Do you remember your freshman year? Most don’t, but with online learning now as the new norm, the class of ‘24 definitely won’t forget theirs.
Freshman Joel De Leon is a part of the theatre department, which is doing an online sitcom play. He’s on the editor crew for the play, so he got to meet some new people over Zoom.
“It was nice to see everyone and meet and talk about the new events,” De Leon said.
The theater department hopes that afterward they will be able to do the rest of the plays in person.
“The only thing different is socializing,” De Leon said. “It’s hard to make new friends over Zoom classes.”
However, DeLeon said he has made new friends through mutual friends
Like De Leon, freshman soccer player Abby Little said that it’s a very different experience now having to meet new people over Zoom.
On some days of the week , soccer players have the option to go to morning practices at Martin, but otherwise they typically do everything over Zoom.
“I’m not very nervous,” Little said.“Some girls already know each other and we all get along over Zoom.”
Little has not gone to morning practices so she has not actually gotten to meet the coach or teammates in person yet.
“It’s been hard because we would have started practice a week ago,” Little said. “I’m used to playing soccer in school but now I’m just chilling at home.”
Similar to Little, STEM student freshman Emerson Davis said she is also not very nervous about going to school in person.
Davis said she prefers to stay on top of her work, doing it as she gets it, and not procrastinating. She said she thinks if she has the same mindset going into school then she’ll be fine.
“I am surprisingly not nervous, just a little anxious,” Davis said. “The STEM workload is more than I initially thought. I mean, I knew I would be spending a lot more time doing work than any regular Martin student, but I think the online ordeal could be a factor in why it is a bit more than I imagined. STEM has been great. I’m in class with kids who actually care about their education, kids that want to be there and learn. The teachers are great and understanding of any online issues. I’m enjoying it because it will help me achieve the career I want to pursue.”
Coming from middle school at Arlington Classics Academy, Davis said she thinks the workload could’ve been very large and overwhelming.
“I am used to having copious amounts of work, however, STEM is still greater than middle school,” Davis said.
The STEM work challenges her and pushes her limits.
“I always felt like I wasn’t really learning because the education I was getting was easy to me, so being in STEM is a good change,” Davis said.
Unlike Davis, freshman English teacher Perinza Reddic said she is having a tougher time trying to figure out online learning. Reddic has to consistently find creative ways to engage students while reminding them that she is a human being on the other side of the screen.
“Teaching through a screen is quite difficult,” Reddic said.“I love, however, the students I have made personal connections with.”
Some students tell her about their sports or other extra-curricular activities, talk about hobbies, and show her their artwork and pets.
“Not meeting the student in person has made my job almost 10 times more difficult,” Reddic said. “I find that I have to make myself available 12 to 15 hours of the day to try to meet their needs. When we return, I will probably continue with the plan in place because I like the routine and I share a bit about myself each time we meet anyway.”
Reddic said she will, however, introduce the new classroom expectations and COVID procedures.
“If there is anything I have learned about the year 2020, our world is forever changed because of COVID,” Reddic said.
Reddic said she hopes that we learn how precious life is and that we value the lives of others.
“I don’t think the manner in which we conduct ourselves toward each other or go about our day-to-day activities will ever be normal again.”