Jesuit Chronicle

Crowded in a Virtual Classroom, Yet Feeling Alone: The Necessity of In-Person School for Freshmen

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Avni Sharma

Students, especially those new to the high school, may be feeling overloaded both academically and emotionally.

After seven months of quarantine, online learning has become the new norm. To upperclassmen, the feeling of drowsily walking to class in the morning, catching the sweet aroma of cinnamon rolls on Wednesdays, and hearing the loud chatter at lunch seems nothing but a distant, nostalgic memory. For freshmen, however, the chances of sharing the same experiences and sentiments this year seem unlikely –  And the negative effects of online schooling are becoming clear. 

Even in normal circumstances, the transition from middle to high school can be mentally and emotionally taxing. Fulfilling deadlines, getting used to new expectations, maintaining extracurriculars, and the thought of nearing adulthood are all arduous tasks that overwhelm students on any grade level. 

As freshmen, students gently ease into the new environment, but quickly familiarize themselves with the hectic lifestyle and academic rhythm of high school. The aid given by a teacher, counselor, or other staff through physical classes helps a student adapt faster. With the restriction of a remote-learning environment, freshmen are struggling to academically compensate for the lack of in-person instruction. 

“It feels like it’s harder to ask questions and understand new concepts,” freshman Sonali Kumar says. 

Academics isn’t the only aspect of school in jeopardy. 

Building relationships online can be a daunting prospect for many. It’s especially difficult for introverted students, who already face difficulty making friends.  

“Half the time I don’t even know the people in my class well enough besides hearing them answer questions,” an anonymous freshman states, “I can’t even think about asking for contact info or saying “hey, wanna do this?” because it feels awkward, too—How  would you ask them for things like that?”

Usually, this is where Jesuit Ambassadors often step in to play the “big-brother role”, by organizing freshman-focused activities such as dances, games, and retreats to help build relationships and encourage friendships. But with the absence of these crucial in-person events, simply conversing online may not be enough to establish a significant bond between students.

During stressful times, upperclassmen often reminisce and reflect on important memories with their friends at Jesuit as a means of motivation and hope for the future. 

“I remember seeing my friends after school everyday,” senior Gwynne Olson recalls, “I can’t wait to come back and maintain the friendships I took three years to make.” 

But how can people even make those important memories? According to Micah Murray, an associate professor of biology at the University of Lausanne, the “multi-sensory events – those which engage sight and hearing – enhance memories and create more vivid memories.” 

Without associating senses (auditory, olfactory, visual, etc.) to one’s experiences, the development of a memory is compromised. In other words, one has to be physically present in order to have the memory stick and become meaningful. That’s why students bond over food in the cafeteria, in after-school sports activities, and in classrooms.

It also explains why people crave human-to-human contact in isolation, because they no longer have access to hearing, seeing, physically touching things, which helps them connect with others on a deeper level. Because of this, the Class of 2024 could potentially have one of the most underdeveloped relationships with each other than any other previous graduating class at Jesuit. 

Jesuit’s prudent efforts to provide in-person socializing opportunities are praiseworthy, including the upcoming Freshman Day Retreat on October 19th. Students are looking forward to meeting fellow freshmen and becoming acquainted with the school’s environment. Even a small success from this early effort could ultimately prove hugely promising toward a fuller and richer school experience for all.

About the Contributor
Photo of Avni Sharma
Avni Sharma, Staff Writer

Avni Sharma is a current sophomore at Jesuit High School. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, from music reviews to current politics. Though...

Are Students Wearing Mask and Social Distancing When Socializing?

Are+Students+Wearing+Mask+and+Social+Distancing+When+Socializing%3F

While the pandemic steadily continues, student views of precautionary measures regarding the Covid-19 Virus have potentially altered. 

    During the month of April, 3 months after the first announced case of Covid-19 in the United States in January, the CDC officially recommended the use of masks in order to prevent the spread of the virus (Vox News). By the month of July, masks were made mandatory to wear in public in multiple states throughout the US (CNet). 

    Throughout the first few months of quarantine, feelings of unease and fear spread, as the US still had limited information regarding the virus. 

    “In the beginning I was really scared. I would check the cases [and] I wouldn’t go outside…Now, it’s a little more relaxed,” senior Afua Pinamang-Boampong said. “I’ll go to the grocery store with my mom, I’ll hang out with friends as long as I have the right gear on and social distance; I’m not that worried.”   

    Currently, regulations regarding precautionary measures have been more lenient, with the use of masks simply recommended by the CDC when in public (CDC). While more lenient, regulations are still implemented in order to insure safety, causing students to think of more creative ways to stay connected.

    “I’ve facetimed a thousand times more than I ever have in my entire life,” Pinamang-Boampong said. “I’ve gone on picnics with friends, and we sit on different blankets. I’ve become more innovative in the way I hang out with people. So finding things we can do distanced and being safe.”

    With quarantine continuing to be the safest precautionary measure, the lack of traditional socializing may be linked to students’ deteriorating mental health, as connections could be severed between friends.

