Tag Archives: 2020-2021

Year in Review: Comfort is the Top Trend

By Grace Van Duyn, ’22

Staff Writer

The past year proved to be quite a unique one. Even though people had different experiences during the pandemic, I think most of us can say that we saw the cultural trends of our lives – and those of the world – change drastically. 

When schools and office buildings shut down in March 2020, we found ourselves doing all of our work online. Millions of people were meeting over video calls with teachers, bosses, friends, and family. Many of us had never heard of Zoom before and had never worked or studied remotely.  Most of us started off with great intentions of bringing our best selves to this new situation. Even though we may have gotten dressed in the first stages of zooming, it wasn’t long before a lot of us decided to stick with wearing pajamas. Comfort quickly became a priority. People who used to show up to work in formal suits had no need for those types of clothes when working remotely. In fact, stores found that pajamas sales experienced a 143% increase in 2020. Comfort was a big priority for many during 2020, and if we weren’t sleeping in blankets, we were wearing them. The Comfy was originally featured on Shark Tank in 2017, and due to its popularity – especially during 2020 – it has become one of the most successful products that has ever been on the show. There is no doubt that this cozy and one size fits all combination blanket and sweatshirt was the perfect 2020 uniform for remote work and school.

https://forktospoon.com/air-fryer-how-to-make-frozen-waffles-fries-in-the-air-fryer/

Along with trying to stay as comfortable as possible, many people wanted to eat good food. Food is a source of comfort and people were trying to find good food options while stuck at home. Instead of eating out at their favorite restaurants, more people were eating at home. People were looking for familiar and comforting foods to get them through their time in quarantine. Grubhub made a list of its top 10 most popular orders of 2020. The top five on the list were a spicy chicken sandwich, a chicken burrito bowl, chicken wings, waffle fries, and cold brew coffee. 

After getting comfortable with being comfortable all the time – and after too many takeout orders, many people next found themselves working out at home. With gyms and workout studios closed or severely restricted, people tried to find easy ways to exercise at home. People found themselves buying workout bands, weights, and even thousand dollar stationary bikes. Even people who didn’t have access to equipment found workouts on YouTube. As more people set up in-home gyms, stores across the country sold out of weights.  Bicycles were also almost impossible to find over as people tried to get outside and exercise.  

Music was another way we kept ourselves sane during this time. Some of the most listened to songs of 2020 were Blinding Lights, Dance Monkey, and Before You Go. Artists like Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, and Dua Lipa came out with multiple songs that were extremely popular during this time. 

https://www.insider.com/quarantined-nyu-students-sharing-confusing-meals-on-tiktok-2020-8

Many of us found some of our favorite songs in 2020 on the popular app called TikTok. While it became popular in 2019, the pandemic pushed people who had long resisted it into joining. Some of the top TikTok trends of 2020 were what I eat in a day, NYU quarantine meals, whipped coffee, election memes, and anything with pets. People of all ages joined in.

Sources :

https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/culture/g34858452/pop-culture-moments-2020/

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/12/business/coronavirus-online-shopping/index.html

https://www.today.com/shop/bestselling-products-year-t204707

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/reviewedcom/2020/05/15/the-20-most-popular-things-people-are-buying-right-now/5201387002/

https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/5-ways-to-upgrade-work-from-home-lunches

https://www.officialcharts.com/chart-news/the-official-top-40-biggest-songs-of-2020__29264/

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/laurenstrapagiel/tiktok-trends-2020

Featured image: https://www.delish.com/kitchen-tools/cookware-reviews/a28351871/shark-tank-sherpa-hoodie/

 

Year in Review: HHS Staff Finds New Ways to Unwind in 2020

By Ashley Stracco, ’24

Staff Writer

In the year of Coronavirus – also known as 2020 – we all had a great deal of time on our hands that we did not know what to do with. Some of us watched TikToks, reels on Instagram, and shows and movies provided by multiple streaming services. Others spent their time gaming and sleeping. Some people obtained a new skill. I, for one, started baking and cooking for my family. My specialty: banana muffins. 

Our HHS staff was no different. In between mastering remote teaching and dealing with other pandemic changes, they needed something for stress relief or entertainment. Some rediscovered a hobby they used to love, while some picked up an entirely – and sometimes surprising – new skill.

