How One NHS Member Has Overcome Pandemic Related Challenges
By: Camila Nobre and Lorien Touponse
The Wethersfield High School National Honors Society, advised by Mrs. Niemiec, Mrs. Bellas, and Mr. Leone, has been around for quite awhile. Each year, the students are required to plan and implement community service projects. Due to the pandemic, this has been a challenging task.
One student, senior Kate Anzidei, worked hard to create a project that will allow her to impact the community while staying safe.
Anzidei, who has always been a kind and compassionate friend to her peers, has found a way to help her furry, four-legged friends! Her love for rescue animals inspired her to hand sew dog toys for a local animal shelter — The Connecticut Humane Society. By the end of the year, she hopes to make 30 of them.
The dog toys themselves are made of fleece. Anzidei hand sews them and each one takes approximately 45 minutes, depending on the size. She has created many different shaped toys including hearts, stars, and bones. Her hope is to create unique toys that dogs of all sizes can enjoy. Anzidei plans to hand stitch pet blankets along with the chew toys.
Anzidei said, “I wanted to think of a good way to give back to the community while being able to do it socially distant and I could also get other friends or family members involved if they were interested.”
Anzidei has always had a love for animals and has some rescue pets herself. The newest addition to her family is a small Boston Terrier named Nemo. Anzidei told us, “This poor thing came in awful condition and I felt very bad. We ended up getting him the [medical attention] he needed, so that’s why I really wanted to support the Humane Society.”
Her love of animals has influenced her to create a project to better the environment for dogs in shelters while following COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines to do so safely. Anzidei feels that there is always a clever solution to a difficult problem, and thinking outside the box allowed her to come up with this form of community service.
It is often said that helping others will make you feel good. With that in mind, if we all take a page from Kate Anzidei’s book, we can make the world a better place while improving our own lives.
For further information, visit the Connecticut Humane Society website: https://cthumane.org/
By: Krysta Szymecki and Tarsja Tibbs
Due to COVID and lockdowns around the world, students have had to participate in virtual learning. Virtual learning is a way for students to get their education without the risk of spreading the virus through computers.
Nowadays, students have options on whether they want to go to school in person, go to school completely remotely, or do both. “I also think that [virtual learning] is easier because you kind of get to work at your own pace.” Says Natali Rios, a senior at Wethersfield High School in Connecticut.
“I like that with virtual learning I can work when I want and actually use my study halls how I see fit (sleeping, reading, eating, working, etc.) instead of sitting in a classroom silently.” says Lauren Peruta, an 18-year-old senior at Wethersfield High School in Connecticut.
Learning online has been hard on everyone and many teachers have recognized that everyone's situations are different, which have benefited many students.
Senior Camille Barone said, “Something I like about online learning is how easy-going some of my teachers have been, they understand that some people have a lot on their hands right now and try to make it less stressful for us.”
Another issue some students face with online learning is the teaching strategies that are being used now. Last year, pre-Covid there were many different ways for kids to stay interested and attentive to their class, such as group projects, little games, and many more other ways. Now, there are just not many ways for teachers to keep their students involved while teaching.
Overall, both students and teachers are affected by this new way of learning. To ask students flat out if virtual learning is better or worse than in-person learning would be unfair. There are pros and cons for each student, and each person has had a unique experience with learning online.
by: Emily Sousa
While the world was dealing with the global pandemic, people found ways to entertain themselves by entering the world of fashion. With multiple social media platforms at their fingertips, tennagers spread and developed new fashion trends and styles throughout the time of COVID-19.
For many people, this pandemic and lack of human interaction was a time to focus on yourself and the things you enjoy, I know for me it was. And because of this, people wanted to try new things like the newest fashion trends. With multiple online stores and the added free time, it was the perfect time to venture out; try something new, or bring an old style back.
To get more into these fashion styles and trends during the pandemic, I interviewed Wethersfield High School juniors Alex Jara, Abbie King, and Aliza Aijaz to see what they have seen and heard about the outfits and trends of the pandemic.
Fashion is not just about the clothes you wear, it is about how it makes you feel. Fashion is a way to show the world who you are, like for Alex Jara, who said, “Fashion to me is the expression of oneself through clothing.” There are many different ways fashion can be a form of expression because there are many different styles, like for Abbie King, who said“Fashion is the style that a person chooses to dress in. There is a type of fashion that is definitely more trendy, and more stylish but fashion can be any way that a person dresses to express themself”.
There were also many trends that have happened during the pandemic, during the start of the pandemic it seemed to be making or dyeing your own clothing, Abbie King said this about this early trend “There was a lot of popularity in the making or styling your own clothes, whether through tie dye, cutting clothes or even sewing” and Alex Jara who said, “Additionally, it was popular that people during the stay at home order bleach dyed their clothing also some people embroidered Nike logos on their clothes”.
Moving towards the most recent times of the pandemic the 2000’s have been coming back, with the “thrifting aesthetic”, as said by Alex Jara becoming big, many people are thrifting clothes that are from earlier decades, mostly clothes that are inspired by the early 2000’s.
Besides the major trends of the pandemic there were also popular clothes items, and popular outfits. Some popular clothing items ranged anywhere from shoes to a print or style. Some examples from Alex Jara are “retro air Jordan’s, tennis skirt, cow print and pastels”. There were also popular outfits that everyone seemed to be trying like “blazers paired with more casual looks” as said by Alex Jara and Aliza Aijaz had this to add, “layering clothes such as; a long sleeve shirt under a short sleeve t-shirt”.
With all these fashion trends and outfits there needs to be a way to make them spread, in this day and age it is through social media. With media apps like TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube and more, it only takes one viral picture to start the newest trend. When talking about trends Abbie King states this, “When an influencer, or really anyone, posts something on their platform of them wearing something, that tends to spread, and people want to partake as well”. Another way was just boredom taking over, and you start shopping, like for Alex Jara, who said “I look at clothes online daily and because of this I am constantly seeing new trends develop”.
As these new fashion trends seem to be for the younger generation, the reason many of these trends became so popular is because “that many people have not mastered their style yet and do not know what works for them” as said by Alex Jara, it is easier to try something new while being stuck inside, away from human contact. It could also be to fit in with the world around us, fit in with your friends at school, or fit in with the community as a whole. Or as said by Abbie King “ for entertainment with the world we are in”.
It has been almost a year since the school first shut down on March 13th, since then the fashion world has grown at a rapid rate, with new trends and styles everyday. With a common theme of combining different decades and their styles with each other to get the multiple of style trends we have now. Remember to keep a look out because you do not want to miss the next go to trend.
by: Michael Schneider and Gustavo Reyes
The CIAC has announced that the winter season is back on. We are now two weeks into this winter season and teams have been practicing and even having scrimmages.
Due to the pandemic, teams have shortened their seasons and there will be no state tournament. The teams started tryouts and practices on January 19, with games as early as February 1.
The CIAC assessed each sport’s risk level for COVID-19 transmission. The only sport categorized as low-risk is swimming, all the sports considered as moderate-risk are basketball, ice hockey, gymnastics, and indoor track, and the ones considered as high-risk are wrestling, competitive cheer, and competitive dance.
Even if indoor track is considered as a moderate-risk sport CIAC recommends not holding large, multi school meets throughout the season. Even if it's not clear for an alternative option for the meets, at WHS there will be intrasquad competitions and time trials instead.
Senior captain of the hockey team Kevin Avery says, “We are all pretty excited about this upcoming season even though it’s not a normal one, at least we get one last season to remember.”
How sports have changed
This season is definitely one to remember for everyone. Practices have everyone wearing a mask and there are no scrimmages during practice till after the 1st of February.
The Central Connecticut Conference is going to be different as well. Teams will only play other teams that are close to each other geographically.
The high-risk considered sports have to be limited to have small group conditioning and non-contact skill building activities for the entire season.
After last season's abrupt end to the post season tournament, the CIAC have announced that there will not be a postseason tournament this year due to pandemic.
However, there will be some postseason experience with an inter-conference tournament. It will be a 2 game playoff between the 4 best teams so that their season still goes on.
Although this isn’t your traditional season, it at least gives students a chance to have some sort of a season.
By: Cristin Blake
Cheerleading is a fall and winter sport at Wethersfield High School, offered to any freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, and is coached by Ali Cormier.
During the seasons, athletes train their body and enhance their skills in stunting, tumbling, jumps, and remembering sideline chants and routines for halftimes at games and competitions. However, this cheer season was unlike any other due to the long lasting effects of COVID-19.
As a member of the Wethersfield High School cheer team, I have seen the challenges this fall and incoming winter season have brought due to the limitations the virus has brought to the team.
