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Brewster Seniors Write About The Things They Miss

The Things They Carried Students in Teri Schumacher’s senior English class were recently tasked with writing an original “The Things I Miss” piece, mirroring Tim O’Brien’s syntax and structure in The Things They Carried

“This is something tangible that you will be able to use to recall exactly what you were thinking and feeling during the COVID-19 quarantine pandemic,” Schumacher told students when assigning the piece. “This will be your own little written piece of history to share for generations.”

Two of her students’ responses are included below.


The Things I Miss by Aidan Rivadeneira

I no longer wake in the mornings. I miss the daily routines that keep order to my life. I miss the rush to be somewhere. I miss showing up late. I miss hearing my teachers tell stories. The stories at home aren’t as fresh, but they’ll have to do. I miss the awkward exchanges of looks and greetings in the hallways. I miss learning at smaller distances. I miss the feeling of being productive. The mere actions of thinking about subjects and topics to work my mind. My friends sharing with me ideas and solutions to the problems of the day. The feeling of progression. Now it’s a standstill. I miss nothing more than my friends. We all do. I miss the jokes and the conversations and arguments and comebacks. I miss the pranks and the songs and the fights and the weirdness of it all. I even miss their silence. I miss making plans to hang out and I miss the parties and the sleepovers. I miss the unruined sleep schedule. I miss not being so easily distracted. I miss being free. Being able to drive and go places and not be locked away. I miss the cold mornings and the tall coffee cups and the mint gum. I miss trying to look nice for my friends and classmates. I miss missing home. I miss forgetting what my house looked like for a few hours. I miss my dog being excited to see me when I come home. I miss the Arizona iced teas and the snacks from the gas station and I miss flying down Foggintown when school ended. I miss avoiding the chores set by my parents and I miss not caring about the news. I miss not being told to stay home. I miss enjoying video games; which have become tired and dull. All of us miss the school. We miss the contact and the gatherings and the funny moments and the serious ones. We miss our teachers and we miss our lunch tables. We miss living our lives with no fear and we miss enjoying the end of our senior year. For the class of 2020, it is important for us to remember not to miss too many things, because in the end, all that really matters is what we have done, and not what we have missed.


The Things I Miss by Engjel Duhanaj

Exiting our homes we carry the essential weapons, the Purell hand sanitizer, the Lysol, and the gloves. Many around New York carry whatever they found on the shelves, or whatever seemed appropriate as a means of killing the virus or staying sanitary. At various times, in various situations, some carry a mask and COVID-19 along with them, transporting it to each handle, surface, and shelf that they touch. I carry a sense of joy, because although there is much to be sad about, much good is coming out as well. I carry a sense of appreciation that I am able to spend time with my family through these times. I carry peace, because I am able to have alone time away from all of the drama that others cause. I carry discipline because I must stay sanitary and not only prevent myself from contracting the virus, but more importantly, from others getting the virus. I carry pride because I see everyone around the world assisting each other and communities working together (from a safe distance) to flatten the curve. I carry sadness because I know that the foolish mistakes of younger people are causing the elderly to get sick and even die. I carry respect and gratitude towards the CDC and all the first responders putting themselves at risk to help others. Younger generations carry greed with many going out and not even attempting to prevent the virus because of their “It doesn’t affect me so why should I care” attitude. I carry gratefulness because I know that this will make me improve as a person and instead of taking bad things away from this experience, I will be sure to embrace and remember all of the good things. We carry all we can bear and items we would much rather not, such as, stress, depression, and sickness. Rarely, we carry each other as a whole, however, we are all united and are all working together, for once. This virus has caused many problems and changed everyone's lives, but amidst all of these bad things, a lot of good is coming out of this virus as well.