Presenting #aweekinthelifeatmac

With it looking increasingly likely that we may all be attending class virtually the week after Thanksgiving break, we thought we’d use our #TuesdayTop10 to present a visual documentary of the week before the break

Social studies department chair Katie Taylor sets up shop in an outdoor classroom featuring perhaps the most impressive canopy available to any of the outdoor spaces on the Mac campus, a massive tree near the solar classroom on Sunshine Drive.

Macjournalism photo team

With Austin ISD superintendent Stephanie S. Elizalde already considering remote-only instruction the week after Thanksgiving if the COVID statistics worsen and with a record number of COVID cases in Texas today (just under 14,000 according to the Statesman), we thought we might devote this week’s Tuesday Top 10 to an assortment of pictures intending to preserve what life on campus was like the week of Nov. 16-Nov. 20. It may be a while before any of us are back on campus, and it will be even longer before we are all on campus again.

So here goes. We start our tour of the week at was with a visit to Senora A. …

Señora Telvi Altamirano Cancino, a.k.a Señora A, teaches her fourth-period Spanish class, which on this Monday had three in-person students and the rest on Zoom. Altamirano started the class by apologizing for the fact that her students could not see her because her camera was not working, but she stayed upbeat, encouraging her students to speak up and take risks throughout the class. Photo by Dave Winter.

Despite the fact that a KN-95 mask that covers most of her face, Señora Altamirano’s eyes are a clear indicator that she is still smiling. Her Zoom students cannot see her eyes, but we are going to make a bold prediction that they could tell she was smiling by the tone in her voice. She tells her virtual students that she will be writing with them in her notebook as she always does even though they cannot see her. Photo by Dave Winter.

Mac tennis team representatives Christopher Purkiss and Henry Charbonneau man the Mac Cares Committee Thanksgiving food drive donation box in front of the school on Tuesday morning. The tennis team helped collect donations to support Mac families in need in the mornings from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. and in the afternoon from 4:15 to 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They collected canned goods, turkeys, gift cards, cash and holiday items to help brighten the holidays for Mac families in need. We’ll let you know how they did a little later in this photo essay. Photo by Dave Winter.

Teachers James Hernandez, Richard Salazar and Deirdre McGahon chat with assistant principal Gabe Reyes (second from left) during the passing period between third and fourth periods on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Dave Winter.

Freshman Esme Barraz was a big reason that the Knights coasted to a 55-22 season-opening win over Eastside in the Mac gym on Tuesday after school. In her debut as a high school basketball player, Barraz scored the first point of the season on a free throw en route to scoring 11 of the team’s 55 points. Photo by Dave Winter.

Barraz may have been even more essential to her team on defense. She led the team with seven steals, many of them as the Knights pressed the Panthers and created turnovers before they could even get into their half-court offense. The Panthers simply had no answer for the Knights’ full-court pressure, which produced a stunning 27 steals in the game. “Once we learned how to shut down their offense, it gave us more of a change to build a bigger lead,” senior guard Makayla Mason said. Barraz was the primary burglar for the Knights, but she had accomplices: senior small forward Abby Robison with 5, Mason with 4, freshman forward Samantha Cowles with 3 and Schumann, senior guard Abby Soto and freshman forward Lily Hobbs with 2. Photo by Dave Winter.

After the Knights defeated the Eastside Memorial Panthers, head coach Lorie Campbell urged her players to find a teammate and tell them what they did well. It is little surprise that we find junior guard Fayth Schumann and senior guard Makayla Mason exchanging compliments. Schumann found the range scoring eight early points to stake the Knights to an 11-5 lead after a quarter. After struggling to find her shooting range in the first quarter, Mason heated up over the game’s final three quarters to score a team high 14 points. She credited Schumann with setting up her shots with precision passing. “You could tell we were a little bit nervous when we started, so we made little mistakes,” Mason said. “We kind of got warmed up because we started playing better on defense and offense.” Photo by Dave Winter.

Mac tennis player Beckett Randall holds up a sign on Wednesday morning to alert cars in the circle drive that the tennis team is collecting donations for the Mac Cares Committee Thanksgiving food drive. Photo by Christopher Purkiss.