Coach Ali Cormier and senior captains Dynasty Ellis, Madeleine Day, and Julia Ward have all been working together to try and make these seasons as normal as possible. With all the new restrictions and limitations put in place throughout the season, many of things that were allowed before the virus came, are labeled as high risk now. The commitment to cheerleading has affected the girls, too.
“The pandemic did affect the girls trying out because we really truly only had two days to tryout,” says senior captain Dynasty Ellis.
Dynasty and her other fellow captains Madeleine and Julia have been trying to find easier ways to teach everything, like sideline chants, proper jump and motion technique, and the function of games for the upcoming basketball season.
I know that Wethersfield High School has a diverse community and I am a proud part of it. Here is why.
by: Fatma Bark
I was so nervous and unhappy, but excited on my first day in WHS. I was feeling so alone as everyone seemed to know each other. This feeling stuck to me until the start of the first period.
Even though I joined the school a couple of days later, I felt like everyone was ready to welcome a new student. Feeling of being welcomed is one of the most outstanding feelings that a new student is likely to experience on their first day.
I met maybe more than twenty people on my first day. All of them were smiling, asking questions and ready to offer their help to me. That feeling was like finding a new place to belong.
My thoughts about being an outsider were able to stay with me until my first ELL class. This class proved to me that WHS was full of students from all around the world and from many different backgrounds. I just met a couple of them, yet there were many others to discover.
I believe I have enough experience to make a statement about a school’s society as I have seen four high schools in total. This is what makes me different from many other students probably, but it is the same thing that makes WHS a society full of unique people.
I want to include a glimpse of my story to this article. I was a freshman at my dream high school in Turkey in 2016 until the day came and my dad told us he was fired unjustly from the bank that he worked for 16 years.
He wasn’t as sorry as we all were. He always wanted to work abroad and this gave him a space to find what he was hoping. He found a job in an international company and moved to a country that I would never imagine: India.
There was an education difference between Turkey and India. This led me to stay in Turkey one more year. Away from my parents.
To complete my sophomore year, I moved to my grandparent’s house. The time I spent in Turkey was challenging but I was able to leave Turkey, but there was something bigger needed to worry about. My life in India.
This journey was relatively harder. The need of learning a new language while taking classes in that language was very stressful. In addition to the language barrier, there was a cultural, climate and society change.
By: Dana Andrews
Physical activity is more important than ever now with the pandemic and being at home in front of a computer screen.
Students at Wethersfield High School who learn in person and remotely that are enrolled in Physical Education have great opportunities to get active.
“Remote learners engage in an at-home physical activity using an app called PLT4M, which the WHS PE staff has used to create Strength & Conditioning programs that closely resemble our in school curriculum. As for health, students complete a series of interactive online lessons via a web-based program called EverFi.” WHS Physical Education teacher, Jeffrey Russell said.
If you’re learning in person, there are many fun activities.
“Students in person get a wide range of activities that are similar to our curriculums offerings in a regular school year along with some new leisure/social games to address the social and emotional needs of our learners. Our offerings include units such as golf, archery, leisure games like corn hole & Kkan Jjam (frisbee throwing game), as well as badminton and pickleball.”
Safety is on everybody’s mind today, and it is a top priority when students are in physical education class. Limiting class sizes and sanitizing equipment are a few of the ways safety is implemented.
“All of our games and activities are spaced out while indoors or outdoors to allow for safe social distancing. Also, all of our equipment is sanitized before and after use and we try our best to limit any shared equipment.
By: David Barajas
This year has been different then most years due to the ongoing pandemic and all of the other crazy things that have occurred. Some of us are trying to get jobs this year as for some it may be their last year here. I decided to figure out how it was working during the pandemic.
Jobs these days are really important due to the shutdown. Employment is more important than ever to help struggling families as well as learning important life and employment skills.
I decided to go and find out how working during the pandemic was like, I interviewed Aaron Maher, a senior at Wethersfield High School, to find out how it was to work at a pizza restaurant in Coventry during this unprecedented time.
I decided to ask him what were some differences he noticed at work between last year and this year, He said “Less people are coming in. More deliveries and people want touchless contact for delivery”.
He also said, “We don’t dine in anymore but delivery has been out the door. People are increasingly takeout.” This isn't surprising to as people want to do as much as they can to avoid getting COVID.
However, not all is lost, as places like restaurants, grocery stores, and other employers are still looking to hire high schoolers. And while so much has changed in the past year, we can make it through together!
by: Adam Schlapfer
The Xbox Series X and the PS5 are two next generation consoles with some of the best upgrades to graphic, load times, and more.
The new consoles are available to anyone looking for the new best gaming experience, including students and even teachers at WHS.
“All of my friends are on it. I had the first one when that came out a while back,” as stated by Mr. Martin, a teacher at WHS with the Xbox Series X. It seems as though the Xbox Series X is usually bought based on the previous console they had.
While the PS5 is bought for the reason that the console has some very well known exclusive games that cannot be bought or played on any other system, which gives people an incentive to get their console. “I can't wait to see the future of the Playstation 5 as new games and updates come out,” said Jack O’leary at WHS.
But both of these consoles are at a time of which there low amounts of stock cause for quick sell outs when released into retailers.
Students and teachers are overall impressed with the performance of the next-gen consoles but have some lingering doubts about the quote on quote “Next Gen” name that comes with these consoles and not completely living up to the title.
By: Anthony Zabielski
COVID was a surprise to everyone and changed everything in the world. WHS Hockey Coach and small business owner Eric Fanelli took it like a champ.
During COVID, a lot of small businesses were shut down due to lack of business during the initial lockdown, but he powered through taking his sales to the web. By doing this he showed everyone that there was a way to beat COVID and stay afloat.
COVID affected everyone badly but a group of people that were hit hardest were the owners of small businesses. Many Owners had to shut down because they were not getting enough business.
For Eric Fanelli, his business increased because he took a new approach to selling by doing it online. His business sells new and used sports equipment so many people purchased over quarantine because sports were the only activities available to most people.
Fanelli also made some of his own masks, he realised that they would be selling like crazy so he adapted to the market. He made the masks because people were having trouble finding them due to such large demand. He made the masks from hockey socks and sold them for cheap!
When asked how he made it through COVID, he said, “It was a lot of work, but I made it happen, I was not going down without a fight.” Fanelli now has one of if not the most successful accounts on SidelineSwap. SidelineSwap is an app for selling just about anything that is sports related online.
Some advice he has for other businesses that have been struggling with sales was to find more ways to sell their products, and that there is always more than one way. He also suggested that you advertise your products/service because more exposure will help. And everyone just needs to think outside of the box.
Since COVID has made everyone's life difficult these tips are not just for business. If you are having difficulty with a task, just think outside of the box. Look at other people that have the same problems as you; Don't only look for what they are doing, look at what they are not doing. What other people are not doing might be the way for you. You could use these tips to help with your schoolwork or other tasks you have during these difficult times.
by: Adrianna Uccello and Elma Huzejrovic
The transition alone from middle school to high school can be difficult to begin with, let alone without the help of COVID. In middle school, teachers are much more lenient with you and in my opinion, middle school was all around easier. When transitioning to the high school, you can see that things are much different.
Now, with COVID being brought into the picture, school life looks much different. With some students being full remote and others participating in the hybrid schedule, there is a broad variety of how students are participating in school this year.
Not only is school different in the aspect that there are full online students and also part-time in school students, there is also the added aspect of lunches, clubs, sports, etc. being altered.
Since we are seniors this year, we got to experience the “normal” school life for three years but as for freshman this is not the case.
We had the opportunity to interview freshman Racheal Chamberland, and ask her questions regarding her transition from middle to high school during COVID-19.
When asked about how things are different from the middle school to the high school, Rachael said, “It was much different than I expected…(the middle school) is much smaller, and you have all like your four class together, and in high school you have to walk around the whole building, but like I got the building pretty much… and in high school you’re pretty much expected to do everything on your own.”
Students are able to be much more independent now especially with COVID in the mix, because half of the student body is home everyday.
When asked about the move to high school with COVID affecting how class worked, Rachael said, On a google meet, sometimes it’s hard to focus”. Students are participating in either a fully remote learning plan or a hybrid learning plan, where half the students in the school are in school on Mondays and Tuesdays, no one is in school on Wednesdays, and the other half of the student body is in school on Thursdays and Fridays.
With losing a day of school on Wednesdays, Rachael provided some pros and cons: “You lose a day of school, but it’s easier to catch up and meet with teachers because we have a lot more time.”
Students have Wednesdays at home to work on missing assignments, but it takes away from the in-class learning time students had before COVID.
