Groton School - Review #19
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||1980-1983|
|Sports and Activities:||I played competitive sports for one year (Soccer and basketball) but then switched to intramurals. I also participated in the dramatic production in the wintertime. I spent the most time there in the (Now defunct) printing press workshop. We printed the school literary magazine and newspaper. I was managing editor of the yearbook. We did all the typesetting for it ourselves on old letterpress (lead type) equipment.|
|College Enrolled:||Harvard University|
|Home Town, State:||Scarsdale, NY|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Groton was a marvelous place to attend high school. It featured small class sizes, a commitment to serious academics (as well as athletics) and a strong sense of community built around religious ethics. In this sense, Groton may not be unique, per se, but it certainly was distinctive. In comparison to large prep schools, Groton stands out for its ability to create an intimate environment where the student feels part of a bigger whole.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I liked how Groton gave students responsibility and helped them learn how to plan and work toward goals. For example, doing the work of printing the school literary magazine, literally setting one letter at a time in metal type, gave me a good sense of how to plan out projects and the confidence to know that I could achieve what I wanted to if I worked hard.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Groton is a small place, so your behavior gets noticed for better or worse. I would resist attempts to attract unnecessary attention. Everyone will get to know everything about you soon enough!
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I felt that the people at Groton were high quality, kind people. I was always made to feel a part of, rather than apart from, the whole. Not that every moment was blissful, but the general feeling was one of inclusion and friendliness. I got a good high school education and developed some interests that I followed through higher education and career. When I arrived at college, I was well-prepared.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Groton is organized around the Episcopal Church. One does not have to an Episcopalian to go here (I'm Jewish, for example) but if you have any antipathy toward organized religion, this is not the place for you.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
It's likely that academics at Groton have changed in the years since I attended, but some fundamentals are probably still in effect. The school required Latin, which was a terrific language to learn as a springboard for writing English and learning other languages. The school had a very rigorous English requirement which has endured in my current career of writing. Small classes and high quality instruction combined to create an intense sense of focus and seriousness around academic subjects. There were options for independent study in later years.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Sports at Groton were a very serious matter. The emphasis was on sportsmanship but also very much on playing to win. I played on the JV soccer team for 2 years and for one year on the Freshman ("Third Form") basketball team. The coach of that basketball team had previously coached the Cornell Varsity Crew to a national championship. He was a superb coach who helped me improve my skills and made me feel like a part of team even though I was an atrocious player. I am very grateful for that experience. The school also offered a variety of non-competitive sports like club soccer and long distance running. We had 3 hours a day of exercise, no matter what. That was a good thing.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I believe Groton has upgraded its arts programs greatly since 1980. At the time, however, there were plenty of options and some good teaching talent. We did a Shakespeare play in the winter and a Gilbert and Sullivan musical in the spring. There were also smaller dramatic productions. There were several courses on drawing, painting and photography. The woodworking shop, which I didn't participate in, was famous for excellence in cabinetry.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I did photography and the printing press workshop. Those were my passions. We also had some musical extracurriculars. I played the violin and participated in a quartet. There were also opportunities for volunteering and the like but they were not as emphasized in the 1980s as they are now.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
My first two years at Groton were spent in the old "cubicles," 6'x9' doorless rooms. In the 9th grade, we had a "study." These no longer exist, but they were a good introduction to the schools egalitarian value system and helpful or learning to live with others. In the 10th grade, I moved into a more modern dorm room. We had a nice relationship with the dorm master and his family.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
I always liked the food, which came from a company that was later renamed Aramark. It's the same menu they serve at Harvard College and Harvard Business School. I ate that very same Beef Bourginon for many years. We had cafeteria style breakfast and lunch as well as "sit down dinners" five nights a week, where we dressed up in jacket and tie and sat with faculty members' families at dinner.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Groton was a small town with a pizzeria and a drug store. It was fun to walk there on Saturday afternoons. Not a lot going on there... maybe that was a good thing. Groton is in the country. We could take walks in the woods.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I made some very good friends at Groton, of both sexes. In terms dating, Groton had only just gone coed a few years before I arrived there. Things were pretty tame in that department, at least for me and most boys I knew. There was actually a non-credit "course" we all had to take on "human relations and sexuality" so we would know how to handle coeducation without going bananas.
Alumni Reviews Review School
- Review Description
- Stanford University I think the most influential part of Groton is it’s emphasis on community. As an effect of the small size and commitment to inclusion, Groton skillfully combines the independence that comes with attending a boarding. . .
- University of Virginia Groton is unique in its campus set-up. It is centered around the "Circle" a large expanse of grass that is used as a soccer field in the fall and for lawn games in the spring. . .
- Stanford University Groton is a small school in the countryside with immense resources and an extremely demanding academic atmosphere; the first word most students associate with the School is "intense." The School's long history and honored traditions. . .
Tips for athletes applying to boarding school.
This is a fictional interview with the head of a boarding school. After all, her concerns are probably yours as well.
We parents have a multi-faceted role to play in protecting our school-age children during th pandemic.