An Ode to the Academy

Catastrophes of horrendous proportions afflict our decaying institution on a daily basis. One of the hand sanitizer pumps in the cafeteria refuses to dispense anything; you will never observe a single drop of cleansing, antibacterial goodness emerge from that faulty machine. It’s simply absurd. No covered walkway protects students from bitter weather conditions on the way to the FAC or the Inman Center. What if the sun blinds someone while they walk across the quad? What if someone gets hypothermia from the combined forces of cold air and freezing rain? These are serious questions Pace refuses to answer.

FirstClass occasionally has issues with people being logged on for over 24 hours. Someone could receive a Facebook friend request email and not see it. Think of the emotional damage done to students every time they are forced to learn patience in these stressful times; it is a grievous offense to students’ suffering minds. A multitude of speed bumps barrage students every day. One can only imagine the amount of damage we’ve done to our cars’ alignment over the past few years. I must admit that I have never understood why anyone would want to go to a school like ours. The conditions are just too horrible to bear.

If you ask a relatively dramatic student what they think of Pace, you might get an answer that resembles the satire above. Students often criticize trivial problems instead of focusing on the broader perspective and fail to see the true greatness of this Academy where we live, work and play every day. While our facilities are second to none and certainly provide an environment perfectly suited for learning, this greatness stems from world-class faculty, energetic administrators and a student body bursting with talent and enthusiasm.

When you walk into class, you don’t find students struggling with masses of assignments one could classify as “busy work.” Instead, you will find students engaged in all sorts of activities: interactive discussions gently guided by a faculty moderator, epic class-wide quiz bowls, simulations of historical events, student-designed labs, paired AP review, or even the occasional game of Catch-Phrase on a Friday afternoon. Teachers recognize that students need hands-on experience to absorb material through all of the senses and use all of the listed activities alongside other creative methods to encourage students to think outside the box. Our teachers don’t just teach pure content or test strategies; our teachers teach you how to think critically.

The school’s leadership also plays a key role in this. Take the administration-sponsored Spirit Week, for example: students lead other students in organizing a complex operation that would overwhelm most adults. The Pace experience gives students the opportunity to soar and explore the world in a way that no other schools even begin to rival.

The next time you think of Pace, don’t think of that one broken hand sanitizer machine or petty issues such as a covered walkway. Think of the unique learning environment, stellar faculty, and forward-thinking administration that we are so lucky to have access to. Think of your fellow students who constantly push you to succeed in everything from sports to academics to arts to video games. Think of how your high school experience catapults you so far ahead of the general population and prepares you to succeed in the real world.

Think not about how you changed or wanted to change Pace. Think about how Pace changed you.