Category Archives: A Day in the Life

One Day at George School

by Connor Stoklosa ’19

My name is Connor Stoklosa and I am a Junior day student at George school. I live roughly twenty minutes away, on the other side of Newtown. This video is what a day of my George School life looks like through my eyes. Join me on my adventure and gain a greater understanding of our community.

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Student Leadership at George School

There is never a moment when you are not around a student leader. In the dining hall, on the athletic fields, in the classrooms, and even in your dorm. Our student leaders are all around us and sometimes without us knowing that one is in our presence. From being a curious freshman to needing help with my Pre-Calculus homework, I have always taken advantage of the student leaders around me. They always make me feel like I belong at George School and they are a big part of the many reasons why being here means so much to me. Since I had such a positive experience with the student leaders I interact with, I wanted the opportunity to spread this warmth I felt to others.

I applied for my first leadership position at the end of my sophomore year. I knew that by then I had the necessary tools to handle any situation that was presented to me. I basically had two years of being a student at George School under my belt, which let me familiarize myself with the rules, the adult support, and some connections that have helped me make the most out of my experience here. The position was called a Junior Peer Group Leader; the purpose of peer group is to integrate the newest members of our George School family properly onto our campus. My favorite part of peer group as a freshman was watching Disney movies with pizza, cookies, and soda before my next class. It was such a good break from my chaotic day and I made a lifelong friend because of peer group.

I knew that I would be a good match for the position, but I constantly had concerns about the people not liking me or not planning fun activities or even if they would ever speak to me again after our short time we spent together. All of these feelings quickly vanished when I first met the people I would be spending about an hour a week with. The group was so friendly, outgoing, and always had funny stories to tell the group. We spent most of our time just talking about our George School experiences and what we hope for in the future. We also played silent Hide-and-Go-Seek in the library after eating a bag of clementines. These sessions were the highlight of my week and a breath of fresh air during some stressful times. Being a peer group leader allowed me to form close relationships with different people who I would have never imagined being close to.

Although Junior Peer Group was the first of my leadership positions, it was certainly not my last. I am a Varsity Cheerleading Captain, Lead Tour Guide, and Prefect in Central Main. These positions are all special to me in their own way and when I reflect on why I chose to apply, it all boils down to one reason: George School gave me the confidence to interact with those who you might not initially be close with, but will have the ability to form a genuine connection with these individuals. I am appreciative of the leadership positons I have held/currently hold, and I hope that I have inspired others to follow in my footsteps.

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My Life and Theater

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By Tucker Ballantyne ’18

When I first came to George School I was insanely shy. I had a few friends that I talked to, but that was about it. I hated how shy I was, but had no idea what I could do to change myself.

During sophomore year course sign-ups, I saw theater and thought to myself, why not? For an introvert, going on stage and acting is the most terrifying thing in the world. That being said, I really wanted to change. I went through the theater equivalent of a trial by fire. Every time I went in front of the class I would do something embarrassing and funny. Though it was difficult at first, once you’re used to intentionally embarrassing yourself, everything else is easy.

That gave me the courage to participate in a few of the full theater productions that we do each term. It was incredibly fun and I learned a lot about myself in learning how to be more outgoing. I am going to be going off to college soon, and even though I’m majoring in something about as far from theater as possible, mechanical engineering, I still hope to be able to participate in any theatrical productions I can. Through theater I have emboldened myself to the point where I’m not afraid to go onstage and perform, and I’ve made a lot of friends. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is scared to put themselves out there but still wants to try.

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Why GS is the BEST!

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by Chloe Lentchner ’19

The Community is unlike any other

Never have I ever been a part of a place so warm and welcoming before I arrived at George School. GS is such a unique school because everyone actually cares about you and your success.

You can purse your interests

At George School you will find people who are passionate about so many different things and that is because you are able to explore any interests you may have. The arts department is filled with all sorts of classes such as, theater, painting and drawing, ceramics, woodworking, and dance. While our athletic department has so many sport options such as, swimming, equestrian and field hockey. For students who have interests beyond that you can create a club or join a club like Model UN or Argo (the student run literary magazine). It’s so cool that we all have the chance to continue to dive deeper into things that you love but at the same time, discover new interests.

The Traditions

For being open for 125 years now, GS has acquired a lot of traditions that the students and community as a whole get excited about. One thing that I personally look forward to is Live Music Weekend. LMW is put together by Goldfish n’ Java (a student music club) and is a weekend on campus filled with student performances. I am a musician myself and having the chance to perform with my friends and for my friends is such a fun time.

You can be yourself!

In a community like George School you will be accepted for whoever you are. That’s why I love GS because the people you meet are genuine. By being yourself, you will find friends that you connect with and create lifelong friendships, which is why I think GS is the actual best!

