Rao, Dhruv ’22
It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve actually attended in-person school. 17 months, to be exact. Seemingly a whole eternity has passed since we’ve last experienced campus life. Half the school has never attended class here before, which is insane to think about. But after all the stress that the virus brought us, after almost one and a half years we are slowly inching back towards normal, and the entire student body coming back on campus is a big step in that direction.
However, despite the return, things are not quite the same as they were before. While students are on campus, masks will be required at nearly all times. Students will definitely have to wear masks in the classroom. Club and activity meetings must also be held with masks on. Moreover, the assumption is that during rallies, parties, masses, assemblies, and other crowded events, students will most definitely have to wear masks. We have to be more careful about doing even the simplest things, like eating and talking to our friends.
What’ll happen with Microsoft Teams?
Now that we are on campus, Microsoft Teams will no longer be the primary method of learning for the majority of students. However, Teams itself will not be dropped, meaning that students and faculty will retain access to the platform. Moreover, depending on the teacher, Teams may still be incorporated into the classroom.
What about clubs?
Clubs have been shifted to a section of the day called Community Time, in which students are encouraged to interact with one another. Each club meeting is not allowed to take up more than half of community time, meaning that club meetings must be held either during the first half or the latter half of a community time period. The assumption going forward is that lunch is off-limits for club meetings. All clubs must be registered with Ms. Johnson, and all clubs will be assigned a meeting time by her directly.
Similarly, there’s now a period known as Flex Time, which is meant for working and getting help from fellow students and teachers. However, unlike community time, this period is not for clubs, and is rather intended to give students a chance to interact with their teachers.
What’s not changing?
At the end of the day, though, what makes the Bellarmine experience so special will probably never change. You’ll still be attending classes, but this time in the presence of everybody else. The collaborative spirit that makes our classrooms run will be back in full force after being hindered for the last year. You can still interact with your friends — catch up, discuss classes, life, anything really. Whether you get involved in the perennial squabble to get to the cold water fountains of Lokey, stand in the usual long lines of the cafeteria, or go to sit under the shady tree in the center of the complex, the little special things that make this place great will finally matter again. And that makes all the difference.