Pods Debut, Students Adjust

In addition to new faculty, new classes, and a new schedule, Western Reserve Academy welcomes another new change in the community. The “Pods,” as they are colloquially known, are located above the stadium and house many of this year’s classes due to the ongoing renovation of Seymour Hall. While many enjoy the air conditioning, the most talked about issue is the walk from the Learning Center to WRA’s main academic buildings.

With approximately a half-mile between Ellsworth Hall and the Learning Center, many students walk upwards of three miles every school day.

Many students hold a hostile attitude towards the Learning Community but understand its necessity. New student Christina Paxos ’20 never set foot in Seymour Hall but remarked the Learning Center is “nice” but “not convenient and will be a tough walk in the winter.”

Unlike students, faculty seem to be amicable toward the Learning Community and the changes that come along with it. History teacher Sarah Horgan—who teaches her history courses in the new facility—has few complaints as she explained, “I usually have to share a classroom with another teacher, but now I have a pod all to myself. It is great to have the space and time for students to stay after class and talk or to get some extra help without having to hurry out because of an upcoming class where a teacher needs to use the room.”

Horgan added she enjoys “being on the same floor with teachers from other disciplines,” as it allows her to “chat much more with teachers from other departments because [teachers] are not separated by levels as [they] were back in Seymour.”

While Horgan loves many things about having her classroom in the Learning Community, she does have a few suggestions.

“Someone should come up with a new mailbox idea,” Horgan remarked, “and maybe move a few of those green Adirondack chairs out near the Pods, so that students could hang out on the lawn near the stadium before and after class.”

Seymour Hall is scheduled to reopen in August 2018. Until then, whether faculty, students, and staff, like it, most academic classes will be held in the Learning Center.

– Eliza Rusnak ’20

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