Put 2020 Behind Us? Yes, Please! (But Keep the Good Stuff)


East Rock Record reporters are a thoughtful group. As we wrapped up a Zoom-fueled semester of reporting, thinking and writing, we took time to reflect on 2020 and think (maybe dream a little) about 2021.  

This was a tough year. But we learned things about ourselves, too. We found new ways to enjoy friends and appreciate family. We discovered new pleasures and skills. The pandemic is shaping us, yes. But we are shaping this world of ours right back!  

Pandemic Prediction: It Will End Slowly (and So Will Mask-Wearing) 

By Omar Dweck, East Rock Record Staff  

In the year of 2020, I have learned that we can adapt and be flexible because we have adapted to wear masks and stay at home for the whole day in the pandemic.  

I am looking forward to 2021 because I’m hopeful that we will take some more steps to get a vaccine. I think the pandemic will end in 2023, and it will end slowly while we start carefully going back to what life was like before the pandemic.  

Once it’s over, it will all be a historical fact and one of my and your memories of the past. I think we will be wearing masks one or two years from now. Afterward, we will go back and do the things that we used to do. For me, that’s karate and swimming. 

Guess What? Pandemic Practice Brings Art and Music 

By Victor Rodriguez , East Rock Record Staff 

This year was a year! I was very worried, like most of us were, when this pandemic started. I never wanted to go outside where people were hanging out — at parks and flea markets and shops and malls.  

But one good thing that happened during this pandemic is that I was able to get better at lots of different stuff! Like drawing and playing the piano. I am now able to draw without looking at a tutorial. I drew a picture of all the links and websites that I have been going to throughout the school year. First, I added Khan Academy, Peardeck, Google, Kahoot, and Edpuzzle. I started out in class drawing Peardeck and thought I should draw the pear. Then I decided to put Edpuzzle in as the sun because it was bright and yellow. I then started to add the other sites and that is how I made the drawing.  

Art by Victor Rodriguez.

If you want to draw stuff like this, you don’t need practice, just let your imagination go free! You can splatter paint everywhere and that is art! You can put shapes and that is art! Or you can put a realistic human face that you asked to smile just so that you can make a famous piece of art so that everybody can admire you! That my friends, is what art truly is. 

For piano, I now actually remember notes to songs, which is great because I used to not remember the notes. But now, I am really getting at memorizing all of the notes! When I started playing piano, I didn’t know which notes were which. I was very nervous. I thought I would embarrass myself since I didn’t want to mess up. But I have done a lot of practicing. I use an app called “Simply Piano” (which, by the way, you have to pay for). I was able to learn a lot of songs! I also play the clarinet. That is basically the same story: if you practice a lot and get some help you can learn more and get better. And that’s how I got better at art and musical instruments during quarantine.  

2020 Forced Us To Pause — and Reflect 

 By Isabel Faustino, East Rock Record Staff 

2020 has definitely been a crazy year. I never thought I would be doing virtual learning, but here we are and surprisingly, I am enjoying it. As Queen Nikita Dragun — a YouTuber, and makeup guru — says, “This is just a moment to be extremely reflective and kind of pause.”   

She’s right. Usually, we’re always so used to getting what we want, then moving on. But 2020 gave us a chance to stop and see the world from a different perspective.  

Two of my goals for my final middle school year were to be kinder and work harder than ever. Work Hard and Be Kind. Living by these five words have made these past few months filled with memorable moments.  

I have been able to create incredible relationships that I know will last a lifetime during these times. Being able to have bonds with other people has helped me keep happy and motivated for what’s to come. Reaching out to others can be such a great experience. Or maybe that person you liked a few years ago… You never know.  

2020 gave us a chance to stop and see the world from a different perspective.

Now I know that what’s to come is out of our control. But, hey, if we can survive this year together, then we can do whatever comes our way as a team. As students we are always taught to think creatively and think outside of the box. But, we always want everything to happen now and instantly. I’m here to tell you that good things come to those who work for them. Not to those who wait.   

