By Kodi Udochukwu
“Ugh, we gotta wear our facemasks now.” “I hate this cohort thing.” “I did NOT like lunch today.” We’ve all been there. All of us. We have all fallen into a complaining cycle- we complain about some of the food recently, we complain about the stress and work at Woodberry, we complain about wearing facemasks while playing sports. So I want to help us as a community to get out of that rut and show you awesome things that we should be grateful for. Without further ado, here are 10 things to be grateful for at Woodberry right now:
10. We’re in a Safe Bubble
There’s a lot of bad stuff happening in the world right now. I’m not even going to talk about the fires and climate change, but COVID-19 is wrecking America, along with most of the world. We have managed the virus, and as of Sep 29, 2020, there are no cases we know of. That’s remarkable. Not many communities can boast of being relatively COVID-free, but we can.
9. Our Teachers Care
This might be the most underrated aspect of Woodberry life. Back in my old school, I never had a good relationship with any of my teachers. The trust just wasn’t there. I didn’t feel like I could talk to them about anything besides my classwork. I felt like the teachers were only there because they had to. I never felt like my teachers were looking out for me. But here, I do. For the most part, I trust my teachers. I know they love to teach their students. Our teachers also care so much about our wellbeing. The amount of support that our teachers constantly give us is outstanding. Not everyone has this privilege, so, thank you, teachers.
8. The Fir Tree
The Fir Tree isn’t just a convenient school restaurant. It’s God’s greatest gift to Woodberry. When the dining hall food isn’t on top form, the Fir-Tree is heaven. It’s the perfect place to snack, it’s the perfect place to socialize. You gotta wonder what life at Woodberry would be without the Fir Tree. Shoutout to the Kitchen and Fir Tree staff for making those low-price delicious meals.
7. The Gym is Open
Alright, here’s one for the gym rats. The gym is open for SWOLEBERRY, baby! Most people at home don’t have access to a gym, but we do. Woodberry has worked very hard to reopen the Glover Fitness Center and Barbee. So from the gym rats to the skinny guys like me who are trying to gain muscle, thank you!
6. The Dogs on Campus
We all love the dogs on campus, don’t we? From the Mills’ family’s fluffy beauties to the Stowers’ outrageously cute dog, we just can’t get enough of them.
What’s that? Oh, you’re not a dog person? Woodberry will change that for you.
5. The Sunsets They’re beautiful, aren’t they? While the world around us is constantly changing, one thing that has never changed is how beautiful the sunsets are at Woodberry. Don’t believe me? Go to the switchboard on Saturday at around 6:30- 7:00 and look towards the lake. Your eyes would thank you.
4. The Clubs
There are dozens of clubs that you can join at Woodberry. Without the Oracle, you probably won’t be reading this article right now. If you have a connection with the arts, there’s a literary arts magazine called the Talon. Do you plan on making money in the future? We have an investment club. Are you interested in cooking? Well, there’s a cooking club too. It seems like there’s something for everyone. And if there isn’t, you can simply make your own as long as you have a faculty sponsor. Plus, clubs can be a good place to make friends. And in these hard times, being with people who share your interests and bond with you can go a long way.
3. The Honor Code
I couldn’t write this list without mentioning it. The honor code has been the bedrock for Woodberry for more than a century. Is the one-strike policy too strict? It’s up for debate and something I would love to discuss later on. But one certain thing is the trust that it instills in Woodberry. Sure, your Gatorade occasionally goes missing, but the fact that we can forget a watch or a laptop or a hoodie somewhere without worrying about it getting stolen is invaluable. Plus, I believe that the world would be a much better place if all our leaders were honest and accountable. Woodberry’s Honor Code plays a big role in helping us become that.
2. The Return of Sports
It took us two weeks to start playing sports, but it’s safe to say that we are all glad it’s back. It was crushing when school closed in the spring and canceled all spring sports. It was another thing COVID-19 had stolen from us. But not this time. The Woodberry boys are working their socks off in their respective sports, with all Varsity fall sports making a return and non-Varsity athletes playing intermurals. In fact, by the time this comes out, the Varsity Golf and Cross Country teams would have competed in their first tournament/meet this season. And with the possibility of the football and soccer seasons in the air, there are exciting times ahead.
1.We’re in School
The simplest one on this list, but the most important. If you were to pick a random kid and ask him if he would rather have in-person school or online learning, chances are he would answer resoundingly that he would rather be at Woodberry than sit through hours of online class. I have heard multiple teachers say, “It’s so nice to finally have people here.” And as someone who stayed at Woodberry during the spring, I agree.
There is a vibrant energy at Woodberry that we all have missed, and we all should be grateful that we’re back to witness it.
0. Your Choice
What do you think we, as a community, should be grateful for? Did you just realize things you should be grateful for through this article? Do you agree or disagree with some-or even all of the “things” on my list? Feel free to tell me at firstname.lastname@example.org.