Here is my statement about Ms. Carlisle.
My word is dedication.Where it says "[turns]", I actually turned and looked over my shoulder. I thought it was sort of overkill, but I did it anyway, and afterwards Ms. Moore said she thought it was a good idea. So anyway, that's Ms. Carlisle for you.
Ms. Carlisle was dedicated to her students, and dedicated to Phillips Exeter Academy.
I was her advisee. There were five of us, and she made sure that, as day students, someone was watching out for us, making sure we had a group to go with for Academy Life Day, for Environmental Day. There were no perfunctory advisor meetings with Ms. Carlisle; instead, she had all of us over for Chinese food at least once every term, and once brought a jewelry woman to her apartment so that we could make earrings. One time, one of us did band, and the Music Department forgot to award credit. For two years, Ms. Carlisle fought to get that one credit for her advisee.
Ms. Carlisle was dedicated to us, and dedicated to all of her students. She was always in her classroom or the Periodicals Room, always willing to read a draft of a history paper or talk about a class that was especially challenging. At the beginning of our senior year, Ms. Carlisle gave us each a journal to record what we were like over the course of that year, and what we were thinking about. When we went to college, she sent us posters that said “don’t get lost in the crowd.”
In the winter, when there was a lot of snow or ice, Ms. Carlisle would hold classes in her apartment. How many teachers even have students over to their house for dinner? – and how many fewer would have them over for every single class. Ms. Carlisle was dedicated to teaching, and she did whatever it took.
On Environmental Day in 2002, all the day students were raking leaves over by the gym. It was a beautiful spring day, so Ms. Carlisle was there too, giving out leaf bags and donuts.
As it happened, she had recently discovered that her motorized cart was so quiet that people couldn’t hear her coming on the path. So when we found an old bicycle abandoned behind the gym, she asked me to take off its rusty bell and attach it to her cart.
Ms. Carlisle was the only person at Exeter with a bicycle bell, so when I heard one, I knew I would turn around [turns] and there she would be, going to the Academy Building, going to teach.
To this day, when I hear a bicycle bell [turns], I think of Ms. Carlisle, and maybe you do, too.
(Diana Davis ’03)