Thursday, May 28, 2020
Here we are folks, the conclusion of my senior year and my last blog. When Governor Whitmer announced on March 12, 2020 (my, that feels like ages ago), I had originally guessed it would just be four weeks of school off and we would all return later in April. Boy were we wrong. After having a wrench thrown into 2020 for everyone, we can now only hope things will get better soon. For seniors, it has been a whirlwind of a year, or lack thereof. We have defied all odds and embodied the true definitions of resilience. Not only do we come away from these months with a story to tell our grandchildren, we also come away from this with a lesson-no matter what happens, stay strong and keep your head up. Despite having our senior year cut short, take it as an opportunity to make college worth it. We do not need these rights of passages to define who we are. We are the Class of 2020! Let us not be defined by a pandemic.
I hope you have enjoyed reading these blogs as much as I have enjoyed writing them. If you have actually read them, good job. Starting on March 16th, I typed out a post with the just as much confusion as everyone did in the world. We were trying to find someone to blame, but now, we all are just focused on the end-whenever that may be. To my fellow classmates, it was an honor and a privilege to share my educational journey with you. May you all find success in your lives because the world is in our hands! Celebrate all that you have accomplished, and work hard to achieve what you want to accomplish. While we may be parting ways here, let this not be an end. Let this be a beginning. Maybe someday we will meet again. Only then will we know that we are as resilient as we appear to be. For now, I hope you enjoyed these blogs. Where will I go next? Eastern Michigan University. After that? We shall see.
This now closes the blog entries of Charlie Borus. Until next time, cheers.
Monday, May 25, 2020
Happy Memorial Day everyone! Together, we must all take a moment to remember and thank all of those who served in our great nation’s armed forces, especially those who paid the biggest price for our freedoms. Without these brave men and women, our country would be very different. It is with my sincere gratitude that I say, thank you.
Today was yet another scorcher. It was beautiful outside, yet very hot. I am not a huge fan of hot weather, but I just suck it up. It’s what must be done. I start my new job tomorrow, so that’s exciting. We’ll see how it goes, I hope it goes well! More news to come tomorrow.
Friday, May 22, 2020
And there you have it folks, the last full week of my senior year is completed. I must say, it felt like I was never at school! Oh wait…
Anyway, I had to get up earlier than usual this morning, as I had an appointment at my new job. After that was over, I came home and did the same things as I have done for every single day of this quarantine. What is that, you may ask? Just scroll down and see for yourself. Other than that, nothing much else happened. It was a bit gloomy today, but very humid. Just what we need.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
As I am sure you are aware by now, UCS will be hosting a virtual graduation ceremony. While it may be the best option, I am still upset. The Class of 2020 has been robbed of so many things, and I feel this just isn’t enough. But what else can we do? It’s just life during a global pandemic.
I had another math Zoom lecture today, which was exciting…to a point. We are wrapping the year up with polar graphs, so it’s kind of interesting to me. Plus, it’s easier to understand. As I continued onwards with my day, I found myself once again looking towards my future at Eastern Michigan University. I had a webinar today, focusing on the academic opportunities on campus. I must say, it’s all pretty overwhelming. But on the other hand, it is all extremely exciting. I just want to go to college. Please?
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
‘Tis hump day my friends. We are almost there. It was another beautiful day today, so I was sure to spend some time outside. It was nice!
In other news, my day was pretty much the same as yesterday. What else do I have to say?
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Us seniors are in the home stretch. I must say, it is bittersweet. While I am eager to start a new life at Eastern Michigan University, I am going to cherish the memories I made at Utica High School. All the laughs, friendships and chance experiences will last with me for an eternity. But it is not over yet! We must come out strong.
If you were anywhere around Hall Road and Schoenherr Road today, you would have probably noticed the absurdly long line flowing into the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Shop in the shopping plaza. Why? Well, it was free doughnut day for all Class of 2020 seniors. I tried to get myself a box, but after an hour of moving 100 feet, I decided to bail. It was for the best. Teenagers are horrible drivers. What was once a civil shopping plaza parking lot turned into a free-for-all in a matter of moments. Last time I heard, police showed up and told everyone to go home. Is it true? I have no idea. It’s all hearsay. Until tomorrow, g’day mates.
Monday, May 18, 2020
It was another gloomy day in the gorgeous State of Michigan. For once, I woke up with purpose because today I had a job interview. It was at another golf course, and I am pleased to say that I was hired! So, for the next three months, I will be mowing the lawns at a local golf course. What fun!
Other than that, today was not too inspiring. I mostly just did some homework, and relaxed the rest of the day. Cheers everyone.
Friday, May 15, 2020
As always, today was yet another display of the same old mishmash they call a Friday. It was just as gloomy as yesterday, except only warmer. Currently, I am in the pursuit of a place of employment. I have submitted over 25 job applications, with only one responding. Boy, do I love the workforce already. I sent in seven more applications today, so we will see where this goes. Will I get a response? I hope so. Even if it is flipping burgers at a well-known fast food restaurant, I’ll take it.
Since it was another good day to be inside, I continued learning more about photography. My grandfather has been teaching me how to meter a camera, ensuring the colors are most vivid. I must say, it is rather confusing, but I think I am getting the hang of it. I have mostly been playing around with things in my house and taking pictures of them. Am I National Geographic material? No, by no means. But I would say I am pretty decent.
Thursday, May 14, 2020
It was a more gloomy day today, so it was a good day to stay inside and get things done. I must admit, I am running out of things to write about. Every day has been the same. Homework, homework and more homework. It’s all the same. However, all this free time has allowed me to do many new things and catch up on things I have neglected. It is both nice and not at the same time.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Well, I forgot to blog yesterday. Oops. Anyway, I might as well blog today, so here we are. These past two days have been very interesting. If you looked to the skies both today and yesterday, you might have caught a glimpse of the Blue Angels Naval Air Squadron and the Michigan National Guard flying over the area hospitals and health care centers. What a show! It was incredible to see the F/A-18 Hornets roar across the sky. In case you missed it, I’ve included the picture I took of the planes flying across the bright blue sky. Let me just say this: I am proud to be an American.
