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Locked Out

COVID-19 seniors

By Gloria Austin
Another month of stay-at-home order.
Play it by ear for months to come.
It is out of routine. It is feeling smothering. It is feeling perfectly fine. It is feeling natural. It is feeling nostalgic. It is feeling odd. It is throwing caution to the wind. It is feeling worried. It is feeling our rights are being infringed on. It is feeling the government knows best. Yep. That is our world today. We are upside down. Looking for the right information on an information highway that changes lanes daily.
What is the same for everyone is this is not normal.
Houlton’s Madison “Maddie” Dunn never thought her senior year would culminate in this.
“I never imagined this would happen,” she wrote on her Facebook post. “We woke up every day to go to a place where our lives would be shaped, shared with friends, and cared for by teachers and staff. although school isn’t for everyone, so many people benefit from what it offers.”
Some independent learners are hitting the mark scholastically, but socialism is missing.
“At the beginning of the year, I was excited, yet nervous, as my last year of my friends, my teachers, and the art room, were upon me,” she wrote. “I was excited to graduate, walking across the stage, receiving my diploma with the people I went to school with, for my whole life, behind me. I was excited for events like prom, and then we went to school for the last time without even knowing it.”
All of us remember our senior year. The fun we had together. For me, it was the Circus, Queen’s Court (yes, I put on a dress and marched), prom, senior class night, and graduation. Singing the class ode, listening to our classmates read their speeches, our guest speaker giving advice, and cheering us on to adulthood. Project Grad and all-night fun. Closure for four years of hard work.
We had time to spend together. We stayed in touch with friends throughout the summer. Saying our goodbyes to each other as we left for college or taking jobs, moving away, or just staying in Houlton and making our lives and homes.
How would most of us have felt if the rug was taken out from under us? Well, those who hated school would have been elated. As are some students now. But, the majority, would feel cheated. Just like Dunn and all of the seniors in every school.
“I never imagined this would happen,” wrote Dunn. COVID-19 “took the last moments I’d spend with my favorite people. Now,I have to spend the rest of my senior year at home.”
We are thankful for our health. We are thankful for our families. We are being cautious. We are losing much we took for granted.
“I am so thankful for the experiences I’ve had at Houlton High School,” Dunn wrote. “My teachers are not giving up on me and my friends are supporting me.
“A worldwide virus took the year that made high school all worth it,” she added.
The senior class of 2020 will remain in history as the class of COVID-19 pandemic. No conclusion, just Dunn’s last words about her high school that sums up many senior’s thoughts.
“I’d never thought I’d say, I will miss this place.”

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