By Jiachen Sun ’20
For most of the student body, arriving at Mercersburg during Inbound is a student’s first time anticipating an extended period of time away from home. Naturally, students face various challenges throughout their first year, and oftentimes, advisors step in as an additional “parent.” At Mercersburg, they lead advisory groups, made up of one faculty and a group of students connected by dorm affiliation.
In addition to dorm time, advisory groups meet every Thursday at lunch. This gives everyone in the group a chance to enjoy a full conversation with one other. Additionally, advisory outings occur throughout the year. Most advisory groups become very close and even come to think of one another
as each other’s family away from. Each group has its own unique quirks and characteristics.
This year, history department member Dan Walker has a very special advisee group. While most advisories have around eight members, their
group only has four. “Our advisory lunch table is the mugwump table,” said Ryan Bland ’21. Gary Zheng ’20, another group member added, “I’ve lived in Tippetts for four years, and I’ve been in his advisory for four years. I feel like I’ve become really close with Mr. Walker, as well as the rest of the advisory.” Bland also notes, “The best tradition of our advisory is getting Buffalo Wild Wings.”
Priscilla Wadlington ’20, a member of Dean of Curricular Innovation John David Bennett’s advisory last year, said, “We were lovingly called the advisory that eats. We’d jump at the chance of having some food, talking, and just bonding over the meals. There were only six of us in the group, so oftentimes, we would just sit and talk, either in Mr. Bennett’s office or over pizza at his house. Sometimes, there were even after 10 p.m. Applebees orders.”
Sue Malone, an adviser in Fowle, is known school-wide for the hand-knitted mittens she makes for her advisees. “I tried teaching my advisees to crochet. It didn’t go very well,” said Malone. Amanda Peh ’22, one of her advises commented, “I’m new to her advisory. But we’ve already done so much together like spending time with the Malones’ dog, or going up a mountain and eating Subway there. Mrs. Malone enjoys the outdoors, so it’s really fitting.”