With the switch to distance learning impacting most areas of academic and social life last March, George School students who belong to the Argo club still worked together to publish the Spring/Summer 2020 edition of Argo, the campus arts and literature magazine.
When the news hit over spring break that George School would be going virtual, the editors of the magazine reached out to their faculty advisor, English teacher and published author Zahra Patterson, to make clear their desire to keep the publication going. The club members went forward in holding virtual meetings according to their pre-COVID club schedule. Zahra stressed that “Argo is truly a student-run club.” Her role primarily consists of helping with “logistics from time to time.” The students kept the publication running, continuing to submit their creative pieces for the dedicated student editors and staff to review.
Some of the student work in this particular edition address the pandemic directly, while others were more characteristic fare for the magazine. “I think the desire to continue holding club meetings is in itself a profound response to the pandemic,” said Zahra. In this time of physical distance, the magazine helps fulfill students’ desire to maintain a connection with their peers. As Argo is one of the oldest clubs at George School, it also gives its student editors a sense of responsibility and much-needed continuity.
The young Argo staff is keenly aware of the importance of art and literature in times of upheaval. In a letter included with the edition, the editors write: “It may feel overwhelming or scary to be thrown into such an uncertain state. But if our actions will float on the perpetual wave of time, it is your choice what to write on the message in the bottle. Then in a few sentences, we will leave you, but there is no need to be afraid, for the magazine holds your hand tightly through its journey.”