When giving advice to incoming freshman for next year, Rachael said “To not be nervous, I know it’s hard because I was so nervous, and you always get nervous on the first day, but I really like the environment here, and I really enjoy being at WHS rather than middle school.”
Students and teachers are still unaware of what the next couple months will look like due to COVID, but everyone is doing the best they can given the situation!
by: Annie Klementon
The Covid-19 situation is ever changing, which means the guidelines for a safe and enjoyable high school soccer season are flexible. The WHS girls soccer program is complying with the strict precautions at every practice and game to ensure that their sport season will not be interrupted by preventable obstacles.
Masks are a necessity for all members of the WHS community, but the girls soccer program is rarely seen without them. These masks are worn upon arrival to practice or games and kept on until the event actually begins, on the bench, sideline, or bus, and as soon as the event ends.
A single player at any level is allowed two fans to home games, but no opposing fans are permitted. Low attendance at the games is not something that has impacted the level of play, but some players feel less motivated when all of their desired guests are not watching.
The beginning weeks of the season were difficult because nothing was the same as the players remembered, but over time, they learned to focus solely on the important things, like being able to have a season at all.
In regards to the sometimes annoying protocols, junior player Cindy Biraci said, “I don’t mind the extreme measures because I know that everything is just to keep us safe and playing, which is something we all want”.
The competition is not as steep as it has been in the past for this WHS team because a small league has been composed of local towns, meaning that skill level has not been taken into account. There are three games (Middletown, Maloney, and Rocky Hill) that are pretty much guaranteed wins for Wethersfield, but two other games (Berlin and Newington) are not predetermined.
Junior Varsity coach Amanda Pace said, “All of these games are opportunities for every player to get better. They are also distracting these girls from the crazy life they are currently living and allowing them to focus on something they are good at. No game is truly easy, but the less competitive games are another way to prepare for the tougher ones coming”.
At this point in the season, the girls varsity team has completed more than half of their season, with a record of seven wins and one tie. The players and staff will continue to follow the rules for the remaining four games and any tournament that is composed for the final weeks.
by: Sally Jorge
WHS is introducing a new club, Clube Português de WHS, our Portuguese Club! This club meets once a month in room 304, and is run by Mrs. Russo and Ms. Martins.
They started this club to introduce this wonderful culture to more people. They are both 100% Portuguese and want to share their knowledge, experiences, and culture with anyone that wants to learn more about it.
The first meeting was last week, Anyone who went to the meeting was able to share a little bit about themselves. Both Mrs. Russo and Ms. Martins expressed their goals and ideas for this club and wanted to cater to the students' wants and desires for this club.
In a recent Interview with Ms. Martins, a WHS spanish teacher, she said “We started this club because we want to teach people about the Portuguese language and culture. We both have personal experiences and both are fluent in the language.”
Mrs. Martins is very involved in the Portuguese community. She enjoys traveling and learning about other languages and cultures and she said “I would love for students to feel that same passion. We would love to pass on the knowledge and experience to others”.
I also had the opportunity to meet with Mrs. Russo, who is also a WHS spanish teacher. She expressed her thoughts on what the club's goals are. “The Portuguese club is open to everyone and we will explore and highlight the culture of Portugal.
Some of the interests that were expressed were food, share recipes, music, dances, celebrations, history, famous places to visit and learn basic words so you can have dialogue exchange. We want students to make connections to real life experiences and leave with something they can use in the future. I want this to be a fun, non-threatening program, where everyone can feel welcome.”
Mrs. Russo said, “I encourage everyone to get involved and to get out of their comfort zone and try something new. Be a part of the Portuguese Club and have fun! ”
You can too be a part of this club at anytime, just email Mrs. Russo or Ms. Martins and let them know you are interested in joining the club.
By: Noah Haskins and Quinn Shive
The whole world has been changed by the global pandemic and it’s undeniable that our way of living has been completely uprooted by this change. For many students, the way they go through their day to day basis is completely alien to them.
One of the biggest parts of high school are the clubs you have access to. You can join a group of likeminded people and have fun and interact with people who have the same interests as you do. At WHS in particular, we have all sorts of clubs from robotics to drama to biking and everything in between.
Nowadays, COVID-19 has changed the way students participate in these clubs. We interviewed Mr. McKinnon, the advisor of the weightlifting club, about these changes. He told us a little about his club, he said, “Weight lifting club is where any student can come and learn the proper way to strength train.”
When asked about what changes have been made due to the virus, Mr. McKinnon said, “COVID has altered how our club will operate. For one, we are going to assign lifting groups per squat rack, this way the same students will workout together each day. Also, we will be completing a self-assessment google form each day. This form allows the student to recognize if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID. During our workouts, we are required to wear masks to help prevent any spread.”
One of the clubs completely flipped on its head is our drama department, run by Mr. Roets. We asked him the biggest negative aspect of the situation that's affected his club, he told us, “Not being able to rehearse together. Due to social distancing, we have to rehearse from home.”
When asked about the participation rate this year, oddly enough they both had opposite responses with Mr. McKinnon saying, “At this time, we have not had any changes in our participation rate. The occasional absence from a student still happens if they get called into work or something comes up.”
Mr Roets had a different experience, saying, “Yes, mainly because we have to do it online and people are tired of being online”
Both clubs have had to change how they operate significantly, but it goes to show how much these clubs mean to the students and teachers, continuing to do what they love no matter the barriers in the way.
When asked about overcoming these boundaries, Mr. Roets told us, “It has pushed us to become more creative than we have ever had to be. We are releasing an episodic play instead of one large-scale production.”
Mr. McKinnon put our lives in the midst of a global pandemic best, saying, "When adversity hits, there are only two options...fold and quit because that's easy, or take it head on and get better! We teach our student-athletes to take it head on. This is a huge life lesson, and they are conquering it!”
To find more information about clubs, click this link, which brings you to the club page of the WHS Website.
By: Matthew Fletcher and Bobby Schiavone
With the Wethersfield basketball season right around the corner, starting shooting guard and senior captain Luke Latina gets ready for an exciting yet different season, he prepares to get locked into a game…with a catch.
He won’t see anyone’s full face and will enter the game with no fans in the building due to Covid-19 protocols. We asked him some questions to get his feel for what this season has to bring.
When asked about the new potential safety protocols in place, Latina said, “The CIAC is doing a great job in what they have prepared for us and making sure our season goes on as scheduled.”
He also believes that they will play every scheduled game on time with these protocols put in place.
Latina is concerned but hopeful for the culture of the locker room without fans and with masks, saying, “It will be different, I think everyone will be thankful that everyone will be able to play since they know they have a better opportunity to play.”
When he asked about not having fans, Latina said, “I think it will be a bummer to not see fans in the stands but I feel confident the other captains and I are good enough leaders to get our team where we want them, mentally and physically, the whole game and in big moments.”
Latina believes these protocols will give his team an advantage, saying, “With no outside noise and background antics, kids can have a less stressful experience on the court.”
He thinks that kids will ease into the offense and defense easier with just his team and nobody else around them.
At the end of the day, no one knows how the season will end up, but this senior captain believes in everything the CIAC has to offer for their senior season and can't wait to start playing.
By: Erica Christie
The entire world has been turned upside down, so it is no surprise that things at Wethersfield High School have changed. One of the things that has specifically changed is the new COVID-19 guidelines for the girls volleyball team.
This is my fourth and final year as a member of the program and it is definitely a season that I , and everyone else have never experienced before. And although I am sure that other participants in high school fall sports feel the same, the major thing that separates volleyball from the crowd is that coaches and players are required to wear face masks during all games and practices.
According to the CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference), “ Masks must be worn by coaches at all times…When practicing indoors masks should be worn by students if they feel they can play without distraction and are able to continue adequate respiration.”
Why does only volleyball have to wear masks but field hockey and soccer players get tonplay face covering free?
As claimed by CIAC, “Although there is infrequent close contact between opposing players involved with this sport, the fact that activities for this sport are occurring indoors and involve significant physical exertion and forceful communication with teammates, the risk for person‐to‐person spread of infectious droplets is elevated for this specific sport.”
Even though these conditions are less than ideal, when compared to not having a season at all, most of the girls on the team will happily pull the straps around their ears and get on the court.
When asked if she would rather wear a mask than not have a season, senior captain Kathleen Sullivan answered, “I would definitely rather play with a mask on then not have a season at all. I still like playing and it’s really not that much different with the mask on.”
Other players also share the same mindset towards the masks. Senior captain Gabriella Amoddio said, ”It took some time to adjust and I definitely still struggle during long rallies but overall it’s really not that bad.”
With the mask guidelines and overall risk of contracting COVID- 19, participating in this 2020 season was a tough decision for some, but the temptation to be back on the court was too strong to pass up.
