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A LOOK AT ouR lives NOW A PHOTO ESSAY OF STUDENTS' QUARANTINE EXPERIENCES

"Looking at them they look like ordinary headbands with buttons on them, but they are all the hardworking nurses at Cook’s asked for. One of the ladies at our church works in the stroke unit of Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth and texted a few of the girls and ladies from our church with a unique request. The nurses at the hospitals are now required to wear masks while they are working and the elastic string that holds them on hurts their ears after wearing them for a while. So, she asked if we would be willing to make some headbands with buttons above the ear for the nurses to hook the elastic straps of their mask on. What started out as a small project, making the headbands for 30 nurses, has now evolved into an assembly line involving most of our small church’s families making over 100 bands for nurses in hospitals across Fort Worth. My role in the assembly line is collecting the sewn headbands and sewing buttons on them, then taking them to be distributed. Since the end of spring break, my days have been full of sewing buttons on headbands." - Ashlea McIntire
"We can see a packet of Wet Ones, a common disinfectant hand wipe used by a good handful of health conscious Americans. Due to my observations during this quarantine, I have noticed how we disinfect all of the groceries before we put them in the pantry... or anything from the outside world to be honest. Also, one can see how everything is empty. Due to this disastrous outbreak, not only the country is empty, but nearly everything else besides the Wal-Mart parking lot." - Sarah Reese
"During the past three weeks, I’ve been working on adjusting. My dining room is my new classroom. I sit in front of its massive window and watch wildlife, neighbors and the rest of the world go by. My dogs are my new classmates. If I’m being honest, they aren’t so helpful on group projects. My neighborhood is my new track, although its hills remind me more of cross country season. Running laps on the hard concrete is a subpar alternative to the fragrant, black tarmac that I had grown familiar with. My kitchen is the new cafeteria. It’s table much more silent than the one I sat at every day, laughing with my friends in the midst of the chaos. Late-night Whataburger trips have been replaced by Zoom or FaceTime calls that last into the early hours of the morning. But, the conversations seem shallow when they aren’t shared over fries and a vanilla milkshake. I have been adjusting. To a life where I can only see my friends through a screen. To the jarring sight of people wearing masks to the Brookshire’s. To this new life of silence and solidarity." - Ava Bathurst
"Since I can no longer go places, my life is primarily continuing through a computer screen. I wake up before noon every day and put on fresh pajamas before picking up my laptop and working through that day’s assignments and distractions. Life is a little lonelier these weeks, but my responsibilities still demand my attention, though the temptation to ignore them is stronger than ever." - Taylor Yates
"During my quarantine, it’s been quite interesting how quickly my family and I grow bored and tired of each other. I have definitely taken the smaller things in life for granted and I’m now realizing that more than ever. This time has also allowed me to give grace to my family because I see the struggle and how hard they work for me as well. However, I’ve picked up a new hobby that is very relaxing and somewhat self-medicating for anxiety and boredom. I started painting on small 6x6 canvases for my own enjoyment. It brings me joy, and not only does it take up a lot of my time, but it also pushes me to keep being creative while I’m not in school!" - Madison Alvarez
"Through schooling outside of the classroom, I’m thriving. I know this is not what most people are experiencing. Lots of people are going “stir crazy” and are bored out of their minds and are taking back everything they ever said about not liking school. I’m the opposite. I don’t take back what I’ve said about school. I’ve always said school wastes so much time and that if we condensed it down to the time we actually were learning or doing valuable activities, it would be like two hours total. Now with online school, we get the minimum, no busy work. I do my work and I have so much free time, and I’m indeed still busy 24/7 and finding stuff to do. My photo is with my plants. I love them so much and I’ve been able to do lots of gardening and I’ve gone outside so much. With school, I never see the sun and am probably borderline vitamin D deficient. I’m also sleeping better and more, and my mom has noticed I’ve been more relaxed than I have been in years. While most people are struggling with their mental health while being cooped inside, this is the mental health break I’ve needed for years. I’ve gotten to spend so much time with my family while I appreciate a lot since I’m about to head out for college and I’ll miss them. I needed this extra bonding time I would’ve missed because of school since I’m so involved and never home (and when I am home, doing homework). I have gotten to expand on my hobbies and life skills during this break. I’ve learned how to cook and bake— I never had time for this when I was in the rat race at school. I’ve been crocheting and knitting so much and cleaning the house, finishing projects I’ve never finished that have been lingering in my mind for months. I feel so productive and happy all the time." - Amber Birdwell
