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!

Graham Robo

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!

UNH Field Hockey Camp

Hi, All!

I got back from UNH on Monday from field hockey camp. Some of the girls from the team at school went to the camp together and it was a ton of fun (and extremely hot out, 95 degrees or worse!). It was an all day camp, so we started in the morning at 8:30am and our day ended at 8pm. There was optional play too, so if you wanted, you could play till 10pm. I stayed with the girls on the team because they’re day students and commuted while the majority of the campers were boarders. While we were at the camp, we got the chance to meet two new Exeter students! One of them was going to be a prep and the other was going to be a new upper. They were in our group during skills in the morning sessions and were on our team in the evening during games. It was good to play with them, and get to know them too, since they will become fellow teammates.

Aside from field hockey, some other things I have been doing over the summer are skipping a term of math, and staying in bed to procrastinate from doing anything productive. Skipping a term of math definitely wasn’t the most fun decision I have made, but I said I would do it, and well, it would be awkward if I didn’t do the work. I know, you’re probably wondering what skipping a term of math is. At Exeter, everything is done by term, so if you are in the 300s level math (I am), the sequence goes 310, 320, 330, 340. Meaning if you started the 300s level in the fall term, in the fall you would be in “310”, in the winter you would be in “320”, etc. There’s an accelerated course of 300s, going 311, 321, 331 which completes the 300s math in three terms rather than four. Well, I am skipping 320 over the summer so I can go into 330 in the fall. I did this because I wanted to finish the 400 series of math when I begin it. Motivation to do math is pretty rare in the summertime, and it’s been a pretty rough time forcing myself to do it. To finish the 400 series of math, I would have to skip a term next summer as well, but now I think I won’t. You live and you learn, right? Besides math, I’ll be vacationing at Bethany Beach soon! Time to buy some sunscreen. I will definitely have more eventful stories to write about later in the summer. Hope your summer has been fun and relaxing!

Kimberly

Academics at Big Red

School is hard. But, here at Exeter, I’ve learned as much as I learned in two years in about two terms. The courses I’m taking at Exeter include Math 23X, an accelerated math course, Physics 20P, which is physics for preps, Comp Sci 315, my elective, Spanish 220, my language, English 220, English for preps, Health, which is required for all new lower class men, Prep SPAZ, which is PE for all preps who don’t make a sport, and private piano lessons. The homework load is big, but if you manage your time effectively, you can definitely balance the three S’s, sleep, studying and social life. In all the classes, Harkness is used. Personally, I love Harkness math and English. In math, our curriculum is problem based so we all present one problem and discuss how we solved it, or if there are multiple solutions, we talk about other ways to solve the problem. In English, class is discussion based, usually about a reading or sometimes we read our writing aloud for everyone at the table to assess and help us. Learning at Exeter is very collective and you help your classmates around the table as much as they help you.