These students escaped the fire and ended the epidemic

These students escaped the fire and ended the epidemic

Katie-Lynn Chandler, a Valentine from high school in Paradise, addressed her graduates with blank blankets and a number of cars parked on the school’s aisle. A white floral wreath was wrapped around his white graduation hat. He was confronted by a number of school staff who were standing at least six meters away on the football field. He took his surgical mask to speak from the pulpit. He was the only person on the field who didn’t have one.

“Many people say today is the day we start our journey. I do not agree, “said Chandler. “It simply came to our notice then. Today just happens to be the day we embark on a journey of division. ”

For the second year in a row, graduating from high school in Drakht became a tribute to a disastrous victory. The densely woven little town – where many elderly people from kindergarten attended classes together – was almost completely destroyed by Camp Fire in 2018. It was the deadliest and most horrific bombing in California history. Then COVID-19 raised the school year, and the elderly once again ended up in a world that was weirder than it was when the year began.

Even the near future is a question mark for the 2020 class. The epidemic has already killed more than 100,000 people in the United States, and no one can predict when it will end or whether it will collapse economically. Temper temperature rises record heights– a terrible sign for the coming fire season. Persistence in the face of a comprehensive crisis is a new ritual for American graduates. The city of Drakht, California, just happened to have an early baptism of fire.

Paradise graduates are already wary of what may come next. “In the beginning, it was a campfire, and now, through this epidemic, I’m wondering what next year’s disaster will be,” Chandler said. The origin:. “We like the most likely group of people I know.” In some ways, Heaven is a sight to behold for many of us, which may be new. A cycle of revolt followed by adrenaline, hope, exhaustion, and finally adjustment.

Chandler and his mother moved to Paradise more than five months ago before the November 2018 campfire. Like the city, he went through a difficult transition from the Hawaiian Islands to the Philippines and Virginia throughout his school career. Chandler’s father fell ill and died in 2016, causing the family to take some steps.

Paradise was just the beginning. The mother worked nearby to develop a home for the disabled. Chandler was admitted to Dracht High School. He was worried about getting along and making friends, but it turned out that it was not for the advanced teenager.

Most of Chandler’s reassuring message on graduation day could have been part of another senior speech. He recalled that he enjoyed playing football the most, dressed spiritually and shouted at his friends, family and teachers. Other memories can only be shared by the 2020 Paradise Class. They did it through camp fire, he said. And then there was the epidemic. But it is clear that they do not define them. And how could it be when there were so many challenges ahead? “After all the achievements we have made in the face of adversity, I believe that there is nothing that can stop us,” he said.

Camp Fire burns in the hills on November 10, 2018, near the California town of Orville.
Photo by Justin Astin Sullivan / Getty Images

Eighty-five people have died as a result of the fire at Camp Camp, which was caused by the deterioration of PG&E power lines. 18,804 houses and buildings were burnt. Nearly 9 out of every ten students in Paradise lost their homes. Chandler was among those whose homes were burned. The care facility where his mother worked has also collapsed. He and his mother rented a room in the house from the person who owned the place where Chandler’s mother worked.

High school is one of the unique structures in the city that has not been reduced to ashes. “When you walk around the halls in the school, you don’t always remind yourself of the fire,” said his principal, Michael Erwin, who also lost his family’s home in the blast. “When you leave school, you drive to where you are.”

Senior Eric Helton, who became one of Chandler’s closest friends, lost more of his home after a fire broke out in Paradise. Helton moved in with his grandparents after the fire damaged his home outside of renovations, but caused more tragedy. His grandfather had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Leu Gehrig’s disease, which attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, gradually weakening the muscles over time. Helton says his grandfather’s health has deteriorated as he struggles with the atmosphere in the fires, and he soon dies.

As the 2019-2020 school year draws to a close, Drakht High School students think it’s the worst thing to do. ” “We’ve all had such common losses, so we’ve all been able to come together in a way we haven’t been able to before,” says Helton. August 15 was the first day for students to return to college after a fire that engulfed previous courses online. Months later, they moved to an empty store and then to a warehouse.

