When I first started at D-E as a sixth grader, my love for the school had evidently already taken a root as I was willing to undergo what I assume is the longest commute in the school’s history, an hour and a half each way. So for obvious reasons, there wasn’t a huge community of my hometown people, Blauvelt, NY at Dwight but I found that the school’s welcoming student body and staff more than made up for our geographical differences.
D-E’s challenging curriculum offered educational opportunities that simply weren’t available to me anywhere else and it was all provided within a friendly and welcoming environment. My experiences from the middle school prepared me perfectly for the challenges of the upper school, just as I’m sure, my upper school education will help me in my college life and beyond. As Dr. DeJarnett loves to say, Dwight-Englewood allowed me to “learn how to learn” - the skills and study habits that I've learned in middle school, in Mr. Larrowe’s science class, were just as important in creating my project for the consumer fair, as they have been this [upper school] year in AP Physics with Ms. Leiken. In a similar vein, Ms. Carson taught me how to be a good historian and take notes back in seventh grade, which allowed me to follow the pace and rigor of Mr. Stott’s AP U.S. History course as a junior. It’s so exciting to see, now as a graduating senior, that my brother [Ben ’22] is starting the Dwight-Englewood journey as a sixth grader himself, and will meet the same wonderful people that I have been privileged to know for seven years.
Recently, Dwight has also afforded me some unique experiences as I have been the Captain of Varsity Ultimate Frisbee team and the President of the Korean Culture Club for the past year.
D-E also does an excellent job of offering unique academic opportunities as well as extracurricular ones. My favorite class in upper school was definitely Mr. Bell’s Robots, Dreamscapes, and Future Worlds, which was definitely “out-of-the-box” to say the least. However, the class, which was a study of science fiction literature, allowed me to more deeply explore my interests of economics and philosophy within the constraints of an English course. I found myself citing how Olaf Stapledon’s Star Maker explores the question, “What is an ideal society?”, through the lens of several intergalactic species. Unsurprisingly, this branch of study turned out to be my most strange course, yet it surprised me in that it turned out to be the most enriching of any course I took in my four years of upper school. While still pursuing the greatly coveted and “liberal arts style” education with a diverse array of courses addressing core subject matter, I found myself also achieving the Smithian specialization that I dutifully desired.
I was gifted in the fact that I knew what I wanted to study in college as early as a freshman in upper school, and Dwight greatly respected that, as I was allowed to take a senior-level honors economics course as a sophomore, rather than just take the prescribed route in the history curriculum. I was also gifted in that my school provided me with the opportunity to expand those academic interests into my extracurricular activities, as I was able to start the Fed Challenge club my sophomore year, with my friend Rohan Prajapati ’16. Throughout my four years in upper school, Dwight has provided me with numerous opportunities to craft my own education both inside and outside the classroom and to take full advantage of their tremendous resources on campus to further that education.