Halloween was my most favored holiday growing up. My younger self was extremely passionate about Halloween. I would decide my costume as if it were a life or death situation and I always fought off the jacket my mom tried to get me to wear over my costume when it got cold.
My older sister and I would go over to my aunt’s house to go trick-or-treating with our cousins. We always had a competition to see how much candy each of us could collect.
As soon as we set out for the night we were filled with adrenaline, each of us trying to get the neighbors to sneak us an extra piece of candy or if we were lucky a handful of our favorites. Mine was Almond Joy’s.
Once we were home the winner would be able to take one piece of candy from each participant's pile of hard-earned sweets. Everyone wanted first place since the winner usually took the biggest piece of candy from every pile.
Although this year is different we can still have an exciting Halloween.
This Halloween while getting spooky and keeping the evil spirits away, we need to scare COVID away. Wearing a mask and sanitizing will be key during this candy giving-and-taking holiday.
Although trick-or-treating is tempting, try some alternatives for this spooky day, like carving pumpkins at home or a horror movie night with the family. If you’re really wanting an adventure try going to an outdoor, socially-distanced, haunted corn maze or a pumpkin patch. To show off your costume try Facetiming a friend or wearing it during a Zoom call.
And if you have little ones in your life, you can give them a taste of old school trick-or-treating by pretending to answer the door for them with a big bowl of candy. Just save the Almond Joy’s for me.
The Marist Retreat Team officially started off the 2020-21 retreat season last weekend as they gathered for the annual Formation Retreat both in person and on Zoom to prepare to lead retreats for the juniors, sophomores and freshmen in this unusual year for Marist retreats.
According to Dr. Rick Martin, the Director of Campus Ministry and Formation, the goals of the retreat were to build the team, build skills for retreat leadership, build spiritual life personally and as a community and, unique to this year, to explore remote and limited in-person practices.
While previous year’s Formation Retreats would have started with a bus ride to Camp Tapawingo, this retreat began with students socially distanced in the gym. The 30 juniors and seniors broke into five small groups with one or two staff members, and spent a couple hours doing icebreakers in their small groups.
Throughout the weekend there were many breaks to allow for the participants and leaders to travel home for Zoom meetings or to travel to school back to school for in-person activities and of course time to eat.
The Zoom meetings were used for more personal conversations. They were used to get to know each other, which was easier without the required mask wearing in person, to reflect on how COVID-19 is affecting them, and to share their testimonies or “personal faith journeys.”
“Zoom worked much better than expected, and resulted in engagement and a successful retreat experience,” Dr. Martin said.
On Saturday evening they gathered for an in-person prayer service within small groups. “The prayer circle drew our small group closer together and I think it gave us all a lot of peace and comfort,” senior Laina Chavez said.
There was also time for individual prayer. On Sunday morning, each student took a half-hour walk to give them time to focus on their environment and to just breathe. Fr. Theo Lange celebrated Mass for the team before they enjoyed a pizza feast and spent the rest of their time socializing.
“The Formation Retreat taught us that retreats can take place meaningfully even in remote or hybrid mode. Knowing this, we will work hard to prepare excellent retreats to take place in January and February,” Dr. Martin said.
Junior Duncan Yozzo, Eagle Scout of troop 282, has been awarded the highly regarded honor of Scout of the Year in the Greenwood district of the Oregon Trail Council last month for his demonstration of leadership, passion for community service, service to God and Country, as well as adherence to the Scout Law and Scout Oath.
Yozzo, who has been associated with Boy Scouts of America for nearly ten years, is extremely honored to be selected for such a prestigious award.
“Once I learned that it [Boy Scouts] was all about exploring the outdoors, building things, and everything under the sun, I realized I had found something that could change my life.”
Yozzo's favorite memory of Boy Scouts was when his troop went backpacking for the weekend in 18 inches of snowfall, after estimations of “a light dusting” was predicted.
The traditional first Mass of the year took place this Wednesday, and it looked a little different than years past.
