E-Learners Return

Welcome Back Everyone!!


Welcome back to all of you who are back in school for the first time since last March!! It has been a long 11-month period of online learning and I’m sure you are all relieved to see your friends and actually get some work done.

I personally was going crazy in my room at home, since I am also one of you who just came back two weeks ago. I enjoyed waking up later, wearing cozy clothes all day, and hanging out with my doggie, but that was pretty much it. It was so hard to concentrate and it was also hard to feel motivated to actually do my work. Now that I am in school, however, I am held much more accountable for my work, and I’m able to get things done faster which is nice.

My first day back at school was so weird, though! I thought I knew where my parking spot was, but I had to circle around the lot four times to actually find it! It was wonderful to start off my day with Hooffstetter, though, because she is one of my favorite people on earth and she makes me feel so loved. That was AP Research, so I had a chance to slowly settle in without anything crazy going on first period. One part that was super weird was finding a place to sit… I had to ask where there were extra seats and it made me feel a little like an outsider. That first week was exhausting, too! I had no idea it took that much energy to get through the day. I have a greater appreciation for my mind and body now. Also, lunch is so confusing there are so many rules and I am still so confused two weeks in 🙁

I’m so much more tired after school and practice now than I was when I was virtual

Some classes seemed pretty similar to when I was at home, mostly the ones where we usually take notes, like Economics, and English is the same because we still zoom in with Ms. Shifflette. Other classes are better because I feel more involved, like French, where I actually know what is going on and it’s easier to have conversations and learn the language.

I am so glad to see my friends and go to track practice without having to stress about whether or not I will get there in time, and I am pleasantly surprised at how covid-conscious people are being in the school. That being said, I still have seen some kids not wearing a mask or not putting it over their nose (c’mon guys, it’s been nearly a year–you should be able to remember by now), but people are keeping their distance and thankfully don’t get offended when you try to keep yours.

I sent out a google form to the student body to see their reactions about getting back into the classroom. Here’s what they told me:

Miles Garrigan (10) said it was an “easy transition” but Kira Hamrick, also grade 10, described it as “Somewhat stressful. I love being able to talk directly with my teachers and being put into social situations, but I’m so used to being home that the change to school environment has made me incredibly anxious and stressed.” Emma Benton (10) also thought that “it went well.”

Noah Johnson (10): “Well, I was only virtual for a few weeks after going to school for most of the year, so coming back to school for the second semester wasn’t as exciting as it would have been for someone who had been virtual all year. To me personally, it’s a bit of a hassle because I have to start waking up early again. But I get to see my friends again, so that’s fun!”

Miserable knowing I’m only halfway through the year.

M. Dillard (11) – gave us some lovely poetry to reflect upon all the difficult times we have had and continue to have:

every waking hour is another nightmare this neverending torture grates on my bones each day full of dread for the next I know not the light at the end of this dark tunnel and I fear I never will the fresh birdcalls born from the oncoming spring fall on deaf ears surrounded by a prison of my own making I am trapped behind a screen for if I leave I am doomed to roam the festering halls of a crowded pigsty… I’m doing about the same as I’ve been doing hey thanks for asking <3

There were a lot of responses regarding the agony of this school year.

However, Grace Gast (9) said “it’s pretty good.”

Finn Goodloe (9) (sarcastically?) represents those of you who are still at home… “I didn’t come back to school. I’m still virtual. So that’s fun.”

Molly Tippey (12) has been here since the beginning of school, but she shares an opinion that I’ve heard a lot so far: “I’ve been here since the beginning of the year, and it’s certainly interesting. I think the weather getting better is giving everyone a little hope, especially with the regular lunches. But, it’s like each day is the same. We don’t have much to look forward to. We were told that we would have a bunch of small, covid-safe activities to make up for no dances and other occasions, but those kind of just fell through. Yet, it’s still better than being at home.”

some other responses:

“ok?” –Henry Terrel (9)

“I’m a bit burnt out, but other than that I’m feeling great” –Campbell Lesher (9)

“About the same as the first semester. It feels similar to normal school yet a bit different. No real problems here.” –Aiden McPherson (12)

“The school year has become increasingly challenging regarding the abilities of select teachers and staff around teaching online effectively” –Anonymous

“Its been hard. I’m pretty much over the plex-glass, masks, and constantly being nagged on about social distancing. This whole year just sucks and the teachers aren’t seeming to apply an effort to make it better for us. I feel like I just sit and listen to lectures all day. I really hope next year is better.” –Anna Hollister (9)

“I’ve been in school this entire time. I have been virtual. The school does not recognize us as actual students and constantly pressures us to go in person. I will not go in person because of the school’s poor handling of COVID-19 and I am not back in school for the second semester because of the horrendous handling of COVID-19 safety. If I am going to be put at risk because of people not wanting to teach virtual students as well as not taking precautions to keep constant social distancing and mask wearing at the same time, I am going to stay virtual because I prefer not taking the risk of infecting two people in my immediate family who are at risk of death due to COVID-19.” –Peter Beuk (9)

So this took a depressing turn. After reading everyone’s responses, I just want to say one thing: Yes, this year is rough. But there are certain things (like covid, plexiglass, masks, etc) that we have no control over. So you have to make it okay for yourself. If you’re in a funk, go do something out of your routine! Try to hang out with your friends (safely) if you still like them even after all this. Hopefully, because the sun is back, the school day will be better because we have full lunches. If you need someone to talk to, I’m always here (even if you have no idea who I am) and so are your teachers.

Ciao for now,