Episcopal High School - Review #12
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2001-2003|
|Sports and Activities:||I joined every musical activity possible. Orchestra became a huge part of my life, and it was a wonderful experience to play with other students. We often played in Chapel, and also had recitals. I took private lessons in piano and clarinet, which I also really enjoyed. Pit orchestra in the winter was super, super fun. Many students become involved in music and the arts while they are there. There are several a capella groups, a musical production every winter, two plays throughout the year, numerous arts classes, and opportunity to study any kind of instrument with awesome private teachers. Episcopal also has a wonderful new arts building, with several stages, many practice rooms, and a recording studio. This new giant on campus is so amazing, that I´m sure I would have lived in it if it was finished while I was there.|
|College Enrolled:||Wellesley College|
|Home Town, State:||Onancock, VA|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
There are several things that make Episcopal unique. The classes are small and held in discussion style, which I found to be a wonderful way to learn. Teachers and students develope good relationships because we see them not only in class, but also have lunch with them and run into them around campus. Some of my teachers really became my friends and mentors as well.The Honor Code is important. When we are living together, we can trust everyone else. This way, we feel comfortable leaving our bookbags lying around random spots on campus, and teachers give us take-home exams.The school is located in Alexandria, which is twenty minutes from downtown DC. We had opportunities to go with our class into DC as supplement to our studies. Students have gone to Crossfire of CNN for their AP government class, which I think is good times. I became really involved with music at school. Every month or so, we would receive an email about all the cultural activities planned. They are wonderful excursions to the Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, or whatever venue with interesting programs. To such an email, I would only need to reply, and on the day of the performance, an Episcopal van would take us there. I saw so many wonderful performances while I was there, for example, Kurt Masur conducting the New York Philharmonic, John Williams conducting his own music, Murray Perahia, Alvin Ailey, Mamma Mia... The cultural events are really uncomparable. Those are things that I will never forget.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
In the two year I was there, I learnt so much about the world around me and about myself. Boarding school is an invaluable experience.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I didn´t know really what to expect, and I don´t know if it´s necessary. It was good to be surprised and sometimes, even mildly shocked.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Classes, teachers, friends, Harrison, grass, trees, squirrels, puppies on campus...
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Chocolate cookies at the snack bar are stuff that dreams are made of. One may feel the need to gawk at the Ainslie Arts Center. When backpacking across campus, a good place to stay is the Harrison dorm (although book ahead at least a year in advance, because it fills up quickly and remains so).
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I always looked forward to going to class. There are so many interesting classes and also many AP classes, that it is only hard to settle on what to take. Some of my favorites were Religious Thought in Music, AP Micro and Macroeconomics, and AP Physics B. I learnt so much in them and also had a lot of fun. The workload depends on what kind of classes the students take. AP classes are of course more work than regular classes. The learning environment is healthy competition where everybody helps everybody else out. One would find a couple of study groups assembled on nights before a test.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
There is a certain number of athletic credits students must earn to graduate. Few have problems filling them. There are so many sports available to students. Epsicopal is also highly competitive in many of them. There is a gym with weight rooms, a swimming pool, tennis courts, baseball court, outdoor track, and a huge indoor track. Outdoor excursions are provided by options of Outdoor Program, Rock Climbing, Kayaking and so on. Ballet, Jazz, and modern dance also fulfills the athletic requirement.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved that fact that there was always such a large offering. Possibilities include: all kinds of sports, yearbook, the computer team that updates the web which I don´t know what they are called, independent study in photo or art, community service, and so on. One unique option that I took advantage of is independent study in music. I practiced instruments in the afternoons and kept a log of my progress, culmunating in a end of season recital.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life is truly unforgettable. We lived in single-sex dorms, and the freshmen lived together on one dorm. The dorm life is kept in order by monitors, who are student leaders. room are usually doubles, with a sprinkling of triples and singles. Room selection is determined by a lottery system. Upperclassmen can have fridges in their rooms, and there is a fridge on dorm for everyone. My dorm mothers often brought food to 10 o´clock sign-ins, which we adored them for. Running around the dorm looking for food is also a good way to keep in touch with old friends and make news ones.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining hall has big round tables. Regular meals are buffet style. Seated meals have student waiters. We have seated meals on weekday lunches and Monday dinner, where there is at least one teacher at each table, and seating is rotated. Food is pretty good. Brunch on Sundays is excellent.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The center fulfills your every need. It is a five minute walks from campus and has Rite Aid, small restaurants, bank, a grocery store, and Maggie Moo´s. Other places popular destinations are Old town, Shirlington, Pentagon City Mall, Georgetown... One would never have trouble going somewhere fun.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Boarding school collects students from everywhere. Things we have in common may not be so obvious at first. I made friends that are very different from I am in where we come from, what we have done before, or even what we will do later, but we share the same interests, same sense of humor, or same taste in music. They are valuable friends that I can learn much from.
|8:30 AM||Class begins|
|10:30 AM||Break, Snack Bar opens for frantic service|
|12:00 PM||Chapel or Community Meeting|
|1:00 PM||Class resumes|
|3:00 PM||Class ends|
|3:45 PM||Sports and afternoon activities begin|
|5:00 PM||Afternoon activities end|
|6:00 PM||Seated dinner|
|7:00 PM||Study, freshmen have study halls|
|9:30 PM||Pizza for sale at Snack Bar|
|10:00 PM||Sign in on dorm|
|11:00 PM||Bedtime for freshmen, later times for upperclassmen|
|10:00 AM||Awake, take breakfast|
|12:00 PM||Sign on AIM and see if my friends are awake|
|1:00 PM||Hopefully, they are, and wander to the center and eat|
|5:45 PM||Sign in on dorm|
|7:00 PM||Eat some good food off campus, watch a movie, something like that|
|11:00 PM||Sign in for the last time|
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