In other news, coronavirus is throwing a wrench in everything. What’s new? I must say, I am really starting to get bored of doing the same thing every day. It reminds me a lot of the movie Groundhog Day. What do you think?
Monday, May 11, 2020
We begin our day how I usually have began it. Same routine. Same everything. For the past two months. What can I say? Routine is good?
Anyway, it is a new week. I hope you all had the chance to show your mothers some love over the weekend as it was Mother’s Day. For me, we got up early on Sunday and cooked my Mom breakfast. I was in charge of the pancake department. I am very pleased to say that she enjoyed it! Following breakfast, we continued to clean our house as we were having our grandparents coming over to have dinner. It was nice to come together in these difficult times. Don’t worry though, we socially distanced.
Moving forward to today, I continued on yet another week of this glorious technological advancement of online learning. It was just riveting. To wrap up the day, I watched another terrifyingly suspenseful episode of World on Fire on PBS. In this episode, it highlights the Nazi invasion of Paris and the torn apart lives of a German family who’s epileptic daughter does not live up to Hitler’s “perfect race.” It just comes to show how awful the Nazis were to everyone who posed as a threat or a nuisance to the progress of the party. Scary.
Friday, May 8, 2020
Well here we are folks, the weather in Michigan has gone completely mad. We have reached record low temperatures around the freezing mark in May. How strange. I think Mother Nature is most likely drunk.
What have I done today? Not much. I mostly spent the day doing work around the house and trying to find the perfect gift for mother’s day. Other than that, nothing much.
Thursday, May 7, 2020
The endless break continues on. If you aren’t aware, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended the Michigan Stay At Home order until May 28, with some exceptions. While I am very upset at this, there is not much we can do. The economy is slowly reopening again, and things are starting to come back to life. The Big Three automakers (General Motors, FCA, Ford) are going to return to building cars again, and industry is continuing. America’s economy is going to heal. However, I want to address one particular industry: the cruise industry. America’s “Big Three” cruise companies-Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD., Norwegian Cruise Lines and Carnival Cruises all experience huge losses over the past two months as all of there assets are lost at sea. Literally. I was lucky enough to be a passenger on the Norwegian Escape in mid-February this year and right now, it is aimlessly wandering around Nassau, Bahamas. Just yesterday, Norwegian Cruise Lines took a huge hit on the stock market, causing the company to investigate a possible bankruptcy. Rough waters these cruise lines are in right now. Princess Cruises, a division of Carnival Cruise Line, had the most bad publicity after a few of their ships were infected with COVID-19. Holland America Line also had some bad press for the same reason. We will have to see how the cruise lines will cope with the crisis.
In other news, today was rather eventful. After a carousel of Zoom calls, I had the opportunity to finish it off with an audition to be the Senior Class speaker for the commencement ceremony, however it happens. I felt that I did very well, so I will update you tomorrow! Cheers everyone.
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Restless is defined as the inability to relax as a result of anxiety or boredom. At this point in time, that definition could not be more true. I am really starting to get sick of doing the same thing every day. The same routine, the same schoolwork, there is no variation. To add to my troubles, it is very nice outside, but sadly, I have work to complete. I must admit, I am growing more and more annoyed at things that are usually trivial and unimportant. I just want to have things go back to normal.
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Much to my enjoyment, today felt like a far more productive day than previous days. For once, I actually felt I accomplished something meaningful. Or I just did a lot today.
To start off my day, I found out this past weekend that UCS was making a plan to deliver all caps and gowns to the graduating seniors at their homes. Sure enough, at approximately 10:30 this morning comes a school bus and out pops Mr. Lietz and two other staff members! It was a great moment, bringing a bit of normalcy during these trying times. After a few pictures and a few honks from the bus’s horn they were on their way-and I had my cap and gown. While it wasn’t much, it was still a wonderful way to brighten a senior’s day. I just hope I can wear it for a crowd.
After a math lecture on Zoom (that I almost forgot about), I had lunch and worked on building a resume for jobs I am applying to. It felt weird, yet rewarding to start building the foundation of a career. I am not a child anymore, I am moving on up in the world. I’m just hoping one of the employers will respond.
Monday, May 4, 2020
I think Michigan is teasing us. After this beautiful taste of summer, I don’t think we will see it again any time soon. Unfortunately, the meteorologists are predicting snow at some point this week so that is just great. In other news, it is Star Wars day. May the 4th be with you!
As the month of May was supposed to be the month where everything happens, it seems as if it is still true. The 2019-2020 school year is slowly coming to a close, and to me, it feels bittersweet. At this point, I will take anything to make it seem like a normal graduation.
Friday, May 1, 2020
Well, it’s May now. The final month of my senior year of high school, and we are all stuck at home. Thankfully, Governor Whitmer’s stay at home order expires on May 15, so that’s good. It was a beautiful day today, so I made an effort to go outside and get some exercise. It felt nice. Other than that, not much happened today. Hopefully the weekend will be more exciting. Have a good weekend!
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Apparently, today is the last day of April. We have gone a full month sitting at home watching Netflix and trying not to go insane. The month of April, as the saying goes, was surely full of showers-both figuratively and literally. Hopefully the month of May will be better than April. Hopefully the April showers will bring May flowers.
Because it was such a gloomy day, I spent most of it inside, doing schoolwork. At this point in time, I am growing more and more annoyed with the online learning. To me, I don’t feel I am taking much away from this. I don’t like sitting in front of a computer all day, looking at pretty much the same website all the time. I want to be in a classroom.
In other news, if you did not watch the news tonight, I was on TV! As a part of their senior shout-out series, WXYZ Channel 7 selected seniors from around the area and saluted them for what they have lost. After we sent an email to the anchor who was doing this series, he responded and to my excitement, I was chosen! So in case you missed it, you can find it on the WXYZ website.
