Cranbrook Schools - Review #5

Cranbrook Schools
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Northwestern University
Home Town, State (Country) Bloomfield Hills, MI
Years Attended Boarding School 2
Activities During Boarding School I participated in robotics club, fencing, climbing, math club, and occasionally wrote articles for the school paper. I also wrote novels independently.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Cranbrook gave upper school students freedom to select courses of study that were aligned with their particular interests and future pursuits. I took mostly science and math courses and electives, because I knew I was pursuing an engineering degree upon graduation. I loved spending time in the science museum and observatory--I felt both enriched my education. I also greatly appreciated Cranbrook's flexibility and willingness to work with students at their level. I was placed in the wrong math class upon admission to Cranbrook, but my teacher quickly realized the misplacement and I was moved up to a class more appropriate for my level of understanding. Cranbrook was the 6th school I had attended from K-12, due to my family's propensity to move frequently. However, it was one of the only schools where I did not feel bullied by fellow students, and I felt consistently supported by the administration and educational staff. I felt that they wanted to challenge me, instead of holding me to an average standard. They gave me the educational opportunities I sought, and let me truly soar.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I felt that Cranbrook helped me accomplish all that I could, and facilitated my growth in my formative years. The academics were my favorite part of Cranbrook, because the school effectively challenged me, allowed me to tailor my curriculum to my interests, and allowed me to reach my full potential. I was very interested in the STEM fields, and knew I wanted to major in engineering in my undergraduate education. I therefore focused on AP level science and math courses, and also took AP level English and history courses to offset my upcoming undergraduate workload. The school did not try to talk me out of doing this, as other schools had in the past. They trusted that I knew myself as a student and knew that I could handle the work. The school gave me plenty of resources to reach my full potential and achieve 4's and 5's on all of my AP exams. The educational staff were exceptional at Cranbrook. Several teachers truly changed my life. My science teachers, particularly in physics and astronomy, were as fascinating conversationalists as they were good instructors. We spent a considerable amount of time talking about Star Trek outside of class, theorizing about the latest published physics papers, and dreaming about astronomy and NASA missions. My math teacher became a mentor and friend. After calculus class, we met during a coinciding free period where neither of us had class. He let me hang out with him in the teacher's lounge and chat about life, the universe, and everything. He and I had differing political views, religious views, and philosophical ideas, and it was fantastic. We had the deepest, most profound and enlightening conversations! My history teacher was also a mentor of mine. I had dinner at his house, watched Star Trek: Enterprise with him and his family, and attended Star Trek conventions with him and other students interested in science fiction. Cranbrook provided me with a community, as well as an education. While at Cranbrook I authored 6 novels, learned to rock climb, gained self-discipline, finished all of my non-STEM requirements for college, made lifelong friends, and was thoroughly prepared for my undergraduate coursework. My time at Cranbrook was exceptionally well-spent, and my experience is not unique--any student who wishes to achieve these things could easily do so at Cranbrook thanks to their model of serving the students academically and socially.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would not have changed anything that I did.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The academics were my favorite part of Cranbrook, because the school effectively challenged me, allowed me to tailor my curriculum to my interests, and allowed me to reach my full potential. I was very interested in the STEM fields, and knew I wanted to major in engineering in my undergraduate education. I therefore focused on AP level science and math courses, and also took AP level English and history courses to offset my upcoming undergraduate workload. The school did not try to talk me out of doing this, as other schools had in the past. They trusted that I knew myself as a student and knew that I could handle the work. The school gave me plenty of resources to reach my full potential and achieve 4's and 5's on all of my AP exams.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Go to the observatory in the science museum. Go often. Look at the stars. Enjoy the opportunity to philosophically ponder the creation of the universe. Revel in this experience. Cranbrook is a wonderful place, and you are only here for a limited time. Enjoy every minute!

