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SCHOOL ZONE: BUFFALO SEMINARY

Address: 205 Bidwell Parkway

Enrollment: 150

Colors: red and white

Mascot: Moose the dog and the Sirens

Three years ago when it was decided that I would attend the Buffalo Seminary for high school, I didn't know what to expect. The only thing I knew was that I didn't want to go there. I could not see the value or purpose in attending an all-girl school. I attended a public school before, and I would be an African-American female attending a predominantly Caucasian private high school. I was concerned about my image and what my public school friends would think of me.

Once there, I tried my hardest to magnify every single detail about the school that I disliked. The lights were too bright, the building's layout was too confusing, I was getting headaches trying to find my classes. But as the school year went on, and the years went by, it became harder and harder to find things to complain about. And finally in my junior year at Sem, I can say that there is no other place I'd rather be.

While most high school students have horror stories about school lunches, the food is one of the best things about Buffalo Seminary. For example, you come to school on a Monday morning, and you're not really in a learning mood, what can you do? You can go down to the cafeteria anytime before lunch and have Chef John whip you up some scrambled eggs to die for. You can also order omelets, French toast or egg McMuffins. Needless to say we have the "freshman 15," where all newcomers are so overwhelmed by the food that they gain anywhere up to 15 pounds the first couple months of school.

Our athletic program is one of the best, so by the time you become an upperclassman, you have had the chance to work off those pounds during gym class or in the newly remodeled weight facility.

Moose, the school's Labrador mascot, is a big part of daily life at Sem. Students like to pet Moose and give him treats.

The entire school is divided up into two teams, the Jackets and the Hornets. In the beginning of the year and every month or so, we have all-school competitions for the Hornet/Jacket trophy that will be given at the end of the year. One of the funniest activities is Hornet/Jacket day in September when all new transfer students, teachers and freshmen get initiated into a team. We have shortened classes and an afternoon of fun and games at the school's mansion, Larkin House.

The daily morning meeting also adds to the school's uniqueness. Every morning at 8, the entire student body gathers in the school's non-denominational chapel for a meeting before classes. It's a sort of massive homeroom where students and faculty are caught up on the day's upcoming events, extracurricular meetings, announcements, and unfortunately at times, tragic world news.

Sometimes the morning meeting includes Sem Spotlight. One of the funniest features by far was when a student filmed her attempts at getting a prom date by walking up to random strangers at funny locations and asking them to the prom.

The most important thing about Sem is its academics. Sem is a college preparatory school with a great curriculum. Because of the school's small classes each student receives individual attention from the teachers. Junior Andrea Houck says: "Buffalo Seminary has challenged me to be the best student academically that I can be. My teachers never let me think that there is subject matter too difficult for me to conquer." (With smaller classes, there is more pressure to do your homework. If you don't have your homework it is painfully obvious with just seven or eight other students in your class!)

The school recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. The building itself is beautiful and has just been renovated. All the floors have carpet, the school's performance art center has wall-length mirrors, and the library has a fireplace. The Study Hall is the designated area where all the lockers are. It's very sunny and has a vibe that allows students to either work or simply talk to their friends. Junior Ashley Potenza notes: "Sem is a really pretty building. It's nice to learn in a beautiful environment."

Attending an all-girl school allows students to be focused. There aren't any boys to impress, and there is no real reason to wear makeup and dress up unless you want to. There is nothing to distract you. When you go to school each day, you go to learn. Even so, the all-female population took some getting used to.

Even though Sem is a private school we don't have to wear uniforms, but we do have a dress code. You can't wear jeans or shirts with logos across the front. Most students get around the no-jeans rule by wearing jean skirts, which are allowed. The school is non-sectarian so we don't have to take religion classes each day like most Catholic schools. During sophomore year, you do read the Bible as Literature.

I never thought I would say it (and I will probably cause my mother to keel over and die) but I'm proud to be a Sem Girl. Buffalo Seminary is the right fit for me.

Meet some seniors from Sem:

Jenna Schuster

CD you bought recently: 50 Cent

Colleges you're looking at: Buffalo State

Favorite Web site: www.blackplanet.com

Favorite TV show: "The Bernie Mac Show"

Favorite radio station(s): 93.7 WBLK, Kiss 98.5

Ideal occupation: To own a business or work as a child counselor

Natalie Moore

CD you bought recently: Nivea

Favorite store: TJ Maxx, Lifestyle Street Gear

Favorite places to hang out: The mall, church, my street (Bailey Avenue)

Colleges you're looking at: Spelman, Buffalo State

Favorite TV show: BET's "106 and Park" or MTV's "TRL"

Ideal occupation: singer

Jody Stelley

CD you bought recently: Beck, "Sea Change"

Favorite store: Kmart

Colleges you're looking at: Seattle Pacific University, Westmont College

Favorite Web site: bbc.com

Favorite TV show: "Alias"

Favorite radio station: 102.1

Ideal occupation: professor at a prestigious school teaching history or sociology or both

Emma Magavern

CD you bought recently: Garbage

Favorite store: Express

Colleges you're looking at: Big city schools

Favorite TV show: Mash

Favorite radio station: Wild 101.1

Ideal occupation: law

Leah Reidy

CD you bought recently: John Mayer's "Any Given Thursday"

Favorite store: Abercrombie & Fitch

What colleges are you looking at? I'm going to Davidson College

Favorite TV show: "American Dreams"

Favorite radio station: Wild 101.1 or 93.7

Ideal occupation: physician

Mia-Kai Simonne Moody is a junior at Buffalo Seminary.

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