The theme of the yearbook this year is Break Free. We are looking for student submissions to tell us what that means to you! We are having a writing contest.
The winner will receive $50.
Runners up win $30.
There are three prompts below, and we will be judging them separately, so there is a chance to win up to $150 in total! All entries will be judged anonymously.
1. What makes you feel free?
2. What do you do in your free time?
3. Free to be you: what makes you unique?
Any work sent in may be published in the yearbook.
Submissions should be no longer than 350-500 words and shared with Ms. Smith: email@example.com no later than Nov. 24.
By Bryson Autry
Since quarantine has started, the food in my house has been a lot of the same stuff as normal. There has been a few new things throughout but it has mainly been the same meals and recipes as if we weren't stuck at home. While we have been in quarantine I do feel like there has been a bit more eating out simply because no one wants to cook that day or because we get tired of the same thing. This is also the reason that we have had those few new meals. So far I have done the majority of the shopping. This has been because I get a few days off a week from work, my mom works all the time from home, and my stepdad works every day because his business is considered an essential business so I am the only one free at the house during the day when the least people are at the store so I am the one that does the shopping. I don’t ever shop and I’m definitely not the one you want to send to the store by myself to do some shopping simply because I have no clue where anything is. A normally thirty-minute shopping trip for my mom would take me an hour to an hour and a half. I usually have to call my mom while I’m at the store so she can point me in the right direction of at least 5 things that we need and I can’t find. I also get very hungry while I shop and those two are never a good combination. One time, I was sent to the store to pick up only a gallon of milk. When I saw the milk, I thought about all the good things that go with milk. I came home from the store with milk, cookies, cereal, and ice cream. Luckily, my mom is appreciative of me going to the store for her so I didn’t get in trouble for spending the extra money. As I sit back to think about the food and grocery experience during quarantine, I think it has been a great experience to prepare me for what’s ahead. Since I’m going away to college in the fall, I will likely be doing some shopping of my own. Not that I know how to use and MVP card and I have learned a little about the grocery store setup and pricing, I am better prepared to do my own meal planning and shopping.
By Maggie Collins
Recently during this pandemic, my family and I have been cooking at home a lot more then we used to. We have cooked old favorites that we always love and tried many different new recipes. My favorite thing that we cook is grilled chicken salads, which are pictured below. Grocery shopping has definitely been wacky compared to our normal shopping. Every time we go shopping we have to make sure we get food that we can freeze, to use later on, and food that doesn’t go bad for a while. Our freezer has become filled to the max with all the stuff we end up buying.
We have to buy more food than normal because we try to go out the least amount of times as we can, but we never get any crazy amounts of food to hoard. The choices at the store have been very limited recently because everyone is buying the same thing, why? I have no idea. Most of the time we get chicken and pork because the beef is normally all out. This has caused us to try and come up with a new recipe with those specific meats so we aren’t eating the same thing all the time. We order take-out occasionally like on taco Tuesday’s so that we can help out the restaurants local to us to stay in business, but overall we are definitely cooking at home more now.
While at the grocery store we also buy TONS of snacks because we are at home more often and like to munch on some stuff, making our quarantine bodies even better. Because of all this, food has definitely been delicious around the house, but I do miss sitting down at a restaurant very much. Especially at Mexican places where I could get all the chips and cheese dip I wanted. Overall though it has been really fun helping my family cook meals since I have more time on my hands and experimenting with new recipes. We have cooked stuff we ended up loving and stuff so bad we ended up ordering a pizza. Being able to make these memories has definitely been fun and I will remember them for the rest of my life.
By Asanta Carter
Food during quarantine has been very different than usual for my household, as in home cooked meals everyday. This means we’re using up the groceries we have at home, so then we don’t want to really go to the grocery store... but we have to if we want to continue to cook at home. We barely ever get take out compared to usual, normally we would get it at least two to three times a week. Now we get it like once a week from just the local restaurants like five to ten minutes from the house at the most.
Going to the grocery store is different too nowadays, because it’s got so many restrictions to everyday life. Going to the store or going out in public places in general, you have to wear a face mask and you can’t really breathe like you normally would. There are signs telling you which way to go up the aisles, like “Shop this way” or “Do not enter”. So in reality you basically have to go up aisles you don’t have to go up, in order to get to the ones you do need... which can be really frustrating, especially if it’s crowded or a lot of people are near you.
Recently, every time I’ve been to the store (specifically Walmart) it’s been super crowded, which makes things worse, more frustrating and more uncomfortable. Some people have no concern or respect for others’ well being, and that is made obvious when they don’t follow restrictions as far as distancing and wearing a face mask, regardless if they have it or not. I feel like out of courtesy to others they should help keep everyone safe. You have to be considerate of others, and other people have families and loved ones. Some have kids that need them twenty-four-seven, and if they’re sick they can’t take care of themselves nor their kid(s).
