Welcoming With Elbow Bumps

Monday, September 14, 2020 - By: Jensa NG, Mack ‘23

As smoke from wildfires in our neighbouring nation rolled over Brentwood’s quiet campus, two Orientation Assistants from each house made their way to the entrance gate to begin their duties. From wide-eyed grade nines to the wisest of them all - Mr Collis - everyone was at the ready. Brentwood was putting its best foot forward to welcome each and every student.

It all started on September 7th as our campus welcomed over forty new International students, with masked faces and elbow bumps. At around 10 am, after our first hour of greeting, my fellow Mack House representative, Julian W, and I were starting to lose the royalty in our wave.

That is, until Mr Skardal and Ms Reynolds made their appearance. Some may argue that The Office or ESPN might be the best source of entertainment you could find on the Brentwood campus, but I strongly argue otherwise. Ladies and Gentlemen, to anyone who has not gone deeply into a conversation about bread, fog, or Sloane J’s shoes, which according to Mr. Skardal, “Look like moon boots” I would like to inform you, you are missing out.

On September 8th, the same 12 dedicated OA’s resumed their positions as they began to welcome the second flock of students. Not long after the gates were opened, Brentwood’s campus was buzzing once again. Some roommates met for the first time, while others struggled to follow the “no-touch rule.” Lunch lines expanded, Gillespie Field was bustling, and Brentwood began to return to the place we all call home.

By the time September 9th rolled around, it was as if we had never left. There was, however, one thing that changed around the campus: Mr. Patel’s daily reminders to, “Pull up your socks” or “ Tuck in your shirt” have changed to “Oh, is that how the cool kids wear their masks?” or the frequent, “Are you sure you sanitized?”

I think it is safe to say we are happy to be back and looking forward to what this year has to bring. Sure, there might be a few more protocols than last year, but as a wise man, Mr Sullivan, Deputy Head Of School - Student Life, once reminded me, “Anything is better than Zoom.”

Jensa NG, Mack ‘23

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