Friday Letter

April 17, 2020

Dear Parents,

I have been working diligently at my dining room table (my "office"), and it is 2:30 pm.  I have known all day that it is Friday yet somehow have forgotten that I have a weekly ritual to write a letter to you!  Perhaps many of you are having to find new rituals and roadmarks throughout the week to keep yourself moored.  I would love to believe that my Letter is a happy reminder that it is FRIDAY!

First, I hope you will feel free to participate in our Movie Night at Home.  (Flyer attached.)  Ms. McCaffrey thought this would be a good way for us to maintain this tradition, opt for a curbside meal if we don't want to cook, and provide a sort of community connection for one night.  As for the movies....

The Middle School movie is always a tricky one to choose because pleasing 6th graders and 8th graders....there is a lot of change in tastes and maturity in the space of two years!  I had originally planned to show a double feature of Spider-Man 2 (the very good 2004 film, probably not seen by many students) and the more recent Into the Spiderverse (also very good and which most students have seen).  I wish they could see both together because the prologue to the new film hearkens back to the earlier movie.  Still, you can watch Into the Spiderverse for free if you have Netflix, but Spiderman 2 is only on STARZ or for rent on platforms like Prime Video or iTunes.

For Upper School....I will hold onto the two films I had intended to show (neither of which are on Netflix) for next year.  In their place, what better movie to capture our present situation than Groundhog Day?   A great Bill Murray vehicle that is, I think, an incredibly creative, multifaceted, and inventive comedy with a heart.  I know some students have seen it (and most parents), but it holds up well to repeated viewing.  (Is that ironic?)  I must admit that--in our #MeToo era--the protagonist's strategies for winning his love interest may take on a slightly different tone for a modern audience, but I figure that will simply provide a platform for some interesting discussions with your teenager.

I tried to identify some other films that might be worth a look so you have some options.  I love movies, and I love to share movies with students.  I specifically love to surprise them with good movies they haven't seen.  It isn't easy (esp find good movies that are appropriate for all viewers!), but I love the challenge.  It might also be a great time for you to introduce them to a movie you love!  

With the help of the Student Senate, we are trying to stoke student enthusiasm with Spirit Monday activities.  For next week, students are encouraged to send in pictures of their work space.  Will there be prizes?  Oh, there will be prizes...  Feel free to check out the flyer!

My senior parent survey indicates that Saturday, August 8th seems to be the best option for rescheduling Stepping-Up and/or Graduation.  As I noted last week, it is too early to make any definitive plans at this point, but you might put the date on the calendar.  I am mainly concerned to provide a proper send-off for our graduates, and there is no requirement for other students or parents to attend.  However, if it works out for your family schedule, I think it will be an emotional and energetic reunion for the students before the new school year.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that we can do it.  

I hope you have seen the senior tributes on Facebook and Instagram.  We are grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate these wonderful young people after so many years of seeing them grow up.  Please feel free to provide your own celebratory words in these posts!

I hope you have a very good, sunny weekend!

Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang