St. Paul's School - Review #1
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||1998-2002|
|Sports and Activities:||Varsity Volleyball (co-captain) Club Hockey (captain of a team) Student Newspaper (managing editor) A capella group (co-head) Prefect (senior dorm. leader) Student Admissions Officer|
|College Enrolled:||Brown University|
|Home Town, State:||Los Angeles, CA|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
I think a unique aspect of St. Paul's is the melding of spirituality, academics and physical well-being. It really emphasizes a whole-body approach to educating and shaping its students. In addition, St. Paul's housing setup, in which there are sometimes several faculty and their families living in apartments/houses attached to the dorms, really encourages wonderful teacher-student relationships to develop outside the classroom. This friendship, in turn, reverberates back into the classoom, allowing a freer dialogue to occur.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The best thing that happened to me in boarding school was becoming more independent. I'm more comfortable speaking to adults as a result of the close and relaxed interaction with faculty living in my dorm and with my faculty advisor. I've also learned to take responsibility for my actions, and how to write a solid essay. St. Paul's really improves your writing skills because you are forced to do a lot of it.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I wouldn't have done anything different in the application process except maybe spend a night at the school beforehand. Except, this was not an option as I didn't know anyone at the school beforehand.
4.) What would you never want to change about your school?
I would never want to change the daily chapel services--every morning, going to the chapel (even though I'm not religious) centered me before the day began, and allowed a period of reflection. I would also never change the semi-formal sit-down dinners with arranged seating that changes every couple of weeks. It allows you to meet people you wouldn't normally meet, as well as hone your manners.
5.) What things could be improved about your school?
I would try to improve diversity---I felt like there could be more students of color, and some facilities needed to be renovated, such as the Music Building and the Math Building.
6.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
The dorms are AWESOME, espcially Kehaya and Con20!!! Go swimming in the pond in the Fall and Spring, and appreciate the Fall Foliage. Try and appreciate what you have at St. Paul's because when you leave, you miss it A LOT. Take advantage of all the opportunities you can, because a lot of regular high schools don't have the things St. Paul's does. Get to know your faculty well--ALL faculty at St. Paul's LIVE ON CAMPUS, and thus the faculty that come inherently LIKE and WANT to get to know you. They are fountains of information and wisdom, like second parents....
1.) What did you like best about your schools academics?
The humanities program at St. Paul's is very strong. Melding English and History into a double-credit course allows you to read literature and understand the historical significance behind its characters and author. Rather than a straight-up history course feeding you historically important people and dates, concurrently reading the literature at that time period allows those people and dates to become much richer and more 3-D. Humanities at St. Paul's is all about efficiency through synchronization.
2.) What did you like least about the academics in your school?
Although the diversity and depth of classes were suitable, one would would always wish for more classes from which to choose.
1.) What did you like best about your schools athletics?
I like the fact that anyone who wished to play a sport could do so, whether that was a club, JV or Varsity level. The coaches are very understanding in terms of recognizing the boarding school students' need to balance academics with athletics, and the camAraderie amongst team members was always strong.
2.) What did you like least about the athletics in your school?
I least liked the facilities for athletics, as the gym was built before girls began attending St. paul's. But a new gym is in the works!
1.) What did you like best about your schools art program?
I liked the availability of the classes offered, and I especially liked the Gallery at St. Paul's, which brought wonderful artists to the school. The Keiser Concert Series, free for students, also brought fantastic musicians to perform and give master classes.
2.) What did you like least about your schools art program?
The Intro. Art Class was a pain to take. You had students simply taking the class to fulfill their arts requirement, but you also had the students serious about art.
1.) What did you like most about the extracurricular activities offered at your school?
I liked that whatever club or activity you wanted to do, the school would give you financial and administrative support. From the angler's society, to the UNO club, you could do it all...
2.) What did you like least about the extracurricular activities offered at your school?
There was nothing I didn't like about the extracurricular activities. They greatly enrich students' lives there.
1.) What was the best thing about dorm life in your school?
The best thing about dorm life was...the friendships that you form, the skills you learn about getting along with all types of people, the advice you get from upperformers, the mentoring roles you have when you become an upperformer, the cohesiveness of the dorm as one unit, and the relationships with faculty. Dorm life at St. Paul's is incredible--from bonding activities at the beginning of the year, to weekly "feeds" and "secret santas"...
2.) What did you like least about dorm life?
The worst thing about dorm life when I was at St. Paul's were the hours for internet access and phone service in our rooms. We only had internet access in the evenings.
1.) What was the best thing about your dining arrangements?
The best thing about our dining arrangements was that many tastes were catered for. The Sunday omelette bar was teriffic, and the staff is incredibly friendly.
2.) What did you like least about your dining arrangements?
The worst thing was that the food, while quite tasty, was not always the most healthily cooked.
1.) How welcome did you feel by the other students when you first arrived at the school
I definiteley felt welcome when I first arrived at St. Paul's. Coming from California, there was cerainly a different atmosphere, but I became used to it. Everyone was willing to answer any questions I might have, whether it was about which classes to take, or what was the best way to set up my room. At the same time, I would just point out that every high school has its jerks.
2.) Describe the level of diversity and integration of students in your school:
The level of diversity and integration of students at SPS are probably the same as many other high schools; that is, students generally stick to their kind. People were very generally accepting and open-minded to others though.
3.) Describe typical fun activities you did on a weekend:
One weekend might include eating dinner at Siam Orchid, a Thai restaurant on Main Street, heading to the mall to watch a movie, then back to campus to quickly hit up a dance and then lounging back at the dorm. Sunday might include lingering over brunch, taking a dip in the pond (if it's warm enough), or relaxing on the Chapel lawn reading a book or playing frisbee.
4.) What was the town like?
Students ventured into town quite often, mostly to go to "Main St." to eat dinner or go to CVS, or to the local Mall to watch a movie or to shop at the GAP. They started providing a bus service on the weekends, so students coudl avoid having to pay for cabs. Depending on where the student was from, of course, Concord could be anything from hicksville to a nicely sized town.
|7:15 AM||Wake up and eat breakfast|
|8:30 AM||AB Calculus|
|10:45 AM||China and Revolution|
|1:00 PM||Visual Design|
|2:00 PM||Free Period|
|3:00 PM||Sports Practice|
|6:00 PM||Seated Meal|
|7:00 PM||A capella rehearsal|
|8:30 PM||Edit Student Newspaper|
|7:30 AM||Wake up and breakfast|
|9:00 AM||Free Period|
|10:00 AM||China and Revolution|
|11:00 AM||Creative Writing|
|1:00 PM||Travel to other school for Volleyball|
|6:30 PM||Return and Eat Dinner|
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