Varsity head coach Katie Stanley said, “ After talking with my family and the athletic department about the safety measures set in place, I felt comfortable and safe to coach. I was approached with a unique opportunity to coach the varsity team this year and have had a great experience so far!”
All in all, WHS girls volleyball isn’t letting the masks stop them and the girls and I are excited to play the rest of this season.
It’s no secret that Connecticut and the CIAC have canceled their football season and moved it to the Spring due to COVID-19. As a senior on the Wethersfield High School football team, I decided to interview my teammates and a coach to see what they think about it.
I ran into senior starting quarterback Vasilios Tsipouras and asked how he felt about Connecticut’s football season getting postponed, he said ,“It’s tough for the whole program. Mentally, kids are getting more depressed and more anxious because they can’t play with their football family until the spring. Hopefully it's a safer environment, with less COVID. But for now we are going to get stronger and build as a family.”
The CIAC has claimed to follow through with having a spring season with a maximum of 5 games and no playoff extension. Although, if COVID rates drop significantly then there may be a chance of having a small playoff extension.
Head Coach of the WHS football program, Coach McKinnon, was asked how he felt about the postponing of the fall season to the spring. He said, “It was hard to take in at first. I understand, with the metrics, and the safety that goes with it, but the big thing that I don't understand is every other sport is playing, but football is being singled out. We never got a specific answer to that question from DPH or from CIAC which made all the football coaches in the state upset. We are hoping now that February is a go.”
To gain more information about what my teammates thought, I knew I had to ask someone who I know that absolutely loves football and secretly gives every second of his day to getting better at what he does, just like me. I asked junior linebacker, Tyler Burgos, what he thought about the season getting canceled. He said, “I was kinda hoping to go into fall to start practicing with the team, having games, and then bringing home a championship with my boys. But now with the season being moved to the spring, it just gives us more time to get a lot stronger, faster, and more elite to dominate the season no matter how many games we get.
After interviewing Coach McKinnon and my teammates on the Wethersfield Football Team, I realized that at the end of the day, we were all on the same page. Everyone on the team really wants to start playing games again. As Coach McKinnon said during his interview, it isn’t fair how the CIAC isn’t giving anyone an answer as to why the football season is canceled and the other sports get to conduct their normal season. Whatever happens, I know the coaching staff and my teammates on the WHS football team are ready to get back to work and completely dominate the spring season.
Although WHS football players and coaching staff are disappointed with the decision of the CIAC to move the football season to the spring, all of us are still very happy the season wasn’t canceled fully. We are one hundred percent ready to get back to playing games and playing some football with our brothers.
By: Spring 2020 Journalists
Throughout all the unprecedented changes in the Spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound change on the way we celebrate our high school seniors.
For my students, I had the simple assignment: Write what you feel.
The results were astounding. At times sentimental, reflective, frustrated and thankful, but altogether powerful.
I hope you get the chance to read each response with the care they took to write it. This gave me incredible insight into what seniors are going through, and I hope it does the same for you.
If you are a teacher of one of these students, discuss this with them. If you are a friend or family member, bring them up and support them during this time. We are all in this together.
Emily Fazzina--A letter to the year 2020
I miss you. I don’t think I ever knew how good I had it until you were taken away from me. But why did you have to let yourself go? We were rooting for you, we had high hopes that you would outdo 2019, but you let us down. Not even three months knowing you and It feels like I’ve been transported to a dystopian movie. There’s nothing we can do now, but why didn’t you warn us?
Every passing moment our future becomes the present, and the present becomes the past, so why do we have to live it like this, with time so easily wasted. Separated from what used to be, trying to reconnect with what we were rather than make this a new beginning.
I miss school, my friends, holidays, prom, being able to hug someone without worry that I would be endangering their wellbeing. But this is the new normal... at least for now.
But can you imagine that? I would have never thought in a million years that something so simple and loving as a hug would be considered practically illegal.
I’m still rooting for you to make a comeback though. It’s really easy for people to remember the bad things that happen. But give us something good to remember you by.
With best wishes,
Sam Odell, Matt Silver, Haley Krawczyk, Luciano Quagliaroli, Clarence Jubac
Last week, the WHS family learned that prom and senior picnic, two seminal rites of passage in the senior experience were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and school closure. The WHS junior and senior classes wanted to write a message to their peers, teachers, staff, and the entire Wethersfield community on the loss of this time. These are their thoughts.
It is a general consensus that the “corona-cation” that was affectionately named at the beginning of quarantine is no longer something that upperclassmen at Wethersfield High School enjoy. The blow of senior activities being canceled was a devastating one that will never be forgotten. We will forever be the class of corona, instead of the class of 2020.
Class of 2020 has a certain ring and meaning to it when you think about it. Think of it in the way of a person’s eyesight. 20/20 means you have perfect eyesight, you’ve got perfect vision. You’re able to see things clearly. What we as the students of the class of 2020 saw clearly and had a vision of, was that our time as kids, teens, young adults, and our childhood, in general, was coming to an end.
Senior prom, the senior picnic, and other senior activities were a way to end things off on a good note. These events were milestones that we would celebrate in a unique way, which is in most cases a once in a lifetime opportunity. With the COVID-19 pandemic occurring along with the school closure, our vision isn’t as clear or perfect as we thought it would be. No milestones fulfilled, and no proper way to say goodbye to the teachers and other students you’ve met through our journey in high school.
In a way, the most upsetting part is the fact that after going to school for over twelve years, we are going to miss the months that are the most fun. The second semester of senior year serves as a reward for the effort we have put in since we were five years old. In these last few months, most post-secondary decisions have been settled and students are finally able to relax and appreciate the last time that they will ever have with this class all together.
Having gone to school with the Class of 2020 since kindergarten, these are the people that we have grown up with. Throughout the years prior to this one, we have all fantasized about how much fun we would have in the spring of our senior year together. But, with the cancellation of senior activities, it’s very possible that we may never see a lot of our classmates again.
Over this period of time during quarantine I have had a lot of time to think. My thoughts are all over the place. I am going to be honest as a senior, a seventeen-year-old girl. I am very stubborn and angry this is happening. Wasn’t this supposed to be the best three months of my life?
Why me? It is insane how I will never step back on the court with my team, I won’t ever have the chance to go to a different country with my three best friends during break. I won’t go to another prom or have our senior picnic, are we even having spring sports?
Every day I think about what I should be doing if this pandemic wasn’t happening. This “norm” that we have to distance from our friends and wear masks breaks my heart. Every day is a drag and I wish I was anywhere but home. My fellow classmates and I are miserable, not being able to go to accepted student’s day, worrying if we will have a freshman first semester of college online.
The 2020 seniors have been robbed of our senior privileges. I wish prom and the senior picnic were postponed and not canceled. There is still time and this can get better. My classmates and I deserve to have something! It's not fair that everything we have been waiting for has been taken away from us.
I hope to see my teachers and classmates again soon, hopefully at graduation following with a Safe Grad. We all have been waiting for this and I want to thank the teachers who have been on our side, fighting for our senior events back. You have stuck by and been strong for us during this time.
I hate you Corona, and if I could use stronger words, I would.
This was supposed to be our year. When my parents told me these next four years of my life would go by quickly, I didn’t think they meant this fast. I didn’t think that the “time of our lives” was supposed to end this way. The last few months of our senior year that we’re supposed to have fun are gone.
I never got to go to my senior prom. I never got to go on my senior picnic. I never got to fully say goodbye. I walked out of WHS on March 13th, thinking I would be back in two weeks. I never thought that it could’ve been my last time walking out of that building.
My senior year was cut short, and it sucks. We never got to fully take it in and experience our last year of high school. You not only robbed so many kids of their senior year, but you took so many innocent peoples’ lives. You preyed on the weak, and that isn’t fair.
Throughout my high school career, I have looked forward to the last semester of my senior year because it’s supposed to be a time to just look back and enjoy your last few months of high school. However, given the current circumstances that is no longer the case, because I can’t even see my friends.
Senior prom and the senior picnic are supposed to be a kind of symbolic time for the students because we get to look back and think about how great the last four years have been. I think we all just wish things were different because at the beginning of the year, no one could have expected that something like this would happen.
The students, along with the rest of the community, look forward to the senior picnic and prom and it’s heartbreaking to have it canceled due to something that’s so unpredictable and out of everyone's control. I’m thankful to have had a junior prom and an unforgettable first senior semester at Wethersfield High School but there’s so much I feel like I’ve missed.
Given the fact that we aren’t the only town facing these circumstances, it’s great to see that the parents and town as a whole are looking for ways to celebrate their seniors in the community. It’s safe to say that this pandemic is something that won’t be forgotten for the class of 2020.
