Max

year: Sophomore from: Massachusetts

I don’t think of it as a failure, because I learned from the experience. I have a deeper understanding of the processes involved and if I were to try again, I would know how to do it better.

I want to learn as much as I can about different things and have diverse experiences. That urge drives me. I like to build things, to work with my hands. That’s how I learn best. Right now I’m taking blacksmithing as an Evening Art, which is a lot of fun. It takes skill and technique, but it also takes the right knowledge to understand how certain techniques will affect the end product. It takes a lot of experimentation to gain that knowledge, which I enjoy.

I’ve also made things for Project Weeks as a way to learn more about them. I built an ornithopter, which didn’t work out that well. And for one project I built several now-common tools with primitive materials. I made a hammer, an axe, a bow and arrow out of sticks, stones, and string, and compared these to the store-bought versions. Obviously, the store-bought tools were more effective. But even when the ornithopter or the tools don’t work perfectly, or at all, I don’t think of it as a failure, because I learned from the experience. I have a deeper understanding of the processes involved and if I were to try again, I would know how to do it better.

I like being active too, so I try to balance the arts with sports. I’ve played lacrosse and done rock climbing and running activities. Last trimester I studied abroad in Mexico, which was fantastic because I wanted to experience and learn about another culture firsthand. I really do like to try everything.

Lately, I’ve been pushing myself to do more than simply what’s required. In the past, I’ve definitely fallen victim to just coasting along and doing the bare minimum of work. One of the most important things to know coming into Putney is that you need to be able to regulate yourself without someone constantly reminding you to do certain things. This is such a great opportunity here and I want to make the most of it. The entire community is full of genuine people who are so passionate about what they do.