Zebra Tales

Maya '23

Hometown: Bermuda

Groton activities: varsity crew, the musical, JV soccer, winter running, choir, peer counselor, Groton Feminists co-head, Groton Sexuality Alliance, Active Minds, International Community Advising Program, Debate, Maq-cappellas

Most surprising when you first arrived at Groton: Teachers inviting me to their homes for dinner

Favorite class: I love history, especially the World and the West class I took with Dr. Spring in Fourth Form. My favorite part was writing my two research papers because it was cool to delve into fine details and discuss them with her.

Most memorable Groton moment: Singing for the first time in front of the school--my best friend Lauren and I sang a chapel postlude in Second Form. We were so nervous, but afterward it felt like everyone we passed in the hallways was very encouraging and supportive.

Favorite Dining Hall food: Monkey bread.

Favorite place to study: The bubbles on the top floor of the Schoolhouse, or the Dillon Art Center on a sunny Sunday afternoon

List of 8 news stories.

  • The cast of Charlie Brown walking Wally (Charlie Brown)'s dogs on a Saturday after rehearsal. For more photos like this of the cast, check out the instagram we made: @charl_iebrown2017

    Reflections on Winter and Looking Toward Spring

    Last term ended with our production of Charlie Brown, which was lots of fun! I played Schroeder, a traditionally male role, but I think I was able to add my own influence to the character a bit. I tapped in to the original character's main personality trait—being obsessed with Beethoven—but I also tried to apply that excitement to her interactions with her friends.

    The performance was in the final days before the end of term, so I wasn’t sure if many people would come, as that’s when tests tend to build up, but we ended up getting a lot of support from the student body, which was very heartening.

    There was a while when I was kind of questioning why we were doing Charlie Brown of all shows–the subject matter on the surface seemed light, frivolous, and childish. I came, however, not only to appreciate the depth and wisdom of the small adventures of the six-year-old protagonists, but also to see how a fun children’s show doesn’t need a complex, mature plot to have an impact. I think it was uplifting.

    Our music director, Devereaux, at the beginning of the process of creating the show said, “Why do people put comic strips at the end of newspapers? I don’t think it’s just for kids to read, although that’s part of it, but for adults, after reading a long, depressing segment of news, to have something light to make them laugh.” I think that was how the show was deeply significant. We’ve had months, years now, of heavy, heavy news, and a wholesome show filled with our love for one another as a cast, and carefully choreographed and rehearsed antics, was able to make some people smile. There is also something special about the relatability of Charlie Brown as a character. The show deals with mental health and has some very profound moments woven into its little stories. I think the school (and probably world) needed to see that, too.

    It was a special show, and ultimately the most special part for me wasn’t even touching the community, it was the tiny community we created with one another. I made some really good friends, and our long cast dinners were bright lights in my winter term. 

    As we progress into the spring (which already feels like it’s flying by!), I can feel new friendships  and communities developing. I’ve loved, for example, being on the crew team, from watching Hairspray at our coach’s house during pre-season while eating ice cream and cookies, to blasting music on my friend’s speaker during walks down to the boathouse. 

    Our form has started the college process, and it seems like when you ask someone the best thing about their school, a common answer is "the people." At Groton, it’s the opportunities I’ve had to connect deeply with the people every term through a range of activities that are very meaningful to me.
  • American in Vietnam

    What an amazing class! Anyone I’ve talked to this term could tell you how highly I recommend the term-long elective—I just won’t shut up about it. I had Ms. Wallace in Third Form and loved her, so that was really why I took it rather than a particular interest in the subject, but it’s proved to be the most interesting course I’ve taken at this school.

    The in-depth look we get from so many firsthand perspectives, paired with Ms. Wallace’s careful selection of LOTS of reading and other media (one night we watched the movie The Trial of the Chicago 7 for homework—I definitely recommend it), as well as her EXTENSIVE knowledge and beautiful organization makes the class top-tier. We have two actual veterans of the war who sit in on almost every class: Mr. Jim Lockney, who retired three years ago from the Groton Athletic Department and has taught the class with Ms. Wallace for twenty years and every year is able to share more and more about his experience, and Rudy Kallock, who used to work in the school store.

    A few weeks ago, when Jim was able to be here in person rather than on Zoom, we had a sort of show-and-tell when he brought in some of his souvenirs from the war, including gear, propaganda, a compass, and a lighter (pictured). We also got to listen to a tape recording he sent home to his wife in 1969 (I think). I’ve quoted Jim and Rudy’s hindsight of the war in two essays I’ve written for the class so far, one about how misinformed the U.S. was going in, and one about what it takes to tell a “true war story,” as beyond hearing our resident veterans’ insights on our readings during each class, we also read and listened to a lot of firsthand accounts. 

    Last night, Ms. Wallace was on duty in my dorm (she brought us brownies) and when I came downstairs to refill my water bottle, I had just done the reading for today’s class about America’s (largely failed) evacuation after their defeat. I was almost speechless after the reading. “What a mess,” I said. She laughed hollowly and said if there’s one thing she wants her students to get from her classes, it’s that wars are much easier to start than they are to end. She also teaches a class on America in the Philippines in the fall, and one on America in Iraq in the spring, which I hope to take next year.

    We got to talking about what’s happening in Ukraine right now. She also said that in these last two weeks of the term we’re going to have another member of the Groton faculty talk about her family fleeing Vietnam after the Americans pulled out. Then we’ll have Dr. Margaret Funnell (a Dartmouth professor and Mr. Funnell’s wife) come talk about the psychological science behind PTSD. “It’s state-of-the-art stuff,” Ms. Wallace said.

    The class is incredible because of how ingrained it is in the school, and how it has informed me about the world.
  • Theater this Winter

    I’m really excited about the winter musical!
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  • Parents Weekend

    This past weekend was the first Parents Weekend we’ve had since my Third Form year.
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  • Dr. Ibrahim's Kittens

    One of my friends is currently taking an ethics class called Religion in the Public Sphere. Almost two weeks ago, she received an email from her teacher, Dr. Ibrahim, that her cat had had kittens! On Thursday, Surprise Holiday, I got to visit them.
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  • Studying in the Schoolhouse

    As Fifth Formers this year, my grade gets "8-10," meaning we’re allowed to be outside of the dorm when we’d previously had study hall.
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  • Why I Love History

    I’m really excited for Fifth Form! I’m especially looking forward to taking U.S. History. I’m not from the States, so I don’t know much U.S. history, which I was pretty worried about at first. However, I really like history as a subject—Sacred Texts and World have been two of my favorite classes at Groton. Not only have I had the BEST teachers (Ms. Wallace for Sacred in Third Form, and Dr. Spring last year for World), but I also have really liked writing my research papers.
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  • Measuring 20 meters to do our benthic composition analysis with my partner

    Scuba Diving

    This summer I got my scuba diving license so that I could intern at a marine science lab where I live. I love diving so much because every time I go down I feel like I get to explore this beautiful, new world. The team of scientists and I collect data from all the coral reefs surrounding the island.
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