MC2 Monadnock Graduate

Cedar Crest College Graduate
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

Interview with Jess Thomas

How did you enjoy the experience of transitioning to the learning environment of college? What was your favorite part, what was your least favorite part?
MC2 was a small, close community and when I was looking at colleges, I wanted to go to a small college. After having graduated from MC2 and moved onto college, I used the skills that I have developed while at MC2 to help me develop the skills that I needed for my future career in education. While the learning that happens at college starts by a professor sharing information, it is then up to all the students to go more in depth and learn more. The professors gave the basis for what needed to be learned and then I was able to go and learn more. Sometimes this is a good thing because you have a direction to go in and other times I missed being able to guide my own learning and choose what I wanted to learn about, like the way MC2 learning worked.

What is your favorite memory from MC2?
There are so many memories from MC2 starting way back when I was in 9th grade and we were located at Stonewall Farm. It was a lot of fun back then learning how to take care of animals and the beginning of forming MC2. My favorite memory now though is of graduation, having made it through all the hard work and finishing high school. Not everyone can do it, but having been one that did, it was exciting.

What was your funniest moment at MC2?
The funniest moment at MC2 is hard to say because there were so many. One day I remember the whole community was laughing, while the director Kim Carter was talking with all of us, one of the students got up behind her and gestured for her with her hands. (It was like Kim was talking and being expressive with her hands but one of the students was doing it instead.) That day was when MC2 was still forming and finding a structure that worked, but the community between the adults and the students was strong.

Who from MC2 has had the greatest impact on you, and why?
The community as a whole has had the greatest impact on me. Each person has shaped me to who I am today. Anything can be learned from anyone as long as you let them.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced in the transition from MC2 to college?
The biggest challenge for me was saying good bye to my friends and accepting that we would meet again. It is hard to leave behind people you have been friends with for so many years to go 6 hours away and know you may not see them too much. Another challenge was to adjust to the new lifestyle and friends that I would make. College runs a lot different than MC2 and what you put into it, is what you will get out of it. But then again, I was never fond of change so maybe that was why the transition in itself was hard for me.

How well do you feel MC2 prepared you for the college experience?
MC2 prepared me for college by helping me develop the skills to succeed not only in my education but throughout life. I learned how to budget time more effectively by planning when things needed to be done, and the steps to how I was going to get there. The only thing that MC2 could have helped to prepare me more would have been by helping me improve my testing skills because unfortunately, college does not believe fully in performance based assessment.

If you could give one piece of advice to the current MC2 students, what would it be?
Work hard and get out of high school. It is not a housing ground for you to just go and be, or let moments pass by. Make it a place where you work hard and succeed, then you will continue that throughout your life.

How has MC2 supported you since graduating?
Since I graduated, I have stayed in contact with the community still at MC2. I talk with the teachers and staff through e-mail or on the occasional visits to visit everyone. It is nice to know that the staff still wants to know how you are doing and want you to succeed.