Seeking Solace: Saying Goodbye to Winter

A blog highlighting the Academy community’s experiences with social distancing. Comment or send submissions to [email protected]


A Jack of Some Trades

By Julia Ross

Photo from Google Images

During the time between my zoom classes and studying, I have been picking up and dropping new hobbies to distract myself from boredom. Sitting in my room, I am often struck with fits of creativity and energy that disappear within an hour.

When my mother and I went to Lowe’s to buy flowers for our flower bed, I was in awe of the sheer number of tiny plants that I knew would look beautiful perched on my dusty windowsill or suspended from my ceiling. After buying numerous cacti and succulents in strange containers (one of the containers is a glass bulb with a woman’s face painted on the front), I realized that I had no idea how to suspend objects without tearing irreversible holes in my ceiling. So, I now have a variety of plants sitting on my bedside table–just another unfinished project that I have started during quarantine. Not only do I now have a small nature reserve in my bedroom, but I also have unfinished poems, drawings, and sheets from a therapeutic coloring book scattered about. On my desk is a vegetarian cook-book, with a tab on a vegetable lo mien recipe that I know I will never make. 

Outside is my skateboard that I bought when I was ten — the skull painting on the bottom of the board a constant reminder of my month-long rock phase. Once a day, I head out to our little cement patch that functions as a basketball court and attempt to achieve an ollie, a beginner trick that allows you to jump up with your skateboard. My journey has been long and tedious. 15 to 20 minutes a day of practice for the last 19 days has been just enough time to allow me to improve at a bizarrely slow rate; what started as a jump that sent me about one inch into the air has now become one that sends me about two inches into the air. If I continue at this rate, by this time next year I should be able to complete a standard ollie of about 1 foot!

In addition, I now have a new repertoire of half-learned songs on the ukulele. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley and “Ripple” by The Grateful Dead are just two songs that I can now say that I know, but when playing in front of friends I will have to find some excuse for making 20 consecutive mistakes.

So, I think from all of this I learned that completing projects is not my strong suit, but I have fun with them anyways. I can call myself an extremely amateur cook, decorator, skateboarder, poet, and musician.  And, maybe if I could just gather enough motivation to focus on one activity rather than 10 different ones, some great work could be done.



A Beautiful Place to Quarantine

By an Academy Parent

This is a bad time, for everyone.  But looking on the bright side is so much easier when you live in Albuquerque’s North Valley.  The highlight of every seemingly endless repetitive day is walking along one of the many connecting ditches in our area that are fed by the Rio Grande river.  The ever-present Albuquerque sun shines brilliantly on the flowing water while my body soaks up the Vitamin D (good for your immune system!).  Enormous Cottonwoods and other trees growing in the yards of houses abutting the ditches provide welcome shade on the hotter days.  Wildlife abounds. Farm animals are everywhere, oblivious to our plight.

Each trek brings the sights and sounds of nature and every day is different.  I may see newborn geese with their extremely protective parents one day.  On another trail, I may be gifted with the sighting of an ostrich (yes, an ostrich).  Horses are ubiquitous along the ditches, but I never know when one will come over to greet me.  Or, when I may catch a “herd” galloping.  Once, a coyote walked along with me, on the opposite side of the ditch, luckily.  These walks are such an important part of my life during this time that I am never without my camera.  Scrolling though the wildlife and nature pictures of life along the ditches makes me smile on those days when I can’t smile at the beauty in person. While there’s nothing fun about quarantine, I am so grateful to live amidst the exquisite beauty that is nature in the North Valley.




By Randy Alberts

This is Randy Alberts’ daily “go-to” picture for relaxing. He took this picture while on an embarkation on a Navy ship around Corona Bay in San Diego.

Photo by Randy Alberts



Saying Goodbye to Winter

Photos By Quinn Ennis ’22

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The First 10-12 Video Challenge!

Produced by Andy Williams



Six Feet Apart

By Sierra Sedillo ’25

Oh, Coronavirus!

Don’t you know how you tire us?

We’re confined to our rooms

And our classroom is now on Zoom!

How long will you loom?

When will our normal lives resume? 

We go on and on in quarantine

Which is now our normal routine.

Why do you strive to make such a scene?

You just attack at your will!  Don’t you, COVID-19?

Now hand sanitizer has become our best friend,

While we wait for your nonsense to come to an end.

Gloves and doctors’ masks have become a trend.

When will the cases start to descend? 

Your lonesome sickness fills the air.

Just leave us be!  Get out of our hair!

It seems you don’t know how to play fair,

You’ve done enough!  We’ve had our share! 

Fun is now considered “unessential”

Won’t your efforts ever be substantial?

You’re world domination scheme is unpotential,

But still, you feel your presence to be residential!

Our busy world has become quite quiet,

While you feed off of our health (your new favorite diet).

And yet, we don’t have to cause a riot.

We could simply let the bright sky turn violet.

But, no!  Whoever you may think us to be,

We WON’T go down without a fight, you see?

We know that we’ve had plenty!

And now we just gotta keep our hands nice and tidy.

While you think your plot is all quite clever,

This event brings us much closer together.

We’re all stuck in our homes, tied with a tether.

Strengthening bonds with loved ones, (this, we will remember).

In your fearless manner you strive to deprive,

While we struggle to take cures for a test drive.

When it’s time we will arrive,

With the things we need to help the world revive.

For now we are stuck until you depart,

Forced to keep our distance (6 feet apart).




By Julia Ross ’21

In a time of fear and sadness, it is easy to have a pessimistic outlook surrounding recent events. Because of our solitude and the flow of news about the illness, maintaining our mental health might be difficult. However, it is important to seek solace in the small aspects of life, no matter how minute, so that we can collectively fight this disease with compassion and hope. Some positive parts of my life that I personally try to stay focused on are the many new memories I can make with my family while at home, the long bike rides along the ditch that I now have time for, and the activities I have partaken in–such as baking, skateboarding, and drawing — which I usually do not have time for. In addition, my mother and I are in the process of researching how to build a compost and grow a vegetable garden in our backyard.
Everyone has a different method of coping and different ways in which they spend their newfound time during social-distancing. The Advocate wants to hear YOUR stories (funny, cheerful, introspective, or even sad). How you have been using your time? How you have been maintaining contact with your friends? What you have been doing to help out in your community? Have you learned something new? Have a poem or song to share? Video welcome.

If you want your stories to be told on the Coronavirus Blog:

  1. Leave them in the comments below or submit to [email protected]
  2. Let us know if you would like to remain anonymous

We will post your stories immediately!