Life in quarantine has resulted in students and teachers having much more flexibility and even some free time one their hands compared to a regular day at school. Senior Hannah Steiner said, “Since I have always loved being busy, quarantine has slowed everything down. It has been nice to have a break.” With all this free time and even some levels of boredom, students and teachers have begun to develop new hobbies that they would not necessarily do if school were to be in session.
When asked about comparing the life of distance learning to life in the regular school world, English Teacher Joseph Cooper said, “The first thing I realized is, as a teacher, the only expertise I really have is face to face contact. If I am of any use as a teacher, it is the rapport I am able to build with a class. When you take that away, I am just some regular person.” Although this change comes with a few negatives, Cooper said, “A lot of it is realizing that this is not a great situation and making the best of it. This gives us an opportunity to be creative and intentional.”
Along with Cooper in seeing the positives in quarantine, junior Reese Alecxih said, “There is a lot more family time and I am getting a lot more exercise.” Alecxih has sparked interest in new hobbies such as Just Dance on the Wii, cooking and even cleaning. Alecxih said, “After being stuck at home with my family, I have learned how important it is to have the skills of cooking and cleaning.” Alecxih’s favorite meal she has cooked consisted of filet mignon, risotto and asparagus. While Alecxih has been keeping busy in the kitchen, freshman Nick Schaller has developed a new interest in long boarding off the back of a golf cart outside. Schaller said, “I will probably continue to do this when quarantine is over because it is very fun.” Although Steiner, Schaller and Alecxih each have found unique hobbies, they all have been keeping busy by walking and running outside because exercise is important to them. Steiner said, “My new hobby is reading as well, but my favorite thing to do is run and walk my dog, Bleu.”
On the other hand, Cooper is not lacking for things to do because he is so busy with schoolwork. He said, “I have been more intentional about talking to my colleagues. I talked to Mr. Archer for over an hour. He is the man.” Cooper has continued keep the same sleep schedule which consists of “waking up at 5:50 a.m. and going to bed at a reasonable hour.” Cooper said, “I preset my emails to go out at 6 a.m., but I am getting up the same time. One benefit of this new schedule is I do not have to do the drive to and from school, so I have that hour reclaimed.”
Unlike Cooper, Alecxih has had a major schedule change. Alecxih said, “My schedule is very different because I wake up a lot later. I miss getting up early and having my daily schedule of classes.” As for breaks in her new schedule, Alecxih swims in the hot tub with her sisters and learns new TikTok dances. Alecxih said, “This new schedule has really given me an opportunity to bond with my sisters and especially Bryn, who is going off to college in the fall.” Steiner tries to squeeze in a movie every now and then during her somewhat busy schedule. Steiner said, “I have watched a ton of rom coms!” Schaller said, “I have watched ‘The Proposal,’ ‘Leap Year,’ ‘She’s Out of My League’ and ‘The Perfect Date.’”
During these unprecedented times, it is important to not only keep busy at home but to also think about the bigger picture and give back to the community. Alecxih said, “It was brought to my attention that a lady in my community was in dire need of essentials after losing her job to COVID-19. I let my friends know, and as a group, we collected two weeks’ worth of food and supplies.” Cooper has also been lending a hand to those who need help. He said, “[My family] has taken some meals to a guy at our church who cannot get out.” Overall, each individual has helped out the community not only by providing meals, but by social distancing and complying with Governor Brian Kemp’s regulations.
With the major shift in daily lives, Wesleyan students and teachers have made the most out of their time through new hobbies. Practicing social distance, complying with regulations, helping those in need and bonding as families, life in quarantine has allowed for the Wesleyan community to find some positives in this new lifestyle and reflect on what was often taken for granted.