Education is Essential

COVID-19 has presented a tremendous challenge for Saint Ignatius High School to balance our mission of providing an academically rigorous, Catholic, Jesuit education along with the health and safety recommendations of leading healthcare experts. On Monday, March 15, students returned to full-day, in-person learning.

Saint Ignatius High School

Come On and Zoom!

Zoom. Have you heard of it yet? Not the 1970s children's television program. It's the online group video platform that schools and companies far and wide are using to get together during the coronavirus. As he is reminded of memories from yesteryear, Mr. Healey is starting to have some fun with Zoom.

“Come on and zoom, come on and zoom, come on and zooma-zooma-zooma zoom!”

This phrase, which will not stop running through my head, is, I think, called a mind worm: a song that gets stuck in your head and will not go away.

A typically great moment from The Office occurs in season three when Jim Halpert has moved to the Stamford, Connecticut, branch of Dunder Mifflin and is being pranked by Karen Filippelli by being given the office’s squeaky chair.  Since she does not really know Jim yet, she has no idea the Pandora’s Box that she has opened.  Jim, when it comes to prank-related revenge, has no off switch, and so he begins to sing the lyrics to the song “Lovefool” by the Cardigans.

If you have never heard this song, then you are safe.  If you have, I apologize because I have just planted a mind worm in your head that might last for days or weeks or forever.

“Come on and zoom, come on and zoom, come on and zooma-zooma-zooma zoom!”

So there was this PBS show that began in 1972 called Zoom.  It was a for-kids by-kids mostly unscripted show that ran for six seasons, and was the youngest sibling of Sesame Street and The Electric Company.  To watch it once was to have the theme song stuck in your head on-and-off for 48 years and counting.

“Come on and zoom, come on and zoom, come on and zooma-zooma-zooma zoom!”

So yesterday I had my first Zoom online class meeting.  It went surprisingly well.  I sent out the correct web address and password.  As someone who had never done this before, I saw this as a “W” no matter what else happened.

It was fun to see guys in sweats and tee shirts hanging out at home, with the occasional mom doing a walk-through or giving a line from off-screen.  One of the highlights was playing virtual catch with Jack O’Rourke ’20.  Another was seeing the new puppy of Matthew McLaughlin ’20 – a cute little guy named Rudy.  All in all a good day.

A number of guys were wearing hoodies, which I thought was fantastic since hoodies are outlawed on campus.  At our next Zoom class I will be giving extra credit for anyone who wears a hoodie – with hood on throughout the class, of course.  It will be like teaching in a monastery.  But not really.

Down the road I will offer extra credit for other such sartorial splendor, culminating with a “Dress like Dr. Fior ’02 Day”.  Our incoming principal is one of the best dressers on campus – always with a sport coat, and not the cliché “homecoming outfit” blue blazer.  We’re talking lots of tweed – and that was even before his doctorate.  Students will be given the opportunity to try out what underclassmen fear will become the new dress code.  We will take photos to commemorate the event.

But before that we have the small matter of this Thursday, when we will try this whole Zoom thing again.  The theme for this session will be the miracles of Jesus.  It will be a miracle if I can get everything to go as I have planned, but even more of a miracle if I can get that blasted song out of my head.

Stay healthy and safe, Zoomers!

A.M.D.G.