    “I would think most students are like most of the population.  They are in favor of masks and social distancing until it becomes inconvenient for them,” health teacher Mr. Skipper said. “As students feel more isolated, I feel they are more likely to break the protocols.  I know it has been a struggle in my own house to balance being socially responsible and the mental health of my kids.  I would assume this is a struggle among lots of families.”

    A survey taken on the Jesuit News website displayed that 3 out of 5 students sometimes wear masks outside, while 2 out of 5 students always wear masks outside (jesuitnews.com). 

    “I worry not just about students, but everyone’s view about the protocols,” Skipper said. “The longer this goes on, the less fear we seem to have. With less fear, people will be less likely to follow the protocol.”

The frequency of precautionary measures taken by students varies, as some students have begun to hang out with small, close-knit groups of select friends outside of their family.

    “It’s changed because my parents [now] allow me to have ‘bubbles’ with friends,” junior Kurt Woodruff said. “So I have a selected group of no more than 10 people that I hang out with so we are still constricted, so it’s kind of sad because I’m not going to parties or hanging out with random people.”

    Although unable to hang out with many people, students have found that restrictions have revealed true friendships and the value of making an effort to stay connected to one another. 

    “Friendships feel deeper in a way because you actually have to reach out to people, and you can see who are your real friends and who’s maybe not…There’s so many friends at school that you say hi to but you wouldn’t hang out outside of school,” Woodruff said. “I kind of missed seeing them, but at the same time all of the people who have reached out to me, we now hang out and FaceTime and that means a lot because I get to know them better.”

About the Writer
Photo of Scout Jacobs
Scout Jacobs, Managing Editor







Scout Jacobs is a managing editor for the Jesuit Chronicles at Jesuit High School. As a senior in high school, this is her third year doing...

Mental health challenges among students during quarantine

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Steele Clevenger

Charlie Crusader says hello to his geese friends over Zoom.

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Mental health decreases amongst high school students during quarantine

By Steele Clevenger


Editor and Creative DIrector

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has hindered people—with no exception for age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, or location in the world—from day to day interaction with one another. For students at Jesuit High School, they are spending some of the most formative years of their lives cooped up in their homes, missing out on the social connection required for the mental well-being of teenagers.

“Kids are struggling a lot more not being able to hang out with their friends, not being able to be on campus, not being able to go outside the house. It didn’t have as much to do with school. It more so had to do with the social aspect [of their day],” said Jesuit High School counselor Jason Barry.

Additionally, Barry noticed that social distancing is difficult, since teens are at an emotionally-driven stage in their lives.

Said Barry, “Teenagers struggle with [social distancing] because their first instinct is to hug and to touch. Look how many kids are shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, in the hallways or at Mass. They want physical contact with their friends. When you put five kids next to each other and tell them “don’t touch,” it’s hard.”

Teenagers aren’t the only ones having a hard time adjusting to the all-virtual school setting. For health teacher and Mental Health Awareness Club moderator Liz Kaempf, “For the first week, I went into school because I thought it would make the kids feel more like they were at school, but it just made me sad because I missed the students.”

Kaempf pointed out that while it is difficult for her to have relationships with the students, it is even more difficult for the students to have relationships with one another.

“The hardest part is not being able to interact in person with students and with colleagues. The kids give me energy, but I miss that face-to-face interaction with them because they get me excited for the day. Now, trying to develop relationships with students that you are just meeting for the first time on a screen is super hard,” said Kaempf.

Amidst the decrease in mental health, one Jesuit student not only noticed the disconnection and loneliness the Jesuit community is facing, but created a solution to ease those feelings.

Junior Jenny Duan, leader and creator of Jesuit’s Mental Health Awareness Club, recognized anxiety and stress amongst her peers, and has come up with effective ways to correspond with club members and focus on improving their mental well-being.

Duan said, “We try to facilitate conversations in our club and through social media. The other part of our club is focused on self-care. We play games together, we do short meditations, and we provide ideas for practicing self-care at home.”

What are some ways students can improve their mental health right now? Duan suggests focusing on what is most meaningful.

“Take a larger outlook on things. It’s easy to focus on a test or something, but we need to remember there’s more to life than that,” said Duan.

Kaempf encourages students to set a schedule.“Establish some type of normalcy in your day. Get outside, even if you just sit outside. Reach out to people. I challenged some of my students to text some of their friends and meet for a Zoom lunch,” said Kaempf.

Both Barry and Kaempf suggest ways to physically distance safely. They propose teenagers get outside and meet up with friends while wearing masks and remaining six feet apart.

“We want kids to be interacting. We had a lot of kids playing video games where you put on a headset and talk to your friends.” Barry said. “Some kids talk back and forth through social media—anything that we can encourage kids to do in a safe social distancing manner.”

About the Contributor
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Society After Quarantine

Society+After+Quarantine

With stay at home orders still in place, how society will function after quarantine is difficult to predict. 

Throughout the past month, COVID-19 has altered lives around the globe. Through consistently staying home, many have developed entirely new routines and ways of maintaining a sense of normalcy. 

