Claudia Lohmiller

Luis Hermann, Klasse 5c, Michelberg-Gymnasium Geislingen an der Steige

The art of turning on

Anđelka Roksandić, Belgrad

The season called corona

It is May, the lindens are blooming, but we are still living with information about coronavirus. Before the state of emergency was introduced many people might have thought: „The corona won’t come to Serbia.“ However, unfortunately, the virus knows no borders and it arrived just when the nice weather had started and when I started thinking about new shoes and purse. And they are quite necessary for me (and is there a woman that doesn’t feel the same?!). However, working from home has changed habits, as well as needs.

And the emotions that began to overwhelm me are impossible to describe and measure. Has anyone ever measured the amount of emotions at any point?

While the state of emergency was the only topic of conversation, I wondered what a quarantine stay would look like (believe me, that’s how women usually feel while on maternity leave; the truth is that the reason for staying at home in these circumstances makes our mood completely different). The first thing that occurred to me was Star Wars, a favourite childhood series, when we imagined living on another planet or even a spaceship only with people we like. Very similar to the current situation, it could be said, but in a slightly changed form – we are fighting against some invisible force that ranks us all equally, regardless of gender, nation, religion, part of the world we live in.

The state of emergency, unknown to me until then, was introduced in mid-March. After a fortnight, I went shopping for the first time. Children will finally be able to eat (a whole) orange. Everything is saved and calculated so that the number of fruits can be divided by the number of days and members of the household and everyone gets necessary vitamins. Well, I am not really good at math, but I guess I’ll manage, hopefully.

Time aftger shopping is spent in the kitchen and then, in the afternoon, since I don’t have working hours (fortunately or unfortunately), I start working untill the wee hours of the night. And when will I read all these books I planned, when will I pursue a hobby?! I forgot what boredom was. Well, I don’t know what to do first. I have more duties than in regular circumstances.

When I get to the phone, I talk to my friend to cool down my head a bit. She is also working from home, with a two-year child by her side. The husband is at work. When I ask her how she is coping, she replies with a smile: „She is helping me. She has switched off my computer twice today.“ Well, so what am I complaining about, then? My children don’t switch off my computer. They just keep asking me to play a cartoon or explain homework that they don’t understand.

The almost two-month-long state of emergency was lifted two days ago, so it seems that we are a little more relaxed. However, just a little. Precautions are still recommended – wearing masks and gloves, avoiding hugs and shaking hands, as well as keeping the distance (possibly only physical). Those who can, continue to work from home. Parents with small children, don’t despair! There are still some advantages you do your job without seeing your boss on a daily basis. Can it be any better?

My only concern are my shoes and a purse. In fact, when I think about it a little more closer, I won’t even need the shoes soon because summer is already here. I am off to find those sandals I got at last year’s September sale that haven’t seen the Sun yet, to take for a little walk… around the house.

Valeria Majorov, Klasse 5c, Michelberg-Gymnasium, Geislingen an der Steige

My father and I

Alisa Pomeissl, Klasse 5a, Michelberg-Gymnasium, Geislingen an der Steige


Titina Nica Țene, Cluj-Napoca


Stay in your house, Titina,

You just don’t want to take COVID,

Life is too beautiful,

To leave behind… THE VOID!

I know it’s spring,

The forest calls you

With the procession of flowers,

And you want to stroll around.

Nature has risen

And cuckoos sing in the woods,

But this suffering,


Other springs are coming,

Stay in the house now, Titina,

For only through suffering,

We`ll reach the LIGHT!

Jura Ștefan-Alexandru, Timișoara

The year 2020

It does sound good, doesn’t it? A new decade, a new year, a new me. A cliché that is being used by a lot of people today. Well, for the humanity, 2020 is not, at least not yet, the happiest year. Why do we have to lie, it is terrible. Really. I mean, the Third World War was about to start, Australia was on fire literally, the famous basketball player Kobe Bryant passed away and a Chinese man hasn’t boiled a bat as the instructions to do so said. A pandemic that kept us stuck inside our houses more than 2 months and it still stops us from doing our daily activities, due to the restrictions imposed by the government. A pandemic that is like a gift from God for me. A pandemic that helped me to make light in my life, to clean my mind and to clarify some things that were grinding me for quite some time. A pandemic…that made me become a new person.

