One Year Ago Today

Questions and Answers

One Year Ago Today

How does fully in person learning differ from hybrid learning? 

Siena: I think that the biggest difference for me between the two versions of learning is the social aspect. Now we are able to work in groups, speak to one another in person and work more closely with our teachers and classmates. It helps to have these opportunities to converse with each other instead of last year’s awkward “breakout rooms” where no one was as comfortable working with one another. 

Ella: There are definitely ups and downs in hybrid learning. Sometimes it was nice to wake up and log into a Google Meet instead of getting up and getting ready to go to school for seven hours. Sometimes I did find myself online shopping during meets or turning my camera off to see my dog, and there were a lot more distractions. I think the social aspect of school this year is a lot better and it is much easier to communicate and interact with classmates and teachers. 

Kaitlyn: There were pros and cons to learning at home, but I do sort of miss being in a comfortable environment during class. Though it could be a bit distracting, it was nice to be able to turn your camera off and go get a snack or something in the middle of a lecture. I also miss those 90 minute lunch breaks, which were probably the highlight of hybrid learning. Sometimes my sister and I would be able to drive to chipotle, get lunch, drive home, eat, and still have a bit of time before class started again.

Katie: The social aspect of school has completely changed with going fully in person. Last year even when you were in school, you weren’t able to talk to other students. We couldn’t even sit at the same table as them. The workload has gotten harder, but classes are also more interactive and I am more focused in the classroom than I would have been learning through a screen.

How does it differ from last year’s version of fully in person? 

Siena: Last year we were limited by social distancing, a big leap from the first three online quarters of the year, and “supervised studies” to replace free blocks. I think it has changed for the better and I enjoy my free blocks and the more flexible distance protocols. 

Ella: Last year was really different, in the social and educational sense. Especially last fall and winter, a lot of my friends were in different cohorts, and we were only at school for 6 hours a week so it was hard to socialize at school either way. When we went back to school, free blocks and lunch were very limited as well. 

Kaitlyn: One difference I’ve really enjoyed between this year and last years in person is how much easier it is to spend time with friends and interact with people. It’s great to have chairs and tables in the halls again and to have freedom during free periods to meet up with people or leave campus. I think that those freedoms are something lots of LS students benefit from, and even though it’s a small thing it makes school way more enjoyable.

Katie: Last year’s version of fully in person was very limited compared to this year. Last year, instead of free blocks we had assigned study halls where students would have to sit quietly and do their work. With the study blocks, there was essentially no freedom throughout our day. In the cafeteria, there were chairs lined up in rows instead of tables, which made it very difficult to socialize at lunch. Personally, I chose to sit outside because there was a lot more freedom of where and who I could sit with, but still limited. Overall, I think that this year is as close as it can get to a ‘normal year’, which for me was my freshman year. I am very happy with how the schedule turned and feel that we have so much more freedom. So far, I am enjoying my junior year a lot more than I did my sophomore year.

Do you miss study halls or is it nice to have free blocks back? 

Siena: In a way, it was nice to be forced to sit down and get my homework done during the school day because it would leave me with less to do in the evening. However, I prefer having more freedom because I love spending time with my friends and getting to leave campus, especially as it is a nice break during a long day. 

Ella: I definitely prefer the free blocks over the study halls. Sometimes being forced into a room to go do silent work can be beneficial, but a lot of times I caught myself getting bored and ending up on my phone. I think getting to leave campus or go to the library is a really good break in the day, and is something to definitely take advantage of. 

Kaitlyn: I prefer free blocks over study halls. Most of my study halls took place in the lecture hall, which is a hard place for me to focus because it always feels like the person sitting behind me is reading over your shoulder. 

Katie: Personally, I hated study halls. I got nothing done sitting in the lecture hall with minimum space. With free blocks, I am free to work wherever I want with whoever I want without it being a problem. I am also happy that now we are able to leave the campus if we need a break. I think that is an opportunity that LS offers and I take advantage of when I can. 

Thoughts on eating inside the cafeteria vs. outside? 

Siena: I feel that the cafeteria is very crowded and is probably not the safest way to eat lunch, especially since it is inside. I feel more comfortable being outside or somewhere more spread out than the lunch room, so that is usually what I choose to do. 

Ella: I think the cafeteria could be a little bit safer considering the amount of people sitting at tables without a mask, but I also think that we missed out on so much of that aspect that it is nice to have a chance to catch up and sit with friends. I think outside is much safer, however it is not as easy especially in the colder, rainier months. 

Katie: Personally, I prefer sitting outside because I feel that it is a lot safer. The cafeteria can get extremely crowded during lunch hours, and with no one wearing a mask the majority of the time, it sometimes makes me a little uncomfortable. Still, I do eat in the cafeteria most of the time, especially if it is cold or rainy. 

