What kind of things do you normally do in Aquaponics, and have there been any specific activities that have been canceled?
So in Aquaponics – this is our third or fourth year, I can’t even remember now – but we always have lunch together. Mrs. McDougal and I would take turns bringing lunch every week, and then when our harvest is ready – in Aquaponics we grow lettuce and herbs and stuff – we usually take that and turn it to lunch, and so now we’re not able to meet during lunch and eat together. So that’s totally changed, we haven’t even met yet this year… We also really need to clean the system, so instead of doing our fun lunch meetings, we get to do it after school but that means that not very many people can actually do it because they have jobs, and sports, and other things.
What have you guys had to change for each meeting? Especially like you said, making it after school?
Yeah, so changing the time, it just kind of takes away the comradery of it. That’s always been part of the fun, is that we all eat lunch together and try strange dishes together, so now there’s no eating together. During the lunch meetings, we also sometimes write applications for grants to try to get money to build a greenhouse. And it’s just been so much harder to coordinate people to even get any of those things done.
For French Club, what activities do you normally do, and have there been any canceled activities for that as well?
My favorite thing is the French Club lock-in, we get to do it every fall and it’s just kind of our big, fun bonding event. We get to sleep over in the library, do the ghost tour, play games, watch movies, and eat, and in the morning we make crepes. It’s so much fun and it’s such a bonding experience, but there’s no way that can happen this year. We also always go Christmas carolling, we go with Spanish club and German club and ASL Club, and we sing at all of the nursing homes. But they’re all in lock-down so we can’t go to those… And we’ve always had our Wednesday lunch meetings but we can’t do that anymore, so that also kind of wrecks fundraising efforts because we’re doing the France Trip in 2022, and so we’re going to try to sell butter braids like we always do, but it’s really hard when we can’t have meetings to coordinate it.
So as far as meetings go, are you maybe using Google Meets?
That’s been a thought as something to potentially do. But again, it’s so hard to coordinate everybody’s schedules. Even if we were able to do the last few minutes of lunch to coordinate things, I have lunch with the freshmen and juniors, and those are the only ones I could have to meet with. So we’re trying to see if there’s another day after school that we could meet, but then that limits it for kids who ride the bus since they can’t stay after. Pretty much everything has changed.
Have you thought about what you’re maybe going to do next semester or are you just kind of waiting to see how things go?
I think we’re all just in that wait-and-see mode. I hope that things will change for next semester, it would be so wonderful if we got to do some of our clubs and events and everything. I guess I don’t have a whole lot of hope. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, that we’re gonna be “back to normal.”
Is there anything else that you want to add, or that you want students to know?
I feel bad for everyone and how this has disrupted their high school, because I think one of the best things about high school is finding common interests with people and being able to join the clubs, and do things outside of school work at school. And we lack that social aspect of it that we all really need in order to stay positive and to stay sane! It’s not fun, and even Google Meets is just not the same as in-person.
What changes have you had to make to stay safe from COVID-19 and fit the regulations, especially regarding social distancing and wearing masks?
I didn’t want to cancel Book Club because there’s a few kids in Book Club that don’t join anything else, so it’s nerdy and it’s fun for them and I think they really like it. So we discussed it a little bit and we decided that if each person sat at their own table [in the library] we could stay six feet apart and be okay to eat lunch… So I guess we aren’t wearing our masks, but we’re socially distant and we’re eating, and we’re laughing, and that’s just the best that we can do right now.
Have you had to cancel any activities that you would normally do as a part of the Book Club, and how are you trying to compensate for that?
Last spring we had planned on going to the Colorado Teen Literature Conference in Denver, and that got cancelled obviously because of COVID. And then this year I’m assuming that that’s not even planned, but I don’t know, so that’s something. I did promise Book Club that we could do a sleepover in the library if COVID seizes to be an issue!
And so have you been thinking about making plans for the rest of the semester?
Last year we did some online Google Meets for Book Club meetings and that went okay… So should we go home, that’s always in my mind that we can do that, which is nice. We’ll just continue to try and keep it fun and lowkey. I think one of my favorite things about Book Club is that there’s no stress, it’s just people reading whatever they want to read, and if you haven’t had time to read that’s okay too. Just kind of hanging out with other readers, so.
And is there anything that you’d like to add, or that you want students to know about it?
I think I’d like students to know that a lot of people in Book Club are introverts, and I think that some kids are afraid to come to a club at all because they’re an introvert. But Book Club is made up of those types of people, and we are really low-stretch. You don’t have to talk if you don’t want to, you can just hang out and watch as much as you want. So I’d like kids to know that our readers, that it’s a safe place for them to come and be goofy if they want.
As a part of Drama Club, what do you specifically do and what job do you have?
This year I am a Theatre Officer, which is just a leadership role… And what I do as a theatre officer is I help anyone who has questions about the department and what we do. I get more details and just what Neumiller tells everyone else.
What kind of things would you normally do before COVID?
Normally with auditions, we would have people come in and perform, but this time we had to record it and we would have a fall show, where we would get together and do rehearsals. Now, we just have to wear masks, social distance, and do separate little shows and film it.
Are you still going to be doing live performances, or how is that going to work?
No, just because it breaks the COVID rules. We aren’t allowed to have more than one-hundred people in the audience.
What are some overall differences in what you’re doing this year in comparison to what you would normally do?
The major difference is probably not having an audience to perform for and it’s all recording, as well as for the Fall Film Series, and [Neumiller] is mainly having it be student-run. So all of the directors will be students, all of the actors will be students, and just everything will be students. She’s just there for support.
And so is everything in person or is it somewhat online?
It’s really up to how each group decides either if they want to meet in person or meet online. For the filming, we would have to meet in person, but we would socially distance if it’s the actors’ preference.
And do you want to elaborate on what the Fall Film Festival is?
So the Fall Film Festival is where we are grouping a bunch of kids together to work on different films, and we haven’t seen who’s the directors or the actors or what the shows are yet. We just recently had the auditions, so more is to come on how that will be looking.
How does this affect you personally and what are your thoughts on it in general? And what are some obstacles, just overall, that you’re managing?
This has affected me because I really enjoy getting everyone together, performing for an audience, and making them happy. Now we won’t be able to do that, so it’s an obstacle for figuring out how everyone else reacts instead of just the actors.
Is there anything else that you want to add or that you want people to know?
If you are doing online learning, you can still participate in Theatre. I know we have a couple of online learners who have auditioned and are going to be a part of the Fall Film Series. That’s just because it’s not in school till after school, and you can do other activities and still have enough time to do Theatre as well.