I was having big plans for 2020.  I wanted this year to be mine. To show everyone that my successes from the secondary school (always the first at the contests and 10 out of 10 at the final 8th grade exam) weren’t a joke. My purpose was to be the 1st at the Chemistry Olympiad and at the Mathematics Olympiad. Why these 2 subjects? Because both of them are important for me. I love maths. I always did. Since I was a little child. Maths is like an old friend, a friend that was always here me, a friend that never lets me down. A friend that I always aligned with. But the bonding with this friend became very fragile for like 5 months now. Why? Because of the chemistry. A new friend that I discovered at the beginning of the 11th grade. A friend that made me be torn between maths and chemistry. I couldn’t decide between these 2, on which subject to focus, so I decided to do them both and I risked everything.

I worked hard for both of them. Starting from December, I began preparing for these 2 subjects. One day I was doing maths, one day chemistry, sometimes I was even doing both of them at the same time! This is what I’ve been doing everyday. When I wasn’t at school and I was having free time, I was working at maths or chemistry. My desire and hope were very high. I was doing everything I could to achieve this goal. I really wanted to do it. This preparation continued for almost 3 months. Without any break.

The time passed and the Olympiad period has arived. The first one was at chemistry, at the end of January. Here I managed to get 100 points out of 100, the maximum score and to be the first in Timișoara at this Olympiad. I was so happy and so proud of myself. Everyone was applauding and complimenting me for this. One month after this, it was the time for the Maths Olympiad. That was the moment when I was suposed to show that me and maths still get along and there is still CHEMISTRY between us. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case…

I got one of the lowest scores at the Olympiad. I think I was the last in the rankings. I was very dissapointed, discouraged and upset because of this. It was a shock for me, judging by the fact that I was always in the top 5 at the Olympiad. All my work was in vain. Also, things couldn’t get any better: I was given the cause for ridicule due to my „amazing” prestation. Practically, I worked for nothing. I worked for being ridiculised. When I did well, everybody was congratulating me. And now, when the situation isn’t all pink and things don’t go as well as before, everybody is throwing stones at me. This world…

These things were followed by the loss of some beloved family members. All came like a storm on me. But I was trying to keep my head up. Unfortunately, this thing didn’t really work…I was smiling, but it wasn’t my smile. There was a powerful typhoon inside me. I was devastated by everything that has happened to me until then. Yesterday everything was working fine, and now…it was looking like nothing is working for me anymore. Everything and everyone were against me. I wanted a looong break, otherwise I was about to burst. Well, that break has come, thanks to the coronavirus.

At the start of the pandemic, I was unladen with anxieties. Like all the bad things have dissapeared. But it wasn’t like that. I wasn’t fine at all. I was tumultuous, gusty and irascible. I didn’t like anything. I used to go to sleep at 4 AM after spending more than 12 hours a day playing on my phone and lying in my bed. Also, I was having nightmares, waking up in the morning (at 2 PM) sweaty and scared. I didn’t have the will to try to get out of this situation. I have surrendered. I didn’t want to do anything. Only to lay all day long. That’s all. I thought that I was getting mad, that I’m crazy. I was going nuts due to so much studying. Due to so many real sciences, better said. My thinking became stiff since I started high school. Why? Because I was heading to only one direction: mathematics and its derivates. That’s all. Except the must-read books for my Romanian classes, I wasn’t reading anything at all. When I was in secondary school, I used to read 2-3 books a month. Literature and History. Then I was merging liberal arts (history, geography, Romanian language …) with real sciences (maths, physics, biology, chemistry…). This thing helped me to develop my logical thinking, but it also helped me to develop my artistic and critical thinking. Unfortunately, since I began high school, I only had blinks from what I’ve had before…For me, everything was soving with the help of an algorithm. Everything was dodged-up, following a clear number of steps. Everything wasn’t natural anymore, human, but… I didn’t know what to do with my life. I didn’t know what I wanted to do now, or in 10 years, I was letting everything to happen at hazard. And I realized those things during the pandemic. It was probably the worst situation that I’ve ever been into, both physically and psychically.

