Digital dexterity

A Beaconite delved into the world of cybersecurity this week and took it as a good reminder to assess how she operates online. Working from home during lockdowns and curfews certainly offered benefits and unexpected challenges. But she’s reminded that creating paper copies of important documents and having a backup plan when technology fails are helpful steps to avoid disaster. One New Year’s resolution she plans to add to the list is backing up data on a regular basis. Perhaps this is not the most ground-breaking goal, but she hopes it will assist in her growth as an experienced journalist.


The holidays

This holiday season feels very festive for a Beaconite who remembers how quiet it seemed last year. People all over the territory have ramped up Christmas celebrations this month. From Christmas in the City to fundraisers and toy drives, people are celebrating the season early. The festivities will — she’s sure — lead up to an eventful Christmas. More people are opting to travel for the holidays, so the territory also may see an influx of visitors around the last couple of weeks of December. While she’s happy to see people gathering and enjoying each other’s company once again, she hopes everyone stays safe and healthy. Season’s greetings!


School closures

A Beaconite couldn’t help noticing the irony of the Virgin Islands celebrating Special Education Week, in which leaders vowed to better serve special needs students, in the same week it shut the doors on the entire Elmore Stoutt High School due to what was described as “at least one” student testing positive for Covid-19. She has decried this practice before, but she would like to add that “virtual learning” often works poorly or not at all for students who need in-person attention and specialised services to succeed. A survey released during widespread school closures last year by the United States organisation ParentsTogether found that just one in five families of special education students said they were receiving all the support services their children were entitled to, and 40 percent said they were getting no support at all. A Beaconite suspects the numbers in the VI might be just as high, if not higher. Covid-19 is not going away, and school closures need to become a measure of last resort, or the most vulnerable students will likely find themselves falling further and further behind.


Baby, it’s cold outside

It was certainly a shock to step from the beaches of the Virgin Islands to the snow-covered soil of Wisconsin this week, where temperatures quickly dipped below freezing even in the middle of the afternoon. But the warm welcome from family members she hasn’t seen in two years quickly dispelled the frosty air. A Beaconite wishes safe travels to any readers having their own reunions this holiday season and looks forward to some cheerful days filled with ice fishing, skating, chats with grandma, and lots of really good cheese.



On Monday, a Beaconite sat down for an interview with a woman who has spent much of the past 56 years in the Virgin Islands and has been painting VI-inspired artwork for the last 30. The Beaconite loves learning about VI history, and finds the mid 20th Century to be an especially fascinating period. It was remarkable to hear how different life in the territory was when Jill Tattersall first arrived, and to think about how quickly things have changed. The Beaconite also enjoyed hearing about the many divergent paths she has travelled throughout her life. As someone who spends most of his time with people his age or slightly older, and thus spends a lot of time thinking ahead, it was nice to hear from someone who has so much to look back on. The conversation also served as a good reminder to always be open to new opportunities.