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Happy hump day everyone! Today was the exact opposite of yesterday. We’ve gotten through whatever day it is. If you do know, please tell me! As always, I did pretty much the same thing as I always have done for the past month and a half. It’s annoying. However, today I did something different. My mom decided to order dinner from a restaurant in Rochester Hills, so that we can do something other than home cooking. The nice thing is, both of my grandparents live in Rochester Hills. Because they haven’t seen their grandchildren in a while, we decided to pay them a visit. They liked that very much. While at one of my grandparent’s house, my grandfather gave me something he had found while cleaning out their basement. It was a copy of the Motortrend Magazine. Why did he give it to me? Well, in this particular 1996 edition, they tested a car called the Plymouth Breeze, a brand-new car from the Chrysler Corporation. It was my car! Of course, I read it through. They liked it, apparently. They said it was a good car to rival the Japanese imports. Good job, Plymouth!
I am getting quite restless, as most of are. To me, I am getting sick of the home workouts, so I have been lately trying to get my cardio in by going for bike rides. Not only are they good fun, they are also good ways to exercise. It’s nice to get on a bike and ride places a car could never go. You can see the world, and all you have to do is turn the pedals. I enjoy it.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
What a gorgeous day it was today! The sun was shining, the temperature was just right, and the plants are waking up from their winter slumber. All is well. However, the weather is taunting us as we are locked inside working on our lovely online work for school. Life is annoying. Because the weather was so nice, I found it rather hard to get motivated. I wanted to be outside. I wanted to go golfing, especially with my golf team. At this point, I am hoping that this will soon pass.
Despite it being difficult to get motivated, I still made an effort to get things done nonetheless. As an effort to bring us back to normality, my math teacher gave us a lecture over a Zoom call, which worked fairly decently. My only complaint is that the camera quality is not that great. Oh well.
For those of you who don’t know my family, we are all very musical. My sister plays the Alto Saxophone, both my Mom and Dad play clarinet and my Mom also plays the flute and saxophone. I just play the clarinet. In a way, we are like the Von Trapp family in The Sound of Music, we just don’t sing. To boost morale on our street, we are preparing a couple songs to perform a mini-concert for our neighbors. It felt nice to have an actual band rehearsal for once.
Monday, April 27, 2020
I want to take a moment and travel across the ocean to a country called Sweden. Heard of it? While we are sitting here in our homes contemplating life’s meaning, they are outside. They are at restaurants, parks-they are outside. Sweden, with a population of over ten million people and around eighteen thousand cases and over two thousand deaths, are taking the virus on with a different approach. They aren’t in quarantine. According to Swedish health officials, they are trying what they call “herd immunity.” If you’re scratching your head at this prospect, don’t worry-I am too. At first, I was flabbergasted. But come to think of it-maybe they’re on to something. You see, the concept of “herd immunity” works just how it looks. If everyone gets it, people will build up the antibodies necessary to have an immunity to the disease-or at least, that’s the theory. In my opinion, they are taking a colossal gamble. If they are right, that means that maybe all this fuss wasn’t truly necessary. However, I am not discrediting social distancing. Social distancing is a far more expeditious way of slowing the spread. Whatever the outcome, we will have one, firm conclusion-who acted correctly and who didn’t.
Bringing it back to Michigan now, we arrive at the Borus Manor. Today was a little less hectic, because today I had a plan on how I wanted to complete my work (maybe you all should try it). I wasn’t stressed, no matter how daunting it looked. When I had spare time, I went sifting through old Scouting pictures of me, sorting them so I can have a nice display at my graduation party. It was interesting to see how much I have changed since 2013-I grew (obviously), braces came and went, I became more of a scout. Looking back at old pictures always makes me shudder a bit, because I always seem to remember the event that the picture was taken at and I remember only the embarrassing bits about it. It’s strange.
Friday, April 24, 2020
For once in my dull, dull life here at the Borus Estate, my day was a bit more interesting than usual. To start off my day, I made a quick trip to the Ye Olde Utica High School to drop off my band uniform and music, and took a moment to realize how strange it is to see an empty parking lot on what should be a normal school day. But as we all well know, a pandemic had other plans. Once I got home, the highlight of my day occurred. For those of you who don’t know, my little car has had its check engine light on for some time, and a couple weeks ago I had it fixed with my grandfather. We replaced both oxygen sensors on each side of the catalytic converter, hoping it would fix the problem causing the error message. Much to my delight today, the light finally turned off! I knew it wouldn’t be immediate, but after a few cycles of the engine, the error was resolved.
As the day went on, I found myself assisting my aunt and uncle with yard work at their house. It was nice to be outside on this beautiful day, even if it was involving manual labor. Following my job on the landscaping end, I went over to my grandparent’s house to help them move a TV and pick something up my grandmother wanted to give to my Mom. To be fair, my day wasn’t too exciting.
Thursday, April 23, 2020
I got up this morning as I usually do, had breakfast and joined a Zoom call. I haven’t truly seen an online lecture from one of my teachers before, so it was a new experience to be taught math over a phone call. To be honest, it wasn’t that life-shattering. Math is just math.
For those of you who do not know me, I love cars. I have a passion for them. So today, I thought I would break the usual blog “mumbo-jumbo” and try something different. Let’s review a car. Now, when it comes to automotive journalism, I am pretty limited in what I have access to in terms of cars. I have driven my fair share of automobiles, ranging from the Plymouth Breeze to the Alfa Romeo Gulia Quadrifoglio. However, I am mostly limited to cars made by Chrysler, since my Dad works for them. But nonetheless, Chrysler makes good cars. So for today’s test, I will look at the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Touring. More importantly, the Chrysler Pacifica my family owns.