Your future is what you make it.  

What Would Happen IThis Went On Forever? 

 By Tusker Pickett, East Rock Record Staff 

 2020 was a difficult year. Sometimes, it felt like it would never end. Just imagine what it would be like if it didn’t. If every year of our lives from now on were like 2020, I think that we would adapt over 100 years to be immune to Covid-19. But maybe not, maybe we would go extinct. But what do you think? Maybe things would continue on like this forever, with us staying alive but not being able to see our friends.       

The Good and the Bad in 2020; What I Look Forward to in 2021 

 By Nayala Conroe, East Rock Record Staff 

 5 bad things about 2020                                                                        

  • Online school 
  • Wearing a mask 
  • Not seeing my friends 
  • Computer problems 
  • Not seeing my cousins that live in Chicago and Texas   

5 good things about 2020 

  • Learning how to cook 
  • Reading all of the Harry Potter books more than once 
  • Watching all of the Harry Potter movies 
  • Spending more time with my family 
  • Practicing my drawing
Art by Nayala Conroe.

5 Things I am looking forward to in 2021: 

  • Seeing friends in person 
  • Not wearing a mask 
  • In-person school 
  • Seeing my family 
  • Covid-19 vaccine! 

By Ayaan Riaz, East Rock Record Staff 

5 Good Things About 2020 

  • Reading More books 
  • Drawing and loving art 
  • Learning about climate change and helping to stop it 
  • Having fun outside 
  • Going on outdoor adventures 

5 Bad Things About 2020  

  •  COVID-19! 
  •  Not able to see anyone in person; 
  •  Unable to celebrate holidays with other people 

Covid-19 and The Importance of Teamwork 

By Ayaan Riaz, East Rock Record Staff 

Have you ever seen people fight before, or heard of anything related to fighting? Well, you might be thinking that Covid is awful, but some people believe in God and they know that God does everything with a good or positive reason behind it.  

Today, I will be talking about what the positive effects of Covid are. First, if you want to understand my first reason you might need to know or see people fighting. If you have, great. Here we go.   

During the pandemic, some of you have heard about people and scientists working together to figure out a vaccine. Well, if you have, lucky you!  

My hypothesis is that the bigger reason behind all of this Covid situation is to teach people about the importance of teamwork!!!

Here’s a question you’ll have to answer: What do people need to do to stop a problem like Covid? Here’s the answer: TEAMWORK.  

So, my hypothesis is that the bigger reason behind all of this Covid situation is to teach people about the importance of teamwork!!! 

Covid-19 is Evil 

By Adham Dweck, East Rock Record Staff 

 2020 was like the worst year of all time and I’m not being sarcastic. It has been a really bad year. The first major event was the most evil thing that happened in 2020: Iis called Covid-19. It is a respiratory disease and because of that people have trouble breathing and everyone has to go into hiding.  Because of Covid-19 people only go out like a few days to get supplies to survive. There is now online school, online jobs and online life. Life is bad now. Like really bad. For example, a lot of people, including, me had a sport that we played. Mine was swimming. But right when Covid started, we had to take a like one-year break and that was sad. COVID WILL BE MY IMMORTAL ENEMY FOREVER. But Covid made me and my brother closer and now we are like this § . 

2020 Has Been a Bad Year (But We Did Learn to Bake)

By Eleanor Matz, East Rock Record Staff 

2020 may have been a really, REALLY bad year, with the Australian fires, Covid-19, protests, and other bad things. But we have also learned some stuff. Some people had talents that they didn’t know they had. Some people learned they could bake, and others learned they could do sports. For example, I learned that I’m good at fencing. Other people have learned that they can learn and speak languages that they had no idea how to speak. They have learned that they can make a garden. Some people have learned that they like a specific type of music, or that they can paint a portrait perfectly. People have gotten closer, or farther in relationships or families. Many people have been struggling with school online, but that does not change the fact that much has changed in the world during Covid. 