Assimilating back into “normal” society will be a challenging process, as the definition of what is considered “normal” may be altered drastically. Whether it be hygienic precautions or a heightened reliance on technology, COVID-19 will alter numerous customs and practices of everyday life, creating a “new normal.”

One impactful change is the use of masks to limit the spread of germs. With masks being mandatory in many well-known stores, such as Costco, as well as the new, current norm of wearing masks in public, wearing masks is predicted to be an “everyday accessory of American life” (Los Angeles Times).

“I think you will see more people wearing masks in public, and it is likely that more people will stay home when they are sick or wear masks when they don’t feel well,” says Mrs. Kuenz, Associate Director of Ecological Justice & Global Networking. “We all now have a heightened awareness of how our germs can impact others and with something that is highly contagious, my hope is that people will be more responsible and do a better job of staying home when they do not actually need to go out.”

Mrs. Kuenz also voices her hopes that COVID-19 will influence many to make more conscious decisions to think about the impact of our actions, such as buying products that support local businesses and becoming more resourceful to lead a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

“My hope is that more people are aware of where products are coming from and keeping local businesses afloat,” Mrs. Kuenz said. “Ordering things from big chains or Amazon, while it might be easier to get those products, it hurts those local businesses. On the flip side, it could be where people are so hungry to go out shopping that all of a sudden there is a huge up-tick in shopping. So it’s about balance, and it’s hard to know what is going to happen.”

In addition to a change in consumer trends, school systems and workplaces might alter their way of continuing education and practices through a heightened online presence or change in routine, catering to health precautions by avoiding large gatherings. 

“It is really hard to envision what schools and workplaces will look like in the fall.  I think that there will be more options for meeting/learning remotely,” Mrs. Kuenz said. “I imagine that if telecommuting has worked well for an employer and employee, that there will be more such options in the future. There are aspects of business that can function more efficiently in a remote environment.”

One of the largest changes to everyday life may be the heightened awareness surrounding the spread of germs, specifically through hand-contact. Due to COVID-19, the importance of hand-washing has been emphasized immensely, which hopefully will continue in post-quarantine society. 

“Definitely people will be more conscious with washing hands,” junior Jamie Turner said. “There’s hopefully going to be a lot more education in school about it, and I also think we are going to have to put many more health systems in place to deal with stuff like this in case it happens again. I think we are overall going to be more health conscious so that we don’t repeat our past mistakes.” 

Assimilating back into society will be a slow process, and restraining from jumping back in will be difficult, especially for those who are extremely social and eager to see friends and family they have been separated from. 

“Whenever I’ll go out with friends I’ll feel guilty and stressed about it,” Turner said. “Especially because my parents are doctors. I also feel like if we do have school and sports, there might not be any audience at sports games, and I’m not sure if we’ll have assemblies. As much as people want to go back to normal, I think it’s going to take so much time.”

While schools may be looking into strictly online learning, bringing students back into classrooms could be an option. However, according to NPR, classroom settings will likely look much different than what many are used to. 

For example, along with heightened precautions surrounding health and hygiene, classroom sizes may be 12 students or fewer, creating an entirely new schedule and calendar to accommodate all students (NPR). For Jesuit specifically, lunch and classroom schedules could drastically change, as half as many students would be able to convene together in order to maintain a healthy distance. 

Due to these schedule changes, remote/online learning may need to continue in some capacity to efficiently continue lessons. In addition, assemblies, sports games, and parent-teacher conferences may discontinue, as gathering in large groups will most likely be prohibited. 

While quarantine has altered many aspects of everyday life, the excess time has allowed for a boost in new hobbies (such as quidditch) and time spent with family members. 

“I sincerely hope that more people choose to emphasize and make time for crafts, hobbies, family game night, walks together and so on,” Mrs. Kuenz said. “I think that we will all cherish time with friends in a new way. Many of my students have also commented on how much they have appreciated being able to complete work in their own time. I wonder if it has given many of us an opportunity to re-prioritize our lives and the space to really understand how we as individuals work and think the best.”

 

About the Writer
Photo of Scout Jacobs
Scout Jacobs, Managing Editor







Scout Jacobs is a managing editor for the Jesuit Chronicles at Jesuit High School. As a senior in high school, this is her third year doing...

How quarantine impacts mental health

How+quarantine+impacts+mental+health

 

People need people. This is a phrase that has been carried through centuries and surely still rings true today. 

 

It has been proven that people who experience loneliness and disconnection are more likely to develop signs of anxiety and/or depression. In a New York Times article highlighting the importance of human connection, personal health columnist Jane E Brody wrote “People who are chronically lacking in social contact are more likely to experience elevated levels of stress and inflammation” (www.nytimes.com).

 

The isolation imposed due to quarantine has left people feeling that they have no control over the situation; they feel cut off from the world. Though many are surrounded by family members during this time, the sense of isolation and cabin fever can be powerful. That being said, humans’ mental health, especially teenagers, cannot be impacted well due to quarantine and isolation. 