When people think of a family car, they usually expect the common specs such as interior space, safety, user-friendliness, the lot. As a car, the Pacifica does very well at this. But this is not a car, it is not even an SUV. It is a minivan. Yes, the type of car that revolutionized the automotive market. Let’s not forget, Chrysler invented the concept of the minivan under Lee Iacocca’s leadership in the mid-1980’s. This being the fourth generation of the Chrysler minivan, I think the bosses and engineers in Auburn Hills have got it figured out. Boasting a 3.6 Liter V6 engine that churns out 287 horsepower, the Pacifica can hold its own on the freeway. Acceleration is good, but it won’t disturb the kids when they are fast asleep in the back when you are confronted with a Honda Odyssey at a traffic light. With a very basic positive side in, we must address the pitfalls of the car. With the world becoming more and more tech-dependent, the mechanical linkages between parts in cars are becoming a thing of the past. When it comes to the Pacifica, it is guilty as charged. When you get into the car, you will notice the large dial on the dashboard that at first glace would look like a volume knob. Nope, it’s your gear selector. After one quick turn of the dial, you immediately get a sensation of…dull. To me, it doesn’t really feel like I’m putting it in gear. Another issue would be the girth. The Pacifica is over seven inches wider than the first generation 1984 Plymouth Voyager. This becomes a problem in the garage and in the parking lot, but is definitely made up for with its 19.85 foot turning radius. Overall, the Chrysler Pacifica is a good car, even from my incredibly basic and short review.
Hopefully, that didn’t bore you.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Strangely, it was a rather relaxing day today. When I woke up this morning, I was expecting to see yet more assignments to do, but it was empty. I guess we start the day off right. As I am getting bored, I decided I would do something that I normally don’t do too much. I decided to bake something. Having chosen a recipe that looks decent, I went to the grocery store to get the needed ingredients and other things my Mom requested. While at the store, I noticed the “social distancing” initiative went straight out the window as it was very busy. People everywhere, some in masks, some not. Some in hazmat suits, most not. It was a mad house. Rather unsurprisingly, the toilet paper aisle was picked clean, which is something I have yet to understand. Having purchased the ingredients, I went home. Once home, I commenced cooking. I was planning on making a dinner dish and a dessert dish. For dinner, I chose the “Impossible Ham Casserole” out of the Bisquick Dough Cookbook. For dessert, I chose peanut butter bars out of the “Jiffy” Mixes Cookbook. I must admit, my baking skills are what most would refer to as “eh,” but I figured it out. After a small mishap with mixing the dough, the dessert was in the oven with little fuss. Once the dessert was done, I made the dinner. After hand-shredding a cup worth of Swiss cheese, I was anxious to get this dish cooking. Once it was in the oven, the waiting started. After forty minutes, my creation was complete and it was time for the moment of truth: the serving. To my delight, my family enjoyed it! Now to clean up the dishes….
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
As it appears, online learning is starting to pick up the pace. Following a battering of Zoom calls today, I could feel the will and motivation drain from my body. Unfortunately, I am not wired like that and I must push on. I spent most of my day in front of my computer and it was all but exciting. The army of assignments, plethora of emails and incessant, futile battalion of Zoom calls only emphasized my burning desire to return to school. While I may not always find enjoyment in sitting in a classroom for the majority of the day, it does beat sitting in the same desk in the same room all day. At school, we have the ability to change classrooms.
In other news, I took my car out for a drive today. Because my last drive was a tour of Warren, I decided to go into Northern Oakland County and take a drive down the eerily quiet Rochester Road. When I turned onto Snell Road, I was starting to embrace and enjoy the lack of cars, especially as people can be maniacs on the road. Coming back down Orion Road, I enjoyed the exciting twists, turns and hills that made me feel like Lewis Hamilton blasting through the circuit at Silverstone.
For those of you who are in a black hole of finding what to watch, look no further. For the past few weeks, I have been watching a show called World On Fire on PBS. Set in Pre-World War II Europe, it highlights the lives of multiple different characters in Poland, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. In the growing strength of the Nazi Regime, these characters have their lives changed forever under the ruthless rule of Adolf Hitler and his military. As a history buff, I naturally am enthralled by the series. Even if you are not into history too much, it is still a very good show, as long as you don’t mind British accents.
Monday, April 20, 2020
I poured a bowl of cereal this morning with a slight sense of dread because today I knew that the madness was about to begin. “Online Enrichment” is no more. Online school has now begun. When I opened Schoology this morning at 7:30, the assignments were already coming in. At first, I was overwhelmed. But as I pondered what I had to do more thoroughly, I developed a game plan on how I wanted to tackle this. While I am not too pleased with all of the work being on my computer or phone, it is relatively efficient because everything is in one place. I am also happy (but at the same time annoyed) that my commute is a strenuous two seconds from my bed to my desk. Of course, once I am there, I have to wait for my computer to boot up, get my materials out, the whole lot. In all honesty, I would much rather be in school. But nonetheless, it is what we currently have. I can’t argue.
Because today was the start of the new education plan, today was busier than most. I was originally supposed to start my day off with an AP English Zoom meeting, but I was a bit pleased to find out it had been pushed back to noon. We discussed the book we were reading, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly. It is an…interesting book. Let’s just say I am not much into Gothic literature. Too dark for me. Thankfully, the next unit is short stories, so it should be a little more interesting. Following my Zoom call, I had lunch and dove straight into yet another online conference. This time, I was talking with the Utica High School Principal’s Advisory Board. Over the course of forty minutes, we discussed how we are planning on moving forward, despite our restrictions. It was nice to hear all the things the administrators are doing to ensure the seniors leave with closure on their high school career. It gave me hope. Other than that, today wasn’t very exciting.
