From February 27 to August 21, we were apart. The junior class spent the rest of the spring semester apart from one another. We left campus oblivious that it was the last time we would be together on campus for the next 175 days. During this year’s Convocation, Head Prefect Connor Claypool ‘21 delivered an inspiring speech about redefining normal, pushing ourselves to look past previous standards and not be defined by our habitual nature.
Upon further discussion with Connor, we understood his motivation and thought process behind the key points of his speech. Claypool focused on three pillars; unity, service and investment, and using these values to create a new standard. His inspiration came “from being apart for so long” and that “once all this COIVD-19 stuff goes back to normal, having these three pillars in place will be key to having a great rest of our senior year.” The inevitability of the unconventionality of our senior year is daunting. As much as we can hope for a football season, pep rallies, games and dances, we know it is not guaranteed. But, we have an advantage, we know what to expect, unlike the Class of 2020. We can adapt and change and redefine our standard of normal.
During the past several months our daily lives, routines and schedules have been completely transformed causing us to adapt to a new way of life, a new normal. Many focused on the masks, restricted social contact, and fear of the unknown, but Claypool encouraged our community to embrace this unknown and different way of life. He stated that “Covid split our world apart” and “no one knew what to do,” even asking, “who says the old normal was the best?” Challenging our old way of life, he explained that maybe we needed a change, a change for the better. Covid-19 has presented us with a new perspective and newfound gratitude for the ability to go to school and be with our teachers, friends, and classmates. He challenged listeners, specifically seniors, to be willing and open to adapting to our current situation, to use this time to embrace the unknown and find new ways to love, serve and respect each other.
A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Claypool's wise words inspired the SBS community, urging us all to not be defined by past notions of what should be. He closed by saying, “Invest in your school, because our standard of normal at SBS starts today. Create a community that is united, serves one another and invests in our school...This year is not just for us. This post-Covid normal we set will be held for years to come.”