During our first full weekend together as a school, White Mountain students and faculty gathered for the annual “Light Blue” versus “Dark Blue” tug-of-war match. With roughly 150 bodies vying to pull their peer counterparts into a mud pit behind McLane, this competition served as the kick-off to a series of athletic and artistic contests and activities that filled the course of the weekend. With Ultimate Frisbee and Whiffle Ball, chalk art challenges and a polar bear swim — our students started the new year by engaging in a fun-filled and stimulating series of community events.
As I watched WMS students dig their feet collectively into the New Hampshire turf, I couldn’t help but think of this moment as an accumulation of years of dedicated and deliberate work in our admission office. It has taken thousands of hours of travel and recruiting time to construct a student body that hails from twenty-two different states and eight different countries. It has taken hundreds of days of reading applications and meeting potential families to craft a group of learners that speak eight different languages and come from various socio-economic backgrounds.
As the tug-of-war match continued, I noticed our students beginning to look beyond the immediate goal of pulling their opponents into the mud. Despite the heat and the strain of the challenge, each student made sure his or her teammates had solid footing and a good grip on the thick rope. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of our admission office is that we truly take the time to find students who care. We search for students who not only push their bodies and minds towards a singular goal, but who also use their ambitious attitudes in ways that look out for one another. We aim to find students who, even in the intensity of competition, still exhibit attention, awareness, discipline and compassion under pressure.
As admission staff, we also are dorm parents and coaches, teachers and advisors to our students. We watch and guide their educational endeavors. We are not dedicating our hours or days; rather we are dedicating our lives to finding a student body that is curious, courageous and compassionate to one another in their pursuits and dreams. We care about finding a community of learners that cares about pulling their adversaries out of the mud and back for a second round.
By Eliot Taft, Assistant Director of Admission and Communication