Faculty and Students Dress Up in Live Solar Eclipse Demonstration at All-School Meeting

Serafina Shin-von Nordenflycht ’25 gazes up at the solar eclipse on HOSD.

Three celestial bodies descended to last Friday’s All-School Meeting (ASM) as Caroline Odden and José Manuel Zorrilla Matilla, Instructors in Physics, presented on solar eclipses in preparation for the eclipse on April 8. On stage, Odden used Stephanie Curci, Instructor in English, Winston-Hughes Wall ’25, and Yasmine Tazi ’24, dressed up as the Moon, the Sun, and the Earth, respectively, to demonstrate the planetary configuration during a solar eclipse.

During the ASM, Zorrilla asked questions to the student body, passing around a microphone for students to respond. Maya Rogers ’25 pointed out how the audience engagement made the ASM significantly more enjoyable and entertaining.

“I thought it was just going to be a boring lecture about physics and things I wouldn’t understand, but it was something that we could all understand. It was especially funny because we had people who dressed up, [and] think the audience engagement was good. [Dr.] Zorrilla asked questions and had people move the Moon,” said Rogers.

Rogers also pointed out that the ASM was made even more exciting by Head of School Dr. Raynard Kington’s declaration of Head of School Day. Although it was partially expected, she still noted how the moment of announcement was filled with energy.

“They planned out the Head of School Day almost perfectly. Someone asked the question about ‘Will we have time to watch the eclipse?’ and then Dr. Kington went up. I think that was very funny. I think it was expected… There are always rumors before… but it was still a nice surprise,” said Rogers.

David O’Niell ’26 described how this particular ASM was informative yet also quick to the point and entertaining. He talked about how the interactive elements of the faculty and the student body helping explain the ideas shared in the ASM made it more engaging and fun to watch.

“[The ASM] was pretty cool. I liked the costumes, and it was short and to the point while being informative, which I appreciated. I mean obviously, the Head of School Day announcement got the crowd going, but I thought the talk about the eclipse was very informative. It introduced some information that I hadn’t known before, and since the eclipse is a pretty rare event. I think it was good to get to know a little more about it before it came out,” said O’Neill.

Aside from the science behind the eclipse, Zorrilla made a point to encourage students to watch it instead of going about their day-to-day lives. He highlighted the rarity of solar eclipses, and how seeing one was possibly a once in a lifetime experience.

“If you were to wait for the next eclipse that was to be like this one, you would have to wait until the year 2079. By then you should all have graduated. But, past that, the reason I think you should watch [the eclipse] is because they actually [help us] make connections. It gives you a sense of scale and it gives you a sense of how far things are, allowing us to feel closer as a community” said Zorrilla.

Philip Jeong ’27 also noted the different ways the eclipse brings people together, drawing from both his and his peers’ experiences. Jeong, who was unaware of the looming eclipse, highlighted the effectiveness of the ASM in informing students. As a student who was inspired to watch it, he encouraged other students to appreciate the rare moment.

“[Since] the solar eclipse is a global event, all sorts of people can witness it, transcending the language, province, and cultural borders that would normally separate people. I also think this eclipse encourages travel because a lot of my friends are traveling to see the eclipse… Just like the speaker mentioned, this eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and to be alive in such a period where we can witness this astronomical event is such a blessing. I think students should take advantage of that,” said Jeong.

He continued, “I think this event will be remembered as a time of connecting with friends in a low-stress environment, especially because it’s Head of School Day. I feel like, in 50 years when I watch a solar eclipse like this again, I’ll remember the friends that I watched it with.”