Susan Connell’s memorable month at the Governor’s School for Humanities


Frances Montevilla, In-Depth Editor

From June 23 to July 20, senior Susan Conell attended the Governor’s School for Humanities, held at Radford University.

Q: Why did you apply to Governor’s School?

A: I applied to the Governor’s school mostly because I wanted to challenge myself. I also wanted the opportunity to learn about interesting topics that aren’t always discussed in regular school.


Q: What were your first concerns about going to Governor’s School?

A: At first I was really worried that I would have trouble finding things
on the college campus, and my map was definitely my best friend the first few days! I also wasn’t sure how I would feel living in a dorm on a college campus for a month, but I was really excited about the experience as well.


Q: What classes did you take?

A: My main two classes were First Amendment Law and Ethics and Environmental Sociology. I chose them because they seemed to cover topics that were both interesting to me and applicable to everyday life. I also had the opportunity to take some shorter classes, such as Creative NonfictionWriting and Horror, Fantasy, and Sci- Fi: What’s the Difference? to name a few.


Q: What activities did you participate in?

A: There were a lot of activities provided for students, some of which were optional and some of which were “fundatory.”For example, every Friday all the students got to watch performances at an open mic, and on the 4th of July we all went to a local theater to watch Spiderman: Far From Home. There were also a lot of classes and workshops that we could participate in in the evenings, such as sign language classes and gospel choir practice.

Forming friendships in the Governor’s School environment was pretty easy. Most of the people there were super nice and fun to talk to, and I had the opportunity to meet people from areas all across Virginia. There were lots of ways to meet people, whether in classes, in our assigned small groups, or just in the cafeteria.


Q: What are “Write-Ups”? Why didn’t you get any?

A: “Write-ups” were a type of warning or punishment given to students who broke the rules. Once
a student received six write-ups, they got kicked out of the governor’s school. However, they became a huge inside joke because of how easy it was to receive one for seemingly inconsequential. Reasons included stepping out of a crosswalk, petting a dog, etc. Even really well-behaved students got them, usually for being a little late to something. I didn’t get any during my time at Radford (but I was lucky no counselors saw me the time I stopped to give directions to a lost stranger because I would have definitely gotten written up for that).


Q: How was the Radford University campus?

A: The Radford campus was really pretty, and the facilities were nice and pleasant to use. The building where
I had my classes, in particular, was clean and spacious, and the dining hall always had a wide variety of food options. There was also a Starbucks that we could use, as well as a Chick-fil-A on campus.


Q: How was it leaving Governor’s School?

A: Leaving Governor’s School was kind of bittersweet for me. I was definitely glad to sleep in my own room again after a month in a dorm, but I was also sad to leave the new friends I made. We did get an opportunity to present our final projects to friends and family during the closing ceremonies, and that was a fun experience as well.