Photo Cred: Neha Shaw
Kingwood’s graduating Class of 2021 has entered senior year: what many consider to be the close of a rather unconventional high school experience. We began our high school journey a little bit late and with a flooded school, adapting quickly to start school in a modified block schedule and on a different campus for learning. I believe that I can speak for all of us when I express my immense gratitude towards our friends at Summer Creek High School for extending their hospitality and space to us that year. An aspect of this time that we often overlook in retrospect is the diminished socialization that occurred as we arrived at school just before KHS’s time to use the building, went to class, and then headed to our respective UIL activities. I remember walking into my sophomore year feeling like a freshman all over again, largely uncertain of what true high school days, weeks, and years were like and with no clue where most of my classes were. It was a great time of growth and exploration for many of us. As we entered the spring of 2020 and the final stretch of junior year, the pandemic brought our lives and plans to a halt as we had to define the “new normal” for ourselves and the people around us. However, we still remained connected despite physical distance, and even though we enter our senior year with great uncertainty, we also complete our time here at KHS and in this community with strength and resilience.
We have a unique class where many of us have known each other since that first day in pre-school, elementary, and middle school, and throughout the years, as people come and go, we have built a community of students and friendships out of our shared experiences. I have seen us rise to the occasion and come together in love and respect for one another.
As we start the school year, I wanted to take time to reflect on what it means to be a senior, finish strong, and look forward with resilience whether we are virtual or in-person. I am thankful for the opportunities we have had to connect with one another despite the challenges. I encourage us this year to go beyond just rising to the occasion, but choosing to understand each other’s fears, allowing people to make choices for themselves, and embracing each others accomplishments. Let’s make the most of the moments we have to celebrate with each other when given the opportunity.
I had the following quote shared with me from a time of uncertainty in the early 1900s and what C.S. Lewis said during that time still has relevance today. While I don’t believe we are at war, we can certainly see that our community is going through a season of many uncertainties over the past few years and especially now with disruptions caused by COVID-19. Most of us never imagined that in four years our community would face rebuilding from a flood and now a global crisis that comes to create economic uncertainty and the true real fear of sickness. Most Americans have not experienced a time like this in their lifetime. I have been encouraged to be a part of a school and community that speaks with resolution about how we can continue to keep going and stay focused on the pursuit of knowledge.
“I think it important to try to see the present calamity in a true perspective. The war creates no absolutely new situation; it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it. Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice. Human culture has always had to exist under the shadow of something infinitely more important than itself. If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure, the search would never have begun. We are mistaken when we compare war with “normal life.” Life has never been normal. Even those periods which we think most tranquil, like the nineteenth century, turn out, on closer inspection, to be full of crises, alarms, difficulties, emergencies. Plausible reasons have never been lacking for putting off all merely cultural activities until some imminent danger has been averted or some crying injustice put right. But humanity long ago chose to neglect those plausible reasons. They wanted knowledge and beauty now, and would not wait for the suitable moment that never comes.”
(C.S. Lewis, “Learning in War-Time,” in The Weight of Glory)
We are thankful to our KHS heroes the teachers, administrators and school staff at every level who continue to want to be present and teach virtually or in-person; sacrificing their time to create new learning platforms for their students.
I wish you all a blessed and safe return to school!