Distance learning takes the fun out of school

September 10, 2020 — by Shaan Sridhar

A grid of 30 students is displayed across my screen as my teacher delivers yet another monologue. Then, my teacher pivots and tells us an outrageously corny joke — again. 

Our faces don’t change too much. My teacher laughs and tells us that her jokes can’t be that bad, then spends the next five minutes explaining it before concluding that “you teenagers don’t know how to have fun.”

Inside, I’m laughing, and I know my friends are too. This teacher has become infamous within my friend group for her cheesy jokes that often make no sense, to the point that it’s become an inside joke.

When we had in-person school, I’d give my friend a smile, and we’d both burst into silent laughter, but that’s not possible through the screen during online learning. If I laughed on Zoom, I would have a few seconds of fun, but it would be alone. In in-person school, I could share that moment with my friends and make a memory, something that doesn’t happen online.

Zoom is an adequate solution for lectures, but it leaves out one of the most important aspects of school: having fun and making memories with friends. All of the quips and glances provide entertainment to help me get through class and make school something worth looking forward to.

I wish I could be in a classroom having some fun while also learning, but until then, I can only miss what used to be — and try to understand my teacher’s jokes.


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Due to the lightning complex that occurred in the week of Aug.17, Santa Clara County is currently surrounded by wildfires, covering the city of Saratoga in heavy smoke. The air quality was in the range of 100 to 200 for the past five days, forcing SHS to close down. Photo by Selina Chen.


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