By: Cristin Blake
With summer quickly approaching, you tend to wonder how teachers will spend their time now that they don’t have to worry about students. You would think that the only things teachers do are grade papers and read books, but they know how to have some fun in the sun.
Teachers at Wethersfield High School worry so much about what they are going to do for the next upcoming school year. However, Doris Duggins, a WHS social sciences teacher, also knows how to relax and enjoy her time off.
Mrs. Duggins has an endless amount of trips planned for their summer vacation, with a splash of teaching for the fun of it. She says “I want to take time to go to the beach and visit my daughter in Florida, and then go to North Carolina to see my sister.”
After all that traveling, she plans to come back to Wethersfield and teach a social justice class through a book to 7th and 8th graders. It seems she has a lot of things planned for the summer but I know she’ll get it all done.
Sometimes teachers just need a break from their students and relieve some of the stress from the last school year. After all, teaching is their job.
Brian Turner, a physical education and health teacher here at the high school, is going to try and figure out how he should spend his time this summer now that he is, as he puts it “unemployed.” He says “I’ll be spending a lot of time with my two girls, I have two and a four year old at home, hopefully playing a lot of golf, and just try to enjoy some time off.”
It’s always good for teachers to enjoy some quality time with their family because they deserve it. After spending all that time with students, they deserve the break. However, this isn’t the case for every teacher at the high school.
Michael Maltese, athletic director and assistant principal at WHS, has a lot of work that he has to do to prepare for the upcoming school year in the fall. He says “I will be working this summer here at the high school; we have our new principal Ms. O’Connor coming in and we get ready to welcome kids back to a full year.”
While there is work that he still has to do, he’s still going to try to find some time to get out and spend time with his family. He hopes to spend lots of time with his two daughters, one age 9 and the other age 12, by taking them out to Six Flags, and hopefully head down to the Jersey Shore.
Many teachers and staff members have so many fun things planned for their summer vacation. With a mixture of traveling and working, they’ll get to relax and enjoy their next couple months off before the school year rolls around again.
By Charles Hayes
In junior year of high school, “I was getting ready to make plans to visit colleges, talk to coaches about playing soccer and just getting a sense of where I wanted to go. That all came to an end in March when the pandemic hit.
We went from the excitement of going to see what could be the next four years to absolutely nothing. What was the next step? Did all the hard work just go down the drain?
After many hours of looking online waiting to see how colleges were preparing for the next step and how they were going to recruit. “Here are the lessons I have learned along the way.”
I noticed first that so many colleges were sending not just the average flyer but packets of information with multiple photos to introduce themselves and what they had to offer. I mean it was way above the norm, I was receiving over 3-5 a week from all over the country. I asked a graduate of 2020, Jack Romagnoli about it. “To be honest I may have received 10 total over the course of the 2020 school year.”
This is how I actually got first interested in my choice of school. I learned so much about how many schools are actually out there and believe it when I say there is a school for everyone. I just had to go up to Rivier just recently and got to ask Josh Ciarcia, my admissions counselor about how they dealt with the pandemic. “Well we definitely had to switch gears and come up with some ideas that would catch the eye of potential students, I think collectively as a team we did a great job. We implemented more videos of the campus and sent out emails with the link, also instead of just sending out our normal post card we sent out a much larger packet of information and we really saw results from that.”
The next step for me was how any college soccer coaches were going to take a look. So we went to the website of NCSA, Next College Student Athlete founded back in 2000 in Chicago, IL. We sent an email and they hooked us up with a specialist there, Ken Marshall and then we set up a zoom meeting. Ken said, “NCSA too was dealing with tons of new students wanting to join because this was the best way for college coaches to look at athletes without being able to see them on the field. So we have taken steps to reach out to all of the colleges to ensure that our clients will get the best possible outcome in this crazy time.”
So we went with the MVP program, they had given a huge discount to do Covid, so what would have been $225 a month was $125 a month for one year. This was to make sure that we could get what was needed out to these coaches and it worked. We started it in May and by August I had 5 different coaches scouting me. I did get to go see 4 out of the 5 schools, but when I was asked to come up to see Rivier, it all just fell into place.
In the end, all the worries of what could not have happened went away due to all of the colleges, universities and NCSA stepping up for all the incoming freshmen around the U.S. I know how happy I was not only to find my university and get scouted for playing soccer but to do it and commit by December 15 so I could just focus on the rest of my senior year.
