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At RA, we begin each week with an all school assembly. It is tradition for every Grade 8 student to take a turn running the assembly and speak about something that is meaningful to them. Each week, their speeches will be posted for our community to read. These outstanding young people are the leaders of our school and have experiences and stories that are important to share. Last Monday, Bryce H. spoke about the one word that reminds him of the RA community and describes himself. Enjoy Bryce's story!

In my 11 years at Ridgefield Academy, I have been taught many things. I am here to talk about a certain word that reminds me of this special community. That word is gregarious. It means to be social, friendly, and outgoing. This word has been used to describe me in many circumstances. For example, in the summer of 2017, my family took a Silverseas cruise touring the Adriatic Sea. We traveled to Greece, Italy, Croatia, Turkey, and Montenegro. While my sisters sat in the sun and my parents were reading, I was left alone bored out of my mind. But, instead of doing things on my own, I made new friends from Australia and Spain. I was able to do this because RA has helped me to be confident in who I am and as a result I was able to find my gregarious self. Ridgefield Academy is such a special place to me because I have never felt alone. I am surrounded by teachers and students who are friendly and outgoing. RA is a strong community and I could not have grown into a gregarious person without it. For example, there are events scheduled throughout the school year that bring students together. The year starts with the ice cream social and ends with graduation for the 8th grade. I know not everyone enjoys returning to school, but for me, the ice cream social provides excitement for all kids new and old. Throughout the school year, Upper School students learn how to be gregarious through participating in trials or debates. I remember in the 6th grade debating on whether or not King Arthur was real or fictional. Our team used our hard working skills to prove that King Arthur wasn’t real.(We won by the way) In 7th grade, I played the part of Edmund Randolph in the Constitutional Convention. Finally in 8th grade, I will be having a tea party in which we will discuss Imperialism vs Anti-Imperialism right after this. All of these experiences have taught me to be friendly with my peers and to not be afraid of having my own opinion.

My advice to all of you is to keep learning from RA’s social activities. Enjoy the social activities RA provides for you in the lower school. It will help you later in your Ridgefield Academy life. I have grown up here and have learned a lot. Not everyone has to be a gregarious and outgoing person, but all of you should be kind and friendly to students and others. Lastly, RA has taught me to think about others. I have been at RA for my entire school life, and I know I wouldn’t be who I am today without this nurturing environment. The community at RA will always be aware of you and your needs so you should never feel isolated or alone. Robin Williams once said “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel alone.” In my 11 years at Ridgefield Academy, I have never felt alone. Not once. I will always be grateful for the teachers here at Ridgefield Academy because they have helped to shape me into my gregarious self.

Written by Bryce H.