I realize that this semester isn’t over. We have virtual Honors Convocation on May 14, and virtual graduation nine days later, and something like finals in between. We will also try to bring this year’s juniors and seniors together at some point in July. I’m hoping it will be the tackiest of all tikis!
I suspect that next school year will involve protocols for illness and classroom management that will be quite different from the MSMS norm. How will we deal with health issues and respect the need for students to be in class? How should the school’s sickness policy change? Will students turn in printed papers, quizzes, and tests, or will all submissions be electronic to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission? Will they wear masks to class? How will classes that require physical proximity, like Dramatic Performance or Sculpture, be affected? What steps should we take to prepare for continuous instruction in the event we have to become a virtual school again? How might all these changes prove more challenging for under-represented groups on our campus?
Envisioning the new normal breaks my heart, but only metaphorically. I like physical things. I’ve been conditioned to believe in the importance of handshakes and eye contact. I still have a tough time reading a Zoom class compared to reading a physical class. But a heart that’s broken in metaphor is far better than one that has actually stopped beating.
Of course, things will be different. There are many classes that are going to be inevitably not doable, and physical contact even with paper and pens will probably be held back. I feel like not only the juniors, upcoming seniors, will be affected but the juniors that are coming in will have a harder time settling in. It will be very sad for the next year. For the MSMS graduates and the MSMS, seniors will be more affected mentally. my hope for the upcoming here is that everyone can lean on each other period the rising seniors have a lot of insight to give to the rising juniors. Hopefully everyone can stay healthy and safe during the times to come. and I hope no one gets robbed of their senior year and hopefully people will still get to go to college and have that experience as a freshman college student or a college senior or high school senior. I wish the best for everyone and good luck.
Everything is going to be very different next year, even if we find a vaccine before school starts back this event has undoubtably changed the way people will think about interactions for a long time. If it is not corona we will all be suspicious of physical contact and germs until we’ve had time to forget. At the beginning of the year we all complained because the tables in the cafeteria got separated and it caused the classes to be less close. Unfortunately, next year every aspect of life at MSMS is going to be separated. Besides making classes harder, it will make forming close connections harder. Those bonding dances where everyone is packed in shack are now a liability rather than a memorable experience.
I’m an optimist at heart and I still have hope that by the time school starts up again, the world will be relatively back to normal. Of course, certain aspects of our school life will be different. I suspect that masks will become a new accessory in the wardrobe of many people and that the school dances will probably be canceled but the core things that make MSMS what it is will still be there. The act of uprooting our old lives and coming here in itself is proof of the resilience of us so I have full confidence that the student body can adapt to any obstacles thrown.
I personally really miss being at MSMS. I know I didn’t have the short straw like the seniors who missed out on the last part of their senior year. However, I really feel like this whole quarantine and virus has really resonated throughout the world. So many have died from what we didn’t think would be a big deal. I truly think that if we want to keep things to low transmission/infection, precautions are going to have to take place over at least the next year. Those include wearing facemasks and possibly turning in electronic assignments more often. It all feels like a movie having to do school online. I’m hoping that things will eventually even out and things can go back to normal, but for now, it seems we will have to keep quarantined.