Lawrence Lately

Being resilient during a rough school year


Though Hurricane Sandy already ran her course, Lawrence School District is still suffering. Students and faculty have learned to be resilient not only throughout the storm but also during the aftermath.

On Monday, Jan. 14, during eighth period, District Superintendent Gary Schall’s voice came over the loudspeaker. He recited the same words Assistant Principal Sean Coffin said just moments before we learned about John Taylor’s passing. We all knew something serious was going to hit us.

And it was.

Two months after we returned to school, we had to be transferred to the middle school. The news was shocking. Weren’t we assured that everything was fine with the high school building?

Many of us spent Wednesday conjuring up the nightmares we thought Thursday would be like, while teachers frantically packed up years worth of their things within a few hours.

“It made people relive Sandy. Because we had to gather stuff in a little amount of time and relocate,” said Tiffany Arboleda, a senior whose home was severely damaged by the hurricane and whose life was just returning to normalcy.

No matter how inviting the administrators and faculty may be, we are not at home. Like living in a stranger’s home, we feel restrained and uncomfortable, awkward and cramped. Our free periods are no longer “free.” We squeeze by in the hallways and stairs. We complain about the smell and the crumbling of our high school but we love it and miss it more than anything right now.

It is an unfortunate situation scattered with annoying blips but it is hard for me to bring up any legitimate complaints. Technically, a school is “an institution for educating children.” Lawrence is doing just that. For my two days at the middle school, instruction time hasn’t really changed. Despite the sounds of the orchestra’s rehearsal seeping into Margaret Foy-Wecklin’s Social Studies classroom and adding emphasis to her teaching, there are little to no distractions or problems during class time.

For the most part, the factors outside of the classroom are the ones that are irritating the students. I cannot speak for any grade but my own, the seniors, the class of 2013. We have spent the past three years dreaming of our last year. Senior year is special. The end of an era. The accumulation of all our successes and silly mistakes. A final hurrah. A goodbye. We were supposed to spend our final year in a certain, comfortable and cozy environment. In addition, the privileges we are promised were snatched from us. February break truncated, senior weekend at first cancelled, then rescheduled. And now? All the privileges, no matter how miniscule they may seem, dissolved, as if they didn’t exist at all.

I understand the situation. I understand the administrators’ actions and their hard work. I understand. I can’t even get mad, which makes everything so much more frustrating.

“Basically the whole situation stinks right now, but we just have to make the most of it, stay positive, and show everyone how strong the Lawrence community is,” said Nicole Robinson, senior class president.