Home alone: eLearning special

Two students and a school counselor detail day-to-day eLearning and discuss the ups and downs of learning at home


Photo by Andres Corona and Megan Gonzalez

WORK STATIONS: Freshman Andres Corona (left image) and Sophomore Megan Gonzalez (right image) submitted their eLearning work spaces. Students have learned to get comfortable with their new learning environment at home.

Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, school has gone completely online. One of the school’s counselors, Mrs. Jessica Engel, describes her difficulty with meeting the needs of her 250ish students and her perspective on the situation for the students themselves.

“[eLearning] is forcing students to grow up so fast and take on so much responsibility,” Engel said. “Honestly, I don’t know how students are doing it.”

Besides academic success, Engel explains that students need emotional connections and not seeing them everyday has been a challenge. Nevertheless, she expresses admiration for the students’ management of the situation.

“Overall, students are really learning to roll with it!” Engel said. “Although these are unprecedented times, our students have risen to the occasion, and I am so proud of them!”

The students also share their story. Senior Emma Morgan illustrates her experience in eLearning.

“My at home learning environment is a desk in my room that I spend 8 hours sitting at,” Morgan said. “It is nothing special, but it is always equipped with snacks and a blanket to keep me cozy while I listen to Google meets.”

Morgan’s study habits haven’t changed much, aside from the temptation to cheat whilst being at home all day. She expresses overall content with eLearning, mentioning that there is less work and more time with family, but she also addresses the drawbacks.

“The only thing I would change is more leniency with the internet access because there are a lot of problems in my house with the wifi,” Morgan said. “I think the most challenging thing has been not being able to see my school friends in person … and miss[ing] out on the little conversations and fun moments throughout the school day.”

In the hopes of reaching other students, Morgan stresses the importance of looking at the positives and provides advice for anyone who is struggling.

“I would encourage other students to keep working toward whatever you want to achieve because the pandemic is still going to be here for a while,” Morgan said. “Live in the present and try to find the positive moments of online school, because there has to be something good to come out of all this.”

Morgan hopes to see her classmates and a sense of normalcy in 2nd semester. Another student, Junior Amanda Wolf, provides insights of her own.

“The situation won’t last forever,” Wolf said. “Get a hobby to look forward to at the day’s end, and use that as an incentive to get work done.”

Wolf texts her friends to stay in touch and urges students to exercise for “academic focus and general mental relaxation.” Despite eLearning supplying free time and being relatively predictable, Wolf describes difficulty paying attention and other concerns.

“I’m emailing a lot more to communicate and clarify,” Wolf said. “I would say that an occasional day of rest, or at least one without work, could help teachers and students alike.”

As the collective student body and staff battle through not only surviving the pandemic but online schooling alike, the notion of regularity and the ability to walk Roncalli’s halls once again are hopefully in the near future.