Strictly Speaking: A Column


Elaina Martin, Editor-in-Chief


   I never, ever thought I would say this, but I actually miss the crawl out of the UC High parking lot after school. I used to curse the seemingly endless onslaught of cars snaking through every single exit and would race to my car after my last class of the day, crossing my fingers in hopes that I would beat the traffic (but that never actually worked).

   It was slow and irritating and all I wanted to do was get home after an exhausting day of classwork. However, I don’t think I ever appreciated how cathartic the drive home from school really was. Looking back on it, my sister and I actually had a good time and to this day repeat dumb inside jokes we created on the drive home. The drive was like a divide between school and home — a chance to get into a different mindset and relax — which is something I don’t really have anymore. 

   While missing driving home from school is definitely one of the weirder feelings to come out of the pandemic, it’s not the only thing from school that I miss. Obviously, I miss hanging out indoors, un-socially distanced from my friends, in addition to being able to complete my assignments on paper (screen fatigue is the worst). I’m also disappointed that I don’t really get to know my teachers super well and I’m especially depressed that we can’t have a physical paper this year here at the Commander.

   And while I know how lucky I am to be able to safely work from home with relative ease, it’s still tough to handle all of the disappointments that have already come out of this new year and the one previous — because pretty much everything sucks. 

   The truth is, it’s barely the end of the first full semester and I’m already burnt out. Dragging myself out of bed and onto Zoom in the mornings gets harder every day and I believe myself less and less every time I say that we’ll make it back onto campus before graduation. In my previous columns, I really tried my best to be positive and find the silver lining, the good side. But for this, that’s really tough to do. 

   These days are seeming awfully close to the Greek myth of Pandora and her jar, filled to the brim with monsters, plagues, and devastation. Between insurrection, political turmoil, an endless pandemic, and a host of other problems, it sure as hell feels like someone tipped the jar over and hasn’t tried very hard to get the lid back on. But in the myth, one thing never left the jar at all — and that was hope. 

   In acknowledging the weirdness and the disappointment, I’m able to let some of it go and allow myself to be accepting of the circumstances and hopeful, because I am hopeful that we’ll be able to make it back to school in the upcoming months, hopeful that the vaccine will become more widely available, hopeful that we will be able to make it back to some semblance of normal life. There’s a lot I miss and a lot I’m disappointed by, but at the bottom of it all I still have hope for the future, which — for now — is enough.