Thursday, September the tenth was my first day of junior year.
To be more specific, it was the first day of what might turn out to be the most difficult school year ever. The day started out pleasant enough. I woke at 7:45, ate breakfast, did my makeup, fixed my hair, picked out a nice shirt and pair of jeans and walked my dog.
All before my first class. I had high hopes for this year.
My first class started with technical difficulties; my teacher didn’t understand how to use a Zoom call.
“Can you hear me?” he mouthed to us, his microphone clearly muted.
We all explained the problem, to which he responded by turning his microphone on, then off, before repeating his initial query. It was like watching a child’s dance recital. There was a dance teacher in the wings, showing the choreography step by step, but somehow they still managed to mess up the dance all together.
When lunch mercifully rolled around, I was greeted by the sad realization that I did not have anywhere to go. As much as I hated sitting on the dirty, hard, gym floor to eat with my friends, I found myself missing the companionship that came with it.
The rest of the day was less painful, but by the end I still felt drained. It was as if the blue Zoom icon and its accomplice, Google Classroom had sucked away all of my energy. I was simply tired. Tired of technologically oblivious teachers, tired of students interrupting classes to play loud music, tired of not seeing my friends, but mostly tired of online school. This was only the first day.
Monday, September the fourteenth was my third day of school. I woke at 8:00, ate breakfast, fixed my hair, picked out a nice shirt, but this was the day I realized that no one would notice if I was wearing sweatpants or a skirt, so I decided to choose the former.
My teachers now knew how to block students being disruptive, turn their own microphones on and off, and even use other features the app gave them. As the day came to an end, however, I was still exhausted. My mind was filled to the brim with facts and assignments and deadlines and homework and tests and somehow I was supposed to learn all of this in a five hour school day.
Wednesday, September the sixteenth was my fifth day attending “zoom university”. I woke up at 8:15, ate a small breakfast, threw on a sweatshirt and put my hair into a messy bun. After all, my camera would be off for most of my classes anyway, what would it matter? Would anyone really care?
I finished my assignments early that afternoon and got a call from one of my best friends.
“Hey, how were classes?” she asked me.
“Normal, nothing really exciting” was my answer. I expected the call to end right there, but she continued it, asking if I wanted to start eating virtual lunch with her. Sure, eating lunch over FaceTime was far from the connection I used to get, but now I at least had a chair.
Thursday, September the seventeenth was my sixth day of junior year. I woke up at 7:45, and, for the first time in a week, was genuinely excited for the day ahead. I made a fresh breakfast, put on a nice outfit, and even braided my hair. Classes crept by just a bit faster, work seemed more manageable, and lunch was, once again, the best part of my day.
Tomorrow is Friday, September the eighteenth, and it is the seventh day of the school year that might not be so bad after all.