Middlesex School - Review #13
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2008-2012|
|Sports and Activities:||Model Congress/UN (4 years), JV Lacrosse (3 years), Gay Straight Alliance (4 years), Middlesex Art's Association (4 years), Asian Society (4 years), Technical Theater (4 years, 8 major productions). Senior year I was a proctor, and head of Gay Straight Alliance, Middlesex Art's Association, Asian Society, and the master scenic painter for Technical Theater. I was always heavily involved in Community Service (independent project for two years), although the bulk of my participation was somewhat independent from my work with the school.|
|College Enrolled:||Barnard College|
|Home Town, State:||Johnston, RI|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Middlesex's mission is to help its students "Find the promise"; as a result, Middlesex frames student life in such a way that students are given the opportunity to pursue any and every interest. All Middlesex students study, play sports, take classes in the arts, and join clubs. Middlesex's small community prepares its students for college by giving them the tools to handle a rigorous course load while pursuing academic and extracurricular interests. The weekly all school gatherings in assembly or at chapel, the kids hanging out on the circle (the green that all the buildings on campus surround), and the small class sizes are a few aspects of the school that provide for a tight knit community that is both rigorous and nurturing.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
For my "activities essay" on the Common Application for college, I wrote about my favorite moment: freshman year, 40 feet high up in the year on a foot wide catwalk with a spotlight and headset for 5 hours a night for a week days for the spring musical, Sweeney Todd. Having a triple my sophomore year was awesome. I've had roommates 3 out of my 4 years at Middlesex, and loved it.Like most high school students, I grew as a person and became more mature as a result of my community and the discussions I have had in and outside of class. Putting that aside, the most important thing that Middlesex taught me is probably time management.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Transition to Middlesex was pretty difficult for me. I didn't immediately try to make many friends (which most kids do, I think), and I struggled academically at first. It really wasn't until my sophomore year that I started becoming more involved in the community. Don't be afraid to ask for extra help, and don't be a hermit. I promise you will have a much better time.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The teachers. They, and my friends, really made my high school experience.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
I highly recommend trying clubs in your first two years at Middlesex. I find that lots of kids are afraid that extracurriculars will take time away from academics, especially in addition to sports, but find that they regret not having tried all the great things on campus at the end of their four years. I also found of degree of satisfaction for putting down "4 years" of time spent on a club while filling out applications and writing my resume. Also, make friends with the staff and teachers. Just do it. It's wonderful being able to go to someone's office/classroom during a free period to hang out.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Academics at Middlesex are rigorous and challenging. The school has high expectations for their students, especially for honors and AP level courses. 100% of students take at least one AP class (AP English Literature is required junior year), and the majority of students take more AP classes throughout their 4 years. Classes are not weighted. That being said, the teachers at Middlesex are absolutely incredible. Small classes allow teachers to be incredibly invested in their students, and they allow for very productive discussion. The teachers are very passionate about many classes that are offered, and they love teaching. They are also extremely encouraging, understanding, and are always available for extra-help.They care not only about your intellectual development, but your personal growth as well. For example, every Thursday morning, all the students have 915 sleep in while teachers hold a faculty meeting, and at the end of each semester the faculty assembles to literally discuss every single student in the school. I truly believe that if you ask any student at Middlesex what they like most about Middlesex they will either say the community or the teachers. As a result of their work, kids are very prepared for their AP exams, and college. They are incredibly smart, invested, and well respected among students.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Frankly, athletics are not my forte. But, I definitely value the sports requirement, because I never would have tried lacrosse or field hockey, sports and teams that I became pretty fond of. Otherwise, the athletic department supported an independent project I had set up with a non-profit in lieu of a spot for two seasons. I also worked in the equipment room with Terry Cassidy for two seasons and established great relationships with him and the trainers. Anyhow, although I didn't particularly participate in many sports, sports are a big part of Middlesex. People love making signs and going to games, and anyone that's interested is encouraged to work hard and make varsity.