Taking Care of Busyness

After a full Senior Exhibitions weekend, a little time to relax.
Any Thacher student can tell you that each grade at CdeP entails its own distinct set of duties and roles, but rarely is the division of labor more distinct than it was the last weekend in April as each class pursued separate—and very full—agendas. Which is probably why Monday’s surprise school holiday was so welcome.

For the seniors, the focus was on Senior Exhibitions, a graduation requirement that had each of them delving deeply into a chosen topic and presenting what they learned to the community. After months of researching and documenting their topics, and weeks of planning and rehearsing their presentations, the seniors took their places at the podium, and took the applause that followed. This year’s lineup ranged from the topical (Pirates) to the edible (Bread Making); from the aromatic (Fragrances) to the acrobatic (Aerial Dance); and from the obstetric (Midwifery and Home Birth) to the esoteric (Math: Invented or Discovered?). Friends and families, faculty members and classmates filled the seats as the seniors dazzled and informed their audiences. (Senior Exhibition photo album.)

Juniors, well aware that their turn will come next, took mental notes as they played a major logistical role in the presentations, pairing with seniors to record attendance and provide support with everything from PowerPoint to props. Like all underclassmen, juniors were also required to attend nine presentations.

Meanwhile, the sophomores (in addition to taking in their quota of Senior Exes) took to the tennis courts of Ojai as “ballbirls” at the 109th Ojai Tennis Tournament. Thacher has a long history of involvement in this annual event, which was founded by William L. Thacher, Sherman’s brother. Coordination of the ballbirls, a logistical Rubik’s Cube of a task, was ably assumed by Ms. Meyer and Mr. Fagan. After a couple of hours of training with Mr. Fagan over the preceding week, the 10th-graders were shuttled throughout the weekend to and from Ojai’s Libbey Park, where they kept the servers serving, kept the game score on the court, kept their faces slathered with sunscreen, helped out in other ways behind the scenes, and enjoyed an up-close view of the top competition in this venerable Ojai institution.

Meanwhile, the freshmen were all about blue, green, and orange as they and their riding teams honed skills and racked up points in anticipation of Big Gymkhana, which is just around the corner (May 9). On top of that, those who have chosen to play a sport in addition to riding can often be seen rushing from the barns to the athletic fields whenever the opportunity arises, pulling on their numbered jerseys as they go.

With everybody running in these different directions, one might easily have overlooked the recent arrival of healthy, 8 pound, 6 ounce Aurora Thacker McGowan to Susannah (who is doing well) and Mike McGowan (who is chair of the History Department). The blessed event did not escape the notice of big brother Javi or of School Chair Joshua Jackson, who was quick to remind Dean of Students Sabina McMahon that longstanding tradition obligates the School to mark the arrival of this freshest fac-brat with a School Holiday. The dean could not disagree, and here is an excerpt from Josh's rhyming holiday announcement to fellow Toads:
Hope you enjoyed the Senior Exes, it’ll be your turn someday
The key is presenting things in every possible way

So here is your reward for a week well spent
A smile, a thank you, and some down time to vent.
And so they did, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors sharing equally in a well-deserved respite that included a dance on Sunday night, town runs on Monday, and, for those so inclined, a rare opportunity to do nothing at all.

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