Due to the unexpected Coronavirus pandemic, the senior prom and picnic were canceled because of school closure. I was told to chime in about my thoughts on this, so here are my thoughts:
I think that this is all unfortunate, as many seniors were looking forward to prom and the picnic. It sucks that we won’t ever get another school dance to go to, and some of us may never see each other again if the pandemic continues growing at this rate.
There is no possible way any of us could even fathom what is going on right now in the world. If you told me about 1 month ago that I may have had my last day of school, I wouldn’t have believed you, but here we are.
We’re all stuck inside, getting more bored with every passing day, waiting to go back out into the world we once knew. The normal life I once lived seems like a distant memory to me. I want nothing more than for everything to just go back to normal, but I also see something good in this situation.
Obviously, no one wanted this to happen, but we can come out of this and be better people. We were all rushing from place to place and season to season before this pandemic started, and I think this is a good chance for us to slow down and absorb the lives we all lived. We all have room for improvement, and I think if we take the time to strive to do one thing better in our lives, it won’t be time wasted.
Isaac Santos, Class of 2020 President
I am truly sorry for what is happening. I am alongside all of you when I say that I'm devastated, upset, and shocked over the cancellation of our senior prom and senior picnic. As your Class President and Board of Education Student Representative, I feel like you all deserve to have clarity on what has been going on these past weeks. On April 8, the class officers and I had a Google Meet conference with Mr. Moore, Mr. Webb, and Mrs. Belanger.
In the meeting, we discussed potential outcomes for our senior activities with the mindset and hopes that nothing would be canceled. However, last week on April 16th we all met again to hear the unfortunate news that our senior activities were canceled.
I understand the frustration that you are all going through. I understand that some of you have already purchased your dress for prom and can’t return it. However, When Superintendent Mr. Emmett met with officials from the State Department of Health and after meeting with Mr. Moore, they decided that it's best to cancel the events for our safety, and there is no arguing that safety is the number one priority.
This pandemic is something the state has never seen and wasn’t prepared for. I do understand that other school districts are rescheduling and postponing their senior activities. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out in our case, we are still looking at the possibility to reschedule. May 20th is a placeholder date to come back to school; it's not a guarantee.
However, I am here today to shine some light on all this darkness. The class officers and I are planning a Senior Event that can potentially be done in the near future if Social Distancing allows it.
Although Senior Prom at the Aqua Turf is canceled, I promise you this: we will have some sort of senior activity and I promise you that you will end your senior year on a good note. The class officers and I agree that we don’t want to end our senior year like this and we will have an event, whether it be school organized or organized by the class officers. We will get some sort of closure.
As more information comes to light I’ll be sure to let you all know. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via social media.
Well this sucks.
I’m not going to lie, I've been avoiding writing this ever since this became an assignment because it just made me feel like my senior year is over. But it’s 5:50 something on a Friday afternoon and since I “forgot” to do assignments for some of my classes, I thought I might as well accomplish something today.
Yes, I am frustrated that my senior prom and picnic were canceled. While things like dresses and appointments can be replaced, I won't have the fun memories with my friends at prom. However, this situation is bittersweet. I didn't want my senior activities to get canceled, but I also know that I won't spread or be infected by this virus if I stay home.
There are just a few things that I wasn't prepared to let go of yet, like going to choir early in the mornings so my friends and I can sort music and get the chairs ready. I miss Sand starting off class with “Alright so here’s the skinny…” and him giving eye-opening lessons that, in my opinion, are some of the most important lessons to learn. Also not seeing my friends that I don't usually get to see in the hallway is strange. And Mrs.Niemic…who doesn't miss Mrs. Niemic?!
Although I could go on and on about what I miss, I’m glad I get a few glimpses of our old reality through distance learning. The long messages and funny videos some teachers post are really helpful. I appreciate how all the teachers are trying to work with the students as this is an unfortunate time for everybody. I know it probably doesn't mean much coming from some random student that barely talks, but I think you guys are doing a pretty good job.
Anyways, I don't want to be all sappy for too long so please stay home, get some rest, hydrate yourselves, bake a cake whatever. Stay safe guys!
In times like this, everything feels to be unknown. The COVID-19 virus has affected everyone in a negative way In some shape or form.
This article isn’t supposed to express how 2020 graduates, myself, or anyone has it the worst. This article Is just expressing the struggles of my, as well as many others in the year of 2020.
The seniors of 2020 are very grateful for all the support and leniency the school has provided us. The timing of the COVID-19 virus happened to personally affect me as well as seniors across the world.
It’s so very unfortunate, but in times like this, I try to not remain angry at anyone for this. It’s no one’s fault and no one could be prepared for this.
While I feel the school isn’t making efforts to reschedule prom into the summertime, my friends and I have taken it into our own hands to create our own prom after the quarantine is lifted.
To all of my fellow classmates, teachers, board of education, and parents, It is important to stay positive and kind during these times. We need to stay together and rise above, We can’t blame people or be unkind to one another in stressful times like this.
Our kindness, strength, and determination will get us through this. For when this is over, we will have the best summer, or the best school year we can have. This COVID-19 virus will show us a new appreciation for hugging our loved ones, going out to eat, and spending time together.
That morning when I got the email that prom was canceled, my heart dropped.
Ever since I was little, I’ve always dreamed of going to my senior prom with my friends and getting all dressed up, but who knew that your dreams could get washed away so suddenly.
The thought of never experiencing a senior prom, and for some people never experiencing a prom at all, it sucks.
Our senior year was supposed to be the best year of high school, and we got ours taken away from us. Something that we will never get to experience like everybody else, and we will never get to tell our future children about other than how it was ruined by COVID-19.
The best year of everyone's high school experience, senior year. At least that’s what people think, I am at a loss of words almost to say the least about my last year of high school and I can’t believe me and the entire class of 2020 are going out like this.
We have just learned that there will no longer be a senior picnic and one of the most exciting high school events, our senior prom. I was so ready to have the most fun year of my life and the last with friends that I’ve known for so long, the last year before we went to college and I had plans to go out with a bang.
Over April break, I was supposed to go to Costa Rica on a school trip with some of my best friends and favorite teachers. I was looking forward to this trip for over a year and it was going to be one of the best trips that I would ever experience, especially with great teachers like Mr. Sand and Mr. Martin. This ended up getting canceled as well due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
I feel like I have just lost so many fun times and not getting to see my friends in school has just been unreal. Overall this has been one of the worst situations ever but there is nothing we can do to get this time back.
I never thought I would say this but I hope we can get back in school before the year ends and if not I hope to at least have a summer. Thank you to everyone who has made my high school life fun including teachers and all my friends. It's been real, Wethersfield.
From the moment quarantine bled in April, I knew things weren’t looking good. It was around that time when I realized that the likelihood of prom, the senior picnic, and even a graduation ceremony was slim. I mourned that for a bit, as I knew that these were things that solidified the end of an era. Knowing I won’t have this closure, has made me feel lost in many ways.
Maybe I sound pessimistic, or depressing, but it’s only a side effect of this growing predicament. Through this, I’ve been taught not to get my hopes up on things. This, in the end, has made the disappointment easier to bear.
That being said, there is a lot of good I see in this. In ways, it’s endearing that there’s a whole generation of students who have missed out on the end of their senior year. A generation that will likely console one another in the future, and will carry out new activities to replace these lost moments.
More than ever we will look at one another in a new light, and with a new understanding. Those who were once surrounded by so many now have a taste for what loneliness and isolation feels like. Looking at those who struggled with this even before the outbreak will begin to be looked upon with a new sense of empathy. This is only a hope of mine though because again, I can’t get my hopes up.
All I can say, for now, is that I thank all of the WHS staff members who have affected me in ways unimaginable. I would gladly give up prom and the senior picnic if it meant I could walk those halls once more, on June 12th, and say a final goodbye to those who have inspired me, made me laugh, and left my head full of new perspectives, and new ideas. Above all else, those are the things that have made my high-school experience worthwhile.
So with that, I thank you, WHS! Thank you for all you have done for me.
I am upset. The one thing I was looking forward to was canceled...senior prom.
I understand the school had to take precautions to COVID but it just sucks that they had to take the most fun things of our senior year away.
My date and I picked out our outfits for prom already, I picked out how I was going to do my makeup and hair. My dress came in like a month ago and I kid you not, I cried. I have been to prom with other people but it would have been nice for a prom day for my grade at my school.
I didn't go to my junior prom (which I kind of regret) and now I won't go to my senior prom. I was planning on popping off this prom also...smh. I'm also upset about the senior picnic because it's like a whole day I get to spend with my best friends is all gone. I think I'm just more upset about prom than the picnic.
