Clara Rudolph

Monday, April 13

On this day, last month, school let out for spring break. As I left school that day, tired and sweaty from track practice, I never imagined that I would be in quarantine for the next month. All of us students had trudged from class to class, not realizing that it would be way more than a week before we entered that building again.

A month ago, I was eager to be free of school’s constraints. My home was where I wanted to be most. I thought I would be able to watch March Madness. I was excited to fill out a bracket, even though I knew I would probably lose to all of my brothers. That day feels like a year ago.

Yesterday, my family decided to facetime my grandparents to wish them a happy Easter. We taught my youngest sister, Karenna, to shout, “He is risen!” As the facetime began, my grandma wished us a happy Easter. Karenna knew this was her cue. Excited to impress her grandma, Karenna exclaimed, “Happy

Easter! In prison!”

The mistake was funny, but it was also eerily accurate. On Easter, everybody was confined in their homes, locked behind invisible bars built of fear. Most public places are now off-limits, and we’re not supposed to have contact with people. We don’t have as much control over our lives as we’re accustomed to. At times, it really does feel like prison. 

Tuesday, April 14

The strangest thing about being in isolation is that everybody is encouraging it. I think that kids, in particular, have always been prompted to do the exact opposite. It’s recommended  to make as many friends as possible and hang out with them as often as possible.

Ever since kindergarten, we’ve been encouraged to socialize. The more friends, the better. I think our society really values people that thrive on lots of social interaction. It seems like an ironic twist, seeing as those same people are probably suffering the most from this quarantine.

I have eight siblings to quarantine with, but I think that anybody would agree that siblings are not the same as friends. Siblings make lots of noise, break into your room, and they have an uncanny knack of making your snacks disappear. Nonetheless, it’s been interesting to experience a quarantine with them.

Wednesday, April 15

It’s hard to find peace and silence in my house. It seems that every turn I take, there’s somebody crying, shouting, or blasting music as loud as they can. The most tranquil place is outside, but it’s too cold to be outside sometimes, unless I’m exercising.

Now that I don’t have a room, it’s even more difficult to find an undisturbed area. My sister has done a pretty good job of sharing her room, considering that she doesn’t like it any more than I do. Still, it can be hard to concentrate on tests and homework when she’s playing Guns N’ Roses constantly. To be fair, I can’t imagine that she enjoys having me invade her bedroom.

I think that this week went by more smoothly as far as school goes. I think it’ll feel quite normal soon. However, not seeing friends still doesn’t feel normal. I’ve never realized how much I rely on seeing them in person each day. Contact is not the same over the phone.

Thursday, April 16

Dr. Zimmerman sent out an email today, informing the student body and parents that we will most likely be continuing online for the rest of the school year. It’s official now.

When I read the email, my mind immediately started listing all of the negative aspects. However, I

realized that dwelling on the negative parts does nothing for me. There’s no changing the circumstance, so I might as well make the most of it.

Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday. This will be the first birthday my family has celebrated in quarantine. I can’t really go shopping for a present, so I might finally agree to rebound his basketball for him while he shoots. That would probably make his day more than anything I could find at a store.

Friday, April 17

Now that school is officially online, there is a stopper in the track season for good. I’m not devastated by not returning to school, but the sports situation is upsetting. I never realized how much I enjoyed track until it was snatched away.

The coronavirus has definitely made me realize how many aspects of my life I take for granted. Animated conversations and rants with my friends, friendly chats with teachers, the blissful satisfaction of finishing a race I fought for, and the thrill of watching a friend dominate their event are all experiences that will cease to exist this year.

I can’t believe that I don’t get to run with my best friends every day. Some practices were lighthearted, with all of us giggling and chatting. Other practices, we fought through workouts that pushed our limits. Since December, we’ve battled through the worst weather conditions together. Rain drenched every inch of our clothes, snow pelted our faces and numbed our fingers, and the wind jeered and slapped us, but we remained motivated.

Any pain that we felt during workouts would pay off in a meet. We were sure of that. It was true. Our coach put hard work ahead of us, and he had high goals for the end of the season. I think my team had a lot of potential this season, making the cancellation that much more disappointing. However, as April nears its end, I know that cross country is inching closer and closer. I can always look forward to that. 

Saturday, April 18

I think that my mood shapeshifts to match the weather. Happiness was radiating from the sun today, and it was impossible to be upset.

