Grier School - Review #4
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2003-2005|
|Sports and Activities:||Varsity riding, guitar, lifeguard|
|College Enrolled:||Hollins University|
|Home Town, State:||Baltimore, MD|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
One aspect that sets Grier apart from other schools is that all of the students live on campus - school is home. Under this setup, students also bond more easily with one another, and the friendships are stronger. I still keep in touch with my high school friends, even now that I've gone on to college. Another aspect that makes Grier unique is the faculty. Along with fellow students, who become like sisters, the faculty become surrogate parents. They are coaches as well as advisors, friends as well as mentors. The teachers I got to know at Grier have made such a difference in my life that I will never be able to fully explain.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Grier taught me a lot more than academics. It taught me about myself. It taught me that I am worthy of having amazing friends, and of having amazing experiences. It taught me that hard work really does pay off, and that if I really want to achieve something, and I try hard, I can do it. It taught me that people need to be given second chances, because humans make mistakes, and that that is just a part of life.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Going to boarding school, you need to be willing to try new things. Even if you've never danced before, sign up for a dance class. If you've never been on a horse, sign up for a riding course. Boarding school gives you opportunities you won't have anywhere else. Take advantage of the chances you have here. You also need to be willing to meet new people, because the people you meet in boarding school are the people you will never forget. These are the people who are going to share with you the best times of your life. Remember that teachers can't always read your mind, but that they always want to help you. If you don't understand something, tell them. Ask questions. Go to them after class - they're there to help.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The people. I will never forget the people.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Be sure to have fun. No matter what you do, have fun. Because that's why you're here. And don't be afraid to make a fool of yourself. That's what school is for.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The teachers at Grier are amazing. It's true. Even in subjects I despise, I found myself looking forward to attending class because the teachers were so wonderful. They make boring subjects interesting. If you don't understand something, they will explain it, and explain it again in a different way until you get it. They don't give up, even if you try to give up. However, they are more than the people who assign homework. They are there to talk to whenever you need. There is a built-in time every day for students to go to teachers and get any needed extra-help. The teachers don't yell when you don't understand something. They expect you to ask questions. That is, after all, the point of going to school. Classes range from ESL to AP. Students can take some AP classes and others in more basic and conceptual styles. Competition is really not an issue at Grier. As long as you complete your assignments and keep up your grades, you will be fine. Students do not pick their friends based on grades.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Athletics at Grier takes place every afternoon, and they are required. There are lots of choices, however, depending on how involved you wish to be. For example, you can choose to participate in hiking class, which lasts an hour, or you can try-out for a Varsity sport, which generally practices for two hours. There is also an amazing dance program which one can participate in to fulfill the athletics requirement. Each year and term the Varsity options may change slightly. In general, however, the following are available: Fall: Soccer, tennis, riding (English) Winter: Basketball, riding Spring: Softball, riding During my senior year, I was a member of the Varsity Riding Team. It was, and I do not exaggerate here, one of the best experiences of my life. The friendships I made with the team members will last forever, as will the amazing relationships with my instructors. We were a family, and we always had fun no matter what we were doing. I always felt included, even though I hadn't been on the team for a long time. I learned so much about horses, about riding, and about myself. As for facilities, Grier has a gym, an outdoor pool, dance studios (see below), numerous wooded acres for hiking, soccer and softball fields, and many tennis courts. There is also opportunity to ski and or snowboard during the winter months. If you want to be a part of a team, you usually can, as all sports are open to all grades, from seventh through twelfth.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Currently, a brand-new dance/theater building is under construction. The visual arts and music building is also relatively new and it is always sparkling and clean. Students are permitted to take private music lessons in a variety of instruments, as well as vocal instruction. Students use a class period and meet a determined number of days a week for a private lesson. On the other days, during that period, the student is expected to practice in one of the available practice rooms. There are a few times throughout the year for student recitals, including a big holiday and graduation performance. There are also opportunities to join musical groups, either singing, or instrumental. Students also sometimes create their own performance groups if there are currently none in existence that satisfy them. Each year there is a play or musical in the theater department, and anyone is welcome to try-out. Classes in costume design, set design, and so forth, create all the needed materials for the play (which is performed for local elementary schools) during class periods. There is also a drama class, separate from the production, which, along with other things, performs various skits during morning assembly and other times. Art courses are in abundance at Grier, and are all considered academic classes. A few include pottery, drawing, sculpting, weaving, and batik, though they tend to change from term to term and year to year. Grier is very attentive to the arts, and believes strongly in their ability to facilitate in self-expression and creativity.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
If ever a student wishes a program to be, it can be. Grier is very willing to create new clubs and activities if a student wishes. In my senior year, the head of school decided it would be a fun idea to start a scholastic team, and so we did. Every year, there is an international day, as more than fifty percent of our school community consists of students from other countries. On the international day, students represent various countries through dance performances, skits, or any other method they come up with. In the evening, dinner, cooked all day by the students, is served. All the countries serve many foods and the celebration is magnificent. Everyone looks forward to and prepares greatly for international day.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Most rooms are suites in style. Two rooms are connected by a bathroom shared by four girls. As a new student, you fill out a form and your roommate is selected according to matched living preferences. After that, you may choose your roommate and room, generally first-come, first serve. One unique aspect of Grier living is that we have housemothers. Instead of dorm faculty, which may be teachers in academic subjects at the school, housemothers have the sole job of keeping peace on the halls. Housemoms genuinely love the girls, and look after them as if they are their own. They make sure girls are in their rooms for study-hall and lights-out, and develop a relationship with the girls that is truly special. Housemoms are there if a student ever needs someone to talk to, also. They are like a mom, a big sister, and a grandmother all in one.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The cafeteria serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is open during specific hours for the students. Lunch is divided into two periods so that there is ample room for students to sit and eat. Dinner is required on weekdays and is served after sports. The food changes often, and there are many international options available.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
On weekends, there are trips which students can sign up for as long as they are in good academic and disciplinary standing. There is a mall nearby, as well as a Walmart. Grier is far enough away from the main town so that there is not a lot of interruption. It allows for more of a community feel to the school. A lot of the faculty live on campus, and this too allows for a familiar atmosphere.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I love the friends I have made at Grier. Nowhere else would I have found such an amazing group of individuals. I have friends from all over the globe, and from all different life-styles. Living so close, we all become a family, and it is wonderful to have such amazing people at your side. The friends I have made at Grier have taught me so much, and I hope to continue our friendships for a good long while.
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