Midland School - Review #2
About the Author:
|College Enrolled||Lehigh University|
|Home Town, State||Washington DC, DC|
|Years Attended Boarding School||4|
|Activities During Boarding School||As a junior in high school I became very interested in organic farming. It was the mid nineties and the movement was starting to find a resurgence, albeit, not the commercial success it is today. So I began by growing my own little vegetable garden by my cabin. Over the course of the year, I further pursued this interest and spent the following summer working on an organic farm. When I returned my senior year, I was the founding student for the school’s organic garden, which is in operation to this day.|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Few schools empower you the way Midland does. The school's experiential learning coupled with its student run maintenance program gives students the skill set to pursue and build their own projects. For instance, learning how to weld opened a whole world of opportunities for tinkering and building objects whether artistic or utilitarian. These skills engage the body with the mind and make you a resourceful individual. To further build confidence, the school organized several week long backpacking trips. These journeys into the wild helped me find peace in an often-chaotic world filled with digital media and its associated distractions. The experiences gave joy and fun from the simple company of friends and the outdoors, without the superfluous world of consumer goods. It also empowered me, as I new I could survive on my own.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The greatest assets I gained from Midland are confidence, resourcefulness, empathy and a love for the outdoors. The achievements that have a lasting impression are the 100 mile backpacking trip, where we endured hail storms and hiked through grueling terrain and yet had the best times of our lives, and starting the organic garden which is still functioning to this day, twenty years later. I also matured as an individual, which put me in a healthier and confident course during college. I ended up studying architecture and going to Harvard for my masters. All the skills I learned at Midland for my success at college and grad school. I hope to send my sons to Midland, assuming my wife is willing to part with them!
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Midland were the golden years of my life, so I would recommend each incoming student to make the most of it and relish the moment.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The people, location and place. I can't think of a more beautiful setting with cooler people. The academics were challenging, but the learning came with ease and was often self promoted.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Enjoy running the bowl and don't get too many laps. Good luck!
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics were stellar and given the small class sizes, gave each student the ample attention one needed. Given the boarding environment, the classroom discussion would spill over into the dining room. The teachers knew all the students very well and could really harness each strengths, while help build their weaknesses.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Small schools generally have a hard time competing with their larger rivals. Midland was an exception. In order to fill our sports teams, all students had to partake. Yet, we were able to defeat schools five times our size with selective teams. Ultimately, the outdoor environment kept the whole school in top shape and the close community made teamwork more fluid.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I had a passion for art and architecture. I was really interested in sculpting and photography. Fortunately for me, the art building had a stone carving studio, run by a well known local artist. He would teach us how to use the tools safely and in exchange, many students would help him prepare for his exhibits. Learning how to sculpt, while helping a successful artist gave you the spectrum of the craft and its profession. The fundamentals I learned in the darkroom form the foundation of my photography hobby. The facilities also offered ceramics, painting, drawing and sculpture and was often expanded by students interests.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
My extracurricular activities were horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking, but there were plenty of more academically focused opportunities. Again, many of these organizations and clubs were fostered by student interest and would morph from year to year.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
As a young teen, I could think of nothing more fun than rooming with my friends. To be at a school with a group of awesome people was awesome. It also posed some good social lessons, as we would need to confront our differences, rather than ignore them. I think the experience has made me a more sympathetic and empathetic individual.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining options at school changed once the organic garden was in operation my senior year. We went from having conventional produce to having ripe and fresh fruits and vegetables. The difference in flavor was immense and also reduced the amount of condiments and sauces one would need to add for flavor. The students also help with the garden and the kitchen, so their have a connection with the food.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
I think Midland's best asset is its surroundings. Set in the Los Padres National Forest, there were amazing hiking, trail running and backpacking trials right at our backdoor. To this day, I go for a trail run or hike to think through my thoughts or emotions.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
My classmates at Midland feel like siblings. While I don't always reach out to them regularly, every time we see each other, even if its been five or ten years, it feels like yesterday. I hold these individuals dear to my heart and know we share a common bond.
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