On Thursday the 12th, the horrible news interrupted my violin lesson: GCCS was closing its doors tight. A powerful virus was closing all doors across the province and we were ordered to stay home and visit no one. Ominously, Friday the 13th would be our first day off. 🙂

It began as a new adventure… I had more time to play with, but soon I started to miss my funny friends and even classes, teachers, and schedules. On Google Classroom our teachers would assign our work for the day and my sisters and I started on the work right away each morning. Our teachers have done an amazing job keeping us occupied and connected even from far away. Google Meets is a time to ask our teachers for help with tricky assignments and to have some time afterwards to play engaging, virtual games with our classmates.

After weeks of learning at home and staring at screens, I’m desperately wishing for this struggle to end and escape our now seemingly small home. We go for walks and bike rides, and the fresh air and exercise are a blessing. I have played more roadside basketball, more board games, and watched more movies in the last month than in six months previous.

Fears about missing our big graduation cloud my mind, even if they’re firmly pushed aside by our teachers. We will graduate, we are promised, and the ceremony, at worst, will be postponed. Our class was melancholy after receiving the news that the Ottawa trip, which has been the highlight of the Grade 8 experience for decades, was cancelled.

It has been a stressful and demanding time, as we are not always sure what might be around the corner, or how long this trial might continue, but our class has pulled together and helped each other along, on-line, of course. There will be an end, and we might not see it now, but together, with God as our guide and strength, we can help each other along and hopefully arrive in high school this fall having coped with some of the hardships of a global pandemic.

Joseph Schuurman

Grade 8 Student