Anna Powell ’13, Landon School

This January, I had the pleasure to spend three days at the Landon School, a boys school in D.C., with David Armstrong ‘70. This Cottage Club alumnus and fellow History concentrator welcomed me to his sprawling campus in Bethesda, offering me a packed schedule. I spent a day in each school division – lower (3-5th), middle (6-8th), and upper (9-12th). Each day meant the opportunity to sit in on a class or two, which Mr. Armstrong’s assistant Patti generously arranged to be of the historical persuasion. I got to observe what it means to “know boys” the way only a top-notch school like Landon can. Hoping to maximize the value of the experience, I kept a notebook with me – a sizeable portion of which is now filled with observations and “notes to self” about working at an educational institution. 

Not only was I able to see the teachers in action, but I also got to sit down with them and hear about their career paths. Many took surprising turns, but all of them concluded with satisfaction at Landon. The boys I met shared this same positive attitude. Those I met were well dressed, well mannered, and respectful. At the request of a teacher, a fourth grade boy walked me to class. On the way, he gallantly asked, “How has your experience at Landon been so far?” The maturity and sincerity of the question completely caught me off guard, but I assured him that I was very pleased with everything and everyone.

I spent a part of each day with the music department. My father grew up in D.C., so I had heard of Landon before – generally as a strong competitor in athletics. I did not expect to find the real gem of the school to be its music program, but at the end of the first afternoon, it was unmistakable. Run by the veteran musician Earl Jackson and his crew of geniuses, the band, orchestra, choir, and hand bell classes were beyond impressive. I found myself envying even the lower school boys for their luck in studying music at Landon.

David Armstrong and Anna

Mr. Armstrong took me to important meetings which fell during my visit, including a calendar meeting, a development meeting, and a big picture meeting for division heads. By the end of my three days, I felt I had an insider’s view into the individual parts of a quality independent school – as well as their sum. I learned so much about the private school environment. I can now actually picture applying for jobs in education and eventually taking one, an idea which before seemed hopelessly abstract. If this Princeternship comes up again, I wholeheartedly recommend it. I could not have had a warmer reception or a more useful set of experiences. Mr. Armstrong and his crew were fabulous hosts, and I could not be more pleased with my Intercession.

Lauren Davis ’14, Boston University School of Law

Day One:

The three of us, me and my fellow Princeterns, arrived in Professor Fleming’s office at 9 am, and had a chance to hear the full account of how he came to be a Law Professor, from college to the present day. We shared our various academic interests with him, and Professor Fleming in turn set up a variety of appointments with other BU Law professors whose work overlapped with our interests. At 10 am, one of his students came in to talk about an upcoming paper on Constitutional theory, as well as to update Professor Fleming on the duties she had completed as his research assistant for his upcoming book. This meeting touched upon three of Professor Fleming’s roles at BU Law – a professor of Constitutional Law (a first year class) and Constitutional Theory (an upper level seminar), an author of esteemed academic literature (his most recent book is about to go to press, and was co-authored by his wife Linda McClain, who is also a professor at BU), and the faculty advisor for the BU Law Review. After this meeting, we got the chance to meet two professors specializing in Health Law and International Law. Finally, at 2 pm we headed to Professor Fleming’s two hour lecture on Constitutional Law.

Day Two:

Dr. Fleming and his Princeterns

 

We started the day with another meeting between Professor Fleming and oneof his students/research assistants. After this, we sat in on his meeting with the Dean of BU Law, getting the chance to see how a law school works from the administration side, such as conversations about how to give funding to professors for research, the topic for the next big colloquium Professor Fleming is organizing, maintaining a balance between a theoretical and a practical law education, and selecting new professors for tenure. We ate lunch at a faculty paper workshop where a visiting professor presented his paper on the applicability of foreign laws in the U.S., and afterwards took questions and feedback from his colleagues. We ended the day by sitting in on Professor Fleming’s second class – his upper level Constitutional Theory seminar. Thank you Professor Fleming for being such a dedicated host and giving us a fascinating two day opportunity to glimpse the life of a law professor! I really was able to put myself in the shoes of a law student and get exposure to a variety of topics within the academic branch of law.

 

Amanda Chen ’13, Sovatsky Counseling and Yogic Research

I arrived at the office of Dr. Stuart Sovatsky ’71 in Richmond, CA thirty minutes too early and unsure of what to expect.  But Dr. Sovatsky greeted me warmly, and we chatted about Princeton life while we waited for my fellow Princetern, Michele Tyler.  After Michele arrived, Dr. Sovatsky told us more about his background, his work in the U.S. and in Russia, and what the schedule of events would be for that day.  Michele and I had also never met before, so in the process of telling Dr. Sovatsky about ourselves, we also learned about each other.

Dr. Sovatsky’s private practice is centered on relationship counseling and yoga counseling, and we were lucky enough to experience both therapies firsthand.  Dr. Sovatsky had arranged for a couple he had been seeing for a year to come and talk to us at 11 am.  The couple we met was extremely friendly, and we got to hear the story of their relationship and how they found Dr. Sovatsky.  They had gone through rough times and told us about the techniques that Dr. Sovatsky had used to help them overcome their difficulties.  I found their story very moving and was tearing up by the time they left.

After lunch, Dr. Sovatsky’s intern, Andrew, came by with his daughter to share his experiences with us.  It was really informative to hear from both Andrew and Dr. Sovatsky about the different degree programs and processes needed to become a therapist.  They helped me figure out what path I wanted to pursue to reach my goal of being both a researcher and therapist.  Also, they shared with us how a private practice was set up, what it was like to run a private practice, and how different patients would respond better to different therapies.  Andrew’s adorable young daughter was with him, and he told us that running a private practice gave him more flexible hours to take care of her.

Amanda, Dr. Sovatsky, and fellow Princetern Michelle

Dr. Sovatsky told us of his other counseling work beforehe focused on relationship counseling, and we got to hear anecdotes about former patients.  As the day drew to a close, Dr. Sovatsky talked to us about his yogic research.  He played an Indian musical instrument for us that facilitates energy flow and was very calming.  We talked about how spiritual awakening is important in his counseling, and by the end of the day, I felt enlightened.

I am very grateful to have had this opportunity to meet with Dr. Sovatsky, the couple that he is helping, and Andrew.  Even though the Princeternship lasted only a day, I felt like I learned a lot about this career field, and I would definitely recommend this Princeternship to other students.