Missing Marathon Monday

Missing Marathon Monday
Posted on 04/21/2020
Dear L-S Students, Families and Staff,

As are we, across our state and around the country many school districts are continuing schooling through what would have been our scheduled spring April Break. As I type I am reminded that many of us would have already seen and cheered on the lead runners as they headed toward the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Then we would have stayed on to cheer for our friends who were running as well as for any other stranger who happened to pass as well.

I attach an article by Boston Globe writer, Dan Shaughnessy, titled, “Missing Marathon Monday.” I grew up near the marathon route a mile from Cleveland Circle, 5 miles from the finish line. I love that he interviewed Bill Rodgers. He and Joan Benoit inspired many a runner of my generation. The marathon starts in the lovely town of Hopkinton and continues as a modest route of 26.2 miles past small town stores, front yards, and front stoops until it ends in Boston less than a mile from our State House. Of course I may be biased but I don’t think there is any marathon like ours. In fact, given its place in our history I don’t know if there is any other event as meaningful as a symbol of endurance and resilience anywhere. I feel it happens to be, but is more, than just a marathon. I am sorry for all of the runners for whom this was something they thought we were going to do until everything changed just a month ago. And I am especially sorry for those for whom this very moment was meant to be their best run ever.

We are all disappointed by the events and disruption school closure and COVID-19 has caused. We adults, parents/guardians and teachers and administrators are extremely stressed and anxious about trying to fill in the gaps for you, our students. I know you are also anxious and stressed, but you are also bearing the brunt of the emotional loss of school closure – loss of opportunity to learn, practice, create, compete, perform, and just be with each other. That part is worse for you than it is for us. And I can’t imagine anyone more disappointed than our seniors for whom this spring was to be a culmination of accomplishments and celebration. It was meant to be a special time to be with one another before graduating from L-S.

April is when we would be bearing down on planning for end year celebration such as awards and scholarship ceremonies, proms, Jamaica Plannin’ and Graduation. At this writing Governor Baker has not yet updated whether we will be extending school closure beyond May 4. Even under ordinary circumstances all of these events take a lot of time to plan well. Given the high probability we will not have ordinary circumstances, please know that new and (very special!!) plans are being created just in case for graduation. It may not be as it would have been but have no doubt it will be something great and fun.

For now we will all continue with remote learning this week, April 21-24. I heard from a few seniors (but am sure all seniors were hoping) if they could be excused from this week. I understand why you were hoping this, but for these days to count for our calendar I cannot excuse an entire grade from participating. Moreover, even if we had lots of snow days, the last day for seniors never changes. So the last day for seniors remains May 29. The last school day for grades 9 – 11 is Thursday, June 18. There will be no final exams this year.

As I prepare to post this I note it is now far beyond when we would have known who won the marathon this year. How strange it feels for us and for the runners to not have a finish for a race that never started. My heart goes out to all of them and to all of you as we do what we need to stay healthy and well until we can be together and continue as we hope once more.

Take good care,

Bella Wong