Academy Life Day

One of my favorite days of fall term is Academy Life Day.  Every year, there is a day set aside within the first few weeks of school when no classes are scheduled and the time is instead to be spent with your dorm mates (if you’re a boarder) or with your fellow advisees (if you are a day student).

This year on Academy Life Day, my wonderful dorm, Hoyt Hall, spent a fun day on campus.  After an all-dorm breakfast in the dining hall, we made our way into the art building.  Here we drew names of fellow dorm mates out of a cup and began working on painting canvases for the girl whose name we had chosen.  After painting, singing along to music, talking, and laughing, we left our masterpieces to dry.  Upon heading outside, we were divided into groups and sent on a scavenger hunt!  We ran all over campus serenading faculty, doing jumping-jacks, and generally ticking off as many activities on our list as we could, all the while laughing, taking pictures, and enjoying our time together.  The ladies of Hoyt Hall concluded our Academy Life Day by exchanging our canvases, sharing our scavenger hunt progress, and eating food catered by a local restaurant.  After lunch, the remainder of the day was ours to enjoy as we wished.

While I thoroughly enjoyed my own dorm’s activities, they were by no means the only fun events that occurred on this day.  Other dorms and advisories had dodgeball tournaments, went off campus to apple-picking orchards, went to the beach, and one dorm even went to play miniature golf!  There are so many ways to enjoy this day off from classes!  One of the best aspects of the day is that this bonding time is specifically set aside in the busy Exeter schedule.  By this point in the year, new students have met many new people, but this day provides an opportunity to get to know those who live closest to us much better.


What it’s Like to be a Prep

We’re halfway fall term here so I decided to talk about what it’s like to be a prep, or ninth grader here at Exeter. However, it has been four months since I was a prep, so I managed to get a little help from Paula, a friend of mine who happens to be a prep this year. I asked her a couple questions about what her fall has been like so far and she was willing to let me share her answers with you.

What was your transition like?

My transition was a little overwhelming because my previous school was not quite as rigorous as PEA, but with help from my teachers, I was soon feeling better. I felt well integrated into the school and community from the beginning.

How do you feel now compared to your first week?

I feel a lot more secure with how to not stress myself out and manage my time.  I also finally understand the schedule and know where all my classes are.

How did you meet new friends?

I’ve met a lot of wonderful people through the mainstage play and in my classes. I’ve become close with a lot of them and look forward to meeting new people as well.

How did you decide what clubs to join?

I had already had in mind what clubs I wanted to join such as fem club and tour guiding, but at club night I signed up for some that seemed interesting after hearing what the club heads said about their clubs.

What has prep fall been like so far?

It’s been really fun to start being integrated into Exeter life. I’ve been a little stressed with this new environment but there are lots of support systems on campus that have helped me out.

From memory, prep year can be a little bit hectic, but luckily prep fall is pass/fail, meaning your grades don’t count you either pass or fail your classes, which allows kids who aren’t used to the workload or living on their own adjust to life here on campus.

When it comes to meeting new people, it’s very easy to meet people who are in your dorm or classes, along with clubs and sports teams. However, as you continue here, you meet even more people, whether that’s because they come in as a new tenth, eleventh or twelfth grader, you have a class together for the first time or you bump into each other on the paths. I didn’t get close with one of my best friends until winter term and became friends with most of my friends who are older in the spring.

Adjusting can be difficult, whether it’s to the workload or being away from home for the first time but it’s important to remember that there are people on campus who are going through or have gone through the same things and are always there to help if or when you need them.


Club Night!!!!

