Jesuit Chronicle

2020 Happened – Let’s Think Positive For 2021

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Image courtesy of Avni Sharma.

Packed with an eventful and stress inducing Presidential Election, protests, an ongoing pandemic, and the sight of smoky skies in September, 2020 has been quite the rollercoaster. Though bad times come and go, the long anticipation for widespread use of the vaccine prolongs this nightmare-ish year from ending.

The end of a significant year prompts one to reflect on the high and low points. For Jesuit students, the past nine months are synonymous with isolation, stress from school related activities, and various personal struggles. 

“[2020] had a lot of ups and downs,” sophomore Gabriella Feleciano says. “It has been the shortest and longest year in a sense.”

Pushing students to their academic, mental, and emotional limits, the current arrangement of a hectic school schedule paired with extracurricular and other commitments made the year progress slowly, yet fast. Everyday occurrences—such as meeting friends, or going out to dinner—pass off as a luxury, too dangerous to be afforded. These measures have impeded students’ ability to maintain close friendships, and have deprived one’s ability to appreciate simple joys in life. 

That being said, unhealthily dwelling on the unfortunate events of the past year won’t help us heal from it; Neither will ruminating about pre-COVID life improve the current quality of life. According to an article written by Dr. Summer Allen, looking ahead with a positive outlook holds more significance in the healing process than reminiscing about how things used to be. 

“Besides helping us make decisions and reach our goals, there is evidence that prospection may improve psychological health more generally,” Dr. Allen says, “Taking time to simulate and enjoy a positive experience in advance—whether it be an upcoming meal, visit with friends, or vacation—can allow you to derive lasting benefits for the experience.” 

Many students at Jesuit have already begun to utilize Dr. Allen’s positive-thinking findings to keep their motivation and drive during this time. 

“I’m working through everything with as positive of a mindset as I can muster,” sophomore Caitlin Thomas says. “I recognize that I am given the opportunity to still be here, to enjoy life. I hope 2021 will be a year of peace and productivity for us all.”

About the Writer
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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...

Crusader Comics & Quarantine Struggles: The Scrapbooking Edit

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About the Writers
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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...

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Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief 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...

A Review of TwoSet Violin’s “Prelude”

A piece, not a song.

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Image courtesy of Avni Sharma.

Calling all musicians, Youtube comedy fanatics, and casual modern classical music listeners: TwoSet Violin has officially released their first single. 

Twoset Violin is a popular Youtube comedy duo consisting of Brett Yang and Eddy Chen, based in Brisbane, Australia. Specializing in humorous videos about the everyday struggles of classical musicians, their content has garnered over 710 million views on Youtube, and 5 million followers on social media. Along with composer Jordon He, Yang and Chen surprised their fans by composing and recording their first single, “Prelude”. It was released Oct. 9th, and has since gotten 400 thousand views. 

The piece itself is beautiful, as if one were to imagine themself gliding through a meadow. It’s very reminiscent of Debussy’s style of music, incorporating various violin techniques such as trills, harmonics, and pizzicato. These techniques are meant to bring serenity and dimension to the piece by imitating the sounds of nature, such as the flutter of a bird’s wings or the sound of a babbling brook. Debussy, a composer of the impressionist era, often sought to find inspiration by imitating the beauty and nostalgia of his memories in his music. Composer He found inspiration for this piece the same way. 

“It has many eastern musical elements,” He wrote in a Facebook post. “It is the kind of music I grew up with.”

“Prelude” captures the peaceful and romantic essence of Zanhao’s “Butterfly Lovers Concerto” and the landscape of Massenet’s “Meditation from Thais”. In other words, it marries elements of modern French and Chinese classical music in a unique way. Yang and Chen’s violin skills enhances the piece through expressionist vibrato and varied dynamics. Chen, He, and Yang have created pure art, with “Prelude” painting a picture one can only see by hearing it. 

He recently released the sheet music on Musescore, a free website carrying thousands of free music sheets for musicians to learn. With many Jesuit students being musically inclined, Twoset Violin’s new piece could give students a new avenue to collaborate and bond during quarantine. 

About the Writer
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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...

Everything You Need To Know About Jesuit’s 2020 Christmas Food Drive

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Image courtesy of KATU News, annotation courtesy of Avni Sharma.

It’s nearing that time of year. 

The season of hot cocoa, Santa Claus themed greeting cards, and the “Home Alone” Series. With only a few weeks left until December, the 12 month wait for jingle bells and candy canes is almost over. But to Jesuit students, nothing screams Christmas more than the annual Food Drive. 

In the past, the annual Food Drive has been an opportunity for students to gather and organize the cans, boxes, and cases of non-perishable food in a joyous and welcoming environment. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” blasts on the speakers as students shuffle around the cafeteria, laughing as they sort food with their friends. 

“I remember everyone would carry bags of cans and have this mass exodus from their classes,” junior Charlene de La Paz said. “It was really fun.” 

It was the perfect way to celebrate Christmas and relax after a long semester, while also helping those in need. Even now with COVID-19 limiting certain school related events, students look forward to participating in the 2020 Food Drive. 

“I’m excited that we can continue the tradition at Jesuit in a way that will keep everyone safe and healthy,” Director of Arrupe Center for Justice Andrea Casey said. “This year, we are still committed to those goals.” 

So yes, the Food Drive is still happening. That being said, the format will be significantly different from previous years. According to Ms. Casey, Jesuit plans to focus their efforts in three areas:

  1. Purchasing grocery gift cards through Jesuit’s website or Venmo. Jesuit’s partners have requested to not give food boxes this year, but to give gift cards and raise money instead. Jesuit’s goal is to raise at least 250 $50 gift cards.  
  2. Dropping non-perishable food off at campus. Students will be given a specific day to make your donation, to be as safe and socially distanced as possible. The food donated will go to St. Andrew and St. Cecelia Catholic Church Pantries. By the end of the Food Drive, the pantries should be stocked for many months to come. 
  3. Sponsoring specific families with grocery gift cards and presents. Students will be able to make a group with friends or family to sponsor a family. The group will be responsible for calling the family to find out what gifts their sponsored family would like, and will purchase the desired gifts along with wrapping supplies. Each person in the group will contribute $25 per person. It is important that the gift should not be wrapped, since the parents will wrap the presents themselves. Delivery will happen on Dec. 17th, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Other significant changes have also been made. Instead of having a single day to compile and deliver food, the 2020 Food Drive will happen throughout Dec. 2nd-17th. 

Though the Food Drive seems very different this year, Jesuit strives to help families battling with food insecurity while giving an opportunity for students to come together and bond in the name of Christmas. 

“Jesuit is handling the food drive very well this year,” junior Keya Pandya said. “Although it cannot be the same as it was in previous years, Jesuit is doing a great job of keeping the occasion joyous and exciting.”

About the Writer
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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...

Quarantine Struggles: Halloween!

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About the Writer
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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...

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
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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...

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