The Cambridge School of Weston - Review #5
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2009-2011|
|Sports and Activities:||I participated in the fall theater production and the Shakespeare production, was a tour guide for both my junior and senior year, and a dorm leader my senior year. I also helped assemble the LitMag, and attended GGG (girls girls girls) meetings.|
|College Enrolled:||Sarah Lawrence College (BA), The New School (MFA)|
|Home Town, State:||Aurora, CO|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Coming from the west and having no concept of a 'typical' boarding school, CSW immediately stood out to me because I felt at home (and excited) upon arrival. The emphasis on community there not only breeds curiosity and fosters subsequent activism, but rewards hard work and risk-taking. The mod system in particular forces you to delve into a wide range of subjects intensely, but with the support and guidance of peers and exemplary teachers who get to know you very personally, very fast.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I developed a sense of individuality and confidence there that hasn't been cheapened by time or subsequent life experiences. As a teenager who chose to live away from home, I had always craved independence -- but I was still just 16-years-old. CSW encouraged me to branch out and explore my interests, but provided those opportunities without making me feeling monitored, measured or judged, which were all things that had (immaturely!) prevented me from taking actions for myself and/or for others during adolescence.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Just be open to every opportunity, rely on the people you live with, and don't be afraid to ask your dorm parents for support if you need it. They'll give it to you -- and maybe even slip you baked goods :)
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The people, hands down. CSW was obviously an overwhelmingly positive experience for me, primarily because of the supportive culture it breeds, and inspirational friends and mentors it draws. I woke up and often actually felt lucky to be there.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Make friends with whoever is running the school store these days, and learn to love the Garthwaite bathrooms.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The mod system requires you to engage in a given subject with full commitment -- because classes meet every day and only for one month, immersing yourself happens naturally. I was able to study a broad spectrum of subjects, and retained so much.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I didn't participate in any sport, but I liked that the athletic culture was supportive and fun, and never overbearing. The actual facilities, when I was there, were really lacking. There were maybe two treadmills and an often-broken elliptical, as well as a few out-of-date weight machines.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I can't commend these departments enough for pushing me to grow and introducing me to so many different methods of thinking, living, and creating. At CSW you have so much access to so many different mediums, and the teachers are so enthusiastic and dynamic. I didn't realize once I got to college that these things wouldn't be readily available to me. At CSW it's at your fingertips - you just have to ask (and you will).In particular, drawing and assemblage with Todd Bartel stand out as some of the most inspirational and eye-opening visual arts classes I've taken.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was involved in the theater and Shakespeare departments as my 'D-Block' activity, but the all-school assemblies actually gave me the motivation to join in on lunch-time extracurriculars. The town meetings and assemblies were such a unique and special aspect to CSW. As a new student, visually seeing my peers promoting their passions twice a week encouraged me to broaden my horizons and join them.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved living in the dorms. CSW strikes a really important balance between monitoring the boarders (safety was always the priority and took precedence over all else) and allowing everybody to be themselves and operate at their own pace. Honestly, though -- it just felt like an ongoing slumber party. It was so, so fun.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Basically, you spend most of your time as a boarder on campus, in the woods. I was all about it, and thought it was magical. I spent almost every weekend with my friends in Boston, though. There are weekly vans to Harvard Square, and navigating the T was easy. I live in NYC now, but Boston remains my favorite city in the states.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
CSW is small, but it's so vibrant. I made a really close-knit group of friends and am still in touch with 95% of them, including those I was closest with on the faculty, today.
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