Art, Art, Art

349-Maisy Cadwallader

by Maisy Cadwallader ’20

I love the arts. Everything from sculpture to the theater to doodling on paper. Back in my hometown my school offered one art class every year where we would learn the basics. I would learn the same color wheels every year and to be honest it got a bit boring and I was ready to try something new. My main interest was painting and drawing and when I was about 11 years old my Dad renovated the computer room into an art room and I would sit at the art table for hours on end. At the end of the day I would go to bed covered in paint and glue, but still get up the next day and start again.

Coming from a school that didn’t have a wide variety and perspective on arts I was excited to see the list George School had to offer. I looked up and down the list for the painting and drawing box and immediately checked it off as my number one!

In class the first day when my teacher mentioned that the year would be about learning the basics of art and how to apply them, I fell into grump. I didn’t want to learn them again! As the year went by I noticed that we weren’t only being taught them but also how to use them, not just what they were. Painting and drawing quickly became my favorite class and I looked forward to it every day. The projects got more and more complex and interesting and creativity was welcomed. As a result of a great first year in the class I decided I would take it again.

This year has been even better. Since we have the skills needed to create a piece of thoughtful work we are doing more projects that let us decide the story it tells. We just started a new collage project that incorporates pictures and paint. To do this we are to use one figure, one scenery and, one object. With just this as the base for the project I am interested in seeing what I come up with! So far painting and drawing has never ceased to surprise me and teach me new things. I am happy to say I still love the arts!

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An Unexpected Opportunity

fernando

by Fernando Rojas ’18

I never knew much about the prospect of opportunities while living in the area of Bristol, Pennsylvania. Chances came by rarely, so you barely heard about anyone living in riches or having the opportunity to do something drastic with their life. It was expected that most kids would just go to my local public school, Harry S. Truman, and I was content with that idea. Well, up until 8th grade. When I first received news of my acceptance to George School, I distinctly remember sitting in my room eating a bag of Cheetos. It came as shock but I was neither nervous nor excited of the news. I simply did not know what to think, but besides of the fact that it was the commencement of a new chapter in my life. Eventually, the last day of middle school happened. It was one of the toughest days I ever faced because I was leaving friends I knew since age 5 and we did not know what our relationship would look like.

Now, it has been about 4 years since that day. Thankfully, I have kept in contact with a large majority of my friends back home. Currently, I am now a senior at George School and I have loved every single moment of it. There is nothing I would change for this experience. I have met tons of unique individuals who strive for nothing but success in their lives. Ultimately, I now have a total of three families. One of course being with my brothers, sister, and parents, and the other two being with the friends I love from both schools- Harry S. Truman and George School.

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A Day in the Life

By Alice Ke ’19

Edited by Connor Stoklosa ’19

My name is Alice Ke and I’m a Junior day student at George School. I live about 10 minutes away from school right outside of Newtown, and this is my day in the life shot through a GoPro strapped to my chest for the day. The day in this video was actually quite a special day on campus, Valentine’s Day! (hence the flowers and pink heart donuts) Every Valentine’s Day, Student Council organizes carnation sales, ones you can buy for friends, faculty, anyone on campus that you’d like to show your platonic, romantic, or even familial love for. I hope you get a sense of the great, positive, and loving energy that’s constantly on campus and among our GS community.

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Tabletop Club

Sam King

by Samuel King ’19

Every Friday evening, from six to nine, the largest club on campus meets to fight dragons, conquer kingdoms, or fight off a deadly disease. The Tabletop Club (TTC for short) is dedicated to playing board games and role-playing games, ranging from Jenga to Dungeons and Dragons.

At the beginning of every meeting, members announce which game they’re running, or continue a game left off from the last meeting. There’s something for everyone: first-timers can try a less serious game like Munchkin, a parody of more complex role-playing games, or Briefcase Enigma, a game in which five players (four of which have a train ticket) compete to board a train, designed by a previous TTC leader. Games can last anywhere from fifteen minutes to the whole three hours.

For people who are less about story-telling and more about having a laugh, the club has their share of those games too. Exploding Kittens, One Night Ultimate Werewolf (or Vampire!), and others are enjoyed by students. Some games take unconventional forms – Jackbox, a quiz-based party game, is played on a computer, with players entering answers on their phones.

No matter the game, the best part, and I think the reason we are all really there, is to hang out with our friends and make new ones. Some of my best friends were found very early on freshmen year in TTC. If you are looking for fun and new friends, come hang with us next Friday. See you in McFeeley.