Mr. Henderson, an English teacher, has taken up scootering and skateboarding with his family. “I’m terrible at it – truly, terrible – but I find it gives us all a good laugh together,” he said. “I’ve also been playing more video games, mostly with my daughters, with some of the pandemic time. If it goes on much longer, I’m hoping to pick up the guitar again.”

Ms. Tarkanian, a special education teacher, worked on improving her skills baking and decorating sugar cookies. “I make the cookies and royal icing from scratch and then put my skills to work.”

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/13/833346707/with-people-stuck-at-home-jigsaw-puzzle-sales-soar

Mrs. Youngworth, a French teacher, started doing puzzles. ” ‘Crazy, drive you a little bit insane, all the pieces look alike’ puzzles,” she said. “I found it very calming to sit there away from a screen and sort through the colors and shapes.” The puzzles were something that everyone in the family could help with as much, or as little, as they wanted to, she explained, and they framed several to hang in the family room when they were done. “Everyone signed and dated the back as we finished each one, so we will have a record of the craziness that was 2020 piece by piece.”

Mrs. Gately, who teaches Spanish, also got hooked on puzzles. “I had forgotten how much I liked to do puzzles as a kid,” she said. “I can’t believe how it completely frees my mind from the outside world and helps me to focus on the simple task of matching shapes and designs. Very satisfying!!!  Now, we always have a puzzle in progress on a table.”

Mr. Decie, who teaches science, rediscovered a role-playing game that he enjoys called Dungeons and Dragons. Created in the 1970s, the game allows players to create characters and go on adventures, all designed by the player known as a Dungeon Master. His games often included fellow science teacher Mrs. Emerson, who also got into TikTok during the pandemic. “Watching Tiktok makes time fly by and makes me feel like all my crazy isn’t crazy,” she said. “I love the parents acting like their teens.

Guidance Secretary Mrs. Gallagher tackled a few do-it-yourself furniture painting projects. “I found these few projects a great distraction from the stress of the pandemic that I could not control,” she said. “They helped take my mind from the negative worries.”

Mr. Sprague, a special education teacher, built a treehouse for his kids.

It’s probably no surprise that Mrs. McCusker, a history teacher and former school librarian, spent her extra time during the pandemic reading. 

Ms. Johnson, a special education paraprofessional, rekindled her love of art. “Because of the pandemic, I have been able to spend more time painting and drawing,” she said. “I especially enjoy painting on beach stones and writing inspirational messages on them.” 

Ms. Rapalje, the school adjustment counselor, also enjoyed rock painting. “It is very calming and meditative,” she said.

English teacher Mrs. McDonnell used her time during quarantine to get back to yoga and take more walks. “These activities allowed me daily to mentally refresh during a stressful time,” she said. 

Baking bread and taking up cross-stitch have helped Mrs. Stukenborg, assistant principal, through the pandemic. Mrs. Parry,  a science and math teacher, also started making sourdough.

Cooking became a passion for Mrs. Coates, a history teacher. “It allowed me the opportunity to use a creative flare as well as serve up some new and delicious recipes!”

Math teacher Mrs. Thompson has been having dance parties with her 3-year-old son during quarantine. “Dancing is a hobby of mine, and I haven’t been able to dance much during the pandemic,” she said. “We talk about how to move our bodies, how different movements can portray feelings, and it’s just been so much fun for us!”

Drama director Mr. Fahey returned to writing music, plays and poetry. “It was great to get back to writing and express my ideas during a difficult time

Mr. Rodday, a special education teacher, has been riding bikes with his family. 

In an effort to cut back on screen time for her and her youngest daughter, paraprofessional Mrs. Mann began making chalk signs and other home decor items. “It is very simple and can be very relaxing,” she said.

School nurse Mrs. Davis developed the skill of contract tracing for COVID-19 – something she’s put to good use this school year.  She also helped provide for the elderly over the summer with little to no contact. 

Mrs. Nixon, a special education teacher, learned to crochet. “I always wanted to learn how, so with the additional time at home, my sister taught me.”

Creating music playlists helped special education teacher Mrs. Fraser. “When I was younger (high school/college years), I used to make playlists for family and friends and it would relieve a lot of stress.”