This year’s Mass of the Holy Spirit was held in the Academic Resource Center and shared with the community on Zoom. Just a few students and staff were present in person.
They may not have been in Mass attire, but everyone present sported masks per school and state protocol. Prior to entry, each person took a contact tracing survey and had their temperatures checked.
And unlike a “normal” first Mass of the year, the Mass was celebrated in the ARC rather than in the gym. And instead of being scrunched close with friends and classmates, they sat in seats placed 6 feet apart. Rather than having the traditional Ministry of Greeting the participants were simply welcomed with an introduction by Principal Baker and Marist’s new president David Welch.
“It felt strange, there wasn’t the comradery of everyone coming together as a school. I wish that we were able to have more people. Mass is such a big part of Marist, and it unites us all. I just hope we can have normal Masses at some point this year, but at least we get to have them at all! It’s better than nothing,” student body president Mo Cavinee said.
But while the Mass may have felt very different this year, the Student Council and staff worked to keep one important tradition the same. A letter from last year's graduating class was read by Cavinee to the new freshmen class at the end of Mass.
(The complete letter is included below.)
To the Class of 2024,
What’s up fellow freshmen?? A big hug and hello from the Class of 2020. You made it to high school! Congrats! We are so excited for you to get to hop on this four-year, wild ride that Marist has to offer. We would LOVE to be in your shoes right now — we are so jealous! You have years full of screaming your lungs out under the Friday night lights, busting out some groovy moves at school dances, wheezing through laughing attacks over the most random things, stress bonding over homework assignments, forming new friendships that make your days brighter, refreshing your souls on retreats and finding yourself in the world. But we don’t get to come back and do that, so it’s on you, class of 2024, you’ve got to live it for us!
Campus can seem big and scary when you first step on — Nelson’s terms, Haggard’s annotations, finding who your friends are, and now with Corona, online school? That’s a lot to take in! You’ve got it though. And just to give you an extra boost, we got together and created you a guide to survive the ropes of Marist Catholic ‘College Preparatory’ High School.
So buckle up and listen good to this clichē, high school guide to a fantastic four years:
First and foremost, we want to let you know some super helpful words that guided us through our time at Marist and made it so memorable: “The more you put in, the more you get out.” These words apply to every aspect of life at Marist, from retreats and academics to sports and friends. The spirit of these words of wisdom encourage you to get involved in all aspects of life at Marist because that is the only way you’ll experience the rewards of being a part of the Marist family. We encourage you to get involved with your school, be courageous with others, be authentic to yourself and be excited for opportunity.
Now for some more tips and fancy tricks: SLEEP and self care! School can be overwhelming, especially when you add sports, homework, Netflix, social media *cough cough tik tok,* friends, jobs, transportation and more! So love yourself! Sleep whenever you can. Sleep is a beautiful thing. Grab a scone from the cafeteria — they are absolutely amazing, especially when they are warm.
Smile through your mask, or over Zoom. Say hello. Offer high fives (corona approved) to those you don’t know that well — there are so many friendships that will be formed that begin with just a simple greeting and some kindness.
Don’t break your iPads, it's quite the hassle to get new ones. Make sure you backup everything on Google Drive, this can be quite handy if you do happen to crack an iPad. Make a Class of 2024 Quizlet group! Share your study sets! This is so helpful when finals roll around! Take good notes during the units — the more work you do during the beginning of the semester, the less you will have to study for tests — which is awesome.
We say this next point as complete and utter hypocrites, but we hope you’ll break the cycle of the typical high school student: DON’T PROCRASTINATE! High school really isn’t all that bad when you prioritize your studies. Get a planner. Find the thing that helps you stay organized! Put your head down and focus when you need to! Reach out to your friends and classmates to coordinate study sessions or even ask your parents —they’re pretty cool.
Don’t give up hope! Yes, sometimes things can get a bit rough. You might have a couple tests in a day, a sports event, stuff at home and much more, but remember every single person here wants to help you in your success! If you are struggling, talk to your teachers! They are people too. And when you actually have conversations with them, they have kind of funny senses of humor and a surprising amount of love for you! Become friends with your teachers. We are dying to come back at Christmas Break and say hello to them!
