For most of us, pandemic parenting has tapped us and sapped us, drawing out our creativity and testing our strength and resilience. As we head into December and the winter ahead, here are a few articles that you might find helpful or, at the very least, hopeful.
This summer, my young daughter stood at the edge of a pool. She had mastered swimming at a local lake, where she could wade in gently and touch the bottom for assurance. Now, she wanted to conquer an old fear: jumping.
Can we talk? In this election year, can we pause and reflect on how we are preparing our own children and students for civic life? When our children and students look back on this time, what will they remember about our words and actions? What is the pattern of comments, the nature of dialogue in our homes and classrooms?
What civic legacy are we leaving?
We are all breathing in the tension right now. A presidential election around the corner. Disagreement about a new Supreme Court Justice nominee. Heightened anxieties about the global pandemic. Political pundits are pounding their positions. And as the partisanship chasm deepens, day-to-day conversations have become a bit of a minefield.
As a Head of School, I have a front row seat to observe how teenagers are trying to navigate this terrain. When my student government team sat down to talk to me recently, here’s what I heard.
It’s really hard. It’s the elephant in the room, Dr. Bohlin. We want to start a campaign, so everyone knows their voice is valued, heard and respected. It’s not just about debating issues. It’s about our daily interactions— the way we listen, ask questions and really understand each other that matters.
They have valid concerns. And they have framed up their responses with a practical wisdom we sometimes lack as adults.
Three years ago, my peers from the Class of 2018 and I made the Senior Commons our own. We added dozens of photos to the hallway wall, with the word “Cher18h” (“cherish”) dancing in big red letters through the center. The wall captured our spirit and memories from throughout the year.
By the photo wall stood another symbol of our support and unity: our massive college poster, where printed logos of our accepted schools displayed our victories and helped us celebrate each other’s success.
Despite the challenges of senior year, these small gestures helped me feel supported and appreciated by my classmates.
This year, many seniors don’t have communal gathering places — at least physical ones — to offer rest and support as they enter the college admissions season. And even those who do may find themselves wrestling with the demands of applying coupled with the stresses and limitations of “pandemic schooling.”
Back to School 2020 is certainly one like no other. As we return to school virtually, in-person, or in-between, we continue to grapple with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as life nevertheless marches on.
Yesterday, my daughter left her favorite pair of shoes near the shoreline and didn’t realize it until after high tide had carried them away.
To help her work through her sadness, we began to imagine a new life for the shoes: as a shell for a hermit crab, as an unexpected catch for a lobsterman. We imagined one day, years from now, walking along the shore and finding her tie-dyed Crocs and laughing that they had finally come home.
Today, we found the shoes. Washed up, covered in seaweed. Her brother and I cheered. She shrugged. After a few minutes, she whispered.
“I’m kind of sad we found them. I liked the stories more than the shoes.”
On February 1, 1919, my grandmother Eliza Ellen turned four years old. Twenty days later, influenza stole away her mother.
A guest post from Anna Bachiochi, a member of the Montrose School class of 2020
In this unprecedented time of confusion and fear, the news is full of stories about people who react in the craziest of ways: people buying every roll of toilet paper in the store, others sharing obviously fake remedies and cures, and still others ignoring our government’s physical distancing mandates and attempting to live life as if nothing has changed.
So I wanted to know: what causes people to act in such irrational ways? How can we ourselves know if our own decisions are rational or not? I spoke with our resident psychologist, Associate Director of Montrose’s LifeCompass Institute Mrs. Kris, to find out.
Writer and director Greta Gerwig’s 2019 movie adaption of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women earned six Academy Award nominations. In a moving scene pulled from the novel’s pages, Jo confesses to Marmee, “When I get in a passion I get so savage I could hurt anyone and enjoy it.” It’s a disquieting confession, but even more surprising is her mother’s reply, “You remind me of myself.”