By Lani Tunzi
For the Class of 2020, the homestretch of senior year will forever be remembered as the time of the coronavirus.
At Eagle Rock High, the national emergency declared on March 13 led quickly to the cancellation of classes and the hasty construction and distribution of online schedules. Several treasured and greatly anticipated events were postponed or cancelled. As the emergency continues and deepens, hope is dwindling that any remaining events – including graduation – will take place as planned.
School closures are a proper response to the escalating emergency; the lost time and effort invested in extracurriculars is an unfortunate knock-on effect. Still, for the record, the cancellations and indefinite postponements include the annual Dustbowl, the school’s largest and most loved tradition and fundraiser originally set for March 17, the Senior Lip-Sync battle on March 25 and the Junior Dinner Dance on April 17.
Over at Franklin High School in Highland Park, the robotics team, set to go to a world championship in Texas, has seen the competition cancelled, while the Academic Decathlon team, set to go to the state finals in Sacramento, has competed online rather than in-person.
Beyond the loss of instructional time and cancellation of activities, school closure is especially challenging for students who rely on school for meals and internet access. To compensate for these circumstances, the school district has done its best to provide free meals and internet service. In Northeast L.A., Grab & Go meals are being provided at Eagle Rock High, Luther Burbank Middle School in Highland Park and Sotomayor Academies in Glassell Park.
Amidst the concern and confusion, college admissions decisions have continued to trickle in, despite most of the prospective campuses being closed for the remainder of the semester. Though nobody anticipated opening acceptance letters in surgical masks, hope for a brighter future in college has continued to flourish through the hazy hysteria.
Lani Tunzi is a senior at Eagle Rock High School.