By Pritha Nag
On the 3rd of August, 2021 Ascend opened for its 11th academic year. The year started differently, with all of us joining the lens fair from our laptops through zoom. The first semester to any academic always holds prospects of what’s to come, meeting new classmates, getting settled into new classes, new teachers, new styles of learning and so much more. The year started off a bit different, online, however as the semester progressed we started going back to campus, getting a few events like Diwali to dress up, Halloween and more. So, what exactly did this semester have to offer?
On the 27th of September Grade, 9 and 10 students went back to school for the first time, since March 2020. It was the first time the MYP opened its doors back to students, and it was a significant change. However Ascend opted for a more staggered approach, with PYP and MYP students going back once a week. Following the week of October 17th, school opened thrice a week for two weeks, following that school opened four times a week, and then fully functioned 5 days a week for MYP. Every week students have to take a covid test to make sure that we all stay safe and that no one is causing anyone harm. Social distancing rules are put in place and are sometimes followed, with masks always being up, temperature checked every morning, no more than five in a lift and etc. When Ishaan Rajan who had recently joined Ascend this year in the 9th grade was asked what he though of the staggered approach and coming back to campus, this is what he had to say– The switch from online to in-person may have been a bit hard to adapt to, however, the schedule that was followed, it made coming back to school feel easier.
However, although the semester was staggered and half online and half offline we did get some great events! We got Halloween where students dressed up as anything, we saw an array of unique costumes such as pirates, cows, fairies, vampires, draculas and more! We got Diwali day where students showed up dressed in Indian traditional clothing, the fourth floor was lit up with vibrant colours and elegant clothing. The DP presented to us their TOK (Theory of Knowledge) presentations, and what they had been working on as an exhibition. All MYP grades went to see it and all of them loved it! Furthermore, the long-awaited DP fest arrived on the second to last day of the semester, with parents visiting Ascend for the first time in years. Blah blah about the DP fest. So, although the semester started a bit later, and in a different way than all of us imagined, we still got some of the special events and days that make school just that bit more memorable!
As the semester started online, and only since early October did the MYP start frequently going back, many events such as parent night, a concert, photo day and more got cancelled. However, as the second semester is just around the corner, and if all goes well, some events that we could potenially get is the infamous sports day, project day, art shows, concerts, GPSF (Grandparents and Special Friends Day) and more! When Kavya Hebbar was asked what she was looking forward to about the upcoming semester this is what she had to say.
Living in a pandemic always shows uncertainty even at times when you think normal is returning, we know better and so does the pandemic. The second semester is hoped and said to be started physically, and although all of us hope it to stay that way with Covid one can really never tell. However, these past few months slowly coming back to school, seeing familiar faces, reconnecting with people, sitting at desks, eating lunch together has shown us to enjoy what we have right now and not to worry too much about the future. The second semester holds a lot, and let’s hope it’s a fun, exciting and academically rewarding for all of us!