Mrs. Curtis, a Spanish teacher, learned how to cut men’s hair and how to do embroidery. 

Math teacher Mrs. Turocy enjoyed geocaching. “It  is like treasure hunting . . . following GPS to a location on a trail to find someone else’s ‘cache’ they hid there.”

Reimagining Senior Year, Thanks to a Global Pandemic

By Sam Wing, ’21

Staff Writer

Ever since our freshman year of high school, we’ve been told many stories about how epic senior year will be. When you’re a senior, you’ll get to stroll the halls with confidence, be praised during your team’s Senior Night, participate in Senior Week, attend prom, and most importantly, graduate. However, in the midst of a global pandemic, many of these opportunities and traditions have been canceled. And as a result, many seniors feel as if they can no longer experience all the joys that they are finally due. 

So what now? Do we all just sit back and learn to accept that we don’t get to have a traditional senior year? Or do we learn to adapt and create new opportunities for ourselves? In my opinion, we shouldn’t let a global pandemic stop us from obtaining some joy this year. Instead, we should try to come up with new ways to celebrate our graduation year (socially distanced, of course). For any theater folks out there, we can do virtual plays via zoom, or when the weather gets warmer, do a drive-in production outside. That way, people can stay in the comfort of their cars while remaining socially distant from everyone else. For prom, instead of attending the typical huge event with your whole grade, do a small one in your backyard with a couple of friends. You’ll get to throw on that prom dress many of us bought last year, or rent that tux, and still ensure that gatherings are kept to a minimum. And for Senior Night, create a video montage of your team’s favorite moments from the season. Teams can show the video on a zoom call, so everyone can attend and eat some popcorn at the same time. 

While these alternatives don’t necessarily resemble our traditional activities, they would still give us some sense of joy. During a time where thousands of people are dying due to a deadly virus, it’s important to maintain any sort of joy in our lives. We all need to be able to feel a sense of normalcy in order to help us stay calm. That’s the least we can do for ourselves, our families, friends, and those who are currently fighting the virus. 

When Life is Stranger Than Fiction

By Mrs. McHugh

When schools shut down last March due to COVID-19, after I stockpiled canned goods and toilet paper,  one of the first things I did was watch Contagion. This 2011 movie, starring Matt Damon and Kate Winslet, is about a deadly pandemic that scientists are desperate to track to its source in hopes of finding a way to fight it.  And then I watched Outbreak, a 1995 movie with a similar plot.

Why would I choose these, when they so closely mirrored what was happening in real life? I’d like to think I was trying to process the scary and ever-changing news. This has happened before; a virus emerges, a cure is found, life goes on. Maybe I was looking for reassurance.

Or maybe I was just crazy.

Neither answer explains why, as the quarantine dragged on, I found myself picking up books about pandemics and plagues. There’s definitely no shortage of them, as I found when researching this article. I’ve always been drawn to dystopian fiction, stories about life after a cataclysmic event, how people go on. Often the plagues create zombies or other monsters that the remaining humans must fight. Sometimes, the true horrors come from other people. It’s the stories of resilience and endurance that draw me in. While I struggled to work from home, cut off from friends and family, afraid that a trip to the grocery store could make me sick with an illness that had terrible consequences, I guess I needed those.

Below are quick recaps of some of the books I read during the pandemic that were about a pandemic. Farther down, I list books I either read in the past or I’ve just heard good things about. If you’re like me, and looking for a story you can relate to in this crazy world, check one out.  Hopefully, someday soon, these books will be the escape from reality they were meant to be.

My Pandemic Reads

The Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks – This story is about the OG pandemic, the Black Plague that hit England in the 17th century. With primitive medicine and backward ideas, villages hit by the plague would be sealed from the outside world in hopes of containing the spread of death. The main character, Anna, is a housemaid when the plague hits. But as the village reels, she discovers her talent for healing. She doesn’t just survive, she grows. Based on a true story.

Afterland by Lauren Beukes – When a mysterious virus kills most of the men in the world, a woman struggles to keep her and her son alive, and out of the clutches of a government that wants to experiment on survivors in hopes of finding a cure. Meanwhile, her sister tries to capitalize on her nephew’s potential to bring her profit.

