Stereotypes – A Letter to the Editor (Vol. 30, No. 3)

This year, the 66th Editorial Board of The Panel has chosen two core themes for the publication — retrospection and celebration. From exploring the history of the Hamilton Chapel, to considering the announcements of the most recent Heads of School, we at The Panel have found great enjoyment in linking Belmont Hill’s past to its present. Throughout the year, The Panel intends to include excerpts from older editions and articles, providing the student body with an accessible means to investigate the Belmont Hill experience from 1923 to 2018. As we embark on our school’s 95th year, we at The Panel hope to lead the school through the beginning of an important transition period. The process of both celebrating and re-evaluating the past will be as important as pondering the future.

The Panel published this article by Thomas H. Flint on October 8, 1982 (Volume 30). This piece was re-published in Volume 66 (Issue 6).

To the editors,

Many letters have been written about stereotypes, but none that have hit close to home. This year as many of the seniors start their college search, they are asked at interviews to talk about their extra-curricular activities. I have found that trying to make plans to continue my athletics would dominate the conversation at the interview. At most of the interviews, I felt that I was being placed in a file titled “Student Jock.” Then, as they asked about other activities, they seemed shocked as I mentioned that I was very interested in Ceramics. They seemed to have the very narrow-minded view that an athlete was an athlete and an artist was an artist.

    At one particular interview, I was asked whether my peers criticized me for this. This shocked me, for in school, each person is encouraged to find some sort of hobby in the studio. In the same sense, this angered me, for I hate stereotypes to begin with, and I felt as though I was starting off the interview on the wrong foot.

    This letter is an invitation for people to forget about stereotypes and realize that doing what you want to do is the most important personal asset one can have.

Thank you,

Steve Kaplan ‘83



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