Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies Online?

Rectory's "Distance Learning First Fridays" Get Started


On Friday, April 10th, Rectory held its first “Distance Learning First Friday.” On the first Friday of each month, Ms. Colleen O’Neil, Associate Director of Residential Life, plans an all-school activity to foster community and connection between boarding and day students. This particular “First Friday” was more meaningful than ever, as the school community gathered in an online connection for the first time since having to disperse due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven students who were still on campus participated “virtually” with Rectory students and faculty who were now in their homes throughout the U.S. and abroad. We were so excited to see each other’s faces again! 

Our online activity took place using a live stream via Zoom. Led by Ms. O’Neil and Ms. Euglow, 7th-grade English teacher, students and faculty baked chocolate chip cookies in their respective locations. The activity lasted for about 90 minutes, starting with preheating our ovens to 375° Fahrenheit. Using the same recipe, which Ms. O’Neil had previously posted on Schoology, students measured and mixed as Ms. O’Neil and Ms. Euglow took us through the process step-by-step. One amusing highlight was when Mr. Bendall, Director of Residential Life and Student Counseling, put a tablespoon of vanilla, instead of just a teaspoon, in his cookie mixture. His shout, “Oh, no!” broke our silent concentration as we all worked carefully in our individual kitchens. After mixing the ingredients together, all the participants shaped their cookies as demonstrated by Mr. Long, a 9th-grade physics teacher.

This Rectory special recipe allowed everyone to make two sheets of cookies. While the cookies were baking, our community waited in front of their ovens all across the U.S., from Washington to the East Coast. Finally, with the much-anticipated beeping sound of the oven timer, participants tasted their cookies with great joy, especially Mr. Bendall, who was baking by himself for the first time. With the sweet smell of freshly-baked cookies penetrating the virtual atmosphere, and smiles brimming over our computer screens, the Zoom meeting came to a successful end. Way to go, Rectory!

Ms. O’Neil said that the “First Friday” activities will continue to occur online while our school is in session,  even though we are apart from one another. For the next one, on Friday, May 1st, a professional artist will lead us through the process of painting a picture. We encourage everyone to come together for these events, and if you have any suggestions for a “First Friday” activity, please email Ms. Colleen O’Neil. She would love to hear from you!