Rebuilding together


Laurinne Eugenio

Bonita Vista High (BVH) students, staff and teachers are all going through a rebuilding phase after being in quarantine for over a year and a half. The only way the BVH community can overcome the obstacles they are facing is by working together.

This week’s International Baccalaureate (IB) learner profile trait was caring

To IB learners, caring means to “show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They [IB learners] have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment,” according to the official IB website.

Caring is one of 10 attributes on the IB’s learner profile. Based on the IB website, it furthers by stating, “The IB learner profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success. They imply a commitment to help all members of the school community learn to respect themselves, others and the world around them.”

As an IB diploma candidate, I take pride in the academic courses and applied lessons I learn in my classes at Bonita Vista High (BVH). Being an IB diploma candidate also means rigorous yet meaningful work. On top of that, being involved in multiple extracurricular activities adds to my growing to-do list.  

We spent about 17 months doing distance learning and because of that students and staff were able to build a routine that catered to their lifestyles. All of a sudden, the transition to in-person learning deconstructed many established practices, and a lot of people weren’t ready for it. I was one of those people.       

Reflecting back, my extensive to-do list didn’t exhaust me when we were in distance learning. Having a block schedule meant that we only had three to four classes to attend per day on Mondays through Thursdays; and on Fridays, we had all of our six or seven classes. In addition, classes were also a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Personally, this gave me an ample amount of time to not only complete assignments for my core classes, but also to stay on top of my extracurriculars. 

And the best part, I would get enough sleep and be able to eat homemade food that my parents would prepare. In short, distance learning was convenient and it created a productive working environment for me. 

Now that we are back to in-person learning, last year’s block schedule turned into a normal one, where we have all six or seven classes per day. Schoolwork assigned from the block schedule last year doubled. Sometimes, classes are predominantly used for instruction, therefore giving us little to no time to start or work on our homework. Due to after-school meetings, workshops and other responsibilities, I get home later than normal.

I felt that caring was the perfect IB learner profile of the week because it made me recognize that I was not being kind to myself. Oftentimes, I wouldn’t get all my assignments done on time when I got home so I would wake up early in the morning to finish them; I would sacrifice sleep for school. 

I also find myself scurrying every morning to finish my homework and get ready for school. Consequently, I would not have enough time to prepare my school lunch. I would only have time to pack little snacks to get me through the day. In other words, basic necessities such as getting sufficient sleep and eating healthy seem so difficult to achieve. 

Despite these difficulties, every cloud has a silver lining.”

— Laurinne Eugenio

Despite these difficulties, every cloud has a silver lining. My teachers emphasized the importance of being caring towards ourselves and others. Mental check-ins conducted by several teachers provided students the opportunity to take a step back, be reflective and advocate for themselves. I’m grateful for the understanding and compassion that teachers displayed when listening to our concerns and sometimes, complaints. 

There’s no quick fix to what many BVH students are currently experiencing after a year and a half of being in quarantine. I realized that we need to apply and implement the IB attributes learned from class to our daily lives. However, we need to be cognizant and caring of not only our own well-being but also of others. We are all going through a rebuilding phase and the only way we can overcome the obstacles we’re facing is by working together