 

In what can be thought of “normal times,” statistics show that  20 percent of teens experience signs of depression and 25 percent experience signs of anxiety before they reach adulthood. With numbers that have increased rapidly, research everywhere says there is no single cause for what teens are experiencing. Although some indicators include bullying, high expectations, substance abuse, or lack of confidence. Teenagers already have so much stress that fills their lives with sports, grades, and expectations, and generally social interaction is a good release. 

 

Due to quarantine, these social interactions have been cut down to the bare minimum with limited outlets and opportunities to find a safe haven. 

 

“I still talk to my friends over FaceTime and Snapchat and other things like that,” an anonymous student said. “But it’s not the same as communicating with someone in person. Honestly, I feel like I need genuine human interaction or it really just doesn’t count. Over the phone is just so impersonal.”

 

While talking over the phone is fulfilling for some students, for others it simply is not enough. Without true human contact, many students have had trouble maintaining good mental health while keeping social distances. 

 

“For a while school was a place that I dreaded going because I felt so lonely,” an anonymous student confessed. “However as time went on it became the only place where I really wanted to be. Having to stay cooped up in my house has been bringing back that lonely feeling that I used to feel at school.”

 

School has been a place, for some students, that brings a great deal of stress into their lives. However, without the added social interactions that come with being a student, many yearn to go back. 

 

There is not a singular solution that can benefit every teen who has experienced depression and anxiety, however, there are many things that can be done to help during these unprecedented times. 

 

First, it is important to establish a routine. Having a structured plan can minimize the feeling of being out of control or the feeling of directionlessness. Planning out activities to keep busy will put the mind at ease; it is important to stay active. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness can be triggers for depression.

 

“Maintain a regular schedule, including wake and sleep times,” Jesuit  counselor Michelle Strear said. “Schedule in time to socialize, to be active/exercise, and other things you enjoy.”

 

Second, it is important to communicate with others. Though it may not be the same communicating over a screen versus in person, it is important that you try and maintain those relationships for two main reasons. First of all it gives you some form of human contact that you need, because after all people really do need people. And second, quarantine will not last forever and you will need those friendships once social distancing is lifted.

 

It is also important that you communicate how you are feeling and resist keeping your feelings bottled up. Talk to your friends, parents, siblings, school counselors, or one of the many teen hotlines for those feeling depressed or anxious.

 

Finally, remember the reason that we are complying with quarantine. It is not a punishment, but a precaution to avoid spreading a virus that has caused thousands of deaths. Keep yourself informed but not overwhelmed. Many people can feel stressed if they feel they do not have access to information about their surroundings. Make sure you know enough to be satisfied but not stressed. 

 

 Remember that by complying to quarantine you are saving lives and it will be over soon. Stay true to yourself and never lose sight of your future ahead. 

 

“It was really hard at first, being by myself everyday,”an anonymous student said. “But it’s gotten a lot easier now that I have become more optimistic. I know that this will clear up someday so I might as well try some new things and enjoy some ‘me time’ until that day comes!”

 

Trevor Hotline for LGBTQ Youth: 1-866-488-7386 | thetrevorproject.org

Suicide Prevention (United States): 1-800-273-TALK (8255) | suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Youth Hotline: 1-877-968-8491 | oregonyouthline.org or text “teen2teen” to 839863 

About the Writer
Photo of Gwynne Olson
Gwynne Olson, Staff Writer and Social Media Specialist

Gwynne Olson is a junior staff writer for the Jesuit Chronicle. Gwynne is the youngest of two. Brooke, her older sister, is a recent graduate from the...

Spring break plans cancelled due to COVID-19

Spring+break+plans+cancelled+due+to+COVID-19

Due to the Caronavirus spreading so rapidly many spring break travels have been cancelled or postponed due to either travel restrictions or self quarantine. 

 

For those planning on traveling internationally, those plans are to be put on hold. All travel to or from China, Iran, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK or Ireland has been banned. All US citizens who have visited one of these high risk areas for enhanced screening after reentering the US.

 

Unless your family is prepared to remain outside the US for an extended period of time, your trip might as well be cancelled. 

 

As for travel within the US, the biggest restriction is self quarantine rather than actual travel restrictions. Mandated social distancing has been enforced along with proactive monitoring for signs of ill passengers has been implemented in many states. 

 

On March 16th, Governor Kate Brown announced that seated dining is banned along with gatherings of more than twenty five people.With the amount of restrictions in place, most people have been finding it easier and less stressful to either travel within Oregon, or just stay at home. 

 

This was very frustrating to many students.

 

““I understand how important it is to keep everyone healthy, especially my grandparents who I was going to stay with in Hawaii,” junior Damon Grim explained. “It’s still so frustrating to get spring break canceled. I had been looking forward to this trip with my grandparents all year.”

 

However, some disregarded suggestions to self quarantine and went on their vacations anyways. 

 

“My family was planning on going to Palm Springs anyways and we decided it was still worth it to go to the sun,” junior Maria Breault said. “It’s just so quiet here. My family goes to Palm Springs a bit and I have never seen it so void of people.” 