By David Barajas
For some people, this may be their last year at Wethersfield High School and soon they will be off to college, where they will venture on into the adult world for the first time.
Some people may have a difficult time adjusting to college due to it being different from high school. In college, you will have a much more flexible schedule as many classes can be taken in the afternoon or in the morning, depending on you and your choices. You will also have less classes than you did in high school and that means you will have more time to focus on important things or work. Some people may be nervous about going to college because it's something new and it is going to be a new experience for some students.
By this time of the year, many students already know what college they will be attending and what they will study for their future career. What's more important now for incoming college freshmen is to prepare for college and its hardships. Some ways you can prepare for college is ask your counselor for advice on college and how it can help you.
Another way you can prepare for college is to polish on your time management skills, You will have a lot of more free time which can be good for some people and bad for people who like to put aside work.
A final way student can prepare for college is to get a job. Some college tuitions and fees cost alot of money and can put a lot of stress on people to get it paid. Getting a job can help pay some of it and take some of the stress off of you.
I decided to ask Corey Malicki, A WHS student about what he was doing to prepare for college, he said “I've been looking online about the different types of majors and careers you can choose between.”
I think one of the hardest things about college is choosing a major because there are so many to choose from, but the good thing is that you can always switch your major if you don't like it.
How are you preparing for your after high school plans? Comment below!
by: Aaron Maher and Francesco Moline
The end of an era approaches at a fast pace, after 20 years of WHS Principal Mr. Moore being in office, it’s safe to say that his management of his school could not have been any better.
Overseeing the renovation construction with a keen eye, as well as his reaction and efficacy throughout the Coronavirus pandemic are just a few of the many obstacles he has overcome during his time as a principal. He truly is and shall be remembered as a legend to the Wethersfield High School community.
It won't be easy to fill such big shoes, moreover it will take a surplus of experience and professionalism to even begin to fill them, which brings us to congratulate our new Wethersfield High School Principal, Mrs Siobhan O’Connor, who has been in school administration for quite some time, most recently as the Principal of Highcrest Elementary School.
She first started as a teacher where she grew up in Windsor, then went on to oversee different educational settings and eventually she was promoted to Principal at several different schools. Diving deeper into her credentials, Mrs. O’Connor specifically started as a social studies teacher in Windsor High.
When we interviewed her, she made sure to stress that classrooms should be fun and enjoyable, so that kids are willing to learn, and therefore be more successful, which she learned during her time in Windsor. Despite this however, she understands her position as someone who will be leading a very prestigious high school. One promising thing about Mrs. O’Connor is not only her view of education, but her commitment to the class. When we asked for her thoughts on the transition from being teacher to administration, “Once you get pulled from the classroom there's no going back.”
We then conducted an Interview with Superintendent Michael Emmett, where he mirrored Mrs. O’Connor’s stellar credentials with her history as a classroom teacher and administrator at multiple school levels. Of course, Mr. Moore is and always will be irreplaceable, but to compare Mrs. O’Connor with Mr. Moore is at best inappropriate, they each have their different strengths which will surely be made clear next year when she is comfortable in her job.
Mr. Emmett told us that they have a good relationship as co-workers, and that he personally vouches for her skills and mindset.
After interviewing Mrs. O’Connor herself, as well as the influential Mr. Emmett, we went ahead and asked one teacher who had been on the committee that voted for the new principal, Mrs. McKenna. We specifically asked for her viewpoints on the decision, she agreed with it and believed it was very well thought out.
We also asked her what she thinks makes Mrs. O'Connor a great fit. She answered that she “thought she fit well because of her past experiences. Not many of the other candidates had nearly the amount of experience she has had”.
Being a principal at all three levels of public schools, it was surely an influential factor in the decision. Be sure to welcome Mrs. O’Connor when you see her in the hallways!
by: Ajla Turnadzic
While the class of 2021 were just juniors when we found out about COVID-19, no one really thought it would affect our senior year. However, when our senior year did begin, everything began to change.
The hybrid model caused most seniors to just want to stay home. While on the other hand, a few of them stuck to hybrid this entire year.
I got to speak to senior Lejla Guster, who has learned in the hybrid model for the whole year. While she said she was in the Wethersfield Public Schools her whole life, she never felt like a year was more different. For some seniors, it was a very “off” year and a year that caused them to lack motivation.
