In March, Waring’s Writing Department announced a weekly community writing project.
Every Monday, the Writing Department shares a new prompt and publishes some of the previous week’s best responses.
Last week the prompt was: "Over the past few weeks, the Writing Department has solicited prompt ideas from across the Waring Community, and one prompt idea shows up more than all the rest: What do you miss? So this week, tell us the story of what you miss the most about the life you were leading before the lockdown. We will have many general categories in common: family gatherings, restaurant meals, in-person seminars. So, be as specific as you can and paint us a picture of what you most yearn for."
At the bottom of this blogpost, you will find this week’s new prompt (the final prompt of our Community Writing Project). Everyone is encouraged to participate alongside our students. Please submit your responses (no more than 250 words) to Jill Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday.
Grace Laverty ’23
The train rumbles through the trees and over the marsh. Cavetown serenades me as my head bumps against the window. After about thirty minutes I join the line of shuffling students as we make our way into the cold.
“Where’s Joshua?” A frustrated student asks.
No one knows. We stand outside for a few more minutes before hopping into a warm-ish van and heading up the road. Opening my dry eyes, I walk up the hill to the Forum. When I walk through the double doors the heat hits me like a shot of pure caffeine. After jumping over to my cubby, I run to meet my friends. We have 10 minutes before class to talk. During science we all sit in a row, and walk together to humanities afterwards. That doesn’t happen anymore.
Now I sit on the dining room floor staring at my computer. Sometimes I go on walks that bring me past my friends’ houses, but that can be worse. The yellow house by the intersection is so close. My phone is in my pocket. It would be so easy to reach out, and say something. But I don’t. Instead I turn around and go back home. At home, I sit back down at my computer and stay there until 6:00.
Gigi Richon ’23
I miss a lot of things. Hanging out with friends, going out to eat, in person classes, all the normal things one would miss in a time like this. Most of all, I miss the mornings. I miss waking up late and rushing out of the door with my hair half brushed to be greeted by Meg with a big smile on her face, Cole who would probably be doing something to his hair, and Olive, eating her breakfast in the car. The feeling of the cold burst of air I get when I step out of the car and then the feeling of warmth and comfort when I walk through the doors into the Polygon. I miss scanning the hallway looking for my friends to go to talk to them before classes start rushing to squeeze in every last word until I hear a teacher saying “class is starting, where should you all be right now?” All of this though, qualifies as human interaction, which is by far the biggest, and hardest gap to fill, for me at least. Talking with your friends and learning new things in math class simply isn't the same when it's not in person. For one, it’s not as easy, it’s less engaging, and I just have less motivation to do anything in general. And second, it isn't something that I look forward to, because really it has gotten less and less fun as time passes. At first it was interesting, something new to try out. But then, after the first week of online classes, I was over it. I wanted to see people in person. Not to mention with online classes I have to hold myself much more accountable. I mean, it is so easy to forget to set an alarm and not show up to your first two classes, or just simply not go at all.
Amelia Wyler ’23
Like everyone else, I miss my friends. Their pixelated faces and static voices are a poor substitute. Overtime, I’ve learned to loathe the screen for all it cannot offer. No hugs, no eye contact, no ease of conversation. In truth, I just seem to miss people. I miss the gloveless shake of a hand and the maskless smiles. I miss the chatter at a restaurant and the laughs on the street. When is it that I will see the return of life to the sidewalks? Can I dare hope it will be soon? The absence of people is like white noise, unnoticeable until abruptly, they disappear. Now that they're gone it’s hard not to notice. My family is, of course, the exception. They are constantly in the background. It's like hearing the same notes on repeat over and over again when you're so used to hearing a wide range of pitches. So for now, to fill in the missing notes and fight the white noise, my friends framed on my computer speaking brokenly through my speakers will have to do.
Our Final Community Writing Prompt - Week of May 11, 2020
Many Waring Classes end each year with a Blessings Project, in which students select quotes from the year as a blessing for another member of their classroom community. We are so grateful to all of you for your support of our project, for joining us in the blessing of shared writing. For our last community writing prompt, the Writing Department would like to give you the opportunity to offer a blessing of your own: for a particular community member, for a group, for a physical or imagined space, for a program, for Waring. Please share your blessing in any form that is meaningful to you: quotes, found words, poetry, and prose are all welcome.