The Physics 400 Final

Let me paint the picture for you. It’s 12am and I’m sprawled out on my duvet with 300 white index cards, a mini white board, a 500-page textbook, a stack of printed handouts, crumpled up notebook spirals, mechanical pencils that barely work, and a cup of “Calm” tea that I am too busy to even think about drinking.

It is the night before my Physics 400 Spring final. Just 10 hours before summer is set to begin.

For the past week I had been studying round the clock. I recited definitions in the shower, scribbled equations onto paper napkins at dinner, and watched every YouTube and Kahn Academy Physics related video that was relevant. Continue reading

Mr. Barry

“I’d love my students to come away from my classes knowing that they are competent in mathematics and that they are so confident in their abilities that they never close a door on opportunities in college because they are afraid of the math.” — Donald Barry

As Andover prepares to celebrate its teachers who are leaving the academy at the end of the year, I thought it would be appropriate to write my own little tribute to someone who in the course of two terms has influenced the way I now look at mathematics for the better. I know I am one of his last students as he prepares to leave Andover, but I feel like I’ve learned so much from him as all his other many students have done over the past 30 years over his career at 180 Main Street. Continue reading

The big history paper

One of the graduation requirements at Andover is to complete a year’s study of US History, starting from colonial times, moving right through the Civil War, and only ending at the present day. Of course, any student here could tell you that in order to get through your US History experience (History 300 and History 310 for those in the know — the former refers to the fall and winter terms together while the latter is just the spring term. Why they split them up this way? Who knows? Just another Andover quirk, I guess.), you’re going to have to write a fairly substantial research paper. Continue reading

Cluster dinners (a.k.a. my second post about themed dinners at Commons)

If you ever walk into Paresky Commons and are immediately blasted with some thundering music after having passed by an elaborate chalk drawing on the courtyard, don’t run away — chances are you’ve walked into a cluster dinner. Throughout the year, each cluster (out of the five of Abbot, Pine Knoll, Flagstaff, West Quad North, and West Quad South) takes it turn to control Commons for one night only and decorate up the halls and choose the menus based on a theme each cluster picks. Over the past few years, we’ve had dinners based on superheroes, Dr. Seuss, the Olympics, the Fifties, the Hunger Games (am I the only one who thinks this is completely ironic?), Harry Potter, Star Wars, and so on. Basically, we do a lot of crazy things in Commons.

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Relay for Life

It’s been quite a while since I signed up to help plan the Relay for Life. Was it January or February when I walked through Steinbach Lobby, saw a giant banner promoting the event, and put my name down to help the student organization Campuses Against Cancer organize Andover’s first-ever Relay? I actually can’t remember, but, regardless, I did so, and we started moving towards the goal of raising $25,000 by April 26 2014 for the American Cancer Society.

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I have a considerable number of day student friends who make fun of the boarding life. Having to sign in? Not being able to get into cars without permission? Not being able to drive? All targets up for attack, and all valid problems of the boarder’s life. It’s no surprise that day students get to enjoy much more freedom than we boarders do. Even if the workload gets to all of us in the end.

Mind you, they don’t know what they’re missing.

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It’s been about week since the Admissions Office released its decisions. As I start my own college search now, it is indeed a striking moment to look back at the past. I can remember myself, two years ago, waiting anxiously for that e-mail to arrive (as an international student, I received an e-mail before getting the actual envelope that my fellow bloggers here so highly prized). I still recall taking a hot shower while singing Gary Jules’ “Mad World” to calm myself down before my dad came in, iPad in hand, to tell me the good news. Continue reading

Digital education @ Andover

I should start off by offering a much-needed Happy New Year, however delayed it may be. Well, it’s still the beginning of the new Chinese Year, so — Hmm. I guess it’s not that bad. Happy Year of the Horse!

In any case, as we head into the murky, unexplored depths of 2014, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at several ways that technology is being integrated into our learning at Andover. Our Head of School Mr. Palfrey really embraces today’s digital age — like, he really embraces technology; he teaches a course on hacking, owns Google Glass and you can even follow him on Twitter at @jpalfrey — so it seems only appropriate that education at Andover would head into the digital domain, as it always has been. Continue reading

Clutch Collaborative Panel

Hello, all!

This past week, I had the opportunity to speak on The Clutch Collaborative Panel here at Andover. Clutch is a club on campus that supports students who are working to promote social change in the world. I was there on my behalf on the non-profit organization that I started, Food For Friends. Being there with my peers and listening to their efforts to make a difference was truly inspiring. I have always loved giving back to the community. There is no better feeling than knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life. Talking with others who share that passion was really cool.

It is easy to get wrapped up in the craziness of our lives—school, sports, tests, homework, friends—I know I am guilty of sometimes getting lost in my

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An Update

Hello My Dear Sweet Admissions Blog Readers,

Well. This is certainly a tad awkward. I missed you. I’m sorry I haven’t written in so long. I’ve been so busy, you see, surviving my senior year of high school. Since I last wrote to you, many exciting (and not so exciting) things have happened to me.

1. I went to India on a trip called Niswarth. That was pretty crazy/awesome/incredible/sad/confusing. I went with 14 other peers and three teachers, all of us from PA. It was the best experience of my life.

2. I learned to drive. Sort of. In a parking lot. With no other cars. At 5 mph. Hey, it’s something. And at Andover I never need to drive anyway.

3. I started my Senior fall!

4. I went to approximately a million College Counseling meetings.

5. I applied to college.

6. I went to a million other meetings.

7. I slept and ate in my spare time. (Read: I barely slept.)

8. We published a book that I have been working on with other students and faculty for almost two years! It’s called Out of the Blue, and it’s a book about identity at Andover.

9. I got into college. (I am still under the impression that they sent the wrong envelope.)

10. I started my Senior winter. My favorite class currently is called Abbot Global Seminar, which is a fantastic combination of English and philosophy.

11. I neglected my blog writing. My sincerest apologies. But that’s not important. We’re together again. <3

Anyway, I just wanted to give you guys an update. Andover has always been a very busy place. But now, so close to graduation, so close to leaving, I feel like I’m on a deadline. I want to squeeze every drop out of this experience, because it truly is a remarkable one. I could never truly convey my love for this place. You have to come feel this for yourself.

Good luck to all you applicants! I have some funny stories about my own application experience, but those will have to wait for another day…