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The Stress Of School during a Pandemic
“We're going to have a special announcement from our principal, Mr. Lancto,” Mr. dix said as I trudged into the classroom. It was a quiet cold morning as autumn was leaving and winter was on its way. I counted the kids in the room, as I did everyday knowing that so many people were in quarantine. About 15 kids, drowsy from having woken up not too long ago, took their seats and about 10 kids who probably woke up less than 10 minutes ago, stared at their screens as they waited for class to begin. Live video from the desk at the AV room showed our principal, Mr. Lancto, getting ready for the big announcement.
“We have talked with the health department,” said Mr. Lancto, “and we have decided that it would be best to go into a fully remote learning plan.” No one was really surprised, especially the hundreds of students throughout the school that had been quarantined. It seemed like there was a new case of the virus every day. No one gasped, no one said anything because we all expected it. The announcement went on as most of the students blankly stared at the screen thinking about everything that was going to change because of this. I certainly knew that it would be very hard for me to maintain my decent grades and keep up with all the work while online.
The rest of the day went by very quickly. Almost all of my teachers handed out packets for the next few units as it was very uncertain when we would be back in school. In my geometry class we spent half of the class just picking up papers. It was a real chill day but strangely eerie because we all knew it was the last day of in person school for a while. Everyone was talking about the announcement and no one really knew how it was going to work. I also had no idea how it would work but I knew that it would require a lot of perseverance. Suddenly it was monday and I was starting my first day of remote learning.
I sat there and stared at the screen. “This meet has not started yet,” read across the screen as I looked at the time in the bottom of the screen.
“What are you doing?!” my mom yelled as she barged into my room.
“He hasn’t started the meet yet,” I answered.
“Send him an email”, she suggested.
20 minutes into the class, as I was scrolling through my phone, I got an email from my first hour teacher. “No meet today.” was all it said. I started to wonder if that was just how online school was going to be. Was I just going to be given work to do with an occasional google meet to join?
Then second hour came and there was no meeting for that class. Finally, my third hour teacher, who was giving a test today, actually cared to talk to her students.
The rest of the day went on like a regular school day. Obviously it was very different, but my teachers did a good job of adjusting to the remote learning environment. For me it took a lot longer because it was way more difficult because I had a way harder time keeping up with the class and learning everything and it was hard to take remote learning seriously. I would often put my school work off until after school, which would cause me to continue working on school work through the night.
News had spread that after Christmas break, we might be going in person. I was very excited to see my friends and teachers in person again but I would miss waking up right before my classes. Spring break flew by and it was suddenly time for the stressful exams. Our exams were a couple days after we started going in person so it was hard to adjust to going back in person and studying for exams when I got home. But finally, I was leaving school around noon on a cold winter day. I was finally done with the first semester. Hours and hours of work outside of school, long early mornings, some online and some in person. I had survived the first semester of highschool.