Emily Barre '17

November 7, 2016
by Communications Office

Q: What are 3 words you would use to describe Madeira to someone?

Second-home. Community. Exploration.  

Q: What is it like being a day student at a boarding/day school?

There are a lot of perks of being a day student at a boarding school. When I was applying to Madeira, I worried that I might have trouble making friends because the boarders would be around each other more. I found this worry to be completely false. Day students and boarders absolutely form great friendships and can even help each other in ways you wouldn’t get at an all-day school. For example, if you need to sleepover, you can just stay with a boarder friend. It’s also really convenient to get three meals at school (if you want to) and to not have to worry about getting picked up right after school--this campus never empties so you’ll never be left alone waiting for your parents to come pick you up. Another piece of being a day student that I love is being able to bring my boarder friends home with me. It’s a really fun experience for everyone involved, both boarders and day students. 

Q: In what ways have you changed since coming to Madeira? 

When I came to Madeira, I had never been in a show before and I decided to try out for the musical my freshman year just to see how it was. I’ve been in the musical every year since, and absolutely love it. The friendships I’ve formed through the musical, the joy of performing, and the community of creating a show together have been important parts of my high school experience and I had never tried that before Madeira. I also discovered my love of math when I came to Madeira. Coming into Madeira, I wanted to be a creative writer, but over the last four years I have discovered how much I love math and science classes. I think that my time in an all-girls classroom definitely contributed to that discovery.     

Q: Describe your favorite Madeira memory. 

Many of my favorite Madeira memories (I could never pick just one!) are sitting backstage in the musical and happily watching my friends perform. The many laughs and hugs of backstage are memories that I will hold dear for a long time. 

Q: What is your favorite Madeira tradition and why?

I have two favorite Madeira traditions (I can’t pick just one!). My first favorite Madeira tradition is called “ring sisters” where a senior gives their class ring to an underclassmen friend and then the underclassmen gives it back at the end of the year. That tradition is just a whole lot of fun and shows the kind of sisterhood bonding that happens at Madeira. My second favorite tradition is Thanksgiving dinner, which is always the last Thursday before Thanksgiving break. The entire school comes together to share a Thanksgiving meal and it is always delicious. Before the meal, we stand around the oval and each light a small candle and our international classmates share thanks in their home languages. It’s a really special time because the whole school comes together to be thankful.   

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give a student who is interested in attending Madeira?

The advice I’d give to a student interested in attending Madeira is to talk to a current Madeira student, whether a tour guide or revisit day host, about why they love Madeira. My email is ebarre@madeira.org and I’d love to talk to you! Madeira girls are passionate about so many different things, but one thing that we have in common is that if you ask us about Madeira, we will want to tell you about our experience. One common answer that you might hear from many Madeira girls is that they love the community here. That would be my answer. This caring, crazy, fun community of sisters I have found here is unlike any other and I know that any member of it would love to share it with you and welcome you. 

Q: Tell us about your Co-Curriculum experience. What has it been like to volunteer off campus?

My sophomore year, my Co-Curriculum placement was at Garfield Elementary school where I worked in both second and third grade classrooms. My experience there was amazing and if I had the opportunity to do it again, I would in a heartbeat. I love spending time with kids, and it was a blessing to get to do that through Madeira as a part of my school day. My junior year, I interned in the Senate, which was also an amazing experience. My time interning on the Hill was an opportunity to practice independence, as well as participate in a work environment, which was very rewarding and unique to Madeira. 

Q: What is your favorite class and why?

My favorite class that I have taken at Madeira is physics. My junior year, I took introductory physics, and this year I’m taking AP physics. I really enjoy the labs in those classes, my favorite of which was last year when we built a model roller coaster. We timed the model car running through the track in order to understand more about gravity. Another piece of my physics classes that I have enjoyed is the collaborative nature of problem solving. Almost everything we do in AP physics is collaborative, and hearing everyone’s thoughts on a problem definitely helps me to better understand the material. After my experiences in Madeira physics and math classes, I intend to pursue engineering in college. 

Q: What activities, sports, and/or clubs are you involved with?

Being in the musical for the last three years has been a highlight of my time in high school. I’m also a member of Glee (Madeira’s choir) and the Madeira Arts Council, which is a club that organizes and promotes arts events on campus. I’ve also been involved in athletics, playing soccer and lacrosse as an underclassman, and taking advanced fitness this year. I have participated in student government almost every year. Last year, I started a neuroscience team at Madeira that competed in a neuroscience competition called the Brain Bee where contestants are quizzed on neuroscience facts.   

Q: What is the best thing about living near Washington, D.C.?

The best thing about living near Washington, D.C. is the opportunity to intern on Capitol Hill.  There are a lot of great restaurants, fun monuments and other destinations in DC, but I think that the most unique part of the city is that it is our nation’s capital. I really got to experience that aspect through my junior year Co-Curriculum placement.