At the age of four, junior Tranelle Dodson was sitting in her living room when her aunt collapsed from a stroke. Dodson rushed into the kitchen to warn her mother, but the words just would not come out.
Bertha Garcia walked in the door on the first day of school and was shocked by the number of students she saw and intimidated by the size of Blair. Although she tried her hardest, she got lost several times. She took wrong turns here and there, and walked into stairwell hallways instead of real ones. This may sound like a typical first day for freshman Blazers, but Garcia is a transfer student and this is her senior year.
The ventures of most third graders end up abandoned with gobs of Elmer’s glue and a few bucks to serve as mementos of far flung dreams of greatness. When now freshmen Zeke Wapner, Ben Miller, Michael Untereiner and Ian Askew decided to start a band in the third grade, not much more was expected of them.
Conducting blood pattern analyses, chasing suspects on motorbike, and finding bullet trajectories seems more like a day in the life of an actor on CSI, not of the security guard who patrols Blair’s back halls. But just a few years ago Maureen Walsh was documenting homicides and dodging bullets for the Washington, D.C., Police Department.
Senior Talia Mason stands red-faced and panting with a feeling of satisfaction after performing a series of jumps, leaps and twirls in front of a group of her peers at the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. The routine, which she painstakingly arranged herself is more than series of movements — it is an expression of her thoughts and feelings into a kinetic work of art.
Class of 2010 graduate, Gemma Deustachio, lives on her own off of a mere three dollars a day. She gets up at six every morning and works with at-risk fourth graders in Washington D.C., and she loves it.
Senior CJ Argue hangs another blue beaded Mardi Gras necklace around his neck. His face and body are already caked with blue and white face paint, giving him the appearance of a retro superhero; a blue and white Israeli flag drapes proudly over his back.
Like any typical Blair student, sophomore Conlan Mayer-Marks grudgingly wakes up at six in the morning, brushes his teeth and gets dressed. But instead of throwing on the standard t-shirt and jeans, Mayer-Marks neatly buttons up a military uniform.
For the past eight weeks, every Friday, 44 teachers nervously filed into the nurse's office all day. Each one slowly steps onto a scale, hoping that the number is lower than it was the previous week. The Biggest Loser competition has come to Blair.
Blair is many things, but wild it is not. Its wilderness is limited to the swamp behind the athletic fields and Blair Boulevard between fifth and sixth periods. So for junior Connor Siegel, spending last semester on two-square-mile campus abutting a national forest and encompassing eight different lakes was quite a change.