Students reflect on highlights of quarantine

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Courtesy of Nora Zink

Nora Zink, ‘25, adopted a new puppy over quarantine. “We got a puppy so that was super fun – without quarantine that would never have happened,” she said.

On March 13, students at WHHS received a call early in the morning saying that they would not be returning to school for two weeks. Students began the long and arduous process of online school, quarantining and worrying about things they didn’t have to previously worry about like social distancing, masks and coronavirus exposure. 

WHHS was expected to be able to go back to school in April. It turns out that was not the case, and instead students had to continue to do virtual school for the rest of the school year. Distanced learning has continued into this school year.

“The school year last year went by very fast – it was very unorganized and easy. This year, it is almost the same as in-person work wise and a lot more organized.” Charlotte Hendrickson, ‘25, said. 

Not only has social distancing and self-isolation been hard, but students have had trouble with online school too. 

“I don’t really like [online school]. I just really miss human interaction,” Shai Riddle, ‘26, said. 

Online school has been especially difficult for new students. 

“I half like virtual school but it is difficult for me because I am new so I do not get to meet many new people. I like it because I get to get used to Walnut while school is relatively easier since the teachers know that virtual school is tough.” Taleh Fananapazir, ‘25, said.

The same goes for Isabelle Kottyan, ‘26. “I get lonely, a lot. And it’s hard to make friends, especially with a new school,” Kottyan said, “Overall I think online school is ok I guess, I mean I’m glad we have it because it’s gonna keep us safe from coronavirus, but it’s annoying to do, and I don’t really like it – it’s much better when you get to interact with people and teachers. I really like being in charge of my own day though.” 

Not only do students miss human interaction, but doing school online is hard in terms of technology too. 

Josie Schneider, ‘25, said, “Online school is kind of hard  – sometimes the wifi or internet doesn’t work that well and teachers who have never used some of the online programs don’t really know how to do their classes and we get really behind.” 

On the other hand, some people, like Madison Coyne, ‘26, have a more positive outlook on online school. 

“I kind of like [online school] – I like being able to do school from my bed – but I kind of dislike it because I don’t get to interact with people.” 

I’ve gotten to spend more time with my family, gotten to focus on school more, and I’ve gotten more time to spend with my pets too.”

— Josie Schneider, ‘25

Nora Zink, ‘25, agreed, “I think [online school] is ok – I definitely don’t like how I can’t see anyone because the best part of school is hanging out with people I feel like, and I mean I think it’s fun because you get to wake up and don’t have to go anywhere – like I can wake up at 7:15 and still get to class at 8. It’s not the perfect situation – and no one probably thinks that it is – but I think it’s not terrible. I do want to go back to school but I know it’s not the best thing right now.” 

However, not everything has been difficult. During quarantine, students have had a lot of free time at home. They were able to discover new hobbies, spend time with family and learn new things.

“I’ve gotten to spend more time with my family, gotten to focus on school more, and I’ve gotten more time to spend with my pets too,” Schneider said, “and I’ve been working on learning to bake more because I suck at cooking.” 

Some people, like Zink, got a new addition to their family. 

“We got a puppy so that was super fun – without quarantine that would never have happened.”

Other people have gotten into some new hobbies.

“I do have lots of new hobbies – I got into digital art and embroidery and rainbow loom,” Kottyan said. 

Coyne said, “I learned how to watercolor paint more over quarantine.” 

Zink read about some events in the news that brought some light to the whole quarantine situation. 

“I saw this news article about how scientists are putting coral back in the reefs and replanting them for a healthier ecosystem in the barrier reef. I was happy that people were actually productive during the time that nobody was being productive – or I wasn’t being that productive.  I think it’s good for people to do stuff like that when everyone’s in crisis right now and nobody really knows what’s going to happen the next day.” She added, “I also saw a lot of community services going around during quarantine.” 

Finally, Zink said, “It makes me sad how some people don’t wear masks. if we want the virus to go away we all have to come together as a whole and like- work to it. And if we are not going to come together – and I know some things politically are also not causing us to band together and stop the virus – but I think that if we just all wore masks and stuff it would be so much better – but people don’t so I don’t really know at this point how it’s even ever going to go away.” 

All in all, a student said it perfectly. “It sucks.” But try to focus on the positives for a change.