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Galatea Kurz ‘15, a boarding student from Tokyo, Japan, speaks about 9th grade:
How did you hear about Olney? I learned about Olney by coming to Friends Music Camp. I was already comfortable with the campus and knew some of the people, so I thought this would be cool.
What instruments do you play? I’ve taken voice, piano, and guitar.
What was your proudest accomplishment in 9th grade? Getting A’s. My old school didn’t have grades. Also, writing with Abby [humanities teacher]. Getting a B by the end of the year was a big accomplishment.
Your writing improved during the year? Yes. Abby just challenges you so much and pushes you so much.
What did you like best about life outside the classroom? The diversity — I loved how, even though there were only 54 kids, you couldn’t get bored because there were so many different cultures and stories and ways to live in the world — how they treated money, and food, and interactions with family members. It was so amazing how a group of friends could be made up of [people from] Rwanda, Serbia, and Costa Rica — and how I ended up being really close to them. I ended up being so close to the seniors even though I was a freshman. Surya helped me start jewelry making. Being able to go to Costa Rica and visit her family along with Bojana — it was such a great experience. When we went to Athens, when Aline and Hana were seeing how Kima talks to her parents — it was amazing to them. “You guys are friends [with your parents]?”
If you could change one thing about Olney, what would it be? Maybe if we had a few more students, we could have a few more classes.
What would you tell other 9th graders? You’ll definitely make great friendships here with the students and teachers if you’re open to it. The teachers are crazy-amazing. They’re not just there to teach you. They’re there to talk with you if you need to talk to, they’re there to support you, to go way over hours if you need their help.
What’s your favorite place on campus? Everywhere! In the spring, I love the barn — the baby goats are so amazing. Being able to be a part of that was great — to see birth, to hold a baby goat, to play with a baby goat the day after it was born.
Kayla Kellar ‘15, a day student from Senecaville, Ohio, speaks about 9th grade:
How did you hear about Olney Friends School? I’m from the area. My mom has seen the PR for the school since we moved here about 10 years ago.
What were your impressions when you visited? I really liked it. I was really excited to attend. I liked the way classes are taught. They’re smaller. The teachers can be more involved with your questions.
What academic moments were you most proud of? My humanities research paper — my topic was Pythagoras and laws of nature and mathematics. I was excited to get it done and get a good grade after all my hard work and time.
Also, I’m proud of how much my writing skills improved. I didn’t like to write and I didn’t think I could write at the beginning of the year — by the end of the year, I actually liked writing, with the way it was taught.
How was writing taught? Abby [humanities teacher] would help us. She’s very good at editing and telling us why it’s this way and not the way we had it. She showed us grammar, sentence structure, how to word things, paragraph structure, how to make it sound better. My writing ability was much better.
What was one of your favorite things outside the classroom? I liked the “Star Trek” game we played as an advisory activity. Let me think of a way to describe it — running around the Main in the dark with a flashlight with the entire school, trying to find people, trying not to get tagged by Klingons.
What about friendships at Olney? Everyone at Olney is so different than they are at public school. At Olney, you can be yourself fully. There’s no peer pressure to be something you’re not.
What would you say to 9th graders considering Olney? It’s not as scary as it sounds at the beginning, being a freshman and going to boarding school. It is a big change, especially if you were at public school previously. But it’s a good change.
What else would you like to say? You get to have a lot of fun as a freshman with some of the things we get to do as a class — collecting sap and making maple syrup. We put taps in the maple trees and draw the sap out. We collect it. It gets boiled down over a fire outside into delicious syrup. [As a 9th grader] you get to do a lot with Leonard. Leonard is the biology/environmental science/geometry/algebra I teacher. He’s awesome. He’s very knowledgeable about the outdoors. He’s an awesome teacher — he’s easy to learn from, and he’s funny. He’s an awesome person, too. He built his own house and he knows how to do all kinds of stuff like that.