Radcliffe Creek School Launches Founders’ Fund with $1 Million Goal

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Radcliffe Creek School Students

In front of an enthusiastic audience attending its Fall Soirée on Friday, October 20, Radcliffe Creek School  announced the establishment of The Founders’ Fund and its goal of raising $1 million to create an endowed scholarship for students  needing financial assistance.

The Founders’ Fund honors the final year of Radcliffe’s Founding Director, Molly Brogan Judge, as well as the other dedicated original  advisors and investors of the school. Opening its doors 22 years ago with 13 students in grades one through seven, Radcliffe’s goal has  always been to create a learning environment where bright children, who learn differently, could succeed. The school today thrives under  Judge’s visionary, dedicated leadership and with the support from a committed group of staff, parents, grandparents, and friends the  vision continues. The kindergarten through eighth grade program currently enrolls 82 students, while Little Creek, Radcliffe’s preschool,  serves 52 students from infancy through pre-kindergarten.

Radcliffe’s Founding Director, Molly Brogan Judge (right) with Radcliffe Creek friend and supporter Barbara Thomas

Radcliffe Creek has truly changed the educational landscape of the Eastern Shore, and beyond, with students traveling from seven  different counties in Maryland and Delaware to attend the school. Many students come to Radcliffe unsure of themselves not just as  students, but as individuals. Because of the small class sizes, compassionate teachers, and hands-on learning, these students leave  Radcliffe Creek with an understanding about what it takes to succeed. And succeed they do.  Radcliffe alumni go on to college, the  military, graduate school, and beyond. Many alumni point to their Radcliffe Creek School education as the turning point in their  academic career.

“This is the most significant fundraising effort ever undertaken by the School,” said Radcliffe’s Board of Trustees President, Susan  Newton-Rhodes. “The Board of Trustees knows the goal is high, but believes it is only fitting. This new fund will address the Board’s  highest priority – financial aid for worthy students – by creating a lasting fund for those families and children who need Radcliffe the  most.”

For the last 22 years, Radcliffe’s Board of Trustees has allocated as many financial resources as possible to families who cannot afford a  Radcliffe education without assistance. This year alone, $350,000 has been distributed in financial aid to kindergarten through eighth  grade students. As the school continues to grow, so will this need.

“This effort will be a big challenge, but I’m passionate, as well as confident, that we can accomplish this goal to establish a $1 million  legacy in honor of the many creative minds that united together to build Radcliffe Creek School,” said Judge. “My hope is that others will  learn more about our past, embrace the goal of the fund, and continue to develop this endowment for years to come.”

Radcliffe Creek School is an independent day school with the mission of empowering children in a dynamic environment that celebrates  unique learning. For more information about Radcliffe Creek School or Little Creek, the school’s preschool, which includes programs for  children from infancy through pre-kindergarten, please call 410-778-8150 or click here.

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Kent School Launches Fall Mini-Term Classes

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Alyesha Williams and Carter Groh work together on a Nature Buddies lesson

Each academic year, Kent School offers two selections of mini-term classes for Middle School students. The mini-terms, called Explorations last for six weeks and occur in the Fall and Spring Semesters. Explorations offers opportunities for students in Grades Five through Eight to explore an interest, develop a hobby or even discover a potential future vocation. Each Exploration class meets Friday morning to work collaboratively on their project.

Michelle Duke, Assistant Head of School for Academics said, “The Explorations sessions involve a small group, usually six to eight students from across our middle school grades. It is a wonderful way for our students to work collaboratively with students from outside their typical classes. They get to see their peers’ talents and interests and maybe discover a new talent of their own.” Duke continued, “I really value the Explorations Program at Kent School because it reinforces our commitment to multiple modality teaching. It also offers our teachers another opportunity to observe the many ways our students learn. They can take these observations back to the classroom and perhaps incorporate a technique into a lesson or an alternative form of assessment.”

