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What’s wrong with the school’s recent decisions?

Last updated on November 11, 2019

Like no institution can avoid, our school is facing a lot of problems and lots of complaints from students and faculty members. At the start of this year, I must admit that the school is trying to fix the issues. This seems to be something everyone is looking forward to changes. But does the complaints reduce? No. Our school is not solving the problem by solving them. Sometimes this method works out well, like solving the Great Depression by getting involved in WWII, while in many cases, it doesn’t. In the case of the Great Depression, it is like a piece of paper falls into water, and economic and social benefits from WWII is the flame that dries the paper up. The paper will break into pieces without FDR taking it out from the water with the New Deal he promoted. The same applies to the situation at Tilton — we are not going to solve anything without trying straightforward solutions towards the problem.


Two things have happened on campus recently, which I find representing the school’s policymaking and problem-solving. The first is the new inter-dorm visitation policy. The other is the most recent formal dinner in September. 30. The first one is to bring a significant influence on campus. We even had a dorm meeting only for it. If we simplify this, we can see it doesn’t answer to the concern the student government had to change the old policy at all. The only thing it does is changing the name of “boys’ dorms” and “girls’ dorms” into “blocks,” and making it stricter or just re-introduces and pressing the details in the old rule. However, the student government brought up the inter-dorm visitation policy last year is because they believe this policy is outdated from the current view on genders, and the old policy no longer prevents the students from getting into the situation it was designed to prevent. If the experimental policy that didn’t work out the first month is still an approach to that issue, the current one is far from solving the concerns brought up by the student government.


The other one seemed to have less influence on first glance, but in fact, it represents the attitude of the school this year. Last formal dinner, we cooked for ourselves in formal dress. To my understanding, formal dinner is an imitation of the formal setting we might get into either in our career or our private life. I don’t think there will be many scenarios where we will need to be in formal dress and cook for ourselves. I understand why the school does this. Everyone hates formal dinner because no one likes to be in a stressed, formal setting, especially that often. I am not saying that we should bring formal dinners to what it was, but I certainly don’t agree with what we are approaching right now. Formal dinners don’t serve the purpose to have fun or to bring the communities together — other activities do a much better job than formal dinner.


For last year, the junior GLP was asking the students to find out their “why,” while I think it extends from figuring out the inner nature to a border, and a more realistic world of problem-solving. If the program arranged by the school is teaching us to find the motivation of our actions, the school itself should do the same. Why did we want to change the inter-dorm visitation policy initially? Why do we have formal dinner in the beginning? Does what we are doing now reaches what we initially want to achieve? Those questions are more important than pleasing the students, which I feel like the school is now trying to do. In the end, all answers refer to one problem and this problem alone: what is the purpose of our school? Are we achieving it right now?

Updates 11/11: corrections made on grammar on “This seems to be something everyone is looking forward to changes.” and “Everyone hates formal dinner because no one likes to be in a stressed, formal setting, especially that often.” by editor

One Comment

  1. Darren L. Redman Darren L. Redman November 11, 2019

    What’s Wrong with Anonymous?

    Ms. Pei recently emailed all Tilton School students, faculty, and staff to re-introduce the electronic version of Tiltonian. Originally this was the school’s literary magazine, which highlighted student poetry, prose, fiction, and photography under a faculty supervisor. Today’s latest Tiltonian iteration is solely student-created and produced in what could best be described as a current events and comments blog. With the catchy subtitle, “Your Beacon on the Hill,” I read the November 11, 2019 issue, particularly the Editorial Pick “What’s wrong with the school’s recent decisions?” (https://tiltonian.com/2019/10/03/whats-wrong-with-the-schools-recent-decisions/) I was disappointed such criticism was allowed to be published under “anonymous” and promoted as appropriate discourse within the Tilton School community.

    The four-paragraph opinion piece begins well enough with comparative and historical references, even a simile, for support, but it quickly falls prey to generalizations and poor grammar. Like FDR’s wet paper analogy used in the article, this anonymous author eventually offers two topics among sentence fragments and subject/verb disagreements. The second paragraph mentions the Tilton School’s attempt to modify its inter-dorm visitation policy based on updated views of gender, which apparently doesn’t meet the author’s standards. There was no effort made by “anonymous” to suggest how the policy could be made better.

    The third paragraph takes on required formal dinners, paying particular attention to the last one, where students prepared their own meals. “Anonymous” seems to understand boarding schools require formal dress for certain occasions to promote a life skill, and the author rightly suggests cooking with a coat, tie, and/or dress is unlikely, if not unreasonable, in real life. However, “anonymous” misuses hyperbole when stating, “Everyone hates formal dinner because no one likes to be stressed, formal setting, especially that often.” Beyond poor syntax, the ideas of stress and frequency are subjective. In reality, a small amount of stress is natural, if not required, when attempting to achieve previously unattained skills. Numerically speaking, three sit-down dinners in three months does not appear to be frequent. As an aside, during this evening’s “formal buffet” students are required to dress in coats/ties/dresses for the Fall Sports Awards, but are not required to attend the dinner, where students and faculty move swiftly through four food lines and sit where they wish.

    “Anonymous” concludes by connecting Dive’s “Finding Your Why” theme to Tilton School administrators lack of following the same principle in making decisions. The series of questions within the paragraph deserve rhetorical merit, but poorly written criticism by an anonymous author does not. An “Editorial Pick” should represent an insightful observation and poignant, well-written response, deserving of publication inside and outside the Tilton School community. I welcome responses to this, my own retort, and I am available during conference periods and any other times of mutual convenience.

    Respectfully,

    Darren L. Redman
    dredman@tiltonschool.org
    603-677-6079 (cell)

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