#1NWIStudent: Lighting up the holidays at Highland High School

#1NWIStudent: Lighting up the holidays at Highland High School

With the holiday season quickly approaching, the first semester of the school year is coming to a close. That also means that it's time for finals for Highland High School students.

Although the stress from finals can be overwhelming, the Highland Theater Company (HTC) will brighten up Highland with a holiday show.

This weekend, starting on Saturday, December 12 at 7 pm and Sunday, December 13 at 2 pm, the Highland Theater Company will be performing A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play. The show will stream on Highland Theater Company's website at the mentioned times.

This show makes for the first production by HTC for this school year, as COVID-19 has brought challenges when it comes to safely producing shows. This radio play will allow the HTC provide some entertainment as the school moves into the final stages of the semester.

Additionally, the student body at Highland will be able to have some fun during finals week by dressing in pajamas, holiday colors, holiday socks, ugly sweaters, and blue and gold colors as part of the Holiday Spirit Week from December 14 to December 18.

Teacher Spotlight: Cynthia Auburn

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has affected nearly every aspect of our lives, and its impact on learning at Highland High School is no exception. For English teacher Cynthia Auburn, the effects have been profound.

The reliance on technology for much of the learning process and finding the right balance on work to assign has been a challenge.

“I’ve really struggled with that because I am not the best with technology.” Auburn said. “I’m trying not to overwhelm my students and myself but still trying to keep rigor in the courses.”

The challenges of teaching during the crisis go even beyond that.

“Overcoming restrictions in class activities to be able to deliver the content of the course in a relevant and meaningful manner has been difficult.” Auburn said.

As an English teacher, class discussions are important to Auburn’s teaching. At Highland, students are given the option to be at home or in person learners.

“It’s very hard being in two places simultaneously. I do, and feel better, when it’s all in-person or all virtual.” Auburn said.

Although teaching has been difficult this year, Auburn, an alumnus of Indiana State University, knows she got into the field for a reason and enjoys what she does.

“I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to give back through my service to others in instructing others.” Auburn said.

Being able to help her students grow is a great experience for Auburn.

“I can help empower my students by helping them discover their voice. I can help them solidify why they hold the opinions that they have and that they are always free to change them regardless of what anyone else would say.”

As an important figure in her student’s lives, Auburn can help them figure things out about themselves.

“I can possibly help students discover their dreams and what they have to offer to the world.” Auburn said.

Although things are tough at the given moment, Auburn is trying to remain positive and look toward the future, for the sake of both herself, as well as her students.

“I will be really happy when this pandemic ends and we can have a sense of normalcy again,” Auburn said. “This pandemic has really opened my eyes to how we respond, how we handle challenges, and ultimately how we will get through all of this. We’ve all been knocked down, now it’s time to get back up, brush the dust off, and come back stronger than we were before all of this.”

Auburn believes there’s a lesson that can be learned in hardship.

 “We all get knocked down in life. It’s not the failing that matters, but whether we get back up.”

Although things may be tough right now because of the virus, Auburn knows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that she’s ready to help her students in any way that she can.