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics were my favorite part of Cranbrook, because the school effectively challenged me, allowed me to tailor my curriculum to my interests, and allowed me to reach my full potential. I was very interested in the STEM fields, and knew I wanted to major in engineering in my undergraduate education. I therefore focused on AP level science and math courses, and also took AP level English and history courses to offset my upcoming undergraduate workload. The school did not try to talk me out of doing this, as other schools had in the past. They trusted that I knew myself as a student and knew that I could handle the work. The school gave me plenty of resources to reach my full potential and achieve 4's and 5's on all of my AP exams. The educational staff were exceptional at Cranbrook. Several teachers truly changed my life. My science teachers, particularly in physics and astronomy, were as fascinating conversationalists as they were good instructors. We spent a considerable amount of time talking about Star Trek outside of class, theorizing about the latest published physics papers, and dreaming about astronomy and NASA missions. My math teacher became a mentor and friend. After calculus class, we met during a coinciding free period where neither of us had class. He let me hang out with him in the teacher's lounge and chat about life, the universe, and everything. He and I had differing political views, religious views, and philosophical ideas, and it was fantastic. We had the deepest, most profound and enlightening conversations! My history teacher was also a mentor of mine. I had dinner at his house, watched Star Trek: Enterprise with him and his family, and attended Star Trek conventions with him and other students interested in science fiction. Cranbrook provided me with a community, as well as an education.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I did not participate in the competitive athletics program, but I did participate in a variety of athletic clubs, such as fencing and rock climbing club. I enjoyed these clubs because they took anyone--even an undersized, scrawny teenager like me--and let us have fun while we built strength and skill. They did not take too much time away from schoolwork, and transportation was available to make it convenient. The fencing instruction was very good, and I learned a lot of skill. The climbing instruction was more self-directed, but I still built strength and problem-solving skills while on PlanetRock's walls.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I did not participate in the visual arts, music, or theatre programs.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Robotics, fencing, writing for the school paper, climbing, and self-directed novel-writing were my primary extracurricular activities. There were so many more I could have chosen from that there was no chance I could have been bored at Cranbrook. Instruction in each of these clubs was tailored to the student's desire to engage, with no pressure so that we could focus on academics if necessary. I probably grew the most while climbing. Climbing taught me problem-solving, how to deal with frustration, how to condition my body patiently so that I could achieve physical goals, and how to trust my gear and the partner I was working with. It also introduced me to what is now a lifelong hobby.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Boys and girls are separated on Cranbrook's two campuses--Cranbrook (boys) and Kingswood (girls). There are also separate dining areas for each campus, and buses that run between campuses during the school day. The dorms were updated with modern facilities and were adequate for our needs.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
I always enjoyed the food and thought it was of excellent quality. I thoroughly appreciated the friendliness and the accessibility of the food, the ease of finding seating, and the variety of food offered. Dining was never a dreaded thing for me. Also, Cranbrook's dining hall made me feel like I had stepped into the dining hall in Harry Potter. A cool experience for a teenager!

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham are beautiful areas, with affluent residential areas and plenty of shops to conveniently grab anything one might need (if one has a car to get there).
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Cranbrook was the first school I attended where I was not bullied. Students were raised well, and were almost always polite to me, even if we didn't get along. I had a few close friends, and I was friends with many of my teachers. I felt like I truly found community at Cranbrook, as it was easy to find people with my interests and spend time with them. I felt mentored by the educational staff, and appreciated and respected by my peers. It was a very positive experience.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Cranbrook Schools Alumni #1
    Class of 2016
    5 Stars   7/17/2017
    University of Michigan
    In addition to the high school on Cranbrook, we additionally had an art college that allowed us to observe and experience a multitude of art every day adding to the Cranbrook experience. Consequently, the 500. . .
  • Cranbrook Schools Alumni #2
    Class of 2015
    5 Stars   11/3/2016
    University of Michigan
    The campus is peaceful and beautiful. It's unlike any campus anywhere. I enjoyed exploring many hidden trails with friends and alone. There are two campuses for upper school students: Kingswood and Cranbrook. Ladies reside in. . .
  • Cranbrook Schools Alumni #3
    Class of 2014
    5 Stars   6/24/2014
    University of Southern California
    The faculty member and the architecture of the school are definitely two very important aspect of the school that made my experience unique. With a huge campus of over 300 acres, I get to explore. . .
  • Cranbrook Schools Alumni #4
    Class of 2008
    5 Stars   7/19/2011
    University of Pennslyvania
    The campus is simply amazing. Cranbrook is considered a gem of Michigan, and the reasons are apparent. Cranbrook is a fairly large campus surrounded by nature, lakes, and historic architecture which give the. . .
  • Cranbrook Schools Alumni #5
    Class of 2006
    5 Stars   5/31/2017
    Northwestern University
    Cranbrook gave upper school students freedom to select courses of study that were aligned with their particular interests and future pursuits. I took mostly science and math courses and electives, because I knew I. . .
  • Show more reviews (1 reviews)
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