A summer like no other

July 12, 2022

Working this summer was like nothing I have ever experienced. I was working at a restaurant that usually holds at least 500 people a day and has tables all across the place. On my first day I walked in, and everything was different. All the tables were six feet apart, and I had to wipe down every inch of the tables and chairs before anyone could sit down. Masks were mandatory. I also saw how different people fought the virus, whether they were wearing full-body protective gear, or sometimes walking in with no mask and being asked to leave.   – Brandon Sklar, 11th grade

A distinct memory from this summer is a local Black Lives Matter protest I attended. I can’t honestly say I was a frequent member of the peaceful protests, but I went when I could. This one, in June, was a short demonstration along Roland Avenue and Northern Parkway, at which a large group of socially distanced people, some with signs, all got down on one knee at the exact same time and held there for nine minutes, to pay tribute and ask for justice for George Floyd and all other victims of police brutality. The moment of unity was chilling, but knowing that the protesters spread out over about a mile was inspiring.   – Parker Hollendoner, 12th grade

It was 3 am and I was stuck in my friend’s house. I’d woken up at 2:30 in the morning to come. She was going away to college, and I was there to drop her off and say goodbye. Her dad looked at me, this girl who he had never met, sitting on his couch, and went into a handshake. I panicked: “What is he doing? What am I supposed to do? Is this safe?” I ended up shaking his hand – I didn’t want to seem rude – but the motion was no longer familiar. My arm felt like one of those inflatable tube men in front of a car dealership. The moment lasted less than a minute, but it’s the only hand I’ve shaken in the past six months.   – Sophie Bauman, 12th grade

I went to a Black Lives Matter protest downtown in June. It was a peaceful protest organized by students and young adults, and hundreds of people showed up. I was nervous to go because of coronavirus, but I feel this is such an important issue that I have to take that risk to support it. It was a really sunny day. I went with friends and ended up seeing a lot of people I knew. The people who spoke before the march were inspiring. One woman’s husband was killed by police. One girl was younger than me, and it was impressive to see her speaking confidently to such a huge crowd. We started walking past the Orioles’ stadium, and I looked behind me and saw a vast crowd, like a whole horizon of signs and masks marching together.   – Grace Gamper, 12th grade

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