-Written by English Faculty Procter Smith P'05
The hallowed heights of Troy? Check. A one-eyed, man-eating giant? Check. Vengeful gods? Check. Suitors? Suitors?? Okaaay … check. COVID-19? Check.
For the first time in its 18-year run, Odyssey Day – an annual, third-form rite of passage at the end of the winter trimester – faced potential cancelation. What would Odysseus do in facing the coronavirus threat? Stay calm. Think it through. Put on a mask. Come up with a plan. And that is exactly what third-form English teachers Jessica Metcalf and Procter Smith did, with an assist from Health Services Director Beth Hammond, in adapting to campus and state-mandated protocols during the pandemic. It was an Odyssey Day like none before it: social distancing for the assembly, masking tape on the carpet to delineate performing space for students’ declamations of their passages from Homer’s Odyssey, pre-recorded performances from remote learners, and, sadly, no banquet. But a celebratory cake at evening’s end allowed everyone to leave with smiles on their faces (beneath their masks, of course) and a sense of satisfaction for a job well done.
Judges Pascale Delfosse, Denise Lancto, Thomas Severo, and Amy Wynne recognized several students for a job particularly well done. The highest award, Odyssey Day 2021 Grand Champion, was shared by Aidan Chandler and Chris Jung. A new category, Best Zoom Performance, also had two recipients: Rusty Chandler and Scott Wu. Best Vocal Expression went to Mark Sternberg. Lastly, Jack Berens and Dylan Lachaine were cited for Best Costume.
All award recipients were recognized by their teachers and acclaimed by their Sarum brothers at a ceremony on the Senior Steps during the school meeting on Saturday, April 10.