While we are mourning an unorthodox end to the year, it’s important to remember everything that we can hold onto. It is important to hold onto the memories and moments that make Deerfield as special as it is. From the Scroll Board to our readers, we hope to inspire you to appreciate every second you have at Deerfield. Never underestimate the little moments, for they are what make Deerfield home.
Cherish your days of glory.
Lily Faucett –
Every morning this year, I woke up to meet my friends and walk to the Dining Hall. I would make tea and oatmeal. I would offer to read my friends’ English papers and ask them to explain math to me. We would swap stories of the little happenings in our life that had occurred in the few hours since we’d said good night the previous evening. It was something to get me out of bed in the morning, something to start my day off on the right foot. Every afternoon this year, my friends’ group chat would confirm what I already knew: ‘dinner at 5?” Walk-through dinner doesn’t open until 5:30, but I loved the ritual of carving an extra thirty minutes out of an otherwise busy day to catch up with my friends. We would talk about how our classes had been and what absurd things may have happened during the day. It was a break from stress and exhaustion and studying. Don’t get me wrong, I have been that person who couldn’t show up to breakfast because I had to meet a teacher, and I have definitely sped through dinner in order to return to a paper I hadn’t started until the day it was due. But now, when meals with my friends are unattainable and the eating in the dining hall seems like a distant memory, the brief time I spent twice a day at table 18 seems infinitely more valuable than I could have imagined. I took for granted that I would spend the rest of this year starting and ending each day in the dining hall with my friends.
Maggie Tydings –
“Just the ice for you today, Margaret?”
“You know what George, just because it’s my last Exam Week, I’ll get a Grilled CC too.”
Saying good morning to George was just as much a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth. At 8am every morning I walked down the stairs of the Koch with my wet hair and coffee in hand. I brewed my own two shots of espresso in my room and George supplied the ice. Every morning he greeted me with the biggest smile and filled my white tumbler with the perfect amount of ice. I then topped it off with 2% milk and some simple syrup and told George to have a great day before heading over to sit in the Starfield. I could always count on great company during these 8am breakfasts, company that was complimented by my New York Times Morning Briefing. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the headline of this very Morning Briefing, COVID-19, would stop the breakfasts all together.
Anna Fu –
On February 2, 2020, the weekend before we were about to leave for Long Winter Weekend, Kikka and I decided to move in together, putting our beds into my room and our desks, a TV, and a couch into hers. We called it “The Hubb” and with all of our friends, we’d just hang out in that room, day and night. Whether it be watching The Notebook for the first time and subsequently balling my eyes out in front of everyone or blasting music and dancing, I spent a significant amount of my senior winter term in that room. And I, obviously, had to spend an incredible amount of time with Kikka, as we quite literally lived in the same rooms together. Some nights I’d pass out on the couch while watching a show (which was many many nights) and I’d wake up to find my phone charged and a blanket wrapped around me. Other nights we’d lay in our beds and just talk until 2am no matter how tired or busy we were.
Making a friend you see once a day, maybe even less is quite different from the friends you make at Deerfield. When you’re sitting at a walk-through dinner talking with your friends for two hours unknowingly, when you’re living with them and they’ve been with you at your highest and your lowest, and when you voluntarily become roommates with them, you become family. And that’s what I realized about Deerfield. Over the years, I’ve found a family, one that will always be there for me even if we aren’t sitting in the same dorm room at night or at the same table at dinner. I’m forever grateful for every moment, every laugh, every tear, and every memory. I would do anything to spend just one more night with my family back in The Hubb, even if it means having to watch The Notebook again.
Maddie Lee –
Whenever I have some free time, I like to walk the small loop. You can start from behind Barton or from the Main School Building and you can come right back to campus without getting lost. Also, I love the way it changes. Right before the start of fall term, the loop is a cornfield, and in the winter it turns into a blanket of thick snow, and in the spring it’s a nice, sunny walk through a field. Yet, even as it changes, it stays the same. There are the two ponds on either side of the road that are serene through all four seasons. I know exactly where to stand to get a grand view of the Deerfield River. I’ve also run into Mrs. Taylor on the loop more times than I can count. Most importantly, whenever I need to remind myself that the world exists, whenever I need some headspace, or whenever I want to escape campus with a group of friends, I can always count on the loop to remind me that Deerfield isn’t always a place to escape from, it’s a home I can return to. It puts a smile on my face when I come around the corner and see that I’m coming back to Deerfield.
Claire Quan –
In the winter of my junior year, I was placed on restrictions. To this day, I cannot recall why or how this came to be — most likely one too many skipped dance classes or tardies in Chem. Either way, on a cold Saturday morning, I found myself trudging through the snow towards Koch, prepared to serve my first term of restrictions. It lasted for three hours. Yes, three hours. From 8:30 to 11:30 AM, I sat inside the Garonzik, papers spread across those uncomfortable wooden tables, under the agonizing scrutiny of Dr. Mary Ellen Friends. For three hours, I thought about how comfortable I had been in my bed. I would’ve done anything to get out of restrictions.
