Happy New Year!

Hey Everyone!

I hope that all of you had an amazing holiday season and a great start to the New Year! No matter what holiday you and your families celebrate, I hope you got some time to spend  with friends and family.

For New Years, my family and I traveled to Vermont to visit my uncle and his family. We spent our time riding horses, driving ATV’S, and, my favorite, making fresh apple cider. Because I live at Exeter, I do not get to see my cousins very often, so it was amazing to spend time with them this holiday season.

It is a busy time of year here at Exeter! Winter term is in full swing and the New Hampshire weather has caught up to us. While I love New England during the winter, I cannot wait for spring to arrive!

Congratulations to all of you for submitting your applications! You are now one step closer to being an Exonian. I know that the application process can be stressful, but because of your hard work and dedication, the worst part is over!

I hope all of you have an amazing year.

Jenn

A Campus Wonderland

Hello All!

I hope your winter term has been fantastic so far! We are nearing the middle of the term and the snow has not fallen as much as last year but it still is just as beautiful when the snow comes. Last week, we were fortunate enough to get a fresh dusting of light, powdery snow. A couple of friends and I went around taking pictures of the beautifully white winter wonderland and spotted some campus snowmen!

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The campus was beautifully covered with snow and everyone was out and about taking pictures, snowball fighting, and just taking a relaxful respite from schoolwork.

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On another note, I just wanted to announce that the school officially has a Phillips Exeter Academy geofilter! Student Council’s Public Relations Committee has been working for many months to create an approved geofilter for snapchat, and finally got the approval on January 11, 2016! A big thanks to Brandon Liu for designing the school’s geofilter and for student council’s dedication to launch the long awaited school emblem!

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I hope everyone enjoys the leftover snow and get ready for some more to come down!

First Dance of 2016

This past Saturday, Exeter had its inaugural semi-formal dance hosted by our school radio station, WPEA.  As tends to happen with girls, preparations for the dance began early.  Some of my dorm-mates and I did each other’s hair and makeup, talked, and listened to music as we got ready for the dance.  We had a lot of fun helping each other choose outfits for the evening and taking pictures together.  Once my friends and I arrived at the Phelps Science Center, where the dance was held, we found the whole first floor to be decked out with streamers, balloons, and other decorations revolving around a winter theme.  By the entrance to the building, a student photographer took our picture.  Nearby was a snowflake ice sculpture and a long table full of a vast array of refreshments.  As the doors to the auditorium were opened, a wide open area stood ready for us to dance the night away and a live band welcomed us with a tune putting us in the mood to do just that.

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The band played everything from pop to country to electric music.  My friends and I had a ball dancing, laughing, and singing along for hours.  It was great to see so many people from every grade enjoying the evening and making happy memories.  The atmosphere in my dorm that night was animated and lively as we all talked about what a great time each of us had had and our plans to go again next year.

Secret Santa!

Hey everyone!

I know it’s way late, but I just wanted to share one of my favorite dorm traditions: Secret Santa! Each December, right before winter break, we gather as a dorm to share the gifts each of us has secretly given to a dormmate.

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An upper and lower, SP and Ty, at the dorm meeting.

 

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A 9th grader on my floor, Alex, presents his gift to the dorm.

 

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Garrett, a prep, shows off the tea his secret santa got him.

 

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Jake, a 4th floor proctor and friend, and I.

The givers are not randomly assigned (proctors and dorm faculty decide who gets who), but we usually make an effort to put people together who might not be the closest friends. Then, each kid has to buy/make a gift that is less than five dollars for their recipient. To find a good gift, the Secret Santa has to get to know his person a little better and get a little creative. It’s a great bonding experience for the dorm, we always have a ton of fun, and there are usually some amazing, hilarious, and even meaningful gifts.

-Rex

NEPSAC Champions!

Hey guys,

We did it! After winning EA against Andover, the GV Volleyball team moved on to the Quarter-Finals, where we faced-off against Miss Porter’s at the Love Gym. Winning in three sets, our next competitor was yet again, Andover, for the Semi-finals. During this “EA 2.0” game, we were able to win in three sets. The next day was championships… against Loomis Chaffee, however, we were traveling to their home court for the NEPSAC Class A championship title.