One of my favorite things about Exeter is just how many clubs we have. It feels like we have a club for practically everything, and if we don’t have one for a student’s specific interest, they can just start one! There is everything from Debate to Model UN to The Exonian newspaper to Quidditch club, cooking club, Chemistry club, Ethics Forum, etc. For students who like to give back, there is also a whole section of clubs (called ESSO clubs – Exeter Student Service Organization) dedicated to bettering the community around us. The sky’s the limit with Exeter clubs, and nothing showcases that like club night.
Club night is basically a night dedicated to signing up for and learning about clubs. The ESSO clubs have their own club night a week before, but here I’m going to be talking about mainstream club night, or my importantly, my own adventures at this years club night.
A little background: The way club night works is that each club head(s) sets up a booth for their respective club, and tries to make it as appealing as possible to guilt- I mean recruit- the unsuspecting masses into joining their clubs. Usually this involves candy. My own club night routine involves signing up for every single club that looks interesting, eating a lot of chocolate, picking two or three to actually go to, and dealing with the guilt emails from the clubs I’m not going to for the rest of the year. Personally I think this is the way to do it.
On a saturday night, a couple hours before Club Night started, a close friend and I were just drifting around with nothing to do. Another friend, the head of a club called spikeball club, asked if we wanted to help him design a colorful poster for his club. We said sure, why not. Then, the same friend asked if later on we could manage the booth for spikeball club while he managed a booth for another club he was a part of. We said, “sure, why not,” deciding to make it our personal mission to make spikeball club the most sought after club on campus.

After learning what spikeball is (it’s a game played on the quad involving throwing a ball at a mini trampoline), we went to club night to find our booth. When we arrived, our friend had to go, leaving us on our own. That’s when the fun began. We grabbed a speaker, bumped some music, and started calling out to random passerby. “Hey! Come join spikeball club! It’s fun! Come on!” and phrases like that slowly drew people closer to our booth. When they approached, we reminded them that just because their name was down doesn’t mean the had to come, but hey, they should put their name down anyway. After this, we decided to do some recon, walking around the rest of Grainger Auditorium, cheering for spikeball club and shuttling friends and strangers over to the table. We were enthusiastic and well, it worked. We ended up with 152 people signing up! Not everyone will go to every club meeting, but hey, the recruiting was an adventure.
So to close this off, I would like to say this. Exeter clubs are great. Club night is great. My friend and I have been moved to executive lower board members of spikeball club, on the condition that we attend at least 25% of the meetings. Still, do I know how to play spikeball? No I do not. Did I have a good time recruiting? Yes I did.

First Two Weeks

         It’s the start of the new year, and that means it’s time for students to begin to arrive on campus! On the first day, much of the work includes hauling your stuff to your dorms and outfitting your room with posters, flags, or anything else that adds your personal touch to your new space. This year I was able to stuff an inflatable couch into my room, and so far it has served as a nice place to hang out with friends and watch Netflix. Also, if you are assigned a roommate, get to know him/her. Your roommate and dorm mates will be the first people that you will get to know on campus, and your first friend group.
                                                                       My Room!
    Orientation follows- basically it means getting to know your new dorm mates, classmates, etc. As a new student, there are so many opportunities to get to know other students through dorm activities, class events, and your daily activities. There is a scavenger hunt in the library, as well as a Harkness demonstration, so you can understand how you can participate in class to create an effective learning environment.
        As you start your first week of classes, the teachers will introduce themselves and make sure that you are able to transition smoothly into the coursework. Lots of “icebreaker” games will occur during this first week – word games that will make you more comfortable speaking in class to your peers. For example, the Fall term for incoming preps is pass/fail, which means that no specific letter grades are assigned for the first term on campus. This alleviates some of the stress and frees up time to get to know Exeter and all the people here as best you can.
         Big Red Carnival falls on the first weekend, which is another opportunity to get to know people through basic carnival games. This year it was held in the gym, and there was even a trapeze artist! At another fun event during the second weekend, students can dance the night away at Back in Black hosted by Dunbar Hall (one of the girls dorms). At the end of your first two weeks at Exeter, you will for certain have met a wide variety of very interesting people. Some of them will become your closest friends. There is still an entire school year to go, and an infinite number of unforgettable experiences to be had!

Big Red Carnival!


Big Red Carnival!


As summer comes to a close, we Exonians are enjoying every last moment before we return to campus on September 7.  Summer has taken us all over the globe, whether our vacation took us home, on a family trip, on an Exeter Summer Program, or to a job or internship.  Hearing about what some of my classmates have been doing over the summer shows me how far Exeter’s reach truly is.  From studying physics in Tokyo, to going on an archaeological dig in France, to taking part in a service trip to Costa Rica, Exonians have kept busy while away from campus.