Under the supervision of Mac tennis player Beckett Randall, language arts teacher Eric Wydeven makes a cash donation to the Mac Cares Committee Thanksgiving food drive donation box in front of the school on Wednesday morning. The tennis team collected donations to support Mac families in need through Thursday afternoon. In addition to cash, they collected canned goods, turkeys, gift cards and holiday items for Mac families in need. We know we promised to let you know how they did, but we aren’t to the end of the week. It’s only Wednesday. Photo by Christopher Purkiss.

In the classic 1986 movie, Crocodile Dundee, a mugger approaches the movie’s title character (Paul Hogan) with a switchblade and demands his wallet, to which Dundee replies, “What for?” The American journalist and love interest (Linda Kozlowski) then says, “because he’s got a knife,” setting up the iconic Dundee line, “That’s not a knife. That’s a knife,” as he brandishes a Bowie knife prompting the mugger and his two ne’er-do-well friends to flee the scene in fear. Accounting and Money Matters teacher Mike McLaughlin may not be Australian, but one could imagine a student approaching him on this Wednesday with a question holding their Chromebook or laptop only to hear McLaughlin say, “That’s not a monitor. That’s a monitor,” as he gestures to the massive monitor connected to his computer. Photo by Dave Winter.

We found another image that evoked an ’80s icon in the courtyard between the English and social studies hallways. Don’t you think language arts teacher Eric Wydeven looks a bit like a Boss silhouetted against the American flag hanging from history teacher Joseph Carcione’s shade tent. Check out the original album cover featuring the original Boss (Bruce Springsteen) to see if you agree. Photo by Dave Winter.

When queried on the subject, Carcione said that he put up the American flag to liven up his outdoor classroom. The other flag he admitted was only to block the sun. Ten bonus points if you know what self-governing British Crown dependency that flag represents. The answer is at the end of this essay. Photo by Dave Winter.

Speaking of flags, is there any more distinctively designed classroom than the one inhabited by social studies teacher Greg Anderson, shown here teaching his fourth-period world geography class?The freshman zoomers who haven’t been on campus yet are missing out, but hopefully they will get to listen to an Anderson lecture in person while the flags flutter along the windows soon enough. Photo by Dave Winter.

Meanwhile during fourth period, fellow social studies teacher Cliff Stanchos takes to his outdoor classroom space to teach his U.S. history class in the courtyard opposite the library. Like Anderson, Stanchos has a large fourth-period social studies class, and like Anderson he had but one roomer and a laptop full of zoomers on this Wednesday. Photo by Dave Winter.

Social studies department chair Katie Taylor sets up shop in an outdoor classroom featuring perhaps the most impressive canopy available to any of the outdoor spaces on the Mac campus, a massive tree near the solar classroom on Sunshine Drive. Photo by Dave Winter.

Softball coach Liz Sanders hits groundballs to the four softball players who showed up on campus for Wednesday’s fourth-period softball class practice. She said that the players are slowly starting to arrive to the softball class in order to gear up for the season. The team is eager to make up for lost time as their 2020 spring season was cut short by the cancellation of spring sports due to COVID. Photo by Dave Winter.

Sophomore Ary Sanchez uses two hands to confidently field a ground ball from the second-baseman’s position during Wednesday’s infield practice. Players were stationed at shortstop, second base, first base and catcher, and Coach Sanders would hit a couple of rounds of ground balls to each infielder and then have them rotate so that each player got to play all four positions. Sanchez looked awfully comfortable fielding and throwing from any spot on the field. Photo by Dave Winter.

The reigning 2020 Mac teacher of the year (also an AISD semifinalist for district secondary teacher of the year) Elise Baughman sits in the fine arts courtyard to teach her fourth-period AP chem class. Despite the welcoming outdoor environment including colorfully painted windows and socially-distanced work stations, her class was 100 percent virtual on this Wednesday. Her third-period advanced engineering students have been coming to campus to work on their group projects: social booths that a part of an American Institute of Architects-sponsored design project to benefit Alzheimer’s Texas. Photo by Dave Winter.

Assistant principal Larry Featherstone told MacJournalism after school on Thursday that donations to the Mac Care Committee Thanksgiving food drive had exceeded expectations. He had not yet moved operations to the cafeteria but by Friday, he had transferred the donation’s there because he had simply run out of room in the main office. Photo by Dave Winter.

