The Last Day of School (but in March)


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The Last Day of School (but in March)

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The Last Day Of School (but in March)
By Taylor S.

Remember how public toilets were gross not unsafe? Remember when we were packed on planes, flying to places with more people? Remember when playdates weren’t virtual? Remember when the only masks we saw were in doctor movies? And when we went to REAL LIFE SCHOOL!! Lunch in the Cafeteria and rushing to get the best handball. Learning in person and then setting off to do a mountain of homework. Hanging out with your friends, real P.E, real assemblies. The experience of school. I miss it so much. Just sitting at a real desk with a teacher in front of you. I haven’t been to school in 7 months. An extra long summer break? No, A world wide pandemic. But that Thursday in March, The last day of real school, I remember like yesterday.

The rain feeds the starving grass, it pounds on dusty roofs, and my mom’s car gets a much needed wash. Me, well I’m sleeping unaware of what’s to come.
“Taylor Wake up,” My mom whispers, she slaps on the lights and throws a laundry basket in the middle of my room. “Ugg,” I groaned, “5 more minutes please!!”
“You have school” My mom says. I unwillingly role out of my bed and onto my floor, but it's not really a floor. It's a mountain of junk, with books, clothes and who-knows-what else. I stand up and zombie walk over to my window. I peek out and see rain. “OOOHHH!!!!” I yell. (I’m amused that it's raining, but I’m yelling for the main reason to see if my sister is up.) I hear footsteps down the hallway. Sydney walks up, “What is it?” Sydney asks.
“Just rain.”
“Then why did you wake me up!”
“Cause I wanted to.”
“That's mean.”
“Your mean.”
“Can I borrow your rain jacket?” Sydney begs.
“No I’m wearing it.”
She sticks her tongue out at me and leaves. I lazily slap on some clothes, and hide my rain jacket in my tornado closet and stumble to the kitchen. My mom was sitting at the couch worryful glancing at the news. Her old computer was on her lap as she packed the amazon cart with toilet paper and clorox wipes. “Governor Newsom just banned gatherings over 50 people.” My mom says glancing at her phone. “But P.E is more than 50 people.” I say. “So we don’t have school.” I start to get my hopes up. “Too late to cancel now.” My mom utters. “Just enjoy school, Ok Taylor.”
“I would rather be sleeping.” I mumble. After 1 lazy bowl of cereal it's about 8:05 and time to go to school. “We are going to walk.” My mom mumbles, “We need to get outside more.”
I am about to argue but getting wet doesn't sound too bad. After blocks of wetness we are at school. “Race you to the front office.” Sydney yells.
“Ok….” I start.
“Hey Scarlett!” Sydney cheers and runs off with her. I make my way through the confusion of kids, parents, backpacks, and umbrellas. I wipe my feet in the sea of people in the entrance. I skid down the hallway out the door to Ms. Grafton’s classroom. Beyond that is normal classroom stuff. Math lesson ?, storyworks packet, indoor recess. All I wanted was to be in my bed. I opened up my book and started whispering to my friend during my snack indoor recess. I had no clue that 7 months later I’m a 5th grade Zoom student…....

“Ok everyone, put away that math book and time to watch a movie!” Ms. Grafton cheered. Excitement flooded the room, we were finally doing something fun! Not long division. After Ms. Grafton heated up the popcorn that had been sitting in the corner of the classroom for weeks. “Everyone line up.” Ms. Grafton instructed. So after that everybody raced to get to the front of the line. No social distancing, no masks, imagine that! While watching the movie I imagined being home in my own bed. I just want school to end. I want it to close and be at home. But Taylor you heard the news, and that Covid-19 is dangerous. In the future if you're at home you’ll be looking back on this day, saying “I wished Taylor enjoyed that,” Just enjoy School. Just eat popcorn and enjoy. So I did enjoy myself and appreciated school. After 3 servings of popcorn, and the evil guy in Kung-Fu-Panda 2 destroying a fortress, Ms. Grafton abruptly stops the film. “This most likely won’t happen, but we may not go back to school. Gather up you Math Book, Writers Notebook, also…….” Ms. Grafton started. Of course I didn't listen. I shoved all the contents of my desk into my hands, and carried them out to my backpack. It took me 2 trips. (And in the end I forgot my favorite galaxy water bottle!) As the clock ticked closer to 3. The classroom started to look emptier. The desks were stripped of all contents and shoved into backpacks. “Ms. Grafton..” A girl in my class begained. “What?” Ms. Grafton responded.
“You know how you said that we probably will come to school tomorrow, but we are taking a lot of our stuff out of our desks. Won’t it be hard to put it all back?”
“It’s better to be safe than sorry.” “BING!!” the 3:00 bell had rung. I walked out the door to the front office, where my mom would be to pick me up. I looked back at the classroom, unsure if or when we would come back to it. I walked along the hallway with one of my good friends. We joked like normal, but would this be the last time? I walked out the commotion of the front office to my mom and sister. As we walked to my mom’s grocery filled car, I looked back at Franklin. When would I come back? I already missed school, the classroom, the cafeteria, the yard. That was the last time I got picked up in 7 months.

At first we were sure to be back by the end of Spring Break. Nope. Cases too high. What about the start of next year? Nope. Now we are hoping for an after winter break reopening. But who knows? I think back to all the times throughout 4th grade, that I just wanted to be home, sleeping. Turns out that wish came true. Now all I want is to be back in the classroom. (And I still don’t have that water bottle back!)

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This item was submitted on May 25, 2021 by Paula Goldman using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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