Humans of Lincoln East: Anna Renard


Photo by Photo Courtesy of Anna Renard

Everything about this school year has been different so far. From interviewing senior Anna Renard over Zoom instead of in person, to her juggling of A and B days, and the way her passion for music has been affected, nothing has been left untouched by coronavirus. But you’ve got to make the best of it, and Anna certainly has!
Anna knows what high school is usually like, and though it’s not like the three years she’s had previously, her school year is off to a good start, with hopes for some sense of normal. As a drum major in East’s marching band, the new A and B rotation make it a lot harder to have balance and learn their show. Since the different instrumental sections are not evenly divided, this complicates the band’s ability to hear their show with only parts of the whole group present at one time.
It’s not the only challenge though. Due to the difficulty of transporting almost 200 band kids places while keeping them socially distanced, and the uncertainty of learning and practicing a show together, most of the four or five competitions they usually attend have been canceled. “The head of the LPS Music Department is trying to get one competition together so that all the high school bands can come and showcase what they’ve been working on, but that’s the only one this year,” the senior says.
Outside of marching band, Anna is currently also a part of East’s Jazz Band, and Lincoln Youth Symphony (LYS), a district-wide orchestra with strings, wind instruments, and percussion. “LYS is currently postponing the season until second quarter. We usually rehearse at Lincoln High and their band room is not big enough [for social distancing], so I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I hope it does, because this is my senior year and I want to be able to do that, but we’ll see.”
However, quarantine has brought some good along with the messiness for Anna. For one, she finally got an adorable mini Irish Doodle named Lady! “I’ve wanted a dog for probably my entire life and my mom hates animals, except for she likes Lady. So that’s what I did during quarantine – I convinced my parents to get a dog!”
Anna has also been able to shift gears and make time for her passions, some old and some new. “I am taking a class at the Lux Center for the Arts for printmaking, which is carving on like wood, or linoleum to make basically a stamp, so I figured out I wanted to do that in quarantine,” she said. “One of my favorite YouTubers was doing it, and I was like, “Oh, I want to try that!” so I did and I really liked it.”
Returning to an old passion, Anna has also picked piano up again. “I quit at some point and then I came back to it and it’s been great ever since,” she explained. “I guess I kind of figured out that I wanted to do it in college during quarantine because I had way more time to practice, and I was able to actually get songs to performance level faster.”
Anna’s the sort of person that falls somewhere between an introvert and an extrovert, like most people do. “I’m someone who prefers to be alone at times, but I also need my daily dose of human interaction,” she says. This has been hard for her this year, since initially everyone was stuck in quarantine, and now the majority of her friends are in the opposite group from her. “I think that’s a common problem people are going to come across. My brother [a freshman at East] has the same problem – all his friends are in a [different] group, so it’s really hard to make friends. That’s just the hardest part of high school, in my opinion, is the social aspect.”
With all the good and the bad of school in the middle of a pandemic, Anna’s suggestion is to reach out to find new friends, and just go talk to someone! “When they come to high school, a lot of people think everyone already has their friend groups all figured it out. That’s not true. You can find other people to be friends with, you just have to start talking to people,” she explains. Whether you’re struggling with social interaction or not, it’s definitely good advice to keep in mind, because we’re all in this together!