On the home front

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Nicholas Goodman ’22

I have stayed online for my entire Junior year of school so far. There are many things that have been great about it, but also several that seem to be holding me back. Firstly, we should focus on the positive parts of the year.

The current schedule that Strake Jesuit has is very relaxing especially while staying online. In between classes I can grab a snack or go downstairs and hang out with my dog to take a mental break after doing an hours’ worth of work. The ability to take a break after classes is one that I never knew I would enjoy so much. Playing fetch with my dog after doing an hours’ worth of math helps me not stress out and to stay focused once I start my next class. Out of everything flex Wednesday is the best take away from this new schedule. It feels like a reset in the middle of the week. Work may get assigned, but there are no classes, and if I need help, teachers hold zoom calls throughout the day where you can ask any questions. Even though the classes are online there is always the slow but steady sluggishness that builds up and flex Wednesday is a great solution to it. When taking this slow build up into account, it could also be parly fixed by being in person.

The biggest loss from being online would be the personal interaction that I have not had with friends and teachers. Having fun with friends in class, between classes, at lunch, and after school are truly some of the highlights of the high school experience. On top of this the lack of being in person to talk to your teachers can cause a lack of clear directions. There are plentiful situations where interacting with a teacher in person would be the best thing to do, but that simply is not possible while staying online. Not only can there be miscommunication but also a loss of personal connection that can really make or break a student-teacher relationship. During my sophomore year I was able to make personal connections with several of my teachers that made me look forward to showing up for classes, but staying online has made it very difficult to interact and connect with them other than talking about assignments and asking questions about lessons. It is very easy to miss directions or parts of lessons when staring at a screen for all of the lessons.

I have found that by having classes online, I can get sidetracked very easily by looking at my phone or something happening on my computer. It is also hard to stay motivated throughout the entire week since I am just in my room staring at a screen for hours on end doing somewhat brain numbing work. To solve this, I have started going outside between classes and driving to get food or just listening to music so that I can keep my mind moving and actively doing something. This might not be a problem if I were back in person, but as a student I have found that there are lots of improvements I can make on my work ethic and the mindset that I take on doing my homework. I cannot let myself be easily distracted; otherwise I will miss something in class or waste an hour without even realizing it by staring at my phone instead of doing homework. This is a problem that one would assume every student deals with, but by doing classes online the problems have really come to my attention since there is not much else that I do.