Talk of the School: April 2021

Flash from the past


Lora Simakova

Mark Bozzuti-Jones interviews the students of Wilton High School to find an open window of life at Wilton.

Once again, the season has changed, and with it comes adversity. The tree with leaves on every branch is now half molted, and the remaining leaves are maintaining social distance. These leaves are Cohort A.

Cohort A has changed since we last saw them. They are no longer rife with life and chloroplast; they have lost their youthful green. Their eyes are weathered, maybe tired, like the flowers in the school garden facing autumn. Their smiles are covered by their pledge to keep their fellow students safe, but the little creases around their eyes give them away.

Cohort A floats through the school, their heavy breathing in their masks, a constant reminder that this is no easy time. The school smells of Colgate and this morning’s breakfast trapped inside your mask. The buzz of the classroom has been replaced by the short buzz of the automatic hand sanitizer dispenser and the slapping sounds of vigorous hand rubbing.

The Wilton Warriors have entered the unknown, a new season, a new kind of season. Despite the tension of living into the unknown, though, some high schoolers are handling it wholeheartedly. What are kids talking about? Worried about? Are they coping? What makes them show up?  

Every day is a new day with new challenges, and some students are taking it all in stride. Kathryn Corrigan, a senior this year, made sure to emphasize the importance of staying in the present moment.

“I’ve tried to be as go with the flow as possible. I know that things are going to happen within the school that I may not like, but there’s not much I can do about it. I’m just taking things day by day, and dealing with any issues as they arise,” Corrigan said.

Likewise senior, Lily Gibbons, agrees that practicing patience was important to her.

“I have managed the unknowingness by just taking one day at a time. I think we are all going through a lot, teachers included,” Gibbons said. 

Many kids have chosen to wait out the season at home. In other parts of the country the virus persists because staying at home is often too difficult. 

“I think that there are some benefits to online learning. The biggest one for me is that there have been some days where, had I been required to attend school in person, I know I would’ve rolled back over in bed and called it quits. Even if I’m having a bad day, I can just pop my computer open and do my best to participate from home,” Corrigan said.

Others are eager for real physical social engagement; they have found that the benefits outweigh their fears. 

“I like going to school because it returns some sense of normality in my life. Even with all the precautions, I would rather be learning in a school environment than the isolation of my room,” Gibbons said.

I want to participate and be a part of something.”

— Megan Wood

While staying at home it nice, live participation feels like a crucial aspect of the learning experience for many. It’s only been a couple months for Cohort A, but kids are fascinatingly optimistic. They are practicing the skill of living and loving in the moment as their world turns to mulch. And the good thing about mulch is that it makes the soil fertile for new growth. 

“I think last spring was a lot harder than right now so if I can get through that, I can get through this,” Gibbons said.

No matter the challenges, these high schoolers are intent on growing and continuing to make the best out of this strange and difficult time.

“I feel like all of these tough times we have all faced have really brought us all together in being a closer community,” Wood said.