March 13 2020 is when it was announced that we were going into quarantine. This was announced via email by Superintendent Micheal Emmett. I asked Guster on how she felt on that day, “It was such a weird day, I remember waking up and I was excited because I was thinking that having a couple days off will be great. I didn’t think much of it.” The two week quarantine quickly turned into four months of remote learning and another almost eight months in the hybrid model.
As said, most seniors were sick of going back and forth to school and online. This caused a ton of them to just stay online. However, for some that were fully online, it caused them to struggle with participation, studying, homework, etc. It was a hard adjustment because all of us were raised in an environment where all of our schooling was done in person.
We were all 7th graders when we first got our “own” chromebooks but we were 9th graders when we got to actually bring them home. Guster did stay hybrid throughout the year and said, “I would stay home sometimes just because I didn’t want to be alone in class. However, when I was in class with 1 or 2 people, it was still nice because I was able to work better.”
The whole year felt like a blur. Some may say, the virus ‘stole’ their senior year of high school and the events that were supposed to be held. Guster had said “We missed out on the pep rally which is what us as seniors were looking forward to. When you're a freshman or a sophomore, it doesn’t really matter to you”. This is the year that was supposed to be one to remember.
Now that thankfully we are coming to a full re-opening that is full time in school or full time online, this will cause us to all reconnect. This will cause the seniors to see each other one more time, those could be the last few conversations we ever have with our peers, classmates, and friends.
I asked Guster for her opinion regarding her input on seniors who choose not to come back and she had said, “High school is once in a lifetime experience and you will never be able to experience it again”.
By Gino Santilli
As COVID-19 numbers are declining and the number of vaccine applicants have increased, WHS has announced we will be making the transition to going back into the classroom full-time.
Underclassmen were welcomed into the classroom March 15 and upperclassmen are to be welcomed back March 29.
However, if students are still not comfortable returning, they are allowed to stay a full remote learning. Students, as of publication, will be returning and will be in school for a full five days per week.
Many seniors will be returning in hopes to obtain some of their senior year they feel was taken from them. Senior Joe Raposo stated about this year, “It was impacted very hard. I had to stay home and did not get the full senior experience of my last two years of high school and sports, as my senior basketball season was cut short.”
Many questions rose when the announcement was made that the kids will be going back to school. We are here today to answer some of those questions. We have interviewed John Gallivan and questioned his approach to full time learning.
When Gallivan was asked about precautions, he said, “I will continue to wear my mask, I have had the first dose of my vaccine already with the second one on March 31. I will maintain social distancing as much as possible. My reaction to the first shot was not great and I'm not looking forward to the second shot, but I also recognize that 24 hours of discomfort is a small price to pay to help return our school to normal.”
We then asked Gallivan how he would accommodate the few remote learners. He responded that, “I will continue to work with my online students the same way as I always have, whether there are 2 or 20. As teachers we need to make sure that remote learners are still getting the best possible educational experience. With Google Classroom, Khan Academy, and online discussions, remote students really are able to access the class and me as much as students who are sitting in the room.”
Many have wondered what some teachers' thoughts were about COVID-19 and the whole situation.
“Obviously it is a challenge to teach two distinct groups- students in the building and the ones at home. Nothing about COVID has been easy, and this is just a challenge that we need to overcome as teachers and as students. I think one day we'll look back on this and hopefully be more appreciative of the educational process and the ability to interact with our peers,”Gallivan said.
Thank John Gallivan for sharing those words of wisdom with us today. You heard it here first folks. Wethersfield High School is finally making the highly anticipated transition back to full time education. Stay tuned for updates on how this goes!
By: Samara Irizarry and Shanelle Lewis
Wethersfield High School has given many students opportunities for their future once graduating. Students are given local scholarships (Dollars For Scholars) that benefit those that reside in Wethersfield. Unfortunately that is not the case for CREC Open Choice students that also attend WHS.
Capital Region Education Council (CREC) is an organization that creates high quality programs for people within cities such as Hartford. This has given a window of opportunity to Hartford students to study in suburban towns.
The Dollars for Scholars program has been assisting local students at Wethersfield for years now. It’s always been a go to since it’s only requirement has ever been to attend school at Wethersfield and be a resident of the town. However, nobody has taken the time to consider the students that spend the bulk of their academic years at Wethersfield school’s as CREC open choice students in these scholarships.
This was until five former students of WHS: Erin Robles, Yasmin Lazu, Amayia Giscombe, Lauren Mcalister and Kiara Lazu, took the initiative to start The Primary Project.
