By L. Kincaid Holmes

MIDDLEBORO, Massachusetts – Principia students redefined the meaning of Spring Break this week, as their plans of palm trees and beaches dissolved into such things as sewing machines and cookbooks when the college sent them home because of the pandemic.

The Pilot checked in with 12 students this week to see what break has held for them at home.

Road trip in a Prius low-rider
Rachel and Matthew McLeod-Warrick hauled their Principia belongings home in an overloaded Prius. Photo courtesy of Sam Hills

In a 23-hour-long journey across nine states, in his sister’s super-packed Prius that transformed into a lowrider with the weight, senior Sam Hills, drove sophomore Rachel McLeod-Warrick and her older brother, senior Matthew, back to Cape Cod, Massachusetts last weekend. [Editor’s note: This paragraph has been corrected to include the driver.]

Since being home, Rachel says she has devoted her time to chilly, daily walks on the beach, and on a yummier note, “baking [her] way through the Great British Baking Show cookbook.” Her top pick so far has been the pistachio cookies she made for St. Patrick’s Day.

Along with prepping for remote classes to start March 30, Rachel is familiarizing herself with the bird species on the Cape for her ornithology class and is excited to be able to stay and study here during the bird migration season.

Cookie-baking live stream
Kip Wadsworth livestreams his Spring Break baking on Instagram (@general_kipnobi)
Photo courtesy of Kip Wadsworth

On the opposite coast, in Carmel, California, junior Kip Wadsworth, is spending his Spring Break in lockdown at his home. Kip went back and forth on how he would travel home, but decided it would be better to drive the 32 hours back to Carmel from Elsah, with his cousin, Jackson Williams, a sophomore. It took them three days and two nights.

During his time at home, he has begun livestreaming his cooking skills on his Instagram story (@general_kipnobi), as well as taking care of his eight frogs, one dog and one cat.

Due to California’s “shelter in place” mandate, Kip has been surrounded by his family.

Like Rachel, Kip is also in ornithology class and is looking forward to his study and refamiliarizing himself with the bird species in his hometown and surrounding area.

Kip explains how he’s been coping. “The seeming hysteria of the virus can be daunting and scary,” says Kip. “But you have to keep your thought above it. It’s like an angry sea and you have to keep your boat afloat.” He adds that he holds steadfast to Mrs. Eddy’s idea of being “clad in the panoply of Love.”

Nothing to do in shuttered Santa Fe
Pandemic or not, Boone Steele (center) and his girlfirend Kali Wilson (left) and friend Jacob Saenz headed to Santa Fe where they found little to nothing to do. Photo Courtesy of Boone Steele

Sophomore, Boone Steele, decided to follow through on his planned Spring Break in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his girlfriend Kali Wilson and friend, sophomore, Jacob Saenz. While there were no nerves about the trip prior to leaving, he says, when they arrived, everything was closed, and the group quickly ran out of things to do.

The metaphysical idea that Boone has been working with comes from his favorite page of Science and Health (p. 66). He reminds himself that “trials are proof of God’s care” and that this is just another trial that we are fully equipped for.

Making scrunchies for Howard
At home with her sewing machine in Moore, South Carolina, Rachael Ostheim is creating for her Howard sisters. Photo courtesy of Rachael Ostheim

Junior Rachael Ostheim of Moore, South Carolina, is settling back in at home. During this time, she has been finding things she can be doing at home, such as sewing and crocheting. She has started a beautiful throw blanket and has two more balls of yarn to finish it. She also has begun sewing scrunchies for all the women in Howard from fabric that she has found.

Since being at home, Rachael was able to celebrate her 21st birthday with a dinner out with her family.

Amarillo or bust? It was bust
Sophomores Clark Davidson and Olivia Denson didn’t make it to his home in Amarillo, but spent the first week of break, together, at her home in St. Louis. Photo courtesy of Olivia Denson

 Plans to drive down with sophomore, Clark Davidson, to his home in Amarillo, Texas fell through for Olivia Denson, a sophomore, because she decided it was best to stay in St. Louis. Clark stayed with her for just over a week before heading home.

Olivia made the decision to stay in St. Louis so she could be with her sister and family.

Olivia says she has been working with the metaphysical idea that “we can spread Love and all of God’s qualities and spread healing.” She adds, “the fear is diminished by God’s Love that we give to others and ourselves and that by reminding ourselves what the Truth is, then we are automatically going to be blessing everyone else in our community and our family and the world.”

Pandemic nor hurricane takes the tarnish off Bahamas home
Aurora Muller’s family home in the Bahamas is welcome relief to her. Photo courtesy of Aurora Muller

Senior, Aurora Muller, is feeling grateful to be at home in the Bahamas, surrounded by her family and feeling of their unconditional love. While Spring Break changed from the beach time to house time, she says “I feel like I am now in the right mindset to do what is required of me regarding my academics.”

 It would seem idyllic to be able to spend a vacation break in the Bahamas. But the circumstances of this school year’s breaks for Bahamian Aurora Muller have not been good. During Christmas vacation, she went home to her island nation that had been devastated by Hurricane Dorian in September. Now she has gone home under the cloud of a global catastrophe.

She is feeling grateful to be at home in the Bahama’s, surrounded by her family and feeling of their unconditional love. And it has allowed the feeling of “loneliness I feel on campus,” to diminish.

Aurora has been thinking a lot on the metaphysical aspects of this trial, and notes that “we are all God’s children. We are a family, every continent. My belief is that we love each other and stop giving this nothing attention. That will take its power away and we can see the world for what it is, God’s perfect kingdom.” She says she is standing strong with the idea that “everything is right in God’s kingdom,” something we can all declare for ourselves and the world.

Lying low on a high mountain with Roscoe
No social distancing necessary with Roscoe, Jake Smith’s bearded collie in Golden, Colorado. Photo courtesy of Jake Smith

And at the top of the world in the Rockies, sophomore Jake Smith has been exercising his social distancing skills at home on a mountain in Golden, Colorado. He says that trying to get to town has been a bit unimaginable beside the necessity of grocery shopping. So he has been lying low with his family, playing with his dog, listening to podcasts, and playing video games.

One concern Jake expresses about remote classes that start March 30 is the lack of knowledge surrounding the learning management platform, Canvas, and the worry about how professors will be able to navigate the technological world of remote schooling.

Image courtesy of Sophie Hills