For my situation, I'm kind of vulnerable because my immune system is kind of terrible. I always get sick, so I'm taking extra precautions myself. I have two younger siblings whose immune systems aren’t as strong as an adult would be, so they have to be protected too. My grandma and grandpa are both in their mid sixties: my grandma has type two diabetes and my grandpa also has a chronic illness, so both of them are susceptible to getting it. Everyone is just very cautious around my house and being out in public lately, because you never know if it could be you or someone you know.
By Asanta Carter
The best video chat moment I've had was probably a week or two into remote learning, and Mrs. Holland had set up different time periods for calls. This particular one was at three or four in the afternoon, I believe, but it was just super funny because it kept breaking up and we’d only hear like every three words of what she was trying to tell us. So then, after she would try to tell us what we were supposed to be doing, we were all like “what?” and “huh?” because we couldn’t hear half of what was being said. We did try though, so I guess that is what matters. I honestly don’t know why we were having technical difficulties though, because all my other zoom meetings with my other teachers there weren't any big problems, just minor things you could hear clearly on both ends and we could see each other.
The next time I did a zoom with her we had technical difficulties once again, but nothing nearly as bad as the first time. We could hear each other much clearer, but the actual picture of us seeing each other kept freezing, so when she was trying to show us stuff and it just wasn’t working out, she’d hold up a paper or something and it would get frozen on the screen for like five minutes. It was still kind of fun. I guess the zoom doesn’t like meetings with Mrs.Holland’s class, because every time we had one with her something didn’t go as planned, which was okay but also funny.
Then one of the most recent ones was with all the different classmates of 2020, when we talked about graduation, the rest of the “school year”, and plans for how to properly honor and celebrate us at the moment, while still obeying restrictions and continuing social distancing. It was interesting and also good to see everyone’s (well close enough) face, because it had been a minute. Especially since I saw some of my classmates and certain teachers I have seen through zoom and what not. I am just grateful that we still get to be celebrated, because we all have worked hard and had long nights and very early mornings. Nothing can strip us of our accomplishments. It was also very interesting with the powerpoint thing that Ms. Dean and Ms.Spargo put together saying where everyone is going and future plans, some of it I didn’t expect from some people, but I enjoyed looking at everyone’s post grad plans.
By Jaycee Shelton
The food at my house has been great, because during quarantine we have not been able to go out to eat. If we did not have any groceries, then we would have to go get something, but during this time we have been cooking a lot more. This means we have got to go to the store more.
I go into the store for my parents, and I get stuff that we do not need, but we use it anyways. My dad is a great cook, so he cooks for us. It is the best, because anything he can make or grill is delicious, and yes, I don't really say it a lot, but whenever he comes home, he cooks the best. He knows what he is doing, and I help him make dinner. Dad enjoys that I help him cook.
The food has been really good lately, and I hope that it stays like that, because I am a picky eater and I really do not like some certain foods. My dad tries his hardest to keep it good so we can enjoy it, and maybe have leftovers the next day. He also goes and delivers food to kids so he is used to it.
We have been going to the grocery store to get stuff to make stuff at home that we like and that we get to cook. We get to enjoy it, so I really am glad that I get more home cooked meals, because I like being home and not out all the time. I would get sick and tired of it if we always had to go out, so I'm glad that I can go into the stores to get stuff to make for dinner. It is super easy, and you do not have to wait such a long time for food at a restaurant. We are in quarantine, but that does not matter because we have dinner as a family.
By Asanta Carter
A lesson i’ve learned about life during this pandemic has got to be that every bad thing that has happened, and will happen, is only temporary. We will eventually get past it, just like we can and will get through anything else. We, as a whole, need each other. We have to stick together, but also still while following social distancing restrictions, of course. Sometimes that can be hard, because everything has to be virtual more than ever. Literally, we’ve never had anything like this happen before; we’re so used to being able to just easily give somebody a hug.Therefore, we are all having a hard time, and this has had an impact on pretty much everyone’s mental health in one way or another. With all this and the changes that have been made, we are not used to it-- having to learn a new way of living everyday life, especially out in the public.
Not to get all religious or anything, but another thing I've learned is I am a strong believer in that everything happens for a reason, and we as humans are not as in control as we may think that we are. God will always have the power and control over everyone and everything that happens. But sometimes we get so caught up in everyday life that it’s not always a thought. Not everyone knew that or really paid attention, so I think this is happening as his way of giving us an eyeopener, telling us to pay attention and to be more aware than what we used to be prior to coronavirus.
