The word “community” has been repeated so many times it often goes into one ear and out the other. We do not often appreciate the true sense of community that Deerfield provides. This school is not a collection of strangers; it’s a crew of six hundred diverse students who pride themselves, at least outwardly, on the openness and the inclusion that is supposed to define them and this institution.
Albany Road, the charming main street that cuts through the heart of Deerfield’s campus, is the best example of this “sense of community.” We find this camraderie in the smiles (or the smizes) and the waves that are exchanged, and in the fact that every student here knows of, if not about, every other member of the community. In a changing world, where it is all too easy to be mesmerized by how a screen lights up than to stare into a pair of eyes that do the same, the school rule that students do not use their cell phones in public places is a quiet reminder of what is important (or of what should be important).
When students tuck their phones away, it is not only a gesture of respect for school policy but also an investment in themselves, that they might look up and see more of a tree than just its trunk, that they might catch the eye of a fellow student and make a small but meaningful difference in his or her day with the simple word “Hi.”