A whole year of nothing

International Club of SHS has to put their plans on hold because of COVID-19

Los miembros del International Club se toman una foto después de decorar el salón de idiomas extranjeros para el Día de San Valentín.

Contributed by the International Club

Los miembros del International Club se toman una foto después de decorar el salón de idiomas extranjeros para el Día de San Valentín.

International Club is one of many clubs that have had to discontinue their meetings due to the effects of SHS going virtual as a result of COVID-19.

International Club focuses on different cultures around the world, and the members learn to embrace them by educating themselves and celebrating diversity.

Junior Dawtlen Sung Thannget has been an officer of the International Club for two years, during which she has been a part of many different events. Some of the events include celebrating Cinco de Mayo, a Chin Thanksgiving and French and German Christmas celebrations.

“We try to see why they eat certain foods,” said Thannget. ”And why they celebrate certain days. It’s more about embracing and celebrating with them.”

However, due to COVID-19, the International Club has decided to not continue meetings, both virtually or in-person. They have decided that is what is best for the safety of their members. 

The international Club sponsor, foreign language teacher Tanya Johnson, wants to make sure that it is completely safe before she decides to bring students back into the building for meetings. Though she wishes the meetings could continue, she knows that is not what is best for her and her students right now.

“It’s just very sad that we can’t meet right now,” Johnson said. “But, for safety, I’m very cautious. I have people at home that I have to take care of and be cautious of. And because of that, we just have to pick and choose right now what’s most important.”

They would also usually have students from different countries teach members about their cultures. Senior Blessing Vanoso thinks doing that helps to teach the students more about each other, where they came from and how their stories are different from each other.

“It’s more about an open discussion where we can share what our culture is like,” Vanoso said. “And talk about what we used to do and how things are seen in a different way in our cultures.”

Due to not being able to meet, the International Club has not had those opportunities to learn from different cultures, and have missed out on events and celebrations that they had planned, including Cinco de Mayo at the end of last year, and the Homecoming parade, which is usually two big events for the club. 

“We love getting together and making our banners and staying after school,” Johnson said. “And I think that was a big disappointment for a lot of people.”

The Club does not know when things will go back to normal for them or when they will be able to start their meetings, so there are currently no plans for when they may be starting again. Vanoso doesn’t think that the International Club will be meeting as soon as they hope. 

“I don’t think we will be having International Club this year,” Vanoso said. “But, if we do, then, of course, we will be following the safety guidelines.”

And though it may not be likely, they are still hopeful for a return of the club, and a return of normalcy. 

“Hopefully before this year is over we can get back together and start International Club,” Johnson said. “But until then, I just want everyone to be safe.”