Flashback Friday: The Last Day of Normal Life

Marko Barrera and Adam Abougendia

  March 13th, 2021, another day of virtual school goes by, students check their phone, particularly their Snapchat memories. This is where the “One year ago today” memories usually show up. As one can tell from the name, students can see any photographic reminiscences from a year prior. Students would then see themselves on campus, hanging out with friends, without having to wear a mask, social distance, or anything that they would be used to in today’s world. This was March 13th, 2020, otherwise known as students’ last day of normal life.

  As we look back on this week’s ‘flashback friday,’ we take a trip down memory lane and see exactly what was going on at Pines Charter. To be specific, we’ll start at the beginning of the week, on March 8th. Picture this: students walking out of third period on another day of hot Florida weather, some going to lunch while others go to their fourth. This Monday was very important for music listeners as Lil Uzi Vert finally dropped a project after 3 long years. “We’ve been anticipating this album for years,” junior Sergio Marrero said, “All of a sudden, in the middle of third period Uzi decided to drop Eternal Atake and my class exploded.” He went on to blast the entire album in his ears through lunch and into the rest of the day and eventually the whole week. 

  Simultaneously, students were looking forward to the upcoming spring break. From family trips out of town, to simple hangouts with friends, students definitely planned to be around people without any safety precautions. They were especially excited for that year’s spring break because it apparently extended an extra week, due to ‘light coronavirus concern.’ Although, kids didn’t pay too much attention to it. The majority of students simply saw it as just another week of spring break. “I was planning to take a trip to Colombia with my mom,” Nathalie Portillo, sophomore, exclaimed, “I was genuinely excited for this trip since we haven’t been in a long time.” The cancellation of her upcoming volleyball tournament had no effect on this excitement, as she, along with the majority of students, did not take it too seriously.

  With so much time passed, students have found new habits and are used to the ‘new norm.’ It has gotten to the point where they’ve forgotten what it feels like to be in a classroom 8 hours a day and 7 days a week. As a matter of fact, kids might not have realized it, but the switch to virtual school treated them a bit nicely. The school hours went from 7:40am-2:00pm to 8:30am-2:45pm. With this blessing of an extra hour of sleep, it begs the question: Do students really miss in-person school? Senior Michael Mancao expressed, “Even with the extra hour of sleep, I still kind of miss school on campus. Talking to my friends and laughing in between classes was always the highlight of my day.” This perspective is common with this year’s senior class. This is mostly due to the fact that they would be missing out on the majority of their junior activities such as senior step-up day, and as of right now, all of their senior plans besides graduation. This school year was truly something that nobody would want to go through again, but the class of 2021 really got the short end of the stick. 

  After reviewing the past and discussing the present, the obvious next step is to look ahead to the future. In this situation, the only thing we can do is hope for a better future, a brighter future, a future with one less mask on and six less feet apart.