Excitement shines through cloudy solar eclipse viewing at RBHS

Vivian Marina Piña, Editor-in-Chief

On Monday, August 21, 2017, Riverside Brookfield High School students and staff members were offered the opportunity to view the 87% solar eclipse in the school’s football stadium. Glasses were distributed to all in attendance who listened and agreed to a safety statement.

The event was planned since spring of this year by Assistant Dean of Students/science teacher Lori Sullivan and science teacher Christy Hughes. Sullivan and Hughes wanted it to be a positive high school experience the students could remember for the rest of their lives.

Students and staff members excitedly anticipated the eclipse during the school day.

“I just want to see how [the eclipse] looks; I want to see how it looks with the glasses because right now the glasses look black. I want to know if we’re actually going to see it well, since [the moon] is not going to be fully covering the sun,” said sophomore Seymone Russell before the eclipse.

However, it became cloudy at RBHS when the eclipse took place. Yet through the clouds, students were able to enjoy the event.

“I loved the solar eclipse. It was awesome that I got to experience it,” said sophomore Ella Townsend. “I was disappointed in mother nature for having so many clouds, but we get to see it in another seven years.”

Teachers could also be spotted in awe during this event, and although some teachers felt slightly unimpressed due to weather conditions, they were still able to remain optimistic.

“I think there was unfortunate weather for it…because you don’t get to see the level of darkness and change because it was so cloudy out, and you couldn’t see the sun as much. But I did think it was still really cool and definitely worthwhile,” said math teacher Kevin Dybas.

Due to weather, a lot of the viewers were left disappointed with the event’s outcome.

“It wasn’t as much as I thought it would be,” said Russell. “It wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.”

Yet even through the clouds, some students were able to get the most out of the eclipse.

“There were so many clouds so I couldn’t really see,” said freshman Gloria Alcaraz. “But since it was my first time, it was pretty cool!”

A few RB students ventured off to see the eclipse in its totality. Senior Amanda Voth went on a six hour drive to Perryville, Missouri with some friends to see the rare event.

“I’m really glad in my decision to go to Missouri for the eclipse. If there’s an eclipse, I want to be in the path of totality. Eclipses are rare occurrences and could be once-in-a-lifetime although we’re lucky to have another one coming up in 2024,” said Voth. “It was an unforgettable experience that I wouldn’t have gotten if I stayed, but it was really nice of the school to give the students time out of the day to get to see it.”

Students and staff were overall thankful for this event. They also found it generous that glasses were freely given to everyone.

“I’m just glad my eyes are safe,” said senior Ava Collins.

The entire Clarion staff contributed interviews and media for this article.