An “Out of this World” First Day of School!


Ann Sumner Thorp

  • The solar eclipse viewing was a fun end to the summer and a great way to start off this school year. After a full day of classes, students met with their buddies around 2 p.m. to receive special glasses that would allow them to watch the eclipse while protecting their eyes. In addition to the glasses, students also received moon pies as a special treat to celebrate the event. After the tasty snack, older students guided their buddies to the softball field where they were greeted by parents, alumni, and teachers and watched the eclipse.

How do you organize an eclipse party? You planet! Dr. Scott Fritschel was instrumental in the planning of the viewing. Through extensive research and study, Dr. Fritschel made it all possible by ordering the special glasses and determining the exact time of the climax of the eclipse in Rocky Mount. Once everyone was on the field, Dr. Fritschel gave a quick summary about the eclipse. Rocky Mount was not in the line of totality, so only about 92% of the sun was covered. The last total eclipse seen in America was thirty-eight years ago in 1979, and the next one will happen in 2024, only seven years away.

While waiting for the climax, students looked at shadows cast by tree leaves which made hundreds of crescent shapes on the ground. At exactly 2:44 p.m., everyone looked up one last time to see the climax of the eclipse. This spectacular buddy event is going to be a hard one to top in years to come!