“It was like lightning trying to get back to normal after all we’ve been through,” Chandler said. The origin:. In a photo taken on August 15, Chandler is pictured in front of a poster reading: “Hello domestic cats,” “Better together,” and “Make your mark, 2020 has a spark.” He is disguised in his school colors. The thick package of green and yellow Mardi Gras is wrapped around his neck, and the manuscripts in green and yellow paint cover his feet under his green skirt. He smiles, immediately tilting his foot behind him as he reaches with both hands, a thrill. The nerves he felt as a new child had disappeared last year. “It was just nice to be back at home,” he said.

But even though the school was unhealthy, things were not going well. A glove of journalists pressured students for interviews and photos. About half of his students were lost in the district, ”Hilton said The teachers went with them. “No one was in the classroom before. So it was very strange, “he said.

The fire also returned. PG&E has opted to turn off power for many of its customers in September, including Drakht High School, which was closed for several days, to prevent women’s power lines from burning to hell. But as the intermittent pauses lasted for weeks, the students returned to study with a flashlight.

“Fires are always a concern here, but especially now,” says Helton. This is because the suspensions were abandoned by medical facilities and people who deserved medical equipment were hanged. “It’s just harder than two bad situations,” he said.

The fire season ended in March, and there was silence and a new crisis. The Coronavirus novel was already making its way to cities like Seattle and San Francisco. But it was still a long way off, and the virus was, first and foremost, more than just food for random jokes at university.

“We didn’t think it would hit us here,” Chandler said. On Friday, March 13, he and his friends took burritos from the camp to have lunch that day. “We sat in the school parking lot, we kind of pulled out a tailings pond, we just had fun,” he says.

On that day, Chandler made posters reminding students to wear bright colors for the upcoming “Goodness Week”, which was intended for his leadership class. “Kindness comes in all colors,” the slogan said. The first day was set for next Monday, when students would be encouraged to wear blue “for the treatment of blues on Monday.”

While the students were decorating posters and having picnics in the parking lots, the teachers were bowing. Leading class and high school chronicle class teacher Stasi Martin realized that the school year would not end as planned. He hastened the deadline, fearing that any opportunity to gather could be the last. “We just finished our last sports pictures the day before, and I pushed it because I was afraid it would come,” said Martin, who has been teaching in Paradise for 27 years.

The theme of the 2020 chronicle is “Come home.” Over the weekend, the students learned that they would never return Monday, the 16th. “Last Friday, I didn’t even realize it would be the last normal Friday of my school,” Chandler said.

A press release from the Booth Regional Education Office said the decision to close the schools.
Booth Regional Education Office

Paradise, in some ways, was better prepared for the epidemic than most schools, as it was not the first disaster to close it. Although the university saved campfires, the surrounding damage posed a very serious threat to the immediate return of students. Burning trees could fall at any time, and officials weren’t sure if the running water at school was safe. Teachers took their lessons online, and other school districts donated Chromebooks to Paradise students, which they continued to use for the next school year.

Even with the practice of conducting online courses, the switch was still difficult. Most of the district is rural, and not all students have access to reliable Internet access. The Drakht joint school district distributed Internet hotspots, but there are few mobile towers, so the signal at hotspots was variegated. Helton says he lives on the “dead zone” on the Internet, so Wi-Fi is often cut off. “All service companies call us this hole or something,” says Helton.

What really mattered in the minds of Martin and the other parents’ teachers The origin: He talked about how children behaved emotionally. “It simply came to our notice then [the] The emotions of children, ”says Amy Sperske, Drakht’s senior mother. “It simply came to our notice then [takes] Everything in our power is interested in continuing every day when something else is thrown at you. ”

Martin kept the group text going with his leadership lesson, which included school events. They spent weeks in virtual spirit trying to connect and have fun. Instead of wearing pajamas at school, students posted selfies on social media.

