The Morse High School Class of 2020 | For Real.
Unprecedented times. Global pandemic. Quarantine. Social distancing. Zoom. Terms that once were either cliché, only heard of in movies, or in a completely different context, are now common vocabulary in today's communications. The “respiratory virus” we heard of distantly during the winter months suddenly had us all sitting at home wondering where all the toilet paper had gone overnight.
Being sent home from school for 2 weeks, then four, then all 13 remaining weeks of the school year has been an experience all students, but especially the Class of 2020, will never forget. Touted as the kids who were born of 9/11, and are now supposed to be graduating during a global pandemic, these Seniors are no strangers to challenges. Having had the privilege of working alongside them these many years, both as a coach and a photographer, I have observed a lot. I have seen them work so hard for an athletic accomplishment, just to fall short in the final moments of a game. I have also seen them victorious in many buzzer-winning moments, saturated in the pride of having their years of hard work pay off. I have seen them perform in their school talent bazaar, MoHiBa, when the mics stopped working, but never missing a beat, they keep singing, finish their performances. I have seen them cry tears of defeat and frustration, but also of victory and pride.
This novel experience is no different. While suffering the loss that is the Spring of their Senior year – the months they look forward to the most from the minute they step foot into 826 High Street as nervous ninth graders to the minute they pass through those halls as Seniors for the last time – these young women and men are once again proving themselves diligent, hard-working, and positive. They will be victorious in the days that lie ahead in their lives. Missing spring concerts, pep rallys, assemblies celebrating their accomplishments, sports seasons and potential championship games, Prom, and Graduation as generations of Morse Alumni have had in the past, these kids are down, but not defeated.
Let's show the world how amazing they truly are.
To the Class of 2020, after photographing your milestones and accomplishments for the past 13 years, I am selfishly feeling the need to help finish writing and sharing your stories. To help document these 'unprecedented times,' I am inspired by your resilience and invite every Senior to participate in this project. Understanding that now many of you are probably sick of it all, tired of thinking about how bummed out you are, tired of being felt sorry for, and ready to return to any sort of normalcy, I implore you to join anyway. Not for me, but for future you. Right now this all sucks, but in a year, 5 years, 20 years, you'll be able to look back on this and see the photos of you now, read your own words, and remember. You'll see how much strength and character you possess as you are able to persist, remain positive, and succeed in such uncertain times. The bonus is that you can annoy future generations of Seniors by sharing your Senior picture all over social media when their day comes.