The Paw Print

Picture this: you’re watching an incredible movie, and when there’s only 20 minutes left, it just randomly ends. The only way of finding out what happens to the characters is by reading the Wikipedia plot summary. Unfortunately, this abrupt ending to what should have been one of the best years of our lives is the Class of 2020’s new reality due to the far-reaching effects of COVID-19. Many of my fellow seniors and I can vividly remember that fateful Friday the 13th. It was a sunny, uneventful day when we received the call from Dr. Bernardo declaring that schools would be closed for one week. Soon after, the closure was extended several times by both our state and local governments until Governor Cuomo ultimately made the executive decision to close all New York schools for the rest of the academic year. A closure that was once welcomed as a break from the dreaded third quarter slump morphed into a crisis for not just our district, but for the entire globe. Uncertainty and a sense of overall anxiety paralyzed us all. Essentially everyone has been impacted by the Coronavirus, ranging from healthcare providers who put their own lives at risk each day to help others in need, to parents who must now become educators in addition to caretakers and breadwinners, to teachers who must completely adapt to an unprecedented system of online learning, to small children who now wonder why they cannot go to school or have playdates with their friends. For some Americans, COVID-19 has brought about immense feelings of loss due to the effects of illness and even death. For others, their grief may not be as profound, but the social losses felt by many have seriously impacted our mental health and well-being. This is especially true for the members of the senior class, forced to move onto the next chapter of our lives without the closure we yearn for and deserve. Second semester of senior year is often regarded as the best time in high school. At that point, students are finalizing their college decisions after years of putting in the hard work, picking out their prom dresses, receiving their yearbooks and having their closest friends and teachers sign them, watching VY with a twinkle of appreciation and nostalgia in their eyes, decorating their graduation caps, and simply enjoying the last few weeks of making memories before everyone goes their separate ways. COVID-19 has stripped these opportunities away from us. I’d like to be totally honest and convey how hard it is to find the motivation to continue with schoolwork when you have nothing to look forward to anymore. I miss my friends, my teachers, and just my normal life. I took the simplest pleasures such as getting coffee with my friends or going for a drive to the beach after the school day is over for granted. I really loved the freedom that came with being a senior; we all did. I think the adjustment to life in quarantine has been made more difficult because of the fact that Whitman feels like a second home to so many seniors. Our classmates and teachers have assumed the role of our second families. Our administrators and teachers care so much about us and worked tirelessly to give us the best Whitman experience we could ever ask for. Of course it’s customary to have your senior year end by taking pictures with your friends on commitment day, dancing the night away at prom and celebrating your achievements at graduation, but the circumstances just won’t allow us to. It is my hope that we will be able to reunite again soon and reminisce about all the amazing memories we had the privilege of making together. It’s safe to say that quarantine has made me realize that I should never take the people and places I love for granted again.

Tips to Stay On Top of Your Work During Quarantine

Gabriel Gonzalez, Editor June 5, 2020

With people stuck inside due to quarantine, many students may find it difficult to stay motivated to complete their school assignments, stay active, or even to do things they normally find pleasurable....

Decking the Halls at Whitman

By Faith Tyburksi January 27, 2020

It’s time for the holidays, and Walt Whitman High School’s hallways are gleaming with color and cheer! Every wing throughout the building is taking the initiative to get everyone into the holiday spirit...

Senioritis: The Silent Killer of Grades and Motivation

By Kayla Sakayan, Editor in Chief January 27, 2020

Do you find yourself suffering from a severe lack of motivation, perpetual narcolepsy, or the desire to roam around the halls instead of sitting in class? Have baggy sweatshirts and caffeine become your...

Clue: 2019: “IT’S NOT JUST A GAME… ANYMORE”

Angelina Blankson , Staff Writer November 21, 2019

This coming November, Walt Whitman’s Performance Arts Center Stage will be presenting Clue, a play that is perfect for anyone who enjoys dark comedies or murder mysteries. If you find yourself not...

Powderpuff 2019 Under the Lights

Kayla Sakayan, Editor-in-Chief November 21, 2019

 On Friday, October 4th, Whitman’s annual Powder Puff football game fostered camaraderie and “healthy” competition between the Junior and Senior classes once again. Everyone on both the turf...

Yet Another Mass Shooting...Will This One Bring Change?

Yet Another Mass Shooting…Will This One Bring Change?

Ashar Farooq, Co-Managing Editor April 4, 2018

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day of love. However, a horrible tragedy occurred in Parkland, Florida as Nikolas Cruz, a former student of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, gunned down 17...

The. XFL. Is. Coming. Back. !!!.

The. XFL. Is. Coming. Back. !!!.

Ashar Farooq, Co-Managing Editor April 4, 2018

Have you heard about the XFL? It is an extreme form of the National Football League and it is set to make a thumping return in 2020. The XFL was around in the early 2000s before its demise shortly afterwards....

The Story of the 2018 Winter Olympics

The Story of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Ashar Farooq, Co-Managing Editor April 4, 2018

The wait is over. They are here[and now already gone]. The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang are here in style as there have been plenty of medals awarded to well-deserving teams and individuals. Olympic...

Are We Really Hearing Our Music?

Are We Really Hearing Our Music?

Josh Joseph, Section Editor February 18, 2018

Today, music is more accessible than ever before. The albums that were reserved by our parents for special occasions and dedicated listening sessions are now available at a moment’s notice, with nearly...

Celebrating World Pangolin Day

Celebrating World Pangolin Day

Ben Joseph, Staff Writer February 17, 2018

Mark your calendars: Saturday, February 17th is World Pangolin Day. That’s right—an entire day dedicated to the celebration and preservation of… pangolins? What even is a pangolin, and what is happening...

Overview on Cryptocurrencies

Overview on Cryptocurrencies

Shaan Khan, Staff Writer February 10, 2018

Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are online currencies that use cryptography to secure their transactions, hence the prefix “crypto.”  Bitcoin, like gold, is viewed by some as a viable long term...

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