On a separate note, if you are looking for something to watch, I would recommend “James May’s Toy Stories.” If you are a bit of a nerd, this show is for you. It is all about James May’s (the guy from Top Gear) and his adventures in putting childhood toys to the test. In one episode, I watched him build a full-size electric motorcycle out of the famous building set Erector or Meccano, as it is known in England. With his motorcycle, they took it for a lap around the TT Mountain Circuit on the Isle of Man in the United Kingdom-a thirty-seven mile endeavor. At a top speed of just over twenty -five miles per hour, he managed to get the bike around the course in just under two days. While it would usually take a regular motorcycle just under a half hour to complete the course, lest we forget, it is made out of toys. If you want to watch it, it can be found on Amazon Prime Video.
Friday, April 17, 2020
As the snow danced softly down to the ground, I sat in my house, contemplating life. While deep in my ruminations, I pondered the great question on everyone’s mind right now: what do I do? To much amazement, I came up with an answer. Ready? The answer I came up with was I don’t know. At this point, I am running out of things other than schoolwork to do. Of course, schoolwork comes first, but after that is said and done, what do I do now? I could was my car, but it is too cold for that. I could practice golf outside, but it is still too cold. I need to see people. Is that too much to ask?
As you know, UCS is starting a new initiative of online learning and moving away from the online enrichment. When I heard this news, I was both relieved and annoyed. Relieved that there will finally be a “structured” school day, annoyed because that means the work will seem more and more trivial because it is counted as “credit” and not for a physical grade. In my opinion, that will allow students to put an egregiously low amount of effort into their work and scrape by with the bare minimum. I don’t think it will be very beneficial because students will not be motivated. Some of you think you’re on “coronacation.” Come on, really? Now that that is out of the way, we can move on to something more interesting. For those of you who enjoy the NBC show The Office, you may have heard about actor John Krasinski’s (the guy who played Jim Halpert) new online show Some Good News. As a part of the show, he put on a “prom” for all the seniors who are missing out on their own prom. As a senior, I decided to tune in. While it wasn’t exactly a “prom” by definition, it was still very good. There were guest appearances by Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute) and a few other celebrities. If you missed it, it should be on YouTube.
Well, I think I’ve dumped a sufficient amount of information. Cheers.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
The days are running together. It feels like it’s still March and I want to see people again. To add to the list of things cancelled, tonight was supposed to be the rewards dinner for the winners of the 2020 UCS Superintendent’s Scholarship, of which I am one. I applied for this in January and put a lot of effort into my application, and I was very excited when I found out I was awarded the scholarship. When I received notice that I won, it said there would be a special banquet for all the people who won the scholarship along with their families. Unfortunately and rather predictably, it was cancelled. Just like in Sesame Street, the word of the day (or month or year or whatever) is “cancelled.” Can you say “cancelled?”
To shake things up a bit, I took my car for a drive. I drove to the empty parking lot that is home to Kohl’s on Auburn Road in Rochester Hills. I had to pick up an order that I made a couple weeks ago, and it felt very strange to have absolutely no face-to-face human interaction during my visit. I didn’t even have to leave my car. What a world we are in right now. The question I have is how long will it take for everything to return to normal? President Trump is saying that he wants the economy to be open by the end of May. As much as I want to see the economy and our country return to its normal life, is this possible? Is this safe? While I believe the president has a very competent staff and task force, I hope he makes the right decision.
To cap off the day, I made my day a bit more musical by practicing my clarinet and tickling the ivories of my piano. While I am no prodigy, it still makes me feel good when I do a run of Gerald Finzi’s Five Bagatelles. Until tomorrow, cheers.
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
I must admit, being away from school is nice. However, I miss the routine of the normal school day. While this may sound like I have completely lost my mind, I like routines. They are the trivial things that, for a long time, were taken for granted. I miss getting to see all of my friends at school, walking the jam-packed hallways with people who I fear drive their cars the same way they walk, I miss the routine. While I realize that I am by no means the only person going through this, I just wish things could go back to normal. The thing that annoys me the most is that the weather is very nice (besides the snow we’ve had for the past few days). The ONE THING I want to do is go out and play a round of golf. But no. I have to sit here and be limited to the basics of golf from what I have in my backyard. If anyone knows someone who can build me a backyard golf course, please let me know.
On a separate note, the Life of Charlie is rather dull. This break has given me time to pontificate random useless things, and that seems to keep me occupied. I called the former radio show host of NPR’s Car Talk to discuss cars, car repair and the answer to last week’s Puzzler. So far, no response. I did some homework, drove around in my car a bit, and watched Top Gear. Life is…”exciting.”
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Following spring break, it looks like students of Utica Community Schools will be returning to “school.” While it is not the traditional definition of going to school, it surely will make up for the time lost while we are hidden away. On the plus side, we no longer have to venture out in the early hours of the morning to the bus stop of stress ourselves out about finding a parking spot in the parking lot. Thankfully, our commute is now a mere one minute. From bed to desk. Or, from bed to still-in-bed. You decide. To me, I am grateful of this decision. It will mean a more organized schedule, making it a bit easier to get motivated. This new outlook on Schoology will allow us to learn in the comfort of our own home. What a relief.
In other news, today was rather productive. I managed to catch up on all the work I neglected to do over spring break, which was nice. I had a piano lesson, took my dog for a walk, and did other necessary things around the house. It was a good day.
Monday, April 13, 2020
Well everyone, I am back! It has been a while. I hope you all enjoyed your spring break, even if it wasn’t a traditional “break.” On my end, I enjoyed it. I fixed my car, went outside and walked my dog, and did a few things around the house. Overall it was a rather boring spring break, mostly because of the you-know-what keeping us inside.
This past weekend was Easter. Normally, it is a time for my family to get together, but unfortunately, we were apart. My Mom decided to make Easter Sunday as normal as possible by making a Easter brunch and having us watch the Easter Mass from our church. It was nice, but it just wasn’t the same.
At this point, I have lost count on where we are. I think we are about a month in to this “break.” Today was an awful windy day, with wind speeds topping over 30 miles per hour at my house. I decided to take my dog for a walk, which I quickly regretted knowing that my face was being blown off. Other than that, it was very uneventful. So now that I’m back, you can once again see the amusing adventures of me. Have fun.
