by Hana Sparks-Woodford ’20
Hi everyone! My name is Hana Sparks-Woodford, I am a junior day student at George School, and I would like to talk about my experience in the art program.
The prospect of choosing an art as a new student was super exciting for me because I have always loved any form of creative expression I got the chance to explore. I was struck by the amount of choices I had—at least eleven classes ranging from dance to woodworking to graphic design. I was drawn into the theater program after seeing the 2015-16 productions of Twelve Angry Jurors and Les Miserables. As someone who had only been in one musical before coming to GS, I was in awe of the professionalism and range of the performers, and longed to be on stage with the actors I had seen—it was one of the things that attracted me most to GS over other schools.
As a freshman, I began in Kevin Davis’ Theater Arts class where we learned the language of the theater and explored different acting techniques. As a sophomore, I moved into Advanced Acting and Directing with Mo West, the head of the theater department and main director of all GS productions. This year I have joined the IB HL Theater students in their exploration of performance, directing, and the history of theater. I have been in the GS theater program for three years now and have grown so much, in so many ways. My confidence as a performer and public speaker has grown tremendously, my range of emotions and vulnerability that I can reveal onstage broadened, and my knowledge of techniques I can utilize has matured. I have an incredible amount of love and gratitude for everyone in this program, both teachers and peers. I honestly believe that I could not have gotten this experience anywhere else.
Each year Mo chooses a theme for the upcoming season of productions. This year’s theme is women. She chose each play with the intention of highlighting powerful and empowering women. The first play was A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The upcoming productions are Sideshow in the winter term, and Miracle Worker in the spring term. I am so, so excited to participate in these as Violet Hilton in Sideshow and Kate Keller in Miracle Worker. As Sanford Meisner taught, acting is “acting truthfully under imaginary circumstances,” and I cannot wait to embody these characters to bring them to life in the upcoming season.
by Zau Haskins ’21
One of the most important things that George School offers for students is for them to take their own initiative to get involved with the community. One of the ways GS provides students to take their own initiative is by giving the opportunity for student run clubs. The clubs at GS are made and ran by students which gives us an outlet to express to the community our ideas, hobbies, concerns, and any other reason that would spark someone’s interest to make a club. This year, along with 2 other students, created and organized our own dance club. We combined our love for different styles of dance like, contemporary, hip-hop, modern, and others to teach to anyone of any skill level to just come and have fun. I enjoy dance club every week, because I am doing what I love and sharing it with my peers for overall a good time to let off some of the stress during the week!
by Sarah Mayer ’21
This week I wanted to share, a beautiful sunrise my friend Aqua Withers ‘21 and I took together while on our way to class! These pictures highlight one example of our beautiful campus!
by Sarah Mayer ’22
At George School, there are many activities that students can partake in. They are offered as weekend activities or as clubs that occur during the week. Clubs are created by students who have various interests that they would like to share with others. They are usually held throughout the week at whatever time works best for the group, though some clubs do hold weekend activities for the whole school. Some of the clubs that are offered are the social justice club, photography, biochemistry, plus many others. Each weekend at GS there are always many activities students can do. In fact, the student activities board sends out a whole schedule of a weekend filled with events. An example of some activities are the fright fest at six flags, going to movies, going to the mall, and there is almost always a sports game you can watch. George School offers many activities that I would encourage students to partake in.
by Zau Haskins ’21
One of the most fun ways to end a week and take your mind off stress from school is during a GS weekend. Each weekend on campus is planned with a theme and includes many activities and fun trips to go on. There is never a bland time on campus because there is always something you could do! Some of the weekends on campus include Upper and Lower Dorm Weekends which encompass bar-b-ques, a great selection of movies to see with friends, ice cream socials with the members of your dorm and other dorms to get to know new people, mall trips, and even late-night food trips! My favorite weekend at GS is Harvest Weekend. This usually takes place during the fall time where it is cold outside so some of the activities include hot chocolate in Marshall, haunted Hayrides with friends around campus, s’more roasting, pumpkin carving, and apple butter making just to name a few. My favorite part about this weekend is seeing not only GS students coming out to the different events, but also seeing faculty families and other local families coming together and having a great time. This was very exciting to me witnessing how friendly and welcoming the GS community is to everyone which is the foundation of a Quaker Community!
by Polly Lodge
Muraho (hello) from Rwanda! We are having a terrific experience. We’ve spent three days painting a children’s library and soon we will push off to Musanze. Our donations of books and laptops were well received. The children at the school are super energized with our presence and we play hard during the daily breaks in the school day. Accommodations have been simple but sufficient. There’s lukewarm running water. Food has been varied, but lots of fruit and the local Shish kabob last night was delicious. Clean drinking water is always available. Tomorrow will be an early morning to see the rare Golden Monkeys followed by a visit to a cultural village for drumming, dancing, and local food. Kids are in good spirits, engaged in the work, and learning to work as a group. (Almost) everyone is healthy. Please don’t worry; we will reach out to a parent if someone is ill. So far we have only suffered minor diarrhea for one child.
See photos here.
by Camille Drury ’19
At 4 a.m. on Saturday morning, June 9th, I woke up with my suitcase ready. All of us traveling to Rwanda met at Drayron Circle hoping to leave at 5:45a.m. The drive to JFK airport was long and sweaty and to no surprise the 12 hour flight to Doha, Qatar, was also long. From Doha we traveled 6 hours to Uganda, and then 30 minutes to Rwanda. This is my first time out of the United States and the journey to Rwanda was nothing if not tiring, but something on the plane rides forbid me to sleep.
I was excited and nervous to go to a place I had never been and more importantly, to meet new faces and cultures I would never experience back home. When we all arrived in Rwanda we were Flores by the beauty presented in front of us and the immense friendship that was extended to us by everyone. When taking the van to the Peace Garden were we are sleeping, I realized how peaceful the city is and even more, how silent it can be in the hills were we are staying. Today completed our first work day of the trip, were we went to the Peace Center Library for Children to paint the walls and clean the new computer room. I enjoyed painting and found myself not thinking of it as work, especially when all the children came out of class to play. All of us on the trip were swarmed by children, running, laughing, high-fiving, and even saying “I love you!” We had never seen children so full of life such as they were, and they had never seen teenagers such as us. Deciding to partake in the service trip was daunting, as the history invites preconceived assumptions or opinions about both the country and the people. However, it takes an unfathomable amount of love, courage, and strength to look beyond hate, and that is exactly what this country has done.
See more from Rwanda on Instagram!
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.
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.
This morning we started our day in the primary school with competitive games. I was happy because I was able to contribute to my grade’s win in the potato sack race. Then, all of our group, competed against student the Nicaragüita in a competitive game of tug of war.
We returned to Rafaela’s house for some delicious rice and meat. Not long after lunch, everyone was sprawled out on the floor, taking an afternoon nap. These afternoon naps have become quite a custom.
We were then picked up by the 10th grade class of the Nicaraguita and walked to school. We all sat in the back of our usual classes and took in the language. My grade was having a very interesting debate about feminism but I had some difficulty keeping up with all of the vocab. After recess we competed in another series of games, these were much more difficult to win compared to those of the lower school. We won one game of tug of war but lost every other game.
Afterwards, we went back inside for a party with the 11th grade of the Nicaraguita. They handed out plates with chicken and vegetables and quickly after eating we all danced. All of a sudden Alyssa and I were told to stand and wait in the middle of the room. To our surprise, a live chichero band came in blasting music as a celebration for our birthdays. We had danced for somewhere around 3 hours switching partners along the way. We were very sad when the party ended and we had to return to our host families for the night.
Danny and Alyssa 🙂