Our daughter is a sophomore in high school. She loves school and all of the things that school has to offer. Friendships. Athletics. Learning- she’s never made a B and doesn’t plan to start now! Engaging with teachers and coaches. All of these things were ripped away from her and countless teens just like her in the effort to control the spread of COVID-19.
We moved into virtual learning- same as the rest of the country. Her history teacher sent an interesting and relevant assignment. She asked students to write about their experiences throughout this pandemic. They’re genuinely living history, and their writings will serve as primary sources for the future. I asked my daughter if I could share her diary here, and she agreed. She chose to write weekly- starting with this post- Volume 1.
Week of March 9:
This was our final week of school before our school went onto a week break called Spring Break. Grades were all due, parent-teacher conferences were happening, and our district had Friday the 13th off to start the break early. It was a fairly easy week. Most of us students looked forward to it. Teachers were busy turning in grades, we didn’t get much work, and all our minds were already focused on the break that was about to start. Around Wednesday, I started hearing things from my teachers about getting an extended break because of a virus and that we may have to do some work at home. All of us students at the time thought, “awesome- another week off!” Just what every high schooler wants. I thought it would mean more time of hanging out with friends and less school. Although I was having those thoughts, I didn’t really think back on the idea seriously. I really didn’t think it would happen. I had been seeing memes and hearing jokes of the virus, but never did it cross my mind I would be affected and have to miss school because of it.
Thursday comes around and starts as a normal day for me. Suddenly the reality of the virus hit me all in this day- as best it could for not really understanding what it all meant. Things were being canceled left and right on this day. My DECA State Competition that was supposed to happen on March 22-24 in Kansas City, Missouri, was canceled. My regional volleyball tournament that was supposed to happen March 14-15 in Lawrence, Kansas, was postponed. My national qualifier volleyball tournament that was supposed to happen on April 3-5 was postponed. My Foreign Language Field Day that was supposed to happen March 13 got canceled as well. That final cancelation really hit me because it was supposed to be at my school THE NEXT DAY- and it was canceled. It hit me right then during that announcement that this was serious.
That day at my lunch table, we were talking about the idea of what would happen if we didn’t come back. I run track, and some of my friends do it, too. We were all talking about the possibility of not running in a single meet this year. Still, we didn’t really think this was going to last long; it was still a joke at this point. As the wild Thursday before break ended, my friends and I all wondered if that would be the last day we would be in the school as Sophomores as we walked out.