Learning At Home / Thoughts On Quarantine

person-using-macbook-pro-on-white-table-3843359Our lives have not changed as drastically as most people make it seem; this is true for me, at least. Most of my assignments from school need to be submitted or worked on online, so it honestly isn’t much of a change. The biggest change is the absence of a school environment, which I believe is making me more comfortable while working. Not having to stress about waking up at an ungodly hour, getting dressed in four minutes because I’m already late, having to sit through a bumpy half-hour bus ride, arriving hoping I’ll be allocated a few minutes to settle in, only to be bombarded with information, assignments, and deadlines.

Working at my own pace has increased my happiness, and even though my routine is relatively identical each day, it feels more like I’m living my own life, and less like I’m just part of a system. It’s almost as if I am a young adult who is in college, who will get his work done if left alone to do it. The phrase “less is more” is seldom applicable, but in this case, less guidance and hand-holding and looking over my shoulder and suspicion definitely equals higher productivity.

I do miss my teachers, though – and their brilliant lectures which remind me why in-class learning is useful. I had been observing this virus since December 2019,  and it has been fascinating watching it spread from country to country and seeing their reactions. It is important to take into account that history is being written right in front of us. Students will read about the events currently transpiring in textbooks years from now. This is the biggest health and financial crisis the United States has ever faced. It is shocking to think about that.

Watching people clear the shelves of stores has been a bit unsettling, but the time I spend feeling scared is far less than the time I spend laughing at middle-aged women claw each others’ eyes out for a box of toilet paper. I’m glad the members of my family are intelligent and educated and take the time to learn about what is going around them so they don’t become those middle-aged women in stores who believe this is the apocalypse. We did buy a surplus of things like food, soap, and water to be safe. Both my parents are now working from home, which I’m sure must feel odd for them. We are following the stay-at-home order issued by Hidalgo County and we also aren’t interacting with anyone outside of my family.

Sometimes I think it’s a little much, but I understand why they are taking these precautions. It requires a great amount of focus and self-motivation to get things done, but it doesn’t come with too much difficulty for me. I am waking up relatively early in order to keep my body accustomed to school and to have as much time as possible to finish my work in the morning. Having a three-year-old roaming around my room doesn’t make it easy, but I manage.

 

Author

Michael D.

I was born on December 3rd, 2003 in McAllen, Texas. My parents are Jose Adan Del Angel and Elizabeth Flores. I was a calm, observant baby who loved being read to. My family always talks about how easy it was to take care of me and that I never gave them any trouble. My first language was Spanish, as I lived with my grandparents for the first half of my life and they only spoke Spanish. My first brother was born when I was four, and my second brother was born when I was thirteen. When I started going to school, my teachers noticed that I knew everything they were teaching me and that I wasn’t learning, so they had me skip the last half of 1st grade and I started the next semester in 2nd grade. Ever since then, I’ve been much younger than the other people in my grade. As I went through elementary, my parents pushed me to be a good student and always try my best. I met friends in elementary that I am still close with now, I am grateful for them. When I entered Memorial Middle School, my parents were a little more lenient with me and as a result, my grades dropped a little, but I was happier and less stressed. I still had the competitive fire that drove me in elementary, but it would only show itself occasionally. Middle school was my transition from an introverted nerd to an open, easygoing person who could carry a conversation with anyone. I didn’t take my education too serious, only because everything was still easy for me at the time, my ego started growing and growing, until the advanced classes I was placed in gave me a much-needed dose of reality. I found that I was terrible at math, and still am to this day. I began trying harder in my classes because I realized I didn’t know everything. When Mr. Bernal came to recruit kids for Jimmy Carter, I realized that this was my opportunity to take my education to the next level by taking advantage of all the benefits that an early college offers. I applied, and luckily got accepted, and I am grateful for everything that I have learned and all the wonderful people that I have met here. I look forward to finishing high school and graduating with my associate's degree.

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