Above: A photo of my desk today, which I used to complete my first day of "online school" due to coronavirus. I will get to work like this for at least the next two weeks.
Hey guys, this is Arca here, and I finished by first out of at least ten days of quarantined "virtual" learning near 12:30 PM today. That was a total of four or so hours starting after 8 AM. I followed a similar schedule to a regular day, with five periods minus lunch. Each was only fifty minutes long, instead of more than seventy. My teachers sent out numerous emails and posted assignments on Google Classroom as usual. We had to complete all of them by a certain time or else we would be marked "absent". My thoughts are that this "school" day alone was probably ten times better than all of my days thus far in school this year... possibly combined. I know that's probably an unpopular opinion.
"Real learning can't take place at home!" you may say. Actually, when most of your "learning" consisted of watching videos and reading some pages of a textbook anyways, it can. "But you can't ask your teacher questions at home, though," you may say. Wrong, since all of my teachers were present and online at the very moments of our class, ready on Hangouts chats and email to answer any and all questions we may have had, usually instantly or with only a minute or two of a delay.
Online school was as if some genius decided to take a list of all of my complaints about school and address each and every one of them almost perfectly. Getting to wake up half-an-hour later? Check. School ending near noon instead of dragging on and on? Check. Not having to linger around the building waiting for class to start? Check. No more boring bus ride? Check. Don't want to wear regular pants? Sweatpants all day it is. Find other kids loud or distracting? Guess what, you're all alone now. Work just being one combined entity, instead of having to stress about classwork and homework separately? Check. Not having to hunch over tiny Chromebook screens and damage both my spine and my eyes? Check, my laptop screen is at an elevated height on my desk and its screen is much bigger (probably 2.5 times the screen size). The lunch is just as fresh as the food I have at home? It literally is the food I have at home! The amount of free time I have has probably doubled or tripled, and my happiness and relaxation levels are astronomically higher.
Not having to be in the often uncleanly (due to all the high-schoolers, despite the great efforts of the janitors) school building? Check. Not having an awkward one-hour-long lunch period that's so empty that you wish school would just end earlier instead of having it? Check. Getting to be close to my little brother the entire day, instead of being separated from him for seven hours? Check.
It is literally the best thing ever, as far as I'm concerned. Actually, maybe not, but it still is great. My "homework" barely took me long at all, and was usually just whatever I didn't finish in class (I worked on it actively for maybe less than an hour total, which is less than a third or quarter of how much time homework typically takes me).
Above: These guys at my desk are much better company than the emptiness and sometimes filth that can be found on a school desk.
Online school has had me a million times more relaxed when I'm not at the claustrophobic desks, bright white lights, and between the somewhat miserable brick walls of my high school. Finally, Baby Groot and origami Yoda can keep me company at my desk, instead of COVID-19 germs, eraser crumbs, and whatever graffiti some student years ago decided to carve onto the school's desk. The computers aren't dumb and crash constantly, and do you want to know the absolute best part of online school?
It's that I don't have to go to school. And that, as many kids would agree with, is the worst part of going to school (if that makes sense to non-students). So while I want us all to be safe and healthy despite the coronavirus, I do think that it still has its slight upsides, however how small and insignificant compared to the massive losses of life and activity that will result from it. But since I don't have a real job, or a real life, just yet, closing down schools not only reduces the effect of the virus exponentially (thanks for that Washington Post article assignment, bio teacher!), but it also exponentially reduces, well, anything bad whatsoever that directly affects my everyday life that I can think of.
For the record, I like school and my school. Socializing is great (even if nowadays, due to the virus, I'd stick to Discord voice calls, Facetime video calls and Hangouts chat anyways), but it always suffered from physically being in school. Any fun conversation you have with your best friend will instantly be made worse if its in a school building rather than a comfy home. I also realize the importance of going to school for education, which I'm still managing to receive by staying home. I wouldn't want to be home-schooled, either, but I can get why someone would do it if their child either moves location a lot or if one's local public schools aren't that great.
What do you guys think? Has your school or work life in-quarantine been as overwhelmingly positive and superior as mine has? Or are you still having to return to school or work on-location due to some extenuating circumstances? We can start a conversation without risking the transmission of disease if you just leave it all in the comments below.
Anyways, stay healthy, everyone, and this is Arca, signing off. May the Force be with you all as you live your lives in quarantine.
P.S.: A fun activity for you maybe to do at home could be to read yesterday's review of the Sonic Movie that I made with this blog's brand-new collaborator, Xiang!: http://www.arcabaran.com/2020/03/sonic-movie-review-feat-xiang.html