Friday, April 3, 2020
So, we have arrived at yet another end to a week. As Carl Azuz would say, “Fridays are AWESOME!” While I am still upset about the school year being cut abruptly short, I didn’t let that hinder my enjoyment of such a beautiful day. My day started off as it usually does, eat breakfast and work on homework, so nothing exciting there. For lunch, I enjoyed a delicious culinary delight called the peanut butter and jelly sandwich (how original). Over lunch, I watched something different for a change. As a break from the usual Top Gear, I found some old episodes of this HBO miniseries called John Adams. It is about-if you haven’t guessed already-John Adams, the second President of the United States and Founding Father. It is a great story, I recommend you watch it! If you like history, this show is for you. Following lunch, I had a press conference with our principal, Mr. Lietz and the rest of the Arrow gang. It was nice to see everyone as we are all apart.
Because it was so nice today, I went outside a lot today. I walked my dog, rode my bike, and read a book outside. The fresh air felt nice, as I smelled it through a mask. What a joy this break has been.
Thursday, April 2, 2020
Mercifully, today was a lot more exciting. But first, we must discuss the happenings in the news. By now, I’m sure you have heard about Governor Whitmer’s declaration to end in-classroom learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. For most of you, this means an extension to summer. For the class of 2020, it is the pitiful and abrupt end to their high school career. With the decision being to not return to school, the question has to be raised-what about textbooks? How are we going to return all the materials we borrowed over the course of the school year? While I am confident that the administration is working on a plan to deal with this, it begs the question on how things will work out. Earlier today, I found out from my golf coach that our season has been unsurprisingly cancelled. I am very disappointed. I was honored with the position of captain this year, and I was able to be captain for three days. I am going to miss being on the links with my team, as these past seasons are something I will never forget. While I still plan on golfing after high school, it just won’t be the same.
On a lighter note, the weather outside was gorgeous. Of course, it has to be when we’re all told to stay home. However, I decided to venture out into the world. I took my car for a drive, something I have never really done before. I am so used to having a place to go in my car, so just going for a drive was nice. I also took my bike out for a ride, and it was nice to feel the breeze on my face. Fortunately, the weather looks nice for the next few days, so I hope to keep on being outside!
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Usually, the start of a new month is a bit more exciting for me. However, thanks to the virus, the days have just run together and everything just feels the same. In a way, this break is relaxing, but I am also becoming extremely bored. In all honesty, my life has been getting less exciting as the break progresses. Cheers everyone.
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Well here we are folks, the end of March. A month cut short by our favorite virus, leading to another month of uncertainty. On a more positive note, spring has sprung! The birds are chirping, plants are budding, and the grass is getting greener. A happy time, especially as Easter is around the corner. While it was a cloudier day today, it did not hinder my ability to enjoy the day. Over the weekend, my grandfather was showing me the basics of film photography, something I have been interested in learning more about. As a tool to use, he gave me a Pentax camera from the 1970s, which I found very cool. As a photographer who has been taught on all things digital, it will be an exciting experience to learn how photography truly is. Hopefully by the end of this break I will be able to show some of the photographs I have taken.
Another thing of note that occurred today was a video conference with the hardworking staff of the 205 crew. A riveting experience, it was nice to see more faces today, regardless if they were through a screen. I hope to do more of these, as they help keep a sense of human interaction despite our mandated separation. Throughout these unprecedented times, we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. While it may seem like our actions are unnecessary, it is the crucial step needed to stop this disease.
And on that bombshell, take care everyone!
Monday, March 30, 2020
In all fairness, the time away from school has been relaxing. On the other hand, it is as boring as watching grass grow. On the summer solstice. In a leap year. Not only am I getting restless, I am slowly running out of things to do. With President Trump moving the federal social distancing date to April 30th, it seems like we will be here for a while. To add to the fun, it is rumored that Governor Whitmer will be ending the 2019-2020 school year for good. However, I am still holding hope. After doing some research, the data from Italy shows good news. For a while, Italy was the hardest hit by the virus and led the world in cases of the COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus. While Italy did take a major hit, it looks as if the amount of new cases is starting to slow down. With this occurring, I am hopeful that we can get the world back on line by the summer. Hopefully.
What worries me is the fate of my senior year of high school. While I understand that I am not the only one in this situation, I just want to have a normal end to high school. Is that too much to ask? Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced today that he is extending his state’s stay at home order until June 10th. What does this mean for Michigan? Who knows. Right now, all we can do is take one day at a time.
Friday, March 27th, 2020
The plan was to go back after Utica Community School’s spring break was over, but I am starting to think that might not happen. While some of you may be happy to hear this news, I am not. What about the seniors? Our year has been robbed of us. We were under the impression it would be a smooth cruise to the finish, but life threw us a curve ball straight to the gut. I had high hopes for the finish of my senior year, but right now, the future of it does not look certain. However, we must look for the good outcome as this pandemic will allow our world to improve from where we were before.
On a much lighter note, today wasn’t to exciting. I mostly did homework and had another video conference with my English class. We had a riveting discussion on this poem we were told to read, which was just peachy. I also visited my doctor today (not for for anything relating to the virus) to get my physical up to date in the hopes that I can play golf this season. Fortunately, I am in good health. Unfortunately, all golf courses and driving ranges are closed so I can’t go out and really practice. I’m quite upset about that because in my opinion, golfing is not a contact sport. You are fairly spread out from other people on a golf course, which is part of the reason why I like it so much. It’s relaxing. I mean, practicing in my backyard is indeed beneficial, but it does not replicate the experience of the just-sliced-your-ball-into-the-lake feeling that you would get on a golf course. Like I said, it’s RELAXING!
Thursday, March 26th, 2020
I think Michigan is taunting us. With all this nice, warm weather, something seems a bit fishy. I think we might get an unannounced blizzard next week. Who knows? But with all this negativity in the world right now, I’ll take whatever I can get.
