High school seniors watching the calendar, considering alternatives
Graduation advice coming in from 'bots, Harry Potter - and school administrators
High schoolers are continuing to wonder what comes next.
We’ve got a senior here at Dad on Bored central, and while remote learning seems to be going well (kudos to the teachers for pulling together a completely alternative approach to education on the fly,) it quickly became clear that there can’t be remote sports or drama or music or improv or any other extra curricular activity. And at least around our house, that’s what hurts at the moment.
Then there’s the big question about graduation and senior week. At this point, it’s impossible to know how things are going to turn out. Our superintendent sent out a letter stating as much, but it was good to know it is being thought about.
“Unfortunately, we are living in a time that provides zero assurances for timeliness with respect to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he wrote.
And then, “I want you to know that as your Superintendent, I will do what I can to safeguard the senior class activities.”
Timelines could be modified, he said, though not every activity may be viable.
The first week or so, when it was new and novel, staying home was easy. But now we’re getting into the grind of the quarantine, when every day starts to look the same and the old normal seems further away. Our senior is handling it pretty well, saying, “there’s nothing I can do about it, so we may as well make the best of it.”
I’m hoping we’ll see the traditional awards nights, proms and graduation ceremonies – just at a later date, if necessary. However, it’s still impossible to predict what comes next.
In the meantime, there are some schools who have come up with interesting alternatives.
The graduation ceremony at Tokyo’s BBT University was quite unique. While the students stayed home, they controlled their ‘robot avatars’ which received certificates on their behalf https://t.co/BxC3m4AmdU pic.twitter.com/oa566deXzJ
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 7, 2020
From the article:
“The robots, dubbed “Newme” by developer ANA Holdings, were dressed in graduation caps and gowns for the ceremony at the Business Breakthrough University in Tokyo. The robots’ “faces” were tablets that displayed the faces of the graduates, who logged on at home and controlled the robots via their laptops. One by one, the robots motored toward the podium to receive their diplomas. School staff clapped and said “congratulations!” as University President Kenichi Ohmae placed the diplomas on a rack mounted on the robot’s midsection.”
I’m not sure if we’ll see this happening throughout New Hampshire in about eight weeks, but it certainly is a novel approach to social distancing and graduation ceremonies.
Related – A passage has been making the rounds on social media, attributed to the relative of a student at Xavier University. Harry Potter fans may find it relatable and comforting.
“I was a bit upset, initially, with J.K. Rowling because of the way that the Harry Potter book series robbed Harry, Hermione and Ron of their final terms as Hogwarts students. I felt like we had traveled this far together with them through the wizarding school, and it only seemed fair that we get to watch them work through their last level. Life had different plans for them though, and Rowling wrote the path that was true for her characters as much as it is now for students everywhere — especially seniors. What you are doing right now is helping the world stand up against a deadly enemy in order to protect countless lives. You are Harry Potter. You are Hermione Granger. You are Ron Weasley. You miss Hogwarts, and Hogwarts misses you. But your role here is crucial, and it will bless the paths of many lifetimes to come. Though many will still fall in this battle, you are doing your part to stave off an even greater global disaster. You are being true to your school in the most unexpected of ways, and you will graduate with the honor of having played a key part in this fight. Your work so far and chance for further accomplishments haven’t been dashed. A world of opportunity will await you when we get past this. Take heart and have hope. And remember the words of Albus Dumbledore: ‘Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.'”