At White Mountain, we care deeply about showcasing the accomplishments of our students here on campus. We believe the best way for potential families to learn about a school is to have access to the student experience. A few times a month we include some words from our Student Ambassadors – students who make time to help with Admission tours. In this week’s post, our Student Ambassador Cassie Parker ’17 writes about her favorite class and how that class has shaped the decisions she will make beyond her years at White Mountain.
When I think back about the course that helped shape the person I am today, I think about the first day of my Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography class with Hiapo Emmons-Shaw. I opened the door to a wave of noise hitting my ears, twelve students I didn’t know were relaxing in their chairs talking to the equally relaxed teacher. I knew from that moment that it would be my favorite class. AP Human geography taught me to look at the world though a new lens, one that combines facts, culture and statistics. Hiapo taught me about countries of which I had only ever known the name. He taught me about how they develop, why some countries have not developed like the United States, and why sometimes we can’t do anything about their economic or political troubles. Every time the word “policy” was said in class, my ears perked up. I always wanted to know more, know why certain political decisions were made by certain countries and what that did to the people who lived there. At first this perplexed me – I’d thought my whole life that I wanted to go to school for neuroscience, but as the year progressed, my mind began to change. I began to do research on International Relations programs at different colleges.
Over winter break, with a blizzard outside the window, I sat across the table from a girl who had known me her whole life. She grinned when I told her that I’d had a change of heart and wanted to study International Relations in college. She’d been waiting for this moment. Calling to her father, with whom I am also close, she relayed the news. He laughed and said “I told you so. You never could keep from helping people Cass.”
He proceeded to give me a list of schools he thought I would like after White Mountain. He had always been a college fanatic. I returned to school this year more excited than ever, and I wanted to know as much as I could before the year was over. Hiapo did more than show me something I liked. He showed me something from which I couldn’t tear myself away. I was frequently late for my next class because I didn’t want to leave AP Human Geography. When I received a 5 on my AP exam, I immediately thanked Hiapo. Not for helping me score a 5, not for teaching the most interesting class I had taken in school so far, but for showing me that there is something in this world that I want to fight for.