Before this pandemic, waking up and sitting down to boring class was appalling and I felt like there was nothing I would like to do less. However, now I come to my classes excited. I am delighted that teachers see me in person and can associate my name with my face. I am delighted to see my friends every day. I am delighted to have recovered the material much easier than last year. I am delighted to be able to go to football matches. Most importantly, I’m thrilled to have a ‘normal’ last year before going to college and starting a whole new chapter in my life.
– Kendal, Sacramento
For me, the most profound differences from last year were in the classes where the teacher was the only one speaking. While we always had the option of waking up to answer a question or make a comment, let’s face it: it was much easier to avoid speaking when the cameras were off and the microphones were muted. This year, although we still wear masks, a valuable part of education is back.
It took me a few weeks of “regular” school to realize how badly I had missed my second year. However, last week, a seemingly insignificant moment in my math class made me thankful to be back. When my teacher asked if we could see a “pattern” by looking at the trig functions, I answered yes, before looking at the board and removing my answer and saying no. It made everyone laugh, which my teacher said she really missed, as it had probably been 18 months since the last time something like this happened. It made me realize what makes school tolerable, for the most part: being sociable and just being able to talk to my peers in my classes.
– Michael, Glenbard West High School, Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
The first day of school was hectic. The hassle of trying to find what to wear, the rush as my family runs trying to get ready and get out before it’s too late. The busy hallways are teeming with returns and new faces. Classrooms crowded with students figuring out seating arrangements. Teachers are as happy as they can get to see their classrooms full of students, not black screens. The confused faces of the students because there is a problem on their math test that they do not know. The football matches with the screaming crowds. All in a normal school day, the first for a very long time.
– Jack, Hoggard High School
Going back to school was a mess. Seeing all my friends again was great and I really missed playing in a real physical band (crazy, I know). I definitely missed complaining about the lunch I made with my friends and not doing anything about it the next day, and complaining about my next class, homework and that amazing feeling when the dismissal bell final rings.
So based on that you would guess that I don’t really like school that much. However, I assure you, American taxpayers, that is not the case … There is just something about getting up real early and driving to school and watching the sunrise, listening to my favorite music, feeling terrible but amazing, still locked in my educational prison. free, enjoying the wind on my arm that I lazily drag out the window. I even missed the drama, the stupid and useless relationships, the gossip, and all that goes with it …
I can’t help but feel like there isn’t much hope for the world sometimes, but with my friends by my side and the cool six in the morning breeze behind my back, I have confidence in my future.
– Andy, Rio Americano High School