This is my personal blog, I suppose. More of a sort of diary? It's just a little something meant for myself. I always liked the idea of a website as a personal place, as a method of self-expression, so I wanted to try something like this out.
It's been about 3 weeks since I left school. I recall my final week with unusual clarity. I don't have the best memory, since I don't get enough sleep and I've always struggled with detail, but it's just one of those things. In my school, mornings are spent in academic classes, and the afternoons are set aside for students to work on their artistic skills. Sometimes the art teachers are strict, and require us to spent specific amounts of time doing specific things. I spent Monday afternoon fixing up a box of pinned insects I found in my school's ceramic storage room (it was apparently given to the science department, but they didn't use it). It was surprisingly enjoyable, and relaxing. Of course, when I was done, I engaged in some conversation regarding COVID-19. Some people were worried about Bernie Sanders and if he might get it, and some were simply making jokes. Keeping cool. After all, there had not yet been any cases in our half of the state. So we kept calm. Same goes for Thursday.
On Wednesday, my school had an assembly, specifically for the senior class. It focused on AP testing dates, future events, how seniors can decorate their cap and gown, and how to reduce the risk of COVID-19. I took some pictures of the slideshow on my phone. Half of the calender never happened. I was worried, but I figured we had some time. I wanted to go to the local history museum, so I decided to go on Friday. It would be a half-day, and it would be before things started getting really hectic. That afternoon, I met with my ceramics teacher to discuss the upcoming arts competition I had applied for. Now, it would be a while before I learned if I won, but because of the way the admission process worked, I would likely end up showing my work even if I didn't get any awards. So she wanted me to get my stuff together and find a good way to display my pieces. I was also working on some plates, for fun. They ended up getting glazed just before I left, but I haven't seen them yet. Or gotten any word on what they look like, and if the glaze is smooth. But I just kept working away at that, making new ideas for how to use the school's resources and create new works.
That evening, after I got home, I talked with my whole family. Mom, dad, brother, cats. We just sat in the living room and talked about the news. About new cases, about things shutting down, about the genuinely concerning possibility that someone could get infected, of what it might mean with my lung issues. There were cases in the area, more than expected. Things were changing by the hour. I did not rest easy that day.
On Thursday, I was careful to wash my hands before lunch, and after getting off the bus I took to and from school. In class, students and teachers alike would constantly talk. One of my arts teachers made a stylish sign out of old stickers urging people not to touch their face. I worried about Friday. But it was still school as usual. We picked out a book for our next unit in English, we planned out a multi-week project in Computer Science, and we watched the first half of a rather nice movie in Film. I still kept clean, but I figured things were okay. But on Friday, things felt different. I walked my way to school, and something was wrong. I saw people, many people, wearing masks near the convention center I passed on my way, and restaurants that were normally just opening up at that time were dark. Even then, it felt like the end times.
School wasn't that bad. Each class contiuned to teach it's material. In biology, I watched bacterial cultures develop. There was a lot of sanitizer being used in that class. And after school, I went to the museum anyways. It was single-handedly the most joyful experience I had all month. It was so empty, so quiet, you could hear a coin drop. I went to areas I've never seen before, read plaques I never had the time to, and I enjoyed myself. Of course, there were hand sanitizer stations on every floor, and the employees who checked my museum card all wore gloves, and I was very careful not to touch my face, but I forgot that, for a time. And when I did, I was reminded that there were barely any people around, and that did wonders for my mood. I took over 100 photos on my phone that day, and I don't regret a single one.
But I went home eventually. The next day, I went with my grandmother to a sheep-shearing event. It was cold, and I had some pretty bad cramps that day, but the food was good, and it was an awfully pretty farm. There was even a farm cat. I heard more talk about COVID, but not as much as you'd think. But when the sheep were all shorn, and everyone was sitting inside eating delicious food, I checked my phone. I got bored with twitter, so I offhandedly checked the school district's website. It was shut down. March 16th to March 27th, at least. Needless to say, it would no reopen then. Once my grandmother was done eating and talking, we drove off, and she dropped me off by my house. There I still am, in pajamas and without a clue.
Well. It's been a while.