A High School Class "Lost in Space"

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A High School Class "Lost in Space"

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Lining the walls of my school’s athletic center are 113 shields containing the names of the members of the corresponding graduating class. Over this past summer (2021), the alumni association at my high school posted a photo from the Class of 2021 graduation presenting their shield with the caption included in this post. Out of 114 graduating classes, only one is missing from the wall, and that is my grade, the class of 2020. Like the “generation lost in space” referenced in Don McLean’s American Pie, the class of 2020 was the grade lost in space.
I do not resent my school for the lack of an effort to ensure our class was included amongst the others. Yet as the wounds created by the pandemic were closing following a year in college, I returned home to find a deafening gap between the shields of 2019 and 2021 on the walls of my home of 13 years. For months, I felt the need to have in my back pocket a thesis to convince others that I had a right to feel disproportionately cheated by the pandemic. To my brother upset about his second year of college, to high school juniors, and to anyone else who dared to undermine my pain. “There are people dying, and you are complaining about your high school graduation?” Walking this hallway suggests that without a graduation ceremony, a high school class will not be documented in what is more or less an archive of the school. Ironically, it seems that perhaps this graduation was more important than anyone acknowledged.

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This item was submitted on September 16, 2021 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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