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Day 35

Sunsets on spring nights are a spectacular sight. Today is April 21.

Waking up on time (which for me basically means before 9:30 a.m) allowed me to have plenty of before my first Zoom meeting of the day started. Last night I had checked my email and saw  a message from my Advanced Placement (AP) Literature and Composition teacher reminding her students about a practice thesis writing assignment. Apparently I hadn’t been all too focused on what she was saying, however, because I realized this morning I’d read and responded to the wrong text. Instead of reading “The Huntress” by Sofia Samatar, I’d read “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, which was actually the assignment for next week’s discussion.

At my brother’s request, I made a beverage containing frozen raspberry lemonade mix, orange juice, Sprite and ice. We both enjoyed it with dinner. Photo by Bailey Stover.

Upon catching my mistake, I rushed to read through the correct short story and write a thesis for it instead. I was proud of what I came up with and found my argument to be easily understandable and relatively nuanced given the fact that I’d read the text and written the thesis in a span of 15 minutes. Almost as soon as I’d copied my thesis into a shared document for the class, the Zoom meeting started. For the next hour or so we talked about the upcoming AP exam and discussed the meaning of “The Huntress.”

We also analyzed two thesis statements, mine and another student’s. Although I suspect my teacher may have preferred the other student’s (but that’s pure speculation on my part), I felt like my thesis hit all of the necessary components to get the point on the actual exam. Since the beginning of high school, I’ve grown so much as a writer, both in and out of journalism. I feel I have a stronger command of how to write a complex essay in a limited amount of time without limiting my creativity and passion for writing. I’m excited to continue to practice my skills leading up the AP test this year, and I hope my final score reflects the effort I’ve put in these past four years.

After my AP Lit Zoom ended, I had about an hour before my next Zoom meeting (for AP Psychology) started. I decided to use that time to put away some laundry I’d let pile up in my room. Once I’d finished, I noticed I’d also let my bathroom get a little gross, so I pulled out the Windex and paper towels to wipe down the mirror, sink and toilet. The end result was far nicer to look at than how the room was when I’d started, which I’m sure my whole family will appreciate. I washed my hands then headed to the kitchen to heat up some leftovers for lunch before my AP Psychology Zoom started.

I had a little trouble logging in for some reason, but once I joined I quickly jumped into taking notes from the virtual lecture our teacher was doing. In all honesty, I was kind of disappointed in how the lesson went. I’d already done all of the textbook reading, and what our teacher covered was pretty much an exact copy of the definitions and examples I’d seen earlier in the week. I understand for some students (especially those who don’t read the textbook) this can be helpful, but for me it seemed to be a waste of time rather than enriching material.

While my brother, dad and I played washers, my mom started a fire on our deck. Photo by Bailey Stover.

I enjoy my AP Psychology teacher’s in-seat style for education, but for some reason it has not transferred well for me with the switch to online learning. I hope other students found it helpful, but for me I think I could have more productively used the time making flashcards and studying in a different way.After the Zoom ended, I jumped on to the Zoom call that had been going on with the newspaper staff. There weren’t a ton of people, so I let myself slip in and out of the conversation as I edited a staff writer’s feature story about stress and using creative outlets to de-stress. Because I had the time, I did an extremely thorough job critiquing it, and I hope the writer finds my edits useful. I know as a beginning writer last year, I greatly appreciated when my editors would take the time to leave numerous comments because I knew, as a section editor myself, how much energy doing a good job takes. Even though I’m certain not everyone likes to make all the edits I give, I’d like for them to all be able to take what I say and use it to grow and learn.

I spent the rest of my afternoon relaxing and watching Criminal Minds. When I got bored, I watched the most recent episode of Roswell, New Mexico. I won’t give away any spoilers, but the episode left me with a racing heart and an overactive imagination trying to figure out where the show will go next. I’m used to watching series on Netflix. Through streaming services I can binge whole shows in a matter of days, so following a series in real-time through next-day streaming on the CW is almost torturous, especially when I enjoy it as much as I like Roswell, New Mexico.

I captured this beautiful shadow photo of a sunset from our front porch this evening. Photo by Bailey Stover.

As a way to support one of our favorite local restaurants, The Heidelberg, we ordered takeout for dinner. My brother, dad and I drove to pick it up and ended up eating on our back porch when we got home. When we finished our meal, my dad, brother and I played washers for a little while, and my mom started a small fire in our outdoor fire pit. The weather was nice but a bit chilly, so I headed back inside when my toes got too cold.

“One day this will be over, and we will be grateful for life in ways we never felt possible before.”

Matt Haig, novelist

For the rest of the evening we played cards and talked. I’m planning on working on and studying for AP Calculus AB tomorrow. I’ve taken a break, which has been nice, but if I want to do well on the upcoming exam (and I really do) I need to return to my regular study habits. The way I study is exhausting and intense, but it’s also effective. I’m optimistic that if I apply myself for the next few weeks leading up to my four AP exams I’ll be able to attain the scores I want and need for college. 

“One day this will be over, and we will be grateful for life in ways we never felt possible before.” ― Matt Haig, novelist

How did you spend your 35th day of social distancing? Let us know in the comments below.




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