Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mid-Term Report Card - Winter 2009-2010

To the Great Class of 1969:

Within hours of dismissal for winter recess, a fire broke out in the laundry room below the south "bubble" in the Dining Hall which filled the entire building with smoke and required the assistance of local fire departments to subdue. For those of you who attended the Reunion, the affected area is where a number of us had breakfast on Sunday. For those who weren't there, the photo to the left from The Library of Congress may refresh your memory. In my mind, the alcove is one of the most pleasing architectural features of the room.

Although the extent of the damage was not immediately known, the Academy has indicated that it expects to be back in service when the students return on January 4th. You can see photos of the fire by going to Flickr.

I seem to have underestimated the extent to which Deerfield had been spared the H1N1 flu when I last wrote. Although the Academy is reporting on its website that Deerfield has had just a handful of students per week experiencing flu-like illness, the numbers seem to be adding up with The Scroll reporting on December 15th that 122 students had been infected with “swine ’09” 25 days before Thanksgiving vacation.

Another development since I last wrote is the controversy surrounding an article in the November 11th issue of The Scroll entitled “Why We’d Rather Be Here Than Choate” which, I infer from the reaction it generated, touched a raw nerve among some, including no less than Mr. Merriam '43 who took the time to write a Letter to the Editor. I haven't seen the offending text, however, at least two mea culpas have appeared online.

Todd Stone had a showing of his post 9-11 art in New York earlier this month on the coldest night of the year but Peter Bernstein, Tom O'Gara and I all attended and were very impressed with his work. You can see some of what he had on display by going to Downtown Rising and Boomtown.

Nearly a year has passed since the world as we know it nearly ended. This would be a good time to acknowledge that worse did not come to worst and help my successor Tom Ehrgood with a gift to Annual Support before year-end.

Best wishes to all for 2010.