John's Japan Picture

Odaiba in Tokyo Bay

This summer I not only found myself on multiple college tours – the life of a rising upperclassman is truly exciting – but also with many chances to absorb information, culture, and experiences.  I was lucky enough to spend some time in Europe with my parents and, as is usual when it comes to our trips together, we spent our fair share of time in museums.  One of my favorite places to visit in London, our first stop, is the British Museum.  It is a humbling experience going there as I am always amazed by how much there is to see and learn.  Two of my favorite exhibits feature works by ancient Egyptians and Assyrians.  Other highlights included enjoying the history of Edinburgh Castle, Napoleon III’s apartments in the Louvre, and watching players tee off on the first hole of St. Andrews’s Old Course.


Friezes from the Parthenon, British Museum


Summer has been a wonderful time to spend quality time with my family and recharge the batteries, but as the beginning of the school year draws near, I am looking forward to going back to my second home, which is what Exeter has become for me.  There are so many exciting things waiting for us when we return to campus – seeing and catching up with friends and teachers, meeting the new students, going to the barbeque on our first day back, Opening Assembly, Academy Life Day, and so much more!  As a tour guide, I am also excited about the new school year bringing prospective students who would like to learn more about Exeter.  I hope to see some of you this year!

I was excited for summer to begin and now I am excited for school to resume.  Upper year – here we come!

Spring Fling

Hey everyone,

We’re slowly reaching the end here and as the weather gets warmer and warmer here in Exeter, we start having more and more outdoor events. On Saturday nights, there is almost always something fun going on and a few weeks ago, that thing was Spring Fling. Spring Fling is an outdoor concert/ dance organized by Student Council. It starts off with faculty bands, then switches to student band from the Exeter Association of rock or E.A.R. for short. After E.A.R. we had a DJ named DJ Uplifted who was very good, then E.R.A, the Exeter Rap Association took the stage before we switched to Michael Christmas, a rapper from Boston. Spring Fling is held on the steps of Phillips Hall, our English and Modern Languages building and everyone starts out sitting and relaxing on the grass in front and watching the bands.

I got there a little late, just at the start of the E.A.R bands, in which one of my friends was drumming. It was awesome to get to see him perform, especially at an event like this one. Throughout the night there were beach balls that were floating around the crowd and it was really funny watching kids try to get someone to hit them one.

Once the other band finished, DJ Uplifted came out and was very good, probably the best DJ we’ve had at a dance this year. StuCo handed out little frisbees and glow sticks at this point and everyone got up from their picnic blankets and started dancing when “The Middle” by came on. Seeing everyone jump up and start yelling along was so funny, especially since we had all been so relaxed before that. It was a great way to start the end of the year, and the weather only made it better.  

On another note, last weekend was the last game of the season for JV softball. We won at BB&N in Cambridge, MA and it was probably our most fun game of the season. On the way down, we had all braided each other’s hair on the bus and after winning, we drove back singing terribly most of the way until one of our coaches gave a speech to get us to stop. That night, we met as a team to watch A League of Their Own which just so happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time. We all brought food and hung out in our pajamas and it’s safe to say that I’m really going to miss the team over the summer.

Ingrid - softball

Enjoy your summer breaks for those of you who are finishing up soon and I can’t wait to meet all of the new students arriving on campus in September!


Biking to the Beach

Even as I write this blog post, I’m sitting on a towel down at Hampton Beach, facing the Atlantic Ocean, staring into the deep blue of the horizon . . . and doing my Latin homework translating Vergil. 

Principal’s Day (school day off) was last week, and although my backpack had my dormmates’ and my approved ‘Out of Towns’ to Boston and a train tickets, somebody changed his mind, and I unfortunately could not find a way to make my escape off campus. So, this weekend, some friends and I took to our bikes and trekked over to the beach (for the first time)! 

After an hour of hoping we were going the right way, we went over to grab lunch in a cafe, walked down to have a bit of fun in the (unfortunately very cold) waters, bought a frisbee to throw around, and ultimately fell down to relax in the warm sun.



Biking off campus is one of my favorite ways of going to have fun with friends, seeing new places, and especially today, doing my Latin homework with a change of scenery.


Whew. It has been a crazy, long, amazing two weeks. Last Wednesday began my big Idaho adventure. I had to go to the post office in the morning to get my passport renewed for the summer, which was surprisingly easy. The man at the Exeter post office was very nice and helpful. After that, I grabbed a coffee from D2 (a coffee shop in the town of Exeter) and returned to my dorm. There I made some final edits on an essay before turning it in to my teacher. Next I had an interview for the DRAMAT board. I performed a rap about each of the current board members.

