What’s on the minds these days from students at Como Park Senior High School?

Here are essays from juniors Jude Breen, Keira Schumacher and Logan Becker who wrote these essays in late February for English teacher Elizabeth Boyer’s CIS Writing Studio class.

What A Blessing

by Jude Breen

When I reflect on the 2020 football season, I always find myself concurring with the word gratitude.

Every day at practice, Coach Scull would have us take a minute. We would sit there in perfect silence and bask in the opportunity and blessing that we were given in being able to have a season. Not only because it was nice to be doing something normal, but also for the chance to build these lifelong friendships and memories that we all will still think back on decades down the road.

I am constantly thinking back to our game against Johnson. Como hasn’t beat Johnson in football for over 10 years and Johnson likes to let us know that. There was a lot of pressure going into the game. We knew we were a good team with many weapons, but we really had to prove ourselves in this matchup.

The game was on a Saturday morning, and it was the first real cold day we had all year. The type of cold where your toes are numb and your snot is frozen inside of your nose . . . not very pretty.

Despite the crisp wind on our faces, we were fired up.

Our Cougars scored first. I threw a corner route in the end zone to Stone who tracked the rock-hard, bruising football for a touchdown. There’s no feeling quite like your first touchdown. The defense stood strong all game and only allowed one touchdown.

We went into overtime tied 6-6. The strong bodies of our defensive lineman protected the tie, then out came our offense. We direct snapped the ball to Stone and he follows his bodyguard blockers into the end zone, reaching with every inch he has to get the ball over the goal line.

And then, pandemonium ensues. We stormed the field in a sea of black. Johnson players were on their knees questioning how in the world they let Como beat them. The adrenaline running through my body made me forget all about the blistering wind chill, as Coach Scull did his victory dance in our team circle.

Once the celebration is over, the grind started all over again in preparation for the upcoming game. The next Monday we were back on our beautiful turf, again in perfect silence, processing how grateful we are for what we have done so far and what is to come.

I will never forget this season. Hard work truly does pay off, and I have unconditional gratitude for my brothers on my team, and the role models I found in the coaching staff.

A Little Bit of Happiness

By Keira Schumacher

Quarantine has been a hard, boring, slow and tiring time for every­one. Being stuck in the same place day after day has made every moment feel the same. It’s almost been a year now since quarantine has started, so I’m sure that everyone has felt this repetition of days just like I have.

By now it’s very hard to find things that can separate the days for me to make them different or unique. I have hobbies that I can do at home. I draw and paint, play video games. But at some point you get sick of those too.

After months of everything being the same, I knew I had to do something to make my time in quarantine a little bit better. I didn’t think that doing little things, like cleaning my room, walking my dogs, or even just taking time to listen to music would make such an impact on my days.

Taking time for yourself and doing something solely for you and no one else have made my days a little better. When your days start to melt together without being able to separate them, you can get stuck in a rut without being able to get out. That’s happened to me a few times. Sometimes the rut lasts only a few days, but sometimes it can last weeks.

When I’m stuck in this place of repetition it demotivates me to do anything. It feels that anything I do doesn’t really matter because everything will be the same the next day and the day after that. It can be very hard for me to clear my head and start to actively do things rather than just floating through the days.

Some things that have helped me get through these ruts are making a good cup of coffee in the morning, or doing some laundry to be able to wear your favorite sweatshirt again.

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to go downhill skiing this winter, which is the biggest factor for helping me clear my mind and resetting. Being able to breath the cold crisp air on the hills as I’m speeding down. Being able to enjoy skiing with my friends has been one of the main reasons I’m not in a constant rut.

You have to work to find happiness and fulfillment in the little things.

Struggles with online learning

By Logan Becker

Onerous and loneliness are two words I would use to describe the past nine months each and every one of us has experienced. Our main issue, and quite frankly the most obvious one, would be the coronavirus.

It’s been exceptionally difficult on most of us, and the days feel as if they just keep getting worse and worse. Hearing about a vaccine was a lighthearted and a very hopeful sign that everything will turn out okay.

But, social distancing at this point has been nothing but repetitive. I fully understand it’s a safety precaution to keep everyone safe from this pandemic, but it still hurts to know I’m unable to see my friends daily.

I go through my day expecting the same thing consistently over and over again through this pandemic. It’s quite literally the same: Wake up, brush my teeth, take a shower, eat some breakfast, feed my dogs, check in on my little brother, take out the trash, make some lunch, do the dishes, do my laundry, spend time with family and go to sleep. It seems as if spending time at home has been more time consuming than my regular day life before the pandemic. And it’s not entirely easy using my precious free time to focus on school.

Online schooling is more distracting than one might think, surrounded by things you love to do, and having to ignore it to get the things more important done. I’ve always had a difficulty during normal school to get my homework done when I get home from school because I get distracted and it’s really my only time during the day to do what I want to do. But it seems as if that’s how my daily routine has wound up to be. It’s unfortunate to say the least, and overall has been stressful.

I’ve talked with other students about this over Google meets, and we’ve all come to the same consensus that we lack tons of motivation when doing school at home.

Additionally, I find nearly no time to step away from this and haven’t given myself much time to just relax and enjoy myself without the weight of school on my chest. . . . I’m quite fully sure there are hundreds of more students who have dealt with this monstrous difficulty, and it’s been a very strenuous position to be in.

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