In other news, I didn’t do much today. I did some homework, walked my dog, and that is pretty much it. Sorry everyone. These days are just running together.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Spring has finally sprung here in Michigan! The plants are waking from their slumber and the sun was shining. While it only reached fifty-two degrees today, this was a balmy change of climate than we are normally used to. If it stays like this for the rest of this break, I will be happy. Because it was so nice today, I wanted to spend some time outside. I was asked by my parents to visit the grocery store and pick up a few things for my great-aunt and uncle, giving me the opportunity to go and drive through the beautiful spring day.
During lunch, I had to sit in a video conference with my English class, which was…interesting. The technological efforts we are putting into effect will be a definite learning curve for all of us to overcome. Unfortunately, my laptop decided it would be a good idea to blank out and show the “blue screen of death” in the middle of the conference, which was just great. Fortunately, it was just fine after a force restart. In the afternoon, I decided to go out once again and hit some golf balls at the local driving range. Rather unsurprisingly, the place was closed. Oh well, I guess my backyard will have to do for now. I will try again with another driving range tomorrow, although I am not expecting success.
In the midst of all this pandemonium, I have had a lot of time to think. In my ruminations, I was thinking about what might happen when this all cools down. Surely, this will not be an immediate action just to return back to normal life before this coronavirus ever existed. It will take a long time for people to regain trust in public places, and I believe it will take a long time to recover both mentally and economically. While it will be nice to have toilet paper and hand sanitizer again, what will be the result from all this panic? Will we learn a lesson from this? Will we not hoard essentials like squirrels? In all honesty, I believe hoarding toilet paper is completely idiotic. Unfortunately, all we can do is wait.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Following Governor Whitmer’s “stay home” order, I have noticed the roads have unsurprisingly become very empty. This is very nice for many reasons, because at least we won’t have to worry about traffic. Driving is now a dawdle.
In this episode of the “Life of Charlie,” we find ourselves at my house…and that’s it. Today, I did a few things. I read my AP Literature book, worked on math homework, had a piano lesson over the internet (that wasn’t difficult…) and repaired a typewriter. Yes, a typewriter. I have a few hobbies such as cars, photography, hiking/backpacking, to name a few. I also have a more uncommon hobby of collecting typewriters. Now before you dismiss this as boring, let me say this. I like old things, such as classic cars, old machinery and typewriters. On this occasion, my Underwood 565 Electric typewriter was seizing up whenever I hit the return key. After a careful disassembly of the outer case, I quickly diagnosed the problem as a loose belt. Knowing that it was difficult to adjust the tension of the belt, I had to think of a cunning idea. This is where the long-overshadowed office commodity that you seem to have a million of comes into fruition. The simple rubber band! Once I found a rubber band thick enough to replicate a belt, I installed it and turned on the typewriter. Much to my joy, it was fixed!
If you found that interesting, I applaud you. If not, I am not surprised. You can probably tell the boredom is setting in…
Monday, March 23, 2020
You are most likely aware of the rapidly changing developments swarming the media during this pandemic. School closures, event cancellations, more cases of COVID-19 overwhelming our hospitals…it goes on and on. Today however, was by far the most unprecedented for the citizens of Michigan. Governor Whitmer’s actions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 have not gone unrecognized by Michiganders, and her most recent “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order is no exception. While this will have positive effects on the spread of the virus, I am starting to become increasingly concerned as the days progress. I am getting worried about when we actually return to school. I am getting worried about the spring athletic season, AP Exams, and even prom. How long will this last? My senior year-along with the rest of seniors across the country-has been disrupted completely. With this new executive order going into effect at midnight tonight, trivial things we all take for granted-will be no longer available. While this is not a total quarantine, it is getting close. In the mean time, we must learn from Winston Churchill and the British Government during World War II. We must “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
On a lighter note, I went to the auto parts store to pick up the oxygen sensors I had ordered yesterday. How exciting. My plan was to go to the driving range today to keep up my skills for the possible return to the golf team, but the virus (as always) had other plans. In the meantime, I have been working on my homework. With Moby Dick in my left hand and poetry in my right, AP Literature has been taking up my time. To sum it up, it is just riveting. In my opinion, life would have been much easier at school.
What is next for us? Only time will tell.
Sunday, March 22, 2020
The sun shined brightly this morning and it made me think for a brief moment that maybe it was spring. However, we are quick to forget we are in Michigan. Yes, the state where the weather doesn’t make any sense and the seasons don’t matter. Maybe one day I will have the joy of experiencing spring, hopefully for more than five minutes.
As I am getting bored of sitting around my house, I decided to go out into the “contaminated” world once again this week. On this occasion, I was in search of some car parts to repair my 1999 Plymouth Breeze. I needed a new oxygen sensor, a part that monitors the oxygen levels in the catalytic converter in the emissions system of the car. Since I have a four-cylinder engine, my car has two of these sensors, both of which are sending error codes to my car’s computer. But enough technical stuff, because I’m sure you’re reading this now with enough drool to fill up the Pacific Ocean. What can I say? I like cars. In the end, I was successful. Once I get the parts in, I will install them and be on my merry way. That will be another story coming soon, so stay tuned.
Other than my trip to the auto parts store, I have had a very uneventful day. I took my dog for a walk and that is pretty much it. Now all we can look forward to is the week ahead of us, week two of our social distancing escapade. For now, keep calm and carry on. Cheers everyone.
Saturday, March 21, 2020
Well, I have lasted one week of this school closure. However, I do wish I was at school, because at least I would have something to do during the day. Today, I managed to get a few things done. I continued to brighten my house up for spring, especially with Easter coming up quickly. With so much time on my hands, I have had the opportunity to clean up and organize the long forgotten abyss that is my closet. In there, I had a photo album of pictures I have taken over the years it was definitely a trip down memory lane. It was nice.
