E/A Pep Rally


Hey guys,

It’s the day before Exeter and Andover come head to head in all fall sports at HOME! All the teams are hyped to play some outstanding games against the Smurfs tomorrow, so tonight we had our annual bonfire near the softball fields where chairs and crates were lit up by the Red Bandits. Immediately following, the big Fall Pep Rally was held at the Football Stadium from 7:00-8:00.


During the actual Pep Rally, multiple dance groups came out and performed their choreography that they have been practicing this term. Abs performed an amazing belly dance to Shakira, and Imani’s fierce hip hop routine shook the crowds. Our cheerleading team, POMS, had a beautiful ending, and Lionettes showed off their flexible bodies with the many splits they enacted. All the teams individually came out to the field and presented speeches and performances to announce the time and location of the games.


I am so excited to see our school’s spirit shine in our home territory, and am ready to continue our outstanding season. The girl’s varsity volleyball team has made it to playoffs once again, so this game is essential for our championship games. For other teams, this may be their last game, but we all want to end our season with a final kick. Let’s GO BIG RED!

End of Fall Term

Hey guys!

I hope you are having a great end of fall. The last couple weeks have been too busy, filled with history research paper, physics labs, and homework. I’ve been having a great time in classes and outside of classes though, working hard and learning a lot while also spending time with friends.

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This photo is from Big Red Carnival, the first Saturday of fall term since we got back after summer. I can’t believe fall term’s almost coming to a close!

I wanted to tell you about a cool lab we did for physics class. This year, I am taking an advanced course after a year of physics prep year. Everyone in my class is so dedicated and smart, and they’re all so fun to hang out with, too! The class is definitely hard and challenging, but it’s totally worth it!

The goal of this lab was to set metal rings at the right location and height for the ball to fly through when the ball is shot in a projectile. Here is the video of the result if you’re interested:

I won’t talk too much about my physic experiments here because I actually keep a blog about them here: https://serenacho.wordpress.com

Until next time,


A Full October!

The leaves are turning beautifully as we head into our last few weeks before the end of fall term.  With everything from Parents’ Weekend to Halloween, campus has been buzzing.  Everyone was excited for Friday October 16, when Parents’ Weekend officially began.  Our families met our teachers, sat in on our classes, and listened to our discussions. We had a half day of classes on Saturday and the day off on Monday.  My mother and I drove down to Boston after classes on Saturday, as many families did, and we watched the racing at the Head of the Charles regatta and met some of my former crew teammates from North Carolina.  After the races, we enjoyed walking around Harvard Square and I had my first bubble tea. It was a picture perfect fall day and so nice getting to spend time with family and old friends. For those students whose parents were unable to visit, there were trips to the mall and to Boston as well as other activities on campus.  The long weekend was a welcome change of pace and the extra people on campus made it all the more lively.

Fall_Leaves        Also in October, the Academy hosted, for the seventh year, a day long Phillips Exeter Academy Model United Nations (“PEAMUN”) conference.  Many “delegates” from other schools in the New England area came to participate.  One of my friends chaired a large General Assembly focused on the topic of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). We had committees which discussed food safety, immigration, and a joint historical crisis committee tasked with resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis.  The group I was placed in was a small historical crisis committee whose purpose was to discuss how to resolve the tension between the Petrograd Soviet and the Russian Provisional Government that manifested itself in the July Days of the Russian Revolution in 1917.  This was a topic I knew very little about, but I learned a great deal through my preparations for the conference and through listening to my fellow delegates.  The conference was a fun way to meet people from other schools and work on our communication and negotiation skills.
My roommate and I enjoy hosting parties with friends in our dorm room and Halloween was the perfect opportunity. We are fortunate to have numerous places in town to shop for treats and decorations and I don’t know which was more fun – the preparation for the party or the party itself. We decorated our room, made treats for our friends, dressed all in black, and watched horror movies to complete the theme of the evening.

Halloween Party
It has been a busy and fun fall, with finals and Thanksgiving just around the corner!

Gym Night!

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a stressful couple of past weeks for us seniors. The joys of college applications! Luckily, some of that is now behind us, since the early application deadline for the Common App was a couple of days ago. I might still need to do the rest of my (many) apps, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

One of the many things that alleviates senior year stress is Gym Night! Every term, each dorm gets to use the gym, or the outdoor stadium in the spring, after check-in hours. That means that, as a dorm, you check-in on a Friday or Saturday night, then head out to the gym and do whatever you want for the next couple of hourspic 1

A loose ball and the ensuing race to get it.

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An opposing team’s player goes for the shot, and I do my best to block it.

It is always an amazing bonding experience for dormmates, but more importantly, it’s just plain fun. This year, we organized ourselves into games of soccer, dodgeball, and basketball, and I chose basketball. While the game got a little competitive, it was mostly entertaining. I, for one, can’t shoot a basketball for my life, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t try…


Club Night 2015!


