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.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.