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Angel Nugroho: Governor’s School student challenged by peers and new ideas

Governor’s School can be confounding- in a good way. Philosophy does it more openly, but it is amazing the way any information can move you. I recently found out that the ice cream in Meredith Dining Hall is non-dairy, which was a shocking revelation. Ice cream that good? Without milk? It seemed impossible before coming here.

But the discoveries made at Governor’s School extend far beyond its frozen desserts. For example: Our Area 2 studies often favor discussion on the actuality of life. Concepts like “Is life a simulation?” or “Are we living in a dream?” are hotly debated topics on campus.

For me, the idea that you can doubt essentially everything in life provokes a pretty ambivalent attitude. On one hand, life having no set meaning can feel like an unceasing road of insignificance. On the other, it could translate to having the freedom to choose your own destiny and priorities.

The film Grizzly Man, which Governor’s School students watched, adds another comedic yet compelling piece to this endless puzzle. A movie that I still cannot begin to comprehend, but makes me more appreciative of finding questions rather than answers.

Of course, after Area 2 philosophy, everyone needs a return to (questionable) reality. What better way to come back to Earth than to look up at the stars? The stargazing elective attracted long lines of students. Some sprinted to the meet-up location, possibly losing flip-flops along the way.

Although the sky clouded just as night fell, student persistence and the kindness of the Raleigh astronomers there allowed close-ups of Saturn, Jupiter, and a few constellations. This rare and wonderful opportunity went right along with a recent speaker, Patrick Gray. A Governor’s School alumni, Patrick Gray discussed the future of space technology and exploration. 

The students here, without a doubt, continue to impress and entertain me. Knitting and swing dancing crazes captivate the class, as origami and Euchre grow in difficulty and intensity.

My particular friend group dove head first into knitting, making weekly trips to the local yarn store. One of my close friends even made beautiful blue bracelets for fellow knitters, and they are displayed on wrists all around the Meredith campus.

But I found true camaraderie during a recent Used Bookstore Walk. A group of us luckily got spots to shop at a second-hand bookstore, but it contained far more than used books. Crates of old-fashioned records underneath old tapes filled the room. A shelf covered in with comic books of pre-reboot Doctor Who and Star Trek and classic Marvel editions.

One box full of with old vintage ads of “Fine Tobacco” and “All-New Color Video” from the 50’s and 60’s. It took some self-restraint, but I managed to leave without buying the whole store. I picked up some Jules Verne, Kafka, and Fitzgerald. Another friend left with a stunningly ornate edition of Arabian Nights. One decided to “casually brush up on Russian literature.” And lastly, one purchased every Animorphs publication they could find, a chapter book series on aliens inhabiting teenagers, giving them the ability to turn into different animals. Though our purchases were wildly different, I felt a deep commonality in all of us seeking new things in new ways.

Angel Nugroho

Angel Nugroho is a rising senior from Providence High School in Charlotte, NC, where she plays clarinet and competes on the golf team. She is a student at Governor’s School East studying English.