Feeling Safe at School During The Pandemic
A student letter to Head of School Allison Gaines Pell
Thank you so much for all that you have done in the past year. I doubt that Wheeler would still be open if not for your hard work. I feel extremely grateful for the fact that I, someone who suffers from asthma, am able to come back to school in person knowing that I will be safe because of the precautions that the school has taken. From using an app to confirm that everyone is healthy to making sure that the interaction between divisions is kept to a minimum, I know for a fact that Wheeler is a safe place.
I remember my first day in which I was in person, it was in October and I hadn’t told anyone about it since I wanted to surprise everyone. The most memorable part of that day was definitely the shocked looks that I had received from both returning and new students. That day, I couldn’t help but compare the difference between being virtual and in person. Firstly, I could finally talk to my friends face-to-face. I hadn’t spoken to them for months! I really missed the feeling of talking to someone my age, I missed the inside jokes that my friends and I had, I missed each of my friends’ unique personalities, but most of all, I missed the experiences that we had gone through before and after the pandemic started. Secondly, and lastly, the learning experience was different. I could now interact with my classmates, hold discussions during class and argue with them about why archaea are more closely related to eukaryotes than prokaryotes.
I really missed the feeling of talking to someone my age, I missed the inside jokes that my friends and I had, I missed each of my friends’ unique personalities, but most of all, I missed the experiences that we had gone through before and after the pandemic started.
I know that I would have never had this experience if it weren’t for what our school has done for us, and more importantly, what you have done for us, Ms. Pell. During this time, I have learned how to accept a more unfortunate situation and turn it into a time of learning and discovery. The time in which I was virtual has taught me many things that are not taught in school, like the importance of communication and time management. It also brought me closer to a few of my passions today, such as video editing and music. But, more importantly, this time has shaped me into the person that I am today.
So I thank you, Ms. Pell, for all that you have done for all nine-hundred and sixty of us here at the Wheeler School.