You walk into history class, book in hand, ready to review one last time before your test tomorrow. The second bell rings, and you frantically start taking notes.
As a current Marlborough student, it is easy to imagine this scenario. But, imagine going through this same process thirty years from now.
Jaye Toellner Rogovin graduated Marlborough in 1981, and she’s back. After relocating from what she called a “hectic and active” life in Washington, D.C., Rogovin decided to rekindle her Mustang pride and become a student once again.
A mother of two daughters, Rogovin is currently circulating through the different grades to engage in the life of a 21st century Marlborough girl. She has created a blog to document her experience and has gone as far as signing up for the October 14 PSAT.
After hearing from friends about their daughters’ work load at Marlborough, Rogovin wanted to know whether students work harder now.
“I still feel like I go to this school,” Rogovin said. “I’ve been hearing anecdotally about Marlborough, and I just thought, ‘How much fun would it be to go back?’”
History instructor and Dean of Faculty Martha Schuur taught the eighth grade Global Studies class that Rogovin attended.
“On the first day she even tried to appear ‘in uniform.’ Khaki shorts, white shirt…but no collar!” Schuur said.
Schuur said Rogovin fit right in with the rest of the students, even taking a test with them.
“Jaye fit in seamlessly. She called me Mrs. Schuur, and I called her Jaye. I just treated her like a student,” Schuur said.
Like any typical Marlborough girl, Rogovin was afraid of failing her test and was shocked at her performance.
“No way, I can’t believe this. I am thrilled! I got an A? Are you sure, Mrs. Schuur?” Rogovin wrote on her blog.
Rogovin noticed a few differences from when she was at school.
“[The eight graders] seemed to be way more together and polite [than my friends and I were at Marlborough]” she said.
She also took notice of the students’ skirt lengths.
“When I was here, we were not allowed to wear our skirts that short,” she said.
Rogovin is stunned by school’s renovations.
“The physical facility is so large compared to when we were there,” Rogovin said. “And with Munger Hall, it looks more to me like a small college.”
Despite these changes, Rogovin said re-living high school is similar to reuniting with an old classmate.
“When you get together with an old friend, it feels like you never fell out of touch,” Rogovin said. “It’s the magic of Marlborough.”
French instructor Anne-Marie Jenks taught Rogovin when she originally attended and said she was fond of her.
“We had fairly long and good conversations…I remember her well,” Jenks said.
Rogovin hopes to attend one of Jenks’ classes.
“[Her being in class] may push the students to think more about Marlborough and the importance of knowing alumni. Students may see it as a positive thing that alumni want to come back,” Jenks said.
Rogovin is working with Joanna Grossman, Senior Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, to plan her classes.
In addition to Global Studies, Rogovin has participated in Latin instructor James Astorga’s Caswell Scholars class.
Rogovin is not going to be a full time student again, but her adventures as a student will last for “either a semester or a year, depending on how much ground I can cover week by week,” Rogovin said. “It’s really up to the school – it’s important that [my presence] doesn’t in any way impede or interfere with any of the phenomenal things going on in the classroom.”
Students agree that Rogovin’s comparing Marlborough then-and-now is an exciting idea.
“I would definitely do what she’s doing. It’s a really good idea to see if school is harder now,” Sloane Hofer ’14 said.
Classmates in C Period Global Studies said they were not distracted by Rogovin’s presence.
“She acted like a normal student – raised her hand to participate, and took notes on her computer. Going back to school is a great way to keep in touch with what our generation is going through,” Sydney Tennant ‘14 said.
Parents also appreciate Rogovin’s efforts to engage.
“As a parent, I can really relate to what she writes about in her blog. It’s great,” said Deborah Shaw, co-president of the Parents’ Association and mother to Genevive ’14 and Catherine ’12.
Rogovin said support from the community is key motivation to continue her project.
“One mom emailed me and said her daughter was in my class and thought I was ‘cool,’” Rogovin said. “I’ve been wanting to be cool since the eighth grade!”
Article written by Sophie ’10 and Heather ’11
To read Rogovin’s blog about Marlborough, click HERE.