But things don’t happen without a reason. Never. During the coronavirus pandemic, all schools were closed, but the courses continued online. What does that mean? It means that students receive homework and tasks to fetch up the classes that they missed at school. Even if I wanted it or not, I had to do them, otherwise it was the possibility that I won’t pass the school year due to unmade/unfinished  homework. And, like that, I entered Google Classroom in mid-March and I saw that I had a lot of tasks to do. I, studying mathematics and computer science, was expecting that most of them to be at maths and computer science, but I was wrong. The most of them were at…history. Exactly. History (an old passion of mine) at this specialization. Who heard this aberration before? If I wanted to study history, I could have easily chosen social sciences. People choose mathematics and computer science specialization for studying mathematics and computer sciences. The rest aren’t that important. That was my opinion, but it drastically changed after the events that I’m going to write about.

With moil and toil, I started working on my 2 history essays. At first, their topic (something about religion, I don’t remember it exactly) seemed very boring to me. I searched on Brainly (a Romanian website where students copy their homework from) for some ideas, but I found nothing. That determined me to write the essays on my own, due to requirement. For this, I got off my bed after 5 days, I turned on my laptop and I started reading about this topic. Reading and reading, my mind started working and I became more and more interested in this subject. I managed to finish my assignments in 3 hours, but I didn’t realise how fast the time has passed. It was the first time in months when I did something that I actually enjoyed and something that made me look at things differently, from a human angle, of the concrete life, not a mechanized one. I turned in my essays and my history teacher told me that the essays are great, that my answers were correct and complex and he congratulated me. This helped me realise that maybe not everything was lost. That maybe some variation would be benefic. Academically speaking. The mind is healthy when it is at work, in activities from all domains. Not only from domains that are related to maths. When it is involved in all kind of activities, including cultural activities and sports (yes, sports have a lot of benefits for the brain and the cognitive processes).

That was a big impulse for me. Why? Because, this way, my interest in history began to grow/ to show up again. Even the interest in humanities maybe. After 3 years of mathematics and nothing else, I felt like I needed a break. This way, I began reading daily and I had in mind that I was going to be more active, more involved. I became more calm, calculated and lucid. I wasn’t nervous anymore and I began to stop spending my day doing nothing, because I had a new passion: history of Romanians. I began reading daily at history and I started doing activities (unrelated to math) that were supposed to keep my body/mind active, for curing myself psychically mostly. I did these activities for more days and, suddenly, everything was better: I was more effective in the activities that I was doing, I was happier, I wasn’t sober anymore, practically I was a new person. Why? Because I realised that nobody could heal me, except…me. I was the remedy for my healing. I and no one else. I received advices that helped me go through this tough period (I want to mention a very special person with a wonderful soul. Rarely you cand find a person like him. His name is Sorin, an incredible man that I owe a lot because, apart from the professional life advices, he also gave me personal life advices), but the merit is mine because I put into practice everything he told me and this way I could look on the bright side. Concurrently, with the help of Sorin, I took an important decision. I was the only one in my class that didn’t know what’s going to do after high school. At the end of the 11th grade. I was wavering between polytechnic school and medicine. I was thinking about it since the 9th grade. Maybe this thing was a factor that amplified this feelings of mine. During this period, I realised that I like all the subjects in school. Can I combine them all? No. Can I combine at least some of them? Yes. Where? At medicine. Here I can combine biology, chemistry, maths and computer science and something really great could come out of that. And in my free time, I can read history books. Humanities are like a hobby for me, a pleasure, if they were a compliance, I wouldn’t have been that interested in them. Practically, during these few weeks, I managed to resolve problems that I was dealing with for more years and I was able to overcome some of my fears. What an impact a good talk had on me…and someone else’s motivation. I guess that was the key that helped me to overcome this situation: the motivation. I was motivated by other people and I realised that, if I want, I can do anything. Nothing can stop me from following my dreams. Everything is possible with a little push and will.

So, during the coronavirus pandemic, good things can happen too. Maybe this period isn’t benefic for the economy, the culture or for the sports, because it is an obstacle regarding their progress, but, for people, it is a way to discover themselves and to heal themselves in every way. We need to make full use of this period and clean our souls, to assign some priorities and to realise that everything happens with a reason and that we should learn something from this kind of experiences.


This project has received funding from the Staatsministerium Baden-Württemberg and the City of Ulm. This website was funded by BMFSJ.

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