BOOS & HOORAYS: COVID-19, AIPA awards, and transitions

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The 2020-2021 Precedent staff put together a set of “boos” and “hoorays” that occurred throughout 2020.

2020 has been an action packed year with news ranging from both positive to negative. Some of our staff put together a set of boos and hoorays that occurred. If one thing is certain, this year will be a year that is never forgotten.

Boo: The pandemic caused plenty of changes in our lives, but one of them that really impacted was the transition from in-person schooling to online school. Various amounts of students and teachers experienced decreasing mental health and gained a new tired mentality, work became a million times harder, and even getting out of bed became a chore in itself. One week felt like one month and one month felt like one year. Productivity dropped a large amount and many students who used to get good grades experienced a drop because of the lack of motivation. In the end, however, everyone transitioned the best they could and powered through.

Hooray: The AIPA (Arizona Interscholastic Press Association) announced the winners in various categories ranging from newspaper to yearbook. The Precedent won a total of 24 individual awards from the entire scale, honorable mention to superior. We won a total of 11 “Honorable Mentions”, seven “Excellent” awards, and six “Superior” awards. Those who won include: Anna Myers, Jalyn Knight, Isabel Behrendt, Jackie Rosales, Alex Connors, Gavin Brennan, Laney Wardell, Nadine Loureiro, Ashlyn Miner, Amira Johnson, Lindsey Harrison, and Roman Valenzuela. After a hard year in 2020, this win caused a new fire to grow within the staff reporters. Even when the pandemic hit, our newspaper never stopped working and covering stories. Thank you to all of our readers and to check out these winning stories and for new stories, go to phsprecedent.com.

Boo: The limitations on large gatherings and social distancing requirements have made concerts near impossible. Many musicians ended up having to cancel or postpone their concerts. The cancellation/postponement of Coachella, Love on Tour, Bonnaroo, Lover Fest, and more has left fans devastated. Many artists have opted to participate in online performances such as the Global Citizen concert or ABC’s Disney Singalong. While it is fun to see your favorites, these virtual concerts often mean watching through dozens of other performances and commercial breaks only to hear one song that’s been played on the radio thousands of times. Obviously, limiting the spread of COVID has more priority over going out, but it will still be incredibly exciting once concerts come back.

Hooray: As boredom took over, TikTok greatly rose in popularity. This app has become a platform for creators of all types: artists, chefs, comedians, beauty gurus, and more. Once you find your “side” of TikTok, it is clear that the addictive algorithm will keep you sucked in. Using TikTok, teens have discovered new musicians, hobbies, and “life hacks”. From whipped coffee to the rise of Charli D’amelio to the presence of songs like “Say So” and “Savage” at the top of charts, it is undeniable that TikTok has made an impact on American culture. Giving people a platform to do what they love–and then share with those who actually appreciate it–is a truly magical gift. 

Boo: Modern cinema is dying, a horde of brainless action movies has taken over the box office. Horror as a genre in particular has replaced tension and build-up with cheap jump scares and predictable plots. While there have been some incredible films in the past years, they are consistently drowned out by the next cliche superhero movie. While action and adventure certainly has its place in the theatre, it has been suffocating other genres. The movie industry has become so heavily monetized that attempts at truly meaningful cinema are obsolete. Film has turned from artful expression to product placement and merchandising.

Hooray: During the pandemic many families were looking for things to do that would be considered safe. Many sports like Spikeball and Golf exploded due to their somewhat distanced play style. Golf courses, having never shut down during the emergency orders and stay at home orders, golf was always an option for families and people who could play. Getting outside was as important as eating a meal because so few people were doing it. On top of golfing, many pets, especially dogs, were finally getting the attention they deserved by going on many walks a week to get fresh air for both themselves and their owners.

Boo: Due to COVID-19, travel was disrupted for many students. School trips were cancelled as well as senior trips and summer vacation plans with family. I personally missed out on an exciting trip to Europe, but there is always next year, right? 2020 has made traveling very difficult for many people with all of the health and safety concerns surrounding coronavirus. The possibilities of contracting it on a plane or in the airport but with a vaccine, and embracing the “new normal” many people are learning how to embrace travel in 2020. There is so much to look forward to in 2021.

Hooray: Even through the difficulty of the coronavirus pandemic, many clubs at PHS still found ways to serve others during the Christmas season. Even through the implementation of health and safety guidelines, service opportunities are still available to students. Although events such as the Emery Bear drive and Smiles for the Season changed this year, students have still found ways to give back and spread happiness. Earlier in the year, many families lost their jobs and as a result, CUSD decided to offer curbside meals to support struggling families. Even during difficult times, PHS is still finding ways to get involved in making someone’s life a little bit easier.

Boo: The Coronavirus has provided challenges for everyone, and although they still have a little over 3 years of high school, Freshmen students have experienced their own set of difficulties as they attempt to adapt to their first year of high school in the midst of a pandemic. Many were looking forward to high school before the pandemic began, and they were thrilled to finally participate in Freshman year for themselves, but COVID-19 had eventually forced them to undergo the first quarter in quarantine. As a result of the new guidelines, the mask mandate, and certain people having to remain home, 9th graders are not really receiving the normal Freshmen experience that many were so eagerly anticipating.

Hooray: As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, colleges across the country dropped their standardized tests requirements for the applicants of Fall 2021. This eliminated a huge amount of stress and anxiety for seniors and allowed them to focus on the many other pressing matters that coexist with senior year. In addition, the removal of test scores on college applications proved to be a plus for students that are not strong test takers. This decision was extremely helpful for the senior class of this year.