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Before finals week began, we were determined to consume all our energy on this one game, the game that would defend our 2014 Champion title. On the three hour bus ride to Loomis, every player pepped each other up, listening to music and going over strategy. Immediately when we stepped foot into the gym, we were ready to go. Warmup was meticulously focused and everyone played their best that day. In the first set, we were down nine points but our consistent serving, passing, and hitting brought us back up and in the lead, resulting in a three set win and our much deserved Championship! Our aggressiveness, determination, and positivity gave us the ultimate push to the end. I could not have asked for a better way to end the season.

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Thanksgiving break marked the end of an amazing team and season, and it’s sad that I won’t be able to spend twelve plus hours training with fifteen amazing girls. Yet, we had one more gathering to come together and celebrate our outstanding season (17W- 1L) and final win. The Russ family was generous enough to host the team dinner this past Tuesday, where we took our final pictures, received our hilarious superlatives (awarded by the captains), and enjoyed ourselves one last time. These group of girls have been one of the closest teams I have ever been a part of, and I thank them all for allowing me to experience how supportive and close-knit a team should be.

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So here’s to the end of a phenomenal season and many more to come!

Thanksgiving Break

Hey Everyone!

We just got back on campus after a long, restful 13 day Thanksgiving Break. It is surprisingly warm, considering there is usually snow on the ground by now, which only adds to the fun of these two weeks.

My favorite time of the year is actually this period of classes between Thanksgiving and winter break. We might have Saturday classes, but we only have two weeks of school, and then two more weeks of break! Not to mention I have a December birthday, and squash season is starting now.

Anyways, Thanksgiving break was fantastic, as always. Exeter usually has long Thanksgiving breaks compared to other schools, and it’s nice to spend a lot of time with your family after being away for so long.

I know the one thing I was nervous about, when I applied to Exeter, was what it would be like being away from my family. Of course, I was scared of getting out of touch with my parents and siblings. But I have found that my relationships with family members only improves when I’m away. This sounds counterintuitive, and it is obviously sad to not see them for so long. But I talk to them all the time over iMessage and FaceTime, and when I am home, I rarely argue with them, because being away shows how much I love, cherish them– with that in mind, it seems silly to waste time over little spats. This break was no different. I hung out and laughed with my brothers, sisters, and parents for all thirteen days, and it was a blast.

–Rex

The Joy of the Season

After almost two weeks of rest and recuperation over the Thanksgiving break, everyone is back on campus and getting into the swing of winter term.  Even though we only have two weeks before our winter holiday, there are many fun things happening on campus.

One of my favorite parts of these two weeks is Angeling, our version of Secret Santa.  In the dorms, we each pick a name out of a hat.  Each dorm does it a bit differently, but in my dorm, we use the last four days before winter break to “shower our person with gifts” as my dorm head put it.  Some people like to decorate their person’s door or room, put up posters, give little treats like candy or cookies, or fill stockings with goodies.  Everyone has fun planning what he or she is going to do for his or her person each day.

Some activities my friends and I also enjoy this time of the year involve our ESSO clubs.  One of the ESSO clubs I am part of is American Sign Language.  Each week, a few of us go to the Harris Family Children’s Center to teach young faculty children sign language.  Our time at the Center usually involves teaching the children a song and some vocabulary.  Watching the children get excited about it all and soaking the language up like sponges always makes for a fun break from classes.  In the spirit of the holiday season, a few of my friends and I like to help out with an ESSO club that replies to children’s letters to Santa.  I received the same such letters when I was younger and know how happy they made me.  Writing the letters for young children while singing Christmas songs with my friends and drinking hot cocoa is a treat!

The Music Department held its annual holiday concert this weekend.  284 Exonians, almost thirty percent of the student body, participated in the production in some capacity, such as in Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra, Concert Choir, Jazz Band, and others.  The night’s performances showcased the rewards of countless hours of effort and practice put in throughout the first term of this year.  Classic pieces were performed and carols were sung along with student favorites, such as songs from The Grinch.  The concert ended with all performing Exonians returning to the stage to lead the audience in three classic holiday songs including “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”  It was truly a wonderful evening!

Since we have started a new term and only have a short amount of time before we head home again, these two weeks can be academically challenging, but there are so many activities taking place on campus that we do get a nice balance of work and play.

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I hope, dear reader, that you have a wonderful holiday season!

E/A Pep Rally

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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.

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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.

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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!