This is not your typical welcome-back-to-school post. This is my experience, and I’ve waited 8 months in Wuhan for this experience. We finally made it back on campus, WYIS!
August 31. Orientation/Open House. I had the best job on the planet: handing out goodie bags at the welcome table. I didn’t know I had that much genuine smile in me, but I exchanged it with so many new faces and familiar friends. In everyone’s first stop, the auditorium lobby, you could feel the energy - the relief, the excitement, the comfortable familiarity, the gratefulness. It was like a great reunion with family.
Over the next 3 hours, I visited with more people than I had in the 8 months prior. My son happily got busy with his own circle of long-lost friends, while my prior relationships were made instantly more authentic from conversations about our shared experiences. New families brought an electric kind of energy to the room, and I even got to do goofy extroverted things like introduce new student Ryo to old student Rio. Everywhere I turned, connections, smiles, hugs, handshakes, crinkly eyes from more smiles behind the masks. It was the perfect picture of community to me. It was worth the wait.
If you missed it - and many of you did because you’re still away – we noticed. We miss you, we’re holding our hugs and crinkly smiles for you, and we’re holding your kids’ seats in class, your place in the PTO, and your family in our hearts. We’ll be waiting when you’re able to return, and I have no doubt you’ll feel what I do too. It’s hard to miss. It’s genuine, this WYIS community. And I’m so thankful for it.
Here’s to a great school year!
September 2, 2020
By: Rebecca Franks