What's My Day Like?

Cameron, senior

Mr. Wang is phenomenal. He's a great guy – not only in his teaching and his knowledge, but also his personality and friendship in the classroom. We have a great relationship. He leads a nice Harkness discussion. 

Exeter has affected my ability to learn very positively. When you have a combined effort to understand the book, you have a much more thorough perspective on a novel or an essay. When you're sitting down to write a paper, it's a lot easier to think about what you've said when you've said it to the class.

We're talking about Beloved by Toni Morrison. The novel is a really tough one. We made quite a few jokes in this class because it was such a hard novel to dissect. We had to view it from a different perspective. Beloved is one of my favorite books.

I have several friends in this class. Matt plays on the football team with me. Tyler and Trent are friends too. Communicating with them in a Harkness setting is definitely different from outside the class.

I came to Exeter as a repeat junior. Before that, I went to Calais High School in Calais, ME. Calais High School is a very small school. It was a huge change coming to Exeter. Not just geography-wise. Socially, too. At Exeter, you rarely see someone on the path you don't know.

It was a huge change academically, too. The workload is greater and the classroom atmosphere different. Everybody wants to be here. We all have a common thirst for knowledge. That makes studying a whole lot easier.

I considered myself a pretty quiet kid in Calais. I took notes and didn't give any input. That has definitely changed since I got here. The comfort level of speaking out in class is totally different. You don't worry about people judging what you're going to say, or what's right or wrong. It's an easier environment to perform in.

Learn more about English at Exeter…

Harkness in History and English are very comparable. The goal in the class is to make sure everybody understands the reading.

Your opinion really matters. You get a rich discussion that really helps you understand.

Ms. Schwartz fuels the discussion really well. She offers great perspectives on things.

I enjoy writing papers so it was nice to get somebody who really understands how to write a research paper. Having that experience will really help me in college and in other courses.

All the kids want to be in this class because it's an elective.

Trevor's in this class – he's a great friend. He's on the basketball team with me. We live in the same dorm and we've been friends since I got here.

Coming in as an upper was a good move for me. It's not as hard to be away from family. Junior year is tough because of the workload. Senior year is still tough, but because of the relationships you made the first year, it all comes together.

We have 1 big reader packet for this class – with readings from Karl Marx and all the famous economics philosophers – and a couple of biographical books. After every reading, a group of kids put up a blog entry and highlight what we found interesting. We discuss them in class – we really try and figure out where these philosophers were coming from and whether we agree with them.

Learn more about History at Exeter…

Math is extremely different at Exeter. The most different from public school of any class, I'd say.

For a person like me, who hasn't been the best at math, it's great. It's rare that you don't understand after going over it a couple of times with friends or the teacher.

We're working on a graph, on a sine equation. It's a tricky problem. We're the first to finish – me and 2 of my friends, Ashleigh and Jess. We presented to the class. We weren't right at first, but with help from some of the guys and girls at the table, we were able to get the problem done. That often happens. People talk from the table.

It's a very comfortable environment. You don't have to raise your hand, you just give your input. You're holding the chalk, but the whole class is working on the problem.

We usually have 7 problems a night. We put the problems on the board and go over them together. Different methods are always appreciated. It's always nice to see another person's way of finding the answer.

It's easier than in public school, where the teacher would put stuff on the board. There it was a preach-and-learn method. Here it's more of a do-and-learn method.

Ms. Heisey is great. She's comical at times. We meditate before every class. We race from class to class. She always gives us a few minutes to relax.

She would never give us the answer to problems. She always let us work through them. Coming to an answer yourself or with a group of kids, you'll remember it better than just copying it down.

I never really considered myself a math guy until Physics at Exeter. That's my favorite subject. Last year I had Ms. Waterman and Mr. Cosgrove. They're both great people in class. Physics made sense because you can put everything in front of you and do it.

Learn more about Math and Science at Exeter…

Mr. Pérez is really fun. He does his best to ease us into things, to have us speak Spanish as much as we can. Ms. Flores was great too. I had her last year.

I took 2 years of Spanish at public school. The difficulty level is a lot higher here. I thought I'd be in the 200 or 300 level. I went straight into 100 level, which was plenty challenging. You're not coming in behind or ahead of any kids.

My friend Chris and I are the only 2 guys in the class. That's fun. Marlow has a great personality. The 3 of us studied a lot together. That definitely increased my performance in the class.

Learn more about Modern Languages at Exeter…


 

The food is great usually. All you can eat. That's a big thing for an athlete like me. There's a lot of options if you're a vegan or vegetarian, too. I've never walked out of dining hall without having found something good to eat.

Unlike public school, where you have about 30 minutes, you usually have about an hour to eat here. You can go to food stations as much as you want.

You talk to friends about what's going on in your social world, and the sports world. I often spend a lot of time in dining hall between classes and after dinner just hanging out.

