By Abby Ramirez and Katie Ryu
To say that the last year and a half was unconventional would be a dramatic understatement. When we left campus in March 2020, we knew that the pandemic was serious, but not so serious that it would take us this far. Many believed online school would only last two weeks, a month maybe. Unfortunately, we were very wrong.
But just as the rest of the world adapted to this new life at home, so too did the Plaid Press. This year, stationed at our desks–and perhaps occasionally our beds–the editors and staff collectively kept our newspaper and our journalistic spirit alive, despite being entirely online. We published on our website rather than creating a print edition every few months, and we consistently produced articles nearly every week of each semester.
The Plaid Press wrote about what interests us, inspires us, challenges us, and makes us think. We tackled pressing issues and used written words to express our passions. We researched, interviewed, and revised articles on topics we found intriguing, people who are making a difference, and events of national significance. Being a part of the Plaid Press made us feel like we were a part of something bigger, something greater than ourselves. It connected us with the rest of the world, even when physical human connection was minimal.
More than that, the class provided a space of creativity and support to a handful of students who found themselves connected by the school newspaper. It was a safe haven from the days of monotony and dread; something akin to a ray of sunshine after days of rain and thunder. Just as we did in our physical classroom in A11, we created a family in our small Zoom sanctuary and forged bonds that will last a lifetime.
Every week without fail, we looked forward to our fifth-period journalism class–full of friendly faces and genuine smiles. We could always count on one another to make each other laugh, even if it was about something trivial like Harry Styles’ incredible talent or which Disney movie is the best Disney. Even if our microphones were not on, the chat would be buzzing with article ideas, the latest celebrity gossip, and even recommendations for lunch–usually soup.
The Plaid Press would not be what it is today without the guidance and incredible support of our adviser Melissa Spaulding, someone who never once failed to be encouraging, understanding, and wholeheartedly real with us. We’d like to thank her from the bottom of our hearts for everything. She is truly one of the best teachers we’ve ever had, and we’ll never forget her endearingly ironic jokes and unwavering compassion.
We also extend our thanks to the amazing staff writers and editors on the Plaid Press. We are so honored to be your Editors-in-Chief. Your unique ideas, dedication to writing, and absolute brilliance are more appreciated than you know. Thank you so much for all the laughs, memories, and friendship.
We want to thank administrator Lori Zaragoza as well. Her consistent direction and assistance have been invaluable in publishing our pieces. She has supported the Plaid Press for years now, and we are so grateful.
And finally, to our readers. Thank you for continuing to read the Plaid Press even throughout this unconventional year. Whether you’ve come from the monthly newsletter, the Plaid Press Instagram account, or the depths of the Internet, we’re glad you’re here.
The experiences and friends we’ve gained through this newspaper are unlike any other, and we would not trade it for the world. We are so proud to be a part of the Plaid Press, and we will never forget our time here.
Your Editors-in-Chief, Abby Ramirez and Katie Ryu