The Sleepover

This weekend, one of my closest friends (who happens to be a day student) invited Antigone and me over for a sleepover. It was Antigone’s birthday last Thursday, so it would only make sense for our little group to have a birthday celebration.

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When we arrived, we unpacked and watched The Amazing Spiderman 2. We bundled ourselves in layers and layers of covers on her big lumpy couch, accompanied by surprisingly authentic tasting Asian food her mom cooked for us. It reminded me of home.

pic1 We proceeded to play UNO, an extremely competitive card game that brings out the beast in all of us. It’s tough to say, but we all were on our A game. Not to mention singing T-Swift songs to get us pumped. And here’s a picture, just in case you guys were wondering how Exonians spend their weekends.

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To put things simply, I had a great time. We all had a great time. Just this Monday, Olivia came up to me before English class and said, “My mom says she misses her two other daughters.”

It’s tough being so far away from home, and so close to the holidays, but it’s so nice to have something brighten up the winter term; something that you build from the friendships you make here at Exeter. Especially if that something includes jamming out to Blank Space and munching on the good ole roast chicken. A nice little pre-holiday fun.

Happy holidays!

The Usual Life: Astro, Robotics, and Math

These past few weeks have flown by! We’ve gotten our first taste of snow at Exeter, with surely much more to come around in the following months.

We celebrated the end of last term with a bang; Math class was surely one of my more fun — and more memorable — classes. Math classes at Exeter are a bit different than from to other schools: our textbooks are not split into chapters, but rather mixed together so they build from one another. Every problem is a real-world problem, which gives you a special insight to revisualize everything you see. Everything seems so different when math teaches you how to think rather than how to punch numbers into a calculator; it teaches you to see every problem as a math equation. Here’s our math class celebrating on the last day by ordering Dominos. Shoutout to Mr. Mallinson for the pizza!

Math Pizza

Fortunately, life after school never gets boring. Exeter offers over 100+ extracurricular clubs. Every Friday night we make an effort to make the long trek behind the school, far away from any bright lights and cars and distant enough to actually hear absolute silence, to reach Grainger Observatory. Behind our stadium Exeter has a 3 dome observatory with all the instruments you could possibly imagine: spectrographs and all the state-of-the-art telescopes you could imagine. Away from the city lights, Exeter has some of the clearest skies. Astronomy has always been one of my passions — ever since I was a kid I’d dreamt of delving into the deep skies and ponder over the true size and depth of the Universe. I’m glad that I can finally get to do that at such a wonderful school. Here’s a picture of Astronomy Club, a 10 second time exposure in the middle of the night of all of us in front of Chart House, the classroom and library in front of the domes.

Astro Exposure

A friend and I decided to conduct a little project this year. Both of us are avid Robotics fans who have been passionately devoted to mechanical engineering since we were little. This year, we decided to enter a competition I used to do during middle school. It’s called SeaPerch, and it seeks to excite high schoolers about marine engineering and STEM careers. We are just about finished with the building of our underwater submersibles; we plan to solder and wire them in the next few days and test them out in two weeks. Here is my friend Graham ’16 who gladly let me take his picture of our robot during assembly!

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This past term has passed so quickly! Keep yourself busy at Exeter – there is never nothing to do. As Christmas break approaches, I’m looking forward to Science Bowls, Model UN conferences, Robotics Competitions and Astronomy trivia competitions in the weeks to come. Happy Holidays Everyone!

Winter is Here

Once I have to dig out my boots and jacket from the back of my closet, I realize the inevitable: winter is here. Exeter just had its first snow, only a couple of inches, but as usual, it will likely have a lot more! Winter is one of the most interesting terms at Exeter. I have found that, while it is almost always dark out and you cannot play around outside as much, it is a term where I get to know my friends well and my grades skyrocket!

I guess since it’s so cold out, we don’t have as much to do as Exonians, so we hang out in the dorms, in grill, get our work done, and in general have a rather laid-back term. The Student Activities Office also does a great job of scheduling a lot of fun events for winter weekends, so that students don’t get bored.

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Winter also means squash season! I first learned squash at Exeter, and this year I am playing around the mid-rankings of varsity- it is really exciting. Even though I have played tennis for much longer, I like the two sports equally, since squash is so fun. Below you can see a photo of me gearing up to hit a serve. This was in a match against Milton this Saturday. I luckily won my match, but we were narrowly defeated 4-3.

Art 444

Fall term came to a close only two weeks ago. Students hurried packed suitcases
which they hauled to buses and cars, beginning the short, or long, journey home. On
the bus to Boston Logan, I realized that fall 2014 was my last fall at Exeter. On one hand,
its bittersweet as I’m one term closer to graduation; on the other, I’ve become
even closer to my friends at PEA and taken one of my favorite courses at Exeter so far:
Art 444.

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Art 444 is an intensive and advance student art class. Students who qualify for
Art 444 have extensive experience in a medium: ceramics, painting, photography,
drawing, fashion, etc. In a short ten weeks, students propose and create a project
where they get to explore their medium. At the end of the term, the 444 kids put on a
show in the gallery. It’s supposed to mimic the gallery openings in Boston or NYC. All
of our hard work, of hours laboring in the student, stressing over perfecting our art,
comes down to this one night: the Show.