I'm with Marlow and Chris. We walk from Spanish class to lunch. My friend Luke is sitting with us. He and Chris are both lacrosse players.

I eat in Elm Street Dining Hall. I live in Cilley Hall. They're both on the south side of campus, so it's easy to stop by the dorm after meals. It's only a couple of hundred feet away. It's like a little triangle with the gym, dining hall and my dorm. I spend most of my time in those spots outside of class.

Dining hall can seem a bit intimidating when you're new. Just sitting anywhere, you meet people. Everyone's really nice. You have plenty to talk about. There are no awkward situations in dining hall.

Learn more about Dining Services at Exeter…

We're doing a peer critique. We go around the circle and give our thoughts. It's all constructive criticism. Critique is tough at times because you think you did something well and others don't agree with you. Others just see it from a different perspective. You understand what others might have done in the situation.

The project is self-portraits using shapes. It was one of the most challenging projects we did. And one of the most rewarding. You can't really tell what it is until you take a few steps back.

My favorite project in this class was the final. We could use any medium at all. I drew hands holding a football. I did it out of charcoal. I chose charcoal because I had a really hard time using it early in the year. I felt that I hadn't mastered it at all. My final project turned out a lot better. I had learned things.

Everybody really enjoys this class. Ms. Longley does a great job. We do a lot of unique projects. Ms. Longley really harps on the principles and elements of art.

I took Printmaking I and II with Ms. Misenheimer. She's very open with her assignments. She left a lot of room for us to use our imagination.

Art is a nice break from the academically rigorous courses. Taking 5 classes a term without an art for me is hard. There's not much homework in art classes. You get in touch with a different side of yourself. It's not always easy by any means, but it's a break from a book or a math problem. You get a lot of freedom to do what you want.

Learn more about Art at Exeter…

We have a bye this weekend, so I'm in the gym instead of practicing on the field.

I love the facilities at Exeter. It's like a dream come true, and a big reason I came here. It's so crucial to getting better at your sport. There's a weight room, tennis court, whatever you need.

Reggie and Christian are working with me. We're lifting and doing squats, which is a pretty common exercise for football players.

The football team is a great experience. Coach Glennon and all the coaches are phenomenal.

I played basketball last year. Senior year was my first on the football team. Getting to know the kids and coaches was awesome. The competition in this league is fantastic. The exposure is huge. The New England prep school league is big for a lot of the colleges I am talking to.

Coach Glennon makes a family out of the team in a short amount of time. I wish I could have played 4 years of football here.

I'll definitely stay in touch with my teammates after Exeter. The other guys will be playing with other NESCAC schools. It will be nice to catch each other's games. It would be pretty funny to play against some of them. We'd hate each other on the field, and have fun and get together after the game.

Editor's note: Soon after these photos were taken, Cam played a star role in Exeter's 39-6 rout of Andover, the 4th Exeter win in as many years. Here are comments Cam made about the winning game:

From the first snap, everything was clicking for us. In such a big game you don't lose any passion – with so many fans there. Every play is important. You're ready to go for every down. We knew we executed on all levels of the game plan, and we came out on top.

This game is one of the greatest rivalries in sport. To be a part of it was unreal. Winning was phenomenal. Fans, teachers, they all go to the game. They're able to see you in your sport. They're all real happy for you. Everyone was talking about it for the next couple of weeks. It's kind of a dream situation – winning a big game and having all that support.

My grandparents, brother, parents, cousins – they were all there.

It was the most fun sporting event I've ever played in. Storming the field at the end of the game is the greatest. See video and pictures from the game…

Learn more about Athletics at Exeter…

I'm with my friends – Christian, Nic and Connor. They're all fun kids. They keep it interesting. We see each other a lot after the daily round of gym and going to class.

At dinner we try not to be too serious. We goof off a lot. It's fun.

Learn more about Dining Services at Exeter…

 

 

 

 

 


 

Usually after dinner I head back to the dorm. We try and get our homework done as soon as possible to have some free time to just hang out. I'm with Trevor and Chris.

It's a good support system. Everyone has a strong suit. It's really easy to get work done as a group, regardless of grade level or specialty. There's always something you can help someone else with.

I never had this experience before coming here. In the past I was usually left by myself to figure stuff out. It has a lot to do with what Exeter is – giving each other input on different things. That's another great aspect of Exeter.

There's a big common room where kids can just hang out. Every night for "dorm grill," a couple of seniors have a snack bar in the basement. You see a lot of people down there just before going to bed.

It's hard at first to get used to living with so many people you don't know. But really quickly you get to know them. They have the same goals you do. Everyone's fun to be around.

I met Chris when I was 13, playing basketball in Maine. He was on my team for 3 years. When he started looking at prep schools, I encouraged him to come here. He loves it.