Walking into the gym on Friday night you would be greeted by the sounds of laughter, music and the smell of popcorn lingering in the air.
On February 5 the seniors were able to come together for one of the first school sponsored events specifically for the class of 2021. SJM’s Senior Movie Night was set up by Kimberly Hodges and ASB to help give the seniors a class specific event in this unprecedented year. Seniors were invited to RSVP for their spot to a senior only showing of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off through a Google Form in January. All seniors who were eligible and RSVPed were able to head to the gym, bringing a lawn chair or blanket, on February 5 in spirit wear to view the movie.
Precautions against the pandemic were not ignored in the place of fun, instead a balance was reached between letting students talk and enjoy the night while also making sure it was safe for all in attendance. Temperature checks were taken at the door, hand sanitizer was readily available, and masks were required throughout the night. Not only that, but attendees were instructed to place their lawns chairs and blankets they brought six feet apart with staff ensuring this took place.
Outside food and drinks were not allowed, instead concession snacks were provided free of charge. The assortment of free food and drinks included water, several types of chips, sour patch (kids and watermelon), chocolate candy bars, and the main attraction of bags of popcorn. Looking at the crowd before the movie began the majority of the seniors were munching on these delicious snacks.
While the movie choice was part of the reason people attended, the main drive seems to be the other students in attendance.
“I went to the movie night to hang out with and see friends I do not see that often because of the new schedule” said Christian Valdez, adding “and because of the movie of course.”
Fellow senior Ellie Luchini felt largely the same.
“I went because I wanted to be able to do a senior-only event and hang out with my friends in a safe environment.”
Senior Lareina Torres was more somber in her motivation as she wanted to spend time with her fellow classmates since “it might be the last thing we all do together.”
Some of the teachers in attendance to help keep students socially distanced had other motivations. Athletic Director Stephen Ferdinandi joked “I smelled popcorn.”
Grace Robinson was happy to see the event going on saying “I am excited to see students coming together to watch a movie and being able to socialize with each other again.”
Movie night was a success. Managing to meld both fun and safety for those who came and bringing some hope back to a senior class that has missed out on some of the most iconic senior year activities. Hopefully, Senior Movie Night was only a preview of bigger and better things to come for the senior class of 2021.