A most unusual start

By Ritika Khanal

Normally, the start of a school year would be a flurry of activity, with freshmen figuring out how to navigate the transition between middle and high school,and others learning their new schedules, room numbers,faces and routines. However, nothing about 2020 has been “normal.”

Ever since schools closed due to COVID-19 in March, our community has undergone many adjustments. Suddenly, simple things like socializing with friends have become difficult, and many of us feel alone and overwhelmed. With little in-person interaction, it has become difficult to separate ourselves from the craziness that is the world. Most of all, the places that were once consistently there for us are no longer accessible. No more visits to the library for a good book in a secluded corner, no hallways to roam around in with friends every day, no assemblies to grow spirited in and no school dances to socialize.

However, as the months have gone by, we’ve become more and more creative individuals. We’re finding ways to be there for one another, even if it isn’t in person. We have developed new routines.

Now, here we are, beginning a new school year in the most untraditional way possible. After many sleepless nights and days of planning, our teachers and staff have come back strong, determined to give their students the best remote learning experience that they can.

Although staff are trying their absolute best, there are still families struggling. Some don’t have meals, many are without internet and others still feel alone and overwhelmed by their situations.

A couple months before the start of this unusual school year, I, along with fellow journalist Nico Francois, were honored with the position of Co-Editors-In-Chief of the Hawkeye. For those who don’t know, the Hawkeye is the student newspaper at Mountlake Terrace High School, and “our mission as a designated open public forum is to provide the MTHS community with quality, thought-provoking, student produced publications.”

While I am honored to be given the responsibility of leading our publication, I know we have a lot of work to do. There are people in our communities who don’t have what they need, and as long as that is a reality, we have a duty to tell their stories and ensure their voices are heard.

In a time when we are all hunkered down in our homes trying to figure out how to learn, teach and stay positive, those stories are more important than ever. As an organization, we have the responsibility to ask the tough questions, identify inequities, tell the stories that make all of us feel less alone and bring the community together.

I know that this is a big task, and I know how important having all voices at the table is. Whether you’re a teacher, student, parent, grandparent or caregiver, your stories matter. Your voices matter, and the Hawkeye intends to do everything in its power to serve you and tell your stories.

There are three main ways we plan to do this. First, our website, www.thehawkeye.org is the fastest way to access our latest news, and more importantly, it allows our readers to contact us. Second, we can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @MTHSHawkeye.

Finally, we plan to publish a physical newspaper on a consistent schedule this school year. Although most of our society has switched to an entirely online platform, it’s nice to flip through a physical paper. As a result of current limitation, we are not yet sure exactly how our readers will be able to get a physical paper, but those details will be available through our website and on our social media accounts as soon as they are available.

I know these are tough times, but remember that we are a community, and we will get through this together. Please reach out to us through our website and our social media accounts. We’d love to hear from you, and we look forward to working with you this year.