Throughout Middlesex’s online program this spring, the community has continually found new ways to cultivate its spirit of collaboration and relationship-building. Our small, dynamic classes are meeting three times a week for synchronous online learning, allowing our students to engage intellectually with each other and their teachers. Our vibrant (and virtual) extracurricular program, meanwhile, bolsters the classroom experience and is fueled by our community’s seemingly infinite well of energy, creativity, and goodwill. As Head of School David Beare writes, the online version of Middlesex…
…is very much Middlesex: classes, advisor meetings, fitness challenges within teams, affinity groups, clubs, chapel, performing and visual arts, high expectations for behavior (online and off-line), and scholarship. All the elements of the regular program are here, and our students have immediately embraced the format. Already, classes are humming with ideas, new articles are being written for The Anvil, and our online schoolhouse, MX Remote, is full of team workouts, playlists from the Classical Music Club, blogs, artwork, and messages from faculty and students.
The School’s cherished Chapel Program is now virtual and available to the community each Wednesday. It begins, as always, with a meditation session led by Doug Worthen ’96, followed by a message from Director of Spiritual and Ethical Education Rebecca Smedley, who introduces that week’s senior speaker. The Chapels are even made complete with a rendition of Hymn 110, “Jerusalem,” from Music Department Chair Pierson Wetzel.
Athletic teams meet weekly with their coaches to catch up, share their home workout routines, and have some fun. Our broad range of clubs and affinity groups are full of energy and enthusiasm as they meet virtually in groups big and small. The Astronomy Club gazes at the stars through our telescope that can be controlled remotely, the Visual Arts Club held a single-line drawing contest, and the STEM Symposium continues to produce captivating research presentations. New students initiatives continue to blossom even in our remote setting, as the Student Senate held its first ever online “Dorm Wars” trivia contest (Congrats, Kravis!), and the “Moments in MusicauX” project paisr student musicians and visual artists together in a series of evocative, artistic collaborations.
Connections between students and faculty continue to grow outside the classroom as well. Every student continues to have their regular, one-on-one check-ins with their faculty advisors. The Health Center offers an array of virtual health and wellness consultations, and our athletic trainer’s hold open “office hours” to help treat student-athletes. Students also have full access to customized virtual “hubs” for Equity & Inclusion, Community Service, and College Counseling.
Our time-honored plaque tradition continues even with our seniors off campus. The school has shipped seniors their incomplete plaques, along with tools needed to finish their carvings, and plaque instructor Laura Darby McNally ’80 is available for video consultation. Other seniors, meanwhile, have opted to hang their plaques in their unfinished states, a powerful and enduring reflection of this unique time in history.
For a visual glimpse of MX Online, scroll through the gallery below!