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Social Justice and Activism

by Jayde Dieu ’20

I have always had a passion for social justice and activism. I believe that in the day and age that we live in, cultural consciousness and involvement are critical to building a society that lives up to its incredible potential. In my years before George School, I remember feeling hopeless. I was filled with so much passion and eagerness to make a difference, but it was difficult to find a means of doing so. I felt as though I would be unable to make any contribution that would change the world the way I dreamed of doing. After becoming a student at George School, the tools and resources that I have been provided have shown me that I can truly make that change. When I sat in my first Meeting for Worship as a newly accepted student, I remember the feeling that it gave me. It was as though a fire had ignited within me. As I listened to the current students share their thoughts and ideas with such passion and freedom, I knew that George would be the place that made my dreams of inspiring change a reality. As I complete my second year, I can see how that passion has inspired action. I, along with a few of my classmates, started a club on campus for spoken word poetry called GS Slam. It is an outlet for people to utilize the power of words as a tool to entertain, enlighten, and inspire. Being in this club and the many others on campus that are similar has made me hopeful and optimistic for the things I will be equipped to accomplish after high school. Being a member of the George School community has shown me that you are never too young to make a difference and you’re never too wise to realize it’s your difference to make.

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Thoughts on Balancing Extracurriculars

279-Priya Tarpley

by Priya Tarpley ’18

Since freshman year, I’ve been a part of multiple activities and clubs. Here at GS, all clubs are student-run, and they range from things like Anime Club to Model UN. Every student group sets their own meeting times and dates, but generally clubs are after dinner on weekdays, and are held in a designated space. It provides students with an opportunity to express their interests and explore with their likes and dislikes, and all you need to create a club is a faculty sponsor and 10 student signatures. It’s really simple – and because our days are just so packed, it is nice to have an allocated time to relax and do something that you enjoy.

One of my favorite clubs is Umoja, which is the black student affinity group on campus. We meet after dinner on Wednesdays, and we talk about issues within the black community at George School, our respective cities, and in the world. It provides us with a platform for discussion, and, provided the club leaders apply, a group can have a designated weekend for their club. Umoja Weekend had a dance, two cultural conversations, and a trip to Six Flags that was open to the community. As students, we actually shape a lot of our George School experience, and looking back as a senior, because of extracurricular activites and the people who ran them, I would not have had as great of a time as I did.

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Memorable GS Moment

by Ryan Oster ’19

One of my most memorable moments at George School was my sophomore year baseball season. I hadn’t played baseball for 3 years prior but was able to make the varsity team after deciding to return to the sport. Coaches Vince Campellone and George Long were extremely supportive and patient with me during the season. I had lost a lot of baseball instincts when I stopped playing but they were pivotal in helping me gain my skills back. For example, when I did play, my usual position was first base. But, our first baseman was a senior and we had a vacancy in left field. I needed to fill the spot even though I had never played there before. The coaches made sure to give me extra reps in practice and instilled their trust into me and started me in left for 6 or 7 games. Although I wasn’t the best, they were understanding and this led to an increase in confidence for me because now I wouldn’t be nervous if I made a mistake (there were more than a few). They also made sure to give me time at first base because the first baseman at the time was graduating. I am grateful for this because now I am more confident this year playing first base than if I didn’t have that extra practice. I am glad I tried baseball again and I am grateful that GS gave me the opportunity to do this. Our team made it to the semifinal last year and this year I think we can do better. Our team chemistry is great and we are always having fun.

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Focused Studying

by Ryan Tufford ’20

At George School, most new students think that the amount of school work is overwhelming. Coming here last year, I had the same worry. I thought it would be hard to adjust from my middle school workload to a rigorous high school workload. To my surprise it was not that difficult to adjust. It took me a bit of time to balance my school work with things outside of school like sports and even enjoying a social life seemed like a challenge at first. I learned that there are ways here to become better at time management, some that are mandatory at George School, and some that I had to personally work towards.

As a boarder, I have a required study hall period from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Sunday nights. This may seem like a hassle for new students, but it is hard to put into words how beneficial those two hours a night can be. It is a time where I am required to focus on work, and I would not be as productive without study hall.

Some nights I am unable to complete all my work in the two hours, so I have to adjust my schedule and this may mean less socializing during or after dinner. Nonetheless, the ways I have changed to obtain a better schedule here have had a great positive influence on me. I know I definitely had to make changes to balance out school work and activities after school, but those changes were not that hard to make.