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I spent a lot of time in the theater during my time at Middlesex, and it is easily my favorite place on campus. I took many art classes and became very close with the faculty and students in the visual arts and theater department. Compared to the larger prep schools, I would imagine our facilities are fairly small. However, this never frustrated me. I could go talk about the qualities of the arts faculty+program forever.There are many opportunities in the arts at Middlesex. In terms of music, there are a few choruses that take place on campus, a large amount of music lessons that take place on campus, and some bands. The entire school gathers for concerts, whether they be Small Chorus/Chamber Ensemble/Jazz Orchestra performances, the much loved student run Freedom of Speeches, or the more formal concerts in the chapel. In terms of the visual arts, there tons of different classes, a variety of different art clubs on campus, and many trips to museums and exhibitions around Boston. The art department began helping me prepare my college portfolio during my junior year, which was very helpful. AP Studio Art was easily one of my most rigorous and enjoyable classes during my time at Middlesex. As far as the productions and the technical theater go, basically the entire school is in awe of the sets and theatrical talent of the department/student body. As a result of my time in the arts at Middlesex, I have decided to pursue visual arts (and hopefully technical theater) in college.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
The activities that I have listed above are those that I have specifically committed to in years past- they do not cover the amount of activities that are available, or that I have participated in. If a student does not know much about, and therefore does not wish to commit to an organization, he/she doesn't have to- it's not only welcome, but encouraged to just try going to a club once to see if you enjoy it. Clubs often hold events that are open to the entire school, and meetings are always open to all. Personally, clubs/events that I've participated in include Dance and Thirds Field Hockey, JSA, Spectrum, and many community service events. I really cherished being welcome to, and part of so many different aspects of the school.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life is one of my favorite parts of the school. The dorm parents become some of the faculty that you grow closest with, and you also get to bond with a lot of students you otherwise wouldn't have known. Freshman and seniors always have an especially strong bond. Proctors are on every floor and establish close relationships with their floor, and the rest of the dorm via dorm events and check-in at 730. The school also does a great job of putting friends on the same floors together/people that have requested to live with each other. Girls' rooms are almost always pretty big (I will never get a dorm room as good/big ever again), which is great. Also, if you choose to request a single, 90% of the time you will get it. In my opinion, freshman year is really the only year that students may find dorm rules a bit restrictive. But, the 1030 lights out rule for freshman proved to be much more helpful than irritating, and the rules become much less cumbersome as you figure out boarding school, and as your privileges expand.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
You can get food pretty much any time you want. A lot of people complain about the food at MX, but I think it's fine and you can always find something to eat. If you don't like the hot food, you can go to the salad bar, soup station, panini maker, pasta area, etc.. Sunday brunch has consistently been my favorite meal for the past four years. If you go to MX, definitely try ordering an omelette at some point. There isn't assigned seating (except for the Senior Stage- only seniors have the option of sitting there), but grades separate to different sides of the dining hall anyway.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Concord is really nice, historical small town. It has a very decent selection of restaurants, of all price ranges. There has also been an increasing amount of places that deliver too, which kids tend to take advantage of. The people are very friendly too. If you're really proactive and want to go into Boston at a different time than the buses on weekends, there's a train from Concord too. (Boston, by the way, is an excellent city.) Estabrook woods and the pond are very pretty. I wish I took more walks in the woods, because there are plenty of really nice trails.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I had a circle of really good friends, and several other groups of friends from different parts of my Middlesex career. I liked that I had a core group of friends, but I also had the kids that I ate lunch with every Thursday at GSA, the kids that I took AP Studio Art with or the kids I did tech week with, the kids in my classes, on my teams, etc.. Although I think I spread out a LITTLE bit more than the average Middlesex kid MIGHT, everyone certainly has the ability to broaden their range of friends.I believe that the senior class determines the social climate of the school, so attendance of dances, school spirit and attitude, cliqueiness, etc.. varies every year. The one thing that has remained constant though, is the friendliness. While this might seem trivial and silly to an 'outsider', people often take note of the fact that everyone says hi to each other in the hallways.
|7:00 AM||Wake up|
|8:00 AM||Class til 3PM, each 40 minutes each. Usually at least 2 free periods per day.|
|9:30 AM||Meetings Block (Advisory) OR Senate OR Assembly (twice a week) or Chapel|
|3:30 PM||Sports (unless I did something else, which I often did)|
|6:30 PM||Club Meetings, Hang out with friends, or in room|
|7:30 PM||Check in for study hours AND/OR at tech and/or art studio|
|9:30 PM||Study hours are over. I'm either still doing homework, or with friends somewhere on campus.|
|10:30 PM||Check in to the dorm for the night. Finish up my homework, and go to bed.|
|10:00 AM||Wake up|
|10:30 AM||Go to brunch with friends (I stay for a couple of hours)|
|1:00 PM||After this it really varies per weekend. Campus event? Out to Boston or somewhere else off campus? Home work? I suppose usually spend Sunday watching TV?|
|6:30 PM||Clean my room before check-in.|
|7:30 PM||Check-in for study hours.|
|9:30 PM||Study hours are over.|
|10:00 PM||Check-in to the dorm for the night.|
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