Last week on the Willow Alumni Instagram account (@willowalumni), I asked our alumni some questions about their time at Willow and which aspects they liked the most. All Willow alumni were free to answer, so if you want to participate the next time we ask some questions, be sure to follow our Instagram!
We started with two open-ended questions, and while there weren’t many responses, we still got a general idea of the perspectives of our alumni. I first asked our alumni what their favorite Willow memory was, and two of those who responded said that they liked forts while one said Morning Gathering was their favorite. Both experiences relate to the sense of community at Willow and how much that means to our alumni. Next, I asked for the favorite classes of our alumni. Both of those who answered said that they liked math class the best!
Following these open-ended questions, I switched to a poll-based system where alumni chose between two answers to a question. We saw a lot more interaction in response to these prompts, so we have much more reliable data to answer the question of what our alumni love about Willow!
First I asked if they enjoyed building forts. Seeing as forts are such a large part of Willow culture, lots of positive responses were expected, but 100% of about 20 alumni said they loved building forts! Forts are an incredibly important part of what makes Willow unique, but having every alumni that answered give the same response was certainly unexpected. It was a great day for forts without question!
Next, I asked which break period they preferred: lunch or recess. Recess almost completely swept the poll with 17 votes, but one of the alumni who responded stood up for Willow’s lunches, as they should. While this reporter is supposed to stay unbiased, I find it shocking that only one person would prefer Willow’s delicious and various lunches over recess! Regardless, recess has plenty of great qualities as well. While socializing during classes like art and music is common, recess has always been the best time for students to interact with one another.
Next, I asked our only non-opinionated and purely statistical question: did you take French or Spanish? The results here were also somewhat surprising. While Spanish at Willow has not been taught for as long as French, the results were almost completely even, with 10 French students and 8 Spanish students. It should be noted, however, that the followers of our Instagram account are from more recent graduating classes, meaning the statistics could be slightly skewed in favor of Spanish students. Interesting either way.
After that, I got back into opinionated questions as I asked our alumni if they preferred Art or Handcrafts. Art got about 74% of the vote with 14 votes, while Handcrafts got about 26% with five votes. This margin is understandable, as art class tends to vary more in the type of activity and building isn’t for everyone, but Handcrafts is a unique class at Willow that gives students experience with basic building and engineering skills. So even though it lost in the poll, its benefits can’t be dismissed.
Finally, I asked if students preferred playing on the xylophones and other mallet instruments or if they preferred chorus in music. Mallets won pretty decisively, putting up 14 votes versus four for chorus. While more balanced results were expected, the amount of instrumentalists that attend Willow makes the results more believable, as playing the mallet instruments is great practice for music reading and singing is much different than playing an instrument.
So that’s it for this first edition of alumni polling! I hope to do this again sometime soon. If you have any suggestions for questions you think might be fun to ask, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also an extra big thank you to everyone who participated in these polls and helping me test this new format out!