Knowing that I will be in California next school year, knowing that this is probably our last school year here at Phillips Exeter, makes me appreciate Exeter more. Yes the weather is bad, although today is a lovely warm spring day. Yes, we live in a small dormitory apartment, and can hear kids at all hours in the corridors. But the students, especially my mock trial students, are great.
On Saturday, I spent some time watching the track meet and talking with JZ, a young girl from China and Australia. So bright, so enthusiastic, such a cute combination of shy and gregarious. I was there to watch HH, from South Carolina, run in the 1500, which he won. Afterwards he and I ran a couple of miles to “cool down” in the woods. (He was cooling down; I was running pretty hard; but he is 17 and I am 56.) We talked about this and that, including his history 333 paper, on why southerners who were NOT rich slaveowners fought in the Civil War. Was it really just so that they could have slaves? Or were they serious when they said they were fighting for freedom? How did they reconcile their concept of “freedom” with their slaves’ lack of freedom? I think, hope, that perhaps HH will become a history student.
Just now, on Monday, the dog and I went for a little walk from our dorm apartment, and we saw YC, from Korea, who is stressed about the need to prepare two direct examinations, two cross examinations, and one statement, all in draft form in the next few days. She did not say it, but I am sure that she has ten other things to do, for classes and for other clubs, in the next few days. And that she will do all of them, well, gracefully and in some cases brilliantly. Then Rohan from Illinois and I talked a few minutes about college mock trial nationals, as well as some details of our high school mock trial case.
There are things I would do differently, were I in charge of Exeter admissions. But in general, Exeter attracts an amazing group of students, and I have been blessed to be here, to be part of the lives of some of them.