The sight of a fire engine with flashing lights and firefighters conferencing with administrators is not the most calming image to start your Friday, but it was the tableau that teachers and in-person students saw as they showed up for school on Friday. Luckily, no one was sick or injured. The firefighters were there to help resolve the persistent power issues that had plagued the school in recent days. They cut the power to the school for a short while during morning class so they could work to fix the problem. Photo by Dave Winter.

Wearing surgical gloves and using metal tongs, new facilities manager Camille Nix asks math teacher Scott Pass if he wants a glazed doughnut, a chocolate glazed doughnut or both. The sweet Friday treats came courtesy of the Mac administration. Photo by Dave Winter.

English teacher Jennifer Wood opts for a chocolate glazed doughnut delivered by facilities manager Camille Nix, who used metal tongs and wore rubber gloves to make sure the doughnut delivery followed COVID-19 safety protocols. Photo by Dave Winter.

Unlike Wood, engineering teacher Audrea Moyers opts for a plain glazed doughnut delivered by facilities manager Camille Nix, who used metal tongs and wore rubber gloves to make sure the doughnut delivery followed COVID-19 safety protocols. Photo by Dave Winter.

To read this caption you need to review the previous three captions and then the sing rest of this caption to the tune, “One of these things,” from the Children’s Television Network series, Sesame Street. If you don’t remember the song, please give it a listen here then come back and read the rest of the caption. Are you ready? Then sing it with us: “One of these pics is not like the others. One of these pics just doesn’t belong. Can you guess which pic is not like the others, before we finish this caption?” Can you guess which pic is not like the others? That’s right, it’s this one. The student in the center of this image successfully negotiated the rights to Mr. Sanabria’s doughnut only to have interim principal Nicole Griffith doubt the veracity of his acquisition of said rights. To verify that he in fact had secured those rights, Griffith had him produce a written contract. When he came back from Sanabria’s room with the contract, Griffith said it was unacceptable because she could not read Sanabria’s handwriting. Only after confirming with Sanabria that the contract was made in good faith, did Griffith allow the student to acquire Sanabria’s doughnut. Photo and wonderful story shared by Griffith.

Proposed caption lead-in: The queen and her court. We will let you cast the roles in the comments. Photo courtesy of Amy Smith, whose status in the ELA monarchy is open to interpretation, or is it?

Aryn Murtha accesses Blend to check on the information graphics projects her advanced graphics design students completed. She said students completed the assignment on Adobe Illustrator if they had the software the free web-based software Pixlr if they didn’t. Photo by Dave Winter.

Tennis players Charlotte Williams, Jewel New and head coach Christopher Purkiss sort through Thanksgiving food drive donations this afternoon in the Mac cafeteria. Midweek, assistant principal Larry Featherstone knew they were going to have enough community donations to provide for two families in need and expressed hope they could support a third. Today as the Mac Cares Committee and representatives of the tennis team sorted out the donations they discovered they could provide Thanksgiving support to four families. Purkiss told MacJournalism this afternoon that the drive had garnered 320 food items, four turkeys and more than $1,000 in cash and gift card donations. Photo by Dave Winter.

AV teacher Ken Rogers brought out cart after cart of AV equipment Friday after school to check out to his film students to use over the break. The checkout is normal procedure, but if the superintendent does decide to shut down the campus for a week, Rogers’ students will have the equipment a bit longer than he originally anticipated. Photo by Dave Winter.

AV students form a line in front of the school to check out AV equipment from Ken Rogers on Friday after school. The prospect that school might be virtual-only the week after Thanksgiving break might give the students extended time with the equipment. Photo by Dave Winter.

Math teacher and cross country coach Susan Ashton walks from her classroom to the gym in order to keep the scorebook at the boys basketball game between Mac and Austin High on Friday night. Ashton is carrying a plexiglass shield to minimize contact with players, coaches and referees while she is at at the game. In the varsity game, the visiting Maroons defeated the host Knights, 62-52. Photo by Dave Winter.

Senior guard Hudson Spradling drives inside the free-throw line trying to create some space for a shot attempt during the Knights’ home opener against the Austin High Maroons on Friday night. The varsity lost for the first time this season by a final score of 62-52.  The Knights ended the first quarter only down 14-13, and stayed in the game in the second, moving into halftime down 27-25, but lost their momentum in the second half. Senior captains Albert Garza with 23 points and Rob Wade with 12 were the leading scorers for the Knights. Photo by Kennedy Weatherby.

Secret tidbit: The flag that Carcione used to block the sun was the flag of the Isle of Man.