Ms. Rath's Blog
Looking Back: One Year Later
We are at the one year mark. One year since we went into a lockdown, one year since our schools closed, and one year since our lives drastically changed. I’ve decided to look back at this past year and reflect on what I’ve learned about myself, others, and the world we live in.
I have seen people come together to help and support others and I have seen injustices. There have been days when I’ve yelled out loud “I think the world is falling apart” and other days when I’ve cried because of the kindnesses I’ve seen. We are not the same people we were a year ago, nor should we be, nor could we be. COVID is making serious long lasting impacts on our everyday lives and has brought so many injustices to the forefront.
We need to do better. Our education and healthcare systems need close examinations and evaluations. Our justification of who we admire and who is deemed “essential” needs to be revisited. The red carpet should no longer be reserved for Hollywood actors, but for frontline healthcare workers, cashiers, truck drivers, and teachers.
2020 was a very eventful year: The Australian bushfires, the death of Kobe Bryant, murder hornets, the pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests, the explosion in Beirut, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and so much more.
Now that vaccines have rolled out, many are looking forward to the time when things can go back to “normal”; however, I don’t think that we can continue to carry on pre-COVID. We cannot just push the toothpaste back in the tube; things must change. We have the knowledge, the ability, and the tools to improve and be better. We owe it to ourselves and to the future generations to work on eliminating systemic racism, helping the homeless, and finally paying attention to our environmental crisis.
We have the ability and potential as women to empower others and to create real change. Our students are powerful, resourceful, and creative and I know that they will find ways to truly make a difference.
Life is hard right now for so many people and there have been too many deaths. Our better and hopefully brighter future will depend on our youth, our students who are able to see things in ways that we don’t. They need to know that even during these tough times that there are opportunities and happy moments. They need to know that we still have high expectations of them and that we know they can face and conquer the challenges that come their way.
The question is how? The answer is simple, it’s education. We must teach about the past so we don’t repeat it in the future, and we must combat ignorance with knowledge. We must communicate and engage in dialogue in order to hear and understand differing points of view. We must talk for as long as it takes so that violence is never the answer.
We must learn from this past year in order to be better next year and the year after that. I hope our students have learned that they are more resourceful than they thought they were and that community is more important than ever before. I hope our students have seen that there is hurt and injustice in this world and that until there is acceptance and peace for everyone, it doesn’t mean anything for just the one.
Wishing you all a peaceful and hopeful start to the Spring.
Erika Rath, Director of Student Services