sam from new jersey (7/5)
Sam is a rising 9th grader and residential student from New Jersey. We met her while she was finding her class on the first day and have been bumping into her non-stop ever since! It’s only her first year at Explo, but she has already submersed herself in much of what Explo has to offer. This gymnast is excited to be in such a diverse atmosphere and to learn more about law and architecture.
What classes are you taking this summer?
“I Object,” which is mock trial and my second class is “Design Your Dream House,” with Laura, which is architecture .
Fun, what made you choose those classes?
Ironically, I kind of wanted to be a lawyer or an architect, but I wasn’t sure which one. I still can’t decide. . .I don’t know. . .I’m really interested in both of them. Maybe this will help.
What are you doing in mock trial?
There’s going to be one big case that we’re working on. We’ve been introduced to it and have read testimonies and then we’ll act out the trial. It’s a set-in-stone case that’s set up so anyone can argue any side of the case. We’ve been looking for loopholes and clues so far.
What types of loopholes have you found?
I don’t know, just looking at what people have said. Whether witnesses use “maybe” or “I think”. . .instances that make them sound certain or uncertain can sway the trial.
What kind of a trial is it? Murder?
Technically. Yeah. Well, kind of. But there wasn’t a body found.
That leaves a lot of evidence missing. I didn’t know a trial could happen without a body.
Well, it was before Habeas something. . .
Habeas Corpus, or something. . .it basically says that you can’t have a murder trial without a body. They just ignored it [in this case]. It's really old, from Abe Lincoln’s time. He worked on the same case, but with different names and stuff.
Wow, sounds interesting. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Sadly, my summer reading because I have to do it for school.
But what do you LIKE to do?
[Laughs] I like to play lacrosse, hang out with my friends; I do gymnastics, so since I’m away for three weeks I have to condition with free weights. . .
Are doing mostly exercise activities in the afternoons then?
Well, there are some exercise activities, but I’m not taking them. For mini-courses I’m taking “Skin Care Creations.” We made lotion and lip balm the first day.
Has it been easy to make friends here?
It seems really easy. I like that you can just sit down and talk to anybody randomly and they’ll be, like, “Hi!” and will talk to you.
Is this your first year at Explo?
What made you want to come?
Well, my cousin went here and I had gone to another sleep-away program for five years. It was really fun, but I wanted to try something new and this sounded interesting.
I like that it's academic in the way that you learn things, but it's not strictly book work. It's sort of like learning through different ways and activities and. . .
What are some of the activities you’ve been doing in your classes that have been different and helped you learn?
Well, like, in school we mainly read textbooks, have a discussion, and take notes. Here we don’t have textbooks. It’s all activities. I like my architecture class because we sit down and we, like. . .she’ll teach us about something and then we have the rest of the period to discuss it and experience it. At normal school, they don’t really allow you so much time to explore. . .I guess that’s why they call it Exploration.
Speaking of “Exploration”, have you tried anything new yet?
I tried yoga for the first time yesterday. . .and I want to do the work-out activity. . .um. . .let me think. I went to Cranium. I’ve tried many new activities. I’ve never made skincare, but I’ve always wanted to make soap. My other mini-course is movie making, and I’ve always been interested in that and its always interested me, like, how they make movies come to life.
What were you expecting from Explo? Has it met your expectations?
I didn’t know what to expect, really, because its such a unique sort of program. But I think it has met and exceeded my expectations. Because anything you expect from a program like this is to have fun, to make new friends, and maybe learn something along the way. . .but I’ve made a lot of friends. Like, a lot of friends, and I’ve been learning a lot more than I thought I would. Like in each class of mock trial and each class of architecture we learn so much more. . .it's ‘cuz the teachers really know what they’re doing and are good teachers. I’ve had a lot of fun.
Do you think Explo is preparing you for your future?
I think it is preparing me because I live in a really small town where there’s not much diversity and Explo is really sort of exposing me to different types of people , different attitudes. Many more people than I’m usually around. . .and the study habits and being responsible for yourselves and independence.
If Explo had a mascot what would it be?
I think a cute little white snowy owl wearing sunglasses.
(laughing) Why’s that?
‘Cuz owls sort of represent knowledge. Sunglasses sort of represent chilling and laid back. And then white because its pure and there’s so much to learn and so much to be discovered.
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