Each year, students apply and interview to become prefects, our student leaders in the dorms. Prefects serve as liaisons between the students on their floors and Resident Faculty, serving as role models, and planning fun activities for the floor. This year we have a great team of prefects, and last weekend they planned and organized a laser tag competition for the dorms. As a "fundatory" activity, the entire boarding community participated. Junior Ben had a great time, "It was really fun. They gave us lasers with packs on our backs. We were in groups of seven and we had nine lives. Each round lasted about eight minutes. People came up with different strategies, like crawling and covering their chest plates. There was a lot of ‘creative gaming’ going on, but it was really fun." According to Resident Faculty Alexis Gerlach, "The Prefects organized it; it was impressive. Some of the students got very intense about it. It was also nice to see how inclusive it was and how some of our newer students got involved." Resident Faculty Stefan Ayres added, "They had a good time and a lot of people asked if they could do it again the following weekend." After West won the tournament - though some questioned their methods - we had a barbecue and rootbeer floats in the Mercedes courtyard. Thank you, Prefects, for organizing a fun activity for everyone to enjoy! We purchased the equipment so we can look forward to more laser tag in the future - though we might need to follow Ben's advice and "make some new rules next time." All's fair in love and laser tag?
When we went into shelter in place mode last year, we had a group of international students who stayed with us through the spring and summer, and right into this school year without leaving. Many of those students have since returned home, with only a few remaining. This weekend two of the final four, Yuqi and Andy, will return to China. I spoke with Andy to learn his unique take on the experience of living on campus for so long.
When was the last time you were home?
Last Christmas break so it's been over a year.
How was it being here over lockdown?
I didn't mind it. It was not much of a difference for me, I usually stay on campus.
How was it to be here over the summer?
It was different. I wasn't homesick and I wasn't worried about my family at home because they were already recovering from the pandemic in my area by that time.
Why are you going home now?
I have finished my college applications, I haven't heard back yet but the work is done. I want to go back to be with my family and prepare for college. Once I go to college I won't be able to go back so I want to be home before I go away, and I have a lot of things I need to prepare.
What is involved in your return home?
I'm taking a plane to Shanghai that stops in Seoul. After I arrive, I have to quarantine in Shanghai for two weeks, then go to my home, where I have to quarantine for another 7 days before I can go home and then another 7 days in my home. It will be a month before I can be out. I have to work on my visa and make various appointments while I'm home. When I come back, I will need to quarantine for two weeks in another country and then two weeks in the US, so that's another month of quarantine.
How do you feel about leaving after all this time?
I'm both sad and excited to be leaving. I will miss my friends and my teachers, and badminton. I can play here, but at home I have no one to play with.
What is your best memory of San Domenico?
My best memory of San Domenico is being supported by friends and teachers.
What advice would you give to future boarder students?
My advice is don't hesitate to communicate.
We will miss you, Andy and Yuqi, and wish you safe travels and a long-awaited welcome home! We have formed a special bond with all of our long-term boarding students who helped us to navigate this unique time in our school's history. We will never forget you, and know that great things are in your future!