Class Notes

Surveys, Brilliance and Magic

April 25, 2018

In the May 27, 2017 issue of the Deerfield Scroll, there was an interesting article about surveys conducted by several New England boarding schools that was captioned “State of the Academy.” According to the article, it stated that “kids in highly achieving schools are more at risk of depression and anxiety and substance abuse.” Dr. Suniya Luther reported understandably that student’s anxieties are mostly caused by pressure to get into a prestigious college. She relates that “big-name colleges do not guarantee enjoyable experiences.” Dr. Luther advised the students to “pull back” from their self-imposed pressure and that “you’ll get into some college” having gone to Delhi University in India herself as an undergraduate. I’m reminded of the “brilliance and magic” of Mr. Boyden years before that was related in a letter to the Deerfield alumni by Sheila Dennis: A senior, who when asked where he wanted to attend college answered, “Mr. Boyden, I’d like to go to Harvard.” The Headmaster’s response? “Well, I can get you into Harvard, but you won’t have any fun there. You won’t play sports and all you’ll do is study. I think you should consider Colby.” “So I went to Colby,” the now octogenarian continues, “and he was right. I played varsity soccer and hockey and I loved it.”

Caption for the photo: The Headmaster

Tom L’Esperance, Carlsbad, CA; tmlski@roadrunner.com