Some thoughts on Quarter 1


Reece Lapas, Gene Yamashita, Joshua Chow, guest writers

There are vast amounts of perspectives on school and even more now as it starts back up
in a seemingly new world. We as humans adapt in many ways to accommodate the ever changing
world and now more than ever adaptation is key. School has returned in a not so glorious way,
but it is still something that we all cherish over the online format. As the quarter comes to a
quick end let us reflect on the hardships and the triumphs that have accumulated from the past
weeks from three different perspectives.
Gene’s Thoughts
I think that after the subpar last year we all experienced, this school year is exactly what
we needed. Through the pandemic year many students struggled and didn’t have the best year
emotionally. Although certain classes were easier and skipping class was a click away, it was
never the same as a “normal” year. A big part of this new school year is socializing, during the
pandemic year students could rarely socialize with one another, and hopping on a discord call
isn’t the same as face-to-face conversations. For me this year reminds me of my freshman year a
pre-COVID-19 year where students could hangout during lunch and talk during passing and
recess. But along with the similarities between this year and previous years there are many
changes that have happened. A big change is the necessity of masks. We are attending school
during a pandemic and we all need to stay as safe as possible. I believe that there has been a bit
of culture shock in returning to the all in-person school setting, especially during the first few
weeks of school. Being able to see hundreds of students on campus, sitting in a classroom
setting, and seeing friends that have changed. It’s all so exciting. The year has just begun and
students will need to continue to keep safe, as we move on in the year there will be obvious
setbacks and breakthroughs. But I believe that this year will be a good reminder of how much a
wild roller coaster school can be.
Joshua’s Thoughts
Being digitally bound and seeing people one dimensionally made me realize the little
aspects of school that I miss. We as people always seem to take for granted things, but only
realize their importance once they are gone. That is my relationship with school, I took for
granted the way things have been formatted for years and when the rug was pulled I never
seemed to appreciate it more. Therefore I was ecstatic to be back and be able to meet all kinds of
people and indulge in the process of learning. However, the creature from the shadows haunting
me is COVID-19 and the whole pandemic going around. It seems great to be back, but the surge
in cases really dampens that feeling. It feels like a cricket that won’t stop chirping at night, the
constant ticking of a clock, a constant drop of water hitting the ground. It is something that
looms over me and something that gives me little control. No one wants to catch COVID-19 and
no one wants to give it to people that they care about. It is something that is in the back of my
head constantly.
The bulk of the learning experience is the classes that you choose to take. It defines you and the
risks that you are willing to take. For me I choose to take two AP courses and continue to the next level with my studies in other subjects. To be honest with you I’m more stressed out than
ever before. I feel as though I need to spend more time with my work and that my work isn’t up
to par. I feel as though I’m lacking in many areas and the time that I spend isn’t enough. The
quarter is coming to a quick close and I feel burnout. I want to do more, but there just isn’t
enough time left. However, it won’t let it affect me.
In a time where everyone is struggling with one problem or another, it is hard to find motivation.
What motivates us, is what makes us better and strives to do our best. When I think about what
motivates me it is complicated. I get motivated by a lot of things, I get motivated by you, the
reader (students and teachers) , I get motivated by my family, and many other factors. I’m
thankful to be in the position that I’m in and the people that surround me. I might not be doing
relatively well in school right now, but that won’t stop me and it shouldn’t for anyone. I know
things are challenging, and more and more problems are getting piled on, but remember the little
things. Remember what motivates you and focus on the little successes in life. Maybe that could
be studying hard and getting a good score for a quiz or it could be slowly building up your ability
to do something. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you try your best and not give up, that
will take you far.
Reece’s Thoughts
I thought a lot about social media and the internet’s purpose during the pandemic. It felt
like such a double-edged sword, because without the internet I would never have been able to
interact with my peers, friends, or family in such a close way. On that front, it served as a kind of
utility that I never realized I took for granted. The idea that I could, at any time, talk to people I
care about whenever I wanted felt very comforting. Even still, it felt like there was something
lost in that connection. There were some aspects of in-person interaction that were irreplaceable.
It was really hard to figure out why it felt that way until I finally got back on campus this year.
Even though I was able to talk to others over the internet, there is a rapport that you build with
someone in person that cannot be replicated online. It is impossible to discern body language, it
is really hard to see people reacting to what you say, and there is a kind of closeness that cannot
be achieved online. In a way, school has given the opportunity to build back on what was taken
away over the pandemic. I have my classes and my own things that I need to do, but I am so
relieved that I can even be somewhat close to the people around me that I care about. I hope I can continue to foster relationships that I have maintained over the past year, and I really hope
that we are able to still be around each other.
These were a few outlooks on some of our peers’ experiences and thoughts on the
quarter. With this part of the semester coming to an end, it was a positive way for everyone
involved to share their thoughts and feelings on what happened. Moving forward, there still exist
many tentative plans and unknowables, but hopefully these perspectives could be related back to
your own experiences so far this year.