Walking in was like jumping into the ocean. Immediately greeted by many hellos, and requests to join certain clubs put a huge smile on my face. The entire feel of the event was lively, and not one person was having a bad time. Everywhere I looked, a new exciting club to join stuck out, one in particular called out, “Wow, you have the shoulders of a breakdancer, join our breakdancing club!” Just being a part of this spirited event made me feel special. Being a prep on campus isn’t the easiest thing to do. Figuring things out every day, and learning new things even when you think you have it down is tough, but the camaraderie and the bond between even strangers during events like club night really impressed me, and made me feel amazing. I ended up signed up for seven clubs, which seemed to me like a lot, but there were just too many good clubs to join. Being back in my room I was still filled to the brim with happiness, remembering all the happy faces and friendly people I had met, and being excited to see them at the first gathering. Before going, I was convinced Club Night was going to be quite lame, with only a few clubs and dreary eyed seniors looking disinterested in whether new kids were going to join or not, but I was completely wrong. Not only were there at least fifty clubs, each one reached out to every new person with equal amounts of kindness. My original intentions were to sign up for one, maybe two clubs, but that is impossible, and I might have to drop a few because of time issues, but that won’t stop me from enjoying my club experience, and especially my Club Night experience, which I hope to make just as special next year for more new kids. Club Night is not an event to miss, and I 100% believe that the clubs will make me grow as a person, and help me reach my full potential. Whether you only go for a bit or the entire time, Club Night is like E/A game day, it’s a must see.

Summer Programs and Being Back!

Hello!  My name is Marie Leighton McCall.  I am a returning lower from North Carolina and am excited to be a part of Big Red Bloggers!

My first year at Exeter was full of change, challenge, and opportunity.  Not satisfied with spending just the school year with my fellow Exonians, I decided to apply for an Exeter summer program and on June 27 found myself in Tokyo with nine of my schoolmates.  My host family spoke little English and as a result I learned more of the Japanese language.  My friends and I tried too many foods to count, interned with English teachers at Kumon Jr. / Sr. High School in Yokohama, and visited temples, gardens, a hot spring, and some fun shopping districts in Tokyo.  It was a wonderful trip and I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with my friends while we toured parts of Japan and learned about its language and culture.


Fast forward to September and you don’t realize how much you’ve missed Exeter until you return from summer vacation and spend your first night back in your dorm.  That doesn’t mean you don’t miss your family, but after spending a year living with thirty plus caring, interesting and fun girls, my dorm has become my second home.  Turns out getting back into the rhythm of Harkness comes quickly as well.  The teachers gave us time to re-acclimate to Harkness, but most of us were ready to jump in.  Within a couple of days of returning to school, it felt completely normal to walk along the paths to classes, go to d-hall with friends, and spend hours with five other girls in my room laughing and talking.  My friends and I were excited to dive back into Exeter life and one way I chose to do so was to get involved in more clubs this year.  In addition, I decided to go out on a limb and sign up for two dance groups on campus, just to try something new.  Over the last year, I have learned that Exeter is where I can take chances, try new things, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and find what I love to do.

One of my favorite days of fall term, Academy Life Day, gave me a chance to really spend time with my dorm mates.  We had breakfast together in d-hall in our pajamas, spent time in the art studio painting large mugs while often breaking into song, and played games together outside.  We had perfect weather and it was a great day to just be together as a dorm and have fun.


I am so happy to be back!

Exeter vs. Choate After the New England Championships

Hey guys!

I’m so excited to start off the year with an exciting post of the volleyball team’s first home game of the season against Choate. Arguably, one of the most crucial dates of the season. This year, Exeter hosted the big game against our New England Championship rival on October 3. The team was fired up before the big day, and we were determined to have a successful win. The day before, the family of one of our players– the Epler’s– was generous enough to host the whole team for a delicious dinner and an amazingly fun pumpkin carving contest.

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Exactly a year ago, Exeter traveled three hours to Choate’s campus for a double header against Choate and the Ethel Walker School, where we won one but lost to Choate in five games. We faced them again in November 2014 for the New England Championships title and won in three games on our home court! We knew this game was going to be the most challenging one of the season, as they were our only loss last year, and that’s mainly why we were so hyped for the Saturday game. Image 3

We knew beforehand that they had graduated two middles from last year’s team, but we were prepared to see some new faces on the court. The game had a great turnout of students and faculties on one side outnumbering the parents who came to support Choate’s players. In the first game, we were behind 7-15 (eight points below) but were able to surpass them with our consistent serves and our defensive passing. The next two matches were lead by Exeter, ending the game in three sets. We had some amazing plays and solo hits by our front row players. The team did outstandingly well and we are all definitely optimistic for the rest of the season, and hopefully, defend our Championship title.

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Make sure to watch out for our home games and support the Girls Varsity Volleyball team!

Have a great fall season and first term back on campus!


Cilley Academy Life Day

Hey guys!

It’s been a while since I last wrote, so here’s an update on how things are going:

It’s three weeks into Senior Fall and I’ve definitely been busy running clubs, practicing a lot of piano, studying hard, and of course, college apps, but life at Exeter has been really lively and fun. It’s great to be back with some of my greatest friends and the energy the new students bring is phenomenal.

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Anyways, here’s a photo from Academy Life Day, which is a day for dorm bonding that we get once a year in the fall. Cilley Hall (my dorm and home) always goes to Plum Beach for a few hours and then eats dinner together at Szechuan Taste, a nearby Chinese restaurant.

This photo here features all of the seniors in Cilley, ranging from four years to some new post-grads, or PG’s. Honestly, I can’t believe my last ALD has passed. Seems like just yesterday it was my first time at Plum Beach.