As each school, district, and state deals with the health crises raging across the country, NEHS sends thoughts of care and concern to each of you. Tackling education via online learning is a challenge in the best of circumstances, let alone having such a protocol thrust on schools so quickly. All anyone can do is try to do their best, with grace and patience.
Some developments for NEHS chapters to know:
- The Advisory Council of National English Honor Society will be sending an email to all applicants for the NEHS scholarships providing an update on the status of the applications, the reviews, and decisions. We want to make sure you are aware that NEHS, due to the COVID-19 health crisis, will be suspending announcements about any scholarship awards at this time. All award funds will be held for distribution to the colleges or universities in the fall. Thank you for your understanding.
- We understand that holding inductions, recruiting new members, and paying fees is going to be a major challenge in the coming weeks and months. No chapters will be penalized for missed payment deadlines.
- Because the financial picture of NEHS is unclear at this time, we temporarily will be suspending the availability of all grants and awards. Any applications currently submitted for consideration will be evaluated, but no new applications for project grants, service awards, summer study award, outstanding chapter advisor, or outstanding chapters will be accepted.
- We will honor our commitment to the poetry challenge that has been so successful this year; outstanding poetry submissions honored throughout the year will be re-evaluated by the Advisory Council in April and monetary awards will be sent.
- The Advisory Council is working on the identification of the common reader for 2020-2021; an announcement will be made by April 1, 2020.
I’m reminded today of a favorite poem by Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese.” We all need to hold each other, as Emily Dickinson wrote, “tenderly.” Be safe.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.