 

With Coronavirus being so new, many people are not sure how to react. Many people are taking it very seriously and staying in door while others and taking advantage of no school and exploring nature. To learn more about COVID-19 go check out articles by senior Shawna Muckle or junior Rosa Madden that discuss the recent outbreak. 

 

Stay safe and have a good spring break! 

About the Writer
Photo of Gwynne Olson
Gwynne Olson, Staff Writer and Social Media Specialist

Gwynne Olson is a junior staff writer for the Jesuit Chronicle. Gwynne is the youngest of two. Brooke, her older sister, is a recent graduate from the...

Daily Coronavirus updates: what you need to know

Oregon+Governor+Kate+Brown+is+routinely+updating+Oregonians+on+latest+extraordinary+measures+the+state+is+taking+to+prevent+the+spread+of+COVID-19.

Statesman Journal

Oregon Governor Kate Brown is routinely updating Oregonians on latest extraordinary measures the state is taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Curious about the latest news on the COVID-19 outbreak? Check here for recent developments regarding Oregon and the U.S.’s response to new cases, as well as Jesuit’s efforts to keep students safe and proceed with a prolonged period of Digital Learning Days.

What is Social Distancing?

Social+Distancing

Steele Clevenger

Social Distancing

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.brz .brz-css-supui{z-index: auto;align-items:flex-start;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media{border:0px solid rgba(102, 115, 141, 0);border-radius:0;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-image{background-image:none;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-color{background-color:rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);background-image:none;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-map{display: none;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-content{border:0px solid transparent;}@media(min-width:991px){.brz .brz-css-supui{max-width:100%;min-height: auto;display:flex;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-image{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-color{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-video{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-content{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}}@media(max-width:991px) and (min-width:768px){.brz .brz-css-supui{z-index: auto;align-items:flex-start;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media{border:0px solid rgba(102, 115, 141, 0);border-radius:0;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-image{background-image:none;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-color{background-color:rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);background-image:none;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-map{display: none;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-content{border:0px solid transparent;}}@media(max-width:991px) and (min-width:768px){.brz .brz-css-supui{max-width:100%;min-height: auto;display:flex;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-image{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-color{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-video{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-content{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-content > .brz-row{flex-direction:row;flex-wrap:wrap;justify-content:flex-start;}}@media(max-width:767px){.brz .brz-css-supui{z-index: auto;align-items:flex-start;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media{border:0px solid rgba(102, 115, 141, 0);border-radius:0;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-image{background-image:none;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-color{background-color:rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);background-image:none;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-map{display: none;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-content{border:0px solid transparent;}}@media(max-width:767px){.brz .brz-css-supui{max-width:100%;min-height: auto;display:flex;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-image{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-color{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-media > .brz-bg-video{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-content{transition-duration:0.50s;transition-property: filter, box-shadow, background, border-radius, border-color;}.brz .brz-css-supui > .brz-bg-content > .brz-row{flex-direction:row;flex-wrap:wrap;justify-content:flex-start;}}
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What is Social Distancing?

By Steele Clevenger

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With the coronavirus now forcing people to stay quarantined in their homes, the practice of social distancing is essential to stopping its spread.

Social distancing is a practice recommended by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of contagious diseases,” says The California Department of Public Health (CDPH). “It requires the creation of physical space between individuals who may spread certain infectious diseases.”

There is a difference between social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. Quarantine refers to the isolation of people who may have been exposed to the disease but aren’t sick. Isolation refers to people who are sick being kept away from others to ensure no one else becomes sick.

Given the order from President Donald Trump to avoid groups of more than 10, as well as Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s requirement that students stay out of school for two weeks, it is safe to say that social distancing is an important step in hindering the coronavirus spread.

If one does not feel vulnerable to the rampant outbreak, which by now has closed schools, events, and office buildings around the world, Principal Paul Hogan said to remember those of us who are exposed.

“Some students may not understand why we are moving to online learning, since young people seem relatively unaffected by the coronavirus,” said Hogan. “With the other Catholic high schools in Portland, we are trying to stem the spread of the virus to vulnerable members of our community and prevent health care centers from being overwhelmed.”

Vox’s Kelsey Piper makes a strong argument for choosing to stay home as much as possible, inconvenient as it may seem, to help your fellow humans. “If you are healthy, you ought to take precautions because doing so can end up saving someone’s life,” she writes.

Here are some tips on social distancing:

One: Don’t feel forced to stay inside. It’s one thing to go to the mall with a group of friends. It’s another to go outside and get some fresh air. 

Two: Find something to do. If one is going to be trapped in the house for two weeks, one might as well have something to do. Read a book, knit a sweater, or even go for a walk.

Three: use things in moderation. The Newport Oregon Police Department has asked people not to call 9-1-1 in case they run out of toilet paper, so unless you have a year’s supply hidden in your basement, be conscious about how much to use.

Four: take care of yourself. Use proper hygiene. Eat well. Get exercise. The healthier one is, the better chance there is of stopping the spread of the virus.

