HomeMarchOne Year Removed…

One Year Removed…

I don’t care anymore

Published March 12, 2021

By MICHAEL LAKIND

What granted my 11th-grade self relief when Carmel High drama’s “Bye Bye Birdie” got shut down at the last possible moment was the assumption that my senior year would be minimally scathed by COVID-19. I guess I was wrong to think that a full year was a substantial amount of time to make progress. 

Being a senior this year has been a slow-burning disappointment no matter how you slice it. That’s how it started, and that’s how it’s going to end. 

I understand that reopening has only progressed at the pace permitted by Monterey County’s numbers. I had hoped all of last summer that when we came back in August there would be some semblance of a plan, but nope. CHS continued to plan. And plan. And plan some more. They kept dangling the idea of a real senior year in front of us like a cat with a string, yanking it out of our reach as the weeks turned into months.

Looking towards the future, it’s really hard to care about the present. (photo by Cameron Poletti)

So if I’m being fully honest, I do not care what happens. I’ve given up what hope and faith I had in this school year. We can do “campus access” till the cows come home. It makes no difference to me. Any potential excitement I held onto about returning to school was lost a hundred breakout rooms ago. 

It pains me greatly that 75% of this year has gone by with no tangible improvements to how school runs. The last year and a half of childhood was stolen from me and from every member of the Class of 2021. But instead of complaining, speaking out and pushing for things to get done faster, I realize now that all this effort is being wasted. There’s no point in trying to accomplish something if you know the outcome will be void of accomplishment. 

What’s worse is that even though I long for this to be over, the future terrifies me. I am scared to death of leaving home and being at college because there’s absolutely no certainty of how the world will run, let alone if theater — my future major — will be allowed to exist at all. Not being secure in the presence of performing makes me feel like I have little to no purpose.

This isn’t a bout of senioritis (though it sure doesn’t help). My takeaway from a year out of school is that caring takes too much effort for what little comes out of it.

Latest comments

  • My heart breaks for you Michael. I have a senior at CHS and there has been nothing more I have wanted for him, for all of you than to go back to school this year. I understand you giving up the hope and faith you had in school opening up, but don’t give up hope and faith in everything. While I understand you can not possibly think about where you are going to be in a year, two years, or even 6 months from now I can tell you there are many joyous life experiences on your horizon.

    My very best,
    Lisa Morgan

  • 🙁

  • Thank you for your honesty. I will not pretend to know what your exact pain is. I will not offer any words of wisdom to try to diminish the gravity of this debacle our country is in. The failures locally and nationally are massive.

    Our government could have done more. Our schools could have done more. Our architects could have done more. Our mechanical contractors could have done more. I could have done more. If I can figure out how to fit 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms into a 1600 s.f. house comfortably then maybe I could have been working with the classroom floor plans to try and get 15 student desks placed safely?

    I appreciate your fears as an artist faced with uncertainty about your passion. Will theater return to what is was 15 months ago? I hope so. The Spanish Flu pandemic lead us into the roaring 20’s. I hope for this cycle to repeat (without the stock market crash at the end of that decade).

    I was in Architecture school in the late 1980’s and it was the start of an economic downturn that was halting building. An architect was delivering a lecture and he told us (students) that there was bad news and good news. The bad news is that building is crashing and there was not enough jobs in Architecture for all of us. The good news is that what we were learning was a system of problem solving skills that we could apply wherever we ended up. You have the same opportunity with studying theater. Communication, psychology, adaptation and presence to name a few of the skills that you can carry anywhere to be a stand out star.

  • Dear Micheal,

    I was Kim in Bye Bye Birdie! Its always such a rush right before you go on stage, and nerve wracking. I was looking firward to seeing that in Carmel.

    Seeing how you write, you havent lost anything in terms of creativity and intelligence this year.

    However, you do need to get healthy and happy to take your next extremely important step into the world. You do not want to make choices when not in your best headspace.

    I blame your community, the district, the state and a few other things for how you and your fellow CHS students are suffering mentally. Your needs should have been the priority last summer, but they were not.

    However, you have lost enough from the failures of adults, so no more time to think about them and lay blame.

    I see by how you think and write you are very talented and the world needs you to succeed not only to bring us beauty, but to teach us how to make the world a better place.

    Carmel can still offer you something, before you jet off and leave us in the dust 🙂

    Make known your career interests (Broadway? LA?), because Carmel parents have a myriad of good contacts in every field. If you can get 15 min zoom informational meetings with two or three professionals in your potential future field, it can bring you hope and excitement, and also great contacts for future internships during college! Make sure to ask at end of meeting for sny ideas for internships.

    I think you are smart to no longer hope for CUSD to make you happy. Time to take it on yourself. I hope you do, not just for you, but for us. I cant wait to see what you do in the next decade!

    Very Best,

    Jill Lewis

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