English Com, Section 330, Dr. Weaver
April 30, 2021
Friday marks the halfway point of a school year held during the coronavirus pandemic. This pandemic provoked a sense of fear and paranoia as well as the spread of the coronavirus. The virus spread so fast that all schools across the globe closed. The closing of schools pivots students to begin school or end a school year online. As well know, online education has become a well know issue for most students. This school year has challenged students’ ability to balance life at home and school.
Sometimes life can feel a little overwhelming, to say the least. The pressure from parents, professors, and pressure from myself to succeed. I’ve contemplated three hours and devoted five hours to complete my coursework. Since the beginning of this year contemplating has been my routine. Webex meetings and coursework have felt like an option more than mandatory.
Transferring to remote learning has destroyed the engaging atmosphere of a school classroom. The atmosphere was engaging with students tackling assignments and teachers answering questions. Alongside the small interruption from students that crack up the whole classroom. This atmosphere was an engaging environment. Now classrooms are firm mattresses with Cheetos dust and an 11-inch baby Yoda plush toy.
The majority of what primary and secondary teachers teach are online. If the programs are individual and self-paced, even better. Individual meaning the courses are self-taught at my own pace. But the approach schools have to use is for mass education. This shift in education to home learning has to accommodate the school’s schedule. As a student, I had to merge four or eight classes into a schedule along with home duties. This is my situation since the beginning of my college as a freshman. The challenges for the first time as a freshman was nothing compared to the second semester.
What came as a challenge in the second semester was the classes. The classes in the second semester were Sociology, American Government, English, and Chemistry. These courses weren’t a strong suit but I was willing to prove that I am cut out for this. Especially Chemistry because the subject varies along branches- analytical, organic, inorganic. Every week the Chemistry instructors would give little to no information to help. I tried my best to reach out and receive help but no one answer. Which resulted in retaking the class alongside other classmates.
As for this English course, it has been smooth sailing. This course reassured me that a writer is someone that writes. I am a writer. Writing doesn’t have to be Shakespeare’s level of writing with metrical patterns. This course helped me understand that anyone can write. I can accept constructive criticism and dedicate myself to improving my writing.
The perception of this school year has changed within the 4 months of this semester. At the beginning of this course, my partner Graciela and I discuss our academic selves. I communicated to her that “I’m motivated to work, to learn”, which has been my motto since. I have gained more of an understanding that change is always happening. The amount of energy that I put forward can either result in something good or bad. In this ever-changing world, I’ll try my best to put forward positive energy.
Throughout quarantine, the world of education and learning has changed to remote learning. This experience has been an eye-opener for me and many students. Many students such as the ones that would ace courses had begun to fall behind in class. This may come as a surprise though students come from different backgrounds. And some of these backgrounds don’t provide the resources students need to succeed. Students rely on school resources such as internet access to complete assignments. Other resources such as books, lunch, and school supplies accommodate students in need. I’ve recently read an article that consulted with these issues of remote learning. This article was Sean Michael Morris’s “Pivot to online: A Student Guide” article. These issues have become well known to Sean as he emphasized the limitation of the internet. If a student must return home, they may face little or no internet access there. In December 2019, EdSource reported that only 30% of households in rural California have internet access; even in urban areas, only 78% of households have service. (Sean 2020)
Through the challenges and setbacks I faced this semester, I am willing to push through. It is a little bittersweet to think back to the times where education was in a 900 square ft classroom. Students received far more interaction and motivation in school. Though as time changes so can I. It is necessary to face the hardship of life because you gain a better sense of life. Better yet you grow through the stressful time in your life. As it comes down to the end of the second semester I’ve realized that I have to adapt to change. This pandemic has provoked me to focus my energy on the better things in life.
Sean Michael Morris. “Pivot to Online: A Student Guide.” (2020)