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Jul 02, 2012 Exploration Programs Alumni News Conversation

Explo at Wellesley: Henry from Connecticut

Henry is a residential student who will be entering 9th grade this fall. This is only his second year at Explo, but he could hardly wait to return. This ...

Lisa Merlini

Henry is a residential student who will be entering 9th grade this fall. This is only his second year at Explo, but he could hardly wait to return. This afternoon I ran into him playing curbball on the quad, and we talked about theater and what makes Explo such a unique place.

How did you hear about Explo?
Well, it's a funny story. My father went here when he was my age. I had tried out a few programs before this, but I didn't really like them. We decided to try Explo, and it's like a summer home. It's really great. Everyone is so welcoming and nice.

What are some of the things that make Explo a unique place?
I think part of what makes it unique is the staff, who are clearly hand picked from only the most jubilant and genial people in the entire world. Everybody is very understanding, no matter where you come from or who you are. They always have something to talk to you about and you always feel very comfortable with them. Another thing is the diversity at Explo. It's a really big melting pot where people can come in and share cultures. Both the staff and the students are really diverse.

I agree. Have you met anyone from different countries yet?
Yes, in my hall alone there is a Russian student, someone from Dubai, a Spanish student, and just people from all over America.

That is a diverse crowd. What classes are you taking here?
The first week I'm taking Debate and then Video Production, because I really like movies. Then I'm taking soccer, track and field, and improv. I think improv is such a wonderful part of theater, because its pure imagination and creativity. Its literally off the top of your head. You can say whatever you think and it's great.

Is theater something that you're thinking of pursuing in the future?
It is, actually. I was thinking of becoming a director or something. I just love theater & entertaining — comedy especially, so I thought directing would be a really great thing.

What was your favorite course at Explo last year?
I took Radley's mock trial class. I forgot the name, but it was about learning to be a lawyer. Radley is just such a great instructor. He could teach anything, but his law class was especially good, because it was like a real case. They brought in a real judge and we had to defend our sides. It was a really great way to get into the material.

Do you have any favorite memories from last year when you were here?
Well, I remember Beebe's dining hall very well. The waffles really stood out. They're definitely worth getting up early for, especially when you live in Beebe.

What kind of people do you think come to Explo? What makes these people stand out to you?
A common attribute that I've found is the desire to meet new people, expand your horizons, and to make friends. This is really important, especially at Explo. Its great socializing and meeting new people every day. Explo has been around forever and has maintained this friendly, welcoming, funny view on life in it's own corner of the world.

I'm sure it's nice coming back and seeing some familiar faces.
Definitely. It's nice coming back and seeing how everyone has changed.

So what is your take on curbball, since it's such a popular sport here?
Curbball? It's the perfect combination of skill, speed, and partnership. It's like 4 square, except more epic! Just look at it! Hands are flying! Determination of a rock. I can just close my eyes and listen to the sound of that dodgeball flying back and forth.

Lisa Merlini

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