The Great Blackout of 2018
November 16, 2018
Students make a dark day brighter
It was a normal Thursday at Highlands. Earlybird students had already started their school day, and others were beginning to trickle into the cafeteria or the library to work on last minute homework or chat with their friends. Everyone had braved the freezing rain from a storm the night before, and were anticipating a warm and easy day inside the school.
At 7:35 am the school went black.
“I go to early bird and we were playing pickle ball and all of a sudden the lights went out,” recalled freshman Lauren Jamie.
Panic washed over the staff and students. After the initial shock wore off, students began to wonder what was going to happen with the rest of their day, crossing their fingers that they would be sent home early. However, this was not the case.
Students waited in their first periods for over 3 hours. Their initial frustration and anger faded into creativity, with many students finding fun and jovial activities to participate in during this time. Turns out that without wifi, students were able to find enjoyment away from their screens. Students came together to play games, build with legos, and showcase their talent for art on the whiteboards.
William Bertsch, senior, was in English Teacher Jennifer Nash’s, class during the blackout, “We all just played hangman and stuff.”
Bertsch had another unusual experience during the blackout, “I got to enjoy a nice movie with my friend. I have no idea who it was. I only know like 3 kids in my class. He just came up to me and we watched it. So I made a friend, but I don’t know his name.”
Some students did have a more negative outlook on the event, but this was outweighed by the positive experiences that many students had. Paige Ossege, sophomore, said, “I feel like it was fine and that everyone was overreacting.”
Although students had differing opinions about the event and how it was handled, overall, it was a chance for all students to come together to make the best out of an unideal situation. Mac Russell, sophomore, concluded, “It was inconvenient but it was still kinda fun.”
Teachers make the best of the blackout
The power outage yesterday was filled with mixed emotions from students. Some students were upset, including senior Lexie Cunningham who stated, “I’m freezing and I want to go home.” This seemed to be a common complaint heard throughout the day.
However, other students, such as sophomore Devlin Cassidy, enjoyed the power outage. He said, “We sat around and ate candy. The day ended up actually being fun.”
Many teachers worked hard to take advantage of the less than ideal situation to have one on one time with students. By keeping a positive outlook, teachers created a day where most students were able to have fun.
One of these teachers was Emily Haffey, Spanish teacher, who played Spanish games, like UNO, with her class. “I was trying to keep spirits high. We ate candy that I had in my desk and bonded.”
She also kept bored students occupied with odd activities such as untangling mountains of headphones she had in her back closet. Max Guetle, junior, was the one who took on this task. “I was bored and my Macbook wasn’t charged, it took me about an hour and a half. It took a long time but I had nothing better to do.”
Another one of these teachers was Jacob Young, choir instructor, who stated, “I rehearsed a student for an upcoming audition.” This rehearsal, conducted entirely in the dark, turned the day around and accomplished a task that helped a student succeed.
Carol Higgason, German teacher, made the day enjoyable for her students by going on an adventure around the middle school, “We went caroling to a couple of the 8th grade classes where we sang Jingle Bells in German, which was a lot of fun.” Besides caroling, her class also played German hangman to pass the time.
Even though very few classes did anything from their lesson plans, the day still ended up being fun and for some, productive, as teachers worked their hardest to ensure the day’s success.