Class of 2020 Reflections on the Unveiling of Their Abi-Monument

Our 12th school year took an unexpected turn in March 2020 with the Covid lockdown. The lockdown only affected a fraction of our senior year, but some of the events that were important to us as high school graduates happened precisely during this time. We were only able to take our oral Abitur exams with a special permission and a few days in advance we didn't know whether, where, and how the exams could take place. Our graduation, which traditionally takes place in two parts at GISW, had to be reduced to one in-person event in a small group on the parking lot and a zoom event - two celebrations that were still wonderful. Unfortunately, our prom could not take place at all.  The end of our school career was of course marked by the joy of having passed the Abitur, but also by uncertainty and all sorts of changes.

The slogan on the back of this monument sums up this special situation in which our class found themselves towards the end of our school career: "Distanced by COVID19 - United as Class of 2020".  Because, although we had to struggle with a lot of technical and organizational difficulties at the beginning, both our teachers and we quickly learned to deal with the strange situation and to make the best of it. Just as Covid-19 will always stay in our head as a decisive event, we will not forget how we have mastered the Abitur by being “united”, learning from each other, and helping each other.

We have also decided to clearly display this unusual Abitur period using Covid virus replicas as zeros in 2020.

Our school career was of course much more than just Covid-19.  As a small class with just 22 students, everyone knew each other very well. We did a lot together, played sports, partied, and laughed. Over the years we have had the opportunity to develop from young people with a huge variety of backgrounds and nationalities to open-minded young adults with diverse interests and talents. This academic and personal development is symbolically represented by the ascending shape of the monument.

Ferdinand Rother & Manolo Blaufuß (Class of 2020)

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