Distance Is Different For Everyone

Amarah Haynes

Looking Six Months Back

This article is part of a series of articles that were written last school year but were never published due to the pandemic. The Norse Code has decided to publish these articles to give insight into how people were feeling at that time.

As this worldwide pandemic spread around the world due to COVID-19, it has affected everyone in different ways. Similarly to many other schools in Wisconsin, New Berlin School District switched to “digital learning.” 

As students and teachers start getting used to this new way of learning, they have different ideas of which ways work the best for them. Also, they share different things they do to keep themselves busy when they’re not focused on school. 

The French teacher at New Berlin West, Leah Rogneby, shares, “Even for simple things like writing down my daily schedule and to-do list … Actually writing has helped a TON.” 

A student at New Berlin West, Elizabeth Schulz, has a similar outlook on creating schedules explaining, “I have created and printed off a weekly checklist on what has to be done each day so that I don’t get stuck doing all of my homework at the end of the week but rather spread out daily.”

Biology teacher Cody Smith shares, “I really miss the face to face interaction from my students. I told my wife I miss my 125 best friends (my students).” Many other teachers share similar feelings about missing their students. 

Band teacher Kyle Fletcher explains how much he misses all of his students. He also says that he is disappointed that he cannot finish off rehearsals for this year with his classes.

Of course miss not being able to see and work with my students in person,” gym teacher Steven Murdock explains. 

Since math is hard to learn on your own, many teachers have been using an app called “Zoom” so they can show their students through a face call. Math teacher Maripat Cooks shares her feelings about that by explaining, “I love to ‘see’ my students learn and be able to ask questions face to face. Right now all I see are black screens on zoom and I can’t see my students thinking and working together with their teammates.” 

Many teachers also miss seeing their co-workers. Murdock shares, “The main thing I miss about not being at school is being around people, particularly Mr. Garland, Mr. Chossek and Ms. Kautza who I work most closely with.” 

Many people are sharing ways they stay busy and fun activities they do when they’re not focused on school. Rogneby talks about how she takes her dog for everyday walks, sometimes including her husband. Smith shares how he is baking and doing other activities with his wife to pass time. 

Teachers are also trying to spend time with their families as much as they can. Murdock explains how he works with his daughter on her soccer skills when they have free time. Cooks says she has, “lots of group chats/facetimes with my family.” 

Senior student Grady Davis shares, “I actually like the distance learning concept more than regular school. I really like that I can do things on my own time.” 

Schulz similarly shares, “I enjoy being able to work at my own time and pace.” 

Davis shares how he is feeling with online school mentally. He says, “ I will say I do feel a little more mentally drained sometimes but that’s when I just take a small break.” 

Schulz also states that, “Now, nothing is a for sure answer and I miss having that clarity.”

Although this is an unfortunate time in all of our lives, we all are able to handle it in different ways.