"Since I've been out of school, I've stayed up way too late and slept in way too late. I feel like I am working non-stop, putting myself at risk. I'm always in my bed on my phone or computer trying to entertain myself. These past weeks, I feel swamped with school work. Ping after ping on my phone is a Remind or Google Classroom message. Everything is just different." - Merritt Bush
"Due to new awareness, we have taken extra precautions to wash everything, including our produce. These are our fruits and vegetables drying after being washed thoroughly." - Hailey Bogner
"The picture is a double exposure, long-exposure image. I sat in the red chair sitting still for twenty minutes. (I was listening to music to pass time.) The camera was moved when I pressed the shutter release the second time. I finally decided to cut the time in half and just stand for ten minutes during the second shutter release. I have had a lot of fun escaping boredom with my photography, while getting interesting results." - James Ward
"While in quarantine, it has given me a lot of time to think about what I dedicate my life to each and every day. I’ve missed a ton of holidays and events for volleyball, and now with that not happening it really has made me sad and kinda lost with what to do with all of this time. My dog has been a huge help with trying to figure out what to do (weird I know). She sits with me when she thinks I’m sad or lost, and when in doubt, we go outside and throw the ball, and for some reason it makes me forget that we are even in quarantine any more. And finally school work, these online courses I believe are what is keeping my sanity in check. However, I think teachers are trying to keep things as normal as possible in such an abnormal situation. No one would’ve thought that we would be missing so many days of school, seniors would possibly have their prom and graduation postponed, and sports would come to end so early in the season. It is truly heartbreaking for me to see so many of my friends say goodbye to their sport so early. I truly hope that we go back sooner or later just to see everyone, for the seniors saying goodbye is better than having no goodbye at all." - Mattie Gantt
"I tried to capture things that I normally overlook and take for granted. From the dishwasher to the silly chickens, all of this time at home has made me appreciate what is around me so much more. Especially knowing that soon I will be moving out, I want to look at every part of life with my family and see the beauty in it. Even when I get frustrated that I have to unload the dishwasher, or when I have to clean the chicken coop, I know that I will miss these moments at home with my family." - Reagan Petersen
"I have been spending a lot of time on working on many, many puzzles my mom insists on buying and spending time with my online friends and playing the games I love for about 4-8 hours a day after school work is done. I don’t think I’ll be doing puzzles for awhile after quarantine is over. We have done five already, and some have taken four days." - Alex Mount
"Over the break, I set up a projector in my room so I could binge watch all my favorite shows like Supernatural and Gilmore Girls. I’ve also done some writing and quite a bit of reading. I’ve noticed that while everything in the world is crazy, staying inside your house with family can actually be really calming. On the other hand, I’ve also noticed how spending too much time around family can be stressful." - Lydia Wood
"This is where I have been binging Netflix, watching cleaning videos, scrolling through Pinterest, deciding what puzzle I will do next, finding which recipe I will make next, reading the Me Before You series, and now completing all of my school assignments. I have been trying to keep myself busy, and now I consider myself the mom of the house because cleaning gives me so much joy. I know that is very weird and I can’t explain it myself. I am a very routine person and like to be doing something at all times, even if it isn't’ my favorite thing in the world." - Rachel Lane
"During my quarantine, I have painted a house, cooked new meals and (participated in) Zoom calls with my church on Wednesdays. The last picture is my indoor photo shoot of looking forward and hoping the future will be better." - Ashlyn Vozeh
"After being extremely bored for the entirety of quarantine, I bought myself an Xbox. Thinking I would be the main user of it, I was very excited. My sister had a different idea. Every five minutes, she bursts into my room and begs me to let her play Minecraft. She is a senior in high school. Anyway, I have just been watching a lot of movies lately and dreading doing my school work." - Eli Sale
"This first photo is of my school work, my computer, markers and my pencil. I took this photo because online school has been a big part of what I have been doing outside the classroom. Although sometimes I get frustrated and just want to quit. I have to push through and finish my work for the day. I have observed that I am personally less motivated to do my school work from home, so sometimes I start my day's work late at night. The second photo is of my softball bat, my tee and my net. I took this photo because whenever I am wanting to work on something else besides school work or just go outside, I practice softball. My favorite thing to work on is hitting in which I have been hitting a lot recently. I have observed that with all this time on my hands I am able to practice more and get better at the sport I love." - Allison Mallard
