From “Dog Ate My Homework” to Zoom Complications: Difficulties of Remote Schooling

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Faith Mendelson

Instead of a classroom filled with peers, a desolate laptop screen is now the constant view for students.

Students everywhere are saying goodbye to school as they know it and are now familiarizing themselves with learning through a screen. Class discussions have become “Zoom” chats, lunch has become the loneliest part of the day, and there are endless questions about how “hands-on” classes, like Pottery, Culinary and Gym, will operate remotely.

     Students are adjusting to a new-normal after numerous years of in-person school, and these changes are affecting everyone in different ways. 

      I have always been a person who gets where I’m going on time, and it’s no different when I’m in school. I have never had to go to the office to get a late-pass; even when I had to walk from the 100s hallway, all the way across campus, to the 90s hallway freshman year, I was never late. That is until remote-schooling came along and threw a wrench into my punctuality. 

     The first few days of school my classes went smoothly for the most part, with the occasional hiccup or two. However, on my fifth day of school, I was awakened to the sounds of construction across the street, before my alarm even went off. Needless to say, as a senior in high school I value my sleep, so I was less than thrilled. However, I didn’t think much of it and woke up to start my day.

     I went downstairs and set up my ‘school’ area at the kitchen table, where I had attended my past four school days from. I was still waking up as I sipped my coffee and got prepared for my school day. I logged into my Google Classroom, ready to join my first Zoom call of the day. 

     Upon logging into Google Classroom, I knew something wasn’t right. Instead of being greeted by the usual list of my classes, I was taunted by a little spinning circle in the center of my laptop. It spun around and around endlessly, while I waited patiently for my Google Classroom to wake up and work, like I was prepared to do. I refreshed the page over and over to no avail. My screen displayed only the spinning circle, but the clock kept ticking, and I feared I’d be late to class. 

     Suddenly, the circle stopped spinning and I was into my Google Classroom. I quickly logged into the Zoom call for my class, and took a sigh of relief because I thought my technology troubles were over. 

     I was wrong. 

     Once I was in the Zoom call, the boxes of my teacher and peers around me were glitching and the sound kept cutting in and out. Suddenly, a message popped up that read: “Your internet connection is unstable.” I thought to myself, ‘Really?! I couldn’t tell.’

     I stayed in the Zoom call, hoping the issue would resolve itself, until about five minutes into class, the screen froze, and I was kicked out of the call. 

     I was frantically trying to resolve my tech problems while drowning in the sounds of the construction out the window, and then it hit me: the construction outside must have been the cause of my WiFi issues. Frustrated, I gathered all of my supplies out of the kitchen and moved to the complete other side of my house. I set up my ‘school’ area, once again, hoping that the WiFi would be better on that side of the house. 

     Finally, the WiFi seemed to be working. Although I was essentially 20 minutes late, and my class was halfway over, I logged on, and took a sigh of relief. Thankfully, my teacher was understanding.

     Later that day, I learned the cause of my issue was in fact the construction on my street: a power line was cut down, leaving my entire street without internet that morning. It was an entire street without the internet in a new world where everything is online.