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I have to say, as nervous as I was, I really enjoyed the 444 show. I got to share
my art with the wider Exeter community. I’m a drawer and ceramicist by trade. So for
my project, I created a set of plates and carved fairy-tales into them. I loved being able
to incorporate my passion for art with my passion for language and literature. What the
experience all the better, was I stood by my exhibit during the show. I got to interact
with peers, parents, and faculty and share my art with them. I explained my concept to
them and they commented on it. It was Harkness on a smaller scale as we talked about
craftsmanship, illustration, and storytelling.

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Of all the little things that made the show memorable, the infamous Art 444
survey took the most effort. Each artist fills one out and hangs it next to their artwork.
The survey asks supposedly simple questions: favorite color, purple; favorite artists,
Winsor McCay, the grandfather of cartons; place you’ll live in thirty years, Berlin or
Moscow. After spending upwards of twelve hours a week in a studio, I never thought
the most frustrating part of the course would be trying to capture myself on paper.

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EXETER/andover

Hey guys,

As you might already know, the annual Exeter/Andover games were last weekend. We have a friendly but intense rivalry with the school with the same name fifty miles to the south, and E/A weekend is always a time for school spirit and bonding, as well as for favorite alumni to return to campus.

When E/A takes place in Andover, Exeter provides buses so that the entire school can come support the teams. There are also tons of traditions associated with E/A – four-year seniors get to wear decorative kilts with school colors, first-year alumni flock back to Exeter in droves to catch up with their friends after their first term of college, and Pep Rally and Pep Assembly the Friday before the games are always memorable occasions. Exeter didn’t fair so well this year, winning in girl’s volleyball, tying a close game in boy’s soccer, and losing a hard fought and well-attended football game by just one point, 13-12, but even in the years when our sports teams don’t do as well as we would hope, the camaraderie fostered by the E/A spirit make sure it’s always a fun time of year. Check me out cheering on the football team last weekend in the picture below – and a special shoutout to head blogger Rachel in the bottom right-hand corner of the picture! I’ll also be uploading some footage of Exeter’s newest club, a blend of fire-dancing, martial arts and gymnastics called Illumninosity and started by my good friend Kenny Berger ’15, so be sure to look out for that.

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See you soon,

Zach

Dance At Exeter

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There are many ways to continue doing the things you love at Exeter.

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One of my passions is dance. Here, there are many opportunities to get involved with all types. If you are interested in Bollywood, ballroom, hip hop, step, jazz, or even hula, there are clubs here that suit those needs. If you are curious about a certain genre of dance and would like to explore it, there are many outlets, via the dance department or the aforementioned student organizations. Before coming to Exeter, I had not done contemporary or ballet since my elementary years. Starting winter term of last year, I decided to get involved in the dance department, and I developed a love for a style I thought I had lost!

Wednesday Nights in the Dorm

Hey Everybody!

People on campus are usually in an excited frenzy at this point in the term– there is only one week left of regular classes, winter feels like it’s around the corner, and students are getting ready to head home for Thanksgiving Break. As the workload dwindles down right before the craziness of finals (when the workload does all but dwindle), I usually like to spend more time relaxing with faculty and student friends. One of my favorite activities from each week occurs on Wednesday nights, when Mr. Chisholm, a biology teacher, is on check-in duty.

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Mr. Chisholm does not live in the dorm (he is an affiliate), but each week he spends around four hours here checking students in as they filter into the dorm at night. Usually I have plenty of work, and I can only hang out with Mr. Chisholm and other dorm mates in the faculty lounge for just a few minutes, but on nights when I have relatively little work, I sometimes spend up to three hours talking and laughing with the Wednesday night group.

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Topics of discussion range from funny videos we saw online to interesting concepts from genetics–sometimes Mr. Chisholm is hosting review sessions for his AP Bio classes, and so we get to learn a little bit about that too.

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All in all, these relaxing moments I spend each week with Mr. Chisholm and friends are some of my best moments at Exeter, and being able to make such close connections with faculty is something that I would have never experienced at a normal day school; for that I am very grateful.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Election Season

Paiges CLINTONComing to New Hampshire from Pennsylvania, I never thought I would experience culture shock. The states have similar climates and similar cultures. One thing that first shocked me prep fall, and continues to surprise me, is how intense election season is in New Hampshire. This past Tuesday, many states took to the polls to vote for various representatives and governors. While most Phillips Exeter Students can’t vote, those who can, do. Academy students are allowed to vote in New Hampshire elections. For the majority of disenfranchised students interested in politics, Exeter offers many clubs and opportunities: Democratic Club, Republican Club, and Exeter Political Review, among others. 

One of our most active political clubs is Democratic Club, or Dem Club. Although Exeter remains apolitical, the school has many connections to politics. New Hampshire’s Governor Maggie Hassan is the wife of our principal. Many students chose to work with her campaign, and, in the process, are able to attend political events around New Hampshire. Although New Hampshire is a small state, politically, we are very influential in elections. As such, we attract many politicians. Through Dem Club, students had the opportunity to hear both the Clinton’s speak on separate occasions. Regardless of political affiliation, such opportunities are an amazing part of the Exeter experience. In a country where many youth are uninterested in politics, it’s great that here, many students want to learn about policy and make a difference.