What Can We Learn From This? Mr. Brennan Delivers the Opening of Spring Term Hall Remotely

This morning’s Hall felt and sounded quite different from Roxbury Latin’s usual “welcome back” address. Rousmaniere Hall—typically bursting with energy, song, and the creaking of wooden chairs—had only two occupants: Headmaster Kerry Brennan, and Director of Digital and Graphic Design, Marcus Miller. Mr. Miller filmed Headmaster Brennan as he delivered RL’s first ever virtual Hall, welcoming students and faculty “back” after the school’s two-week spring break. Due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, being back-to-school looks and feels different, as well. On March 30, faculty and students launched into RL’s remote teaching and learning plan. As we strive to keep our students, faculty, staff, and community safe, by moving to this virtual setting, we are all missing the opportunity to be together in the same room. However, our resolve is strong, our community is alive and well, and we are committed to being creative in order to “gather.” This morning we did so in Rousmaniere so that, together, we could celebrate our health and the “return” to school. 

In his address, Headmaster Brennan spoke of this global pandemic, acknowledging the uncertainty and stress it has brought to all of our homes and hearts, but also the lessons it will provide us as we move forward. He highlighted three of these lessons that he feels most sharply. The first is grit: “How do we manage disappointment?” he asked. “How do we endure sacrifice?” These challenges require us to dig deep for a wellspring of courage, resilience, and positivity. The second is grace. Grace, he said, causes us to “be more selfless, more forgiving, and more other-oriented.” Even the small ways in which we show cooperation, patience, and joy in our homes this month, despite close quarters, are examples of grace. The final lesson is gratitude. There is much to be grateful for at this time: the health we enjoy, the courageous medical workers in our communities, employees at grocery stores, gas stations, post offices, the MBTA, police and fire stations who continue to show up to work every day—as well as all that is available to us online, to keep us connected, and entertained. Most of all, we are grateful for each other.

We invite you to join us, “in Hall.” Enjoy not only Mr. Brennan’s address but also a powerful reading by Class II president Ben Crawford, and hymns sung by RL boys. We wish everyone safety, good health, and comfort in this unprecedented and challenging time.

If you would prefer to read Headmaster Brennan’s remarks in full, you can find them here.