We caught up with graduates Alexandria Brown ‘14 and Anais Marston ‘14 to hear about their experiences at Marymount and Spence.
Did Harlem Academy leave you well prepared for a top high school?
Alexandria: I have to send Ms. Wood an email. If I see her today, I am going to talk to her about how useful the little strategies she taught us are. Her literary analysis practice works!
Anais: The transition out of Harlem Academy really felt seamless. It's been easy for me to switch schools to be honest. Sometimes I get lost because the school is bigger [laughs], but that’s really it.
Alexandria: It doesn’t feel like too much more work than Harlem Academy. I’m sure it will get harder sophomore and junior year. A lot of juniors are breaking down because of college stuff. Lots of tears [laughs].
Anais: [Laughing] yes, lots of tears at Spence.
Alexandria: Now that I think of it, the only real gap is religion. Marymount is an independent Catholic school. So now I have chapel every day, and I have to go to Mass. I have a world religion class too.
How do you like the girls school environment?
Anais: Girls school is really fun. It's a new environment, but it’s not awkward.
Alexandria: Yeah, never awkward.
Anais: It’s just different.
Alexandria: It’s not totally different. You’re still just going to school.
Anais: It’s more like outside of class that it’s different. [laughter].
Alexandria: [Laughing] Yes outside of class it’s MUCH different. We act much crazier. We dance a lot, send each other Snapchats, and put stupid stuff on Instagram.
The only thing is that you don’t get to meet boys your own age. I have my first dance coming up though, which Anais is actually invited to.
Anais: I am? Really?
Alexandria: Yes, Spence is invited, Regis is invited Xavier is invited, a lot of schools are invited.
Any favorite subjects?
Anais: Physics. My physics teacher is weird, but he’s so great. He looks up all these random things like Mr. Cunningham [Harlem Academy middle school director] does.
Alexandria: Biology. It will stay science forever.
What extra-curriculars are you guys involved in, and what is the time commitment like?
Anais: Field hockey. School ends at 3:15. You’re supposed to be downstairs with your team at 3:30. Usually practice doesn’t end until 5:30.
Alexandria: I’m in cross country. School ends at 2:50 and then sports start at 3:00. Cross country ends at 4:30. Sometimes 5:00 when we have to do extra stuff. I’m also in this club called Singers. Basically you just sing. It’s a choir group.
Anais: I’m in community service club.
Alexandria: Ah, me too, we call it school service.
Anais: I want to see if I can mentor at Harlem Academy later this year. There are so many people at my school that are coming to Harlem Academy to tutor kids. I want to, but I don’t really have time because of field hockey. And then I want to do swimming in the winter.
Do you feel like you have a sense of community?
Alexandria: I do feel like I have a sense of community. During my time at Marymount my classmates and I have formed tight bonds with each other that will last a lifetime. I feel comfortable at Marymount.
Anais: With the teachers it can be hard. I can never find them! At Harlem Academy the teachers are everywhere and they’re always available. You can always find someone. At Spence they just sort of disappear. You sort of have to hunt them down.