Boo: COVID-19 caused a lot of changes concerning school traditions. Administration had to change the class of 2020 graduation, and STUGO canceled the normally scheduled school-sponsored dances. The senior class missed out on their Senior Prom, and this year, the upperclassmen are missing out on the beginning of the year traditions. Lots of students enjoy going to football games, but this year, seating was limited, making it harder for groups of friends and individuals to go watch Perry play on Friday night. COVID also caused restrictions for other sports and activities, which limited friends and family from coming and cheering on their athlete/performer.  

Hooray: Although some see the one-way flow directions as an inconvenience, it is undeniable that there is less traffic in the hallways, especially when one looks at the new C building stairs. When going up the stairs last year, students would have to stand and wait at the bottom of the stairs for an opportunity to go up now, it is a lot easier for those who have classes in the C400s and C200s. There is considerably less awkward bumping into people in the hallway when everyone is going in the same direction. Although one may have to take a round-about way to a class, there is less interference with other students in the hallways.

Boo: COVID-19 has affected the school in many ways, but the one major thing that was very sad is the coffee shop in the cafeteria got shut down. The coffee shop was open last year and was very popular with the students before school and during all lunches. The coffee shop was very different from the rest of the food that was served. It was the place people would get their energy after their all-nighters but now they cannot go get coffee before school. COVID made a big impact on the school how students have to adjust to some new changes.

Hooray: In the process of trying to find new ways to limit the amount of ways of spreading the virus, most teachers have maneuvered their way to google classroom. This had aided students in keeping track of all their work in an organized fashion. Having due dates and everything sorted under the tabs for every class was a lot more beneficial than backtracking to find a piece of paper you lost for a class or organizing the hundred of papers in a folder. This also may be helpful to look back at old assignments to study for tests/exams. Overall, students can utilize the google classroom to enhance their grades.

Boo: With school starting back up this year, Perry staff tried to make it the cleanest they could, but unfortunately with that comes sacrifices. The extremely long class period is one of those sacrifices. Periods one and two are around two hours and periods three and four are over two and a half hours. Most teachers have trouble planning for a day that long and students have problems not being able to move or do much for that time. In addition, it was a major difference from previous Perry students who had only block days twice a week and even then they were not as long as they are now.

Hooray: With all the challenges sports have dealt with this year they were able to come out with some victories. Badminton was able to take home their fourth consecutive state championship, and their doubles, Nikhita Jayaraj and Ashley Rodarte, came in first place. Girls volleyball turned out an almost perfectly undefeated season, making it all the way to state. The swim and dive team had multiple girls and guys make it to the state championship where many set new PRs. Even with a few bumps in the road, football worked hard to have the best season possible in the mits of the pandemic.

Boo: Over the course of this semester sports have been taking multiple hits with their season both with winter and fall sports. At the beginning of the year, there was a big question mark on whether sports were going to happen, for new regulations were put on schools, in turn, those were put on sports as well. Part of the fall season sports game was cut short giving the teams less time to prepare and learn to work together as one. Following that path when COVID-19 spiked it had the biggest impact on winter sports. Sports such as soccer, basketball, and wrestling were almost canceled, however, right now there are no plausible game plans.

Hooray: This year has been very good for content creating. With the start of the pandemic streaming and content creation became a very open hobby. Many have started to outlet their creative side through Youtube, Twitch, and many other platforms. The lockdown may have been tough to deal with and very hard to adapt too but the entertainment platforms have been able to make large leaps in making content creation a legitimate career path. 

Boo: Many video games throughout 2020 have been delayed many times. Some games have even been delayed for years. The game that has gotten the most attention for being delayed was Cyberpunk 2077, but the most upsetting delay was Kerbal Space Program 2. The game was set to release last March but it was delayed to some point during April 2020 and March 2021. Now, the game has been delayed to “some point” in 2022. The developers had underestimated the time that it would take to perfect the game by a whole two years. Granted, there have been other delayed games, but Kerbal Space Program 2 has been one of the most delayed.

Hooray: While still waiting for Kerbal Space Program 2 to come out, we can now officially play Cyberpunk 2077. The game had just been released on December 9 and it already has a million concurrent players. Cyberpunk has been one of the most anticipated video games in history. The long awaited game was announced way back in May of 2012. It took eight years and many delays before it finally came out. I know that I will be buying the game in the near future for sure. Now all I need is some Christmas money to pay for the game.

Boo: The freshmen experience this year has been brutal. The new students already have to go through a lot of stress transitioning to a new school and meeting new people. However, this year it has been a whole lot worse. Every student had to start off online in Google Classroom. This meant meeting other students and new teachers as well as understanding how the new school was structured was a little more difficult for these individuals. The difficulty made it so that when the students finally did transition back to campus, many of them were lost or confused. And this confusion, along with COVID-19 precautions and not knowing many other students, the Freshmen class this year had a very difficult time adjusting to Perry.

Hooray: A surprisingly positive point this year was the quarantine. Yes, the COVID-19 quarantine was in itself, not a good time for many people. Most everybody was forced to stay home and isolated from the rest of society. However, during this time of self isolation many good things came out of it. Lots of people found new interests and hobbies, or continued to harness their skills for a particular activity. Many people also worked on personal goals and development by working out or managing their mental health. During the height of quarantine, many people also took this time to highlight the good in the world. John Krasinski’s  Some Good News, highlighted all the good news in the world to help balance out all the bad news being spread around. So quarantine was not a fun time, sure. But this period of time was not entirely horrible and it allowed for many people to try new things and understand that not everything this year was entirely awful.