Survivor Song by Jacob Tremblay – Set in Stoughton and the surrounding area, this story takes place over the span of a few hours in one terrible day. A new virus has emerged, similar to rabies and spread by saliva – but with a much shorter incubation period. That means hours after being bitten,  victims turn rabid and vicious to others. Hospitals are overrun, fights erupt at grocery stores and the military is trying to restore calm. When pregnant Natalie is bitten, she enlists her doctor friend on a longshot quest to get one of the few available vaccinations. If she can’t save herself, maybe she can save her baby.

Other Recommendations

Contaminated by Em Garner – Two years after a trendy diet drink spread a mysterious illness that turned victims into zombies, the government is trying to restore society.  They’ve placed shock collars on the infected “connies” that will either control them or kill them. Teenaged Velvet tries to keep her and her 10-year-old sister alive. When she learns that her mother is among the infected who are set to be put to death, Velvet risks everything to save her.

Quarantined by Lex Thomas – This four-book series explores a virus that makes children deadly to adults. When the students at McKinley School are infected, the building is quarantined under military rule. When gangs form and battle to survive, misfit David tries to keep him and his brother alive.

The Wall by Marlene Haushofer – An ordinary woman awakes one day to find there is a wall at the end of her property and everyone else has vanished. In extraordinary times, she must live by her wits – and anything she can find on her land – to survive.

Blindness  by Jose Saramago – When an epidemic of blindness hits a city, the residents show the best – and worst – of mankind.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – This story explores what it means to survive. After a mysterious flu decimates the population, a traveling band of artists, actors and musicians strives to keep humanity alive.  Others, however, see the breakdown in civilization as a chance to wield brutal power.

The Stand by Stephen King – A military experiment wipes out 99 percent of the world, and the handful of survivors must choose sides. Will they follow the kind but frail Mother Abigail or the powerful and cruel Randall Flagg? Considered to be  one of King’s finest books.

Severance by Ling Ma – Candace, a millennial living in New York, practically sleepwalks through life. So she doesn’t initially notice when a plague sweeps through the city, killing everyone who doesn’t flee. When she meets a group of survivors, who promise salvation in a destination called the Facility, she must decide whether it’s safer to join them or stay on her own. This satirical novel is part science fiction, part quirky coming-of-age story.

Featured image: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-outbreak-who-pandemic

 

 

Mrs. Stukenborg Has Compassion Down to a Science

By Natalie Mowbray, ’22

Staff Writer

Mrs. Kelly Stukenborg has been Hanover High School’s assistant principal since October 2018. Whether they’re sent to her office or see her in the halls, students know they will be greeted by a compassionate person who clearly takes pride in our school.

Where did you grow up and attend college? 

I grew up in Weymouth, where I currently live! After high school, I attended Saint Michaels University in Vermont.

What was your college experience like? 

It was crazy! I was a biology major. Originally, I was on the Pre-Medical track and intended to become a doctor. I was very active in helping my professors with their research or working with local social agencies to help bring about social change in Burlington, Vermont.  While playing college soccer, I broke my back in two places. I had to work really hard in my coursework because I had to take a year off to recover from two surgeries to correct my fractured lower back.  I did it, though, and graduated with my class. 

What inspired you to become a teacher and later an assistant principal?

In my senior year in college, I had to teach a class on the case studies of Hippocrates and Galen (ancient Greeks).  After I taught the class, my advisor told me that I should be a teacher.  She had me teach some biology labs that year and I loved it.  After college, I went right into graduate school to get my master’s degree in biology and education at Northeastern University and then I started teaching in Brockton.  As an educator, I naturally gravitated to leadership roles and in 2006 became a science department head at North Quincy High School.  After that, I went to Weymouth High School where I was a dean for a year and then their Assistant Principal.

What classes did you teach in the past before becoming an assistant principal? I have taught biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, integrated science, and biological anthropology.

Where did you teach before coming to HHS?

 I have taught in Brockton, Quincy, and Weymouth.

What are your hobbies outside of school and what do you/your family do for fun?

I have a husband named Brian, who I met during college. I also have a daughter named Maeve, who is 18 years old, and a son named Shane, who is 16. I play in adult soccer leagues and, during the pandemic, I have taken up needlepoint.

What is your favorite part about teaching/being an assistant principal?  Helping others.

