One of our goals each summer is to give Experimentory students a taste of the benefits and responsibilities particular to boarding school life. As members of Deerfield Academy, we also love to share some of our inherited traditions. In today’s post, Program Proctor John Anthony Bowllan – DA ’15 – shares about how this week we introduced our Experimentors to two of those traditions – School Meeting and Sit-own Meals.
As friendships solidify and students take on new adventures inside and outside the classroom, the Experimentors have completed another successful day in the Pioneer Valley. I have seen firsthand the enjoyable and unique experiences that these students have passionately taken on. In Ms. Speed’s Communications Class, students worked on introductions with one another as Ms. Speed emphasized the importance of confidence in first meetings with people. Students also had the opportunity to explore an intricate music program Garage Band and create their own jingles in Mr. Westin’s Music and Film Studio period. I am truly amazed at the impressive level of intelligence and maturity of this group of students. Good start, Experimentors!
Students have also been getting a taste of some long-standing traditions that form Deerfield Academy’s character: All ‘X’ Meetings and sit-down lunches. The Experimentory’s “All ‘X’ Meeting” is a spin-off of Deerfield’s All School Meeting – a weekly gathering that draws our community together. After students, staff, teachers, and proctors filed into the Concert Hall, we watched skits created by Mr. Thrasher and the proctors that quite comically illustrated several rules and expectations that we expect the students to adhere to during their time at the Experimentory. No skit went without a plethora of giggles. Alex F, one of the Experimentors at my lunch table, later reported that the skit about sit down meal manners
was by far the funniest! (Purely coincidentally, that happened to be the skit I was in.) After the skits, Mr. Thrasher asked three volunteers Cami, Abram, and Mr. Westin to perform an interpretive dance while he narrated and played the piano. The Experimentors’ laughs filled the hall! I most certainly expect future All ‘X’ Meetings to be very informative, entertaining, and most importantly, a great time for our community to touch base.
We have also had the chance to attend “sit down” lunches, another cherished Deerfield tradition that strengthens the community. Similar to sit down meals at Deerfield, students are randomly assigned to different tables every week, which allows them to practice good table manners and “meal etiquette” while meeting other students and staff members that they might not have met in another setting. My table includes Jonathan, Tasha, Reshma, Kevin, Justin, Gerald, Alex F, Ms. Jimenez and Mr. Thrasher. After only two sit down lunches, our conversations have covered such ground as, “Good conversations vs. Awkward conversations,” “What is your favorite food?” and “Tell us about your home.” We also discovered a friendly rivalry between students’ schools!
Another good day at the Experimentory! On to the next!
– John Anthony