Don’t Remind Me About School

Don’t Reopen Schools!

Seniors are sick and tired. We have had the supposed “most exciting” year of high school stripped from us. Hardly any of us have really learned anything, and yet this school’s administration would have us return in person just in time to have finals and AP exams. What a coincidence. The best gift that Quartz Hill could give to its graduating class is a continuation of online education and in-person graduation. The fact is, we do not care about these last three or so months. The year has already been ruined, and being forced to return to a campus filled with restrictions and masks would make this even worse.  

I am not alone when I say that I have “mentally graduated.” I am in the process of preparing for college and want to get the last bit of high school over with already. Of course, lower grades such as elementary schools should indeed reopen for preserving a healthy development, but that argument cannot be used for high schools. Los Angeles County has had one of the worst outbreaks in the country, and forcing us to go back to school when some of us live in multigenerational homes is cruel. If this reopening plan does not allow for the option to remain at home, I hope our teachers’ unions can keep this irresponsible plan from being implemented.


Going Back to School Now Would Be Useless

I did not want my senior year of high school to go like this either: virtual classes, seemingly endless Google Classroom assignments, sad (but appreciated!) attempts to recreate in-class projects at home. Now, though, it is February. Homecoming and Winter Ball are long behind me. Senior Sunrise will never be a reality, and I have lost almost all contact with local friends, finding more comfort in friends sprinkled across the nation. After a semester of adapting to this tiresome schedule and readjusting at the beginning of the second semester, it would be cruel to expect me to readapt myself into the longer schedule of regular school days. The possibility of Grad Night is still far from reality, and so are Senior Sunset and Prom. Just because we could be back on campus does not mean we will regain all that we have lost. Essentially, I would come back to high school to be…a junior again? I’ll pass. Just let me look forward to my drive-thru graduation ceremony and going to my college campus in the fall.


Online vs Real Classrooms

In such circumstances like these, with the coronavirus spread, going to classes in person is more convenient and useful for students like me than attending school digitally. In virtual school, teachers can provide more resources for students to research on their own schedule. However, such a relaxed mentality in the students is not beneficial in the long run, like when it comes to passing AP exams and finals, which may result in them cheating. In addition, teachers themselves can be better at teaching in physical classrooms as they have done for most of their careers than the limitations of digital Zoom or Google Meets. Teachers have been trained to lead classrooms in a real-life setting with physical materials and face-to-face interactions with students to teach the material. A lack of engagement between teachers and students can also emotionally damage teachers and students in terms of motivation, which I can personally relate to and confirm based on my experience with digital learning so far. When it comes to education, the traditional classroom can also explore topics more deeply than a straightforward online class by asking more questions, socializing, and sharing ideas between other students and the teacher. Although both versions of the classroom can be useful, in-person school outweighs the advantages of real classrooms regarding their convenience, benefits, and accessibility.


How are Students That are Heavily Relying on Sports Scholarships Affected by the Quarantine?

When the lockdown was first announced, the thing that came to mind for many people was the loss of a school environment and jobs as a whole. The ripple effect that soon occurred came to affect many people of various fields, with one of the most overlooked topics being school sports.

Information about school sports seasons remained very scarce during the duration of the quarantine. Sports that involve lots of contact like basketball and football have been completely dropped, while other sports, like tennis, continue with a mandatory mask policy. Some teams have bypassed the lockdown policy and have chosen to train together as “off-season” or train for a future season when the pandemic comes to an end. Unfortunately, the ones who have to push through the storm the most would be high school senior athletes. In their last year of high school, many senior student-athletes could have been counting on this last year to apply for athletic scholarships but are given no choice since matters were taken out of their control. There is no telling how schools and colleges will accommodate this, but it is essential that we remain 100% covid free before returning to our everyday habits.