A Toast From the Class of 2019

The High School Faculty has ended each week of distance learning with a brief organizational meeting, and, when the work day is done at 4:01, a toast.  It is hard to explain to those who haven’t seen it firsthand how hard EAB Teachers have worked to ensure that learning continues during the coronavirus pandemic and the toast has become a wonderful “tradition” that has allowed us to celebrate each other and end the week with a shared laugh.  

One week our Irish colleagues gave the toast.  Another it was the English.  On another Friday, the EAB Board of Directors joined the meeting to toast our teachers. 

As one would expect, the Brazilians were the first to introduce music, video and dance to the toast with Tom Jobim’s “The Wave”. To follow up, Mr. Blanton and Mr. Edelson used the theme song of “The Golden Girls” to frame their toast. The next week, the first year teachers did a rendition of “Hangin Tough” by The New Kids on the Block.  

Though all of the toasts have been meaningful, funny, and beautiful testaments to the bond shared by the EAB Community, on Friday, May 15, something happened that took our collective breath away.  

At the suggestion of a faculty member, I invited two members of the Class of 2019, Yasmin and Malik Abbas, to join our meeting and give a toast of thanks to their former teachers.  I was excited to see Yasmin and Malik and knew that my colleagues would be as well.  It was going to be a good toast.  

As the meeting neared its end and the time for the toast arrived, I saw Malik and Yasmin enter the Zoom waiting room.  To my surprise, I saw another member of the Class of 2019 enter as well.  I let them in, and, as expected, everyone was thrilled to see their former students.  What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was that as I listened to Yasmin and Malik I kept seeing familiar names, names of members of the Class of 2019, entering the Zoom waiting room.  

Unbeknownst to me, in the time between when I asked Yasmin and Malik to give the toast, they had contacted their classmates and invited them to the toast as well.  And they came.  They came from Europe and Asia, from the Middle East and the United States, from São Paulo and Brasilia. All in all, well over half of the class showed up to demonstrate their appreciation for the HS Faculty from EAB. 

The toasts usually last five minutes and then everyone begins their weekend.  Last Friday, the toast lasted much, much longer as the Faculty laughed and reminisced about our shared experiences as Bulls. I left after 30 minutes to have dinner with my family but kept the meeting open so others could stay on.  When I returned an hour later I was surprised to see a number of the students still on the Zoom call.  They just didn’t want their time together to end. 

We believe that we have a special community at EAB. It’s hard to miss the warmth and care that we have for each other.  Every once in a while, however, something happens that confirms all that we believe about who we are and the truly wonderful nature of the EAB Community.  The toast from the Class of 2019 was one of those moments and I thank them for taking the time to return to their school and brighten the lives of their teachers.  

As I have said many times in my years at EAB, it is always a great time to be a Bull.   

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