The Grey, Accomplishment, Transitions.
January 15, 2021
I think we’ve all had enough of the grey. I say that because this week pretty much everyone I’ve run into, spoken with, or heard from is feeling it right now. Feeling the grey. Of course I’m not just talking about Vermont: friends, colleagues, family around the country are feeling it. The pandemic is exhausting (Fauci talked about tough months ahead, and I guess he meant right now). Winter is dark (here in Vermont the sun seems to have gone on extended leave, although it’s apparently returning at last to make a guest appearance next week). The pyrotechnics in Washington, well…speak for themselves. And the vaccine rollout is of course taking its own sweet time. No one can blame you if you’re feeling a little weighed down right now!
But that’s not the whole story, is it? Today is a big day. Actually one of the biggest of the year, because it marks a huge accomplishment, maybe more so than any other year. Today marks the completion of the first semester! Middle School students have just taken their last classes, finished up tests and projects, and turned in their final assignments. High School students have just finished sitting their semester exams. The Seniors just finished the last academic work of their high school years that will be considered when evaluating their college applications (WOW!). This is a big day any year, but this year, our students, teachers, and parents/guardians all really deserve a standing ovation!!! Seriously. If you’re not feeling that, take a step back, take a deep breath, and realize all you’ve done and accomplished in the first half of the school year. Congratulations!!!
And now we look to the future. Now we transition. That’s everything this coming week is about. A new semester. A new President. And in early February, a new school program, with students and teachers taking the first of many steps back into the building. For our new students and teacher, it’ll literally be a new school. Transitions. Something to look and work towards and look forward to.
Among so many other things Dr. King taught us, a ceaselessly hopeful vision of the future consistently wove its way through it all. Racial justice. Economic justice. Nonviolence. Each of these required both optimism–the belief that things could be and get better–and the determination to make them so. Optimism and determination. Hopeful vision of the future. This is the work of schooling–a belief in children’s capacity to grow and do. A belief by children that teachers can guide them towards their futures. A belief by all of us that the future holds our dreams and hopes. The second semester, the spring semester, is just around the corner. Let’s get to it!!!
Dr. Dexter P. Mahaffey
Head of School