THE RHYTHM AND ROUTINE of theWoodberry school year has long been an essentialpart of the experience. From early ball throughfinal exams, the most important events — Parents’Weekends, The Game, the Candlelight ChristmasService, Reunion Weekend, Spring Formal,Commencement, and the like — all occur atroughly the same time each year. Old boys, faculty,parents, and alumni can mark out the seasonsbased on what’s happening on our hilltop in theVirginia Piedmont.
Plenty of alumni could wake up out of a Rip VanWinkle-style sleep and tell you that Woodberryplays Episcopal on the second Saturday ofNovember. Some of them, if told whether the yearends in an even or odd number, would be able to letyou know that kickoff is at 2 p.m. and then tell youwhether to head for Woodberry or Alexandria.We are a place that values rhythm and routine.
So when the faculty and staff gathered in mid-March to hear how the school was reacting to thefast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic, everyoneknew that the rhythm and routine had beendisrupted. There were feelings of uncertainty,sadness, and fear in our community, just as therewere around the world.
At that first meeting with faculty and staff, andagain when he spoke to students and parents afew days later via video call, Headmaster ByronHulsey ’86 read from a speech that authorC. S. Lewis gave to a group of students during theSecond World War.
“The war creates no absolutely new situation,”Lewis said. “It simply aggravates the permanenthuman situation so that we can no longer ignoreit. Human life has always been lived on the edgeof a precipice. Human culture has always had toexist under the shadow of something infinitelymore important than itself. If men had postponedthe search for knowledge and beauty until theywere completely secure, the search would neverhave begun. We are mistaken when we comparewar with normal life. Life has never been normal.”
ENGLISH TEACHER KRIST YN WILSONLED MANY OF HER VIRTUAL CLASSESFROM THE WILLIAM H. WHITE, JR.
LIBRARY IN THE WALKER BUILDING.
SCIENCE DEPARTMENT CHAIRGREG JACOBS TEACHES STUDENTSAROUND THE WORLD FROM A SPOTON THE LAWN.