This term, students are exploring their creative side with music, photography, graphic design, painting and more. Students in the Photography session, taught by Michelle Cerino, explore the fine art and techniques of digital photography. They venture into classrooms or around the scenic campus to capture images for use on the school website or in the school yearbook.

Ms. Whitaker holds ukulele song sheet for Ellie Macielag

For those with an interest in music, Amanda Whitaker, Grade Seven and Eight Math teacher, is leading a ukulele class. The students will learn songs as a group and one of their choice to perform at an upcoming school assembly.

Hannah Richardson, Middle School Science teacher leads Nature Buddies. Nature Buddies is a unique, cross-grade session in which middle school students prepare lesson plans for Preschool students and then put those lesson plans into action with those children in nature-themed science projects.

Mural Design allows Grade Eight students the opportunity to design and paint a legacy mural. Throughout two Explorations sessions students select a theme, lay out the design and then get set to paint. Their mural is then installed in a prominent location on campus.

The object of “The Great Escape” is for the students to use logic and sequencing to design and build an escape-proof room. Students are collaborating to develop intriguing clues, designed for the Middle School teachers and students. Unlocking these clues will lead to escape from the room.

For students interested in journalism, video production or graphic design, there are two options. Students may elect to join the Kent School News team to produce a weekly video news segment. Kent School news includes student-led interviews, athletics updates, and the weekly “Word-on-the Street” segment in which students are asked a pertinent question on a current event or upcoming holiday. The second option for media enthusiasts is Yearbook Design in which students take on the job of creating the theme, design, text and layout of the annual Kent School Yearbook.

Finally, Fondant Fundamentals, taught by Librarian Julia Gross, gives interested students the opportunity to learn about the wonderful world of cake decorating. Students learn how to color their fondant to build creative toppings for cupcakes and cakes.

For more information about the Explorations program at Kent School or any other facet of the school visit the school website or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110.  Kent School, located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown is an independent day school serving girls and boys from Preschool through Grade 8. The school’s mission is to guide its students in realizing their potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. The school’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world.

 

 

 

St. Anne’s Episcopal School Offers Merit Scholarships

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St. Annes-Middle-School Outdoor-Chapel

Planning for Middle School in 2018-2019?  St. Anne’s Episcopal School is offering two Merit Scholarship awards of $8,000 per year for each new student thanks to generous donor support. These awards are designed to attract new, engaging 5th to 8th grade students who will benefit from and add to the school’s community.  Each scholarship will be awarded for the term of the student’s enrollment at St. Anne’s, through graduation (up to four years).  Families may learn more at Open Houses this Sunday, November 12 at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, November 16, at 6 p.m. and at weekly Wednesday tours at 8:30 a.m. (call 302-378-3179 option 1 to RSVP).  Merit scholarship candidates may also apply for need-based financial aid.

“We are extremely grateful that our child was a recipient of the generous Merit Scholarship.  It has allowed us to provide her with a truly outstanding educational opportunity,” said the parent of a recent Merit Scholarship recipient.  “St. Anne’s offers a unique educational experience, academically challenging, spiritually conscious and the opportunity to be a student athlete.  She has been embraced by her classmates and is thriving at St. Anne’s.  Each day offers a new learning opportunity.  She has thanked us multiple times for sending her to St. Anne’s.”

St.-Annes-Sports-Boys-Soccer

The school is also seeking nominations and applications for one U.S. Service Scholarship for $7,500 to be awarded to a new student entering 5th to 8th grade who has immediate family in the U.S. Military.  This award is drawn from a donor-supported fund to help make a St. Anne’s education accessible to students whose immediate family member is serving in or retired from any of the five (5) branches of the U.S. Military and their Reserve and National Guard units: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. It will continue for up to four years while the student is enrolled at St. Anne’s.

The U.S. Service Scholarship recipient must have a demonstrated need for financial assistance in meeting the annual tuition obligation for St. Anne’s. The vision of its donors is to attract new students who may not otherwise be able to attend the school.  Immediate family member is defined as a mother, father, legal guardian, step-mother, step-father or sibling.  Recipients may also qualify for additional financial aid.

