The Catalyst / Photo courtesy of Emily Clarke

Emily Clarke, junior at Saint Francis High School

Emily Clarke, junior at Saint Francis High School

Since many schools have closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, many high school students are going to school online in what is called distance learning. Some of them communicate with their teachers via email or websites, like gClassroom and Schoology. Others participate in online classrooms via video conferencing apps, like Google Hangouts and Zoom. The Catalyst interviewed Emily Clarke, a junior at Saint Francis High School, about her experiences going to school online.

The Catlayst (TC): What’s a typical day of school like for you?

Emily Clarke (EC): From nine to noon – somewhere in that region – I wake up… I usually do some homework in my room… for maybe an hour or two. I get up and I take a shower and get ready. I go to the kitchen [and] I do some homework while eating lunch. I do homework until Nana comes over [and] my mom’s friend comes over. And, that’s when I’m done with school for the day… until my mom goes on her walk with their friend and then I do some more school [work] if I procrastinated in the morning. It’s kind of all over the place.


TC: How are you coping with shelter in place and keeping in touch with your friends?

EC: It’s hard not being able to go out and hang out with my friends because a lot of them live in San Jose. So, I can’t just drive by their house[s]… I’m spending a lot more time with my family, a lot more time with my family… I’ve gotten [to spend time with] my cousin a few times… We played Just Dance on Zoom. She made me brownies. So, that helped a lot, you know, still getting to spend time with her.


TC: How has life been at home since shelter in place?

EC: My family’s driving me crazy. I usually go to school and then I leave for school at like seven, between six and seven. And, I don’t come home until eight o’clock at night. So, I’m used to not seeing them [for] the majority of the day. And, now, I see them all day long, so it’s kind of a lot. But, it’s just kind of boring, very boring. I ran out of episodes of Criminal Minds [to watch].


TC: Do you wish St. Francis did anything differently with distance learning?

EC: Some of my teachers are doing this, but not all of them. They all kind of have different schedules, which can be a little confusing. Like, my Spanish teacher, I really like what she’s doing – She assigns work on Monday and then… it’s all due on Friday. So, I can kind of space it out how I like. But… some teachers… got stuff due on Wednesday and it’s like… you could space it out over the week. I don’t know. There’s just not a clear schedule. 


TC: What do you miss the most about going campus?

EC:  Seeing all my friends… And, actually like getting to interact with some of my teachers because not all of them do the Zoom calls… and lacrosse – [I] miss sports. It’s the worst part.


TC: What do you like the best about distance learning?

EC: Sleeping. Yep, that’s the one.


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