Senior Memories – School through Zoom

Michael McNeill, Editor

Hey Saint Joe, welcome to another entry into my series of articles about the best memories our class of 2021 has experienced. This is the fourth edition, and I will be discussing something that actually happened quite recently. However, it is arguably one of the most significant, if not the most impactful thing we experienced in our four years (so far). As always, I hope reading this takes you back to how things were at the strange time.

The event I’m talking about is, of course, the transition to Zoom and E-Learning that came along with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. It’s no secret that the Coronavirus appeared without warning, and after its severity was recognized, school systems throughout the world were thrown through a loop. Forced to quickly adapt, the majority of schools turned to Zoom for their E-learning needs, and school will never be the same since this forced change. Almost a year later, methods of online learning have been perfected and can be used to support students that aren’t in school from here on out. It’s safe to say that “snow days” may even be a thing of the past now that E-learning systems are in place. This is definitely a positive, though, as it helps them stay engaged with the curriculum even when circumstances prevent their physical presence in the school.

Speaking of students, we also faced many obstacles when adjusting to this new method of learning. After so many years of turning in most assignments physically, the switch to entirely digital methods certainly posed a challenge for some. Also, adapting to the new formats that each teacher used was difficult as well, especially because each developed their own style of E-learning that was different from other teachers. After the initial mess and scramble to E-learning, though, it became much easier for the students. The school day was shortened and the workload with it, and despite the strangeness of learning at home on a laptop, it at least provided a bit of a break. On the other hand, though, the worst part about the transition to Zoom and online learning was definitely the lack of interaction with others. Not seeing your teachers face-to-face is strange enough, but seeing your friends is what makes school fun! Without that, many found themselves getting tired of online learning after just a few months, an I certainly don’t blame them. Now that we are back fully in person, though, things are slowly but surely returning to normal!

I hope this reminded you of the drastic changes we endured together a year ago when COVID-19 took over our lives, and if it’s not a fond memory, at least recognize where we have come from how bad it was back then. Also, please look forward to the next Senior Memories entry, and thank you for reading!