Episode 11: The EQ Lounge at Reunion Weekend

Alumni share memories and stories from their time at Andover and Abbot.

Reunion Weekend is a special time for our alums. Everyone is back on campus, savoring the nostalgia, seeing old friends, and reconnecting with the school that shaped their formative years. We wanted to capture this feeling so for Reunion 2017 we tried an experiment. We set up a tent, a table, and chairs in front of George Washington Hall and invited alumni in to sit, relax, and reflect. We called it the EQ Lounge, and these are their stories.

Episode 10: True Grit with Angela Duckworth

Tang Institute Fellow Noah Rachlin talks with Angela Duckworth before her presentation at Phillips Academy.

Grit has been a pretty popular buzzword in education these past few years. The concept isn’t exactly new. Perseverance, willingness to learn, passion, positively dealing with adversity—these are all characteristics that we typically associate with good students, and people for that matter. While we may have anecdotally known this for a while, scientific research is now demonstrating that grit, along with a suite of characteristics known as character strengths, serve as essential tools that can help students develop the skills they need to flourish inside (and out) of the classroom.

Angela Duckworth is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development. Duckworth’s first book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, debuted May 3, 2016, as an immediate New York Times bestseller. Duckworth studies grit and self-control, two character strengths that are distinct from IQ and yet powerfully predict success and well-being.

She recently visited Phillips Academy to talk about her research and present to the community. Before hitting the stage Duckworth sat down with History & Social Science Instructor and Tang Institute Fellow Noah Rachlin to dive deeper into her thesis.

 

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Episode 09: A Conversation on Coeducation

Louise Kennedy ’76 and Nancy Sizer reminisce about coeducation and Andover’s evolution in the seventies.

Earlier this year Every Quarter had the privilege of hosting a special conversation between Nancy Sizer and Louise Kennedy, Class of 1976. Sizer taught at Andover in the seventies and eighties and was the spouse of the renowned educational reformer and Phillips Academy’s 12th Head of School, Ted Sizer. Kennedy came to Andover in the first year of coeducation and went on to serve as the first female editor of The Phillipian, the Academy’s student-run newspaper.

This episode is like listening in on old friends reuniting after many years apart. They discuss the merger of Phillips and Abbot Academies, what life was like on campus in the early seventies and how students and faculty adapted to the transition. Their wide-ranging and fascinating talk is filled with personal stories, random tangents, and perspective that can only be gained from looking back on their experiences some forty years later.

Episode 08: Finding Your Voice with Jay Smooth

How do you teach and support student activism in 2017?

Fake news. Black Lives Matter. Women’s rights. These are just a few of the current issues Andover students are trying to grapple with. Phillips Academy is committed to equity and inclusion, youth from every quarter, non sibi. But how do you uphold these values when it feels like the world beyond our campus bubble is turning into the direct antithesis of everything we try to instill in our community? There are no easy answers. Conversations, however, are happening. Students want to be involved. They have a voice. And we need to listen.

Back in April Andover hosted Stand Up: Student Activism in Independent Schools, a daylong symposium for independent school educators and administrators. One of our presenters was the writer, video blogger, and cultural commentator Jay Smooth. Jay grew up in the burgeoning New York hip-hop scene and is the founder of the city’s longest-running hip hop radio program, WBAI’s Underground Railroad. Before his presentation, Jay joined Dean of Community and Multicultural Development LaShawn Springer to discuss his path from DJ to pundit, the current state of hip-hop and how today’s students can be supported in their efforts to lead positive change through activism.

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Episode 07: The Business of Being Funny

Filmmaker Bobby Farrelly ’77 talks comedy, hit films and returning to Andover for the first time in 40 years.

What makes you laugh? Is it the observational stand-up of Louis C.K.? Sketches on Saturday Night Live? Mark Maron’s podcast that you always listen to first before EQ? You see, comedy is subjective. What makes one person laugh probably won’t make another person laugh, and humor is rarely an acquired taste. It’s not like you turn thirty and suddenly like Seinfeld. Well, maybe that’s a bad example. The point is, you either get the joke or you don’t.

In the early nineties, The Farrelly Brothers struck gold with a string of blockbusters that seemed to make everyone laugh. Dumb and Dumber. There’s Something About Mary. Kingpin. Outside Providence. Shallow Hal. Fever Pitch. You couldn’t escape their slapstick premises and earnest storytelling that made them the two of the most successful writers and directors in Hollywood. They’ve worked with comic icons like Bill Murray, Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Alec Baldwin and Jimmy Fallon, but as Bobby Farrelly, Class of 1977 recently recounted at a Phillips Academy All-School Meeting, the brothers had no real movie-making aspirations growing up, and sort of fell into the trade after a few failed ventures in Los Angeles.

Upon his first visit back to Andover in forty years, Bobby sat down with Neil Evans to talk the current state of comedy, how to be funny in today’s politically correct climate and what he learned from being kicked out of Andover.

Farrelly

Episode 06: Frank Stella ’54

The legendary artist looks back on where it all started.

Frank Stella ’54 is the renowned artist he is today because of Phillips Academy. The access. The curriculum. The friendships (with fellow artists Carl Andre ’53 and Hollis Frampton ’54). Andover shaped the artist Stella would become. In this special episode of Every Quarter, hear the candid tales from his early years, stories of the New York art scene in the sixties and why he keeps coming back to where it all started.

Throughout his prolific and influential career, Stella has been a major figure in the art world, internationally hailed as one of America’s most significant artists. In his paintings, metal reliefs, sculptures, and prints, he has explored abstraction, which emerged during the early twentieth century in the innovations of artists such as Vassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, and Pablo Picasso. A pioneer of minimalism in the 1960s, Stella continues to experiment and innovate, creating some of the most daring work to be seen today.

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Episode 05: The Road to Repatriation

Peabody Museum Director Ryan Wheeler discusses repatriation and sacred artifacts with members of White Earth Nation.

Since the beginning of time, human beings have documented their experiences for future generations—on caves, tablets, scrolls and parchment. Now imagine a world where these records were lost. What if the Magna Carta were placed in a drawer, never to be seen again?

In this episode of EQ, we meet Anishinaabeg members of White Earth Nation. Their search for one of their nation’s founding documents led them to Andover, where a large birch scroll containing ancient accounts from their ancestors languished undiscovered for more than a century.

Phillips Academy’s Robert S. Peabody Museum is home to one of the nation’s major repositories of Native American archaeological collections. Founded in 1901, its first curator was the legendary Warren King Moorehead, known as “the dean of American archaeology.” So how did Moorehead come into possession of this sacred scroll and many other artifacts? And what does this discovery mean to its people and their future?

Join archaeologist and Peabody Museum director Ryan Wheeler and three members of White Earth Nation, who recently met at the museum to tell the story behind the lost scroll, recount its incredible journey and describe ongoing repatriation collaboration.

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