At the same time, don’t just do school! Teachers, cover your ears, but Class of 2024, skip an assignment every once and awhile! Go hang out with your friends instead of studying for that test for hours on end. Do something crazy! Live! So many of us look back on our experience, and realize that we didn’t do this until our later years. High school is about balance, the fun you have and the memories you make. So put yourself out there, as scary as it sounds. It will be more scary when your senior year comes around and you look around and see that the people you have grown to love so much are going to be across the world in college. Soak up every single second. It may seem painfully slow at first, but it goes by so quickly in the end.
Don’t be afraid of clicks! Yes, there may be some clicks coming in as freshman — people finding comfort in friends they already know — but those will fade. Be inclusive! By the time senior year rolls around, you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t become friends with everyone before, because guys ... you are all so amazing.
Don’t get angry! Sometimes high school can have drama, but don’t get too caught up in it! Be patient and focus on the fun.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It is okay to make mistakes! You don’t have to be perfect, just be you! Be curious! Challenge what you see. Debate with the teachers. Find the truth!
GO ON ALL OF YOUR RETREATS! They are not lame. They are places where you get to bond with your class and grow spiritually. (BTW, it is okay if you’re not religious, don’t be scared that this is a Catholic school — everyone is super nice about all that!) You’ll get the coolest Insta posts and will find some of the deepest connections to the school and each other.
Like we said at the beginning, get involved. Throw yourself at every opportunity that comes your way: clubs, sports, trips, and have fun with them! They usually come with free gear, so hit that up! However, it is important to not get too overwhelmed with extracurricular activities trying to boost your college resume (which you do not have to worry about right now), Take it easy. Don’t get too stressed. You are more than grades. You are more than your sports, your clubs, your classes. You are enough! Just roll with it, and have an absolute blast with your Marist family. It might not feel like it right now, but trust us, the people around you are your Marist family, and that is one of the coolest feelings in the world.
Whew, you made it to your last and final tips! Thanks for listening to us go on and on about Marist — we could talk to you about it forever but we want you to experience it firsthand.
So, as cheesy as it sounds, live with no regrets! Enjoy the successes that you reach — you deserve that! Going into high school with a pandemic-wrought environment can be daunting, but keep your head up, your goals focused, and never let your self-confidence falter in anything you do! You are capable and you are loved! Good luck!
We are sending all of our love and prayers to you, the class of 2024!
With all the warm wishes in the world,
The Class of 2020
This year’s members of Marist’s Model United Nations club, along with moderator Jon Nuxoll, met for the first time in late September via Zoom to plan for the coming year and discuss what country they would like to represent at the 2021 Model United Nations Conference next April. It was decided that Marist will be representing Venezuela next spring. The MUN organizers have yet to decide on an in-person or virtual conference, and are currently working on plans for both possibilities.
Senior Cate Carson was elected by Oregon Model United Nations members from across Oregon, Washington and Idaho as the vice president to the 2021 Secretariat (the governing body) being the first Marist student to serve as a student officer to a MUN conference. Cate is excited for her roll and says she has lots of work to do and meetings to go to but is loving it.
MUN is a student-led simulation of the real United Nations, an international governing body of 193 member states dedicated to world peace and global development. At the Model UN Conference, students act as representatives of their assigned country and implement resolutions to unresolved global issues through debate and collaboration.
Students prepare by researching their country’s political, economic, environmental and foreign policy issues on selected topics and are required to argue in alignment with their county’s real-life policy positions.
Students involved in MUN have a chance to build and exercise their communication and persuasive skills while gaining a strong perspective on policy-making, global issues and international relations. Each student chooses their area of interest and is assigned to a committee.
“MUN is a great club to join if you have an interest in foreign relations, politics, humanitarian issues, or even if you just want to try out a new experience!” Carson said.
