During one term our Lower year, we each devoted a double period every week to the Personal and Community Education (PACE) program.
For many of us, our evenings following these classes were spent lamenting over the lost lawn time, hours we could have spent throwing frisbees and finishing homework on the steps of the Armillary Sphere.
We constantly complained about the structure of PACE, the topics chosen and the lackluster discussions in our classes. We found flaws in the forced conversation and the lack of concrete advice.
In retrospect, PACE inspired us. It was the first time we, only Lowers, were asked to actively participate in discussion of such topics. It was the first time we were asked to think critically about and engage in the discussion of race, class, gender, sexuality and other subjects.
Despite our complaints at the time, it is clear a year later that we found PACE to be invaluable. This designated place to safely discuss such conversations is unique to Andover, so it is no surprise that 71 Uppers submitted PACE Senior applications this March.
Only 12 students will receive good news today when the decisions for PACE Senior are released. We urge the other 59 Uppers not to be discouraged, however. Drivers of such conversation do not need to be denoted by the title “PACE Senior.” Harness your commitment to addressing race, gender, class and other topics in the way you live your life, not just in a classroom setting.