A Little Party Every Other Day: Gatherings in the New Year

Staff Writer I’ve only made one announcement in front of the upper school, and when I made it, I wasn’t even in upper school; I was an eighth grader. As such, it was a fairly memorable experience- I felt very honored (at the age of thirteen or so) to be delivering a spiel in front of all of the upper schoolers. I thought it was just great to be sitting on the steps near the likes of Paul Hinkes (who essentially every eighth grade girl had a crush on. Don’t lie, sophomores.) Moreover, the casual tableaux of students sitting on the stage waiting to give announcements gave visual representation to Latin’s more spontaneous side. It’s not that I don’t like a good plan (I’m sort of stick in the mud myself) but when even a simple announcement needs to be planned a week in advance, things get a little stale. As such, I was excited to hear that at least during the first gathering of each week, we’ll bring back that casual spirit. For better or for worse, every Monday or Tuesday, people will again lounge on the steps up to the stage waiting to give announcements. (Freshies: this is how we used to have gatherings all of the time; think wild kingdom with leggings and collared shirts.) Look, there are a lot of aspects of our school that exemplify just how ordered Latin life is: the brightly colored schedules in the halls to keep everyone on track, the ubiquitous planners, the separate areas for each separate grade, the architecture of the school itself (#prisonarchitect)… Maybe we can have just one representation of Latin’s more flexible side, and frankly the first come, first serve, somewhat chaotic old format of gatherings will do just that. Some LSOC students are fairly ambivalent about the whole thing. Nadja Knox, ever giving a measured response, has her concerns, but remains open. She commented, “I think it’s great… [but] I want to see how it goes… [It might be] super hectic. [Last semester] I felt that there was an order to how things were and we got to classes on time. Hopefully things will still run smoothly.” Indigo Ruiz said, “I do like it… I prefer that sort of format. Sounds good.” However, she did point out that it might be unnecessary, saying, “I’m not sure if there’s anything that we need to know that wouldn’t be known a week in advance.” Dexter Canright had a more humorous comment: “I don’t have a preference… I don’t remember any of it as soon as I leave the theatre.” Good to know, Dex. But maybe that is a problem with the way we’ll be doing it this semester- in lieu of the shiny digital presentations that have become the norm at gathering, people will simply be talking. Lane Lubell remains positive, however. His opinion: “I don’t have a problem with [the way we’ll be doing it this semester]. The old system, the one we had last semester, was kind of inefficient and overly organized. I’d like to see this one play out.” Seeing as we’ve had so few weeks back, I’d like to see the new way play out as well. Latin seems to be moving to more and more digital communication, and I wonder how that’ll affect gathering in the long run. Do housekeeping matters need to be talked about, or can we just email? There is something to be said for Mr. Graf’s earnest petitioning of the student body to follow the rules. How else could we stay appraised of the latest vest fashions? Anyway, what do Forum readers think on the future of gathering and about the recent changes? Love them? Hate them?  ]]>