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Letter From the Editor
Harry Niles '21 Editor-in-Chief
May 11, 2020

Dear Deerfield– and historians of the future,

You have stumbled upon a time capsule of the year 2020, a window into life at Deerfield amidst a time of global concern and panic. 

You hopefully will not experience these in the future, but after many months of dreaded and intense studying, the AP United States exam finally arrived. My friends and I began to frantically study the key concepts of the Spanish-American War and its impact on the expansion of the United States as a global empire. We combed through a large number of documents and cartoons to find a common thread and a strong argument for the Document-Based Questioning prompts. But as I struggled to create a clear thesis in a sea of evidence, I began to think, what documents will schools use in hundreds of years when discussing the events that took place in the year 2020?

This year, we, as a global community, have suffered many setbacks: wildfires have ravaged through Australia, giant murder wasps have decreased our bee population, and a global pandemic has swept across the world leaving devastation in its wake. Our government has increased tensions with foreign nations and fears of global chaos have become too close to reality. 

These events have shaped 2020 into an infamous year for future generations to study and research. Classes will answer questions such as: how did the United States react to COVID-19? How were different groups of people impacted by this virus? How did technology contribute to the misinformation swarming media? What were the causes of the stock market fall in 2020? To answer these questions, it is essential that historians and students receive the proper primary sources to write essays and have discussions over. 

As I prepared for my DBQ, I noticed how important keeping accurate documentation is from a historical perspective. It’s very difficult to find sources that can create a long list of arguments and show an array of opinions. But the Scroll has and continues to fill this gap and shows us different student voices and we will turn to this as a necessity.  

When future Deerfield students look back on the articles that are featured in our 95th issue of the Scroll, they will be able to read the experiences of high school students during a global pandemic, a rare and new perspective. They will read stories of how our students reacted to this pandemic and get a glimpse into Deerfield’s life before some of them were even born. 

This issue, our board has focused on centering the Scroll to acknowledge our past and look towards our future. By writing articles such as “Grave Crisis, Same Deerfield” by Yongjin Park ‘22, “Deerfield Nostalgia Playlist” by Jerry Huang ‘23, “Athlete of the Issue: Class of 2020” by Sophia Hamlen ‘22, and showcasing all of our departing faculty members and their impacts, we hope to keep a record of our students’ voice on our campus.

Each article will accumulate and build a larger database of primary sources for the Scroll. Rather than highlighting current events on our campus, in our nation, and around our world, the Scroll will become a time capsule of distinct stories for future generations to reflect upon.

During this time of uncertainty, make a journal, write down your daily thoughts, take photos and videos of what life looks like, and consider joining the Scroll! All of these acts will offer historians and future Deerfield students useful information when telling the story of the year 2020. You never know who may use your writing in the future, and what story it will tell. 

Work Hard, Be Kind, Get Smart,

Harry Niles