The Rough Draft: Returning to Normal

Juliette Amram, Editor in Chief

I have been writing and editing for The Courant ever since I was a sophomore in 2020. I composed and proofread stacks of articles as the pandemic worsened, many of them with one common aspect: the cancellation of another in-person event. It was a time of no concerts, no parades, no field trips, and no school-wide events.

As I interviewed students, teachers, and alumni, I found that feelings of disappointment, anxiety, and anger were shared throughout the community. Many were concerned that the culture of our school would be permanently damaged by a lack of things to look forward to. Some students even mentioned that they didn’t know how important these events and traditions were until they were gone. For many people, life became monotonous, and it deeply saddened me to publish so many articles about a lack of current events.

I remember the first time I walked into the cafeteria and saw that the sneeze-guarded, socially-distanced desks had finally been replaced by the blue tables that were originally there. I teared up at the sight, overcome with a sense of hope. Life as I used to know it was coming back.

Sure enough, in 2021 I began seeing a different theme among the endless stacks of first drafts: the return of in-person events. Pep Rally, Homecoming, Battle of the Classes, Winter and Spring concerts, and so much more were back, at last.

Many of my interviewees expressed interesting combinations of excitement, relief, surprise, and nostalgia. One of them even began tearing up at the thought of students playing instruments and singing together for the first time in what felt like an eternity. The culture of Commack started to heal as our community was presented with more reasons to be happy.

The real normal, however, will be when we stop reporting these firsts; when an event is celebrated for reasons other than being “the first of its kind” in years; when people stop saying “before COVID;” When we don’t even notice that something has finally come back.

The Commack community was able to work together to pull itself out of an extremely dark place, and it makes me so proud to see the results of this success every day. After some time, though, these small milestones will go unnoticed as many people stop celebrating them. The traditions that so many people have held close to their heart will happen regularly again, and it will not be an anomaly for them to happen in-person. This will be the sign of true progress, and I have full confidence that we will get there soon.🔳