A.P classes, accelerated classes and honors programs so that students could be sure to get in a class that goes at their pace. There are self-study programs where students can take initiative and study advanced topics in subjects of choice. This really nurtures the students love of learning and some students get incredible results. On top of that, for both advanced students and struggling students, the faculty was always available for support. Many students had close relationships for their teachers, talking to them freely and getting the help they needed. Every student has a mentor to discuss any troubling issues. The guidance counselors would help you select classes. Even your dorm counselor helps you when you are stuck. This is something that cannot be emphasized enough; there are always people to help out with any problems.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Culver is serious about athletics and show great pride in their teams. Football is one example. The whole school will march out onto the fields at some home games and cheer on the teams. The range of sports is unmatched. The regular sports get their fair share of support, but beyond that are sports that normally aren't available. Fencing, Sailing, Lacross, Hockey, Crew and more. New intramural sports and clubs are being made all the time to support the diverse interests of the students. Athletic activities are mandatory and many students join teams, but they can choose intramurals instead, of which there are many varied choices. Yoga and martial arts were available when I was there, but they are always changing. Students can start new ones if they show interest. The teams are also staffed with experienced coaches and the teams are full of pride and often great achievements.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Culver has a theater in which it has hosted many famous and important speakers, scientists, and entertainment groups. The students interested in these subjects have some amazing resources to work with, staging plays with a fully equipped theatre, traveling to the Chicago Art Museum, using the black room, or playing in the Jazz band. There are opportunities for one-on-one lessons with instructors as well.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
The hardest part with the extra-curricular events is that it is hard to make time with so many other things going on. Clubs are easy to create and the school is very supportive. Most of the students are so busy, it is a wonder any clubs are active, yet there is always mention of some club doing some event or another around campus. All the clubs are very open and flexible for participation, so students can be creative.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
This is one of the aspects of Culver where you graduate and then realize how character building it was. Living with many other people and having to share responsibility makes you feel older, and act older. I liked most how close everyone in the dorm became. My roomate will always be my close friend, and my best friend lived across the hall. The military structure gave us some guidelines to follow, and left it up to us to be responsible. As a freshman you learned how to be responsible for your own room and actions, and as a senior you learned how to be responsible for all those around you as well. The people in your dorm are your family, and you take care of each other.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining was a pretty nice set-up. There was no assigned seating, except sometimes for breakfast when the guys marched together. Beyond that you were responsible for eating during dining hours, which the rest of your schedule hopefully allowed. The dining menu was thoughtfully chosen, and although they cannot please everyone, there was a large selection, with salads and healthy foods always available.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The surrounding town is very small and not visited very often. I thought that was good because it did not distract from school. On the weekends you may take a trip to the local CVS to pick up a few items, or go out to one of the restuarants. Most of the restaurants deliver to the Academy any time, so for late dinners or a treat it was a good deal. The most notable part of the surroundings are the lake and the forest trails. Culver is right on a beautiful lake, perfect for sailing and other activities. There are miles and miles of running trails as well that, as a track and x-country runner, were the dream spot to practice. I also rode with the Lancers and in the Troop, and was able to go on trail rides and through fields, which was really unbelievable.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The biggest problem with the social life at Culver is that no one had any time. Most of your friends were made in classes, in dorms, or in sports. The life inside of the dorms was great, since everyone was so close. The school is just the right size to know almost everyone, and be friends with many people. However, there isn't much time to just hang out.
|6:00 AM||Woke up, got dressed, fixed room up|
|6:30 AM||Revielle - mandatory to get up. New Cadets go to clean barracks|
|7:00 AM||BRC - breakfast roll call - Cadets form up outside and are inspected. Daily news announced. March to breakfast|
|7:45 AM||Classes start|
|4:00 PM||Athletics practice. Teams meet everyday, intramurals a couple times a week|
|6:00 PM||Shower and go to the dining hall with your friends|
|7:30 PM||CQ - closed quarters - mandatory study time. Must be in own rooms or library|
|9:30 PM||CQ ends. Clean up and get ready for bed|
|10:00 PM||Taps - form up outside of rooms for accountability. Dismissed to rooms|
|10:15 PM||Lights out|
|8:00 AM||Formation to march to Mass for Catholic students|
|9:00 AM||Formation for Chapel for prostestans and non-denominational|
|10:15 AM||Get ready for Sunday garrison parade|
|11:00 AM||Sunday Garrison Parade (all cadets form into units and march onto parade field - battery in trucks and troop on horseback)|
|12:00 AM||Grab some lunch|
|1:00 PM||Relax for a while. Meet with friends, play in the fields, go to town|
|6:00 PM||Go to dining hall and grab dinner with friends|
|7:00 PM||CQ starts - studying|
|10:00 PM||Taps - time to sleep|