Miss Hall's School - Review #1
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2012-2016|
|Sports and Activities:||I participated in three musical productions on the cast, Science bowl (car team, in which teams would build a car using a hydrolic fuel cell), Softball (both Varsity and JV, pitcher for JV), Senior Class Treasurer, Leader of the Haha's (school comedy group), Yearbook club, Tennis, Math peer tutoring... probably more I can't remember at the moment!|
|College Enrolled:||Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univeristy|
|Home Town, State:||Ballston Spa, NY|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
My school offers Horizons, which is a weekly event in which sophomores and up travel off-campus to complete volunteer work at a chosen site while Freshman learn valuable skills like gardening, the basics of business, and pottery making!The volunteer hours I completed not only helped with applying to college, but gave me social skills I wouldn't have had otherwise- I worked with the Elderly, including those suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Elementary school children, and Middle school children throughout my years in Horizons.I haven't heard of another boarding school that offers this, and it offered me such wonderful experiences and skills; I know I would be a different person without it!My school also has yearly themes- on Thursdays, we explore these themes through presentations done by students. In my last year there we had a theme "Honoring Identities" in which students would voluntarily take the stage in front of the whole school and share a personal story about an aspect of their identity. Discussion would follow.Events like these really make the small school a strong learning environment, and being able to connect with people through real discussion is amazing, and would happen a lot less for many people in that room if it hadn't been so open.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I think I grew a lot at this school. Like I said I wasn't very into sports, I didn't really have much of a way beforehand to express my interests in math and physics, and I wasn't too confident in my performing. This school helped me gain confidence, learn more about myself in ways I never could have in public school (or just a really big school in general), and find things I love! I wouldn't trade my time at this school for the world.And- I almost left! My freshman year I was all set to leave the school and go back to public school because it was so different. All the paperwork was in and everything! It took a bit to settle in but it was all so so worth it. I'm so glad I didn't leave! I would be a completely different person.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would be more open. I feel like a lot of freshman want to feel cool and not into the events or into school spirit, but honestly the moment you open yourself up to that environment and let yourself love your school you'll have the best time. And when it's boarding school, and you're living there, it really energizes you!
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The opportunities. Horizons, clubs, sports... I have so much on my resume and so much experience under my belt !
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Put peanut butter on the brownies, take advantage of the paths around school, run for a school position even if you aren't sure you'll win (my best friend was absolutely sure no one would vote for her because she was running against a very popular girl in her class- now she's vice president of the school!), sign up for clubs even just to try them out, take stuff from the salad bar when you go to rice bar or pasta bar, and try to always have F or G block free to get an extra long lunch!
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Since the school is relatively small the classes are rarely over 15 people which keeps the environment focused but friendly- people aren't afraid to ask questions and teachers hours are always very open. I loved the faculty at the school, I think I only had one teacher throughout all my years there that I didn't get along very well with, and it never hindered my performance in the course. There were a wide range of very interesting courses when I attended, and I can only assume there are even more now with the opening of the new STEAM department! I had the best English class ever my senior year. It was called "new non fiction" and we read books that are now some of my favorites and wrote essays that were very open and fun to write. And I'm a science major! I usually really dislike English.There is a lot of homework but it's generally pretty manageable. There are a set two hours a day called "study hall" where everyone is working and its very quiet. This is very good for getting work done. Schedules always have at least one break in the day, too, and most of the time at least one day a week you get an hour sleep in! :)
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Athletics are required here- at least one team sport and one recreational sport (Though doing a play counts as a team sport, and there is a sport called "Ball Sports" which is essentially like Gym Class). As someone who came into the school playing no sports, I have to say this was excellent for me. I picked up softball my freshman year and it is now my favorite sport. I learned to pitch and I made good friends!! I definitely wouldn't had done that on my own my freshman year. However I also did "recreational walking" for my freshman sport, so if you really aren't athletic I promise there are options for you!
