1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
A community is a place where a group of people share a set of goals, and they work together to attain them. Through working towards these goals they build relationships with each other, bettering themselves and the community as a whole.
In my five years at Fenn school I have changed immeasurably as a person, a student, a musician, and a friend, as have the rest of my classmates in the time since the fourth grade. Arriving at Fenn in september of 2009 I was a different person entirely, the only thing I share with that boy from 2009 is the same parents, gender, and genetic code.
In 2009 I was very overweight, in 2009 I had past my shoulders, and in 2009 I only had a handful of friends, only one of which went to Fenn. The reasons for my sad mental and physical state all stemmed from my previous school, Willard Elementary school, particularly my final year enrolled there. I was Nine at the end of my third grade year, and I was struggling in school. I had a very short temper, and I didn’t care for my lessons in the slightest. I was in and out of the principal's office a grand total of 11 times in just that year, a number that I wore as a medal of honor, a veteran soldier of delinquency. Recognizing this my parents decided that it would be in my best interest to enroll me in the fourth grade at the Fenn School, and while I wasn’t having the easiest time in the public school system I was adamant about staying at Willard, I was worried about a different school atmosphere and having to rebuild friendships that I would be leaving behind, and I tried my hardest to secure a few more years at Willard. In the end I lost that battle and here I am, five years at Fenn and a very different person because of it. I am better because of it? I think so, but it is in the intervening five years that we see how a depressed fat kid was transformed into the Clem Tarpey that you know and love.
Fourth grade was not a time of great change for me, I was unhappy throughout most of the year. So much of how the year plays out has to do with a Fenn students advisor, and in the fourth grade I felt that my advisor didn’t help me to fit in, and at that time in my life I didn’t feel comfortable reaching out to them. For that year I kept to myself mostly, during recess I would go borrow a dollar from Alex Newman, go buy two packs of Oreos from the school store, grab a book and sit inside to read, and that was my routine for the better part of a year.
Things began to change in fifth grade, once again due mainly to my advisor. During August I shaved my head, and looking back on that now it seems like a good metaphor for turning over a new page, cutting away the long hair that had defined me for the past few years. The first day back I recall walking into my advisor's room and being greeted heartily by the rest of my fellow advisees, and that was when I began to feel more comfortable at Fenn.
Throughout fifth grade year my grades got better, but my advisor encouraged me to push them further and further and I began to realize that I was capable of achieving my goals and getting good grades.
Merrowvista sticks out as a particularly fond memory, as im sure it does for many of my classmates, and I remember it as one of the first times I felt close to any of my classmates, as well as the first time I felt comfortable taking a risk in their presence.
When sixth grade rolled around my grades were getting better (though still not great) but now I was more concerned about my weight, as I could see that I was still very chubby. I took up soccer, and played in and out of school in the various leagues and clubs that were offered to me. I worked hard in school and out of school, and after a while the combined effects of soccer and puberty began to show. That year was my first experience with walking into concord center with my school chums, messing about in town and grabbing some pizza at Comellas, and in the years to come my memories from Concord Center would become some of my fondest.
At this point in my Fenn career all feelings of remorse at being enrolled at this school were gone, and I seemed to myself to be a far cry of the boy I was just a few years ago. I had cultivated relationships with my classmates and teachers, and I felt very much at home at Fenn in a way I previously didn’t think possible.
Seventh grade was a good year for me academically, and I was able to achieve a spot on the honor roll every term, which was both the first time I’d ever achieved the honor roll once and the first time I’d achieved it each term. Beyond academics seventh grade was also my first experience with the exalted upper school sports, and in the spring term of my seventh grade year I and scores of my classmates made it onto the Junior Varsity lacrosse team. That year the J.V. team was made up almost entirely of seventh graders who happened to all be good chums of mine, as well as two other eighth graders who hadn’t been fortunate to make the Varsity team.
Eighth grade is to be my final year at fenn, and from the time I write this I have a mere two weeks left here.Time has passed quickly for this school year, evidence that I am having a “good time” if nothing else.
In this final year of mine I have achieved academically, I have achieved a spot on the honor roll once, and if all goes well in my final exams I will achieve a spot on the high honor roll twice, something I’ve never done before.
This year I have grown as an artist, I performed in the Improv performance back in the winter, a valuable experience and one of my most cherished Fenn memories. Just this past week a crew comprised of both eighth graders, ninth graders, and myself performed some trashy pop song for the whole school. Its an incredible thing to walk through the school and have kids you might not even talk to throughout the year compliment your performance. Performances like those illustrate so well how the Fenn community is a wonderful place, that my peers and I can perform onstage without a script and receive positive feedback is incredible, and up until recently I never fully realized the value of it.
Through all these experiences the values and guidance of Fenn have shaped me into the person I am today. I have grown immeasurably as an academic, a musician, an actor, an athlete, a writer, and a friend.
While I will be moving on from Fenn this year, I will never really leave, for home is wherever your heart lies, and my heart certainly lies with Fenn.