Miss Hall's School - Review #1
About the Author:
|College Enrolled||Smith College|
|Home Town, State (Country)||New London, NH|
|Years Attended Boarding School||4|
|Activities During Boarding School||1) Instrumental Ensemble (cello) 2) Jazz Ensemble (cello) 3) Merrie Melodies (Faculty/student singing group) 4) Proctor (student leadership position held in dorms) 5) School Newspaper (Layout editor, photocopy editor, reporter) 6) French Club (president) 7) Tennis 8) Softball 9) Choreography 10) Volleyball (JV captain) 11) Tech crew (theatre)|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
MHS has a community service program called Horizons. It is required for all students, and it is part of the school day on Thursdays. As a freshman, you work on campus and give back to the school community. As a sophomore and junior, you go off campus, and can volunteer in a variety of places, such as schools, animal shelters, museums, etc. As a senior you apply for an internship: you can do just about anything you want! This is a great program. It helps you determine possible career paths, get involved in the community, meet new people, and it creates an impressive resume/college application. MHS has 4 (main) buildings on campus - the main building (underclassmen dorms, dining, classrooms, library, student center), the art center (theatre, art studio, photo room/dark lab), the athletic center (dance studio, locker rooms, machine room, gym), and the senior dorms. The art center and athletics centers were all completely new (built from the ground) in 2001, and are beautiful. The library, student center, technology center, auditorium and admissions office were all renovated / built during my last two years ot MHS (2000 and on). I loved having such a small campus - the community is very close, and there is something very special about being able to wear sandals year-round. Many teachers live on campus - this is really nice because you get to know them outside of the classroom. Some of my best memories were hanging out with my teachers on the weekends. The social life at MHS on the weekends is of much better quality than many comparable schools in the area - there are usually 5-8 options of things to do on Fridays and Saturdays, and 4-7 options of things to do on Sundays. The classes are very small - my largest class in all four years was sixteen people, but most of my classes had ten people or less.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The best thing that happened to me in boarding school was that I made really amazing friends. I hadn't had very good friends during my previous schooling experiences, and I went to MHS and made friends from the very first day that I know I will have for the rest of my life. I still talk to/write/email my good friends about once a week or more, and we are still very close, even though we are so far apart. Now that I am in college, I am finding skills I learned at MHS are coming in very handy. Here is a list of things that I learned/gained while in high school that I am applying in my everyday life: 1) I am more adventurous - at MHS you are required to do many things you don't think you can do, and it teaches you to try new things without fear of failure - consequently I am involved in many fun things here at school that I would have never even though of trying had I not gone to MHS. 2) Study hall at MHS was a crucial part to my future success in school. Now that I am in college, I can complete 150 pages of primary and secondary sources of reading in 3 hours, whereas for my friends it takes 10. I can write an A paper that is 2500 words in just under three hours. I can complete "busy work" assignments in half the expected time. This is all because I was so involved in extracurricular activities and sport, etc, that during study hall I would have to complete 6 hours of work in three. (Don't worry, it can be done, it just takes practice!) 3) Because I lived with my teachers at MHS, knowing that teachers are real people too was not a new concept to me. It has been easy for me to get to know my professors because I am not nervous about interaction. 4) I don't stress out over work. I am not sure whether this because of MHS completely or what, but I am sure my experience there contributed to this aspect of my personality. Knowing how to handle large amounts of work has helped me immensely.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would say I would have been involved in more activities, but I don't think I really had the time. I think I would have joined tech (theatre) sooner than I did because it was a lot of fun!
4.) What would you never want to change about your school?
The fact that it is all girls. I think that is one of its strongest qualities.
5.) What things could be improved about your school?
I think there are always things that could stand to be improved at any school - however, at MHS I think there is not a lot that needs to be improved. One thing that could be improved would be anonymity, as far as judicial systems, rumors, etc. is concerned, however since the school is so small, I think this would be a hard thing to improve upon, and as it is, it is dealt with very well.
6.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Get involved in as much as you possibly can, and push yourself past what you think you can handle - you will achieve so much! And you will be much happier and successful if you are busy. Visit with Dusty at the school store as often as possible, don't fear the naked man (but don't let his legend die!), get to know your teachers, and remember that MHS staff always finds out. And most importantly, be yourself - people at MHS will love you no matter who you are! A general aside that pertains to every boarding student everywhere: Don't bring a lot of stuff to your dorm! This is true anywhere - you will find that you always bring things you don't really need to your dorm, and then you just have to pack it up at the end of the year, and that is annoying. Plus, keep in mind that the amount of stuff you have in the room at the end of the year will be twice as much as you had at the beginning of the year. This is just a fact - amazing, yes, but a fact none the less.
1.) What did you like best about your schools academics?
Teachers were always available for me to see when I needed help or just wanted to discuss a certain topic in greater detail. I would meet with them at breakfast, dinner, on the weekends, and after study hall. They were always there when I needed them and they truly listened to the students. If a test was scheduled for a day that was really bad for us, often times the teachers would change the date. Study hall was another very positive aspect of my academic life. It has taught me how to budget my time and work efficiently.
2.) What did you like least about the academics in your school?
I disliked nothing in particular. There was not a broad range of subjects to take (such as you would find in a larger school), but that is not really too grave.
1.) What did you like best about your schools athletics?