Even during the epidemic, isolation divided the community in ways that the campfire did not. After the outbreak last school year, students pushed students out of their homes and classrooms, they still went to game nights, bowling nights, and nightclubs. According to the governor’s order, they would not even be able to hang out with each other during the epidemic. “It simply came to our notice then that I had found a way to bring the children together,” he said. And that was a lot harder for me and the class, ”says Martin.

Chandler anxiously awaits the examination of his driver’s license, which was supposed to be in April, but was postponed. A local church group has launched a fundraiser to help him get a car. At the same time, Chandler calls Helton. “My swim, my Uber and one of my biggest supporters and one of my best friends.”

“I really didn’t see that I really left Dracht High School for another high school,” says Helton. That’s why Helton and other seniors hoped for an individual ending. The school had previously planned to begin the ceremony by assigning ten students to graduate at once as they and their families moved away from each other to limit the spread of COVID-19. The smaller size of about 120 students, which was almost half of last year’s, would make it easier.

That was the plan until a nearby church violated its asylum Mother’s Day service on May 10. Shortly afterwards, people who attended tested positive for COVID-19 for fear of health officials. After the waiting period for Waiting, the State Department of Health informed the school that all ceremonies in the entire territory of the country should be held almost or by car. The program ended on May 22, a little more than a week before the end.

“I just feel for the kids because it’s not what they’re meant to be. And they’ve set up a 13-year-old school right now, “said Erwin, whose son also graduated this year.


The next school year will begin during the fire season, which it is lengthening And: heavier due to climate change. When it comes to living with disaster day by day, Chandler says he had to learn to “flow.” He even looks like a mantra. During the phone call, he says something. “Twice there is only what is under our control.”

The fire at the fire station meant that the epidemic was not new to the people of Paradise. “It simply came to our notice then. Extreme, stressed, trying to figure out life. And now everyone gets a piece, ”says Sperske. “You are tired, to be honest. It’s really hard to keep everyone developing, just because we’ve already done it. ”

The final day was the day to mark the 2020 lesson. On June 1, 2009, Director Michael Erwin chaired 12 feedback rounds. Each ceremony lasted one hour and was celebrated by 10 students. Cars parked in front of the school labeled “Bobcat Area” for the school’s talisman and surrounded a small stage in the center of the center.

Erwin was already devastated and exhausted. He attended the promotion ceremonies of the eighth graders of Paradise, which were successfully conducted in the same way. Limited groups, cars, many celebrations on May 21 և 22. He, however, rejoiced in his inexhaustible spirit (“Way to Walk, Bobcats”) during his fourth day, which presided over the ceremonies of the light of the sun.

On June 1, Helton and Chandler toured the football field to receive their green diploma covers. The horns were frightened; The family of one of the viewers was happy to see them from the apartment of the parked pickup truck. The trail was marked with advertising boxes, which the graduates and their families fired from small cannons.

Katie-Lee Chandler and Eric Helton graduated from Dracht High School on June 1, 2020. In the fall, Chandler will attend Chico University in California in the fall. Helton will attend the University of California, Davis.

“I’m proud of all my graduation classes, but this is a special place in my heart,” said Erwin, a senior principal who has been principal at Paradise Schools for more than two decades. “It’s been two years since the disaster and the disaster ugh: : You’ve gone through more than any other class I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been more impressed every day.

In the fall, Chandler will be a freshman at the University of Chicago, California. Helton will travel to the University of California, Davis, where he hopes to go to medical school. In the fall, Sperske’s daughter will attend Irvine University in California. They don’t know yet whether they will be in college campus universities or whether there will still be classrooms in their bedrooms.

Despite the uncertainty about the future, Chandler left a disgraceful note in his speech. “We are steadfast,” he said. “We have achieved incredible things, and we will continue to do so. As we all continue in our lives, let’s take every issue for granted. ” Then he got up from his chair, smiled, and raised both hands in the air as the crowd rejoiced. Returning home, he signed one photo, raising and lowering his arms and pulling one leg back. But this time he raised his hands and stretched his fingers to reach even higher.

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