The only member of my family not to be affected too much by this pandemic is my dog, Sandy. She has been able to keep up her normal sleep schedule with her nap and post-nap nap. The only irregularity is that she seems to like to more walks she is going on. After enjoying dinner with comedian Jim Gaffigan on Netflix in the background (the humans, but maybe Sandy was laughing too), we all decided to go outside and take Sandy for a long walk. I think she enjoyed that. Once we got home, we settled in for the night and watched Kevin Costner’s Dances With Wolves, a truly superb movie.
While I didn’t have much to say today, hopefully tomorrow will be more exciting. Hopefully.
Friday, March 20, 2020
I’m bored. This virus has really thrown a wrench into the school year. Because of this virus, it cancelled school. Because of this virus, Utica Community Schools will be going semi-online. One might think that the online instruction would count as “instructional hours, ” but according to the Michigan Department of Education, they don’t. Unfortunately, I’m fairly confident that we will be making up for the lost time in the summer. How lovely. To add to my disappointment, today was the day that I was supposed to participate in a service project for National Honors Society. While this may not seem exciting, I truly enjoyed doing it. The service project was to read books to the students of Flickenger Elementary School. But due to the closing of schools across Michigan, this was obviously cancelled (there’s that word again). I guess the young students will have to wait for Go Dog. Go! another day.
On a lighter note, my day was better. I watched some more The Grand Tour and cleaned up my house today. We are making the transition into spring at the Borus Homestead, so things are brightening up a bit. As it is the Lenten Season, it is traditional for Catholics not to eat meat on Fridays. Instead, we eat seafood. Since I am from a Catholic family, we have a tradition to go out to fish fries that are hosted by churches or other places during Lent and have some fish. But sadly, the coronavirus had other plans. So did we. In the place of going out, we had our own fish fry at my house with my grandparents, which was nice. My Mom can really cook fish! To finish off the evening, we played a hand of Liverpool Rummy, a card game that has been played by generations of the Borus-Marriott family. We just call it sets and runs. It’s simpler. Have a great weekend everyone!
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Today has definitely been more exciting. When I woke up this morning, I took a glance at the news only to find more disgraceful developments concerning the virus. Oh joy. Trying to get my mind off of the you-know-what, I decided to turn on my favorite show, The Grand Tour. In that episode, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond were tasked with sailing three boats they bought themselves down some rivers in Cambodia to a harbor in Vietnam. While this is normally a car show (my favorite), it was more or less a comic relief to see how badly these guys can operate a boat. It was hilarious! I recommend you watch it, especially with the time we all have.
After my spirits were lightened, my Mom came in and said that my grandparents needed assistance in grocery shopping, giving me an opportunity to venture out into the contaminated world. I was sent to Busch’s to get the various groceries they asked for. One item on the list was a loaf of rye bread, a fairly common item that may not seem in high demand. To my amazement, when I got to the bread isle, the rye bread was completely picked over while the whole wheat bread was fully stocked. How strange. Another thing on the list was toilet paper, but, as you probably would have guessed, it was gone.
Throughout the rest of the day, I did little things around my house. I practiced my clarinet and tickled the ivories of my piano. I am currently learning a jazz tune that I hope to have done when this break is over, so stay tuned for that! In my boredom, I also built a tower from my Girder and Panel set that I’ve had since was ten. That was fun.
To add the the sea of cancellations this virus has brought forward, I received an email from Eastern Michigan University-the college I am set to attend in the fall. “Dear Charles…” the letter states. As I read on, the letter notified me that “in an abundance of caution” the on-campus “FasTrack” registration day has been cancelled due to, you guessed it-the coronavirus. Yet another thing I was looking forward to slapped with the all-powerful word of today’s age: cancelled. Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you tomorrow on another episode of The Life of Charlie!”
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
This unprecedented break has been truly an amusing few days. It feels like I have been away for a week when it has only been a few days. However, amusing is an overstatement. I’m going to say it-it is boring. Really boring.
In this episode of “The Life of Charlie,” I participated in the lively task of doing little chores around the house. I built a wooden puzzle I had in my closet for eons. Ironically, it was a cruise ship. How exciting. The highest point of my day thus far has been a piano lesson, because it gave me the opportunity to venture out into the world! From my observations, the world apparently didn’t want to see me-but all in good reason. While on this adventure, I was tasked with visiting Meijer to get some milk. At Meijer, I couldn’t help but notice the vast emptiness of the shelves in the paper products isle. Why do people need to stock up on toilet paper? The world is not ending. In my opinion, people need to calm down.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I woke up this morning feeling more lucky than usual. I made sure to take my luck of the Irish with me as I decided to make a bold move. I decided to venture outside. I didn’t know what to expect; I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to wear a hazmat suit or not.
On my perilous adventure in the unknown, I gingerly drove my little car to the post office to drop off a scholarship application I had been working on. With great care, I slipped the letter into the mailbox and said my prayers, hoping that I would be lucky enough to earn the scholarship. After that, I came home and made sure to disinfect everything I touched. Not really. I just walked in the door and washed my hands.
With all this time away from school, my clarinet felt lonely. Per my home school administrator’s request, I practiced some Finzi and some polkas which eased my worries. Today has been a decent day so far. I probably will go golfing later. We’ll see.
Monday, March 16, 2020
It’s day one. By now, most of us are settling in to what is this new reality for a few weeks. For me, I have taken this unique opportunity to catch up on work that I haven’t been able to when we are at school. I have taken time to work on scholarship applications, stay ahead of homework, and I also plan to do some repairs on my beloved car.
However, I should say that this break is definitely a major inconvenience. As my senior year is coming to a close, I wanted to make the most of what was left. Now that the Center for Disease Control and the Michigan Department of Health mandated a “self-quarantine,” that opportunity has been robbed from me until we eventually return. While I believe this will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, I still want to live my life. Stay tuned for more as I document my (lack of) adventure throughout these weeks!