What means a lot to me? Is there an experience that changed my life?
Senior Reflections are a ninth grade class tradition. They are an opportunity for boys to build confidence in public speaking and to develop leadership skills by sharing thoughts about what is important to them in front of their assembled classmates, teachers, and Fenn staff members.
The boys reflect on a significant person in their lives, or talk about a passion, a journey--whether literal or figurative--that they have taken, or an experience that has taught them a valuable lesson. They are encouraged to look inward to share something meaningful about themselves.
Each speaker stands and delivers on his topic for two to three minutes in the Meeting Hall during All School Meeting. He may use notes, but should not read from them. “We want the boys to talk from the heart,” says Associate Headmaster and Upper School Head Derek Boonisar, “and make a connection with their audience.
Faculty members help the boys prepare and rehearse their reflections, which are presented throughout the year, usually on Fridays.
If School President Andrew Metellus could leave a legacy to Fenn, it would be, he said, "that I was nice to everyone." For his Senior Reflection Andrew chose to speak about friendship, and his actions were just as loud as his words.
The ninth grade class and many eighth graders move on from Fenn in June and spread out in all directions a few months later, attending a variety of secondary schools in the area. For one or two boys, the distance will be much further.
How many of you have older siblings who drive you insane?" ninth grader Dan Pring asked his fellow Fenn students gathered in Ward Hall as he began his Senior Reflection. Many boys, as was predictable, raised their hands or applauded.
Before he arrived at Fenn as a new student, in fifth grade, Colin Cunningham "was different than I am now. I didn't embrace the culture, didn't get involved." But gradually that changed, in large part due to the encouragement of his teacher, Jon Byrd '76.
Ninth grader Bennet Kracz has two memories of his six years at Fenn that are a bit painful: one was the time he stood on the Robb Hall stage with his fourth grade class, singing a song. "I was in the front row [of the singers] and suddenly I grew dizzy and nauseous and hot," he said.
There are lots of ways to learn life lessons, and one of them is through particular relationships. For Henry Warzecha, playing golf with his Uncle Richard helped him realize that "one needs to bounce back from mistakes and move forward, not look back," he said in his Senior Reflection.
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," goes the proverbial saying that is meant to encourage optimism in the face of adversity or misfortune.
"Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?" This question was asked of George Leigh Mallory, who was with both expeditions toward the summit of the world's highest mountain, in 1921 and 1922. His answer? "Because it's there."
Sometimes you just know you are going to have a bad day. That's what Tyden Wilson suspected on the second day of the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship, which is sponsored by the Massachusetts Golf Association, one of the last tournaments of last year's season.
Jake Harvey's older sister Lily, now 16, taught him lots of things, including how to spell, Jake said in a Senior Reflection in which he emphasized the importance of not taking one's family for granted.
The best way to make friends and feel comfortable in new situations is to "give people a chance," said Matt Kirkman during his Senior Reflection.
In their ninth grade year, the boys in the Class of 2015 found that they were a smaller group, as part of their class had graduated as eighth graders.