Zebra Tales

Sam '23

Hometown: Hempstead, New York
Groton activities: Chamber Choir, Rocket Club, Gospel Choir, Maqupellas, Tabletop Gaming, Ukulele Club
Most surprising when you first arrived at Groton: Seeing how quickly everyone got along with each other. The team-building exercises were fun, but what really made it for me was hanging out in the mall that first night, listening to good music, playing ping pong, and meeting future friends.
Favorite classes: Probably Math or Latin because as you go on with each course, they become like a puzzle. You’re given a problem/translation to do, and you’re given the skills to do it, but it’s all up to you to figure it out, and there are a billion ways to do it.

Most memorable Groton moment: October 19 of my Third Form year. It was a Saturday Open Mic Night with some stellar performances. There was dance, rapping, pop, rock, soul, everything you could ask for. Then all the Third Form boys rushed back to the TV in the mall, where we watched Jose Altuve hit a walk-off home run against the Yankees. We placed bets on every at-bat, put our arms around each other, and held our breath with each pitch. Just a great evening of community and fun.
Favorite Dining Hall food: Jambalaya and beignets
Favorite place to study: The bubbles on the top floor of the Schoolhouse

List of 6 news stories.

  • Love Songs, Magic, and Pokémon?

    This past Saturday night was a special one, as the Circle saw the return of Open Mic Nights, which we haven’t seen for quite a few weeks. This was by far the most unique out of any I’ve seen during my time here at Groton. For the first time, there was a magic act where Lebone Matthews performed a series of card tricks that left the crowd in awe. We also had some of the student songwriters perform, as Creed Bellamy, Griffin Elliot, and Georgia Martin all shared incredible original songs. Creed specifically performed a song she wrote called “Stockholm Syndrome,” which especially moved me. And most importantly, we witnessed a true musical masterpiece as Stephen Pang, Johnny Fan, and Jiacheng Kang sang the Pokémon theme song while all dressed as the main character, Ash Ketchum. A performance for the ages.

    That night was also my return to the Open Mic stage, as I had not participated in almost two years. The feeling of just being up there in front of the school made my day. I did a little bit that Freddy Mercury used to do, where he would sing the phrase “AY-O,” and have the crowd repeat it. Collectively, we made the Forum as loud as it’s ever been, and nostalgic teachers whipped out their phones and recorded it. I then went on to sing Queen’s “You’re my Best Friend.” The energy in the Schoolhouse that night was amazing to experience.

    That’s what I love about Open Mic Nights. The music performed is truly on another level. It's crazy how talented people are, and most of the participants aren’t even in choir! You don’t have to be the greatest singer in the world to get a huge round of applause–and more importantly, to have a good time. From a performer’s perspective, you don't feel the same stress that you do when singing in a more formal concert. Also, seeing the joy on people’s faces with each new song is something that will live with you forever.
  • Why Not Try It: Squash

    This winter was my first time playing squash competitively. To be honest, I was incredibly nervous going in. Groton has an amazing squash program, coming in first place last year in Division III Nationals. I was also told this year that the thirds team was especially deep this season, so it would be hard for me to start. Despite this, I was determined to give it a shot.

    Before coming to Groton, I had only played once or twice with friends, who were privileged enough to have access to squash courts. When it came time to pick a winter sport, I was torn between basketball, my main winter sport, and squash. I sat down with my dad, who knew that I loved both sports but was more talented at basketball. He told me that later in life, I’d always be able to play basketball, but because of how accessible squash is, I might only be able to play it like this a few times. He mentioned that on Long Island, where I live, the only places where I can play squash are country clubs. Since I am African American, I admitted that my chances of playing at such an establishment were small. So I decided to seize the opportunity and join Groton thirds squash.

    This season has been full of ups and downs but overall has been great. Squash is such a fun sport, and everyone on the team is so supportive of one another. I started out very high on the ladder, being placed in the third spot out of around fourteen players. One day, I took a hard fall after some terrible challenge matches, sliding down to the ninth spot. Even though things weren’t looking the best, and I stopped getting placed in the starting lineup for a bit, I kept pushing through. I went into the courts on weekends to work on my rails and drop shots; I kept challenging myself by competing with players better than me and have even moved back up into the lineup.

    One week left in the season. Three games, all away. I can’t wait to suit up in red, white, and black again with my team. I couldn’t be happier with how this season has been, and I am so glad I decided to try something new: I’m glad I decided to play squash.
  • Circle Christmas!

    Only two days back from Thanksgiving break and everyone’s got loads to do. This past Saturday, we had one of the highlights of the musical year: Groton Pops. It’s just a time to celebrate Christmas music.
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  • Sweet, Sweet Saturday Nights

    One of the most ethereal experiences at Groton, and an experience you just can't live without.
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  • Summer Sandwich

    I’m going to make a weird analogy: my summer was a sandwich. Strange right? Well, it’s a sandwich in that I spent time with my friends at the beginning and the end of the summer, and I gave myself time in the middle just for myself and exploring my interests.
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  • The Circle of Singing

    Undoubtedly one of the best moments of last year was the Open Mic Night on the Circle last spring, and it got me thinking. What makes the choir and other music groups at Groton so special?
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