Thank you for giving us the opportunity to get back to the simpler things in life, like having a little bit of extra time to slow down and enjoy something like a long walk, that we might not normally have the time to take out of our busy day to do. Now, can’t say that’s been the same for the entirety of this year with you, but you at least began as the trigger to get that idea started.
Despite the frustration you have caused, we did get to enjoy coming together and getting engaged, and being able to share that with small numbers of family and friends this past summer. You also helped to create an opportunity for us to be able to work in the same place again, which helps us to be able to see each other for more than 10 waking minutes per day, which is nice. An added bonus, you’ve helped us reconnect with friends we’ve lost touch with through the beauty of all the technology and screens that we so love sitting on every day.
From the bottom of our hearts, thanks, for one of the most interesting years of our lives.
Mr. Shirley & Coach Boik
It has been a year that challenged us. The world socially distanced from one another, routines altered, and in-person attendance of our graduation commencement was a wild hope for those of us in China. Fortunately, there comes a time to pause and reflect and reimagine. Reflect on how to handle a pandemic and reimagine how we can become more united in the face of the dark side of humanity that had fanned the fire of abhorrence. This time, we have chosen not to ignore what was unseen and untold. The people have heard the wake-up call to action that gives us the power to push society forward.
The past year’s distance-learning also allowed me to discover the unseen beauty in my country. I have traveled to over 30 cities since the beginning of the pandemic, and I am still counting. The trips remind me to reflect and reimagine––reflecting on what my cultural connections mean to me and reimagining my role as the world restores itself to the once connected one.
Moreover, the pandemic has redefined our community. Though many of us may not be back on campus to continue our studies, the extra flexibility brings us back together. I would like to especially thank all faculty who have spent the extra hours providing arrangements for distance-learners. I truly appreciate the spirit and warmth I sense through Zoom windows.
Stay positive, test negative!
Jeremy Zhang ’21
You are real; you exist and greatly impact life worldwide. You disrupt our lives. You are not welcome to be anywhere in the world.
Although many have said you are like the flu, those who have been ill with you and recovered from you have emphasized you are nothing like the flu. They have said you have been worse than influenza. Regretfully, millions of people have died because of you. You have taken away some very dear companions on this earthly journey. I miss them very much. I pray they rest comfortably in the arms of Jesus.
Daily, I say the following prayer:
“Sustain us, O God, in your compassion. This pandemic – COVID-19 – touches everyone. Let our prayers never cease. Pour into our being the charity to care for one another, to listen, speak comforting words, and see to the needs of others. Amen.”
During your existence, I thank God for health and safety; positive attitude and cooperative spirit; patience and endurance; enthusiasm and energy; sense of humor and comfort food.
I feel immense gratitude for both doses of the Moderna vaccine. I have completed the vaccination, but I still wear the double mask, take the COVID test every other Friday morning, avoid large crowds, and follow other safety measures. I pray vaccines become available throughout the world and all people take them.
You COVID still make your presence known and felt. I do not like you, and I want you out of our lives. God, let us soon say good-bye and good riddance to COVID
Father Henry Doyle
You can go ahead and peace out now.
A mother, teacher, daughter, wife and friend
Ms. Carrie Homuth
I have no idea where to start, you have taught me so much this past year. You taught me how to be independent but you also taught me how hard life actually can be. When I first moved to Minnesota in 2019 I had no clue that I would not see my family and friends back at home until Christmas 2020. I had no idea how overwhelming laying in bed all day and scrolling through social media could be and I most certainly did not know that you would stick around for this long. The bright side of being in a pandemic is finally having time for yourself, I learned a lot about myself this year. I remember the beginning of quarantine where everyone made whipped coffee and learned like every single Tik Tok dance there was. Thankfully I have the best friend group I could wish for, they never fail to make me smile or even make me forget we are in a pandemic. This year has been an emotional rollercoaster, and who knows when life will get back to normal. My only advice right now is that you should live in the moment (COVID-safe of course), don’t overthink everything. As Ferris Bueller once said in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986: “Yep. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.” I tell myself this quote at least once a day, so please live your life to the fullest so you don’t have any regrets later.
Lotte Aga ’22
You came along and changed everything. My active teaching job became a desk job. I gained back some of the pounds I lost in 2019 and I haven’t seen my family in NY for over a year. I have had anxiety and worry to levels I never knew they could go. However, I am now a tech pro, I can bake my own bread, I have a new website for my art, I’ve had many great times with my husband and kids. We are at a point that we can safely say you will not wipe out humanity and this makes me very happy. You can go now.
I missed the first Halloween where I can scare people by not wearing a mask.
Robert Lyu ’22
I’d like to thank you for 3 things I learned in 2020:
1) I have learnt and am learning new technology. Video conferencing on multiple platforms is no longer out of my wheelhouse.
2) That being said, I also learned that people need people - in person and face-to-face. Humans are a complex species, and their wellbeing (quality of life) cannot be summarized or protected in a marketing slogan.
3) I can overcome obstacles with God, friends, and frequent time in nature. The Shattuck, St. Mary’s, and St. James campi, as well as River Bend Nature Center, are a true gift to this community.
Ms. Holly Moullin
SSM parent ’13, ’20
SSM staff since 2011
SSM spouse since 2010
You surprised us with your entrance and invasion in our lives. Since you somehow decided to go out to the world and spread your existence in 2019, our lives have changed in lots of ways. Thanks to you, we get to wear our masks whenever we feel like, “Hm… The weather’s great. No snow, rain, cloud… I should maybe go out for some fresh air!” Yeah Right.
Right now, I could talk for almost an hour on what you have done to us. But for now, I am going to talk about a few main things. Look, I totally understand what kind of situation you are placed in. This planet we are living on, Earth, has been suffering for years due to our existence. We have burned down thousands of trees, threw away millions of wastes, and so on. Earth probably couldn’t stand any more of that and asked you to clear out the forests and oceans so that humans won’t make a big mess. Look, I get that. We probably are the bad ones.
But the main point of all this is to tell you that we have suffered enough.
We have lost millions of men and women, who have suffered from not being able to breathe in air.
We have lost our jobs, unsure of how to protect our family and children.
We have been mentally suffering from extreme levels of stress and fear about the upcoming future.
It is true that we fear that nothing would be done to solve this issue. But what we fear the most is forgetting who we really are.
Everyone thinks that they are walking the right path, but they are not in real life. Each of us are all living in dreams, full of hopes that we wish to become true one day. Sometimes, we get stuck in the middle of life, feeling lost and despairing, not knowing what to do. We are all scared of showing our greatest fear. We feel down because of this and have no reasons to live on.
Just pause everything and think about what you have accomplished so far. We all have our own ups and downs, but we always, always must remind ourselves that nothing can defeat us. We are totally capable of becoming successful and enjoying our life to the fullest. Think of every single moment with your loved ones and everything else that makes you feel alive.
So, for the last time, dear COVID, we will never fall on our knees.
We will keep on fighting until everyone finds their own happiness.
We will be strong if we stay together.
We will live on and gain hope, just like we have always done.
Van Woo ’22
Thank you for giving me more time with my family but I’m over it. Can you please go away now?
This is not what I meant when I said that I love watching history develop before my eyes.
You’ve overstayed your welcome. Please see yourself out now.
Mr. Pat Schaefer