Experts like Tara Smith, an epidemiologist at Kent State University, said the goal is to “[flatten] the epidemic curve’ — so that it’s not a big, sudden peak in cases, but it’s a more moderate plateau over time.”

With aggressive preventative measures, such as social distancing, the coronavirus can be stopped, and cases will very slowly begin to disappear.

Jesuit administrators have created videos for Jesuit students and staff informing them on some tips about social distancing, and reminding them that in these troubled times they are loved. 

About the Contributor
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

The Coronavirus is Here

The+Coronavirus+is+Here

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The Coronavirus is Here

BY STEELE CLEVENGER

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For anyone not yet up on the latest coronavirus, it is within a large family of common viruses first discovered in the Hubei region of Wuhan province of China, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other coronaviruses include SARS-Cov and MERS-Cov, both of which were previously seen in animals and humans.

The difference between a standard coronavirus and this novel COVID-19: a standard coronavirus does not involve a fever. A person may just come down with a cold or have a runny nose. COVID-19, however, can include a fever, and in some severe cases, pneumonia.

The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated “COVID-19)” (CDC). The Latin root corona, meaning “wreath” or “crown,” relates to the crown-shaped appearance of the viruses (Miriam Webster).

But what can be done? Mark Slifka, P.h.D., who developed a hydrogen peroxide-based vaccine technology at OHSU, is a professor at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Slifka said the coronavirus has the potential to become more widespread.

“COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus only seen before in animals, and can be spread through respiratory contact,” he said. “Symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to those of the flu: fever, achiness, difficulty breathing, bad cold, and pneumonia.”

Slifka also says the fatality rate is fairly low, at 0.7 percent to 3 percent. “For people over the age of 80, however, there is a 14-15 percent fatality rate. For anyone under the age of 50, there is a very small chance of fatality, and no one under ten years old has died,” says Slifka.

Junior Grace Taylor, who has dealt with Crohn’s, a chronic autoimmune disease, since sixth grade, says that she must be extra cautious about sanitation.

“I heard about the coronavirus through the media. My first reaction was, ‘It doesn’t matter. It’s not going to affect me because it’s basically just the flu’,” says Taylor. “I’m a little more concerned now, because, with Crohn’s, if I get sick, it lasts much longer than if I didn’t have an autoimmune disease.”

Is there a vaccine for this rampant outbreak of coronavirus?

Slifka says that it usually takes 15-18 years to develop a vaccine due to the requirements of multiple clinical trials, manufacturing, testing, and revising phases of a vaccine… and that’s if everything goes right the first time around.

Luckily, with the help of modern science, Slifka and his team can use existing strands of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) to manufacture a vaccine, which could be ready in as little as two years, with a clinical trial in full swing within the next few months.

Slifka and his team at OHSU are preparing for the outbreak by setting up teams of experts to do research, preventative, and supportive care. Slifka himself is leading a team in a study about the virus, learning what measures might be taken in the event of multiple cases.

In the meantime, we can help prevent coronavirus from spreading by reading those pink signs pasted on the walls of Jesuit classrooms, which read, “wash your hands,” and “avoid handshaking.”

If you feel sick, stay home. You may not feel vulnerable to the disease, but people with compromised immune systems have a higher chance of contracting the virus, and keeping it longer, so think of them before you act in an unsanitary manner.

The Jesuit administration has decided to cancel all summer service and immersion trips. Principal Paul Hogan said he is constantly communicating with people in the community, including airport staff members, directors of projects outside of school, and the Oregon Health Authorities. Hogan also said he will keep the community up to date as often as possible.

“A new page on the Jesuit school website will serve as a central location for information about the virus and our plans for responding. Here you will find electronic archives of the communications sent to our families, health and wellness information, resources for digital learning, and more,” wrote Hogan in an email to students, parents, and staff on the afternoon of March 10.

On March 12, Hogan and Jesuit President Thomas Arndorfer announced that Jesuit would close its doors beginning Monday, March 16, and go to a remote learning model. Oregon Governor Kate Brown ordered all public schools to be closed until April 28.

When will we see the end of what the World Health Organization calls “a global pandemic?” Slifka says if this virus is anything like the SARS outbreak in 2003, it will continue to rage for four to five months before things go back to normal. 

About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Don’t Eat That!

Lifestyle


By Steele Clevenger

Don’t Eat That!

Grace Kurilo is like any other junior girl: passionate about music, hard-working, texts her friends on a regular basis, and loves her family and her dog. But like 32 million people living in America (foodallergy.org), Kurilo lives with a food allergy.

“I have to check nutrition labels to make sure there are no nuts, but I’m okay with ‘processed in a facility with nuts.’ Kurilo said. “I’m lucky I don’t have a severe allergy.”

Dietary restrictions—including allergies and intolerance—can make eating out with friends and family, or even grabbing a snack from your pantry, challenging. They used to fly under the radar, but now it seems more and more people are claiming to be gluten free, grain free, or even vegan.

