It’s been easy to feel isolated these past couple of weeks. At a time when we would usually be preparing for the spring semester and opening the dorms for the students’ return, we are instead preparing for at least another month with empty classrooms and vacant athletic fields. Classes will resume on April 6, but all instruction and support and learning will take place online. Fortunately, for us, this period of isolation doesn’t mean we can’t do things as a community. We have Nina Silitch P’19,’21.
Mrs. Silitch is a master at building community and cultivating joy. She makes sure that the artwork throughout the campus is fresh and relevant and thought-provoking. She also organizes art gallery open houses, providing opportunities for both visual artists and performance artists to share their creations with the whole community. There are also the regular invitations to make art during morning breaks. Judgement and critiques are left at the door; it’s a time to make cards and contribute to community projects—the more people around the table, the better.
Of course, right now, those community art projects have been put on hold, but Mrs. Silitch has still found ways to bring the community together. Last week, we all received an email inviting us to participate in a virtual 5K. “Join us from anywhere in the world,” she wrote. “Get out; get some exercise. Let’s do this together as an amazing community.”
The details were simple. Pick a route. Print a bib. Take a selfie wherever you go. Participants were encouraged to set a personal record or gather their family members for a group effort. Door prizes would be given at the end of the day.
Fortunately, race day, at least in New England, was perfect. Saturday dawned with a cloudless blue sky and a gentle breeze. While the air still held a trace of winter’s chill, the sun hinted at warmer days to come. By 8:00 am, early results started to come in, with the Burnett family posting the first results. Faculty and staff had the strongest showing but current students and alumni had significant numbers as well. Team Escalante (Diego ’20, Mateo ’22, Figo Wang ’20 and faculty Eric and Missy) reported running from an alligator—they’re in Florida—while many campus families were grateful to wave to each other from afar.
“It was fun to get outside and enjoy the nice weather while knowing I’m connected with the community though I’m not physically on The Point,” reported one participant. Indeed. Getting outside was fun, but connecting with the Cardigan family was the important part. Here’s a glimpse of all the great individuals who joined in:
Thank you, Mrs. Silitch, for organizing this amazing event. Stay tuned for more ways to connect with the Cardigan community—no matter where you are!
As a side note, Mrs. Silitch’s virtual 5K has inspired others to organize their own race series. At St. Lawrence University, students are planning to begin with a 5K this week. The series will continue with a 10K, 15K, half marathon, and hill climb!