When I finally escaped to lunch and told my friends about this, the unexpected happened. Saadhya Bahuddoda looked up at me and asked, in that gentle and selfless way she often does, “Do you want me to come with you?” It was the start of something beautiful. On those following Saturday mornings, Saadhya’s Facetime call woke me at 8 AM. Our footprints marked the snow between Poc and the Koch. It became our ritual — no matter how tired or stressed we were, we would spend those three hours together, sharing quiet smiles when a phone rang or someone ran in an hour late. Looking back now, while I hesitate to say that I actually miss restrictions, I know I will always be grateful for Saadhya and for the many others like her, friends who have done so much for me, who have never hesitated to suffer if it meant they could help me, who have somehow, miraculously, made restrictions a beautiful part of my Deerfield experience.
Seth Thayumanavan –
For most people, the second floor of the Boyden Library is a place to go on weeknights to finish their homework, and little more. But to me, the walls of bookshelves and study areas mean so much more. The top floor of the library holds some of my best (and worst) memories of the Academy. Whenever David Chen fell asleep on the blue rotating chairs that overlook the quad, which he often did after a long Sunday of Econ homework, I would take the opportunity to hide his air pods and pencil case from him. On nights when the floor was relatively empty and Oscar Depp and I didn’t have any work, we would race backwards in chairs from one end of the hall to the other. Oscar beat me every time. Junior year, on Head of School Day, we connected my computer to the projector in one of the group study rooms, and we spent the day just chatting and watching How I Met Your Mother. And of course, how could I forget that one Saturday Senior fall? I was working on my college essays right before early applications were due, when a few alumni walked in and stared at me for a few seconds, before one said “I don’t remember students ever working on weekends when we went here,” to which the other replied “Of course they did. We were just never here because we weren’t nerds.” They probably didn’t realize I was listening, but still, words can hurt.
Whether it was wasting time I should have spent studying, or getting absolutely roasted by Deerfield Alums, the second floor of the Boyden library has become one of my favorite places on campus, and I will cherish the memories I made there for life.
Angélique Alexos –
I think exam week conjures up some of the funniest and most bizarre memories that I have at Deerfield. Though in previous years going to the library during exam week has always frightened me because I get anxious when I see other people stressing out, I decided to take the plunge and go to the library for a change as I hoped the change of scenery and the ability to study with others would help me focus. Luckily, my friend and I were quickly able to find an open study room, and, after a few minutes of procrastinating, we were able to settle into our work.
A few hours went by, and we soon looked wearily at each other with the same thought: it was time to take a break. Though it was a chilly, cloudy November day, we went outside to stretch our legs and walk around for a few minutes. At first, we weren’t sure where to go, but suddenly our eyes turned towards the Dome. In all honesty, I don’t know if it was the delerium from studying the same textbook for two hours or the stressful realization that we were entering exam week, but as we walked inside and around the Dome we couldn’t help from bursting into laughter. It was one of those moments where there is nothing particularly funny about the situation, yet everything just seems hilarious. Laughter is honestly one of the best remedies for stress.
Emma Earls –
I’m not sure what it is about Albany Road at night, but it’s always made me feel at peace. Whether I was walking back from the library or extra help or a meeting, the walk back to Mac was always my favorite part of the night. The 9:45 trek along that road, backpack hanging low on one shoulder and music blasting, became a staple of my senior year. Even in the dark, the rain, or the cold, I took my time. The yellow streetlights, the suddenly-dark buildings, the smattering of people making the same walk as I was — all of it came together to make the Deerfield I love. The five minutes it took to get back to the dorm gave me time to appreciate it. Even when I’m far from campus, I still know that 9:45 trek will always remind me of home.
Annie Kane –
My first Choate Day at Deerfield felt like one of those epic sports stories that makes it onto a 30 for 30, the definition of an underdog classic. The girls’ soccer team that season had won only a singular game, and we were entering the day against an undefeated Choate team. I remember the upperclassmen on the team saying to not let the records rattle us, because everything about Choate day is unique, all bets off. Well, the rest is history. But the memory of that day to me is not the win itself, or any details of the game for that matter; when I imagine that day, the whistle is blowing and I am suddenly surrounded by my teammates and the entire student body in a rush onto the field, feeling this energy beating around me that I had truly never felt before. Still not knowing that many people, I was in awe of the cheers, the crying, the singing. It was at that moment that I realized that there is something truly special about the spirit of the valley, something irreplaceable about all of these people coming together to celebrate each other. I wanted that afternoon to never end.
Flash forward to November senior year, my last time wearing the green and white, where I was hoping to replicate the moment that defined Deerfield for me. Turns out that we lost. Horribly. I was completely disappointed, sad to be saying goodbye to a team that had given me so much. But only a couple hours later, I found myself by the end zone of the football field, my heart racing as the seconds ticked down to zero. And just like that, I was sprinting into the crowd, looking around at the people I had grown to call my family, and we were all cheering, crying, singing. I knew then that Deerfield sports are bigger than any one person, team, or game. They are in fact far bigger than sports at all.
They say play every game like it is your last. We know now, more than ever before, that endings never go as we plan; so, if you are ever lucky enough to beat Choate, in whatever form that may take, pause in that moment. Feel the spirit of the people around you, of the place you all get to call home, because that energy will course through you for the rest of your life.
In these uncertain times, it is hard to see the bright side. It is hard to go to classes, attend meetings, or maintain a community in a global pandemic. It is hard to remember what the sun setting over the Dining Hall looks like when we haven’t been on campus since March. But the sun is still setting, and it is still beautiful. Deerfield is still home, no matter how far away — hold onto that.