Elm Tree Press – Academic Support at LA

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By Kerri Murphy ’19

When I first came to Lawrence Academy, I was unsure what to think about the Academic Support program and what it meant to have a learning coach.

Before starting at LA, I fought my parents about needing the program but settled on meeting with my learning coach one time per week. However, my preconceived perception of the learning support at LA couldn’t be more different than the reality. And, after having a learning coach for all four years I have been at Lawrence Academy, I now wish I could bring the program to college with me next year.

During coaching blocks, the student dictates what they want to work on during that time. Therefore, it is an excellent time to do any tough homework with your learning coach’s assistance. They are willing and wanting to help you with any problems you may encounter – whether it is planning out a history essay or reading an English assignment out loud to go over the meaning of each paragraph of prose.

Having a learning coach is like being able to ask your English teacher to take a look at your work before she grades it, or having someone willing to quiz you on Spanish vocabulary for 30-minutes until you have memorized each new word. Even if it is not an essay that I planned to do with my learning coach, I can still send it to her for a grammar and punctuation check, along with making sure the information flows correctly.

Each week, I look forward to meeting with my coach. First, we talk about my schedule, and I then tell her what I hope to accomplish during the block. During each meeting, I continuously find myself smiling and laughing, and I leave at the end of the block feeling accomplished, with a solid plan to stay on top of my work.

In short: Learning coaches and the LA Academic Support Office are there assist you! The office picks your coach based on your specific needs and personality to find the match that will lead to the best and most productive results.

They are all very knowledgeable in many different subjects, and they want to share their knowledge with each student. They take their job personally, genuinely care, and will do anything to help you succeed during your time at LA and beyond.

Not only has my learning coach helped me with my school work, but she has also helped me make sound academic decisions throughout my time at LA.

She encourages me to take challenging classes, giving me the confidence that I will succeed.

She has not yet been wrong…

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Elm Tree Press: Boarding at LA

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By Kevin Weaver ’20

When I first knew I was coming to Lawrence Academy, my biggest worry was boarding.

Throughout my life, I had never spent a lot of time away from my family, so living on appropriately accommodatedcampus for the next four school years seemed like it would be the toughest thing I would ever have to do in my life.

But this big change of living in an entirely new environment quickly became one of my favorite things about Lawrence Academy. On the first weekend on campus, I remember making some of my closest friends and haven’t worried about boarding since…

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Whenever someone asks me about weekends at Lawrence Academy, I always tell them there is never a dull weekend on campus. Every week, Lawrence Academy creates a packed lineup of activities that spread across a wide range of offerings.

Some of my favorite activities from my past three years have been: football and snacks in MacNeil lounge – always a great way to decompress on Sundays; mall trips – where I have made some of my favorite memories; movie trips – it’s always great to see the latest movies with friends; and open houses in the dorms – it’s so much fun to make new friends in another dorm.

And these are just four of the many activities that make weekends at LA seem like endless fun.

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One of the best part about boarding is that Lawrence Academy really makes sure that boarding students are accommodated properly.

In the past, whenever I have needed anything on or off campus, faculty members have done all they could to help me. This includes times as simple as when my advisor drove me to CVS or the grocery store.

However, few times have been as memorable as when my doorknob stopped working.

It was my sophomore year, and my doorknob wouldn’t turn all the way, so unless I left my door open, I was locked out of my room. When I told Mr. Gagnon, the faculty member on duty that night, he said to me that he’d help when he was done checking people in.

So, when he was done, he came down to my room to see what he could do to help.

When we realized that this was something we couldn’t just solve with our bare hands, we borrowed a screwdriver from a friend and began to take apart the doorknob. While lead by a YouTube video, we ended up taking the doorknob off completely before realizing that there wasn’t much more we could do, and the smart move was to notify our Building and Grounds team.

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Even though we walked away unsuccessful, I remember thinking about how fortunate I am to be part of a community where people will do whatever they can to help me, even if it means getting back to their wife and kids past midnight.

That’s the kind of community I love being a part of…

Elm Tree Press: Theatre at LA

by Mike Templeton ’19

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Questions:

  • Who is this strange man (a.k.a. Joel Sugerman)?
  • Why is he running across campus with those weird glasses; spectacles that rest perfectly on his nose?

Answers:

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Well, Mr. Sugerman may be eccentric (to say the least). But he is at the helm of Lawrence Academy’s spectacular Theatre Department where the opportunities offered to you are incredible, and you must get involved.

