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OES Upper School Voice Newsletter
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A Message from the Division Head

by Asha Appel

Need to Know for Friday, June 5

This will be the final Need to Know of the school year.

This week, Chaplain Jenny offered these words at Tuesday's morning and evening Chapels: "This week, the Right Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, told us, 'Love is the way, but we don't always have the power to live that way....We have seen once again the unthinkable become thinkable...This is a painful path that we have been on for a long time. We've made such progress in our human relationships and in our racial relationships, and yet this seems not to have changed at all...There is a part of us that just wants to throw up our hands, and in the words of the Psalmist cry, ‘How long? How long oh, Lord? How long?’ And yet, we are not victims of fate...We must not give in to fate. We must dare to follow...in the way of love that can save us all.' (Pentecost sermon, May 31, 2020)

As we complete another year, let us acknowledge the deep, roots of racism that persist, grow and continue to strangle some and entangle all. Let us honor the pain of all people whose very right to run or birdwatch or simply breathe is not a given. Let us stand with our friends when they speak of their fears and experiences of being Black or Brown. Let us commit to a deeper listening and a sustained commitment to work for the dignity of all human beings. Let us dare to follow in the way of love."

  • Over the summer, I have committed myself to exploring the resources that will help me listen and learn. Many of those resources are options for students to select as their Summer Reading, the options for which can be found here on the Summer Reading Lib Guide. And here's a curated list of books, articles, films, podcasts, and other resources for learning and action to which students and adults will be adding in the months to come. 
  • It is with great pride that I share this amazing moment when the Rocketry activity learned they had won first place in a national competition. Click here to see their winning entry
  • As we get ready to celebrate the seniors at graduation next Friday, here's some expressions of love and admiration from our Lower School friends and the faculty and staff.  
  • The end of the school year is always bittersweet for everyone: students, teachers, and parents. As we grapple with both celebrating our kids and the pain of letting them go, please enjoy this poem from Linda Paston, "To a Daughter Leaving Home":

When I taught you

at eight to ride

a bicycle, loping along

beside you

as you wobbled away

on two round wheels,

my own mouth rounding

in surprise when you pulled

ahead down the curved

path of the park,

I kept waiting

for the thud

of your crash as I

sprinted to catch up,

while you grew

smaller, more breakable

with distance,

pumping, pumping

for your life, screaming

with laughter,

the hair flapping

behind you like a

handkerchief waving


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