Laker Notes: an unexpected final semester of high school
Like many community members, I streamed the March 12 School Board meeting with the expectation that school would be canceled for about a week. I was wrong. It's been two weeks — the latter of which was "Spring Break"— and I have four more ahead of me. With few obligations aside from dog-walking and housekeeping, self-isolation has allowed me some intense time to myself.
It was this placement in a startling, escalating, indefinite situation that redefined my passions. I tucked away many of my interests for three and a half years, figuring that I'd just pick them right up when I left high school. But at home now, I have days of unpledged time. I finally have space to rekindle what I'd temporarily expelled, like reading, drawing, and running outside (keeping a conservative distance from others, to be clear).
Isolation has also redefined what it means to love others. Sharing space with my family for nearly twenty-four hours each day has reinforced the importance of patience and communication. I'm thankful for the ability to still converse with friends and extended family via my phone. The high school experience is different, but it hasn't been snuffed. I can still hear excitement about college decisions through the phone. I still have the opportunity to compete in a constitutional law tournament via Zoom. The drastic increase of FaceTime on one end and drastic decrease on the other has presented challenges, but we're navigating those challenges together. The universality of our isolation — being "alone together" — does provide some comfort.
A third effect of isolation I would be remiss to not address is a new understanding of resourcefulness. Before March, I hadn't considered that my community's stores of toilet paper or flour might be limited, but they are now. I hadn't considered that soap could become such a coveted good, but it has now. This heightened importance of necessary items has increased my self-awareness not only of my consumption, but also of my privilege; just because I can hoard doesn't mean I should.
As a student, my entire life as I know it has been largely defined by education. I see it fitting, then, that the coronavirus has given me an unconventional educational opportunity: in uncertain circumstances, awareness and kindness are critical.
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