“Andy, you aren’t going to die, you just feel like crap and aren’t thinking straight,” my mom said, trying to keep him as tied to reality as possible. Whenever she would do that I felt better. I was beginning to think like Andy was, too. There were many moments where we would just smile at each other, and I loved that.
“Let me be a reason for you to live,” I told him in my mind, hoping it would somehow reach him. – Declan, from his morning meeting comment, when his neighbor fell and he and his mom helped him.
“Rose made a ten letter word, “Chimpanzee.” I made a three-letter word, “‘hat’” – Tal, commenting on Rose’s morning meeting phot of their Banana Grams Game
“The world felt grey, all my music recommendations were grey (that’s the type of music I listen to), it was like the world was drawn from a pencil. I felt like I couldn’t talk to people. I’m not the most modern person, and I believe that whatever someone says on a computer can only be true to a certain extent. The world of a computer is hard, cold, like a pencil tip, sharp and grey. You have to think about what you say, you can’t have the spontaneous bursts of happiness.”- Axel, from one of his writing pieces; a scene about a ‘sudden epiphany’
“I began fleshing out these memories by coloring them in.” – Axel, from the same writing piece
“I didn’t feel sad about leaving anymore I felt happy for everyone playing in the snow and I knew that the school would go on and that I wasn’t really leaving, I was just moving on.” – Nate, from his ‘sudden epiphany’ scene
“Saturday night, I had a dream that we were all back at school together, in one huge group hug of 25 kids. As if it was the first time we had seen each other after quarantine. I remember a small part of me knowing it was surprisingly soon, but it still felt real. Then we went outside into the field, and we all held out a huge circular tarp maybe 30 feet wide, and flung things up from the middle of it. It was sort of weird, but when I woke up, I was reminded of the tarp game, and it was just nice to think about that. And that even though we are missing so many opportunities for those kinds of experiences because we can’t be together, at least we had that to look back on, and it made me happy.” —Viv, her morning meeting comment
“It’s easy to lose track of time, not because every day feels exactly the same, but because the days start to blur together and it feels like the transitions between them are slipping away. This all happened so fast, at the beginning of March, we thought that having to close school was a possibility, but a distant one. It feels like things like that have just been piling up: we close school, Vermont closes school, a city closes etc. It’s a little terrifying because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future at all. Now, it feels like everything that could possibly have happened has happened, but there is most likely more. When I saw the writing prompt for this week, I realized how many amazing memories I have from the fall. It feels like such a long time ago that we were all playing the helicopter game and having a wedding for Tal and Rose etc. We have come such a long way since then, a lot of things have happened and now we are here and the fall feels like a completely different world. ” —Leila; from her morning meeting comment
“Rose I just realized I accidentally uploaded all my lab pages from last week to Steve instead of you, but I fixed it.” – Iris; on the ninth grade science Google chat, showing yet another complication with the art of ‘online school’: the uploading of pictures
“Rose is working hard. And Steve is working hard. And Tal is working hard. And a lot of you are working hard. Wallace and Jasper are not working hard. They are lazy, hairy, sleepy, bums.” —Tal, from his afternoon comment, depicting Rose’s work station at home.
“Last night our family was watching a movie but soon I started to get uninterested in it. I walked up to the counter and got a piece of cake and sat down at our dinner table. I looked outside. The window was black with a light beaming Crystal looking raindrop. I watched it hit against the house, sparkling up into the blackness. It was in the middle of the field. There is no light near it. I wondered how one raindrop had so much color. I wanted to go out and touch it. The patterns seemed so real and so close. Like it was almost touching my hand. The light was blinding throughout the field. Shimmering across the pond. I never liked the rain. The loudness always scared me but now I had looked at it from a different perspective. It was not going to hurt me. I stared at this beaming light for most of the night. Hearing, watching and feeling it come closer even though it had not moved.” — Dinara, her afternoon meeting comment
“I’ve found myself missing my stained glass as if it were a person.” Declan, in response to Rose’s afternoon comment, which was talking about visiting the school for experiment supplies this morning and seeing all the things that were and were not there
“Yesterday, for a long while I stood at my door whimpering like a dog because I wanted to go out in the rain. . . . I got tired of standing, but that was more out of annoyance that I couldn’t execute my plans than boredom. I want to see something else other than the goddamn rain. And I think when you really think about it. That is the same thing that we are doing right now, as a school. We are seeing past the rain. Although the rain, in this case, is a deadly virus. We are planning and formulating the best path to take. We are seeing through the rain to the woods. The thick foliage. The promised land. The golden country. Something greater, where we are all together.” – Giles, from his morning meeting comment
“That’s me giving you the evil eye over the internet.” – Steve, during the ninth grade math class, staring very close to the camera at those who hadn’t sent their movies in to him
“You should take a selfie with my 7 inch eyeball on the screen.” – Steve,same as above, to Declan, who put the zoom meeting on his TV
“Do you see where the secret to power lies? It lies in the patients.” – Tal, during the ninth grade lit class, talking about McMurphy trying to lift the hydro control panel all alone, and the others just stand and watch, not helping
“The Chief knows where the big fish is, but he can only get there in his imagination.” ——Tal, during the nineties lit class, talking about Chief staring at a painting of a fisherman and telling the fisherman in his head where he should cast his fly instead of being a fisherman himself.