 

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Managing Stress

by Aaron Zhao ‘19

Stress plays a major part of every high school student’s life; however, George School is the ideal place to cope with it. As an international student, I have come a great distance from home and am managing the long separation from my family. In the beginning, both physical and emotional feelings impacted me. Nevertheless, organizations and people are here at George School to ensure everyone’s well-being from consultation sessions with faculty members to simply just talking to one of the student members of SAGE (Students Associated for Greater Empathy). At the same time, stress is not consistently a negative emotion or feeling. Oftentimes, just the right amount of stress encourages me to avoid procrastination and learn self-discipline.

George School stimulates the development of individuality through the freedom of learning, not only for boarding students, but for day students as well. Every night I attend the two-hour study hall in Mollie Dodd Anderson Library to complete assignments and study with other students. In addition, term exams can be overwhelming for some students, but at George School there are people at the Learning Center who are always there to assist students with any problems.

From a personal experience, adapting to the George School environment was difficult at first, but becoming acclimated to the workload I slowly developed time management, collaboration skills with groups, individuality, coping abilities, and adaptability.

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You Know You’re a George School Student When:

by Julia Wilson and Grace Clark

1. You get up close and personal with a squirrel.

Rumor has it that one stole a piece of pizza right from a student’s hands.

 

2. You eat Bettye’s cookies more than once a week.

They’re better than your Grandma’s.

 

3. The activity you get most competitive in is playing foursquare.

You are recruited Division 1 foursquare for college.

 

4. You have rolled down South Lawn more than once.

Or maybe you just slid on the Student Council Slip n’ Slide.

 

5. You think some alumni are still students.

They’re always here.

 

6. You religiously follow @GSculinart on Instagram.

Smokin’ Sean can cook up some good fried rice.

 

7. You’re confident that you and your friends are the last people on earth to use a film camera and lab.

But it is so cool, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

8. When you find a “Mind the Light” sticker from 10 years ago on your dorm room light switch.

They are everywhere.

 

9. You don’t “step on the circle” because it’s bad luck.

You also have searched for the steam tunnels and gone ghost hunting in Tate House.

 

10. Either you or one of your friends has dressed up as your teacher for Halloween.

Ralph Lelii and Travis are popular choices.

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Learning on the Fields and Courts

by Max Malavsky ’18

My favorite activities at George School are varsity basketball and varsity soccer. Through playing two varsity sports, I’ve learned how important teamwork and leadership are on and off the court and field. In addition, I’ve learned to develop my time management skills through juggling two hour practices, games that include hour and a half bus rides, and homework from the six classes that I am enrolled in. These obstacles have not only made me a better student-athlete, but also have allowed me to understand the importance of representing George School to the best of my ability whether or not I’m wearing the green and white.

Personally, I am happy that George School strongly recommended that first year students play a team sport. I know that I made some of my best friends through freshmen soccer and have maintained those friendships to this day. Sports as a whole promote the coming together of students to achieve a common goal and they are a great way to make friends and develop relationships that go beyond the classroom. Overall, I am thankful for the opportunity to represent George School outside the classroom by being the goalkeeper for the varsity soccer team and the shooting guard for the varsity basketball team.

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Top 10 Ways You Know You’re a George School Student

by Alice Ke ’19

1. You call teachers by their first name!

Hey Kevin! Hey Faith! Relationships with teachers are casual and friendly. You might see them as a teacher or a mentor in the classroom, but they are also there for you as a friend.

2. You’ve sprinted up the hill from the Mollie Dodd Anderson Library to McFeely.

We all dread that long walk from one end of campus to the complete opposite, hopefully your teacher will understand why you are late.

3. You get excited for the games against rival Westtown!

Support our sports teams! Moose Points! Moose Cup! Everyone gets hyped to come out and cheer on our Friends Schools League rival Westtown. The energy is amazing for both the team and the crowd of Cougar crazy fans.

4. You may technically be a day student, but let’s be real, you’re pretty much a boarder since you spend so much time on campus.

Dinner and study hall during the weekdays are staples for most day students. Activities on Fridays and over the weekend are the best of times—ranging from fairs to movies, and Student Council Weekend.

5. You’ve heard everyone talk about the IB program and how it’s so rigorous.

In truth, it’s hard. International Baccalaureate is one of George School’s most renowned programs, and those who choose to do the classes or diploma know that they’re getting into an academically challenging curriculum. Between internal assessments and the IB exams, it is a lot of work, but the recognition and diploma in the end are the ultimate feeling of satisfaction.

6. You’ve witnessed a dance battle happen on Red Square due to a Four Square disagreement.

Four Square gets intense. An iconic George School tradition enjoyed by everyone on campus. Sometimes disagreements break out on who is to blame for the ball going out, or if the ball even did go out. The only way to settle such a brawl is simple: a dance battle.

7. You’ve heard conversations in at least three different languages across campus.

With a wide diversity of international students on campus, you’re bound to hear a foreign language you’ve never heard before and could not fathom understanding. Chances are you can probably pick up phrases from some of these languages from an international friend and feel accomplished!

