Years and grades at BCD: 9th-12th(fall 2001 – spring 2005)What are your fondest memories from BCD (events/teachers/trips)?  Deciding what to write here was actually quite difficult; however these memories rank among some of my favorites.In ninth grade English class, we had weekly vocabulary quizzes on Friday.  Once a trimester, Mrs.Cosel brought out her buzzer boards and we had a vocabulary game.  She divided us into two teams, and she’d call out a word, whoever hit the button and answered correctly got a point for the team.  It was a wonderful way to learn words, and a great incentive because she also gave each member of the winning team a pint of their favorite ice cream.Every fall, beginning my sophomore year, I was on the crew team.  I rowed some the first year, but because I was so short, I was quickly assigned the role of coxswain.  During my junior and senior year, I was put in charge of teaching the “newbies” – usually freshmen and sophomores who were just learning how to row.  It was so rewarding teaching them the terminology, how to balance the boat, how to turn the boat, the different types of strokes, and watching their progress throughout the fall.  It was also especially beautiful out on the Stockbridge Bowl in the fall, I looked forward to getting out on the water after a day in school.Although the students in my class were quite diverse and did our own respective things in school, we were one-hundred in unison when it came to our senior prank.  Turning Mr. Peterson’s office into a forest was a labor of love, but we were careful to put down plastic first, and we cleaned it up later.  In addition, we also took all the toilet seats off around the building and hung them on the wall in the front entry way, we wrapped up all the junior cubbies in plastic and put their stuff in bags, we also hung hot dogs from all the fans in the lunchroom.  It was truly a wonderful and delightfully devilish evening.Where did you go once you left BCD?  High School, College, Grad School, travels?  After graduating from BCD2S, I attended Middlebury College beginning in the fall of 2005.  I interned at the National Center for Law and Economic Justice in NYC for the summer after my freshmen year, and spent the following summer working in the personal office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.  After that, I attended the London School of Economics in England for my junior year abroad, and also got to travel to Germany, Denmark, Italy and France. I returned to Middlebury for my senior year and graduated in May 2009 with a B.A in Political Science.  I am now working in Washington D.C, where I have a year-long position with the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, a national student policy organization, as their National Network Coordinator.

Where are you living now?  I’m living near Rockville, Maryland

What are you doing now (work/family/personal projects)?  After graduating from Middlebury, I took a two month respite on the west coast to visit family.  While there, I began to read novels again, watched tons of movies and slowed down my living pace quite a bit.  I also took the time to start arranging my post-graduation plans.  Much of my life currently revolves around work, but I also plan on doing volunteer work in D.C once I get settled into my new surroundings and develop a routine.  Despite going off into the world to start a new chapter in my own life, I remain close to my family, friends and the community in the Berkshires.  I write a local column for the Monterey News once a month, and will continue to do so after I move.  There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child, and I plan to visit my village often.

What are your plans for the future?  Future planning is something that I’ve found to be difficult – due to the flux in daily life, I prefer having long-term goals; the path by which I get there is something that gradually makes itself clear.  Thus far, my post-BCD plans are right on target, complete with a college choice that proved perfect for me.  My desire to spend time abroad was fulfilled and my dream of plugging into the political Washington D.C is being realized.  At this point, I hope to spend the next few years working in D.C, perhaps in different locations to accumulate experience. I then hope to pursue post-graduate work, but the field is dependent on my adventures between now and then.  After my graduate degree is complete, I hope that the work I do has a positive impact on others in some way, shape, or form.

How do you think your time at BCD influenced the choices you’ve made?  My time at BCD increased my efficiency as a student and the interactions with my teachers helped build my self-confidence up over time.  Thanks to Timmy Bullock’s encouragement to apply to Middlebury, even though it was a “stretch” school, I ended up applying and being accepted in the early decision round.  BCD challenged me to push myself academically; it broadened my horizons, and helped me pursue goals and dreams that were of my own making.

What about your time at BCD are you most thankful for?  I’m thankful for the relationships with certain individuals that developed while I was at BCD2S, with students, but also teachers; I’ve been lucky enough to maintain many of them.  I am most thankful for the incredible support and individual investment that teachers at BCD2S provided for students.  Such connections and the feeling of empowerment I derived from them are truly priceless and precious gifts.

What advice can you offer current students at BCD? When I look back at my high-school days, I remember not liking school a great deal. Honestly, at times it was quite difficult, just because I enjoyed academics and learning did not mean everything was smooth sailing.  I know a lot of you might be feeling something similar, even if you are successful students.  I would advise you to pursue what makes you, as an individual, feel alive.  Although I absolutely loved college, it was only recently that I’ve started to understand what really inspires me.  Yes, you are fortunate to be in a school of BCD’s caliber, but in the long-term, most experiences are what you make out of them.  Despite the up-and-down dynamics that inevitably exist in school, the whole journey is a tool that can and will empower you to pursue your life dreams and goals.  When you start to realize your greatest ambitions and discover your true passions in life, it makes all those more challenging and difficult moments fade away; they will not vanish, but they become part of your greater and fuller life story.  Do not let yourself get bogged down, and do not constantly deprive yourself of the things you enjoy doing for the sake of school.  The sooner you find a balance, the better.