Average Quaran-teens: A Tale of Two Students

By Julia Burdsall and Mimi Dioguardi

Student 1:

It’s 7:30am and the sound of my sencha alarm violently interrupts my trip to the bikini bottom with my dog. Just like yesterday I am rudely transported back into the reality of living in “quarantine” attempting to finish my junior year strong before the last of my motivation takes its much- deserved sabbatical. I head downstairs to pour a cup of coffee—the first of many. As always I return to my room and make my bed in order to prevent myself from crawling right back in. I sit down on my cracked leather chair and pull out my jumbo pack of sparkle pens—you can’t make a daily to-do list without sparkle pens and if you are you’re doing it wrong. 

I make sure to note the start and end times of my Webex calls for the day as well as the assignments I will need to complete in order to maintain the grades I’ve spent the whole semester working towards—no way I’m letting Corona take those from me too. By the time I’m done 8:45am has rolled around and it’s time to join my first call, so I hop on and spend the next 30 minutes enjoying the company of my teacher and peers. Despite my screen freezing periodically and accidentally getting kicked out of two of my meetings things are going fairly well. Before I even realize it I’m done with my four Webex calls of the day and ready to take a fifteen minute break. 

I always make sure to have my to-do list beside me throughout my classes so I don’t miss any details about an assignment—now that the school day ends three hours earlier then it should, it can be easy to forget about one of the ten Khan Academy videos I’m supposed to watch. After I grab my first snack of the day—today I opted for hummus and carrots—I get cracking on my class work. I do my best to take small breaks in between assignments, sometimes I will take a quick gander at Stephen Hawking’s, “A Brief History in Time” or I’ll opt for some impromptu meditation. 

After completing about three hours of homework my iPad begins to glare from the late afternoon sun, this is how I know it’s time to take another quick break from class work. At this point I go for a long run then grab my dogs and head out for a walk. All in all the quarantine lifestyle is growing on me but I’d do anything to be able to sit in a classroom again—preferably one that isn’t in my bedroom.

Student 2:

What is that noise? I sit up in my bed, the mid-morning sun blinding me. I check the clock. It’s 10:15am. Seriously, what is that noise? My eyes scan the room, searching for the source of that painfully familiar pinging sound. My eyes land on my iPad, hidden among a pile of my notebooks and papers. I open it to find 37 new Canvas notifications. 

With a wince and a frown, I open the app, realizing I’ve already missed the first two “periods” of the day along with one Webex call. It’s a green day, right? I can barely even remember what day of the week it is; how can I be expected to keep track of my classes, or which assignments are due, or which ones I’ve completed, or which ones I’ve turned in? It’s already 11am and I need a break. Still in my pajamas, I scroll through Instagram for an hour, missing yet another Webex call. I text my friends asking them to send me the homework for the day from each class. In response, I am bombarded with new assignments. All of this is due today? I decide that I’ve used enough brain power for one morning, so it’s time for a quick power nap and then I swear I’ll get started on my classwork. 

I wake up again and it’s 2pm. I glance at my iPad and am greeted by a whole slew of new notifications. The process begins yet again. Luckily, assignments aren’t due until 11:59, so I can put them off a couple more hours. This gives me time to finish my to-do list for the day, which consists of bingeing “Tiger King. I guess the whole online learning thing isn’t too bad, I mean I do get to stay in my bed all day. This quarantine lifestyle gets easier every day. 

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