Stuart, Sophomore Boarder from Harwich Port, Massachusetts
On Thursday 20th, I went to Boston with a group of 15 other girls. We went to Boston for a program called IIG or Investing in Girls. It is a new program for Westover and was only open to returning sophomores. This program fits Westover so well because at Westover we are all about empowering women and introducing us girls to fields of work that are usually male dominated. There is another program called W.I.S.E that introduces girls in the field of science and engineering. Investing in girls is a program that was created to educate girls in the world of finance. Each student gets a mentor, who is a successful woman in the business world. She helps the student become familiar with the world of business and helps you learn the ropes and answer questions.
At the program there was a panel with 5 successful women. They answered our questions and helped us figure out how we might want to get started in the business world and also what field of business we might want to go into. After the panel we had some food and met our mentors for the first time.
This program appeals to me because my grandmother is the president of a Bank in Washington D.C and her job has interested me in the field of banking. IIG will give me more information about banking and help me see if that is what I want to do when I get older. I really look forward to meeting my mentor and the upcoming panels and workshop that we will get to do. The next IIG meeting is on Sunday 30th here at Westover and I can’t wait!
And below is a Photo of the group! The one in the front who is blocking everyone and trying to find a stop to stand is me!
Parke, Senior Boarder from Lima, Peru
During July this summer, I had signed up to do a half marathon in Lima, Perú in August with my sister Kira (also a Westover student), our dad, and Neil King, our friend who is a Westover Alumna form the class of 1988. With so little time to prepare (as most people start preparing 4 or so months in advance), we trained every day for the race. My goal was to improve so that I would not be out of shape for cross-country season, and ultimately, not to come in last in the race. Fortunately, I had success in both of my goals. On race day, the three of us rode down to the Plaza de Armas in downtown Lima in a taxi, and joined in on the group stretches and chugged a couple cups of Gatorade before the race while trying to get warmed up (it was “winter” in Lima in July/August). For cross-country, I was so used to running 5k’s, and so I had to pace myself differently. It all took place on road throughout Lima and then up to the Malacón, by the beach in Miraflores. Neil and I finished the race together! We both felt so accomplished after the race, and many other people who work with Neil and my dad in the American Embassy also participated (in the photo below, from the right: my dad, me, Kira, and Neil, other American Embassy workers). We all had an after-the-half-marathon party at Neil’s house. I will definitely never forget running the half-marathon in Lima, Perú with my Westover team, a chance I will probably never have again!
That’s me!! (second from right with my sister Kira to my right)
Laura, Sophomore Boarder from the Netherlands
One would think that the longer you are at a boarding school, the longer the days will get. While this sometimes is true (e.g. a freezing winter day with an overload of work, and you just caught a cold), I love how every week I am surprised by little (or sometimes) big things. A week ago I went to a poetry reading hosted at our school. At first I did not think much of it; how interesting can listening to someone reading poetry be? I was definitely mistaken. Todd Boss’s poetry grabbed me and I absolutely fell in love with it. After buying his book and getting it signed by Todd Boss himself, I started loving poetry a lot more and was looking forward to discussing poetry in English class. This was one of those big surprises; I had never realized how much a person could enjoy poetry without having it be a requirement.
Although big surprises can be very pleasant, small ones can make you just as happy. A couple of days ago my alarm clock did not go off, and once I actually woke up it was 7:35, five minutes until assembly! I am a person who loves breakfast, so I was also upset about not having time to eat anything. Once I got out of bed, I was pleasantly surprised by a delicious muffin that had been placed on my desk. Someone knew I missed breakfast, and the only one who could have known would be my roommate. It was such a sweet thing of her to do, and it reminded me of how much people care about each other at Westover, and how strong the relationship between my roommate and I is. This kind gesture just made my day.
A friend and I recently started a club together: Alternative Eating Club. This club is for people with certain food allergies, vegetarians, vegans, people who don’t eat certain things for religious reasons, and just for people who love food. We will watch certain food documentaries, have food tastings, (hopefully) have guest speakers come, promote healthier living, and organize trips to health stores, restaurants, food fairs, etc. Quite ambitious. We did not count on a lot of sign ups, quite frankly, we were thinking about what to do if nobody signed up. After we hung up the sign up board, we quickly had over 30 members, which increased to 40 members! We were both so surprised, and I couldn’t believe so many students from all grades signed up!
So maybe life at boarding school can be busy, and intense, surprises throughout the weeks keep me going and make me remember how much I love being at Westover.
Shabia, Senior Boarder from Paterson, New Jersey
On Thursday I went on a field trip for my AP Environmental Science class. First, we went to a CSA, a community-supported agriculture farm. In CSAs, members of the community pay the farmers a certain amount of money and during harvest time, the CSA members are given a certain portion of the harvest. The advantage to this is that people eat locally, support local farms, and know where their food is coming from. The CSA we went to, Boulder Knoll, uses techniques to reduce erosion of soil, such as no-till farming. CSAs also provide sustainable agriculture. Our next trip was to a grass feed, a farm where cattle are raised for meat, but instead of being fed corn, the cattle are fed grass. At Laurel Ridge Grass Fed Beef, the cows are allowed to eat grass right off from the ground; however, the farmers are careful to make sure that there is no over-grazing. The benefits of a cow eating grass is that the cow grows at a normal rate and can actually digest the grass, whereas corn only aims to put on weight on cows to produce more meat so that the cows can be harvested faster. However, usually corn-fed cows are mistreated. For example, they may be put in concentrated areas, where disease spreads quickly and all of them receive antibiotics, which end up in the meat you eat. You want to avoid that because the antibiotics can cause immunity to certain bacterias. Furthermore, feeding cows corn, which they do not naturally eat, is inhumane because cows are almost guaranteed to get sick. Grass-fed cows tend to be healthier to eat and also allow for sustainable agriculture as well. Our next stop was at an ice cream shop, which was a treat. Finally, we went to New Milford Farms, a composting factory. This farm creates soil out of organic material through decomposition processes. This is the largest operation to do so in all of Connecticut. Many people do not realize this, but soil is an ecosystem, and because of not knowing this, people tend to destroy soil too quickly. Soil plays a vital part in sustaining life on earth, and therefore, we need to educate ourselves about soil and how to best preserve it. Overall, the day was very informative and fun. We got to harvest plants at the CSA, learn about grass-fed cows, and take a tour of the soil-making process.