Author Topic: the alumni survey  (Read 1015 times)

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Offline audge

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the alumni survey
« on: May 02, 2005, 05:35:00 PM »
hi everyone i know or don't know!
i'm new to this forum and have been reading a lot of interesting posts.  i was able to speak my mind (whether it was heard or not) through an alumni survey that was sent to me on email by colleen.  it asked a lot of pertinent questions about what i thought about the school and it's performance.  in answering the questions i did my best to stay objective and not infuse my words with anger.  no one actually hears anything you say if you make it clear that you don't like them.  
anyway, i copied my last answer here.  i know it's long but it might be worth the read.  i'm sure you can request to fill the survey for colleen and the school to read if you contact her.  
54. Is there something you would like to see changed at MMS?  If so, what is it?

I don?t know how a strategy as to how it can be changed.  I just don?t think that the school?s structure should be based on fear of rejection and punishment.  All we had were each other and I (and from discussions with many alumni on the subject, I learned that I am not alone) was afraid to get close to anyone because ?calling people out? was rewarded.  I think girls should be put into cabins with other girls of the same age so that they can create connections and have more in common. I don?t think it should be a privilege to shovel the headmaster?s horse manure.  I think the school should have more of a female, motherly, and nurturing influence.  The male, fatherly symbol creates the search for approval as opposed to the motherly influence which creates the belief that approval is already there and they will be loved no matter what.  I think more should be done to nurture the friendships of the girls as opposed to reminding them that after all they are only there to fix themselves.  I think that fourteen year olds are still children and should be allowed to do fun things without being analyzed.  I think that a community based on love will flourish.  The girls will want to change their life instead of thinking they have to say the right thing so they won?t have to chop wood.

I think parents should be called back the day they call inquiring about their children.  Most of them are far away and worried about their kids and don?t need to be blown off by people to whom they?re paying $100,000 a year.  Also, I do not believe that we should be told we have a bunch of problems and that they are our parents fault.  Of course the parents are going to agree because they love us, but I smoked pot to get high not because my mother walked around the house naked.

I don?t think that girls should be told they are different and have to be treated differently and do things differently than other kids.  They have to go out in the world and do everything just the same as everyone else and if they think they?re special in some way, they will just be let down by expectations others set which they believe they cannot meet.  I think that the word ?addiction? should be used sparingly.  Everyone can fit that description in some way or another and being diagnosed with it can effect the way one thinks about themselves and it becomes an excuse for behaviors and actions as being ?just something an addict does.?  It shouldn?t be cool to sit in an AA meeting and list out all the addictions one has (i.e. ?hi I?m Audrey and I?m a drug addict, nicotine addict, alcoholic, codependent sex addict who likes to use work when there isn?t anything else to calm me down... [small giggles from those who agree or can relate]).  It?s just ingenuine and disrespectful to those who really do have a serious addiction.

I think aftercare plans should be written as a normal 18 year old would write one.  They wouldn?t take into account their feelings and fears, but just set goals for college and their future that they are likely to succeed in.  We went to the school because we didn?t know how to deal with life on life?s terms; we should leave planning to live life on life?s terms.

Finally, I believe when a girl leaves or graduates she should have the love of the school behind her 100%.  Personally, when I left I believed that the staff loved me and would be there for me only to find that phone calls weren?t returned- ever- unless they had something to get from me.  This was very disheartening and I felt abandoned and hurt.

I believe overall my MMS experience was positive because it got me away from my turbulent home environment.  But, I believe it didn?t do much else but get me away and encourage me to get good grades.  I created trauma bonds with girls which, since MMS, have turned into meaningful and lasting relationships.  Other girls are so angry that they?ve cut off all contact from anyone that had to do with the school; this is very sad for me.

I went to MMS and graduated feeling the same thing- that I had to be a certain person to survive and get by in the world.  Albeit the person I thought I had to be was drastically different from beginning to end, but neither was myself.  If I was allowed to speak up without fear- from the beginning before the fear was instilled in me- then I think I would have grown into the Audrey that I am starting to love.  

What I want to change is this:  I want the girls to experience themselves in every possible loving and good way without expectation, fear, or need for approval.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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the alumni survey
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2005, 06:01:00 PM »
That is wonderfully written and really expresses just what I feel. I feel that I did have an overall good experience as far as MMS helping me get away from an environment that was unhealthy for me, and helping me figure out how to stop doing the unhealthy behaviors I had been. However I can't just pick one side good, or bad. There were things about MMS that I really thought were just wrong and I think it's important to address both sides of the school and give credit where credit is due. I just wanted you to know that there is someone else who has the same feelings you do on the issue and I think the way you went about expressing those thoughts and feelings was great.

Melissa Gower.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2005, 11:26:00 PM »
Well said Audrey. I hope your words are heard.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2005, 07:27:00 AM »
This was great to read. I agree... the way you put the need for approval made more sense than when other people said it. I felt that too and I already had enough problems with being afraid of getting in trouble.

This actually helps me realize some things about some of the relationships I had at MMS, and how it still affects me, though it didn't start with MMS. I don't know what else would have kept me in line at first though. who knows, hindsight you know how that goes...

Thanks for sharing this with everybody.

Aileen
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »