Friday was a great day.
On my distanced walk in the hall, I received several virtual hugs from Grade 3s, spent time in a Grade 12 English class hearing from Stratford Festival actors who were in the process of producing Hamlet when COVID-19 hit, and had lunch with our Prefect and Student Council Executive Members.
What a delight.
The virtual hugs were impromptu and meant so much to receive. They reminded me of the way our small school community enables everyone to be known and valued. While I can’t mix with the girls and cohorts, I am able to be present and check in at a distance. I am blessed to know our girls from Grades 1-12.
The time in English class was fantastic. The girls are studying Hamlet and would have seen the Stratford production if it had not been affected by COVID-19. This was to be a modern staging of the play directed by Peter Pasyk with actors Amaka Umeh, the first Black woman to take on the role of Hamlet, and actor Andrea Rankin, who was to play the role of Ophelia. Both actors joined the class for a Zoom call. I was particularly taken with Umeh’s reflection on Pasyk’s approach to direction. Moving past what has been a ‘old boys club’, she articulated that Pasyk jumps into the thick of things and likes to be messy and challenge the process. I was thrilled to know that our girls were hearing about this important approach from others and not just us. I was equally thrilled to be able to be ‘in’ class with our girls and the teacher.
Finally, a virtual lunch with some of our senior leaders was a great reminder of just how resilient our girls are, and how keen they are to contribute to keeping our community together and our renowned SCS spirit alive. As we chatted, they shared that they were really enjoying working across portfolios with each other to create activities and opportunities for all our students. They all indicated that they are figuring out how best to encourage connections, both in-person and virtually. I have always loved these lunches, and Friday was no exception.
What I appreciated most of all were the connections with our girls. I recall in April feeling quite adrift as I knew that so much of my energy comes from interactions with our girls and staff and, at the time, I had not yet adapted.
I have never doubted the power of connections and how much I love our girls and staff; Friday was a reminder of just how much joy these connections bring me.