Unexpected Moments from our Time at Home

The Meadows School Campus
Has this week been intense for anyone else? The novelty of staying at home is over, and the last few days have brought to us a lot to make sense of… all while being away from our usual confidantes and colleagues to de-stress and kibitz with. Family life is abnormal, our jobs are turned upside down, our children are getting more screentime than usual, the gyms are closed, all hobbies, trips, and athletics are off for now. The extroverts, performers, doers, and achievers that comprise our vibrant Meadows community may feel a little like free-falling or sailing on a rocky ocean in a rickety boat being home-bound with no plan for when things will get back to normal. However, when checking in with students and families, many have commented on how much they’ve enjoyed distance learning and are sharing some other uplifting and unexpected moments that have come from this change in routine.

For example, some students have shared videos of their pets–dogs, cats, lizards, you name it. Today, eighth graders in advisory shared that they felt relaxed and happy to be with family: one is fostering a sweet big dog named Spartacus; two are happy to be able to hang with their older siblings home from college; many are playing board games and playing outside. One Beginning School parent said her children are adjusting well and “think it’s fun that I’m one of their teachers now and that we have to stay home because the world is getting cleaned.” A junior, eldest of three siblings writes, “My friends and I are very social creatures, so staying inside all day is nearly torture. Sometimes we call each other and do some art, watch the same Netflix show and comment about it, or just have some good conversation. I really do have some great quarantine buddies to spend time with, and I’m really grateful for that. Although I greatly value my alone time, I’ve had more than enough of it these past two weeks, and it's forcing me to recognize the good company I’ve had this whole time that I sometimes pass up the opportunity to spend time with. Never again!”

Even our seniors–students, filled with grief over missing so many dreamed about and hard-earned moments–are sharing positive messages and jokes of the day on the school’s Instagram account. One thoughtful and big-hearted senior shared, “I never could have predicted this whole situation in general, but I especially never expected for people to become so united and supportive of one another through this tough time. We are all in this situation together and many people, especially high school seniors who are missing out on seemingly critical experiences, are coming together to get through it.” Some things that have brought me comfort and escape this week were re-reading a favorite dusty paperback (Sula, by Toni Morrison), crouching over a complicated Monet jigsaw puzzle, Zoom yoga with old friends, and cleaning every baseboard in the house.

We all are moving through this unprecedented time in different ways, and because of that, I have compiled two Padlet webpages that have social-emotional resources as well as other little things for everyone to enjoy. There is a video of Mr. Gregersen reading his favorite children’s book and an outdoor workout series from Coach Charles that we filmed (from six feet away!) on a gorgeous mountain trail. Hopefully, this Padlet will allow us all to connect in some academic, artistic, and athletic endeavors. Please feel free to send me any photos or recommendations to add to the page as we will update this site continually.
Sending gratitude to The Meadows community, every family, teacher, helper, and creator!

With love,
Allie Hersh
Director of Counseling
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