“St. Anne’s donors are making it possible for students to enroll in our Middle School program to become part of a small, diverse community where students feel safe to explore challenging academics, athletics, the arts, a spiritual life, and service learning – all part of our Episcopal school tradition,” said Head of School Peter Thayer.

The Scholarship application process includes a family tour, admissions forms due January 3, 2018, and a student visit day at St. Anne’s. Applicants for grades 5-8 must also complete admission exams which are administered at St. Anne’s using the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) CTP Online tests on one of the following Saturday mornings:  January 27February 24, or April 14, 2018.  Details are available on the school’s website.

Candidates for all scholarships may also apply for need-based Financial Aid which requires an online application by February 1, 2018.  Recipients must maintain academic and community standards which will be reviewed annually.

U.S. Service Scholarship candidates must also apply to St. Anne’s Financial Aid program to qualify for the scholarship by no later than March 26, 2018.

There is no area residence requirement for the scholarships.  The St. Anne’s Selection Committee is comprised of faculty and administrators.  Recipients must maintain academic and community standards which will be reviewed annually

Recipients will be notified confidentially by the selection date of Friday, April 27, 2018. Those who are selected will have until Friday, May 11 to make a decision to enroll at St. Anne’s for the coming academic year. St. Anne’s is choosing to keep the selection of the recipient’s confidential due to the young age of the applicants, and the small size of the school.

“My words could never fully express the gratitude I feel when I consider the fact that my son has the privilege to attend such an outstanding educational institution,” writes the parent of another scholarship recipient. “St. Anne’s has challenged him academically, socially, and intellectually beyond all of our expectations, and has greatly contributed to his sense of confidence in his ability to succeed in all his endeavors. In addition, the community in which he receives this excellent level of education is filled with joy and peace.  A place where he feels free to explore his world with ease and excitement.”

For more details about the Admissions Process and our online applications please visit our website.

Film About Laotian Refugee at College Nov. 8

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Safoi Babana-Hampton

Safoi Babana-Hampton, whose award-winning film “Hmong Memory at the Crossroads” follows the story of a Hmong-American from Michigan as he traces his past, will visit Washington College for a screening of her film, followed by a Q&A. Babana-Hampton will join one of her producers, Dan Dapkus, on Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. in Goldstein 100, for the film screening and audience discussion afterward. The event is free and open to the public.

“Hmong Memory at the Crossroads” is an award-winning 2015 production of Michigan State University in partnership with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Humanities Without Walls Consortium, funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Babana-Hampton is the producer, executive producer, writer, videographer, and director.

A former Fulbright fellow and a two-time recipient and Senior Principal Investigator of the UIUC Humanities Without Walls Award, Babana-Hampton is an associate professor of French at Michigan State University. She has also written articles on topics relating to conceptions of multicultural citizenship, the postcolonial condition, historical memory in a global context, interfaith relations, and artistic hybridity in the literary and film productions of French cultural minorities, Moroccan Sephardic literature, and other Francophone literary and filmic narratives from North Africa and Québec.

A synopsis of the film: Liachoua Lee, a Hmong-American from Rochester Hills, Michigan, revisits his past as a former refugee and son of Hmong veterans of the French Indochina War (1946-1954), and of the American Secret War in Laos (1961-1975). He travels to places that carry traces of his personal history and the emotional scars left by the war. Lee’s story begins in Detroit, Michigan, then takes him to France, where he and his family sought asylum before immigrating to America, and ends in an emotional return to the homeland Laos for the first time in 40 years. The film documents Lee’s re-reading of key chapters of his refugee history, re-creating memories of wartime as experienced by the child he was then. The film follows Lee’s journey of remembrance, which brings his personal story into conversation with others’ stories in the Hmong community, American Vietnam veterans, French Indochina War veterans, historians and government officials in the Midwest and France. Click here for more about the film.

