b"final mattersA Year of Home LovePositive domestic outcomes of a time of pandemicBY CASSANDRA RATKEVICHT Year I Didnt Go toschool, soccer practice, andpiecesoffurnitureinmyroomtoo, he School by Giselle Potterextracurriculars and usuallyeach time greatly enjoying the change was once a favorite bed- completedhomeworkinin scenery from my bed. timepicturebookofthe dining room. My bed- Idiscoveredthatthemoreeffort mine. The story followsroomdidnotmeanany- andtimeplacedmakingmyroom a young Potter journal- thing to me beyond being aconsistofthingsIlove,theeasierit ing the highlights fromplace with a bed to sleep in,got spending the majority of my time the year she traveled through Italyand I did not need it to bethere.Italsolessenedthedifficulties with her familys theater troupe in- anything more.stead of attending school. Potter be- This mindset shifted af-gins by writing, These are the bestter the first weeks of quar-things that happened to me the yearantineinMarch2020. I didnt go to school, and dedicatesLike everyone else during eachsubsequentpagetoacertainthis time, I was forced to event, ranging from wove cowboyspendsignificantlylonger bootstoperformedinatheatreperiods in my house and, outside. more specifically, my bed-Thebookalwaysseemedun- room.Myroomshifted usual and unrealistic to me, but Ifromsolelybeingaplace would be lying if I said my younger self was not tremendously jealous of Pottersto sleep to being a classroom, a creative adventures. workplace, a movie theater, and a gym It seems irrational that I would ever relate to a storybook from my child- while also having to function as a place hood, but I have not been learningfor me to relax and unwind. I knew Ratkevitch has newfound appreciation from inside a school building sincethat my four white walls were not go- for her bedroom. Here she shares some March 13, 2020.ing to suffice anymore.quality time with her dog, Rosie.So,inyoungPotterfashion,thisThe first steps I took to better my is the best thing that happened to mesurroundings included reminding my- of trying to create separate school and the year I didnt go to school: I was fi- self of the friends whom my weeks atcreative spaces, because I genuinely en-nally able to make my bedroom mine.home had restricted me from seeing.joyed being in the room for both.Revamping a home space does notI started basic, sending photos to beAlthoughtheyearIdidntgoto seem like the most fun or impactfulprinted to create a photo wall. Thoseschoolconsistedmoreofmetaping thing one could do with a year off ofbeginning photos greatly changed mypictures and hammering nails into my school. And yet, I found it to be onethoughts about the room. I looked atwallsratherthantravelinginItaly,I of the most important projects I in- them and was filled with pre-pandem- found my experience just as fulfilling. vested time into this past year.ic thoughts. It felt serene. Intheyearsprecedingthe2020Andsocamemore.Morecolor.CassandraRatkevichisajuniorat quarantine, I did not think much ofMorepicturesoffriends.Moreart- Columbia High School. As a rising cap-the four barren white walls I called mywork, both my own and dug out fromtain of the girls' varsity soccer team, sec-bedroom. I ignored my parents nag- hidden away basement storage. Moreretary of her class, and co-president of the Ratkevitch used extra time at home toging as they suggested that I hang upplantsandmirrors.MoreforgottenMapSo Cares club, Cassandra has had make her bedroom her own by hangingpictures or add some color. After all, Iknickknacksfromdrawersandclos- plenty to stay busy with during her time artwork and creating a photo wall. spent eight or more hours every day atets. I continued to rearrange the mainat home in addition to home projects.34/ matters magazine / hearth & home 2021"