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The pros, cons, and privilege of online learning during a pandemic

caption: Sophomore Charlotte Engrav has been attending online classes from her bedroom ever since school closed at the beginning of the month
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Sophomore Charlotte Engrav has been attending online classes from her bedroom ever since school closed at the beginning of the month
Courtesy of Teresa Engrav

Millions of students across the country are now learning to adapt to school closures because of the coronavirus.

But in the Puget Sound region, some independent schools have already been closed for weeks.

Radioactive Youth Media’s Charlotte Engrav is a student at one of them and she shares her experience, first-hand.

At the beginning of this month, Eastside Prep called an assembly and told us the school would be closing. Tons of kids cheered, but not everyone. I remember my friend Lexe Dinh-Le was in tears.

“I was just so sad because I couldn't imagine, like, not going to school and not, like, seeing my friends for nearly, what, a month?”

Even though school is closed, we still have online classes. They start at eight in the morning. We’re on the exact same schedule. We’re basically going to school as we normally would.

I don’t mind having school at home. I can take classes with my cat in my lap, I can take naps during my free period, and I can have lunch with my whole family. My dad is also working from home because of the coronavirus.

I know that some schools haven’t given out assignments for equity reasons-- because not all kids have the resources to work from home. But at our school we still have a lot of work to do. So far, I’ve had group quizzes in math, a Spanish project, and a lab in chemistry.

Some classes work really well online. But my friend Lexe says, others, not so much.

“For example, like chemistry. I had, like, a lab. I did a simulated lab. And it was like, that definitely doesn't work," she said.

The school is also trying to balance out our screen time, and in daily emails they encourage us to step away from the screens and get some fresh air.

For me, the hardest part of online school has been the emotional aspect. It can be lonely, and you miss out on the little hallway interactions which can really make your day. It can also get scary, because at home I’ve found I’m thinking a lot more about Coronavirus and the news.

Students across the state are being affected by these closures differently, and we’re all finding ways to support each other. One thing I’ve seen a lot on social media is the line, “If you need someone to talk to right now, my DMs are open.”

Listen to the interview by clicking the play button above.

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