The Pandemic Didn’t Stop Birthday Presents and Baseball! 

By Jaden Martinez, East Rock Record Staff 

The best part of this year was my birthday because I got presents. My birthday is 10/14 and I got a baseball signed by Fernando Tatis Jr., who is a famous baseball player. He is my favorite baseball player and he is a shortstop. I can’t wait until Christmas because I want presents!!! I want another pet. I want a dog and I’ll name it Tommy.  

I learned how to sleep better. I had to wake up earlier because I had to get to school in the car, and now I can just wake up and get to the computer, which is cooler. And now I can take naps after school. Before, I had more homework so I couldn’t take naps. Now, I sleep nine to 12 hours and can stay up later than before.   

I’ve improved at baseball this year. I did baseball this fall on a club team, but I had to wear masks. I had a pretty good offensive year. I’m a shortstop. Getting better at baseball made me feel good. I’ve been playing baseball for a long time—five years! I’ll continue to play baseball next year.   

Next year, after the pandemic, I hope to go traveling again. I want to go to Mexico and everywhere. I love traveling!  

New Year’s Goal: Stop Antagonizing My Sister and Learn Magic 

By Charlie Pellegrino, East Rock Record Staff  

In 2021, I want to stop antagonizing my sister. She has very long nails and she makes gashes in my skin, Black Panther-style. I want to stop making her do that. I take her stroller from her dolls. My mom doesn’t even blame her. So that is why I don’t want my sister to scratch me. 

In a word, 2020 was “bad” because you couldn’t do anything.

This year, I learned how to use an Etch-a-Sketch. Knowing how to use an Etch-a-Sketch makes me feel like I know a lot. Next year, I want to learn how to do magic. That’s why I want the magic set for Christmas. If someone’s trying to attack me and then I can just snap my fingers and then I can teleport. I’ll have a wand and I’ll travel underground. I want to beat my friend at Magic, The Gathering because I’ve never done that before. In a word, 2020 was “bad” because you couldn’t do anything. Stupid pandemic! I’m hopeful for 2021.  

2020 Reveal: Some People are Awesome — and Some are Terrible 

By Sahil Lemar, East Rock Record Staff 

What I have learned from 2020 is that it sucked. What I learned about myself is that I will never go outside without a mask again. What I learned about the world and my community is that a lot of people are awesome, and a lot of people are terrible. What gives me hope is that Trump will not be president anymore. What worries me is that he will still be there. What I can imagine is that I think by March some people will be vaccinated. I think the pandemic won’t “end,” but we will have a vaccine at some point to make it less deadly.   

2020 Reactions: What This Pandemic Has Done

 BJomar Lamboy and Ryan Martinez, East Rock Record Staff 

  • Scared COVID Will Continue forever 
  • Worst Year–BORING 
  • Excited about the 2020 vaccine 
  • Disappointed about a potential curfew  
  • Trust issues — cannot be near anyone  
  • Wearing a mask 
  • Online Learning 

Post-Covid Future: Flying Cars, Intelligent Clothes, Robots  

By Jomar Lamboy, Farhan Riaz, Ryan Martinez, East Rock Record Staff  

We are nervous about what life will be like with Covid still here. If the vaccine does not appear widely soon, things might go badly. In two years, there may be a new Covid 

The future will consist of flying cars, masks, intelligent clothes, robots that have automatic lights and flushing systems, and updated chrome book computers.

But we also think that a new age will appear.  This future will consist of flying cars, masks, intelligent clothes, robots that have automatic lights and flushing systems, and updated chrome book computers.   

We do think that COVID is going to go away next year. And we will not have school from home permanently. But if there is a snow day we will have a snow day of school at home.  

The next couple of years are also going to be a litter age. The world is going to be full of plastic. In the future there is going to be a giant island and they plan to have cities in water with the increase in water to land mass. Also, a hoverboard and robotech assistance that will help make humans stronger.