As all pet owners know, our pets are the greatest part of our day, and they make coming home from work or school so much better. But, since everyone is social distancing and staying at home, we get to be around them and play with them all day long. The Wesleyan community has a variety of pets, ranging from Director of Christian Life Greg Lisson’s sweet dog, Sam, to High School English Teacher Katie Wischerth’s handsome kitty, Ernie. But the question is, what have these wonderful creatures been up to during quarantine? I asked many Wesleyan students and faculty to tell me a little bit about what their beloved companions have been up to during this time. Here is what they said:
The Coronavirus outbreak is making people all around the world question what the future holds and what will be cancelled and postponed, but it mostly brings people to realize the things they took for granted before the outbreak of the virus. Activities as simple as going out to eat and sitting in a restaurant among the company of others, attending church on Sunday’s surrounded by people, going shopping at the mall and hanging out with a group of friends on the weekend are hobbies that no one used to think twice about doing. Now, most have realized that these activities are hard to go on without.
Senior Jamarcus Davidson never expected that he would be finishing the remainder of his second semester of his senior year from his kitchen table. Davidson said, “I miss my daily routine, being able to hang out with my friends, see teachers and friends at school every day and participating in school activities. Track is something I already miss. Competing against other schools and running alongside many talented people and coaches is really something special that I hate was taken away so early in the season.” Davidson used to find himself complaining about waking up early for school and sitting in a desk, but he said that he “took for granted being in an environment like Wesleyan. Going to a school like Wesleyan is a once in a lifetime experience that, being a senior, you can’t get back once it’s over.” As a senior, Davidson has had to accept the fact that the end of his year looks a little different than he expected due to the Coronavirus outbreak. However, to all the seniors, you are loved and understood. It is impossible and unfair to grasp the concept that things like senior prom and graduation are not promised but know that the next chapter ahead will be an even brighter one.
Faculty and teachers have also experienced the relational and emotional struggles that Coronavirus has presented. However, high school faculty Alex Bufton said that she is thankful for this time of rest and rejuvenation. With lots of free time on her hands, Bufton said, “A new habit I have picked up is playing the keyboard. I learned how to play ‘Delicate’ by Taylor Swift and I’ve been watching YouTube videos so that I can learn how to play more songs.” Although there are a lot of things that are hard to do because of the Coronavirus and quarantine, there is also a lot of time to learn something new and add something beneficial to your routine in life. Trying something new is not always easy during school, sports practice and everything else that keeps life busy, but now there is a lot of time to find a new talent or hobby. During this time, Bufton also realized what she took for granted before the virus. She said, “I took Sage dining for granted while I was at school. I hate making my own lunch and I miss going out to eat. I took people, leaving my house and really everything for granted.” While there is a variety of things that people look forward to after quarantine ends, Bufton said, “I am excited to be able to go out to eat at a restaurant again and to spend time hanging out with my friends.”
Junior Margaret Dudley also acknowledged that there were many things she took for granted before the Coronavirus outbreak. However, she said the main thing that she took for granted was “office hours and being able to talk to teachers face to face when I need help with something.” Although school remains in session online, Dudley said that one habit that she has picked up has been “going on runs and then following that up with a nap. I have really taken advantage of this time of rest and relaxation.” Dudley also said, “Some of the hobbies, like running, I will definitely continue, and I won’t forget to be thankful for the little things in life, especially now that we don’t have those things, but I think my routine regarding schoolwork and activities will remain similar to what they were before when the Coronavirus passes.” When this quarantine does end, Dudley said, “I am excited to resume fun outings, hanging out with my friends and being in community and fellowship with others.”
This time of quarantine and uncertainty has been noticeably difficult, and this is undoubtedly an unprecedented time. Little moments such as laughing with friends, worshiping in a church filled with hundreds of people, going out to dinner among the company of others, going to school and being present in a classroom and practicing sports and after-school activities are not things that anyone would have ever dreamed would be taken away so quickly. However, it is important to remember that, in the end, this time is beneficial. Even though the news and media may feel dark and unpromising lately, we should not give up hope. Being together in community and fellowship is something that God’s people have been participating in since the beginning of time. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” We have been blessed with a period of rest. This is a time to do good for others and take care of ourselves, and to remember to never again take for granted what it means to be among the fellowship of others.
As December arrives quickly, Wesleyan students find themselves stressing over their final exams and report cards. A familiar feeling that returns every year. However, Wesleyan students are not the only ones stressing out over papers and finals. Many Wesleyan teachers have gone back to school themselves, taking classes at night in pursuit of advanced degrees. These classes are with other teachers who are pursuing the same type of advanced degrees. In fact, one group of Wesleyan teachers have decided to go through this process together.
Wesleyan teachers Brian Krehmeyer, Mitchell Mayfield, Leah Baughn, Jamie Hemken, Alex Bufton and Kali Sessions are taking night school classes together at Wesleyan pursing a masters degree. They typically meet every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The program that these teachers are involved in is based out of Gordon College, which is a Christian college in Wenham, MA. Krehmeyer said that they discovered this program because a man named Doctor
“When I see Beau Blanton in the hall and I see him waving and I think it’s to me, so I wave back but really it’s to someone else and I realize he doesn’t actually love me so I cry myself to sleep… that grinds my gears a good bit.”
“What really grinds my gears is when you try to get a Powerade, but the machine spits out water… it ruins my day.”
Friday is typically everyone’s favorite day of the week, but the excitement doesn’t fully kick in until the football players line up on the sideline, and the lights illuminate the field at Wesleyan.
From the perspective of junior #11 defensive lineman and tight end Jackson Turner, “getting an opportunity to go out there and have fun with the football game and seeing the rewards of the hard work of the summer pay off” is what excites and fulfills him the most throughout the night.
It may intimidate many people to look up into the stands and see all the people looking down, but Turner said, “The more hype the crowd, the more hype the game… the team really feeds off of the energy of the crowd.” He also adds that the Wolves are his “second family,” and that he has loved “getting to know all the guys and becoming best friends with all of them.” Turner transferred from Mill Creek High School to Wesleyan his sophomore year, and he has been dominating since the day the season began. Despite his ongoing knee injury, Turner is a strong player and a great leader on and off the field. Turner gives this great piece of advice to students that want to get involved in the Friday Night Lights: “Have fun with it… it’s high school. Don’t take things for granted. These are going to be some of the most fun years of your life, and it goes by fast.”