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#SayYesToGS — A Parent’s Perspective


Ava Navarro ’18 signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to join Duke University’s fencing team. Her parents, grandparents, friends, and coaches joined in the celebration.

by Al Navarro
Parent of Ava Navarro (Class of 2018)

With the deadline for matriculation decisions approaching, I am guessing there may be some parents out there who may be new to the concept of boarding school and find themselves in the middle of considering whether or not to send their children to George School (or another private school) instead of their local public school.

I wanted to share a perspective of a parent who is fairly well-versed in the boarding school world. Our older daughter graduated from a boarding school, and our younger daughter (who is in the George School Class of 2018) attended another boarding school for her first two years of high school. Additionally, my wife was a boarding student at the private high school we both attended years ago. So I have researched, toured, and re-visited many of the “usual suspects” in the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas.

In the context of this experience, we have been VERY happy with George School’s approach to just about everything. I would probably single out their college counseling process as especially good in comparison to our experiences with the other schools. To me, it just struck the right balance in terms of timing and communication. George School has been a great place for our daughter to finish her high school experience.

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Culture Shock, Vietnam and Plastic Bottles: Lessons Learned (thus far) at GS

226-William Street

by Will Street ’18

When I was first driving through what I would later call Newtown, my first thought was, “Wow, this place is super white.” Now, I would ask that you excuse me for that, as I come from a city that is quite literally the blackest municipality in the country with an 82% African-American or Black population. I also ask that you remain conscious that I had always been around people who looked differently than me, but an entire city? Never that.

When I hit George School’s campus, though, I released a long, loud sigh of relief when I saw a group of people of color walking across campus, and a smile went across my face when I saw that the group was not monolithic. There was an Asian student, a black student, a white student, and a Hispanic student all laughing and enjoying each other’s company. What I did not know that day is that, that friend group would mirror mine in the coming years. I would make an Asian friend who lives in the bustling city of Seoul, I would make friends who look like me but their origins span from the Bronx to Somalia and I would make white friends from small, rural towns in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This is proof that George School is not just a melting pot, but it is a massive cauldron of cultures, races, and identities. All that said, there were still growing pains in me reaching this conclusion.

Walking into my room on August 31, 2014 would be the event that would change my perspective on culture and would challenge my patience and my desire to keep an open mind. I stopped in front of the door, and the name read “Truong Son Nguyen Viet” and I felt my face scrunch up and my parents prodded me to open the door. They were seemingly as nervous and unsure as I was. I opened the door and I saw a tall, lanky, large headed (Son, forgive me for that) figure standing and putting away his clothes. He turned around  and there was a brief pause. He broke the silence by saying, “Hi, my name is Son” and held out his hand for me to shake. Admittedly, he was harder to understand, but we’ll address that later.

The first couple of months were bad. We argued about the room being cleaned (I was the dirty one), my volume of showers a day and how loud my friends were when they came inside of the room. A couple of years later, he would later admit that he wanted to make a roommate switch, but luckily he didn’t. After our rough patch, we made a deal that if I taught him to speak English more proficiently, he would teach me Vietnamese curse words. As a freshman, this was a sweet quid pro quo. There were many nights where we would talk and whenever he mispronounced a word, I would kindly tell him the correct pronunciation. In return, he would spend 10 minutes helping me properly pronounce how to tell someone off in his language. We would have extensive conversations, albeit at times uncomfortable, about foreign policy namely the Vietnamese war and how the way we’re taught about it differs. These conversations changed how I viewed the world and encouraged me to be a more understanding, open minded global citizen and he admitted that I changed his perspective on race and how he viewed people of color. We remained roommates up until our senior year, and it was not by choice that we were separated. We were given prefect in different dorms.

Now, at this point you may be wondering what plastic bottles has to do with one of my important lessons. 9th grade, I had been elected to student council as a class representative, and my motives were not pure. In fact, I had this Machiavellian-esque plan to take over the council that ultimately failed, so I would go on to fight every battle that came before us as a council and was debateable. There was one moment that would teach me a lesson that would be important to my development as a GS man. One day, a proposal came before us to discuss the use of plastic water bottles. I thought to myself: “this is my chance!” I tirelessly researched plastic bottle usage and how it would hurt the American worker. I said my points before the meeting, and people looked at me confused and some were chuckling. Later that year, Tom Hoopes would give me the wisdom I needed all along and that was to pick your battles carefully. That made me realize that every hill is not worth dying on and there are more noble and pure causes to have discourse over. This skill is going to help me in my life as a public servant and global citizen and it will always remind me to make sure my motivations are pure and that something is a fight worth fighting.

There it is. I tied together Culture Shock, Vietnam and Plastic Bottles. I reckon Kim McGlyn is to be given credit for that!

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