‘The Play’s The Thing’ for Mr. Fahey

By Norah Kelley, ’24

Staff Writer

For three years, Mr. Collin Fahey has been the technical theater and public speaking teacher at Hanover High, along with directing the HHS musicals and plays. Before Mr. Fahey was a teacher in Hanover, he taught at Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. He was a part of their teaching fellow program, where he taught intro to drama and honors drama for one year. 

Born in Brockton, Mr. Fahey earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. If he couldn’t be a teacher, he said,  he would be some kind of performer or writer. “Any form of performance, really: stand up comedy; acting onstage or on camera; writing, recording and performing music,” he explained. “I’ve (also) always loved English, reading, coming up with short stories and writing poetry.”

Mr. Fahey has directed seven plays and musicals at Hanover High, but if he had to pick his favorite, he would say it was At the Bottom of Lake Missoula by Ed Monk, presented two years ago for the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG)  Festival. “It was very special, as it was my first play I directed for HHS and it was the first time HHS moved on to the semi-final round in the competition.”

Like many other things this year, the drama program has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The biggest loss for drama this year came with the cancellation of our annual fall musical,” he said. Instead, Mr. Fahey and the Drama Club have had to find creative ways to continue to spread the joy of the arts. They have, through songs and monologues presented virtually with the rest of the performing arts department in the PRISM concert and holiday showcase.

The program is also preparing for this year’s METG Festival. The annual daylong competition, which Hanover High has hosted in recent years, brings schools from around the region to compete in hopes of advancing to a state final. This year, each school’s one-act play will be filmed and submitted. The HHS Drama Club will be performing 4A.M. by Jonathan Dorf, which focuses on different students and what they do and think in the early hours of the morning. 

“Although this year has its challenges, HHS drama is up for the task and excited at the prospects!” Mr. Fahey said. “I’m incredibly proud of the work students have done thus far, and I’m extremely grateful to continue to have the opportunity to create and collaborate here at HHS!”

Mr. Fahey feels a deep connection with the students he works with.  “To all drama students, past and present,” he said. “I appreciate you all so much, don’t be a stranger!”

Will COVID Make Movie Theaters Go Extinct?

By Abby Van Duyn, ’24

Staff Writer

Already struggling with rising prices and competition from home entertainment options, the movie theater industry has been hit hard due to COVID-19. In response to the pandemic, theaters across the country have been mandated since March to severely restrict attendance or completely  shut down under emergency powers granted to each state. This has resulted in a myriad of inconsistent regulations imposed on the industry, which – along with the advancing technology allowing streaming services at home – are proving extremely challenging.   At this point, patrons are wondering if theaters will survive or become a relic of the past.  Will the COVID-19 pandemic prove to be the “straw that broke” the theater industry’s back?  According to marketplace.org, AMC theaters’ revenue is down 90 percent this year due to the pandemic. Many smaller  theaters, such as the Regan Theaters, have had to completely shut down.  

Hanover High School students had mixed opinions on the future of movie theaters.

“I think movie theaters will re open and be very popular again because everyone wants to leave their houses,” said sophomore Maeve Sullivan.

Freshman Izzy MacLellan agreed. “I think the theaters won’t have the same amount of fans as they used to,” she said, “but there are definitely some people who miss going to the theaters to see movies.”

Others are not so optimistic.

“Traditional movie  theaters are a doomed business model,” said Grace Van Duyn, a junior. “The pandemic along with the rise of streaming services will render them obsolete.”

“I think that people have gotten used to watching newly released movies in their pajamas and in their comfort of their own home and won’t be rushing back to the theaters,” said Sam Curtis, a freshman.

It is possible that movie theaters – losing popularity against Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services even before the pandemic – were already bound for extinction. Movie theaters were created without all the technology we have today. There is a lot more freedom in watching a streaming service like Netflix because you can choose the time, place, and occasion that you watch it. And more services are producing original movies that are just as good as what we used to find in the theaters.

Journalist Charlie Osborne from zdnet.com believes that people will be more inclined to watch from their own homes, forcing more movies to be released straight to streaming or to theaters and streaming at the same time. “I resent having to wait weeks or months if I don’t want to take a trip and pay extra to sit in a theater to watch ’em,” he said.

