“Yeah, I’m graduating today”: seniors stand in solidarity during threat of COVID-19


The class of 2020 drudged on through the home stretch, battling senioritis and grinding out a year that felt like it would never end. That is, until everything changed at 11:05 on the night of March 12, when a 紧急状态 was declared 通过 Governor Gretchen Whitmer for preventative action toward the COVID-19 virus which cancelled school from March 16th to April 5th, 2020. 


“This is a necessary step to protect our kids, our families, and our overall public health,” Whitmer indicated, while jaws dropped all over the state watching her address.  “I am working with partners across state governments to ensure educators, parents, and students have the support they need during this time. I know this will be a tough time, but we’re doing this to keep the most people we can safe.” 

Just like that, everything came to a grinding halt. Quarter 3. The first week of spring sports. Countless extracurricular events. “Honestly I was very upset about this cancelling, because my forensics season was over, and the IB Diploma which I’ve worked for so long, was all really being challenged,” said senior Gracie McGrath. “I was not at all surprised when they announced that school would be closing,” said senior Carter Wells, “but it was still shocking to realize how big this was.” 

公告,里面传来一个星期四晚上,搬运的学生和工作人员给了上周五刚刚半天来处理这个改变生命的信息。 “我发现了关于关闭学校其他许多人还活着,周四晚上看省长讲,”共享IB计划协调员里克灼热。 “像很多其他的,我被震惊地听到,我们不会有直到四月学校。我知道有一个很大的可能性,我们将不得不关闭在某些时候,由于冠状病毒,但它仍然是一个震惊地听到有人卫生组织将成为现实。“ 


惠特默州长,同时解释了她密歇根K-12公立学校,PN IB年级学生都发展自己的策划方案。 “知识(TOK)班的7小时的理论一直在谈论的冠状病毒以及它如何微调朝我们,说:”总裁NHS,高级大卫。 “昨天晚上,当我在等待新的音乐艺术家从多个下降,我收到也不会有学校周一开始通知。我很震惊,因为它发生。最后,但我不想只是去学校的第二天了半天无聊。“他的债券,他的毕业班来到了他的脑海里:“这可能是我最后一次看到在7小时我的同学,”我说。 “所以,我发短信给我们的群聊,并提出了模拟毕业的计划。”

旅行快字,和第二天早上7点40分,全班2020年准备在盛大的风格出去。 “它开始作为一个笑话,”资深承认佐伊Zeluff。 “然后,我们都一样,等待,如果我们在船上得到灼热什么?”什么开始作为一个学生成长为一个概念,快速全面的计划和老师的支持。 “这是我们学生的心血结晶,说:”托克Kaitie paynich老师。 “先生灼热的,我只是在那里支持!他们告诉先生。灼热和我今天早上,所以我们拿到了IB奖牌。“ 

The diploma created 通过 senior Carter Wells.

Even with their caps, gowns, and IB medals at the ready, students were still missing an important item: a diploma. They quickly rallied together to make this detail a reality, too. “When someone jokingly said we should graduate, I decided to help David make it a reality,” said senior Carter Wells. “I used Google slides to whip up a diploma real quick and added several “stylistic” elements to express the emotions we all felt.” 

11所有的设备项目均符合,他们都需要的是仪式为他们模拟毕业的硕士,他们发现一个灼热。 “我有点惊讶,当一些IB文凭老人来到学校之前来见我,问我们能不能有一个模拟毕业典礼IB文凭托克为前辈,”我说。 “他们不过是超级兴奋。我对牛仔裤,所以我跑回家,换上西装,使其感觉更加正式的“。模拟 - 告别演说者前灼热甚至排队盛况和环境YouTube上走上了舞台。 “大卫(教育典礼的CEO)进行了简短的告别演说者的讲话。它实际上是一个毕业的俳句,说:”灼热。 

Despite there being just hours since the plan’s conception, Le was ready for his speech. “I just started the graduation with a warm parting speech and then we each walked across the room like it was the stage in the Miller Auditorium,” he explained. “Some students even wore their older siblings’ graduation cap and gown, which was hilarious.” 

每名毕业生被以同样的方式,他们将在毕业已经分别荣幸。 “当我们每个人都上去了,我们都得到一张文凭说,‘covid-19的幸存者’,我们都要做肘碰伤先生。灼热的,因为我们不能握手,“NHS说副总裁,高级伊莎贝尔·里德。作为开始接近尾声,学生喜欢传统的毕业后的庆祝活动。 “当有人做过,我们采取了强制性的图片毕业。这是一个很多goofiness和很多的乐趣!“说paynich。 “我认为ESTA,有助于减轻学校取消的情绪由于covid-19的爆发和它帮助大家保持积极的态度。”


Searing and Thomas-Perez share a celebratory elbow bump during the ceremony. Photo courtesy of Rick Searing.

When the final bell rang at 10:50, commencement ended and quarantine started.  The moment had passed, but the memory and purpose behind the graduation never ceased. “Today’s ceremony was bittersweet,” Wells said. “There was a certain element of comedy of course, but behind it was the stark realization that this is now our reality, and that this will be felt for the rest of our lives.”

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Isabel Reid (at left) and Hannah Thomas Perez (at right) pose with their mock-diplomas. Photo courtesy of Hannah Thomas Perez.

由于其对2019 11月17日,发现了冠状病毒已经从本土到正在影响美国在生活的各个领域大流行问题。感觉是新的类2020年,但不灼热。回首近19年来,我回忆到同样的感觉:“我记得在2001年9月11日,在我的课堂上与学生是和处理正在发生的这是我们控制了世界的事件,我感到非常多,同样的方法今天,“我说。 “我将是我们在托克有趣的小毕业典礼永远心存感激。当然,这将是我职业生涯作为一个老师一个时刻,我会回顾多年来“。

On a day when the only certainty students had was that the school year was on a four-week hiatus, the ceremony provided a welcome dose of normalcy. “This day meant hope that there are better days ahead as a community of Portage Northern and IB Diploma to turn from a bad situation to celebrate something positive,” Thomas Perez said. “ It was such a fun day, and really genuine, especially because this time is really difficult for everyone around the world.”

历史是一个正在为这些学生追捧的清晰度和积极的时刻之中的危险情况。 “这只是我们有点封闭,这是真的在空中都放弃了。不知道发生了什么事与我们的教育还是我们作为高三学生,这是有点从我们这里偷走的经历,“麦格拉思说。 “这是复垦这并确保我们得到我们期待着我们的整个高中生涯的经验。”而学校,社区,州,国家和世界其他国家站在恐慌的边缘,类2020的希望了。 “这感觉就像一个伟大的方式带来一些正常为老年人,WHO很多其他同学的喜欢,发现自己在看一个很突然的不同端到端他们学校比他们预期或计划的一年,”灼热之说。 “现在比以往任何时候,我们需要记住兑现我们的关系彼此。我是超级感到自豪的是能够分享这一刻有了他们的今天。“