I’ve also learned that everyone needs their families more than we originally thought, because for me, family are the only people who love you unconditionally and always stick by you. Since this has happened, a lot of people have lost their jobs, been laid off or are working from home, so a lot of people are home more than they would usually be. Which for my experience has been good and bad; it’s good because we never spend this much time together or are even at the house at the same time. But also it feels like we are spending too much time together, so sometimes I leave the house just to ride around and get some food or Starbucks.
By Maggie Collins
Throughout all this insanity, I have been working at my part-time job at my local Hardware store. While working I have seen a whole lot of crazy people trying to buy 5 packs of toilet paper at once, buying crazy things they don’t need, and buying tons of paint just so they can have something to do around the house. However, I have also been completely blown away by the kindness people have been shown towards others, especially under these circumstances.
For example, I was ringing up an older gentleman and he ended up not having enough money for his purchase he was making to fix some plumbing he had to do at his house. He apologized for the situation and was about to walk out the door, when a man behind him offered to pay the rest of his bill so he could fix his plumbing issues. This elderly man was blown away by this man’s act of kindness and they ended up carrying on a 10 minute conversation outside. Another day a single mother came into the store looking for some stuff to plant her garden and she was struggling to carry all she had while maintaining her kids. Before I got the chance to walk over and help her, a man had offered to carry everything to the counter and out to her car for her so she could take care of her kids.
While we are being told to social distance and stay home, people still have a life to live and have problems come up that they need to buy things to fix them with. It has been so heartwarming to see these people drop their problems and pick someone else’s up in the middle of this uncertain and scary time for us all. I have also personally been shown this kindness by others during this time.
Being a senior during all this has truly saddened many of us because of all the memories we have missed out on. People knowing this have tried to come up with any way they could to show us, seniors, how much they care and love us. I have received so many gift cards, handwritten letters, and gifts in the mail it has been hard to keep up with it all. My parents and others have even gotten together and made yard signs celebrating us seniors. They all have had encouraging notes for us saying how proud they are of me and how much they care about me. Those small acts of kindness have truly changed my attitude and mindset during all of this and it feels so good to know that people understand we are hurting and they are trying their best to show us love any way they can during these circumstances.
By Bryson Autry
I have learned a lot from being quarantined. I have learned something new every day. I have learned how valuable it is to be able to go up to someone and give them a hug, or even just to shake their hand. Being able to do these things is something that I took for granted, and didn’t really think it affected me that much, but once social distancing started and we couldn’t do them anymore-- I soon realized how important they were.
I learned how much I missed the little things in school. These little things being looking around in class and seeing all of your friends, listening to all the loud people in the lunchroom, walking down the crowded breezeway on the way to class, and much more.
I learned how important it was to live in a community and be in physical contact with other people. We as humans are so used to being able to go out and possibly run into an old friend, or just go out in general and get a cup of coffee or something. We are used to being in a community, and I for one have finally learned how important that was. I hope that everyone will realize these things too. I hope that everyone can learn from this and we as humans can grow and become stronger because of this.
During this quarantine I have had a lot of time to just sit back and think. Some of this thinking has been sad, like not having a full senior year, or not being able to go see my grandma, or being in a community, but I have also had a lot of positive thinking. These thoughts include the fact that there are less cars on the roads, and everyone is staying home, so the environment around us is growing and the air is getting cleaner each day. While sitting outside writing this, I realize I can hear more birds and see more birds than I could before. This is also something I have learned while at home trying to make the best of the circumstances. I hope that everyone will see these good things that quarantine has brought and I hope that we can all grow from it.
By Jaycee Shelton
Some lessons that I learned from people are that I don’t need to have attitudes towards my parents, because they always tell me in the Bible it says “to honor thy mother and thy father”. I have learned to not have attitudes with them anymore and I should have a better mood with them.
In life I have been taught to not take stuff for granted, and to always have a smile on my face… to not worry about anything like boys or drama or anything, so I just learned to not ever worry about anything in life. I'm just thankful for a great life and try not cry over everything.
The people I have learned lessons from are my grandparents, my mom and dad, my uncles, my auntie, my cousins, and my best friend, because they have taught me really great lessons and they tell me to not worry about what I will be thinking about in my head.
Teachers help me to not to stress about stuff like the school work, but also they also just let me know you need to focus on other things too.
My family taught me a lesson about how to be a better person, and that I shouldn’t let anybody control who I am. I should not put myself in the middle of everything like drama or boyfriend stuff, and to not be the one to start it either.
So, my life lesson I’ve learned from people is: don’t let other people you know control your life, just live by the moment and let people you trust help you. If you are stuck in a situation, then just reach out to the people you trust and let them tell you what you need to do before you actually do it, and then think back what you can do later on.
We are the South Stokes Yearbook Staff. Join us in keeping up with what's going on at South Stokes from our point of view.