This project focuses on the needs of CREC students at the high school who can’t qualify for a Dollars for Scholars scholarship simply because of their residency. They're creating a new scholarship to help relieve some of the financial burden of college these students may have to carry without it.
We interviewed members of the team and they sent their shared responses.
“The Primary Project promotes visibility and education on diverse cultures that students might not be aware of. Wethersfield is a majority white town and we want students to hear the stories of their BIPOC peers’ that may be different to their own,” says Yasmin and Amayia.
Open choice students at WHS have also expressed their opinions towards this. “I feel like not being able to apply discriminates against the choice students. In a way it reminds us that we are not part of the community although we attend school at WHS and have friends here. It’s sad, but The Primary Project will change that,” says WHS senior and open choice student Lynn Blot.
CREC Students have made major contributions towards the Wethersfield Community and this program's goals will help amplify their voices.
The Primary Project has three main pillars that they follow: yellow, red and blue.
Yellow represents community. “CREC students are a crucial part of our town because they participate in town events, do community service, and contribute lifelong connections.”
Red is for advocacy, “In our years at Wethersfield High School we have seen a need for both students and staff to advocate for marginalized communities.”
And finally, blue for culture. “We believe it is important that students recognize and value their own cultures as well as all the cultures around them.” The Primary Project uses these core values to help determine recipients of their scholarship.
Additionally, members of the program have reported gaining support from Wethersfield High School as well as working closely with social studies teacher Doris Duggins and the school's BSU (Brothers & Sisters United) club. Principal Tom Moore and other staff members at WHS have also conveyed their support towards The Primary Project.
Team members Amayia Giscombe and Yasmin Lazu say, “It’s been exciting to see how staff, students, and members of our town have expressed their support.”
The community of Wethersfield can help bring awareness to The Primary Project. You can support them by following their Instagram page (@theprimaryproj), sharing their posts or messages, or even purchasing their t-shirts and hand designed stickers in their store.
For further information and to buy apparel and gear to support their vision, visit The Primary Projects website: https://www.theprimaryproj.com/
by: Ava Ahmetovic
Living in a pandemic is not the most convenient for the lifestyle most people want and need. Most are confined to the four corners of their house.
Since the pandemic started, you can’t see your family, you can’t travel, and you have to keep a mask on 24/7. So if the pandemic was going to end, what is the first thing you would do?
People who we used to see everyday are no longer in our life as much! Family is so important that people will wait outside hospitals to see family from their hospital bed window.
For Mr. Martin, an English teacher at WHS, he just wants to see his family. He said, “I have not seen my family in months, and have not hugged my mom in a year. The first thing I would do is spend more time with my family.”
Most families are split up because elder people can’t be around everyone 24/7. “I want to spend time with my parents, brother, sisters and their families,” said Mrs. Niemic, a psychology teacher at WHS. Lots of people would agree for family time to be the #1 thing to do when the pandemic is over.
There’s always amazing places to see, and go but with a slight travel ban we are to live and admire where we live and for most that may not be enough.
Traveling would probably be the #2 things on people list on what to do after the pandemic. Social studies teacher Mr. Sand said, “I will travel anywhere! But this is the longest I've gone in the last forty years without being on a plane or leaving New England.“
Traveling definitely is a luxury and expensive for most. If you’ve got an eye for good prices and the heart to travel good for you! Gracie Leahy, a current student also said, “I'd travel the world with my friends.” Nothing better than to kick back with some friends on a tropical island.
“I am taking a trip to Hawaii! I want to visit a volcano, learn more about the culture/lifestyle, and go coral reef diving. My plan is to make it happen in the summer of 2022,” says Brandon Chatfield, a science teacher.
We can use this experience to reflect on how grateful we are to have been healthy for the pandemic, and we can also use this time to grieve on our loved ones who put up a good fight. In the end when the pandemic vanishes, there will be plenty to be happy about whether you spend time with family or travel. The world has endless possibilities for new experiences.
by: Chris Pinchera
In a year where nothing is guaranteed, I'm looking to see how students and teachers feel online school has affected the school community and how we learn.
How do teachers see online schooling? Is it effective, is it more difficult and are students getting as much as they are putting in?
I took these questions over to one of the most respected teachers in our school, English teacher John Martin. I wasted no time in our interview and tried to figure out what it was teachers were struggling with in this online stint.
He seemed to believe that one of the main challenges he's had to face over the course of the year is connecting with his students and building a safe learning community. “It’s so easy for students to log off and get their work done, but that's only half the high school experience,” he said. I couldn't agree more with what he said because we lack that joy of joking around in the classroom and those small times talking with teachers as people.
