NBS Sets Up Remote School During Pandemic

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Due to COVID-19, we moved to remote learning on March 13. Below is some of what we have done and are doing.

Highlights from the first NBS online Morning Meeting:

Isabelle, March 13, 8:55

       When I read the email that was sent on Wednesday night, it felt almost as if a snow day was being called. I was disappointed, but it didn’t seem real. I couldn’t imagine having to do everything online and not being able to see and talk and interact with everyone every day. I didn’t want to think about it too much and so I kept myself as busy as I could. I cut fabric patterns for a shirt my mom is going to teach me how to sew, I read The Shell Collector, I wrote, I made lists, I put pictures up on a corkboard, I practiced piano, I checked the updates on the virus, I checked my email and the google chat, I did a Khan academy assignment, I cleaned my room. But throughout the day, there was an underlying feeling, the same feeling that I get when I am absorbed in a book and things aren’t going well for the characters, but I can just look away from the book and all of that will disappear and I will be in my own life once again. I felt as though I was in a story that was not my own, and if I just looked away, then I would realize that everything was actually fine and normal and I would see everybody after the weekend. But then I would remember that I didn’t know when I would see everybody again.

        Throughout the day, there were various phases of optimism and hopelessness. On one hand, I thought this could be an interesting opportunity. Maybe something great will come out of this that would never have happened otherwise. Maybe this will strengthen our connection to each other and this will be something we will always remember. But on the other hand, I thought about everything that wouldn’t happen. I thought about only being able to see each other through pixels on a screen. I thought about watching people dance in the science room and the sound and laughter and light that the school is usually so filled with. And then I thought about how the school must look now, all dark and far too silent. Ramen packets and snow pants still in cubbies, shoes strewn around the floor, posters up, math sheets in a box on the piano as if we had all hoped to come back the very next day.

Jholai/March 13, 8:34

     I had walked out to my mom’s car on Wednesday with a smile on my face since I had just hugged everyone and had said goodbye. It reminded me of graduation last year with all the goodbyes and tears except I felt extremely happy. I was thinking of how far I had come since last year. Even with school and my connection with my mom who was sad when I told her the news. She then began to talk about how this would mean we would have to isolate ourselves and we would get to spend more time all together, as a family. I thought about going skating with her and my sister that weekend and us all linking hands and skating together, falling and laughing. There would be more time to do these things.

Giles: Meeting comment. Monday, 8:45 Am

             As I sat in my house the Thursday that school had been announced closed, life seemed to have slowed to a halt. I sat contorted on my couch, a drink out in front of me, and no one was going to move me from that spot. I lazed for a long while, my movie blared on, and for some reason, I had no motivation to make myself useful with my time.

So I sat, and after some time of sitting, my phone buzzed. I picked it up and on the screen showed the name Finley Kaeck. Surprised, I opened it. There stood the words, “I was wondering if you were still sugaring if you are, could I join?”

         I had not started sugaring. I had not done anything. I had wasted most of my day, out of grief for my school, as well as just lack of energy. I responded yes.

        Fifteen minutes later Finley was at my door. And approximately fifteen seconds later he made his way up to the boiler where I stood. The fire was in the making. Paper was strewn about the inside of the boiler, and wood was laid on top of that. We poured some diesel full on top of all of the materials, and lit the fire that would at some point, make sugar.

        We stood, and stoked, and not so much laughed and goofed off, as we did talk about how disappointed we were, not being able to go to the place that we loved. We agreed, with empathy, how much we felt for the nineties. Not being able to have every minute of their last NBS year.

        Finley told me throughout the process, that he felt like the school was getting to a really good place, and we were just leaving at its climax. I agreed.

         School was feeling like it was really heating up, and then someone, the all-powerful someone (god perhaps), just took the fuel out from under us and let us fall. I miss being at school, but having Finley with me was just about the greatest thing that could have happened to me that day. Emptying buckets and talking about school. It felt like we were really together.

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