Concord Academy’s 16th annual Model United Nations Conference, which took place using 19 Zoom rooms on May 2, was dubbed “Phoenix CAMUN” since it rose from the ashes of what could no longer be an in-person conference scheduled for April 4. Over 100 delegates from 18 schools attended. Charmaine Ko ’20 led the entire conference, and a series of weekly staff meetings, from her home in Hong Kong!
On Sunday, May 3, nine CA computer programmers attended a virtual hackathon hosted by Middlesex School. Its goal: to help people cope with social distancing and isolation during the Covid-19 lockdown. One team of 11th and 12th graders designed a website that pairs restaurants with leftover food supplies with shelters that need it. Another, made up entirely of 9th graders, was recognized for creating the most useful product for helping people who are distancing during the pandemic. Their prototype, designed using MIT’s App Inventor, was a mobile app that uses the location sensor on the phone to warn people when they’re entering high-risk areas, according to published records of Covid-19 cases.
Jeff Desjarlais, director of health and student support services, reflects on his efforts to incorporate movement, mindfulness, meaningful connection, and mastery every day in quarantine — and another M he decided was missing from the list.
Growing up in an immigrant household, Naomi Ko ’91, P’21 observed what it meant to her Chinese-born parents to be American: hard work and a steadfast commitment to integrating into American culture. As a senior at Concord Academy, Ko took a class with Kevin Jennings called American Culture and Identity.
A scientist, artist, educator, presenter, and National Geographic Explorer, Ben Mirin ’06 travels the globe recording animal sounds for research, which he also samples to make music that inspires conservation. In addition to creating and hosting the digital and television series Wild Beats on National Geographic Kids and Nat Geo Wild, he is a graduate research fellow of the National Science Foundation and a graduate student at Cornell University.
In this message, Carlos Hoyt, Ph.D., LISCW, reflects on the guilt that can accompany relative privilege in this moment. “The only thing you have time to feel guilty about right now is not staying home, not being grateful for your good fortune, and not continuously seeking ways you might be able to ease the burdens of those less fortunate than you, and, better yet, deconstructing and reconstructing the macro machinery that produces and maintains these inequities,” he says. “If you’re feeling that kind of guilt, then use it as fuel, as a tailwind in your Kevlar sails — just as you should always use your privilege as a superpower, and do some good.” Click through to read his message in full.
At CA, “we are asked to be our full selves so that we can be seen, celebrated, and supported,” says Peter Boskey ’08, interim director of community and equity, in a reflective letter to the CA community, also published in the C&E newsletter. Acknowledging that this feels, at times, impossible from behind a computer screen, Peter reflects on how precious community is, as well as on Wanda Holland Greene’s MLK Day talk on visibility. “What this pandemic has taught me (and continues to do so each day) is that those things I miss are not lost,” Peter says. “I can find new ways to access them. I can see my students and be seen by others, and creatively make uplifting moments.” Click through to read his message in full.
Elizabeth Temin ’86, M.D., M.P.H. is an attending physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine in Boston. She is also an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is now treating Covid-19 patients at Mass General.
When global health crises like this occur, it is easy for each of us to feel lost, out of touch, and without a sense of purpose. Actually, there are many things we can do to help. We ask that each of you consider one way to step forward to help your family, help a friend, or help within your community. Read the message for a few of the many volunteer opportunities for you to consider.
One of our deepest needs as human beings is for connection: to feel known, to feel understood, and to feel recognized and valued for who we are. However, in the social distancing culture of Covid-19, our experiences of – and opportunities for – human connection have not only become “fragmented,” but in too many circumstances, they have totally discontinued. For many educators and students in schools around the world, social distancing has led to unbearable states of disconnection, and thereby, to associated feelings of fear, loneliness, anxiety and depression. In essence, this all amounts to an unprecedented, collective and ongoing experience of loss and to associated feelings of grief.