The Bat: The Panic, the Problem Solving, and the Perseverance


Katie Bryan, Writer

On the first day of school one always expects something to go wrong. Whether that be, forgetting something or not remembering people’s names. This year, it’s safe to say that no one could have predicted what actually happened: a bat. 

Students were walking to and from their early-period classes when they were rerouted because of a commotion in the hall. Many people did not see it at first, for it was only a small black lump on the ceiling. But once adults such as Ryan Wood, the upper-school History teacher, Kathleen Martin, the College Guidance Counselor, and Bill Miller, the Superintendent of Grounds were alerted, things were under control. Wood recounted his first knowledge of the bat: “A sophomore came into my room, yelling that there was a bat on the ceiling. At first, I didn’t think she was serious. I thought she meant a baseball bat, which was also confusing.” 

A popular question would be, how do you get a bat off of a ceiling? Well, these faculty members saved it with only three tools: A broom, a recycling can, and a cardboard box lid. This extraordinary team each fit into their roles respectively, Wood: The Muscles, Martin: The Supervisor, and Miller: The Strategist. 

Wood held the recycling can up to the ceiling while Miller tried to guide the bat with the broom and the lid. They found the broom to be most helpful in getting the bat unstuck from the ceiling, and into the empty recycling bin. Then, once the bat was in the recycling bin the cardboard lid was used to contain it. 

The crowd of kids and teachers erupted into a round of applause as Wood carried the bat from the hallway back into his classroom where he released the bat through the window and towards the woods. The bat flew gracefully away; a symbol of prosperity for the coming school year. 

When asked about how he felt during this rollercoaster of a morning Wood said, “I was never scared. Doubtful, maybe, but never afraid. You know, I didn’t expect to walk into work and save a bat but I’m glad I did.” 

When Martin was asked about the bat, the first words out of her mouth were, “It was very cute.” Martin had multiple roles in this endeavor, not only was she the supervisor during the actual rescue but while Wood went to get backup she stayed with the bat. When asked to describe her heroic deed she said “I stood in the hallway and kept the kids away from the bat and the bat away from the kids.” 

The students were also part of the Liberation of the Bat. Many of them gathered on either side of the hallway to watch their role models heroically save the day. In anticipation of the rescue, a couple of students were talking about naming the bat, and they decided on the gender-neutral, “Bean”. Esther Adebi ’24 described her first interaction with the bat to be joyful, she described her internal thoughts as, “Oh! It’s a bat. Look at its cute little eyes!”

Confirmation that Martin had done her job correctly, Adebi said, “The people standing around were told not to be within 6 feet of the bat.” 

It may seem a little strange that a bat was a good omen on the first day, but it was! Kids got a break in their schedule, teachers got to show off their problem-solving skills, and a bat got to get a taste of the magic of a Friend’s school first day. Martin said, “I think the moral of this story is that it’s not just humans on this big green and blue planet of ours. There are many different species that need a place to live as well.”