Zeke: We wanted to go to a boarding school so we could develop deeper relationships with our peers and teachers. It feels like there’s a lot of stability here. As ex-pats in Singapore, we went to an international American school where more than 63 nationalities were represented. It was a very transient place. Your best friend would leave one year, and you’d get a new best friend, and then he’d leave the next year.
Isabelle: We came to the United States and toured a bunch of boarding schools. When we interviewed at NMH, our tour guide was a hockey player. I just thought that was the coolest thing ever, that girls were allowed to play hockey.
Zeke: I like structure, but since I’ve been at NMH I’ve realized that I don’t need it as much. Things just flow. For example, we have a few random vacation days like Mountain Day, where regular classes are cancelled and everyone goes hiking. We have Winter Carnival and Diversity Day and Farm Day. These things are not usual in any way, shape, or form. But most days, I like to have my day planned out, with a full schedule. It’s a good kind of busy, though.
Isabelle: The teachers here are very approachable. My English teacher is also my crew coach, who is also my advisor. So she’s kind of everywhere. I like all my teachers, and I feel I can talk to them. I like how we call them by their first name. It makes for a more relaxed setting. Of course, you have a responsibility in being here, so you want to do the best you can do. But if you take things too seriously and just lock yourself in your room and study, then you’re not absorbing everything here.
Like my world religion teacher, Ted DesMaisons, came up to me in class one day and said, “Isabelle, I need to talk to you.” I got all worried, but he just wanted to know if I’d take his theater improv class on Sunday afternoons. I convinced Zeke to join the class, and it was great. The best exercise we did was to make up an event that we completely failed in, and everybody clapped and cheered us on. It was so much fun because in regular life, you don’t feel like it’s okay to make mistakes.
Zeke: If I were giving a tour of the campus, I would definitely take people to the chapel. It’s the coolest building on campus. I’m a deacon there, which means I help with the chapel service on Sundays. Mr. Corrigan, the school chaplain and my cross-country coach, invites me to lead a prayer sometimes.
Isabelle: Our Mom is Jewish and our dad is Catholic. I found that I enjoy the sermons a lot on Sundays, so I go. I often hear Zeke speak because he’s a deacon. It’s fun to see him around campus. I’ll be like, “’Scuse me! Hey!” Then we tell each other what’s going on. It’s good to be here together.