Art by Kaylie Donahue
The 28 day reign of remote learning is finally coming to a close. Despite popular opinion, I personally can’t wait to get back into the everyday drone of school life in the hallways of Londonderry High.
Lazing around at home has been fun, but it’s become unbelievably mundane. Every day has become a blur between closing and opening new tabs on my laptop.
Don’t get me wrong, I see the appeal of getting up a minute before class begins and wearing a sweatshirt with fuzzy pants. But is this really how I want to continue (and eventually end) my high school career?
Being in high school is supposed to be the “exciting years of your life,” but you can’t really live it through a screen.
So yes, I do want to go back to school.
Humans are social creatures by habit. I myself am one of these creatures that want to be able to see other people who aren’t my blood relatives for once.
The schools have proven to be clean and relatively safe for students to enter and continue their learning.There is a strict mask mandate that requires students to wear a face covering during the day in the school. There is also a six-foot distanced seating arrangements inside the classrooms. So let us back in.
With remote block scheduling, students are forced to focus on their classes for way longer than what should be socially acceptable. Teachers do not only keep students online during the long class time, but they give us homework on top of all that. If I have to listen to my chemistry teacher go on about the structure of an atom for 97 minutes again, I might cry.
Most of the time, the work looks as if it were written in hieroglyphics since it’s nearly impossible to pay attention long enough to understand the material. It’s hard to continually learn a lesson with no break times. Too much information is thrown into my face to properly digest the material long enough. Between trying to interpret whatever I didn’t understand in the class and my buffering teacher on screen, a student can go crazy.
Teachers spent months carefully planning and crafting the best ways to continue teaching during remote learning. But in spite of all this planning, school in person gives the structure that is unbeatable anywhere else. All students need structure in their life, but remote learning makes it feel like I’m on a prison schedule more than a school one.
The thing with planning is that it only works when everything goes perfectly. But anybody can vouch that, with the technology involved, it’s usually anything but perfect. So what happens if you don’t log onto Google Meets at the right time? Have an accident with the computer? Maybe a glitch?
Too bad. You should have figured all this out the first week of remote learning.
Being late to class or not getting back on the Google Meet seems to be one of the biggest problems I have. I never knew when the classes started, and when I finally memorized them, the schedule was changed again. Talk about whiplash.
The pure anxiety one gets from getting called on by the teacher used to be the worst experience in the classroom. Now add the fact that the class is dead quiet and the teacher is the only one talking. Everybody is on edge to see who the poor sucker that has to awkwardly go off mute is.
If going off-mute is painful, breakout rooms can easily be the nail in the coffin of my dying academic career. Every time I go into the breakout room, it’s either with people from the red/blue hybrid class or a person I have never even made eye contact with—let alone have a conversation with them. There is no inbetween. I only have one thing to say to the Google programmer who invented the break out room option: there’s a special place waiting just for you after this life.
With all of the awkwardness that comes with remote learning, the adrenaline rush of ending a meeting can not be beaten. Instant relief.
The feeling of signing off shouldn’t be the best part of my day, yet it is. The only real excitement I feel during class now is when teachers say we have independent work since an hour of lecturing ends up just a white noise after a while.
The entire eight-hour day consists of staring at a screen with little-to-no time inbetween to do anything else. So my final take-away is that hybrid learning may have had its issues, but its better than crouching over a screen all day.