the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Sung Min Cho ‘22
In so many ways, the upcoming spring season will be unprecedented. As a Fifth Former who is well aware that his Sixth Form year is just several months away (time flies), it comes as a bit of an anomaly that the Class of 2022 has had the experience of just one spring term at Westminster. For the Fourth Form, who now approach upperclassmen age, and are at a point to begin considering “the next step” in their academic career, these upcoming months will be their first spring semester that remotely resembles the pre-pandemic era. A lot has certainly been lost, but what really? Is there a hole in our collective memories? What is spring at Westminster even like?
I’ve always found it endearing that the community holds a shared spirit towards each term. Fall is the season of beginnings, reunifications, rapture, and the annual assumption of roles and responsibilities. Winter is a more solemn one: we retreat inside from the piercing wind, the dark reigns tyrant, individual sorrows are felt. Yet, amongst the frozen landscape, Westminster stays glamorous. Candlelight and the Winter Musical come to mind. Always unforgettable, Winter Formal remains an endlessly romantic jewel, kindling kindred spirits in an otherwise unforgiving season.
The spring though? I am at a loss for words. The Fifth Form’s only recollection of spring comes from our freshmen year, some twenty-two months ago. I am aware that most students can draw up a laundry list of spring events – yes, the season starts with lacrosse, salmon shorts, and ends in Commencement; yet, I think the emotional ties to the spring term are lackluster when compared to its peer seasons.
But this amnesia should not deject the community. It should excite us. Our Forms can set the tone for future springs to come, and that is a remarkable opportunity. When in the past has there been such a clean slate to define the spirit of an entire term? I think we would have to go back to, I don’t know, the Second World War, perhaps.
To accomplish such a goal, I urge the community to entertain three possible approaches: preserve tradition and normality to the greatest extent possible; connect and leave a mark on a younger student; and, finally, show up to things. The United States is heading in a direction of renewal and rebirth. The nation, and Westminster, have lost so much; yet, like generations before, it is up to us to raise the bar and remake this special community.
By Alice Liu ’23
Martlets around the world, who have been joining Westminster via Zoom for the past six months, are looking forward to returning to campus.
Alice Tao ’24, who has completed quarantine on campus, said "It was such a long whirlwind returning to campus, but it was worth it in the end." Alice shared that she quarantined in Singapore for two weeks before arriving on campus to quarantine again in Cushing. When asked what she thought about the experience, Alice said, "I’ve always said that I wanted to come to campus and have the experience that we all signed up for. I was very excited to meet new people and make new friends especially meeting the ones I have already met online." Alice commented that she especially enjoyed being in "the dorms and hanging out with friends," saying that it was, "everything she had expected and more."
Some members of the class of 2023 and 2022 have also returned to campus after six months of remote learning. "It is amazing," they said, "to walk across the quad with friends." They especially pointed out that "the dining hall soup truly hit close to home."
Martlets who are yet to return to campus are equally excited about having the in-person experience at Westminster. Aleyna Baki ’21 noted, "The thing I miss the most is probably the euphoria I feel after I leave the dining hall and walk towards the Fearn hall in the mornings. I would always look in the direction of the chapel and watch the sunrise. For some reason, it would always be so beautiful and serene, and it would fill me with so much excitement for a new day."
Some members of the class of 2023 are looking for ways to possibly return to campus in September. They are thinking of quarantining for two weeks in another country, perhaps Dubai or Singapore, before flying to New York. The thought of returning to campus, of walking across the quad, of heading to the dining hall with friends is exciting, and they look forward to returning to campus.
However, Zoomers appreciate the excellent online experience Westminster provides. Aleyna mentioned that, "during the pandemic, education should be virtual, not distant. Westminster aspires to do that with its great education program."
Whether joining Westminster from afar or in-person, Martlets are excited for an excellent spring term.
By Sydney Schuster ’21