Interview with Joey Attalah, Life as a High School Graduate


Title (Dublin Core)

Interview with Joey Attalah, Life as a High School Graduate
Joey Attalah Oral History, 2020/09/20

Description (Dublin Core)

This interview shows the life of a high school graduate in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Joey graduated from Cambridge Rindge & Latin School in 2020, missing out on his final season of lacrosse brought sadness, although not the same sadness that people took pity on him for. He found joy in being with his family, especially during his virtual graduation.

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Contributor's Tags (a true folksonomy) (Friend of a Friend)

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Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Cameron Burke

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Joey Attalah

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Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Cameron Burke 0:01
Hi, this is Cameron Burke interviewing Joey Atallah at Northeastern University students. first Joey, I'm going to ask you to give consent to be interviewed for the COVID-19 archive project. Do you consent to this?

Joey Attalah 0:15
Yes, yes, I do.

Cameron Burke 0:18
And if you don't mind just stating the time and date.

Joey Attalah 0:22
It is 4:14pm on Sunday, September 20 2020.

Cameron Burke 0:29
All right. So what were your initial thoughts to the covid 19 pandemic?

Joey Attalah 0:36
Well, I had heard rumors, early March. And I wasn't thinking too much of it. Until it was a couple weeks into March where I saw the cases start to exponentially grow. And at that point, I kind of convinced myself that this was going to be a real issue. But I didn't know exactly the scale of like how much it would take away. Yeah, I'd say like early March was when I first realized.

Cameron Burke 1:08
And so how would you say that this pandemic has impacted your life?

Joey Attalah 1:14
Well, there are a couple of things on a personal level one, I had some family visiting, around the time when it when the cases started to get like really bad. And they ended up having to stay for four or five months. And I'd say the house was pretty hectic, I'd say there are some pros and cons to it. The pros being you just have more people to talk to you more people to interact with, when there's already such, like minimal interactions. But the cons would also be sometimes you just want to, like have the house to yourself, like have like the normal schedule that you were on pre COVID. So things definitely got a little bit hectic. But let's say I say it was better for the most part. And then I also miss out, of course, a lot on my like senior year, graduation, sports seasons was a big thing for me. I was really looking forward to playing lacrosse that spring season. And even after like school canceled. We had the opportunity to play in a tournament. And I was feeling pretty optimistic about that. But then that got canceled. And that's when it kind of settled in, like, I guess like everything is kind of being taken away from us. But yeah, I think what I disliked the most was like the pity I got from older people.

Cameron Burke 2:48
Um, if you don't mind just elaborating on that if you feel personal if you feel comfortable doing that.

Joey Attalah 2:53
Yeah, of course. Um, because I think a lot of seniors knew like, yes, this was a time to move on. But you'd always have like your elders saying, Oh, I feel so bad for you. I feel so bad that you didn't have your graduation and this but at some point, you have to put it past you and when people keep reminding you just kind of makes the situation a lot worse. It was something that really annoyed me. Yeah.

Cameron Burke 3:21
And how did you feel like how did you feel about not having graduation? Like did it

Joey Attalah 3:24
of course, I felt like pretty crappy about it. But the sports season was a little more like a deeper sadness for me. But all of it was like obviously, pretty like disheartening. But at some point, I just move past it. I lost a lot of hope. And I know it sounds pessimistic but yeah,

Cameron Burke 3:49
I'm in what what was your? So you didn't have like you said you didn't have a graduation but did it? What did What did it look like? Do you have a virtual graduation did it that it happened like semi in person,

Joey Attalah 4:03
we had a virtual graduation we we tried to we tried a lot to get some in person graduation, but that never went forward. So we had a completely virtual one where the school set up this presentation on one of the local TV channels, and it all felt very, like forced and not authentic. So I didn't really think too much of it. I mean, I appreciated the effort. But that like even some sort of imperson would have meant a lot but of course, I guess that like you have to weigh your to weigh your options. And I guess the school decided to be best for that virtual one.

Cameron Burke 4:47
And were you able to celebrate with your family? I know you said that you had a lot of family in your house. Were you able to do that with this virtual Yeah, so well.

Joey Attalah 4:54
Yeah, we all watched it together. And it was it was a it was a nice moment I'd say.

Cameron Burke 5:00
Um, what is one thing that you that you miss most from from like previous life before? before March before this all impacted us?

Joey Attalah 5:11
Yeah, I mean, it's a pretty generic answer, but just like not having to be conscious when you go outside and just like social gatherings. And also, I'd say I didn't follow all the quarantine rules exactly the entire time, which I think a lot of people did as well. But when I did kind of break the rules a little bit, there was always this burden and guilt that like if something does go wrong, and I do bring it back to my family, it's just something that's always on your mind. That obviously wasn't there. Pre COVID. So yeah, I guess that's what I miss most just not having to be conscious.

Cameron Burke 5:52
Yeah. And that constant guilt there.

Joey Attalah 5:54
Yeah, exactly.

Cameron Burke 5:56
All right, Joey. I think that is all we have for today. Thank you so much for consenting to this interview. And I hope everything goes well in the future.

Joey Attalah 6:08
Thank you.

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This item was submitted on September 20, 2020 by Joey Atallah using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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