A Time to Give Thanks in an Unordinary Year


John Latimer, Staff Writer

This year has been one for the record books. One day after another, one week after another, one month after another, and finally, 2021 is right around the corner. However, before we get into the New Year, we had a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving. While there are many things to be thankful for, it is nice to hear students and teachers around AHS campus speak out about being thankful for so many different things because of the pure chaos the last ten months of the year have been for all of us: dealing with a global pandemic, systemic racism, police shootings, rioters, and without a doubt the most significant event of our country -The Presidential Election-. Making it through all of that, how blessed we are to be here for another school year?

First, we have Mrs. Townsend, one of our four medical magnet teachers here at AHS, speaking on the things she is thankful for in this extraordinary year. She said, “There are so many things to be thankful for this year, most importantly the health of my family and our safety. Also, this year has made me realize that we were taking so many things for granted and just calling them ‘normal’. The pandemic has made us all re-examine what normal really looks like.” Mrs. Townsend also attests to the fact that when the first shutdown happened like many of us the only time she left her house is when she needed to buy groceries and stock up on any medications. When asked a question about what two people she felt she has gotten closer to in the last few months, she explains, “I feel like this time has helped me get closer to both of my kids. My son is home from college and is taking classes online which has given me some bonus time that I would not have otherwise. My daughter usually stays incredibly busy, but with the pandemic everything came to a screeching halt which added some bonus time as well with her too.”


One of the four deans at AHS, Mr. Jenkins, has been at Apopka for so long and he has seen many things along the way. Mr. Jenkins also has his take on how thankful he is for the things in his life during this challenging year. Keeping it short and sweet he explains, “I am thankful for my family, friends, good health, for my job and favor.” Like Mrs. Townsend, Mr. Jenkins also left his house only for going grocery shopping, and other necessities. He further details, “My wife and I would sit on the porch every single day to eat dinner and talk. I cherish that time we spent together.” That is classic love never really gets old. In closing, he feels that his wife and kids were always close but now they are even closer!

The staff on our campus are not the only ones who see the value in being thankful for so much this year. Two students at AHS also wanted to put their two cents in on what they are thankful for this year during a global pandemic and peculiar school year. First we have Earl Lombardi, a student-athlete that is on the AHS Men’s Basketball team. As a senior, this year gives him a sour taste with all of this uncertainty on his basketball season while also having to deal with life outside of basketball. Earl said, “With COVID and everything that has been going on in 2020, it sure has had an impact on me. Further teaching me to cherish things more especially family, and friends because you never know what could happen to them.” He further realizes that you cannot take anything for granted. He explained, “Seeing things changing like school being about half way over for us, seniors having to apply for colleges, and it being my last basketball season showed me not to take anything for granted. Give everything your all in that moment whether it be in the class or on the court.”

Lastly, we hear from SGA Senator Brooke Bush . Brooke is also in her senior year at AHS, which makes it even more bittersweet for her, as well. She states, “I am thankful for my family remaining healthy during the pandemic.” When asked how things have changed in her life since this whole pandemic, she admits that she was in fear for a while. She explained that part of that fear was about having to wear a mask everywhere she went, and having to be so cautious of who she is around because they may or may not have contracted COVID-19. She further added, “This year has made me look at life differently and really appreciate everything I have, also I have gotten closer to my friends Eyana and Kameron.” Although this year has seemed it has taken a turn for the worse, there are many things that we can be thankful for, and if we have all not learned that life is very special to each and every one of us on this earth we have lost sight of its value.