By: Lyle Alenstein and Talia Fante
Due to the Coronavirus, a handful of students started the school year by deciding to be an all-virtual learner, while the majority opted for the hybrid learning approach. The first two months of school began with no positive cases: but that all changed on Friday, November 13th (coincidence, I think not), when the high school had its first positive case reported. When normal hybrid learning resumed the week of Monday, November 16th, however, another case was reported on Wednesday the 18th. Chaos ensued in 6th period classes, and students were forced to stay in class until eventually being dismissed by even and odd numbered classrooms. Later that day, when students were safe at home, the BHS population found out that the in-person learning option would not return until December 1st. Although the choice to return to school was made available fear took over students as the majority decided to remain home, with the holiday break right around the corner. This led to the few students that did come to school finding themselves alone in their classrooms.
Before the break, most students decided that it was best to play it safe and stay out of school to hopefully avoid being contact traced again. The few students who continued to go into school, as a result, were very lonely in their classes. One student who stayed in school during this time was Dylan Bright. “It was definitely weird to see almost no one walking in the hallways and no one in the classrooms as well. While it was cool for a few days, I much prefer seeing all my friends and classmates in person, something I hope we’ll return to soon,” said Dylan of the experience. Dylan was alone in most of his classes, and he had to rely on talking to his teachers for the normal social interactions that he was craving. Another student like Dylan was Jason Sendek. Jason had a different approach to in-person learning and said, “I don’t really mind. I focus more in the classroom and feel more comfortable asking questions.” While Jason was alone in his class, it did allow him to take some risks by asking questions he knew his classmates at home would not be able to hear. This is a plus because if in-class students are lost and are called on, and if they do not answer the question loud enough, only the teacher will be able to hear it.
Online classes were much different, as students sat at their desks all day staring at their computer screens. There were also many tech issues that came with being at home, so online kids were on their phones a lot of the day. This resulted in numerous Facetime calls with confused students to try and understand what was going on in their class. During their free periods, Facetime calls were the only thing that distracted in-school students from the loneliness of their desks. Fortunately, an increasing number of students have been returning to school as the months go by. Hopefully, you will no longer remain in a class by yourself and instead be surrounded by your best buds (from your cohort, that is).