She's also the former Crookston Times intern and a current St. Olaf student
A Crookston High School graduate in the fall will, as they say, cross the pond to attend the second oldest university in the world, which also happens to be the same university that’s consistently ranked as the top university in the same aforementioned world and has been attended by such notable people as Indira Gandhi, Stephen Hawking, Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien, just to name a few instantly recognizable names.
Maddie Everett, a 2018 CHS grad, has been accepted into Oxford University in London. The daughter of Trey and Corene Everett and current student at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. spent multiple semesters of high school as an independent study student writer and photographer at the Crookston Times, as well as two summers as an intern at the Times.
It probably goes without saying, but Maddie tells the Times that she’s “very excited” to have the opportunity to study at Oxford. If you know Maddie at all, you know that the specific college at Oxford she’ll be attending, Harris Manchester College, appears to be an ideal fit for her interests and personality.
Found her passion
Last semester at St. Olaf, Maddie says she realized that studying medieval literature is her passion. That academic pathway just happens to be right up Oxford’s alley.
“With over 100 libraries at the university, I will have access to study countless medieval manuscripts and texts. I will be able to take tutorials and attend lectures on the subject, while also broadening my horizons and studying other literary subjects as well,” Maddie says. “Studying at Oxford will also allow me to foster connections with Oxford professors and open doors for possible future graduate studies at Oxford as well.
“It will be difficult,” she continues, “but I am prepared to take on this challenge and pursue my academic passions.”
Maddie at Harris Manchester College
Harris Manchester College is geared toward students 21 years of age pursuing both undergrad or graduate degrees. Each year, through a collaboration between the two institutions. St. Olaf is able to send one student to study at Harris Manchester College. In addition to maintaining a GPA of at least 3.7, interested students must author a personal statement detailing why they want to be chosen and submit two letters of recommendation. Maddie says she senses the competition was a bit more fierce this year, as evidenced by her also being required to submit an academic essay and go through an interview process. Currently, Maddie and Harris Manchester representatives are determining the most appropriate courses for her to enroll in to keep her on her desired academic path.
Only around 200 students attend Harris Manchester, located at the center of the Oxford campus. With a history dating back two centuries, Harris Manchester became a part of Oxford University in 1889. Previous Harris Manchester students include Joseph Priestley, who discovered oxygen, and John Dalton, the developer of modern atomic theory.
Harris Manchester and all of Oxford operate under a tutorial system, meaning Maddie will sit down, one-on-one, with a tutor every week or two. At each session, she will be given a text and an essay prompt, and between that point and the next meeting she will have to read the text and write the full essay. At the next meeting, she’ll read the essay aloud and subsequently be critiqued. Some tutorials she’s eyeing include “Victorian Literature”, “Chaucer and other Middle English Literature”, “The Romantics”, “Women’s History from the Middle Ages to the Present” and “American Government and Politics.”
“Basically, I am focusing on taking a lot of English literature courses and adding a bit of history and politics,” Maddie notes. “I think that taking a class on American government in the U.K. would be a really interesting experience, as it will be taught from a very different perspective.”
She’ll spend some actual time in the classroom as well, as Maddie is expected to attend various lectures on the Oxford campus.
It’s obviously not Hogwarts, but Maddie says when she learned about the dining situation at Harris Manchester, all she could think of was Harry Potter and the school he attended to learn wizardry. “The dining hall includes a ‘high table’ for the professors, just like Harry Potter,” she explains. “On Monday and Wednesday nights we will have formal dinners, where I will have to wear an academic gown, also like Harry Potter. There will be a lot of traditions at Oxford that I am quite excited to experience.”
The university calendar is based on trimesters, with a six-week break between each one. During those breaks, Maddie will not be able to live on campus. But she’s hoping that’s when her European adventure will really take flight.
“I hope to make some friends who will want to travel around Europe or rent a house with me during part of those breaks,” she says. “…Besides the abundant educational opportunities, I am looking forward to experiencing living for a year in a different culture and following all of the Oxford traditions.” London is only an hour away by train, so Maddie says she’s hoping to be able to embark on some weekend getaways.
Before her term gets underway in October, she’ll attend the “Freshers’ Fair” that showcases the more than 400 clubs and societies Oxford has to offer. She’s hoping to find opportunities for involvement that go beyond what she’d typically find on a college campus in Minnesota. To illustrate, Maddie says she wants to give archery or fencing a try, or maybe join the Oxford University Tea Appreciation Society.
“I want to take advantage of every opportunity and travel Europe, eat different things, join unfamiliar extracurriculars, make new friends, and learn from a different style of teaching,” she adds.
Excitement, and parental pride
Maddie’s parents are obviously bursting with pride. It’s not every day your kid tells you she’s been accepted to Oxford University.
“We she sent the text saying she was accepted into the prestigious program my eyes just welled up with tears,” Trey Everett says. “I am so damn proud of Maddie. She’s such a bright, creative, gifted person. She works extremely hard and goes after her dreams full steam ahead. I am so happy for her to have this challenging and eye-opening experience.”
The Everetts are hoping to head on over and visit Maddie during one of her trimester breaks.
For Maddie, even though it sounds cliche, this is all a dream come true.
“It has been my dream to study literature in England since before I went to college, and I am so thankful for this opportunity to study at Oxford, the top university in the world for English Literature,” she says. “Even when applying to colleges during my senior year of high school, I briefly considered applying to Oxford, but decided it was too much of a jump. Now I am ready to spend a year abroad and have a truly transformative experience learning and living in the U.K.”