Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts

Courtney  Waters

Link to Courtney Water's Senior Art Thesis

Mary  McGarry Morris

Dysfunctional Coping Skills in the Works of Mary McGarry Morris

The History of Phillips Academy, Andover

Wanting to restore American values, which were challenged during the time of the Revolution, Samuel Phillips Jr., thought one way of solving the problem would be to open a school. In 1778, Samuel Phillips founded Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts. Many of the buildings date back to the late eighteenth century. The distinctive brick architecture at Phillips Academy was similar to the Ivy League colleges of Harvard and Yale. The school developed into a rigorous elite boarding school, producing many successful leaders. In 1778, led by Eliphate Pearson, Phillips opened its doors to thirteen male students. Students were not only educated in academics, but also in life and in morality. In 1973 the Abbot School for girls combined with Phillips Academy after society’s views of women had changed. Successful graduates of Phillips Academy include generations of the Bush family, Bill Belichick, Tom Mesereau and William Torrey Harris. Phillips Academy claims a legacy of as the oldest and most prestigious boarding school.

A resident of Andover, Massachusetts, Mary McGarry Morris depicts characters who use dysfunctional coping skills to deal with their problems. Rather than resolving their problems or helping them to deal with issues, the coping mechanisms create more conflict, both internally and externally. They must develop healthier life skills. Morris proves that the individual must take responsibility for her actions. Eventually, each of Morris’ protagonists must learn how to solve her problems and patch her life back together.

Major Works Consulted:

Baird, Leonard L. The Elite Schools. Lexington: Heath, 1977.
Montgomery, Susan J. and Reed, G. Roger. The Campus Guide Phillips Academy Andover. New York: Princeton Architectural, 2000.
Morris, Mary McGarry. Fiona Range. New York: Penguin, 2001.
---. Vanished. New York: Penguin. 1997. Photo Credit: Morris, Mary McGarry. Vanished. New York: Penguin. 1997.