Kaitlyn: I don’t really mind either way, usually I sit inside because outside its hard to find seating, but outside can be great. I definitely think that when winter comes around the inside of the cafeteria will get very crowded, so hopefully people respect some form of social distancing and keep their masks on when possible. 

How does it feel to be back to no social distancing?

Siena: I find it much easier to get around, considering we can use all of the staircases and walk on both sides of the hallway. It is also nice to be able to sit at tables with other people in the classrooms, instead of having individual desks. 

Ella: One of my favorite parts about being back to normal school is not having desks that are far away from one another. Especially in some of my more collaborative classes where working with other students or having discussions is essential, it sometimes felt awkward to talk to people due to how far away we were from others. It was also really uncomfortable to sit in the cafeteria when the chairs were 6 feet apart and there were no tables. 

Katie: I am so happy that we are back to having normal seating arrangements, working in groups, and cafeteria tables. The thing I hated most about last year was not being able to collaborate with my classmates and socialize at school. Because of social distancing, I was not very social with other students because it was very hard to do. Now, everyone is able to talk to one another, and it just feels normal again.

Kaitlyn: It’s a little weird to get used to, but it’s definitely nice for things to be normal again. I really enjoy being able to work with groups, and sitting with friends at lunch. Its also good that students have more opportunities to talk directly with teachers. I definitely feel more comfortable asking questions now than I did remotely.

Do you feel safe at school?

Siena: Personally, I do feel safe at school. The only place I feel could be more safe is the cafeteria, but people can choose to not eat there if they don’t want to. 

Ella: I feel relatively safe at school. I am not as worried about getting COVID-19 this year due to how high the vaccination rates are at school, and how enforced masks are. 

Katie: I do feel  safe at school. I think the majority of the students are very proactive about keeping their mask over their noses and mouths. I do not fear getting sick at school, which is a good feeling to have. 

Kaitlyn: I feel safe, I feel like even though its a tricky thing to enforce the school does a good job with making sure masks are being worn. Also it definitely feels a lot safer since most students are vaccinated and the new testing programs are being implemented.

How does it feel to have more open social events (football games, prom coming up, etc)?

Siena: I love having more open social events. Football games are one of my favorite events held by the school, and I think it is so fun to get together as a grade and cheer on our team. I am excited for prom, too, and I am happy we will be able to experience it in a normal way. 

Ella: Having football games is a really great experience that most of us juniors haven’t ever experienced. With freshman year triple E, and then sophomore year being remote, it feels good to be in the student section cheering on our school. 

Katie: Throughout the two past years at LS, there were little to none social events. This year, everything has opened up and I am excited to take advantage of that. I think these experiences have an important role in having a normal high school experience that everyone should have the opportunity to have. 

Kaitlyn: I’m definitely excited to experience more school events, some for the first time. I’m a junior, so I went to my first football game on Friday October 1st, and I’m really glad that my class will most likely be able to experience things like prom in a normal way.

Do you miss any aspect of the remote schedule?

Siena: The part I miss most is having more time during the day to do school work. Last year I rarely found myself having homework at night because I could do it during my classless mornings. I could also sleep in a couple of days a week which was nice. 

Ella: I do really miss the full lunches, I genuinely got a lot of work done during those lunches and it was a nice break as well. I also felt I had more time to do work, and in some ways it was nice to not have to get up and go to school every single morning. 

Katie: Part of me missed not having to wake up so early and being able to do school while still laying in bed, but I am so happy we are back. I really missed socializing with classmates and not eating in isolation at home. I also feel that I am more productive now that we are fully back. 

Kaitlyn: I miss all the free time and flexibility. On Monday mornings I didn’t have a single class meeting so it was like an extension of my weekend. I liked having so much time to get things done or to take a break from school.

Is it easier to communicate with teachers now? 

Siena: Yes, it is much easier to communicate with teachers now. I prefer talking to teachers in person than over email, and I am happy to have those resources back. 

Ella: I think it is a lot easier to communicate with my teachers, but I also felt I had more time to meet with my teachers over google meets after school because I wasn’t rushing to get home or to make my next class in a different building. I do think it is a lot easier to ask questions in class, a lot of times I would be confused on a topic, but I wouldn’t want to unmute and speak on the whole google meet. 

Katie: It is so much easier to communicate with teachers now! I take advantage of my free blocks and lunches to meet with the teacher, something I was not able to do last year. It was very complicated to meet with a teacher last year, and not very helpful because they could not connect with you the way they do now. 

Kaitlyn: Yes and no, in class it’s much easier to talk to teachers and ask questions, but last year google meet made it so much easier to meet with teachers for extra help or office hours.