Adaora, Lower

“I’m still as excited as when I first applied. It’s literally everything that I wanted it to be, and I’m just really happy that I’m here.”

Attending Andover had been Adaora’s goal ever since she first learned about boarding schools while growing up in South Africa. And while she wanted to apply when she was in sixth grade, she had to wait a few years to finally realize her dream. Now that she's a new lower, she’s taking in all Phillips Academy has to offer. “I’m still as excited as when I first applied,” she says. “It’s literally everything that I wanted it to be, and I’m just really happy that I’m here.”

Now that she’s settled into her second term, she’s found a steady routine, a great group of friends, and several activities beyond the classroom to keep her busy. She plays guitar and the drums, is active in the dance program, and is a member of the game design club and Model UN. Here, Adaora takes us through a typical day.

Wake Up | 7:15 a.m.

Adaora wakes up in her dorm with her roommate and they each get ready for classes before heading to breakfast at Paresky Commons. She starts every day with a call to her mom back home in South Africa, and due to the time difference (Andover is seven hours behind), Adaora gets the day’s news from her family just as she’s beginning hers. After finishing breakfast, Adaora walks to Samuel Phillips Hall for her first two classes.

Period 1 | 8:30 - 9:10 a.m.

Chinese 100: First-Level Chinese // Instructor: Congmin Zhao
This course is designed for those students who have had little or no previous world language experience. It provides an introduction to spoken and written Chinese, with an emphasis on pronunciation, the Pinyin Romanization system, and the building blocks (radicals) of Chinese characters.

I chose Chinese because I am fluent in four other languages, and I really wanted a challenge—which Andover is all about.


Period 2 | 9:20 - 10 a.m.

History 201: World History: Exchange, Resistance, and Adaptation // Instructor: O'Brian Holden
This course will examine how economic, intellectual, and social change developed as a dialogue between peoples of the world from 1400 to 1800. By examining primary and secondary sources from multiple perspectives, students will work to contextualize local experiences within global transformations and will be encouraged to understand historical change as a dynamic process. Areas of study will include economies of silver, the Atlantic slave trade, gunpowder empires, and religious reform and transformation.

The Garver Room inside the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library

Conference Period | 10:05 - 10:45 a.m.

If Adaora needs some extra help in physics, she’ll head to the Gelb Science Center to meet with her instructor and review assignments. Otherwise, she’d go to the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library to start her homework and socialize with friends.

Period 3 | 10:50 - 11:30 a.m.

English 200: Writing to Read, Reading to Write // Instructor: Kate McQuade
Students are exposed to a variety of rhetorical modes, such as narration, description, analysis, comparison/contrast, cause/effect, definition, example/illustration, process, and argument. While the course introduces literary terms and strategies for understanding poetry, the literature serves primarily as an opportunity for the students to work on writing skills. Term 3 includes a project involving one of the texts and a research paper, class presentation, or performance.

English Instructor Kate McQuade leads a class discussion.

Period 4 | 11:40 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

Physics 400: College Physics II // Instructor: Mika Latva-Kokko
Laboratory work is an integral part of the course. Completion of a chemistry sequence is not a pre-requisite for enrolling in PHY400A. Lowers who wish to enroll in PHY400A without a year of chemistry must seek department chair permission.

Period 5 | 12:30 - 1:10 p.m.

Adaora heads to lunch, aka “the best period of the day.” She loves the vegetarian options available, specifically the tofu stir-fry and fresh pizza from the heath.

Period 6 | 1:20 - 2 p.m.

Math 330: Precalculus // Instructor: Deborah Olander
An introduction and exploration of functions with abstraction. Multiple representations of a function—as a table of values, as a graph, and as an algebraic rule—are a central theme. Elementary functions (polynomial functions, in particular) and their transformations, compositions, inverses, and applications are emphasized.

Period 7 | 2:10 - 2:50 p.m.

Art 309: Video 1 // Instructor: Daniel Martinez
Students will consider the broad scope of the video medium in daily life as well as its role in art, popular culture, and journalism. Students will shoot and edit their own video works throughout the term. Class time will include viewing and discussing historical film and video work as well as giving feedback on completed student projects. Projects will explore techniques and ideas around basic shooting and editing; montage; found footage; and post-production effects as well as narrative, truth, and fiction. Cameras will be provided by the Polk-Lillard Center.

The Snyder Center is home to Andover Squash, Indoor Track and Field, and several flexible fitness spaces.

Athletics | 3 - 4:15 p.m.

Adaora is on the JV Squash team, so every afternoon she goes to the Snyder Center to practice or play matches. In the fall she opted for instructional volleyball for her athletic requirement.

4:15 - 11 p.m.

Adaora heads back to the library to get started on her assignments, where she’ll meet friends and chat while studying. There will be a break for dinner, then more studying, possibly back at the library, or at the Science Study Center where Adaora can get specific help from a teacher or tutor to prepare for an upcoming test.

Adaora returns to her dorm for sign-in, where she relaxes, catches up with her friends, finishes her work, and closes out the day with a movie or by reading a book before falling asleep.

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