written by Brynn Baker
After two days of in-person learning, members of the A1 cohort, one of the first groups to return to on-campus learning, shared their thoughts on the new hybrid model, expressing varying opinions. The social aspect of the hybrid model was largely appreciated by participants.
Junior Cate Whittaker said that she “wasn’t expecting it to be exactly like school before Covid. It was great to be back on campus, and while it looks a little different, going to class felt the same as it did a year ago and I definitely learned more just by being in a classroom and having the teacher in front of me instead of behind a screen.” Whittaker said, “Hearing the bell over zoom and in person was so surreal, it brought me right back to last year.”
"Hearing the bell over zoom and in person was so surreal, it brought me right back to last year.” - Cate Whittaker, junior
Freshman Daniel Welander, explained the social benefit he has seen in returning to school, saying that “I got to see two of my friends that I haven’t seen in person for nearly a year.”
Senior Rachel Benedick expressed that her experience returning to campus “has actually been a lot different” than expected. She elaborated, saying, “I thought there were going to be a lot more kids when I went back, or that more would be in the classroom. In most of my classes, I was the only person and for my other two classes today there were only two or three other people.” Benedick also explained that “in the classroom, I thought that the teachers were going to have something set up so they could talk to the kids in the classroom, but also broadcast on Zoom. So, it’s pretty much different than everything I had in mind, but it was fine.” Benedick explained that the “line went pretty fast” when checking in, and that she dislikes the assigned lunch zone model.
Senior Spencer Lin, described the long wait-time to check-in on his first day back. In contrast to Benedick, Lin said, “I was in line for like 20, or 25 minutes. I think it was because there were people who didn’t have the Frontline Health app yet. So it was kind of chaotic in the morning. However, I think since it was the first day, that makes sense.” Lin suggested that the lunch be reorganized to allow students to sit with friends, socially distanced, rather than assigned lunch cohorts. “[Our friend groups] are like our little existing cohort, and since we've been together all along, it kind of makes sense. If you eat lunch with your friends, because you are already hanging out with them outside of school, if you're sitting with other people, then that allows for a larger possibility of transmitting the virus.” Similarly criticizing the lunch zones, Benedick said, “I saw so many people sitting by themselves because they didn’t know anybody or their friends were in different areas,” Benedick said, claiming that the assigned zones take the social aspect out of the hybrid model.
Junior Lea Amram of the A1 cohort, rated her “first day as an 8/10.” Elaborating, she said, “my favorite part was seeing people physically. I didn’t particularly dislike anything but maybe going to the back or side of the class to charge my computer since there aren't plugs near the desks.” Amram concluded, “I definitely think it is worth it to go back, especially for the social aspect. Even if there are protocols, they are not that different from those from outside of school during the pandemic, so it makes them easy to follow.”
I definitely think it is worth it especially for the social aspect. Even if there are protocols, they are not that different from those from outside of school during the pandemic. - Lee Amram, junior
While members of the A1 cohort expressed varying opinions of the hybrid model, there seemed to be a consensus that the social aspect of in-person learning supersedes drawbacks and flaws associated with a hybrid return to campus. Lin said, “I mean, it was fun. Things are definitely headed in the right direction, and that's awesome.”