Gunston Students Sent Balloon to Near Space

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Balloon looking down on Gunston launch team

On Friday, Oct. 20, the Gunston Science and Engineering Club launched our fifth mission to “near space”—the region above where aircraft fly, but below the orbits of satellites. The payload included cameras, tracking devices, and instrumentation to measure temperature and pressure. A weather balloon was used to carry the payload to the stratosphere. The balloon then burst as expected and the payload returned gently to Earth by parachute. The balloon was launched from the Gunston campus and landed near Laurel, Del. a little more than 2 hours later.

The balloon reached an altitude of 19.44 miles, a record high altitude from past missions. The lowest pressure measured was less than 1% of the barometric pressure at the Earth’s surface. Preliminary results indicate that the science payload detected the tropopause with a temperature around -70 degrees Fahrenheit. The balloon was approximately 6 ft in diameter when launched and 20+ ft in diameter when it burst.

Dr. Mariah Goodall and Mr. Tom Chafey led two chase cars that beat the payload to its landing site, enabling them to observed the payload descending on its parachute—another Gunston first. Mr. Dale Wegner, father of Gunston alumni Jay Wegner, set up the tracking for the chase cars and several tracking stations for students who were not part of the chase.

The science and engineering club is led by Alli Webb ‘18 President, Jack Morrison ‘18 Vice President, and Garrett Rudolfs ‘18 Secretary. The Mission Commander for the balloon launch is Brynne Kneeland ‘19. In total, 21 students assisted in preparing the payload, launching the balloon, and recovering the balloon. They divided up into seven teams for different jobs: launch, payload, imaging, science, trajectory, tracking, and recovery. The club mentors are Dr. Ken Wilson and Dr. Mariah Goodall.

Centreville as seen by the Gunston balloon

Kent Island viewed from the troposphere

Gunston Sends Balloon into Near Space

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On Friday, Oct. 20, the Gunston Science and Engineering Club launched our fifth mission to “near space”—the region above where aircraft fly, but below the orbits of satellites. The payload included cameras, tracking devices, and instrumentation to measure temperature and pressure. A weather balloon was used to carry the payload to the stratosphere. The balloon then burst as expected and the payload returned gently to Earth by parachute. The balloon was launched from the Gunston campus and landed near Laurel, DE a little more than 2 hours later.

Balloon looking down on launch team

The balloon reached an altitude of 19.44 miles, a record high altitude from past missions. The lowest pressure measured was less than 1% of the barometric pressure at the Earth’s surface. Preliminary results indicate that the science payload detected the tropopause with a temperature around -70 degrees Fahrenheit. The balloon was approximately 6 ft in diameter when launched and 20+ ft in diameter when it burst.

Dr. Mariah Goodall and Mr. Tom Chafey led two chase cars that beat the payload to its landing site, enabling them to observed the payload descending on its parachute—another Gunston first. Mr. Dale Wegner, father of Gunston alumni Jay Wegner, set up the tracking for the chase cars and several tracking stations for students who were not part of the chase.

The science and engineering club is led by Alli Webb ‘18 President, Jack Morrison ‘18 Vice President, and Garrett Rudolfs ‘18 Secretary. The Mission Commander for the balloon launch is Brynne Kneeland ‘19. In total, 21 students assisted in preparing the payload, launching the balloon, and recovering the balloon. They divided up into seven teams for different jobs: launch, payload, imaging, science, trajectory, tracking, and recovery. The club mentors are Dr. Ken Wilson and Dr. Mariah Goodall.

WC Announces New Dual-Degree Partnership with Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment

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Environmental science and environmental studies students at Washington College will now have the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years, thanks to a new partnership between Washington College and Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

The agreement, known as dual-degree, allows qualified students to leave Washington College after their third year and enroll at Duke, where they can study for a master’s degree in either environmental management or forestry. After successfully completing their first year at Duke, they will be awarded their bachelor’s degree from WC. The new dual-degree program joins others at the College, including one in engineering with Columbia University, and in nursing and pharmacy with the University of Maryland.

