Coming Back to School, a Story

Coming Back to School, a Story

Marlon M., Staff Writer

Below is a summary of my first day back at school after the Covid-19 pandemic. I know that other people may have had a different experience, this was mine.

 

Day 1: April 12, 2021

First day back to school after the pandemic. My alarm rings at 6:45, and I groggily stay in bed until 6:50. Man, am I tired. After eating breakfast, I play piano, set up the next print on my 3D printer, and get to school.

Once I get on campus, I immediately feel a change. As I walk up to the front gate, I am beckoned to the thermometer, which shows my temperature at 97.7 degrees, and a man asks, “Have you had any symptoms? Fever, cough, nausea?”

“No,” is my response, as I walk through the gate and squirt some hand sanitizer into my hands. Walking toward the overhang, for the first time in a year, ironic as it sounds, I feel lonely. I can’t spot anybody from my regular friend group and don’t know what to do.

An administrator asks me if I’m lost, after walking up and down the ramp twice.

“No, I’m okay” is my response. I decide to walk down to my classroom, still alone. I recognize a few friends and chat away the time with them. The bell rings, and again I am shocked by the change. The plexiglass dividers are the first thing I notice, along with people wearing their face masks, but what surprises me the most is the emptiness of the room. “I definitely expected more people,” I think to myself.

Math is relatively uneventful. We are learning about quadratic equations, which I had already learned, so I proceed to finish my work as quickly as possible. Bending my back, try to memorize as many digits of pi on the walls around me. I get to around digit 50.

Next is science, where we learn about the behavior of light in the form of waves, and lead a discussion about “My Friend Emma,” a problem used to test one’s pattern recognition. The question seemed nonsensical, asking whether Emma preferred crocodiles or alligators based on much seemingly random evidence, and most of the class (except Subhadra, who got the answer almost immediately), struggled with the question. In an epic turn of events, I choke on my own saliva. I leave class knowing that at least one person in class thought that I had Covid.

Next, I walk towards the lunch tables, where again, I am shocked (though admittedly less, as I had become more accustomed to the changes). Due to the recommended seating arrangement, the tables feel empty, but I still am able to chat with some friends.

My school day finishes off with history, where we learn about multiple career choices and general information on our transition to high school. According to a quiz, my best career paths include becoming an economist or an electrical engineer. I drive home feeling satisfied with the day. Although it was different and strange, it was still worthy of joy.