Emma Knisley '18
Q: What are 3 words you would use to describe Madeira to someone else?
To describe Madeira, I would use the words Unique, Community, and Safe. Madeira is unique in its schedule and system, but also in its people and feeling of togetherness. The sense of community is unlike any other, and everyone is safe to be whoever they want to be, without any judgement or discrimination.
Q: What is your favorite class and why?
My favorite class so far is Latin. I love learning about the culture and history of ancient Rome, and I also really like figuring out how to piece together the things I've learned, such as using vocabulary and grammar together to translate a piece of literature.
Q: What activities, sports and clubs are you involved in?
I'm a part of the IEA riding team all year long and a member of the classics club. Riding is a really big part of my life, and Madeira is the perfect place for me to balance academics and time at the barn. Classics club plans a bunch of really fun events throughout the year, and I enjoy connecting Latin with other parts of my life.
Q: In what ways have you changed since coming to Madeira?
Since I arrived at Madeira, I have become a far more confident person. I'm no longer unsure about asking a question or speaking my opinion; I'm a more confident rider, and I am just more self-assured in general. Somewhat connected to that, I have also become more independent, no longer needing help with every single thing I need to do, and much more willing to get things done myself and put myself out there.
Q: What is the best thing about living near Washington DC?
I think the best part of living near DC is that there are just so many opportunities. Whether it's taking a day trip to see some museums, going to the Washington International Horse Show, or working on Capitol Hill for five weeks during junior year, there are always things to do in the city. Not many other places have the advantages that we do, and it's amazing to be able to make the most of that.
Q: Describe a favorite Madeira memory.
It's hard to choose a favorite memory! I'd have to say one of best memories was the dorm scavenger hunt my ninth-grade year. The whole dorm had to work together on several different elements, and it was so much fun to collectively solve the trivia questions and run around campus searching for things. I will never forget sprinting up to the Hurd to find some obscure clue with my roommate.
Q: What is your favorite Madeira tradition?
My favorite Madeira tradition is Thanksgiving Dinner before everyone goes off campus for the holiday. It is beautiful seeing the entire school gathered around the Oval holding candles, and I love getting to sit and eat a delicious meal with some of my favorite people in the world. Nothing tops the pies we get to eat that night!
Q: Tell us about your Co-Curriculum placement.
I'm interning at Calleva Farm in Maryland for my sophomore year Co-Curriculum placement. Every day I get to take care of animals, help educate students, and learn about life on a working farm. It is very interesting to me to see how everything functions, and I love getting to be a part of creating food and other items that other people can enjoy.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give a student who is interested in attending Madeira?
I would tell students to not be afraid to ask any questions at all. We're always happy to answer absolutely anything, and I think it's very important to speak your mind and not be hesitant about getting answers!