Distance Learning – Chinnareddy

Anjali Chinnareddy, Junior Reporter

I’m waking up at eight in the morning, struggling from lack of sleep, dragging myself up from my bed to “get ready” for school. It seems pointless to change clothes or even do my hair. I’m signing into my classes, and it’s just an ocean of colorful emojis… silent colorful emojis, and then it starts… the endless chatter coming from a single face, the teacher. 

Online school is a struggle. 

Communication and screen time between teachers and students is dismal; distractions beckon at every turn, and sadly, the workload has increased exponentially. Ever since online school started, students have been drowning in work. Teachers are assigning more and more of it… as if we need more stressors feasting on our brains. Between the tests and homework and endless ‘staring at a monitor’ time, we don’t have time to be teenagers.

The old days, when kids could ask teachers questions in the hallways or classrooms, are a fading memory, and it often seems like teachers don’t check emails after school hours. It’s inconvenient, but not the worst of it. 

The most frustrating thing of all is our unstable Internet connections. When the Internet goes on the blitz, often we are only able to hear every third word coming out of instructors’ mouths. For some students, trying to take notes with an unstable Internet connection is a monumental guessing game. How am I supposed to fill in blanks on the paper when I can only hear one of every three-and-a-half words, and Internet bars aren’t exactly static and stable. They dance up and down like a rogue see-saw. Here I am in history class learning about Classical China in 551 BCE when my Internet connection goes haywire. By the time I finally manage to log back in, we’re talking about the 233 BCE. Now I have to try to figure out what happened in the 318 years of history that I just missed.

The 2020 school year has turned our worlds upside down. Our kitchens are classrooms and our dogs have transformed into emotional support animals. Our computers are our only portal to the outside world. The dining room table is messy with my papers from the previous day. After a few days, I realized that being organized and making the best out of the situation are the only ways to make online learning normal and fun.