He also went on to tell me about the experiments he's had to do throughout the last year or so to see what works for students. Not everything works for all students and some stuff is just easier to other kids in an online setting.
That being said, I've experienced this first hand while talking to friends and other students, some things that they may find easy I may see it as a challenge because of the layout or maybe even just because I'm at home. When asked what students struggle with the most he responded in a fairly simple and expected manner by saying managing their time and all of their work.
I approached a friend and fellow student Rory Stickley and tried to find out his feelings on online schooling and he was quick to tell me he doesn't see it as being as effective as when we are in the building.
I asked him his biggest struggle in his final year of high school and he replied with, “The college process has been something that I feel like a lot of people weren't ready for, including myself, and it almost feels like everything was rushed.”
With decision day looming in a little less than 2 months, seniors find themselves scattering to figure what they want to do in the future while getting back to some sort of normalcy for their last 3-4 months of high school.
When I asked what he felt the school community was like in this time, he didn't hesitate to say, “Tt feels like it's not even there anymore.” He elaborated on losing his football season and what that meant to his teammates and the school itself.
With everything going on in a bizarre year there wasn't much that Stickley had to say beside.s “look where we are now” in a frustrated tone due to the fact that we still are yet to see much change.
Finding good in a bad situation can be very difficult especially when it's gone on as long as COVID-19 has, and the question that I and many others find themselves asking is: Will things change? Are we going to get what we want and what we deserve after a long and tortuous year?
With the virus numbers going down and vaccines being released we hope to see our peers and teachers walking through the halls just one last time before we move on.
by: Michael Johannes
Typically, most teachers wouldn’t have the necessary time to be able to watch YouTube with their busy lives. They mainly have to grade and create work for their students which can take up to hours depending on how much work the teachers assign to their students. When teachers do have free time, some of them may not watch YouTube because they wouldn’t find their enjoyment there.
There are so many topics to watch on YouTube that teachers could watch anything, it depends on their interests of what they want to watch on YouTube.
WHS social studies teacher Mr. Sand said, “I watch a lot of travel videos.” He uses YouTube for travel since he goes on a lot of vacations to places. He likes to plan out his vacations and uses YouTube in that aspect by understanding the areas he is going to.
WHS Tech Ed teacher Mr. Sikora said, “I watch a variety of topics, from news, automotive and entertainment.” He uses YouTube for church as well ever since the pandemic started.
Some teachers try to make their job easier to do and they do that by using videos to teach the students. There are so many videos on YouTube that some teachers could only use YouTube to teach their students on a topic.
Mr. Sand said, “I use it a lot.” He uses YouTube a lot to show videos to his students because it is better to see videos about the topic that he is teaching and the topic he is teaching is better to be seen then told.
Mr. Sikora said, “I use YouTube for teaching almost every class.” With what he teaches it is better for him since he can look for YouTube videos that will help him explain his lesson plan instead of taking the time to show his students what to do. There are also things that he can show on YouTube but can’t do in school, like showing what a factory looks like.
YouTube is widely used across the world and many teachers use it as well. Many people watch different videos and there is nobody out there who has watched the same exact videos and if somebody watches a lot of YouTube then you can get a good grasp on what that person likes.
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/
It may be more common than you think
by: Will Civitello
Teens everywhere are struggling to find employment since the start of the global pandemic. The lack of jobs has reduced the monthly income of a lot of young adults.
Some families that depend on their child's income to pay a portion of the rent and without the extra money on the table, the guardian is forced to take out earnings from their savings to pay rent.
Customers today like to have their kids stay away from any type of close contact. So, for job like a swim instructor, it is very hard to keep a steady pool of clients. According to the Congressional Research Service, the part time unemployment rate went up to 24.5% while the full time unemployment rate was at 12.9%.
Teen workers are at a severe disadvantage in today's time. With student loan debt, car payments, and necessities, there is not enough money to give them a stable financial foundation. “Due to the lack of kids who sign up for swim lessons due to the pandemic, my financial income has been limited. I’ve had to make sacrifices across the board” (Lee, Swim Instructor).
A plan that discarded teens, has been taken into place which is the distribution of the stimulus check. The amount that only gets bigger is given to people over the age of 18 and to people making a household income of less than $150,000.
Although this may have covered many people, there are still a number of people in highschool who are basing their whole college experience on if they can get a grant or not. If the financial status is not met then the applicant has no choice but to go to a smaller less noticeable school instead of their dream school.