The class of 2020 was recently informed that our senior prom and senior picnic was to be canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic and school closure. This news is heartbreaking for us because these events give us an opportunity to experience our classmates' company before graduating and spending time with people we enjoy.
Many of us are very upset because we had a lot to look forward to with these events, such as taking pictures, going to prom with your friends, having an after prom, and just enjoying each other's company. It is frustrating because this pandemic continues to be a disaster and continues to ruin things that we have all been looking forward to. It is also unfortunate because in the future, we cannot look back on having a senior prom or picnic, and that is heartbreaking.
I appreciate the WHS Staff for looking out for our health and realizing it might be too early to have a prom because it could jeopardize our health and safety, and a large group of people for prom would not be a good idea.
Bella Del Aguila
We had finally reached the end of an era.
Freshman year was a new world for everyone. We were a little scared, but feeling empowered and ready to take on the world.
Sophomore year was cool because we weren’t the “babies” of the school anymore. We knew our way around the building and this life was normal by then.
Junior year was stressful for many reasons. But hey, we were finally upperclassmen so it was a shift in power. It was a lot of pressure but we got through it. We took our SAT’s and started thinking realistically about college.
We had one last summer of fun, and then we were suddenly seniors.
We thought, “wow, we made it! We’re finally in the home stretch!”
The first half of this school year was spent applying to colleges and getting our decisions back. We learned and laughed and cried with the people we had grown to know and love. We started to reflect on the fact that we were all about to part ways in college.
It was bittersweet, but everything finally felt okay.
People say that high school shouldn’t be the best four years of your life, but it certainly has its moments. We were about to experience the last few things that would truly make these last 4 years feel worth it.
This pandemic is taking all of that away. Nobody wants to stay inside, but it’s not going to get any better if we ignore the rules. Because of this, we can’t celebrate as we should. We’re supposed to be getting ready for our big picnic, and buzzing with excitement for our last prom, and fitting our caps and gowns for graduation. But we might not experience any of those important little moments. We’re all dealing with it in our own ways, but it’s overall very sad.
This was meant to be OUR time, and now that’s being taken away from us.
Gabriella Amoddio, Class of 2021
As a junior, the news that my prom was canceled was very sad. My friends and I had been talking and planning for months and were really looking forward to a night filled with fun.
That being said, I can’t even imagine how the senior class is feeling. I can come back next year and enjoy all the senior activities, but their high school career came to a halting stop with no warning at all.
Obviously, this decision was a tough one and I know that administration probably thought long and hard about it, but it’s upsetting to see that they couldn’t figure something out, whether it was rescheduling it or finding an alternative solution.
Covid-19 has definitely changed everyone's life but as a senior in high school, my world is being flipped completely upside down.
We all share the changes like not getting to go out on the weekend and for me not being able to work. But I also have some more changes that are way more important to me.
My number one problem with this pandemic is the fact that I probably won't have a senior season for baseball. This is my last year ever to play the sport that I love and it hurts so much to see it going away. I'm not going to be able to hear my name being called for senior night or playing in the state tournament.
Baseball is one of the only things I truly love in this world and it totally sucks to see it go. I'm going to miss playing with my best friends but this pandemic is just another obstacle to overcome.
Senior year was three months away from ending and a pandemic shut the world down. junior/senior prom, senior picnic, and graduation were all things I was looking forward to. As disappointing as it is for these events to be canceled, I feel blessed and at peace.
It's a complete bummer that these things were taken from us and my Thai friend Moss had to go home, but that doesn't change the fact that I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, a Chromebook to type this on, and a caring community that is getting through this together.
It's hard not to acknowledge the fact that this crisis has turned so many people's lives upside down, so I feel like if my prom and picnic being canceled are the biggest of my problems, I'm doing okay.
It is important to acknowledge our losses, no matter how small they are, however, we also have to acknowledge our blessings. I feel a lot more blessed than I do cursed in this time despite the cancellation to these ¨rites of passage¨. I do feel very grateful towards my teachers and wish I could've said goodbye in person, but I'm sure I'll see them again at some point.
I've accepted every inconvenience due to this pandemic up to this point. I hope that in the summer things do get up and moving again because it is my last summer before college. I really just wish for colleges to not cancel the Fall semester because I want to start on campus as soon as possible.
As disappointing as it all is, I try to look at the silver linings. There are many of them and I encourage everyone to do the same. If we dwell on the positive we´ll come out of this ok.
A couple of weeks ago we got the devastating news that our senior events would get canceled. We have all been waiting for this event and looking forward to it for about 12 years.
I remember as being a freshman seeing pictures online of people having fun at senior prom, the picnic, and all the other events. It is really sad but we can’t do anything about it except hope that we will get these events back later in the year.
I was looking forward to spending time and having fun with my fellow classmates because I don't know when I will be seeing them in the future. Mostly wanted to spend time with my guys but not everything goes as planned.
2020 has always felt like a special year for me. Something about it has made it so that I have looked forward to it since my freshman year. Along with graduating, it felt like a year that held some sort of special sentiment.
Now that 2020 has come, I realize that maybe the importance I felt was not one I should have anticipated excitedly. COVID-19 has made my senior year practically nonexistent.
My senior show, The Addams Family, was canceled after one public showing. The senior prom and senior picnic that make all the stress of college applications and the transition into a new stage of life a little less intense are completely gone.
For now, we only have our graduation to look forward to, but it still doesn’t feel right. All of the traditional farewell ceremonies are gone, so the class of 2020 just feels... confused and lost.
We have learned one thing from all of this though, and that is to never take anything for granted, and nothing is ever set in stone.
I’m frustrated as one of the seniors of the Class of 2020, this was supposed to be the time where we get to do all the fun things we have been waiting for our entire lives/ high school careers to be doing, sort of like a rite of passage but now, because of the virus, we can't.
We as a class have been taken away the few things we all were really looking forward to…senior picnic, prom at the Aqua Turf and especially graduation, which we don't even know how that's going to play out.
It's frustrating and heartbreaking and I think as a class we’re all insanely bummed out that this happened our year.
It’s like running the race your whole life to get to the finish line and suddenly the finish line isn’t the same.
We spent the last twelve years of our lives in public education looking forward to the last year. The best year, filled with heartfelt moments and memories that would last a lifetime.
Even when times were rough we still had something to look forward to, our senior year. Especially for me, I made the decision at the beginning of my junior year to graduate early. Going to school was the worst thing for me.
However, the last few months of my junior year changed my perspective of school. I was genuinely enjoying spending time with my classmates and teachers. I saw the senior class having even more fun. I made the choice to no longer follow the path of graduating early because I wanted my senior year.
If I graduated early, the only thing I would be missing out on was the best months of my high school experience, and that was something too precious to give up. Even when times were hard, I told myself it will get better because I had this time of year to look forward to. Not only is it senior prom, senior picnic, but the last few months I get to spend with my classmates and teachers that I might never see again. Our adult life is ahead of us and the opportunity to say goodbye to our childhood the right way was stripped away from us.
As humans, we’re used to sticking to a regular routine. The structure seems to be the only thing keeping us from potentially going insane. We know what day of the week it is as soon as we wake up.
There was a time not long ago when my alarm would ring at its usual time. I would drag myself out of bed knowing that it was 6:30 on a Wednesday. I had a subconscious sense of peace knowing that although school was stressful, I could at least see my friends and have some sort of closure at the end of the day.
As soon as school was canceled, all of that went down the toilet. For the past 5 weeks, that sense of peace has been M.I.A.
I’m up until 3 AM, restless and desperate to fall asleep. Then, once I wake up after my long-awaited sleep, one email after another comes rolling in, making me even more restless than before. My life has gone from a strict line of scheduling to a seemingly endless cycle of wallowing in self-pity and anxiety.
For those who cannot understand how the seniors are feeling right now, try this analogy on for size.
Imagine you are a hamster. You have lived your entire early life in a glass box with all the other hamsters. You play with the others, eat with the others, learn with the others, and even fight with the others. You’re used to the same giant hand reaching down and giving you food every day. Your whole life is dedicated to the box.
You and your hamster friends have all been discussing what will happen after you leave the box. You know exactly when you will leave the box and have a general idea of your next step in life. But before you can run on your squeaky wheel or hang out with the other hamsters for the last time, the giant hand swoops in and snatches your from the box into another box, forced to be by yourself, leaving you with no answers to when you can go back to your normal life, or if you ever can.
In these times of uncertainty, however, it is important to remember that you will be able to leave your box and roam around soon enough, just as long as you stay in your hamster ball.
Senior year, the time you are supposed to have the most fun in school people would say. There are so many activities you can do before they ship you off to work or to college.
