Students react to Narrative 4 retreat

Julia ’20 and Lily ’18 share stories with each other in the student garden. Photo by Ashley Myers-Turner

Marlborough introduced the Narrative 4 (N4) program to campus on Friday, Sept. 8 to promote Upper School bonding. N4 representatives Ishmael Beah and Lee Keylock visited the school in order to train students and teachers to facilitate the story exchange.

N4 is an organization that promotes empathy building through storytelling between peers. Students participated by partnering with another student or teacher to exchange stories from their own lives. After each pair shared a story with each other, they gathered into a small group led by students and teachers who trained beforehand. Each student then shared their partner’s narrative in the first person as if it was their own experience.

Emi ’19 thought the activity was a good opportunity to get to know other students.

“When first getting to know people, we have a tendency to create small talk. N4 was super refreshing and engaging because we were able to take a different approach and get to know people through impactful moments in their lives,” Emi said.

Although some students were excited for the activity, others had doubts at first. Allie ’19 expressed her opinion on the activity.

“I didn’t really want to go in the beginning, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I got to know a lot of different people that I never talked to before,” Allie said.

Director of Educational and Counseling Services Marisa Crandall said she brought the program to Marlborough as an opportunity for student bonding.

“It’s really nice for students to have chance to connect with each other outside of an academic realm,” Crandall said. “The more experiences that we can have with each other under benign context, without being worried about something or stressed about something, creates an environment where people can be supportive to each other.”

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