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It’s 8:15 a.m. Monday morning. These hallways, that should be bustling with students headed to class, visiting with friends, taking one last stroll through the halls are empty. The parking lot, which should be teeming with students jockeying for “their” spot, is empty. The playgrounds, which should be filled with happy, excited “littles”, is empty. The emptiness is eerie; the emptiness is sad; the emptiness is…empty. There are so many questions we all have, but no one has any real answers. “What if we don’t get to have a prom?” “What if we don’t get to compete at the International Science Fair”? What if we don’t get to compete at National BPA?” “What if we can’t go to Close Up?” “What if National Student Council gets cancelled?” “What if I never get to compete again at state track, or golf or tennis?” “What if we don’t get to have a graduation ceremony?” “What if I never get to teach in front of a REAL classroom full of “my” kids?” “What if I never get a chance to say good-bye IN PERSON to the co-workers and friends I have spent so many hours with ?”

We are all tackling these “What ifs?” Schools might be closed, but learning is still going on. Teachers are working hard to revamp their curriculum, to find new ways to deliver material. Students are working hard to stay focused on their classes, often juggling watching younger siblings and helping with a myriad of home chores, completing scholarship and college applications. Parents are doing double and triple duty, as parents worrying about their family’s health and future, working their “normal” jobs, and as teachers trying to remember how to find that elusive “y”. There is no more “normal” or “usual”; life the way we know it has been altered, and most of us don’t like the change. But we go on; we continue to do the best we can do; we strive to be “Spartan Strong”. A quick Google search will reveal hundreds, if not thousands, of aphorisms that will get us through this new “normal”; Sting commented, “When the world is running down, you make the best of what’s still around.” Friedrich Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” During the darkest moments of World War II, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going!” Even Baloo, the bear in Disney’s “The Jungle Book”, has some words that are especially poignant in today’s world: “The simple bare necessities. Forget about your worries and your strife ... The bare necessities of life will come to you.”

So what is the new normal for YOU? For students, for families, for teachers? It’s important that we document, document, document, and document MORE this time in our lives. We will be running a special section in the 2019/20 yearbook that is dedicated to this unprecedented event. Please send Mrs. Bettenhausen your photos of students at work - whether that means pulling a calf as part of a lesson or biology or riding the prairie and discovering more about the geography of eastern Montana. This is for students of ALL grades, K-12. Take a picture of yourself in your prom dress - maybe you’ll still get a chance to wear it. Take a picture of your child as she discovers aerodynamics by building a paper airplane. But take pictures - record your memories - all of them! Please submit your photos and comments to bettenhausenc@baker.k12.mt.us.

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