Before all of COVID-19, I was excited for my senior year because I was going to be able to ask my girlfriend to prom. Now all I can do is sit in my house and I can’t even see my girlfriend or my friends.
Above all, I am just annoyed. I put all my time into being a good student and this was supposed to be the time where I was going to be rewarded for my hard work; being cooped up in my house getting cabin fever doesn't seem like a fitting reward.
This is an awful time for high school seniors across the world, but that's selfish to say, it’s an awful time for everyone.
For many of my class peers, we can all agree that this tragic experience to go through that our prom and senior picnic, something which has held so many fond memories is gone. This is not the case for many students, me being one of them.
I understand this situation and commend those who are working to keep everyone safe. It's good to have these cancelations but not ideal because of what time we're in; this is not a normal situation and will never be one.
Am I disappointed to not have these senior activities? Yes, although I am sympathetic more towards people who are out there fighting. With that, I say stay safe and remember we will all make it out.
Since I was little, “High School Musical” was always one of my favorite movies. I've always pictured that's what my high school years should look like; full of joy and excitement.
When I finally made it out of middle school and finally got the chance to call myself a high schooler, I was ready to live out my “High School Musical” fantasy. However, high school for me wasn't all singing and dancing 24/7, but it definitely brought me the joy and excitement I pictured.
When I was just a little freshman, I was honestly terrified of what the future holds for me. However, I knew I had three more years until I really had to crack down on my future plans. Fast forward to junior year, by far the hardest year of High School, for me at least. The stress of getting exceptional SAT scores and thinking about college plans. Junior year brought me many tears and countless hours of staying up late at night studying, but I knew that the best year of High School was around the corner, senior year.
August 29, my last “first” day of high school. I was filled with so many emotions: Excitement, joy, sadness, and fear. This was the last year at WHS and I knew it was going to be the best one yet. The fall started off great! I got captain for soccer, I had an amazing season with the girls and did not stress about anything, it was the best feeling in the world.
Winter came around and it was around that time where we heard back from colleges. Let me tell you, I was super nervous, but once I heard back from my first school, I felt a sigh of relief go through my body, I was going to college!
I finally chose a college and all the stress left my body. I knew the rest of the year was going to be the best..until a pandemic hit and my senior year was put on hold. The day I left school I was so happy to have a 2-week “vacation.” However, I didn't know that it would be as dangerous as it is, keeping me out of school for a little more than a month and possibly even more. I tried to stay as positive as I can and of course wanted everyone to be safe.
It didn't really hit me that my senior year was basically over until we receive that text that activities were canceled. I wish I had the closure to our 12 years of school.
I know that our faculty is under stress and can't control the virus to give us the senior year we deserve. I wish I got to tell some of my favorite teachers how much I appreciate all their love and support in my four years of high school before this happened.
Honestly, having things taken away from us shows us to never take things for granted. I know I took some parts of High School for granted and wanted to graduate ASAP, but now, I wish I could walk down those halls one last time. Although I didn't get the ending in the “High School Musical” I wanted, I wanted to thank WHS for some of the best memories.
Amid all of these cancelations and disappointments, some may find it hard to see a positive light among all of this. Yes, it’s sad that all of our senior activities have been canceled, but other people are struggling much more than we are.
Personally, I’m sad that all the fun parts of the end of our year have been canceled, but when it comes down to it, us staying home is just another step in trying to make sure that everybody stays safe, and this disease stays under control.
It’s better to think about the doctors, nurses, and store workers, those who still have to go out, who risk their own safety to ensure that everybody else's lives, go smoothly.
In our own sadness and reflection we should think about the time we had together, and the time we will have together after this all wraps up.
Even though our activities have been canceled, it’s so that we can help keep everyone safe, and so we can do more fun things in the Future. We just have to keep holding onto that thought.
I never thought March 13 would be my last day of senior year.
It seems silly, but the only thing I remember about that day was the outfit I wore because I remember waking up early and taking the time to put extra effort in.
What makes me saddest about this unprecedented loss of time is the realization that I may not have closure. I wanted to say goodbye to my classes, my teachers, my fellow classmates, and just have the time to say a proper farewell to WHS.
The cancellation of prom, though it’s really disappointing to me, isn’t as upsetting as not getting to walk the halls of my high school one last time. I feel as though I should have appreciated the little things more.
PROM AND SENIOR PICNIC CANCELLED? WHAT???!!!
Well, I’m not really surprised with everything going on right now it makes sense or does it? That is the question that has the Class of 2020 wondering. There are some mixed emotions, for me personally I am disappointed for the fact that those opportunities were going to be the last for us as High School students to experience together.
I thank you for keeping me safe from this COVID-19 pandemic. I know that some people may think you are doing a disservice, and I want people to know they are actually helping us. I know this stinks now with the COVID-19 and this virus being longer than projected.
But this span of time of non-normal taught me that things in life do not go as planned, but we have to do our best to say look this is an unfortunate circumstance. I can be upset at something, but then I have to pep talk myself into thinking everything will be okay. It is not the worst thing that has ever happened. There are always new and exciting opportunities out there.
Kaitlynn Bertucio & Kevin Torres
Over the past few weeks of this very long and stressful quarantine, we honestly had hoped that Prom wouldn’t get canceled and there would still be a slight chance at getting to walk the stage for graduation with our families and friends there to watch. However, learning last week that Senior Prom was canceled us seniors had a breakdown about it.
While many would think to just postpone it until the summer, a reason for why they just outright canceled prom is likely due to that all of us kids would be having vacations, packing to move to college, having graduation parties and trying to make the most of their last summer with their friends and seeing some family.
We believe that because it’s senior year, more people would be willing to do it later on because there are kids who didn’t go any other year in high school and this is their last chance to go and they’ve waited for it because they maybe didn’t go any other year. We also believe that to our parents, this is a big deal for their children to go to prom because it's a memory for their children to cherish and hang pictures on the walls.
We seniors would like to say a huge thank you to all the amazing teachers we've had over the past four years at WHS, and we'd like to say that we've had a great and memorable experience attending this school for four years. We have gained friends, we've lost friends, but over the past four years, it has only helped us to grow and become better people.
We are grateful for all that we've gained and lost in these past four years and we will keep it all with us forever and remember all the good times and be thankful for the bad times that have hopefully helped us to change and grow as better people.
To Wethersfield’s Class of 2020, I think I could say for all of us that we never expected this to be the way our senior year would end and that we are disappointed. Many of us were told our senior year was going to be the best year of high school, but it’s hard for us to agree at this moment.
I would say for many of us that the first semester wasn’t bad, but it is the second semester that we looked forward to because that was when we would experience our “lasts” of high school.
We are all feeling similar about the decisions made in terms of our senior activities, being sad, angry, and frustrated, but I think we can say that we will be one of the classes that will go down in history, surviving all the uncertainty happening around us and having a story to tell in the future.
On the last day of Journalism class before the coronavirus, we had talked last how you encouraged that we used this time as a learning experience that most would never imagine could be this hard. Learning is not the same as in the classroom and interacting with others.
If we return back to school, I would use all this time dedicated to me in the classroom to the best advantage. I never would have thought online schooling was much harder than being in school.
Coronavirus has definitely kept me bored and quiet at home. It is not easy because I am definitely not used to sitting down or being home 24/7. I am struggling to keep up with my normal school day routine of just getting up on time, eating breakfast the time I used to, or even just going to bed.
But as you said Martin, it is an experience. I just had my second birthday away from family. It's sad and it sucks but you gotta move on from the past and just forgive or you’ll stay stuck on being sad and letting that person or parties play with your emotions by letting them win.
I am reminded of the quote, “Time is like a river, you cannot touch the same way water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again, so enjoy every moment of life.”
Quarantine has taught me this opportunity cannot be regained. Thanks to all my teachers and guidance counselors without your help in and out of the classroom I would definitely lose my way.
Andre Jorge & Kassandra Vazquez
We learned as a senior class that all of our senior activities were canceled. Now as a staff member, you can see how fun those events were in the past and say that you’re sorry for not being able to experience them. But let’s be honest, we all grew up with an expectation of what high school would be like and one of those things that made high school so great was senior year.
For the past three years, the Class of 2020 has been looking forward to ‘our year’ to be the best one. It’s absolutely upsetting that we as the Class of 2020 have been stripped of that closure.
The thing that's the most upsetting is that this issue is bigger than just our class or the school. We as a class feel powerless in this situation, along with many others. We hope that our class not only gets to finish up our year and get our diplomas but also get some type of celebration for our class. As much as this situation sucks, we still deserve some type of recognition.
It’s devastating that I worked hard to get here and earn a right for prom, senior picnic, and other senior events even my own graduation got canceled.