- Madison Poston
"Home Office: All my life I have grown up around computers and books. My dad's a data architect and my mom is never seen without a book. I am absolutely enamored with the literary world, but I also love everything you can do on a computer. My favorite thing to do is create, and I'm not very good with my hands, so everything a computer offers is an exciting adventure waiting to happen. Distance learning has been easy-breezy for me because I already have an intimate understanding of computers. And if it's 'Get off the computer and read a book,' well, gladly! All I need to feel comfortable is a computer, some books, water and a jellyfish lamp for ambiance." - Megan Hoke
"I have been taking walks like seven times a day. This being home and not being able to go anywhere is not my thing. But as I have been walking, I have gotten to experience some pretty cool things and views." - Jayla Kelley
"My brother spends his mornings doing his schoolwork so he can have the rest of the day to do what he wants. For the past week, he has been completing work that his teachers have virtually assigned for him since he can’t physically go to school." - Raegan Huffman
"During these few weeks we have been out of school, I've mainly been doing what few people are able to do, which is working. My job is at H-E-B, which at times can be quite stressful. During this crazy time, H-E-B has taken some of the top precautions in the nation to keep the workers and customers safe. For example, I am not allowed to work unless I have a company wide issued surgical mask. Due to the high demand for products, we have been quite busy causing me to work more, and since we are out of school my avalanche has opened up quite a bit. Aside from working, for a short time I was going to the Mineral Wells State Park for a couple of weeks prior to the statewide state park shutdown. Hiking has always been one of my favorite things to do. Thankfully, I was able to enjoy it for a short period of time." - Masen Garrett
"It’s obvious that over our 'Coronacation' that life is going to change and simple tasks and daily occurrences are almost impossible. In this photo you can see my messy workspace for the morning. I love being able to work from home because I get to work at my own pace, listen to music and honestly just enjoy it way more. I have observed that my personality type has been thriving in these different conditions, but most everyone seems to be going crazy during 'online school.' The best possible thing that can happen on an average quarantine day for me would be nice weather like in the photos. I enjoy running and working out outside when it’s not raining. I believe with all the stress that many are experiencing, the best thing is to get some sunshine. My final observations from my current environment is that I feel quite happier without my loads of homework, comparison at school, and negativity in my normal life. I am very thankful." - Ryan Germany
"Everyday me and my family take a nature walk to clear our heads and get some fresh air. On one of our walks, we came upon a beautiful bluebonnet field and I had to get a picture of one of them. Then on a different walk, I saw a beautiful, purple flower and of course had to get a picture of it as well... Despite everything going on around us with this pandemic, there is still beauty out there waiting to be discovered." - Teagan Bagley
"I’ve found myself going out on my back patio more and more, whether it be with my family or on my own. I enjoy going out for fun, and to do my learning. It’s a peaceful environment that helps me calm down and stay focused, while also allowing me to have fun!" - Scarlett Grimes
"With all of this corona pandemic going on things are a little different around the house. My mom now has to work from home using video chats through her computer. Another thing that I've noticed is trying new ways to waste time, for example using puzzles. For me, something that I have to adjust to is setting time out of my day to complete school work online. For my dogs though, it's definitely the same for them, except they're getting even more attention." - Kaylia Egge
"So far my experience with everything that is going on in the world has been pretty normal for me. I rarely leave the house in the first place, so that aspect isn't anything out of the ordinary. The main difference that I have to deal with is that all sports are cancelled at the moment and with that it's really hard to practice and get work in. I usually now spend my days on my computer playing video games and staying in contact with my friends. This experience has been quite boring, and I'm sure it has for a lot of people, but we are better off staying safe than going out in public." - Luke Paulsen
"During quarantine, me and my family have had many opportunities to come up with something to spend our time besides Netflix. Last weekend we decided to have a baking competition where I competed against my mom and brothers, and my dad was the judge. It’s funny what boredom can help you come up with." - Chris Lee
- Pierce Livingston