Talk around campus: Zoom edition

by Isha Moorjani, Reporter

Since we are all staying at home, it has become difficult to connect and interact with peers and classmates. You may be wondering about how the Harker community as a whole is coping with these changes. This talk around campus (or should I say, around Zoom) addresses how the situation has impacted both students and teachers, as well as how they are dealing with the changes. 

Isha Moorjani

How are you doing?

Karen Haley, history teacher: I think I’ve adjusted quite nicely. I will say maybe the first day, just the newness of it was a little different, but I also saw the exact same expression on all of my students’ faces as well.

Kris Estrada (9): At this moment in time, I feel okay. I’ve grown more comfortable. I’ve been spending more time with my family, myself. I’ve been taking some walks outside with my dog every day. We’re barbecuing in our backyard. I’ve been exercising more, yoga, so right now I’m okay.

What has been the greatest challenge?

Uma Iyer (10): I would say screen time because I have three classes each day, so it’s quite a while, and then homework after school, so I’d say the biggest challenge that I’ve faced is having to look at my laptop and sit at my desk for so long.

Sofie Kassaras (12): I think it’s just kind of adapting because I’m the type of person who really depends on a schedule when they’re just kind of living day to day, and since school’s transitioned to online now, I’ve had to kind of completely make a new schedule, and that’s been kind of difficult to do because it’s such a drastic change from just going to school. 

How has your schedule changed?

Keesha Gondipalli (9): After school, I used to play softball, so I’d go home really late, but now since we don’t have that, I’m home and I just have a longer period of time to do the same amount of work.

Shray Alag (11): It hasn’t changed that much, but I feel like I’m sleeping later because I actually feel like I have more work to do. I don’t know if that’s a byproduct of the online learning system, or if that’s just maybe more time management or something like that.

How have you been dealing with the changes?

Helen Li (11): Well, just to keep the social interactions up, I call friends sometimes, and I started using a journal. I picked up again because I never really finish any of my journals, but if I have time, I would physically write something down with a thoughtful question, but if it’s a school day and I just want to go to sleep, before bed, I would just pull up a notebook app on my phone to keep record of what’s going on.

Alex Shing (12): Well, definitely, just like I would in a regular school day, just that repetition of getting my schedule down, like how I go to a park every single day, I always finish my homework, or try to finish my homework by a certain amount of time, and just setting those certain checkpoints or guidelines for me to finish has sort of kept me on track.

Have you picked up any new hobbies during free time?

Julie Turchin, psychology teacher: I’m trying to learn the ukulele. So I have a friend who plays the ukulele who’s teaching me, and then he’s trying to learn the piano, which I know how to play, so we swap lessons. And I actually took an improv class, not this Saturday but the Saturday before. It was like a two hour Zoom-based improv class, and that was fun. 

Helen: I’m actually trying to get into cooking right now, so I’m asking my dad to teach me what he likes to cook and what I like to eat, so that’s one hobby that I’ve picked up.

What do you want to do first when shelter-in-place is over?

Josh Field (10): I think number one thing is hopefully we can start up rehearsal on musical again, or just do some sort of theater or choir event because I haven’t really got to do much in the way of that for a while now. 

Uma: I want to go out to eat. I want to go to a restaurant, I want to go walk around, I want to go to the mall, I want to see my friends, that’s what I want. I just want to go outside. 

Some of these responses were abridged for clarity purposes.