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The Gift of Community

With just a month of the current school year remaining, I am missing the time we would normally have together as a community. I miss the busyness of the halls; the multitude of co-curricular activities; the learning, laughter, and smiles from classrooms; and the informal chats with students, staff, and parents at the front door each morning. All of these things provide such joy, and reinforce for me the impact of SCS’s sense of community.

Having said that, this past week provided some salve to the sting of knowing these impromptu, in-person moments are still not possible for the time being.

I have had the good fortune of late to virtually visit the Grades 1 and 3 classes while they held community sharing time. Parents have been joining the classes to share an interest or skill with the students. I have learned about 3D printing, beautiful traditional Chinese dancing, gastroenterology, banking, baking, reading, and the Autumn or Moon Festival celebrated by many East Asian and South Asian people.

Another gift was the learning garnered from our e-ssembly, hosted this week by our Anti-Racism Committee. It was a wonderful gathering to remind our community of what anti-oppression work looks like, and why it is important for our entire community to be enacting it. I marveled at our students’ presentation and reflected on just how grateful I am that our full school e-ssemblies have continued since March 27, 2020.

Then, on Friday afternoon, I joined a Zoom call with several members of our Class of ’55 who have been meeting monthly despite the distance between them. I was able to update them on life at SCS during COVID-19. They are still very much connected to SCS through our Red Blazer magazine and other school communications, but the opportunity to speak with them was a gift. Like our current Clementines, these Alumnae model intellectual curiosity, courage, and compassion and when I left the gathering, I was energized and appreciative of their interest in, and support of, the School.

Finally, having the opportunity to “attend” Lumina, SCS’s annual student fashion design production, was wonderful. This year’s theme of Redefine Design, created by Producer Sophie B. ’21, was fitting. Not only did the designers demonstrate their creativity and ability to ensure their designs were sustainable to redefine the notion of “fast fashion” as the norm; the show itself was redefined to be virtual. Proceeds from Lumina’s ticket sales are going to an SCS global community partner, The Kasiisi Project, and during the show attendees had the opportunity to hear from one of thee founders Elizabeth Ross, as well as Kasiisi Project Board Member, SCS Alumna, and Assistant Professor at Tufts University, Dr. Zarin Machanda.

There is no doubt that life would be so much better if we were all able to gather at 21 St. Clements; however, despite not being able to be together in person right now, our community continues to provide each one of us with gifts like the ones I’ve described.

For that, I am so grateful.

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