Restaurants are recognizing the influx of people with food intolerance, and responding with increased amounts of gluten free and/or dairy-free products. For example, restaurants, such as Harlow in Southeast Portland, boast a 100 percent vegetarian and gluten-free menu, and even notable ice-creameries, such as Salt-and-Straw, now offer customers dairy-free scoops.

But even with the seemingly increased amount of allergen-free food, many restaurants, especially prominent chain restaurants which seem to be around every corner, don’t provide much in terms of nutritional value.

In my interview with Director of Food Services Cynthia Clauson, it was evident that the JHS cafeteria is not funded adequately for premium nutrition. 

“The cafeteria did not evolve alongside the rest of the school, but [my team and I] do really well with what we can,” Clauson said. However, she is able to provide some of the meals she wants to students.

Clauson assumed the position of Director of Food Services three years ago. A lover of food, Clauson wants to swap out some of the less nutritional items on the menu, but she says that it is ultimately up to the students to make a healthy choice.

“We have a binder full of all the nutritional labels, so if someone with an allergy needs to know what is in a certain menu item, all they have to do is look in the binder,” says Clauson. “Usually, though, we only have a couple students who have allergies. If you have a severe allergy, we recommend you bring your own lunch.”

Jesuit should focus more on student wellness than it does. One of the most important parts of the day is a healthy meal.

“Your blood sugar decreases, which causes interruption in your ability to think straight,” says Haley Robinson, a Piedmont Healthcare clinical dietitian, on skipping a meal. “The brain uses glucose to run efficiently and if there is not enough glucose for the brain to use, your body does not function at 100 percent.”

Without the ability to focus, students do not learn, and thus are unable to achieve their full potential.

At Fayston Elementary School in Vermont, school lunches are what they call “farm to school,” a phrase used to describe sourcing food from local farmers to provide the freshest ingredients.

“Every other Tuesday, two cases of lettuce arrive from hydroponic greenhouses in the next-over town of Waitsfield,” said Cheryl Joslin, Fayston’s chef and food service program manager. “Weekly, a teacher who raises chickens brings in eggs, and she also supplies her family’s locally tapped maple syrup. [I] often substitute it for sugar in recipes” (Washington Post).

This “farm to school” movement has helped students to stay full during the day. According to an article written by the Harvard School of Public Health, “Children who eat healthier foods learn better and have fewer disciplinary issues.” 

I believe that in order for maximum student wellness and nutrition to be achieved, the cafeteria must evolve alongside the rest of the school, not just for the sake of those with dietary restrictions, but for the sake of all students who need a healthy meal to power their learning.

{{ brizy_dc_image_alt uid='wp-0bea83d262bbf04b4ab72bda1b9cff2d' }}

About the Writer
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Steele Clevenger, Editor and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Whooping Cough spreads at Jesuit

While+there+is+a+vaccine+for+Pertussis%2C+its+impact+decreases+each+year%2C+allowing+vaccinated+students+to+contract+the+illness.

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While there is a vaccine for Pertussis, its impact decreases each year, allowing vaccinated students to contract the illness.

While Coronavirus is dominating the global health scene, locally, Jesuit faced its own health scare in the last couple months with the whooping cough disease, known more formally as pertussis. With at least four confirmed cases, Jesuit saw unusually high numbers of the rare illness this season. 

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection. The illness, rare in the United States, generally impacts less than 200,000 people each year (mayoclinic.org). 

“We’ve had whooping cough only one or two times over the last 4-5 years, so this is unusual,” Principal Hogan said.

After receiving notification of confirmed cases from the Washington County health department, school custodians spent hours deep cleaning common areas and classrooms where the students have class. Teachers are notified and instructed to be aware when one of their students is impacted, and a schoolwide email is sent out. Emails intend to protect the identity of the student while also giving enough information for others to know if they could have been exposed. 

“We ask medical professionals for the best advice,” Hogan said. “Our approach has been to send an email to alert everybody hopefully without causing panic.”

While there is a vaccination for the illness, it is not 100% effective. The vaccination, DTap for children under 7 and Tdap for older children, teens, and adults, must be obtained multiple times throughout one’s life to continue prevention of the illness. The vaccination is strongest the year it is received and faces a modest decrease in protection through the years. (Cdc.gov).

As a private school, Jesuit can ensure vaccinations are met before the beginning of a new school year. The Tdap vaccine is required by the school, meaning that the students affected had been vaccinated prior to contracting the illness. 

In the peak of flu season, many students are sick with other common illnesses. The overlap of whooping cough cases, absences due to the common cold or flu virus, and the everpresent spread of Coronavirus in the news has caused fear for many students.

“So many people are sick right now you don’t know who could have whooping cough,” senior Kenzie Gross said. “It makes it even scarier.”

Illnesses as severe as whooping cough can cause students to miss many days of school. In such an academically demanding environment, students may feel pressure to ignore signs of sickness to avoid falling behind in class. 

Senior Danny Murphy often feels unable to miss school and prioritizes his academics over his own health. 

