On Tuesday we opened for the 2009-10 school year and the students and families rolled in. I think the piece I enjoyed most about yesterday was how students greeted each other – openly, with huge smiles, warm hugs, and lots of “OMG! I am so psyched to see you!” They shared stories about their summers, showed off tans and well earned muscles. While some students returned with images still in full function (some scraggily beards, some piercings), others opted for the basic Hyde expectation of presenting oneself with the purpose of making a lasting impression: cleanly shaven, appropriately dressed, warm and genuine greetings to all.
We also had new students show up to Hyde for the first time. Most looked nervous and a bit overwhelmed at the idea of being dropped off, many for their first time ever. They could be found later hanging out with room and wing mates, starting the sometimes challenging process of making new connections. By dinner however most were smiling, getting to know new friends, adjusting to being away from home and among a different community.
Parents arrived and helped to move students through the registration process, checking off boxes, signing forms, greeting various faculty and staff. Many of the parents seemed to be smiling with the mixed emotions of the end of summer and the departure of their children, knowing they will be missed yet trusting in the growth ahead. Some cried as they wished their young ones well, others petitioned to find more friends to help with the unloading.
We closed our day with the annual Hyde tradition of ‘introductions’ where every member of the community stands and shares their name, age, year at Hyde, number of years attending, and home town. Students and faculty were upbeat and excited. We are off to a good start. Opening day was packed with the smiles and greetings, setting the tone for the year to come.