Today is January 2nd, 2021, and as I prepare to type my first Zebra Tales article in quite some time, I can’t help but wonder where the days have gone. My Sixth Form year has flown by. If I had to point fingers, I would blame my college essays, which have diverted so much of my energy and attention over the last several months. When I submitted my final application a few days ago, relief washed over me like a hot shower on a cold day. The feeling was liberating. But that being said, those same essays have taken me away from Zebra Tales, and I thought that a quick recap of the fall term would be a great way to return to blogging. Let’s get started!
Resiliency was the theme of the fall. Groton reopened its doors, and throughout the term, the school took great strides to protect us as students. I was tested for COVID eleven times, and every Monday, I received a test along with the entirety of the student body. We never registered a positive case, which in itself was a very impressive feat.
Classes were capped at five, and two of my courses, AP Spanish and Complex Analysis, were conducted virtually. Alongside three other Sixth Formers, I took Complex Analysis as a mathematics tutorial. The incredible Mr. Creamer helped us navigate the coursework, and we had a ton of fun together. In fact, this was the most fun I’ve had academically at Groton. A physics class on electromagnetism, a political science elective on elections, and an English course on expository writing rounded out my transcript, and the breadth of the subject matter fascinated me. Whether it was Mr. Hall describing RC circuits in the lab or Mrs. Gracey facilitating a discussion on an essay, my instructors made each meeting exciting and productive for in-person and virtual students alike. They went above and beyond to be there for us by turning a challenging term into something special, and I would like to give a huge shoutout to both Dr. Spring and Sr. Fernandez. Their constant guidance and support fueled my optimism for the future, and without them, my fall would have been incomplete.
I have always contended that I have learned so much more from the people at Groton than I have from my textbooks. This term was no exception. From an athletic standpoint, I had the chance to run track, participate in the strength and conditioning program, and during the final week, skate on the ice rink too. I met a ton of new people, made some new friends, and had a blast on the turf. One day, the hockey team went on a group run together, and seven of us hopped into the Nashua River. The water was frigid, but the plunge was so worth it, and behind our masks, we laughed as we jogged back from the dock. Moments like that characterized the fall—moments when concealed smiles prevailed in a world coronavirus controlled. I had many of them as a member of Riley’s Dorm, and while I would love to write about my experience as a prefect, the Third Form crew deserves an entire post. Stay tuned for one to come!
Lastly, Groton has the best cuisine in New England. Our Dining Hall recently underwent a renovation, and the aesthetic results are beautiful. However, the tier-one quality of the food and kindness of the staff have not changed. Every morning when I walked up from Lower School to grab a pre-packaged meal, I had a short conversation with a someone behind the counter.
As I reflect on the past few months, all that I feel is this sense of bittersweet anticipation. I’m excited for the world that lies beyond the Circle, but in the same breath, I’m dreading the day that I will have to leave my second home behind. Groton has become more than a school to me. It’s an integral part of who I am as a person. I fondly look back on this term as a triumph in a shadowy world. We made it through safely. We persevered, and above all else, we never lost our faith.
To my fearless advisor and role model Mr. Capen—whose positivity inspires me every day—thank you for teaching me the value of resilience.