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Finding Value in Tradition

Spring Parents’ Weekend was filled with traditional events, such as classes, athletic games, and a variety of artistic performances. Not everything remained the same, however, and perhaps the most noticeable change to the weekend’s events was the Investiture Ceremony that replaced the All-School Sing. With students and alumni holding lit candles as they sang and speeches being made by numerous individuals, the Investiture Ceremony brought formality to the event, making it resemble the formal event that took place during Mr. Boyden’s time. Yet during the Boyden era, students gathered on a regular basis to sing all of the school songs, making the songs a regular part of Deerfield life, instead of just an annual event. Today, students are not nearly as connected to the songs as are the alumni who return each year to participate in the event. While we may want to revive the event, adding solemnity and candles is not necessarily the answer. Perhaps we should start with the songs themselves. Alternate the songs sung at school meeting so that when spring Parents’ Weekend rolls around, there is no need to host rehearsals to learn and instill meaning into the songs. Then, the songs will truly be a part of Deerfield’s traditional culture.

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