Johnny Oleksinski of the New York Post, though, believes that theaters will not decrease in popularity despite the pandemic. “Audiences, you may recall, had plenty of at-home options before the pandemic and still chose to go to the movies instead,” he said. “They will again.” 

For some people, they may never enter a theater again. Movie theaters can be very fun to go to, and a perfect activity to do with friends are family. But, this fun can be easily outweighed by the appeal of watching shows and movies from your home. 

Sources:

https://www.marketplace.org/2020/11/03/amc-partners-universal-stay-afloat-during-covid19-pandemic/ 

https://nypost.com/2020/12/21/cinemas-live-event-venues-to-get-15b-in-new-covid-19-relief-bill/ 

https://www.zdnet.com/article/warner-bros-to-movie-theaters-drop-dead/ 

https://nypost.com/2020/12/04/movie-theaters-are-not-dead-despite-warner-bros-streaming/ 

featured pic

Coping with the Pandemic: HHS Edition

By Caris Mann, ‘22

Staff Writer

On March 13, Hanover High and hundreds of other schools across the region sent their students home due to the Coronavirus pandemic. For the first two weeks, students were basically off while school officials figured out how to continue with classes. And even once classes resumed, sports, clubs and pretty much everything else were cancelled or closed. With all of this free time, students had to find new ways to keep themselves occupied. Here is what students at HHS did to cope:

“Played video games and did group calls” – Anthony Mann and Austin Parker, ‘24

“Watched new TV and played video games until restrictions were lifted. Once restrictions were lifted, I played baseball.” – Anonymous, ‘24

“I baked, danced, and watched The Crown on Netflix.”- Julia McGillivray, ‘22

“I watched a ton of Netflix, went on walks, and listened to podcasts.” – Katie McGillivray, ‘22

“Walked 8-12 miles a day” – Luke Hoyes, ‘22

“I walked my dog.” – Paige Dillis, ‘22

“I exercised, kept my room clean, and went on daily walks. Tik Tok kept me going!” – Molly McGlame, ‘22

“I did a lot of baking.” – Kylie Campbell, ‘22

“I exercised, kept my room clean, went on walks, and baked.” – Libby Hutchins, ‘22

“I took walks with my dog and worked out. I also went outside when it became warm and I just liked being in the sun.” – Natalie Mowbray, ‘22

“I went outside a lot when it wasn’t too cold and I worked out.” – Sydney Patch, ‘22

“I slept till 1pm everyday and exercised. I also redid my room, read, and watched a lot of TV.” – Ava Toner, ‘22

“I slept a lot, exercised, went outside, and baked.” – Meghan Enos, ‘22

“I made a bunch of friendship bracelets, went on long walks with my dog, and watched tons of Netflix!” – McKenzie Bottomley, ‘22

“I did a lot of self care whether that was meditation, yoga, face masks, reading a book, or having quiet time. I made time to speak to my really close friends and family on Facetime because I couldn’t really see them. I also found that when I created a schedule everyday, it felt a lot more normal.” – Kelsey Delprete, ‘22

“I got a dog which pretty much occupied most of my time. I also read a lot of books and did crafts” – Anonymous, ‘22

“Over quarantine, I started working out three days a week by doing home workouts that I found online. I watched all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls with my mom during the first two weeks we had off in March and I watched Outer Banks as well. I Facetimed my friends to keep up with them since that was the only way to talk to them. When I was bored, I’d learn how to sing a new song or I learned a new dance.” – Elise Falvey, ‘21

“For me, I’m a senior so going about the whole college application process was much more difficult than I expected it to be but colleges and guidance were able to provide a lot of helpful resources. Also, there are a lot of events and activities that our class missed out on so I’m hoping that we can reach some sense of normalcy for events such as prom and homecoming. I’m president of the student council and the secretary of our class so both boards have been working extremely hard to provide new opportunities. It’s been very hard for every grade but I think for our class especially. We have missed out on a lot so we’re relying on our friends a lot for support. My main mode of coping with the pandemic has been through finding things to work on so that I can feel accomplished. Also, something that has made it alot easier has been finding safe and healthy ways that I can spend time with my friends.” – Sean Dever, ‘21

TV Provides Much-Needed Escape During Quarantine

By Grace Van Duyn, ’22

Staff Writer

When quarantine hit our area in March, a lot of us found ourselves on our couches trying to find entertainment and an escape from the frightening reality on the news. As I thought about this, I wondered, what was the most popular show that people in the United States watched during quarantine and what did that say about our mentality at that time? I asked a few Hanover High students what they watched and the most popular answers were All American and Outer Banks. I also thought those television shows had to be some of the most streamed shows during quarantine. But, as I looked for information online to back up my classmates and my own opinions, I found that our guesses were wrong.