But in times like these, we have to look forward. It gives us time to focus on our futures. After high school ended, it was kind of sad but it is what it is being able to walk across the stage, hearing my name called, and hearing people clapping is something I’ve been waiting for my whole life.
Hearing my family and friends from walking across and starting my future now I might have graduation over a screen. High school graduation is something you will remember for the rest of your life, and now I don't get a chance for that. It’s pretty sad. but as long as I graduate and get my diploma, I just have to look forward
We need to focus and look ahead of these terrible times. Not having graduation can’t bring our motivation down, it should make us more hungry to go out there.
Just as it was getting to the end of senior year a pandemic occurred canceling senior year activities by not being able to be in school or in large numbered groups.
These events being canceled definitely have a hard impact on the senior class by not being able to be in school for the last days or go to prom or senior picnics to experience their last moments in high school all together. These last events would have brought the class of 2020 together for some of the last time. All though this is no one’s fault but the pandemic itself, it is sad to see we can't live out our senior events for our last time as high schoolers.
by: Mr. Martin, Journalism Teacher
When Wethersfield High School closed its doors in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students thought all learning was lost. However, the real learning had just begun.
On March 13, our last day of physical classes at WHS, I had a long talk with my period two class. That discussion, wide-ranging and free-flowing, all followed this central pillar: That this experience could be a learning experience within itself. The articles you are about to read are borne from that idea.
The thought was simple enough: Find some way over the next 30 days to make yourself better. This could be physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, or intellectual; as long as it is outside of your comfort zone and something you could have never done in our "regular" school setting.
My students took to this like a duck to water, and proved to me that just because the school building is closed, learning does not have to end.
In fact, learning extends far beyond the classroom, and students can use the skills they have learned and developed over time (research, experimentation, and especially resilience) to forge their own learning forward. In a way, it was the purest version of learning: unadulterated and driven by the student.
Below you will read their initial stories, which I hope you take the time to read and make comments on. Stay tuned for further articles, videos, and podcasts, as this will all sum up in a final long-form article in the coming weeks.
by: Gabriella Ammodio
Last week, I set out on a mission to read everyday, hoping it would improve my mental abilities.
When I was younger, I actually enjoyed reading. As time went on, I became less and less interested and the girl that used to read in her free time wouldn’t even read books for class. I chose to get back into reading for those reasons and to help reduce stress.
So far, I surprisingly haven’t had many difficulties with it. I’ve been able to read every day while also increasing my time reading.
I think this is partly because I’ve developed a routine. I tend to do my reading right before I go to bed, it’s a good way to wind down after a long day and finish off the night.
To start things off, I chose to read a book that I bought at a book fair in elementary school. I figured it would be good to ease into things and start with an easy read. It’s called P.S. I Like You and tells the story of two high school students that fall in love through notes they write to each other in chemistry class.
I just recently finished that book and am onto my next book titled The Other Wes Moore.
The hardest part so far has been transitioning between books. When I was in the middle of my first book, I found it easy to start reading because it felt like I had something to return to. Starting a new book was tough because I didn't have any connection to it. I ended up skipping a day after I finished the first book and before I moved on to the second.
After finishing my first book, I can’t really say that my views on the world have necessarily changed, but I do find myself looking forward to reading and getting lost in a different world. I’m hoping that The Other Wes Moore will help me to start seeing a difference. This book has much more depth than the first book and discusses real-world issues.
by: Bella Samse
My article will be me vlogging all of the workouts and exercises I am doing. From ab workouts to simply going on a night walk with mom, I will be doing something to stay in shape.
As we know, the Coronavirus has taken over and taken away so many important things from me, namely the fun class trip, prom, and most likely graduation, but it also took away sports.
Growing up in sports has been such a huge influence on who I am today. The fact I played my last high school basketball game without knowing, with my team in the locker room for the last time without knowing, had my last pasta dinner without knowing, it is all so much to process. I still think that after this is all over I will be getting on a bus to play that quarter final state tournament game.
I chose to do a vlog so I can see my face and see if I am enjoying it. I really hope that after this experience is done, I can go back and say I made the best of quarantine. I want to stay active, in shape, motivated, like I was in basketball. That was when I was happiest, on the court with a ball in my hand.
I hope that as the days drag on, I can find the determination I had on the court, get these hard workouts done, and feel accomplished after doing it. I want to go on walks and feel the simplest bliss I did back when I was just waiting for the bus with my team. I miss it all so much and it will never come back.
I hope that as my journey continues I accomplish my goal because I never made it to Mohegan, I want to find my run to the sun.
By: Luciano Quagliaroli
I've decided to learn how to play the Ukulele over this period of online schooling. I've had the instrument for years but I've never picked it up and really dived into it. I was able to finally do this because of all the free time I have on my hands. My goal is to be fluent in the majority of the chords and be able to play five songs very well.
I chose learning Ukulele because over the last couple months I´ve realized that music is the most important thing to me. I appreciate it tremendously and I have no outlet to express my creativity or love for it. Learning the Ukulele has given me some sort of connection to the musical world besides just listening to it. My plan is to switch to guitar when I feel confident on Ukulele.
My experience thus far has been such a blast. The first time I sat down with it, it was intimidating. But I was patient and stuck with it and I learned my first song, Let My Baby Stay by Mac Demarco. After that learning more chords and songs was just a matter of taking the time to do it and it came a lot easier to me. It is so much fun and I have moments when I play where I feel very at peace with myself. I hope to master the five songs I know by next week.
By Antonia Vardal
Let’s be honest: the idea of being quarantined in the house for weeks on end with nothing but our families and an almost nonexistent hope of the world ever returning back to normal is a hard pill to swallow. The state of our nation right now is bleak at best, and this leaves everyone, especially those with existing mental health difficulties, finding it hard to cope with daily life.
When my journalism teacher instructed us to make the best of this situation by committing to a self-improvement project, a light bulb went off in my head.
Why not focus on mental health?
I’m experiencing firsthand the blows of anxiety and depression, and it’s no secret the global pandemic has caused it to flare up once again. So, with this in mind, I decided I would create my own 30 day mental health improvement challenge designed to ease my mind and overall make me a happier person.
I began by searching 30 day mental health challenges on the internet and gathering the ideas that I liked, and added some of my own to create a list that was unique to me.
I’m about halfway done, and so far I’ve learned a little more about myself in doing these activities. I’ve journaled about my feelings, treated myself to Taco Bell, and created an uplifting music playlist (pictured with this article). I have also acknowledged that skipping two activities because I don’t feel like doing them isn’t the best way to handle things, but that’s part of the process.
I now know that coloring isn’t really my thing and neither is yoga. Everyone has different coping mechanisms and what works for one person may not work for another.
As I dive into the second half of this challenge, I hope to discover further what helps me feel better and what doesn’t really work for me. Ultimately, it’s up to me to decide how to make the best of this quarantine. Though mental health is a challenge to me, it’s one I am willing to take on.
By: Kadin Joyce
For my quarantine project, I decided to put together a video journal documenting the process of a production and the new ideas I had while working on the Class of 2020 Senior Video. Over the summer when I was thinking of projects for my independent study, I came up with the idea to make a video dedicated to our senior year. I wanted to create something digital that the Class of 2020 can relate to, connect to, and look back on in the future.
I chose to vlog the process because for future projects I want to be able to see the way I work and as I learn more about production, improve my creative process.
Since quarantine, I’ve had a hard time staying motivated to work on this project because the biggest parts of senior year have been taken away from us, it felt like there was no purpose to my senior video anymore.
I created a daily routine a few weeks ago to get myself back in the right mindset and I noticed I’m a lot more motivated and focused on my work. I've been a lot more creative and definitely excited to continue this project with my new ideas for the video.
Believe it or not, the most difficult part of this project has been documenting the process through vlogging. Talking to a camera feels so uncomfortable to me and I always cringe when I edit the footage.
Fear of judgment is definitely holding me back from feeling completely comfortable in front of the camera but the more I do it, the less I seem to think about others opinions.
The plan for my video was to make montages of every major senior event and have interviews with seniors about post high school plans and their high school experience.
With school closing due to COVID-19 and the likelihood of us not going back to school, I had to come up with new ideas and find a new way to put together the Class of 2020 Senior Video.
Now the new idea is to follow through with the plan, play the montages and interviews then interrupt the video with COVID-19 news coverage on school closings and the world completely changing. I want the interruption to symbolize how everything changed so fast with no thought that the rest of our senior year would be taken away from us.
The next step is to put it all into Adobe Premiere Pro and start editing together the video journals and finishing other parts of the senior video. By the end of this quarantine project my goal is to have the video journals put together along with some type of trailer for the senior video.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.