Online learning: an(other) opinion piece

Updated: Apr 7

By Duc 10L



Rain came pouring down again, bringing along with her all of nature’s might; thunder forcefully throwing punches at the ground, jabbing at the tall buildings, all in a flash of explosiveness, leaving behind a ray of light; dark, ominous clouds besieging the area around you, unleashing heavier and heavier artillery by the second; while you are just there in the middle, protected by the concrete roofs of the school building, miniscule compared to the forces closing in on you.

As you may or may not have guessed, I was in English class. And fortunately so, in contrast to the other year groups at our school and the entire rest of the world, who were doing their classes online. Even more fortunately, Mr. James had allowed us to take even more frequent breaks just to get distracted and observe nature.

Coincidentally, at that very moment, it started to rain. The first drops of the wet season. Not long after, I’ve somehow written myself a full paragraph in my head.

In those early drops, there existed some scent of reminiscence in them, pulling me back to the same time last year. I recounted that day in early May, whilst I was busy playing games and calling my friends on our Discord server instead of focusing on class was when the first sounds of thunder came around. Rain came along with it, which made me bounce from my chair and joyfully exclaim “GUYS! IT’S RAINING!” in the call.

To which came the reply: “Yea, cool. It’s not like we even go outside anymore.”

We wouldn’t get forced to go outside (i.e., to school) until the end of that month, after having spent 3-and-a-half months online, concluding our first, longest, and arguably worst online learning experience so far (and I really do hope that statement isn’t going to jinx our future). Since then, we’ve gone through 2 more spells of e-learning, with our most recent one ending after the 2 lucky year groups were permitted to come back to school. After that much experience, personally, I’m slowly getting better at overcoming my problems with online learning. Or so I thought.

Soon after, another outbreak forced even us lucky ones to head back onto our screens, bringing back the worst parts of e-learning: Those 2-and-a-half hours long lessons and that eye sore that comes along with it; that demotivation and that fatigue; that temptation of your bed right next to you, inviting you on for a quick nap; even that hatred of your own chair, making you turn away at the sight of its comfortable silhouette. You want to do anything but work; anything but rest your legs under that table; anything but stare at that bland, distasteful screen.

Everything forced me to realise how much I missed school when we still had the opportunity to, making me value the time that I’ve spent in person at school a lot more, whether it be lessons, breaks or after-school activities. Heck, at this rate, simply being able to ride past the gates like I’d do every day would be an honour and a relief for my yearning. School might only be 5 minutes from where I am on a car trip, yet it feels so distant.

I truly miss going to school.

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