Rachel Shanley, NDB Dean of Student Life & Leadership
The Catalyst (TC): What do you what do you think about the announcement to continue online distance learning until the next semester?
Rachel Shanley (RS): I’ve also actually taken on the role of director of COVID operations. But, um, yeah in that role I’ve been a lot more involved in the COVID process. I think it’s really important, especially if we were to go back to school, at the end of October or early November, then we really would have only had like two or three weeks before finals. We thought that wasn’t really reasonable for us to have the school ready as well as for you guys to come for, like, you know, a couple days before we take a break. Anyway, so I’m glad that we have more time to continue getting school ready for you all.
TC: Are there certain things that you like more about being online compared to being at school in-person? Or would you say that overall, there’s just a lot more benefits of being at school in-person than being online?
RS: For my student life rule, I would love to be on campus. But also, you know, on campus, not during COVID. So just not having the more social aspects on campus, it’s gonna be really tough I think for myself as well as the other students. But I think that’s also tough in my role now because most of my role was interacting with students and it’s really hard to do that when you’re on the computer. So the only people I’m really interacting with weekly are like the ASB officers and Student Council. So it’s difficult to not be able to see everyone, since that’s why I enjoyed this role so much.
TC: When we do go back to campus at the beginning of the next semester, how do you feel about working on campus with others who might not be that careful like with hand-washing, mask-wearing or social distancing?
RS: We’re doing our best to set up school in a way that follows all the procedures that San Mateo County is requiring of us, and that includes going one-way in the hallways, having time more time to wash hands during class and making sure lunch procedures are safe and just everything like that. Although we’re setting up campus to be as safe as possible and only having half the students there, I think it’s still kind of scary to think about how easily it is to get sick from COVID, especially since it’s kind of like a secret illness. You don’t really know you have it until you’re either really sick, or you get tested. Then you could have potentially infected you know your whole class or multiple classes-worth of students. So it’s worrying to me, especially since it’s high school. [NDB students] are moving from classroom to classroom so they’re always with different students, so it’s worrying. But, I’m doing my best to make sure campus is as safe as possible to return.
TC: How has working from home like affected your home has affected your home life, or even your work life?
RS: I think it’s affected my work life, because I don’t really stop working. Although I take a lot more breaks because I’m at home, I think I am also responding to emails and working on things not during normal work hours. This is not really a problem for me at this time because I like don’t have kids or anything. As for my home life, I really just want to be able to socialize more even though I’m not that much of a social person. I think just being able to leave and go to work and then come home is really helpful. Obviously none of us are doing that, so it’s just kind of a toll on all of our well beings.