It is 6:00 a.m. My alarm will not stop blaring. It is the first time in two weeks I have to drag myself out of bed and make myself presentable, knowing I cannot count on a computer screen to hide me all day. After rushing around the house and scarfing down a sandwich, I am finally walking through the high school doors. Mornings are not that different than last year, the same chaotic rush as always.
What is different is that I am walking into my first class with a mask on my face. COVID has eliminated science labs, so I now have back-to-back study halls. I stare out the window, feeling bored and overwhelmed by a sense that I am missing out on “real school.” Still, it is nice to get work done.
After two hours to myself, I head to World Cultures. Finally, my schedule resembles pre-COVID life. All 12 of us are sitting at our desks watching various slideshows and informative YouTube videos. For a moment, I forget about the itchy mask on my face. It feels like nothing has changed.
Then, the bell rings. French is next, and I have my first in-person test of the year. Unlike those I took at home, this one is not open notes…eek! The start of class is delayed because my teacher is on a Zoom call helping other students. It is interesting how technology has become more incorporated into our daily lives. However, some things never change: The test begins, and the room is quiet, with only the noise of pencils on paper.
To get to my next class, I must hitch a ride home. My stomach tells me it’s time to eat, but it has to be a quick lunch. I sit in my desk chair and log on to math via Google Meet. Math class has proven to be quite different than it was before the pandemic hit. Instead of interactive lessons and review activities, we simply have to watch and occasionally chime in while our teacher explains concepts. I find it difficult asking my teacher a question because the entire class must pause to listen. This is daunting to me, so, unfortunately, some of my questions go unanswered. I wave goodbye to my teacher and give my dog some quick cuddles before moving on to my next class.
My elective this semester is Computer-Aided Design. I assume this goes for many other art classes, but it is difficult to learn and watch demonstrations online. In normal times, my teacher would be able to stand over my shoulder and provide corrections and feedback.
My school day has ended. My homework load is normal, and I can move on with my day. There is a perk to asynchronous learning: I do not hesitate to stay up late. I only have one lesson to complete tomorrow, so I plan to sleep in. This lazy lifestyle is likely not what administrators and parents expected when this plan was presented, but it is what it is.
I shut off my lamp and phone and head to bed.