Each year, YISS high school holds a week-long event to focus on spiritual and character development called Spiritual/Special Emphasis Week. This year, on February 23-26, the high school students participated in various activities and special assemblies. For chapel students, the theme of the week was “Love God, Love Others,” and for Ossembly students, the theme was “Analog Life and the Art of Journaling.” Due to students in hybrid-learning, the sessions were held both virtually and in-person.
The chapel students spent the week hearing about God’s love for us and the greatest commandment, to love God and others, during Spiritual Emphasis Week. During this annual event, students listened to engaging speakers as they unpacked a wide range of Biblical stories related to loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, strength, and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Whether in the auditorium or online, students were invited to praise God, listen to the guest speakers, and reflect with their peers on what it might look like to love God and love others.
This year’s Ossembly sessions were prepared by Mr. Bingaman. Each student could claim their own notebook to use to put different journaling ideas into immediate practice. Different ideas came in the form of online video presentations: how to track progress and goals, how to draw to learn more, and even how to sketch superhero figures! Each session was tied to a big idea and a “Journal from History.” Emily Dickinson, for example, not only kept and bound her own handwritten poems but also collected plants and flowers which were pressed into journals as a personal herbarium. The analog life is a lifestyle where lasting and durable technologies--like a journal, or a book!--are used regularly in place of digital technologies which rely heavily on electricity and internet access. While SEW was affected by pandemic restrictions this year, hopefully, the idea of an analog life gave students inspiration on ways to thrive during this time!