PatChat is your inside view of GA from students' perspective

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Upper Schooler Reconnects to Lower School Through Seussical

"Hi!!!" I say as I smile and wave frantically.
"Hey, Aman!" the giant replies.
I smile again and stroll over to my fellow 5th grade friends.
"That's right. I just talked to an upper schooler!"
Aman and some of her Lower School castmates.
They look at me in awe and I feel amazing for the rest of the day. When I was in Lower School, I knew a lot of Upper Schoolers thanks to Belfry Summer Camp. The Upper Schoolers were the counselors, but we felt like they were our best friends. This past year as I transitioned into Upper School I got the opportunity to work with the Lower School in the Belfry's production of Suessical. It was so much fun to work with them and an amazing experience. It was a different feeling, being put on a pedestal by the Lower Schoolers, when just a few years ago I was doing the same. I would walk in the library and I would hear them whispering
"I know her!!! She's Mrs. Mayor."
So I would smile and wave, knowing very well that their days would be made just as mine were years ago.

~ Aman G. ‘19

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

GA Students Spark Scientific Interest

Did you know that only 21 percent of full science professors and a mere 5 percent of full engineering professors are women? There is a significant gap between the number of men and the number of women in science. So what can we do to get more girls and women interested and have them pursue it? One way is hosting events for girls to promote female scientists
JT helps Glenside students during construction.

Paper copter in flight.
Before Spring Break, a few female GA students, including myself, attended the Women in Science Fair at Glenside Elementary. Throughout the day, we made paper copters with students at Glenside in grades K-4. All of the students showed a ton of interest and desire to make the paper copter themselves. Of course, some of the younger students wanted a bit of help with the cutting, but we could see the great sense of accomplishment on their faces after they had finished making it.

~JT S. '18

Friday, March 18, 2016

AP Spanish Literature Soaks Up Some Culture

Earlier in March, the AP Spanish Literature and Culture class took a trip to New York City. As a very small, all-girls class, we had planned an exciting day embracing our Spanish course and left some time for bonding in the streets of Manhattan.
The Repertorio, where the class saw the performance.
We drove to Trenton to catch a train and arrived at New York around 10 in the morning. We casually walked around until we reached the Repertorio EspaƱol, where we would watch a performance of La Casa de Bernarda Alba. Our teacher, Mrs. Ayers, arranged for our class to see this play the week after reading it in class, in accordance with the AP course. The presentation began at 11 o’clock and lasted just about one hour and thirty minutes, with a follow-up from the director of the play who asked the audience questions about the presentation.

We left the Repertorio and walked to the Hillstone restaurant, where we had lunch and discussed the play for a little and then gave our Spanish teacher a gift. The rest of the afternoon was filled with our class’ inside jokes, a mix of shopping, and some getting lost and walking around aimlessly. At 3 o’clock, we decided to take the train back to Trenton, but since we decided very last minute to come back earlier, we ended up missing our train! After this funny experience, we walked around looking for ice cream reflecting on how similar our trip was going to another Spanish poem we had read recently, called Walking Around by Pablo Neruda.
Jade, her classmates, and Mrs. Ayers in New York.
In the end, we did catch a 4 o’clock train and made it back safely, and our trip to New York had been a great success. Overall, our small group of girls made countless memories, strengthening our class bond and friendships, all the while incorporating our Spanish literature in the streets of New York.

~ Jade H. ‘17

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

An Afternoon of Jazz at GA

The Jazz Cabaret is a giant showcase for students in all three divisions to get together and show off the music they have been working on over the year. Always taking place in late February, the Jazz Cabaret never disappoints from the music to the food.  
Madison and the Singing Patriots Select warm up for the Cabaret.
Although most of the groups are bands of all different ages, Singing Patriots Select, the Upper School honors choir, performs a few numbers. It is nice to have vocals in the show to contrast the jazzy sound of horns, drums, and strings. This year, the school decided to move Jazz Cabaret from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon. This change gave the event a more relaxed atmosphere that fit with the 65 degree temperature outside.

The afternoon's featured Middle School saxophone soloist.
The music program really shined this year with some highlights being the amazing 5th grade drummers, the Middle School saxophone soloist, and Hayley D. ’16 joining forces with the Upper School Jazz Band, singing “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

~ Madison P. ‘18
Senior Hayley D. belts one out accompanied by the Upper School Jazz Band.

Compassionate in Spirit, in VA

GA students get to work on site.
Over President’s Day weekend, I traveled to Roanoke, Virginia with ten other students and two teachers. We planned this trip through the organization Habitat for Humanity where we were going to build houses. Barely capable of cutting with the band saw in Sculpture class, I was extremely anxious about my house-building capabilities. Within the first ten minutes after arriving on the building site in Roanoke, I was standing on scaffolding hammering nails into the side of a house. That same day, I was interviewed by a local NBC news station about what we were doing at this building site [see the story here]. The volunteers at the site, Brian and Jeff, were open to all questions and extremely helpful. They taught me construction jargon, such as “flush,” which means smooth, and “plumb,” which means level and balanced. Throughout my short-lived time as a construction worker, I used this lingo and fell right into place with my fellow workers. We worked for three days and during this time, the thirteen of us (with the help from regular volunteers) constructed a backyard shed, built and paved a walkway, and created a handicap ramp from scratch.
The ramp Sam and proudly helped construct.
Not only did I gain confidence in my construction skills, which I never imagined attaining, but I also gained relationships with people who I never would have connected with. Throughout the trip, I kept bringing up an ongoing analogy of “overnight camp” as I felt everything that we did, whether it be working outside (discounting the below freezing weather), eating meals together,
Enjoying some casual time in the church.
or sleeping in one room, everything reminded me of camp. Mrs. Cassidy and Ms. Blake were basically my counselors and the nine other students were my bunkmates. Unfortunately, the other students on the trip weren’t able to fully relate to this comparison, as I am the only one of us who attended overnight camp. But I believe that through my constant comparison to camp they were able to live vicariously through my experiences.

Beneath the famous Roanoke Star.
When we weren’t working on the construction site, we were playing knockout on the basketball court in the church that we stayed at, picking up food at the local Kroger super market, hiking the mountains to see the world’s largest man-made star, playing Sardines (which is basically like hide and go seek, but one person hid and we all had to find him), cooking and eating meals together, or just hanging out and getting to know each other better. I went into the trip a little nervous about the hard work and the weather, but those four days were filled with extensive laughter, group bonding, and produced my 10 seconds of fame. Though I went on the school service trip to Washington, D.C. last President’s Day weekend, this trip passed all of my expectations as I learned about a line of work unfamiliar to me and 12 new faces to say hi to in the hallway. I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to attend this trip and I’m already urging my brother to go on the CSO trip next President’s Day weekend.

~ Sam F. ‘16