The Trojan Torch

Dyersburg High School's online newspaper



Dyersburg High School Trojan Torch's online paper.

Keep yourself busy

Allexys Roberts –  Reporter

As we approach week three of “coronacation”, reality is beginning to set in. Many of my family’s traditions are being canceled or postponed in order to avoid large crowds. I have always been very family-centered, so not being able to see them is very hard on me. 

   Throughout these last few weeks, I have been doing my best to keep myself busy and occupied. I have created a daily schedule to make my life seem more normal.

   In order to distract yourself from these things here is what you can do:

  • Start a blog. Whether or not you want to make it public, starting a blog is a great way to talk about the things you are doing and how you are feeling during this unprecedented predicament. 
  • Upcycle some clothes. While scrolling through TikTok, I see people bleaching their jeans, cropping their shirts, or tye-dying old clothes. It is a great way to prepare for summer and keep yourself occupied.
  • Do some yard work. However boring this sounds, it allows you to be productive and spend some time outside without coming in contact with others. 
  • Start working out. Personally, I have been trying to discipline myself into working out daily for months now and I have finally been able to commit to it because I have nothing better to do. 
  • Keep up with your schoolwork. Yes, it is hard doing this work not knowing whether you will ever get to turn it in, but the point is to keep the information fresh on your mind. Additionally, if your teacher assigns you new work that you do not understand, websites such as Khan Academy and Kuta Software are great resources. 
  • Keep your head up. I know this is a hard and trying time, but all of us are experiencing the same emotions during this. It is crucial that you do not let this bring you down. Keep living your life (just stay away from other people). 


Is summer near?

Cambry Hollingsworth – Reporter

As another week comes to pass of students and parents staying home from work and school, people across the nation start to wonder how long social-distancing recommendations will last. 

   For several days, rumors of a nationwide quarantine and curfew have fluttered by word of mouth to hundreds of thousands of people. This leaves our county’s teens uneasy as they worry about the COVID-19 threat extending into the summer months. 

   Several summer activities have already been canceled or postponed. For example, the University of Tennessee at Martin, as well as other colleges, have canceled all in-person summer classes and are restricting in-class learning to online classes only. 

   It is safe to say the summer of 2020 will be unlike any summer before. If the Coronavirus continues to rapidly grow as it has, it is unlikely the nation will be healthy enough to reopen several businesses and restaurants. As of late, restaurants can only provide delivery or pick-up food services, prohibiting inside dining. This inconvenience in itself is enough to cause an inconvenience on the everyday life of the average American. 

   More detrimental to a teen’s summer months than no inside dining would be the closing of public pools and waterparks. These closings limit the access an average teen has to fun water activities, a trait of summer thousands of teens look forward to every year. 

   Finally, if social distancing is still advised during summer, or a nationwide quarantine comes into effect, school sports practices would be delayed or canceled due to efforts to try to contain the virus. This greatly harms every athletes’ skill levels in their sports for the upcoming fall seasons, assuming fall sports seasons are not to be postponed as well.

   With so much uncertainty in the present, it is hard to determine what the upcoming summer will look like. However, even if the virus threat does continue into the hotter months, it is important to help decrease the spread of germs in any way possible. 


Coronavirus Log, part 2

Cole Hamilton – Reporter

Captain’s log, date 4.1.2020, isolation. After quarantine began 17 days ago I have continued spending most of my time cleaning my room/house, watching cartoons and playing video games. I have initially begun to develop a tolerance for my parents. The two games I find myself most occupied with, now that I have completed Doom Eternal, are A Hat in Time and Resident Evil 2. A Hat in Time is a lighthearted, fun-filled 3D platformer that has tons of charm and atmosphere. On the other hand, Resident Evil 2 is a zombie survival horror game that incorporates exploration, puzzle-solving and intense, close-quarters encounters with the undead, which makes me ask myself, “How prepared am I if this coronavirus thing takes a turn for the worst?”. The weather has been quite nice this past week so I have found myself in the day hours outside as much as possible, whether it be tennis, frisbee, shooting hoops, yard work or just sunbathing.


Are the days getting longer?

Emmalynn VanDyke Managing Editor

The days keep piling up and they seem to be getting longer. As these long days have come and gone, I have found myself doing things that I actually really enjoy but do not always have the time for when I am on a regular schedule. 

   Yes, I still have school work, but having my own time to do it seems to honestly make me more productive. I get up and get some school done, knowing that I have the rest of the day to relax or find a new hobby. 

   I have found myself painting quite a bit since all of this started. I knew that every time I painted, it was something I enjoyed but I never really felt that I had the time for it in my normal schedule. This “downtime” has allowed me to try something new and actually find a new hobby I hope to keep past this quarantine. 

   I have also found myself picking back up on the New Year’s resolution everyone seems to have but most tend to break: exercising. I would tell myself all the time that I needed to get in shape, but always let my busy schedule serve as an excuse, so I have pushed myself during this time to exercise when I find myself bored. I worked with my boyfriend to put together a list of exercises that suits what I am trying to accomplish for myself, and this time has allowed me to stick to it more than my normal schedule would. 

   This is not how we want the world to be, but sometimes it is nice to have a new perspective on things. I said it last time, and I will say it again, sometimes we just need to step back, take a deep breath and realize how good our lives actually are. 



Sorting our priorities

Alveena Nadeem Assistant Editor

Guys. It’s not about the grades.

