Remote. I write this opening letter of the year remotely—happily, yes, comfortably, yes, and lucky in distance in Maine—but at this distance I do miss the warm last-of-summer morning sun as I turn down 78th Street. I miss the first bright days of school. I miss slipping into Butterfield for my scone and juice; I miss the ever-vigilant Director of Security Chris Acerbo at the east door and the elevator ride to the fourth floor crowded with my colleagues and the latest crutched-up boy. Even the familiar décor of the fourth floor itself, I miss, but I do not feel remote from the heart of school.
The face-to-face exchange of ideas and the laughter of boys and teachers, such experience is not remote, but as it was yesterday in my first class of the year marked by kinship and connection and the boys’ eagerness and perfectionism at the start. New to the Upper School, one of them asked if I was a hard teacher. I told him that I’d try to be for him, and he laughed, we all laughed. It didn’t seem remote.
My colleagues are a different matter because we have been together all summer planning this remote curriculum. Most of them are a good deal younger than I, and their infectious enthusiasm for working with the boys has not diminished at a distance: I cherish these work sessions. These Upper School teachers are forever pushing me into the twenty-first century, even at five hundred miles distance, and I love it.
I don’t feel remote from you, alumni, either; my time with you is not diminished, and I am looking forward to seeing you soon, very soon, remotely or otherwise.
Fortiter et Recte,
David Kersey h'98