During these last couple of weeks, the Wesleyan School community has been distant while staying safely quarantined in their homes. It can easily be assumed that most students and faculty might be getting bored or thinking of what new activities to do with this extra time at home. During this time apart, students and faculty are all experiencing quarantine differently. The Green and Gold staff are eager to hear from students and teachers to see what they have been up to in quarantine and share with the rest of the Wesleyan community.
There are a variety of different activities the Wesleyan community are doing. Senior Analia Thota was asked if she has pursued any new hobbies during quarantine. Thota said, “Yes! I have been exercising a lot! I have also tried to take up painting, but I am not very good at it.” High school fine arts teacher and administrative assistant, Whitney Panetta, answered too. She said, “I always like to do art in my spare time. My most recent project is creating mini works of art and mailing one of them and a handwritten letter to each of my students. I miss them all so much, it is a small way to reach out to them! I have started to send them out to people I know who are working in essential jobs as a way to say thank you for their work during this.” It is so interesting to learn what Wesleyan students are up to and how they might be spending their time because it gives each other motivation and ideas. It is often thought that, while in quarantine, you cannot partake in anything you have previously found joy in. Although, as Thota and Panetta have shared what they have been up to, they show that there is no need to stop enjoying your life when you can continue to pursue your interests and discover new ones.
Quarantine is challenging for everybody in many different aspects. It is understandable for people to struggle with the changes in life and the new daily routine. The Green and Gold staff are also curious as to what students have been doing with their time. Thota was asked what the most challenging part about quarantine has been for her. She said, “I am very extroverted, and I miss being with my friends the most! It’s also very hard for me to get past the fact that I cannot experience my high school ending like everyone before me has.” Not being able to visit with your friends and outside family members is a common struggle. There are so many things that humans had the luxury and opportunity of doing although, many things have been cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus. Panetta shared her challenges, she said, “We often do lots of things. We love going to the playground, the zoo, etc. We do not do a lot of entertaining our kids at home, so that has been an adjustment.”
Some student’s challenges and stress might be coming from online distance learning. Quarantine is a new adjustment for everyone, especially as most schools, including Wesleyan, have transferred to online distance learning. Each student experiences this type of learning differently. Junior Mac Howie expresses how much time distance learning he does weekly and daily. He said, “distance learning takes of a good amount of time since it is a different way of learning than usual. It takes me more time to complete an assignment since I usually have to teach myself the topic before completing it.” Differing from Howie, Thota said, “I normally work a few hours for each class, but I like that I can plan my day how I want to.” Although there can be struggles with the transition to this new learning style, there can also be perks. Howie shared that though online distance learning can be difficult, he has been enjoying not having to wake up at six o’clock anymore. It is fascinating to hear from a teacher’s point of view, in regards to their online learning experience so far. Students are not aware of what teachers might need to plan or get ready for their next online class. Panetta said, “I typically work 3-4 hours on a workday. It has been challenging to juggle kids at home and work, but we are all figuring it out!”
It is difficult going from seeing your teachers and friends everyday at school, to now not being able to see them. That is a change that everybody is experiencing, but luckily there are ways people can see one another. Wesleyan School uses Microsoft Teams to contact with teachers and students. There is also an app called Zoom that is commonly used between friends. There are so many outlets and other examples of ways people can still stay in contact.
As said, most everybody misses their usual encounters with their friends and visiting them during school. Although, Panetta makes an amazing point as she said, “I spend most of my time with my kids and my husband. In a way, this time together has been a gift!” Though many feel stuck at home with yet another day amongst their family members, for others, quarantine can be seen as a blessing. Try to take this time to bond and spend time with the people around you. Who knows, you might discover something new about them.