What a Pandemic Taught Me about School · 5 June 2021

Oh what a season the pandemic has brought!
School life has not turned out like any had thought.
No dances, no prom, no big get-togethers,
No fancy parades, no hats with big feathers.
Out with tradition, but there was still graduation.
We still send out the grads with much adoration.

Yes, school life was changed. What is remote learning?
Can you believe, that for the classroom we’re yearning?
Even though we still love our sisters and brothers,
We can’t spend each minute with our fathers and mothers.
Crowded halls, too much homework, we want to see all our friends.
Oh when will we ever see this pandemic end?

And computers and modems, oh we hate all that tech.
“My internet is down! Again?! What the heck!”
Oh how we long to use paper and pen.
To have written tests every now and again.
But we still have our phones to call one another.
Even though it’s bad news about losing a brother.

It’s hard to hear of the loss in our school family.
Each life is so precious. I hope that you see.
For each son and each daughter, each sister, each brother
Is important to all. For we all need each other.
So hold tight to each other. Cherish those in your ring.
For we don’t really know what tomorrow will bring.

And though it seems rather callous to say,
Tomorrow will bring another new day.
The sun will still shine the moon will still rise,
Even though you still have fresh tears in your eyes.
But you will again, think life is dull and mundane
Until you wake up with that heartache and pain.

For the pandemic has taught us to take the bad with the good.
If you have not yet learned that, it is now that you should.
The pandemic has shown that we all need each other.
It has helped us appreciate, mothers, sisters, and brothers.
(Yes, fathers too, but there are few rhymes with father,
And so I decided that I would not even bother.)

The pandemic has shown that we love being at school.
Even if they enforce what some call questionable rules.
Even if we have bells telling us all when to move.
Even if we must teach only what’s been approved.
Still, we know students learn under any conditions.
And that teachers will teach for that is their mission.

We know that small gatherings each day in our classes,
And having to walk down the hall with hall passes,
And sitting in desks that are small and rock hard,
And worrying about grades that come on report cards,
And sitting up straight and not looking bored,
And smacking your friend because in class he snored,
And raising your hands to be recognized,
And learning it’s okay to have your work criticized,
And having school dances where kids hold up the wall,
And having the prom feel like a princess’s ball,
Are all part of the process. Are all part of school.
Are all part of making sure, you are nobody’s fool.

The pandemic has shown us all this and more.
It has made us prepare for whatever’s in store.
It has made us realize that “we” is better than “me.”
That we are more than a school. We are a true family.
And through fire, flood, pandemic, or any kind of weather,
We know that we are the best when we are together.

So dear graduates it’s to you that our hats we do doff.
And we give you all hugs as we send you off.
And we say some kind words to show you we care.
To tell you that we will always be there.
For though you are leaving, you are still part of “we.”
And you will always be part of our school family.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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