Campbell Taylor ’15
Currently Attending: Boston University
Years at Shipley: 7
Activities, Positions, Awards: Fall Plays, Musical, Shipley Singers; Crew Co-Captain; Richard L. Maack Fathers Association Bowl
What it Means to be Part of the Community
My years at Shipley have been a time of learning and exploration. In Middle School, I wasn’t so much discovering who I was as I was discovering what it meant to be part of the Shipley community.
Finding Theater and Music
I first began to pursue theater through participating in the Middle School Musicals and then choir in eighth grade. The Shipley Singers once performed for us during an assembly and I remember thinking about how much fun it would be to be in a group like that. In the start of ninth grade I auditioned for the Singers and was a proud member of the base section throughout high school.
Rowing to Excellence
As well as being the year my theatrical/musical career took off, ninth grade was the year of my first season of scholastic rowing. I had never excelled in athletics in middle school despite trying my hand at least four different sports. When I first started rowing I realized not only that I had potential, but that I had an affinity for the sport and my teammates. It’s been three years since I began rowing. I have been competing for almost 10 seasons have been recruited to row for Boston University. Crew has not only given me direction in athletics, but academics as well.
With the time commitment that rowing requires, I have been able to further develop my time-management skills in order to complete my work with efficiency. This has led to the improvement of my grades, and has allowed me to slowly move to higher class levels. I began freshman year taking one honors class and finished senior year with four.
Inspired to Learn
My most influential teacher at Shipley was Dr. Pickering. The first class of hers that I enrolled in was Modern European History in tenth grade. Her course was not only extremely interesting in the subjects and time periods covered, but also immensely engaging, as Dr. Pickering taught in a seminar format that actively called upon class participation. In my junior year I decided that I needed to relive this experience and chose to take American Studies. This class combined English and history, which allowed me to experience Dr. Pickering’s compassion and enthusiasm in the teaching of literature; all the while furthering my own capacity to understand and enjoy great works of the past. For my third and final year with Dr. Pickering I took Great War, a subject that had been briefly touched upon and peaked my interest in the previous two classes. Great War was by far the best and most challenging course of Dr. Pickering’s. The workload was sizable and on level with that of a college course, but never once did I falter in my love and interest for the subject. Dr. Pickering has helped me to read more comprehensively, think more critically, and to write with both articulation and precision.
Doing the Impossible
Perhaps one of most memorable moments of my time at Shipley was the final presentation of my 12th grade engineering class. All year we worked on various projects and assessments; learning about physics and devising alternative solutions to problems. For our final project, we were tasked with building a Rube Goldberg chain-reaction machine that would erase a white board. When first proposed, the idea sounded like something a classmate would pitch for fun, not an official assignment. Wouldn’t it be too difficult to get all of the steps to work? How would we have the time and space to properly set one up? Yet within a few days we had successfully begun constructing towers and ramps, and setting up dominoes and pulleys. In the following weeks the three groups had successfully created their own functional and visually stimulating Rube Goldberg machines. While there were no flawless runs, the final products were still immensely impressive. That moment stays with me because it breaches the gap of what can be achieved no matter how ludicrous it seems if you put your mind and effort to it.
Plans for Fall 2015
In the fall of 2015 I will be attending the School of Arts and Sciences at Boston University. As of now I have not chosen a major, but I could not be more excited to begin classes. For me, college is about discovering who you are and what you want to devote your life to, and I could not think of a better place to discover who I am than Boston University.
Currently my future ambitions are a successful career on the BU crew team and potentially becoming a mechanical engineer. My interest in engineering started when I was young, as I always loved construction toys and learning how things worked. This past year I greatly enjoyed my engineering class, but acknowledge that it is most likely quite different at a college level. For now I’m open to discovering new things I would be interested in pursuing, but have some sense of direction regarding what I would like to study.