“I wish that when I was sick I could stay home, sleep and get better without the pressure to go to school so I don’t fall behind,” Murphy said. “I think it’s an issue that leads to illness spreading much faster around Jesuit, and also makes it much harder to recover quickly.”

When illness is spreading around Jesuit, the school continues to urge students to stay home and focus on their recovery. 

“We recognize the pressure students feel, but we always tell students to follow their doctor’s orders, stay home, and we will work with you to help catch up once you are healthy,” Hogan said. 

The school has seen one other severely contagious illness 12 years ago with a case of MRSA. Though only one student was affected, the severity and possible spread of the disease sent the school into panic. Jesuit responded to this illness similarly, and focused on protecting students and staff. 

“We cleared out all the locker rooms, sprayed them, and told people if they have a cut or infection to go to their doctors and stay home,” Hogan said.

As always, it is important for students and staff to pay attention to their health and practice good hygiene habits.

About the Writer
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Virginia Larner, Alumni 2017-2020

Virginia Larner is a senior at Jesuit. She has been on the journalism staff for the last three years, and the editorial board for the last two. Each year...

I gave up my phone for a week: here’s what happened

Dan Falkner
“Technology, especially the now ubiquitous iPhone, can have extremely negative effects on teenagers’ mental health.”

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I gave up my phone for a week: here’s what happened

By Steele Clevenger

COMIC COURTESY STEELE CLEVENGER, STAFF WRITER AND ART DIRECTOR

{{ brizy_dc_image_alt uid='wp-6d28b9c1dca4d83d7022353921208053' }}

“Technology, especially the now ubiquitous iPhone, can have extremely negative effects on teenagers’ mental health.”


Ron Srigley, a professor at both Humber College and Laurentian University, was disappointed when his students failed a midterm test, though he wasn’t surprised. He suspected technology played a role in the failed exam.

“I asked them what they thought had gone wrong. A young woman put up her hand and said: ‘We don’t understand what the books say, sir. We don’t understand the words.’ So I offered them extra credit if they would give me their phones and write about living without them” (MIT Technology Review).

Jean Twenge, author of the book iGen, says “Many parents and educators worry that teen’s … social media and texting, has created a … generation prone to depression … Forty-six percent more 15-to-19-year-olds committed suicide in 2015 than in 2007, and two-and-a-half times more 12-to-14-year-olds killed themselves” (100, 110).

It is clear that technology, especially the now ubiquitous iPhone, can have extremely negative effects on teenagers’ mental health.

Curious as to the effects of how giving up technology would affect my health, I decided to embark on a one week no-phone journey. The rules? No smartphone use for one week. iPads are allowed for homework only. Here’s what I found out:

Day One: It felt a little weird not checking my phone for texts in the morning, but the first day was not challenging. Most of the school day was spent on my iPad, so I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

Day Two: Another comfortable day without my phone. Communication is tricky, though. I had an appointment today, and when my mom didn’t show up on time, I started to panic. However, my mom picked me up, and I was on time for my appointment.

Day Three: Ok, I cheated a little bit today: I used my iPad for something other than homework. There are so many times during the day I feel like looking up the answers to life’s mysteries. “Did Betty White go to jail?” was a question I answered using my iPad.

Day Four: Today was a work day, meaning I had no time to use technology. I have begun to notice how much sleep I am getting now; 9:30 pm was my bedtime today, as opposed to my usual 11:30 pm.

Day Five: Ah, Saturday. I went to the Farmer’s Market with my dad. Again, there was no time to stare at a screen, and I felt like I had so much more time to talk to my family.

Day Six: I spent most of my day cooking and relaxing. My head was clear and my energy was high. I finished my second book this week, and took a walk with my mom.

Day Seven: Over the course of this challenge, I have realized that I spend so much time on technology that I forget how much I have been given. I drew more, read more, and slept more, making me feel healthier and more fulfilled.

My friend, and fellow reporter, Jayla Lowery, who took part in this week-long challenge with me, also found herself with lots of empty time.

“I worked out, I went for a walk, I went for a bike ride; I did a lot of stuff I usually wouldn’t do [if I’d had my phone],” said Lowery. “I had fewer migraines [and] I felt like I could get a lot more work done.”

Overall, we both agreed we would take part in this challenge again. Though communication with friends and family was different, everything could be coordinated ahead of time, and neither of us felt like we were missing anything when we put our phones away.

If iPhones get in the way of reaching our potentials, do iPads have similar disadvantages?

In 2014, Jesuit introduced iPads to students. 

“We try to adapt to the evolving ways kids use technology,” said Principal Paul Hogan. “When cellphones began to proliferate, [administrators] said, ‘You can’t just have them out at any time.”

Hogan said that although iPads can be distracting for some students, he says giving students access to information and connection with the school and their peers outweighs the negative effects of a screen. 

Said Hogan, “Some people argue an iPad is just a glorified phone. I think there’s more use to it.” 

So, how about a “No iPad Day?”

Said Hogan, “I think it’s a great idea, [however] we would need to have plenty of notice.”

About the Contributor
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

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