Washington College students get hands-on with Chesapeake blue crabs.

“To me, in environmental science and studies, it’s about creating more opportunities for students,” says Charlie Kehm, chair of the Department of Physics and McLain Associate Professor of Physics and Environmental Science and Studies, who oversaw the development of the dual-degree program with Duke. “I love that they can come into Washington College and see themselves at the end of this really cool path. Parents like that too, because they want to know what’s the next step. So, I think these opportunities are really powerful in that way, because if nothing else, they give you some imagination to see what the possibilities are.”

Patrice DiQuinzio, Provost and Dean of the College, says the new arrangement illustrates the College’s determination to provide distinctive opportunities to its students, and it continues to build upon the College’s growing and energetic environmental program.

“Environmental science and studies is increasingly one of our most popular majors, and this will only enhance what is already a strong, exciting program,” DiQuinzio says. “It also lends force to the power and breadth of the liberal arts, which form the foundation of all we do here.”

Although the program takes effect immediately for incoming freshman in 2019, current freshmen and sophomores are also eligible to work toward the dual-degree. Leslie Sherman, co-chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Studies and W. Alton Jones Associate Professor of Chemistry, says the department will work to help current students attain needed requirements, as well as support incoming students to ensure they stay on track.

“I had envisioned environmental science students wanting to do the forestry program, because we don’t have forestry here,” Sherman says. “But our science students want to do environmental management too, which is exciting. This opens a clear pathway to this wonderful program at a fantastic school. And students who wish to finish their four years at Washington College and then seek graduate admission to Duke will also be able to take advantage of this relationship.”

The Nicholas School of the Environment is internationally known for not only its forestry and environmental management elements but also the Duke University Marine Lab. Two recent Washington College graduates, Anna Windle ’16 and Kelly Dobroski ’16, are currently enrolled at the Nicholas School in the environmental management master’s program, and Sherman is planning for them to return to campus to talk with interested undergraduates. Windle, studying coastal environmental management, in September won a highly competitive NOAA/North Carolina Sea Grant fellowship to assess oyster reef health.

For more information about Washington College’s Environmental Science and Studies program, visit https://www.washcoll.edu/departments/environmental-science-and-studies/

For more information about Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, see https://nicholas.duke.edu/.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Bring the Kids! Maryland STEM Fest Event at Kent County Library

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STEMWorks at Kent County Public Library — A Maryland STEM Fest Event

Kent County Public Library is pleased to host STEMWorks, an official event of the 2017 Maryland STEM Festival on Wednesday, November 1 from 5-7 pm.

Founded in 2015, the Maryland STEM Festival has become one of the leading STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) events in the State.  Through ten days of community-based events hosted by schools, colleges, libraries, museums, parks, businesses and other local organizations, the Festival celebrates the economic, educational and cultural impact of STEM in Maryland.

The STEMWorks event will take place at the Chestertown Branch of Kent County Public Library, 408 High St. in Chestertown, and will feature hands-on science experiences, provided by a variety of community partners, including Belle Rose Kennels; Kent County Public Schools Judy Center; Kent County Family Center; Kent Soil and Water Conservation District; Maryland Department of Natural Resources; Maryland Extension & 4-H; RiverArts Clay Studio; and Running W Kennel. 

This event is free and open to all. Adults, as well as children preschool through high school, are welcome to participate, explore, and learn through hands-on activities for all ages.

Wednesday, November 1   |   5-7 pm

Kent County Public Library   |   Chestertown Branch, 408 High St.

For more information, visit the library website or call 410.778.3636.

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Washington College Students, Faculty, and Staff Study Field Sparrows

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Jennie Carr, Assistant Professor of Biology (left) and Madeline Poethke ’16 use scopes to spot field sparrows in the restored grasslands at Washington College’s Chester River Field Research Station

In general, Andrea Freeman’s view of the natural world is through a microscope. A senior biology major with an emphasis in cellular, molecular, and infectious diseases, and a minor in chemistry, Freeman admits she doesn’t get outside much, which made her summer internship with Jennie Carr, Assistant Professor of Biology, that much more of an eye-opener.