According to the Observer, an American online media company, the top three shows watched in the U.S. during quarantine were Spongebob, My Hero Academia, and Game of Thrones. I was surprised by this, but then realized that teens weren’t the only people who were looking for an escape from reality during quarantine. Many of the shows that were popular with teens weren’t even close to being the most watched in the United States.

Instead of watching regular programs, people tended to binge-watch certain shows and to try out different types of shows than they did before.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, the TV streaming search engine Reelgood analyzed its users’ viewing trends during the pandemic. Reelgood found that in May, three months into the quarantine, the top three shows that people watched for the first time were Ozark, Tiger King, and Breaking Bad. Reelgood also saw that genres such as animation, fantasy, and comedy all had a significant increase in their number of streams. In addition, Reelgood noticed that genres such as biographies, documentaries, war, and crime actually were streamed less during quarantine. Initially, I expected that all shows would have experienced an increase in their streams during the quarantine, but the data shows that generally people only chose to watch uplifting shows. Also, because so many families were together, family shows also saw a big increase in popularity. Families were spending an enormous amount of time together and these shows were very relatable. Also, for others who were separated from family and friends, these shows reminded them of feelings of unity and love. Some of these shows were Modern Family, Friends, and Schitt$ Creek.

I think television was a distraction that we needed during this difficult time. So many people were quarantined at home to protect others and themselves. If you were able to be home and healthy, television might have made your time a little easier. You might have even bonded with others over a show like Tiger King that would normally never have caught your attention. As the data that Reelgood collected proves, we all searched for shows that could make us forget about our realities and give us a needed smile or laugh. This pandemic showed us a lot about our world and even how important simple things like television can be.     

Keep the conversation going. In the comments, tell us what shows got you and your friends through the quarantine? 

Source: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/tv/os-et-what-people-watch-during-coronavirus-20200522-a2u7h7wflfd3jn225qbb3p6cfm-story.html

featured image: https://time.com/5836749/share-tv-computer-quarantine/

Unique Freshman Year for Fully Remote Students

By Norah Kelley, ’24

Staff Writer

Zoom. Edgenuity. VHS Learning. These are the ways that the dozens of students in the high school’s Virtual Academy are learning in this unpredictable, crazy year. For those who are freshmen, it’s even crazier. The freshmen who are a part of the Virtual Academy have had to start their high school career… all online.

Freshman year is supposed to be filled with new opportunities, making new friends, and trying to figure out what high school is going to be like. None of those can happen when you are sitting in front of your computer screen at home alone

Ashley Stracco, who misses the social aspects of going to school, has mixed feelings about waiting until next fall for her first chance to walk the halls of Hanover High.

“I don’t know how I feel about starting my high school career for the first time as a sophomore,” she said. “It seems exciting, but I wish I was starting it as a freshman.”

Freshmen that are in the Virtual Academy do not get to interact with many other students throughout the school day, unlike their counterparts who are a part of the hybrid model. Except for the Zoom meetings that happen twice a week for virtual students, these students often don’t feel very involved in school. 

“I have not participated in any school activities this year,” said Baylor Speckman.

Virtual Academy coordinators have done a great job trying to get these students involved in school, making sure announcements get to the fully remote students and that events like the Student Council’s recent Clash of the Classes strive to include them. But with many clubs not running this year and activities very limited even for hybrid students, the virtual freshmen are missing their chance to try new things – something that freshman year is all about.

“If the pandemic disappeared, I would go back to school tomorrow,” Baylor said. “But for right now, I think the best option for myself is to stay home.” 

Though going to school virtually has been a huge adjustment for all students, there are some freshmen who are enjoying it.

“If I could go back to school tomorrow, I wouldn’t because I really like being remote,” said Bridget Sanders. While she is missing out on new friendships, she likes remote learning because, “… it allows me to form my own schedule and learn at my own pace.”