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are SOOOOO many courses and resources here in terms of Theatre and the arts. Theres a ceramics studio, photo lab, a really great open theatre (and great drama courses- I only took one my senior year but I loved it)! There's also Chorus and an a capella group known as "The Grace Notes"... there's also Jazz Band and Rock band and there's open mic nights all the time for bands to perform... so so so much!There are two theatre productions a year, a Winter musical and a Spring play... I did the musicals and they were so fun! The cast is usually small so there really are no small parts- if you aren't a main you're usually playing a few! I was only a lead one year but the other two years I preformed were arguably more fun. The director, Ms Jordan, is absolutely amazing and actually wrote one of my college recommendation letters, even though I'm an engineering major haha.One of my favorite things is GOTA though! It stands for "Gallery of the Arts" and it's a once a year celebration event kind of thing where there's a fun theme and everyone dresses up in silly outfits (or nice ones!) and enters in costume competitions and eats nice food and there a bunch of performances and awards celebrating the arts that year. Its so fun!!!!!!!!!! My best friend won one of the costume contests every year she went :-) It's nice to go to a school where the arts are appreciated like that.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Again there are so many options. It's easy to start clubs, too! I definitely liked how there was always stuff going on, but somehow I was never super overwhelmed.I know there are a lot of clubs for diversity, though I personally leaned more towards the Science oriented clubs, and I think that may be unique to here! There are also a bunch of peer tutoring clubs and I thin that's really fantastic!
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I didn't live on campus my first three years, I was a day student... I spent a lot more time there my senior year. The rooms generally have shelves, a closet, two desks and two dressers... so it's pretty standard. I wouldn't say there's anything particularly fantastic about the dorms.For late-night food there's usually an evening snack out... generally something simple like popcorn or brownies
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Three meals a day during the week, and two on weekends with an afternoon snack. The food is pretty good! In the last two years I was there a food committee was set up that's really made an impact on the options- we've gotten better at offering more vegan and vegetarian friendly options.Most of the time there is soy and rice milk available, too!Meals consist of a main hotbar that usually has two vegetable options, two meat options, and a starch. There's also a cold bar that has sandwiches (usually really good!!!) and one or two pre-made salads. There's then usually two soup options, and a separate salad bar if you want to make your own salad. Then there's a separate table for desserts, a breadbox with about 10 types of bread. There's always peanut butter and jam available, there's a toaster, etc.Most days there's also a bar that switches out! Crepes, pancakes, eggs benedict, grilled cheese, pasta, rice... there's someone working at the counter and you can pick out whatever ingredients are there for the option and they'll cook it up !! It's really delicious. Rice bar and pasta bar are the most popular, but I particularly love when there's eggs benedict in the mornings because they make it with corned beef has (soo good).There's also an International Students performance once a year and when they do that they make a food from each represented country and its the BEST!!! Favorite day of the year for food.There's no assigned seating besides one table for faculty and a senior table where underclassmen can only sit with permission, and even then it's rare.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
There isn't too much to do in Pittsfield, which is why there's trips every weekend out to the town or events at other schools! However Ben & Jerry's is just a short walk away.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I think the schools comfortable in terms of social life- because it's so small everyone matures pretty fast and there isn't too much drama, and there's trips and events with other schools basically every weekend so you can hang out and meet other people!
|7:00 AM||Breakfast starts|
|8:00 AM||Breakfast ends, volunteer hours start|
|2:30 PM||Volunteer hours end, events start|
|4:00 PM||Events end|
|5:30 PM||Dinner starts|
|6:30 PM||Dinner ends|
|7:00 PM||Study hall starts|
|9:00 PM||Study hall ends|
|10:00 PM||In-room time|
|1:00 AM||Internet goes off|
|10:00 AM||Brunch starts|
|12:00 PM||Brunch ends|
|2:30 PM||Afternoon snack|
|5:30 PM||Dinner starts|
|6:30 PM||Dinner ends|
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