As a Toll Fellow in the College’s Summer Research Program, Freeman worked for 10 weeks with Carr in the restored native grasslands at the Chester River Field Research Station (CRFRS) at Chino Farms, helping Carr with her ongoing study of field sparrows—considered a “common” bird but one which has seen steep population declines in the last 40 years.

“It definitely was a different focus for me because I usually take classes with microscopes and stuff like that, and this was out in the field, outside,” said Freeman. “It took a lot to get used to just from my experiences in the classroom. I loved it.”

A pair of hungry field sparrow babies wait with open mouths for food.

Carr has been studying field sparrows and hummingbirds at the CRFRS since 2014. She has focused the work at the field station at Chino Farms in part because of the unique habitat—the restored native grasslands—that draws the sparrows. The station is also home to Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory, whose long-term data collection and identification of birds supports her study.

“Because the staff at Foreman’s Branch has been banding birds for so long out there, we have a really well-characterized population of field sparrows where we know exactly how old they are. Very few other studies can do that; they know if they’re two years old, and that’s it,” Carr said. “But we know we have some birds that are seven, eight, nine, and so on. We put color bands on them so we can identify unique individuals with scopes and binoculars … when you’re interested in age, and you need this longitudinal study, you need to know how they did when they were four versus five, five versus six.”

Considered common, field sparrows nevertheless have seen a population decline of 65% from 1966 to 2010, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Over the past four summers, Carr has been studying whether the age of the bird has a bearing on nesting success—in short, do older birds do a better job of feeding their young. Carr has been working with Maren Gimpel and Dan Small, field ecologist and Natural Lands Project coordinator, respectively, with the College’s Center for Environment & Society, and a small cadre of summer research students each year.

In 2014, researchers located 90 nests in the restored grasslands and successfully filmed 32 of them resulting in 132 hours of video footage to review. In 2015, that number jumped to 115 nests with 65 being filmed. In 2016, Carr and the team located 119 nests, and this past summer 103 nests.

A nestful of young field sparrows

“We would go out every morning and observe the field sparrows and watch their behavior, and that would indicate whether they had a nest,” Freeman said. “And our main goal was to be able to find the nest in order to be able to see if they became better parents as they aged.”

Carr, Gimpel, and Small plan to publish the research results this winter. Preliminarily, Carr said, it appears as though males do not feed chicks more as they age, although females do.

“This is a little surprising, since they live for so long, and they definitely learn and modify their behavior. It’s surprising that males don’t seem to improve since success of the nest really depends on bi-parental care,” Carr said. “Age doesn’t seem to be a big contributing factor, but the sex of individuals seems to be. Females are little more attentive. And feeding rate is an important driver of nest success.”

Carr and the team also began a new, related study this summer, using the same habitat and the same birds, but studying where the birds choose to nest as a determining factor in nesting success.

“We’re doing vegetation plots around the nests, characterizing where they are in relation to a treeline, for instance, and whether they’re being eaten by a predator or dying from exposure or a mechanical failure of a nest just falling over,” Carr says. “We’re asking more questions about field sparrow success and age—because we want to take advantage of that variable while we can—but also how is their nest building skill or placement varying over time, if it is.”

For Freeman, the work was a first on many levels—her first internship in the field, her first working with a species like the sparrows, her first living on her own in an apartment-type setting off campus, in the field house where interns spend their summer.

“I was able to do the things I learned at Washington College. I was able to put hands on,” she said. “And it also taught me a lot about patience and how things aren’t going to be the way you want all the time. There would be days when I wouldn’t find a field sparrow nest, and it was just interesting to see how stuff doesn’t always go as you planned, and how you have to adapt and learn and kind of be thinking on your feet.”