Reflections and Advice:
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The Masters School can be quickly distinguished from other schools by the style of teaching that takes place. After a quick tour of classes, one will notice that there are no desks. Instead, each classroom has one oval table where students are allowed to freely speak. Whether it is a math class, history class or science class, students are encourage to speak (without having to raise their hands) and share any ideas they might have on the subject. The Harkness method, as it is called, is unique from any other school I visited when trying to decide on schools. The method welcomes everyone's opinions and truly embodies the teaching spirit.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Boarding school helped me mature and become more independent. It seems cliche but it has. Going into college, I had already experienced what it was like to live away from home. Many students in college become depressed their first semester as well as a little homesick. Having already gone through that in high school gave me an advantage. I felt prepared to go out into the world and know that I would be okay. Living with a diverse group of people certainly allows you to get to know different people and elasticities. It definitely taught me how to coexist in an environment where I had to take care of others and understand others' needs.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Boarding school at Masters has been an unforgettable experience. I encourage everyone to do it. It is a little bit frightening at first, both for the parents and students, but so worthwhile. It's a chance to make life-long friends and learn in a way that other students do not have the chance to. Going to boarding school really sets you apart from others.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
There is not one thing that I liked most about my school. There are too many good memories to just pick one. I think that's what sets Masters apart: the good memories. Visiting alums often told us about what Masters was like for them. We often hear about a sports match or an event that took place that was special and remained in their minds. Masters is full of opportunities. The teachers are so enthusiastic about their jobs and have a passion for teaching. I remember my American Studies teacher crying of joy after our class had done an amazing job on our Vietnam Simulation project. These are just things that one does not forget. Masters is full of memorable moments and it is up to each individual to make the best of it.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Having gone to public school prior to Masters, I was not used to teachers being so readily available to help students. Take advantage of the teachers. They are there to help you with anything you need, academically or not. It was only after graduating that I really appreciated all of what they had done for me.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Academics at Masters is rigorous. The workload will depend on the class, but nevertheless it will always be challenging. Teachers are not there to overload students with work. In fact, teachers are very flexible and if a student wants an extension on the homework, a teacher will most likely allow it. The class size will usually be of about 15 students per class. This allows for a very intimate teacher to student interaction where every teacher will know their students. Teachers are very available and actually encourage students to come talk to them. English teachers are always interested in helping students start a paper and math teachers are always there to help students understand that "one problem that they just can't get". It is difficult to talk about competition at Masters because students naturally want to do well. It is not so much a question of doing better than the person sitting next to you as much as it is about bettering yourself.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
An athletic co-curricular is mandatory at Masters. Whether you take a gym class, play soccer or do a sport outside of school, every student is required to participate in some way. I played soccer for four years where we made the play offs for two of those. I also played basketball for two years. One year we won the State Championship for the first time in history and the next year we became FAA League Champions. Sports are time consuming but also a lot of fun. The teams are very welcoming and the coaches are always pushing us to do our best. I made some of my best friends by playing soccer and basketball and overall it was just a great experience.
Art, Music, and Theatre:
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
As a freshman, we are all required to experiment the different arts that Masters provides. Everyone is required to take half a semester of visual arts, dance, music and theater. It was a great experience because I had never before done anything with theater or dance. My sophomore year, I decided to take a digital photography class. On the very first day our teacher took us into town and allowed us to take pictures of whatever was inspiring to us. It opened my eyes to a different side of art. She even allowed us to be very creative and design our final project. I learned how to enhance pictures as well as use the latest version of Photoshop.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
In 11th grade I decided to run for MISH (Masters Interested in Sharing and Helping) representative. This is the community service group at Masters. After being elected, the representatives' job was to design one or more class projects. We came up with a fund raising Student vs Faculty basketball game where we also invited children from "Children's Village" to play. The entire class got involved in helping out with the event. People were assigned different committees and everyone just became very excited with the project. We had a very good turnout and very fun to watch basketball game.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Living in a dorm is an experience I would not want to have missed out on. Boarders form a very close relationship with each other as well as faculty. After all, the campus becomes our home. Friends become brothers. After the first year, students are allowed to choose their rooms as well as roommates. I cannot emphasize how close I became with my roommates. My parents also noticed me changing. When I came home I would take out the garbage and do the dishes without being asked and I think it was all because of the way I was used to acting in the dorms. Having to share a kitchen with others meant that we had to clean up after ourselves and take care of things because it belonged to everyone. We could not expect someone else to do it for us. As it turns out I did see myself assuming more responsibility and becoming more independent.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food at Masters is good. There is a lot of variety and you can always make a salad or sandwich if you are not in the mood for what is being offered. Wednesday is always pizza day and a lot of students like the different varieties of pizza that they serve. Brunch is one of the best meals served at Masters. Not only was the food great but it was also a time for the boarders to sit together socialize.
Social and Town Life:
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Dobbs Ferry is a small town but a nice one nevertheless. Dobbs Ferry is a train ride away from New York city which means that students can easily and quickly get to the city. The city is filled with things to do and a few students choose to spend time there on the weekends. With so much going on on campus, most students choose to stay at Masters and take part in the activities there.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The upper school has a little more than 400 students meaning that everyone knows each other. Students and teachers bond as well since most of the faculty resides on campus. Even after having graduated, I've remained in very close contact with the friends I made. Everyone is very welcoming. I vividly remember playing ping-pong on the very first day of orientation, and sitting on the bus on the way back from the rafting trip with the two people that would become my best friends and roommates.
Wake up and do laundry
Go to Brunch
Watch tv or play video games
Go to the gym
Go to Dinner
Go to dance/ open dorm/ activity
Socialize in the common room
Alumni Reviews Review School
The Masters School Alumni #1
Class of 2009
Class of 2009
The Masters School can be quickly distinguished from other schools by the style of teaching that takes place. After a quick tour of classes, one will notice that there are no desks. Instead, each classroom. . .
The Masters School Alumni #2
Class of 2008
Class of 2008
The Masters School prides itself on using the Harkness method of teaching. Rather than sit at individual desks, students face each other around a large table. This style prompts discussion and keeps each. . .
The Masters School Alumni #3
Class of 2008
Class of 2008
One unique aspect of the Masters School for which I was personally very grateful was our Morning Meeting. This was a gathering of the entire upper school and faculty in the theater, three times weekly. . .
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