I loved the fact that we were required to be involved in athletics every semester. I tried many new things and had a great time, and this would not have happened without the requirement. Since everybody has to play sports, you never feel as though everybody is amazing at the sport - it is ok if you are not an all star player.
2.) What did you like least about the athletics in your school?
Because athletics were required, the enthusiasm was sometimes low as people were only playing sports because they had to.
1.) What did you like best about your schools art program?
You don't have to be good at art (in the traditional sense) to do well. I was very very bad at art, but still succeeded because I kept trying - I am still very bad at art though! Also, music and chorus and things like that count as art.
2.) What did you like least about your schools art program?
I can't say there was anything I disliked.
1.) What did you like most about the extracurricular activities offered at your school?
You were encouraged to be involved in a lot of things. Students can start up just about any club they can dream of, and that is really cool. There are over 20 organizations in my school which is amazing since the student body was just about 130 students (when I was there).
2.) What did you like least about the extracurricular activities offered at your school?
If you were in charge, you had to be incredibly dedicated - sometime getting people involved was a bit of a challenge, and very time consuming.
1.) What was the best thing about dorm life in your school?
All the classes live in one dorm, with the exception of some seniors (about 15) who live next door. Having all the classes live together on two floors was so much fun - we would have hall parties, play soccer in the hallways, and sneak into each other's rooms on the weekends. It was so much fun, having all your friends living within 100 feet.
2.) What did you like least about dorm life?
Rumors spread like crazy among 95 boarding students.
1.) What was the best thing about your dining arrangements?
The food was great, it was buffet style, and the kitchen staff were very accommodating. We had salad bar, vegetarian and hot food options every meal, and we also had a wok for stir-fry. There was a good selection of drinks, as well (sparkling waters, fruit juices, milk, coffee, hot cocoa). The dining room is a cozy atmosphere, with nice tables and chairs, and you can eat outside in the quad when the weather is nice.
2.) What did you like least about your dining arrangements?
I think the worst thing was you were not allowed to leave the dining room if you had (prepared) food. That sort of stunk, but was necessary to keep the school free from spills and crumbs.
1.) How welcome did you feel by the other students when you first arrived at the school
I felt very welcome - my class lived on one hallway, and we were a group of 19 girls. We had a lot of bonding experiences the first few weeks, and that was great fun. The students in other grades were very welcoming, and often friendship between classes occurred.
2.) Describe the level of diversity and integration of students in your school:
The diversity at MHS is pretty high - there was diversity in terms of race and religion, etc., but also in terms of experience, background, etc. We had many events that promoted the diversity within our community. However, we didn't really see ourselves as different, because I lived in a city and she lived in the south and they were catholic and she was Muslim, or whatever - rather we saw ourselves as students - MHS students. And that was really cool.
3.) Describe typical fun activities you did on a weekend:
I spent a lot of time watching movies on the weekend, going to dances, doing homework, hanging out with friends and teachers. My friends and I would play mission impossible, blow bubbles in the laundry room, play board games, go out to eat, play hide and seek, play sports in the gym, develop negatives and print photos in the photo lab, have sleep overs, build forts, and basically anything else you can think of. Something that is really great about MHS is most of the students stay on campus during the weekends - even day students could be found there on the weekends! There was always somebody around, and it was not a cliquey school, so you could always find someone to do something with, even if you had never done anything with them before.
4.) What was the town like?
The town was pretty cool - there was bowling, coffee places, a mall about 15 minutes away with a movie theatre, performances, etc. Tanglewood is very close by, which is a great place to go see concerts. There are lots of museums in the area, and colleges are close by with a lot of neat things going on. Students could walk to places such as Subway, Ben and Jerry's, etc, though they couldn't walk around town per say. You could take a taxi anywhere, if you wanted - the taxi companies have student rates.
|7:15 AM||Shower, get dressed|
|7:45 AM||Grab breakfast|
|8:00 AM||Free (Finish up homework)|
|9:45 AM||Physics (lab time too)|
|11:15 AM||AP Calculus AB|
|12:15 AM||French (Eat lunch during class - this is not usual but was my case)|
|1:15 PM||HTML/Web Design Class|
|1:00 PM||Photography (Lab time too)|
|3:30 PM||Get Ready for sports|
|5:30 PM||End of Sports - time for dinner!|
|6:00 PM||French Club Meeting|
|6:30 PM||Music Ensemble|
|7:30 PM||Study Hall|
|9:30 PM||End of Study Hall - hang out, relax, or keep working!|
|10:30 PM||In room time for underclassmen|
|11:30 PM||In room time for seniors|
|11:30 PM||Go to sleep, if I am not already!|
|10:00 AM||Get up, go eat (in pajamas) breakfast|
|11:00 AM||Go shower/get dressed|
|12:00 AM||Go for a walk/see a movie/get off campus|
|3:00 PM||Come back to campus, hang out with friends, get ready for evening activity|
|5:30 PM||Eat dinner|
|6:00 PM||Evening activity (movie, concert, dance, etc.)|
|10:00 PM||Come back, get ready for evening|
|11:00 PM||Go to check-in; get ready for sleepovers, go to room where you will be sleeping.|
|12:00 PM||Play games with friends (in room), laugh, talk, watch dvd's on computers, etc.|
|2:00 AM||Go to sleep now (or earlier)|
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