Right after that, I grabbed my suitcase, met the Mock Trial A Team in front of the science building, and headed to the airport. There were eight of us on the team: three lawyers, four witnesses, and one time keeper. We flew first to Salt Lake City, Utah for a connection. When I got off the plane, I got a call saying I had made it onto the DRAMAT board which was very exciting. My teammates and I bought Auntie Annie’s pretzel poppers in celebration. The flight to Boise, Idaho was short, and we headed to our hotel. Our three coaches/advisors met us there: Walter Stahr, a former Exeter teacher who moved to California and skypes in to our meetings, Kyle Skinner, the former Mock Trial State Coordinator for New Hampshire, and Jared Bedrick, the current State Coordinator and a licensed attorney. The meeting was brief and we were all instructed to go to bed as soon as possible. We slept two to a room in very nice accommodations for which we were all very grateful. My roommate and I each quickly went to bed.

The next day, Thursday, we had two scrimmages, each as the Defense. We learned a lot from both, and returned that evening to work on our case. Before our long night began, however, we attended the Pin Ceremony. Basically, every year, the states competing at nationals bring little goodies, or representations, of their state. New Hampshire’s was a pin in the state’s shape, Georgia gave away stuffed cows, and Maine brought Chocolate Lobsters. The get-together was held in a courtyard and they served delicious food. It was quite an interesting experience: a bunch of mock trial nerds running around and meeting each other. We met some hilarious people and made some friends. After we ate, we decided we better head back to the hotel to work. Our co-heads stopped at whole foods and picked up fresh fruit and snacks. The night was long and full of rewriting, but we managed to get to bed at a decent hour.

On Friday we arrived at the courthouse at around 8. We passed through security and headed up to our room. Once we arrived at the very nice courtroom, we spread out: the witnesses practiced sitting on the stand and our lawyers did vocal warmups in the back of the room. The opposing team arrived and we learned they were from Nebraska. They also happened to be the defending national champions. Obviously, we went into this trial pretty stressed. Our coaches calmed us down. They told us to continue doing what we’d been doing and we’d be fine. And you know what? We didn’t lose to them by that much! We held our own and most importantly learned a lot. After team lunch we had our second trial, which went much more smoothly. This time we were up against the team from South Korea. One of our team members had gone to the same school they came from, and knew many of the same people the South Korean team knew. When the trial ended we returned to the hotel and went swimming for a little bit. Then, Mr. Stahr took us to a team dinner at a really nice seafood place.  After dinner we walked to Ben & Jerry’s and brought ice cream back to the hotel. Again, we stayed up working.

Saturday went much like Friday, and despite feeling confident about our trials, we all returned to the hotel exhausted. We had very little time to relax however, because we soon had to head over to the awards ceremony. Our coaches informed us it would be semi-formal, so we did our best to dress nicely. When we arrived at the ceremony, the first to go was Cowchips the Cowboy Poet, who read some bizarre but amusing poems. The team awaited eagerly to hear if we had won any Lawyer or Witness awards, as well as if we had placed in the top 10. As names were read first of individuals and then of teams, it became increasingly clear we would not win any awards. Much of are team was heartbroken. Most decided to return to the hotel, but a few of us chose to stay and go to “the dance.” Every year, after the awards, there’s a dance resembling a Bar/Bat Mitzvah dance. All the kids who have been working hard all weekend unwind and dance. Nobody was really dancing, we were all just laughing at ourselves. After awhile we decided we should return to the hotel to be with our team. When we got there, we joined a circle of people snacking and bonding. We stayed up that night talking.

In the morning, we learned where we had placed 35th out of 48th. Obviously many of us were disappointed and upset. The co-heads called the rest of the team down and we sat together at breakfast:

“We know you’re disappointed, we’re disappointed. But that number is not an accurate representation of what we did and how we performed this weekend. Whether it was a judging issue or whatever, forget it. Just remember how well we did. It’s easy to focus on the negatives, but we don’t want that to change how you feel about yourselves and this team. You guys should be insanely proud of yourselves, I know we are.”

With much “aw-ing” and smiles, we headed to the airport. The way back was quiet, consisting mainly of long naps. We had become a real team ready for next year. Nobody really minded what place we came in – it was still an amazing experience.