Every year in Knight House we do Secret Santa! Everyone gathers around the common room Christmas tree. Presents wrapped in notebook paper or in shopping bag rest under the fake pine. Fabio, the dorm cat, follows suit. I turn on the holiday indie music and the gift-giving commences. We all sit with our eggnog and colored mini cupcakes. Everyone receives their present and has to guess who got it for them. I got my friend Ian 90 degree glasses so he can lay down and read at the same time. I received a teddy bear and chocolates from a new lower in our dorm, Gordon from Hong Kong. He noticed I liked his llama plush, and so he got me something just like it. It’s a great time for the dorm – the only thing missing is the fire.
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.
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.
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.
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!
We’ve had snow and ice blanketing campus most of January. Only ten days in to February, we have received several snowfalls. With less than one month remaining of Winter Term, many students are starting to get “cabin-fever.” To break up the monotony of campus and the dinning hall, I recently had dinner at one of my friend’s houses.
She is a fac-brat (Exeter lingo for a faculty child). Her family loves to cook and invite us over for dinner. It’s a win-win situation: they get lively conversation on the State of the Union, languages, and classical music while we receive non d-hall food. Although d-hall has a steady variety of food, sometimes all us boarders want is a nice, home-cooked meal enjoyed in a proper house, not a dorm kitchen.
Our conversations over dinner and tea while listening to Brahms reminded us that the Harkness style of discussion extends outside of the classrooms and is everywhere on campus, even in homes.
People always ask what Exonians do for fun, and it truly depends on who you are asking. Some prefer leisurely activities like strolling through the park, some enjoy mountain biking in the woods, and others love to sit at a coffee shop and read all day. One of my dorm mates and I, however, decided to do something a little more exciting this Saturday. Because the wind was howling, we carried his gigantic kite to the school’s soccer field and flew it around. The kite has more than a five square meter surface area, so whenever a gust came we would go flying into the air. In the picture you can see my friend soaring over me, without jumping at all. It was an exhilarating experience, and something that I would have a hard time taking part in any where else. That is what I love about Exeter- if you live with your friends, no matter what you will always find fun and fascinating things to do.