8. You’ve spent an afternoon relaxing (and possibly napping) on South Lawn.

After a long day, if it’s nice outside, South Lawn is the ultimate spot to unwind and destress on a nice day.

9. STICKY BUNS!

An iconic George School dessert. Sticky buns. The most gooey, delicious treats you’ll find in the dining hall. Bless the days that you see sticky buns waiting for you on the dessert platter.

10. You’ve found a family here.

The sense of community is by far the strongest of the Quaker values (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Equality, Community, Stewardship) that George School embodies. Ranging from students, to faculty, to staff, to pets, and many others, the George School community is one that simply cannot be replicated. It is what makes George School feel like home.

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Tips for Newly Accepted International Students at George School

by Elenore Wang ’18

As I am munching on lotus flavored moon cake from Lan, our Chinese teacher, I realize it is the fourth Mid-Autumn Festival that I have spent at George School. It has been four years since I flew across the earth from a Chinese public school to George School, a place that seemed so strange but full of opportunities to the ninth grade me at the time. Looking back, I can say my four years here as an international student have been very happy and fulfilling. If you follow my advice below, I promise you too will have a fabulous journey at George School.

1. Be yourself

I know it is a cliché, but this really is the key to happiness at George School. When I first came to campus, I felt compelled to ingratiate myself with American kids by pretending to be someone I am not, because I was afraid of being different. Later, I realized this concern was completely unnecessary, because George School is the most accepting place you will ever find. Pretending is exhausting and futile, for everyone at George School respects and values individuality. If you are confident just being yourself, friends will come to you and you will be much happier.

2.    Don’t be afraid and try your best

George School offered me countless opportunities to do things I never thought I could do before. Not only did I have fun trying things out, but I also found my passion—film. I took film class my sophomore year and immediately fell in love with it. Now, I am known among my friends as “the filmmaker” and I am happy about it. Before I made my first film I was terrified, because I had zero experience. However, the tremendous support and encouragement that George School offered me eliminated my fear of failure. Feel free to try anything you like—sports, like lacrosse, or arts, like film. As long as you are willing to give your maximum effort, you have no reason to be afraid because you will succeed.

3.    Have fun!

Always remember that George School wants you to have fun. Please do not over-stress yourself and enjoy the George School years to come!

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Summer: The Perfect Time to Learn?

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by Addie Gerszberg ’18

While rest seemed to be a critical part of many students’ agendas this past summer, so was learning for the many of us who take the time to investigate passions that the busy grind of the school year often prohibits us from pursuing. For me, those passions are international relations and learning more about the world’s languages and cultures. This summer, I focused my attention on learning about Japan after I was grateful to have been accepted to the High School Diplomats Program at Princeton University.

This program, which has run for the last 30 years thanks to the generosity of AIU Insurance Company of Tokyo and the Freeman Foundation, focuses on friendship, community, and peace: values that were all consistent with what I have learned at George School. During the ten days of this program, my Japanese roommate, Hana, and I had the opportunity to see diplomacy at its most basic level: through friendship. Through each days’ themes and scheduling, all of the Japanese and American students engaged in meaningful activities and conversations. I will never forget when my friend, Mizuki, from Hiroshima, shared her grandmother’s experience of the atomic bombings of their city during World War II. Likewise, my friend Sayaka’s story about being from Fukushima and the impact the nuclear power plant disaster following an earthquake and tsunami in 2011 has had on her life was also profoundly moving. Through these friendships, what I had previously only learned in history books, came to life, and while those examples are of atrocities, the positive stories these new friends have shared are already too numerous to count. These jovial experiences of connection among us “high school diplomats” are best exemplified through two of my favorite days of the program: the Japanese culture festival and the Paula Chow Diplomat Talks.

During the festival, I gained cultural insights, and a closeness to Hana, that I had not had before through partaking in a traditional tea ceremony, appreciating the art of calligraphy, and playing games. This experience was only strengthened by wearing traditional Japanese dresses called yukata (light cotton kimono) with Hana. This gift from my roommate is one I treasure dearly.

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While the festival was light hearted, the Diplomat Talks took on a more serious note, enabling all of the Japanese and American students to have discussions about the world in which we live. Being a George School student and having learned about how to have these kinds of difficult discussions was the best preparation I could have had to fully embrace the experience. The program and my education complimented each other, and while George School has taught me how to be an engaged community member, High School Diplomats enhanced my ability to be a global citizen. Now a month after I have completed the program, I have been gifted with lasting friendships and a new knowledge set that has already enriched my first classes back at school. I hope more George School students can take part in this life altering experience, and current sophomores and juniors can check the program’s website for the application (available online from 9/15/2017–1/8/2018) for this fully funded opportunity.*

*For more information please visit the website: Highschooldiplomats.com or contact the American Director, Mrs. Celine Zapolski at (571) 234-5072 or celinezapolski@highschooldiplomats.com

 

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