(note the title of this journal is inspired by the song title by Jack Johnson, UCSB alum)
Hello! It’s me Lila again! My last day of school was happy and sad this year. School happened to end on my actual birthday for the first time in my life! It was the last day of school. I got on Zoom school and we played a fun guessing game about all of our classmates. My whole class sang happy birthday to me. Then, we got a break for “recess” or whatever substitute we wanted to take time to do at home. After that, we had lots of fun at science. Our final class was art and the teacher had us draw a cool picture of a city. I was so relieved that Zoom wasn’t glitchy whatsoever! After that, my family and I got in the car and drove to an end of the year school parade. We had lots of balloons and painted our car with hearts and flowers for my birthday, and I held a cardboard cutout of myself out of the window. I saw all the teachers! They all smiled and waved. Some teachers even shouted happy birthday, which made my day! The parade felt very festive and coronavirus-like at the same time because we had to stay in the car the whole time! By the time we were finished and got out of the car I looked and we only had one balloon left! We didn’t realize that the rest had either popped or blown away during the parade.
The first picture is of me and my cardboard cut-out for the last day of the school year parade!
Once school ended, I started making myself a schedule of things to do during summer break. My schedule was a combination of things to work on and things to do to have fun. I used that schedule a lot. Then, for a late birthday present, I got a whole book series! That day, I was so excited, but at the same time I also knew that it would take me a while to finish all the books, and I was right because I am still trying to finish them today!
Yesterday we went to the beach and saw that lots of people were there enjoying themselves, some wearing masks and others were maskless. I saw that most people were spaced out, enjoying themselves in their own space. I saw that they were doing a good job. No one was hugging, touching, or sitting too close. Other than that, the beach was the same as it always was: calm, soothing, peaceful, relaxing, and also fun, playful, sandy, and not the least bit boring. As I ran, socially distanced, into the water, the waves splashed playfully in my direction. I just love the beach!
One of the things that I love to do is hike! I have been doing it a lot during summer break. In fact, this week we went to see the tide pools really early in the morning. And I didn’t have to think once about social distancing because there was no one there but us! We climbed rocks, collected shells, and played in the water. We hiked all the way to the tide pools and back again. While we were there, we saw lots of seagulls, pelicans, crows, and lots of trees. In fact, there was this one tree that we spent half an hour climbing and trying to make it to the top! It was really fun to climb.
The last image is a picture of a big arch-shaped rock at the tide pools that we found.
During summer break I have been missing my friends a lot. So, every now and then, I pick a friend to Zoom with and then virtually talk to them! Sometimes I even show them things like paintings I made and it feels like they’re actually there with me looking at my paintings. Zoom is a great way to get in touch!
I know that this time is hard on a lot of us. In fact, it’s a challenge for most people. As I reflect back to my journal entries, I still just think of coronavirus as a story to make me feel better. COVID-19 is the bad guy. But, we have superheroes: the doctors. And they will fight until there is a cure. Then, there are people who are staying at home, scared to death. Those people, you might think, are just background characters in this big, bad guy-good guy story. But, they are not. They have a say in this story too. All of us do. And I know that once this virus is over, we will all be so happy, and we will all be able to tell this story: to children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and even to our pets. What story will we tell?
We can all do this, so stay strong!
Happy quarantining! Until next time, virtually yours, Lila
Lila Kia-Keating is a 4th grader who lives with her family in Santa Barbara. When she isn't reading or writing, you can probably find her riding bikes with her brother or making friends with the neighborhood animals.