Middle school students reflect on Lent

By James Gross - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Students from the middle school celebrate Lent in many different ways.

Sixth grader Maddy Weiss said, “For me, Lent is a time of preparation for Easter and Jesus’ triumph over death.” She also said that it means that Jesus’ suffering is for us, and we should remember and give him our troubles.

Other middle schoolers said that Lent means a time of prayer and getting closer to God. They said that Lent focuses on repentance and a time to prepare for Jesus coming back from death on Easter.

Some middle schoolers said that they like Lent because they are able to strengthen their relationship with God, and they can reflect and wait for Jesus’ return on Easter. in order to do this, many give up something that is a pleasure. Sixth grader Anika Leitch said, “A group of friends and I have a competition for who can last the longest without eating sweets.” She said she likes to give up something for Jesus because he died for her, and that he loves her.

Other middle schoolers are giving time spent on their electronic devices. Some are also giving up swearing and giving more to sports or other activities. However, sixth grader Cydney Fosder said, “I am not giving up anything for Lent, I am giving more. I am going to pray a decade of the rosary every day for Lent.”

Another thing middle schoolers reflect on is the color purple that is significant during Lent. Many middle schoolers said that the color purple symbolizes royalty and Jesus’ kingship. Many sixth grade students said the color purple also symbolizes the pain and suffering of Jesus during the crucifixion.

The color purple is used to symbolize the suffering and pain of Jesus, but also royalty and celebrates Christ’s resurrection and sovereignty.

African refugee and author speaks about her life experiences

Noah Ralofsky - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Author Sandra Uwiringiyimana spoke to middle and high school students about her life as a refugee on March 4 at Oshkosh North High School.

Middle school Language Arts teacher Mary Ann Saiyed was the instructor in charge of the field trip and summarized Uwiringiyimana’s talk. Saiyed said Uwiringiyimana was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. As a child, she was a refugee and was transferred to a refugee camp in Burundi in 2004. At the United Nations camp, a rebel group committed a massacre which killed over 180 refugees including Uwiringiyimana’s six-year-old sister. She then left Africa three years later in 2007 and came to America.

Saiyed said since then Uwiringiyimana has been working with various organizations to spread awareness about refugee struggles in Africa. She also wrote her book How Dare the Sun Rise about her life as an African refugee.

While working with the Oshkosh North High School Communities Program, Uwiringiyimana came to North High School to talk to all attending students about her experiences.

Saiyed’s English classes attended the event because her students have been learning about refugees and have been writing essays and questions on the topic. Saiyed said Uwiringiyimana was ¨well spoken and positive.¨

Uwiringiyimana works with the United Nations to combat genocide and advocate for girl´s education rights in Africa. During her presentation, Uwiringiyimana said what we can do to help her cause is to be kind to everyone because we don´t know what everyone is going through. In addition, she said that everyone needs kindness in life.

Uwiringiyimana went on to say that the kindness shown to her went a long way when she came to America, and the occasional lack of it could have made her assimilation experience better. As well as always being kind to anyone and everyone, Uwiringiyimana also said that we can seek out refugee services to help any way we can through the services.

Eighth grade Charley Mullen said that she liked that she learned all about what was going on in other parts of the world. She said she also learned that we are not preparing the incoming refugees enough for our society.

Eighth grader Mitchell Wing said he learned that Congo is a target for invasion because of its gold resources. He said he also learned that there are so many deaths and killings in Africa, but they are not broadcast like murders are here in the States.

Eighth grader Jack Kriege said he liked hearing about Uwiringiyimana´s transition from Africa to America. He also said he was enlightened about all of the opportunities and blessings he has by living in America and how other countries do not have the same opportunities we have.

Eighth grader Jade Donne said she appreciated the question and answer portion of Uwiringiyimana´s presentation so those attending the presentation could learn a little more about her. She said that it was eye-opening how the life of a refugee is so difficult and how she never realized how hard of a life a refugee can have.

Uwiringiyimana's book about her life as a refugee