Writing in a Time of Crisis

by Mr. Mayo

When I first thought about teaching on March 13th, all I thought about was how it was going to be terrifying. It was a Friday, there was a full moon that week and it was already a very long, emotional time for everyone. We had just finished the yearbook and our school had just faced a tragedy, one that has affected so many and will remain in our hearts for a long time (RIH Alex Valverde; everything we do is for him). Who would have thought that in March, on Friday the 13th, it would be the last day I would potentially see my students physically until the next year.

Since then, Cumberland County Schools have moved to school online. My Google Classroom went from being utilized 50% of the time to being the main source of class and communication between my students and me. We tried Zoom and then for some random reason we now use Google Meet to chat online. I even hold club meetings over Google Meet now as well. Things have changed. It’s different. It’s scary. It’s the new norm in this time of uncertainty.

I have a lot of different reactions to all of this. Many students, especially seniors and athletes, are saddened by the loss of precious time that can never be given back. Some students are happy they get to stay home every day while many more simply miss their friends or even their teachers, people who have taken the role of that extra mother or father figure (I know I miss all of my kids, even my new freshmen).

I see my colleagues adapting and learning, some who have never used Google Classroom, Zoom, Meet, or CommonLit a day in their life, but are learning and doing their best to reach out to their students. All of us are of course worried about our students, whether they are eating, learning, healthy (both physically and mentally), and are safe. 

Ultimately, I see people coming together and hopefully coming out of this better, stronger, and more alive than ever. So to try and add to making things better, I’ve challenged my Journalism I and Journalism II Honors students to continue to write. We are done with the yearbook, but still have so many stories that need to be told, perspectives that need to be shared. 

Starting today, the Creek Chronicle is going to share those stories for our community to read. It’s a chance to share, to cope, to reflect, and come together as one as we all experience this traumatic event that we have all never faced before. It’s a chance for us to recall what we’ve experienced since Friday the 13th, a chance for our future selves to reflect back and see the history taking shape as we speak.

I hope you take the chance to read, to comment, and to share these stories as they are published on this website. I hope you not only find enjoyment but some sort of connection to it as well.

Stay safe at home and I look forward to seeing all of you hopefully sooner than later.

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