Nuxoll urged students who are interested to sign up on the MUN Schoology page or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the first time as official Marist students, the class of 2024 was introduced to the Marist campus at Freshman Orientation held last Wednesday from 9-11 a.m.
The freshmen, who had been anxiously waiting to meet new friends and teachers, finally got a chance. After being postponed twice due to local wildfires, the mask-clad students spent the two hours listening, touring, playing games and having their photo taken for their Student I.D. card and the yearbook, all within the midst of a global pandemic.
While sitting 6 feet apart in the Gale Roberts stadium, the new freshman listened to Principal Stacy Baker and Campus Minister Dr. Martin explain what their high school experience may entail -- as in-person school, athletics and activities are up in the air due to COVID restrictions. Many of the students expressed how great and memorable the speeches were.
The 2020-21 Student Council members gave tours of the school and got to see most of the classrooms with their teacher in them. They also wrote letters to there future self that will be opened in four years.
They finished the day with games like Simon Says, water balloon tossing and snacks while many of the staff and freshmen teachers looked on.
The senior class of 2021 returned to campus after the freshmen were done to have their photos taken by Lifetouch and pick up their 2020 yearbooks.
This Wednesday, the sophomores and juniors had their first chance to return to campus, reuniting with old friends and staff while picking up their yearbooks and have their Student I.D. photos taken.
For transfer students, it was not as much about meeting old friends as it was getting a feel for being on campus and meeting new people, even while wearing masks and staying socially-distanced. “I am thrilled to finally be a part of the Marist family,” transfer sophomore Paige Doerr said.
“I am excited to be at Marist for the next chapter of my life,” added transfer sophomore Kaitlyn Mazur.
As the start of the 2020-2021 school year was drawing near, Marist and local school districts such as 4J, Bethel, Junction City, South Lane took different approaches for when to officially begin high school remote learning due to Covid-19 and the devastating wildfires in the area.
Marist was the first in the area to kick off the school year on Sept. 10-11 which consisted of two days of course introductions and getting to know each other through Zoom calls.
The 4J, Bethel, and Junction City school districts were the next to begin, starting remote learning on Monday, Sept. 21. South Lane which includes Cottage Grove High School was the last to begin on Monday, Sept. 28.
The hope is for all schools to get back to the classroom as soon as possible so each district is in charge of watching the state and county metrics put out every week by OHA -as required by Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown. In order to go into hybrid learning (part in-person and part at-home learning) the metrics need to show that 10 people or below per 100,000 are COVID-19 positive.
As of this week, the earliest date Marist students could begin any sort of hybrid learning is Oct. 26 - though things are not looking promising as Oregon COVID-19 cases have been climbing lately in Lane County.
Remote learning for each school looks different in each school so far. At Marist, the average student starts class at 9 a.m., while at Junction City kids start at 8:45 a.m., the 4J schools begin at 8:30 a.m., Willamette begin at 8:15 a.m. and Cottage Grove begins at 8 a.m.
Wednesdays are a work day for most high schools in the area. Marist call these days "Spartan Days" and they are intended for teacher work time and for students to work on assignments asynchronously while teachers are available for help during their office hours both remotely or in-person by appointment. 4J, Bethel, Junction City, and Cottage Grove students check in with teachers on Wednesday mornings and have the rest of the day to work.
Early this September, senior Jack Thornton was acknowledged as a semifinalist for a National Merit Scholarship because of his success on the PSAT/NMSQT standardized test taken last fall.
All current Marist seniors took the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall of their junior year along with 1.7 million other American high school juniors, but Thornton was the only Marist student this year to be recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as among the top 50,000 academically talented high school students to be commended for their performance, and just one of 16,000 students nation wide to be honored as a semifinalist.
Thornton is now eligible to apply to receive a National Merit Scholarship to help pay for his college education. “I’m deeply honored and humbled, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to apply for the scholarship,” Thornton said.
Thornton will have to wait until February to see if he is among the 15,000 students chosen as a National Merit Finalist. Of those, about 7,500 of will receive a Merit Scholarship.