“Today in lit class I kind of saw a glimmer of hope in Finley although he didn’t write a response, he read the lit and seemed to be excited, talking about what he was thinking about in the book. I guess, Finley, that’s what I want to see more, even though you weren’t bouncing off the walls crazy about it you seemed more excited about the book, all of the metaphors, and everything.” – Luke’s afternoon meeting comment
“Although, I did laugh my ass off when Nate said, “Well, you can’t really count ‘vegetarian’ as a pizza option.” – getting 2 quotes in one: the italicized quote is from Steve’s afternoon meeting comment, and the other is Nate’s quote is from a ninth-grade math class problem
“Today my dad and I made breakfast for everyone, and I have been wanting to do things with him, or any of my family members, because I want things to talk about in meetings. I thought of doing this because Tal said in lit class yesterday, ‘that even though you’re behind a screen, you can say something just as powerful, and you can choose to do that, or you can do a two sentence comment.’ And for the past couple days I have been saying things that were two sentences, and saying things that most of them had no meaning. And Tal has been pressuring me to do my work, and sometimes I don’t feel like I’m contributing enough towards this, and making a commitment to be here while this is going on, and trying to participate.” – Ezra, his morning meeting comment, stepping it up
“We’ve always had an ok relationship, with lows and highs, but being stuck together has brought us together, which I’m really glad about.” – Viv, from her morning meeting comment, about her brother
“Rose is an excellent “actress.” I, on the other hand, will not be winning any Oscars There is so much work that goes into setting up and following through, but the actual shooting/acting part hardly amounts to any effort at all: My take away: editors should get more money than film actors.”- Tal, from his morning meeting comment about making a movie with Rose.
“If you can spell it, it’s a word.” – Declan, at the end of the ninth grade math class, defending “yeet” as a word, against Steve and I. who said it was not
“She asked for a blessing and asked for no more, and the choir kept singing of freedom.” – lyric from a song called “Birmingham Sunday,” in a video Tal showed us about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing
Quotes from MLK Jr.’s eulogy for the 4 girls killed in the bombing: “We must work passionately . . . for the realization of the American dream” “Indeed this tragic event may cause the white South to come to terms with their conscience” “We must not lose faith in our white brothers” “Their lives were small in quantity but large in quality.”