Louisa and I held a nail painting party in our bedroom today. I actually can’t stand having my nails painted, but we painted my two younger sisters’ nails. Despite the pungent smell, we had a lot of laughs. To finish, we let the four year old paint Louisa’s toenails. They looked stunning.

Today, Louisa had to rebound for Thaddeus, and it’s my turn tomorrow. I gifted him an hour and a half worth of rebounding. I hope I wasn’t overly generous.

Sunday, April 19

I started my day with rebounding for my younger brother. It was more entertaining than I thought it would be. I was assigned the task of trying to block his shots. I got to hold a tennis racket above my head in an attempt to make myself as tall as possible. It was amusing, and I couldn’t believe how often he swished the ball perfectly through the net despite me leaping up and down with a racket stretched as far as I could reach.

In the afternoon, I ran a timed mile as quickly as I could. The mile time trial is very symbolic to runners. It marks the beginning and the end of a season. This trial marked the end of my sophomore season. Despite how gloomy it sounds, the trial also means that cross country is just around the corner.

All of the hopes that I had for track can now be channeled into cross country. I love imagining what the season will be like without a quarantine in place. Not all of it will be fun, but the team will be able to be together. Everybody will be able to see their friends. That’s a time I can’t wait for.


Riley Donahue

Tuesday, April 14

The need for sports is getting to me. I’ve been watching World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) which I haven’t in years. I mean I still love it, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not the same as watching the NBA, MLB or NFL, now that I know it is purely for entertainment value and these wrestlers April 14- The need for sports is getting to me. I’ve been watching World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) which I haven’t in years. I mean I still love it, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not the same as watching the NBA, MLB or NFL, now that I know it is purely for entertainment value and these wrestlers are just amazing actors as well as athletes. Watching the same show as a kid, it’s not the same without the crowd, especially Wrestlemania, this year. They still had the event but without a live audience. It was so awkward seeing those guys trying to work the crowd without actually having a crowd. If you wanna see an electric crowd, go watch Raw after Wrestlemania 29, that crowd was insane. This is where my need for sports has taken me. I am desperate.

Wednesday, April 15

The NBA has been putting on different great classic games, like Steph Curry’s 54 point performance against the New York Knicks. Steph Curry is one of the best basketball players I’ve ever seen. He just drained three after three, shot after shot during this game that I re-watched. He would blow by people like they were trees stuck in the ground.

Anyway, I’ve mostly been working on my homework pretty easily. I have had problems with math but I

mean, who hasn’t? Math has always been a struggle for me, even when I was a younger kid I struggled with it. Now it is even more difficult having to watch videos of my teachers doing the work and then having to copy what they are saying on the video. Mrs. Biswell, my Algebra II teacher, met me on Zoom and worked with me one-on-one. This was great help and I am glad that I’m able to do this with my teachers.

Friday, April 16

Why does Illinois weather have to be this way? One day it’s a nice 60 degrees fahrenheit day, then the next day it’s colder than an Alaskan winter. It’s actually snowing. Despite that fact, I am still doing yard work. My mom loves doing yard work, but I don’t do as much when it’s colder. 

Saturday, April 17

Well, now that we know that school will be out for the rest of the year, I guess I’m stuck at home for the time being. We all saw this coming but it still stings. I feel bad for the MHS Seniors. First missing their spring sports seasons, then Prom, and Stage Show and now the last days of high school. Man, that is rough.

The COVID-19 virus is starting to curve, though, and in the right direction, meaning that the death rate has slowed. It is exciting to see that we are getting some wins when we are fighting this virus and fewer people are dying. But then I remember that people are still dying. The death rate may start flattening soon, but that doesn’t mean we still shouldn’t be socially distancing or stop self-quarantining. I don’t mind quarantining myself because I’m a very introverted person. There’s a joke around my house that I have been practicing for quarantine my whole life by staying inside. I get that from my dad. I love staying inside, but as I repeat from a couple of weeks ago, it can get very lonely. However, I keep reminding myself it is going to be over faster if we just stay inside and stay quarantined, as much as possible.

Sunday, April 18

My parents ordered a gigantic pile of mulch so I know what I will be doing for the next couple of days. I like moving mulch. It’s pretty nice and it kind of relaxes me. But spreading it is a completely different story. It frustrates me and I don’t know why, but it just does. So my mom and I struck a deal last year. I move the mulch and she spreads it. I think that’s pretty fair. I get to drive the mower, listen to my music, and enjoy the sunshine. That will keep me happy for the day.