It has been the longest year we have ever had in the Boarding program - and not just because this year Covid was challenging in many ways, but because quite literally, we have been open to students continuously since August of 2019! As we prepare for all of our students to move out of the dorms for the first time in 22 months, it is natural to reflect on all that we’ve experienced together during this incredible time. Resident Faculty and students alike agree that in spite of the challenges we faced this year, including wearing masks, distancing, adjusting to ever-changing rules and procedures, and restricted off-campus travel, something truly special emerged: we became a close knit and well-bonded community. We have seen and heard this connection in the students sitting and talking by the campfire, playing soccer together on the field, playing chess or other board games in Mercedes, cooking and baking together, sharing a meal or a conversation or a good laugh. It is because of this special connection that we will all look back on this time with warm memories. In spite of everything that was going on around us, we found a way to make our San Domenico Boarding community even stronger than we were before.
To acknowledge this year we’ve spent together, we celebrated our last weekend with special activities on Saturday. We had a photo booth with costumes and accessories for the students to use as they posed for the cameras. For dinner we had pizza and a buffet from Chipotle. Afterward, we had ice cream sundaes for dessert. The prefects organized fun field games and then we watched a movie in HOTA. It was a great way to enjoy our final weekend before Graduation. Thank you to all who planned and executed a memorable way to honor our time together this year.
This week everyone has been busy preparing for the end of the year and their summative assessments. We provided longer study halls each night, with snack breaks that included barbecue, quesadillas, chips and salsa, muffins, and other treats. Seniors experienced their Transitions Week, with a Ditch Day on Monday, various activities on campus, graduation practice, and important life lessons along the way. Meanwhile, everyone is packing up their rooms in preparation for moving out for the summer.
We wish everyone a safe, relaxing, and joyful summer. Turn off those screens, enjoy the freedom from Zoom and Canvas, get outside, have some adventures, read some books. We will miss you and we thank each and every one of you for making this year one we will never forget.
As we prepare to say a final farewell to our seniors, I sat down with the second half of our graduating Senior dorm students: Aidan, Aleksa, Chileta, Sam, Dora, Tobe, Luka, and Hank, and asked them to share some final thoughts.
Aidan: What I’m going to miss most about the San Domenico Boarding Program is the people. The biggest advantage of being in the Boarding Program is experiencing how diverse the community is and how people with different backgrounds come together from all over the world and all over the Bay Area. I’ve learned a lot by being with so many different people and by being a part of this community, and I’m going to carry this experience into college. I feel like I’ve had a head start by living in the dorms. It’s been an educational experience.
Aleksa: My favorite memory was meeting people from all over the world and just being able to hang out and develop relationships with each other as part of this community on campus.
Chileta: I will always remember going on walks with friends and hanging out, and also the games we played last weekend.
Sam: I think I’m really going to miss the tight community we’ve had in the dorms this year. It seems like we all really came together in these hard times and helped each other out and uplifted each other’s spirits. That’s what I’m going to miss most about our community and what we have here at San Domenico.
Dora: I’ve loved hiking with my friends and going to the Garden and chatting with them there.
Tobe: I’ve been going to boarding schools for six years now, and I’m really going to miss hanging out with the people here. It’s the little moments that count. It’s the times where you’re just sitting down with your friends just talking about the most random things and you’re laughing together. These are the best moments that you can share with a group of people, and I’m really going to miss that here because it’s been so welcoming. If there’s anything I’m going to take away from SD it’s how amazing the people have been and how awesome I feel when I’m in their presence.
Luka: My favorite memory was during the first semester when we were all in an isolated bubble. We got to know each other really well and became very close.
And finally, Hank, who has been with us the longest, since we first went into shelter in place back in March of 2020. Hank will finally be going home after an extended time away from his family and friends. I asked him to share a little about that experience with us:
Hank: It was great. People rarely experience what I have experienced. I used the time to think. I tried to expand my thoughts and my thought process. I reevaluated what I knew about the world, and what I have been taught about how society works. I’m excited to travel in China and make some videos to post online. I want to be a youtuber, but I’ve been restricted by what I could do on campus, so I’m excited to travel and see the world again and share it with others.”
Congratulations to all of our seniors: Kara, Stella, Gemma, Chileta, Carys, Hank, Aidan, Aleksa, Tobe, Caroline, Isa, Sam, Anaya, Sophia, Luka, Dora! We are proud of your accomplishments and wish you well in your future endeavors. You are forever a part of San Domenico, and San Domenico is forever a part of you.
-Sonya Evans, Resident Faculty and US English Teacher