It has been a week and a half since the start of Governor’s School East’s 2017 session, and I have written more poems in that week and a half than I ever have in my life. Good ones, too, (or so I think) but at least ones with which I am pleased.
Studying poetry is something I have always wished to do, as I have not had much exposure to poetry in English classes throughout the years, and I wanted to go outside of my comfort zone in the field of English. We have read a poem each day, comparing and contrasting stylistic aspects, and connecting ideas expressed in the poem to our external knowledge of the world.
Outside of Area 1 class, our Area 2 and 3 classes have engendered diverse conversations, some of which end in everyone dissolving into laughs and some of which end in tears. I believe this kind of open academic environment, where any contribution of one’s peers is valued, is extremely productive. In this short amount of time, I have become highly comfortable in discussion with my peers, more so than I am with some peers I have attended classes with for three years.
These conversations, which range from the theoretical technologies of time travel and various associated paradoxes to the true meaning and price of American democratic freedom, are eye opening to a variety of perspectives.
One of my favorite aspects of Governor’s School, however, is the extensive availability of electives, other opportunities, and the general sense of a community. I have attended electives discussing subjects like the Paris Climate Accords, salsa dancing, Stephen Sondheim, meditation, and Cuban-US relations, and enjoyed and learned the full hour of every single one.
I am also a staff writer for the newsletter here, and I have extremely enjoyed the process of writing an article — it is like an introductory course, training wheels and all, to journalism. There is no shame in joining others whose name you might not even know, for a nice meal in the dining hall. There is no shame in asking someone their name every time you see them, because let’s be real — learning more than 300 names in a week is somewhat of an impossible feat. More than that though, the environment, not always like-minded or similar, is productive and essential to gain a varied perspective and keep oneself open.
The first week of Governor’s School has been an enjoyable experience. I can’t wait to continue and see what is next!