  When teachers began assigning at-home work after schools closed because of COVID-19, ‘What’s going to happen to our grades?’ was the most common question raised during online classes. It was more visible–now than ever–that school is centered around scores. Even during a devastating pandemic, we’re more worried about a percentage than personal growth. 

   Now, I’m not saying we should disregard grades. From little stickers in kindergarten to detailed score reports in high school, these approvals (or rejections) of our work are important. And keeping them up by completing assignments is crucial. They’re how we measure progress. They’re how colleges see our hard work. They’re proof of our learning.

   So it’s pretty understandable why questions about grades are especially buzzing through our minds now, when school is a strange puzzle of Google Classroom and facecam classes. 

   But when did proof of learning become more important than learning itself? Instead of focusing on sharpening our minds, many of us are more concerned about a letter grade. Are we genuinely learning? Are we being prepared for next year? These questions have taken the backseat. We’ve forgotten what education truly is about: learning.

   During these weeks (months?) we’re all stuck at home, I’ve decided I’m going to learn. Yes, grades are important, but progress should be the priority. School assignments are about growing our knowledge, not a letter rank. I have a list of books I’m going to read, a handful of skills I want to gain and a few personal projects I’ll try to complete. And most of all, I have loads to learn.

Productivity… or not?

Dylan Stewart – Section Editor 

As we have continued our isolation, for many of us the days have begun to blur together. Most of our days are spent doing the same things and we can not really distinguish between them.

   Despite this, as the break from school has continued we have been able to have a few warm, sunny days. This has been a great break from the long stretch of cool, rainy days we have become used to. 

   For myself, I used these days as a way to escape the house and spend time outside; whether that has been sitting outside, walking my dog or washing cars. 

   Sadly, the sunny days have not been every day, so while I have been stuck inside I took the opportunity to be productive. I was able to get done with all of the school work we have been assigned so far early. I also decided to go old-school and write letters to some of the important people in my life that I do not get to see very often. I also did a little bit of painting. 

   This break has taught me that it is important to balance out the non-beneficial things you do with productive activities.

Senioritis meets Coronavirus 

Emily EscueSection Editor

Having a month-long break from school is not ideal at this point in my senior year. I have definitely been disappointed about missing many fun things that happen in the last few months of senior year.

   However, I have had the time to get lots of things done that I have been putting off for a long time. I have cleaned out my closets, organized my desk and folded a lot of laundry. This time off has been great to use to get ready for college. Things like filling out scholarships and sending graduation invitations take a lot of time.

  But don’t let me fool you, these last two weeks have not been all productive. I somehow managed to watch five seasons of The Walking Dead, learn a few TikTok dances, play a few games of Monopoly (ending with everyone mad), tan outside (resulting in a sunburn) and even learn how to shoot a basketball (which took a few hours of Bailey yelling at me to jump).

   The situation definitely is not ideal, but hey, at least there are cute shirts.



Allexys Roberts – Reporter

   Most students complain about school. It is the norm, right? We all seem to want to trade our time at school for sleep or more seemingly “fun” activities. Until all of it is taken away from us. 

   During this “coronacation” I have been thinking a lot. Thinking about all of the times that I complained about having to go to school, wishing I were elsewhere. All of that seems so minute now. 

   I spend my days at home wondering if I will get to see my senior friends again, hoping I get to cheer them on as they walk across the stage. I am worried for them. 

   I miss my friends, my teachers, my lunch table and my classes. I miss passing Mr. Stenberg in the hallway and him always telling me to smile. I miss Mr. Manneh always telling me “life is good, math is fun”, no matter how much I refuse to believe it. I miss the normality in my life and having a daily schedule. 

   However, to see the light in a dark situation,  this has been a good time for me to get everything back together. Junior year has by far been the most hectic and difficult year. With this unexpected time off, I have been able to recuperate and catch up on things. 

   I have had time away from my busy schedule and now I have had some quality time with my family. We have been dealing with this by keeping ourselves busy inside. Doing things like cleaning, playing games and just talking. 

   With that being said, I still can not wait to return to school to see my teachers, peers and my best friends. I can not wait for life to return back to normal. Please stay at home. 

Seasonal Depression 2.0

Erin Bailey – Editor

I know everyone is trying to be positive, but I can’t seem to find the energy to be happy about anything. 

   I have tried to keep busy–I even painted my entire room Tuesday– but it didn’t help this wave of sick-season blues. 

   My mom keeps looking forward to getting out of quarantine and outside again. Me? Not so much. It feels like this is the beginning of the end, so-to-speak.

   As an older member of Gen Z, I have always had social media. This information overload from news sites to celebrity selfies has always made it difficult to sort out information and compartmentalize. 

   Whenever there is good news, it is immediately followed by bad. And then bad turns into worse, and it feels like it never stops. 

   COVID-19 came just on the heels of the annual flu outbreak, and oil prices plummeted, then the stock market crashed and now the whole world is in an economic crisis.

   I am greeted every morning by a rising death toll and more devastating global effects, which reveal how corrupt and greedy our national markets can be. 

   I genuinely hope, for everyone’s sake, that this whole mess is resolved quickly.

   Since I do not have any positive news about current events, let me say this: I love you.

   It feels cheesy to say, but I mean it. I know that it feels scary and it seems like it might not be better for a while. You do not have to be positive. It’s okay. I’m here for you.

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