Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

How the ice storm impacted students before finals week

Curtesy of Jesuit student.
Jesuit student’s house during the storm.

On Saturday, January 13th late in the afternoon Jack Schmidt raced from home to Jesuit High School through the ice and blistering winds to find bursting pipes and a flooded PAC lobby.

Soon the power was cut out from trees falling on power lines, affecting 542,600 people including Jesuit. Final exams were approaching that coming week, students and teachers had to find ways to prepare for finals while most had no heating, lighting, or service,Tina Kotek declared state of emergency, and some with tree devastation.

Junior Allie Barbar’s neighbors house was hit by a 150 foot tall tree.

When it fell, Barbar remembers the loud noise and the damage it caused to the power lines and her neighbor’s house. Due to the power lines being left on the street, an electric fire broke out in Barbar’s front yard, which required the fire department to arrive during the snowstorm.

Junior Ramie Staub had a similar experience with her neighbor having 2 pine trees fall, crushing the wings of their house. Staub lost power for a week, her house got so cold, “we could see our own breath” she recalls.

Barbar lost power for 3-4 days and traveled to her uncle’s house through the ice and snow to study for finals.

Once the power was back on in her house, “We still didn’t have Wi-Fi for another week. So it was really hard to study, I just kind of hopped around to my friend’s houses,”

Barbar feels her performance on the finals was affected by the storm and power outages.

Usually she tackles studying the weekend before finals.

“And I wasn’t really able to do that because of the power outages.”

She understood that the school had to keep finals to ensure the schedule keeps going, and felt the school did as much as they could to support students with opening the CLARC or rescheduling 3 of their finals for another week.

Staub was concerned about her performance on exams. She only had 2 days to study from the open CLARC due to her house’s extensive power outages. Deciding it would be best for her performance on exams, Staub took the opportunity only to reschedule 3 of her finals.

Staub expresses her irritation with the situation, “I felt supported but I didn’t feel understood,” and felt her experience wasn’t being comprehended with how serious it was for her and her neighborhood.

But, Barbar explains acknowledgment of how this will affect Jesuit and families going forward, “it sets a precedent for finals goes on and life goes on no matter what.”

Teachers also experienced complications with the storm.

Math teacher Ms. Schick experienced power outages during Digital Learning Day and couldn’t meet with math classes on Thursday afternoon and all day Friday before finals. Schick felt confident in her students, having provided 2 weeks before the storm to prepare and opening her email with the last little hotspot she had on her phone.

“I was super grateful for my students showing up communicating with me via email and communicating their plans for preparation with me,” Schick said.

English teacher Mr. Villareal experienced a tree falling on his home and taking out a power line, which caused 100 people in his neighborhood to lose power for days.

Fortunately for Villareal, little to no damage affected the house as the tree was caught by a telephone pole, causing just the branches and the top half to fall on the roof of Villareal’s house.

Villareal felt supported by the school and community.

“So definitely, I think that that’s a strength that we have here at our school is that kind of support when we need it.” Schick also felt supported, especially being absent through Digital Learning Day, “the school was understanding of my situation.”

We are starting to notice the unpredictable weather changes every year. Villareal expresses his opinion that the school must be ready to pivot when the school schedule gets interrupted, “and not, you know, be so stubborn about our curriculum and content.” And that flexibility is required from everyone’s parts in the community to ensure a successful year.

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About the Contributor
Adelaide Hess
Adelaide Hess, Staff Writer
Adelaide Hess is starting her junior year at Jesuit High School as a transfer student. At her previous school, Northwest Academy, she found a love for photography, specifically black and white film photography. She loves being able to document moments in time and practice the art of processing film. She loves to photograph nature, from skiing on the slopes of mountains to basking in the freezing sand of the Oregon coast. But Adelaide has also found an interest in writing her thoughts across a page, giving her photos a written story. She loves experimenting with new vocabulary or practicing how to captivate an audience with an interesting narrative. Adelaide considers herself a creative and imaginative person, always trying to see her life through a lens or what sounds the best on paper to tell a story. She finds her inspiration by finding quiet places in life, taking a walk in the forest, or spending time with her dogs usually helps her mind escape writer's block. Adelaide wants to explore the journalism world of writing, growing her skills as an informative writer. Especially learning how to document and inform readers about the environment that she loves. Adelaide’s goal for the year would be to blossom as a writer but also find her way of protecting our home planet.