A Personal Account of the Tough Transition to RLI


Zoom has become a go- to application as students have participated in Remote Live Instruction the past eight months.

Madison Barrass, Grammar Editor

Starting in the middle of March, life flipped upside down.  Both teachers and students had to become acclimated with a new way of education through Zoom. Those who had never considered themselves technologically gifted (including myself) were forced into a difficult situation.  Many students struggled to cope with the complete turnover of their ways of learning.

As someone who considers herself minimally technologically capable, being pushed into online learning was extremely challenging. The direct form of communication I had been familiar with became extremely limited.  As someone who strongly depends on this type of interaction, I found a missing link in my ability to ask questions clearly. As the months went on, it became less of a challenge, but nothing compared to the ability to speak to my teachers in person.

Furthermore, learning became a challenge, as it was hard to stay focused on a computer for several hours.  Computer glitches and Wi-Fi cuts made it a struggle to understand lessons. Motivation was difficult to come by, especially towards the end of the school year.  Waking up and directly going onto a computer disrupted me from my normal routine. With the advantage of extra time, I struggled to keep myself busy.  

I missed connecting with my friends in a manner that was not virtually controlled. Break out rooms and FaceTime calls did not make up for the difference. Working with my friends in class helped me connect with them better. After not seeing my friends for about seven months, it was weird seeing them again for PSAT testing; it felt unreal. The campus felt still and uncomfortable after being displaced for so long.

Preparing for AICE exams from an online platform was terrifying. After the announcement of their cancellation, everyone was unsure of the new format.  Once the year had finished and summer began, a whole new set of concerns were introduced.  Was the school year going to start online ? When was it going to begin? 

As the new year began, it was much easier to come back into the flow of things.  It was difficult to meet new teachers and people online, which was a brand new issue.  As school work piled on, I found myself becoming increasingly stressed. Outside of school was also very different.  It had been difficult to maintain everything going on.  

I am relieved to finally go back this week.  Learning online was necessary, but presented a real struggle in terms of absorbing information and communication.