Articles can be submitted to the Cafe for publication by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Cafe was 9th in the state in “political influence” last week according to BlogNetNews even though we compete with professional journalists and state political leaders. This means that your article will be read around the state, and sometimes in other states and countries, in addition to being read extensively in Woodstock and in surrounding towns.
Already, April approaches its end. Today, on this 29th of April, only 32 days of school remain. 32 days. That means that, as a sophomore, I have attended Woodstock Academy for 328 days of my life. For 328 days, I have been a part of the Academy community. My time here has truly allowed me to form my own impressions of the students, of the faculty, and of the Academy itself. As I’m sure everyone here would agree, the Academy does have room for improvement. Yet the Academy is not alone in this. All students from all schools will doubtlessly find some need for change within their community. Yet I have to say, these issues pale in comparison to the school as a whole. Woodstock Academy promises many opportunities and freedoms to the everyday student. For this, I am grateful to be a part of the Academy community.
For those of us living in a rural setting like Pomfret, Woodstock, Eastford, or Brooklyn, having a school with over 1000 students presents new social outlets. With over 1000 individual personalities, most students are guaranteed to find at least one person they can truly connect with. And with over 1000 individuals, the Woodstock Academy becomes a melting pot of personalities and talents. Freshman year can be difficult for this reason, especially after spending years in schools where every family knows most every other family. After time, however, even the most introverted of students eventually find their niche. My parents disapprove of the size, claiming that it eliminates that “personal touch” of the “small-town school.” I do agree that the school probably shouldn’t get significantly bigger, but as a student, I find the size refreshing.
As an eighth grader approaching high school, I think the concept I most looked forward to that the Academy promised was freedom. For years, teachers had required even the most trustworthy of students to ask permission to use a restroom or to get a drink from the water fountain. If you were cleared, it was then required to write a pass for yourself, have it signed by a teacher, and then to sign out on a slip of paper. Certainly, I agree that it is important for teachers to be aware of where students are. However, and I mean no disrespect to the faculty of my middle school, I can’t help but wonder if we as people should be programmed to ask permission to respond to nature’s call. At the Academy, teachers still require that you sign out before leaving the class (in case of an emergency). But now, the faculty trusts in your ability to decide for yourself if now is the appropriate time to use the restroom. And for those that would abuse that power, the Academy has campus supervisors that ensure that no one takes a “holiday” during a less–than-thrilling class. Then there is a matter of lunch. Woodstock Academy does not force every student to pack into the cafeteria during lunch. Instead, we have a few designated areas and the outdoors to select from. And I can hardly articulate the freedom of electives. Just about every semester, students can have at least one course that really excites them. That, to me, is the most important freedom that the Academy offers. Read the rest of this entry »