With all this change such as a new lifestyle and how to interact with people coming at once, life is getting very difficult. Molding new solutions and coming up with ways to fill in the day become less and less unique. “[the loss of clients] affects my daily life because of the fact that I’m not working or being with the kids on a constant basis” (Lee, Swim Instructor).
As a community we can help support local small businesses which many authorities overlook. Many times the most significant business is the one of least notice. Look for fundraisers and events to support the community.
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: 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: 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: 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 email@example.com 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: Mya Pellegrino
Most upperclassmen who are soon going to be graduating from WHS are ready for college, but are they really ready to take on the responsibilities of being an adult?
Most seniors graduating in the class of 2020 are worried about the major struggle of adjusting to the differences between high school and college. We can no longer rely on our parents to do things for us while we are in college, we are on our own.
Graduated student from the class 2019 Kylie Judson, who attends the University of Tampa was lucky enough to share with her how she adjusted in college, being so far from home. She said, “College was definitely harder for me to adjust to, especially being far away, it was a whole new scene for me. Meeting new people was hard for me because I've been surrounded by the same people my whole life.”
Having to meet new people all over again is also something that the class of 2020 is stressed about, as we are approaching the last few months of high school. Senior J’von Cooper is mainly stressed about starting over all over again.
Cooper says, “I’m already antisocial as it is, so it makes it really hard for me to make friends because I don’t actively go out and make them. Since I already came in from another school and had to make new friends, I have to go to college and do it all over again and repeat the same process for the third time.”
Honestly, I’m stressed about adjusting to being by myself and having to figure out how to survive without my parents constant help. I need to learn basic life skills like doing my own laundry or cooking my own meal before I head off by myself.
College seems scary as some of us seniors are starting to think about future plans and building new lives for oursleves, but, with alittle adjustment, another 4 years will fly by!
By J’Von Cooper
What is art?
That’s a loaded question, with many ways to answer it. Yet, considering the sizable amount of students participating in the arts here at Wethersfield High Schools, it begs the question.
With art existing in so many forms, is there any way to define it?
Well, according to the people participating in those programs, there are just as many answers as there are people being questioned. However, there is at least one constant within all of them: Emotion.
As Andrea Haas, one of three art teachers at WHS put it, “Art is whatever you want it to be.” She continues to specify, “I see art as a means to send a message. Make an emotional change in the person viewing it.”
That’s how many of her students view art. As Senior Brianna Boucher said, “Art is meant to mean something”, or in other words, elicit enough emotion to be meaningful. This theme of eliciting a reaction echoes through many of the people interviewed, including an unexpecting source.
Jeffery Roets, the current play director and English teacher, had a similar response to the aforementioned people interviewed, and a little more.
“Arts not only reflects our emotions, but makes us question them.” he said. “It makes us feel something.”
Well, if so many people feel so many different ways about art, what is concrete?
Well, as seen by the people interviewed, art means something. What that something is may be different depending on whomever you ask, but it means something to somebody, with everyone saying something.
By: Alexis Almada and Andre Jorge
“Come to paint night and flex your painting muscles” -John Martin
Wethersfield High School’s National Art Honor Society (NAHS) will be hosting its fourth paint night, “Leap Into Spring” on Thursday, February 27th. Paint night will take place in the art rooms located near the pool entrance. No painting experience is required!
The NAHS has been selling tickets ($7 ea.) since February 10th, and will continue selling at the door. The event starts promptly at 6pm and ends around 8pm. To start off the night, guests will have the opportunity to sit in one of the two art rooms and learn to paint a spring themed canvas, instructed by two of the NAHS members.
Instructing this year’s spring paint night will be WHS seniors Alexis Almada (room 22) and Kiara Lazu (room 20). Both instructors will be teaching how to paint the same image. This will be their second time instructing paint night!
The schedule for the night is as follows, painting is taught from 6pm-7pm and then a quick intermission for pizza and other refreshments will be served from 7pm-7:30pm. After that, everyone will return to painting and deserts will be handed out.
Although Alexis and Kiara will be teaching everyone how to make a spring painting, guests are not required to follow along. If you would like, you can paint whatever you want. All supplies will be provided. In each room, painting jockeys will be replacing paint waters, paper towels, and paint as needed.
Everyone is welcome to join us for paint night! It’s a really fun event and everyone is encouraged to come. Please come out and help support the NAHS.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.