Around this time of year, a debate emerges on the Loomis Chaffee campus about whether or not it’s fair that seniors get to conclude their school year early. To ascertain the nature of the debate, I interviewed a number of seniors, freshmen, and members of the LC Student Body in a single Zoom room to get to the bottom of the long-debated predicament. The discussion became heated at times, eliciting emotional, charged responses from both sides.
Immediately after I initiated the conversation, one senior curtly quipped, “Thank the holy Dr. Sheila Culbert that we are allowed to end early. Finally I can leave this forsaken place. Bye, bye online classes, hello lounging on the sofa for nine hours a day rewatching The Office over and over again because I have absolutely nothing better to do!”
All the freshmen were muted. One pasted the following statement released by the Association of Freshman Against Freshman Discrimination (AFAFD) into the Zoom chat.
“Is it equitable that the oldest, most relaxed students in our school are given the shortest school year? An economic equivalent would be a tax break for the wealthy. Does the senior’s extra break time trickle down to the freshman? Do extra profits for the wealthy trickle down to the working class? In both cases, the answer is no. It follows that giving the seniors a shorter school year runs counter against the principle of equality of the classes. Such a policy sets this school back in its mission to uphold equity and inclusion, essentially telling us freshmen, that despite our being the most oppressed demographic on campus, we’re not worthy of a little extra time off. It’s just not fair. It is time that underclassmen overthrow the corrupt regime of the senior class bourgeoisie by means of forceful revolution. We have nothing to lose but the respect of our teachers. [Ms. Saxton I’m so sorry for advocating violent revolution please write my teacher recommendation.]”
Others were not so toxic.
“I just want to spend a couple of weeks chillin’ with my friends without the stress of work, obligation to the school rules, or the oversight of my parents! Is that too much to ask for?” said another senior, seeming for a moment to forget that he was in the dining room of his house. His parents stopped eating and looked at the webcam with confusion.
One junior decided to bridge the divide, “I just don’t think that they should leave early because while we are buried in our textbooks and notes, you know, being good students, we don’t get a good chance to say goodbye. Campus gets so depressing and empty when a quarter of the school is gone. To the Class of 2020, I just want to say that I’m gonna miss you all.”
We concluded the call after that comment and decided to end on a sentimental note.