However, it all starts by walking into the Theatre Classroom where all the magic is made…

Besides being a homage to the great Charlie Chaplin (and also decorated with posters that make you think deeply), this is where we — the students — create.

In the fall, the play comes together; in the winter, the musical. In the spring, well, that’s when “One Acts” are in full swing.

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To give you some insight on my experience, freshman year I had the time of my life playing “Audrey II” in Little Shop of Horrors; a very opinionated disciple in Godspell the next year; the “Squeegee Man” in Rent, and two hilarious roles in two years of “One Acts.”

In short, my experience at LA would have been very different if I didn’t involve myself in the Theater Department!

But it’s entirely up to you to take that first step.

So, even if you have never been in a play or performed a scene publically in your life —

NOW IS THE TIME! IT IS SO MUCH FUN AND WORTH EVERY SECOND!

Check out Mike’s “theatre reel,” used in his college applications…

Elm Tree Post: LA’s Advisory System

Three Reasons Why I Love Advisory

by Steph Clark ’20

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The advisory system at Lawrence Academy is a unique program that allows students and faculty to connect. When entering LA as a new student, each student is placed into an advisory group. An advisory group consists of a teacher and five to eight students. Each advisory is a mix of grades, genders, and day or boarding status. We meet with our advisors Tuesday through Thursday for 15 minutes each morning.

Reason #1 – Your advisor is not just an advisor on campus.

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Each adult that is an advisor at LA is much more than just an “advisor figure.” After advisory ends each morning, you continue to see your advisor throughout the day. For example, your advisor could also be your coach, teacher, or college counselor.

The continuous interactions with your advisor allow you to bond beyond surface level, as your advisor gets to see the whole you.

I feel so lucky to have the unique opportunity to see my advisor in class or even sit with her family at dinner. Getting to know your advisor also means getting to know them as a coach, parent, and mentor.

Reason #2 – The mix of people you meet.

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The diverse group of students that you meet in advisory pushes you to meet students with different interests and backgrounds. In my advisory, we have two seniors, two juniors, three sophomores, and one freshman. We have students interested in basketball, soccer, painting, English and so much more.

Although all of us are very different, the time we share every morning allows us to bond and learn about one another.

We even have a group text, so we can communicate outside of the advisory setting. It is so nice to have eight more friendly faces on campus who I can smile at in the hallways, walk across the quad with, and eat with in the dining hall. As students graduate every year, the advisory groups continue to change and develop, but the connection you make lasts forever.

Reason #3 – Advisory is a safe space.

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Advisory is a place where I always feel safe and comfortable. We are so fortunate at LA to be in a community where we can share any issues that we are having and find a solution. When we walk into advisory each morning, we share laughs, questions, and even the occasional cry. Every advisor makes themselves available to students by text or email, which allows your advisor to be involved in your daily life beyond the 15 minutes that we share each morning. Not only can you share things with your advisor, but you can also lean on the other students in your advisory.

Each group truly bonds into a family and always makes sure that everyone has what they need to succeed.

The friends I have made through the advisory program at Lawrence Academy are people that I know will always have my back.

Elm Tree Press: Get Involved

by Mickey Feeney ’19

Hi! My name is Mickey, and I’m a senior day student at Lawrence Academy from Concord, Mass.

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If you asked anyone at LA about me, I’d bet that they’d tell you that I’m involved in just about everything! From debate to the band to student government, I do it all. Being involved is something that I love, and something that LA has encouraged me to pursue…

I remember attending the club fair my freshman fall and being amazed by the variety of opportunities there are to get involved at LA. 

We have a plethora of vibrant, student-run clubs, each one with its own passionate following, there are opportunities to run for our super fun and energetic Student Government, art and music groups are available to all.

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And there is no shortage of community service events!

If there is an activity or interest of yours that you would like to start a club for, the faculty will do whatever they can to help you make that happen.

Even if you aren’t super interested in getting involved, you may surprise yourself and end up joining a club or two. Regardless of whether you are a first-year student or a fourth-year senior, at LA you will be encouraged to get involved and pursue your interests outside of academics.

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At LA, life and learning exist within the classroom as well as outside of it. It’s really amazing to live in a community like this one.

So, be sure to come to campus and check it out! 

Mickey’s cabinet made a humourous Mountain Day video.  Check it out: