Through the end of the 2019-2020 school year, The Camasonian staff would like to share CSD staff and students’ “silver linings”, those things that make quarantine life more bearable as the school year winds down.
Somehow, trying to focus on the bright side of things seems kind of ridiculous considering the dark times we are living in. Yet, the bright side is exactly what this article is about; bright things for a bright future!
As an educator, I spend my entire day trying to teach lessons to students in order to help prepare them for whatever path they take in life; however, the most valuable lessons aren’t learned in a classroom, they are experienced. With this thought in mind, I would like to share some lessons students at CHS have learned through their experiences during the first 6 months of 2020.
- Think before you post anything on your social media. (January) In this age of exponentially increasing technological advancements, there is no telling what social media will look like in 10 years, but students at CHS are going to be prepared for whatever this technology may bring. Whether it is from the controversial tweets of our President or an off-handed comment from your principal, students have learned that words, driven by emotions in the moment, are permanent and can leave nasty scars. Imagine how much brighter the world will be with Camas students leading the way in using social media in thoughtful and respectful ways!
- Don’t make angry threats on social media. (February) While this lesson is very close to the first, we can not forget the impact that an angry threat, driven by a response to what someone else posts, can do. It is natural to develop strong emotions when reading someone else’s hurtful comments, but in those moments, we must take a pause and remember that nothing good comes from making intimidating responses. If lockdowns taught you nothing else, please let it remind you to let yourself calm down before you send your thoughts out for the world to read. Imagine how much brighter the world will be with Camas students driving conversation instead of confrontation!
- Take care of yourself. (March) As we watched the coronavirus spread from country to country, eventually hitting Washington state with a vengeance, Camas students began to understand the value of maintaining their health. While the immediate warnings just involved keeping hands washed and away from faces, the time we have had separated from our friends and family reminds us that the best way to stay healthy is to live healthy. The joy from being outside on a walk, bike ride, or run has not only increased our ability to be healthy, but has influenced changes in other aspects of our lives as well. Imagine how much brighter the world will be with Camas students modeling healthy lifestyles for years to come!
- Sacrifice for others. (April) While the shelter in place order was given in March, the real effects weren’t felt until the beginning of April when Camas students learned they would not be returning to school for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. This news was devastating to seniors who would not be able to join together for their senior prom or graduation, for teachers who had to develop an online curriculum knowing that some of the students they loved might fall through the cracks, and for the freshman, sophomores, and juniors who were missing friends and face-to-face adventures. But the bottom line is, your sacrifices may have very well saved your own grandparents, not to mention how it saved healthcare workers in our state from experiencing the devastation others in their field experienced in Italy and New York. Imagine how much brighter the world will be with Camas students offering to sacrifice for the greater good of their communities…of their world…in the years to come!
- Respect Diversity. (May) Just when things were starting to look up in regards to “corona quarantine”, Camas students and their families were hit by the harsh realities that minorities face in our society. Video became a testimony of cruelty and murder, causing feelings of fear, pain, and disgust to resonate within our community. Imagine how much brighter the world will be with Camas students living their lives with eyes wide open and honest respect for human life…all human life!
- Stand up and be silent no more. (June) As protests and riots have filled city streets throughout our country, students at Camas High School have learned to find their voices. Some led respectful protests in our small town, recognizing that big change begins with small steps. Some are just developing their own opinions and figuring out where they fit in. But imagine how much brighter the world will be with Camas students speaking up and speaking out for the change they want to see in the world!
I can see it. I can see the silver lining. I can see a bright future. I can see it. Can you?