“I finally looked up to see the attorneys and saw they too were weeping. “- Lisa McNair, sister of one of the four girls killed, recounting the court case 38 years later that finally convicted the four men who bombed the church
“But this is home, and you have to fight for your home and fight for it to be okay.” – Lisa McNair
“Lucky, then, we have two of these magical beans.” – the video on kidneys Rose showed us in science (ha ha)
“Steve, you crafty son of a toaster.” – Declan, on the all-school google chat, from a while ago, but is worth mentioning
“There’s so many TREES!” – yours truly, outside trying to make a birds-eye drawing of the yard
“I like Eli’s first step in taking care of goats: “You have to have goats. Check. We have goats!” – Tal; from his morning meeting comment, talking about Eli’s video from the film festival on how to take care of goats
“The part of school that feels like we are missing the most is the in between the classes where we play and mess around together. . . . Now I know how to take care of goats and how to cook fruit loop biscuits. Tal and Rose’s made me laugh a lot. When Anika asked for a hug, I really, really, really more than anything wanted to be giving her a hug. I miss all the hugs I get and give at school. I miss hugging Greyson in the morning when I walk into the school and hugging Anika everyday when I leave. I miss Iris’s spontaneous hugs that she gives to everybody. In my house, if I try to hug my sister she threatens to do what she calls “harming” me, so I avoid hugging her too much. The movies also gave me a chance to see the eighth and ninth-graders, who I see for five minutes during the meeting, but I haven’t really talked to since we left.” – Leila, from her morning meeting comment
“I am also very grateful to Steve for approaching everything with the same sort of enthusiasm and hilarity and excitement as he normally would at school. That enthusiasm makes up a large part of the school and I am not sure what we would do without things like film festivals or gingerbread making or spaghetti swings.”- Isabelle; from her morning meeting comment
I loved the film fest, It was great to see why I missed you all so much to begin with and why I want to go back to school, I sometimes forget the magic that happens in that school. We have been doing online classes for weeks, I know I am with the same people but we are doing school in the same way as everyone else, it gets harder and harder to open my computer everyday, but the film fest helped that a lot it just reminded me of what we are trying to keep going. – Grey; his morning meeting comment
“Every little thing! Is gonna be alright!” – Nate, from the ninth grade math group chat, while we were trying to get to the assignment Steve gave us
“I should’ve had vodka for breakfast today…” – Steve; from the ninth grade math group chat, trying to fix the assignment he gave us
DIGITS! . . . 0-9, that’s how we write numbers . . . numbers . . . Goddammit! – Steve; on the ninth grade group chat, going insane, trying to get my class to understand a math problem
He that is thy friend indeed,
He will help thee in thy need:
If thou sorrow, he will weep;
If thou wake, he cannot sleep:
Thus of every grief in heart
He with thee doth bear a part.
These are certain signs to know
Faithful friend from flattering foe.
—William Shakespeare…Rose; from her afternoon meeting comment; every once in a while she puts a photo of a ninth grader’s stained glass on the meeting log and a quote or part of a poem under it; this was under Nate’s
“This afternoon I’ve been abnormally motivated, and have been cleaning the house as if it were an Olympic sport, and I was going for gold.” – Declan, from his afternoon meeting comment
“One of the things that is frustrating about having school this way is that we can’t just all sit down and talk together as a school in a way that is functional for the sort of conversation that things like this require. – Isabelle, from her afternoon comment, talking about trying to get the people who are distant and struggling to talk about what is going on
“When I was little all I wanted to do was run out into the rain or after it rained so I could run and pick up the worms from under rocks and other places. Then I would have handfuls of worms and sing with them twirling around in my small hands. Then I got up suddenly and opened the door, which my dog automatically heard and ran outside in the rain with me. It was getting darker in the day and gloomy with some rain, but not a lot and I was in my now wet socks just running around. Nadja was following me and I ran around, rain falling all around me and on me.” – Jholai, from her morning meeting comment
“I think everyone’s a germaphobe these days.” – Steve, during the ninth grade math class
“Your role is as a seasoned, veteran model . . . if you guys don’t do this, we will peter out and fall and collapse. “- Tal; talking to the nineties; he needs our energy back: . . . “if you didn’t write a comment, you missed the class . . . that’s the expectation: nothing less than 100%.”
“People who have English accents are 1000 times smarter than us. “- Tal, during the ninth grade art class
Happy charcoal drawing. – a narrator, at the end of one of the videos Tal showed us on how to make charcoal
“just wait shell say sum event” – Iris; on the ninth grade science group chat; meaning to say: just wait, “she’ll say something eventually”
“gO FINLEY GO GO FINLEY GO!!!!!!!” – Tal, commenting to the beginning of Finley’s afternoon comment, the first meeting comment he has written in the past couple weeks
“The other day, we got out our paddleboards and went on the pond. We quickly noticed two Mallard ducks, a male and a female, swimming one the far end, so we were quiet and careful not to startle them. I had brought out my phone to try to take some pictures, so we tried to get close enough to them without them flying away. Maybe 15 feet away from them was a branch sticking up out of the water, which my brother grabbed onto, so the wind wouldn’t blow us away. I put my paddle on his board so that I was anchored there too, and then we just lay there, in the sun, watching the ducks and waiting for them to swim more out into the open- which they didn’t end up doing. I thought he would get bored after a few minutes, and want to go back, but to my surprise he just lay there, watching them, being very still.” – Viv, from her afternoon comment, talking about being with her younger brother