Hoosac School - Review #1
Reflections and Advice:
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
A very low student-to-faculty ratio which encourage the students to follow their personal dreams while developing their life skills and enjoyment.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
First and far most, Holderness provided my parents a commendable source for educating me in a positive environment. Besides other boarding schools, their choice was public high school which graduated only two out of five hundred seniors to New Jersey's only University. It was a dead-end choice. I learned a very hard lesson about one of life's truths: Achilles' heel. I also learned about the heavy weight of responsibility.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Grab this limited opportunity as your last chance to live life to its fullest. The purpose of private secondary education IS NOT TO PREPARE you for college. Instead, it prepares you how to enjoy LIFE! The faculty is chosen for their specialties to work for you; don't waste that opportunity with personal negativity. Allow your wings to fly and follow your heart . . . not an image, not your pocket book.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Its family atmosphere.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Unfortunately or fortunately, depending upon one's view, the school's physical plant has changed so drastically that there remains little in common. Today's campus offers so much more than we had available to us back then.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I am and was classified as "learning disabled." So, school academics were extremely tough for me; in writing I often reversed words, letters, etc. We did not have personal computers then - more specifically, we did not have "writing programs" available which basically since have enabled me freedom from erasures and re-writing . . . many times over. Holderness faculty made every effort to help me to "communicate" in all forms of expressions. In the end (my mid life), with the introductions of personal computers and writing programs, I became an effective writer. While at Holderness, I was encourage to "challenge," to think "outside of the box," and to immerse myself completely. Back then, our basic education was limited in diversity . . . especially when compared to today's presentation of subjects. I truly enjoy my reunions (both college and Holderness) to sample their current course programs and how current students are challenged to become our leaders of our humanity.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Ice hockey was my featured sport, but our competition was limited to a small "pond." I became a big fish in a small pond but rudely discovered just how limited I was when I dove into the "big pond." However, at that time Holderness did not have financial resources for automatic ice. We had to build and assemble our rink side boards, pack fallen snow into ice, scrape and clean our ice surface after every practice, and spray another layer of water for new ice next day. We earned "pride;" it was not given to us. My hockey coach, Rip, became my life-long friend with whom I remained in touch until his death. Sports/outside activities were mandatory . . . thank goodness. The excess energy generated by puberty really demanded some form of controlled releases. Today, Holderness offers so many advance forms/assets to all sorts of sports.
Art, Music, and Theatre:
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was not in touch with arts, music and theatre back then. Basically, I became too myopic focusing on dumb balls and stupid pucks. After leaving my formal education, I finally slipped into the enjoyment of arts and music; I became 5-string banjo player and eventually a professional zydeco/cajun dancer. I continue to dance whenever I am afforded a chance. I see how Holderness offers so many varied programs to its current students into which they can lose themselves. Absolutely wonderful!
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Back then, in the 50's, we were physically isolated. Extra-curricular activities were extremely limited. I did become involved with photography and learned how to develop black-and-white film with two classmates who were not athletically inclined. Ironically, both of them currently are good friends with whom I remain in touch. Again, I see that Holderness since has opened its doors with so many community programs and opportunities.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
We are now talking about and comparing pre-dinosaur age to today. First, women were not part of the school body. Late night food was unavailable unless one hid such goodies in their room. However, dorm life provided a major source of enjoyment for all of us. We stayed in the same room for the whole school year, but then were able to switch dorms and roommates between school years. I do not believe that I ever witnessed a mid-year transfer.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
We all ate in the same facilty three times per day. The food was fine, but my standards were minimal. Today, Holderness produces absolutely beautiful, colorful, healthy foods. I am jealous.
Social and Town Life:
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Back then, we walked about one mile into our hosting town as an "escape" from the confines of school. Of course, back then, a "we-versus-them" prevailed. I believe all of that has disappeared today; thank goodness. Back then, Plymouth did not have as strong of an identity as it does today. To me, it remains an attractive New England town.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
"Social life?" How stinted could any social life exists among horny young men? Thankfully, financial demands for survival opened the student body to young women! Other than enjoying the company of other males, our so-called social life depended on the availability of all-women schools - not many in the middle of New Hampshire existed back then.
2 hour study
15 minutes before bed
weekend movie or entertainment
15 minutes free before bed
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