written by Vaylyn Peterson and edited by Yuxin Waitkus-Tsang
On Friday, May 14th, after more than a year apart, the whole 8th Grade gathered in the 187 auditorium to receive their senior swag. A ring day-like-ceremony, but with added merchandise. The PTO came together to provide the seniors with masks and shirts to commemorate the class of 2021. On the days leading up to the event, many students were growing increasingly excited, as some thought it was impossible to have any sort of in-person ceremony. All the months of planning paid off, and the event was a great success! There were speeches and songs, and many memories were made. There were multiple bumps along the road, including the fact that most of the 8th graders had lost all their socialization skills they had before the pandemic, and the fact that the performers only had one rehearsal, but overall, the event went smoothly!
While we may have started a bit late, we had a good amount of the 8th graders come to the ceremony. It was cool seeing friends that we haven’t been able to see in a while, and it had been months (or years) since some of us had dressed up, although that was not mandatory. We walked into the auditorium and sat down in our rows. Because of COVID regulations, there were only 3 to 4 people every row (switching out the number of people every row) and skipping a row in between. Ms. O’Callaghan gave a speech, and looking back, describes the overall ceremony: “What a glorious morning it was to share as we celebrated this most special senior group! Rings, shirts, and this year even masks are just things but we breathe a life of tradition and community and memories into these ordinary items that make them extraordinary! The hope is that when you wear them in the coming days or more so, find them in years to come while preparing for other next steps of yours, you will remember fondly your time at 187 and be reminded that you are what made our school extraordinary!”
There were two separate performances from the singers, which consisted of Jonatan M, Gia B, Cheyla C, Vaylyn P, Lola T, and Cecilia B all on vocals with Yuxin Waitkus-Tsang on the drums. The group was led by Mr. T, who accompanied them on the piano. There was also a wonderful speech given by Cece, the chosen student representative. Along with those two events, there was a group of seniors put together a slideshow of photos from past years at 187, assisted by Ms. O’Callaghan and run by Eliot H. With these events, Senior Swag day was a great success.
After the ceremony, students lined up in the schoolyard to take a picture. Teachers had the students sit on the ground to form the numbers 2021, and a picture was then taken from the roof. After that, remote students were able to leave, and blended students went back into the building to eat lunch. This event shows that outdoor and even indoor events are possible in times like these, and with vaccines, the options only grow. Thank you to everyone who came and/or worked on this wonderful event for the class of 2021!